PRIMS Full-text transcription (HTML)

A CHANGLING NO COMPANY FOR Lovers of Loyaltie, OR The Subjects Leſſon in Poynt of Sacred Submiſſion to, and humble Complyance with God and the KING; Wherein Confuſion is reduced to Order, miſery to Mercy; Reproach and ſhame to Freedom and Honour.

Returne, return, O Shulamite, Returne, returne,Cant. 6. ult.

In thoſe dayes when there was no King in Iſrael, every man did that which was good in his own eyes,Judg. 17.6.

LONDON, Printed by M. Simmons, for Thomas Parkhurſt, and are to be ſold at the three Crowns, at the lower end of Cheapſide, 1660.

To the Clergy of England.

Beloved;

THe laſt and great temptation is over. You have been ſet in a late Declaration, I will not ſay like our great Maſter upon a pinacle of the temple; but like the Swine-herd of Stow upon Lincoln minſter, and all the remaining husks, (for the maſt is gone long ſince) you ſhall have and injoy, if &c. Is it not ſad to conſider that you are not only a covering to their eyes, that are filled with robbery, but that they ſhould by the tender of toyes, and triſtes, (which yet are not theirs to give) allure you into that confederacy, which may not only wound your conſci­ences, but ſtain your profeſſion, with ſuch a blot and diſhonour as ſhall never be waſhed out; Honeſt Mephiboſheths reſigna­tion is a much better reſolution, Let them take all ſo that my Lord the King may but return in peace. How neer have you been to ſuffer by divers factions, and yet your lives and inte­reſts are maintained, perhaps that you might live to vindicate that which you helpt to deſtroy. Remember, O remember; Curſe ye Meroz, yea curſe bitterly, &c. Now conſider how are the mighty fallen. Your words were more powerfull then the Soul­diers ſwords, you foreſaw not the event, (it ſeems you were no true prophets) and are now ſorrowfull. Oh if you had known (God grant your ignorance may excuſe) you would never have cried down the King as a Tyrant, to the ruine of him, his fa­mily and kingly government. Well you have ſtill the ſame wea­pons, and the good old cauſe, the King and the Parliament laid before you; pray for it, plead for it, but curſe no body, no not your enemies, perſecuters and ſlanderers, that if it be the will of God, there may be a returning of our wandrings, and a heal­ing of our errors, in the procuring of which you may aſſure your ſelves of the conſtant and fervent deſires and prayers of

A true friend to truth and Peace W. H.

TO THE READER.

GOod thoughts are the beſt company in bad times; and holy meditations are not only a cure, but a cordiall for a fainting ſoul under heavy deſtra­ctions. Sacred writ (in the peruſal of which we ought with care and reverence to be converſant) as it is of di­vine inſpiration, ſo is it alſo of infallible conſolation & direction. In the which you may be pleaſed to obſerve, & it is pleaſant in the obſervation, That the moſt horrid confuſions have produced happy concluſions; & the moſt diſtracted Queries have return'd ſatisfied with moſt gra­cious Anſwers. The Jewes being told plainly by Peter, that they denyed the holy one, and the juſt, and deſired a murtherer to be given to them, were pricked in their hearts, wounded with the ſenſe, and covered with the ſhame of their bloody act, amazed cry out, Men and bre­thren what ſhall we doe? Their extremitie is Gods op­portunity; his mercy prevents the exceſſe of their miſery, & their fainting queſtion hath a ſoul reviving anſwer; Repent and be baptiſed, &c. and you ſhall receive the gilt, &c. for the promiſe is to you, & your children, &c

The Gaoler trembling at the earthquake, every joynt of him being out of frame, to ſee the foundation of his pri­ſon ſhaken, more captivated now at the enlargment of his priſoners, then they were when put in the dungeon, and their feet made faſt in the ſtocks; feeling the terrors and ſeeing the wonders of the Lord, cryes out, Sirs, what ſhall I do to be ſaved? He that had kept them ſure, muſt now be ſecured by them, or periſh, yet his doubtfull queſtion had a faithful anſwer, Believe & thou ſhalt be ſaved, &c

Saul, afterwards Paul, at firſt a perſecutor, at laſt a Preacher; at firſt a veſſel wherein was no pleaſure, but at laſt a choſen veſſell, and a veſſell of honour, ſtopt in the hight of his ſpeed, diſrob'd of his authority, diſmoun­ted in the heate of his violence, confounded with the ap­pearance of Gods glory, and his own ſhame; before ſo im­pudent that he durſt do any thing, now ſo humble that he will learne his duty; cryes, Lord what wouldſt thou have me to doe? God who had caſt him downe that he might raiſe him up, made him blind for a time that he might ſee better for ever after, leaves him not where he laid him, but raiſing up his ſoule with a moſt propitious anſwer, as his body with a powerfull word, bids him a­riſe, Go into the City, and it ſhall be told him, &c.

It is needleſſe to tell you what condition this nation is in; we are not diſtracted, but diſtraction; not confounded, but confuſion it ſelf; God and man may juſtly joyn in that ſad complaint and ſolemn appeale, Hear O Heavens and hearken O Earth, I have nouriſhed & brought up chil­dren and they have rebelled againſt me. A ſinful nation, a nation laden with iniquity, a ſeed of the wicked, and corrupt children, may be the juſt and grand character of our nation, and as our ſin, ſo our ſhame is increaſed; as our rebellion and impiety, ſo our deſolation and miſeries are multiplyed. Hence it is, that the head is ſick and the heart is heavy, that from the head to the foot there is nothing but ſwellings and ſores full of corruption; ſuch as not on­ly have not, but ſeeme as though they cannot be wrapt, bound up, or mollified with oyl. Is not the daughter of Si­on, like a cottage in a vineyard, (homely, loneſome, ſet up a little for neceſſity, but neither furniſht for delight nor ornament,) like a lodge in a Garden of Cucumbers, ſoli­tary whoſe furniture is ſcarce ſo much as a table, a ſtool, a bed and a candleſtick,) or like a beſieged City; never more punctually verified then in our age, the Viſion is ſo plaine, that he that runs may read it. Are not the founda­tions of our government out of order? hath not God over­turn'd, overturn'd, overturn'd it? have we not had (what nation can ſay the like) in few years, a King, and no King; a Parliament, and no Parliament; a Protector, & no Protector; a Committee of ſafety, and no Committee of ſafety; an Army, and no Army? and have we not now a ſtrange kind of Synecdocicall power, wherein a part & no part, challenges the principle, and yet are not able to maintain the intereſt? Are we not run into thoſe ſtraits that we cannot march on, retreat, nor ſtand ſtillwith ſafety? are we not (if I may intermingle a jeſt with ſe­rious truths) in Tarletons Wood, where we may ſee under, over, and through it, each end and ſide of it, and yet cannot get out of it? Is not our nation betrayed by it ſelf, either pitied, ſcorn'd, or hated by all? where have we a friend? where not an enemy?

In ſuch a caſe, who will not ſay, What ſhall I doe? It hath often been the reſult of my ſerious thoughts, I have often with Paul breathed out, Lord, What wouldſt thou have me to doe?

Your conſciences, your honours, your intereſts, your poſterities, cannot I am confident but engage your moſt conſtant deſires and endeavours with a holy and watch­full prudence for the glory of God and the peace and hap­pineſſe of this nation. In ſuch a caſe if you ſhall enquire of God (as I hope you have done) take this returne as an Oracle of divine truth, and a moſt ſacred directoty, My ſons fear you the Lord and the King, &c.

Let not the greateſt take it for a ſoleciſme, that the meaneſt of their ſervants calls you ſon, God often in­truſts his treaſure in earthen veſſells. Poor Eliah was in ſome ſence a Lord with that good and great Courtier O­badiah; and Moſes, a man, and of mean parentage, up­on a divine account was no leſſe then a God to Pharoah, but indeed the counſell is of God; who am I that I ſhould attempt or undertake ſuch a deſign, unſolicited by any, but moved by that good••irit of God mercifully preven­ting me in all the duties of my calling I have appeared.

It is very true that there is ſomthing in piety, as well as Policy to countenance that which ſome account unpa­raleld prudence, evidenced in ſilence, the prudent will keep ſilence in that time, for 'tis an evill time. But there is as a time to keep ſilence, ſo a time to ſpeake: Believe it the banes betwixt the King and his people hath been publiſhed once and again, thoſe that it is either now time to ſpeak, or to be ſilent for ever.

Such a marriage would be honourable amongſt all men; May it therefore goe on and proſper, all that are ſons of Sion, pray for the Peace of our Jeruſalem, and may they proſper that love it, in order to which fear the Lord and the King; This is our duty, and will be our ſafety.

I have had ſome ſtruglings within me whether fully to ſubſcribe my name or no; I have reſolv'd not to do it, not that I fear any danger, or apprehend any cauſe of danger; The greateſt enemy is envy; but becauſe I would not Court applauſe, or worſhip the Riſing Sun. Take all the notice I ſhall afford you, I am
A Lover of Truth and Peace W. H.
1

A CHANGLING no Company for the Lovers of LOYALTY.

Prov. 24.21, 22.

My ſon, fear thou the Lord, and the King: and meddle not with them that are given to change.

For their calamity ſhall riſe ſuddenly, and who knoweth the ruine of them both?

THe genius of the Text as it is plain, plea­ſing and plauſible, ſo it is neceſſary, juſt and honourable: I cannot in theſe dayes of confuſion but congratulate the Text to the times, (oh that I could reduce the times to the Text) I cannot but own it as a guide to the blind; as a naile of the Sanctuary faſt­ned in a ſure place; as a ſeaſonable ſpeech ſpoke by him that ſits in the congregation of the Gods, is preſident in all the counſels of men, and eſtabliſh or overthroweth them at his pleaſure, what ſhall I ſay, I looke upon it as the only balm of our Gilead, prepared by God and to be apply'd by men for the health and recovery of the daughter of his people.

2

Licurgus the great Law-giver to the Lacedemonians and no leſſe then a King in Sparta, ordain'd that if any man came to propound a novelty, he was to come with a halter about his neck: to ſignifie his ſubmiſſion to a ſpeedy execution in caſe that which he propounded was judged evill and inconvenient tending to ſedition or ru­ine; but if juſt, neceſſary, and ſafe, his halter was taken off, and an honourable reward aſſign'd him for his good ſervice and encouragement: The latter of thoſe I expect not: the former I do not fear: I know whoſe the com­mand is, and who hath appointed it: It is divine, and therefore uncontroulable: It is a charge, not a humble Petition or Advice. But was it meerely morall: The ſay­ing of Seneca, Iſocrates, Plato, Ariſtotle, yea of Machi­vell himſelf: The ſtate of affairs juſtly lookt upon with prudent and impartiall eyes, ſuch as are neither blood­ſhot, nor have the beams of profit and ſelf-love, then I durſt and would, if call'd to it, before a free and full Parliament, not packt by faction, nor over-aw'd by force, propound it in the Lacedemonian poſture, as the beſt ad­viſe, moſt ſeaſonable and ſutable counſell, that they can take, or any man can give: Fear the Lord, &c.

Wiſdome and authority (ſay our Lawyers) neceſſarily concur to the being of a law: Wiſdome without autho­rity, makes as little impreſſion upon ſome mens ſpirits, as an arrow upon a wall of flint, it may be powerfull to do well, but ſeldome prevalent to hear well. The wiſdome of a poor wiſe man may deliver the city, but no man re­gards or rewards the poor wiſe man: Authority with­out wiſdome eaſily degenerates into tyranny, no fury, like a fool cloath'd with authority; Abſolon and Abime­leck of old, our Butlers, Brewers and Coblers now adays can ſufficiently evince it: I countenance it in none, I ab­horre it in all: better is a wiſe child then an old and foo­liſh3 King. But in my text wiſdome and authority go hand in hand, and God himſelf having joyn'd them together let not man dare to put them aſunder: if we look upon God the Author of this, and all other holy writ, who ſhall reſiſt his will. If upon the penman, it was Solomon, for his wiſdome ſtil'd the Preacher; for his authority, the ſon of David, king of Iſrael.

Solomon as he had a threefold title, ſo had he alſo a threefold imployment, in holy Scripture, we may not un­fittingly terme his three books his Ethicks, his Phyſicks, and his Metaphyſicks, or if you will they ſeeme to have relation to or reſemblance with the three integrall parts of his ſacred building. The Firſt was the Court of the people, common to all Iſraelites. The Second, The Court of the Prieſt into which might come only the Tribe of Levi. The Third, The Temple and holy of holies, into which might enter Prieſts eſpecially conſecrated to that purpoſe for the time, and the high Prieſt in the moſt ſacred and ſolemne feaſt.

The Song of ſongs is only a fit ſubject for ſanctified ſouls, none that are common or prophane may enter in­to it, or intermeddle with it. Eccleſiaſtes is only fit for the Preacher or worthy Church-man. But the book of the Proverbs is of generall concernment, belonging e­qually to the Prince and Peaſant: and ſuch is the Text equally directed to every man, high and low, rich and poor, every ſoul.

My ſon, fear thou the Lord, and the King, &c.

The Text is eaſily divided into two generall Parts. Firſt, A Doctrine: which is a word of Command. Secondly, The Reaſon, which is a word of Terror.

The Doctrine is

  • 1. Poſitive, My ſon, &c.
  • 2. Negative, and meddle not, &c.
4

The Poſitive conſiſts of three Parts: Firſt, The Schol­lar: My ſon, &c. Secondly, The Duty: Feare. Thirdly, The Object of this fear; God and the King.

In the Negative: Firſt, the Prohibition; meddle not. Secondly, The hatefull object; The Seditious.

In the Reaſon, That word of terror Obſerve .. Firſt, an Aſſertion; In which obſerve; 1. The Terror, Deſtruction: 2. The Propriety or particularity, Their: 3. The certainty, It ſhall come: 4. The Expedition, Suddenly.

Secondly, An Expoſtulation, in which the Aſſertion is doubled, illuſtrated and confirmed: Who knows the ru­ine of them both?

Of thoſe in their order; But firſt I ſhall commend the work and workman unto the Protection of the All­mighty.

My God, my God, Who art alſo my King, ſend help unto Sion; By thee Kings reigne, and Princes ſit in judgment; build up our Sion, but not with blood, eſtabliſh our king­dome in righteouſneſſe and equity: Look not, O Lord, look not upon the iniquities of our Jacob; behold not in ſeverity the multiplyed tranſgreſſions of our Iſrael: but thou O Lord, the Lord God of Hoſts returne unto us, and let the joyfull ſhout of a King be amongſt us; Remember thy ſure mercies of old, and regard the face of thine anoyn­ted. Cloath thy Prieſts with ſalvation O Lord, and let thy Saints rejoyce in thy goodneſſe. As the juſt puniſhment of our breach of Covenant with thee, thou haſt broke thy Co­venant with us, and being angry with thine anoynted haſt prophaned his Crown, and eaſt it unto the ground; but return O Lord, for the ſalvation of thy people, and for the ſalvation of thine anoynted. Wound the head of the houſe of the wicked, and diſcover the foundations of their cru­elties, and ſubtiltyes even to the neck. Bring the wicked­neſſe5 of the Wicked to an end: but guide the juſt in thy feare. Order the heart and hand of thy ſervant; ſanctifie both to thy glory and the Nations good. Proſper thy Word, as a word of truth, meekneſſe, and Righteouſneſſe. With joy and gladneſſe let our Princes be eſtabliſhed: That thy name may be remembered through all generations, and the people ſhall give thankes unto thee world without end, Amen, Amen.

Son, is a word that intimates authority and relation, and enjoynes ſubmiſſion, and obedience; he muſt have, if not gray haires, yet gravitie ſufficient to ſpeake him a father who calls another man his ſon. It is ſometimes a Civil Complement; if Dives call Abraham father, Abra­ham by a returne of civilitie will call him Son. Thus Jo­ſhua to Achan, My Son, give glory to God. Son, is ſome­times the denomination of Rationall creatures, Angells and men; and here, if the Sons of God be aſſembled, Sa­tan himſelfe will come amongſt-them, though he be turn'd out of doores with Iſhmael; and with Cain doom'd to wander; when the Sons of God are aſſembled, Satan will come, if not to claime, yet to clamor for a bleſſing; and though with Ruben he ſhall not prevaile, yet with E­ſau, he will accuſe, threaten, condemne, ſeek the de­ſtruction of his younger Brother who hath got the bleſ­ſing. But let it be uſ'd when, by whom, and in what ſenſe it will, it ſpeakes authoritie in him that ſpeaks it, and calls for attention in the party ſpoken to. A ſon honou­reth, i. e. is bound to honour, love, and obey his Fa­ther. But

My Son, intimates a more ſingular authoritie mixt with affection; and not onely commands but conſtrains to a ſingular obedience mixt with reverence and holy feare. When Iſaac was to be ſacrified, we read not of the leaſt oppoſition, cry, or complaint; though he was ſuddenly6 ſurpriz'd, and had no leſſe then the appearance of unna­turall crueltie and barbariſme, to heighten, and aggra­vate the Act. That expreſſion, My Son, did as it were charme him to obedience; The cords of affection, and bands of love, binding an ingenuous nature faſter then Sampſons new and untried Ropes. But from the Son of Abraham come to the Son of God: This is that my belo­ved Son. By which expreſſion God did not onely acknow­ledge him for his Son, but oblige him as a Son to duty. Heare him what he ſays, In the volumne of thy booke it is written of me, I come to doe thy will; yea though it was to be led as a lambe to the ſlaughter, and to lye bound, and dumbe, as a ſheep before his ſhearer. But to come to our ſelves, he that hath ſealed the Charter of our adoption, hath impoſ'd upon us a neceſſitie of ſubjection. He that hath entred us into the Prerogative Office of the Sonnes of God, commands us to receive him, and to believe in his Name. You then that are or would be called, The Sons of God, learne Gods love, and your duty; his au­thoritie, and your ſubmiſſion.

Where the word of King is, there is power; if the Lyon roare, who will not feare? If the Lord have ſpoken, who can but propheſie? Let not your prudence, obſtruct your pietie, nor your love of the world, extinguiſh the love of God in your hearts. He that knows the will of God, and dares not doe it for feare of men, he is as ill, if not worſe, then prophane Eſau, who ſold his birth­right for a meſſe of pottage.

Every man therefore, that deſires the honour, or claims the priviledge to be the Son of God: That prayes our Fa­ther, as The ſons of the living God, let them with Reve­rence, obſerve The duty; Feare;

Feare is ſometimes ſo far from a duty, that it is a di­ſturbance. It puts all out of frame, and makes him more7 timorous then the Hare, That ought to be bold as the Ly­on. The Apoſtle calls it by a fit name, when he calls it the Spirit of bondage; for this is that that not onely binds a man up both hand and foot, but caſts him into utter dark­neſſe. Unbelievers, and thoſe that are thus fearefull,Rev. 21.8. as they are both blinde, & uſually lead one another, ſo they fall into the ſame ditch. The Indians feare the Devil, and ſacrifice to him, not out of love, but leaſt he ſhould hurt them. And many that are called Chriſtians, feare God upon no better account. This was the ſad effect of the firſt tranſgreſſion; I was affraid, becauſe I was naked, &c. and, to ſubdue this in us was the end of Gods ſending his Son into the world, that we being delivered from our enemies, might ſerve him without feare. The love of God ſhed abroad in our hearts caſts out this feare.

Secondly, Therefore feare is an awfull reſpect to, and regard of, with love, reverence, and honour: This ſea­ſons all the duties of men, and makes them acceptable to God. This feare attends upon, and uſhers in, great joy. This is Commanded; Serve the Lord with feare,Heb. 12.28. and re­joyce with trembling. To diſtinguiſh this from the former, the Apoſtle calls it Godly Feare; God is the Author of it; I will put my feare in their hearts. The end of it,Eſa. 32.40. and the object of it firſt, and immediatly; and man onely ſo far, as God hath communicated ſomething of himſelf, as his Ma­jeſtie, wiſdome, authoritie, power to him.

Feare the Lord, and the King: Obſerve firſt the Me­thod: The Lord, Then the King. The feare of the Lord is the beginning of Wiſdome, & the beginning of wiſdome is the feare of the Lord. A man may be witty, but not wiſe without it, he may be as ſubtle as the ſerpent, but cannot be as innocent as the dove. Jacob covenanting with La­ban, calls to witneſſe, the Feare of his Father Iſaac;Gen. 31.53. i. e. That God that Iſaac his Father feared. David doth not8 onely explaine this duty, what it is, but preſs it upon us, why it is to be done, with prevalent arguments; Come let us worſhip and fall downe, and kneel before the Lord our maker: for he is the Lord our God, he hath made us, &c.

This is a duty confeſſ'd by all, though practiſed by few; The fool indeed ſaith in his heart, there is no God; in his heart, i. e. in his ſecret thoughts, as rather deſiring that it was ſo, then concluding that it is ſo; in his heart, not with his lips in articulate words. He is afraid either that the Echo of his own expreſſion ſhould give him the lye, or that for Atheiſme and blaſphemy, openly profeſ 'd, he ſhould ſtrike him with death, who firſt breath'd into him the breath of life. But to leave ſuch ſpeculative, and pra­cticall Atheiſts, either in mercy to be converted, or in ter­ror to be confounded. What ſtrange ſpectacle is this that I ſee; Profeſſors, pious and precious ſouls, ſuch as ſeeme not without the power of godlineſſe, and yet want the forme; no outward poſture of the body that may expreſſe the reverence of the ſoule: No ſacred eſteem of times, places, or things ſeparated to holy uſe, who to avoyd ſu­perſtitious vowing, exclude all formalities of worſhip: deny God, thoſe external Civilities of his worſhip, that they will ſcarcely deny their equalls, and dare not deny their ſuperiors. The ſervant as though he was free from his Maſter, ſits in the Congregation with his hat on, and that not in winter onely but in ſummer, not upon any ac­count of infirmitie, but I feare preſumption, for heate and ſweat will make him lay it by. What will Turkes, Jewes, and Pagans think of us, who in the externalls of their worſhip do far outſtrip us; and perhaps in their zeale alſo, though it be not according to knowledge? What will the holy men of God, The noble army of Martyrs, The glorious Societie of Saints, and Angels, who not one­ly kneel, but fall flat on their faces, not onely uncover9 their heads,Rev. 4.10. but caſt their Crowns downe to the earth before him. What will they ſay to David, or rather what will David ſay to them, who while they boaſt of his Spi­rit, deny his practiſe in every letter, and whereas they would be thought to be men after Gods own heart, they ſeeme to proclaime it, that they thinke him like them­ſelves. See what David did, and do the like; I will come into thy houſe in the multitude of thy mercies, and in thy feare will I worſhip towards thy holy Temple, Pſal. 5.7.

This feare of God, then is an awfull apprehenſion of the ſacred Majeſtie of Almightie God, proceeding from a loving, and a loyall heart, binding over the ſoule to all ſervices of love, with a voluntary reſignation of our ſelves, our profits, pleaſures, preferments, and what is ours, to his will and pleaſure.

This is not only The whole duty of man, to feare God, and keepe his Commandments, but his chiefeſt dignitie; which not onely preſerves the ſoule here in grace, but al­ſo Crowns it with glory hereafter. My ſon, feare thou the Lord.

The other object of our feare is The King.

It is our Saviours order and Command; To give unto Caeſar, the things that are Caeſars, and to God the things that are Gods. The Apoſtle appoynts that tribute be payd to whom it belongs, and Honour to whom honour is due. Come forth ye ſons and daughters of Jeruſalem, ſee the Regalia, that Throne of Majeſtie, which God himſelfe hath ſet up for him, and that Crowne of honour, where­with God himſelfe hath Crown'd him in the day of his eſpouſalls; He hath joyn'd him with himſelfe in the ſame expreſſion, Cloathed him with the Robes of his own ho­nour, mounted him in royall equipage with himſelfe, and cauſing it be proclaim'd by Solomon (no meaner a perſon then the greateſt of Princes is his Herauld) Thus ſhall it10 be done to that man that the Lord will honour; Feare the Lord, and the King.

The Act is the ſame Feare. Feare

  • The Lord.
  • The King.

Of the firſt I have treated already, now of the ſecond and next immediate object of our Feare; The King, i. e. A ſingle perſon cloth'd with authoritie, choſen of God, and of the people, ſitted for, called to, and ſetled in power and dignitie, is to be fear'd, i. e. with a loyall and loving heart reverenced, and obey'd, next and immediately unto the Lord, in the Lord, and for the Lord.

Neither was this any Nationall, or legall command onely impoſ'd upon the Iſraelites; but ſee alſo the very ſame made by the Apoſtle Peter, 2 Pet. 2.17. Feare God, Honour the King. Evangelicall, Morall, univerſall, and perpetuall.

Where let me firſt congratulate the word honour by way of explanation, which takes off the edge of admira­tion from ſubjects, and of ambition from Princes. It in­cludes not onely reverence, obedience, and care of, or for, but alſo Recompence, Reward, Maintenance. Kings them­ſelves are ſervants, deſign'd to defend, preſerve, keep ſafe, (as a Shepherd his flock) the people committed to their charge. Our bare heads, our bended knees, all our ſalutations, and ſignes of reverence, our honour and feare are indeed a tribute due unto God, but payd to the King as his Stuard, commiſſioned by him to require, and receive them of us. Wonder not then, that God ſhould thus guild an earthen pot, and lay up the treaſure even of divine honour in an earthen veſſell. It is the Lord; He may do what he will: and the Honour is his, he may doe with his owne what he pleaſeth.

Two things lye plaine before us: Firſt, That kingly government is of divine inſtitution, and approbation;11 commanded and commended by God himſelf. All other governments, and governors, are appoynted by the King, and in ſubordination to him. The text is plain, 1 Pet. 2.13, 14. Submit your ſelves to every ordinance, (or law,) of man for the Lords ſake, whether to the King, as ſupream, or to Governors ſent (i. e. authorized, commiſſioned, ap­poynted) by him. Thus Daniel was by the King made a great man, and a Governor, and he that raigned over one hundred twenty and ſeven Provinces, Eſt. 1.1. appoynted Governors over every Province, v. 14. But to cleare this, Moſes was ſingled out of God, made a King, ſo called, ſo eſteemed by God & men. Viſibly vindicated againſt thoſe ſeditious Rebells, who deſpiſing the Magiſtrate, and the Miniſter; The King, and the Prieſt: Moſes and Aaron cri­ed out, you take too much upon you; All the Congregation is holyWhence then ſprung the Sanedrim, from God or from Moſes? from God by way of approbation, but from Moſes (by the advice of Jethre his father in law) by way of inſtitution. The text is plain, Provide thou, Exod. 18.21. & 24. Moſes obeyed the voyce of his father in law, and Moſes choſe men of courage, and made them heads, &c. and after in the 11 of Numbers, though God gave the 70 Elders of the Spirit of Moſes (obſerve it is ſayd of the Spirit that is upon thee, v. 17. ſee alſo 25 verſe, i. e. the Spirit of wiſdome, authoritie, counſell and ſtrength) yet they were gathered and preſented before the Tabernacle of the Congregation by Moſes, nor were they then put firſt into office (for they were Officers and Governors before, v. 16.) but furniſhed by thoſe gifts to a more cheerfull bearing of their publike burthen. So that it is cleere, God called Moſes to be King, Moſes called the Elders to ſit in Counſell and Parliament with him.

Nay further, I ſhall owne it as a Favour in him that will let me ſee either Judea, or any other Nation or Coun­try12 mentioned in any part of the Scripture, either put in­to that forme of Government, which is call'd a States go­vernment by a Command from God, or (when they had put themſelves into it, ſhew me where it is approved of God or commended; or where ever ſuch a Nation de­ſerved the name of a Common-wealth, or that God was glorified, vertue encouraged, ſin puniſhed, or miſchiefes prevented. The Iſraelites were indeed often without a King, but, alas, ſee the miſeries that followed; Rapes, whoredoms, idolatries, oppreſſions, cruelties, civill wars, factions, what not, till blood touched blood, and neigh­bour fought againſt neighbour, brother againſt brother, and many thouſands ſlaine, (the ſad character of our times) and thus they continued to devoure one another, till God gave them into the hand of the enemies round about, Goliah, Ammon, Amaleek, the Philiſtines, &c. till they had neither libertie to rejoyce in, nor weapon to de­fend themſelves withall, yea not allowed ſo much as a ſmith in Iſrael, to make or mend their inſtruments of huſ­bandry; but every man muſt goe downe to the Philiſtines to ſharpen his axe, and his ſhare, and his weeding hooke, vid. 1 Sam. 13.18.

This was the time when there was no King in Iſrael, every man did what was good in his own eyes (notwith­ſtanding the Counſell of Seventy) this was their ſad and deplorable Libertie; their horrid and miſerable reforma­tion. O England, England, looke in this glaſſe, and ſee what is awanting but the laſt act (which God in much mercy prevent) and now after 12 or 14 years tryall of it, tell me if ſuch confuſions have been found, ſuch taxes and burthens impoſed, ſuch villanies hatcht, and ſuch dangers threatned in ſome hundreds of yeares before us. Doe not all faces gather blackneſſe? are not all complai­ners, all looſers, unleſſe ſome few who having in the mor­ning13 devour'd the prey, will needs ſit downe at night to devide the ſpoyle.

I intend not to enter upon the diſpute, or to ſet King­domes and Common-wealths together by the eares, a­bout a forme of Government. My judgement I ſhall de­liver in few words.

Firſt, That God did appoynt, yea found Monarchy or Kingly government, and as it were commend it to all Na­tions and Countries, in creating one and but one.

Secondly, That the whole Scripture approves of it, and threatneth its contrary as a generall Curſe, preſa­ging if not inforcing a Nations ruine.

Thirdly, That all Nations under Heaven have found moſt comfort, content, freedome and happineſſe in it: yea experience hath ſhewed it as moſt true, that thoſe Nations that were not content with this government cut out for them by the wiſe and providentiall hand of God, have ſeldome or never cut well for themſelves after: ſuch changelings ever reading their follyes in the miſe­ries that followed.

I have read the Apologie, and defence of thoſe times; peruſed Declarations, Remonſtrances, and what not: I finde every ſect, every man of the earth growne great: every ambitious Spirit raiſ'd (no matter how) to honour, yea every devil ſet upon a pinacle, ſaying as that imperi­ous Generall did, Am I come up hither without the Lord. Eſa. 36.10.The name of God is eſpecially blaſphem'd in this, that it is made uſe of to palliate all manner of villanies: leſuites and Anabaptiſts agreeing in this (and it is fear'd in other things alſo) as ſmoaking fire-brands in foxes tailes, by ſubtiltie, and cruelty to devoure thoſe great ordinances of God Magiſtracy & Miniſtry. Yet ſhall I tell you, I have found onely two things of ſeeming weight againſt what I have delivered.

14

Firſt, The free State of Venice, antient and venerable, ſurpaſſing moſt kingdomes, fear'd abroad, lovely and a­miable at home. This is ſhe that gives a great part of the world law upon ſalt water, that hath dealt with the great Turk often at arms end: The beſt bulwarke and fortreſſe of Chriſtendome, whoſe valour, and ſucceſſe while other nations ſtand and look on, let them admire her, but be aſhamed themſelves, who like fools, or knaves are quarrelling one with another, ſhe in the mean time calling upon us for our aide and aſſiſtance.

Anſw. It is confeſſed ſhe is ancient and honourable; and it is no leſſe then a wonder that in all thoſe chang­ings, ſucceſſions, and viciſſitudes that have been ſhe ſtill remains without viſible decay or ſymptome of old age: when almoſt all other Pollitick bodyes, all kingdomes in Chriſtendome have met with changes and revolutions. But conſider,

Firſt, The convenience of her ſcituation, upon a great many ſmall Iſlands in the jawes of the Sea, eaſily com­manding within her ſelf, not eaſily commanded by any other: She ſits as one, and alone as a miſtriſſe, a mother, one that at the firſt maintain'd her own intereſt within her ſelf, in a word ſhe ſeemes as a City governed by a Lord Mayor, and a Court of Aldermen; which being at the firſt ſo planted, not eaſily violable by any other for­raign or domeſtick force doth ſtill continue, but it is not thus with us. All generations have read, The kingdome of England; Ten for one in this Nation never conſented to this change, nor ſo much as once dreamt of it: and although many, admiring that juſtice that they could not underſtand, being fearfull to be found fighters againſt God did ſubmit, yet the ſudden blaſting, and the ſad ef­fects of it, hath called upon them to acknowledge their folly, & to alter their judgment in poynt of government.

15

But further, What place or perſons ſhall aſſume this authority or execute it: Shall any City or perſons chal­lenge the ſuperiority, the government is no leſſe arbitra­ry, and far more dangerous then formerly; In a word, I profeſſe when I have ſeriouſly weighed our late Kingly government ſo happily conſtituted as it was, & our ſtate government fumbled up of ſo many hetorodox and heto­rogeniall principles, and perſons; nothing hath more troubled me then to find the fault in the former, or one virtue or convenience in this latter, and therefore can­not but conclude that the conſtitution of it, is moſt likely to ſet perſons, and places, at perpetuall odds and enmi­ties, and certainly was contriv'd by them that having plunged the Nation into ſo many not to be avoyded mi­ſeries made it their work to ſecure their own intereſt, though to the ruin & confuſion of all, in the concluſion.

But again, the ſtate of Venice was layd in peace, ours in blood; Sion her ſelfe will not ſtand long if built in blood: ſhe, i. e. Venice, remains in the mercy of God as a living monument to all nations, what a poor diſtreſ­ſed handfull of perſecuted Chriſtians, watered with the bleſſing of God from on high may grow to in time; we are likely to ſtand, as ſpectacles of horror and amaze­ment, verifying the proverb, We cannot let well be well, and this will not be the leſt of our ſorrowes in our ſuf­ferings, that our deſtruction is from our ſelves, and when God had ſo fenc'd and guarded us from the force of o­ther nations that we might ſleep ſecurely deſpight their malice, we have arm'd our ſelves, within our ſelves, a­gainſt our ſelves to our own confuſion.

Secondly, There is a Piece writ by Milton, call'd Popu­li Anglicani defenſio, &c. The defence of the people of England; I confeſſe his learning and Oratory to be con­ſiderable: I will not enter the liſts with him, and the ra­ther16 becauſe I conceive it may be to conteſt with a ſhadow, if he be dead, but if he be now living, (and do not ſubſiſt as a mercenary under this power, nor wrapt in ſo much guilt that he may leſſe fear the gallowes then a reſtoring of kingly government,) let him juſtifie the proceedings, and vindicate the ſad effects of this fatall change; let him give a ſatisfactory anſwer to the late ſix Queries preſented by the excluded members, and let him make it appear that the advantage hath or is very likely to anſwer to thoſe vaſt ſummes expended, Treaſures ex­hauſted, trading damnified, miſeries multiplyed, beſides the blood ſpilt, the guilt and diſhonour contracted: if he can make it appear that there was at firſt juſt cauſe for it, or that there is any commoditie by it: I will then give him the better of it, and be of his opinion, but if he have ſeen, as queſtionleſſe he hath the miſeries, and oppreſſions in theſe bleeding nations, and doe foreſee, as he eaſily may doe if living, that danger that is heightned and occaſioned by our changlings, I dare ſay he himſelf will anſwer himſelf ſufficiently, and either own his ignorance, or argue his impudence.

But to conclude this in a word, Arguments taken on­ly from event; or ſucceſſe are not infallible, for ſubordi­nate ſtates, a government ſo ordered may do well, but in ſuch a nation as this it cannot; and for my part I cannot ſee but that kingly government is moſt convenient, moſt ſutable to and agreeing with the genius of theſe nations; had it been left indifferent to frame our ſelves at plea­ſure into any form of government, which I conceive is now queſtionable, I muſt have propounded kingly go­vernment, and if the Scripture muſt be our guide, I muſt and ſhall ever ſay, My ſon: fear thou the Lord, and the King. And that's the ſecond thing.

The King is to be feared, i. e. loved, honoured and obeyed next and immediately to God himſelf and that by the command of God.

17

This I ſhall firſt prove to be the ordinance of God; Secondly, Demonſtrate the grounds or cauſes of it, why ſo. Prov. 30.31. A King againſt whom there is no ri­ſing up, i. e. ought not to be, nor did ever any riſe up, but they found it better to ſit ſtill, being convinced of their folly in their fall.

Prov. 20.2. The feare of a King is as the roaring of a lyon, He that provoketh him to anger ſins againſt his own ſoul: which expreſſion in Scripture ever infers a moſt mortall, dangerous and deſperate ſin, Eccl. 10.20. Curſe not the King, no not in thy chamber, &c.

Ezra 7.26. He that will not obey the law of God, and the Kings law, let him have judgment without delay whe­ther to death or to baniſhment, to confiſcation of goods, or to impriſonment.

In the Goſpell and New-Teſtament.

Give unto Caeſar the things that are Caeſars, Mat. 22.21. Which is well and fully expounded by the Apoſtle, Rom. 13.7. Give to all men their due; Tribute to whom tribute, cuſtom to whom cuſtom, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour. Rom. 13.1. Let every ſoul be ſubject, and in the 5 verſe. Wherefore we muſt be ſubject. 1 Tim. 2.1. I exhort that prayers, ſupplications, interceſſions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for Kings and all that are in authority, &c.

I might add more, but ſomething hath been ſaid and more may be: See the Reaſons why God will have it ſo, for although no man may ſay to God why doſt thou ſo, yet what reaſons God hath given we may and ought to take notice of.

Firſt Reaſon: See Eccl. 8.2. Becauſe of the Oath of God. I counſell thee to obey the King, &c. Oh the pro­miſes, Covenants, and Oaths that have been taken and made in this nation to that end, is it not for the violati­on18 of theſe that the land mourns? are we yet deviſing new oaths, and never kept the old ones? it is folly and madneſs to bind others in thoſe cords that we our ſelves break at pleaſure before their faces, hear and fear, and aſſure your ſelves that God will viſit for theſe things, and his ſoul will be avenged upon ſuch a Nation.

Second Reaſon: That we may lead under them a god­ly, peaceable and quiet life; Oh value the comforts of a peaceable government. Submiſſion hath ever purcha­ſed true liberty of conſcience. Where is he, or what is he, that being of a pious and peaceable ſpirit found not that tolleration that piety could ask, or modeſty requeſt: Turbulent ſpirits indeed, ſome of them made voyages into forraign parts only there to proclaime their follyes, and to aire their factions, which done many have retur­ned convinct, converted, and what was partly occaſio­ned by themſelves, they have own'd as matter of lamen­tation.

Third Reaſon: Power is ordain'd of God, Rom. 13.1. He, (i.e. he that bears and executes that power, i.e. The King, He) is the Miniſter, that is a ſervant ſent and ap­pointed of God; See it twiſe repeated, verſ. 4. and a­gaine, verſ. 6. By me Kings reigne, Prov. 8.15. The Apoſtle is plaine, Rom. 13.2. He that reſiſteth, reſiſteth the ordinance of God, and they that reſiſt, (be they who they will) ſhall receive to themſelves damnation. Comment upon the Text who will, and evade it who can. See alſo Davids poſitive aſſertion included in a moſt vehe­ment and uncontroulable queſtion: Who can (1 Sam. 26.9. ) lay his hand on the Lords anointed, and be guilt­leſſe? if a ſtatesman, if an injured perſon, then David: if reaſons of ſtate principles of pollicy, if all that wit & reaſon can contrive to have excuſed it could have excu­ſed it, it had been excuſable in David, but David could19 not; The Lord keep me from doing this thing to my maſter, &c. for he is the Lords anoynted, vid. 1 Sam. 24.7. may he ask, who can? he muſt produce a commiſſion written with Gods own hand, that can do it and be innocent. I am not ignorant of what is objected againſt this, in caſe of Tyrants, bloody Princes, &c. all that I ſhall ſay is, Reaſon is a good ſervant, but a bad Maſter; God ſees that good for me, that neither I nor my reaſon can ſee good for my ſelf. David had reaſon enough on his ſide, but ſee what he ſayes, As the Lord liveth, either the Lord ſhall ſmite him or his day ſhall come, or he ſhall goe down into the battle and periſh, (1 Sam. 26.10. ) but the Lord keep me, &c. In a word, he that can thankfully and hum­bly wait upon the juſtice of God when he gives us ſuch a king in his anger, can ſubmiſſively and patiently waite upon his pleaſure to take him away in his wrath.

Fourthly, The King is the moſt viſible reſemblance of the inviſible God. His ſervant authoriſed and commiſſi­oned by him to execute his will. He is as the very gar­ment wherewithall the Majeſty, juſtice and power of God is covered and preſented to the eye as a viſible ob­ject; I ſpeak not of a Princes robes but his royalty, not of his outward apparell, but his ſpirituall gift and ſove­raignty. The Queen of Sheba, (2 Chron. 9.8. ) hath this ex­preſſion, Bleſſed be the Lord thy God that loved thee, that ſet thee on his throne as king, inſtead of the Lord thy God.

That ſaying of God himſelfe, 1 Sam. 16.1. I have pro­vided me a King, is very conſiderable; He was a man af­ter Gods own heart in his publique adminiſtrations of judgement and juſtice; though his perſonall faults were very great. It is no untruth to ſay he was a better King then a man. In his infirmities he teaches even the moſt precious Saints and ſervants of God to remember that they are but men; but in his executions of juſtice he leſ­ſons Princes that they ought to be no other then gods,20 i.e. Embaſſadors, Stewards, ſervants ſubſtituted and ap­poynted by God.

I might adde many more reaſons why God is pleaſ'd ſo ſtrictly to charge and require ſubmiſſion and obedi­ence, doubtleſſe, every act of obedience, and diſloyaltie, eſpecially publique, and in eminent perſons doth as it were unlooſe the bands, and diſſolve the Covenant be­twixt a King and his Subjects. If Kings be (as uſually they are) too ready to improve advantages to encreaſe their power and greatneſſe, Treaſons, diſloyalties, &c. gives them opportunities, and makes them eye thoſe as Cap­tives ſubdued, which before they beheld as ſubjects, yea as ſonnes in their Dominion. It is good therefore to feare the King, to prevent our miſery and his tyranny, it be­ing moſt certainly true in Politicks, That every rebellion ſubdued, makes the King more a King, and the Subjects more ſubject. But we have ſaid ſufficient to perſwade, yea to enforce obedience from ſuch as feare the Lord, Their conſciences are deare unto them, and a godly peaceable and quiet life moſt deſirerable. The oath of God they feare and the Covenant, as a Covenant of God they hold inviolable: They can look beyond the ſhadow to the ſub­ſtance, and in and under the viſible man, can ſee the ju­ſtice, wiſdome, power, and Majeſty of God, and pay the tribute of their feare and reverence due to God, to the King as his receiver. They have learnt our Saviours leſ­ſon; If a man (much more a King) will take away thy coat, let him take thy cloake alſo; They judge it better to be famous for their ſufferings, then infamous for their actings. Thus good Mephiboſheth when he had more cauſe to be angry at the Kings unjuſt connivance and di­ſtribution, doth not onely ſubmit without the leaſt impa­tience or oppoſition; but gives us the beſt counſell in his own example, and the beſt inſtruction in his reſolution;21 Let him take all, ſo that my Lord the King may but re­turne in peace.

To reaſonable men enough hath been ſayd, to unrea­ſonable men, and ſuch as have no faith, it is to ſmall pur­poſe to ſay any more; Their ſubtilties can evade, or jea­louſies pervert what can be ſayd, nor will they read their ſin, but in their puniſhment; nor be convinc't of this du­ty, till they have overwhelm'd themſelves and the Nati­on in unavoydable ruins.

Before I leave this, let me congratulate this happy u­nion, The Lord and the King, not here alone, but elſ­where joyned together; and obſervable it is that the feare of God and honour of the King goe hand in hand, and where the King is diſhonored, the feare of God is al­ſo violated. It was a fatall prediction (the unhappy con­ſequence of home-bred diſtractions) that Iſrael refuſing directions from the Law and the Teſtimonies, ſhould goe to and fro, and fretting themſelves, ſhould Curſe their God, and their King. It was alſo a happy prediction, (and oh that our eyes might ſee the accompliſhing of it) that Iſrael upon his Conviction ſhould ſeeke the Lord, and David their King. Thus in Bleſſings and Curſings, God and the King are joyned. The Almightie himſelfe in order to the preſervation of peace, and adminiſtration of Juſtice, is pleaſ'd with his own hand to put into the ſame ſcabbard of eternall truth, the Sword of the Lord and of Gideon.

I have now done with the poſitive part of the doctrine; My ſon, Feare the Lord, and the King. Now I come to the Negative part; Medle not with the ſeditious, or thoſe that are given to change.

Firſt, Medle not. Medlers are fruit that was never planted in the paradiſe of God, nor are ſuffered to pro­ſper in the places of his pleaſure. They will indeed as ill22 weeds be ſpringing up, (and when they are over-growne they are dangerous) but the diligent hand muſt weed them out. God hath made ample proviſion againſt this corruption, he condemnes them as inordinate walkers, that are buſy-bodies, 2 Theſ. 3.11. Such as goe from houſe to houſe, are not onely idle but pratlers, and buſy­bodyes, 1 Tim. 5.13. If ſuch ſuffer, they ſuffer juſtly, to prevent which we have a divine Caution, 1 Pet. 4.15. Let no man ſuffer as a murtherer, or as a thiefe, or as an evill doer, or as a buſy-body; (the word is expounded word for word, a Biſhop in another mans dioceſſe) Thus vices are linked together, & as evill words corrupt good manners, and evill thoughts hatch, and generate evill words, ſo needleſſe intermedlings, eſpecially in State-af­faires, often uſhers in evill doings; theſe carry us for­ward to theft and ſacriledge, theſe to murther and what not. Sin, if not prevented, ever plunging the ſoule into more and more ſin, one miſchiefe covering it ſelfe with another, conceiving it cannot be ſafe but by ſo doing. As we ſee it was thus with David in the matter of Ʋ­riah, and Ahab in the caſe of Naboth, the beginnings of which are oft but ſmall, but alas, alas, how great a ſire will a little ſparke kindle.

He that made the whole world the object of his con­templation, as he was griev'd to ſee ſome idle, and o­thers ill imploy'd, ſo was he alſo griev'd to ſee many bu­fie in other mens matters. Such endeavours are ſeldome acceptable, or ſucceſsfull, and this connivence they carry ever along with them, if well they are but well, if evill the more paines the leſſe thanks, ye acceſſaries in this caſe come in as principles, and beare the reward of their follyes in their ſufferings. Briefly, God hath placed eve­ry man in his own ſtation, appoynted him ſome office, calling, imployment, or buſineſſe of his own. This let23 him doe it with all diligence, and following the Apoſties rule; Let him ſtudy to be quiet and medle with his own buſineſſe, 1 Theſ. 4.15.

Sin, and ſinners, in generall we muſt not medle with; My ſon, if ſinners intice thee, conſent thou not, if they ſay, Wee will lay wait for blood, &c. vid. 1 Prov. v. 11. We ſhall finde precious riches, and fill our houſes with ſpoyle. Caſt in thy lot amongst us, we will all have one purſe. My ſon, walke not in their way, refraine thy foot from their paths, &c.

Good old Jacob (whom neither affection to his chil­dren, nor love of gaine could court to the countenancing of cruelty) abominates that villany of his ſons in ſlaying the Sichemites (though they pretended great and urgent reaſons for it) eſpecially after overtures of peace for the future, and tender of ſatisfaction for by-paſt injuries, he confeſſes that it made him ſtinke in the noſtrills of other Nations; and many years after, even upon his death-bed, to evidence his perpetuall hatred of ſuch treachery, he diſclaimes any ſociety with, or approbation of that act; Into their ſecrets let nomy ſoule enter in their aſſem­blies, mine honour be not thou united: and paſſes ſentence upon them that were chiefe actors in it, Simeon, and Le­vi, Devide them O God in Jacob, and ſcatter them in Iſ­rael, Gen. 49. 5-7.

But to ſpeake to the object in the text, The ſeditious. Sedition is the murtherer of pietie, the bane of charitie, the mother of conſuſion. It is a hell upon earth, as ha­ving neareſt relation to, and confederacy with the Devil and his Angels. Satan never acts ſo like himſelfe, as when in the ſhape of an Angel of light, he attempts workes of darkneſſe; and by his deluſions, and devices, throws all into extremities, and thoſe often contrary, caſting ſome into the fire, and others into the water. Sedition is that24 Grand Trapan, which not onely carries away deceived ſoules, ſuch as in the ſimplicitie of their hearts goe on thinking no evill, but alſo perverts good intentions, and in time converts them into moſt horrid practiſes. Sedi­tion hath this evill in it, that it uſually corrupts the beſt knowing, ſuch when corrupted to be ever the worſt. That poyſon is moſt mortall that hath ſeiſed on the vi­talls; and thus it is in a Church, or State, when Religi­on is turn'd to faction, and peace the daughter of pietie is ſo fatally betrayed that ſhe becomes the mother of diſ­ſention, and grand-mother of deſtruction. Nor do I won­der at it in our dregs of time, when in thoſe purer dayes the Apoſtle tells the Corinthians, that he fear'd he ſhould ſinde (what he was unwilling to finde) ſtrife, envyings, wrath, contentions, backbitings, ſwellings, and diſcords. Behold an Army of Saints, whoſe Cauſe is envie and ſwel­lings, whoſe Artillery, is ſtrife, wrath, and contention, and whoſe Military proviſion ſeems no better then back­bitings, and diſcords. If thus it be with the greene tree, what ſhall become of the dry? and if the righteous could not be preſerved from thoſe evills, how ſhall the wicked and ungodly appeare?

But to come to the Text, the ſeditious ſeeme to be of two ſorts (which I gather from the laſt word Both, a word neceſſarily relating to two) and indeed in State­affaires two factions or ſeditions are moſt dangerous.

Firſt, Such as would have Monarchy degenerate into ty­ranny; Who cannot be content to have Soveraignty, like the tree of life planted in the midſt of the paradiſe of God, whoſe fruit is food, and whoſe leaves are phyſick to heale the Nations, but they muſt have it, as that over­growne tree, whoſe height muſt reach to heaven. It was a foule ſigne of Babels approaching ruine, when his Prin­ces and people, who knew the King to be but a man, muſt honour him as a God; Is not this great Babel that I have25 built for mine Honour, &c. preceded that fatall depo­ſing; Thy kingdome is taken from thee, &c. Dan. 4.28. Herods flatterers were his murtherers, had not they cry­ed out, The voyce of God and not of man, Herod might have been a man much longer; but they giving and he accepting divine Honour, he was ſmitten with a mortall diſeaſe, He was eaten with wormes, and gave up the ghoſt, Acts 12.22.

Such as thoſe, Hoſea 7.3. That make the King glad with their wickedneſſe, and Princes with their lyes, That ſee vanitie, and deviſe folly, and ſay, The Lord ſaith it: Arbitrary Power, and government at pleaſure; This ſhall be the Cuſtome, 1 Sam. 8.11. They interpret it, This ſhall be the right, power, prerogative royall of your King, to take your ſons, your daughters, your tenths, and till you cry out becauſe of your King. Such as Rehoboams young Counſellours, Make thy little ſinger heavier then thy Fa­thers loynes, 1 Kings 12.10.

I take no delight to rub up old ſores, yet I requeſt thoſe whom it may concern to remember, That flatterers have been moſt fatall to Prin•••A Court Paraſite, is a Court Plague: It is moſt certainty true, That a King is made for the people, and not they for him: Their ſafety and wel­fare, ought to be the aime, and end of his government, in requitall of, and thankfulneſſe for which, his eaſe ſhould be their labour, his honour their endeavour, his ſafety, their hazard: and in as much as their ſecuritie is his chiefeſt worke, their tribute, and Honour ought to be duly payd to him as his juſt wages.

Princes are called Gods. An unjuſt, cruel, tyrannicall god, is non-ſenſe and blaſphemie, with all ſacred reve­rence be it ſpoken and receiv'd. If God himſelfe were as the ſon of man, that he might erre, or could be deceiv'd, an arbitrary and unlimited power terminated in crueltie26 and oppreſſion, would depoſe him from his royaltie, and make him even ſuch a Creator hatefull to his Creatures.

God who is the holy one, of purer eyes then to behold iniquitie, may deale with men, as the Potter with his Clay, and who ſhall ſay, What doeſt thou? his wayes are unſearchable, and his judgements paſt finding out; but for man, yea the beſt of men, who in their beſt eſtate are altogether vanitie, though they be called gods, they muſt die like men, and therefore muſt act according to thoſe Laws, which the King of Kings hath layd before them for his glory, and his peoples good.

It is recorded concerning king Joaſh, 2 Chron. 24.2. That he did that which was right in the ſight of the Lord, all the dayes of Jehoiada the Prieſt: and no longer: What, no Biſhop, no King; how true that Maxime is let others diſpute: Sure it is that a good Prieſt makes a good King, or at leaſt if he can help it will not endure a bad one. But what was the matter with Joaſh, after the death of Jehoiada, v. 17. The Princes of Judah came and did reve­rence unto him, and he hearkenod unto them, &c. Did they reverence him! it was but〈◊〉duty, but duty it ſelfe (as every vertue) hath two extremes, but he hearkened unto them, puffed up with pride he forgot to be humble, and allured by their flatteries was perſwaded to do that which in the concluſion tended to his ruine and the Na­tions woe.

Thoſe therefore that are or ſhall be the Counſellors of a King, remember what is written, As a roaring Lyon, and as a hungry Beare, ſuch is a wicked Ruler over a poore peo­ple, Pro. 28.15. It is not for Princes to be drunk with ambition, no more then with wine, this will make him erre in judgement, no leſſe, then that. It is better for Princes to be ſons of Conſolation, then of terror; and thoſe that take a delight to be, and be accounted Hun­ters27 before the Lord, it is juſt in God that they fall into the ſnare, and that the venome of his arrows dry up their ſpirits. Is the Prince naturally mercifull, cheriſh and pre­ſerve that temper in him, doe not as the Lyoneſſe did her young Lyon, teach him to catch, and to devoure the prey, Eze. 19.4. perſwade him not to waſt, and deſtroy, or ſhew himſelfe terrible with the noyſe of his roarings, leaſt the Nations beſet him, and lay ſnares for him, and he fall into their pit. The greateſt Triumph of a King, is to gaine the hearts, and winne the good affections of his people. He that hath theſe, ſhall never want their hands to vindicate, nor purſes to maintaine his Honour, and intereſt. That ſervice is quickeſt in diſpatch, and ſoars higheſt that is mounted upon the wings of love. A beloved Prince is as the breath of our noſtrills, The anoynted of the Lord, worth ten thouſand of us, no dan­gers ſhall diſquiet his repoſe, no cares line his Crowne, no terrors torment his ſpirit, if his ſubjects can helpe it. All Iſrael will come up to Hebron, to attend the Corona­tion of ſuch a King: on the contrary, what ſadder ſpe­ctacle in the world then to ſee a King, mounted on his triumphant Chariot, enriched with the ſpoyles, and drawne by his gald-backt, naked, and impoveriſhed ſub­jects. Which that neither wee, nor our children may ſee, let Kings, and Counſellours ponder & obſerve this truth, That when Kings in governing, goe beyond the limits of moderation, they paſſe the lines of ſecuritie, and run the hazard of their own ruine.

When Kings make their Will their Law, and their own Pleaſure, their Prerogative Royall, Subjects often make their Power their Priviledge, and conceive Might a ſuf­ſicient Right to vindicate their Liberties. As I cannot al­low the firſt, ſo I dare not approve the ſecond. I have heard the Advocates of The Kings Bench, and am not al­together28 ignorant what is ſaid for the Common pleas, I have ſummon'd a Grand Jury of my ſerious thoughts in the Caſe, which have return'd an Ignoramus, and I am reſolv'd to leave both partyes to ſtand or fall to their owne Maſter.

But for this firſt branch of this ſeditious faction, let them Conſider the text; Feare the Lord, and the King: Firſt the Lord, then the King; The King after, in, with, and for the Lord; He that would be able to give a good ac­count of his loyaltie, muſt prefix theſe prepoſitions as Eſ­ſentials of pietie, he cannot love the King, that feares not God: Are drinking of healths, ſwearing, ramming, dam­ming, hideous and deſperate execrations and Curſings the ſymptomes of a loyall ſubject: doe ſuch damnable and deplorable carriages ſpeake thoſe that uſe them the ſervants of a Chriſtian King, defender of the faith, or the Curſed vaſſalls of Baalzebub Prince of the Devils.

Oh that my Counſell might be acceptable to ſuch, to break off this ſin by Repentance, and this iniquitie by a publique confeſſion, that there may be a healing of the error; That that may be effected, (which for feare of them hath been partly obſtructed) which is by all deſi­red, That our Judges may be reſtored as at the firſt, and our Magiſtrates as at the beginning. Thus far of the firſt.

The ſecond ſort of ſeditious perſons, are ſuch as will have no King. Every ſmall diſcontent armes them into deſperate undertakings. What portion have we in David? or what inheritance in the ſon of Iſhai? To your tents O Iſrael; Now look to thy owne houſe David? Stay, ſtay, a little, may not a man be more zealous then religious? more forward then wiſe; conſider the end of it, will it not be bitterneſſe, and an evill day? But further, Have wee no ſhare in David, no inheritance in the houſe of29 Iſhai? Was he fleſh of our fleſh, and bone of our bone, at his inauguration, and have we no intereſt in the ſuc­ceſſion? Is that the beſt Counſell, To thy tents of Iſrael. Well goe on, rejoyce in Jeroboam, and his golden Calves. Make prieſts of the meaneſt of the people; ſubmit to any thing rather then a returne to the houſe of David. God permits much that he doth not approve of. Let me with the peace of a good conſcience, lye with Lazarus upon a dunghill, yea die like a dog in a ditch, rather then ſtand in the way of ſinners, or ſit in the ſeat of the ſcorn­full. May my memory periſh rather then deſerve ſuch a Monument as Jeroboam had; This is Jeroboam the ſon of Nebat, that made Iſrael to ſin.

Sedition hath ſomtimes ſucceſſe, but doth never pro­ſper; the concluſions of it though purchaſed by blood are leſſe valuable then water. It is in this caſe as it was with David, Oh that any would give me to drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, (his enemies the Philiſhins then lying round about it) His worthyes will venture their lives to ſatisfie his longing, (what will not zeale and affection do) but when he hath it he refuſes to drink it; but powring it on the ground ſayes, Is not this the blood of theſe men, The blood of men is a dear rate for an imaginary liberty; ſuch a one as like Plato's Idea, hath its exiſtence only in fancy, and is Ens rationis, more properly then Ens reale: If this be liberty ſay many thouſands in England, would we had been ſubjects ſtill; and he that thanked God that he was borne a freeman and not a ſlave, had as little reaſon for it, as he that bleſ­ſed God, that he was born a vaſſall to the Crown of Eng­land.

Barrabas was committed for ſedition and murther; Thoſe two are not eaſily ſeperated. Yet oh, the miſery of popular tumults, how eaſily are they moved to put30 to death the holy one, and the juſt, and to require a mur­therer to be given unto them.

Seditions againſt Princes, and government eſtabliſhed are not very many in Scripture, yet ſome we read of, as that of inſinuating Abſalom (who ſaved the executio­ner a labour, and was hang'd in a halter of his own ſpin­ning) That of Sheba; the Son of Bieri, (whoſe head ſoon after ranſomed the whole body of his Army) both againſt David. The beſt Princes have many times the worſt ſubjects; their pliable natures are eaſieſt abuſed, and turbulent ſpirits having (as the man in the fable) by ſome conceſſions gain'd a handle for his ax in requi­tall cut down the Tree.

But of all ſeditions in holy writ that which the Apo­ſtle calls The gainſaying of Corah, ſeems to be (take it in all parts, and under all conſiderations) the moſt dange­rous and deſperate. Numb. 16. The Ring-leader is Corah, an eminent perſon in the Tribe of Levi, with whom Dathan and Abiram two of the ſons of Ruben, who gain into their confederacy two hundred and fifty men, Captains of the aſſembly, famous men in the congrega­tion and men of renowne, theſe gather together againſt Moſes and Aaron, and in plain terms tell them, That they take too much upon them, all the congregation is holy, yea every one of them; why then ſhould they (ſeeing the Lord was amongſt them) lift up themſelves above the congregation of the Lord. Was not this recorded in ſa­cred writ, I could ſcarcely receive it for a truth being a faction made up of pretended religion, and intended ambition; Specious pretences countenanced by men fa­mous both in Church and ſtate, ſo coloured and covered over with diſſembled ſanctity, that even Moſes and Aa­ron, the King and the Prieſt muſt ſuffer in their reputa­tion, and honour, and in the Vulgar account paſſe for31 Tyrannicall and Antichriſtian. But true it is, for truth it ſelf hath recorded it, and in as much as it is written for our learning. We may learn from it,

Firſt, That innocence it ſelfe is no guard againſt im­pudent and ſlanderous tongues; Moſes though the meek­eſt of men, muſt paſſe for a Tyrant, if ſeditious ſouls will dare to ſay, others will be ready to believe it, though there be no cauſe for it.

Secondly, Moſes and Aaron, the Magiſtrate and the Miniſter are equally levelled by factions, and as inſtitu­ted at firſt by God to comfort and ſupport one another, as Saul and Jonathan lovely in their lives, ſo in their deaths, they are not ſeperated.

Thirdly, That blaſphemy, hypocriſie and counterfeit holineſſe, ever uſhers in ſedition and rebellion. All the Congregation is holy, every one, and the Lord is with us, &c.

Fourthly, That the grand abetters and maintainers of faction, are not only bred, but often eminent in Church and State; Their enemies being uſually thoſe of their own houſhold.

I ſhall deſcant no longer on this ſeditious ſubject, may thoſe that reade it conſider what hath been ſaid, and the Lord give us grace to prevent that woe which is threat­ned againſt them, that followed the wayes of Cain (who ſlew righteous Abel) and are lead away like Balaam with the wages of deceit, (ready to doe any thing for money) and have periſhed in the gainſaying of Corah, Jude v. 11.

And this leads me by the hand from the Doctrine, the word of Command, My ſon, fear thou the Lord and the King, and meddle not with the ſeditious, to the Reaſon, a word of terrour, for their deſtruction ſhall come ſud­denly, and who knows how ſpeedy may be the ruine of them both?

32

What Daniel ſayd of the Dreame, let me ſay of this for the certainty of it, it is doubled; firſt, by way of aſſerti­on; ſecondly, of expoſtulation: of theſe in order.

In the aſſertion obſerve; firſt, The judgement threat­ned; Deſtruction.

When Separation and Confuſion is the worke; what fitter wages then ruine and deſtruction. Is not deſtructi­on to the wicked, and ſtrange puniſhment to the workers of iniquitie, Job 31.3. Is it not Gods ſolemne proteſtation, Ezek. 35.6. As I live, ſaith the Lord, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood ſhall purſue thee: except thou hate blood, blood ſhall purſue thee. Are not the threatnings of this nature many? Is not the viſion plaine? Though it tar­ry for an appointed time, yet he that ſhall come will come. Have not the children of affliction comforted themſelves with theſe meditations in their worſt conditions? It is Davids Counſell, Pſal. 55.22. Caſt thy burthen upon the Lord, and he ſhall nouriſh thee, and will not ſuffer the Righ­teous to fall for ever. But for the implacable enemies and treacherous friends of his Church, ſuch as maintaine cru­eltie, and ſtrife, in the Citie; ſuch as lay their hands up­on thoſe that be at peace; and breake the Covenant; Whoſe words are ſofter then butter, but warre is in their hearts; whoſe expreſſions are ſmooth as oyle, yet are they ſwords: Such God will bring downe into the pit of deſtru­ction: bloody and deceitfull men, ſhall not live out halfe their dayes, v. 23.

But this is not all, not onely a deſtruction, but theirs is threatned: obſerve.

Secondly, A deſtruction appropriated as it were to the nature of the Crime, ſeaſonable to the time, and ſu­table to the occaſion, in the puniſhment God writes the ſin, and in the penaltie proclaimes; Lo this is the Man, and this was his Fault. Adonibezecks confeſſion, may be33 their ſuperſcription; As I have done, ſo God hath reward­ed me, Judg. 1.7. They either ſuffer with a〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as we call them, either God caſts them into the ſame pit that they have digged for others, or into ano­ther like it; either he hangs them with Hamman upon the ſame gallowes, or makes another very like it. There is e­ver ſome conformitie either of the ſubject, or ſome re­markable Circumſtance of time or place. Their deſtru­ction is mighty, bitter, ſtrange, great, deadly, compar'd to, illuſtrated by, and often joyn'd with hell it ſelfe; Briefly, it may be ſaid of the ſeditious what is recorded of Corah, & his companions; The Lord creates a new thing in the earth, they are not viſited as others are, neither doe they die the death of other men. God uſually pleads the Cauſe of his ſervants before the ſons of men, bringing (without any deſire or endeavour of theirs) the miſchie­vous deſigns of their enemies upon their own heads, and their violent dealings upon their own pates. Which leads me to a

Third Obſervation, It comes, unexpected, uncontriv'd; No ſecret plots are needfull to contrive that which God hath deſign'd publiquely to bring about in the ſight of Heaven, and before the Sun. Mans device cannot fur­ther, but may at leaſt ſeemingly obſtruct Gods reſolution. It comes many wayes, how often is the Candle of the wick­ed put out, and their deſtruction cometh upon them when God divideth their lives, in his wrath, Job 21.17. When their day cometh as a deſtroyer from the Almightie. When they leaſt expect it, feare and a ſnare is upon them, with deſolation and deſtruction; yea uſually it marcheth ſo furiculſly, that when it cometh they ſue and ſeek for peace, but cannot finde it, Ezek. 7.25. And this leads us to the fourth Obſervation.

Fourthly, Suddenly. Sudden death never paſſes with­out34 obſervation, it is at leaſt a mercy to be ſorewarned of our miſery, and not to ſtand upon ſuch ſlippery pla­ces as ſuddenly to goe downe into hell. It is a ſad con­dition to be ſurrounded with ſnares, to be ſuddenly trou­bled witheares, and yet ſuch is the condition of thoſe that caſt out Widdows emptie, and that have broken the armes of the fatherleſſe, Job 22.9, 10. What greater ca­lamitie then for deſtruction to come ſpeedily, and ſud­denly to be deſtroyed without recovery; yet this is the portion of him that deviſeth lewd things, and that ſtirreth up contentions, Prov. 6.15. Would a man paint out mi­ſery to the life; What can be more ſayd to lay out the lines of it? then Evill ſhall come upon thee, and thou ſhalt not know the morning thereof: deſtruction ſhall fall upon thee which thou ſhalt not be able to put away: de­ſtruction ſhall come upon thee ſuddenly or ever thou be aware, and yet this is the lot of them, who truſt in their wickedneſſe, and ſay, None ſeeth it, whoſe wiſdome and knowledge have cauſed them to rebell: who have ſaid in their hearts, I am, and none elſe, vid. Eſa. 47.10, 11. It is the Lords Threatning againſt thoſe that have in­creaſed that which is not theirs; that they ſhall riſe up ſuddenly, that ſhall bite them, and awake that ſhall ſtirre them up, and make them their prey, Hab. 2.7, 8.

But to add the Expoſtulation, Who knowes the ruine of them both? Who knowes how ſudden or in what manner? The Scripture compares it to the pangs of a woman. When they ſay, peace and ſafety, ſudden deſtructi­on ſhall come, &c. 1 Theſſ. 5.3. The Prophet Eſa. 29.6. Sets it out by thunder, ſhaking, a terrible noyſe, a whirl­wind, tempeſt, and a flame of devouring fire. Who can comment upon theſe compariſons without amazement, or think of them without terror? The danger is paſt be­fore the report come, in thunders, earth-quakes and35 lightnings. Tempeſts are uſhered in by Halcion dayes or fairer weather; and ſire (though moderated the beſt of ſervants, yet) if become devouring, the worſt of maſters. It is alſo compar'd, to a breach in a high wall, whoſe breakingut comes ſuddenly even in a moment, Iſa. 30.13. Which puts me in mind of the houſe built upon ſand, which when the ſtorms beat upon it it fell, and the fall of it was great.

But the Genius of the time admits not of long diſcour­ſes. This concerns the wiſe, and great men whoſe office it is, not only to ſtand in, but to make up the breach, and a word to the wiſe is ſufficient. I ſhall therefore briefly from Scripture lay down, the ſudden and obſervable de­ſtructions of the ſeditious, and then apply it, that others may hear and fear.

In as much as we ſpoke of two ſorts of ſeditious per­ſons, and that diſtinctly in the doctrinall part, I ſhall fol­low the like method in the Rationall, and ſpeak firſt to the advancers of Tyranny, either by evill counſell, or wicked practiſes. Such hath ever been fatall both to Prince and people, and have in ſome ſutable and remark­able way found this true, That their deſtruction came ſuddenly.

I ſhall begin with the mother of a King, Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah, 2 Chron. 22.3. She counſelled him to do wickedly, in ſo much as he did evill in the ſight of the Lord to his deſtruction: And obſervable it is, That it is ſaid, v. 7. The deſtruction of Amaziah came of God, i.e. was in a ſingular manner appointed and ordered of God. For his periſhing together with the houſe of Ahab was the reward of his unhappy compliance. And for A­thaliah ſhe was ſlain at the command of Jehoiada the Prieſt, a ſtrange and ſevere example, the mother and grand-mother of a King, ſlain at the appointment of the36 high Prieſt; She had broke up the houſe of the Lord, and beſtowed upon Baalim whatſoever was dedicated to the houſe of the Lord. When wicked counſellers vio­late Gods glory, Prieſts have ſomtimes the honour to ex­ecute upon them the judgements that are written. Though this we may admire, not imitate.

The next we ſhall take notice of is a Treaſurer, Ado­ram, the receiver of the tribute, 1 Kings 12.18. Near in name, and perhaps in relation to Adoniram, who in So­lomons time was over the tribute, he is ſent by Rehoboam to paciſie, and loe he periſheth by the tumult; they ſtone him to death: well may their hands be ready to break him, whoſe faces he had before ground to pow­der by needleſſe and unnaturall taxes; it may be he was ſuch a one as made himſelf rich, and his maſter poore, and therefore judg'd a fit treaſurer for the devill, in the meantime know this, that as cruell tax-maſdters are unwarrantable, ſo the puniſhing of them by popular tu­mults is unſufferable. God is juſt, though the inſtru­ments be unjuſt, and perhaps ordered in the providence of God to deter men from ſuch cruel practiſes, when they ſee revenge taken without, yea & againſt Law, by them upon whom uſually the law gets little ſatisfaction,

But to come from Counſellers to Kings themſelves. Adonibezek, Judg. 1.8. Though he had his toes, and his ſingers cut off, yet could point at his own cruelty, in Gods ſeverity, as I have done, ſo the Lord hath rewarded me. And Agag the King of the Amalekites (happy in no­thing but that he dyed by the hand of Samuel) had not only the execution, but the ſentence of juſtice paſſ'd up­on him. As thy ſword hath made women childleſſe, ſo ſhall thy mother be childleſſe amongſt women, 1 Sam. 15.33. Pharoah who had ordered the male children of Iſrael to be drowned, did in the ſight of Iſrael ſink like a ſtone37 to the bottom of the Sea, Exod. 15.5. He, whoſe hand had been ſo heavy upon the poor Iſraelites in the houſe of bondage, he with his inſtruments of tyranny ſanke as led in the mighty waters; He who ſhewed no mercy to men, when they laboured in the very fire, found no com­paſſion from God when he tumbled in the mighty wa­ters. Jehoiakim who had ſlaine Ʋriah the Prophet with the ſword, and with contempt had caſt out his dead bo­dy, (Jer. 26.23. ) was himſelf buried with the buriall of an aſſe, drawn, and caſt forth out of the gates of Je­ruſalem, Chap. 22.19. Thus thoſe that walk in the counſels of the ungodly, and ſtand in the way of ſinners are never able to appear in judgment, or ſtand in the congregation of the righteous.

This place would be convenient to handle the queſti­on, whether it be lawfull to kill a tyrant or no; of all that I have ſeene upon the affirmative, none ſaith leſſe to more purpoſe then a late peice call'd, Killing no mur­ther; If reaſon alone were predominant, the man ſeems unanſwerable, but with Chriſtians, what is not of Faith is ſin; and for our parts our doctrine allowes no ſuch practiſe, neither the Church (reformed) of Chriſt; For him that writ it may he live to recant it, and thoſe that did abet and countenance it (ſome late active men know what I meane) let them take heed that the ſame de­ſtruction leveld at another, light not upon themſelves, and that they fall not into the ſame net that was ſpred for another. God hath ſometimes by an extraordinary hand taken vengeance, as Phineas upon Zamri and Cozby, Samuel upon Agag, and Johoiada upon Athaliah; yet are none of theſe warrantable for our example; theſe being the extraordinary actings of Gods juſtice, not allowable in the common courſe of his providence. No poſitive command there is, and pittie indeed that there ſhould38 be, ſeeing vertue it ſelfe is often by the envious blaſted as vicious, and wholeſome ſeveritie, is by ſome branded for Tyranny; But let Kings and the Great ones of the earth know this, that if they be not accountable to men, yet God by man often takes vengeance; nor is it much comfort for a malefactor, to have his executioners com­pany to another world. Let Princes imploy faithfull and godly Counſellors, grave, and experienc'd, and above all let them beg of God, to guide them with his Counſell, and then doubtleſſe he will bring them to glory.

Leaſt any miſtaking what hath been ſayd, ſhould con­demne the generation of the juſt, and conclude all Prin­ces to have been tyrannicall, that have dyed by ſudden or violent death, I have thought it convenient to enter this Caution againſt it; God is ever juſt, but often un­ſearchable, he doth not ever by externall mercies or pu­niſhments put a difference betwixt thoſe that feare God, and thoſe that feare him not: Where Juſtice is apparant it is good to ſay little; but when the matter is ſecret, it is beſt to be ſilent: The ſame God takes away by the ſame ſtroke, an evill King, for the evills committed, and a good King from the evills to come.

Now to the ſecond ſort of ſeditious perſons which de­ſpiſe Government, ſuch Wildings and Medlers as the laſt & perillous times muſt bring forth; Lovers of themſelves; Covetous, &c. Covenant-breakers, falſe accuſers, Traytors, heady, high-minded, &c. 2 Tim. 3.2, 3, 4. Their deſtru­ction alſo cometh ſuddenly.

To begin with Abimeleck, that ſhrub of Honour, fittero make a fire of then a King, who attended by a Com­pany of light and vaine fellowes, ready for hire to ſide with any partie, or doe any thing that he ſhall command, Lords it over the lives and fortunnes of his brethren; The men of Sychem accommodate him with a little money;39 (none ſo imperious as a mounted beggar) and then who but Abimeleck; till God ſent an evill Spirit (could it be worſe then that of pride, covetouſneſſe and murther that poſſeſſed him before) to effect what was determined, and a fire from Abimeleck devoured the men of Sichem, and a fire from them devoured Abimelech. Treacherous factious though they hold together for a time, yet uſually they diſſipate and deſtory one another. So muſt thy enemies periſh O Lord.

The next is Achitophel, a wiſe Counſellour, whoread­vice was like the Oracle of God, as long as pietie towards God, and loyaltie towards his Soveraigne are joyned to­gether in him; but convinced of his folly, and confounded by reaſon of his treachery, He thinks it ſafer to goe on, (the greater politician the worſe convert) though to the ruine of him and his for ever, then to make an honorable retreat, He ſets all in order but himſelfe, and to ſave the Law and the executioner a labour, he hangs thimſelfe. His ſin not being proſperous, had he proved penitent, he might with Shimei, & others have procured his pardon. But of all rebellions that is the worſt that hates to be re­formed, and refuſeth to returne, yet ſeeing it was ſo ill, it is well it was no worſe, he hang'd alone, and had no o­ther Company.

Though the queſtion was askt by one of the worſt of women; Had Zimri peace who ſlew his Maſter? 2 Kings 9.31. Yet the beſt of men muſt acknowledge that he had neither peace, nor proſperous ſucceſſe in that horrid trea­ſon. What his treaſon was the 1 Kings 16.10. will tell you, and what concluſion it had you may ſee in the 18 verſe; He burnt himſelfe and the Kings houſe with fire; Fires of that nature kindled by treaſon, and increaſ'd by cove­touſneſſe and ambition, uſually ſucceed accordingly, and conſumes as well the Traytor as the object of the Trea­ſon. 40Jehu ſeems to ſleight the preſident, but for all his con­fidence, & commiſſion, a few years did convince his heires and ſucceſſors of the infallibilitie of it, when God himſelf did avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the houſe of Jehu. It is neither honour, nor advantage to be Gods ax, eſpeci­ally when the ax boaſts it ſelf againſt him that hews with it. Gods rods are uſually made of combuſtible matter, as appears when the time of correction and viſitation is o­ver. It was Aarons rod, the rod of peace that was laid up in the Sanctuary before the Lord; the rods of Jannes and Jambres that withſtood Moſes, were devoured by it, though by inchantments turned into formidable Ser­pents. Peace muſt proſper, and will prevail, when the au­thors of confuſions and deluſions ſhall periſh. The office of a hangman was never ſued for by an ingenuous ſpirit; nor have I heard of any that liv'd with credit or died with comfort; The Juſtice of God is often executed up­on the perſons and families of Princes, but far be it from a pious ſoul to ſtrive to be the executioner, or once to boaſt of or rejoyce in ſuch execution. I have examined the Scripture, (which is my rule and ought to be every chriſtians) and I do not find one that ever lift up his hand in this nature againſt his maſter, that ever had the peace of a good conſcience to gratifie him in, or reall comfort to crown ſuch actions. Would you find the vipers neſt of nation and kingdome-deſtroying-tenents, as Idolatry, Schiſm, Hereſie, you may find them nouriſhed in the ſkirts of ſuch as have ſhakt off both piety, and loyalty, and though none boaſt more of upright hearts then they yet few but give a better account of them in their con­verſations. It is ſad to obſerve, that the depoſers of Ty­rants have exceeded the depoſed in tyranny, & oppreſſi­on, and who did more advance the honour of Baal then he, who but a little before had offered ſo many of his41 Prieſts as a ſolemn ſacrifice to his fury; but contemplations and experiences of this nature are endleſſe: To conclude this part of our diſcourſe; What became of Abſolom, we have ſhewed already; The fatall farewell of Corah and his compa­nions is well known; What popular tumult ever produced good, or did not end in its own evill; What bloody begin­nings (though with intentions of reforming church and ſtate) ever brought forth happy concluſions, unleſſe a miracle of mercy, the effect of true and lively repentance did create life out of death, light out of darkneſſe, and good out of evill.

And now I have toucht upon that center to which all the lines of my diſcourſe tend, and in which they reſt. Repentance and godly ſorrow for our grand tranſgreſſions and impieties againſt God and diſloyalties againſt our King, is the only haven into which the weather-beaten ſhip of this common­wealth of England muſt be put, if ſhe that hath been ſo long afflicted and toſſed with tempeſts would ever find ſafety or comfort. We have ſought the Lord, ſtretcht out our hands, made many and long prayers, and God hath not heard us, & why? our hands are full of blood; we have faſted and hum­bled our ſelves, and yet the alſeeing eye of God takes no no­tice of it, alas the reaſon is evident, we have faſted to ſtrife, & debate, & to ſtrike with the fiſt of wickednes. Oh that eve­ry wiſe man in this nation would ſeriouſly lay to heart the ſaying of that wiſe woman, 2 Sam. 14.14. We muſt all dy, & we are all as water ſpilt upon the ground, which cannot be gathered up again: Neither doth God (when he executes juſtice) ſpare any perſons, yet he hath appointed means, that he that is caſt out may not be (utterly) expelled. I cannot look at the miſe­ries of our dayes without grief of heart and ſorrow of mind. I cannot remember the dayes of by-paſt ſlaughter, nor eye our preſent diſtractions, but I muſt wiſh with Jeremy, that my head was full of water, and mine eyes a fountaine of tears, that I might weep day and night, for the ſlain of the daughter of my people. Did David beg of God to deliver him from42 blood-guiltineſſe, with ſo much earneſtneſſe, for one mans blood, and are we ſenſleſſe of the blood of thouſands ſlain in theſe uncivill civill wars, (the price of whoſe blood is con­fuſion and miſery) nay which is worſe, after a tryall of our own wayes (which we ſee to be evill, and to have no leſſe then a nationall death, and deſtruction for their iſſue) yet we repent not to give glory to God; Oh England, England! hath not God given thee a time of repentance, and thou haſt not repented, what doſt thou expect but that God ſhould caſt thee into a bed of ſorrow, and puniſh thy vain preſum­tions with unſufferable torments. If what hath been delive­red in the doctrinal part of the text be truth, (and he deſervs to be ſton'd for blaſphemy that denyes it) thou haſt erred and haſt been deceived, God hath hitherto pitied thy wan­drings, & lookt upon thee as ſheep ſcattered upon the moun­tains without a ſhepherd: Oh return, return O Shulamite ſeek the Lord by repentance, and fear; and your King with ſub­miſſion and reverence; Remember the oath of God, & your moſt ſolemne nationall covenant, the purſuance of that was the Good Cauſe, but ſince we broke Covenant with God in falſifying, evading, colouring and covering of oaths, ſwear­ing falſly, methinks God hath ſworn in his wrath, that we ſhall never enter into reſt, in government we have had none and in conſciences I fear but little; now by a deep humilia­tion and an acknowledgment of your ſins committed againſt God and man, repent, and return, and fear the Lord and his goodneſſe in theſe latter dayes. But what is ſaid to all, few take notice of, as relating to themſelves; I muſt therefore more particularly apply my diſcourſe to the Parliament, City, and Army.

To the Parliament; Gentlemen you look upon your ſelves as the Keepers of our Libertie: for your own ſoules ſake con­ſider ſeriouſly how you have kept it, and what a libertie we are brought to, is it not juſt ſuch another as that which God proclaimed againſt rebellious Iſrael? Jer. 34.17. A libertie, to43 the ſword, to the peſtilence, and to the famine; Such a liber­tie, as is likely to make us a terrour & an aſtoniſhment to the whole world. I am for my own part a man of many bodily in­firmities, I know not what a day may bring forth in order to my diſſolution, let me be arraigned before the ſevereſt of your Commiſſioners for a malignant, rather then at the barre of Gods juſtice for an hypocrite. I have ever been, I bleſſe God, a plain ſpirited man, and ſuch you muſt expect, and ſuf­fer me to be. If you be not able to beare my ſpeech, your friend, your familiar, what will you doe when God ſhall re­prove you, and ſet all in order before you. Two things you owe an account of to God, and to the Country; Firſt, of the authoritie by vertue of which you act; and ſecondly, of the aime & end, yea of the manner and method of your actings.

For the firſt, many thouſands in England, do deny that ever they intruſted you, in any ſuch authoritie as you aſſume; For my part; I doe look upon you, as the Remnant of a venerable Parliament, in order to which I have been ready to vindicate in what I might, your proceedings, not as the beſt that may, or ſuch as ought to be for ever our rule, or guide, but ſuch as neceſſitie hath impoſ'd upon us for a time, till better might be eſtabliſhed; in order to which, I took heinouſly the laſt de­fection, and rebellion of the Soldery againſt you, did declare, to the receivers of the tax, that I would pay no tax towards the armies maintenance. When ſome of Lamberts Officers lay at my houſe in their march into the North, I did expoſtulate the Caſe with them, told them how hainouſly the Country took it, &c. To which they made this anſwer, The Country had no Cauſe to take ill the diſſolving of this Parliament, for it was their Parliament, not the Countries; ſetled by them, not by the Country, and to do their work, not the Countries. This they did ſay, and beſides giving of you hateful and ridi­culous names, did render you the objects of contempt and ſcorne, but you have pardoned them, and I ſhall be ſilent. I beſeech you examine your Call and Commiſſion to the exer­ciſe44 of this authoritie; We are a free people, and you your ſelves have declar'd, That it is Tyranny, and Treaſon for any to impoſe upon us in poynt of government, but by the legal and juſt choice of the people. For the power that you have, I profeſſe, I doe not envie it to you, I rather pittie you; You ſtand, in all mens apprehenſions, upon ſlippery places; It is not for the ho­nour nor ſafety of theſe Nations to ſubmit to ſuch a decima­tion in State-matters, That ſcarce the tenth part of a Parlia­ment, ſhould paſſe for a Free and Full Parliament: look upon your ſelves (you that have ſeen the Majeſtie of a full Parlia­ment in the dayes of Monarchy, ſome of you have not) when aſſembled in the Houſe, and tell me if you look like ſuch an Honorable Aſſembly as that uſed to be; That ſhould render this Nation ſo happy at home, and ſo formidable abroad. Who would not rather be the Turnkay of ſuch a Parliament, then the Speaker in this. The preſent condition is intolerable, neither ſafe nor comely. Have you not purged your ſelves, and been purged by one or other til you are a ſhadow, rather then a ſubſtance? and is this our Honour, Happineſſe, Free­dome; or, the glory, priviledge, and intereſt of our Engliſh Parliament?

For the ſecond, your aime, ends, method, and manner of act­ings: Was there ever ſuch a thought in thoſe that elected you to be Parliament men, that you ſhould deſtroy King & king­ly Government? Did you declare any ſuch thing, when you raiſ'd your Army, oh look over your own Declarations, Re­monſtrances, Proteſtations, Covenants, Orders & Ordinances; If there was juſt cauſe (which few that feare God will ſay, and not one of a thouſand do believe) to remove the perſon, yet what had the office done? Kingly government is of divine inſtitution, no other (unleſſe in ſubordination to that) com­manded or commended to us, you have made triall of your own wayes, you ſee how ſuddenly they came to nothing, and how ſpeedily they are likely to bring us to worſe then no­thing. Remember the vaſt disburſements of this Nation, The45 loanes upon publique faith, the Free-will offerings, the taxes, aſſeſſments, the exciſe, the Cuſtomes, the Crowne & Church Lands, would they not very neere have purchaſed ſuch a Kingdome. Was it ever intended to exhauſt theſe treaſures, and alienate theſe lands to no other purpoſe but to build an imaginary Babel, or if you will A Caſtle in the aire, is this to make a glorious King and Kingdome, &c.

In the Name and Feare of God, and for the Lords ſake, re­member from whence you are falne, and do your firſt works. Setle a free and full Parliament, free both in choice, & votes, without factious bandings in the choice, or force upon their actings: Let us hear of no oaths, to binde up mens conſciences, It is dangerous dallying with a conſuming fire & everlaſting burning; others have found it, you will finde it, if timely re­pentance prevent not. Our condition is not yet deſperate, nor yours: not ours, For I do verily believe, our miſeries may be improved to ſuch advantages, and our tryalls, to ſuch ex­periences, as may render us, the wiſer for this folly, the cal­mer, for theſe Hiricanes for ever hereafter. For yours, though good intentions will never juſtifie evill actions, nor can igno­rance excuſe totally; yet in as much as it may be ſuppoſ'd, that you have but attempted to try experiments, which fail­ing in, you are ſorry for; I doubt not, but that both with God and man, you may finde that mercy, that you can implore, and be the objects of pittie, rather then puniſhment, yea was the government well ſetled as formerly, your experiences may fit you for employments, and none ſo likely to be faithfull and ſerviceable; They that are Conſcious of by-paſt wandrings, muſt needs be Cautious to avoyd, and the beſt Counſellors to prevent them ever after. Wherefore let my Counſell be ac­ceptable, Feare the Lord, and the King, repent of the former ſeditions, and medle no more with them, leaſt deſtruction come upon you and us at unawares, and miſery like an ar­med man.

As for the Citie, our great and once famous Metrapolis;46 Can you without ſorrow remember thoſe ſad tumults, begun in you, if not raiſ'd and countenane't by you? What fruit have you now of thoſe ſtorms, of which you have cauſe to be a­ſham'd? or do you not read your ſin in your puniſhment? Have not you your ſelves judg'd them your very Tormentors, that you cryed up as your only Patrons, and Protectors? Have you not found that, an obſtruction to your Eſtates, Freedomes, Tradings, yea Conſciences, which you ſometimes with anima­ted and armed tumults maintain'd, magnified, yea almoſt a­dored? I ſhall exaſperate no further, but adviſe; if there be a­ny piety, any power to prevaile with God, or intereſt impro­vable with men, in a peaceable and ſober way, declare your diſlikes of former exorbitancies; That confeſſing, forſaking, and redreſſing your former faults, you may finde mercy pro­portionable to your miſeries, & a ſeaſonable healing of your ſelfe-deſtroying errors. I ſhall not charge blood upon you, and God of his infinite mercy, never lay that to your charge, which hath been ſhed within your walls and juriſdictions. Wherein you have at leaſt contracted ſo much guilt as to ſtand by, & look on, while men devoured him that was more righteous then themſelves; ſtand not thus halting betwixt two opinions, if God be God worſhip him, and if Monarchy be your aime, declare for it: The ſame courage, with a better Conſcience, will build that up to your honour and ſafety, which your inconſiderate wantonneſſe hath to your great prejudice demoliſhed. The decree is not I hope paſſ'd upon you, but that your conviction and converſion to pietie, and loyaltie, may yet ſpeak you in the ages to come, a Citie of Righteouſneſſe, and a faithfull Citie. Ponder the text well, and the diſcourſe upon it, Feare the Lord, and the King, leaſt a deſtruction from the Lord come upon you at unaware, and an irrecoverable ruine be your Reward.

Now Souldiers a word to you; I know it is dangerous med­ling with edg tools, but a good Conſcience is an iron ſinew, and a brow of braſſe. You have been eſteemed as a righteous47 Armie; Some ſay your prayers and teares prevail'd more then your ſtrength or valour, and I acknowledge it while you did purſue the Good old Cauſe for The King, and his great Coun­cell the Parliament; your undertakings were honourable, your valour incomparable, and your victories not to be para­leld; But after you deſerted that, & contrary to your ſolemne appeals and proteſtations, you deſtroyd him whoſe glory and ſafety you pretended to fight for, how have you been reſt­leſſe in your ſpirits, ſeduced in your judgements, and carried headlong into moſt dangerous and deſperate undertakings.

After the Kings death, you leveld them that had raiſ'd you, and exerciſ'd that obſtructing and diſſolving facultie, upon them who had taught you to doe it before to their fellow-members. You ſet up a ſingle perſon, whoſe onely right was might, & title, power: what you were in ſo doing, let that pe­tition ſign'd by Alured, Okey, Saunders, and others, tell you; Nay, let your own papers of recantation tell you (after you had pulld downe the Protector, and diſſolv'd a Free, and an ingenuous Parliament,) that you were deluded, deceiv'd, miſ-led, yea bewitch'd (it is your owne expreſſion) &c. and how was it with you when you obſtructed That Remnant that your ſelves ſet up, and undertook to pull down what­ever diſpleaſed you, and to ſet up the imaginary idolls of your own fancies, which yet proved formleſſe and ſenſleſſe vanities; I know the greateſt part of the Northerne Army diſclamed this laſt act, but are you not all at this time un­ſetled in your reſolutions, toſt to and fro, with uncertaine and unconſtant purpoſes. There is a center which you have forſaken, and expect no reſt till you find it again. For the King, and his great Councill the Parliament, let that be your word, and your work for ever; Your words may ſpare your ſwords the labour; make it your requeſt, who dares deny it? fear not a concurrence of City, and Country; this is the way to repaire our breaches, to delude the devices of our cloſe and implacable enemies, to render you for ever a famous, and48 faithfull Army, to procure you thoſe Arrears, which other­wiſe with juſtice you cannot demand, nor without cruelty exact; This will be the beſt ſervice you ever performed, the moſt acceptable to God and your Country; This will be the only remedy againſt your fears, and the only courſe to pro­cure love. To conclude, An honourable retreat, in a caſe of diſadvantage, is the higheſt point of military prudence: Come off now at laſt with credit, declare for God in the uni­ty of your ſpirits, and piety of your converſations, for tke King and his great Councill the Parliament, in your addreſſes and valiant undertakings: It is ſafer, and more honourable to make a King, then to be all Kings. You have been Gods rod to correct this kingdome, be now his ſtaffe to uphold it from ruine, that the God, working wonders, may be admired in the paſſages of his providence, while he employes the ſame inſtruments to kill, and to make alive, that the Nations may ſay, this is the Lords doing, and it is wonderfull in our eyes; To which God immortall, eternall, and infinite I a­ſcribe the honour, and return the praiſe of theſe underta­kings, humbly preſenting my Petition, and entring my ap­peale.

My God, my God, thou that haſt made my heart, and knoweſt it, and art well acquainted with the revolutions and windings of it, unto thee do I come; If I have aim'd at man, or made the ſon of man my confidence; if I have been courted by any but conſtrain'd by thee; if preferment hath been my hopes, or I have ſought my ſelfe in this deſigne, levell my life with the grave, and lay mine honour in the duſt; but if the advance­ment of thy glory, and the kingdomes ſafety; if the peace of our Sion, and proſperity of our Jeruſalem; If the prevention of our inevitable ruines, and the reſtoring of our juſt and happy liberties, have been and are my deſires, in this worke, let thy bleſſings O Lord, be upon it, and proſper it as thine own; as for thy ſervant, preſerve him in thy goodneſſe, and let him not be aſhamed, becauſe he hath a reſpect to thy Commandement. Amen, Amen.
FINIS.

About this transcription

TextA changling no company for lovers of loyaltie, or The subjects lesson in poynt of sacred submission to, and humble complyance with God and the King; wherein confusion is reduced to order, misery to mercy; reproach and shame to freedom and honour.
AuthorW. H..
Extent Approx. 109 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 29 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
Edition1660
SeriesEarly English books online.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A86216)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 119635)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 151:E1021[4])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationA changling no company for lovers of loyaltie, or The subjects lesson in poynt of sacred submission to, and humble complyance with God and the King; wherein confusion is reduced to order, misery to mercy; reproach and shame to freedom and honour. W. H.. [8], 48 p. printed by M. Simmons, for Thomas Parkhurst, and are to be sold at the three Crowns, at the lower end of Cheapside,London :1660.. (To the reader signed: W.H.) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "April. 16".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
Languageeng
Classification
  • Sermons, English -- 17th century.

Editorial statement

About the encoding

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 (http://eebo.chadwyck.com). 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 (http://www.tei-c.org).

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

Publisher
  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2012-10 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
Identifiers
  • DLPS A86216
  • STC Wing H150
  • STC Thomason E1021_4
  • STC ESTC R208372
  • EEBO-CITATION 99867328
  • PROQUEST 99867328
  • VID 119635
Availability

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.