Eshcol, or Grapes (among) thorns. As they were delivered in a Thanksgiving sermon, to the Honourable House of Commons. By John Bond, Mr. of the Savoy.
Bond, John, 1612-1676.
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A THANKSGIVING SERMON before the Honourable House of Commons.


PSAL. 50.23.

Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me; and to him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I shew the sal∣vation of God.

THe worke of the Lord in these times, and his word in this Psalme, do appeare unto me much alike: in our first warre the Lord made it his worke to asift these three Nations somewhat generally, and as it were, with a wider and courser sieve: so wide and course it was, that much chaffe and straw went through it with the wheat, and onely the grosser trash, as stickes and stones, did stay behinde. I meane (generally) the open profane and scandalous party in these Lands. And there was a speciall providence in that, for should the first sieve have been too shy and fine, it might have kept back so great a masse and weight on that side, as might have borne and broken out the bottome or floore of the sieve. There∣fore the Lord did then sort and sift us as the worke would beare at that time. But now, behold in this second warre, he is sifting the sifted againe with a much siner rince: The profane party was then sand out; but now he is separating between the faithfull and the formalist. Like that worke, runneth this Psalme: for it b containeth the great Assise or Arraignment of the hypocrite. In which,

I. We read the convention of the Court,x and sitting downe of the Bench: the witnesses are the whole earth, which is cal∣led from East to West,* from the c rising of the Sunne to the Page  2going downe thereof. The place is out of dSion, the perfection of beauty. The guard and executioners, e a fire shall devoure before him, and it shall be very Tempestuous round about him. The Assistants,f heaven and earth. The gJudge, El, Je∣bovah, Elohim; if you will, the whole Trinity: The Lord is Judge himselfe. And the summoned delinquents or malefa∣ctors, in generall, visiblehSaints and facrificing Covenanters.

* II. The Processe, or proceedings upon them: And these are of two sorts, according to the number and kindes of the arraigned.

1. Sort of the Arraigned are called the Lords owne apeo∣ple, his Israel, and he their God: And that as some conceive, in the strictest sense, they were bsincere hearts though too carnall in leaning too much upon bodily exercises and out∣ward duties of religion, upon sacrifices and burnt offerings, in cBullockes and Hee Goats. To these he hath two words.

1. A reproofe of their meere carnall, at least toodcarnall and extrinsecall services or forme of godlinesse, in which they did rest and blesse themselves too much, neglecting (meane while) the inside and power thereof. And the reason is, be∣cause God is not as a man or a beast, as a Bell and a Dragon, that eneedeth to be fed with carnall oblations, with meate and drinke: Nay, if he had need or desire to such brutish sacri∣fices, he hath enough of his owne, he has them all in his hand and power, he needeth not to beg or borrow from them, fAll beasts and cattell, all fowle and wild beasts, they are his, or with him. And therefore,

2 He doth exhort them to g reall, spirituall, inward ser∣vices. Of which sort three speciall ones are named, viz. 1. The oblation of praise. 2. The payment of vowes. 3. The prayer of faith. All these are such hard and solid ground that if you try a founderd formalist upon them, and put him to it, you shall soone finde him halting, though he seemed to runne nimbly in some softer and easier duties.

1. hOffer to God thanksgiving; this is no worke for hypo∣crites: no, iThe righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him, and all the upright in heart shall glory. But the un∣sound Page  3heart is as an Asse to this Harp.kWill he delight him∣selfe in the Almighty?

2. And pay thy vowes to the most High. The hypocrite is as forward in promising as any, yea commonly more large than the reall Saint, because he doth purpose to give l no thing but promises.

3. mCall upon me in the day of trouble. Herein also the hy∣pocrite will quickly tire, if he doth beginne it at all; nWill he alwayes call upon God? King Iehoram wore sackcloth for a while, when Samaria was distrest, o but how soone growes he impatient and rayleth? This evill is of the Lord, why should I waite for the Lord any longer? These are the Lords proceed∣ings with the better party of these Indicted ones.

2. Sort are called the awicked, 1. inwardly; And yet a kinde of professors too, for they doe declare his statutes and take his Covenant into their mouthes, though in reall practice they are wide enough, for they are bhaters of instruction and they cast his words behinde them. Thus they were rotten at the core, and therefore it is not long before it comes out in∣to the Skinne, yea they proceed to breake the second Table, though not in the most grosse degree and manner; they ccon∣sent with the thiefe, they are concealours and accessories, though not principals; they partake with adulterers; that is, secretly under hand they stick not to act such abominable wickednesses, or at least some way to share in the profits and commutations. In short, they dgive their mouthes to evill, and frame deceit with their tongues, Yea, finally they e fit in the seat of the scorner, and doe slander their owne brethren and neerest kinsmen. And that which doth incourage: them in all this, is the Lords silence, and patience, becausefsentence against their evill works is not speedly executed, therefore they are ready to justifie themselves, and condemne the Lord. But, saith he, gI will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes, I will bring them forth, and marshall them against thee in battell array. And hence

* III. The verdict and sentence upon the whole matter, which according to the two parties is also twofold.

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1. A censure of terrour to the last and worst sort of delin∣quents, in case they continue in their impenitency: hNow consider this yee that forget God, lest I teare you in peeces, and there be none to deliver you.

* 2. A cordiall and promise to the former and better sort of the arraigned, if they returne to reall duty, and a well ordered way. iWho so offereth praise glorifieth me, and to him that order∣eth his conversation aright, will I shew the salvation of God.

There is not much to doe about the reading of the words.

[Who so offereth praise] Or, he that sacrificeth confession. There is a a twofold confession; of sinne, and of praise; so above, bSacrifice or offer unto God a confession. And by [praise] in the text, we are to understand the whole inward worship of God.

[Glorifieth, or honoreth mee] The cGreeke thus, the sacri∣fice of praise, in the abstract, shall glorifie me.

[And to him that ordereth his conversation aright] In the Originall, that putteth, composeth, disposeth the way: for that word Way is left in its full latitude in the originall. But others read this in a farre different sense, thus, And there is the way in which I will shew the salvation of God. Thus the Papists generally, from their d Vulgar, and out of the e Septua∣gint. Their difference and mistake (I conceive) did arise from the likenesse of two Monosyllables in the originall; f One of which being an Adverb doth signifie, here, there, or thence. The g other, a defective verbe signifies, to put, order, compose, as before. But we follow the fountaine, and reade it as in our last translation, To him that ordereth the way &c.

[I will shew] Or, I will make, or cause him to see. And that not flatly or barely, but with affection and delight: as elsewhere, hHis heart is established, he shall not be afraid, un∣till he see his desire upon his enemies.

[The salvation of God] By it understand we, either extraor∣dinary great and divine salvation, as, i The Trees of God, and the kMountaines of God, that is, faire and eminent ones: Or, that God will assure and make good this salvation un∣to Page  5all such: Or, he speakes in the third person that the emphasis may be the greater.

* The text, if we looke upon it without dependence, doth containe the whole twofold end and duty of man; with the proper and speciall meanes to each of those ends, and these cannot well be divided.

1. The Principall and Ultimate end of man, in respect of God, is to glorifie him.

And the meanes to that end, is all duty, but especially that of praise and thanksgiving; Who so offereth praise glorifieth me.

2. The next principall end of man, in respect of himselfe, which is also subordinate to that former end, is to be saved, or to see the salvation of God.

And an especiall meanes unto this end, is the right order∣ing of the way. Thus the words doe containe [the praise of Thanksgiving.]

Who so offereth praise, glorifieth me.

This is true of every inward and right service that is perfor∣med by any sonne or servant of God. aA sonne honoureth his father, and a servant his master. But it must needs be eminently true of the service of Thanksgiving, which alone is here ex∣presly named in the words, and called a glorifying or honour∣ing of God. Hence [Observation.]

Thanksgiving to God, is a very glorious and transcendent service.

There is a threefold Crowne or Emphasis put upon the head of this service in this Psalme and Text.

1. It is put (in this Psalme) in the front of those three Cri∣ticall trying duties which are set up as the standard to weigh all professors by them; namely, Praise, Payment of vowes, and Prayer. And the first of these you see is Praise, bOffer to God thanksgiving: therefore it is a duty of the first and high∣est forme; such a Key as no hypocrite can so counterfeit, but that he will easily be espyed; though he hath the fiddle (as he said) yet he wants the stick: And therefore that [Lord I thank thee] of the c Pharisee, is not a praising of God so much as of Page  6selfe, not a thanksgiving but an deasing of himselfe, saith one: yea every one that readeth him spiritually, findeth him trip∣ping at the threshold.

2. Againe in the text, praising is put as I said, for all in∣ward and spirituall worship, and is opposed to all those car∣nal sacrifices and burnt offerings before mentioned, as if it were the touchstone of all inward sacrifices; [Who so offereth praise;] as if he had said, every one that doth and can praise me aright, a he can doubtlesse performe all other parts of worship as he ought. Yea this is the surpassing service; I will praise the name of God with a song, this also shall please the Lord better then a Bullock that hath hornes and hoofes, better then a calfe that is overgrowne, or of a b yeare old.

3. c This duty especially is here said to glorifie or honour God: this is an high and hyperbolicall expression indeed, for honour wee say, is in the dhonorer not in the honored; and what? can the poore worme man give or add any thing unto God? it is elsewhere called a eblessing of God, Blesse the Name of the Lord, O my soule: Now saith the Spirit to the Hebrewes, fThe lesser is blessed of the greater. Nay once more, it is called in the Word a magnifying, that is, a greatning of God; an exalting, that is, an heightning of his name: gO mag∣nifie the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

[Demonstra∣tions.] Quest. But how can these things bee? Ans. The Lord takes it as an honour, and men looke upon it as a giving of honour to God when wee doe so record, declare, proclaime, the greatnesse and goodnesse of the Lord, whether of his being, or workes, that others do see more of him and in him then ever they did perceive or believe before; hSing praise to the Lord which dwelleth in Sion, declare amongst the people his do∣ings. That I may publish with a voyce of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous wooks. But for methods sake, which is the mother of memory, the speciall excellency and transcendency of this service, may be demonstrated in these particulars.

* 1. They appeare by its comprehensivenesse and perfections. It is the Sea, that is, both the fountaine, and receptacle of all other duties. The Preacher saith of the sea, iall the rivers run Page  7into it, yet the sen is not full, unto the place whence the rivers come thither they returne againe: that is, all rivers runne into the sea, and (as some say) from the sea they arise againe. Though this bee quarreld in Philosophy, yet I am sure it is true in Divinity, concerning the ocean of thanksgiving. Let us lay our instance in the continuall duty of prayer, which (as one saith) is the bread and salt at every spirituall meale; for it must be one whatsoever is the other. Behold, thanksgiv∣ing is both the roote and fruit, the beginning, middle, and end; yea the both ends of this service. The beginning,aWe give thanks to God and the father of our Lord Iesus Christ, pray∣ing alwayes for you: there it is to prayer as the needle to the thred. The middle,bContinue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving: there are the three conditions of prayer, Perseverance, Watchfulnesse and Gratitude. And unto this last ( c saith one) we are alwayes bound, whether wee looke to Gods gifts, promises, delayes, or denials; there is cause of thanksgiving for every one of these, and he is mercifull in them all towards his Saints. The like place is, dBee carefull in nothing, but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made knowne unto God: there it is as the Axle-tree upon which the duty of prayer doth turn it selfe. Yea, see it at both ends of prayer, eO give thankes un∣to the Lord, call upon his name, make knowne his deeds among the people; sing unto him &c. Nay we are commanded this duty in all cases. fIn every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Iesus concerning you: In every condition, say some; but I thinke it closer Divinity and Exposition, to say, and with every duty, for praise is the best sawce to God and man in every Gospell sacrifice: and therefore is put for the whole.gBy him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks unto his name.

* 2. This service is glorious and transcendent in respect of its actors and subject; It is not every one that is fit to learne Musique; neither the witlesse, nor the wicked foole can per∣forme or counterfeit this duty artificially. There is not any Page  8other outward service of religion (that I remember) which I cannot shew you some profane ones or grosse hypocrites have been acting it handsomely in Scripture, whereas I never finde them (and I think I am right) medling with this; King Saul was at his sacrificing, though unseasonably; at his Altar building, and enquiring of the Lord; and all this to get victory and successes, some of which he did obtain, as a∣gainst the a Ammonites, against the b Philistines, against the c Amalekites. But doe yee ever read a word of his Thanksgi∣vings? King Ahab did beleeve the Prophet and d humbled himselfe, and was rewarded according to his worke; but what thanks did he ever return? No, no, the formalist that can go (as I said) soundly and roundly in the smoother and softer ground of other duties, because they may have more of selfe in them, yet turn him upon this grand service of thank∣fulnesse and he will halt. Saith the Holy Ghost, eCan he de∣light himselfe in the Lord? It is almost an uncounterfeitable service. And hence it is that the Saints of the highest forme are called upon for this performance. fYe that feare the Lord, praise him. And, gYe servants of the Lord, praise ye the name of the Lord.hPraise is comely for the upright.iPraise ye the Lord, sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise inthe congre∣gation of Saints. Let the saints be ioyfull in glory. No mar∣vail then if now adaies the profane beasts amongst the peo∣ple, doe scoffingly bid the saints and holy ones, to keep their Thanksgiving Daies.k It is a service for a Melchisedeck, a King of Peace, and a Priest of the most high God, for an Abraham, the father of the faithfull; for a Moses, Aaron, Miriam, for a Deborah, Baruck, &c. The truth is that the holiest and highest Saints on earth, are too low, they are bunglers for this duty, whilst here beneath; and their choicest songs are but a tuning of the instrument, towards perfect praises. The heaven of heavens is the proper Quire, and the Choristers are ainnu∣merable companies of Angels, and the souls of iust men made per∣fect: It is to be their everlasting work and wages to sing Hal∣lelujahs before the Throne, and unto the Lambe. See them at it, in their glory. bAmen, Blessing, and glory, and wisdome, Page  9and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever, Amen. Thus Thanksgiving is the onely Celestiall, Angelicall, eternall service and Ordinance. So as what Paul saith of Charity amongst, yea beyond o∣ther graces, that may I apply unto Thanksgiving beyond, a∣bove, all other religious duties, cThanksgiving never faileth, but whether there bee prayers, they shall faile, whether there bee preachings, they shall cease, whether there bee Sacraments, they shall vanish away; thanksgiving, like Moses his rod, shall devoure, and eat up all other Ordinances, and therefore the greatest of all is thanksgiving.

* 3. This service is so glorious, in respect of its speciall ends and effects. It is a most unbottoming, unselfing, humbling, melting, kindling duty. It strikes out the bottome of flesh and nature, carrying out all unto God. Joy (they say) is an affe∣ction that carryeth out al the blond and spirits from the heart and inward parts towards the object, as it were, to meet and welcome it. Heare Iacob a little in his begging thanksgi∣ving at Mahanaim, dO God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which said unto me, Returne unto thy Country, and to thy kindred, and I will deale well with thee: I am not worthy of [or, I am lesse then] the least of all the mer∣cies and of all the trueth which thou hast shewed unto thy ser∣vant; for with my staffe I passed over this Iordan, and now I am become two bands. Do you not seeme to see the good Man holding his cudgell in his hand, and humbly looking downe upon it, whilest hee speaks to this purpose?

Alas! I was not worth this sticke in all the world when I was forced to flee for my life, on foot, alone, from my fathers house, and was faine to take up an hard Stone-burrough for my pillow, and the blew heavens for my Canopie, and now see what a little Army the Lord hath made me?
Oh if one could have exchanged hearts with Iacob for an houre at that time, how would his heart have warmed ones breast! Nothing to Iacob, (saith hee) Nothing to Jacob, but all to Iehovah.

But the example and expressions of good old David in such a like case, are so ravishing, that you had need to looke Page  10to your hearts, and gird them up, before you turne to the place. It was when he had been casting about to glorifie God by building him an house: his will is accepted for the deed, and to boot the Lord sends a very glorious promise by Nathan concerning the building of Davids owne house. aThen went King David in and sate before the Lord. Good old man! was he so aged that he could not stand or kneele? Or rather, had the Lords mercifull message so carryed out his bloud and spirits as to weaken his heart within? Sure I am this was not an usuall posture, to sit before the Lord. But we must conceive him creeping and panting by the way, from his owne house, unto the Lords; and so al-to-be-melted, and halfe breathlesse, he falleth downe into his chaire, and saith, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my fathers house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? Who am I? What, had David forgotten his own name? or did he not know himselfe, that hee doth aske, who he is? I read of some that through length of time and brutish sensuality have forgotten their owne names. But surely nei∣ther of these had befallen good David; no, he had onely lost himselfe and all his fathers house in the sea of the Lords present goodnesse: he is amazed to thinke how hee got up to that condition, That thou hast brought me hitherto? and to con∣sider whither the Lord was now farther carrying them; *And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God, but thou hast spoken also of thy servants house for a great while to come; and is this the manner of man, O Lord God? Lord, saith he, I am banck∣rupt, I am broken with the former debt that I owe unto thee, I have nothing at all to pay my arrears, for old unspeakeable favours and mercies; and wilt thou trust me, and mine with more, greater, and future favours? Surely this is not the course of the world; for men doe require us to pay one score when we make another. But mee thinks his next words (if we could looke thoroughly into them) are the most passionate and emphaticall of all: aAnd what can David say more unto thee? Every word hath its weight, and his interrogation and appeale, have their especiall weight; But the principall thing to be noted is, that he doth name his owne name unto God, Page  11which is an unusuall and surpassing straine of rhetorick, though sometimes taken up in the most melting petitions, and b earnest expostulations.

The same self-emptying effect of this grace of thanfulnesse is to be found in other Psalmists, cNot unto us, ô Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give the glory. He doth empty himself wholly, and as it were shakes the bag by the bottom after all was out; he thrusteth away self-glorying with both hands, that he might be sure that nothing of the creature should be left behind. And in the next Psalm, that thankfull Saint doth dcatechize his own heart, and casteth up his estate to see if there were any thing in it worth the giving unto God, dWhat shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits towards me? He doth turn the dish (as we say) for a bit worth the presenting, and at last not find∣ing any thing that he can think good enough, he doth give the whole unto the Lord. eO Lord, truly I am thy servant, I am thy servant, without a complement, and the son of thy handmaid, thou hast loosed my bonds; I am doubly thy servant, both by birth and redemption, thy creature, thy captive. This is the reall effect of thanksgiving.

* 4. Finally, Thanksgiving is transcendent for the large∣nesse and extent of its matter.fIn every thing give thanks; for all, that is in God, and for all that cometh from God. gThou art good, and doest good, and every good thing is matter of praise: as, First, all his spirituall mercies, hBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Iesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spirituall blessings in heavenly things, in Christ; and after∣wards he doth reckon up particulars:a Election, b Adoption, c Redemption and forgivenesse, d an inheritance, with the e sealing and f earnest thereof. And all this g to the praise of the glory of his grace. Secondly, all his hcreating and provi∣dentiall mercies. The Lord hath made all things for himselfe, even the wicked for the day of evill. All creatures shall bee for the praise of his mercy or justice, every tree shall serve him for fruit or firing, every head shall give its milke, fleece, or flesh. iI will get me honour upon Pharaoh.kMy sonne, give glory to God. Yea, all his works in heaven and earth they are mat∣terPage  12for this service, they were made for this lend. There is a short Psalme, that doth containe a Systeme or Epitome of the whole Creation, which is there severally called upon for this duty: the top or highest round of that ladder doth reach to the highest heaven, the foot standeth upon the earth below. Let us speedi∣ly runne it up, it beginneth mHallelujah Hallelujah, first cal∣ling upon them in heaven, where there are three stories; In the first, nAngels; in the second, oSun, Moon, and Starres; in the third, which is the pheaven of heavens,q below, there are the clouds. And all these are summoned to rpraise the Lord. Next all on searth are called upon; all t Elements, meteors, places, plants, living creatures, fish, beasts, fowl, reasonable creatures, high & low, young & old, men & women, that is, all ranks, ages, sexes. In short, as faith hath promises and experiences as its ground: feare hath threatnings: Love hath all that is lovely: so every good thing is matter of praise, yea all these and every other ugrace. Hence the purblind xHeathen could say, that this one virtue (virtue was grace with him) is not onely the greatest, but the mother of all the rest:

for what is piety (saith he) but a thankfull heart towards ones parents? Who are good Patriots, but such as are mindefull of the kindnesse of their Country towards them? Who is holy, but he which payeth his thankes unto the gods?
Yea this duty-grace, should runne through all our very naturall actions too. aWhether therefore yee eate or drink or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. Nay & through all our actions, speeches in generall,bAnd whatsoever yee doe in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Iesus Christ, giving thanks unto God and the Father by him. There is yet a more full expression from the same Apostle; cGiving thanks alwayes, for all things, unto God. And good reason, so long as there is a promise that dAll things shall worke together for good to them that love God.

Then, First, I must take leave to reprove all that are enemies or backe friends to this duty, and to tell them from God; that he taketh their ingratitude for a dishonour to himselfe: To tell them from nature and the very heathens, that their sinne is too bad for a a name; it is the b Epitome of all sinne. But Page  13that I may speake distinctly and justly, there are two sorts of Offenders that must here beare a reproofe.

* I. Such as out of meere wickednesse and malignity, are ene∣mies to our thanksgivings; such professed Antipodes, to whom our high Noone, is a midnight; that cmocke at these our Sabbaths, and like that scornfull daughter of King Saul, doe dlooke thorough their windowes upon these dayes, and despise us in their heart for dancing before the Lord with all our might. But let all such Michals know, that eIt is before the Lord which chose us before them and their party, and therefore wee will play before the Lord, and will be yet more vile then thus; yet at last, shal we be in honour, whilst perhaps their forces and hopes shall goe with barren wombes and dry breasts unto their graves. I confesse the spirit of ungratefull malignity is now risen to that height in these parts, that it is scarcely an act of greater valour to get a victory, then to dare keep a thanks∣giving for it. I have heard that in France, the Papists do ac∣count all as Huguenots and Heretiques that do praise God by singing of Psalmes, which is in our language to say that a Pray∣ser and a Puritan are both one: shall we come up to that degree?

[Quest.] Quest. But what may be the cause of such an horrid sud∣den spirit of blasphemous ingratitude? What ayles the scorners?

[Ans. 1] Ans. Surely it is the abounding of unholinesse that causeth this aboundance of ingratitude,fVnthankfull, and unholy,* do usually goe together. And this is observable, that the more of Devill there is in any man, the greater enemy is that man to all holy praises; yea Satan himselfe is not so much inraged against any or all duties of the Saints, as against their Thanksgivings. He can better beare their prayers, fastings, hear∣ings, readings, because he knoweth whilst they are at these, they are but begging, plowing or sowing; but when they are praysing he knoweth they have then received their almes, and are returning home bringing their sheaves with them.

[ 2] 2. But the enemies have their pretences of reason, nay, reli∣gion, inducing them to abhor this duty they say; let us heare and answer them.

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[Object.] Our victories (say they) are but lies and delusions, they are mockings of of God and men, and therefore intolerable.

[Sol. 1] 1. Doth not this language runne well like that of Rabsha∣keh?* then Rabshakeh stood and cryed with a loud voyce, Let not Hezekiah deceive you &c. But

[ 2] If it bee false, why are you so troubled, impatient, inraged? Surely we gather that you do secretly beleeve our newes even whilst you cry it downe for lies. Divines say, that one good argument against Atheists, which pretend they beleeve there is no God, is their owne continuall clamours, disputings, and railings against the Deity; which seeme to argue some secret he sitations and doubting qualmes in their owne spirits con∣cerning that point.

[ 3] The trueth is, men will not know, nor beleeve, nor see, the truth of our good tidings and successes; These things they are willingly ignorant of,* as Peter saith of his scoffers. And because they are wilfull, and as I conceive absent, I shall spend no more time upon them; but doe onely desire to send them a Token by some Neuter or other (for these two are much together) whom I desire to turne downe a leafe, and to shew it them at next meeting, *Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousnesse: The men confesse they have received more favour at our hands then ever we should have found at theirs: But doth this worke upon them? No, In the Land of uprightnesse will he deale unjustly, and will not behold the ma∣jesty of the Lord.*Lord, when thy hand is lifted up (whether to strike or beare the Banner) they will not see. Marke, the defect, the fault, is not in their heads or eyes, but in their hearts, and wills, and there is no argument so fit to confute we will not, as, you shall; But they shall see;aa rod for the backs of fooles) they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people, or towards the people, yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devoure thom: That is, as bGideon taught the Neutrall and Malignant men of Succoth with briers and thorns of the wildernesse; so the Lord will teach and convince these men, by devouring fire at last, if they will not see by its light, they shall feele its heat. And because some bitter, winking enemies Page  15will beleeve none other arguments: let us leave them to the Lords convictions, and to the cAphorisme of the great physi∣tian which saith,

what things soever medicins doe not cure, those Iron cureth; what Iron doth not cure, that fire cureth; what fire doth not cure, those things are to be judged in∣curable.
God hath tryed to heale the land, and especially our enemies, by his word and by his sword in our first warre, and now he contendeth by fire, that is, by sharper, cleerer, works and discoveries then ever; and if this will not doe, woe unto them for incurable. Thou shalt not be purged from thy filuhinesse any more, till I cause my fury to rest upon thee.

But suppose your victories true as you report them, (say they) yet wee will not, cannot joyne to give thanks unto God for the shedding of bloud, and for the killing of men?

Give mee leave to answer these, as Christ did those Jewes, d with some other Questions.

[Sol. 1] First; Canst thou reade? hast thou a Bible? (for this is com∣monly the objection of the illiterate and profane person) then turne to a place or two, and thou shalt see what Gods Spirit and Saints have said, and done in this case. ePraise yee the Lord for avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves. This thanksgiving was by authority, *Then sang Deborah and Baruk on that day saying. Yet that day of a song, was a day of much bloud, to Sisera and all his host.

[Quest.] But the Canaanites were strangers, and open enemies; we fight against our owne Country men and neighbours.

[Ans.] 1. f He that sheweth no mercy he is the veryest stranger. 2. Those Canaanites had been gconquered by Israel before; but for Israels sinnes, and through their owne treacheries, were growne considerable againe, yea and hmightily oppressed them, wherefore Israel doth fight and breake them the second time, and blesseth the Lord for their victories over them, and his vengeance upon them. Nay, the Spirit of God elsewhere doth warrant, promise, command, such thanksgivings: aThe righte∣ous shall reioyce when he seeth the vengeance, hee shall wash his feet in the bloud of the wicked.

[ 3] 3. Who is it that doth shed bloud, and kill mn? The Assayl∣lants, Page  16or the defendants? they that offend us, or we that de∣fend our selves? what, when a sort of men have beene beaten and conquered the first time, and being conquered have recei∣ved many confessed favours from their Conquerors; have pro∣mised, covenanted, sworne (thereupon) never more to beare Armes against them, were suffered to live peaceably amongst them; but after all this doe rebelliously, ingratefully, treache∣rously, arise in armes, surprise Castles, cut the throats of them that were quiet in the Land; and are by Gods just justice and immediate hand disappointed, cut off in battell a second time: Will you call this a bshedding of bloud, and a killing of men, for which the Lord must not be praised? Is selfe-defence to be called murther? or execution of justice to be accounted man-slaughter?

Doe but looke I pray you impartially and seriously upon those famous examples and proceedings of wisest Solomon to∣wards Adonijah his elder brother; and say, have we not used these men as brethren? cAdonijah had committed a first fault, in usurping the kingdom in his fathers life time, but up∣on his submission was pardoned by Solomon, upon a condition, or with a proviso, *If he will shew himselfe a worthy man, there shall not an haire of him fall to the earth; but if wickednesse be found in him, he shall die. And he is sent away with this condition. After this, Adonijah is found faulty again, at least in a close plodding pernicious designe, to the old end: Hee would have Abishag the Shunamite to be given to him to wife. * For this second attempt hee dyeth. Yea and some of his old complices doe fall with him, though it is not exprest that they had their hands in this second designe. Abi∣athar the Priest, hee is sequestred and ejected out of his place, though hee hath his life given him for former good services. And Joabs old crimes, * they are remembred and punished. It is worth the while, to repeat the grounds, upon which Solomon proceedeth against them. Fall upon him, saith hee, that thou mayest take away the innocent bloud which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my Father, and the Lord shall returne his bloud upon his owne head, who fell upon two men more righteous Page  17and better then hee, &c. Lastly, rayling Shimei,* commeth to an account, and justice findeth him out in his old age, by his owne help and directions, because he kept not the oath of the Lord, and the commandement that Solomon had charged him with. Now tell me, O thou adversary of our Thanksgiving dayes, how much doe the crimes of our vanquished enemies exceed those of Adonijah, Abiathar, Joab, Shimei? And how much is the mercy of our State above the severity of So∣lomon?

[ 4] For whose bloud shed? For what killing of men art thou so offended? Surely, it is because it was the bloud of Malignants, because it was not the Round-heads bloud: For had that party, which is beaten, gotten the day upon us; had they slaine thousands of ours, for hundreds of theirs, then thou wouldest have given thankes with a witnesse, even thankes for killing of men and shedding of bloud: thou wouldest have kept such a revell or wake for it, as all the tenne Commandements should have been sacrificed by thee for a thank-offering. Away, away, with this grosse hypo∣crisie. God knowes thy heart, and man may see thee, though thou winkest.

[ 5] Lastly, It is not (God is our record, it is not) for bloudshed and killing of men (to speak properly) that we give thankes: but for the prosperity of the Lords cause, for the preservation of the bloud of his servants; tis for a further step towards peace and settlement, by removing implacable impediments out of the way of a full deliverance and reformation, men who now let, and will let. Shall a Robber on the way, * fall upon me for my purse and life, so that nothing but the losse of his bloud, can bee the security of mine: and must I not give thankes for mine owne deliverance if I beate him? Wee are wholly, unquestionably defensive in this second war.

* II. There is another sort of persons, which though friends and brethren, in the maine common cause; yet through some dissatisfaction, discontent, offence, or jealosies, are no friends to so much victory, but are slow and cold at our Thanksgivings; nay (perhaps) doe look but sowrely and suspectingly upon such Page  18as on these dayes, doe dance before the LORD with all their might. I remember some Auncients a did condemne those for Heretickes, that held there were Antipodes, that is, people inhabiting the earth just underneath, and diametrally opposite to us. Brethren, I beseech you, let us not come to that degree of ignorance and disingenuity, as to account all men Erroneous that are hearty and hot in affir∣ming that we have direct Antipodes, I meane (in plaine Eng∣lish) that declare lowdly to the world that there are many mighty bitter opposites and Malignants; and doe act against them to their uttermost both in prayers & praises. Let me have leave to deale freely this day, especially with our owne friends. Are there not many, very many amongst us, which are like a man condemned, upon the Gibbet, ready to be presently exe∣cuted, one commeth to him and offereth him a Ladder to come downe by, and save his life: but he standeth scrupling, obje∣cting, doubting, whether the Ladder be firme or no, whether the rounds be fast or loose, whether they may not deceive him, or breake under him, and so indanger a fall? yea, but O man, O friend, what will become of thy neck if thou stayest there? Or by what other way canst, wilt, wouldest thou come down? I hope not willingly by the rope? Honourable Senators, par∣don my plainnesse, and take me seriously, the neck of every thorough-godly well affected man in England is now in dan∣ger, and the breaking or saving of it depends upon the come-off, in which, the rounds, or nothing, must save us. Beware therefore, how wee grow shy or sullen at any necessary law∣full meanes of selfe-preservation, and so aforsake our owne mercies. Let us therefore put on our wedding garments, and b countenances when providence doth invite us to feast; And beware, lest when we pretend to avoyd Schismaticall Thanks∣givings, wee runne our selves over on the other hand, into a kinde of Orthodoxe ingratitude. For mine own part, farre be it from mee, to pleade for the extravagancies of any sort of instruments. I beleeve we have all had our great and speciall opportunities and seasons of doing much good for God, and have all neglected to improve them. Nay, perhaps wee have Page  19then sacrificed hisaCorne, Wine, Wooll and Flax unto our ownebnets and drags, and I am deceived if God doth not take us up and scourge us of all sides, for it, and for our selfe-divi∣sions: perhaps upon the backs of one another. And then, O we shall be willing like fighting School-boys, to forgive each other, if our Master would forgive us. I say it againe, that all our selvish cKids flesh will bee eaten with bitter herbs: and our dZiglags will bee but as new peeces in old garments: And perhaps our eParoxysmes may make us walke for it as farre as America, as it was with pettish Paul and Barnabas. But how∣ever this is not the way of amendment or composure, to fall out with our meate, and to cast it from us, or to bee sul∣len towards the Lord when hee smileth upon us with delive∣rances.

I reade one example of such an April-Thanksgiving for a great victory in Scripture: which gives us divers proper pas∣sages and serious Observations. It was when fGenerall Joab and Davids Army under his command, had slaine Absolom, and beaten the unnaturall Army that was with him. 'Tis said, gThe victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the peo∣ple, for the people heard say that day, how the King was grieved for his sonne: h And the people got them by stealth that day into the Citie, as people being ashamed steale away when they flee in battell. Here was a strange kinde of victory and Thank giving indeed, considering the greatnesse of the mercy received. But marke we upon it, (out of the same story) both its cause, and consequents.

* 1. The principall cause of Davids unseasonable sadnesse was his too much good will and affections to the enemie. The ifather (in him) was too hard for the Magistrate, and his pri∣vate love toward a son, swallowed up that publike justice du to a Malefactor. Are there some of the right party, nay and good men too sicke of that dangerous disease? very heathens shall rise in judgment against them. Gallant Brutus thou didst publikely scourge, and then slay thine owne sons for attemp∣ting to re-inslave the Common-wealth!

* 2. The consequents of Davids unseasonable sadnesse are di∣verse: as,

Page  20

[Consequent. 1] 1. The Answer or high speech of Generall Ioab you must allow, for the Souldier, the Courtier, and the kinsman, in his expressions, for he threatneth, he sweareth, he chideth. We will looke onely into the matter. *Thou hast shamed this day, the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sonnes, and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives,*and the lives of thy concubines. In that thou lovest thine enemies and hatest thy friends, for thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither Princes nor servants, for this day I perceive, that if Absolom had lived and all we had dyed this day,*then it had pleased thee well. Now therefore arise, goe forth and speake comfortably unto thy servants, for I sweare by the Lord, if thou goe not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night, and this will be worse unto thee, then all the evill that befell thee from thy youth untill now. This bold speech needeth no Com∣ment, but there is in it a great deale of Marshall politiques; out of which a Christian may draw many prudent and season∣able instructions. You have read the story of those three Brethren, the aHoratii, how the sister of the surviving Con∣querour, weeping to see the spoyls of her lover (but an enemy) upon her Brother, was paid with bloud for her tears. The fact I confesse, was horrid in that Victor, but it may teach us that the slighting of our deliverance is a dangerous provo∣cation to neerest friends.

[Consequent. 2] 2. Observe wee in that sadnesse of David, the perilous animosities arising between Israel and Iudah about bringing home the King. *Israel chargeth Iudah with King-stealing, Why have our brethren, the men of Iudah stollen thee away? Iudah claymeth kindred in David and bearing themselves high upon that relation, they endeavor to purge themselves from taking any gifts, profits, places, for their service. And at last, the great quarrel is, * who hath the most share in the King and should have the principall hand in bringing him back. A dis∣pute that had like to have cost them dearer then all the wars before.

[Consequent. 3] The third consequent that floweth from that weeping thanksgiving, and this royall contention, is an advantage taken Page  21from both those by the icommon enemy one of the old Malig∣nant party. And there happened to bee there a man af Belial, whose name was Sheba the sonne of Bichri, a Benjamite. Marke it well; The man was one of Sauls owne Tribe; some thinke, a Prince of that Tribe, because they followed him so readily, yea and it is conceived, he was of the akindred of Saul, and was never well affected to David, and therefore now, hee blew a trumpet and said, We have no part in David &c.* Pre∣sently he was universally followed, and David wholly forsaken. See, selfe-division is the next way to set up the old common Enemy againe, and to bring downe the Kite upon the Mouse and Frog. which may sweepe away both, whilst they are a fighting. Away therefore with all sullennesse and selfe-divisi∣ons, all yee that are truly godly, well affected and throughly ingaged in this common cause against the common Enemy, whatsoever discontents, provocations, injuries you have re∣ceived from one another. Suffer not any Gangrenes to strike to your wounds, for that will be noysome indeed to others, but mortall to your selves, and to that good old godly Puri∣tan Cause and Interest, with which we must all now sinke or swim. Revenge sheweth me to be a man, but forgiving to be a christian; that, makes me even with mine enemy, but this, sets me babove him; that may be just, but this is surely truely honourable. c O that carriage and language of Aristi∣des was truely noble, of which we reade in the story; Aristides by the furtherance of Themistocles, had been banished from Athens by the law of Ostracisme for tenne years; but within three years he was recalled againe because Xerxes King of Persia, was come with a vast Army into Attica; after Aristi∣des his returne, Themistocles is chosen the only Lieutenant Generall of Athens, and Aristides, (notwithstanding all for∣mer passages) doth alwayes faithfully aid and assist him in all things, as well with his travell as with his Counsell, and there∣by wan his enemie great honour, but greater to himselfe, for he adventured through the midst of the enemies ships in the night, and with great danger got from Aegina to Themistocles tent, and calling him out thus bespake him.

Themistocles, if Page  22we are both wise, it is high time we should now leave off this vaine envy and spite we have long time borne each o∣ther, that we should enter into another sort of envy more honourable and profitable for both: I meane, which of us two should doe his best indeavour to save Greece: you by ruling and commanding; and I by counselling, &c.
How cleerly hath this poore heathen taught us christians to d bury all our personall quarrels in the wounds of the publike Enemy? Well, my Brethren, deceive not your selves with dreames, if you are godly indeed, you may agree, you must a∣gree, and I dare tell you that (at last) you shall agree, either as fellow Conquerours, if you please, or as fellow prisoners, if you will still be sullen; the dogs shall drive you together, or eate you severally. Oh do but unite so neere in affections as you are united in dangers, and you have undone the Devill.

[Instruction. 2] Secondly, We have hence a lesson of praises, it is worded for us by King David,aMy soule shall make her boast in the Lord, the humble shall heare and beglad. O magnifie the Lord with me, and let us exalt his Name together. Magnifie him we should for spirituall mercies, and for temporall, for gene∣rall, and for particular, for former and for present favours; all these, yea, all our Parliament mercies would require the volumes of a Thuanus or Baronius, rather then this peece of a Sermon to set them forth. But I hope you have pennes im∣ployed about that subject all this while: I hope you have ap∣pointed some Committee to audite the Debenters of the Lord of your hosts, aswell as of the souldiers. And let me have leave to tell you here (in a seasonable parenthesis) that such Records are acts of Justice, for Gratitude is a branch of the Law of nature: They are acts of Religion, for herein wee honour God, as in my Text, and then he hath b bound himselfe to honour us: They are acts of prudence and policy, for they doe knit a knot upon the mercie received that it ravels not out againe; and in that knot they have a chooke by which they catch in future mercies. Tamerlaine asked of Bajazet, when he had taken him prisoner, in battell, whether or no he ever had been thankfull to God for making him an Emperour?Page  23He answered freely, he never thought upon that matter in all his life. Tamerlaine replyeth, And why should God make you, a man that hath but one eye, to be King of the Turkes? and me, a man lame in one leg, King of the Tattars, above all other men? No mervaile if thou, being so unthankfull, hast lost so great a Battell. Thankfulnesse is the way to bring in more: and therefore, though I cannot lanch out, into this Sea of all our mercies, yet I would, I must fish in the river of this dayes salvation. May it please you to lend mee your hearts but for halfe an houre, I shall endeavour to warm them and returne them backe to you againe, when I have given you some speciall peculiar Observations upon the mercies and vi∣ctories of this dayes praise, and have set up a triumphant pillar, though but of bricke, like that ascribed to Noahs sonnes, to tell posterity what the Lord hath done for your soules.

* 1. Consider the number, the multitude, of this dayes victo∣ries. They are the fairest and greatest cluster of mercies, (so farre as I can finde or remember) that ever the Lord gave you at once. A cluster like that at Eschol, which the Spirit of God thus recordeth; aAnd they came to the brook of Eschol, and cut downe from thence a branch, with one cluster of grapes, and the bare it betweenebtwo upon a staffe; and they brought of the Pomegranats and of the figs. This was a good earnest of their neernesse unto Canaan, and of the goodnesse of that land. Why may not our Cluster be somewhat a like token un∣to us for good, even of a speedy entrance into an happy set∣tlement? This is the day of the Cluster. I observe that the enemy, in this second warre, hath never (hitherto) brought forth single births, but multitudes, Gads, troopes, of insurre∣ctions, revolts, surprisals, at once. It is observed by Natura∣lists, that your vilest and venomest creatures, doe bring forth most frequently, most numerously; as Rats, Mice, Serpents; whereas the cElephant is some years breeding, and the Royall Lion brings forth but one or two at a birth. Surely, our ene∣mies grow more venomous and more verminous now in their attempts, plots, assaults: For this day wee celebrate delive∣rances from a numerous issue of mischiefes. Your owne Or∣derPage  24for this day, that toucheth but generalls, calleth for a six stringed instrument; it mentioneth a parcell of no lesse then sixe common-places of danger and deliverance. No mervaile if the enemy did never rage more against any one day of Thanks∣giving then against this, I have found the cause of their fury: never were they so manifoldly beaten, in so many places, plots, attempts at once, as this day recordeth. The following obser∣vations will expresse some of the particulars; Meane while, let this first be crowned with that blessing, dBlessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with his benefits, even the God of our salva∣tion. Selah.

[Observation. 2] 2. Observe the universality and spreadings of this dayes dangers and deliverances. The garment of gladnesse reacheth over all the Quarters of the Land. It is not onely for some Northerne, or Southerne, for some Easterne or Westerne mer∣cies, that we now give thankes: but the Robe reacheth from Cocquet-water in Northumberland, in the North, to Horsham in Sussex in the South: there is its latitude. From Dover-Castle and all Kent in the East, to Pensands, the utmost part of Cornwall, in the West: there is its longitude. Besides all the Inland victories, all over the kingdome, with which this Robe is poudred throughout; to wit, in the Counties of Westmer∣land, Northumberland, Bishopwrick, Yorke (both City and County) Nottingham, Lincolne, Rutland, Huntington, Cam∣bridge, Norfolke, and Norwich, Suffolke, Cheshire, Hereford, Worcester, &c. Both North and South Wales, Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Middlesex, and West-ward even unto Cornwall. Crowne this, with that interjection. aOh give thankes unto the Lord, for he is gracious: Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the Enemy, from the East and from the West, from the North and from the South, the oyle of gladnesse hath b run down like the ointment of Aaron, from the head to the hem.

[Observation. 3] 3. Observe we the secrecy, treachery, and slinesse of our dangers, and thence, the greatnesse of our deliverance. In the first war the common enemy, had in him more of the Beare and Lyon, he did roare and bark when he would bite, did pro∣fesse Page  25himselfe an open and armed Enemy: But now, in this se∣cond war, he hath more in him of the Fox and Serpent; he cries, Peace,cpeace, when war is in his heart. Their present hostilities have in them more of the Powder Treason than of Eighty eight; more of a Massacre than a war. They seem to say now in this second Edition, as Sanballat and the rest with him, against Nehe∣miah and his party; dThey shall not know, neither see, till wee come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. How many mines of surprises, revolts, insurrections, had they prepared ready to spring and play in all parts of the Land (yea and of the Sea too) at once? Onely the Lord he did countermine them whilst wee thought not of it. Yea, had not the Lord confounded their language, so that they could not time it exactly as they intended, they might have swallow∣ed us up quicke. But the truth is, they marred their musicke by ill-timing it. It was with them as they say it is in throwing of a Granada, or fire-ball into a Castle, if you throw it too soone, before it is ready to breake, the Enemy within may presently cast it backe upon you, and destroy you; if you hold it too long, it may flye abroad in your hand and destroy your selfe ere you can put it off. There is a certaine nicke of time to be taken, which our God, who hath all times in his hand, did hide from them, that they knew it not, and so their ami∣sery was great upon them. For some of them did arise up and attempt too soone, others of them stayd too long, and so all were broken in peeces with, by, their owne fire-workes, according to that promise, bHis mischiefe shall re∣turne upon his owne head, and his violent dealing shall come downe upon his owne pate. Adde wee also, that very many of these new-old-enemies were Covenanters, or such as had ta∣ken the negative Oath, that is, never more to beare Armes against the Parliament. They were Benhadads, that had been kindly intreated, and sent away with an oath, as he: for cBen∣hadad tooke a Covenant, or some kinde of negative oath: and by this meanes our credulity and their ingagements, had put into them a greater capacity and cruelty to deceive and destroy us. Besides, with those were joyned many a treache∣rous Page  26Doeg, you know hee was a kinde of dSpy-professour, that betrayed and destroyed the Priests of the Lord. Ma∣ny a eZiba, that belyed, betrayed, his owne Master, to get his sequestration. Now if fAbsoloms pretence of a vow at Hebron, gave advantage to his treason, and drew with him many men, in their simplicity: if Benhadads taking that nega∣tive Oath, made him the more apt and able to conquer Israel; then what snares, what rages, what deaths, have we escaped, in being delivered from false and hypocriticall enemies! Let this Observation bee crowned with that acknowledgement, gThey compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thornes.

[Observation. 4] 4. Observe we, that our dangers were fundamentall and radi∣call; I mean, they came most and nearest to our head and heart, to our most noble and vitall parts. The tooth-ake, I confesse, is a very smart and tormenting paine: but yet not accounted mor∣tall. The Gout is very painefull, and may prove dangerous: but yet being in the hand or foot, 'tis more safe than the stone and Collicke, which sit closer and are more perillous. But yet a Malignant fever upon the spirits: a Pestilence or a Gan∣green, that aymes speedily, immediately at the heart; these are accounted present death, and therefore a recovery from those is more highly esteemed. Now, these fits and distempers of our second warre, have all, generally, strucke at the heart and vitalls. Formerly, the warre kept it selfe more abroad, in the West, or North, or North-west parts of the kingdome, for the most: and those parts were reckoned by some, but as the ex∣teriour members of the body. But now, as if the Enemy had learnd of King Benhadad, Not toafight against small nor great, in comparison to the heart and head: As if they had learned of Bishop bGardner, that one Salmons head was worth ma∣ny Herrings; they have lately made all their blowes at our Parliament, and this great City. Our insurrections, tumults, fightings, have been in Kent, Sussex, Essex, Surry, yea in very Middlesex it selfe. Now, the whole head was sicke, and the heart heavy indeed; the foundations were shaken: Our Corps-du-guard was assaulted, death came up into our windowes; when Page  27our Parliament and City, the whole cause and party, have been sayed downe at every stake, and have had so many, neere, and dangerous casts throwne at them. Give me leave to describe those palpitations of Englands heart in a few borrowed words, cWe were troubled on every side; without were fightings, with in were feares, neverthelesse the Lord, who comforteth those that are cast downe, comforted us. Remember and forget not, how death did knocke at your very doore: what, Alarms and figh∣tings, even at both ends of London, East and West? what, dangers, and talkings of surprising the Parliament where they were sitting, of seising upon Lambeth-house, and planting guns upon it, to batter and annoy you in your very house whilest you were sitting? was the Powder-Treason nearer or more fun∣damentall than this? Take your pens (Honourable Senators) take your pens and write it down, first in your own Table books, and then in the Journall of your House, and over the Chaire of your Speaker; aIf it had not bin the Lord who was on our side, now may England say; if it had not bin the Lord, then they had swallowed us up quick whē their wrath was kindled against us, &c.

[Observation. 5] 5. Observe we, that those dangers were new, fresh, and pro∣gressive. This last warre hath been doubly new: new in respect of time, and new in respect of the Scene and places in which it hath broken forth. For time, it is now come on, when the Land had began to rest againe; and when we thought we had been neere the shoare, behold, an Euroclydon driveth us backe into the Ocean. But for its place and Scene, there is much to be observed. Those parts of the Kingdome which had hitherto beene untoucht, the Mayden Counties, as they call them, have been now most of all defloured. Unconquered Kent, which had so long been famous for her almost vestall virginity, hath had a principall share of these troubles. And her sister Essex, is now in the furnace. Besides Surrey, Middlesex, Hertford, Huntington, Suffolke, and Norfolke; if they have not beene scorched by the flame, yet have they had some of the smoake in their eyes, whilest their neighbours houses have been on fire. For mine owne part, I dare not to determine, the causes of their fresh and new visitation. I will not say, that the warre Page  28marcht into those fresh-quarters (1.) because God will have his bcup to goe round, when once hee begins to send it forth, though I read that hath been his usuall method. Or (2.) be∣cause the fire of warre and tumult had not so good fuell of plunder to feed it in other exhausted Counties, as in these; nor so ready Fuellers to intertaine it; other people, like the burnt child, dreading the Coales. Neither (3.) will I say that it was, because these people, like dandled children, did need a rod to teach them experimentall sympathy and compassion. In summe, I will not dare, (as in Gods stead) to give the princi∣pall reason or cause of this their new scourge. But yet it would become the suffering and warned people themselves, to consider of all possible conjectures; and to examine themselves by all interrogatories that can be suggested, what may bee the provoking cause of this new storm upon them. What, did I call it a storm? Nay, rather it is yet but a little mist, or as some few drops before a showre, as that acloud like a mans hand. The Lord make the inhabitants of these yet unplundered Counties, Cities, Townes, Parishes, to bee wise for themselves, that they may not cry for a rod, or grow sick of their owne peace. But let them know and beleeve, that those that drink last of the Cup, are neerest the bottome, and the nearer the bottome, the more soure and deadly; for there lye the Lees and dregs, bThe dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall wring them and drinke them out. O pray this cup from you.

But there was much mercy even in the midst of this new, progressive misery, in that the sword went forward into fresh Quarters, and yet was staid, wherby our deliverance appeareth the more wonderfull, in that the Lord did so soone quench the fire even amidst a multitude of fresh fuell; yea amidst so much ripe corne and dry straw as was about it on every side. Surely, God did but only fire their Beacons hitherto rather than their houses: they were Sentinels rather than Armies that were sent amongst them; even enough, I hope, to alarme, awaken, and instruct them, but not so many as to destroy and devoure them. cWho so is wise and will observe these things, even they shall un∣derstand the loving kindnesse of the Lord.

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[Observation. 6] 6. Observe we, the evident unsprosperousnes and visible disappointments of the Enemy, in all these dangers and deli∣veratices. The whole conflict doth looke as if it had been a pitcht battell, a challenged Duell, or solemne prize playd be∣tween Michael and the Dragon, God and his enemies. Like as when the Romans and the Albanes did aEpitomize their warre, and tryed it in a combate between three Brethren, (the Curiatii) on the one side; and other three Brethren (the Horatii) on the other side: For never did the Enemy, on his part, act more numerously, subtilly, valiantly, by so many, so treacherous, so daring, attempts, as in this bout. Ne∣ver did the Lord appeare more plentifully, more profoundly, more peremptorily, for his poore people. And seeing it is both the duty and delight of a Saint, to tell others what the Lord hath done for his soule. Give me leave to reckon up some of the most visible and mighty passes or thrusts, that have been made between the Lord and his enemies, in these late emi∣nent encounters. We will reduce them to three or foure heads, which are as so many weapons, at which Michael and the Dragon have plaid this Prize.

* 1. How hath the Enemy put to it against us, by revolts? This is a mischievous weapon indeed, it cost bIshbosheth his Cause, Crowne, and life, when Abner in discontent went over to David. And it hath seemed more succesfull to the Enemy then all the rest of his endeavours. But have their re∣volts always prospered? Aske Pembroke castle, that great Cen∣ter and nest of the Revolters; Besides Tenbigh castle in Wales. Aske those Forces of the Bishoprick and thereabouts, that were apostatizing to Langdale, but come short at Cocquet water, where 'twixt five and six hundred horse were taken. And beleeve it, Our God is a righteous Lord (Tam in salo, quam in solo) aswell upon the Seas as on the dry Land.cBy terrible things in righteousnesse wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation, who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afarre off upon the sea. Therefore feare not Sea enemies.

* 2. The Enemy hath tryed it at surprises too; This is also Page  30a very dangerous weapon, as appeareth by the counsell of Achitophel the Oracle, dI will come upon him when he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid, and all the people that are with him shall flee, and I will smite the King onely. But hath not the Lord worsted them at this weapon also? Aske Denbigh castle in Wales, where the treacherous Enemy com∣bined with a party of prisoners and souldiers within, had en∣tred, was in part possest, and yet wonderfully discovered, re∣pulsed, vanquished. Aske the Citie of Yorke, where the day was come, the Enemy hovering and ready to enter, but disap∣pointed; of Chester, where the neck was neere the block, yet scaped the blow: of Norwich (formerly) where they strucke, but the blow fell short, nay fell back upon themselves: of Nottingham castle, in which some of the surprisers were sur∣prised and imprisoned. Aske that conspiracy in the Counties of Worcester, Hereford and others adjacents there was a whole nest full of eggs of treason, which were blowne upon and dasht so earely, that one could hardly tell what birds were in them, whether Owles or Eagles. Surely that discovery and disap∣pointment deserveth to have its Pillar of remembrance e∣rected upon the banks of Severne, with the names of the active instruments engraven upon it. Nay aske finally, that their must succesfull surprise of Pomfrect, hath it grown gray in suc∣cesses? did not their foot also slide in due time at Willoughby field, where their spoyling Band was broken, taken, scattered? This must bee closed up with that of David,aThey imagined a mischievous device, which they were not able to performe.

* 3. They have sought with the desperate weapon of mani∣fold Insurrections and Commotions. But were they Conque∣rours at this? I might here appeal to that Paire of Clergy, neer Stamford (but that one of them falling headlong, is burst asunder in the midst) I mean that Jolly paire, that imitated Pope Iulius the second, that cast Peters Keyes into Tiber, and betooke himselfe to Pauls sword. I might aske, concerning them, how many houres that yong Commotion did smoake, and prosper? O most vigilant Commanders and Colonels, that scarcely slept in all the time of their command! AnotherPage  31Insurrection I must instance in. It was in the uttermost part of the utmost part of England westward, neere the Mount, in Cornwall, 'twas Dangerous I assure you, though suddenly and gallantly supprest and quenched in the Sea, forsome of the principall firebrands themselves, were so desperate, that scorning mercy, they joyned hand in hand and violently ran themselves into the Ocean, where they perished in the waters.

* 4. There was yet one terrible weapon more, at which our Enemies would needs fight it out with our God, and that was open, pitcht battels, and fixed Garrisons (to that strength were they grown in some places) was not Willoughby field a set battell? were not Pembroke and Maydstone, Garrisons? Besides that Scene of the Barons warres, neere Kingstone, and its catastrophe at St Neots. Here the hot and hardy taking in of Maydstone would not be left out, because it was the ver∣ticall and Axeltree (in probability) of all those after victories, and was one of the many lives which God had given to this Parliament. Thus every where, and in every attempt, may you write these new, second, Enemies, aConijah-like, child∣lesse, men that do not prosper in their dayes and wayes. But there are two branches out of this last root: I will gather the fruit of them, and I have done with it.

* 1. A word to the Adverse party. Sirs, will you not yet see the hand of God stretched out against you from heaven, in all this second warre? Will you not see a sword, like that in Bala∣ams way, meeting you at every turne? what? Crost, disap∣pointed, broken, in every plot, battell, attempt? Neither Revolts, nor Surprizes, nor Insurrections, nor Commotions succeed with any of you, in any place, at any time? What? will you neither heare the Lords word, nor feel his worke? How often shall that text be beaten into pour flesh, bNo wea∣pon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that riseth up in judgement, thou shalt condemne; This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord? O remember, how Pha∣raohs servants did give him good counsell in time, if he would have hearkned, cKnowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed? So I, to you; know yee not yet that Poore England, the com∣mon Page  32Mother of us all, is almost ruined? Nay, that many of your own companions, are already cut off? But you will despise that counsell? so did Pharaoh, till at last, himselfe, and all his Militia, were forced to beleeve, confesse, and yet perish in the bottome of the Sea.aAnd it came to passe that in the morning watch, the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians, through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians. Hath not the Lord appeared for his servants, and against you, with open face, in the morning of this your se∣cond war? Hath he not troubled all your hosts, and taken off their Charret wheels that they drave them heavily? Surely, you must all subscribe to this, that the Lord hath unwheeled all your late projects and attempts. The Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians. But then it was too late; they might confesse, to the honour of the Lords justice, but could not thereby help themselves. The Lord give you all to see in the evening, in the Eleventh houre, of this your day, the things that concerne your peace.

* 2. Howsoever, be incouraged by this fresh and cleare expe∣rience, O all ye friends of God and his cause, and learne from these last and greatest appearings of God for you, to see, and say, that btheir rock is not as our rock, our enemies themselves be∣ing Judges. I dare callenge them all, to name that one attempt, in which they have been succesfull, in this their second offen∣sive war: Or if they have seemed at first to prosper in any thing, hath it not been only so far as might lift them up for the greater fall? But as for you, O friends, I charge all your hearts, to answer me seriously, did you ever see so much of God at once? Such a visible hand from heaven, with his Banner, and Motto in it, like that of the first Christian c Emperours (in hoc vinces:) what should the Lord doe more? How would you have him to expresse himselfe more plainely, unlesse by some audible voyce from heaven? Nay, but that is also vouch∣safed you, hearken to it; dThe Lord is with you, whilst ye are with him. It was one of Gods first solemne Messages to you in the beginning of your Fastings, and hath been often incul∣cated Page  33upon those dayes. What God will doe with us at last, in this great cause, I know not: perhaps he may make us as great monuments of his Justice in the end, as he hath made us wonders of his Mercy in the beginning: (yet let me interline this comfort, he doth not use to cast off a coming-people;) but if we should perish in the conclusion, yet we must say and con∣fesse, that hitherto he hath been, and yet he is, awonderfull in counsell, excellent in working for us.

[Ob.] Ob. But how can that be, seeing we were never so unworthy, unwilling, unfit for mercy, as at this time? never so profane, divided, bitter, against God and one another?

[Sol.] Ans. All this is confessed, and a great deal more, if any wil ad it: but therefore know, that we must not thanke our selves, but our enemies, for these successes; not our owne goodnesse, but their wickednesse is the cause of all our late victories. Though we are not ripe for Mercy, yet they are ripe for judgment, though God be not more ingaged for us then formerly, yet (sure I am,) he is more ingaged against them. He was before ingaged against them as he was bKing of Nations, and they fought for tyranny against our just and lawfull liberties. But now as cthe King of Saints, he will fight against them for treacherie, hypocrisie, and forsworne Covenant-breaking. In short, the Lord is now many wayes ingaged against them. (1.) As enemies against Reformation and civill liberties. (2.) As ungratefull to those that have spared them. (3.) As deceitfull and treacherous against Oathes, Articles, and Covenants. (4.) As bitter Formalists against the power of godlinesse. There is a comfortable Text, in this particular, in the book of Iob;dThe innocent shall stirre up himselfe against the hypo∣crite, the righteous also shall hold on his way, and hee that hath cleane hands shall be stronger and stronger. Marke the words, Doth the Lord command or promise, that the innocent shall stir up himselfe against the hypocrite? And will not God stirre up himselfe against them? Yea, beleeve it, he is more ingaged a∣gainst an hypocrite, then against the open profane person. (1.) Because such an one is profane, and somewhat more, he is as wicked within as the other, and yet pretends to godlinesse Page  34without. (2.) Because he doth cause the way of God to be evill spoken of, which is a pitch of wickednesse, of which the open profane person is uncapable: therefore the Lord doth, will, must stirre up himselfe against him above all others. He ad∣deth, And the righteous shall hold on his way, that is, both his way of piety, and of prosperity, but the hypocrite must needs hobble, lame, and tire, both in his holinesse and happi∣nesse; for both are as a amorning cloud and an early dew that passeth away. Once more, he that hath cleane hands shall bee stronger and stronger; then what shall become of him that hath foule hands, whether by flesh, earth, or bloud? Surely, he must needs grow weaker and weaker. Feare not therefore the faces of such men (Honourable Senators) feare them not. He hath said it, and you may adventure your lives upon it. Were I to choose mine owne enemy, I would, above all other, choose to fight against an ungratefull hypocrite, because both God, and all reasonable men, must needs abhor him. It is a famous example and sentence that we finde recorded in Eze∣kiell. Zedekiah the King of Judah had his condition, changed, from a private man to a Prince, and with it, his name changed from Mattaniah to Zedekiah. Hereupon he sweareth fidelity to that King of Babylon which so advanced him; but upon advantage, basely brake his Oath and faith with him, betaking himselfe to the King of Egypt for assistance. For this, God fals upon him, takes the Babylonians part against him, and puts these interrogatories. b[Shall be prosper? shall he escape that doth such things? Or shall he breake the Covenant and be deli∣vered? As I live, saith the Lord God, in the place where the King dwelleth that made him King, whose Oath he despised, and whose Covenant he brake, even with him, in the midst of Babylon, he shall die, neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty Army, and great company, make for him in the warre, by casting up mounts and building forts, to cut off many persons, sith he despised the Oath, by breaking the Covenant (when lo, he had given his hand) and hath done all these things; he shall not escape. Reade tho∣row the following verses, to the end of that Chapter, we doe all know, how truly and sadly this was fulfilled upon him, for it Page  35is at least twice thus recorded in Scripture. Jerusalem, * that whole Kingdome was lost;

Zedekiah taken, his sons slaine before his eyes, then his eyes put out, himselfe bound with fetters of brasse, and carried to Babylon, where he dyed.
Nay, one example more. The Lord will take the part, even of a Turke, against a perfidious Christian. To this purpose, remember and forget not, so long as you have to doe with this kinde of ene∣my, (the treacherous and perfideous Covenant-breaker) for∣get not the famous battell of Varna.* It was fought betweene Amurath sixth King of the Turks, and Vladislaus King of Po∣land and Hungary. These two after much war between them, at last concluded a peace for tenne yeares, confirmed it so∣lemnly, by taking their mutuall Oathes: the Christian upon the Evangelists, the Turke upon his Alcharon. This done, Amurath securely withdrawes his Forces out of Europe, and leaveth his Countries there ungarded. Upon this advantage, and some others, King Vladislaus, by the perswasions of Iulian the Cardinall, diverse Christian Princes, and many Prelates (pretending that it would bee for the good of Religion and the Christian cause) is induced to breake the peace and his Oath (of which Iulian absolveth him) hee taketh up armes and invadeth the Turks dominions: where at first he seems to pro∣sper, and carry all before him; till at last his Army meetes the Turkes (who by this, had made head against him) in the pitched battell of Varna: where the victory, almost all the day, in∣clineth to the Christians, insomuch as Amurath himselfe was a∣bout to flee, till a common Souldier laid hand upon his bridle, and stayed him. The fight is again renewed, and the Christians againe have the better; till Amurath now almost despairing, espied the picture of the Crucifix in the displayed Ensignes of the Christians, and then, plucking out the writing that contai∣ned their last League and peace, out of his bosome, and hol∣ding it up in his hand, with his eyes cast up to heaven, he said;
Behold, thou crucified Christ, [Note.] this is the League the Christi∣ans, in thy Name, made with me, which they have, without any cause, violated. Now if thou be a God, as they say thou art, and as we dreame, revenge the wrong now done Page  36unto thy Name and me, and shew thy power upon thy per∣jurious people, who in their deeds deny thee their God.
Immediately the battell began to turne for the Turks against the Christians, and that, first of all, in that part where Iulian the Cardinall did command: And without delay the Turkes breake all the Christians forces in peeces; King Vladislaus is slaine upon the place, Iulian, mortally wounded, dyes in his flight; besides divers great Prelates and Commanders, with many thousands of common men. Remember it again; God will take part with an Amurath, with an appealing Turk; a∣gainst a perfidious Vladislaus, though a Christian. Let us keep our Covenant in our bosome, and remember to shew and pleade it in like time and case. This was the sixth Observa∣tion.

[Observation. 7] 7. And now to this halfe dozen of observable mercies, Be∣hold, the Lord hath given you in a kind of cast-over; a seventh observable, which I must call, a meeting-mercy: For I beleeve you shall finde, that the Articles of Pembrooke Castle, and your Order for this Thanksgiving, doe both beare the same date and day, even the twelfth of this instant. The Psalmist saith of his prayers,*I said I will confesse my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sinne. So was it in your praises, you said that you would give thankes unto the Lord for his mercies received, and he gave you another great favour the same day. Let it be called a meeting-mercy, for that reason: As also because the Spirit of God seemes to give it that very name in the Scripture; *Thou [meetest] him that rejoyceth and worketh righteousnesse, those that remember thee in thy wayes. You were about to rejoyce in the Lord, and to remember his way of mercy, and, behold, he met you in your rejoycing. One such a meeting-mercy, such an after-cast of meer favour, is to be esteemed as much as a whole bar∣gaine. It is like fruit upon a graffe, the first yeare of its in∣graffing: For your Thanksgiving did beare the same day that it was set. Let it therefore be your care and endeavour to meet the Lord often in this way, that you may as often be met by him.

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* The last lesson must be a short, but strong incouragement. Now will you? can you? dare you to distrust the Lord another time? will you warpe and waver from, or in, his way againe here∣after? I give you leave to do it, if you can finde a better Ma∣ster, if you can meet with any other God that acan deliver you after this sort. But if there be none such to be found, then btake heed, lest there be in any of you hereafter, an evill heart of unbeliefe, in departing from this living God. Let the heads of these Leviathans be as cmeat to you in the wildernesse; For I beleeve we have a long way of wildernesse yet to goe; but feed upon these past experiences, in all your new and future Marches. Let this double breakfast strengthen and inable you ( dElijah-like) for the great journeys which you have yet to go. Perhaps they are not of forty dayes onely, (as was his) but for many more weekes or moneths; when you are to travell through briers and thornes, before your worke, or your selves, may arrive at the mount of God: Wherefore egird up the loynes of your [mind:] All saints have or should have but one minde, or heart. Be sober and hope unto the end, or trust perfectly: It is a fword that I cannot mention without a note upon it; Trust God to the end; to the end of meanes, as gshee that at Gods command gave a Cake out of her last handfull and little oyle: and was she a loser by it? As those three worthies at Babylon, when they said, hOur God whom wee serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace: but the hard question was, whether he would doe it? Yes, he will de∣liver them from the evill, or from the extremity of the evill, they beleeve; Hee will deliver us out of [thy hand] O King, i. e. He will so preserve us, that thou shalt not have thy will upon us. But how were they sure of that? What if he should not have vouchsafed that unto them neither? But if not be it knowne unto thee O KING, that we will not serve thy Gods, nor worship the golden Image which thou hast set up. As he a replyed to that Messenger I feare nothing but sinne.

So much for the former halfe of the text, concerning the praise of thanksgiving.

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* I want time and spirits to speake to the latter part as I would, concerning [Ordering the way aright.] This clause standeth here in the middest, between the God-glorifying du∣ty of praise, and the men-blessing mercy of salvation; because it is the top-stone of praises, and the corner-stone of deliverance; To him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I shew the salvation of God. Whence wee might fetch a double Lesson.

1. That a right ordering of the way, is the perfection of Thanksgiving. And,

2. That it is the best step to a compleat salvation. But to put both into one, Thus.

[Doct.] Right Ordering of the way is the top-stone of all duty, and the corner-stone of all deliverance. We have heard, that Thanks∣giving is the crowne of duty; now Right ordering the way, or conversation, is the pearle of that crowne, and the very glo∣ry of that honour. It is somewhat to praise with the bmouth, by speaking praises; It is more to praise with the cheart by meditating Thanksgivings: but it is most of all to praise in the dlife, by ordering the conversation aright, that we should [bee] to the praise of his glory.

Applica. Would you then praise the Lord indeed? Would you certainely and fully see the salvation of God? Then for the Lords sake,* as you would honour him; for your owne sake, as you would save your selves and the kingdome; doe but order the way aright, and then I dare promise you that he shall be glorified by you, and yee shall be saved by him.

Quest. Order the way aright? What is that?

Answ. Let it be what it will, what it can, though never so costly, never so painefull, never so hazardous, it is worth all the charge, labour and perill, that you can undergo. There∣fore resolve upon it it at all adventures.

Quest. But what is it then?

Answ. Take it in short; [Right ordering] doth containe these two things, as I finde in Scripture.

1. A right setting, methodizing, framing, or casting of things into their proper order, shape and platforme. A put∣ting of things into due place, and so it is applyed to the or∣deringPage  39of battels.aWho shall order [Heb. binde, or tye,] the battell? Hee answered, Thou. It is applyed to the ordering of a cause.bI would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. It is applyed to the ordering of the things of God. Thus Aaron and his sonnes are appointed to order theclampe, and to order thedburnt offering. Thus eMo∣ses, the Magistrate, is commanded to set in order the Taber∣nacle with his appurtenances, and doth it. Thus David,fHezekiah, Ezra, Nehemiah, ordered severall affaires abut the house of the Lord; tis a gright-setting.

2. It doth containe an establishing, fixing, or setling of things in that right frame and order. As, hPonder the pathes of thy feet, and let all thy wayes be established, or, all thy wayes shall bee ordered aright. And elsewhere, these two are put to∣gether, iBeholding your order and stedfastnesse. And thus, a right ordering, is not onely a putting of things into a right frame, but a fixing of them there: a right setting and a sure settling. Would you but doe this, or doe your uttermost towards this, and then you might be said to order the way a∣right.

Quest. The way? What way?

Answ. There are many necessary Cause wayes now to be set and settled, for want of which we wander and plunge our selves every where. Take some short hints. The wayes that you are to order, are of two sorts.

* I. More particularly, respecting your selves. And here again are two branches.

1. Labour to order the wayes of your persons and families a∣right: else you are like to doe little good or service towards the publike. The Heathen could say, none but a agood man could make a good Citizen. Remember Iacobs method, when he was whipt home to pay his vow, in building the Lord an House at Bethel: he first falleth to purging his owne house. bAnd God said unto Jacob, Arise, and goe up to Bethel, and dwell there, and make there an Altar unto God, that appeared unto thee, when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Marke how he begins; Then Jacob said unto his houshold, and all that Page  40were with him, Put away the strange gods that are amongst you, and be cleane, and change your garments, and let us arise and goe up to Bethel, &c. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their eares, and Jacob hid them under the Oke which was by Sichem. Remember Moses his danger, for neglecting this me∣thod; when hee was to bring Israel out of the house of bon∣dage, he must have no uncircumcised thing remaine in his owne house: cAnd it came to passe by the way in the Inne, the Lord met him, and sought to kill him; then Zipporah tooke a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her sonne, and cast it at his feet, so he let him goe. I know the words are read by some in ano∣ther sense, but you may safely and profitably gather that les∣son from them, To begin Reformation at home.

2. Order your owne way aright in reference to the publike. I meane, labour to walke and act, not by dsuccesses and parties, but by rules and principles. How many publike in∣struments among us are like vessells upon the Thames, that do rise and fall, goe out and in, according to the ebbings and flowings of the River? O this hath been our great sinne and misery! Men have been generally like a herd of cattle in a ship at Sea, when the storme doth roll the ship to this side, the brutish herd run all over to the other side, thinking thereby to avoyde the tosse; but their weight soone brings backe the Vessell, and then they flee over to the old side again, and so the ship is overset, and all are drowned at last. Let us main∣taine our ground: keep close to our stations; and stand up∣right in our places. A man in a skirmish, gets a bullet as soone by stooping, as by standing upright: yea, and perhaps by his crouching, that bullet takes him in the head, which else would have hit him but in the arme or shoulder.aHee that walketh up∣rightly, walketh surely, and the Lord will be hisbbuckler.

* II. Concerning right ordering the publike wayes; they are divers. But let me tell you, ye have cast your way, and your worke generally, very well, and rightly already, ye have your frames and Platforms well drawn forth, (1.) In our so∣lemne League and Covenant; an holy, just, and good Covenant Page  41it is in it selfe, and so we took it; how ever wicked men doe turne every stone to abase it. Beleeve it, that Covenant shall breake those that designe to breake it; and if any shall endea∣vour to make it as an old Almanacke, they will finde it full of red letters to them. Let us therefore shew our selves reall Co∣venanters without racking or lopping. (2.) The constant tenour of your Declarations. Oh, would you but frequently reade them over! you know to whom it was said; I beseech Your Majesty to reade over your booke. May it please you, to get all those your solemne promises and Declarations, to God and man, at least the principall of them, such as that of both Kingdoms, &c. to be bound up together in one book, and make that book, your Vade mecum, your pocket companion, where ever you go. Surely, this might be one effectuall meanes to order the way aright.

* To binde up all. There are foure publike high-wayes that should be ordered aright.

* 1. The way of Religion. Till you set, and settle that, neither God, nor good men, will be your thorow friends. Let that Arke no longer dwell in Tents, without dores; neither let it be lodged within dores, in the bed of Procrustes. The Ser∣vice-book it selfe was first intended for Crutches: they ruined themselves, and it, that at last, made it a paire of Stoopes.

* 2. The way of justice to Delinquents. Set and settle that, so far at least, as to stop the mouthes of that party, which say, yee cannot try them, because yee doe not. There is also a way of justice to your friends, that are sunke for the cause of God, upon your command, and promise of support.

* 3. The way of Defence. Set and settle that, for the for the safe∣gard of the throats of all the godly and well affected through the Land, lest the Enemy regaine all his lost battels by one nights massacre, as Caesar lost all his victories in one houre, in the Senate house, and our * British Ancestours lost all by the Saxons skeynes or knives, which they had long kept and gotten from them by their swords.

* 4. The way of Mercy. Set and settle that, for your poore, helplesse, undone friends, whether undone in estates, bodies Page  42or friends. Be mercifull to the poore broken families, and owners of families, of which there are so very many now in the Land, that have spent the last handfull of meale in the bar∣rell, and oyle in the Cruse, at Gods command and yours, in that publike cause. We Ministers were instrumentall in putting them onwards upon those disbursements, I pray give us now leave, to speake a word, though not for their present repay∣ment, yet for present subsistence. Be mercifull to poore bro∣ken bones: There are many such pieces of maimed men, men walking like trees abroad in the Land, that want necessary food to sustaine those remainders of their bodies that are left, though here about the City, blessed be God, and blessed be your care, they are generally provided for. Be mercifull to poore broken, beheaded, and (as I may say) unbowelled fami∣lies; Oh, how many, many, Widowes and Orphans are there, which know not whose to call themselves, but Gods and yours? The husband is dead, the father is slaine in the Kingdomes ser∣vice, and the poore uncovered family hath bno helper. Yea, and many of these, which have most need, are the most silent: For the Lords sake, let your bowels within you roll towards them. Think of some way to cseeke them out very diligently, till you finde them. And the Lord grant unto you, that you may find mercy of the Lord in that day.

I have but a few words more to adde. Make it your busines (Honourable Senators) to follow God fully in this great Cause, at this needfull time, and remember that the vessell which you doe steer, doth carry in her more then the estates, liberties, lives of three Kingdomes. For the eyes and expectations of all the Christian world are towards you, the Protestants ho∣ping, the Papists fearing your successe; all the precious godly honest party in this and the other two Nations have adventu∣red their whole estates, lives, posterities upon you; yea, their Religion and Reformation with you. With you must we and ours swim or sink. Tis not now in your power to leave us where you found us, or to land us where we did imbarque; No, no, we must thorow, or sinke in the middest; be better or worse then ever. Ye are set up for the finall fall, or totall Page  43rising of godlinesse, property, liberties in England; and ac∣cording to your closure, so shall wee say, welcome, or fare∣well, for ever, to happy or unhappy Parliaments in this Land. If you by Gods blessing shall faithfully and couragiously ca∣ry us thorough this storme and voyage, (which I doubt not if ye stand fast to God and your friends) how shall all the Saints on earth, all the Angels in Heaven, and all the children un∣borne blesse your persons and memories? but if thorough wickednesse or weaknesse, you, or any amongst you shall be∣tray or destroy this glorious cause, (which God forbid) surely it had been better for you and us, that we had never beene borne: the sinne, the scandall, the ruine, would bee unpardo∣nable, unanswerable, intolerable. The name of Religion would be abhord in England; and the name of English hissed∣at over all the world. There are many grounds of hopes and encouragement for you; remember the good old fervent prayers and martyrdomes which our godly Ancestors have layd in for this time, ever since the dawning of our Reformation: Consider the volleys of cryes, the bottles, rivers, of teares that have been powred out for you and your cause by all the Saints on earth since your sitting, remember the wonders from hea∣ven that your eyes have seen. You may, you may, you shall, save your selves, and us, and all, if you will. Oh, why will ye dye? Then stand fast in the name of the Lord, to the great in∣terest of godlinesse, and to that holy and honest party, that have cast their lives, estates, posterities upon you; they are a precious though despised people, if you save them, you save your selves, if any of you should forsake them, (especially now that the ship is neere to a wrack, or an Anchor) such apostats may thereby ruine themselves, but yet that poore deare faith∣full remnant have a God, who hath promised by a president that aWhen Father and Mother (King and Parliament) doe forsake; himselfe will take them up. And therefore let all complementall formall Orpahs kisse, weep, and part, with that good old Cause and party, as they will, when it shall from a Naomi (pleasant) be turned by misery, to a Marah (bitter:) yet must every one of us still doe, and say, unto it, as Ruth to Page  44Naomi,bIntreate me not to leave thee or to returne from fol∣lowing thee, after thee; for whither thou goest, I will goe, and where thou lodgest I will lodge, thy people shall be my peo∣ple, and thy God: my God andcwhen I am dead bury me (O my friends) in the Sepulcher wherein it is buried.

Cum mihi supremos Lachesis perneverit annos,
Non alitèr cineres mando jacere meos.
FINIS.