A sermon preached at the magnificent coronation of the most high and mighty King Charles the IId King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. : at the Collegiate Church of S. Peter Westminster the 23d of April, being S. George's Day, 1661
Morley, George, 1597-1684.
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To the Most High and Mighty King, CHARLES the IId. By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c.

Most Gracious SOVERAIGN,

HOw unwilling I am that any thing of mine should be made publick, needs (as I conceive) no other proof but this, That I am now past my great Climacteri∣cal, and this is the First time that ever I appear'd in Print: Neither would I have done so Now, unless Your Majesty's own immediate and express Command (which in all things not evidently forbidden by God, is alwayes to be obey∣ed) had obliged me to do it.

And truly I am somewhat the more willing to comply with this Obligation; because since the preaching of this Sermon I have been inform'd, that some Exceptions have been taken against it. As first in General, That I medled with matter of State, an argument Excentrick to my Profession, and Improper for the Pulpit. And secondly in Particular, That by Repeating and Reviving some passed miscarriages, I had trespassed against the Act of Indempnity

Now for Answer to the Former of these Charges, I shall humbly offer it to Your Majesty's Consideration, Whether a Divine, even in the Pulpit, may not without exceeding the Compass of his Commission, endeavour (as much as in him lies) Page  [unnumbered] to recommend to the Consciences, and to endear to the Affecti∣ons of his Auditors, the legally establish'd Government both in Church and State; And what more effectual Motive is there to make men Conscionably and chearfully to submit to the le∣gally established Government, then by making it to appear, That it is the best of Governments in it self, and the best for them also, by putting them in mind of the miseries they have brought upon themselves by the Alteration of it, and of the unhappy trials they have made of all other forms of Government that differ from it; and consequently, how much they are obliged to be thankfull unto▪ God for being Re∣stored to it, and to be so much the more Obedient for the future to the Laws of it, for having heretofore so Foolishly, as well as Wickedly, Revolted from it. Now if this be no part of a Divines business, or if a Discourse of this Nature be Impro∣per for a Pulpit, why doth God himself in Scripture command us to put men in mind of these things, as he doth, Tit. 3.1. Rom. 13.1. 1. Pet. 2.13. and in many other places? Or why are there Homilies for Subjection, and against Rebellion, commanded by Soveraign Authority to be read un∣to the people? Or lastly, Why are we enjoyn'd by the very first Canon of our Church, to preach four times a year at least, upon this Argument, I mean, for the Asserting the Kings Su∣premacy and Soveraign Authority over all his Subjects? And consequently, for the condemning of all taking up of Arms against him, as likewise all pretences of Jurisdiction over him, or of Coordination with him, together with the Exercising of any Power Military, Civil, or Ecclesiastical, that is not derived from him; which being all of them evidently inconsistent with the Kings Supremacy and Soveraignty, the same AuthorityPage  [unnumbered] which enjoyns us to preach for the one, must needs allow us at least, to preach against the other. Which being as much, or more then I have done in This Sermon, I hope that neither Your Majesty, nor any other impartial Hearer or Reader of it will blame me, for not keeping within the verge of mine own Pro∣fession, or for taking more liberty then ought to be made use of in the Pulpit; especially at such a time, and upon such an occasion, when after so long a series of several forms of Ty∣ranny and Usurpation, Monarchy (which seemed to have been Put to Death with Your Majesty's blessed Father) was again Revived by Your sacred Majesties Personal Inauguration in so solemn, so magnificent, and so glorious a manner, beginning with as loud shouts and Acclamations, as could be made here on Earth, and ending with much louder shouts and Acclamations even from Heaven it self; For they that take that voice of God for a sign of his being Displeased with the fore-going Action, would perhaps (if they had been then present) have taken the same voice of God for a sign of his being Displeased with Christs Baptism; for it was in Thunder that he spake, even then also.

But whether I am Guilty of the First Charge, or no, in Med∣ling with things Improper for a Pulpit, which (if true) had been but an Indiscretion onely; I am very sure, I am not Guilty of the Second, I mean, of speaking any thing to the pre∣judice of the Act of Indempnity; which had been an high Presumption in any man, and in me a sin against mine own Judgement and Conscience.

For I humbly conceive, That whatsoever promise a So∣veraign Prince makes unto his subjects (so the matter of it be not sinfull) he ought in Prudence, as well as in ConsciencePage  [unnumbered] to perform it, yea though perhaps he must needs prejudice himself by it. Because a Soveraign Princes Word, being the best and highest Security he can give unto his Subjects, he were better suffer a very great Incovenience by keeping it, then weaken the publick Security, or hazard the losing of his Credit with his People by breaking it. Which Considera∣tion made that wise and great Prince HENRY the fourth, Your Majsties Grandfather, so Religious an observer of his Word, that neither the Duke of Mayne, nor any other of his Sub∣jects, that had formerly stood out against him, when they came to an Agreement with him, did ever desire or demand any other Caution for security of their Persons and Interests, but the Kings word onely. And therefore God forbid, that I, or any man else, should dare to suggest any thing unto Your Majesty, either publickly, or privately, in order to the vio∣lation of so Sacred a Bond, as the Word of a King is, and hath alwayes been esteemed to be.

Especially, when the thing it self, which a King hath Grant∣ed, or given his Word for, is so Necessary in order to the set∣ling of Himself, and of his Kingdome, as I believe an Act of Indempnity (at this time, and in this conjuncture of Affairs) to be: There being no other way (as I humbly conceive) after so General and Long a disturbance and confusion, to compose and quiet mens minds by Securing them from their Fears, or to beget a Mutual Confidence betwixt the Prince and his Peo∣ple, without which, it is Impossible either for the Prince or People ever to be Happy in one another.

And therefore Your Majesty's Grandfather, whom I before named, did not onely pardon All his Subjects that came in to him (how much soever they had before offended him) but to Page  [unnumbered]secure them the better from their fears, and to oblige them the more to his service, he Honoured some of them with Titles of great Quality, and with Offices of great Trust and Importance; and I do not find, that any of them gave him Cause to repent of it. And I hope Your Majesty will find the same success that he had, in doing as He did; Or rather as God himself did; when he did not onely receive the Prodigal Child, but feasted him, and made as much of him, as if he had never given him cause to be displeased with him, though his Elder Brother repined at it.

But then, as Your Majesty hath been pleased to remember and imitate, what that most Exemplary Prince, Your Grandfather, did; so it will well become those, whom Your Majesty hath so much obliged, to Remember and Consider, what the same Great and Wise King used often to say, namely, That though he would be always ready to make Peace with any of the Leaguers, yet he would never make Peace with the League. His meaning was, That though he would pardon any that had engaged against him, yet he would never endure that the Engagement it self should afterwards be own'd, or justified by any of his Subjects; This being in Effect not an Act of Indempnity for what they had done against him for the time past; but an Act of Allowance for what they should do against him for the future: And consequently, not so much a Pardon of sin, as an Invitation to sin.

Whereas an Act of Indempnity, as it is meerly an Act of Grace and Favor in him that Grants it; so it supposeth both Confession and Repentance of a fault in him that Re∣ceives it▪ And he that truly Repents of a fault, will not be Angry when he is told of it, especially, when he is told of it by way of Caution against it, and not by way of upbraid∣ingPage  [unnumbered] him with it, or for it. And how can a Preacher be said to upbraid any man in particular, when he speaks against sin in General? and that in order to the humbling of all men before God, and not to the shaming of any man before men? Especially, when in clear and express Terms he pro∣fesseth, that it is not his meaning, to charge the Meritori∣ous Cause of Gods Judgments upon any one party, Order, or sect of men, and much less upon any one man in parti∣cular, but upon the whole Nation in general, and conse∣quently, as well and as much upon himself, as upon any of those that heard him?

And now, if this be not enough to clear me from having any Intention in any thing I said, to derogate from the Act of Indempnity, All that I have to say more is, That Your Majesty having Heard me, and Commanded me to Print what I then spoke, must either Absolve me, or Suffer with me. And having This Security, I confess, I do not much ap∣prehend, what hath been, or can be said of

Your MAJESTY'S most Humble and most Obedient Subject, GEOR. WORCESTER.