A DISCOURSE, Shewing the Happiness of these NATIONS Under our Present GOVERNOURS & GOVERNMENT; OR, How they may be happy if they will themselves.

Delivered for Substance in a SERMON On a late Solemn Day appointed by Authority, for Imploring the Blessing of God upon his MAJESTY, AND The Present PARLIAMENT.

By R. A. Pastor of the Church at Henfield.

O Fortunatos Nimiùm bona si sua Nôrint Anglicolas!

London: Printed by J. C. for the Author. 1675.

To the Honourable Sir John Pelham, Sir Cecil Bishop, Sir John Fagg, Baro­nets; Henry Goring, Edward Blaker, and Richard Bridger of Combs, Esquires; and to the rest of the Honourable Members of Parliament, and Justices of Peace for the County of Sussex.

Honourable Patriots;

THe unthankful Murmures and Com­plaints of unreasonable men, wherewith they much obscure the Great Merits of our Pious King and Religious Parliament, gave occasion to this Discourse; wherein I have endeavoured to prove, that they have no just cause of complaint, but only in themselves: For his Majesty, like a Skilful Pilot, hath Steered a right and straight Course to the safe Harbour of Peace and Tranquillity; as appears clearly in his many Pious Motions, Orders, and Proclamations: and if we are not yet arrived, our General Disobedience is the greatest Remora. The Honourable Par­liament have done great things for the good [Page] of the Nation, specially in securing our Re­ligion against the Intrusions of Popery, where­of our Forefathers were quite weary; as appears by that Prayer in the Old Letany, From the Tyranny of the Bishop of Rome, Good Lord deliver us. And if their Pious Intentions have not attained the Desired End, our general unthankfulness is the un­doubted cause of it. Our Distempers are high still; the Lord direct you to fit and proper Remedies. My humble Petition to his Majesty, and the Honourable Parlia­ment, is for the Church of England; She hath been terribly shaken with late Storms; and the Enemy cries out still, Down with her, down with her, even to the ground. We desire not the Life of our Enemies, nor the trouble of any that are Peaceable; con­ceiving it none of the best ways to settle Peace and Truth. But after all these Storms, if the Church were well setled upon her own Foundations or Principles, her Breaches re­paired with her own Materials, and good Discipline restored, She would be the Glory of the Nation, the Honour of his Majesties Reign, the Joy and Comfort of all good [Page] Subjects, and a most hopeful means of com­posing most of our greatest Differences. The Church lies in the Bowels of the Common­wealth; and if the Church be disquieted, the Commonwealth cannot be at rest. And I humbly beseech your Honours to remember the Ministers of the Church, to deliver them out of the many Oppressions which they are under; and that they may enjoy the small remainder of their Ancient Patrimony with more Peace to the Church, and less Scandal to Religion. The whole Land is over­whelmed with Impiety and Licentiousness, all manner of Debauchery and Profaneness; Drunkenness, Lying, Swearing, Oppression, &c. insomuch that we have just cause to fear, that God hath a Controversie with the Land, the issue whereof may be some Fear­ful Judgment. Good Laws are trodden un­der foot, Dignities reviled, Authority out-faced with the Insolence of unreasonable and wicked men, the Word of God despised; and the Word of the King, in his Pious Proclamations, not at all regarded The Nurseries of all Vice, and Corrupters of Youth, thoroughout the Nation, Taverns and [Page] Tipling-Houses encrease beyond number, to the dishonour of God, and disquiet of the Realm; being great occasions of profaning the Lords Day, and of many other disorders against the Peace of the Nation. A Cardi­nal Archbishop of Saltzburg said once, That he knew there was need of Reformation; but that a poor Monk should do it, was not to be endured. I meddle not with it, but leave that to your Honours Wisdoms; Hum­bly conceiving, that a well-setled Ministry would be no small help to it.

Your Honours hum­ble Servant, RIC. ALLEN.


IN Athens every Citizen took an Oath to maintain the Professed Religion after this manner: Pugnabo pro Sa­cris, & solus, & simul cum aliis. If Pagans were so zealous for their Idolatrous Religion, how much more ought we to be for the Gospel of Christ, the Power of God unto Salvation! especially they that are called to the Ministery of it.

I have no spirit of bitterness, I use no bitterness of speech against Recusants, but deal with them as friendly as Truth will give me leave. But if angry Fellows among them will never be quiet, but provoke us daily; revile our Church, slander her Doctrine, vi­lifie her Famous Doctors, abuse and seduce her People with Old thred-bare Stories; no man can justly blame us for standing up in our own Defence.

[Page]A Learned Benedictine at this day (once one of us) would fain divide our Church; and to that purpose, reports falsly of her Doctrine. If ever he understood it, he may be ashamed; if he never did, yet sure he will be sorry, if he be so ingenuous as he professeth: But if they are so uncharitable one to another, as a Famous Fryar (P. W.) of the Order of S. Francis at this day makes sad complaint, we must look for no better. For this present undertaking, I thought my self obliged unto it in a three­fold respect. First, as a Christian, to main­tain the truth of the Gospel Secondly, as a Minister, to maintain the Doctrine of our Church. Thirdly, as a Subject, to maintain the Honour and Dignity of our Gracious Soveraign, and to let his People see some Reasons to bless God for him, who deserves better of the Nation than every one takes notice of.

Our good King and Parliament have ap­plied several Remedies to heal our Breaches; but if we will neither receive Instruction, nor endure Correction, our condition may be worse than we commonly fear: For as [Page] Philotimus in Plutarch told his Patient, Non est de Reduviis negotium, &c.

Now if any think it much that I prefix so many Great Names to so small a Book, let them take notice, that the Piety and Zeal those Honourable Persons have for the true Protestant Religion, imboldened me; and that brevity, for some Reasons, was the greatest part of my Study.

If any mistake my honest meaning, or slight my little Book, (as I know some will, and I know their reasons without asking) let them know, that I can solace my self with the Conscience of my own good in­tentions, and bid them heartily



PAge 2. line 18. for then, read him. Page 14. line 17. for need, read cause.

Insulae Fortunatae, &c.

EZRA 7.27.

Blessed be the Lord God of our Fathers, who hath put such a thing as this in the Kings Heart, to Beautifie the House of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.

THe House of the Lord was then the Temple at Jerusalem; but now e­very place set apart and Consecrated to the Worship and Service of God, is, and may be rightly called his House.

The Temple at Jerusalem was burnt with Fire by the Chaldees, restored again by the Kings of Persia; Cyrus laid the Foundation, Darius finisht the Building, Artaxerxes furnisht the House with all Necessaries for the Service of God; for he sent Ezra the Scribe, with Presents of Gold and Silver to buy Meat-Offerings and Drink-Offerings, Bullocks, [Page 2] Rams, and Lambs, to offer upon the Altar of the House of God, as the God of Heaven had Com­manded: And thus he Beautified the House of God.

At the same time the Jews were restored to the enjoyment of many Temporal Blessings and sweet comforts in their own Country, a Land flowing with Milk and Honey: But Ezra passeth by all these, as of small value, in comparison, and blesseth God for restoring his Holy Worship and Service in his own House at Jerusalem.

Obs. 1. That true Religion, the pure Worship and Service of God, is the fairest Beauty of Gods House; Faithful Pastors, and Godly People, the richest Orna­ments.

Obs. 2. That of all Blessings under Heaven, the Truth of Religion, the Purity of Gods Worship, and the enjoyment of them in his Ordinances, is the chiefest, choicest, and most precious.

It is as the Ark of God to Israel, and to the House of Obed-Edom; the glory, riches and strength of a Nation. As the Temple was then (Ezek. 24.21.) such is now the House of God, beautified with the truth of Religion, and purity of Divine Wor­ship: It is the Excellency of our Strength; the main Bulwark of our Peace and Safety; the surest Ground or Foundation of all true Happiness, Nati­onal or Personal. Our Saxon Ancestors, in their Witten-Gemotts, used, in the first place, to con­sult about Affairs of the Church, and Matters of Religion; and when those things were well setled, then followed Affairs of the Commonwealth: Our Pious Ancestors rightly conceiving, that Religion [Page 3] was the principal and most precious; and that if Gods Business were done first, their own would thrive the better; according to that of our Saviour (Matth. 6.33.) Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added. There is no loss of time in seeking Gods Kingdom first.

Now it cannot be denied, but that this Nation hath received of God, by the hands of our Graci­ous Soveraign, many rich Mercies, which call aloud for returns of Thankfulness unto God, of Love and Loyalty to our Soveraign; but instead hereof, we hear unthankful murmures and complaints. The World was ever given to it; and we can expect no other of men, who never know when they are well: But we have as much cause to bless God for our Good King, as ever Ezra had for the Great King. To stop the mouths then of such querulous people that are never content, I shall endeavour to shew you, how much we are bound to return all Loyalty, Love and Obedience to our Pious Sove­raign, with due Honour and Respect to our Religi­ous Parliament, for all the good they have done us, enough to make us an happy People, if we will our selves.

First, It is not so long since, but that we may remember, when we were under the Conduct of Blind Guides, who knew not what they did, nor whither they were roaving; for they were in the Dark themselves, (witness their own confession in the Armies Remonstrance) and led us into such a miserable Confusion, that none but our Soveraign did, or could save us from utter Desolation: and had it not been for his great Prudence and Mode­ration, [Page 4] we might have been in as bad a condition again.

Secondly, His Majesty was no sooner returned to the exercise of his Royal Authority, but his first care was for the House of God, to cast out the Filth and Rubbish, and to prepare a people for the ser­vice of God. In his Proclamation (May 30. 1660.) against Impiety and Licentiousness, Drunkenness, Swearing, Railing at good things, &c. against Vi­cious, Debauched and Prophane people, who in in truth (saith his Majesty) have discredited my Cause, and are a discredit to any Cause they pretend to favour. Nothing so much polluteth the House of God, nothing such a shame and scandal to our Church and Religion, as the vicious Lives and lewd Conversation of too many that pretend to hold Communion with us.

Thirdly, His Majesties next care for the House of God, was in his Proclamation (Aug. 20. 1663.) for better Sanctifying or keeping Holy the Lords Day, that his Holy Service might be more frequent­ed, and his House filled with the Incense of Pray­ers, and the Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving for all his Mercies. The Lords Work must be done on the Lords Day, or else it is not his Day, but ours.

Fourthly, His Majesty took care of Beautifying the House of God, in his Order for Augmentation of small Benefices, for the encouragement of Faith­ful Pastors, to adorn the House of God with sound Doctrine, and their Doctrine with Holy Life. A worthy Member of Parliament (Sir B. R.) once told the House, that Scandalous Livings make Scanda­lous Ministers, both in Life and Doctrine.

[Page 5]Fifthly, His Majesties special care for the House of God, appeared in his Gracious Condescentions to the Honourable Parliament. His Majesties Invi­tations of that Great Assembly to prepare Laws a­gainst the Growth of Popery, and to prepare more severe Laws against Impiety and Licentious­ness, are a sure Evidence of his Pious Resolution to maintain the true Protestant Religion, Piety and Vertue: And their Return of Thankfulness to his Majesty for those Solemn Endearing Invitations, and their making such good Laws for securing our Religion, Peace and Safety (whereto also the Royal Assent gave Life and Being) give assurance of their Faithfulness, Piety and Zeal for the Glory of God, and good of their Country. Blessed be God for this sweet Union; and let all the people say A­men.

The Kings and Parliaments of England, from time to time, have always kept the Papal Power at Staves-end: K. Henry 8. shook it quite off; K. Ed­ward 6. restored the true Protestant Religion that had been under Restraint. It was not called by that Name, till the Assembly at Spires: but yet that Re­ligion that Protestants profess, was taught by Christ and his holy Apostles, and hath continued to this day. The Famous Qu. Elizabeth maintained the same against all opposition, and raised a Fort-Roy­al out of Holy Scripture in our 39. Articles, against the future Invasion of Heresie, Idolatry, and Super­stition. The Noble K. James, with his Learned Pen, gave the Adversary such a Deadly Wound that can never be healed: Our late Dear Soveraign, like a Glorious Martyr, laid down his precious Life n [Page 6] defence of the true Protestant Religion; and our Dread Soveraign that now is, like a Royal Confes­for, made open and constant Profession of it, in the midst of strong Temptations to the contrary.

And now our Pious Soveraign, insisting in the steps of those glorious Princes, his most Noble Progenitors, hath done like a Tender Father of his Country; and the Honourable Parliament, like Faithful Patriots, in maintaining the Church of England, and the true Protestant Religion, against the Encroachments of Popery, and the Church of Rome; and that for divers weighty Reasons, con­cerning both our Temporal and Spiritual State.

First, Because the Church of Rome sets up a Power over Soveraign Princes, to control them in their own Dominions, to the great disturbance of Publick Peace. Pope Gregory the Third Excommu­nicated the Emperour Leo, called Iconomachus; which caused such a mischievous breach in the Em­pire, that proved the Ruine of Christendom. But the Church of England teacheth Obedience to Princes, according to the Word of God: and we are bound by our Oaths of Supremacy and Alle­giance to withstand the Papal Power, because it cannot stand with the Peace and Safety of the Na­tion.

Secondly, Popery is stained with much Blood, and charged with Treachery and Cruelty; whereof our Fifth of November is a Perpetual Memorial, and the World a Witness. The Church of England teacheth us to love one another, and pray for our Enemies.

Thirdly, Popery is an Heavy Burden without [Page 7] benefit, in a long Train of unnecessary people, who at once robbed the Church of her Patrimony, and devoured the riches of the Land: Insomuch that a Noble King of this Nation used to say, Monks have too much, and Princes too little. Hereupon they began to fear him, and conspired against him; but were prevented by a very strange Providence. The Ministers of the Church, at this day, live most up­on their leavings, and Starve themselves to Feed you.

Fourthly, Because the Church of Rome is such an hard Mother to her Children, in locking up from them the Bread of Life, and true Food of their Souls, which their Heavenly Father so freely gives them; and instead thereof, feeding them with Trash, Fabulous Legends, Dreams, Visions, Reve­lations, &c. teaching for Doctrines the Command­ments of men, and making the Word of God of no effect, through their Traditions: But the Church of England lays open before you the Holy Scriptures of Truth; sets before you the Bread of Life, and feeds you with sincere Milk of the Word, drawn from the Breasts of the Old and New Testament.

Fifthly, Popery polluteth the House of God with Idols, and the Land with Idolatry, in their I­mage-worship, Adoration of Saints, and their Re­liques, &c. Pope Boniface the Fourth, who beg­ged the Pantheon of Phocas the Emperour, in place of the Heathen Gods and Goddesses set up the I­mages of the Virgin Mary, and all Saints; change­ing the Names of the Idols, but not the Nature of the Idolatry. For (1) The Heathen had Tutelar Gods and Goddesses for Countries, Cities, Hills, [Page 8] Dales, &c. so now there be Titular Saints for all places and purposes; Vigilius, the Tutelar Saint of the Valley of Trent, &c. (2) The Heathen acknow­ledged one Supreme God, accounting all the rest as Mediators of Intercession; examples whereof may be seen in their Poets. The Saints are now put in that Office: Prayer was made in the Council of Trent for Divine Assistance, by the Intercession of Vigilius. (3) The Heathen were not so bruitish to take Idols of Wood and Stone for Gods able to help them; but in the Idol, or Image, worshipped some Deity represented thereby. Our Adversaries, at this day, make no other Excuse. Some wiser Heathens disliked Images for a two-fold Reason: (1) Be­cause they drew men from the true Worship: And (2) From the true knowledge of God. For this Reason, the Pagan-Romans at first had no Images, accounting it Sacriledge, &c. (Plutarch in Numa.) The Council of Trent hath made some provision a­gainst the superstitious abuse of Images, Reliques, &c. but to no purpose: For we are exhorted (1 Joh. 5.21.) to keep our selves from Idols; not from Idolatry, but from Idols: For the holy Apo­stle knew well the corrupt Nature of Man is such, that if Idols be in sight, Idolatry will certainly fol­low. For this cause, not only the Adoring, but the very Making of Images is expresly forbidden by the Law of God. Now the Church of England, as a careful Mother, cast out the Worship of Saints, their Images, Reliques, &c. to keep her Children from the great peril of Idolatry; a Sin so heinous, that it provokes the fierce Wrath of God against a Nation, and excludes for ever out of Heaven.

[Page 9]Sixthly, The Church of Rome is very unreason­able, in requiring us to believe things that they scarce believe themselves; to receive for Truth, that which the Word of God saith expresly is false; to agree with them, who could never yet agree a­mong themselves: They are angry with us, because we will not take their bare word without proof, nor grant that which they could never yet shew us any certain ground for: for Councils have erred, Popes have been deceived, and divided in thirty Schisms; have Condemned one another, Decreed one contrary to another, and used one another very uncharitably, to speak the best: Their last Council laid a Foundation of Religion that cannot possibly hold or stand together. A Learned Carmelite warn­ed them of it, and opposed it with such solid Rea­sons, that the Council could not answer, but thought fit to stop his mouth with a Check. And how can any man rest satisfied in the Judgment and Decision of men, that understand not the matters in questi­on? For in the Debate between Soto and Cathari­nus about two most important Articles of Faith, some of the Prelates confessed openly, that they understood not the differences. (Hist. Coun. Trent) But the Church of England builds her Doctrine up­on sure grounds, even the Foundations of the Apo­stles and Prophets; upon the pure Word of God contained in holy Scripture.

What shall we do now with Roman Catholicks? Labour to out-shine them in Holy Life, and out-do them in Good Works; the best way either to win them, or put them to silence, or force them to con­fess, that of a truth God is amongst us. There would [Page 10] soon be less Controversie, if more Conscience were made of those things that be without Controversie.

And now our Religion is secured and safe, what is there else that any man can murmure at?

Is it Monarchy? that is asserted by its worst Ene­mies, who after they had marched thorough all forms of Government, at last saw a necessity of re­tiring back to a Single Person, who wanted no­thing of a King but Right and Title.

Do any distaste our Liturgy? that is allowed for sound and good, in the Doctrinal part at least, by Learned and Pious Adversaries.

Do our Laws dislike any? they are justified by our late Reformers themselves, who after long Con­sultation could find nothing to amend, save only in the practise, and that they made much worse; and so judged by a Learned Lawyer and Commissioner of the Seal, who refused to act upon their new Rules.

Is Trade decayed? that's the complaint; raised, or made use of by some, to bring a scandal upon the Government; whereof I could give you a nota­ble instance. But it may be real and true; and then whatever other causes may be, there be two special­ly; one observed long since by that Noble Knight (Sir W. R.) and both in Traders themselves, which they may amend when they will.

What is wanting now to make us an happy peo­ple? we have a Land flowing with Milk and Ho­ney, with plenty of all things; and whilest other Countries are in great trouble and perplexity, we enjoy a sweet peace, and none maketh us afraid.

Blessed be God for our Gracious Soveraign, un­der [Page 11] whose Shadow we enjoy these comforts.

But if King and Parliament had every one of them the Heart of David, and the Head of Solo­mon, yet could they never do us good, if we will not be good to our selves: They have done their parts, now let us do ours; and I will shew you in few words what you are to do, that his Majesty may rejoyce in his people, as they have cause to rejoyce in him.

1. Submit your selves to the Higher Powers; to the King as Supreme, to the rest as sent by him; for they are the Ministers of God for your good; both Temporal good of the Body, and Spiritual good of the Soul, and Eternal good of both. Be obedient to the good Laws made by the King and Parlia­ment, and consider who hath the benefit and com­fort of your Obedience but only your selves. The Kings Laws against Impiety, Licentiousness, Drun­kenness, &c. are but a Transcript or Copy of Gods Law, in keeping whereof there is great reward, (Psal. 19.) In keeping whereof you do good to your selves and your Children after you, (Deut. 4.40.) In keeping those good Laws, you glorifie God, honour the King and his Government, but do your selves most good: the King hath the honour, but you have the benefit; as I could shew you in many particulars.

2. Submit your selves to them that have the Rule over you in the Lord, and watch for your Souls: Be obedient to your Mother the Church of England, who hath bred you, and brought you forth to the first light and knowledge of Christ, who hath fed you with the sincere Milk of Gods [Page 12] Word; but now they are grown up, some run after Painted Harlots, and follow New Lights, that dar­ken Counsel by words without knowledge, (Job 38.) are weary of the Heavenly Manna, longing after Onions and Garlick. O foolish people, who hath bewitched you, to forsake the Truth, and fol­low after Lies; to venture your precious Souls upon such weak grounds; to build your precious Faith upon the credit of one sinful Man! Popery can never settle your Conscience in peace; and those New Lights will leave you in darkness and per­plexity of mind, whereof I have known many ex­amples; but be not you Companions with them. In the Church of England the pure Word of God is plainly taught, the Sacraments duly administred, the precious Legacies that Christ hath left you are faithfully delivered unto you; nothing kept under Lock and Key in a Mystery; nothing of all the Counsel of God kept from you, but all made plain­ly known to you, that ye may find rest unto your Souls.

3. Let every man study to be quiet, and follow his own business (1 Thes. 4.11.) Keep within the compass of your own Calling, meddle not with things too high for you. There were once Emenda­tores Apostolorum, as now there be Church-menders and State-menders; men that speak evil of things they understand not, to the great disquiet of the Nation. There was a late Cry, All undone; and now we may be ashamed of our folly: for by the goodness of God things are so ordered, that we may well say with Themistocles, We had been undone, if we had not been undone.

[Page 13]4. Leave off all your unthankful murmures and complaints: It is a common thing for men to com­plain the Times are bad, when they make it so themselves; and if any calamity happen, blame their Superiours both unthankfully and unjustly. (1) Unthankful they are to God and Man, to mur­mure at those whom God hath made Instruments of so much good to us. (2) Unjust they are, to blame those for things whereof themselves are the cause. David was a Man after Gods own Heart, yet fell in­to a great Errour, for a Judgment on the people for their sins, (2 Sam. 24.) Again the Anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved Da­vid to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. David's Fall was the peoples fault. If Princes stand, it is for our good; if they fall, it is for our sins: Begin at home, amend your selves, and then all will be well.

5. Break off all your sins by speedy Repentance; all your Debauchery, Drunkenness, Profaneness, &c. for (Hos. 4.) it is sin that makes a Land mourn, and the people languish. Vicious, debauched, and profane people are the Troublers of our Israel: These are the Schismaticks that make such a Rent in our Church by their disobedience to her holy Or­ders, that may probably be the most cause of our troubles. Let Ministers lead lives as pure as their Surplice, and then that Garment will not be such an Eye-sore: Let the people lead holy lives, an­swerable to our holy Liturgy, and then that service will be better accepted. It is our sins that dissolve the Bond of Peace, that disturb, and will destroy our Nation, if not prevented by Reformation.

[Page 14]6. Learn of this Holy Scribe to bless God for these Mercies we enjoy, and for them by whom we have received them. Unthankfulness stops the Cur­rent of Gods Mercies, and provokes him to blast those we have: but Thankfulness preserves those we have, and procures more, (Psal. 67.5, 6.) Let the people praise thee, O God; and, then shall the Earth yield her encrease.

Lastly, One thing specially we are commanded this day, to excite you to pity the Poor in this time of scarcity: I never found, but most of you are ready enough to this Duty; but take heed you do not relieve them with one hand, and oppress them with another; as those do that keep in their Corn to make a Dearth. There be men that slander Hea­ven and Earth with a noise of Dearth, when there is no need of scarcity, but only the hardness of their own covetous hearts. Take heed how you oppress the Poor, who are a part of Gods Great Family as well as you; and you are but Stewards for them: Take heed, your time is but short, your account is at hand; and then, those that shew no Mercy, shall finde none. But do all what can be done, there will still be unruly people, and disor­derly; and those we must leave to the severity of Laws, for the Magistrate beareth not the Sword in vain.



THat True Religion is the fairest Beauty of Gods House.

That True Religion is the Glory, Riches, and Strength of a Nation.

That his Majesty hath many ways beautified the House of God, and advanced Religion.

That his Majesty hath done like a true Nursing Fa­ther of the Church; and the Parliament like Faithful Patriots, in defending our Religion a­gainst the Intrusions of Popery: With Reasons.

That our Government, Ecclesiastick and Civil, is justified by Adversaries themselves.

That there is nothing wanting to make us happy, if we will our selves: With ways and means to do it.

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