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A35183 A sermon preached upon April xxiii. MDCLXXX. in the cathedral church of Bristol, before the gentlemen of the artillery-company, newly raised in that city. By Samuel Crossman, B.D. Crossman, Samuel, 1624?-1684. 1680 (1680) Wing C7270A; ESTC R214386 13,922 42

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the real Murther and Martyrdom of our Sovereign himself in his own Person with whom fell likewise this ancient and flourishing Government Then was the Royal Family it self proscrib'd and scatter'd Our Nobles who had been brought up in Scarlet many of them forced then to embrace the Dunghil Then were the Fields and Scaffolds so often stain'd with noble and loyal bloud Then were heard those heart-breaking groans of so many ruined Families the deep sighings of poor Widows and Orphans bewailing the loss of their dear Husbands and Fathers destroyed and cut off for no greater crime than paying their just duty to God and their King Property the choicest flower in the Subjects Garden was then violently torn up Antient and indefeasible Estates arbitrarily taken away and sold. The whole course of the Law and Magna Charta it self forced to strike sail to the boundless power and pleasure of some new-rais'd Committee En quò discordia Cives See see what Iliads of misery our discords and tumults brought in upon us We would needs then violently remove our ancient Land-marks and we became thenceforth inevitably expos'd to all this series of common calamity Nor was the Church less tragically passive on her part Our Books of publick Liturgy compil'd with so much decent gravity adapted with so much care and prudence to general edification confirm'd and recommended so often by supreme Authority became nevertheless the common subject of prophane sport and disdain to the Genius of those licentious times The blessed Sacraments the very seals of the Covenant of Grace the richest treasures in all Christian Religion fell then under a supine neglect and contempt These fair Temples dedicated to the highest ends and uses that such Structures are capable of the Service and Worship of Almighty God his Bethels his peculiar Houses here on Earth the Tabernacles of solemn meeting between him and his people were then nevertheless in a kind of rage and phrensie more wretchedly defaced within the space of very few months than many years are or will be yet able to repair Our Cathedrals in some places to the great affront even of Religion it self turn'd into beastly Stables In other places into Gaols for poor cold starving loyal prisoners and no fewel allow'd them so long as the curious carved Wainscoat of the Choir afforded any The Statue of our Saviour in stone being espied at one Cathedral no fewer than forty Musquet-shot were discharged at it and high triumphing who could hit the head or face The Ornaments costly Vessels and Plate of the Church sacrilegiously ravaged and torn away At another Cathedral the Chalice for the holy Eucharist being snatcht up as spoil of more than ordinary prize some entreaties were modestly made that it might have been spared and restored for that sacred use but they received no better than this churlish answer They might serve that turn in a wooden dish Neither might the holy Table it self where the Sacrament of the Body and Bloud of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is administred escape its share in these indignities although for modesty sake that I may not contaminate any civil ears I must forbear the relating of them But alas what are these Buildings of stone these dead though curious Fabricks in comparison of the Living Temples the Ministers of God 'T was they who drank so deeply of this bitter Cup and might now weep upon an unexpected account between the Porch and the Altar The great City of London and the lines of that Communication may be too true a witness in this unwelcome Case where in a short space of time far above an hundred reverend learned Divines the flower of England's Clergy were most illegally and unworthily turn'd out of their Ministry and lawful possessions they and their families to irreparable ruine Then followed that numerous sequestring of the Clergy in almost all Parts the ejecting and silencing such vast multitudes of worthy able Ministers A Case that even astonish'd many Churches abroad what England was then a doing how these violences against Religion and the Ministers of it could possibly agree with what was so much then pretended the promoting of the Gospel Your selves may possible remember this place was not without some deep sufferers in that kind One instance adjoining to our very walls offers it self too appositely to this sad Subject I am almost at a loss whether to suppress or relate so woful a story Bishop Howell a Person to whose memory all good men who had any knowledge of him will ever pay a very high respect and honour he being in the time of our late Wars Bishop here his Episcopal and Personal Estate both taken from him himself with his Wife and a numerous Family of nine or ten Children in the Palace She lies in but those who had pretendedly bought the House to make sale of the Leads uncover the room wherein She lay in Child-bed So that the rain and weather beating in and it may be a mixture of grief together with both She becomes carried from her Child-bed to her Bed of Clay Nor might this suffice affliction is further added to the afflicted The distressed disconsolate good man must next be dragg'd forth He catches hold upon the Staple of the Door loth as it seems to lodge in the Fields and scarce knowing how or where to shelter his now poor motherless family With this struggling he lingers some few days in the house and in less than a fortnights space overwhelmed with these indignities and sorrows he dies also and so retires to God and Heaven as his truest asylum his safest retreat from all these oppressions So far were the very rights of humanity as well as the ancient laws of the Land and which is far more than either the sacred Precepts of Christian Religion abandoned by the phrensies which we were then distemper'd withal Tantum Religio potuit suadere malorum 'T was grown with some almost a Point of Religion to be in these Cases inhumane and irreligious Scarce any thing but might be then allowed save only what the Law it self required what our just duty to Gods Anointed and his Church obliged us to perform But I must break off though never so abruptly from this unpleasing Theme Far be it be from us to take pleasure in exposing the wretched miscarriages of those joyless times The remembrance of them may be instruction to all delight to none He that is truly sensible of his deviations then will modestly say as in Job I have done iniquity but will offend no more The only end why these things have been thus mentioned is nakedly this That we might hear and fear and do no more so wickedly Small rushings against Government may by degrees bring on far greater and sorer evils than we can at first foresee That may be the unhappy end of the action which was not the real intention of the Agent No doubt in our late confusions many abhorred at first what was yet done at