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at “ the great rebellion,” which befel in this our own kingdom nearly 200 years ago, in the days of King Charles the First; and mind-keep an eye to the single point which we are looking at; viz. the end of rebellions.
This great rebellion, then, did indeed go on to such a length, that the king was put to death by his subjects, and the Church overthrown, and a new form of government, and of religious establishment set up. But what was the result of this also ?-After all the cruelty, and waste, and misery which had been caused, and after a lamentable shedding of the best blood in the kingdom, the people liked the new government less than the old. It was unavoidably more strict, by reason of its unsettledness. People had less real (that is, personal) liberty, and more fear. And the end was, that within a dozen years, or a trifle more, after the murder of the king, the nation was half wild with joy at having his son back again, to rule over them, and the church restored. So, you see it is still the same story. Lawful authority was still to be; for there is no doing without it.
3. By and by, we had another revolution; though brought about in a much better manner, peaceably and without bloodshed. What, however, was the end of this again ? and what was it, that saved the misery and bloodshed which had been before ?
One king, it is true, (James the Second) was forced to give up the throne ; but to save the kingdom from all manner of evils, another king (William the Third) was at once taken in his stead ; and nothing else but this turned aside the mischiefs and the miseries, which all moderate and prudent men were justly afraid of. The keeping up of lawful authority was not only the end of the matter, but the only thing which made it end comparatively well.
4. Then, again, there was the great revolution in France, some thirty years ago ; the cause (in real truth). nf all the distress we are now feeling. And what has
The End of Revolutions.
105 been the end of that, so far as any end has yet come?
-At the beginning of the mischief, the people went on murdering one another, in turn, according as one party or another got violent possession of power, until all-in despair—were glad to take Napoleon Buonaparte for their head. No sooner was he governor, than, to prevent worse mischief at home, he turned vast armies loose, (one might almost say like wild beasts) on other nations, that they might live by plunder. And this it was, that forced us (against the will of our governors) to remain so long at war ; which continuance of war it was, that drove us into some of those expences which now press so heavily upon us. But how could we help it ?
This, however, is not exactly what we now are looking at:-our present point is, to examine how far it is the effect and end of revolutions, to release men from obedience to power and authority. Well, then, the French (as has been said) were first glad to get a breathing time and respite, by submitting themselves to Buonaparte, as their ruler. He was, however, obliged (over and above his natural inclination) to rule them with a rod of iron, to keep them quiet. The upshot was, his tyranny became so great, and the consequences of it so bad, that they also were glad to get back again the next lawful successor of the king whom they had murdered, to govern them, mildly and peaceably. The lesson (mark) is still the same ;-there must be lawful authority.
5. It is too true, that the successor of this restored king has since forfeited his crown by rash and impolitic conduct: but has this released the nation from all obedience and constraint? So far from it, they were obliged immediately to take another king, to save themselves from going through, over again, all the miseries of war and bloodshed, under which they had been so long groaning before. And if they do not now obey this new king and the laws, that will be the end of the matter yet.
So that, come what will, or do what we may, you may depend on it, THERE WILL STILL BE RULERS AND LAWS for the punishment of evil doers, and for the “ praise of them that do well.” For, this is God's part and WILL, in the matter; and that cannot be set aside, let men dream as they may, or be they ever so wilful.
As to our own particular present case, there are, no doubt, some things in it which need correction ; and all wise and right-thinking men are disposed to amend the real defects, and to make all changes and reforms that are consistent with the general safety and welfare. But neither will these same defects be mended by revolution ; (which is the sure fruit of general disobedience ;) nor would five hundred revolutions release you from subjection to governors and laws. Is not a mild government better than a cruel one? Is not one master better than many ?-Be wise, then, and obey the laws. « FEAR GOD. HONOUR THE KING."
WHEN THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY.
• But what good can I do?” said Susan Brooker to herself, after hearing a sermon from the Rev. W. L. in the parish church of S., the concluding words of which were as follows: “ Remember that the sentence of being cast into outward darkness, was pronounced not merely on the sinful, but on the unprofitable; not only on those who had done harm, but on those who had done no good in their generation.”_" What good can I do?” said Susan; “ I, who am so poor that I can scarcely make both ends meet—who have not a sixpence I can call my own, for it all goes to get the children bread-who have not a moment of time to myself, scarcely enough to mend up my old clothesand who am a poor ignorant body too ?”
Now, there are two ways of asking such a question
When there's a will there's a way. 107 as this. We may either ask it (as too many do) with a desire merely to excuse ourselves, and to prove that nothing can be expected of us; or we may ask, with a sincere and humble desire to find out, whether we could not do more than we have done; whether the widow's mite, at any rate, is not in our power.
Now, Susan Brooker was one of those who ask the question in this right spirit.
Susan was the eldest of six children: her mother had been dead about three years; and on her had fallen, at the age of nineteen, the care of five little creatures, the eldest of whom was only eight years old. Her father was a wood-cutter-a hard-working, industrious man; but his wages were small, and they could not have managed to get on, but that Susan took in a little washing for servants in gentlemen's families; and this, together with mending and cleaning for her little brothers and sisters, left her not a minute to herself. But though Susan was poor, as to this world, it had pleased God of late to bless her with the true riches, in bringing her to the knowledge of him through Jesus Christ our Lord. She had always been of a serious and sedate turn of mind, but the death of her mother (the first severe affliction she had known) had been the means of giving her a deep sense of the insufficiency of this world, the unspeakable importance of that which is to come, and had brought her to ask in earnest the important question, " What must I do to be saved ?”
This affliction, though bitter, was, from its consequences, a blessing. It is true, that God does not always call us to himself by such methods as this; yet he calls us every day and every hour-by the voice of his ministers--by his word, which we may read, and which is read to us at church-and by the means of grace which all of us may enjoy if we will. He calls us by the daily events of life-by every good example which is before us-by all the good advice which we receive-by all the warnings which we see around
us, and feel within us. But those who neglect these daily and hourly calls, will look, perhaps, in vain for any other.
Susan was, however, only a beginner in the Christian course ; and she had much to do, and much to overcome, before she could hope for the cheering sentence, “ Well done, good and faithful servant.” Had she sat down contented (as too many do) with what she had already attained, and satisfied with the thought that she was, after all, much better than many of her neighbours,—had she thus stood still in the Christian race, we may be sure that she never would have reached the goal. But she did not stand still; and the question, "What good can I do ?" was asked in a humble and teachable spirit, and with a desire to be led by the grace of God in the right course. And God's Spirit did lead her.
In the first place, thought Susan to herself, I must look at home; what more can I do there than I do already? I am always at work for the children, and I never spend any thing on myself that I can help. Now, so far this was very true; but then conscience whispered her, Do I always make my father's home as comfortable as I might?-it is poor, to be sure, and that I cannot help but it need not be dirty; and yet father often complains that his cottage is always in a muddle, and that his brats have never clean faces. Brooker was a sober, industrious man; but he knew or cared little about religion, and he would often scold and grumble when he came in and saw his house in a litter, which was often the case; and he would tell Susan angrily, that, instead of going to church, she had better stay at home and keep things to rights. Susan, it must be confessed, was not as clean and tidy as she ought to have been; and when any one observed how dirty her brothers and sisters were she would only say that she did not know how it was, she could not help it-children would be always in the dirt. But now she was determined to try whether she