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evince that you are not such persons as this fellow represents you, Traitors, Robbers, Murderers, Parricides, Madmen; that you did not put your king to death out of any ambitious design, or a desire of invading the rights of others; not out of any seditious principles or sinister ends; that it was not an act of fury or madness; but that it was wholly out of love to your liberty, your religion, to justice, virtue, and your country, that you punished a tyrant. But if it should fall out otherwise, (which God forbid,) if as you have been valiant in war, you should grow debauched in peace, you that have had such visible demonstrations of the goodness of God to yourselves, and his wrath against your enemies; and that you should not have learned by so eminent, so remarkable an example before your eyes, to fear God, and work righteousness; for my part, I shall easily grant and confess (for I cannot deny it) whatever ill men may speak or think of you, to be very true. And you will find in a little time, that God's displeasure against you will be greater than it has been against your adversaries, greater than his grace and favor has been to yourselves, which you have had larger experience of than any other nation under heaven.
THE SECOND DEFENCE OF THE
GRATEFUL recollection of the divine goodness is the first of human obligations; and extraordinary favors demand more solemn and devout acknowledgments with such acknowledgments I feel it my duty to begin this work. First, because I was born at a time when the virtue of my fellow-citizens, far exceeding that of their progenitors in greatness of soul and vigor of enterprise, having invoked Heaven to witness the justice of their cause, and been clearly governed by its directions, has succeeded in delivering the commonwealth from the most grievous tyranny, and religion from the most ignominious degradation. And next, because when there suddenly arose many who, as is usual with the vulgar, basely calumniated the most illustrious achievements, and when one, eminent above the rest, inflated with literary pride, and the zealous applauses of his partisans, had in a scandalous publication, which was particularly levelled
against me, nefariously undertaken to plead the cause of despotism, I, who was neither deemed unequal to so renowned an adversary, nor to so great a subject, was particularly selected by the deliverers of our country, and by the general suffrage of the public, openly to vindicate the rights of the English nation, and consequently of liberty itself. Lastly, because in a matter of so much moment, and which excited such ardent expectations, I did not disappoint the hopes nor the opinions of my fellow-citizens; while men of learning and eminence abroad honored me with unmingled approbation; while I obtained such a victory over my opponent, that, notwithstanding his unparalleled assurance, he was obliged to quit the field with his courage broken and his reputation lost; and for the three years which he lived afterwards, much as he menaced and furiously as he raved, he gave me no further trouble, except that he procured the paltry aid of some despicable hirelings, and suborned some of his silly and extravagant admirers, to support him under the weight of the unexpected and recent disgrace which he had experienced. This will immediately appear. Such are the signal favors which I ascribe to the divine beneficence, and which I thought it right devoutly to commemorate, not only that I might discharge a debt of gratitude, but particularly because they seem auspicious to the success of my present undertaking. For who is there who does not identify the honor
of his country with his own? And what can con duce more to the beauty or glory of one's country, than the recovery, not only of its civil but its religious liberty? And what nation or state ever obtained both, by more successful or more valorous exertion? For fortitude is seen resplendent, not only in the field of battle and amid the clash of arms, but displays its energy under every difficulty and against every assailant. Those Greeks and Romans, who are the objects of our admiration, employed hardly any other virtue in the extirpation of tyrants, than that love of liberty which made them prompt in seizing the sword, and gave them strength to use it. With facility they accomplished the undertaking, amid the general shout of praise and joy; nor did they engage in the attempt so much as an enterprise of perilous and doubtful issue, as in a contest the most glorious in which virtue could be signalized; which infallibly led to present recompense; which bound their brows with wreaths of laurel, and consigned their mernories to immortal fame. For as yet, tyrants were not beheld with a superstitious reverence; as yet they were not regarded with tenderness and complacency, as the vicegerents or deputies of Christ, as they have suddenly professed to be; as yet the vulgar, stupefied by the subtle casuistry of the priest, had not degenerated into a state of barbarism, more gross than that which disgraces the most senseless natives of Hindostan. For these make mis
chievous demons, whose malice they cannot resist, the objects of their religious adoration : while those elevate impotent tyrants, in order to shield them from destruction, into the rank of gods; and, to their own cost, consecrate the pests of the human But against this dark array of long-received opinions, superstitions, obloquy, and fears, which some dread even more than the enemy himself, the English had to contend; and all this, under the light of better information, and favored by an impulse from above, they overcame with such singular enthusiasm and bravery, that, great as were the numbers engaged in the contest, the grandeur of conception, and loftiness of spirit which were universally displayed, merited for each individual more than a mediocrity of fame; and Britain, which was formerly styled the hot-bed of tyranny, will hereafter deserve to be celebrated, for endless ages, as a soil most genial to the growth of liberty. During the mighty struggle, no anarchy, no licentiousness was seen; no illusions of glory, no extravagant emulation of the ancients inflamed them with a thirst for ideal liberty; but the rectitude of their lives, and the sobriety of their habits, taught them the only true and safe road to real liberty; and they took up arms only to defend the sanctity of the laws and the rights of conscience. Relying on the divine assistance, they used every honorable exertion to break the yoke of slavery; of the praise of which, though I claim no share to