IF ONLY THIS LONELY PULPIT WOULD RESOUND ONCE AGAIN!!!!!
ON JULY 12TH, 1857, REVEREND THOMAS DREW PREACHED THIS BEAUTIFUL SOUL-WINNING, MOUNTAIN-MOVING, DEVIL-KICKING, POPE-DEFEATING, FREEDOM-STRENGTHENING, RAPTURE-READY SERMON AT CHRIST CHURCH IN SANDY ROW, BELFAST, BRITISH ULSTÈR!!!!!!
Matthew chap., 13, 14, 15, and 16 verses. • ” 13. Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savour wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cost out and to be trodden underfoot of men. 14. Ye nre the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house. ” 16. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”
Let churches and religious institutions, families and individuals, princes, popes, peers and prelates, operatives and traders, come all to the test of God’s infallible Word! Let legislators and rulers, judges and administrators of a merciless inquisition for once listen to the benign precepts of Him who made them; of Him who knows their every secret thought; and who will soon—it may be very soon—call them to an irreversible judgment! Could we hear, at this time, the living voice of Jesus as it floated down the slopes of the Galilean hill; could we see the gracious countenance, and mark the emphasis and the pauses that originally accompanied this memorable sermon, contained in v. and vi. chapters of St. Matthew’s Gospel, now would we for ever loathe the remorseless intolerance of bigoted men. In this discourse there is no encouragement for the lingering tortures, and the ingenious modes of killing with as much vengeance as could be devised! The Sermon on the Mount is an everlasting rebuke to all intolerance, and all legislative and ecclesiastical cruelty. Of old time, lords of high degree, with their own . hands, strained, on the rack, the delicate limbs of Protestant women; prelates dabbled in the gore of helpless victims; And the cells of the Pope’s prisons were paved with the calcined bones of men and cemented with gore and human hair! Would that such atrocities were no longer formidable! What has been done may be repeated, and, at this hour, the world has its records of existing wrong. Austria crushes “the throbbing hearts of Italy. France basely upholds the Pontiff’s detested throne; and America has not yet regarded the cry of millions whom she calls “chattels” and not men.
This sad anomaly cannot for ever last. The burned martyrs have already seen the grace of the gracious Jesus; and the bad princes and prelates who burned them have also gone into the presence of God! Apart from the celestial teachings of Jesus, the language of humanity should plead for mercy from man to man. Life, a beautiful gift of God, demands to be tenderly and reverentially cherished. The Won! of God makes all plain; puts to eternal shame the practices of persecutors; and stigmatizes, with enduring reprobation, the arrogant pretences of popes, and the outrageous dogmata of their blood-stained religion.
It was happily and truthfully said of the primitive Christians, that it was their faithful character (1) to believe, (2) to love, and (3) to suffer. The most humane and tender Redeemer, by his sermon, thusprepared his followers to sustain such a triple character. Those to whom he spoke, were not an ordinary crowd. They are, in the first verse, called ” disciples.” They were met now to receive their first lesson. A first lesson in Gospel truth is such as that received by Is icodemus, ” who came to Jesus by night.” Namely, ” Man must be born again.” Man must leave his native and inherited sin;—his need of transformation ; the efficacy of the Holy Spirit, and the work of an expected, sufficient and •crucified Saviour. Man, thus far instructed, is then led to .seek and to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit. These are consequent on the belief in a Saviour. The dead live not. They cannot do the work of living men. The spiritually dead live not and bring forth no fruits unto righteousness. These fruits of the Spirit arc given iu the eloquent Apostle’s Catalogue of them, Galatians v. 22. They are also plentifully set forth in the Sermon on the Mount. Belief will be found in connexion with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th verses. Humility is inculcated by a reference to ” the poor in spirit.” Penitence also belongs to a true faith ; — and the ” mourners shall be comforted.” The character of meekness — (not a mere constitutional meekness, but a meekness supplied by grace,) — is an indispensable character of a true faith.
Love is recommended in the next five verses. In the 6th verse, Christian usefulness has its commendation and promise. In the 7th verse, compassion has its promise; but of this Rome lives in ignorance. In the 8th verse purity of purpose is warmly commended, and with a remarkable promise. Of this the sensual doctrines of the confessional must be unworthy. In the 9th verse, peacemakers have their title of honour. What title do they deserve who sow the seeds of hostility between man and man? How shortsighted, how mischievous these Protestants be who, in the vain hope of acquiring petty notoriety, or of exalting their own religious section, are doing a work for the Papacy, teaching the Protestant man to suspect, revile, and hate his Protestant brother ! The third character of the primitive church may be found in the verses commencing with the 10th, namely, endurance under sufferings. Thus to believe, to love, and endure, or faith, love, and patience arc herein taught. When the Lord had thus inculcated, on his chosen disciples, the first great practical truths, whereby men may exemplify what it is to ” believe, love, and suffer,” he proceeds to set before them, in the words of the text, what his followers are, and in what light they should regard themselves in the midst of a world of sin, obduracy, selfishness, and hypocrisy. Let these preliminary observations prepare us for what is proposed, even at this time of solemn and grateful commemoration ; — to consider our Protestant circumstances, and to act worthy of our Protestant name and Protestant remembrances. Desiring humbly that the Holy Spirit of God may hallow our assembly, and bless the testimony of his ministering servants at this time, let us consider : —
I. What true Protestants are.
II. What is the position of true Protestants.
III. What God and man may claim from them.
I. What true Protestants are : — God having made this world with great wisdom, it may be asked ” for what purpose has God made this world ?” If we look at the conduct of men, we may be led to think that God, having made the world, His connexion with the world ceased as soon as His master-hand had created all things. Many men live as if there was no Creator-God at all. Many live solely for themselves. They ” buy and sell and get gain.” The grand views which belong to the soul and to eternity — to the love of God, and to ” Christ in us the hope of glory,” have no place in their thoughts. For some, it is a world wherein to laugh and be merry. For some, to pour over old traditions and antiquated philosophy. For some, to strain after popularity, place, title, and influence. For some, to live among shells, flowers, stones, and fossils. For some, to flutter among pictures, statues, and the attractive baubles of what men call ” Great Exhibitions.” Some spend all thought on travelling, and are only happy in the exciting variety sup. plied by locomotion. Others are flattering and being flattered by ingenious and imaginative laudation of each others’ prose or poetry. Some are happy and some vexed by the handywork of those who hire themselves to do the work of reviews ; and tens of thousands look on this and stare, with dull admiration, at all these parties in their respective pursuits ! We omit from classification the base and the villainous, the creeping things which win way through slimy places to the sunshine of human prosperity. We need not further note the oppressors beneath whom God’s people groan because of audacious rule, or because of direct and brutal infliction. All of whom we have spoken know not the magnificent purposes for which a beautiful world was created — beautiful even in its fallen aspect ; and to be regenerated and made most beautiful by a subsequent transformation, when the ” sons of God” will shout again with exceeding great joy.
All that God has made is subject to decay. All would soon perish were it not for the self-preserving power supplied, by God. There is, so to speak, a divine ” salt” which serves human things from death and putridity, from loathsomeness an annihilation. The whole natural world, in all Drew’s ‘ts productions, is thus preserved, and each production has sermon, its apportioned time of life by reason of this innate life given by God. But even this allotted time of growth, blossom, and beauty would all be suddenly suspended and blasted were it not for the existence of a something greater still than that which gives life to the plant and perfume to the flower. This is truth—the “truth” which reveals God in Jesus. The truth which transforms and qualifies for celestiality. Were this truth unpreached, unfelt, and unadorned by living and animated exemplification, the world would not last one hour ! Shine out, O sun ! and ye, O stars, gladden the hour of night! Roll on, proud rivers ! and lift high your heads, ye mountains, holding gold within your bosom ! Tread haughtily, ye sons and daughters of beauty! and direct the helm of states, you calculating and swelling statesmen ! but know your life, beauty, power, and place are dependent on the fact, that God has His own people, His own work, and His own truth on the earth ; you live because they live; and yet how different your lives! They live because Christ lives, and lives in them. To live to dazzle and depart, as the lesser animals whose proverbial brevity of life would be most like yours, save that you have souls, and souls must live on, and for ever, when the happier tidings that flutter and dazzle are utter nothingness. View the world in this light, and how does it look ! View princes dependent, it may be, on beggars! Prelates breathing only because of paupers who love the Lord Christ! View nations preserved from war, pestilence, and famine—not because of astute statesmen, accomplished physicians, and chemical nostrums; but because of prayers in cellars and garrets ; because of the cry that went up from the true spiritual patriot in his death-hour; or from the worn-out prisoner in his Tuscan dungeon ! Could we, at this moment, gather into a Jehoshaphat-valley all those, and those only, who constitute the “salt” of this present generation, how would pomp, and pretenSe, and title, and ecclesiastical pre-eminence stand abashed ! What a mottled group would be mustered! Royalty and rags! beauty and decay ! the defrauded widow from her obscurity; the injured and despised from their place of oppression. Italy’s dungeons should disgorge the living victims, and America’s slave-drivers surrender the bleeding backs of the sons of Africa. Yet, it is no figment; no fanciful portraiture of the imagination. The “salt” of the earth will yet be accumulated, displayed, and glorified! Will not God’s true sons and daughters lay these things to heart and consider their high calling illustrated by a figure of speech so admonitory and so glorious? The “salt” of the earth ! They being, by God’s special design and condescension, the honoured means whereby the world consists, and whereby the career of this our orb is regulated and cherished! Let those who ho[>e that, under heavenly influences, they arc born of God and sanctified, beware how they misprize their high calling and bring damage on the Church of Christ. If the “salt should lose its savour” they cease to be profitable. To live without being profitable for Christ’s honour and the good of souls for whom Christ died, this is a deplorable position. The true Protestant Christian will aim at great things for Christ He will not look at a life of passive, but at a life of active belief. This will lead us to speak of what the text further declares to pertain to the Christian character—”ye are the light of the world!”
By this figure of light contrasted with darkness, the state of the enlightened man is exhibited. “The natural man knoweth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they arc spiritually discerned. On the other hand, he that has obtained light, he it is that spiritually discerncth all things; yea, the deep things of God !” This light within cometh down from heaven. It enlightens souls, and illumines the holy page of the Divine Word. It reflects brightly on things around. Viewed in the scorching influence of that sacred light, all things become new. Things artificial and specious, however imposing before, appear in their true colours. The light shows things as they arc, and especially for what they are designed. All human studies, and their imperfect objects, are then regarded as they should be. God is seen in His Works. God is honoured in the handiwork of His creatures. These creations of God, or these works of man, assume no absorbing place in the eyes or hearts of the truly enlightened. They dread exceedingly to have them viewed or spoken of without reference to God and His glory. They subject all things natural and artificial—the works of poet, philosopher, sculptor, and painter— to the one great test, namely, wherein is God glorified by this handiwork? Where this light is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of the Lord is. there is liberty! Hence the abhorrence with which all whom God has gifted with light, regard any infringement on the civil and religious liberties of mankind. Great light streamed on our forefather’s souls, after ages of darkness, and they walked in that light. It led them to seek liberty of thought and worship in their own lands; and many crossed the waters, which separate-l them from other lands, to rescue their oppressed brethren from cruel and unmitigated bondage. They were sons of many countries who followed the banners of the victorious William from Dutchland to Ireland. They had no time to lose. In Ireland, a servile Lord Lieutenant (Clarendon) had done much of the base work for which his brother-in-law, James II., had sent him hither. Protestant officers, who had paid for their commission, were hastily dismissed and robbed of the price of their commission, though many of their fathers, and some also of themselves, had shed blood for the faithless father of the more faithless son. Thousands of Protestant soldiers, who had paid for their own horses, clothes, and arms, were turned on the wide world, and robbed of all, while Papists were put in their places. Clergymen, who saw ruin approaching, ventured, even when preaching before the Lord Lieutenant to deprecate a Romish policy. This convenient Lord Lieutenant writes ihus from the Castle of Dublin, Nov. 13, 1086, to the Lord Treasurer, London: — “I believe you will hear a noise of two sermons which were preached here before me, on All-Saints Day and the fifth of November. Indeed, they were indiscreet and impertinent sermons; and I do as little love to have preachers meddle with controversy or politics as anybody can do. I know neither of the men, but if I had, it had been all one. The very next day I caused them both to be suspended and silenced.” Thank God, a good day came, when the great William, by God’s favour, wrought deliverance ; and then the Parliament of England passed the following resolution. Well they knew how the faithful clergy had done good service, and prepared the way and welcome for their renowned deliverer :
“Resolved, , that the thanks of this house be given to the clergy of the Church of England, who have preached and written against Popery, and refused to read in their churches the King’s (James II.) declaration for toleration, in opposition to the pretended dispensing power claimed in the late reign of James II., and have opposed the illegal ecclesiastical commission.
“Ordered, that Mr. Lcveson Gower, and Mr. Auditor Dove do attend the two Archbishops with the said residue, to the end their graces may communicate the same to the clergy in their respective provinces.”
At the very time this resolution was passed in England, the Protestants of Ireland were enduring the greatest hardships. Clarendon, servile as he was, did not sufficiently suit the rabid policy of James II. The fierce Tyrconnell was sent over, a man of ready blasphemy and merciless bigotry. Then did the Protestants feel intensely their oppression, which reached its climax when the dethroned monarch landed in Ireland. Then were the Protestant churches nailed up, and Protestants ordered to forego their religious assemblies. Then the lives and properties of Protestants were as a prey to the despoiling Papists. Then, at the hour of great extremity, the deliverer landed at Carrickfergus, a great portion of his army having previously landed at Groomsport, county Down. So that either side of the bay of Belfast testifies to the mercy of (rod in the arrival of the good and brave Protestants of other days. Onward marched the warriors, and halted at Loughbrickland, county Down, where William reviewed hia fine army. Without delay the whole force proceeded to the banks of the Boyne. where God blessing the cause of truth, liberty, and oppressed Protestantism, victory smiled on their banner. The frightened James fled, and Protestantism was triumphant ! The next day a crowd of Protestant clergymen waited on William in his camp, to give grateful thanks to God and their brave deliverer for this issue of a great and momentous struggle. It is, therefore, to uphold those great truths contained in the Bible, to preserve those liberties, the price of which was so costly, and to glorify God, from whom all good gifts do come, that godly men all over the world, but specially in our own Protestant Ireland, commemorate the victories of other days, and the heroism of our forefathers. We would deserve to have the light withdrawn, and for ever, were we to forget the continental warriors who visited Ireland for the rescue of Protestant Irishmen. Let the remembrance of these gallant deliverers sustain in our bosoms a comprehensive spirit breathing love and sympathy for Protestants all over the world.
We proceed, in the second place, to consider —
II. What is the position of true Protestants ?
A higher, nobler, and more desirable position than this of the true Protestants cannot be. It is admitted how noble is the position of each converted one. The apostle, eminent for a most Catholic and most loving spirit, exclaims, with animated exultation,
The Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be culled the “sons of God” — 1 John iii. 1. This participation in the heavenly aristocracy calls for action worthy of its eminence. A true, spiritually-minded believer, blessed with health, intelligence, and opportunities, cannot be an idle spectator of time’s progress, and of the world’s ripening for judgment. The apathetic believer is a deficient and stunted Christian. He is an unwise Christian who would fain live in mawkish exclusiveness and in lonely and abstract devotion. Nor is he to be admired the man who,
“To a party gives up what was meant for mankind.”
He who lives, labours, plans, and gives for the prosperity of his own Church alone is a narrow-minded Christian. He may be a believer ; he may be, to some extent, good Christian — a pious and generous member of some particular denomination. Let him, however, not dream of taking to himself the honoured name of Protestant. That glorious and eloquent name is reserved for those only who can rise above congregational littleness; who can unite on broad and evangelical principles against the common foe, and who look for what is good in the church of a brother, and care not to know what is uncongenial. Least of all, can petty bigots claim the time-honoured name, who preach, print, rhyme, or rail against the banner-bearers in the Protestant battle. It is a miserable triumph to propagate rancour ; to attain the notoriety which dishonours, and the praise which is but disguised disgrace. Such troubles in the camp of God’s hosts will find no countenance from true Protestants. To the honour of Orangemen, they have always discouraged these intestine clamours which gladden the hearts of Rome’s children and subserve the aggression of the ever-watchful Papacy.
The position of the true Protestant is one of earnest vigilance. He observes the providences of God in their unexpected visitations, and in their memorable deliverances. He Las an eye for what passes before him, and an car for what is borne from the tried and oppressed ones in Rome’s bondagelands. He hears the sighs wafted over the deep — the sad sighs of the Neapolitan bondsmen. He knows that Tuscany is down-trodden, and the lesser States of Italy are held in chains bv the despotic Austrian. lie observes the indefensible conduct of Franco, whose bayonets are pointed to the hearts of Roman patriots. Never was inteference more shameful and oppressive than this of the occupancy of Rome by a French army. The people of Rome saw the iron despot, denominated “Pope”, flee in servile disguise, and never more would he have dared to return; and Rome would have realized the dream of Ricnzi or the hopes of Mazzini, had not presumptuous and most inconsistent France hastened to restore the triple tyrant, and to rob the Romans of their well-earned and long wished-for liberty. No greater deceiver, political as well ecclesiastical, has ever presided on the chair of Popes. His acts convict him of deception, cruelty, and crime. While as to the French, let the eloquent language of Mr. Whiteside testify to their intrusive and bloody participation in the Pope’s injustice. [” Italy in the Nineteenth Century,” vol. iii., p. 349.] — ” The French have restored the Pope by an intervention as unprovoked as it was in opposition to the law of nations, which has hitherto governed a civilized world. The French themselves had a free press, a free Parliament, an excellent code of laws honourably administered, and enjoyed great physical prosperity. They wickedly rushed into revolution, overthrew their lawful government, and deluged their brilliant capital with blood. Having effected their unholy work, they then marched forth to restore the very worst form of Government in Europe by force of arms, and against the will of the people whom they invaded. The French statesmen endeavoured to varnish over this gross violation of the law of nations by plausible words. Mazzini does not appear to have exceeded truth when he indignantly replied, ‘Gentlemen, your eloquence is artifice, your truth hypocrisy ; throughout the whole series of your declarations you have done nothing but lie to France and to Europe.’ “Mr. Whiteside adds, ” I neither desire to commend the opinions or the conduct of Mazzini, but he has done one signal service to Europe in his withering exposure of French duplicity, hypocrisy, and inconsistency.”
While we recognise the bravery of the French soldiers in the Crimea, and would deprecate any thing that would sever the new ties which unite France and England in the bond of peace, yet, for the sake of civil and religious liberty, and above all for the sake of world-wide and universal Protestantism, we must protest against the unwarrantable oppression of the Roman people by the dungeons of the Pope, and by the meddling and murderous intervention of the bayonets of France. Look where wo will, our own British Empire above all parts of the earth, claims most solemn observations. God having given two island kingdoms the greatest empire in the world, their mission is, or ought to be, unmistakable ; to aim at the Protestantizing of the world ! None can conceal from himself who thus takes notes of our passing and recent legislation, that this grand object is denied, ignored, and even reprobated. Statesmen anticipate the demands of Rome ; and when they affect to pass laws for restraining Homo’s aggression they render them nugatory ; while every law that affects Protestants is enforced with a vigour at once partial and rigid. In vain do collateral judgments arise to plead with this senatorial infatuation, in vain the audacity of Rome is resisted while it challenges pre-eminence in the British dominions. In countries entirely its own, it denies the Bible to the British Protestant when living, and a grave to his remains when dead. At this present time. Popish prelates make a mock of judicial inquiry, and Popish priests urge mobs to deeds of riot and blood ; while Jesuit intrigues penetrate the secret chambers of the nobles and pollute our Protestant Universities, while our clergy are persecuted by hypocritical viceroys, and men of laxity, dullness, or hypocrisy, are set in high places because of connivance at the disparagement of the great Book of God. At this time our statesmen refuse to alter their fearful procedures — and, at each victory over truth and Protestantism in the Senate, loud cheers resound ; and thus is he imitated whose mirth was most significant while his metropolis was in names !
The Lord reigneth! He who interposed for the safety of Protestantdom when William arose in his might, may yet relieve and exalt his people. Now, however, our great ones act by law and by majorities in the senate-house or by sanctions of a council, whereas James II proceeded, for the most part, in his own solitary despotism. Still now, as then, the chief places of justice, and the many offices in the state, customs, and excise and foreign departments are assigned to Romanists. To be a Protestant in Ireland is a positive disqualification, and so dull and incompetent Romanists or Rome’s sycophants receive what belongs to the true Protestant’s birthright, to those who reprobate a double loyalty and who hold that this Roman bishop has no rights or privileges in the realms of the Queen.
The Lord reigneth! and the proper position of the Protestant is, that ho daily be found before God in prayer. From the days of the great patriot Daniel to our day, many a knight has been bent in urgent prayer. Prayer is now needed, such as says, look down, O Lord God ! from high heaven, for Christ’s sake, and when thou nearest forgive! Look down on afflicted churches, and relieve them ! Look down on all bearing the Protestant name and vouchsafe to them true Protestant hearts! Look down and bless the Queen, making her resolute for the honour of truth and for the supremacy of the Bible! Behold the wiles of our crafty foes, and defeat them : have regard to the snares of our great adversary, and overthrow them! Deliver the bondsmen of Rome, and grant wisdom, godliness, and determination to our senators! Bless. O God! the faithful clergy who speak in thy name. Keep them in pious consistency, protect thorn from all temptations, and hear the cry of praying thousands in their behalf. Let us not forget the deliverances of old time, nor the ” cloud of martyred witnesses” who bequeathed truth and honour and resolute faith to our keeping! Hear us. O God of Hosts! and grant us relief, peace, wisdom, unity, and holiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
The prayer of Daniel was an acceptable prayer; and when David maintained (what the quaint heading of the xxvii Psalm calls) ”his fierce combat with diffidence” (or distrust), he had recourse together with prayer, to the remembrance of God’s deliverances in old time. And so, accoi-ding as he recapitulated these deeds of a generous God, his spirit rose from its dismay, and he felt his infirmity pass away. So we, this day, remember our fathers and our father’s God. We believe that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever,” and from the day when there was victory over Sihon, King of the Amorites, and Og, the King of Bashan, till the day when there was victory over our idolatrous King at the Boyne, our good God has ever heard prayer, and God has ever delivered h i s people. The position of the Protestant, more especially of one united by choice and order in any confederation, is to be vigilant and aggressive against every form of error, religious and ecclesiastical, legislative and social. He has to answer to God for whatever privileges he enjoys, and to exercise these privileges for his own benefit, and for the benefit of all men. The most subtle, fierce, and predominant foe, with which the Protestant has to contend, is the religion of Rome in its double form. That is to say, in its pernicious doctrines, which we call Popery, and in its equally dreadful policy, which we call the Papacy. It would be a mistake to overlook the distinction. Many excellent men arc loud against Popery, and, at the same time, are thoroughly or particularly blind regarding the Papacy. The Papistical policy is at work everywhere. The association of Jesuits, while aiming at their own pre-eminence, lend the greatest aid to Rome in the public work of the Papacy.
They aim at a share in everything, and in every place, and – l. under all possible circumstances; and so odious and villanous has their character been, that they have been, at one time or another, expelled from every Romish court in Europe. They have even been suppressed by the Pope himself. Still they revive, and are proudly and nefariously imitated by men who eat the bread of the Church of England, and nestle in her places of learning for the more certain effects which follow from the pollution of youthful minds. At no period were the resources of Rome more available. All that literature and the fine arts; all that painting, sculpture, and music can do, are employed in her service. The strangest result of all this fascination is, that men of intelligence and learning, who have drunk of her cup, are men so intoxicated by its poison, as to endorse and uphold the most fantastic and incredible inventions, lies, and practices, of the Romish sect. Surely the Protestants of the empire, and more especially the Protestants of Ireland, are bound to observe and repel the onward tendencies of the adversary. It is painful to see how false views of the real state of Ireland arc still maintained by wily statesmen, and by persons from whom better things might reasonably be expected. By reason of a falsified census, the numbers of the Protestants were set down vastly below their real amount. In many instances, treacherous census takers actually returned no Protestants, and counted those who were really Protestants as Romanists! Famine, pestilence, and emigration have diminished the Romish population by several millions. Thousands have left the errors of Rome for the truth of God’s Word; and the greater portion of those who remain, are of a class so priest-ridden, impulsive, uncertain, and disloyal, as to make it wonderful that statesmen should prescribe for Ireland as if it were a Popish, and not, as its real strength, worth, industry, and loyalty constitute it, a great Protestant country. As a city set on an hill are the earnest Protestants of Ireland. It is now deemed imprudent and disadvantageous to be bold for old truths, and even to refer to God’s deliverances is deemed audacious and intolerable. Efforts are made to blot from the statute-book the injunction for certain religious commemorations. Still it is comfortable to know that in former days, when men in high places became servile and unfaithful, the humbler classes showed themselves determined and united. In the history of the maligned and indomitable Orange Institution, it will be found, when a great part of the aristocratic leaven was withdrawn from it, and by a majority, the leaders consented to its extinction, the masses held together; and again, in time of treason and expected insurrection, the gentry once more flocked under the folds of Orange banners. Then a Lord Lieutenant was glad to commit the Castle of Dublin to the special care of Orangemen, and to supply them with arms. The General of the North of Ireland, at the same time, gratefully accepted the proferred services of the Orangemen of Belfast, while Bellfast, in its quietness, remained for days without even a Sergeant’s aid of soldiers! And so, the Lord reigning, it is likely ever to be. Orangemen will, by God’s help, hold together; at least, till laws are honestly and impartially administered, and till our lost ground is regained, and the Parliament is purified, and the nation exalted in righteousness. Could we bear in mind the scripturality and magnificence Orange principles, the line towards ah1 men which they enjoin, and the purity of life which they inculcate; could we be all that men of such a goodly profession ought to be, in sobriety, unity, and consistent fives, then we need never despair. By such a confederation, all society would be influenced and swayed. The principles of Protestant truth would then stand in victorious array against the detestable machinations of the Confessional, of Jesuitism, and of the Inquisition. The deadly night-shade would wither, and the emblematic flower of loyalty would flourish and gladden all hearts. There would then be no lack of sympathy among true Protestants ; the Orangemen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, would echo back the fine, Scriptural, and loyal breathings of Canadian Orangemen ; and strong in prayer, in godliness, and unity, the Parliament of the British Empire would recognise its mission, dismiss from its seats all lacking the name of Protestant; send the Bible to every land; exhibit its open pages in every school; and claim for the Protestants of Naples, Tuscany, and Rome, full freedom to have and to hold the glorious book for ever! Never despair! The hearts of rulers are in the hand of God. Praying people will win the battlw for a nation’s good. The eyes of men are on us ! The memories of the past encourage us! The night of mourning cannot last for ever! The rightful King will soon come and reign over a regenerated world! What God and man may claim from true Protestants. Attention is demanded from them to whatever will extend, strengthen, and consolidate the Protestant interests. If principles are worthy of reception, they arc worthy of propagation. In this blessed work the value of intelligent women cannot be too highly estimated. They can encourage such teaching, and the circulation of such literature as will rightly instruct the rising generation. Were women also to discountenance the unprincipled or mischievous political conversations which sometimes meet their ears, they would lend the cause good service. Between true liberal principles and false liberality there is a wide difference. In a commercial community, there is always great danger of compromise. It is not always deemed safe to be recognized as a firm Protestant, lest the Romish customer or the ostentatious liberal should not renew his custom. Many are so degraded as to boast of their silence at all times, even where no risk is incurred; and some are so infatuated as to go with the tide and do what their own solemn convictions assure them is un-Protestant and unprincipled! Let the eyes of intelligent and God-fearing women look on such proceedings with abhorrence and not fail lovingly to remonstrate with husband, son, brother, or friend whose instrumentality helps Rome to power, and the British Empire to destruction. A terrible retribution may sometimes come on parents, whose children improve badly on their father’s evil example. Parents sometimes live to witness profligacy in political principles, preparing and ensuring the way to profligacy in social and domestic life. To all good Protestant women we commend the study of Queen Mary’s character, wife of William a woman above all price. Taking it for granted that all, claiming justly the name of Protestants, have the practice of domestic worship in their houses; let us entreat, that God’s deliverance in other days may be acknowledged in domestic supplications and thanksgivings. As thus” O, God, we praise and bless Thy name for having raised up a deliverer in the person of Thy servant, King William III., and for the rescue of our forefathers, the afflicted Protestants of Ireland.” Thus also let the deliverance from the diabolical plot of the Jesuit, as commemorated on the 5th November, be commended to God in grateful acknowledgments. Let us remember a good saying of a good old Puritan, Matthew Henry: “The more we thank God, the more we will have cause to thank him.” We have a want in our Protestant literature, and that is a “register of days” of deliverance; that, from day to day, we might be reminded of God’s ancient favours, and thus have hope invigorated by the memories of great men. great exploits, and victories of renown.
We would receive profit and we would be profitable if we had place in our prayers for Protestants in other lauds. How it would rejoice the hearts of our emigrant brethren, in the States of America, in Canada, and in the British Colonies, to know that Orange Protestants at home made daily remembrance of them in earnest supplication throughout our households. And, however we may mourn that, what Americans call their domestic institution, even slavery, continues to exist, we still desire the prosperity of that country ; and we trust that no Jesuitical intrigues or commercial jealousies will avail to sunder the kind relations which are cherished between the two chief Protestant dominions of the world—the United States and the empire of England. Let us pray for a continuance of friendly understanding, and that God may deliver the escutcheon of America from the stripes (unhappily emblematic) which defile the star-spangled banner. It may be well to submit a certain test to men and their conduct, also to books, to the newspaper press, and to public lecturers. The tests are simply these :—Are these writers or speakers mindful of the great struggle between truth and error, between bondage and liberty, between Popery and Protestantism, and between Satan and God ? This book is well written, very clever, very fascinating, but has it testified for Protestantism ? This newspaper is ably edited ; does it breathe a Protestant spirit ? This lecturer is entertaining on stones, shells, birds, beasts, political economy, and philosophical discoveries ; what does he say for God and the soul, for truth and Protestantism ? This preacher is ardent and zealous for exhibiting Gospel truths ; this he may be and lack one thing—even a bold, honest, and unselfish Protestant spirit. Thus, by this test, many admired things, semi-Popish pictures, latitudinarian newspapers, and oven monkish lecturers, lay and ecclesiastical, would be discountenanced. We want men! Men of might, men of intelligence, men of valour, and men of God ! The faint-hearted clergy of the past century’ have to answer, to some extent, for the race of semi-infidel legislators and proPopery legislators which abound. It is not to be credited, if preachers had been really Scriptural (and to be really Scriptural they must be really Protestant) preachers, that their flocks, especially the young, would have grown up in such deplorable deficiency of Protestant feeling and conduct. Our cities want men like Walker and his clerical brethren ofDerry (both church and dissenting). Our princes want prelates like Latimer and Ridley to stand at their sides.
Italy wants another Savonarola; Scotland, another Knox ; and England, another Wycliff! “We want men !” As one looks more closely at this want of the times and the way in which latent piety and vigour are directed into wrong channels, or exhausted in mere evangelical sentimentality, we arc led all the more respectfully and fervently to plead with public men, to keep before their minds the vital question for believing men, next to the great subject of salvation. Let us only imagine, what had been the result to Ireland, and, indeed”, to the world, had defeat befallen the arms of William. Remember the state in which the crushed Protestants of Dublin were—all but despairing. Remember the Dublin Protestants deprived of bread—bakers prohibited from selling bread to them; their church doors nailed up; their University converted into a barrack ; their leaders driven away ! Had James triumphed, England was in peril. Had William fallen, then had the world’s Protestantism reeled to its foundation ! Let this be illustrated by a homely, but it may prove a striking, illustration. In the neighbourhood of the scene of the battle, I heard the following story:—On the day when the titular king fled from the hill of Dunmore, he desired to reach Dublin by the shortest route. About half way he learned that, by crossing a river in a ferry boat, he would avoid a large circuit which the round took. Accordingly, he rode rapidly to the ferry and demanded to be conveyed across the river. The ferryman, whom we may suppose to be a Protestant by the intense anxiety which he displayed, eagerly asked the frightened monarch, ‘l Who won ?” At first James made no reply. The question involved the most unpleasant answer. At last, when the humble querist repeated his question, “Who won-” the royal runaway somewhat testily said (avoiding the answer), ” What’s your name?” The poor man replied, ” They call me Jack, the fern-man.” ” Well,” said the king, ” it mutters not to you who won, for you will be still Jack the ferryman.” Now, with due respect to the monarch, he was not correct in this view. The humble ferryman might bodily be still the same individual, but, if a Protestant, he would, in a religious, ecclesiastical, and national sense, be another man by that victory.
‘Let us think of the feelings of the defeated monarch, and let us think of something better—of the feelings of those who, while he was ignominiously fleeing, were in possession of his well-foughten field, and assured that God had favoured them with victory. How friend must have greeted friend! How officers and soldiers must have met with rejoicing cheers. How thoughts would turn to homes in Holland, France, and Germany, where the wives and children of Ireland’s deliverers were watching hourly for tidings of husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers beloved! How must the hearts of the victors have swelled when they stood on the rescued soil and called to mind that God had greatly honoured them in behalf of their Irish Protestant brethren. And then tears would flow for gallant William, and world-famed Schomberg, and fearless George Walker. They might well say, will posterity do us justice? Will men guard what their fathers won with shedding of blood on this bright, hot battle day? Think, too, of the Protestants of Dublin, to whom it is said, the breeze bore the boomings of the fierce cannonade. How many looked from houses for the approach of tidings! Tidings sad, or tidings glorious; and tidings to relieve the strained eyes and throbbing hearts. At last, at sun-down just as night might be supposed ready to intermit all further view of the roads leading to Dublin from Drogheda, a small party approach in faltering haste. Horses covered with foam ‘and dust, bleeding from the impatient spur and sinking beneath them, some stricken burdens reach the Castle gates. “Your countrymen can run well!” said the angry King to the wife of his Lord Lieutenant. The woman, roused and zealous for her own land and people, replied—” It is not to be wondered at, when your Majesty sets them such an example.” An inquiry as to what the poor forlorn fugitive would eat was met by a melancholy jest on his part, and so closed the day over the head of him who, as the French courtier contemptuously said—”Had sacrificed three kingdoms for a Mass!”
Never before or since, did the Protestants of Dublin experience such intoxicating joy as when the news, with electric vehemence, swept through the habitations of the men of Dublin. A. city which now as then possesses “Hearts resolved, and hands prepared.
The freedom of their land to guard! “Few could sleep that memorable night. In the morning, with early light, the Protestants came flocking in—” The Lord had turned the captivity of Zion, and they were like men that dream!” Soon Orange banners floated from the windows of the delivered men of Dublin. Soon men came forth in holiday trim, and Protestant ladies, arrayed in even producible ribband of the popular hue, walked abroad with joy and gladness of heart. And now eyes looked forth for some manifestation of their deliverances. Nor had they long to look. They come! The advance guard of the great Orange army. The skies heard that loud welcome! The Devil’s crowds hung around the brave men’s march. They embrace the trappings of the horses ; they never could enough admire the gallant beating of men upon whose helms victory sat and smiled. But hark! The grand division is drawing nigh, and William himself rides on. The well known scarf encircles him. The chief Protestant heroes are clustered at his side. He has won many victories, but none like this—none like this! And so his first visit is to be the House of God—the enfranchised, the free, the ancient house that still welcomes Protestant worshippers, and has echoes of glorious days lingering in its lofty aisles. William, who acknowledged God for his King, and rightly claimed to be general under, could well say, on reaching the venerable Cathedral:—
“Then open wide the temple gates,
To which the just repair.
That I may enter in and praise
My great Deliverer there I”
These days are gone! These brave men have done valiantly and left us a great inheritance—religious freedom and the brilliant example of their own deathless renown! Soon will it be said of us “that we too have passed away! What will be added? Have we lived inglorious, lavishly squandering the blood-bought liberties thus won; or have we been worthy of men like these who left fatherland to bring deliverance to oppressed Irishmen?
We arc inhabiting the homes they provided ; we are occupants of the churches they rescued from silence and decay. We are enjoying the liberty they purchased, and we call the land of William’s victory, “Protestant Ireland!”
Thousands, blessed be God, have assembled to-day, and assembled in their Protestant houses of prayer. We are not with them—we make common cause with them. We rejoice in the thousands that bow not the knee to Baal and desire unceasing interest in their prayers.
The living are dear! The children of our dead brethren have also a claim on our hearts! The fatherless and the widow are remembered also this day. These our Protestant boys and Protestant girls will soon take our places, and cherish their father’s Bible and the good old Orange Institution. They will not love our great commemoration day the less because we, on that day, pleaded their cause with God and remembered the fatherless and widows in their affliction!
To God, the God of Hosts, be praise for ever, Amen.
PLEASE PRINT THIS BEAUTIFUL SERMON OUT AND TELL YOUR PASTOR THAT YOU WANT AND NEED TO HEAR PREACHING LIKE THIS!!!!!!!
SHARE IT WITH LOST CATHOLICS IN YOUR FAMILIES, NEIGHBORHOODS, SCHOOLS AND WORKPLACES!!!!!!!
PLACE THEM ON THE WINDSHIELDS OF CARS PARKED IN A R.C. CHAPEL PARKING LOT WHILE THEM ONES ARE AT MASS!!!!!!