ORdered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, That M. Holles and St Peter Wentworth, do from this House give thanks to M. Bolton and M. Cheynell, for the great pains they took in the Sermons they preached this day at the intreaty of this House, at St Margarets West­minster, (it being the day of Publique Humilia­tion) and to desire them to Print their Sermons; And it is Ordered that none shall presume to Print their Sermons, without license under their hands writing.

H. Elsyng. Cler. Parl. D. Com.

I Appoint Andrew Kemb to Print my Sermon.

Samuel Bolton.



Posteris sero, aeternitati pingo.
Parentes sunt liberorum praeceptores.
Xenophon. Cyropaed. l 8.
Magistratus pius totius Regni pater est.

The wise in heart will receive Commandments, but a prating fool shall fall.

Prov. 10. 8.

Let not thine heart envy sinners, but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.

Prov. 23. 17.

LONDON: Printed for Samuel Gellibrand, and are to be sold at his shop at the Brasen Serpent in Pauls Church-yard. 1646.


WHen I received Your Order, I was not in case to obey it, being scarse able to write or read; We should learn by every fit of sick­nesse the greatnesse of Gods Majesty and our frailtie. We live in sickly times, and You are collecting many wholsome and Medicinable in­gredients, onely take heed that you do not mi­stake one Herbe for another, it is easily done, and whilest You are but making Essayes it may be easily rectified: Be pleased to consider that the Antidote must be made according to the Dispensatory the pre­scription of the great Physician of Souls in his saving Gospel, that the blessing of Christ may be upon it, and it may prove a soveraign Antidote for the pre­venting as well as removing of Church-offences. Je­sus Christ hath not entrusted any State to make new Insti­tutions, or create new offices in his Church. There are several forms of Civill government in severall Chri­stian States, but there should be the same Church-offices, and for substance the same Church-govern­ment in every Christian State, though that govern­ment cannot be so peaceably exercised in some places as in other; There is so much equity and prudence [Page] in Evangelical rules and Institutions, that they ought to be observed in all Christian States and Common-weals thoroughout the world: Those orders which Christ hath sent us by his Apostles must be obeyed, there can be no exception against them, there must be no Prohibition of them;Rom. 16. v. 17, 18. This is a Rule of Christ, that they who walk inordinately, and cause divisions contrary to the doctrine of the Gospel, 2 Thes. 3. 14, 15. must not be admitted into so­ciety with the Saints. 1 Cor. 5. 11. I need not insist upon other rules.1 Tim. 3. 4, 5. Our Saviour did injoyn his Apostles to teach Christians to observe all things he commanded, Matth. 28. 20. Now St. Paul did not onely teach Timot [...]y to ordain Elders in every City, Tit. 1. 5. but Paul and Barnabas ordained Elders in every Church. Act. 14. 23. And when St. Paul spoke of his departing out of the world, and seeing their faces no more to whom he had preached, he recommended the oversight or go­vernment of the Church to Elders, assuring them that the holy Ghost had made them overseers over the Church. Act. 20. 1 [...], 25, 28, 29. and therefore it is easie to conclude, that the Elders were, Jure Divino, by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ, to suc­ceed the Apostles in the ordinary government of the Church, and Christ promised to be with the Apostles, and their successours, not for two or three hundred yeers onely, till some Magistrates did turn Christians, but even to the end of the world: and the holy Ghost seals up the promise with Amen, Matth. 28. 20. If then there be ten thousand Churches in England, there should be ten thousand Elderships; but the government by these Elders is not Arbitrary, all the Censures which they passe must be in some sort Evangelicall, because agreeable to the Word of Christ; for the Elders are [Page] not to govern in their own name, or in the name of the Magistrate, no nor in the name of the people, but in the name of Jesus Christ, from whom they do immediately receive their power and authority, and therefore are to receive their orders and directions from the Gospel of Christ. The Christian Magistrate ought to protect the Elders, that they may peaceably exercise that Church-power which is committed to them by Jesus Christ, for the Christian Magistrate doth owe a spirituall subjection to all the ordinances of Jesus Christ. Erastus himself confes­ses, that the Magistrate in ordering of sacred things must not depart one hairs breadth from the Word of God. p. 161. & 162. li. 3. Confirm. Thes. It will be very dangerous for a Magistrate to do any thing of his own head about Church affairs, and it will be as dangerous for Ministers to com­plement in this weighty point; all the power that a Magi­strate hath setled upon him in Rom. 13. is setled on him as he is a Minister of God, and therefore they who teach Magistrates to despise the Authority of Ministers, be­cause they are but Ministers of God, teach the Magistrates to despise their own authority. Officers of Christs insti­tuting, and powers of Gods ordaining, must agree toge­ther, and uphold one another, or else both will be vilified: Ministers must not usurp a civil power, nor Magistrates lay claim to any Spiritual power properly so called: if a man go about to thrust two swords into one scabberd, let him take heed he doth not split the scabberd, and cut his fingers. Mr. Robinson and those of his mind say, that if the Magistrate be a Church-officer, he must be called to his office, and may be deposed from it by the Church, and and if the Magistrate be a ruling Elder, he is inferior to teaching Elders, and deserves lesse honour, according to that order, 1 Tim. 5. 17. In his Iustificat. of Separat. p. 216. [Page] if the Magistrate (say others) chalenge a Church-power, and deny himself to be a Church-officer, then we have a good Argument for Popular government, because there is a Church [...]power in some that are not Church officers; and none can be entitled to Church-power, but by a Church office, or by Church-membership; and if by the latter, then say they, Every member hath as much power as the Magistrate; who knows not what the Anabaptists say upon this point; The Church of Scotland hath declared their judgement; and they who plead for a Congregati­onall government have expressed themselves after this manner: The Governors of the Church have not their power from the members of the Church, but from Christ, they are invested with the power of Iesus Christ, they exercise his power, and do act in his name, and not in the name of the Church, saith Mr. Burroughs in his [...]ren. p. 50. And for my part, I shall readily grant that these Offi­cers ought to transact all things which concern the con­sciences of the people in such a convincing way as may best tend to Common edification and satisfaction. Church ordinances are to be dispensed by the Church, that is, by the Elders with consent of the people, saith Mr. Rutherford, in his late book p. 398. We should quickly think of some expedients for an happy agreement, if You would be pleased to free us from the much feared Commissioners.

Church power must needs be acknowledged to have the proper notion and character of Authority in the Elders, to which the multitude ought by a com­mand from Christ to be subject and obedient, as to an ordi­nance to guide them in their consent, and therfore in the sentence of the Elders the ultimate for mall ministeriall act of binding or loosing should consist. Christ hath placed a Rule and Authority in these officers over the [...]est [Page] of the congregation, not directing only, but binding. (See the Epistle to Mr. [...]ottons book of the Keyes) When these officers gathered in Christs name do passe a right judgement upon hereticall congregations, or persons declaring them to be such as have no communion with any of the Churches of Christ, those hereticall persons or Churches are put out of the kingdom of Christ, and consequent­ly put under the power of Satan: Heart divisions, p. 44. The Rule urged by many is this, Nemini fit injuria cui praeponitur Christus, we prefer the Authority of Christ above all authoritie of men, or societies of men: King, Parliament, & people must subject themselves to Iesus Christ. None must plead priviledge to live scandalously, though Peers of the Realm. The Tigurine Divines are account­ed most favourable or rather remisse in this point; but Guather in his Epistle to Ionvill, saith, Excommunicatio legibus nostris praecipitur quâ a tribuum Societate, & publi­corum pascuorum usu fructu excluduntur qui contemptis ad­monitionibus tam publicis quam privatis aliter vivunt quam homines deceat Christianos: and Bullinger in his Epistle to Mr. Dathen speaks for them all, and saith, That if Noble men amongst them were taken in the act of uncleannesse, they were publickly degraded. Solemus maechos, [...], depre­hensos honore & trabeâ exutos publicè ded [...]corare; And Erastus saith, that they who do pertinaciously violate Gods commands, may be put to death. Confirmat Thes. p. 337. You see that Erastus did not encourage pertina­cious offenders. They that desire such a monstrous kind of li­berty, as to live as they list, and be accountable to none what­soever they hold or do, are not onely unworthy of Christian, but Humane society, saith Mr. Burroughes, Heart-divisions, p. 166. & 177. You see what a generall severity is expres­sed by all, that desire any true Reformation, though they [Page] be men of different perswasions. In the judgement of the Assembly, None are fit to be admitted to the Sacrament, who do usually neglect to pray in and with their families, or to in­struct them in those principles of Religion, the ignorance of which, is sufficient cause to debar any one from the Sacrament. Be pleased then to take these things into your most re­tired thoughts, and doubt not but the godly Ministers and people of this Kingdom will stick close to you for promoting of a thorough-reformation; onely let me in­treat you, that when bloody Delinquents come to com­pound 3. things may be excepted. 1. That their com­position may not authorise them to communicate at the Lords Table with those friends of yours, whose fathers, brothers, &c they have slain with wicked hands, & have not as yet given any publick testimony of their repen­tance. 2. That they may not deprive any Parish of a powerfull Ministry, by denying sufficient maintenance to the Minister, that they may raise their Fine, or a good part of it out of the Impropriations, which come into their hand upon their composition. 3. That they may not make themselves whole, by oppressing and racking those poore Tenants of theirs, or their widows, or or­phans who have been faithfull to You, and spent their estates, or lost their lives in your Service, Help the honest Tenants to an easie composition with their Malignant Landlords. If I did not Honour You, I would not be thus plain with You, I leave it to your wisdom to draw con­clusions from all, for the putting of your own Order in execution, for suspending all that are scandalous sinners from the Sacrament, though the sins which they be guilty of be not yet enumerated; let all be fairly interpreted, as it is hum­bly presented, by him who desires Your perfection.

Francis Cheynell.

A SERMON Preached to the Honourable House of COMMONS, March 25. 1646.

GEN. 18. 19.‘For I know him that he will command his children, and his houshold after him, and they shall keepe the way of Jehovah to doe Justice and Judgement, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.’

BE pleased to consider the Forme and Matter of the Text: If you looke upon the Forme, the Rationall Particle For points backward, and shewes you that the Words containe a Reason why God did acquaint Abraham with his Intention concerning Sodom: A­braham had the honor to be taken into Cove­nant with the God of Heaven,Isaiah 41. 8. nay to be stiled the Friend of God: and God deales with him as a friend, he communicates certain se­crets, Arcana Imperii to him, & makes him in some particulars of [Page 2] his Privy-Councell; for he imparts to him his great Designe (upon wicked Sodom) in a kinde of familiar and loving way. What saith God, shall I conceale this Secret from my Friend Abraham, blessed Abraham, in whose Seed all the Nations of the Earth shall be blessed? I know him, and love him well, and know that he will make a good use of it. For I know him that he will command &c.

Secondly, If you looke upon the matter of the Text: it is in one word, Abrahams Testimoniall subscribed by God himselfe; a Divine Testimoni [...]ll indeed, which did not onely certifie what Abraham was for the present, but what he should be for the future: This is the Testimoniall of a God.

First, for the present, God beares witnesse to the integrity of Abraham, I know him saith the Lord, I know his judgement, I know his heart, I am well acquainted with the frame of his spi­rit, the inclination of his will, and the bent of his affections.

Secondly. For the future, God foretels, First, VVhat Abra­ham would doe for God: he would endeavour to bring all that were under his Command, to be at Gods Command. Secondly, VVhat God would doe for Abraham, namely Fulfill his Promise, Keepe his Word. From the Forme of the Words as they yeeld a reason, VVhy God did communicate this Secret to Abraham, I raise this Observation.

God doth communicate Rare Secrets to certaine knowne and chosen men.

It is Gods Prerogative Royall to communicate Secrets to whom he pleases: and therefore these Knowne men are fitly termed Chosen men. I know whom I have chosen▪ saith our Savi­our, John 17. 18. God makes choise of some men for State Ser­vice, and some for Church-Service: and God doth communi­cate different Secrets to severall men answerable to those seve­rall Services for which he hath chosen them. 1. To his Servants the Prophets he did reveale Prophesies, foretell the ruine of Mo­narchies and States, such secrets were proper for them, Amos 3. 7.▪ 2. Our Lord and Saviour did reveale Doctrinall Se­crets to his Disciples, such Gospell-Secrets as they were to communicate to the Church of Christ. John 15. 15. I call you freinds, and I deale with you as freinds, I impart Secrets to you [Page 3] not that you should keepe them close and conceale them, but that you might publish and declare them; I have not shunned saith Saint Paul to declare unto you all the Counsell of God, Acts 20. 27: 3. God doth impart Secrets of State to men of Publique Spirits: that blacke secret of the Powder-plot was by a wonder­full providence discovered and prevented: and we have had such admirable experiments of Gods mercy in this kind within these five years last past, that our posterity will scarce beleeve what we have seene. 4▪ God doth impart Mysterious Secrets to his chosen people whom he hath fore-knowne: Some Secrets are com­municated to them▪ to make them his friends, and other Secrets are imparted to them after they are his friends, because they are his friends, his Saints, his Heires, that they may thereby know themselves to be the Elect of God, which is a Secret indeed.

First, The Secrets which God doth impart to his Elect, that they may become his friends, and fall in love with him, and ho­linesse, [...]. Arist. Eth. lib. 3. cap. 7. Qualis homo, talis finis: qua­lis finis, [...]alis cursus; qualis cursus, tali [...] discursus. are Convincing Secrets, Humbling Secrets, and both being set home by the Spirit are Converting Secrets: for men doe dis­course and act according to that Habit of Principles, which is in­grafted in them, and the last end intended by them.

The Spirit doth impart Convincing Secrets to us, that he may take us off from our selfe-conceitednesse, and selfe-dependance: for whilest we are in our naturall estate, we have [...]igh thoughts of our selves, and base thoughts of Grace and holinesse, nay meane thoughts of God and Christ. Now the holy Spirit doth convince us of our errour:Elenchus est Syllogismus cum contradi­ctione conclusi­onis; hoc est Syllogismus concludens contr [...]rium ejus quod positum fuit in Thes [...]. I say, Convince, that is, the holy Spirit doth clearely and undeniably prove that to be most false, which we conceive to be most true. You saith the Spirit (to these naturall, but chosen men) thinke your selves wise, and strong, rich, and righteous, highly favoured by God, because you are flattered by men: but the truth is, You are fooles and weakelings, you are slaves and beggars▪ prisoners, guilty, filthy, miserable, abominable, corrupted▪ cursed, and almost damned: These are Humbling as well as Convincing Secrets: The body sweates, and the soule trembles at such amazing Se­crets as these. I am sent this day not to whisper, but to speake this truth aloude in your eares; All you that are yet in your na­turall estate, let your Parts, Gifts, Titles, Places, be what they will, this this is your condition; Give me leave to rent that vaile a­sunder, [...] [Page 2] [...] [Page 3] [Page 4] which is before your eyes, and over your hearts. I arrest you this day at the Suit of the great Jehovah, the glorious Commander of heaven and earth, for a debt of ten thousand thousand talents, my millions of millions, and over and above of high treason a­gainst all the three blessed Persons of the holy Trinity; You cannot deny the debt, you must stand to the arrest, you can have no protection, you are in as great danger, as if Death, were before you, the Devill, behinde you, and both ready to seize upon you. The Spirit doth con­vince you that you are in a state of sinne because you are in a state of unbeleife, John 16. 8▪ 9. The Spirit doth reprove, the word signifies, Convince the whole world of unregenerate men, Of sinne because they beleeve not in Christ. The Spirit doth convince all carnall men, that they are in the state of wrath, nay of enmi­ty: because their hearts rise, and swell against the Simplicity and Power of godlinesse. Are these things Secrets to you, or are they not? if they be, the God of all grace set these convincing truths home upon your Spirits; If they be not, then tell me all you that are in a state of enmity, how dare you goe to sleepe in that estate? I tell you in the Name of Jehovah, that That man who d [...]th not onely commit an act of sinne against knowledge, but resolves to continue in a state of sinne after conviction is within, some few steppes of the unpardonable sinne. Thou that hast meane thoughts of God, consider thy dependance upon God, and Gods absolute Independency, his Infinite Excellency, the Soveraignty of his Over­ruling Providence, as well as the Supremacy of his Almighty Pow­er, thinke of his satiating All-sufficiency, and Flesh confounding Majesty, that thou mayest learne to abase thy selfe before this great Jehovah the God of Glory; Now let me speake, and speake freely to thee, whilest thou hast these vigorous impressions of Gods Excellency upon thy spirit, This God of Heaven, this Lord of Glory is a Professed Enemy to all those who resolve to continue in a State or course of sinne: Dost thou heare me? the God of Heaven is thine Enemy, That God in whose hand thy life, breath, counsels, wayes, comforts are, is thine Enemy: Doth not thy soule tremble at such a thought? Thy sinnes which thou lookest on as trifles, are so many injuries, nay affronts offered to this Almighty God: thou hast abused him to his face, and if this offended Majesty should refuse to be reconciled unto thee, thou [Page 5] wilt for certaine die and perish to all eternity; Let these hum­bling considerations abide upon thy soule, let the terrours of the Almighty dwell upon thy spirit: thou art now in a course of physicke, and if thou feele convul [...]ions in thy bowels, and tor­tures in thy conscience, be patient under the hand of God that thou mayest be cured. Be humbled, be abased, but doe not despaire, be ashamed, but be not discouraged: Consider the filthinese of sinne, the Purity, Justice, Majesty of God, his VVrath, Displea­sure, Zeale, Indignation against every sinne: and let all these con­siderations move thee to fly from sinne, but not from God; blesse God for that Secret, for it is a Secret which hath supported and revived many a fainting soule, and wounded spirit.

Tell me, how doe these Secrets worke upon thee? art thou willing to take a pardon upon faire and honourable termes? wouldest thou doe any thing, suffer any thing, forgoe any thing, that thou mightest be at peace with this mighty God? Dost thou desire Direction from God, Reconciliation and Communion with him? Why then I have some Encouraging Secrets to impart unto thee.

God hath discovered his rich mercy, his undeserved love, and free grace by a Covenant of grace sealed with the Bloud of Jesus Christ; Guilt cannot looke on Majesty, and Majesty is most terrible in an Enemy and a Judge: but when Christ enterposes, God is a reconciled God, and tender Father in Jesus Christ, In Christ Gods nature is lovely to us, and our persons lovely to God. God doth beseech you, and Christ intreates you to be reconci­led: God shewes mercy to them that deserve no mercy: There is an Heart-breaking, and yet an Encouraging Secret, a Gospell Secret: these Secrets are usually the first ground of faith, and hope: Now faith and hope doe kindle in us a love to God, and love doth most sweetely breake the heart, and humble the soule: My froward soule is now willing to abase it selfe before so good a God, a God so willing to shew mercy to such a wretch as I am who deserve no mercy: I see nothing in my selfe to encourage me to goe to God, but I see enough in my selfe to drive me to him, and I see enough in God for to encourage me to runne unto him: I see mercy enough in God, merit enough in Christ, holinesse enough in the Spirit of holinesse to perswade me to runne to God for [Page 6] grace as well as mercy, for faith and repentance as well as any other graces, for pardon of sinne and power against it.

Come then be convinced of thine owne naughtinesse in spiri­tuall respects, humbly and yet chearefully cast thy selfe upon Gods free grace for pardon: depend upon Christs obedience alone for righteousnesse, upon his holy Spirit the Comforter for holinesse and comfort; and say as Bradford did, I am Hell, but God is Heaven, I am sinne, but Christ is righteousnesse. Blesse God for providing thee a Surety, a Saviour who is able to pay all thy debts, and to supply all thy wants. I hope by this time thou art encouraged to trust Christ stedfastly, and love him hear­tily: and if thou findest thy heart overcome by the love of God in Christ, then thou mayest goe to Christ not out of pure neede, but pure love: and Christ will give thee such liberall entertainement, and hearty welcome, that thou wilt prize and love Christ for him­selfe, and for his holinesse, and all his excellencies as well as bene­fits: and the more thou dost prize him, the faster will thy de­voute soule by a lively faith cleave unto him: and the more thou dost cleave to him by faith, the faster wilt thou adhere to him by love; and the more thou dost love Christ, the more wilt thou hate sin, abhorre thy self for [...]inne, and deny thy selfe for Christ; And the more thou art convinced of thy sinfulnesse, and abased for thy sinne, the more wilt thou prize Christ, and love him, and runne to him for grace and mercy, and draw new vertue and fresh supplies from him, that thou mayest every way ex­presse thy love unto him▪ And beleeve it, there will be no love lost between thee and Christ: thou shalt be delighted with his pre­sence, satisfied with his love, and acquainted with those other Secrets, which God imparts to men after they are made Saints and freinds; Not onely the wisedome of God hid in a Mystery of faith and godlinesse, but the deepe things of God, the Secrets of the Spirit of Adoption, those Love-Secrets which Christ imparts to us when he comes in to suppe with us, even Miracles of love, and Treasures of glory: And when Christ doth thus feast you with his love, you will the [...] demonstrate your Spouse-like love to Jesus Christ, you will be able to say that you love Christ for [...] for what you have from him, or by him, but you [...] in your love to him, though you lose all you [Page 7] have for him. When God doth bestow these love [...]tokens, and impart these Love-Secrets to his elect, by a Spirit of Revelation, Regeneration, Adoption, and hath taugh [...] [...] to know him, love him, and crie Abba Father to him: the [...] [...] ownes them for his sonnes and daughters, and saith of them as he [...] here of Abraham, I know them, I love them, approve them, because I chose them from all eternity.

Ob. But you will say, the Secret imparted to Abraham, seemes to be a Secular-Secret, rather then a Religious-Secret.

Sol. I answer, this Secret was imparted at least in Ordine ad Spiritualia, for religious purposes, and there are many edifying Secrets contained in it; Abraham was not to repeate it as a sto­ry, but as a Sermon to his Posterity, that they might behold the Majesty of Jehovah, in this great example of Divine vengeance, and be perswaded to walke in the way of Jehovah, as it is in my text: This Secret was communicated before hand, that the burning of Sodom might not be imputed to chance, fortune, or a violent tempest raised by the common course of nature, but to the immediate hand of God: That the sin-revenging Justice of God might be magnified, and Posterity deterred from the sinnes of So­dom, Pride, fulnesse of bread, abundance of Idlenesse, unnaturall lust, and base fornication, Ezek. 16. 49. 2 Pet. 2. 6.

Secondly,Addit Rabbi Sa­l [...]mon jam ei do­naverat Domi­nus illam ter­ram ad cujus sines Sedom & Hemorrha perti­nebant, ergo vi­detur illi indi­candum—Ne res tanta si inopinatò acci­deret fortè per­te [...]rete [...] ami­cum Dei: P. Martyr in lo­cum. This Secret was imparted to Abraham by way of Prolepsis, for the preventing of an Objection, which might have staggered his faith: for God had given that Land to Abraham, Lot had made choise of Sodom, and Abrahams Portion bordered upon Lots, and therefore Abraham would have beene excee­dingly staggered at the Overthrow of Sodom, if God had not acquainted him with this Secret before hand: And therefore I have so freely discoursed of Encouraging Secrets, that I might remove those blocks at which our faith is most apt to stumble.

Thirdly, By the imparting of this Secret, Lots policy is con­futed, and Abrahams selfe-denying faith commended: Lot chooses the richer soyle, but the fouler seate, because of worldly accommodations; but on a sudden the wickednesse of the place calls for a devouring fire, which licks up all the wealth, and buries all the glory of Sodom in dust andashes: this Secret is not secular, which takes off the heart from all secular accommoda­tions, [Page 8] and teaches men to choose their seate or dwelling, not for secular advantages, but for Spirituall Accommodations.

Fourthly, It was requisite to shew you when a man is in an approved condition, and how a man may be brought to lay hold upon the Covenant, because when God (speaking of Abraham) saith▪ I know him, the meaning is, I approve him as a man in Co­venant with me: he is a sincere upright man, and will be true to me in the most declining times.

God takes notice of his Saints and Servants with a Knowledge of Approbation, a sweete loving knowledge which implyes a deare and tender respect: but God takes notice of every particular person, with a Knowledge of Observation: for God observes all our dis­positions, habits, and inclinations, all our thoughts, plots, de­signes, all our desires, intentions, resolutions, words and acti­ons, and will call us to an account for all in the presence of Saints and Angels, before the Tribunall of Christ; when Hypo­crites and Apostates, scandalous and impenitent persons, who lived and died in sinne, appeare at that terrible day of accounts, Christ will protest unto them, that he never knew them: that is, He never approved them, Math. 7. 23. Nay for the present, Christ doth usually set a brand upon all false-hearted men, though they are highly conceited of themselves, and cried up by others for prudence and piety: yet Christ saith, I know such and such, but I will never trust them, because I know them, and I will lay them open to my people that they may know them, for they will deceive all that trust them: Some mens sinnes goe afore to judgement, and some mens follow after: for they that are otherwise, cannot be hid, 1 Tim. 5. 24, 25. When Christ wrought miracles, many beleeved in his name, but Christ did not trust them, for he knew what was in man, in every man: for he knew all men, John 2. 23, 24, 25. Christ workes miracles in our dayes, and there are many that seeme to beleeve in his name: but if they be not sincere, Christ will lay them open: for it is impossible to deceive the Searcher of hearts, and Judge of Secrets, our Omniscient and Impartiall God.

Lastly, We may learne from hence, That what ever God doth approve in man, hee doth worke in man: for this knowledge is not a Notionall, but a Practicall effectuall know­ledge; Vi [...]e [...] de [...] [...]desm▪ A [...]x l. Orat. Alvarez. A [...]x. Orat. lib. 1. cap. 6. [...]. Twiss. dissert de Scientia media. Aquin. p. 1. q. 14 Act. 9. Con­tra Gent. 1. cap. 66. & 69. ad 11. D. Rivetum▪ in Gen 18. ver. 19. Aria [...] [...] Sci­entiam in Deo constituebant, uti videre est in Concilio Ephe­sino lib. 1. tom. 1. Conciliorum. Novoque apud illos (hoc st Semip [...]lagia­nos) absurdita­tis genere, & non agenda praescita sint, & praescita non a cta sint. Epistol. Prosperi. ad Au­gu [...]inum. whatsoever God knowes to be future, he doth will: if [Page 9] it be evill, he doth willingly permitte it, or else he would cer­tainely hinder it; For even sinne which is against his will, cannot come to passe without his will; but if that which is to come to passe be good, then God doth not onely know or permit it, but worke it also: for God is the Author of every thing that is good, and therefore God foresees no good in the best of men, but such as he from all eternity decrees: and in time doth (according to his decree) worke in them. Socinus makes quick worke in this point: for rather then he will deny the liberty of mans will, he like an Atheist denyes the foreknowledge of God.

I shall not here launch into the deepe, and discourse of Scien­tia simplicis intelligentiae, scientia visionis, nor trouble you with the confutation of that Jesuiticall, nay Arian Semipelagian in­vention of Scientia Media: nor will I wrangle with Pererius about Abrahams foreseene merits, which in his conceite moved God to make, nay to decree to make Abraham so great and glo­rious. I can with one light touch crush these Apples of Sodom, and make them vanish into smoake, or fall into ashes.

Impossibile est quòd detur in Deo aliqua cog­nitio, quae nec sit naturalis nec libera: in Deo ponendae non sunt imperfecti­ones semiplenae deliberationis; omnis itaque actus divinus est vel totaliter naturalis, vel to­taliter liber. In­ter rem existen­tem in se, & existentem in causa non datur medium. Ergo. Vide Navaret. Controv. 56. Scientia Dei quatenus a voluntate divinà sejuncta consideratur, non facit res futuras, sed tantum praescit: causa itaque cur res ex merè possibilibus evadant futurae, in Dei ipsius voluntatem atque decretum unicè rejicienda est. Vide Nazarium Ledes­ [...]am. & Dominicanos passim; contingens quá sic, est indifferens ad utrumlibet, & proinde indeterminatum in se. Propositiones itaque de futuro contingenti non sunt determinatè verae vel falsae; nihil autem indeterminatum intelligitur ut futurum, quia effectus non possunt certó praecognosci, nisi in causa determinatâ & completa, quae non potest impediri; nulla au­tem talis causa datur futurorum, nisi divina voluntas, quae impediri non potest per causam in­feriorem, nec per seipsam, cùm sit immutabilis. Vide Alvarez. lib. 1. cap. 9. Aux. Grat. God knowes all things that are possible, because he knowes his owne Power: God knowes all things future, because he knowes his owne Will: for nothing can passe out of the ranke of things meerely possible, into the ranke and order of things Future before some Act or Decree of Gods Will hath passed for its Futurition. A thing must be Future, before God can know it to be future, and therefore the futurition of a thing is not knowable, no not in Signo Rationis, before God hath passed a decree for its futurition: If God should foresee any good habit or action proceeding from mans will, before he hath decreed to worke both in man and for him; Mans will would be the first and Independent cause of something which is good. We must speake [Page 10] Scripture reason, God sets his love upon us, because he loves us, Deut. 7. 7, 8. And out of free grace and undeserved love decrees to make us holy, and so foresees and approves our holinesse. The Knowledge then in the text being a Knowledge of Appro­bation, supposes the free grace, undeserved love, Immutable and Effectuall Decree of God, which is the fountaine of grace and glory. In bad actions, we can hardly take enough to our selves; for the divell cannot make me sinne, unlesse he aske me leave, and gaine my consent: but in good actions I can never ascribe too much to God, who saves me out of free grace, without any contributions of helpe, or attributions of worth seene or fore­seene in my fraile and sinfull selfe.

True it is, God doth bestow his saving benefits in a certaine Order, so that one of his Favours doth make way for another: But his second favours cannot be deserved by his first, because his first favours make way for his second, and both proceede from his free grace.

The Decree of God is a sure foundation, the Fore-knowledge of God is a certaine Seale: The Foundation of God standeth sure, having this Seale, The Lord knoweth them that are his. There is the Privy-Seale: the Broade-Seale is stamped upon them, In the next words, And let every one that names the Name of Christ, depart from iniquity, 2 Tim. 2. 19. The Lord doth bring all that are his, not onely to name the Name of Christ, to professe his Name, call upon his Name, and beleeve in his Name, but to depart from iniquity, live holily, and persevere in faith and ho­linesse; Faith by fetching strength from Christ, doth strengthen all, patience beares all, love sweetens all, and perseverance crownes all; thus then in a word, I know him saith God, that is, I love him, and cannot but approve him, because I have cho­sen him for mine owne, and am resolved to stand to my choise: I have bestowed effectuall grace upon him, which hath moved him to choose me for his God, as I have chosen him for my friend:Quia cognovi cum inde fiet ut praecipiat [...]iliis suis. D. River. in lo­cum. and my grace shall be further effectuall to make him stand to his choise, and therefore I know both what he is, and what he will be: he is right for the present, and I know he will be upright for the future, because I know him, thence it will come to passe that hee will command his children, faith an [Page 11] acute and learned Expositour upon the place.

Doct. It is our duty to endeavour to bring all that are under our command, to be at Gods Command.

Abraham did not leave his children and servants to their owne Genius, their owne counsels, their owne lusts: though it is certaine, that divers of them would have thanked him for such a liberty;Josh. 24 2, 3. for they had beene nursed up in superstition and Idola­try, as Abraham was,Gen. 17. 23. and might have pretended that they were not satisfied in point of conscience; but Abraham knew how to distinguish betweene Phantasy, and Conscience, betweene Li­berty of Conscience, and Liberty of Lust: and therefore would not allow them such a Liberty as would have enticed them into the worst kinde of Bondage.

Abraham did command, I know (saith God) that he will com­mand, he will make his children know that he is their Father, and his servants know that he is their Master. Abraham shewed his Authority, Prudence, Love, Diligence, and Faithfulnesse, by laying a strict and speciall Command upon his Houshold for the eternall welfare of their pretious soules.

First, His Authority, he was a King, a Priest, a Prophet in his owne Family, and therefore did command them to subject their hearts, wils, consciences, to the Will and Pleasure of Je­hovah,Gen. 14. 19. the mighty God, the great Creatour, the high Possessour, and glorious Commander both of Heaven and Earth.

Secondly, His Prudence, he laide no unnecessary burthen up­on them, his Commands were not a Cabala of his owne Inventi­on, God did first catechise Abraham, and then Abraham was the Doctor of his family, and catechised his houshold: there is no doubt but he did advise his houshold in Prudentials; but he did command them in Points of Faith and Worship, to walke in the way of Jehovah. It is the most imprudent thing in the world not to distinguish betweene Prudentials, and Articles of Religi­on, Articles of Faith.

Thirdly, His Love to the pretious soules of his children, servants, slaves. O happy thrice happy slaves, who by the Care and Instruction of a godly Master were brought home to God, and made the free-men of the great Jehovah.

Fourthly, His Diligence, It was no easie matter to instruct [Page 12] children and bond-slaves with line upon line, and precept upon precept.

Fifthly, His Faithfulnesse, For all his Commands were Re­gular, Abraham kept close to the rule, and therefore neither sonne nor servant could pretend Liberty of Conscience, to de­part from that Rule, which Jehovah who gives Lawes to the Conscience had commanded them to set up for a Rule in their very Conscience. No man can grant a licence, or give liberty to depart from the Rule, for that were to grant an Irregular Li­berty, an Ʋnconscionable Liberty. Liberty is a Priviledge, Irregu­larity a Sin, and no man hath a Priveledge to sinne; Observe the Command in the text,The Way of Jehovah. it is, To keepe the way of Jehovah, to d [...]e Justice and Judgement. It is the Scripture phrase to expresse Re­ligion under the Notion of a way to teach men to make a con­stant progresse in Religion:1 Kin. 11. 33. 38. By way is meant the way of Faith, Worship and Obedience, Act. 22. 24. Acts 18. 25, 26. Lnke 1. 6. Nay the way of inward worship as well as the parts of outward worship,Gen. 6. 12. Deut. 10. 12. Enoch and Noah walked with God, Act. 24. 14. Gen. 5. 22. 24. Gen. 6. 9. It is not meant of obedience onely,2 Pet. 2. 15. but of Faith.Heb. 11. 5. 7. I must not be a Selfe-mover: I must not be my owne Rule, my owne way, or my owne righteousnesse: Coloss. 2. 6. Christ is Jehovah my way, and as I have received Christ, Ephes. 2. 10. so I must walke in him, and by the grace of Christ; I must walke in those good workes which God hath prepared that I might walke in, Gen. 6. not in the way of the old world, Jude ver. 11 the way of Cain, the way of Balam, 2 Pet. 2. 2. 15. any wicked way.Jerem. 2. 18. Divers learned men conceive that Abraham did catechise his houshold in these weighty points, Concerning God, Creation, Providence: Concerning the innocency and happinesse of man in his first estate: Concerning the Fall, Sinne, and misery of man: Our losse and corruption by the Fall, Our dan­ger if we continue in that corrupt estate: I change the persons that I may speake to you and my selfe. Others there are that adde many more necessary points, concerning the Law of nature, the Immortality of the soule, but the Mortality of the body, the Day of Judgement, Eternall life, and Eternall death. And O that we would consider that our soules must certainely have an everla­lasting Being, either in glory, or in torments, That we may in this our day consider those things which belong to our everlasting Peace, least hereafter they be hid from our eyes.

[Page 13] But it is out of question that Abraham did communicate ma­ny other pretious and saving truths to his beloved family Con­cerning the rich mercy, and free grace of God: Concerning salvation by faith in the promised seede: Concerning Prayer, Vowes, Sacrifi­ces, the Covenant of Grace, and Circumcision, the Seale of the Co­venant. To doe Justice and Judgment. Moreover the Commands of Abraham were not onely Regular, but Practicall Commands: he did not onely command them to know the way of Jehovah, but to walke in it: nor were they onely to talke of Judgement and Justice, but to d [...]e it: Judgement and Justice are here taken in a strict and practicall notion: the 22. Chapter of Jeremiah, from the thirteenth to the twentieth verse is an excellent Comment upon my text. Jehoia­kim the sonne of Josiah, and King of Judah was buried with the buriall of an Asse, because he did not learne of his Father to doe Judgement and Justice, ver. 15. and to judge the cause of the poore and needy, ver. 16. If the greatest of men remaine unjust, they will have no blessing upon them all their life, no honour at their death.

I shall not so much as examine whether those precepts which some say were delivered to the sonnes of Noah, Vide Petrum Cunaeum de Re­pub. Hebr. lib. 1. p. 3. 4. were not onely pressed upon Abrahams family, but upon all those that were thought worthy of humane society; by this little that hath beene saide, it is cleare and evident that Abraham did not goe a­bout to set up himselfe, but to set up God in his family, by a kinde of Theocracy, the best of Goverments.

But the Jesuites tell us that Abraham had no written Catechisme, to communicate to his Posterity, and therefore they conceive that they may vent their unwritten lyes upon the Credit of some doating Pope. Our answer is briefe. The Scriptures have beene necessary, Deut. 17. 18 Josh. 1. 8. Rom. 15. 4. Jude ver. 3. 1 Cor. 10. 11. b. John 4 25. John 15. 15 John 16. 13. Math. 28. 19, 20. 2 Cor. 3. 6 8. 11. Revel. 22. 18, 19, 20 [...] ever since it pleased God to expresse his minde in writing, and will be so even to the end of the world. We must not expect such unwritten Revelations as were vouchsafed to Abraham, be­cause the whole Counsell of God, his Royall Will and Pleasure doe now stand upon record as his perfect Law, full Testimony, Compleate and Supreme Testament, nothing is to be added to it, or taken from it; To say the Scriptures are not perfect, is not to dispute, but blaspheme: and if the Scriptures were not perfect, it is for certaine that they could never be perfected by [Page 14] humane traditions, which are so full of imperfection.

A Synod is a solemne Ordinance of Jesus Christ, and I looke upon that Counsell Acts 15. not onely as a Precedent, but as a Warrant for the Examination of matters of Fact, as well as Do­ctrines of Faith: And such a determination of both, as doth not onely direct, but oblige severall Congregations to doe their duty by vertue of that Ministeriall Authority which is stamped upon such a Synod or Counsell by an Ordinance of Jesus Christ; And yet unlesse it were in that Counsell, Acts 15. the Church did for about three hundred yeares together convince and condemne Heretiques by scripture, before any generall Councels were ga­thered, or the Popes throne erected. I have beene at paines to remove a great deale of rubbish that lay in my way, but now I shall beginne to build.

1. Governours of families are Gods Deputies, they must command for God, and give an account to him: all the power that any man can challenge in his family, as an Husband, Fa­ther, Master, is a subordinate and limited power, not an Inde­pendent or Absolute power: for we must testifie our dependance upon God, and Subiection to him, by commanding our wives, children servants, in the Lord, and for the Lord.

2. Order is the cause of peace; where there is no order in a family, there can be no peace; and it is impossible that there should be any happy Order without the highest Order, I meane a Religious Order, which sets God uppermost in the family, and keepes the whole Houshold, Master, Mistresse, and all in sub­jection to the God of Order, the God of Peace; the truth is, Religion puts a family in Order, and then keepes it so: Policy may helpe to furnish an house with worldly accommodations, for the support of our outward man; but when men seeke temporall advantages with a neglect, if not contempt of God and godli­nesse, Policy is but a kinde of subtile disorder and demure foo­lery; Achitophell sets his house in order, but you know what followed: because he had not set either his heart or house in a religious order, though he was esteemed an Oracle of God for wisedome, he lived an ungodly life, and died a desperate and shamefull death; and all Polititians may learne by his fall, that Policy without Piety can never give a man satisfaction whilest he lives, nor comfort when he dyes.

[Page 15] Thirdly, Families are the first roote of humane consort and communion; for Government was first setled in those little Nur­series: now if the roote be rotten, what will the branches be? A Kingdome consists of so many families united by one com­mon Covenant for the Common good: and if the families be poysoned and corrupted, what will become of the townes and the cities, and how will the Kingdome flourish?

Fourthly, How can we expect a blessing upon our family, or hope to convey Gods blessing to our Posterity, if we doe not labour to set up God, by setting up of godlinesse in our family. Abraham had the promise of a blessed Seede, but Abraham was to command his children and servants to walke in the way of Jehovah, that the blessing of Jehovah might be upon them.

Ob. But you will say, that in Abrahams time there was no set­led Ministery, and therefore Masters of families were to cate­chise their children and servants; but there is not the same rea­son now, &c.

Sol. I answer, that when there was a setled Ministery under the Law, there was a speciall Command for men to teach not their sonnes onely, but their sonnes sonnes. Deut. 4. 9. and to whet the Precepts of God upon their children, to sharpen their wits, and settle their mindes by diligent instruction, Deut. 6. from the fourth verse to the seventh. Hezekiah looked upon those as dead and buried, who neglected this duty: The grave, saith he, cannot prayse thee, nor they that goe downe into the pit hope for thy truth; the living, the living he shall prayse thee, the father to the children shall make knowne thy truth, Isai. 38. 19. Parents are or may be better acquainted with the disposition, Quomodo ad nos pertinet in Ecclesia loqui vobis, sic ad vo [...] pertinet in do­mibus vestris a­gere, ut bonam rationem redda­tis de his qui vobis sunt sub­diti. August. enarrat. in Psal. 50. and capacity of their owne children, then any Minister can be with the dis­position and capacity of all the children in the Parish; children doe commonly learne more prophanesse at home, then they can learne good at Church or schoole: the negligence or ill exam­ple of their parents, or some in the family, doth usually bring a curse upon the sad paines of the most laborious Minister; Parents then and Ministers must be helpers to one another in Jesus Christ; godly Parents catechise their children in private, that their mindes and hearts may be prepared for the receiving of [Page 16] those truthes which shall be taught them in the Publique Mini­stery: Parents repeate Sermons in private, Ministers presse catechisticall points home in publique, and so there is a sweete correspondence betweene both for the edification and salvation of all those that are committed to their charge. There is a Pro­phesie,Filiab [...]tur no­men eius, sive propagabitur. Psal. 72. 17. that there shall be as it were a Succession of Christs name from generation to generation; His name shall passe from Father to Sonne, as the phrase imports: every Father then must by Christian instruction and godly example hold forth the name of Christ to his sonne, that so the name of Christ may passe from Father to sonne: This Prophesie con­cernes the dayes of the Gospell, and you know that in the New Testament Parents are encouraged to bring their children unto Christ, and commanded to bring them up in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord, Ephes. 6. 4. [...], in Discipline, as well as Doctrine: for the word [...] tells you that you must put more understanding into them by instruction, and [...] may signifie Correction: every fa­ther will challenge the Power of Correction; but he must con­sider that he doth likewise stand obliged to the duty of Instructi­on; [...]. Phi [...]. Praecept. Polis. Meere Naturalists will tell you that correcting without in­structing is like snuffing of the Lampe without pouring any oyle into it. If you doe but consider, what a difference there is betweene children whose education is different, I neede adde no more; Absolom for his beauty, and Adonijah for his comely stature were more cockered by David then Salomon, they had more liberty, and Salomon more learning, being more hardly and religiously bred, but you know how Absalom and Adonijah miscarried, and Salomon was the Crowne of his Fathers joy, and the heire of his Crowne.

Bethel was a superstitious place and therefore the children no doubt had learned of their superstitious parents to revile the most powerfull Ministers of God: (for they that affect a kinde of blinde and apish devotion, are most apt to scoffe at the power of re­ligion:) The children of Bethel scoffed at Elisha, and are torne in peeces, 2 King. 2. 23, 24. But those children who had no doubt beene tolde that Christ was the Sonne of David, Matth. 21. 15. Math. 21. came into the Temple, and cried Hosanna to the Sonne of [Page 17] David; Bestow religious education upon your children, and you shall see, that when other mens children that are basely bred, scoffe at the zealous Ministers of God, your children will sing Halleluiahs in the highest to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Use of this Point is to teach us all in our severall places,Application callings, relations, to command for God.

First, Every man hath an houshold within himselfe.

Secondly, Governours of families have an houshold.

Thirdly, You that are Parliament men are Members of an Honourable House, and the onely way to preserve your Honour is to walke in the way of Jehovah.

Fourthly, The Kingdome is your Houshold, the Common­wealth is your Family, and by doing Justice and Judgement you may not onely command, but perswade the Kingdome to walke in the way of Jehovah.

First, Every man hath an houshold within himselfe, a little world, and therefore sure a great houshold within the Circuit of his inward and outward man. Our first and greatest com­mand is over our owne selves; and the truth is, that we are not fit to rule others, no no [...] to rule and governe our families, untill we have learned how to rule our selves; we are not fit to com­mand till we have put our spirits under an higher and better spirit then our owne: He that rules his owne spirit, is a better man then he that takes or rules a City, Prov. 16. 32. If I my selfe doe not walke in the way of Jehovah, I shall never get my family into it, or keepe them in it. Personall holinesse doth fit us for Houshold godlinesse: Zacheus did not endeavour to bring his family into the way of faithfull Abraham, till he himselfe became a Sonne of Abraham, Luke 19. 9. Salvation comes to our hearts, before we are seriously Instrumentall to bring it into our houses: Christ said to Zacheus upon the day of his conversion, This day is sal­vation come to this house, for so much as he also is the Sonne of Abra­ham; if you will be members of Christ, you must be sonnes of Abraham: Doe not say that I perswade you to be men of an Old Testament spirit; sure the Old Testament, and the New were written by the selfe same spirit, and the selfe same Covenant of [Page 18] grace is propounded in both, though under very different admi­nist ations. Abraham was a man of an Evangelicall Spirit under the Old Testament: nothing could satisfie his raised spirit, and enlarged heart but Jesus Christ: God made him a gracious pro­mise, Gen. 15. 1. but Lord God saith he, what wilt thou give me since I goe childlesse, ver. 2. as if he had said, how shall I have thee for my God and Father, reward and Saviour, if the promised Seed who is to breake the head of the Serpent, all the power and policy of the divell, doe not spring from my loynes? It is cleare and evident, that Abrahams heart was not set upon any common seed, but that promised seed in which all the Nations of the earth were to be bl [...]ssed. For the Apostle shewes that the promise, Gen. 13. 15. is meant of Christ, To thy Seed, which is Christ, Gal. 3. 16. Abraham was not justified by beleeving that he should have a numerous of spring, but by beleeving in Christ, he saw the day of Christ by faith, reioyced in hope, and beleeved against hope: and if we will be his sonnes, the Apostle shewes what we must beleeve in the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and the three last verses. That by the way; but if you will fully prove your selves to be sonnes of Abraham, you must have the same minde and heart, the same faith that Abraham had, and walke in the same way and steps that Abraham did, as farre as Evangelicall administrations will permit, for you must observe that difference: be pleased then sadly to consider these few Observations.

First, Abraham was a man much given to Heavenly medita­tion, a fundamentall duty of Religion, which layes the ground­worke, and contrives the Plat-forme of Houshold-godlinesse. Abraham had his minde fixed, and his heart warmed with medi­tation, that he might be raised and enlarged for the highest strains of spirituall devotion, when God gave him a promise that Sarah should have a son, Abraham meditates upon the promise till his heart was even enravished with love and ioy: The good man is pleased in his minde, and laughes in his heart, and breaketh forth into Soliloquies upon this occasion, and when his heart is by these contemplations and solitary discourses, put into a praying frame, put into tune as it were, O then he prayes, Gen. 17. 17, [Page 19] 18. Prayer is not the childe of wit and phantasie, it is the rapture of an elevated spirit, the heavenly dew of a broken heart: I meane a spirit elevated by a spirit of faith, and a heart broken with the spirit of love. Would you be sons of Abraham? learne this di­vine Logique, this sacred Eloquence, Let meditation fit you for Soliloquies, and Soliloquies for Prayer. Meditation helpes the memo­ry, purges the conscience, purifies the heart, reformes the life; It makes all our knowledge to become practicall, because it affects the heart with those truthes which we beleeve; it kindles love, inflames zeale, and when our love burnes, and our zeale flames, we shall warme others by speaking from our owne hearts to the hearts of our family, the convincing and quickning truth of God.

Secondly, Abraham was an humble and mortified man. When he received a gracious message from God in pretious promises, he falls downe upon his face, not out of a superstitious phantasie, but out of a sweet selfe-abhorrency in adoration of Gods Maiesty, and thankefulnesse for his mercy. You may read of this Son-like reve­rence twice in one chapter, Gen. 17. 3. 17. O let us consider Gods Maiesty and our basenesse, Gods purity and our sinfulnesse, Gods free­grace, and our unworthynesse, Gods rich bounty, and our unthankful­nesse, that we may learne to abase our selves, and exalt our God; A­braham his thoughts did assuredly dwell upon humbling and mortifying considerations, he laid out his money upon a buryi [...]g place, as if it had beene the most necessary purchase: and when he was at prayer, O saith he, I am but dust and ashes, Gen 18. 27. as if he had said, what am I that I should approach into the pre­sence of so great a Majesty, Alas, I am but dust and ashes, and yet I take upon me to speake to Jehovah the God of glory: Our blessed Saviour did more then once at the feast breake out into a discourse of his buriall,Vide Cart­wright. Harmon. Evang. once at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, Math. 26. 6. and another time in the city at the house of a Pharisee, Luke 7. 36, 37. Our deare Lord would teach us to be of such a composed spirit, that the dainties of a feast, or the fragrant smell of costly Oyntments may not tempt us to take off our thoughts from humbling and mortifying considerations: Whilest we are fea­sting, we may be dying, Jobs children were strucke dead whilest [Page 20] they were feasting and drinking wine: Consider it all you that sit in the Congregation of the mighty: though you sit there as Gods, you must dye like men.

Thirdly, Abraham was a selfe-denying man; at the Command of God, he left his father, forsook his country, renounced his idols, circumcised himselfe and his houshold: though it was painefull to the flesh, and seemed immodest, nay ridiculous to carnall men, and cost him his bloud: he turned Hagar and Ismael out of doors, and was ready to sacrifice his dearest Isaack, though the Command seemed contrary to nature and religion, to Gods promise and his owne salvation: You may suppose him disputing with himselfe much after this manner, What shall I sacrifice my sonne Isaack, the sonne of my age and love, my heart, my bowels tell me that it is unnaturall: what will my Sarah, my servants, the Heathens say? who will ever live within my walls, or be of my religion, when I have cut the throat of my dearest sonne? Lord, where is my blessing, where is thy promise, nay where is my faith? How shall the promised Seed spring from my loynes if Isaack die? En dignam Deo spectaculum: this was a sight worthy of God to looke upon, a worke worthy for God to performe: God gave Abraham a selfe-denying spirit, and that carried him through all. We cannot be sonnes of Abraham, Members or followers of Christ without selfe-deniall, Marke 8. 34. I must deny my graces, services, sufferings, my whole regenerate selfe in point of Justification, as I must deny my corrupt selfe in point of mortification, and must deny even my naturall selfe, my naturall life, and the comforts of it, if I am called to suffer Martyrdome, Luke 14. 26. 33. But alas, how many are there that are more willing to deny Christ and deny the Scriptures, then to deny themselves? This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation: Few men are willing to circumcise their hearts, mortifie their lusts, cast out their Ismaels, offer up their Isaacks, part with their estates and lives for Jesus Christ; Come let us deny our reason, and submit to Gods Counsell, deny our wills, and submit to Gods Will, quiet our passions, and submit to Gods Providence.

Fourthly, Abraham was a man of faith, the father of the faithfull, he beleeved against sence, against reason, carnall reason, nay a­gainst hope he beleeved in hope, Rom. 4. 18. Was it reasonable to [Page 21] expect that a childe should spring from withered loynes, from a dead body? The Obiection was considerable, but Abraham was so wise as not to consider it: he considered not his owne body now dead, ver. 19. The most plausible Objections in the world, are not one whit considerable, if framed against the plaine word of God. It is the cry­ing sinne of this age, to set up the wit and fancies of men in com­petition with the Authority of God, the Word of God, and therefore I desire to speake freely, I would I had time to speake fully; men doe consider witty objections too much, and the word of God too little: If we were not benighted at high noon, that is, if we did not shut out the light, it were impossible that so many rotten opinions should seeme beautifull, nay glorious in the eyes of considerable men; you know what the Philosopher saith, Rotten things shine in the darke: Plausible Objections are cu­rious Copwebs: I admire the art of them, yet I know that they may be framed out of the bowels of a spider, and they are the com­mon habitation and Nest of spiders. Come, come let us learne of Abraham, let us be fully perswaded, and let us not be staggered, Rom. 4. 20. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbe­leefe, 1 Cor. 8. 4. but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully perswaded, Act. 17. 23. &c. Let us be fully perswaded, First, That the God of Abraham, Rom. 1. 23. 25. the God who made heaven and earth is the onely true God: Let us not worshippe,Tu Jupiter sive coelum es, sive aether, sive terra 1. King 18. 21. 36. First an Idoll of our owne braine. Se­condly, an Inviduum vagum, or an Ʋnknowne Diety, as the A­thenians did: but let us fixe our beleefe upon the true and ever­living God, and declare him to be our God, as the Psalmist doth.Psal. 48. 14. For this God, saith he, you see he fixes upon a certaine Diety:Vide Bradwar­din. de Causa Dei. [...]. This God is our God for ever and ever, he will be our guide even unto death; It is a short Creede, but a very excellent one: it stands upon record, Psal. 48. 14.

Reason tells us that this God is Optimus Maximus, and sum­mum 1 [Page 22] bonum, the best and the greatest infinite wise just and mer­cifull. But what shall I call him? Why Jehovah that is the ti­tle in the Text, To note that he hath Being of himselfe, gives being and well-being to all things else, and more especially that he gives a sub­sistence to his promises. That so our faith might prevent time, and make those things present to our mindes for the comfort of our hearts, which in themselves are future, and have no be­ing at all; Let us fixe our faith inVide Salo Buxtorfi. Glas­sium. Mercerum. Jehovah our God. All other titles fall short of his excellency. God cannot be reduced to the Praedicament of substance, but the very substantiality of sub­stance is reduced to him, who gives subsistence to all substan­ces: If then you call God substance, that word is not substan­tiall enough; If you call him End, that word hath not Being e­nough, for he is Principium totius esse, not as we say, a point is Principuum lineae, which is intrinsecally contained within the line: for he is the Efficient and Exemplar of all Being and well-being. Therefore some that have beene strict and accurate, doe not onely say, that God is most excellent, but that he is super-ex­cellent: because he doth excell even excellency it selfe.

Reason tells us that this God deserves to be worshipped: that he is wise enough to judge what worship is due to him: and that it is certaine he hath revealed his Judgement somewhere, that he may be served and worshipped according to his owne minde, and will: because otherwise our worshipping of him cannot be o­bedientiall: And where hath God revealed this but in the Scrip­ture? therefore we must fixe our faith upon the Scripture, and not onely beleeve that God hath revealed his minde somewhere, but that he hath revealed it here in the Old and New Testament. When God desires to make us sensible of our frailty by eclip­sing all the glory of the world,Isai. 40. 5, 6, 7. 8. that he might reveale his owne glory: what doth he bid the Prophet say? Why cry saith he, All flesh is grasse, as the goodlinesse of the flower of grasse which is withering, fading, dying, but saith he the Word of our God shall stand for ever.

Beloved, let me freely speake to you, let us builde our faith upon that which shall stand for ever, upon the word of God onely. Our faith builds for eternity, and therefore we had neede build upon that which will stand for ever. Our faith [Page 23] is not built upon the Votes of the Assembly,Internas per­swasiones sine externo verbo tanquam Sa [...]a­na Iudibria ca­vemus: ex scripturis sapi­mus, cum scrip­turis sentimus, propter scriptu­ras credimus. Whita [...]k. de Au­thorit. Scriptur. lib. 1. cap. 10. prope finer [...]. the Ordinances of Parliament, the Pleasure of Kings, the Fancyes of the multi­tude, the New light of Saints that are yet carnall, or but com­paratively perfect; nay to goe higher yet, my faith is not built upon the definitions of Councells, or the Revelations of Angells, but upon the Word of God, that Word that stands for ever. But you will say that place of Isaiah is meant onely of the Old Testament: I will shew you the selfe same words in the New Testament, 1 Pet. 1. and the three last verses, Ye are borne againe, Of what Seed? Not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is grasse, and all the glory of man as the flow­er of grasse: the grasse withereth, and the flower thereof fadeth away, but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. But where is it? saith some poore soule, for I am to seeke where it is; Why here it is, saith the Apostle: in this Gospell reade on, the last words of the chapter will give thee full satisfaction. And this is the Word, which by the Gospell is preached unto you; Say not then in your hearts, who shall ascend into Heaven to bring downe the minde of Christ, Rom. 10. 6, 7, 8. The Word is nigh unto you, Oh let it be nearer to you yet: let the word of faith which is preached out of this Gospell, be a word of faith ingrafted in thy heart: thou mayest safely build thy faith upon the holy Scriptures, for they are the words of God, and though the Kingdomes of the earth be shaken, yet the Words of God will stand, and stand for ever. Be convinced and fully perswaded that this is the truth, be not staggered about it, but be confident of it: If the Word of God faile, I will give thee leave to curse me upon thy death-bedde, for I can with reverence and confidence appeale to God: and say, Lord, if in this point, I am deceived, thou thy selfe hast deceived mee.

Fifthly, Abraham was the Freind of God: We are all by nature enemies to God▪ we doe naturally conceive an A­theisticall hatred against him, onely because he is a God to Truth, Justice, and Purity, and threatens to torment [Page 24] us for those sinnes which we are unwilling to forsake: wicked men wish with all their hearts that God were not so pure, just and true, as indeede he is, and must be, un­lesse they would have him to be no God at all; Are you not ashamed of this Atheisticall quarrell? Consider that God is truth, can an understanding minde hate truth which is the very dareling of the understanding? God is goodnesse it selfe, and can thy will hate that which is good, even goodnesse it selfe, infinite goodnesse? God is love, and canst thou be out of love with love it selfe? Doest thou not see that thy na­ture is extreamely perverted, and become even unnaturall? but let me tell you that our enmity, though thus unnatural­ly naturall, and grossely Atheisticall, is highly aggravated by the Love of Christ. Christ died to save me, though he knew that I would be his deadly enemy, and offers me a pardon sealed with his precious bloud: and therefore I doe even hate my selfe for hating Christ, and am willing to be or­dered as well as justified by Jesus Christ: Christs minde shall be my minde, Christs will shall be my will, I desire to be a man according to Christs owne heart: I will be a freind to Christ, though I seeme to be an enemy to my selfe, I pro­fesse my selfe a freind to all the freinds, and an enemy to all the enemyes of Jesus Christ: Oh I feele I blesse God, I feele my selfe transported even beyond my selfe with raptures, and extasies of love: I am sensible of Gods eternall love to me, and I cannot be content with any lesse then an eternity to expresse my love to him: I will subscribe my selfe, the eternall freind of Jesus Christ.

Sixthly, Abraham was a Covenanter, a perfect Covenan­ter, Walke before me, and be thou perfect or upright, and I will make a Covenant with thee, saith God to Abraham, Gen. 17. 1, 2. Walke perfectly in the perfect way of Jehovah, as in the presence of Jehovah: You must walke by fayth, 2 Cor. 5. 7. and by sincere obedience, Ephes. 2. 10. Let your heart be perfectly engaged to God, and when that is done all is as good as done in respect of Gods acceptance and your comfort.

[Page 25] Our Saviour concludes his spirituall Exposition of the Law with this Exhortation, Be you therefore perfect, as your Fa­ther which is in Heaven is perfect. Matth. 5. 48. to shew, that our sincere obedience is called perfect, because our obedience in respect of our desire must be as large as the perfection of Gods holy will revealed in his Word; nay he must endeavour, and not onely desire to come up to the rule in the most nice points, in every Iota and Title of the spirituall Law, and glorious Gospel; they who do ordinarily commit known sins, and neglect known duties, will not be esteemed Honest Covenanters; they who study excuses, or frame objections to elude plain Commandments, (the Wise man saith) are prating fools, men of great lips, and no brains, a fool of lips, void of heart, or brains: Prov. 10. 8. 13. Tell these men such a thing is a breach of Covenant, such a thing is a dutie, such a thing is a sin, they say they care not, it is a clear case that they de­spise their wayes, and Gods precepts; and if they do not re­pent of their contempt, they shall die for it. He that keeps the Commandments, keeps his own soul; but he that despiseth his wayes, shall die. Prov. 19. 16.

7. Abraham was a good House-keeper, he took care of his family; and so I passe from Personal Holinesse to House­hold-godlinesse. We must command our children, and Houshold to walk in the way of Jehovah; The whole family should be perfumed with the graces of the Governor: for though all the pious actions which are performed by every mem­ber of the family proceed elicitive from that habituall godlinesse which is in that member, yet they should pro­ceed Imperative, from the godlinesse of the Governor, He should command; Give me leave to enquire into the state of your families, are they Nurseries of Piety? do you look up­on your heirs as Gods heritage, and labour to make them sons of God, and heirs of Heaven? Do you desire to be spi­rituall,Psal. 127. 13. as well as naturall Fathers to all your Children; I am as it were born again in my childe, oh that my childe might be born again in Christ, and Christ in him: I see too much of my own image in him, oh that the image of Christ might be stamped upon him! these are the heavenly [Page 26] ejaculations of holy parents. We must say of our children as Jacob did of his, These are the children which God hath gra­ciously given: oh let them be graciously educated. Have a speciall care of your sons, they are the support of the fami­ly, O teach them to support Religion also, that they may bear up Christs Name as well as yours. Have a tender care of your daughters, for by them other Families are linked to yours, therfore season them with Religion, and you may by them propagate Religion to many Families. Would you have your Heirs good Statesmen, teach them how to whet their tools at the Sanctuary, to oyl their wheels with prayer, and steel their Engines with Religion, that they may seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousnes in the first and highest place, and secular advantages in a subservient way. But when, and how soon should we begin to teach our children? why tru­ly when they are able to learn any thing that's bad, it is high time to teach them something that is good: when they can stammer out an oath, or lisp near a blasphemy, it is high time to teach them their Catechisme, and instruct them in Prin­ciples of Christianity. Teach them their Catechisme in A. B. C. The holy Spirit hath composed some Abcedarian Psalms in Achrosticall verses, according to the order of the Hebrew Alphabet, that children might learn an Alphabet of godlinesse, and parents teach their children the first Ele­ments of Religion as well as Learning; the first letters of the verses of certain Psalms, the 25. 34. 37. 119. are set down according to the order of the Alphabet, and they are all of them choice Psalms, full of sweet streins and raptures of devotion. Tim [...]thy learnt the Scriptures of a childe, [...], 2 Tim. 3. 15. a word of a very young signification. Childhood and youth are ages of Fancy, and therefore certainly pa­rents should set heavenly truths in fresh and lively colours, that the phantasie of their children may be taken with the sensible represen­tation of spirituall things; God doth reveal heavenly truths in certain apt similitudes, which do exceedingly please the phantasie, because whilest our soul is joyned to our body, nothing can come into the understanding but by the sen­ces, and so through the phantasie; and therefore a simili­tude [Page 27] doth exceedingly help the understanding. God de­scends to our weak capacity, when he clothes an heavenly truth with an earthly representation, Joh. 3. 12. I have told you of earthly things, saith our Saviour, that is, I have re­presented heavenly truths by comparisons taken from earthly things, I have brought down the bough which was out of your reach, and put it into your hand, and help­ed you up, so that you may now climbe from Earth to Hea­ven by these similitudes: I have used similitudes saith God, Hos. 12. 10. and therefore it is an higher aggravation of our unbelief and disobedience, if when we have such helps we do not profit by instruction; you know the Sacraments help our faithly our sences, and so by our phantasie, and phantasie will return a quick message to the affections, and the affections will sway the will, and consequently the whole man; and therefore if we can please the phantasie of a childe, by representing the joyes of Heaven to him under the notion of a Banquet, or a crown of Gold, and so invite him to Heaven, and sweeten all the exercises of Religion to him; and on the other side terrifie him from sin, by representing the torments of Hell to him under the notion of fire and brimstone, and then shew him that there's ground for these representations in the Word of God, you'l at once help his understanding, and work upon his affections, and withall lay a firm ground for his faith, that his faith laying hold on the Divine reve­lation in the Word, and his fancie fastening on the sen­sible representation of that divine truth, his understanding may be enlightned, his faith strengthned, his fancie plea­sed, his affections ordered, his will turned.

2. Children have very good memories, if you make use of them betimes, and our memory doth work strongly upon our affections. 2. Corinth. 7. 15. His inward affection or bowels are more abundant towards you whilest he remembreth the obedi­ence of you all. God did empart an history to Abraham to communicate to his children, children are excellent at the remembring of stories; relate the story of drowning the World, and the burning of Sodome to your children, such stories will work upon them.

[Page 28] 3. Children are full of affection, and Aristotle saith, that the first thing that you should teach children, is somewhat that concerns the ordering of their affections, what they ought to delight in, and what they ought to grieve for, and consequent­ly what they ought to love, and what they ought to hate.

Pray for your children as well as instruct them; Si nil curarem, nil orarem, saith Melancthon; if you do not pray for your children, you do not care for them; pray for your children [...], continually, that is as some expound it, daily, the daily sacrifice was called the continuall sacrifice; or as others expound it, pray for them seasonably upon all occasions. Do not onely pray for your children in gene­rall, but pray as Job sacrificed, for every particular childe, according to the number of them all, Job 1. 5. As you provide a distinct portion, and a distinct suit of clothes for every childe; so provide, I mean, Sue cut a speciall blessing by a distinct prayer for every particular childe. You must be jealous over your children with a godly jealousie as Job was, If you suspect that they have sinned, let that suspition bring you upon your knees; and cause you to lift up a prayer for them with all your strength; if you do but fear that they may sin, labour by good counsell to prevent their sin. Finally, give good example to your children, and take care of them when they are grown up and married from you: when Jobs chil­dren had houses of their own to feast in, yet Job took care of their souls, and sent to them to sanctifie themselves, which was to prepare themselves for holy service. Job 1. 4, 5.

Do not forget your beloved wife, the choicest part of your self and family; she will never be at your command, unlesse you teach her to be at Christs command. The Phy­losopher will tell you that souls have no sexes, thy wives soul is as manly, and as precious as thine own, and there­fore take care of her precious soul, instruct her, pray with her, dwell with her as a man of knowledge, that you may walk together hand in hand to heaven, like heirs of grace, till you come to be coheirs in glory. Command your ser­vants to walk in the way of Jehovah, and instruct them in [Page 29] that way: Oh do not use your servants as you use your Beasts, you work and feed your beasts, but never instruct them; and you make as very beasts of your servants, if you do not instruct them in the way of Jehovah, for you do onely find them work and food. Tell your family what considerations did at first move your heart, and work upon your spirits, that the same considerations may by Gods blessing melt, and turn their hearts; a religious Servant may improve thy zeal, and bring a blessing on thy poste­ritie and estate, when thou art dead and gone.

Set up Houshold-godlinesse in order, not in opposition, to Congre­gationall godlinesse.

Labour to make thy wife the spouse of Christ; thy chil­dren, the children of God; thy servants, the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the blessing of Heaven rest upon thee, and thine.

I have not done,Application to the Parlia­ment. for I have a farther journey to go: the Lord give me the strength and spirit of Elijah, that I may not faint by the way: I consider that I am bound to speak to that Ho­nourable House which called me hither, and never was man called to speak in a more Criticall Juncture of time: I have put up many prayers, and powred forth many tears for direction to the God of Heaven, that I may speak the words of sobernesse and truth: my heart tels me that I speak out of love and respect to you, and my conscience tels me I speak in obedience to God; all the Housholds of the Commons of England are represented in Your Honorable House; Your House is a Paradise, but may not the Serpent get into Paradise? as great as you are, you are under God, every one of your Members, and the whole House, must be at Gods devotion and com­mand: if you will walk wisely, and safely, you must walk in the way of Jehovah, and keep in the way of Jehovah: the Angels have charge over you as long as you walk in that way, and Christ the head of Angels as well as Saints, will beat down your Enemies under your feet;Ier. 23. 6. The way of Christ is the way of Jehovah, for he is Jehovah our righteousnesse; But you will tell me, that learned and godly men cannot agree about the Way of Christ.

[Page 30] My first motion is, That we may not be beaten off from those principles in which we agree, because there are some things about which we differ.

2. That it may be diligently considered, how far we agree; few men beleeve that there is so sweet an agreement in so many uniting Principles between godly, prudent, and charitable men of different perswasions, for the preventing and removing of all scandals, as indeed there is.

3. That those many fair Expedients which are pro­pounded for the healing of breaches, and composing of differences, may be speedily taken into your most serious thoughts.

4. Consider, that not onely the eyes of all the Churches abroad, but the eyes of God, nay the vows of God are upon you, and the Word of God is set before you. And therefore I beseech you, as you tender the good and welfare of three Kingdoms, and as you will answer it to the Lord Christ at the dread­full day of Accounts, that you observe the directions of the word, How will you satisfie your conscience upon your death-bed, how will you look Christ in the face at the day of Judgement, if you reject the counsell of Christ. I will not question your in­tentions, what am I (the last of Ministers, and least of Saints) that I should judge a Parliament? I desire to judge my self, and deny my self: I was not sent to divine, but to preach, and I dare not assume to my self the property of God, which is to know the hearts of men; It is enough for me to remember you that it doth specially concern you in this great work of Refor­mation, to approve your selves to the Searcher of Hearts, and Judge of secrets. I have no designe upon you, I affect not power, but desire purity: I ask no power of You: I have enough al­ready more then I know how to use, or answer for: It is the free use of power which is desired for purities sake. I shall not in­treat you to part with any of your Civill Interests to make us friends, I submit my self to all that Power which be­longs to you as Christian Magistrates; but remember that it is a Limited power, Christ hath set bounds to Your Power, as well as ours: and you are obliged to emprove all your In­terests, and use all your Power for the service of Christ, in [Page 31] promoting the great work of Reformation; I will not at present so much as state the great question for debate, for this is not a fit place or day to dispute the point in controversie; and it would be very absurd for me to take that for granted, which you expect should be proved. I am resolved to follow my conscience, and you are obliged to follow yours; but if your Conscience be not rightly informed, how many thousands are there that will be endangered? Far better were it that all our Armies were routed in the Field, then that the Parliament of England should be deceived, Quod plane contra aliis in Rebus publicis fuit quae legi­bus fundatae cùm essent legi­bus eversae sunt. I say, but deceived: to perish by Act of Parliament, is to perish irrecoverably, to perish by consent: And wise Statesmen have observed, that as some Kingdoms have been wasted by Arms; so others have been overthrown, quite overthrown by Laws. My humble motion therefore is, That you will not make more haste then good speed in deciding the great Question. You may yet be counselled,Petrus Cu­naeus, de Re­pub. Hebr. li. 1. cap. 1. because the work is not yet perfected; my mo­tion may seem strange to some, but I know full well, that though a Kingdom may be quickly corrupted, yet it cannot be so suddenly reformed; and if you take longer time that the Que­stions in controversie may be fully debated, your Consci­ences rightly informed, and satisfied, you'l gain time, and light experience and comfort by such a thrifty expence of time. That I may not countenance any politique delayes, and may emprove the motion to the heighth, be pleased to keep a Private Fast, and call some judicious and self-deny­ing men to Preach before you, who will deal plainly, and faithfully with you in the nicest points. My Reasons to back the Motion are briefly these.

1. Because you were never in greater danger then now, you are exercised with temptations on all hands, surely this, this is the Houre of Temptation, you had need pray hard, that you may not be led into temptation.

2. Good men are apt to be secure, because you are Ma­sters of the Feild, and are entring into your much desired Canaan;Numb. 25. but consider that when the people of Israel were upon the very borders of Canaan, and all their Enemies were not able to overthrow them, they did, by closing [Page 32] with temptations, and giving way to their corruptions, overthrow themselves.

3. The points in agitation are points of high concern­ment, points that have been studied, and much perplexed by great Scholers, and wittie men on both sides; Be not too pleasant, though much of this week be spent already, yet if you be not very circumspect, nay if you do not beg counsell of the Lord, you may undo three Kingdoms this week in three dayes.

4. When we mingled tears in Private Fasts, we had a sweet experience of Gods mercy; your fidelitie and resolution even then when you were at lowest, and it will be your wis­dom, and your Honour, to walk humbly and closely with God when you are at highest, that God may bring upon you all the good that he hath promised to them that rule with God, Hos. 11. 12. and are faithfull with the most Holy, and all his Saints.

5. There are sins with you, Ministri non debent ex Magistratibus po­pulo sp [...]ctacula facere. even with you, and such as must be reproved; but as things now stand, it is not so fit to re­prove them in a mixed Assembly.

6. There are some proposals to be made to you, which are not fit to be divulged when they are first presented.

But I am not worthy to advise a Parliament, the motion is humbly presented; and though it be rejected with smiles, I intend not to appeal from you to the people: but give me leave in my Masters Name to present the Peoples Appeal to You: Consider the cries, and out-cries of the godly part of this Kingdom for a Reformation, they speak plain, and tell you, that,

1. They have fasted, prayed, wept, for a Reformation.

2. They have exhausted their Treasures, many of them,

3. Adventured their lives, lost their limbs, their blood, their friends, for a Reformation.

4. You have promised us a Reformation.

5. And we have payd for a Reformation. And,

6. You are therefore in debt to us for a Reformation.

7. We are bold to chalenge such a Reformation as will quit the cost, and answer the price which we have payd, and the pains we have bestowed.

8. We desire such a Reformation as that we may not be [Page 33] forced to make a Separation, that is the language of some that are serious and peaceable Saints; and therfore it is the more to be considered.

9. By the help of a thorough-Reformation, there may be a thorough-Reconciliation amongst all that are prudent, pious, and charitable: all who mind the same things, purity and peace, and de­sire to walk by the same rule in faith and love, A thorough-Reformation would make us all friends; for some of our Bre­thren tell us, that they know not whether or no they can close with us, till they see what Reformation will be allowed us.

There are divisions enough already, and I have many things to propose which may unite all that are judicious Christians, nothing that may divide them, we all desire that the ordinances of Christ may be purely administred, that all scandals that threaten us may be prevented, and all that disquiet or pollute us may be removed: we all desire to walk in the way of Jehovah, as it is in my Text.

1. In the way of faith, our God is a jealous God, and he is jealous in point of faith, as well as worship; The least Iota of divine truth is more precious then Heaven and Earth: I blesse God,Qui resistunt contumaciter, sua (que) pesti [...]era & mortifera dogmata emen­dare nolunt, sed defensare persistunt hae­reti [...]i fiunt. and honour You, for expressing your selves so freely in this hereticall and licentious age against Subverters of the Faith. There is as much difference between errors, as there is between poysons: some destroy by heat, some by cold, some by corrosion; but there are certain poysons, whose very substance is malignant; Physicians say their very spe­cificall Form is destructive: and You have furnished us with an excellent Antidote against these subverting errors, these hereticall poysons, August. de Ci­vit. Dei, li. 18. ca. 51. whose very substance is pestilentiall, and whose authors and abettors are full of contumacious malignity. [...]. Ignat. Epist. ad Trallenles. An Heretique cannot be as the seducers talk an honest man, for Heresie is a brat begotten of the flesh by the Devil; an heresie is a flood cast out of the Dragons mouth, one of the lyes and depths of Satan, a work of the flesh. What is more precious then Gods truth and our souls?2 Cor 11. 15. Now heresie cor­rupts the soul,Revel. 12. 16. and subverts the Faith.Rev. 2. 9. 24. Heresie is like an Hectique feaver,Ioh. 8. 44. which at first is very easie to be cured, but very hard to be known;Gal. 5. 20. but when once it hath gotten [Page 34] strength, and discovered it self by undeniable symptoms, though it may be easily known, it is hardly cured.

There are some Errors that have more vanity then ma­lignity in them,Rom. 14. 1. and yet they may do much mischief if spread abroad.1 Cor. 10. 32. 1. Some may be entangled, ensnared. 2. Others offended.Gal. 5. 12. 3. The Church divided, and rent asun­der, if these vain Errors come to be professedly taught or di­vulged:1 Cor. 1. 10. concerning these lighter errors,Rom. 16 17. I shall say as Hip­pocrates saith of raw humours, they must be ripened, and concocted before they are purged, unlesse (saith he) they be stirred by their own violence: vain errors have a deluding effi­cacy in them when they meet with vain men; and errors are more stirring and active in pragmaticall busie men, then in meek modest men; and therefore the advice of St. Jude is seasonable in this point; Of some have compassion, ma­king a difference, and others save with fear, plucking them out of the fire; the fire of contention, keeping them out of the fire, the fire of Hell, and guiding their feet into the way of peace and truth, the way of Jehovah, as it is in the Text.

Obj. But you'l say, if we must all walk in one way of faith, then there must be an uniformity, and though unity be Christian, yet (if some may be beleeved) uniformity is Anti­christian. 2 Tim. 1. 13. [...]

Sol. I am not at leasure to wrangle about words, I might distinguish between Ʋniformiter difforme, and difformiter uni­forme: Rom. 2. 20. [...]. but I desire to speak plain English; when the Apostle exhorts Timothy to hold fast the form of sound words which he had heard of him in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus: Was not that a Christian uniformity? I mean no more. I con­ceive it is requisite for a Christian State to hold forth the Christian Religion in an wholsome Form of sound words that cannot be condemned; Rom. 6. 17. [...]. that there may be a sweet Harmony between all the Churches of Christ:2 Tim. 1. 14. [...]. and if a Christian State shall find it necessarie to descend to some disputable points in their Confession, that they may top the rising errors of the time,Heb 5 12. [...]. I shall never move that learned men of a differ­ent perswasion should be forced, or by preferment tempted to subscribe o [...] swear to that Form against their judgement,Hebr. 6. 1. [...]. [Page 35] to which the Civill sanction is annexed, because I know full well what a great temptation it was to young and old in the time of the Prelates reign, to subscribe to such forms as they had never throughly examined, because they could not be preferred unlesse they Subscribed; Yet I humbly move that mens mouthes may be stopped from blaspheming or reviling the truth of God held forth for the encrease of Christian Uniformity. It is clear and evident, that if a truth may no longer be maintained then till it be questioned, it will not be long ere some out of the pride of their wits, or wantonnesse of their spirits,Gloriantes se esse Emendato­res Apostolo­rum. Iren▪ lib. 3. cap. 1. will be bold to call it into question; the Socinians, Arminians, and some that tread in their steps, have taken upon them, like those old Here­tiques in the time of Irenaeus, to be Emendatores Apostolorum, the reformers of the Apostles: but let not us be afraid to presse those truths upon aIn primis hoc propono unum & certum ali­quid à Christo institutum esse quod credere omnimodo de­beant nationes. Tertul. Prae­script. advers. Haeret. whole Nation which are delivered by God, though they be questioned by men; for the Gospel is to be Preached to all Nations, to every creature. Mark 16. 15. Col. 1. 23. 28.

2. We must walk in the same way of Worship: I shall not here discourse of Naturall or Civill helps which may some way further us in the worship of God; it is clear that the Members of every Congregation respectively are obli­ged to an Ʋniformity in respect of time and place; they must agree to meet at the same time in the same place, to joyn together in acts of Divine Worship. The Lords day is not a bare circumstance, there is an Institution for it, and a spi­rituall efficacy in it by vertue of that Institution, to draw me nearer to God, and God to me; nay to commend my service to God, for the tender of my respects to God in pub­lick is more kindly taken upon that day, then upon any other day; A Christian State is not at liberty to worship God so­lemnly in the publick Congregation, or neglect his worship upon the Lords day: we are all obliged to a Christian Ʋniformity in this particular, humane prudence must submit, and con [...]orm to the Command of the Lord of the day. Moreover, God is a jealous God, and will not allow of Superstition, Idolatry, or profanenesse, and therefore we are bound up to an Uni­formity [Page 36] in point of worship. The Libellatici of old were (as some conceive) in fee with the State, that they might not be forced to worship Idols, though they held too much correspondence with Idolaters: but Abrahams servants, though once Idolaters, had no such dispensation, they were commanded, peremptorily enjoyned by Abraham to walk in the way of Jehovah: and I hope we shall have no Libellatici amongst us, men in fee with the State that they may worship Idols. On the other side, I do not know that there is any humane Set-form of prayer like to be imposed upon the Ministry of this Kingdom, and yet there ought to be a firm and uniform agreement amongst us about the substantials of worship, that we may all observe those ge­nerall rules laid down in the Word; Exercise our gifts, stir up our graces, and [...]eg supplyes from the Spirit of grace and supplica­tion to help our infirmities. Finally, we must in our prayers have a speciall respect to order, and edification, to the necessities of the people, the state of the times, juncture of circumstances, the work of Christ in our hands, and the work of the Spirit in our hearts. Behold a Christian Uniformity without the Impo­sition of any Humane Set-form of Prayer.

3. If you enquire after Government, you have my Rea­sons why I say so little, and I have not time to say much more; There are some substantiall parts of Church-Government which must be maintained, that the ordinances of Christ may be set up, and maintained in Power and purity▪ Men that pre­tend to great things, and know nothing, seem to be much afraid of a Classicall tyranny; but you that are acquainted with the secrets of that Honourable Committee for Ac­commodation, know that there hath been liberty enough offered, and fair expedients propounded in that particular.

Obj. But you'l say, that Saints are to be left wholly to their liberty, and Liberty cannot consist with Ʋniformity.

I answer. Saints are men, and must be ruled; or else their unregenerate part which often prevails will make them too unruly. It is the observation of some reverend Divines, that Jonah was a peevish Saint, and Sampson a desperate Saint, and certainly there are many peevish and desperate men [Page 37] that passe for Saints in this time of Liberty, these must be ruled and over-ruled. There are some that seem to be Saints, because they have a form of godlinesse; but they are no Saints, because they deny the power of godlinesse. What will you say to those men who challenge an Absolute liberty to say and do what they list, till it pleases God to work on them by spirituall means; whereas the truth is, they live in contempt of all those means which should work upon them. You'l easily grant that no pretence, nay no scruple of conscience can exempt a man from any Civill duty which he owes to the State, or the government thereof, for his own and the publique good: why then should any pretence or scruple exempt him from attendance upon quickning ordinances, and powerfull means of Reformation? If men broach damnable doctrines, and pertinaciously defend them against common light, I mean the Common light of Nature, or Christianity, if their errours be destructive to Faith, Piety, Ju­stice or Charity; if a man plead conscience in the point of Community of goods; if one pretend that his conscience puts him upon the ensnaring of other mens consciences;Non est haec li­bertas eredendi sed errandi, non conscientiae sed phantasiae, non libertas sed Li­bertinismus. in a word, If under pretence of liberty of Conscience, he take liberty to be unconscionable, sure this is but an Atheisticall Libertinisme, it is not liberty of conscience, but liberty of phantasie, li­berty of errour, liberty of lust: he that hath no other title to Saintship but a bare profession, doth by such errors and practises unsaint himself, and is sit to be cast out of the socie­ty of Saints, and protection of Parliament. Mar. 9. 42.

2. Saints are Saints, and therefore though they must be ordered, yet they must not be scandalized, Mark 9. 42. If they judge us we must not despise them; we must not despise them as simple, because they condemne us as profane; if they be peevish, we must not be proud.

3. Saints must not be persecuted; though they be peevish, nay desperate, yet they must not be punished beyond their de­sert, the warme blood of sheep is no drink for me, it is too high and heady; nor must I out of a sullen humour deny a peevish Saint the right hand of fellowship, unlesse he will be over-awed by me, and forced to confesse something to be true which he con­ceives [Page 38] to be false, or practise something which he beleeves in his conscience to be a sin; Surely if Saints urge arguments which may tempt wise men, or sway weak men, they should be dealt with in a spirituall, brotherly, and convincing way; Church power is for edification, not for destruction. Christians must not be like brinish lights, which spit fire one at an­other till both go out, and dye in a smoke and stench.

4. I am so far from endeavouring to persecute Saints, that I humbly desire that we would all study how to make more Saints; we quarrell very often about gathering of Saints, and the ordering of Saints: I beseech you that we may all look upon it as our businesse how to make Saints; Oh it will be a comfortable work to gather and order Saints of our own making.

5. Saints must have a Saint-like liberty: we are not obli­ged to obey any person, or any company, or society of per­sons in any thing which is prejudiciall to Gods glory and our salvation: and we are at liberty to do any thing which is re­ligious or vertuous, Iam. 2. 8. 9. 12 because there is no Law against any du­ties,Libertas in am­plitudine qua­dam Indepen­dentiâ animi consistit, animus quippe noster nulli eorum quae sunt infra Deum addictus est nisi propter Deum, &c. Gib [...]uf. for which we are enabled by the fruits of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentlenesse, goodnesse, faith, meeknesse, temperance, against such there is no law. Galat. 5. 22, 23. No man is Lord of my faith or conscience, and if men will be displeased with me for pleasing Christ, I am at liberty to displease all the world. Gal. 1. 10. This is a Saint-like liberty, but Saints are not at liberty to sin against the Royall Law of Liberty; they must fulfill the Royall Law accor­ding to the Scripture, or else they will be convinced and judged by the Law of Liberty. Saints are men of generous spirits, and take themselves to be at liberty to do any thing Servato or­dine finis, any thing that God allows them; true Saints af­fect not, challenge not a kind of Free-will to think, beleeve, speak and act according to the garb and humour of the time. True Saints will not say that a man may be of what Reli­gion he pleases, so he be of any Religion, and seem zealous for it; There is one precious truth maintained by all Secta­ries and most Heretiques, That there is but one onely true Religion, and therefore for the most part every oneNullus error se audet extol­lere ad congre­gandas sibitur­bas imperito­rum qui nou Christiani no­minis velamen­ta conqu [...]rat. Aug. Epist. 56. of them doth [Page 39] hold forth his way and opinion as the onely true Religi­on, and saving way; I say most Heretiques do so, but there was of old a Catholique-Heresie, so I call it because it did ap­prove and extoll all heresies.A Rhetorio baeresis exorta­quae omnes hae­reticos recte ambulare & vera dicere af­firmat. &c. Aug. de Haeres. Augustine cals it the Heresie of Rhetorius, and saith, that it is admirable for vanity, and I fear that some in our dayes who take themselves to be Saints, are fallen into this Heresie; I beleeve this fond con­ceit, was first broached amongst the Pagans byVide Socrat. Histor. li 4. ca. 27. Themistius the Philosopher,Iude v. 3. who said, That God was well pleased with variety of opinions, because his glory was much illustrated by them. But true Saints will not play the Sceptiques; they that think it a kind of bondage to fix their belief upon that truth, which Christ hath by his Apostles once for all delivered to the Saints, and are therefore willing to hear any one ra­ther then Christ, and his Apostles, These men are no Saints; for he that is so ready to be of any religion, is for the present of no re­ligion. Faith is no jesting matter, we must not be so indiffe­rent in our judgement in points of faith: the Question is not of Tertul. de Patient. Cujus judicium in suos non in compede aut pileo vertitur sed in aeternita­te aut poenae aut salutis. Liberty, but of Eternity, as Tertullian speaks, and there­fore it is fit, that all pretenders should be silenced that we may hear Cyprian. S [...] solus Chri­stus audiendus est, non debemus attendere quid aliquis ante nos faciendum pu­taverit, sed quid qui ante omnes Christus prior fecerit. Cui succinit. Aug. Epist. 48. Audi dicit Do­minus non dicit Donatus, aut Rogatus, aut Vincentus, aut Hilarius, aut Augustinus, sed dicit Dominus. Christ speak: for all true Saints will give ear to him, rest in his determination, and curse all those that preach any other Gospel, though they pretend to be Saints, Apo­stles, Angels; Though we (saith the Apostle) or an Angel from Heaven preach any other Gospel to you then that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Gal. 1. 8.

For the making and ordering of Saints then, and direct­ing of our steps in the way of Jehovah, be pleased.

1. To set up the Primitive teaching from house to house, or something correspondent to it; unlesse you lay your Ci­vill obligation upon governors of families, Church-offi­cers will find them too uncivill; we talk much of reform­ing Congregations, but till there be a Reformation wrought in our own persons, and families, it is a madnesse to think that our Congregations can be reformed; as long as families are poysoned with ignorance and profanesse, ordinances will be neglected or profaned in our Congre­gations: but by your Order even the Governors of fami­lies [...] [Page 38] [...] [Page 39] [Page 40] would submit to be catechised in those Articles of faith, the knowledge whereof is by Ordinance of Parlia­ment required of all these that are to be admitted to the Sacrament. Beleeve it, our Congregations will not be [...] Churches, till our families are turned into Churches; Oh that I might live to see that happy [...] when the Church in this House, and the other House, and so along from house to house, shall be all united in Church-fellowship, and a Congregation shall be a Church consisting of many dome­sticall Churches united in one body, under a powerfull Ministry, and Christian discipline, for the edifying of it self in faith and love. I shall deal plainly with you, till some such course be taken for the Reformation of families, there are divers parts of the Countrey, if not some whole Countreys, that are uncapable of Discipline. There must be some time given for the instruct­ing of men that have parts and gifts in the nature and qualitie of that office to which they are designed; and I humbly offer it to your consideration, whether the power of a people in chusing Officers, be not much like the power of a son in chusing a wife? You know what a wise father will say, if my son have wit and grace to chuse a wife, I will allow him the more liberty in his choice; if he have not, why then the lesse skill, the lesse liberty. I leave it to your wisdom to make application of that rule, Mutatis mu­tandis to the point in hand.

The people of this Land are as unstable as water [...]. Arist. de Gen. & Cor. li. 2. ca. 2., water sets no bounds to it self; the people of England are as it were boundlesse for the present, and it is certain that they will set no bounds to themselves: and truly if you set no bounds to them, you'l find them very fluid, they will run away from you and themselves; from Gods service and yours, from their principles, and your conclusions; from your safety and their own. You know how many changes the genera­litie of this Kingdom have made in the great businesse of Religion, they turned from being Protestants in profession to be Papists indeed when the Articles were pressed in H. the 8. his Reign; and from being Papists, to be seeming Protestants in Ed. the fixth time; in Queen Maries time [Page 41] they were Papists, and in Queen Elizabeths Protestants again: The same men changed their Religion foure times in a mat­ter of fourteen or sixteen yeers. Bellarmine layes it as a reproach upon the English Nation, and truly I cannot impute this in­constancy to any thing more, then to the neglect of cate­chising in publick and private: There hath been no care taken to settle Religion in families, to acquaint young and old with the Principles of Religion, and men will not die for a religion which they do not understand. Great Scholers read over their Gram­mer-rules, and Logique-rules very often, that they may retain the grounds of Learning; good Divines read their Catechisme often, that they may retain the grounds of Divinity: It was very well said of noble Luther, Fateor me catechismi discipulum; I confesse that I am neither too wise, nor too old to learn my Catechisme. The people of this Kingdom will never be rooted and grounded in faith and love, if the generall neglect of family-duties may passe unpunished; the Sab­bath will be polluted, and the Sacrament profaned, as long as family-duties are so grosly and wilfully neglected as now they are. Is it fit that men should receive the publique Badge of Christianity in the Sacrament which they receive as an Honour to them, when they will not weare the private Badge of Chri­stianity, will not own Jesus Christ for their Master, by the performance of religious duties in their families, though Christ would take it kindly from them, and look upon it as an Ho­nour to him, if they would set up Christ in their hearts and houses. Assure your selves, that if the generality of England be not true to Christ, Nostri [...]ùm [...] legibus Papae liberi sint, eti­am à lege Dei liberi esse vo­lunt, nihil nisi Politica sequi, sed sic ut sub illis quoque pro libito sin [...]. Luther. they'l never prove true to you: you'l loose us much by their inconstancie (shall I say) as the Pope hath lost, give me leave to say as Christ hath lost; do not de­ceive your selves, the people if they are left to their hu­mour, are, as some others have been, more willing to shake off Christ, then ever they were to throw off the Pope; and they that are not willing to be subject to Christs Laws, will not, if they be left to their liberty, submit to yours; they embrace the Ordinances of Parliament, and seem to respect your Orders, as long as you over-aw them, but if they see their time, and have a fair advantage, judge what they are like [Page 42] to do; I am confident that when you are in streights, they'l never be at your command, unlesse you, now you are in your full power, pre­vail with them to be at Gods command. I humbly conceive that a more equall division of Parishes would much con­duce to their Reformation,M [...]. White one of our [...]ve­rend Ass [...]ss [...]rs in his Sermon before the Lords. but there hath been enough presented upon that Argument by a very learned and ju­dicious Divine, and therefore I forbear to presse that point.

2. To purge the Universities, you have done worthily in laying a good foundation for the reforming of that University which is within your power; be pleased to take some speedy course for the reducing of the other Univer­sity, for it is the grief of our souls that whilest You are cast­ing salt into one Fountain, the Enemy is casting poyson into the other; I will pray, and hope to be heard, that it may be the Honour of this Parliament to reduce, and reform both Uni­versities; the Philistines did desire to put out both our Eyes, and certainly one was bleared, and the other darkned, but by Gods blessing upon Your endeavours, we begin to see with one Eye, and hope that we may in due time recover the other; and then I doubt not but you will help us to all the good old Statutes which were repealed and cancelled by some, that new Statutes might be imposed for the countenancing of an Matters were referred to the Chancellor to determine pro arbitrio, sive in jud [...]cio, sive [...]xtrajud [...]cium. Arbi­trary Government against Statute. I shall not move You to re­peal those new Statutes, for as Cicero said when he was un­justly banished, I need no Law to restore me from my banishment to my Countrey, for I was not banished by Law; so say I, there needs no Law to repeal those Statutes which were never established by Law; Nihil nobis opus [...]rat Lege, de [...] nihil actu [...] esset legi­bus. Cicerode Legib li 3. yet it will not be amisse (if you in your wisdom think it sit) to declare them to be null. The old Statutes did re­commend Calvins Institutions to Tutors as a fit book to be expounded to their Scholers, but that good Statute was omitted in the book of new Statutes, because there are so many precious truths in Calvins Institutions contrary to theThe Reign of Canterbury piety of those times in which the new Statutes were in­vented. Paul the 2d condemned all those for Hereticks (as Platina relates) who did but name an University either in jest or earnest, but I hope there are none of his strein in this Honourable Assembly.

[Page 43] 3. To encourage faithfull Ministers, the Apostle doth be­seech you, 1 Thess. 5. 12, 13. We beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you: and to esteem them very highly for their works sake, and be at peace among your selves. God doth endear his Mini­sters to the greatest of Christians, by sending glad tydings, and love-tokens by them to all the Saints; hence those en­dearing relations, which the Apostle mentions in severall places: Ministers are instead of Fathers, Mothers, Nurses, A [...] 1 Thes. 2. 11. Fathers they beseech you, as Gal 4 19. Mothers they travail with you, as 1 Thes. 2. 7. Nurses they cherish you. Be pleased not onely to command, but to encourage the Ministers to walk in the way of Jeho­vah, for they are like to meet with manifold discourage­ments in dispensatione offi [...]ii; when they rebuke with Authority, and rebuke men of corrupt opinions sharply that they may be sound in the faith, Aug. Epist 50. Jumenta eos calce morsu (que) appetunt, à qui­bus eorum cu­randa vulnera contrect [...]ntur. when they come to warn the unruly, and charge the disorderly, and confute the gain-sayers, some will shew their teeth; and when they come to be dressed, and cured, turn their heels; for too many are like the Horse which hath no understanding, and such as will not be instructed, must be bridled, curbed. Psal. 32. 8, 9.

4. To provide able Schoolmasters, youths must be or­dered byQuia utile est juventuti regi, impositi sunt illi quasi M [...]g [...]stratus de­m [...]st [...], sub quibus conti­neretur. Senec de Be­nef [...]ii 3. An Philippus Macedonum Rex Alexan­dro silio s [...]o prima litera­rum elementa tradi ab Ari­stotele summo ejus aetatis philosopho voluisset, aut ille suscepisse [...] hoc officium si non studiorum initia à perfect s [...]imo quoque tractari pert [...]ere ad summam credidisset Quin til. lib. 1. cap 1. Non sunt con [...]emnenda quasi parva sine quibus magna constare non possunt. Hieronym Epist. ad Laetam. domesticall and scholasticall Magistrates, before they come to be ruled by Civill Magistrates: a Schoolma­ster is a kind of Magistrate, his Office is as honourable as it is usefull; none contemne that office, but such as are un­able to discharge it, or unworthy to be trusted with it: All learning is upheld by the grounds of learning. If the foundation be weak, the fairest fabrique will reel and fall; A School is a kind of little kingdom, nay a private Church; for the grounds of Religion, as well as Learning, are to be first taught by religious and judicious Schoolmasters, let their mainte­nance be as honourable as their office; for, beleeve it, they help to support Church and State. If you will take these [Page 44] proposals into your saddest thoughts, you will lay a strong foundation for the good of future generations; so that if the old siurdy Malignants of our time will not submit, and conform to Gospel-rules, there will be good hope of the next generation, when their fathers (who are [...]otten al­ready) will be dead and gone. And the godly men of this Kingdom will die with comfort, when they see the King­dom put into such a posture, and such provision made for the instruction of their children, whom they leave behind them: they may say to their children, as Israel said to Jo­seph, Behold I die, but God shall be with you. Gen. 48. 21. This Kingdom may be happy hereafter, though it should refuse to be happie now; if men will be stubborn in this wildernesse-condition, and are resolved to perish in their stubbornnesse, yet there is some hope that though the fathers die in the wildernesse, some of their children, nay the very next ge­neration may enter into Canaan, and be quiet.

Finally, my Text remembers me to call upon you to do Justice and Judgement. You must distribute rewards, and inflict punishments with a single heart, and an impartiall hand. The Parliament is the Fountain of Justice, righteousnesse, and judgement must flow forth from thence, and run tho­rough out the Kingdom like a mighty stream, which bears down all before it, and refreshes the dry and thirsty cor­ners of the Land. You have been assaulted by violence, and you could not be compelled to be unjust; but now you will be counted with flatteries, what will you be flattered into in­justice? There are some desperate Malignants that take the Covenant with à salv [...], who keep it in their own sence, but break it in curs, in the true genuine literall sense. There are so [...]e [...] Malignants who are too wise to be scandalous; they do not roar like a Lyon, [...]o 5. 12. 14. Gregor. but fret like a M [...]ath; They do m [...]st mischief, who keep least noise. Tinea damnaum facit, & s [...]ni­tum non facit. You will be importuned by some plausible solicitors, that these men may be spared, because they are not s [...]andal [...]us in their lives. Have you not read of one, qui sobri [...]s acc [...]ssit ad perden­dum [...]? Must men be spared because they do not fiercely ass [...]ult Church and State, though they do subtilly [Page 45] undermine both? If so, you must despair of safety, and we of a Reformation.

But it is not enough for you to be just your selves, you are to provide good Justices in all parts thoroughout the Kingdom. You may delegate part of your power, but you can­not delegate your prudence, nor your Bowels, witnesse those sad and just complaints which are presented against Coun­trey Committees, and Malignant Justices. I shall not dispute that question in the Politiques, Whether it be better to have good Laws, or good Magistrates? But I am sure that good Laws will do no good without good Magistrates. A Justice should be Custes utriusque Ta [...]ulae, but such is our condition in the Countrey, that both Tables may be broken without con­troll; the Lords day is profaned, and in some places even in the time of religious Exercises the Alehouses are fuller then the Churches. When shall unclean persons be brought to their deserved punishment? Men commit this wickednesse with a bold brazen face, and brag that if the worst come to the worst, they are able to keep their misbegotten brats, and save the Parish and themselves harmlesse.

You know we have vowed a Reformation, and yet you know what the generall part of the Kingdom are even to this very day; nay there are some that look high and big, and make a notable profession also, and yet if you observe their dealings, and look into their families, you will find very little charity, lesse Justice, and no Religion; Charity is comprehended under Justice,Qui ambulet prout▪ aequ [...]m est eoram Deo Ier. 22. 15. and Judgement. Praecepta Do­mini sunt Regulae juris & aequi: There is a kind of equity in cha­rity. But there are some that have spent all their stock of charity upon the Enemies of the Church and State, you may prove them Bankrupts by that forfeiture they have made; but if this be charity, it is a left-handed charity, for they distribute favours with the wrong hand to them that are of the wrong side; Sure I am there is a great out-cry, and a cry that reaches Heaven gone up from those widows and orphans, whose husbands and fathers lived and died in your Service: and some of your friends professe, that they would be glad of those favours which are vouchsafed to your Enemies: I [Page 46] mean such Enemies, as have out of a forced andPsal 66. 3. yeeld feigned obedience, Hebr a Lie, as it is in the margin of our Bibles. feigned obedience compounded with you upon easie rates, and gain­ed extraordinary favours, and considerable advantages, besides their Arrears; and I mean such friends [...]s bave lost or given away all they have to promote the cause of God in your hands; and yet they complain that they cannot procure those Arrears which are due to them for that service in which they adventured (all that is left them) their lives.

Oh let Justice and Religion flourish, or else your friends will be discouraged; It would g [...]ieve my [...]oul, and even break, my heart, to see your friends co [...]e weeping from you. Be just, [...]e just both to your enemies, and your friends; or el [...]e you can neve [...] be true to your own interests. Some have complained that crying abominations, besides those that have been pointed at, do passe unpunished; they say that not onely simple un­cleannesse, but even grosse adultery doth escape unpunished; When Abraham came amongst the Heathens, that had no fear of God before their eyes, he considered that his wife was beautifull, and they lustfull, and though he did fear that they would defile his wife, yet he did verily beleeve that they would slay him first,Poeniend [...]s pec­catis tres esse debere causas [...]aist: matumest, [...], cùm dignitas au [...]o­ri [...] as (que), ejus in quem est pecca­tum tuenda est. [...]. cùm Paena adhibetur emendandigra­t [...]: [...], cùm poen [...] ­tio propt [...]r ex­ [...]m [...] um est ne­cessria. A. Gel. Noct. Attic. l. [...] ca. 14. and defile her afterwards, be­cause Adultery was, in the opinion of those profane Heathens, a f [...]uler sin then Murther it self.

Talk no more of Justice and Judgement, Fiat Justitia; my Text remembers you, that Justice and Judgement are things not to be talked on, but to be done: The Philosophers give three Reasons why Justice should be done. 1. That Authoritie might be preserved, the authority of God and his Officers. 2. That Delinquents might be reformed. 3. That others might be deterred by those Examples of Justice, which are frequently made in a wise State, and Nation.

I have spoken my mind clearly, and should have spoken more fully, and freely, had I had the advantage of speak­ing in private; If I have offended the conscience of my Governors by satisfying my own, I shall bear their Cen­sure, and hope by Gods grace to bear any punishment which they shall think fit to inflict, with as much comfort [Page 47] as they inflict it.Reprehensus olim Albutius Rhetor est, quòd de omni causâ dicere cuperet, non quicquid debe­bat dici, sed quicquid p [...] ­terat. Albutius the Orator was condemned for the profusenesse of his Rhetorique, because he spoke all he could upon every Argument which he took in hand; I have by his errour learnt this truth, that It is better to say enough, then to say All.



In pa. 16. l. 15, & 16. read [...]. p. 16. l. 27. r. then Solomon was. p. 19. l. 30. r. at a feast. p. 22. l. 13. r. if you call him Ens. p. 25. l. 6. r. nay we must. p. 26. l. 32. r. should set forth.

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