In the Book of Common Prayer, previous to a revision
of the same in Queen Victoria’s reign, there was a section entitled ‘A Form of
Prayer with Thanksgiving’.
that section there were two prayers of thanksgiving concerning the Glorious Revolution.
I want to read both of them. They lay the backcloth of this historical period
in the history of the battle for Protestant freedom in our nation
PRAYER NO. 1
Almighty God, who hast in all ages shewed thy power
and mercy in the miraculous and gracious deliverance of thy Church, and in the
protection of righteous
and religious Kings and States, professing thy holy and eternal truth, from
the wicked conspiracies and malicious practices of all the enemies thereof:
We yield thee our unfeigned thanks and praise for the wonderful and mighty
deliverance of our gracious Sovereign King James the First, the Queen, the
Prince, and all the Royal Branches, with the Nobility, Clergy and Commons of
England, then assembled in Parliament, by Popish treachery appointed as sheep
to the slaughter, in a most barbarous and savage manner, beyond the examples of
former ages. From this unnatural conspiracy, not our merit, but thy mercy;
not our foresight, but thy providence, delivered us: and therefore not unto us,
O Lord not unto us, but unto thy Name be ascribed all honour and glory, in all
Churches of the Saints, from generation to generation, through Jesus Christ our
PRAYER NO. 2
Almighty God and heavenly Father, who of thy gracious
providence, and tender mercy towards us, didst prevent the malice and
imaginations of our enemies, by discovering and confounding their horrible and
wicked enterprize, plotted and intended this day to have been executed against
the King, and whole State of England, for the subversion of the Government
and Religion established among us; and didst likewise upon this day wonderfully
conduct thy servant King William and bring him safely into England, to preserve
us from the attempts of our enemies to bereave us of our Religion and Laws; We
most humbly praise and magnify thy most glorious Name for thy unspeakable
goodness towards us, expressed in both these acts of thy mercy. We confess it
has been of thy mercy alone that we are not consumed, for our sins have cried
to heaven against us, and our iniquities justly called for vengeance upon us.
But thou hast not dealt with us afer our sins, nor rewarded us after our
iniquities; nor given us over, as we deserved, to be a prey to our enemies; but
hast in mercy delivered us form their malice, and preserved us from death and
destruction. Let the consideration of this thy repeated goodness 0 Lord, work
in us true repentance, that iniquity may not be our ruin: And increase in us
more and more a lively faith and love, fruitful in all holy obedience, that
thou mayest still continue thy favour, with the light of thy Gospel, to us and
our posterity for evermore; and that for thy dear Son’s sake Jesus Christ, our
only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
The Stuarts were a double‑crossing family. No
truth resided in their breasts. They came from the womb of Mary Queen of Scots,
a murderess, an adulteress and an outrageous liar. Each one of them was marked
by a special crime peculiarly their own.
The two daughters at the ending of the dynasty, Queen
Mary and Queen Anne, were the only two who showed a very different character
indeed from all the rest of their lineage.
Charles II, a most immoral reprobate, intended at his
death to have the way cleared for the elevation of his papist brother James II
to the throne.
Parliamentarians sought to stop this act of treachery
and Parliament moved to block the way of James to the throne. The aim of their
Bill was as follows:
To exclude James, Duke of York, from inheriting the
Imperial Crowns of England and Ireland and territories thereto belonging, and
that a committee be drawn up to prepare the said Bill.
In the middle of the debate, the Parliament was
interrupted by Black Rod indicating that Parliament was dissolved.
To settle the people, Charles then issued a statement
which was a blatant lie.
It read ‘That nothing should ever alter his affection
to the Protestant religion as established by law, nor his love to Parliament,
for he should still have frequent Parliaments’.
The last four years of Charles’ reign was marked by
his persistent and almost successful attempt to rule, not only without
Parliaments, but in defiance of them, and by a still more eager and more
successful endeavour to stamp out all opposition to a Popish successor, and to
place the bigoted Papist and arbitrary tyrant James on the Throne.
Those who supported the Exclusion Bill to keep James
off the throne, were massacred.
In July, Lord Russell was beheaded in Lincoln’s Inn
Fields, the crowd ‘dipping their handkerchiefs in his blood’ as a martyr for
Algernon Sidney immediately followed to a similar
death, and the Earl of Essex, to escape their doom, cut his own throat
in his room in the Tower of London. In each of these deaths, their warrant for
execution was their advocacy of the Exclusion Bill.
Hampton was ‘ruinously fined’ in £40,000 at Lord
Howard’s instigation, and Oates in £100,000.
In the meantime, Papists like the Earl of Derby and
other popish lords were bailed out and set free.
James was benefited by the flouting of the Test Act
and was given a seat in the Privy Council and restored to the post of Lord High
Charles had at his disposal a standing army of 9,000
well equipped and disciplined soldiers, and six regiments in the Netherlands
were about to return home
To all viewers of the situation, the Papists were
about to win, and Arbitrary Power and its twin sister the Papacy were to be
double conquerors. But as the day of victory for Rome was about to dawn, a
mightier hand than those of the schemers was raised.
On 6th February 1685 Charles lay dying. He blessed his
Bishops around his bed, and then with the hypocrisy of which he was such a
master, he ordered them from his bedside. The Romish priest Huddleston received
his dying confession, reconciled him to the Church of Rome, and gave him the
mass wafer. But the force of Rome cannot change the reprobate! He died in the
arms of one of his whores, the Duchess of Portsmouth, and requested James to
look after another of them, Nell Qwynne, with the words ‘Don’t let poor Nelly
So perished Charles, but the tyrant for whom he had
prepared the way, James II, was now about to be loosed on the United Kingdom.
James II, liar that he was, began his reign with a
welter of promises and solemn undertakings. The nation swallowed the bait, and
believed the King could be trusted. But James soon announced that his brother
Charles had reconciled to Rome, and showed clearly his own perjury by his
exploitation of ever advantage the Crown gave him to forward popery in the
First, James saw to it that twenty new Peers took
their places in James’s first and only Parliament. Those popish peers who were
in the Tower of London held on charges of sedition were released, and the
beginning signalled what the end would be.
James’s speech from the Throne was memorable. He gave
promise after promise, or rather lie after lie, about defending the
Church of England. But the snake in the grass was soon uncovered, as James came
to the question of monies, warning the nation that they had better use him well
or the dark threats at which he hinted would be visited upon them.
He finished by saying ‘Give me my revenue without
The Monmouth uprising led to a further increase in
James’s revenue. 350 people were hanged for taking part in the same. The
Bloody Assize of Judge Jeffreys, with its so‑called legal butchery, and
the military murders of Col. Kirk, showed James up as a monster of blood. 800
people were sold into slavery. The sales of pardons enriched the Queen’s purse
and even Jeffrey’s own Bank.
Cruelties, before unheard of in England, were carried
out on women. The whole country was literally strewn with heads and limbs.
Every village had its display of wretched carcasses.
In France the war‑dogs had been released and the
Huguenots became the object of Rome’s bloody deeds.
The delay gained by Parliament in holding back a vote
in the Lower House in favour of James gave a breathing space which gave time
for the breaking up of James’s plan to imprison the whole nation in his grip of
However, the tide had started to turn against James
and his anger and rage can clearly be seen in his final word to Parliament.
Little did he think that these were the final words he would ever address to
Parliament. It was a threat which the Glorious Revolution smashed for ever.
‘But however you proceed on your part’ James thundered
at the Commons, ‘I will be steady in all my promises I have made to you, and be
very just in my word in this and in all my other Speeches.’
The nation recognised this as none other than a
declaration of war by the King on his subjects who refused to be his serfs.
James’s exaltation of the Bloody Jeffreys did not help
his cause. By choosing that man of blood to reply to the debate in the Lords
was disastrous for James. Jeffreys’ browbeating of the Lords was deeply
resented, and the Lords became incensed by his threats. Jeffreys lost the
vote. The tide was turning indeed!
James now played his master card. He prorogued
In this he thought he could outride all opposition. He
began by attempting to pack the Army and every office in the Kingdom with
Romanists. Roman Catholic peers were swom into the Privy Council. A new Roman
Catholic Chapel was opened in the Palace of St. James. Priests swarmed
everywhere. Mass was celebrated openly in opposition to the laws of the
country. The street thronged with monks in their many‑coloured garbs.
It seemed that constitutional liberty and the
Protestant religion were doomed to perish together if the King prevailed. But
the King, not understanding the strong resentment, proceeded to attack the
Bishops of the Church of England.
A certain Dr Strong dared, in spite of church orders,
to preach against Popery, and did not scruple to speak contemptuously of those
who had been perverted by pitiful arguments of the Romish missionaries.
Compton, the Bishop of London, was ordered to silence
Dr Strong, but he refused to do so. Both the Bishop and Dr Strong were then
suspended by James’s Commissioners.
But the worm, thus cruelly trampled on, began at last
to turn. Every pulpit rang with denunciations of Popery. Pamphlets and tracts
from Bishop Tilotson, Bishop Stillingfleet, and hosts of lesser men, poured in
thousands from the press.
James tried to overturn the Protestantism of the
Universities and in both Cambridge and Oxford, battles broke forth.
The King, for example, appointed Parker the Bishop of
Oxford. The Fellows stood to their guns. James visited Oxford and summoned the
Fellows before him, and bullied them thus: ‘I am King. I will be obeyed. Go to
your chapel this instant, and elect the Bishop Parker. Let those who refuse
look to it, for they shall feel the weight of my hand.’
The Fellows defied the King’s threat. They were all
deprived by James’s Commissioners and Parker installed by brute force. He died
James now thought he could purchase at least the
friendship, if not the active support, of the Protestant dissenters and use
them to gain privilege for the popish dissenters. So he issued his famous, or
rather infamous, Declaration of Indulgence.
He was throwing a bone at the Protestant non‑conformists
to keep then quiet while he murdered the Protestant Church of England and
replaced it by Rome.
The Protestant Dissenters saw through James’s devilish
plan. The Puritans, Baxter, Howe, and Bunyan, recognised the trap and refused
the bait, and with all other noble Protestant Dissenters declined any personal
or sectarian gain, refusing in any way to help forward the King’s treachery
On 4th April 1687 James published the Document which
became the death warrant of his Kingship. The Indulgence was clear. By one
great swoop he swept away all the safeguards of the nation as far as liberty
and Protestantism were concerned.
The Bishops, including Sancroft the Archbishop of
Canterbury, held firm. They were all imprisoned in the Tower of London and then
tried and declared ‘Not Guilty’. The nation was shaken from end to end.
Before the end of the year James was a fugitive. On
the very day of the Acquittal an invitation had been sent to William Prince Of
Orange, the King’s son‑in‑law who had married James’s daughter Mary,
the Heir Apparent, to intervene by arms for the restoration of
constitutional liberty and for the preservation of the Protestant faith.
And on 5th November, the anniversary of
the Gunpowder Plot, William cast anchor in Torbay with 600 troopships, escorted
by 50 men‑of‑war, and all England virtually on his side. It was
not a bloody revolution, but rather a bloodless one.
James panicked. He fell back from Salisbury to London,
only to find that daughter Anne had fled and forsaken him. He cried out, broken
man that he was, ‘God help me. I have been forsaken by my own children.’ He
tried to escape after his wife and child, but being seized, ironically as a
Jesuit suspect, he was brought back to London. William’s troops entered London
triumphantly. James was told to make himself scarce. Means of escape were
placed within his reach. He embarked on 23rd December 1688 never to return to
England or his throne. So perish all traitors. POPERY A DANGER TO THE STATE
Let us remember that the facts of life do not lie to us. They never deceive
us. The testimony of all history has been that Popery making political claims
is dangerous to the welfare of the State and that every concession made to it
in the past has been utilised in the interests of the Papacy and against the
interests of the nation. Such concessions had in every case to be withdrawn in
order for the protection of constitutional freedom and religious liberty. The
whole aim of the enemies of our country is to break the will of this imperial
nation. Alas! Alas! In spite of our history we have allowed our religion and
liberty to be imperilled, not because we have been ignorant of the principles
at stake, nor unwarned by the loudest of warning trumpet‑blasts, but
because of our failure to stand and guard our heritage. We need to awake. We
need to stand guard. We need to give no quarter to evil, compromise or
The Final Prayer from the Prayer Book on this episode
is most instructive:
O God whose Name is excellent in all the
earth and thy glory above the heavens; who, on this day, didst miraculously
preserve our Church and State from the secret contrivance and hellish malice of
Popish Conspirators; and on this day also didst begin to give us a mighty
Deliverance from the open tyranny and oppression of the sabre cruel and bloodthirsty enemies; We
bless and adore thy glorious Majesty, as for the former, so for this thy later
marvellous loving‑kindness to our church and Nation, in the
preservation of our Religion and liberties. And we humbly pray that the devout
sense of this thy repeated mercy may renew and increase in us a spirit of
love and thankfulness to thee its only Author; a spirit of peaceable
submission and obedience to our gracious Sovereign; and a spirit of fervent
zeal for our holy Religion, which thou host so wonder fully rescued
and established a Blessing to us and our posterity. And this we beg for Jesus Christ
his sake. Amen.