« ElőzőTovább »
E X POSITION
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
GILBERT BISHOP OF SARUM.
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS.
THE title of Defender of the Faith, the noblest of all those which belong to this imperial Crown, that has received a new lustre by Your MAJESTY's carrying it, is that which You have so gloriously acquired, that if Your MAJESTY had not found it among them, what You have done must have secured it to Yourself by the best of all claims. We should be as much ashamed not to give it to Your MAJESTY, as we were to give it to those who had been fatally led into the design of overturning that, which has been beyond all the examples in history preserved and hitherto maintained by Your MAJESTY.
The Reformation had its greatest support and strength from the Crown of England; while two of Your renowned Ancestors were the chief Defenders of it in foreign parts. The blood of England mixing so happily with theirs, in your Royal Person, seemed to give the world a sure prognostic of what might be looked for from to great a conjunction. Your MAJESTY has outdone all expectations; and a 2
has brought matters to a state far beyond all our hopes.
But amidst the laurels that adorn You, and those applauses that do every where follow You, suffer me, Great Sir, in all humility to tell You, that your work is not yet done, nor your glory complete, till You have employed that power which God has put in your hands, and before which nothing has been able hitherto to stand, in the supporting and securing this Church, in the bearing down Infidelity and Impiety, in the healing the wounds and breaches that are made among those who do in common profess this Faith, but are unhappily disjointed and divided by some differences that are of less importance: and, above all things, in the raising the power and efficacy of this Religion, by a suitable reformation of our lives and manners.
How much soever men's hearts are out of the reach of human authority, yet their lives, and all outward appearances, are governed by the example and influences of their Sove. reigns.
The effectual pursuing of these designs, as it is the greatest of all those glories of which mortals are capable; so it seems to be the only thing that is now wanting, to finish the brightest and perfectest character that will be in history.
It was in order to the promoting these ends, that I undertook this Work; which I do now