TO THE HONOVRABLE Knights and Gentlemen that have residence in, and relation to the County of Norfolk, Peace, from the God of Peace.
WHen the glad tidings of the Gospels sounding in Ame∣rica by the preaching of the English arrived hither, my soule also rejoyced with∣in me, and I remembred certaine papers that had been laid aside a long time, upon review of them, and some additions to them, they were privately commu∣nicated unto such as perswaded earnestly they might behold further light; being thus fini∣shed, and licenced also to walke abroad, as Page [unnumbered] they were stepping forth, that incivility char∣ged upon Chrysippus occurred, that he dedica∣ted * not his writings to any King or Patron, which custome presently seemed not onely lawfull, but as ancient as those Scriptures where Saint Luke in the history of the Acts of the Apostles applies himselfe to Theophilus, Act. 1. 1. And Saint Iohn to the Elect Lady, so na∣med, * some thinke, or for her graces so enti∣tuled, I was easily induced to follow this fa∣shion, and my thoughts soone reflected upon you, Who are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as well as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, lovers of God, and choice men of your Countrey. I may be censured for this high, generall, and ambitious dedication; but I doe freely pub∣lish my own utter unworthinesse: tis true, my respects and love be very much to you all, and my native soile, yet in this I doe not drive any private designe, I looke beyond my selfe, at your honour, the honour of the Nation, yea the glory of God, and the soule-good of ma∣ny millions that are yet in darkenesse and out of Christ; By you is the following tract commu∣nicated to the world, I wish, and pray, that the designe bespoken in it may be cordially furthered by you, and all that read or heare Page [unnumbered] thereof; tis like you will finde in the pro∣babilities so many Iudaicall resemblances in America, that as it was said of old, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉*〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, either Plato writes like Philo the Iew, or Philo is become Plato∣nicke; so the Jewes did Indianize, or the In∣dians doe Judaize, for surely they are alike in many, very many remarkable particulars, and if they bee Iewes, they must not for that be neglected; visible comments indeed they are of that dismall Text, Thou shalt become an asto∣nishment, a proverbe, and a by-word to all Na∣tions, &c. Deut. 20. 37. and so they are eve∣ry where to this day: what more reproach∣full obloquy is there among men, then this, Thou art a Jew? Oh the bitter fruits of diso∣bedience; and tis high time for us Gentiles to lay up that example, in the midst of our hearts, Pro. 4. 21. remembring alwaies, because of unbeliefe they were broken off, and, if God spared not the naturall branches, take heed lest hee spare not thee. Rom. 11. 21. It was a suddaine sentence, Tam viles inter Christianos Iudaei, ut inter mun∣dum*triticum mures, Jewes are as bad and vile a∣mong Christians, as Mice in cleane wheate; for glorious were their privileges, and we have Page [unnumbered] a share in some of them, that last especially—of whom concerning the flesh Christ came, who is God over all, blessed for ever, Rom. 9. 4, 5. and for another thing they have highly merited our regard—To them were commited the Ora∣cles of God, Rom. 3. 9. The holy Scriptures were concredited to them, and they have faithfully preserved them for us, and conveyed them to us: Former times indeed found cause to exterminate them these dominions, I say nothing for such their reintroduction, which must be with sacred and civill cautions, that the svveet name of our dearest Lord be not blas∣phemed, nor the Natives robbed of their rights, but when will Christians in earnest endeavour their conversion, if the name of Jevv must be odious everlastingly? I speak for their Gospelizing, though some suspect they are never likely to come again under that covenant, as if the Liber repudii, the bill of divorce menti∣oned * by the Prophet did put them away from God for ever, Esa. 50. 1. as if they should return to their Spouse no more, but that there is for them a time of love, and that they shall be grafted in, Rom. 11. 23. is manifested afterwards up∣on * Scripture grounds; and if the period of Page [unnumbered] their wandering be upon its determination, and their recovery approching, how may wee rejoyce in the returne of that Prodigall? It is meet that wee should make merry and be glad, for our brother that was dead is reviving againe, Luk. 15. 32. How should wee beg for them that God would poure upon them the spirit of grace and supplication, that they may looke upon him whom they have pierced, and mourne for him as one mourneth for his onely sonne. Zach. 12. 10. Or if the lost Tribes are not to be found in A∣merica, of whatsoever descent and originati∣on the poore Natives be, if they finde the Lord Christ, and the Nov-angles be the Wise∣men guiding them unto their peace, great cause shall wee have to lift up the high praises of our God in spirituall exultation; how should wee cast our mite into this treasury, yea our Talent, our Talents, if wee have them? for certainely the time is comming, That as there is one Shepherd, there shall be one Sheepfold. Io. 10. 16. It is true, our owne Countrey in many respects stands in need of helpe, wee are fallen into the last and worst times, the old age of the world, full of dangerous and sinnefull diseases, Iniquity is encreased, and if Page [unnumbered] ever, if to any people, the saying of that Tor∣rent of Tullian eloquence (so Ierome calls Lactan∣tius)* be applicable, it is to poore England, that is not onely in the gall of bitternesse, but in the very dregs of error and ungodlinesse, Ideo mala omnia rebus humanis ingravescunt, quia Deus hujus mundi effector ac gubernator derelictus est, quia susceptaesunt, contra quam fas est impiae*religiones, postremo quia ne coli quidem vel à pau∣cis Deus sinitur. But, O my soule, if thou be wise, be wise for thy selfe, Pro. 9. 12. and give mee leave to say to you as Moses to his Israell, One∣ly take heed to your selves, and keepe your soules diligently, Deut. 4. 9. make your calling and ele∣ction sure, 2 Pet. 1. 10. and because you are the children of faithfull Abraham, command your children and families that they walke in the waies of the Lord, Gen. 18. 9. and let who will serve themselves, follow lying vanities, and set up their owne lusts; let every one of us say and do as Ioshua, I and my house will serve the Lord, Josh. 24. 15. And not onely serve the Lord with and in our housholds, but in fur∣thering the common good of others, and tis considerable God is pleased to owne pub∣lique Page [unnumbered] interests, though in civill things with the * name of his owne inheritance. But this is the sinne, this is the misery of these times, All seek their owne, not the things of Iesus Christ. Even * regulated charity may beginne at home, it may not, it must not end there, it is the onely grace that is sowne on earth, it growes up to heaven and continues there, it goes with us thither, and there abides to all eternity, and tis therefore 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, greater then faith and hope, * not from continuance onely, but its extensive∣nesse, it delights to be communicative, it reacheth an hand of helpe one way or other to every one that needs, though at never so great a distance; after the cloven tongues as of fire had warmed the affections of the holy * Apostles, they had so much love to soules that they forgat their fathers house, discipled all Nations, and preached the Gospel to every creature, Their line went through all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world, that for∣mer * known world, the same spirit hath war∣med the hearts of our Countreymen, and they are busie at the same worke in the other, the new-found world; For behold a white horse*and he that sate on him had a bow, and a Crown was Page [unnumbered] given unto him, and hee went forth conquering, and to conquer; so the Lord Christ shall be light to that world also, and Gods salvation to the ends*of the earth. Britain hath woon the Gospel-glory from all other Countries, not onely imbra∣cing it with the formost, as old Gildas testifi∣eth, * but it was the first of all the Provin∣ces that established Christianity by a law saith Sabellicus, our Lucius was the first Chri∣stian * King that Annales make mention of, and venerable Bede out of Eutropius declareth that *Constantine the first Christian Emperour, was created to that dignity in this Island, & Sozom. l. 9. c. 11. saith that so were Marcus & Gratian al∣so; But Constantine brought further honour to the Nation & Religion: For the Saxon Bede, and Ponticus Virunnius affirme expresly, that *Constantine was born in Britaine; after this, inge∣muit orbis videns se totum Romanum, All the world wondred after the Beast, & groaned under the Pa∣pall * servitude, and our K. Henry the eight was the first of all the Princes who brake that yoke of Antichrist: but neerer yet to our purpose; The Inhabitants of the first England, so Verste∣gan* calls that part of Germany whence our An∣cestors came hither with the Saxons and Iutes,Page [unnumbered] derive their Christianity from Iewry, Ad nos doctrina de terra Iudaeorum per sanctos Apostolos, qui docebant gentes, pervenit, as that great linguist, * learned, and laborious Mr Wheelocke hath ob∣served, and translated out of the old Saxon Homilies, tis but just therefore lege talionis, that we repay what we borrowed, and en∣deavour their conversion who first acquainted us with the eternall Gospell, and if it be pro∣bable that providence honoured this Nation with the prime discovery of that New World, * as is intimated hereafter, it is true without all controversie, that from this second England God hath so disposed the hearts of many in the third, New England, that they have done more in these last few yeares towards their conver∣sion, then hath been effected by all other Na∣tions and people that have planted there since they were first known to the habitable world, as if that Prophesie were now in its fulfilling; Behold, I will doe a new thing, now it shall spring forth shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in*the Wildernes and rivers in the desart, &c. When * our Ancestors lay also in darkenesse and the shadow of death, Gregory wrote divers Epi∣stles to severall Noblemen and Bishops, yea Page [unnumbered] and to some Kings and Queenes of France and England, these Sir H. Spelman that famous An∣tiquary, your noble Countreyman, and of al∣liance to divers of you, calls epistolas Britannicas, which are also mentioned afterwards; in these he gives God thankes for their forwardnesse to further the worke of grace, and desires ear∣nestly the continuance of their bountifull and exemplary encouragement of such as were zealously employed in that Soule-worke, and that is one of the two businesses entended in the following discourse, which begs your assistance in your Spheres, and cordiall con∣currence to promote a designe of so much glo∣ry to the Lord of glory. This is no new no∣tion, or motion, all the royall Charters re∣quired the Gospellizing of the Natives; and in the beginning of this Parliament there was an Ordinance of Lords and Commons appointing a Committee of both, and their worke was, among other things, to advance the true Protestant Religion in America, and to spread the Gospell among the Natives there; and since, very lately, there is an Act for the pro∣moting and propagating the Gospell of Iesus Christ in New-England. I wish prosperity to Page [unnumbered] all the Plantations, but those of New-England deserve from hence more then ordinary favour; because, as by an Edict at Winchester, about * eighth hundred yeeres since, King Ecbert com∣manded this Country should be called Angles-land, so these your Countreymen of their owne accord, and alone, were, and are, ambitious to retain the name of their owne Nation; be∣sides, this England had once an Heptarchate, * and then your Countrey was the chiefe of that Kingdome called Anglia Orientalis, and these are the neerest of all the seven to you in name, Nov-angles, East-angles; I pray that you would be nearest and most helpefull to them in this most Christian and Gospel-like designe, which I leave with you, and two or three Petitions at the throne of grace for you; one is that of Moses, Yee shall not doe after all the*things that wee do heare this day, every man what∣soever is right in his owne eyes, but that ye walk by rule and not by example; this is an age much enclining to Enthousiasmes and Revela∣tions; men pretend to externall and inward impulses, but wee must remember, though wee had a voice from heaven, yet having the Scriptures wee have 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a Page [unnumbered]more sure Propheticall word, whereunto yee doe well that yee take heed, as unto a light, that shineth*in a darke place, untill the day dawne, and the day starre arise in your hearts; here is a compari∣son, even with an heavenly voice, which must vaile and submit to the written word, because poore mankind may easily be deluded by him, who among his many other wiles and depths can transform himself into an Angel of light. A∣gaine, * my prayer for you is, that in the wo∣full concussions and commotions of these daies, your selves may stand firme and un∣moveable: You have seene the waters troubled, and the Mountaines shaken with the swelling there∣of,* Oh, that you may say, in and with holy Da∣vids sense, though an host should encampe against me, my heart shall not feare, though warre should rise up against me, in this will I be confident; this? * and what is it, but ver. 1. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I feare, the Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid; even heathens have said much and done much towards that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, magnanimity and pa∣tience, but Christians have an higher prospect, they looke above the terrors of men, and they doe not feare their feare; for as Stephen through *Page [unnumbered] a showre of stones, they can see the heavens open and the Sonne of man sitting at the right hand of*God; nihil crus sentit in nervo, si animus sit in*caelo, they are not so much affected with what they feele, as with that they believe, because we walk by faith and not by sight.*
And oh, that these strange mutations may perswade us all, all the daies of our appoin∣ted*time to waite, untill our change come, e∣ven that change which never, never can again be changed; these are the last times and yet a lit∣tle*while, yea〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, yet a little, little while, and hee that shall come will come, and will not tarry, his fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floore, and gather the wheate into the garner, but*will burne up the chaffe with unquenchable fire. The*ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, for all faces shall then be unmasked, and every vizard shall be plucked off, The Lord will then*bring to light the hidden things of darknesse, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart, and then every one that hath done well, shall have praise of God. The Lord God of our mercies fit you for his appointment, stablish you in every*good word and worke, and keepe you from evill, that you may give up your account with joy, and not*Page [unnumbered]with griefe; and now I commend you all, and all that love that appearing of our Lord, unto the*word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them that*are sanctified; such is the serious and unfaigned devotion for you, of him who willingly sub∣scribes himselfe,
Your most humble servant in our dearest Lord, THO: THOROWGOOD.