Axinē pros tēn rhizan. = The axe at the root, a sermon preached before the Honourable House of Commons, at their publike fast, April 26. 1643. By William Greenhill.
Greenhill, William, 1591-1671.
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TO THE Honourable House of COMMONS Assembled in PARLIAMENT.

WHen the World was shaken by Adams sinne, God secur'd it by the Promiseof his Son▪ Gen. 5. When Canaan was distressed by the Midianites, he sent Gi∣deon to save Israel, Iudg. 6. Now England is distracted, and her foundations out of course, He hath rays'd up you, the Wor∣thies of our Israel, to repaire her breaches, and settle her foundations; we acknowledge the infinite mercy of God to raise you up at such a time, and for such designes. It's great hard work to save Kingdomes: but Honourable, whoever would not save a Kingdome, is no more worthy to live in it, then the Man seekes the destructi∣on thereof. Wicked men will venture all to get or ruine Kingdomes, and shall not good men ven∣ture as farre to save Kingdomes? Had men pub∣lique Page  [unnumbered] spirits they would doe it. Heathens have so minded the publique, as that they have forgot themselves. Publius Decius the Romane Army *being brought low, rusht into the midst of the ene∣mies, demanded safety for his Country, Death for himselfe; and so occasioned an unexpected Ʋicto∣ry. Luc. Alvanius his Wife and Children, being *in the VVagon, escaping for their lives in a com∣mon Calamity; commands them downe, and takes up the Vestall Ʋirgins, who had the care of their holy things: he was proprior publicae Religioni quam privatae charitati, the Publiquenesse of his spirit caryed him above private interests. VVhere spirits are right set; selfe is much for∣gotten. Ji's domesticknes of spirit, selvishnesse, which is the great let to Armies, Religions, and Kingdomes good. Esther was right when shee said, if I perish I perish, she would venture for the publique, and for her God. The *Rabbins give a good lesson for Men in publiqne employment, They must doe their worke propter Deum Then neither difficultie of worke, disappoinment in e∣vent, nor ingratitude in People, will disturbe the spirits of men. Then nothing will be done against the Kingdome of Christ, evidence of truth, or li∣berty of Conscience; If men be publique and act Page  [unnumbered] for God they are Eshbaals, Ruling lights; if pri∣vate and selvish, they will be Ishbosheths men of shame. The Axe is at the root of our Tree, wee hope your spirits are all unselvished, that none are now unpublique; Publiquenesse of dangers calls for publiquenesse of spirits; Eminency of dan∣ger for speedinesse of helpe. VVhen Ierusalem was brought low, Asaph cryed to God for speedy prevention, Psalm. 79. 8. England, Ireland are brought low, the Asaphs cry to God, and cry to you also for speedy prevention. There be ill spirits a∣broad which teare us, which cast us into the Fire and water to destroy us, as the Mans Sonne in the *Gospell, and we say, Masters if you can doe any thing have compassion on the Kingdome, and help it, help us; keep backe nothing may save a King∣dome, helpe by wayes ordinary, and by wayes ex∣traordinary. You are *Rulers and our ruine is under your hand; Vote our Resurrection nomine contradicente, effect it quamvis mille repugnent, and this shall be your Impresse, Hoc Regnum est vere vestrum. Yea other Kingdomes shall contri∣bute to your praise, and the Kingdome of King∣doms be your reward. Bestirre you they are active, who would undoe us. Thinke on the * Rabbies*words a little altered Dies brevis, opus multum Page  [unnumbered] merces magna, Pater familias urget operarij ne sint pigri. This Epistle and Sermon had both lay on in the dark, if your authority which commands Per∣sons, Pulpits, Presses, had not brought them forth; accept the fruits of your owne power, and blessed be the Lord for what you have done since you heard what is now presented unto you. The Lord inable you to perfect all your intentions and un∣dertakings, which are for the publique good.

The Lord unite you, Watch ever you, fill you with his Spirit, Prosper you, All yours, and ac∣complish yet greater things by You, So Prayes▪

Your most Vnworthy Servant, and meanest in the worke of Christ. WILLIAM GREENHILL.