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THE Nationall Covenant. Or, A DISCOURSE ON THE COVENANT. Wherein Alſo the ſeverall parts of the late PRO­TESTATION are proved to be grounded on Religion and Reaſon: With ſundry Motives and Directions, tending to further our keeping Covenant with God. Which may be of ſpeciall uſe in theſe times.

By THO. MOCKET, M. of Arts, and Preacher of the Word of God.

If a man vow a Vow unto the Lord, or ſwear an Oath to binde his ſoul with a bond, he ſhall not break his word, he ſhall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth,Numb. 30.2.
When thou voweſt a Vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleaſure in fools,ECCLES. 5.4.
〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Greg. Nezian. Orat. 53.
Non te voviſſe poeniteat, imo gaude: Foelix neceſſit as quae in meliora com­pellit. Aug. in Ep. ad Armenta.

London, Printed by J. R. for Chr. Meredith, at the ſigne of the Crane in Pauls Church-Yard. 1642.

To the Honorable, the Houſe of Commons Aſſembled in Parliament. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

Honourable and right worthy Patriots:

IF I might preſume ſo far as to ſpeak or write to ſo great and judicious an Aſſem­bly, as you are known to be, I would in the firſt place, with all humble and hearty thankfulneſſe to Almightie GOD, the KINGS MAJESTY, the Right Honorable PEERES, and You the Knights and Gentlemen, now moſt ſeaſonably aſſembled in Parlia­ment, acknowledge the many great and worthy things that have been done by His Royall Majeſty, the Noble Peeres, and your ſelves for the publike good. See the Remon­ſtrance, publiſhed Dec. 15. 1641.Who have eaſed our backs of that illegall burden of Ship-money, Coat, Conduct-money, and other military charges. Suppreſt all Monopolies, Taken away arbitrary government, the root of theſe evils. Much quelled evill councellours, and other malignant perſons, by execution of juſtice on ſome, impriſoning others, and cauſing o­thers to fly, out of the conſciouſneſſe of their own guil­tineſſe, Setled a trienniall Parliament in ſtead of a tri­enniall Viſitation, and provided for the continuance of this, till all our grievances are heard and redreſſed, and all evils be removed, which is of unſpeakable conſe­quence, becauſe they ſecure a full operation of the re­medy, and afford a perpetuall ſpring of remedies for the future. Put down the High Commiſſion Court, which in ſome reſpects (through the abuſe of ſome, and over-ruling of others, was made too like the Spaniſh Inquiſition, which ſuſpended, ſilenced, and outed many of the moſt able and godly Miniſters ont of their li­vings and freeholds, and ſo undone many a whole fami­ly; a Court, which indeed at firſt was erected to ſup­preſſe Papiſts and Popery, as the Spaniſh Inquiſition was to curb the blaſphemous Jews, but was now, as that, turned againſt pious Proteſtants; Have put down the Star-chamber; Taken away other Courts, the forges of miſery, oppreſſion and violence; Diſmounted the Ca­nons that were mounted to batter down the power of Religion, together with the late curſed Oath; Damned the Oath ex officio, by means whereof they tortured ma­ny conſciences with ſtrange quaeries and forcing unnatu­rall ſelf-accuſations. Freed Church-wardens from a dangerous oath. Limitted the immoderate power of the Councell Table. Puniſhed and terrified ſome Mi­niſters and others that were of ſcandalous life, or Au­thors of Innovations in doctrine & ceremonies. Reduced the Forreſts by good Laws to their right bounds. Re­formed the incroachments and oppreſſions of the Stane­ry Courts. The extortion of the Clerk of the market. The compulſion of the Subject to receive the order of Knighthood againſt his wil, or paying fines for refuſall. Recalled the baniſhed Exiles that had undergone the brunt, the chief let in the Prelats way to Rome. Setled a happy peace betwixt us and our Neighbour Nation, which the malignant Enemies of both, endeavoured to imbroile in civill wars which are grevious, yea which is worſe, of Proteſtants againſt Proteſtants, one ſervant a­gainſt another, and one brother againſt another, till both were conſumed. Removed the Biſhops from voting in Parliament, and all Clergie men from temporall offi­ces, which like a falſe byas in a bowle, wheel'd them quite out of the way of preaching. Voted down Deans and Prebends, which were (many of them) too like the drones that eat up the hony which the painfull Bees ſhould live on. Opened the Preſſes for publiſhing the good and profitable labours of the godly, and inhibited po­piſh books and Pamphlets tending to reconcile us and Rome, or rather to reduce us to Rome. You have ordered the removall and abolliſhing of ſcandalous pictures and images and other Innovations in the Church. The due ſanctification of the Sabbath, cryed down by the Popiſh and prelaticall partie in their preaching, printing, and practiſe. Given libertie to tender conſciences, burthned with unneceſſary and ſcandalous (at the beſt inconve­nient) Ceremonies, godly Miniſters to exerciſe their miniſtery, to which God and man hath ſet them apart, ſo that many thouſands may heare the joyfull ſound a­gain in their eares who were deprived of ſuch bleſſed ſilver Trumpets, in ſtead whereof they had but Rams hornes, (too good a compariſon for many of them) which many times ſounded as terrible an alarum in their eares, as they ſometimes did to them of Jericho. You have procured from His Royall Majeſtie a Monthly Faſt, publiſhed by His Majeſties Proclamation, in which like the New Moones Faſt or Feaſt of Trumpets, the ſil­ver Trumpets of the word are ſounded, and the ſacrafice of prayer, praiſe and almes are offered up unto God. Publiſhed a much deſired Order for ſetling of Church-government and Liturgie, your provident care for the relief of bleeding Ireland. The Bill againſt Pluralities and non-reſidency, order for weekly Lectures and dili­gent preaching. Great care for the ſafety of the Land. For the full diſcovery and removall of ſcandalous Mi­niſters, the ſhame of the Realm and Religion. For ha­niſhing Prieſts and Jeſuits. And for ſecuring the Pa­piſts, the profeſſed Enemies of King and Kingdom, Church and State. The happy concurrence of the Right Noble Peers, with the truly honourable Houſe of Com­mons in their Honourable proceedings. The happy and timely diſcovery of many grievous ſnares,Pits were digged for the Righteous, gal­lowſes provided for Mordecai's, becauſe they would not bow to Hamans; done of lyons for Daniels, becauſe they would not leave praying; fiery furnaces for the three children, becauſe they would not worſhip the golden I­mage; dungeons for Jeremy's, becauſe they would preach the truth with boldneſſe. Mr. Cal. Feb. 23. in his Serm. broken by your great vigilancy and indu­ſtry and the prevention of many moſt de­perate deſignes againſt this Kingdom, ſo that our Iſacks are delivered and the Rams are caught in the buſh, and as the wiſe man ſaith,**Pro. 11.8. The Righteous is delivered out of the trouble, and the wicked cometh in his ſtead. And to name no more the renewing of our Nationall Covenant, ſo prudently made and commended to us by your Hono­rable Houſe) to bring back again all Iſra­el to worſhip the Lord their God in Jeru­ſalem, who were too many of them making a Captain and turning back again into mi­ſticall Egypt, which Covenant gave the riſe to this enſuing plaine, unpolliſhed diſcourſe (fitted and intended only for a country Auditory, where it is a commendation to ſpeake in the moſt plain and vulgar terms) which in all humility I preſent unto you (wor­thy Patriots) not as Patrons,Homo ſum, er­rare poſ­ſum hae­reticus eſſe nolo. for if it be the truth of God, as I truſt it is, he is the Patron of it and will de­fend it: if any errour be found in it, I diſclaim it, and think the work it ſelf too ſlenderly performed, for ſo judicious perſons as you are known to be, but only, as his hand full of water to a great**Artax­erxes. Prince, the widdows mite, a little goats hair, as a Teſtimony of my humble obſer­vance and thankfull acknowledgement of the unweatied labours, continuall care and zealous endeavours of the Noble Peers and your ſelves for the publick good, as alſo for the particular favour of divers worthy Members of your Houſe towards my ſelf.

And ſurely if it may ſeem good to your grave wiſdomes, to procure and adde theſe things to all the reſt, which are humbly deſired by very many thouſands: To out dumb and ſcandalous Miniſters, ſetle able, godly Paſtors over every Congregation in England and Waies, and comfor­tably provide for them who (many of them eſpecially in theſe evill times) lye under much diſcouragement and diſtraction through a miſerable incompetency. And provide, That Prieſts and Jeſuits be quite baniſhed the Land. That Papists be fully diſarmed, and conſide­rable perſons be fully ſecured, and all the Laws duly executed upon them. That Notorious offenders in Church & Common-wealth whatſoever they be, the Achans that hinder the endeavour of Joſhua and Iſrael, be cenſured and puniſhed according to the qualitie of their crimes. That Idolatry and Superstition, eſpecially the abomina­ble Maſſe be totally rooted out of this Kingdom, for what peace ſo long as the whordomes of Jezabell re­mains in this Land. That evill Councellors,Rome, Ie­zabel myſticall, Revel. 2.20. and 18.5. the raiſers and fomenters of the great troubles and diſtempers of the Kingdom, and of the abſence of His Royall Maje­ſtie from His Parliament, &c. (which all good Sub­jects are greatly greived to heare) be removed from His Royall Perſon. That diſtreſſed Ireland, whoſe conditi­on is much to be lamented, be ſpeedily relieved with an ample ſupply, where, as here, the blood of many thou­ſand ſoules cry to Heaven for vengeance, and to you for help againſt the mighty. That the peace of the King­dom, that the power and priviledges of Parliament, the lawfull Rights and Liberties of the Subject be firmly ſetled. That conſiderable places be fully ſecured by ap­proved men, & ſo trading quickned, to the relief of many thouſands that now languiſh greatly under want. That the bleſſed work of Reformation, with all good ſpeed, go on & be perfected. Vnneceſſary things and Ceremonies be removed. That the Hyerarchy, if it may be proved to be the root of much evil in Church & State may be eradi­cated, and a Church-government ſetled according to the rule of Gods word. That the Sacrament by ſome good proviſion may be kept frō being polluted by unworthy perſons, and all Ignorant perſons be compelled to learn the grounds of the true Proteſtant Religion. That all ſcandalous Pictures and Images and all other Monu­ments and Reliques of Idolatry and Superſtition, and particularly Croſſes by the high wayes and in ſuch like places, be (according to a former order of Queen Eliz. injunction) abolliſhed,Injunct. 23. which occaſion much Superſti­tion, eſpecially in theſe parts, by reaſon of the ignorance of very many, chiefly when they carry their dead by any of them. That whereas there is a great cry and grie­vous charge againſt the Liturgie of the Church and the Vſers of it, that it cannot be lawfully uſed, yea that it is Superſtitious, Antichriſtian, Idolatrous, and what not? whereby the conſciences of many good and well-affected people, are much troubled, if it may be proved, if not, yet that whatſoever ſhall be proved to be either Superſtitions, unlawfull, and may give juſt offence to tender conſciences, or unneceſſary, your grave wiſdom with the advice of the learned and godly Divines, would be pleaſed with all convenient ſpeed to remove it, and provide that the people might have a ſure rule to walke by in their worſhip of God, that their minds may be ſetled and conſciences quieted to a cheerfull obedience, which would be a great inducement to many to joyne with us, who otherwiſe, I feare, will hardly ever be perſwaded. That Arminianiſme and Socinianiſme, the enemies to free grace, and Romes Coy-ducks to bring in Popery be truly and thoroughly ſuppreſt. That Church Papiſts, the moſt dangerous enemies and underminers of Church and State, may by ſome good proviſion be diſ­covered. That You would procure that ſcandalous and Popiſh Magiſtrates that regard not the Execution of Juſtice, be removed, and approved juſt men fearing God and hating covetouſnes and unrighteouſneſſe, be placed in their rooms. That Contemners of your former good Orders be puniſhed. Wakes and unneceſſary Alehouſes and Playhouſes, the very nurſeries of vice and randevouz for all prophane wretches, be ſuppreſſed. That the joynt conſent and happy concurence of the Noble Peers with your Houſe, may be ſtill continued. Eſpecially that they and you would uſe all poſſible means and ſpeed, that His Royall Majeſtie may have a right underſtanding of your juſt deſires and proceedings, and would with the Prince be graciouſly pleaſed to reſide neerer to His Parliament.

All which I mention not to ſhew you what to do, im­pute not ſuch folly to your humble ſervant, but in all humility to ſpread before your wiſdoms, what is by ma­ny thouſands heartily deſired and humbly craved, ac­cording as in your pious and deepe wiſdom, ſhall ſeem moſt agreeable to the rules of piety, true chriſtian-pru­dence and policy, which ſurely will compleat the bleſ­ſed worke of Reformation begun, make this a moſt flouriſhing Church and State, amiable to our God, glorious to our friends, terrible to our enemies, and make you and your Poſterities renowned while this is a Nation.

And becauſe your difficulties be very many and great, therefore heare a word of encouragement from him who greatly honours you and your Aſſembly, and whoſe du­ty it is ex officio ſpeciali, to teach, inſtruct, exhort, re­prove, &c. The cauſe you are about is eminently good and of great importance, God and all good men are on your ſide, and though your adverſaries be many, mighty and politick, yet God, your Maſter whoſe worke you are about, is ſtronger and wiſer then they all, and one Ja­cob can do more with God for you, then 400. Edomites can do againſt you. And Honoured Worthies you have found God going along with you ſo, ſcattering your e­nemies, and furthering his worke, even by their wicked plots and oppoſitions, that you ſhould now greatly diſ­honour God and the cauſe, if you ſhould ſuffer any thing to diſcourage you, or make you feare the perfe­cting of the long and much deſired worke of Reforma­tion in its due time, only if Religion and the worſhip of God, and the diſcipline of Jeſus Chriſt be firſt ſetled, then other evills how great ſoever will vaniſh away, till then it cannot certainly be expected.

It is true, it is not poſſible it ſhould be done in a trice, the greatneſſe and exactneſſe of the work, the great deal of rubbiſh in the houſe of God, both wretched perſons and things; and the great oppoſitions which great and good works meet with, muſt of neceſſity make the work long. Wherefore, Noble Senators, arme your ſelves with patience and reſolution, alwayes look as upon the work with one eye, ſo at Gods glory and the publick good and upon Gods power, wiſdom, goodneſſe, promiſe, and faithfullneſſe with the other, and doubt not of a deſi­red iſſue in due time, which is the humble and hearty deſire of him who is reſolved, to his utmoſt power, and to the laſt breath (God inabling) by all means lawfull to maintain and defend the true reformed Proteſtant Religion, againſt all Popery and Popiſh Innovations, the Kings Majeſties Perſon and Royall Poſterity, the power and Priviledges of Parliament, together with their perſons in all their juſt and good proceedings, the lawfull Rights and Liberties of the Subject, &c. againſt the enemies of God, the King and State, and ſhall till death remain

Your dayly Orator at the Throne of Grace, THO: MOCKET.

THE Nationall Covenant.

DEUT. 29.9.

Keep therefore the words of this Covenant, and do them, that ye may proſper in all that ye do.

THeſe words of Moſes from God, to the people of Iſrael, contain a further reaſon of the exhorta­tion delivered in the former Chapter, of per­forming Obedience to Gods Commandments; which Reaſon or Argument is two-fold; Firſt, From the conſideration of Gods great and wonderfull mercies and benefits vouchſafed unto them, in their deliverance out of Aegypt, ver. 2.3.4. In their Journey in the Wild meſſe, v. 5, 6. and in the confines of the promiſed Land, v. 7, 8. Secondly, from their Faith given, or promiſe of Obe­dience made unto God, intimated in the word, Covenant, in this verſe: Upon theſe two Grounds, Gods goodneſſe to them, and their promiſe to him, Moſes doth in this Chapter preſſe them to Obedience in theſe words,

Keep therefore the words of this Covenant, and do them,

The words of this Covenant, is the Articles and Conditions which the people were, by vertue of this Covenant, bound to perform unto God. This Covenant, that is, That Covenant which the people of Iſrael, by Gods appointment, made with God in the Land of Moab, verſ. 1. which is there ſaid to be ano­ther Covenant, beſide, or differing from that which he made with them in Horeb, on Mount Sinai, where the Covenant was given,2 Exod. 20. not in ſubſtance (for ſo it is the ſame with that) but in reſpect of the perſons with whom, even all thoſe of Iſrael who were then unborn or unfit to enter into Covenant with God, v. 14, 15. And 2. In reſpect of the place, this being neer the border of Canaan, in the Country on the out-ſide of Jordan. And thirdly, In reſpect of the manner of revealing Chriſt, who is in this more clearly revealed then on Mount Sinai.

The Propoſitions, or Points of Doctrine naturally ariſing from theſe words, are two, viz.

1. That a Covenant,Doctr. once made, muſt be faithfully obſerved. Or, Covenanters muſt keep touch with God.

2. That this is the way to proſper: Or, Obedience is the way to true Proſperity.

The former onely is that which here I intend to inſiſt upon, and ſhall include the other in the motives to this point: In hand­ling of which, the Rules of Method do require that I do ſhew you, before I come to Application,

1. What a Covenant is, and the kindes of it.

2. What it is to keep Covenant with God.

3. How it muſt be obſerved.

4. The proof and grounds of this Duty.

For the firſt. A Covenant (to ſpeak of it to the preſent pur­poſe) is a ſolemn promiſe, whereby a man doth engage himſelf to God, to perform all that Obedience unto God required in his Word, by ſtrength from Jeſus Chriſt.

1. I call it a promiſe, Becauſe the party Covenanting, doth promiſe unto God Obedience.

2. I call it a ſolemn promiſe, Becauſe it is ordinarily made with ſome outward ſolemnity: Of this outward ſolemnity (which is for the greater ratification of it) we finde divers forms in the ſa­cred Scripture; Sometimes by Sacrifice, as a Seal of the Co­venant with God, ſo Pſal. 50.5. Sometimes with ſubſcribing of hands, as Iſai. 44.5. Sometimes by ſealing it alſo, as Nehem. 9.38. Sometimes by an Oath, as in this Chapter, verſ. 12. and 2 Chron. 15.12.15. Sometimes with an Oath and a Curſe, ſo Nehem. 10.29. All formes binde firmly, only ſome in a greater degree, and lay a ſtronger tye upon the ſoul, then ſome others do, So that to break either, muſt be diſhoneſt and damnable.

33. It was added, whereby a man deth engage himſelf to God, for it lays a ſtrong band and engagement on the ſoul, you have the phraſe, Jere. 30.21. Who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me, ſaith the Lord.

4. To perform unto God (viz. in reſpect of ſincere endeavour) all the obedience which God in his Word requireth of him; for other­wiſe, it is as good as nothing, to binde our ſelves to obey God in ſomethings, and in otherſome, to take liberty to our ſelves, to tranſgreſſe at our pleaſure, It is univerſall obedience that God requireth, Deut. 5.33.

5. Laſtly, It was added in the deſcription, By ſtrength from Chriſt, or in the name of Chriſt, &c. All our ability is from him, and without him we can do nothing, that is, truly good and accep­table unto God, John 15.5.

Now there is a double Covenant, Perſonall, and Nationall, Per­ſonall, is that which is preſuppoſed and ſealed in Baptiſm, and renued in the Lords Supper. The Articles whereof, are theſe two; 1. Faith in God through our Lord Jeſus Chriſt; And 2. Obedience to his Commandments (the ſumme of which, is con­tained in the Decalogue, or ten Commandments) as a fruit of that our Faith in God. Nationall is, when a whole Nation, at leaſt the generality, do thus engage themſelves to the Lord, and ſuch is the Proteſtation lately taken. Thus much of the firſt thing propounded, now of

The ſecond, What it is to keep Covenant, and wherein it con­ſiſts.

To keep Covenant with God, is to imbrace and obſerve his Com­mandments, and that muſt be done inwardly and outwardly, and ſo by the whole Man.

Inwardly, the Covenant is laid hold on, and obſerved.

1. In the minde, by knowing, and beleeving them.

Firſt, By knowing the minde and will of God, and what he requires of us in his Word, which is the Book of the Covenant, Exod. 24.7. containing the Articles or Conditions of the Cove­nant on both ſides, what we muſt expect from God, and what we muſt perform unto him, which are propounded by Moſes the Mediatour, and aſſented to by the people, Exod. 19. and a Copy of them fair Written delivered to the people, Exod. 20.

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Secondly, By Faith beleeving his Word, reſting on his pro­miſes; For though Faith (being an affiance or fiduciall reſting on the promiſe of life) be an act of the will and heart, as well as of the minde; yet I place it here, becauſe it hath its originall the aſſent, in the minde, underſtanding and giving aſſent to the promiſe, as true and good.

2. In the memory it conſiſts, by retaining in minde, what the Lord requires of us, and what we muſt perform unto him; for we cannot keep our Covenant with God, unleſſe we both know, remember, and bear in minde, the Articles and Conditions which we are to obſerve.

3. In our wills by imbracing of his Covenant; that is, freely, willingly, and heartily, making choice of God to be our God in Chriſt, our Father, and Soveraign Lord; and imbracing theſe Conditions, upon which he is pleaſed to accept of us, to be his peculiar people; and which we engage our ſelves to obſerve, and to our power, perform unto him, as moſt holy, juſt, and good, not only good and right in themſelves, but good to us alſo, and all thoſe that in conſcience do obſerve them, Rom. 7.12.

4. In our affections, we lay hold on the Covenant, and keep it, when we do not onely aſſent to the conditions of the Covenant, embrace them, and reſolve to obſerve them to our power, but do it out of love to the Commandment, joying and rejoycing in this Covenant with the Prophet, Jer. 15.16. delighting in it, fearing to break it, caring to obſerve it according to our promiſe and bounden duty. Thus we muſt embrace and keep the Cove­nant in our inward man, viz. In the mind, by knowing and belie­ving it; in our memory, by retaining it, and meditating on it; in our wills, by embracing the conditions of it, freely and wil­lingly, as juſt and good; and in our affections, by loving, joy­ing, delighting in it, &c.

Outwardly alſo, By obeying his Commandments by a hearty endeavour, in the whole courſe of our lives to obſerve and do them, Nebem. 10.29. They clave to their brethren, their Nobles (as if you ſhould ſay, The Parliament men) to walk in Gods Law and to obſerve and do all the Commandments of the Lord, and his Judgements and his Statutes. This is the ſecond.

Thirdly, How we muſt keep Covenant with God; for the manner5 and extent of our Obedience, viz. 1. Willingly and heartily, do every duty, every ſervice we do unto God from the heart, with a ready mind, as unto the Lord, as Joſiab did, who made a Covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his Commandments, and his Teſtimonies, and his Statutes, with all his beart, and with all his ſoul, 2 Chron. 34 31. It is certain, That in every good acti­on there is tantum bonitatis, quantum voluntatis, ſo much goodneſſe as there is willingneſſe and hearty affection; therefore it is, that in every ſervice God calls for the heart, Prov. 23.26. My ſonne, give me thine heart, without which, all our ſervices are but hypo­criticall, and the moſt plentifull expreſſions of Obedience little regarded by the Almighty, God is a ſpirit, and therefore looks on the ſpirits of men, and will be worſhipped in ſpirit and truth, Job. 4.24.

2. Ʋniverſally, In all things, as well in one thing, as in ano­ther; we may not obſerve ſome things, and omit others at our pleaſure, for any worldly profits, preferment, or other reſpect whatſoever. Deut. 5.32, 33. Ye ſhall obſerve to do as the Lord your God bath commanded you, You ſhall not turn aſide, to the right hand or to the left, Ye ſhall walk in all the wayes which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, &c.

3. Conſtantly, Alwayes: To this we are exhorted, encoura­ged, commanded, Rev. 2.10. Be thou faithfull to the death, and I will give thee a Crown of life. Gal. 6.9. Be not weary of well-de­ing; to begin well, and afterward to tall off again, is fearfull; what is it elſe but to return with the dog to his vomit, and with the Swine to the wallowing in the mire: better for ſuch a man that he had never known the way of righteouſneſſe, then after he hath known it, to turn from the holy Commandment delivered unto him. 2 Pet. 2.21, 22. Better it is that thou ſhouldſt not vow (he there ſpeaks of things Arbitrary, and not ſuch as are commanded and neceſſary) then that thou ſhouldſt vow, and not pay it. This for the Manner. Now

Fourthly, come we to the Grounds and Reaſons why we muſt, ha­ving once entred into Covenant with God, be carefull conſtant­ly to obſerve and keep it: And they are theſe, and the like:

1. The Command of God, which is very clear and full in the Text; See alſo Ier. 11.6. Hear ye the words of this Covenant, and6 do them. Deut. 4.23 Saith Moſes to Iſrael from God, Take heed to your ſelves, leſt ye forget the Covenant of the Lord your God, which he bath made with you. Pſal. 50.15. Pay thy vows unto the moſt high. Eccleſ. 5.4. When thou voweſt a vow unto God, defer not to pay it, for be hath no pleaſure in fools; pay that which thou haſt vowed. In theſe two laſt places it is ſpoken chiefly, if not onely, of vows made of things voluntary and Arbitrary, that was in the power of him that voweth, before he vowed, to vow or not vow them unto the Lord; yet being once vowed, the vow muſt be kept: And if this binde in things Arbitrary, how much more in things neceſſary, and otherwiſe commanded? Alſo full to this purpoſe is that, Deut. 4.6.40. and 5.1, 2.32, 33 and 6.1. and in very ma­ny other places.

Now we all ought to make conſcience of the command of God, and carefully to obſerve and do it, in reſpect of our relation unto him, and dependance upon him, both eſſendo & oper ando, in our be­ing actions, and well being; which is wholly on him: He gave us a Being, when we had none; continueth that being, and the com­forts of it, we do enjoy; and redeemed us, when we were worſe then nothing, undone and loſt for ever.

2. We ſhould keep Covenant with God, becauſe of that ſolemn**Quia jam vo­viſti, jam te ad ſtinxiſti, a iud tibi facere non licet. Aug. in Ep. ad Armen. bond and tye that lieth upon our ſouls, whereby we have engaged our ſelves to God, to be his, and onely his for ever, to fear him and ſerve him for ever, Numb. 30.2. If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or ſwear an oath to binde his ſoulwith abond, every oath, every vow bindes the ſoul, layes a ſtrong bond or engagement on it. If it be but a mans Covenant, no man may diſannull it, ſaith the Apoſtle, Gal. 3.15 viz. By reaſon of the ſtrong bond or tye it layeth on the ſoul: How much greater, think you, is the tye and engagement which the Covenant of God layeth on the ſoul?

3. We muſt keep Covenant with God, that we may be like unto God, as we are exhorted to be, Epbeſ. 5.1. as in all other things, ſo in this we muſt ſtrive to imitate and follow God, to be like unto him: Now concerning God we reade, That he is faithfull in keeping Covenant with us, Deut. 7.9 The Lord thy God is the faithfull God, that keepeth Covenant and mercy with them that love him, and keep his Commandments. Pſal, 111.5. He is ever mindefull of his Covenant; as he promiſes, Hoſ. 2.19, 20. I will betroth thee unto me for ever, &c. 7Therefore ſince God is faithfull in keeping Covenant with us, we muſt be faithfull in keeping Covenant with God, that we may be (as our duty is) like unto our heavenly Father, and thereby may approve our ſelves to be the children of-God.

4. For this end we enter into Covenant with God at Baptiſm, renew it at the Lords Supper, and ſome other times, that we might keep his Statues, Judgements, and Commandments. God requires this, and we uſe it thiefly, as a help to further us in our Obedience to God: we are all naturally very backward, and apt to take any occaſion to neglect our duty of obedience to God, and therfore do promiſe and bind our ſelves, thereby to help and further us in our duty, as we uſe to binde men, to bring them into bond, who are apt to break promiſe: If we be to deal with an unfaithfull perſon that is like to play faſt and looſe, to deny his promiſe, and flie from his word, we uſe to get him into bonds, and then we think all is ſure enough.

5. Breach of Covenant God accounts a great ſinne, and will ſeverely pu­niſh it, therefore we ſhould keep Covenant with God.

1. He accounts breach of Covenant a great ſin, though it be of covenant only betwixt man and man, and reckoneth it among the great ſins of the Gentiles, That they were Covenant-breakers, Rom. 1.31. Pſal. 55.20. 2 Tim. 3.3. what is it then to break Covenant with God?

2. And as God accounts it a great ſin, ſo be will ſeverely puniſh it. So he threatned, Gen. 17.14. The uncarcumciſed man. childe, whoſe fleſh in his forehead is not circumciſed, that ſoul ſhall be cut off from his people: mark the reaſon, He bath broken my Covenant, ſaith God. Levis. 26.15, 16, 17. Saith God, If ye ſhall deſpiſe my Statutes ſo that ye will not do all my Commandments, but that ye break my Covenant, I will even appoint over you terrour, conſumption, and the burning Ague And I will ſet myface againſt you, and ye ſhall be ſlain by your enemies Ezek. 17.15, 16. ſaith God of Zedekiab, Shall he proſper? Shall be eſcape that doth ſuch things? Or ſhall be break the Covenant, and be delivered? As I live, ſaith the Lord God, Surely in the place where the King dwelleth that made him king, whoſe Oath be deſpiſed, and whoſe Covenant be brake, even with him, in the midſt of Babylon ſhall he die: A grievous curſe is threatned againſt this ſin. Jer. 11.2, 3. Hear ye the words of this Covenant Thus ſaith the Lord God of Iſrael, Curſed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this Covenant; yea, many curſes, Deut. 29.20, 21-25. The Lord will not ſpare him, but then the anger of the Lord, and his jealouſie ſhall ſmoke againſt that man; and all the curſes that are written in this8 book, ſhall lie upon him, and the Lord ſhall blot out his name from under leaven; and the Lord ſhall ſeparate him to evill, out of all the Tribes of Iſrael, according to all the curſes of the Covenant that are written in this book of the Law Mark the grand reaſon of all this fierce anger of the Lord againſt ſuch, verſ. 25. Becauſe they have forſaken the Covenant of the Lord God of their fathers.

For breaking of Covenant, God cauſed Achan and all his to be ſto­ned and burnt in the fire, Ioſh. 7.11.15. and all Iſrael ſuffered with him; they could not ſtand before their enemies, but were routed and ſmitten before them. For this very thing, Sauls breaking the Covenant made with the Gibionites, though long before his time, God puniſhed all Iſrael with three yeers famine; and in the end, with the death of ſe­ven of Sauls ſons, 2 Sam. 21. therefore alſo God rent the Kingdom from Solomon, and gave ten Tribes to his ſervant Ieroboam, 1 King. 11 11.

All theſe things give weight to this duty, and the point in hand. Thus we have ſeen it opened what a Covenant is, what it is to keep it, and how: Alſo the point or duty clearly proved, That a Covenant once made may not be broken, but muſt be carefully kept. Thus of a Co­venant in generall:

Now (with the good leave of the great Aſſembly) I will here take occaſion to ſpeak ſomething concerning our Nationall Covenant, Vow, or Proteſtation in particular: And here I will firſt ſet down the Proteſtation, prudently commended to us by the Honorable Houſe, in theſe words;

I A. B. Do in the preſence of Almighty God, promiſe, vow, and pro­teſt, to maintain and defend, as far as lawfully I may, with my life, power, and eſtate, the true reformed Proteſtant Religion expreſſed in the Doctrine of the Church of England, againſt all Popery and popiſh Innovations within this Realm, contrary to the ſame Doctrine; And according to the duty of my Allegiance, His Maieſties Royall Per­ſon, Honour, and Eſtate: As alſo the Power and Priviledges of Par­liaments; the lawfull Rights and Liberties of the Snbjects, and eve­ry perſon that maketh this Proteſtation, in whatſoever he ſhall do in the lawfull purſuance of the ſame. And to my power, and as far as lawfully I may, I will oppoſe, and by all good wayes and means en­deavour to bring to condigne puniſhment all ſuch as ſhall either by force, practice, counſels, plots, conſpiracies, or otherwiſe, do any thing to the contrary, of any thing in this preſent Proteſtation contained. And further that I ſhal in all juſt and honorable ways endeabor to preſerbe the union and peace betwirt the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland; And neither for hope, fear, nor other reſpect, ſhall relinquiſh this Promiſe, How and Proteſtation.

9Touching this Nationall Covenant or Proteſtation, we may here obſerve and conſider,

  • 1. What we here promiſe, and vow to maintaine, and ſo what we here renounce.
  • 2. What it is to maintaine and defend the true Proteſtant Religion.
  • 3. Why & for what ends, we entred into this Proteſtation.
  • 4. How far this promiſe and Proteſtation doth bind us.

Firſt, What we here promiſe, vow and proteſt, viz. divers things, which I conceive are in number 7. And the

Firſt, is to maintaine and defend with our lives, power and eſtate, The true Reformed Proteſtant Religion, expreſſed in the Doctriue of the Church of England, againſt all Popery and Popiſh Innovations, within this Realme, contrary to the ſame Doctrine. See M Ley his book entituled, A compariſon betwixt the late Oath, &c.I will not ſet downe the principall Doctrines of the true reformed Proteſtant Religion, and the Anti-Prote­ſtant or Popiſh Doctrines and Innovations, which we here pro­teſt againſt.

I will only ſet downe ſome Arguments and Reaſons, why we ſhould with our lives, power and eſtates, maintaine and defend the true reformed Proteſtant Religion in the generall, and conſe­quently, every particular branch and part of it againſt all Popery and Popiſh Innobations, and every part and parcell of Popery, and they are theſe:

1. Becauſe God hath commanded it, and every one ought to make conſcience of the commands of God, and to his uttermoſt power obſerve and keep them, JVDE v. 3. It was needfull for me to write unto you, and exhort you, that ye ſhould earneſtly contend for the faith, viz. the Doctrine of faith, which was once delivered to the Saints: Not only contend, but contend earneſtly, with all vehemency and intention of ſpirit, with all our might. To this purpoſe alſo is that of the Apoſtle to Timothy, 2 Tim. 1.13. Hold faſt the forme of ſound words which thou haſt heard of me, and 1 Cor. 16.13. Stand fast in the faith, that is, both in the doctrine and grace of faith. And no leſſe is preſſed on us, Levit. 18.4, 5. Deut. 4.40. and 5.32, 33. and 6.3, 17. and in very many other places. Ye ſhall keep my ſtatutes, my iudgements, my ordinances, and commandements. And if we cannot without drawing10 guilt on our ſoules breake the lawfull, juſt and good commands of ſuperiours, how much leſſe may we breake the righteous lawes of God.

2. Our eternall ſalvation is built upon this. There is no other Religion, no other way or meanes in the world by which we can be ſaved, Acts 4.12. 1 Cor. 15.2. By which alſo ye are ſaved if ye keep in memory (or hold faſt) what I preached unto you. If we deny, renounce, or forſake this, never looke to goe to Hea­ven, never hope to ſee the face of God with joy.

3. Gods glory is greatly promoted and advanced hereby, as by the denyall of the true faith or Religion, he is greatly diſhonou­red, it confirmes others in their idolatrous, falſe or ſuperſtitious wayes, and opens the mouths of the adverſaries and wicked men to ſpeake evill of, and blaſpheme the truth and good wayes of God.

4. The true reformed Proteſtant Religion is the badge of the true Chriſtian, and true ſervants of God, their Livery and Cogni­ſance whereby they are diſtinguiſhed from all Idolaters, Pagans, Mahumetans, Papiſts and Jewes that ſtill cleave to the Moſai­call Rights, long ſince aboliſhed by Chriſt: Yea, by the ſincere embracing and profeſſion hereof, the true Chriſtians and ſervants of God are diſtinguiſhed from all hypocrites.

5. The Goſpell (upon which the true reformed Proteſtant Reli­gion, which we profeſſe, and is eſtabliſhed as the publick doctrine of this Church of England, is undoubtedly built) was confirmed by many miracles from Heaven, and truly divine. Look throughout the whole Book of God, and ſee how many divine Ratifications there have been of the Goſpell, and conſequently of the true Re­ligion, which we doe now publickly, through Gods great mer­cy, prefeſſe: It is the ſame with that of the Apoſtles and people of God in thoſe firſt primitive times, and which our bleſſed Sa­viour himſelfe taught, profeſſed and ſealed with his bloud, and this ſhould be a great inducement to us to embrace, maintain, and defend it to the death.

6. This hath been recommended to us by the bloud of all the Mar­tyrs, of our bleſſed Saviour himſelfe, of his Apoſtles and Diſci­ples, they all ſuffered for this, they loved not their lives unto the death, they willingly ſuffered the loſſe of all for and in the de­fence11 of it, and ſealed it with their bloud, ſtucke to it to the death, and ſo recommended it to us as a moſt precious jewell and rich treaſure, much better then life it ſelfe, and ſurely this ſhould much animate us to ſticke cloſe to our Religion, the true Reformed Proteſtant Religion to the death, ſeeing we have ſo many thouſands, yea hundred thouſands that have dyed in the de­fence and cauſe of it.

7. This hath hitherto and will ever preſerve us. As it is our Reli­gion for which we are maligned, hated and plotted againſt by the Papiſts and other Adverſaries of the truth; ſo it is that (or rather God, becauſe of that) that hath hitherto preſerved us in ſpight of all the Devils in Hell, and wicked men on earth, and all their hell­bred deſperate plots and malignant deſignes againſt it and us, that we have been and ſtill are preſerved, to the admiration even of the enemies themſelves. And this will ever preſerve and pro­tect us if we ſticke cloſe unto it, we have Gods word for it, Rev. 3.10. Becauſe thou haſt kept the word of my patience, I alſo will keep thee from the houre of temptation, which ſhall come upon all the earth, to try them that dwell upon the earth. And if we deny or forſake this, never looke to proſper, the promiſes even of tem­porall bleſſings are made on this condition, that we ſticke cloſe to it. See Deutr. 5.32, 33. and 6.17. and Chap. 28. Rev. 1.3.

So that if either we regard the command of God, or the glory of God, or our owne temporall or eternall good of ſoule or body, we muſt maintain the true Reformed Proteſtant Religion againſt all Popery and Popiſh Innovations, we muſt ſticke cloſe to it, and maintaine our Religion, unleſſe we will loſe ſoule, body, our eſtates, and all, at leaſt the true comfort of all.

And what doe we proteſt againſt? is it not Popery and Anti­chriſtianiſme, a doctrine containing many poſitions blaſphemous againſt God and Jeſus Chriſt, and deſtructive to all Chriſtian Ma­giſtrates, Kingdomes & Common-wealths; a Doctrine (to uſe the words of learned Maſter Bolton in his Sermon preached at Pauls Croſſe) moſt falſe and accurſed from Heaven, and is ever atten­ded with this inſeparable curſe, that it will plague the King­dome that nouriſheth it, and pay it home at length with a wit­neſſe, except ſome right, round and reſolute courſe be taken in12 the meane time to root it out as in conſcience, policy, reaſon and Religion it ought to be, which if once effected, would cut the thread of the Papiſts hopes for ever, making a party or faction here, cut the throat of all plots againſt the Kings perſon, cruſh the Popes heart for any probability or poſſibility of ever re­eſtabliſhing, or erecting his accurſed tyranny in this Iſland again, and preventing ſuch moſt bloudy, barbarous, and unheard of uſage (or butchery rather) as there hath been of late, and ſtill is in Ire­land.

Secondly, We promiſe, vow and proteſt with our lives, power and eſtates, to maintaine and defend (as we are by our Allegiance bound) his Majeſties Royall Perſon, Honoor and Eſtate, Rom. 13.1, 2. And there is great reaſon for it. Of each ſeve­rally.

1. His Royall Perſon; becauſe as the Jewes ſaid of Joſiah, he is the breath of our noſtrils, under whoſe ſhadow we ſhall be pre­ſerved alive, Lam 4.20. We are all bound by the ſixth Comman­dement to preſerve, as our owne perſon, ſo the perſon of our Neighbour, though our inferiour, much more his who is our So­veraigne, and the Lords anointed, who is worth ten thouſand of us, as the people ſaid of King David, 2 Sam. 18.3. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉the chiefe pillar of the Common-wealth.

2. His Honour, dignity and Majeſty, that it may have it's due reſpect, eſteeme and reverence which belongs to it, 1 Pet. 2.17. Feare God, honour the King, and that both inwardly reve­rencing him in the heart, Eccleſ. 10.20. and outwardly in ſpeech, geſture and action, as Nathan and Bathſheba did Salomon, 1 King. 1.23, 31. We ought by the ſixth Commandement to maintaine the good eſteeme and dignity of our Neighbour by all good and law full meanes, much more the Kings.

3. His Eſtate, i.e. his juſt and lawfull revenue or maintenance. The Apoſtle ſaith, 1 Tim. 5.17. that they that rule well are worthy of double honour, i.e. honour of maintenance as well as of eſteeme and reverence, much more he who is cuſtos utriusquetabulae, the Father of the Common-wealth, and Soveraigne Patron of the publicke good, whoſe care is for the whole Kingdome. So Rom. 13.6, 7. For this cauſe pay you tribute alſo, for they are Gods Miniſters, attending continually upon this very thing, Render13 therefore to all their due, tribute, &c.

Thirdly, We promiſe, vow and proteſt, with our liues, power and eſtates, to maintaine and defend the power and Priviledges of〈◊〉. What theſe are we may in part ſee in their owne Declaration publiſhed Jan. 17th. and ſome others of theirs pub­liſhed ſince.

And there is great reaſon why we ſhould maintaine them in all their iuſt Rights and Priviledges.

1. Becauſe theſe are the moſt happy Conſtitutions, and moſt effe­ctuall for the publicke good that this or any Kingdome can have. In his 3d ſpeech in Parl 1641. Ian. 25. A Princely re­ſolution. Eatle of Straf­ford in his laſt ſpeech on the Scaffold.And this his Royall Maieſty himſelfe hath moſt Princely profeſ­ſed, That often Parliaments are the fitteſt meanes to keep correſpon­dency between his Maieſty and his people, and that He will alwayes maintaine their Priviledges as his owne Prerogative, and their perſons as the perſons of his deareſt children: Yea, this was acknowledged and profeſſed by the Earle of Strafford a little before his death. I did alwayes thinke the Parliaments of England were the hap­pieſt Conſtitutions that any Kingdome or any Nation lived under, and under God the meanes of making King and People happy. Par­liaments are (as one ſaith truly) the glory, ſafety and ſinewes of our Nation, the priviledges whereof, if once impeached, far­well all that is glorious in free Subjects: Theſe have been ſe­cunda Tabula poſt naufragium, the only meanes to ſave a ſinking ſtate, the refuge of the oppreſſed: The want and breach of which was a maine cauſe of all our miſeries of late yeares, and is now in a manner the only meanes of recovery.

2. In theſe our welfare, Lawes and Liberties, and the comfortable enioyment of all we have is involved, we ſtand or fall with them, if they be broken and deſtroyed, we all extreamely ſuffer and pe­riſh with them, if they be kept and preſerved we proſper and Horriſh; therefore great reaſon we ſhould endeavour what in us lyeth to defend and maintaine the power and Priviledges of Parliament.

3. They are perſons choſen and intruſied by our ſelves, to heare our cryes, remove our grievances, ſupply our wants, ſettle our Religion and peace againſt the plots and doings of all publicke and private enemies of Church and State, or our ſelves; they beare the burden for us, ſpend their time and ſtrength, imploy14 their gifts and engage their eſtates, lives and all for us, and ther­fore we are all deeply engaged to defend and maintaine them, and all their juſt and honourable actions, and ſticke unto them, to ſtand or fall with them: therefore it is that very many thouſands from moſt of the Counties in this Kingdome and Principality of Wales, doe in their Petitions offer Themſelves, their Perſons, Lives and Eſtates, to defend and maintain, as the Kings Majeſty, ſo his Parliament in all their juſt proceedings for the publick good.

Thus we ſee there is great Reaſon, why we ſhould with our lives, power and eſtates, by all lawfull wayes and means, main­taine and defend the true Reformed Proteſtant Religion, the Kings Majeſties royall Perſon, Honour and Eſtate, and the Par­liament.

Thoſe three cannot be ſeparated without utter ruine or extreame danger to all three,The Declara­tion of Perlia­ment, Jan. 17. 1641. Therefore whoſoever goes about to ſeparate and divide theſe, the true Proteſtant Religion, King and Parliament, or doth give any councell, or endcavour to ſet or maintaine di­viſion or diſlike betweene the King and the Parliament, is by both Houſes of Parliament, declared a publieke enemy of the State and peace of this Kingdome, and ſhall be enquired of, and pro­ceeded againſt accordingly.

The Rebels in Ireland did moſt ſhamefully and impudently pre­tend, and ſtill doe in their Proteſtations and their Oath alſo, to defend and maintaine the King and his Priviledges and Prero­gative, and yet notwithſtanding their deepe vowes and ſolemn oaths they doe cleane contrary. Can they poſſibly be thought to be and ſtand for the King, that doe moſt barbarouſly deſtroy, abuſe and ſpoyle his beſt Subjects, fire his Townes, take his Ca­ſtles, Forts and Holds? You may be aſſured that whatſoever the Papiſt and their adherents and abettours here, do or may pre­tend, they have the ſame ſpirit and principles, and will doe as their brethren and confederates in Ireland have done, if, and ſo ſoon as they have power and opportunity.

It is a legall principle, That the King is the head and the Par­liament the repreſentative body of the Kingdome, ſo that he that goes about to divide theſe, doth as he that cuts off the head from the body naturall, or deſtroyes the body naturall, and yet15 ſayes he loves the head, ſeekes to advance and honour the head.

I muſt therefore here ſay as our Saviour in another caſe, Theſe whom God hath joyned together let no man put aſunder. It was the policy and advice of a Machivilian to ſubdue an enemy, Di­vide & regna, divide them and you may eaſily overcome them and rule over them. A Faggot or bundle of ſticks while tyed together, there is no breaking of them, but take them a ſunder and then you may eaſily breake them all, one after another: So here while theſe 3. concurre together, we need not feare all the adverſaries in the world, the Pope, Spaniard, French, Pa­piſts, &c. but if theſe be divided by the curſed plots of the ene­mies, looke for nothing but ruine or extreme dangers of ruine. And therefore it hath been and is the curſed endeavour of our Adverſaries to divide betwixt theſe, between us and our Reli­gion, and betweene the King and the Parliament, and betwixt the Parliamentary houſes themſelves to oppoſe one the other, and ſo betwixt the King and his faithfull and moſt loyall people and Subjects. But let it ever be our indeavour to joyne and keep theſe together, and the bleſſing of him who is the God of peace and unity will reſt upon us.

Fourthly, we vow and proteſt to defend and maintaine the lawfull Rights and Liberties of the Subjects: ſuch are theſe,Magna Charta. Petition of Right, and the Statutes therin ſpecaified: Alſo his Royal Maj. ſty hath bin pleaſed di­vers times in his Declaratiōs graciouſly to promiſe all his good Subjects, that he will rule according to the eſtabli­ſhed lavves of the Land, a moſt Princely profeſſion. That no man may breake open another mans houſe, chamber dore, ſtudy, trunkes, cheſts, impriſon or arreſt his perſon, or ceaze on any of his goods, but by authority of Law, That no tallage or aid ſhall be laid, had, or levied by the King or his Heires in the Realme without the good-will and aſſent in Parliament: That no perſon ſhall be compelled to make any Lones to the King againſt his will, That none ſhall be charged by any charge or impoſi­tion, called a Benevolence, without conſent in Parliament, and ſuch like.

And there is reaſon for it; for theſe are the glory of free-borne Subjects, and that which doth difference us from ſlaves and vaſſals; take away our Liberties and bring in an Arbitrary pow­er, that the Rulers will and pleaſure muſt ſtand for a Law, and then wherean doe we differ from the verieſt ſlaves in the world; it therefore concernes us to defend and maintaine our lawfull16 Rights and Liberties, even nature and common equity binds us to it. So that were there no Proteſtation made and taken, yet we are bound as we are Chriſtians by vertue of our Baptiſine to defend and maintaine the true Proteſtant Religion againſt all Popery and Popiſh Innovations; as Subjects to maintaine the King our dread Soveraignes Perſon, Honour and Eſtate; as good Common-wealths men, the Power and Priviledges of Parliament, and the lawfull Rights and Liberties of the Subject.

Fifthly, (and marke it well) we are here bound by our ſo­lemne promiſe, &c. with our lives, &c. to juſtifie, Defend and maintaine thery perſon that maketh this Proteſtation in whatſoeber hée ſhall doe in the lawfull purſuance of the ſame.

And there is great Reaſon for this alſo, that we ſhould mu­tually defend each other; for if any ſuffer in a common cauſe, as the defence and maintenance of the true Religion, the Kings Majeſties Perſon, Honour and Eſtate, the Power and Privi­ledges of Parliament, &c. all ſuffer in him, and therefore all and every one ſhould ſtand for him,So did the Gre­cians and Bar­barians, when they went with Cyrus againſt the Perſians. Suid. as for themſelves. The ve­ry Heathens would not be wanting to their Country, but in a common cauſe were willing to doe or ſuffer any thing, even the greateſt dangers; and Chriſtianity ſhould not make more ſlow, but forward to all civill duties tending to the publicke good, upon better and higher grounds then nature can afford, viz. out of conſcience to Gods command, true Chriſtian love to our Brethren and Country, &c.

Sixthly, under the like engagement, we promiſe, vow and proteſt, To oppoſe and hinder, and by all good wayes and meanes indeavour to bring to condigne puniſhment all ſuch as ſhall either by forcs, practiſes; councels, plots, conſpiracies or other wiſe doe the contrary of any thing in this preſent Proteſtation contained. As for inſtance, if (which God for­bid) we ſhould ſee or know any perſon that ſhould riſe up a­gainſt the King or Parliament, wilfully infringe their juſt and good orders and priviledges, or indeavour to ſet or maintaine diviſion or diſ-affection betweene the King and Parliament, or betwixt the three Kingdomes of England, Scotland and Ireland,17 be his pretence (as Papiſts and Popiſh perſons want not excu­ſes and colourable pretences) he is declared a publick enemy of the State and peace of the Kingdome,See the Declar. of Parl. Ian. 17. 1641. and we are by this Prote­ſtation bound by all lawfull means to bring ſuch a perſon to con­digne puniſhment.

So againe, doe we ſee or heare any, ſeeking wittingly and wilfully to diſgrace, ſuppreſſe or bring into contempt the true Reformed Proteſtant Religion, or to vent and advance Popery, or Popiſh Innovations within this Realme, to ſet up any wood­den, ſtone or painted Image, Croſſe, or other ſcandalous reſem­blances, we are by vertue of this Proteſtation bound by all law­full meanes and wayes, according to the rules of Chriſtian wiſ­dome and prudence, to bring that perſon or perſons to condigne puniſhment for his demerits.

And we have warrant for this in the word of God. Huſhai the Archite did prevent the dangerous plot againſt David and diſcovered it to him, 2 Sam. 17.7, 8, 15. &c. Mordecai diſco­vered treaſon againſt Ahaſuerus, Hest. c. 6. Yea the very Pa­gans would doe thus, endeavour to bring to deſerved puniſh­ment thoſe that were enemies to their Idoll gods, Religi­on, King, Country or publick-wealth. And Gods word re­quires this of us, Pro. 24.21, 22. My ſonne, feare thou the Lord and the King, and meddle not with them that are given to change, that is, to bring in any Doctrine, worſhip or diſ­cipline, or any thing contrary to the true Religion or word of God, and the wholeſome and good Lawes of the Land, eſpecially ſuch as are fundamentall; for their calami­ty ſhall riſe ſuddenly, and who knoweth the ruine of them both.

Yea in caſe of ſeducing from the true to falſe Religion, or worſhip of God (as is well obſerved by a godly**M. I. G. Divine) it is cleare that we muſt bring any to pumſhment, how neare or deare ſo ever unto us. See Deut. 13.6, 7, 8, 9, 10. If thy Bro­ther the ſonne of thy mother, or thy ſonne, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy boſome entiſe thee, ſaying let us goe and ſerve o­ther gods. Thou ſhalt not conſent unto them, nor hearken unto them, neither ſhall thy eye pitty them. Our love to God and the true Religion, ought to over-rule our affections to our friends18 and naturall Parents in the fleſh, much more our affections to­wards others, which our Saviour confirmes, Mat. 10.37. He that loveth Father or Mother more then me, is not worthy of one, and he that loveth Son or Daughter more then me a not worthy of me.

And in caſe of the publicke-weale, if any perſon be an ene­my to it, and will not be reclaimed, our affection to our Coun­try, and the Common-wealth muſt over-rule naturall and pri­vate affection even to ſuch as are neare and deare unto us: and Ci­cero an Heathen determines this among other caſes,Cicero de Oſſi. 〈◊〉3. That if a mans owne Father would betray his Country, and do any thing that tends to the apparent ruine of the Common-wealth, he muſt not keepe ſilence, but preferre the ſafety of his Coun­try before a Father, and indeavour to hinder him, or com­plaine of him. This is juſt and reaſonable, for a publicke good of ſuch concernement ought to bee preferred before a pri­vate.

Seventhly, we alſo promiſe In all joſt and honourable wayes to indeavour to preſerve the Vnion and Peace betwéene the thrée Kingdomes of England, Scotland and Ireland. And there is great reaſon for it, becauſe they being now (as it were) one, the diviſion of them or diſturbing their peace, is the way to ruine all, eſpecially in theſe evill times, when all our forces united together will be little enough and too little without Gods more then ordinary aſſiſtance, to preſerve our peace, yea to keepe them from ſinking and ruine by the common enemy to our Religion, to our King and Kingdom.

And this is the firſt thing I here promiſed to ſpeake off, viz. what we doe here promiſe, vow and proteſt. Now for

The ſecond, What it is to maintaine and defend the true Protestant Religion, or Doctrine, and oppoſe the contrary, viz. in our hearts to beleeve, imbrace, love, profeſſe and walk according to the Rules of the true Reformed Proteſtant Re­ligion, to juſtifie and defend the ſame, as occaſion requireth and calleth on us, and to diſavow the Popifh Doctrine and Innovati­ons which are contrary hereuntò and ſet our ſelves againſt it and them, or any that ſhall endeavour to attempt any thing19 contrary to the true Proteſtant Religion, the Perſon, Honour and Eſtate of the King, the power and Priviledges of Parlia­ment, &c.

Thirdly, The grounds and reaſons of making and entring into this Proteſtation or Nationall Covenant, are included in the pre­amble to the Proteſtation, to which I referre you for fuller ſatisfaction, only thus much here in a few words, I conceive it may be of uſe.

1. To binde all true Proteſtants more firmely to God, his truth, wayes and worſhip, and to prevent the growth of Popery and Popiſh Innovations, and in time to root out both, as in conſci­ence, reaſon, Religion and policy we ſhould, And this is a very ſpeciall meanes to effect it; for this binds us not only to embrace, maintaine and defend the true Religion, but alſo to reject Popery, yea to oppoſe it, and all ſuch as ſeeke to ad­vance or uphold it.

2. To diſcover all Popiſh perſons, and ſuch as ſtand diſaffected to the true Religion, and the peace and welfare of the King and Kingdome, Church or State, that they may be dealt with according as to juſtice doth appertaine.

3. Thereby alſo the better to diſappoint all the Adverſaries plots and deſignes againſt true Religion, the King, Kingdome, Church and State. And

4. To continue and increaſe the honour, peace and wel­fare of the ſame, to all which purpoſes this bond may be of ſpe­ciall uſe, and the moſt effectuall meanes to accompliſh ſuch bleſ­ſed ends. Now,

Fourthly, How far and how firmely this bond or Covenant bin­deth us?

1. How far, in reſpect of the wayes and meanes to be uſed, and that is only to lawfull wayes, to doe all theſe things as far as lawfully I may, and by all good wayes and meanes, that is, by ſuch wayes and meanes as are warrantable by the Law of God, and the wholſome and good Lawes and Statutes of this Realme. As for inſtance, when we ſee any Popery or Popiſh Ceremonies and Innovations in the Church which we have pro­teſted againſt, we may not in a violent and tumultuous way without any lawfull call and warrant ſet our ſelves againſt them20 and remove them, but by our prayers to Almighty God, and pe­titions to his Majeſty, the honourable Aſſembly, or others in Au­thority, who are by Law inabled to remove the evils that we are bound to oppoſe, and rectifie things amiſſe; Beſide, God needs no tumultuous carriages, and unwarrantable wayes and meanes to effect his worke of Reformation.

2. But how firmely doth this binde us?

Anſw. It binds us to keep it to the uttermoſt of our [Power, Eſtate and Libes] even to the death, ſo as no law of man, or power of any worldly Prince or Potentate whatſoever can ab­ſolve us from it. And we promiſe and proteſt in the cloſe, that netther hope, feare, or any woridly reſpect, neither favour nor frowne of men, neither promiſes nor threats, neither hope of gaine, profit, pleaſures or preferment, or feare of any worldly loſſe, trouble or the like (for all theſe as I humbly conceive are in­cluded) ſhall make us relinquiſh this promiſe, vow and Prote­ſtation.

And this ſolemne engagement is made in expreſſe termes in the preſeuce of Almighty God, and ſo implicitely calling the Almighty God of Heaven and Earth, who heares what we pro­teſt, and doth ſee our intentions and purpoſe, and will narrowly obſerve our future actions, how we keep our ſolemne promiſe with his Majeſty, to reward or take vengeance on us if we doe not really, and for the future carefully endeavour by all law­full meanes and wayes to performe our promiſe, vow and Prote­ſtation.

And which yet further addeth weight to this engagement, it is made in the preſence of the Congregation (yea and I may ſay of the Angels alſo) who are witneſſes,Pſ. 91.11, 12. Heb. 1.14. and will teſtifie againſt us one day if we willingly and wittingly breake this our Cove­nant.

And this alſo, our owne hands or marke (which is equivalent) is ſubſcribed and ſtands on record as a witneſſe to God and men againſt that man that ſhall wittingly and willingly breake his Proteſtation, ſo ſolemnely made, yea, and this Church, and theſe Wals and Pewes will one day riſe up to condemne that man.

Heare what God himſelfe ſaith, of ordinary vowes and promi­ſes,21 which are of〈◊〉inferiour nature to this, Deut. 23.21, 23. When thou ſhalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou ſhalt not ſlacke to pay it, for the Lord thy God will ſurely require it of thee, anait would be ſinne in thee; That which is gone out of thy lips thou ſhalt keep and performe, according as thou haſt vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou haſt promiſed with thy mouth: As for inſtance, if the Jew under the Law vowed unto God to offer a lambe, or bullocke, or ſheep or goate, &c. So now if any ſhould vow or promiſe to God, That if ſuch a buſineſſe ſucceed well, if ſuch a ſhip in which he hath a venture returne home well and ſafe; if ſuch a field of corne proſper and come well in, or the like, he will give ſo much to the poore members of Chriſt, or the like in way of thankfulneſſe to God for his goodneſſe towards him. Or if God doe indeed deliver him out of ſuch a trouble, ſickneſſe, miſery or affliction, or the like, he will give ſo much to ſuch a pious uſe, &c. Keep a private day of ſolemne thanksgiving to God, or the like, he may neither omit nor delay to doe accor­ding to his promiſe, ſaith Moſes from God, Thou ſhalt not ſlacke to pay (or performe) it, The Lord thy God will require it of thee. So againe, Numb. 30.1, 2. This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or ſweare an Oath to binde his ſoule with a bond, hee ſhall not breake his word, he ſhall doe according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. And if promiſes and vowes touching things voluntary, and of a far leſſe and inferiour nature, made onely by a mans ſelfe alone, doe ſo ſtrongly binde, that God may juſtly, and**Iuſt è exigitur ad ſolvendum qui non cogitur al vovendum. Bern. in Ep. will require it of him, and puniſh him accordingly for breach of promiſe, in eaſe he performe not; how much more doth ſuch a ſolemne vow and Proteſtation as this is, made to God, in a thing of this nature (which Religion and reaſon binds us to obſerve, though there were no Proteſtation made nor ever thought of) how much more (I ſay) doth this binde us, and will God puniſh the wilfull contemners or breakers of it?

Wherefore brethren, you who have taken this Proteſtation or Nationall Covenant, and have therein implicitly called God to witneſſe, and be your Judge to take vengeance on you, if you performe not your vow and Covenant to God, be ſure the hand of God will follow you, if (which I hope I ſhall never ſee and22 heare of you) endeavour not to performe your Proteſtation and Covenant according to promiſe, but wilfully breake it, and much more if alſo any ſhould wittingly and willingly endea­vour to hinder others that endeavour to keep their Covenant, and doe wilfully diſturbe them in their duty of maintaining the true Reformed Proteſtant Religion, or oppoſing and remo­ving in a legall way any part of Popery or Popiſh Innovations proteſted againſt, ſuppeſe Images, and ſcandalous Popiſh Pi­ctures, Crucifixes, and the like.

And let ſuch a man be ſure, that if he performe not his part, but wilfully breake it, oppoſe and hinder others, yet God will performe his part, God will bring the curſe upon him which he hath implicitly wiſhed in his Proteſtation in the preſence of Almighty God, as he did bring on the Jewes the curſe which they wiſhed to themſelves, Mat. 27.25. And we know it hath layne heavily upon that Nation above ſixteene hundred yeares. When Zedekiah had broken his Covenant with the King of Babylon, ſee what the Lord ſaith of him, Ezek. 17.15, 16. Shall he proſper? or ſhall he eſcape that doth ſuch things? or ſhall he breake the Covenant and be delivered? As I live, ſaith the Lord God, ſurely mine Oath which he hath despiſed, and my Co­venant which he hath broken, even it will I recompence upon his owne head, v. 19. We have ſolemnely covenanted and promiſed, vow­ed and proteſted to God the King of Heaven, to maintaine the true Religion, oppoſe all Popery and Popiſh Innovations; to the King on earth, to maintaine his Royall Perſon, Honour and Eſtate; to the Parliament, to maintaine and defend their power and Priviledges, &c. And we may be ſure, that man ſhall not eſcape, that wilfully breaketh his Covenant; but the hand of God will find him out, either here to his converſion, re­pentance and ſalvation, or hereafter to his condemna­tion.

Wherefore brethren I beſeech you all (and I hope and perſwade my ſelfe you will) conſider what you have promiſed in the pre­ſence of Almighty God, and doe your beſt and heartieſt en­deavour to keep your Proteſtation. Oh let not any perſon draw guilt on his owne ſoule by a wilfull breach or careleſſe neglect of his Proteſtation, I could therefore wiſh that every good Sub­ject23 would have and ſet up a Copy of the Proteſtation in his owne houſe, to minde himſelfe ſo often as he goes in and out of his ſolemne vow and Covenant made to maintaine and defend with his life, power and eſtate, the true Reformed Proteſtant Religion againſt all Popery and Popiſh Innovations, the Kings Majeſties perſon, the power and Priviledges of Parli­ament, &c.

Yea all of you have in Baptiſme ſolemnely engaged your ſelves to God to beleeve in him, love him, feare him, ſerve and obey him in all his righteous commands, to defend his bleſ­ſed truth, and the profeſſors of it, and conſequently to oppoſe what in you lyeth by all lawfull meanes, all Popery, and Popiſh Rites and Ceremonies, and whatſoever is contrary to his bleſ­ſed word and will; Thus every mothers childe of us ſtands en­gaged to God, and be ſure thou canſt not wilfully breake Cove­nant with God, and eſcape unpuniſhed.

But let us come to speake more particularly by way of Application,Ʋſe. to bring all home to our ſelves, to worke as on the head by information, ſo on the heart and affections by application, that the whole man may be put upon the conſcionable practiſe of the duty, which is the end of preaching.

And ſeeing a Covenant once made may not be broken, but carefully kept and performed, this may ſerve to reprove, to hum­ble and to exhort.

Firſt, for Reprehenſion, and that of two ſorts, wherein bla­ming others, I deſire to chide and be humbled my ſelfe.

1. Such as ſeemingly make or enter into Covenant with God, but doe really breake it. So doe all, that having been baptized, doe not live anſwerably. Circumciſion is called a Covenant, Gen. 17. becauſe it doth neceſſarily preſuppoſe and ſeale the Cove­nant. Now Baptiſme is in the roome thereof, yet how ma­ny breake it? yea how few doe indeed keep that Covenant, or that doe in good earneſt endeavour to keep it? Many, very many of them have alſo renewed that Covenant at the Lords Supper, re-engaged their ſoules againe to God, and yet goe on ſtill in the wayes of ſinne and Satan: In the Covenant we all engage our ſelves to leave all ſinne, beleeve all divine truths re­vealed to us, and live holily in obedience to all his righteous24 and good Commandements; yet where almoſt ſhall we find a man or woman truly endeavouring to keep Covenant with God.

The Word Sacrament ſignified of old the Souldiers Oath, be­twixt the Captaine and the common ſouldier, which now is by long uſe applyed only to this Ordinance of God, and ſo we give God the hand in the Lords Supper: It is a Covenant with God, wherein we doe all (as it were) ſweare, promiſe all faithfull ſervice to him, to be wholly at his command, and not to ſerve ſinne and Satan any longer: The very act of receiving or being baptized imports no leſſe, and binds us to the duty, and ſo doth the Lords Supper: Yet where almoſt is the man or wo­man that makes conſcience of keeping his Covenant with God? Doth not almoſt every one run on ſtill in his owne wayes, ſerve himſelfe and his luſts, ſinne and Satan, as if he had never entred into Covenant with God, or made any promiſe of obedience, and ſo adde unfaithfulneſſe in breaking his Cove­nant with God? Yea, obſerve it, and we ſhall ſee many ſo farre from keeping Covenant with God, that they grow worſe afterward then they were before they came to the Sacrament: ſo how many are there who lying on their ſicke bed, or in ſome great trouble or feare, promiſe and ſeriouſly vow, that if God will raiſe them up againe, remove ſuch or ſuch an evill, they will become new men, &c. and yet afterward are as bad, yea worſe then before? And may we not alſo ſay, There be many who having taken the Proteſtation or Nationall Covenant, yet are careleſſe in keeping it; yea willingly breake it, by cauſing and fomenting diviſion and diſlike betwixt the King and his Parliament, and good Subjects, by oppoſing and hindering the removall of ſcandalous Images and Pictures (ſome of which are moſt abominably evill and greatly abuſed by many, in whoſe hearts they ſticke faſter then in the glaſſe-windowes or wals (though we hoped otherwiſe till experience proves it to be true) alſo by bowing towards (if not to) the pretended Altar, or Eaſt, &c, I ſay no more, but let every mans conſcience be his owne Judge.

In civill contracts with men, men will be aſhamed that have any ſparkes of ingenuity and common honeſty in them,25 if they breake their word and ſolemne promiſe with men, and ſhould we not much more for breaking Covenant with God?

If we had never received the Sacrament, neither the one nor the other, and ſo never entred into Covenant with God; yet it were ſinne to us (and ſinne is damnable) to diſobey God, ſee­ing we are all bound to yeeld obedience to God, by vertue of our Creation, preſervation and ſuſtentation, to be his and only his, to ſerve him, and him only for ever; but after Covenant with his Highneſſe to ſinne againſt him, diſobey his righteous and good commands (for ſo they all are) rebell againſt his Autho­rity, is much more grievous, eſpecially when withall we doe ſerve ſinne and Satan, Gods and our owne enemy. It was a great aggravation of Judas ſinne fore-propheſied, Pſalme 55. That he put forth his hand againſt ſuch as were at peace with him, and broke his Covenant, ver. 20. So it is a great aggravation of ſinne for a man that is in Covenant with God to breake his Co­venant, and lift up the hand againſt God, with whom he hath entred into tearmes and concluſions of peace, to diſobey God with whom he hath entred into Covenant to obey and obſerve him in all things.

To all ſuch I may ſay as the Prophet Malachy to the Prieſts that brake their Covenant with God, Mal. 2.10. Why doe ye deale treacherouſly every man by prophaning the Covenant of God? And adde as he doth there, ver. 12. The Lord will cut off the man that doth this. And as Jerem. 2.19. Thine owne wickedneſſe ſhall correct thee, and thine owne backeſliding ſhall reprove thee: Know therefore, and ſee that it is an evill thing and bitter that thou haſt forſaken the Lord thy God, and that my feare is not in thee, ſaith the Lord.

2. Others there are that doe really enter into Covenant with God, but ſeemingly breake it, either out of ignorance, infirmity, want of watchfulneſſe, &c. So doe all the godly, all that truly feare God, more or leſſe; though they often faile in their obedience, yet it is not wilfully, out of love and liking of ſinne, but out of ignorance, weakneſſe, want of care, &c. but doe never ſo ſinne, as wholly and wilfully upon meditation to breake their Cove­nant with God, 1 John 3.9. He that is borne of God ſinneth not,26 that is, whoſoever is regenerate and truly godly, he doth not wittingly and willingly ſinne, he doth not love ſinne, and live and lie in ſinne, in the breach of Covenant as others doe; the ground is, becauſe his ſeed abideth in him, i.e. becauſe grace is immutable, and ever working holy deſires, purpoſes and endea­vours to obey God and keep his Commandements, the Articles and conditions of the Covenant. The Covenant with Adam was broken and all forfeit and loſt, becauſe mutable; but the Co­venant of grace hath for ground the immutable promiſe of God, that it ſhall never ceaſe, Jer. 32.39, 40. Heb. 13.5. and Chriſt who ever liveth. If Adam had ſtood till now then that Cove­nant had not been broken, and all loſt as it was; but Adam ſin­ning, brake his Covenant, and loſt all. But now Chriſt ever li­veth; therefore all that are in the Covenant of grace, all that are in Chriſt ſhall ever live, John 14.19. Becauſe I live ye ſhall live alſo. There are ever living deſires, purpoſes and endeavours to keep Covenant with God, in reſpect of which unfained con­ſtant deſires, &c. the godly ever keep their Covenant with God, ſo as they never breake it wholly or wilfully with full ſwing of affection, with delight as others doe, much loſſe live, lye and dye in ſin as the wicked doe.

But ſecondly, becauſe all unregenerate men wittingly and willingly breake their Covenant with God made in Baptiſme, and renewed in the Lords Supper, and now in the late Proteſta­tion or Nationall Covenant, and the godly doe faile much in their duty, and doe often in part breake their Covenant out of ignorance, want of watchfulneſſe or the like, either by omit­ting ſome duty commanded, or doing ſomething forbidden, and in the manner of our obedience; therefore we have all cauſe to be humbled. Let me therefore call upon you all and upon my ſelfe to be kindly humbled for the breaches we have ſo often made in our Covenant. Oh! that we ſhould breake promiſe with God,**Abſqueneceſſi­tate, remiſſio voti, non di pen­ſatio, ſed prae­varicatio eſt. Bern. prevaricate with his Majeſty, how ſhould this grieve our ſoules? truly nothing will breake a good heart more then this, to looke backe and ſee how unfaithfully, and how foulely we have dealt with ſo good and gracious a God, and bro­ken Covenant with him who is and hath alwayes been ſo good and faithfull to us and all his.

27And the rather ſhould we be humbled, if we looke upon the ef­fects and conſequents of ſinne, either in reſpect of God or of our ſelves.

1. In reſpect of God. God is angry and grieved. God is angry with all mens ſinnes, but grieved eſpecially with the ſinnes of his owne people that are in Covenant with him. It is with God as with an husband or deare friend; if all others ſpeake evill of him, ſleight him, or diſobey him, he can more eaſily beare if; but if the wife or ſome other friend that hath entred into a near league of friendſhip with him ſhould ſpeake evill of him, ſleight him Oh! this cuts him to the heart, this grieves him ſore, Pſal 55.12, 13, 14. It was not an enemy that repreached, than I could have borne it; but it was thou, a man, mine equall, my guide, and mine acquaintance, &c. Indignities and evill carriage from a near hand is moſt grievous, not to be borne: ſo here, breach of promiſe and unfaithfull dealing from ſuch as are in Covenant with God, is moſt grievous unto him. We have a notable expreſ­ſion full to this purpoſe, Ezek. 6.9. ſaith God, I am broken with their whoriſh heart (marke with whoſe) which hath departed from me, breach of Covenant in his, owne people is that (which to uſe the Prophets figurative expreſſion here) breaketh the heart of God; other mens ſinnes grieve him, but the ſinnes of his owne people breake his heart. Oh! when it comes to this, that God may ſay of us as there David of Abſolom, as ſome ſay, or of Saul, as others thinke, in the type, and Chriſt of Judas in the Anti-tipe: It was not an enemy, a drunkard, a common ſwearer, an adulterer or any other open wicked man; but thou a Profeſ­ſor, one that hath entred into Covenant with me, &c. then feare what God ſaith of diſobedient revolting Iſrael, Pſal. 95.10, 11. Fourty yeares long was I grieved with this generation, &c. to whom (or as the Apoſtle hath it, Heb. 3.11. ſo, i. c. therfore.) I ſware in my wrath they ſhould not enter into my reſt.

2. It is lamentable alſo, if we conſider the effect of it in re­ſpect of our ſelves, that no tye will hold us. Had we ſeen that Bedlam man mentioned in the Goſpell, breaking all his chaines, certainly we ſhould have pittied him; it is much more lamentable to ſee men, that no bands, no tyes will hold them to God, but they breake all, breake their purpoſes, breake their promiſes,28 break their ſolemne Proteſtation and Covenant made with God, their Covenants ſealed at Baptiſme, and renewed at the Lords Supper, and now in another kind, in our Nationall Covenant; therefore how ſhould this humble us, and make us bluſh, and be aſhamed and confounded for our unfaithfull dealings with God?

Be we therefore exhorted all of us,Ʋſe 3. Exhort. as to looke backe and be humbled for our failings and breach of Covenant for the time paſt, ſo to looke forward, and for the future to give all diligence to keep Covenant with God, both our Nationall and Perſonall Covenant. And here ſomething firſt by way of motive, and then of direction.

Firſt, beſide what hath been already ſaid, me thinks theſe conſiderations ſhould be of force to quicken us to this duty by way of Argument.

Firſt,Motives. the conſideration of the Party to whom our Covenant is made, and that is God, where conſider theſe 5. things.

1. His abſolute Soveraignty over us. It is independent, uni­verſall, He is the most High God, poſſeſſor of Heaven and Earth, Gen. 14.19, 22. Me thinks this moſt abſolute ſoveraigne power over us to command, reward of puniſh us, ſhould move us to a carefull performance of this duty, of keeping Covenant with him.

2. He is omniſcient, and knowes certainly what we have done, and how we engaged our ſelves; yea (adde this alſo) all our ſecret vowes and promiſes we have made unto him, in the night, on our ſick-bed, in time of trouble, &c. Heb. 4.13. All things are naked and open unto the eyes of him (of God) with whom we have to doe; therefore we ſhould carefully keep Covenant with God.

3. God remembers our Covenant, yea and all our vowes and pro­miſes, though made long agoe, and how often they have been renewed. Men many times, after a little ſpace, forget what bonds and Covenants have been made unto them, ſo doth not God, Pſal. 111.5. He is ever mindfull of his Covenant, which al­though it be ſpoken ſpecially of keeping promiſe with his peo­ple; yet it is alſo true, that he is ever mindfull of what we ſhould performe unto him, and looks for it at our hands as men29 looke for their Rents at the dayes of payment; obedience is Gods rent-penny.

4. God will make us remember our Covenant, either here by threatnings, terrours and troubles, or hereafter by torments. All creſſes, loſſes, afflictions and troubles are to put us in mind of our Covenant with God. Men will call for their debts. All Covenants and promiſes are due debts to God; therfore he will call for them; Therefore it was, that when Jacob forgate or neglected his vow at Bethel, God put him in mind of it: And if notwithſtanding all threatenings, afflictions, troubles, men will not remember to pay their debts, performe their Covenant unto God here, he will make ſuch feele his torments hereafter. God is moſt juſt and unpartiall, that will not ſuffer breach of Covenant, if unrepented to goe unpuniſhed.

5. Our promiſe and Covenant is made unto God, who is faithfull as well as juſt, and will keep Covenant with his, Deut. 7.9. Know that the Lord thy God he is God, the faithfull God, which kee­peth Covenant, and mercy with them that love him and keep his Com­mandements, Pſal 111.5. He is ever mindfull of his Covenant. And if God keep Covenant with us, it is moſt reaſonable that we ſhould keep Covenant with him.

Secondly, conſider the quality of our Covenant with ſome other circumſtances not mentioned before, all which adde weight to this duty, and ſhould quicken us to obedience.

As 1. Our Covenants and promiſes are due debts to God. Now every honeſt man will be carefull to pay his debts, to performe his Covenants and promiſes, Pſal. 37.21. The wicked borroweth and payeth not againe, that is, makes no conſcience of keeping his promiſes; ſuch a day I will repay it (ſaith he) but perfour­meth not: But it is a ſure note of a godly man to keep touch with God, as it is a note of a ſincere upright heart upon conſide­ration to be willing to enter into Covenant with God, to be bound to him: ſo it is a note of an honeſt and good heart to be mindfull of his Covenant, and carefull to performe with God.

2. A Covenant is one of the deepeſt bonds that can be to tye us to God in obedience. Gods omnipotency is tyed by an Oath and promiſes, ſo that he cannot in reſpect of his Oath doe that30 which otherwiſe he might eaſily doe being omnipotent, and ſurely it doth as deeply and ſtrongly binde us to God, to obey him, as it bindeth him to keep promiſe with man. It is one of the firmeſt and ſtrongeſt tyes that can lye upon us; and therefore we ſhould be moſt carefull to performe our Covenant.

3. Thinke alſo on the witneſſes. Our Covenant was made with God in the preſence of Angels and men, the whole Congrega­tion then preſent, and our owne conſciences. All men know that we have been baptized, and many have ſeen us at the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, where againe we renewed our Covenant and promiſe of obedience to God. Now all theſe, Angels, Men, that Table, yonder Font will riſe up in judgement againſt us one day, if we doe not keep Covenant with God.

4. It is a folemne Covenant, it was not made raſhly, unadviſed­ly, upon ſudden flaſh and heate of affection; but deliberately, upon meditation, after warning given, and you bidden ſeriouſly to conſider of it, and the danger more eſpecially of breaking our perſonall Covenant ſhewed. Raſh vowes and promiſes, if law­full and in our power, doe binde, much more ſuch as are delibe­rate; therefore Joſhuah 9.19. the Covenant which Iſrael had made with the Gibeonites, though gotten by fraud; yet Joſhuah and the Princes durſt not breake it, v. 19 20. All the Princes ſaid unto the Congregation (whoſe fingers itched to be doing with the Gibeonites) we have ſworne unto them by the Lord God of Iſrael, now therefore we may not touch them, but this we will doe unto them, we will let them live, leſt wrath be upon us, becauſe of the Oath which we have ſworne unto them.

5. The frequency of renewing our Covenant ſhould make us more carefull of keeping promiſe with God. Our Covenant hath been renewed againe and againe, ſo often as we have been at the Lords Table, and received the Sacrament, been at publicke or private Faſts and dayes of humiliation (for in all thoſe we doe if not expreſly, yet implicitly and interpretatively renew our Covenant with God) but if we had never but once in all our life time, at Baptiſme only engaged our ſelves to God in Cove­nant; yet wore we firmely bound to obedience, much more being ſo often renewed. It is a grievous thing to thinke that a man ſhould promiſe, and promiſe againe and again, and ſtill breake all.

316. The equity of the duty ſhould make us more mindfull of kee­ping Covenant with God. Is it not a moſt reaſonable thing that God ſhould be beleeved, loved, feared, ſerved, obeyed? Is it not a moſt reaſonable thing that ſinne ſhould be left, abhorred, deteſted? Are not all his Commandements moſt juſt, righte­ous and good, ſo as no Lawes of men in all the world are com­parable unto them, Deut. 4.8. What Nation is there ſo great that hath Statutes and Judgements ſo righteous as all this Law which I ſet before you this day? See Rom. 7.12. That (even that Commandement that hit him full on the fore, wounded him at the heart, ſtroke at his boſome luſts, and diſcovered him to be but a dead man; yet even that) Commandement is holy, juſt and good; and therefore we ſhould be unjuſt, unhoneſt, unreaſonable, if we ſhould refuſe to obey or willingly breake it. Againe, God hath made a Covenant with us, we expect he ſhould performe with us, every one would have God faithfull to him, and keep Covenant with him, and is it not then a moſt equall thing that we ſhould alſo keep Covenant with God?

So is it not a moſt equall, iuſt and reaſonable thing that we ſhould maintaine and defend the true Proteſtant Religion, the Kings Perſon, Honour and Eſtate, the Power and Priviledges of Par­liament, &c. Let me report it to every mans conſcience, whether all the things proteſted be not juſt and reaſonable?

I may adde this alſo, the riches of Gods mercy in giving leave and making way for us to come before him againe, and renew our Cove­nant with his Highneſſe, and his readineſſe to renew his Cove­nant with us againe, with the whole Nation after all our revol­tings and backſliding, and perfonally with our ſelves in the Sa­crament, ſetting to his Seale. For former miſcarriages God might have diſcarded us and caſt us off for ever, and never have been intreated of us any more; but ſeeing the Lord is pleaſed to con­tinue our lives, and give us another call, to approach before him, offering to renew and ſeale his Covenant with us, if ſo be that now we will come in unto him, be cordiall, and deale ſincerely and faithfully with his Majeſty for the future, how ſhould this move us to be ever mindfull to performe Covenant with him who is ſo good and gracious to us as he is?

Thirdly, looke on the examples of others that have gone before32 us, both godly and godleſſe men.

1. Godly men. We reade of David ſwearing and truly endea­vouring to keep Covenant with God, Pſal. 119.106. I have ſworne and will performe it, that I will keep thy righteous iudgements. So the Church and people of God, even in the midſt of great troubles and afflictions, Pſal. 44.17, 18, 19. All this is come upon us, yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falſly in thy Covenant. Our heart is not turned backe, neither have our ſteps de­clined from thy way, though thou haſt ſore broken us in the place of Dragons, and covered us with the ſhadow of death.

2. As godly, ſo godleſſe men have been carefull to keep Cove­nants and promiſes at leaſt with men: Pharaoh a Pagan King bids Joſeph goe and performe his Oath which his father made him to ſweare, though it was a long and chargeable journey, Gen. 50.6. And Herod, inceſtuous Herod that made no conſcience of in­ceſt and murder; yet makes ſcruple of his Oath, he would not breake his promiſe, Mat. 14.9. The King was ſorry, nevert heleſſe for his Oathes ſake You may obſerve it, that many meere na­turall men wholly deſtitute of the life of grace or any good con­ſcience, will notwithſtanding be very punctuall in obſerving their Covenants and promiſes, though to their owne dammage and hurt, and ſhould not this greatly ſhame men that have a name for Religion, and would be thought to be ſome body among the faithfull, to be found unfaithfull with God or men? What! ſhall meere naturall, worldly, unbeleeving men, in their kinde goe beyond the children and people of God? be more mindfull of their promiſes and Covenants then the godly, then Profeſſors are of their promiſes to God? Yea, ſhall the very Pa­gans out-ſtrip us Chriſtians in their dealings with men? Oh! let us bluſh and be aſhamed, and repent and amend, leaſt the men of this world, yea the Pagans riſe up in judgement againſt us one day and condemne us.

Fourthly, think of the great good that hereby will redound

  • To God.
  • To Men.

1. To God. Is makes much for his glory: It gives him the glory of his excellency that he is worthy of it; of his power, wiſedome, goodneſſe and faithfulneſſe, that he can, is able, ready and will keep Covenant with us; but Apoſtacy, revolting,33 breach of Covenant, and falling off againe to former evill wayes and courſes is moſt derogatory to Gods glory, and diſhonourable to his Majeſty, ſuch a man doth in effect**Diabolum Do­mino praeponit, comparationem enim videtur e­giſſe, ut dicatur pronunciaſſe eſſe meliorem cujus rurſus eſſe maluerit. Tert c 5. de Paenit. preferre the Devill be­fore God; for he ſeemes to have compared and weighed them together, and trying both, at length pronounceth him to be the better, whom he chuſeth againe to ſerve.

2. To men, and the good is either Nationall, or Perſonall.

Nationall, to keep Covenant with God tends much to the good of the whole Land and Nation. There are great deſignes now on foot for the good of the Church and State: The Adver­ſaries are many, mighty, extreame malicious, and exceeding buſie, have moſt deſperate and damnable deſignes againſt both, alſo the**Eſpecially in July & Auguſt, 1641. when this was prea­ched. hand of God, the plague and**The ſmall Poxe, &c. to this day in many places ſvveeping avvay very many. other devouring diſeaſes are rife in the great City, and in divers parts of this Kingdome. Now the conſcionable performance of our Covenant with God, and parti­cularly of our Nationall Covenant, will be the moſt probable meanes under Heaven to maintaine the true Proteſtant Religion, to ſuppreſſe and in time root out Popery, diſappoint the enemies of this Church and State, further the great and long deſired worke of Reformation, and conduce much to the honour, peace, ſafety, welfare and proſperity both of King and Kingdome, of Church and State, and the ſalvation of ſoules.

Againe, we have prayed and doe pray for the publicke health, ſafety, peace and proſperity, and who is now likely to prevaile with God but they that truly endeavour to keep Covenant with him? Hoſ. 7.14. They have not cryed unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds; They came before God in their troubles, cryed mightily unto him, faſted, prayed, yet all this God eſteemed but as the howling of a dog. What was the reaſon? verſe 13. They have fled from me, they have tranſgreſſed againſt me. A Father cares not for the howling of a dog ſo long as the childe cryes not; he regards more the teares and cryes of one childe, then the howling of 20. dogs; wicked men in the Scrip­ture phraſe are dogs, ſwine, traytors, Rebels to the Majeſty of Heaven and Earth, and therefore are not regarded by him; but the prayers of them that are faithfull in his Covenant may doe much good, Prov. 15.8. The ſacrifice (which is alſo accompa­nied34 with prayer, and ſo both the ſacrifice and prayers) of the wicked is abomination to the Lord, but the prayer (the ſingle pray­er) of the upright is his delight, their prayers may doe much good for a Nation, both to remove and prevent evils and pro­cure good. What is a Parliament, an Army, a poſture of defence without this, though they be all of great uſe? 'Tis notable to this purpoſe which we have Job 42.7, 8. faith God to Eliphaz, My wrath is kindled againſt thee and againſt thy two friends but goe to my ſervant Job, and my ſervant Job ſhall pray for you, for him will I accept. It is the prayers of faithfull Covenanters that doe prevaile with God for themſelves and others.

2. Perſonall, the good that will redound to our ſelves is great and maniſold.

1. It will be for our credit. Sancti quidem & honeſti pro poſiti ditatio, magna ruina eſt. Petr. Chril.All the Countrey cryes out againſt him that hath no care of his Covenant or promiſe, that makes no conſcience of his word, ſuch a man was hatefull to the very Pagans; but they commended him that was carefull to keep touch; what a blot then and deſcredit is it not to keep Cove­nant with God? to promiſe and promiſe againe and againe, but performe nothing, Deut. 4.5, 6. ſaith Moſes to Iſrael, I have taught you Statutes and Judgements as the Lord my God hath commanded me, Keep therefore and doe them; for this is your wiſedome and your underſtanding in the ſight of the Nati­ons, which ſhall heare all thoſe Statutes, and ſay, Surely this great Nation is a wiſe and an underſtanding people. What were theſe Statutes but the Articles and conditions of the Covenant which we muſt obſerve? So Iſay 56.4, 5. Thus ſaith the Lord to the Eunuches that keep my Sabboth, and take hold of my Co­venant: Even unto them will I give in mine houſe, and with­in my wals a place and a name better then of ſonnes and of daughters, I will give them an everlaſting name that ſhall not be cut off.

2. It will make for our peace and comfort. Conſcience tels us we ſhould keep Covenant with God, that tyes and moves to duty: Now if we endeavour to doe it truly, ſincerely, uni­verſally and conſtantly, conſcience cannot but juſtifie, ſpeake peace, and ſo affourd comfort, Pſal. 119.165. Great peace have they that keep thy Law, and nothing ſhall offend them, Gal. 6.16. 35As many as walke according to this rule peace be on them, and mercy. If we willingly breake Covenant, conſcience (though it may for a time lye quiet and ſecure, being lulled aſleep, &c. yet it) will cry out, and then no peace, no comfort to the wicked, faith God, Iſa. 57.21.

3. It will be for our ſafety. While we are with God and for God, God will be for us, and if God be with us who can be a­gamſt us? Rom. 8.31. God will be his protection who keeps Covenant with him. Maſters that have but a ſparke of good­neſſe in them, will protect and maintaine their ſervants in all their lawfull undertakings for them. Why? becauſe they are their ſervants in covenant with them: ſo God will protect all his ſervants in all their doings, according to his will, and at his command, becauſe they are in covenant with him. He that hath the Kings protection is kept ſafe from many arreſt: ſo he that keeps covenant with God hath his protection, and thereby is kept ſafe from wicked men, ſinne, Satan, death and Hell, that none of them can truly hurt him, but rather their rage and endeavour ſhall turne to Gods praiſe and his chil­drens good.

4. If we keep Covenant with God, then God will bleſſe and prosper us. We ſee it in this very Text, Keep therefore, that ye may proſper in all that ye doe. So Deut. 7.12, 13. Wherefore it ſhall come to paſſe, if ye hearken to theſe judgements, and keep and doe them, that the Lord ſhall keep unto thee the Covenant, and the mercy which he ſware unto thy fathers, and he will love thee, bleſſe thee, and multiply thee, he will alſo bleſſe the fruit of thy Wombe, and the fruit of thy land, thy corne and thy wine and thine oyle, the increaſe of thy Kine, and the flocks of thy Sheep and thou ſhalt be bleſſed above all people. So Levit. 26.3. to 13. and Deutr. 28.1. to 15. view them over, there are great things promiſed, outward bleſſings to them that keep Covenant with God. Excellent alſo is that place, Deut. 4.40. Thou ſhalt keep his Statutes and his Commandements (ſaith Moſes) That it may goe well with thee, and with thy chil­dren after thee, &c. Pſal. 103.17, 18. The mercy of the Lord is from everlaſting to everlaſting (from everlaſting predeſtination to e­verlaſting glorification) but upon whom? upon them that feare36 him, to them that keep his Covenant, and to thoſe that remember his Commandements to doe them. Brethren, here are great things pro­miſed, and we all deſire to have them, to live and proſper, and be ever bleſſed, why, here is the way to keep Covenant with God, me thinks all this ſhould much inflame the worldly mans affections to enter into, and keep Covenant with God, ſeeing ſuch things are promiſed to them that doe ſo.

5. If we keep Covenant with God, then God will keep Covenant with us: If we faulter with God, and breake Covenant with him, then will he breake Covenant with us, and moſt juſtly may he doe ſo, Deut. 7.12. It ſhall come to paſſe, if ye will hearken to theſe ſtatutes and judgements (the Articles of the Covenant on our part to God) and keep and doe them: That then the Lord thy God ſhall keep unto thee the Covenant, and the mercy which he ſware unto thy fathers, Deut. 8.18. Thou ſhalt remember the Lord thy God (what is it to remember God, but to thinke of our Covenant of obedience to him, and doe it? and marke what followes) That he may eſtabliſh his Covenant which he ſware unto thy fathers. So pſal. 25.10. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, i.e. all the paſſages of his providence are out of love, for good, and ſhall certainly be made good, be performed; but to whom? to ſuch as keep his Covenant and his Teſtimonies. Brethren, would you have God to keep Covenant with you? then ſee that you keep Cove­nant with him.

6. Know that whoſoever doth keep Covenant with God, them will God owne for his peculiar ones, Exod. 19.5, 6. Now there­fore if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my Covenant, then ſhall ye be a peculiar people to me above all people. Beloved this is a great matter that God here promiſes, That if we will indeed keep Covenant with him, then we ſhall be his peculiar ones, as much beloved, as highly eſteemed of God, as a moſt choice treaſure is of men, that God, the great God of Heaven and Earth ſhould ſo love, eſteeme and account of a man, a poore, weake, mortall, ſin­full man, this is wonderfull; yet this you ſee he promiſeth to all that keep Covenant with him.

7. And for the future God promiſes great matters, and will cer­tainly make them all good to all thoſe that keep Covenant with him; they ſhall have Heaven, life eternall, immediate com­munion37 with and a full fruition of himſelfe, who is the only al­ſufficient, independent good. We have his owne word for it, Lev. 26.11, 12. and he cannot deny himſelfe; Therefore a faith­full man, that keeps Covenant with God, is a happy man, a rich man indeed; not ſo much in re, as in ſpe, in a preſent poſſeſſion, as in future reverſion, and ſure promiſes; God himſelfe, Chriſt, Heaven, glory, life eternall, all is his: If a man have a bond of a hundred or a thouſand pounds from ſure men, we ſay and that truly, he is ſo rich: ſo a faithfull godly man is as rich as the promiſes, Heaven and eternall life, yea God and Chriſt, and all is his; and therefore he cannot but be moſt happy, who doth now in part, and ſhall fully enjoy him who is all in all. If a man had all the creatures, all the glory, pleaſure and comforts of them all; yet that all were nothing in compariſon of God, all with­out him could not content the minde of man, but God himſelfe will fully ſatisfie it, which reſults from all the former.

8. It will alſo be a point of wiſedome to keep Covenant with God, Deut. 4.5, 6 Behold I have taught you Statutes and Judgements (the Articles of the Covenant betwixt God and us) keep therfore and do them, for this is your wiſdome and your underſtanding in the ſight of the Nations, &c. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, ſaith a**Greg. Nazian. Orat. 3. Father. Let a promiſe made by a vow or Covenant be perfected by performance; for it is the part of fooles to faile. Oh! my brethren, how ſhould the conſi­deration of this ſo great and manifold good inflame our hearts to this duty. That is the 4th. motive, the benefit.

Fifthly, on the other ſide, thinke of the great evils that will fol­low upon the wilfull breach of Covenant with God. God is greatly diſhonoured, Religion, the peace, ſafety and welfare of the Land is extreamely endangered, according to the greatneſſe and generallity of this ſinne; for if one ſinner destroyeth much good, what will a multitude, a million doe? beſide the privation of all that perſonall good fore-mentioned, and the poſitive diſ­pleaſure and evils which God inflicts on Covenant-breakers, which oftentimes lights heavy on men in this world, in their name, eſtates, bodies, conſciences. See Lev. 26.15. &c. and Deut. 28.15. to 68. there are 54. verſes together of dreadfull plagues that God denounceth againſt Covenant-breakers, one of which38 well ſet on by the hand of the Almighty is enough to breake the heart of the ſtouteſt ſinner, Jerem. 11.2, 3. ſaith God, Heare ye the words of this Covenant: Thus ſaith the Lord, cur­ſed bee the man that obeyeth not the words of this Cove­nant.

Neither doth breach of Covenant with God alwayes bring evill upon a mans ſelfe only, but upon others alſo many times, take one inſtance, a Sam. 21. becauſe Saul brake the Covenant which Joſhuah and Iſrael made with the Gibeonites at their firſt com­ming into Canaan; therefore God brought on all Iſrael a famine in the dayes of David for three yeares together. There are di­vers things remarkeable here, as 1. This Covenant was made not with Iſrael, Gods owne people, but with the Gibeonites, who were otherwiſe deſigned to deſtruction with the reſt of the Canaanites. 2. It was not made in Sauls owne perſon, but by his Predeceſſor; and that 3. above three hundred and eighty yeares before Saul came to the Kingdome. 4. It was with a good intention in Saul, and out of his zeale for the children of Iſ­rael and Judah, v. 2. Yet God plagued all Iſrael and Judah with a famine for that breach of Covenant, no leſſe then 3. yeares, yeare after yeare. The inference from hence is eaſie, that every one may ſee what a grievous thing it is to breake Covenant with God. Conſider all theſe things, weigh and ponder them well and ſeriouſly, and the Lord worke them on your hearts, and make them effectuall to quicken you and mee to this duty.

2. Directions to further