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A SERMON Preſsing to, and Directing in, that Great Duty of Praiſing God.

Preached to the PARLIAMENT At Weſtminster, Octob: 8. 1656.

BEING The day of their Solemn Thankſgiving to God for that late Succeſſe given to ſome part of the Fleet of this Common-wealth againſt the Spaniſh Fleet in its return from the Weſt Indies.

By JOSEPH CARYL, Miniſter of the Goſpel at Magnus near London Bridge.

LONDON: Printed by M. Simmons, and are to be ſould by John Hancock at the firſt Shop in Popes-head-Alley next to Cornhill, 1657.

Thurſday, Octob: 9. 1656.

ORdered, That the thanks of this Houſe be given to Mr. Caryll for his great pains taken ye­ſterday in his Sermon preached be­fore this Houſe in Margarets Weſt­minſter, being a day ſet apart for publick Thankſgiving, and that he be deſired to Print his Sermon, and that he have the like priviledge of Printing as hath been allowed to o­thers in like Caſes.

And that the Lord Broghill be deſired to give him the thanks of this houſe accordingly.

Hen: Scobell Clerk of the Parliament.
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TO THE PARLIAMENT OF England, Scotland, & Ireland, AND The Dominions thereunto belonging.

THeſe are times of Action, as well as of Conſulation; and this hath been your happineſſe, that while you have been conſulting how to ſettle and aſſure (as an earthly felicity may be called ſure) peace and Government at home, God hath proſpered thoſe with a very ſignall ſucceſſe, who are acting in a war abroad. And though ſucceſſe be no in­fallible argument of a good cauſe, yet a good cauſe receives a very comfortable encouragement by ſucceſſe. And as a neglect to goe on in doing good is not excuſable, even while we find that the good we are doing, doth not goe on; So when it doth, our neglect is altogether inexcuſable. When God ſeems to ſtand ſtill or (as the Scripture ſome­times ſaith) to be a ſleep, 'tis our duty to a­wake and work, how much more when he ap­pears eminently awake and at work for us? 'Tis not good to out-run providence, and 'tis as bad to loyter and lagge behind it. The Arme of the Lord (as the Prophet long ſince prayd hard it might, Iſa: 51. 9. ) hath lately awakened for us (The occaſion of this Sermon is his wit­neſſe) it hath awakened and put on ſtrength as in the ancient dayes, in the generations of old, it hath cut Rahab and wonded the Dragon in the Sea; It hath broken (ſome of) the heads of Leviathan in peices, and given him to be meat to his people inhabiting the wilderneſſe (Pſal. 74. 14.) And is not all this bottome enough for me to cry, Awake, Awake O arme of man, O arme of the Parliament put on ſtrength and be cloathed with a holy care & courage for God and for his people, though as yet but in a wildernes condition, wherein we are much entan­gled with bryars and thornes, and ſometimes en­gaged in unbeaten paths? many thouſands will bear this witneſſe with me, that it is. And my hearts deſire and prayer to God for you is, That your Counſels both in reference to this par­ticular mercy for which you have ſo ſolemnly gi­ven thanks to God, as alſo in reference to all thoſe important affairs of theſe Nations that are in your hands, may bear this witneſſe alſo. Elſe I muſt take the boldnes (with much ſubmiſſion) to ſay, That your own Thankſgivings will give witneſſe againſt you.

'Tis an act of high favour from God to bestow a mercy, and 'tis an act of much grace and faith­fulneſſe in man to improve it. 'Tis eaſier periſh­ing for want of help from God, then for want of a heart for God. 'Tis better to be in ſuch ſtreights, that we know not what to doe, then to make ſuch little uſe of our enlargements, as not to doe what we know. And what an Obligation is there upon theſe three Nations, and upon your Selves, eſpeci­ally, who are the repreſentative of them, to be more then active, even very zealous for the pub­lick good, ſeing we daily find Sons of Beliall riſing up, who are active to the utmoſt against it? Tis honorable to imitate their induſtry, whoſe un­dertakings we abhor, and that their zeal in a bad matter ſhould provoke ours in a good. As there­fore the Nations have reaſon to pay you many thanks for your unwearied labours, and the iſſues of them to this day, So the Lord give you to en­creaſe more and more A good man may be wea­ry in well doing, but he ſhall never be weary of it. And it ſhould mightyly uphold our ſpirits not to be (as the Apoſtle admoniſheth the Galatians Chap: 6. 9. ) weary in well doing: becauſe (as it follows there) we ſhall reap if we faint not. That you may ſow without fainting, and reap with rejoycing, is the vote of

Your moſt humble Servant, in this work of the Lord, JOSEPH CARYL.

A SERMON Preſſing to, and Directing in, that great Duty OF Praiſing GOD.

PSALM 111. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Praiſe ye the Lord, I will praiſe the Lord with my whole heart in the aſſembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

The works of the Lord are great, ſought out of all them that have pleaſure therein.

His work is honourable and glorious, and his righteouſneſſe endureth for ever.

He hath made his wonderfull works to be remembred, the Lord is gracious and full of compaſſion.

He hath given meat unto them that fear him, he will ever be mindfull of his Covenant.

THIS Pſalm is King Davids order for a day of Thankſgiving. In which we may conſider four things.

Firſt, the matter of the duty.

Secondly, the encouragement to the duty.

Thirdly, the manner and qualifications of the duty.

Fourthly, the grounds of the duty.


The matter of the duty is laid down in the firſt words of the firſt verſe, Hallelujah, praiſe ye the Lord.

And leſt any ſhould think that their chiefe Magi­ſtrate invited them to a duty which he had no mind to himſelfe, he adds

Secondly, his own leading example in the next words for their encouragement, I will praiſe the Lord. As if he had ſaid, I will not call you to this duty, and with­draw from it my ſelfe; my purpoſe is to bear a part and joyn with you in it. 'Tis a beautifull and bleſſed thing, to ſee thoſe who give the rule, to be the example of it; Praiſe ye the Lord (ſaith David to the people) I will praiſe the Lord.

As he gives both the rule, and the example of the duty, ſo

Thirdly, the manner of it, in a twofold qualifi­cation, and that alſo from his own example in the ſame verſe. Firſt, He would praiſe the Lord, not formally, not becauſe it was a cuſtome to doe ſo when freſh mercies came in; But becauſe he loved to doe ſo, for (ſaith he) I will praiſe the Lord with my whole heart, that is, I will praiſe him heartily and moſt affectionately: Theres the firſt poynt in the manner. Secondly, he tells us that he would doe it very openly, he would not be aſhamed to praiſe God, he would not doe it in a corner; Though he would doe it with all his heart, yet he would not doe it onely in his heart, but (ſaith he) I will praiſe him in the aſſembly of the upright. Nor is that all, he would doe it yet more openly, I will praiſe him in the congregation, I will praiſe him not onely in the aſſembly of the upright, or in a meeting of ſome choice & ſelect ones, but among good and bad, even in the mixed multitude. As if he had ſaid, As the Lord hath3 owned me and my cauſe, and my people, in the eye of all the world, by his ſignall mercies, ſo alſo will I own the Lord with ſignall praiſes.

Fourthly, we have here the grounds of the duty. And theſe are twofold, or of two ſorts.

Firſt, his experience of what the Lord had already done for him, and his people.

Secondly, his aſſurance of what the Lord was to them, and would further be to and do for them.

The firſt ſort of grounds, upon which David gave order for a day of Thanſgiving, or the experience of what God had done, is ſet down under four diſtinct adjuncts, or attributes of his works.

1. The Lord had not done ſmall matters for them. The works of the Lord are great, at the ſecond verſe.

2. The Lord had not done ſome obſcure thing for them. His work is honourable and glorious, at the third verſe.

3. The Lord had not done ſome ordinary and common work for them. His workes are wonderfull, at the fourth verſe.

4. The Lord had not done ſome unprofitable wonders for them, his work was beneficiall and ad­vantagious. He hath given meat to them that fear him, at the fifth verſe.

Theſe are the four characters of the Lords works He had done great, and honorable, and wonderfull, & beneficial things for them; and were not all theſe enough to cal up their hearts to the high, to the high­eſt praiſes of God? All theſe make the firſt ground of Davids order for Thankſgiving.

The ſecond ground of his order ariſeth from the aſſurance of what God was to them, and would fur­ther4 be to and do for them. This is ſet forrh in three particulars.

1. Praiſe the Lord, for we have this aſſurance of him, he is righteous and will be righteous, His righ­teouſneſs endureth for ever, (v. 3.)

2. Praiſe the Lord, for we have this aſſurance of him, He is gracious and full of compaſſion, (v. 4.)

3. Praiſe the Lord, for we have this aſſurance of him, He is faithfull and will be faithfull alwayes. He will ever be mindfull of his Covenant, (v. 5:)

I am fallen upon a very rich mine of holy truths, here's that which is precious, and here's plenty of it, greater plenty of precious and golden Oare, then I ſhall be able to mint and ſtamp out into particulars at this time; and therefore I purpoſe to propoſe but one generall point of duty from this large text, and draw all the particulars of it together in a way of application for our better improvement of the oc­caſion of this great and Holy Solemnity.

The point is plainly this:

It is our duty to pay the Lord ſpeciall praiſes, when he is pleaſed to beſtow upon us ſpeciall and remarkable mercies; or, ſpeciall praiſes are due to the Lord for ſpeciall mercies.

Here is ſpeciall and ſpeciall, I expreſſe it ſo, becauſe to praiſe God is every days duty; Thus the Apoſtle directs (Heb. 13. 15 ) By him therefore let us offer the Sacri­fice of praiſe to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But though praiſe be an e­very days work, yet there is a day of ſpecialty in praſing God. For as it is our duty to pray continually, to continue in prayer (Col. 4. 2. ) yea, to pray without cea­ſing5 (1 Theſ. 5. 17. ) yet there are ſome ſpeciall ſeaſons for prayer, or peculiar praying times. Call upon me in the day of trouble (Pſal. 50. 15.) And we have the ſame rule (James 5. 13.) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Tis both our duty and our intereſt to pray though we are not afflicted; but the duty of prayer is moſt incumbent upon us in affliction. Trouble drives us to God; and God only can drive away our troubles. Again, it is our duty to repent continually, yet there are ſome ſpeciall ſeaſons for repentance, as when we have fallen into great ſinor when we are under the fear of great calamities (Iſa 22. 12.) And in that day (a day of common danger) did the Lord God oHoſts call to weeping and mourning, and to baldneſs, and to girding with ſack cloath, all which are the moſt ſig­nificant acts of repentance and ſoul humilition be­fore the Lord. So (I ſay) though to give thanks be every days duty, and that upon a threefold conſide­ration. Firſt, becauſe every day we receive new mer­cies, and have our former mercies renewed. Second­ly, becauſe every mercy is a witneſſe of the goodneſſe of God to us, and of his power put out for us. Third­ly, becauſe every the leaſt mercy is more then we have either deſerved at Gods hand, or could get alone with our own hand; and therefore we are bound by this threefold cord, to praiſe the Lord every day, yet upon ſome dayes we are bound more to praiſe him, and that upon a fourfold conſideration.

Firſt, Some ſpeciall mercies ſhew forth more of God then our every days mercies doe; more of the power, more of the wiſdome, more of the love, more of the mercy and goodneſſe of God is ſtampt and im­preſt upon them, then upon many other mercies. 6Now the more of God appears in any mercy, the more and the lowder it cals us to this duty of praiſing him. The leaſt appearance of God is praiſe worthy; His great appearances are infinitely more then wor­thy of our greateſt praiſes.

Secondly, We have more urgent need of ſome mercys then of others; Some are onely acceſſary mercies, others are extreamly neceſſary; Some con­cerne only the well being or bettering of our eſtate, o­thers the very being of it; Some are only ornamental mercies, others are ſubſtantiall; ſome reſpect only the honour and flouriſhing condition of our affaires, o­thers the very life and ſubſiſtence of them; they are ſuch as we know not how to ſpare, nor what to doe without them: ſuch ſpeciall mercies urge us una­voydably to ſpeciall praiſes.

Thirdly, For ſome mercies the Lord hath been more then ordinarily ſought to in prayer, and with a greater exerciſe of faith and patience, then ordinary, waited upon for the receiving of them. They that know the Lord and have acquaintance with him, would not have any mercy without aſking, they pray for every morſell of bread they eat, they love to ſee all come in a way of prayer, through the promiſe. But there are ſome mercies for which there hath been abundance of ſtriving in our own hearts, and much ſtriving and tugging with God that we might attain them: we for ſome mercies have wreſtled all night, like Jacob, before we could prevaile, and be Iſraels, Princes with God. Now when ſuch a mercy comes in, as hath been thus ſpecially prayed for, and of which we may ſay, when we receive it, (as Hanna ſaid to Eli about her ſon Samuel) for this child I prayed, and7 the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him (1 Sam. 1. 27.) So for this ſucceſſe I praid, for this mercy I faſted, and mourned, I wept and made ſup­plication before the Lord, and he hath given me my petition which I aſked of him, when a mercy hath been thus gained by prayer, it ought and will be worne and enjoyed with praiſe and thankfulneſſe. Every anſwer or returne of prayer, calls for a return of praiſes, much more when it is an anſwer to many prayers, to much prayer. Then, if ever, praiſe waits for God in Zion, (Pſal. 76. 3. ) when in Zion, that is, in anſwer to the ſupplications made in Zion, the Lord breakth the arrows of the bow, the ſheild, the ſword, and the battel. I grant, thoſe mercies which have ſtood us in little pains, in few prayers, which have come in for little aſking, yea without aſking, oblidge us to praiſe God moſt, becauſe of his readineſſe to hear and ſpee­dineſſe in granting, when God anſwers before we call, how great a call have we to praiſe him after ſuch an anſwer? yet thoſe mercies which have been moſt coſtly to us, as to the duty of prayer, are moſt ſenſibly conſtrayning upon us as to the duty of praiſe. And although, when through the free grace of God we find our prayers even prevented by our mercies, the heart cannot but be ſtirred up mightily to the duty of praiſe, yet when, through our own ſloath we have neglected to fetch in our mercies by prayer, we uſu­ally find our hearts little preſſed unto praiſe.

Fourthly, Becauſe when we pray much and wait long for eminent mercies, we always implicitely and ſometimes explicitely vow praiſes to the Lord, and ſo bind our ſelves by vow to praiſe him. And hence we find often in Scripture that praiſing God is ex­preſſed8 by paying vows to God, (Pſal. 50. 14.) Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vowes unto the moſt high, that is, offer that thankſgiving unto God, which thou haſtvowed to pay unto him. And as we have it in that Pſalm laid down in a propoſition, ſo in another Pſalm we have it laid down in practice, I will offer to the the ſacrifice of thanksgiving, and will〈◊〉upon the name of the Lord, I will pay my vowes unto the Lord, now in the preſence of all his people, (Pſal. 116. 17, 18.) Our praiſes are debts, and Solomon tells us it is very dangerous being in this debt, When thou vweſt a vow unto God, defer not to pay it, for he hath no pleaſure in fools, pay that which thou haſt vowed (Eccl. 5. 4.) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another (ſaith the Apoſtle, Rom. 13. 8. ) that is, Owe no man any thing to his prejudice, or in his wrong. And though we can never come out of Gods debt, and therefore muſt be alwayes paying, yet when he finds us to our utmoſt paying, he looks upon us as if wowed him nothing. Mercy received brings us in debt, and praiſe returned brings us (in Gods account) out of debt; The Lord (through mercy) takes praiſe, as payment for his mercies. We have reaſon to be very carefull in making this payment, not one­ly becauſe we owe ſo much, but becauſe we can pay no more.

So then, if ſpeciall mercies have the cleareſt mani­feſtations of God in them, if we have an urgent ne­ceſſity to receive them, if God hath been more ſought that we might obtaine them, if the vowes of God are upon us to praiſe him, when ever they ſhould be ob­tained? who can be unconvinced, That ſpeciall praiſes are due, and to be paid, for ſpeciall received9 mercies. And if ſo,

Then conſider,

Firſt, How ſinfull it is to with hold and impriſon the praiſes of God in a day of eminent and ſpeciall mercy. There are two things which we ſhould take heed we doe not impriſon; Firſt the Truths of God, Secondly the Praiſes of God. And I may freely ſay, It is as dangerous to impriſon the Praiſes of God, as it is to impriſon the Truths of God. To impriſon or hold the Praiſes of God in unthankfulneſſe, as it is to impri­ſon or hold the Truths of God in unrighteouſneſſe. There are many that hold the Truths of God in unrigh­teouſneſſe; O take heed, take heed, that no ſuch priſoners be found among you! For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven againſt thoſe that doe ſo (Rom. 1. 18.) Now as it is dangerous to impriſon the truths of God, ſo it is as dangerous to impriſon the mercies and the praiſes of God. To hold them in unthank­fulneſſe hath not onely this danger in it, that God will give us no more mercies, ſeing we uſe thoſe he hath given us ſo hardly and unworthily, but it hath this danger in it alſo, that it may provoke the Lord to poure out wrath upon us. Eliphaz chargeth Job with impriſoning prayer, Thou caſteſt off fear and re­ſtraineſt prayer before God (Chap. 15. 4.) Thats a ſad frame of heart, if when the ſpirit moves and urgeth to pray, and there are workings of conſcience which provoke to prayer (even a naturall conſcience may doe it) then to reſtrain prayer notes a very ill habit of the ſoul; for ſuch give witneſſe againſt themſelves that they have caſt off the fear of the Lord. Now as to reſtrain prayer, ſo to reſtrain praiſe, is an argument that men have caſt off the fear of the Lord. And10 when once tis ſo with man, his heart is at worſt and his ſin at full. Therefore the Apoſtle Paul (2 Tim. 3. 2) gives this as one of the blackeſt caracters of thoſe pe­rilous times, of which he there prophecyeth, Men ſhall be lovers of their own ſelves, &c. unthankefull, un­holy, without naturall affection. They who have no ſpirituall affections to performe duty to God, are often puniſhed with a want of naturall affection to­wards one another. We have cauſe to fear that this Prophecy is fulfilled upon this Generation; that for unthankfulneſſe many are given up, not onely to un­holineſſe towards God, but unnaturalneſſe towards men. O how are the mercies of God ſwallowed up in unthankfulneſſe! yea not onely ſwallowed up in unthankfulneſſe, but murthered in our murmurings and diſcontents; to what a height then is the ſinful­neſſe of this age like to encreaſe? ſeing they who with hold from God the glory of his mercies are in a readineſſe to with hold obedience to his commands, yea, in that, they with hold obedience to his greateſt and moſt comprehenſive commands. How can it be but the unthankfull muſt needs be unholy, ſeing un­thankfulneſs is the ſum of all unholineſs? A heathen could ſay, Call a man unthankfull, and you have called him all that's bad or nought; or (as we ſpeak) you have Call'd him all to nought.

Let the unthankfull remember, That the inani­mate creatures will riſe up in judgement againſt them; for they praiſe God continually after their manner, or as well as they can. The Sun Moon and stars, fire, and haile, ſnow, and vapour, ſtormy winds, fulfilling his word, mountains, and all hills, fruitfull trees and Cedars, beaſts and all cattle, creeping things, and11 flying fowle, Dragons, and all deeps, are commanded to praiſe the Lord, and they doe it; And are not all men, Kings of the earth, and all people, Princes, and all the Judges of the earth, both young men and maidens, old men and children, more, commanded to praiſe the Lord? and are not Saints commanded and bound to praiſe the Lord more then all other men? And are not thoſe Saints that have pray'd for ſuch a mercy, and who have perſonally taſted the ſweetneſſe of ſuch a mercy, and whoſe intereſt is much advanced and ſtrengthned by the mercy obtained, have not they more cauſe to Praiſe God for it then all other Saints? And is not this the caſe of many here preſent, and of many more abſent in the ſeverall parts of theſe Do­minions?

Therefore (to cloſe this poynt) Let not us with hold praiſe from God, either in whole or in part. Ananias and Saphira were ſtrucken dead for with hol­ding part of the price; they brought ſomething of their vow, and laid it down at the Apoſtles feet, but not all, and dyed for't. If we keep a part of our Prai­ſes to our ſelves, or give part of our Praiſes to inſtru­ments, we deale with God like Ananias and Saphira, who brought their gift indeed, but kept part of the price to themſelves, whereas it was all dedicated to God; we may quickly run into a paralell ſin in this day and duty of thankſgiving, and when the whole was dedicated to God, keep a part to our ſelves. It is not enough for us to ſay, Praiſed be God, but we muſt ſay (as Pſal. 115. 1.) Not unto us O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory: we muſt deny our own Praiſe perfectly, or elſe all our Praiſes of God are im­perfect; we muſt doubly deny, twice deny all our own12 Praiſes, elſe we doe not ſo much as give God one ſin­gle Praiſe, that is, not one ſingle-hearted Praiſe.

And that we may come forth freely in our Praiſes of the Lord, and ſing Halalujahs to his name alone; give me leave to ſet the ſtamp or character of thoſe works of God which are inſtanced in this text, upon thoſe works of God, which are the occaſion and mat­ter of our Praiſe this day, and to ſhew how all thoſe grounds which that ſweet ſinger of Iſrael laid as the foundation of his own and his peoples Praiſes, meet and center in ours.

Firſt, (ſaith David) The works of the Lord are great. And ſurely, we are not called this day to Praiſe the Lord for ſome ſmall or little work; indeed, all the works of the Lord are great, great as done by him, for he leaves the impreſſion of his own greatneſſe upon all that he doth: as every ſin, the leaſt ſin is a great ſin, becauſe committed againſt the great God; ſo every mercy is a great mercy, as it comes forth from the hand of the great God; but I ſpeak not of the greatneſſe of the works of God here in this notion, but as they are great both in themſelves and compa­ratively with others. And as for the work of this day we may affirme the greatneſſe of it in a threefold conſideration.

1. It is great materially, or in the ſubſtance of it: A great force of the enemy was beaten and broken, a great treaſure was taken from the enemy, is not this a great work? The Prophets prediction well may be our report concerning the work of this day, and he ſpake it in the ſtile of a Navall victory (Iſa. 33. 23.) For having ſaid of Sion (v. 21.) there The glorious Lord will be to us a place of broad rivers and ſtreams,13 wherein ſhall goe no Gally with oares, neither ſhall gallant Ship paſſe thereby (that is, to annoy or hurt us) He preſently ſubjoyns the reaſon (v. 22.) For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our law giver, the Lord is our King he will ſave us; This ſalvation of Sion is the deſtructi­on of Babylon (as is ſhewed in the next verſe by an ele­gant Apoſtrophe to the enemy) Thy tacklings are looſed, they could not well ſtrengthen their maſt, they could not ſpread the ſaile; then is the prey of a great ſpoile devi­ded, the lame take the prey: And when he ſaith, The lame take the prey, he doth not mean that it ſhall be ta­ken by a company of creeples, but by ſome ſmaller power. And may we not ſay, That now the prey of a great ſpoile is devided? yea may we not ſay, The lame have taken the prey? Was it not taken by ſo ſmall a part of the forces ſent upon that deſigne, as may not improperly be called a lame or weak limb, in compariſon of the whole body? and did not the ene­my look upon our ſix Frigats which engaged them, as a company of Fiſher-boats? Therefore great is the work of the Lord in the matter of it.

2. It is yet greater in the circumſtances of it. The greatneſſe of actions whether civill or morall, good or evill, ariſeth much, if not chiefly from circumſtan­tialls; from the way and manner, from the time and ſeaſon in which they are done. And was not this done, firſt, in a time when our need was great? Was it not done, ſecondly, in a time when our faith was little? Was it not done, thirdly, in a time when the ſpirits of ſome were high in wrath, and the ſpirits of others higher in ſcorn at this undertaking? And as this work was great both in the ſubſtance and concomitant circumſtances of it: ſo


3. It may prove yet greater in the conſequences of it: Who knows what effects this work may have, or how far it may reach? this may prove a long handed mercy. The Apoſtle James ſpeaks admiringly, Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth! the fire is not much at preſent but it may do much, ſo much that poſſibly we and others may have cauſe to admire the greatneſſe of that matter which ſhall be kindled with this little fire; Therefore let us go forth in praiſes, for as in Davids, ſo in our experience, The work of the Lord is Great.

The ſecond attribute of the work of the Lord is laid down in the third verſe, His work is honourable and glorious, or (as the Originall text hath it) His work is honour and glory. When abſtracts are put in Scripture for concreetes, the ſence is encreaſed; To ſay, the work of the Lord is honour and glory, is more then to ſay it is honourable and glorious; much is ſaid in this, but more in that: Tis good for us when God declares his mercy, but 'tis better when he declares his glory; We ſhould be thankfull for favour, but our thanks ſhould exceed for honour. The work of God before us is honourable and glorious, tis honour and glory.

1. To God himſelfe; He hath (in the eye of his people) made himſelfe a glorious name, as the Pro­phet ſaith, he did of old by the conduct of his people Iſrael through the wilderneſſe (Iſa. 63. 14.)

2. 'Tis honourable and glorious, honour and glory to his ſervants, even to all who had a hand or a heart in it, a good wiſh or a prayer going with it. As the with-drawings of God, as to the ſucceſs of any undertaking, leave thoſe who are engaged in it under15 clouds of diſreſpect, yea ſometimes of contempt a­mong men; So his appearances with them are a re­demption of their eſteem, and a reparation of their honour among men. For though we ought not to eſteem actions by their events, but by their righteouſ­neſſe, yet ſucceſſe renders them honourable in their eyes (& ſuch are the moſt of men) who judge actions more by their events, then by the rules and grounds of them. The Lord hath been tender of us, and re­membred uin this; Making this action which had (in the eyes of impartiall and diſcerning men) an in­trinſecall honour and glory, as to the righteouſneſſe and juſtneſſe of it, extrinſecally honourable and glo­rious, as to the ſucceſſe and proſperity of it: There­fore let me ſay with David (Pſal. 66. 2.) O make his praiſe glorious.

Thirdly, The text ſaith, His works are wonderfull. This attribute alſo is very applicable, and but due to the preſent work of God, which is not onely a mercy, but a marveile, not onely a favour but a won­der. I doe not ſay it is a miracle but a marveile it is, and there are wonders in it.

1. This hath ſome what of a marvele and a won­der in it; that it ſhould be done at the enemies own doore, when they thought themſelves beyond all hazzard, and as it were in harbour, when they were ready to ſay, and probably ſaid in effect with Agag, ſurely the bitterneſſe of death is paſt, yea the fear of danger, yet then they were enſnared and taken, even in the face of their creddit, their friends and country men looking on, but not able to relieve them.

2. This work had ſomewhat of a wonder in it, be­cauſe done by a ſmall appearance of humane power,16 becauſe done (as was toucht before) by the lame or by little ſtrength. That which is done without the concurrence of any viſible means, is a miracle; And that which is done with the concurrence of little vi­ſible means, is a marveile. It was not ſurely any plot of man, but a plot of providence it ſeems to be, That the greateſt part of our force was in that nick of time with-drawn upon neceſſary occaſions far off. If a greater power had been there, the wonder had been the leſſe. For though the greateſt earthly ſtrength is as weak to any work as the leaſt, and as unable to effect it unleſſe God be with them (and ſo they who are ſpirituall will confeſſe, when they have moſt of an arme of fleſh with them) yet then the conviction comes moſt clearly upon us, that God is much in any work when we ſee little of man in it. And that was the reaſon why the Lord took off all Gideons Army, except three hundred, in his undertaking againſt the Midianites: when Gideon had gathered a gallant ar­my of thirty thouſand, the Lord ſaid unto him (Judg. 7. 2.) The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Iſrael vaunt himſelfe againſt me, ſaying, mine own hand hath ſaved me. We may hear ſuch words from God ſpoken aloud, though not formally, yet vertually, in this diſpenſation. And therefore let us ſay, as it is often ſaid (Pſal. 107.) O praiſe the Lord, for his goodneſſe, and for his wonderfull works, which he doth for the chil­dren of men, eſpecially for that which he hath lately done for us upon the great waters, there many ſaw the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep (v. 23, 24.)

Fourthly, The text ſaith, The works of the Lord17 are beneficiall and profitable, that's expreſſed (v. 5.) He hath given meat to them that fear him. We may put this character alſo upon the preſent work of the Lord; we have reaſon to come forth in his praiſes and ſay, what the hand of God hath wrought, is not only an honor to us, but a benefit to us: there is not onely credit in it but there is meat in it, yea (as we ſpeak proverbially of ſuch things as are very com­fortable and beneficiall) There is meat drink and cloath in it. He hath given meat to them that fear him: We fight ſometimes and get nothing but blowes; we fight many times and get nothing but bare victo­ry and honor by it; but there is meat in ſome victo­ries, and there is much in this.

The Originall word which we tranſlate meat, is extreamly ſutable to the preſent occaſion; for it doth not ſignifie our uſuall food, ſuch as is gotten by ordinary labour, and pains-taking, by dreſſing grounds, and keeping cattle: but it ſigni­fies ſuch meat as is gotten by force and fighting, by battell with and beating of an enemy; ſuch meat as is gotten by the ſword and ſpear, not by the plough and ſpade; ſuch meat as is gotten by blood, not by ſweat. And therefore we put in the Margin of our larger Bibles, He hath given prey to them that fear him, the prey of war. So the word is uſed in the Prophe­ſie of dying Jacob, concerning the Tribe of Judah (Gen. 49. 9.) Judah is a Lyons whelp, from the prey my ſon thou art gone up; that is, having taken the prey and ſpoile of the enemy in war, thou art gone up tri­umphantly; Judah was the Kingly Tribe, who as he had the power of making war, ſo he was under this promiſe, that he ſhould be victorious in his wars,18 and returne laden with the ſpoyles of the enemy. Judah was a Lyons whelp, and the Lord doth ſome­times feed thoſe that fear him, as Lyons feed them­ſelves and their whelps; he feeds them with prey, and they tear their meat out of the bowels and bellies of thoſe adverſaries, who before did tear and make a prey of them. The Lord in this preſent work hath given us prey for meat, he hath given Thouſands, I will not take upon me to ſay, how many thouſands, of the enemies treaſure into our hands by this victory; But ſure I am, he hath given meat to feed the buſi­neſſe, which was in ſome danger of ſtarving, and which many wiſht might ſtarve. 'Tis a mercy when God gives us meat any way, and 'tis a remarkable mercy when he gives us meat as he hath given us this meat, out of an enemies ſtore, or meat of an enemies own dreſſing & preparing. In this work of providence that minatory ſentence is verified and made good, which Job ſpake, or Prophecyed rather, againſt any unrighteous oppreſſour, whether he be an oppreſſor of private perſons and families, or of States and Na­tions, in the 27 Chapter of that Book (v. 16, 17.) Though he heap up ſilver as the duſt, and prepare rayment as the clay, he may prepare it, but the juſt ſhall put it on, and the innocent ſhall divide the Silver. As if God had ſaid by Job, I know oppreſſors never think their duſt­heap big enough, and therefore they care not whom they oppreſſe, ſo they may but heap up Silver for themſelves as the duſt, yea they heap up ſilver as the duſt that they may be ſtrong to oppreſſe; well let them goe on and proſper, let them prepare it, but I will prepare heires for them which they never thought of, unleſſe how to oppreſſe and vex them,19 The innocent ſhall divide the Silver. And that word divide hath a ſound of war in it; ſeing after victories obtained, ſpoiles are divided.

I know, ſome are ready to take offence at this day of thankſgiving, becauſe it is a thankſgiving for prey. But let ſuch remember: Firſt, 'tis prey taken from an enemy. Secondly, 'tis prey taken from an enemy who hath ſwallowed up Nations greater then his own, without offence given, or recompence made, as a prey. And thirdly, we have enough in this text to anſwer ſuch objectors; here's King Davids order for a day of thankſgiving becauſe God had given meat or prey to his people, as he hath given to us this day: We have as much (I might ſay more) reaſon to give thanks to God for meat gotten by a lawfull war, as for meat gotten by our lawfull labour. Therefore let us eate it, or enjoy the benifit of it, and praiſe the Lord. If while this meat is in our mouths, the praiſes of God be in our mouths too, certainly, if they be in our hearts and lives too, we ſhall not need to fear (though we cannot be too much caution'd about it) that (as it befell the Iſraelites who fell a luſting in the wilderneſſe) the wrath of God ſhould fall upon us, and ſlay the fatteſt of us, and ſmite downe the choſen men of our Iſrael (Pſal. 78. 30, 31.) Indeed if we have either aſked this meat for our luſts, or ha­ving gotten it beſtow it upon our luſts, we may ex­pect a ſeverer vengeance then theirs.

Thus, I have touched upon, and made a briefe application of the firſt ground of praiſing God, laid down in this context, by a paralell of the works of the Lord, for which David gave order for publique praiſes, with the works of the Lord for which we are20 called to praiſe him this day: They are Great and Ho­norable, they are Wounderfull and Beneficiall, He hath given meat or prey to them that fear him.

The ſecond generall Ground why David ordered a day of praiſe, was that aſſurance and holy confi­dence which he had of what God was and would further be unto them and doe for them. And indeed, what God himſelfe is to us, is far more valuable then all that he hath done for us: And in all our outward en­joyments we ſhould be drawn off from the mercies of God to the God of our mercies, from all the works of God, to God who hath wrought them; So did David here, though he ſpake and thought highly of what God had done for them, yet his heart was eſpe­cially carryed out to and taken up with the thoughts of God.

There are four particulars in which David gives inſtance for the exalting of the name of God in prai­ſes, as to what he is in himſelfe, and as to what he will be unto his people.

Firſt, The Lord is righteous and juſt; his righteouſneſſe (or juſtice) endureth for ever (v. 3.) He is not righ­teous in this or that act onely, at this or that time onely, but he is righteous in all and always. Some men will doe righteouſly now and then, here and there, to this or that perſon; yet they ſtep awry at other times, or in other caſes: and ſo do juſtice, not with reſpect to truth, but with reſpect to perſons. But the Lord doth juſtice at all times, in all caſes, without reſpect of perſons; and therefore the Lords righteouſneſſe indureth for ever. We are ſaved by, and live upon, the grace and mercy of God: yet we cannot but, and are much bound to, acknowledge21 his righteouſneſſe and juſtice. They in the Revelation (Chap. 15. 2, 3.) Who had gotten the victory over the Beaſt, and over his image, and over the number of his name, were ſeen by John, ſtanding on the Sea of glaſſe, having the harps of God, and ſinging the ſong of Moſes the ſervant of God, and the ſong of the Lamb, ſaying, Creat and marvellous are thy works O Lord God almighty, juſt and true are thy wayes thou King of ſaints. The ways of Chriſt are juſt towards his enemies, as he hath threatned; and they are true towards his own peo­ple, as he hath promiſed. He is the Amn (giving being and accompliſhment to his own word) The faithfull and true witneſſe (Rev. 3. 14. ) bearing his teſtimony to what he hath ſaid, by that which he doth, ſo declaring his own righteouſneſſe.

And may not we now turne Davids Propheſie (Pſal. 65. 5.) By terrible things in righteouſneſs thou wilt anſwer us O God, (may we not I ſay turne that Pro­phecy) into a hiſtory and ſay, By terrible things in righ­teouſneſſe thou haſt anſwered us O God of our ſalvation, who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the ſea. O how much are we engaged to praiſe the Lord for his righteouſneſſe, who hath avouched our right, and declared himſelfe againſt thoſe who would not repaire our wrongs? Thus did the ſame Holy David (Pſal. 9. 2, 3, 4.) I will be glad and rejoyce in thee, I will ſing praiſe to thy name, O thou moſt high; when mine enemies are turned back they ſhall fall and periſh at thy preſence, for thou haſt maintained my right and my cauſe, thou ſitteſt in the Throne judging right.

And as we are to praiſe the Lord becauſe he hath been righteous, or for the righteouſneſſe which he22 hath done: ſo we are to praiſe him upon this aſſu­rance, that he will ever doe that which is right; For as he is the Father of Lights, ſo alſo the judge of rights, with whom there is no variableneſſe nor ſhadow of turning, His righteouſneſſe endureth for ever, Praiſe ye the Lord.

The ſecond part of this ſecond ground of praiſe, is the graciouſneſſe of God, The Lord is gracious and full of compaſſion (v. 4.) That proper name, John, derived from the Hebrew word here tranſlated gracious, was given in ſpeciall by the Angells appointment to the Baptiſt (Luke 1. 13. ) either becauſe he was ſent to preach the grace of God in Chriſt, ſhortly after to be exhibited in the fleſh; or becauſe he was beſtowed upon his parents in their old age, as a teſtimony of the favour and grace of God to them. And thus, all that God doth for his people, flows from the foun­tain of his free grace, and from his compaſſions which faile not: The Lord deſerveth higheſt praiſes from man, becauſe what he doth for man he doth it gratis, or undeſerved. As the Lord is righteous in all he doth againſt wicked men, ſo he is gracious in all that he doth for the holyeſt of the ſons of men: yea, he ſaveth them graciouſly, not onely without their de­ſervings, but though they are very ill deſerving. Thus he proclaimes and entitles himſelfe (Exod. 34. 6.) The Lord, The Lord, mercifull and gracious, long ſuffering, and aboundant in goodneſſe and truth, keeping mercy for thouſands, forgiving iniquity tranſgreſſion and ſin. Here are a multitude of royall titles reckoned up in this proclamation, yet the ſum and ſubſtance of all may be collected and reſolved into this one, The Lord is gracious. Surely, then we ought to proclaime his23 praiſe in this title alſo.

The adverb of this word is often uſed in Scripture, to note injuries received without cauſe or deſert. Thus David complains to God of his enemies (Pſal. 35. 7.) Without cauſe have they hid for me their net in a pt, which without cauſe they have digged for my ſoule. And againe (Pſal. 7. 4.) I have delivered him that without cauſe is mine enemy, or, that is mine enemy gratis; I never gave any cauſe in this world why Saul (whom he calls at the head of the Pſalm Cuſh the Benjamite) ſhould be mine enemy, yet he is ſo. And when men or nations make war upon us wrongfully, or having been offered peace and friendſhip upon juſt and righ­teous tearms, ſhall refuſe, and ſo become our enemies (gratis) without any juſt cauſe given them; then uſually the Lord doth ariſe to deſtroy enemies and help his own people (gratis) though they have gi­ven him no cauſe, but are exceeding unworthy to receive any ſuch help and mark of honour, at his hands: yea though they have provoked him (as the Prophet ſpeaks, Amos 5. 12. ) by their mighty ſins, to ſell them for nought (Pſal. 44. 12. ) and to deliver them up into the hand of their enemies, that they might ſatisfie their luſt upon them.

This I find ſpecially taken notice of in the Order publiſhed for this day of thankſgiving, in theſewords, The eminency of this mercy of God in weakning the common enemy of Religion, and in encouraging and ſtrengthning the hands of his ſervants in a vigorous proſecution of this en­gagement, is much heightned by the freeneſſe of it, being extended to us a froward unbelieving and unthankefull people, who had just cauſe rather to expect from the Lord a renewing of his stroaks, and to be still kept under his re­bukes,24 then that he ſhould returne to us in loving kindneſſe and tender mercy as he hath done in this late diſpen­ſation.

Now ſeing the Lord hath been thus gracious, and favourable to us, let me preſſe it once more, O praiſe him for his graciouſneſſe; That's the pro­per cry of Saints. When the great mountaine becomes a plain before Zerubbabel, then he ſhall bring forth the head ſtone thereof with ſhoutings, and cry, grace grace to it, (Zech. 4. 7. ) that is, The grace or free favour of God hath done it, and, the ſame grace and free favour will maintaine it. And if the Lord ſhall make that Great mountaine, the greateſt mountaine of any ſtate in the Chriſtian world, with which his people in theſe Nations are now contending by war, to become a plaine before our Zerubbabel and before his helpers and aſſiſtants, all the lines of our duty in praiſing him muſt center in this ſhout or cry, grace, grace: And let it be the ſhout and cry of this day, The Lord is gra­cious, The Lord is gracious, in what he hath done. His favour not our force or ſtrength hath obtained this great victory. Yet that's not all, the Lord hath not onely ſaved us graciouſly, but which is added in the text, he hath ſaved us compaſſionately.

He is gracious and full of compaſſion. The word ſig­nifies ſuch kind of affections as parents have when their bowells are ſtirred toward their children, ſeing them in any extremity, or imminent danger, (1 Kings 3. 26. ) when the true mother ſaw her child ready to be divided (according to the award given by Solomon) Her bowells (ſaith the text) yerned upon her ſon. Com­paſſion is an affection which beſides love takes griefe into the compoſition of it: ſuch griefe as is full of25 ſimpathy or fellow feeling of the evill or miſery which lyeth upon the party beloved. Thus when the Lord ſeeth the Powers and Princes of this world ready to divide and devour his children who are dear to him as the apple of his eye, his bowells are ſtirred and his compaſſions are kindled together.

And ſurely the Lord hath been touched and grie­ved with our affliction, ſeing how we were in danger to be divided, yea to be deſtroyed. The Lord ſeems in this providence to ſpeak to us, as he did to Moſes in the buſh. In ſeeing I have ſeen, or I have ſurely ſeen the afflictions of my people, and I know their ſorrows as to this undertaking, and I have helped them in pure com­paſſion? The Lord ſeems to ſay, I have ſurely ſeen the anguiſh of ſome of their ſoules leſt this buiſneſſe ſhould miſcarry, I have ſeen how they have beene burthened as with the difficulty ſo with the coſtlines of this worke, and I have had compaſſion on them. I have ſurely ſeen by en­vy and diſcontents of many at home concerning it, as alſo the pride and ſcorne of more abroad, even ſaying as they of old, what? will they build in a day? conquer nations in a day? ſwallow up the world at once? yea the Lord ſeems to ſay, I have ſurely ſeen, I have heard what ſtrange conſtructions and interpretations have been made of former diſappointments and delayes of ſucceſs in this en­gagement; yea, I have ſurely ſeen how ſome would have rejoyced and triumphed at further with-drawings and diſappointments: And having ſeen all this, my com­paſſions are moved towards them, and I am come forth for their help. O praiſe the Lord, who is full of Com­paſſion; He hath remembred us in our low eſtate, for his mercy endureth for ever.


The third particular in the text, for which we are to praiſe the Lord, is his faithfulneſſe, of which David ſpeaks in the cloſe of the fifth verſe, He will ever be mindfull of his Covenant.

The Covenant of God is the collection or coali­tion of all his promiſes into this one, (which is the center, in which their ſeverall lines meet, and upon which they move) I will be their God and they ſhall be my people. The Covenant of God is our title to God, by that we claime him ours; and if God be ours, all is ours: by that he hath given up himſelfe to us, and takes us up to himſelfe. Wee ſhould praiſe the Lord.

Firſt, For making ſuch a Covenant, (Pſal. 56. 4.) In God I will praiſe his word, that is, the word of his Covenant. There's our Treaſure, That's our magazin.

Secondly, We ſhould praiſe him more for mind­ing of it, He is mindfull of his Covenant, ſaith the text. And that mindfulneſſe of God hath two things in it; Firſt, his remembring the Covenant which he hath made with us: Secondly, his doing or making of it good to us. It is a common ſin among men, that they make Covenants, but doe not mind them; and that's a ſin very chargeable upon this Nation. It is our intereſt as well as our duty, to make and minde our Covenants with God; Not to make a Covenant with him (in ſome caſes) is ſinfull, but not to mind what we have made is more ſinfull. Not to mind Covenant with man is ſinfull, much more not to mind our Covenant with God. Such is the weak­neſſe of ſome men, that though they mind their Co­venants they cannot do them, or make them good; And ſuch is the ſinfulneſſe of many, that they make27 Covenants and never mind them, nor have any mind to make them good; yea ſuch is the wickedneſſe and perverſneſſe, and perfidiouſneſſe of others, that though they mind their Covenant, yet they will not doe it, yea they refuſe to do it, and (which is wicked­neſſe wound up to the hight) chuſe to deale falſly with God in Covenant. Now, as the terrour of the Lord ſhould keep all men from ſuch a hight of wick­edneſſe, ſo the example of the Lord ſhould keep all men from the leaſt and loweſt degree of it. For as the Lord is mindefull of the Covenant which he hath made, ſo he mindeth it to do it, yea his mind­ing or remembring of it, is his doing of it. He can as eaſily keep his Covenant as make it, and as ſoon fulfill his word as give it.

Thirdly, God doth not only make and mind his Covenant, but, he is ever mindfull of it. It never de­parts (as wiſdome counſelleth us her councells ſhould not Prov. 4. 21. ) from his eyes, he keeps it in the midſt of his heart, and tis alwaies as written in the palmes of his hands; he is mindfull of it, not on­ly without a totall Ceſſation, but without ſo much as the leaſt intermiſſion. O let all that are in Covenant with the Lord praiſe the Lord, who will ever be mindfull of his Covenant. Who among other mer­cyes promiſed in his Covenant, hath promiſed to bleſſe them that bleſſe his Covenant people, and to curſe thoſe that curſe them. And thus he hath been pleaſed to mind his Covenant to us in the mercy of this day.

I have now ſet before you thoſe two Generall grounds of praiſe: The experience of what God hath wrought for his people, and the aſſurance of28 what God is to his people; hereby to provoke your ſoules to rejoce in and praiſe the Lord: The work of the Lord is great, his work is honourable and glo­rious, his work is wonderfull and beneficiall; there­fore praiſe him. The Lord himſelfe is righteous, he is gracious and full of compaſſion in all that he hath done for us, he is mindfull and will ever be mind­full of his Covenant to doe it more and more for us, as the matter ſhall require.

Now what remains? but, that as I have paralelld our grounds of keeping this thankſgiving day, with thoſe of David in the text; ſo I ſhould both direct and preſſe you to paralell David by praiſing God in the ſame manner and with the ſame Spirit as he did.

I ſhall draw forth this directive Exhortation into four Concluſions, taken up out of the text and body of this Pſalm, and ſo conclude.

Firſt, Praiſe God knowingly or underſtandingly; The Lord cannot bear blind ſervices and obedience, nor doth he delight in blind praiſes and thankſgi­vings: And as the Lord would have us to under­ſtand what it is to praiſe him, (ſome pretend praiſe to God, who know not what it is to praiſe him) ſo the Lord would have us underſtand what that is, for which we praiſe him; he would have us underſtand our mercies. As when we repent we ſhould ſearch out and labour to know all our ſins, and all the ſin­fulneſſe of them; ſo when we praiſe God, we ſhould ſearch out and labour to know all the mercies of God and the mercifulneſſe of God to us in them. This we have expreſly in the text, at the ſecond verſe, The works of the Lord are great, ſought out of all them that have pleaſure therein. We muſt ſeek them out,29 and find the compaſſe of them, we muſt labour to underſtand and comprehend the height, and depth, and length, and bredth of them, as the Apoſtle ſpeaks concerning the love of God. They are great and their Greatneſſe muſt be ſought out.

But ſome may ſay, If the works of the Lord are ſo great, what need they be ſought: great things are obvious and eaſily ſeen; we need not ſeek out the Sun?

I anſwer, There is a twofold ſeeking: Firſt to find the work; Secondly to find out the work, that is, to find the rarities and beauties, the perfections, and wonders of the work. Thus, though the Sun be a great work of God, creating; yet, I may ſay, there are very few that to this day have ſought out the Sun; that is, who have ſeen the excellency, perfecti­on, and glory of that Candle of Heaven; we have not found the Sun as we ought, though it ſhines eve­ry day to us. Much leſſe have we found out the providentiall works of God; ſome of which ſhine as the Sun in the Heavens, and yet we have not found them out. The preſent work of God is ſo great that every one heares of it, and tis every mans talke and diſcourſe, yet how few have ſtudied to find out the perfections of it? David deſcribes the perſons who do ſo, They are (ſaith he) ſought out of all them that have pleaſure therein. Then, all they that are troubled at them, who look ſowre upon them or envy them, who think a loſſe would ſerve their turns and ends better then this great gaine, and to whom (as the Prophet ſpeaks in another caſe Iſa: 28. 19 ) It is a vexation only to underſtand the report, that is, to un­derſtand that ſuch a thing is reported. Surely theſe30 and ſuch as theſe have no pleaſure in this work of God, and therefore will never ſeek it out. Nor is it every kind of pleaſure which we take in the works of God, that makes us ſeek them out, and ſo praiſe him ſpiritually and underſtandingly for them: They who (as many doe) take onely a carnall or fleſhly pleaſure in them, will ſeek no further then the fleſh or outſide of them, and all their praiſes muſt needs ſymbolize with their ſpirits, and be meerly car­nall.

The true pleaſure which we ſhould take in this or any like work of God, muſt ariſe upon theſe three grounds.

1. As it is a returne of prayer. David in that other Pſalme, where he puts the queſtion to himſelf, What ſhall I render unto the Lord, for all his benifits unto me? (Pſal. 116. 12. ) had ſaid (v. 1, 2.) I Love the Lord be­cauſe he hath heard my voyce & my ſupplications, becauſe he hath enclined his eare unto me. We never take ſo much ſpirituall pleaſure in any of the providentiall works of God, as in thoſe, which (with humble ſubmiſſion to his own good pleaſure) we have wrought him to by prayer.

2. The pleaſure which we ſhould take in the works of God, ought to ariſe from thoſe more emi­nent evidences of the power and goodneſſe or any other manifeſtations of God in them. And indeed, we ſhould take pleaſure in nothing but as ſomewhat of God appears in it. As God is himſelfe the chiefeſt good, ſo the more of God is ſeen in handing our mer­cies to us, the better they are. And therefore we ſhould be more affected with, and take more pleaſure in the appearances of God in our mercies, then with our31 own advantages & advancements by them. We take pleaſure as beaſts onely, if we take pleaſure in what they are for us, and not in what of God is in them. As a believers hope, and truſt, and confidence, is in God alone for what he would have wrought, ſo he hath greater joy, and content, and complacency in God himſelfe then in any of his works.

3. The pleaſure which we ſhould take in the works of God ought to ariſe from their aſpect upon the Prophecies, or as they look toward the fulfilling of Prophecies: And indeed, we may take pleaſure in the ſaddeſt things that are done in the world (when we ſee Nations tumbling and rowling in blood, when we ſee the Towers falling, and the mountains ſhaking, though theſe are diſmall ſights, yet we may take pleaſure in them under this notion) as they are a fulfilling of Prophecies, and a bringing about of the Counſells of God. Now, They that can take pleaſure in this ſpeciall work of providence before us, as it looks toward the fulfilling a Prophe­cy, the powring out of the viall upon the Babylo­niſh power (which ſhall certainly be fulfilled in its ſeaſon, and certainly the ſeaſon of it cannot be far off: Euphrates, the ſtrength of myſticall Babylon muſt be dryed up, and the great undertakings of Nations will at laſt exhauſt that channell. They (I ſay) who from ſuch a contemplation of this work, as it is an anſwer of prayer, as it is a fulfilling of Prophecies, and a clear demonſtration of the pow­er, wiſdome, truth and faithfulneſſe of God in both, have pleaſure in it, theſe) will ſearch it out, and ſo give praiſe to God knowingly and underſtandingly for it.


The ſecond direction which the text holds out to our practice in this duty of Praiſe, is, To Praiſe him cordially, that we have expreſly in the firſt verſe, I will praiſe the Lord with my whole heart. I might ſpend a whole hour about this whole heart, but I onely name it: doe not put God off with words or lip-praiſe this day; let not yours be heartleſſe praiſe, and let it not be done with leſſe then a whole heart; halfe a heart or a divided heart will not ſerve in ſacrifice: if we have not a heart, and a whole heart, in the bu­ſineſſe, it were better our bodies were not at all in it. They who have two hearts or are double hearted in any duty, and they who have no heart or but halfe a heart in it, are an alike abomination to the Lord.

Thirdly, Davids example in the text directs us to praiſe the Lord openly and avowedly, even In the aſſembly of the juſt, and in the congregation (v. 1.) There are two degrees in the openneſſe of Davids praiſe. Firſt he would doe it, In the aſſembly of the upright, or (as ſome tranſlate) In the aſſembly of the Juſt. Juſt or upright men, have two ſorts of aſſemblies, or they aſſemble for two great ends; Firſt, to worſhip and call upon God: Secondly, to adviſe and take coun­ſell one with another. The word here rendred an aſſembly is applicable to both ſorts of aſſemblies.

1. To a company of men met together to conſult what to doe in any difficult caſe, eſpecially of pub­lique concernment, whether for peace or war. And they who meet thus in Councell ſhould be an aſſem­bly of juſt and upright men. None are fit to direct the courſe of Juſtice but they who are Juſt, nor to ſet things right in a Nation but the upright. Every33 thing is in working, as it is in being; And what we find in our ſelves, we are apt to impreſſe upon all we doe or take in hand. The work bears the image and ſuperſcription of the workman. As the vile perſon will ſpeak villany (Iſa. 32. 6.) So the juſt perſon will ſpeak juſtice, and the words of the upright man will be of uprightneſſe.

2. The word is applyable alſo to any meeting or aſſembly of the godly, for they are a ſecret company too; They are ſecret ones, and ſecrets are with them: The ſecret of the Lord is with them that fear him, (Pſal. 25. 14. ) and he will ſhew them his Covenant, or (as the Margin hath it) and his Covenant to make them know it.

Now when David reſolves here to praiſe God in the Aſſembly of the Juſt, we may underſtand him of either Aſſembly; He would praiſe God in the aſſem­bly of his Counſellours: where buiſineſſes are debated and beaten out, There Succeſſes are eſpecially to be acknow­ledged. He would doe it alſo in any aſſembly of gra­cious and upright ſoules. And indeed, Praiſe is comely for the upright, (Pſal. 33. 1.) And 'tis ſo, not onely becauſe they have moſt cauſe to Praiſe God, but becauſe they are moſt fit to doe it, and becauſe 'tis moſt acceptable at their hand to the heart of God. How beautifull and of how ſweet a ſavour are their Praiſes for any mercy, who as they have travel'd for it, ſo they would walk worthy of it. 'Tis the beſt and moſt ſtately repreſentation of heaven on earth, to joyne with ſuch an aſſembly of juſt men praiſing God.

But David would not ſtay there, neither muſt we; his Praiſe was yet more open, I will praiſe him in the aſſembly of the juſt, and in the congregation. Which in34 oppoſition to the former is as if he had ſaid, I will praiſe the Lord before all comers, let all the world come they ſhall be witneſſes of his praiſe, I will praiſe him bare­faced and bold-faced, I care not who hears or who knows it, It it be told in Gath and publiſhed in the ſtreets of Askelon. Such Praiſes we are called to performe this day, we are Praiſing God in the congregation; Publick be­nifits muſt have publick acknowledgements: There ought to be, not onely ſincerity, but ſolemnity, in ſuch a work as this. As they who ſin before all men, ſhould alſo repent before all men: So, they who have been helped and ſaved before all men, ſhould as David profeſſed againe (Pſal. 116. 13, 14.) Take up the cup of ſalvation, and pay their praiſe vowes unto the Lord in the preſence of all his people. Yea, in the pre­ſence of all people, enemies & all, if they are or could be preſent, and let it be told to them (if any will) being abſent, even in Rome and Spaine, that we this day have given thanks to God for giving us this Sea Vi­ctory and thoſe Indian ſpoyles.

Fourthly, Yet with this holy heat and freedome of ſpirit, let your Praiſes this day have a tempera­ment of holy fear, and your rejoycings an allay of ſpirituall trembling: We finde this directing cor­rective in the Pſalm too; For a little beyond the text at the 10 verſe, thus David concludes, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wiſdome, a good understanding have all that doe his commandements, his praiſe endureth for ever. We muſt not be afraid to praiſe God, but we muſt praiſe him with fear, and they who have moſt true courage and holy boldneſſe in praiſing God, praiſe him with the greateſt mixture of this gracious fear. Moſes put this ingredient into his35 Song of triumph for the overthrow of Pharoah and his Hoaſt in the red Sea, Who is like unto thee O Lord among the Gods? who is like unto thee, glorious in holinſs, fearfull in praiſes, (Exod. 15. 11.) Therefore Praiſe him with fear; what fear? with fear,

Firſt, Leſt we ſhould not have praiſed him as we ought; or with this fear, that we have not come up to that holineſſe and ſpiritualneſſe of the duty in which it ought to be performed. We have no reaſon to think we have done this work ſo well, as that all's well, but rather to fear that we have failed much in it. When we are at higheſt in any duty, we are be­low our duty, how much more in this duty of praiſe, which is our higheſt duty. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord, who can ſhew forth all his praiſe? (Pſal. 106. 2.) Had we (as the Apoſtle ſpeaks in another caſe,Cor. 13. 1. ) the tongues of men and Angells, yea the beſt hearts of both, we could not ſhew forth all his Praiſe; what then have we done with our ſtammering tongues and ſtraitned hearts to the Praiſe of God?

Secondly, Praiſe the Lord with this fear, leſt you ſhould forget the benifits which you have praiſed him for. Holy David (Pſal. 103. 2. ) beſpeaks his ſoule thus, Bleſſe the Lord O my ſoule, and forget not all his benifits; that is, forget none at all of them: They that are afraid of forgetting the benifits of God, are moſt likely to remember them. Such fear will write the Praiſe of God upon your hearts, and provoke you to Praiſe him with your lives.

Thirdly, Praiſe the Lord with this fear, that you neither are nor ſhall be able to anſwer his loving kindneſſe, nor returne to him according to the36 mercy now received. The great things which God hath heretofore and now done for us, will undoe us in the end, unleſſe we doe ſomewhat (I ſay not equall but) ſutable to them. Succeſſe of affaires whether at home or abroad is a Talent, yea there may be many talents in one ſucceſſe; And who knows not, that hath read the Goſpel, how dangerous it is to wrap up our talent in a napkin? If once God ſeeth that we are not bettered, and ſtrive not to doe better when he doth us good, he will not onely not doe us good any more but doe us hurt, yea deſtroy us (as he told his ancient people by the mouth of Joſhuah their lea­der and chiefe Magiſtrate (Joſh. 24. 20.) Therefore let this holy fear be ſtrong and ſtirring upon your hearts, leſt you come ſhort of the Praiſe of God, both in the frame of your hearts, and in your performance to him. Be afraid, that you ſhall neither have ſuch ſtrength of faith in God in future ſtreights, nor ſuch faithfulnes to God in any of your enlargements, as the experience of this day calls for: Be afraid that ye ſhall never ſhew forth ſuch a zeale for God as God hath ſhewed for you; for as the Prophet tells us, the zeal of the Lord of hoſts ſhall, ſo we may ſay, the zeale of the Lord of hoſts hath done this great thing for us, and that zeale of God will yet doe greater, if the work of God cool not upon our hands. Fear leſt ye ſhould not know what this mercy calls you to doe, and be more afraid leſt you ſhould not doe what you know. As the correcting rod, ſo the ſupporting staffe of God hath a voyce in it; They are wiſe indeed, who hearing underſtand that voyce, and, underſtan­ding it, do thereafter. Whatever your hand finds to doe for the name of God, and for the proſperity of37 theſe Nations, doe it with all your might. There's much to be done for the promoting of juſtice and righteouſneſſe in the Nation; That our Judges may every where be as at the firſt, and our Counſellours as at the beginning: And that there may be no more pricking bryar nor grieving thorn among our ſelves, as Iſrael was promiſed in reference to thoſe about them (Ezek. 28. 24 ) There's much alſo to be done for the promoting of truth and holineſſe, which (in conſort with juſtice and righteouſneſſe) are at once the beauty and ſtability, the honour and the ſafety of Nations: Let both evill deeds and damnable do­ctrines be witneſſed againſt, let no errour find en­couragement, let no faith-devouring and conſcience­waſting errour appear with open face in our borders, without a rebuke from Magiſtraticall power. God hath been tender of the honour of the Nation abroad, let not the honour of God ſuffer or be ecclipſed at home, through any defect in the exerciſe of that great power wherewith you are entruſted.

That fear of the Lord with which I have been preſſing you to Praiſe the Lord, will ſurely guide you in all your counſels to the doing and accompliſh­ing of all theſe things. For ſo ſaith this Pſalmiſt (v. 10) The ſear of the Lord is the beginning of wiſdome; The word which we render beginning ſignifies alſo the head or top, the perfection and higheſt pinnacle of wiſdome. Indeed the holy fear of the Lord is the beginning and ending, the firſt and laſt, the Alpha and Omega of all true wiſdome; and therefore the Pſalmiſt adds in the cloſe of the ſame verſe, A good understanding have all they that doe his commandement. Underſtanding and doing are two things, yet they38 onely underſtand the commandements of God who doe his commandements; and they onely doe his commandements who fear him. Solomon puts both theſe together, and makes them the ſum of all the duty of man, and therefore, ſurely, the ſum of all the wiſdome of man, (Eccleſ. 12. 13.) Let us hear the con­cluſion of the whole matter, Fear God and keep his com­mandements, for this is the whole duty of man, or this is the whole of man. As if that Preacher-royall had ſaid, You have heard me long, and I have ſpoken many words, I will now eaſe your labour in hearing and mine in ſpeaking, when you have heard and I have ſpoken but two words more, Fear God, and keep his commandements. To fear God, is to honour him in our hearts; To keep the commandements of God, is to honour him in our lives. And is not this whole man? A man without this (though in honour) un­derſtandeth not, but is like the beaſt that periſheth. A man in higheſt honour, and of greateſt underſtan­ding, can not goe beyond this: Therefore, This is all man, in the beſt of men. To this end, as every man was made, ſo every man lives, who knows why he was made, and why he lives. And hence (to return to my text) David had no ſooner ſaid, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wiſdom, a good underſtanding have all they they that doe his commandements, but preſently he con­cludes, His praiſe endureth for ever. There is a two­fold reference of theſe words: Firſt to God, whoſe Praiſes David had been inditing and ſinging all the Pſalm over, His praiſe (eminently) endureth for ever. Secondly to that man who praiſeth God kowingly and with his whole heart, who praiſeth God boldly and with holy fear, this man hath a good underſtanding, and his praiſe endureth for ever.


Right Honourable, You have now kept a day of Praiſe to God; If you ſhall approve your ſelves to God, and to his people, to have kept it according to the counſell and example of his Kingly Prophet, there will be more then a day of praiſe for you, your Praiſe will endure for ever; the children who are yet unborn will praiſe you, and praiſe God for you. And conſider how ſad your account will be, if you who have, now, kept a day of Praiſe ſhould give the Nation any juſt and rall occaſion to diſpraiſe and ſpeak evill of you hereafter; if your name and ho­nour ſhould receive a blot or blemiſh by any thing that you do, or adviſe to be done, after you have thus beautified the name of God with theſe ſolemn Prai­ſes. While your hand is upon the helm of govern­ment, let your eye be to heaven for guidance both as to the way and iſſue of your counſells, that you may have praiſe in the gate, praiſe in the City, and praiſe in the country, that you may have nothing but praiſe in the hearts and by the tongues of all thoſe, whoſe praiſes are worth the having; or that if you miſs praiſe at preſent from men, you may have that praiſe of God at laſt which will indeed endure for ever, Well done good and faithfull ſervants.


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TextA sermon pressing to, and directing in, that great duty of praising God. Preached to the Parliament at Westminster, Octob: 8. 1656. Being the day of their solemn thanksgiving to God for that late successe given to some part of the fleet of this Common-wealth against the Spanish fleet in its return from the West Indies. / By Joseph Caryl, minister of the Gospel at Magnus near London Bridge.
AuthorCaryl, Joseph, 1602-1673..
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Bibliographic informationA sermon pressing to, and directing in, that great duty of praising God. Preached to the Parliament at Westminster, Octob: 8. 1656. Being the day of their solemn thanksgiving to God for that late successe given to some part of the fleet of this Common-wealth against the Spanish fleet in its return from the West Indies. / By Joseph Caryl, minister of the Gospel at Magnus near London Bridge. Caryl, Joseph, 1602-1673., England and Wales. Parliament.. [8], 39, [1] p. Printed by M. Simmons, and are to be sould by John Hancock at the first shop in Popes-head-Alley next to Cornhill,London :1657.. (With a preliminary order to print.) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "Jan 17".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Bible. -- O.T. -- Psalms CXI, 1-5 -- Sermons.
  • Sermons, English -- 17th century.
  • God -- Worship and love -- Early works to 1800.

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Created by converting TCP files to TEI P5 using tcp2tei.xsl, TEI @ Oxford.

Editorial principles

EEBO-TCP is a partnership between the Universities of Michigan and Oxford and the publisher ProQuest to create accurately transcribed and encoded texts based on the image sets published by ProQuest via their Early English Books Online (EEBO) database ( The general aim of EEBO-TCP is to encode one copy (usually the first edition) of every monographic English-language title published between 1473 and 1700 available in EEBO.

EEBO-TCP aimed to produce large quantities of textual data within the usual project restraints of time and funding, and therefore chose to create diplomatic transcriptions (as opposed to critical editions) with light-touch, mainly structural encoding based on the Text Encoding Initiative (

The EEBO-TCP project was divided into two phases. The 25,363 texts created during Phase 1 of the project have been released into the public domain as of 1 January 2015. Anyone can now take and use these texts for their own purposes, but we respectfully request that due credit and attribution is given to their original source.

Users should be aware of the process of creating the TCP texts, and therefore of any assumptions that can be made about the data.

Text selection was based on the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). If an author (or for an anonymous work, the title) appears in NCBEL, then their works are eligible for inclusion. Selection was intended to range over a wide variety of subject areas, to reflect the true nature of the print record of the period. In general, first editions of a works in English were prioritized, although there are a number of works in other languages, notably Latin and Welsh, included and sometimes a second or later edition of a work was chosen if there was a compelling reason to do so.

Image sets were sent to external keying companies for transcription and basic encoding. Quality assurance was then carried out by editorial teams in Oxford and Michigan. 5% (or 5 pages, whichever is the greater) of each text was proofread for accuracy and those which did not meet QA standards were returned to the keyers to be redone. After proofreading, the encoding was enhanced and/or corrected and characters marked as illegible were corrected where possible up to a limit of 100 instances per text. Any remaining illegibles were encoded as <gap>s. Understanding these processes should make clear that, while the overall quality of TCP data is very good, some errors will remain and some readable characters will be marked as illegible. Users should bear in mind that in all likelihood such instances will never have been looked at by a TCP editor.

The texts were encoded and linked to page images in accordance with level 4 of the TEI in Libraries guidelines.

Copies of the texts have been issued variously as SGML (TCP schema; ASCII text with mnemonic sdata character entities); displayable XML (TCP schema; characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or text strings within braces); or lossless XML (TEI P5, characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or TEI g elements).

Keying and markup guidelines are available at the Text Creation Partnership web site.

Publication information

  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2014-11 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A81220
  • STC Wing C788
  • STC Thomason E899_7
  • STC ESTC R206750
  • EEBO-CITATION 99865856
  • PROQUEST 99865856
  • VID 118107

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.