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principles we maintained were triumphant. The assumption of monarchies was treated with the same respect as the anarchy of a mob; the nations of the continent have been taught that government is equally dangerous when vested in one head, as when torn up by the factions of a people: the dream of universal empire when even caught after by the greatest genius of modern times, and seconded by the eagles of France, was an idle but woeful imagination. Now in all these effects upon the European mind who cannot but see the operation of the English mind, and the aspects of our own constitutional government respected, feared wherever known ?
Now let us bring these observations to the subject before us, that we may the better be enabled to mark the character, and anticipate the results of the present struggle, and enquire if its consequences will conduce to universal benefit.
True, there are questions of a different character involved to those of the past; but the British mind is equal to the task, and there are lessons to be brought out, proclaimed widely, loudly, as those which the marvellous career of Napoleon imparted. The bold, the impious attempt at universal dominion has been revived, rights have been denied, a people have been nurtured in the belief that the sceptre of their authority must have universal sway; but this fell power of usurpation has to meet a people, whose ancestry repelled the aggression of the Cæsars; and who never yet polluted their spirits with the thought of universal dominion, but whose strong arm broke the power of Napoleon ; and that man that dared to dream of a world-sovereignty was consigned to a rockisland, to realize the terrible mortification of defeat and spoliation ; and the kindred longings of Russia after empire, when brought into contact with English feeling,
heart, and arm, will “ dissolve like the baseless fabric of a vision, and leave not a wreck behind.”
The power of absolute authority, and the force of a free constitution, are met to measure strength ; serfdom and freedom, semi-barbarism, and a vigorous civilization, are now in the arena, and the world are the spectators of the struggle; but our hopes lie with the nerve, the arm, the buoyant soul of the brave and the free; the contest may be long, but cannot be doubtful. Northern autocracy, with its horded bands, must melt like glaciers, transferred from their arctic quarters, beneath the power of a Southern
The perplexed question of the temporal and spiritual domination is, at last, to be settled by a council of nations wiser, stronger, more impartial than mitred legates and reverend synods : and upon no result do we look with more interest than upon the issue. That old, that terrible dogma of civil and religious authority vested in one personage, whose history has been written with blood, and read with groans, has now taken the open field against conscience, reason, and revelation; and we trust that the right will prevail and triumph. Yes, let England in this struggle but remember her mission, let her national character be the guiding-star of our movements; and though we shed our blood, that blood, martyr-like, will be the seed of institutions, whose freedom will bless the world. The struggle that broke the fetter of our own serfdom slumbers in our arms;
of our Alfreds cannot be forgotten, the achievements of the departed are fresh in our mind, the mission of our race must be fulfilled ; we go to call up freedom from the grave, and to consign aggression to a perpetual tomb.
But the most important principle which we ought, as an intelligent and religious people to recognize, is a resort
to the house of God, and a solemn invocation of Divine assistance. If we would maintain our national honour, should we not have more respect to the God of our fathers ? To a careful student of the Bible, no truth is more prominent than the fact of the Divine interposition in war; the whole history of the Jewish people invites us, as with trumpet-voice, to come and to behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth, he maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth, he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder, he burneth the chariots with fire ;” and no truth is more clearly exhibited in the entire Volume of inspiration, than that the Divine power is exerted in defence of the wronged and oppressed, in answer to their prayer and supplication. The records of the Jewish commonwealth affords indubitable proofs of the rescue of the chosen people by the outstretched arm of God; the song of Miriam is an acknowledgment of God's interposition, “He hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and the rider hath he thrown into the sea.” The
the force of the principle we are now illustrating, is most fully seen when Moses stood upon the mount, with uplifted bands toward the God of battles; long as supplication arose, so long did Israel prevail; the scene is like a monument to the prevalency of prayer. The principle of seeking the help of God in the maintenance of the right, is as clearly exhibited as if chiselled out upon an unperishable column.
But to come to our own history, we would ask attention to our national records; and if the collectors of our narrative have been unmindful of the Divine interposition, yet the facts are there, never to be denied, that the God of Jacob has been our guardian. Go to the fine old liturgies of the Church of England, those records of ancient piety, and there you see the periods marked when
God heard and answered prayer,—those intercessions our fathers offered in days of danger are still preserved ; the supplications which ascended from our old churches remain, and the songs of praise they hymned to God in acknowledgment of the defence he afforded, form parts of the rolling Psalmody of the English Church. Yes, the enlightened and the devoted in our own country, turned to the house of their God, and made supplication, and He that dwelleth in the heavens heard and maintained their
And we can distinctly trace clear and definite interpositions of God in the support of the principles of the English constitution, when the Spanish Armada threatened our existence and our Protestantism,man enterprize which originated in the spleen of Popery, blessed and directed by the Pope,-what power annihilated the desires of our enemies ? Was it not the breath of God, as amongst the Egyptians, "He blew with his wind," scattered, and wrecked their fleets, and signally freed England from foreign domination ? And if Popery was defeated in her designs, and debarred from landing her armies, and planting her standard over the wreck of Protestantism, equally clear is the evidence of God's power in the maintenance of our constitution, when Romanism had nurtured a Popish king, and polluted the British Court; if the winds of heaven shattered and scattered the Armada that was to establish Popery triumphant, the clouds of the sky concealed the enterprize of a Protestant monarch, who came to the rescue of a down-trodden people. In the invasion of William of Orange, God had respect to the English nation. He again confounded the designs of Rome, and established a vigorous Protestant power.
The memory of past events is still fresh : “ our fathers
tell us of the mighty works” which God accomplished in the overthrow of the great Emperor Napoleon. All honor to the arm and heart of the English troops, but who does not see that it was God that confounded and overcame Napoleon ? Lest man should take the glory of having vanquished the aggressor, He scattered his forces by his frost, He vanquished his armies by his snows, that God who had used him as a scourge, said to him, as says to the rage of ocean,
“ Thus far shalt thou go, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed ;” and at the sound of that voice the tumult which had wrought wreck and ruin, was hushed to rest, the energies of the great Napoleon withered, decayed, died upon a rock, as the force of waves is broken and subdued against the same power; and the hand that broke and cut short the attempts of Napoleon, was called into exercise by the prayers of the English people; the Abrahams of every community entreated the King of kings to spare the inhabitants for the sake of the righteous few; many a Moses struggled with God for the success of our English forces; the ministers and people entered their sanctuaries, and prayed “ that when the people of God go out to battle, that He would hear and maintain their cause.” And what we would be most solicitous to impress upon ourselves is a prayerful recognition of the same principle, an appeal to God that He would uphold and defend the right. We confess to a fear lest our people have been too confident in this arduous struggle in the bravery of our soldiers, the magnitude of our armaments, and the leadership of our generals; the prowess of our men can be paralyzed by pestilence; to shatter our fleets, the winds of heaven need only blow; and how often has the deadly aim of our foes laid low the gallant leaders of our forces! To secure success, as a Christian people it behoves us, and our history