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such a spirit as will carry on this work. Therefore I beseech you, do not dispute of unnecessary and unprofitable things which may divert you from carrying on so glorious a work as this is. I think every objection that ariseth is not to be answered; nor have I time for it. I say Look up to God ; have peace among yourselves. Know assuredly that if I have interest; I am by the voice of the people the Supreme Magistrate; and, it may be, do know somewhat that might satisfy my conscience, if I stood in doubt! But it is a union, really it is a union, this ” between you and me: and both of us united in faith and love to Jesus Christ and to His peculiar Interest in the world,—that must ground this work. And in that, if I have any peculiar Interest which is personal to myself, which is not subservient to the Public end,-it were not an extravagant thing for me to curse myself : because I know God will curse me, if I have! I have learned too much of God, to dally with Him, and to be bold with Him, in these things. And I hope I never shall be bold with Him ;—though I can be bold with men, if Christ be pleased to assist !
I say, if there be love between us, so that the Nations may say, These are knit together in one bond, to promote “the glory of God against the Common Enemy; to suppress everything that is Evil, and encourage whatsoever is of Godliness -yea, the Nation will bless you! And really that and nothing else will work off these Disaffections from the minds of men ; which are great,-perhaps greater than all the other oppositions you can meet with. I do not know what I say, when I speak of these things I speak my heart before God; and as I said before, I dare not be bold with Him. I have a little faith : I have a little lived by faith, and therein I may be“ bold.”. If I spoke other than the affections and secrets of my heart, I know He would not bear it at my hands! Therefore in the fear and name of God; Go on, with love and integrity, against whatever arises of contrary to those ends which you know and have been told of; and the blessing of God go with you, and the blessing of God will go with you!
I have but one thing more to say. I know it is troublesome ; -But I did read a Psalm yesterday ; which truly may not ill become both me to tell you of, and you to observe. It is the Eighty-fifth Psalm ; it is very instructive and significant ;
and though I do but a little touch upon it, I desire your perusal at pleasure.
It begins : “ Lord, Thou hast been very favourable to Thy Land ; Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of Thy People ; Thou hast covered all their sin. Thou hast taken away all the fierceness of Thy wrath ; Thou hast turned Thyself from the fierceness of Thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause Thine anger towards us to cease. Wilt Thou be angry with us for ever ; wilt Thou draw out Thine anger to all generations ? Wilt Thou not revive us again, that Thy people may rejoice in Thee ?” Then he calls upon God as
the God of his salvation," and then saith he: “I will hear what God the Lord will speak : for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His Saints ; but let them not turn again to folly. Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him." Oh-" that glory may dwell in our land ! Mercy and Truth are met together ; Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the Earth, and Righeousness shall look down from Heaven. Yea the Lord shall give that which is good, and our Land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before Him, and shall set us in the way of His steps.” Truly I wish that this Psalm, as it is written in the Book, might be better written in our hearts. That we might say as David, “ Thou hast done this," and " Thou hast done that”; “Thou hast pardoned our sins; Thou hast taken away our iniquities !” Whither can we go to a better God ? For He hath done it.” It is to Him any Nation may come in their extremity, for the taking away of His wrath. How did He do it? pardoning their sins, by taking away their iniquities"! If we can but cry unto Him, He will turn and take away our sins.”—Then let us listen to Him. Then let us consult and meet in Parliament; and ask Him counsel, and hear what He saith, “ for He will speak peace unto His People.” If you be the People of God, He will speak peace ;-—and we will not turn again to folly.
“Folly”: a great deal of grudging in the Nation that we cannot have our horse-races, cock-fightings, and the like! I do not think these are lawful, except to make them recreations that we will not endure for necessary ends” to be abridged of them :-Till God has brought us to another spirit
than this, He will not bear with us. Ay“ but He bears with them in France"; They in France are so and so!”– Have they the Gospel as we have? They have seen the sun but a little ; we have great lights.-- If God give you a spirit of Reformation, you will preserve this Nation from “ turning again " to those fooleries ;-and what will the end be ? Comfort and blessing. Then
Then “Mercy and Truth shall meet together.” Here is a great deal of “truth” among professors, , but very little "mercy"! They are ready to cut the throats of one another. But when we are brought into the right way, we shall be merciful as well as orthodox; and we know who it is that saith, “ If a man could speak with the tongues of men and angels, and yet want that, he is but sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal ” ! Therefore I beseech you in the name of God, set
hearts to this “ work." And if you set your hearts to it, then you will sing Luther's Psalm. That is a rare Psalm for a Christian ! -and if he set his heart open, and can approve it to God, we shall hear him say, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.” If Pope and Spaniard, and Devil and all, set themselves against us,—though they should
compass us like bees," as it is in the Hundred and eighteenth Psalm,-yet in the name of the Lord we should destroy them ! And, as it is in this Psalm of Luther's: “We will not fear," though the “ Earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the middle of the sea ; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled; though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof." “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the City of God. God is in the midst of her ; she shall not be moved." Then he repeats two or three times, , “ The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”
I have done. All I have to say is, To pray God that He may bless you with His presence; that He who has your hearts and mine would show His presence in the midst of us.
I desire you will go together and choose your Speaker.
SIR ROBERT WALPOLE
ALTOGETHER Sir Robert Walpole was virtually Prime Minister for more than twenty years, yet he has left very few memorable speeches behind him. The most famous is the speech by which he procured the defeat of the Peerage Bill in the House of Commons. This has always been regarded as a masterpiece of abstract reasoning. But it is also essentially practical. It is a conclusive demonstration that to limit the royal prerogative of making peers would destroy the only available method of restoring political balance between the two Houses of Parliament. The speech is characteristic of Walpole because it combines shrewd knowledge of the world with argumentative and debating power of the very highest order. Moreover it was a victory of Walpole in Opposition, when he had no official resources at his command for the influence of votes. It is, therefore, an excellent specimen of his Parliamentary style, pointed and argumentative, practical and shrewd. It was not Walpole's way to make eloquent and stirring appeals. He aimed rather at converting ordinary people to his own plain, prosaic views of what was required for the public service. He eschewed all ornament, except on very rare occasions. His object was always to achieve a definite result by adapting his methods to the tone and temper of his audience. In his methods there is no waste. He never beats about the bush. Between his premises and his conclusion there is merely the interval required for bringing them into logical contact. Nothing could be better adapted for its purpose than a style which leads so directly, and yet so inevitably, to the desired result. His great object was to bring the House of Lords into harmony with the House of Commons by any constitutional means. Walpole was hardly ever eloquent. He aimed at convincing his audience, not by raising their thoughts, but by appealing to their inclinations. Instead of clothing ordinary ideas in extraordinary language, he put into a plain and
homely style the wisdom of a great practical statesman. Although he talked in a very cynical fashion about disinterested motives and public virtue, he was less corrupt in his methods than some men who used the language of lofty and quixotic patriotism. Such of his speeches as have come down to us show that he argued in a very clear, and persuasive manner those points which he wished to bring out, and to drive home. He was a master of the style which appeals to men of the world. He is never sophistical, always candid and straightforward, in his treatment of the subject. He was the exact reverse of Bolingbroke, who sacrificed everything to rhetorical effect, and failed to impress his audience even when they admired his phrases. That Bolingbroke was dishonest in concealing and denying his intrigues with the Pretender is not the point. He might have been secretly a Jacobite and yet have succeeded in carrying the House of Commons, and the House of Lords, away with him. But Bolingbroke's phrases are phrases, and nothing more. They did not produce any effect except admiration for his rhetorical skill. Walpole's speeches convinced.
The Peerage Bill, House of Commons, Dec. 8th, 17191 AMONG the Romans, the temple of fame was placed behind the temple of virtue, to denote that there was no coming to the temple of fame, but through the temple of virtue. But if this bill is passed into law, one of the most powerful incentives to virtue would be taken away, since there would be no arriving at honour, but through the winding-sheet of an old decrepit lord, or the grave of an extinct noble family : a policy very different from that glorious and enlightened nation, who made it their pride to hold out to the world illustrious examples of merited elevation :
“ Patere honoris scirent ut cuncti viam." It is very far from my thoughts to depreciate the
1 The object of this Bill was to limit the prerogative of the Crown in making Peers, by providing that the number should not be increased by more than six.