Nicholas Amhurst Poems >>
The Protestant Session

At length the great decisive Year is come,
And Britain triumphs o'er the Wiles of Rome,
No more in Frowns our Holy Church appears,
But the fond Aspect of a Mother wears;
Stript of her Worldly Mask, Religion charms,
And draws the willing Convert to her Arms;
From human Terrors freed and Priestly Art,
Hurts not the Body, but subdues the Heart;
Such are the Fruits of Hoadly's learned Pain,
Of Stanhope's Counsels, and of Brunswick's Reign.

'Till now the shackled Subject has enjoy'd
But a Mock Freedom, of its Blessings void,
Clogg'd with the harsh Restraints of Civil Pains,
And wore at best a Load of easier Chains,
Free born in vain; a Briton and a Slave,
The Butt of ev'ry Fool and ev'ry Knave.

Long the Dissenting Protestant has born
Malicious Slander and imperious Scorn,
Reproach, Ill--nature and licentious Rage,
The Subject of a Tribe for half an Age,
No solemn Marks of Sorrow can attone
For Crimes long since, and Madness not his own:
While the Conforming Zealot is allow'd
To mix at Pleasure the seditious Croud,
To act with Pardon each flagitious Ill,
To Plot, Rebel, Assassinate and Kill,
Broils for the Church unsinning to foment,
To laugh at Oaths, and solemn Lies invent;
No Crimes can his establish'd Goodness taint,
Tho' Regicide, a Martyr, and a Saint;
Proudly he glories in the Traytor's Name,
And ev'n the Gallows vindicates his Fame.

On guiltless Men the Guilt of Bloodshed lies,
And once a Year for Vengeance loudly cries,
Past Woes are call'd to Mind, and present Fears,
And Forty One still rattles in our Ears;
Still in the moving Tale the Monarch bleeds,
And hourly we revive our former Deeds,
Still, lurking in our tainted Race, remains
The Seed of old Rebellion in our Veins,
Traytors by Birth, we vainly talk of Zeal
For Monarchy, the Laws and publick Weal,
In vain unshaken Loyalty we boast,
E're we were born, that Loyalty was lost:
From the contagious Loins of Men we spring,
Who slew in Wrath their Primate and their King.

And shall the Muse, in prostituted Lays,
Varnish the Actions of those impious Days?
Shall I, whose Bosom pants for Brunswick's Fame,
And burns with sudden Fires at Stanhope's Name,
Espouse the Traytor of my native Land,
And justify the villainous Command,
Which to the Block an hapless Monarch brought?
Far from my Heart be that detested Thought;
Heav'n knows, the Searcher of my Soul within,
With how much Passion I abhor the Sin:
But must I therefore with unhallow'd Rage
Accuse of ancient Crimes the present Age?
Must I charge Men with a rebellious Cause,
Who love their Country, and espouse her Laws?
Shall want of Christian Charity commence,
The Glory of our Church, and its Defence?
We rather should lament their common Crimes,
And mourn the common Madness of the Times;
Conjunctly mourn, what was conjunctly done,
What Cromwell finish'd, and what Laud begun.

Not thus our rash Forefathers we bewail,
We Pray not, Fast not, but insult and rail,
With boist'rous Clamour, and a Lordly Tone,
We tax our Brethren's Faith, and vaunt our own;
Preach that to Charles the Blood of George is due,
And Old Rebellion expiate by New.

But all their Efforts on our King are vain,
He sees their Malice with a calm Disdain.
Would it not monstrous to the World appear,
Who sways all Europe, should a Party fear?
His Bravest, Wealthiest Subjects guard His Throne,
And Britain's Heroes make His Cause their own:
Nor does our Oxford want its Loyal Few,
Unmov'd by Numbers, to their Monarch true;
With honest Shame they see, and mournful Hearts,
The Sons of Knowledge lost in Factious Arts,
Their learned Mother sullied with Disgrace,
False to Great Brunswick and His shining Race,
Amidst Contempt retain their Stubborn Truth,
Check'd with the Frowns of Age, and Scoffs of Youth:
Fixt and unmindful of the murm'ring Throng,
George is their Health, and George the Subject of their Song.

Once in an Age, with publick Vice laid waste,
And human Nature almost quite defac'd,
A Christian Hero rises, to withstand
The hoarded Vengeance of a guilty Land;
Sudden the Gloom dissolves, the Clouds retire,
And Heav'n atton'd lays by the brandish'd Fire.
Such is our King; with threat'ning Wrath o'ercast,
Ripe for the Vengeance of the sudden Blast;
Pensive and pale desponding Albion sate,
And hourly waited her impending Fate;
'Till George arose, in every Grace design'd,
To stop the Ruin, and defend Mankind,
To break the Fetters which our selves had wrought,
And free from Bondage the aspiring Thought.

In this great, generous Work, with glaring Light,
The learned Hoadly strikes my ravish'd Sight;
In the dear Cause the spotless Chief combines,
Shines in the Pulpit, in the Senate shines,
With undiminish'd Warmth his Bosom glows,
While Parties Rage and Synods are his Foes;
To Reason, Truth and Demonstration, blind,
Industrious Errour wraps the Bigot's Mind.

From Heav'n once more, his Gospel to defend,
Should the great Saviour of the World descend,
And in the plainest Terms once more disown
Terrestrial Grandeur, and a Worldly Throne,
All Weapons in his Kingdom disapprove,
But universal Charity and Love,
S---l---k and S---pe would the great Truths deny,
And M---n roundly would return, You Lye;
Fierce Convocations would assert their Pow'r,
Join all their Strength, and bid their Thunders roar,
His second Mission would He plead in vain,
And Preaching would be Crucify'd again.

Such the blind Zeal, and such the bloody Rage,
The Pride and Frenzy of a falling Age,
But in good Time our Guardian Brunswick came,
And snatch'd from wicked Men the Christian Name,
To the glad Isle her Liberty restor'd,
And spread thro' every Clime the Wonders of his Sword.

Henceforth to our blood--thirsty Foes be giv'n
All solemn Mischief in the Name of Heav'n;
All damning Pow'rs, and tyrannizing Schemes,
Successions, Pedigrees, and wanton Dreams;
Censures, that take Effect in Worlds to come,
The wretched Leavings of Apostate Rome.
Let us to grave Inquisitors bequeath
Fines, Penalties, Imprisonments, and Death:
Let them the fancied, cruel Pow'r enjoy,
To rule the Conscience, and the Soul destroy:
To all Mankind, with Faggot, Fire and Sword,
The most prevailing Arts, to preach the Word:
While we, content with less ambitious Aims,
Contemn the spurious Aid of Racks and Flames;
Resolve into the Gospel all our Laws,
And to the Force of Reason trust our Cause.

'Tis done;--for this the British Senate meet,
To make our boasted Happiness complete,
To give the Subject back his Native Rights,
And those dear Liberties, for which He fights;
The Service of their Country to divide,
Nor sway the partial Scale to any side;
For this, our firmest Patriots are agreed,
And Brunswick prospers the Religious Deed.
Thrice happy People! by their King redress'd,
Thrice happy King! by such a People bless'd!
What may not Britain hope from such an Age?
What Blessings to our Children not presage?
While the same Views, to pull Oppression down,
Unite the chearful Subject to the Crown;
Confirm his warm Affection to our Laws,
And bind him closer to the saving Cause?

O Monarch! dreadful by the World confest,
Far as the Sun goes round, from East to West,
Where--e'er thy Navies, on the utmost Main,
Seek other Worlds, and o'er new Climates reign;
What distant Nation has not heard thy Fame,
What King but shudders at our Brunswick's Name?
Ev'n mighty Charles (victorious in the Fight,
Who drove the Foes of Christendom to Flight,
And from its Basis shook the Turkish Throne,)
Trusts to thy Succours to defend his own;
Spain from the Thunder of thy Cannon scours,
And learns to tremble at the British Pow'rs,
The boastful Priest beholds the Realms ally'd,
And sickens in the height of all his Pride.
Thy awful Name, O Prince! with Terror crown'd,
Strikes Armies pale, and conquers with the Sound;
Thee the dread Rulers of the Earth obey,
And the stern Gods of Ocean own thy Sway;
At thy Command Europa shines in Arms,
And the wide Heav'ns resound with loud Alarms;
Peace waits thy Nod, and at thy Sov'reign Will,
Hush'd are the Clangors, and the War stands still:
Thy Pow'r can bid the Martial Trumpet cease,
And curb the bounding Steed of War to Peace:
Fix to each Monarch his appointed Bound,
And say, Thus far is thine--beyond is hostile Ground.

But see once more, equipp'd from Rome and Spain,
The wand'ring Bigot tempts the British Main;
Aukward in Arms the mimick Warriour shines,
And swells with fruitless Catholick Designs;
With Eyes to Heav'n erected he appears,
And his pale Cheeks betray his conscious Fears,
Peace in his Looks, and passive Tameness dwells,
But with Revenge his Warless Bosom swells;
Such keen Revenge, as nothing can asswage,
But Romish Pow'r, and superstitious Rage;
Ev'n zealous Conscience fans his wrathful Fires,
And all the Fury of his Church inspires;
With bloody Pride it arms his Coward--Heart,
Prompts him with Sloth, and chosen Ease to part;
Sternly forbids his trembling Soul to yield,
And, spight of Nature, brings him to the Field.

Come on, deluded Wretch, thy Courage try,
And trust once more thy Fortune to the Sky;
(For Brunswick let the Pow'rs of Earth declare,
You boast as great Alliances in Air.)
Come, with thy Perjur'd Patriots, Men of War,
The Much--lov'd Ormond, and the Righteous Mar;
Tell your old Story to the Factious Swain,
That all his Ancient Rights you will maintain;
Defend the Church, Restore the Publick Good,
And that your Veins flow rich with English Blood;
Tell him that English Men should view with Scorn
The Greatest, Wisest King, not English born;
That You, by undisputed Right Divine,
From Stuart up to Noah trace Your Line;
Tell Him that Freedom is a vain Pretence,
Condemn'd by Scripture, and by Common Sense;
That Christians are commanded to be Slaves--
And reign the short--liv'd Prince of Fools and Knaves.

For know, Cadogan o'er the Field presides
Warms with his Courage, with his Counsel guides;
Soon as the Mighty Leader shines in Sight,
You and Your Idols shall desert the Fight,
Back to fond Mamma Church, with Speed retire;
And Sob and Snivel to Thy Holy Sire.