TO THE HONORABLE House of Commons assembled in PARLIAMENT.
THe mercies which God hath shewed to these two Nations of England and Scot∣land, giving us such great cause and matter of Thanksgiving, causing our sheafe to arise and stand upright, ma∣king us with Saul higher by the shoulders then all our brethren; these mercies (I say) deserve so to be recorded, that posterity should be compelled to read and admire them: but who is sufficient for this thing? It was said of Claudian, that he wanted matter suit∣able to the excellency of his wit: but where is the head or heart suitable to this matter?*Who can utter these mighty works of the Lord, who can shew forth all his praise? For my own part had I put my self upon this work to utter these mean conceptions upon this great subject before so great and honorable Audience, I might justly have been condemned for abusing both the one and the other. But you were pleased to com∣mand my service in preaching on the day of your publique and solemne Thanksgiving, it may be be∣cause I was then neer at hand, and after your Reverent attention had testified that you received them as the counsell of God, you were further pleased expresly to desire me forthwith to print and publish what in my weaknesse I then delivered, I suppose for the bet∣ter memoriall of these great deliverances; I could Page [unnumbered] have pleaded much, why these poore notes should not be exposed to publike view; Treatises to be read by all, should be long meditated, often reviewed: Excellent pictures should be engraven in brasse, and not cast in clay: the setting forth these mercies, and quickning up answerable Thankfulnesse are above the Abilities of any man, much more beyond the capacity of my self, the weakest and unworthiest of many thou∣sands; But your Order left me not at liberty to do what I desired, you have thus made them your own, the more facile I shall hope to finde you, and all In∣genuous Readers towards my weaknesses, which not presumption but my obedience hath made thus pub∣lique. This further encouragement I have, little things have been accepted with God and man in testi∣moniall of Thankfulnesse; a female, a Turtle, a handfull of wheat-floure by God himself; a handfull of water, a bunch of grapes, &c. by great Kings and Emperours. And even under this Notion also I humbly present you with this ensuing discourse.
I have no more to say for my self, but much I have to beg of God, that you (Noble Senatours) and the Right Honorable Lords, who joyned with you in this peace-offering, may wholly consecrate your selves to advance his glory who hath done these great things for us all, that your faithfull endeavours to do what is behind, joyning with your Thankfulnesse for what is past, the event may be answerable to your desires, even the glory of God, and the good and safety both of Church, and Common-wealth, which is the daily prayer of
Your devoted servant STEPHEN MARSHALL.