A SERMON Preached before the Honourable House of Commons, January 30. 1692.

By RICHARD BYNNS, Fellow of Trinity Col­ledge in Cambridge, and Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Somerset.

In the SAƲOY.

Printed by Edw. Jones, for William Crooke, at the Sign of the Green Dragon near Tem­ple-Barr. 1693.

Mr. Bynn's SERMON Before the Honourable HOUSE of COMMONS.

January 30. 1693.

ORdered, That the Thanks of this House be given to Mr. Bynns, Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Somerset, for the Sermon by him Preached before this House, at St. Mar­garets Westminster, upon the 30th. Day of January last; And that he be desired to Print the same, and that Mr. Hen. Boyle and Sir Orlando Gee, do acquaint him therewith.

Paul Jodrell. Cl. Dom. Com.

A SERMON Preached before the House of Commons, January 30. 1692.

Isa. 57. The former part of the first Verse.‘The Righteous Perisheth, and no Man lay­eth it to Heart.’

THese Words of the Prophet, are an up­braiding of the Jews, for a Supine Wretchedness of Temper, in being wholy unconcern'd, for the loss of Eminent Good Men: And indeed, such an Insensibility it is, as draws this Reproach along with it, to have for it's Parent, a Prophane Dissolute Age, Reigning in a general Corruption of Man­ners.

And when Impiety comes to this height once, when Vice and Disorder bear a general Sway, what wonder is it, if there be no miss of Vertue, no Concern for the loss of the good Man? The Righteous Perisheth, and no Man layeth it to Heart.

These Words may seem in the Opinion of Learned Men, not so much to refer to the pre­sent Times of Isaiah then speaking, as to those future Calamitous Ones, growing worse and worse, as they still drew nearer the Jews Cap­tivity. And so we may observe these two things worthy of our Consideration.

First, that in evil Distemper'd Times, in a Na­tional Corruption, when it pleases God to call the Good Man to himself, to minish the few Faith­ful from their Corrupter Brethren, it is a sore Presage of an impending Calamity; from which as the Mercy of God delivers the Just, so he Reserves the Wicked for it.

The second thing Observable is, that not to advert Timely, not to consider Rightly, and lay to Heart the Reason of such Providential Dispensation, is a Stupidity so much the more aggravating, as is the Sin and Offence then mostly heighten'd, when the secure Sinner is least touch'd with a Sense of it.

To begin with the First, viz. the snatching away good Men from an evil Generation, is the Fore-runner of impending Publick Cala­mities.

The Righteous Perisheth.

By Perishing here, may be well enough un­derstood, the ordinary way of Dying: But not so, however, as to Exclude any other Di­vine Permission of an untimely violent Death: For so Josiah himself, tho' next to David the most Righteous in the Line of the Kings of Judah, fell in the Day of Battle, by the Hand of the Egyptian too▪ and yet for all that, was he said to be gather'd to his Fathers, and into his Grave in Peace. And indeed Dying as he2 Kings 22. 20. did, in the Love and Favour of God (for his Good Deeds followed him) and receiving by his Death an Exemption, as it were, from ap­proaching Evils, might be well enough said to rest in Peace, because delivered by God from beholding that Ruine, which was intended, tho' not in his days, to be brought upon the House of Judah.

Thus tho' this Righteous Person's Death was Peace to himself, yet was it a Punishment to the People and Nation, from whom he was taken: For he was taken from the Evil to [Page 4] come, that Evil of Desolation so much La­mented by the Prophet Jeremy, when the Line of Destruction was now drawing over the Remnant of Judah and Jerusalem, as it was be­fore over Samaria, and so the whole Body of the Jews made Captives in a strange Land.

Thus if Punishments are Respited some time from a People otherwise ripe for them, for the sake of some chosen Ones, who like Moses, stand in the Gap, and for a while, divert the fiery Indignation; yet upon their Removal, De­struction breaks in afresh.

No sooner was the Righteous Lot escap'd to that little City of Refuge, which God had shewn him, but it rain'd down Fire and Brim­stone upon Sodom, and it's Neighbouring Ci­ties. Had there been but ten Righteous in all the Plain, at Abraham's Intercession, the CitiesGen. 19. had bin spar'd: But for want of so few a Num­ber, did the Flame Consume them.

It is true indeed, it is not universally to be understood, as if the Righteous were always exempt from Temporal Punishments in com­mon with the Wicked, so long as they are in Society with them in this World: For the Relation they bear to a Community, does in­volve them often in the Miseries, as well [Page 5] as the Advantages of a Common-Wealth.

For as the Welfare of Publick Societies, Hu­manly speaking, depends mostly upon the Care and Probity, the Piety, Fitness and Abili­ties of those that Govern: So on the other hand, by rebating of those Vertues, does the Declension of the State ensue. And this the Wise Man assures us (who was the best expe­rienc'd in Politics of any) when he says, thatProv. 14. 34. Righteousness Exalteth a Nation, but withal, that Sin is a Reproach to any People.

Now then, if this latter happens to be up­permost, as where Sin is in vogue, there must be a Decay of Discipline, a Relaxation of Laws and good Order; and if the Hands of those that should bind the severals to their Duty, be themselves weak and hanging down, if the Props and Supporters of Israel be shaken, and a Licentiousness from whatever Quarter, or however caus'd, be suffer'd to pass upon an un­godly People, for more Exemplary Punishment of Presumptuous Sins: It cannot be, I say, Ordinarily speaking, in such a crazy Constitu­tion, in such a Tottering State, but that the Righteous, if there be any, should Promiscu­ously suffer with the Wicked.

For Bodies Politick, have their Judgment in [Page 6] this World: There is no Resurrection of a State, and Consequently it's Doom is by Providence determin'd here. And hence for the Iniquity and Disobedience of a People, for want of ex­ecuting Judgment and Justice, for Idolatry, Profaneness, Oppression, Murder and Rebelli­on, does God Almighty Over-turn Kingdoms, Transplant Nations, as he did the Jews here, leading their Princes and People, their Priests and Prophets into Captivity, to be Chastiz'd and Humbled under the Burthen of their Sins.

The good Man's Lot is sometimes then to Perish with the Wicked, but the Perishing of the one and the other, tho' seeming outward­ly the same, yet has this difference, the one dyes in his Sins, and the other Happily makes his passage to a sure and peaceful Retreat. This Latter is only taken away from the Evil to come, that so the greater Punishment might pass on the Wicked, as it certainly must, when the Godly Man faileth, when the useful Man isPs. [...]2. 1. with-held from doing any longer good to a lost People, Infatuated in their Sins.

It is true, Godliness has the promise of this2 Tim. 4 8. Life, and that which is to come; but by Us Christians, this Latter is most to be Attended [Page 7] to, as giving us a better Light, a clearer Pros­pect of Rewards and Punishments, than any other Dispensation did; and therefore we are in Patience to possess our Souls, not thinking itLuke 21. 19. a perishing to our Loss, if at some times we are, as we think, too soon remov'd from hence.

Neither indeed, was that other Rule of the Mosaic Dispensation, as to outward Tempo­ral Blessings so generally observ'd towards the Righteous, as never to fail them; and yet withal, Reconcileable to it's Promises too, in the reason of such Holy Men as David, who when they enter into the Sanctuary, and con­sult God in his Holy Places, can well enough understand the Perishing of the Righteous, to be a Sign of God's Displeasure to those from whom they are taken, and not suffer'd to live longer with.

Thus it far'd with the Holy Men of Old, Priests, Prophets, Kings and Rulers; many of them as the Apostle speaks, of whom the H [...]br. 11. World was not worthy, by their several Violent Deaths, to be remov'd from some one Perverse Generation or other, that would not be re­claim'd, that so the Evil intended, might after their Days, be brought upon the Wicked.

Thus the Perishing of the Righteous be­comes the Punishment of the Wicked, a Sign of their approaching Destruction. And no soon­er was Josiah remov'd, but Wickedness took it's Loose, Idolatry march'd bare-fac'd through­out the Land, the Temple was Defiled, the true Religion and Holy Worship set at naught, and Iniquity and Profaneness set up by a Law. With good Reason then, the Prophet takes up with the Lamentation of the Valley of Me­giddon, Zech. 12. 11. the Place where Josiah fell, for soon after did the Wickedness of his Posterity, bring on that Captivity, which for his Righteous­ness only, was delay'd before.

And thus I have done with the first Obser­vable, and have shewn you, that the Perishing of the Righteous, is at some times permitted for a punishment of the Wicked.

The next thing to be observ'd, is the not laying to Heart, the not considering rightly of this matter, which was the Stupidity of the Jews, so much blam'd in my Text.

And indeed, this was the most aggravating Sin that could be, not to be mov'd by Exam­ple, to have no Remorse upon the Judgments of God falling round about them: Not to Repent upon the Warning given them by pre­sent [Page 9] Calamities, especially, when they saw the Good Man fall too, the Righteous taken away the Councellor, the able Minister, the useful Helpers withdrawn from a sinking State.

Could they think that God should suffer the perishing of such, and yet let the Wickedness of their Hands escape? Should not such Warning make them Reflect rather, and think their own Hour was a-coming? Or could they think, that God takes pleasure in Wickedness, at least winks at it, and is altogether such as are Themselves? No such Thoughts could happen to any one that had yet any live part, or tender Sense about him: For scarcely is a Man Wicked to an Extremity at once, he comes to it by Degrees, and receives many a Check, before the Habit becomes Confirm'd and Strengthn'd in him: But when he arrives to this pass once, that his Wickednesses have gone over his Head, that he is plung'd, that his Reason is sunk, his Conscience over-whel­m'd, and like the Leviathan in the Waters, can sport himself in this miry Deep, then is his Dis­ease come to its Height, he is so much the more Wicked, by how much less he is Sensi­ble of his Sin.

This is that Security that is proof against [Page 10] all Correction, Deaf to all Advice and Coun­sel, Stubbornly bent upon Evil, and that with­out Remedy, because insensible of that which should work it's change.

Such a Train of ill Qualities, does this Stu­pid and Sear'd Conscience draw along with it: And just such a gross People were the Jews at this time, so setled upon their Lees, as theZeph. 1. 12. Prophet speaks, so lost to all Morality and Re­ligion, as to doubt at length of a Providence, and to say in their Heart, the Lord will not do Good, neither will be do Evil.

And so, no wonder we find this People so fearless of God's Judgments, taking no warn­ing at impending Calamities, no, not so much as laying to Heart the perishing of the Righ­teous, who alone, if any, could have sav'd them.

The Righteous may Perish for all them, and none of these wretches lay it to Heart, the Merciful Men may be taken away, and yet none of them consider that they are taken away from the Evil to come.

And that we may see, these Jews were all of a piece, true Jews still, as hating to be Re­form'd, their Character is found the same throughout both Testaments, and they that [Page 11] stoned the Prophets in the One, are for Cru­cifying their Messiah and King in the Other, a perverse Generation, not to be overcome by Truth or Love, so prevalent over Ingenuous Minds. Oh! Jerusalem, Jerusalem, says our Saviour, when he wept over the unrelenting City, if thou hadst known in this thy Day, the things that belong unto thy Peace! And again, how oft would I have gather'd thy Children toge­ther, as a Hen gathereth her Brood under her Wings, and ye would not! Behold your House is left unto you Desolate. And yet to see how eagerly they drew this Desolation upon them­selves: For it was for that Blood of the Just One, that their House was to become Deso­late, and how greedily did they covet that very Blood? Shall I Crucifie your King? Says Pilate. He stood agast at it, yet the popular Cry was, Crucifie him, Crucifie him. The Hea­then Governor call'd for Water to wash his Hands of this Guilt, he was for making him­self as innocent as he could. But what say the Rabble, the Multitude and the Tumul­tuous? Rather than not have it so, his Blood, say they, be vpon Ʋs and our Children; a heavy Curse, and what sticks to that vagabond Na­tion to this Day.

But leave we now this obdurate unthinking People, and let us come nearer home with an enquiry upon our selves. Certainly we shall find more Relenting here, and indeed it is but fit we should. For we of this Nation, have had our Turn of Calamities, we have seen the Oppression of our People, and have had our share in a Captivity too.

Tho' what imbitters our Cup is, our Capti­vity was of our selves, it was not a Foreign Enemy that did us this Dishonour, but they were Familiars of our own, with whom we took as we thought sweet Counsels; Men of perverse Spirits arising from among our selves, that punished us with a Sword out of our own Bowels.

When the Almighty was wont to threaten Destruction to the unrepenting Jews, he told them, he would hiss for the Fly from Egypt, Isai. 7. 14. for the Bee from Assyria, to speak in the Lan­guage of the Prophet: But alas! We had vi­ler Vermine of our own at home, the Locust and Caterpillar, an Army of inmate Destroy­ers laid wast our Land. And if it might be said perhaps that an open Enemy from with­out, could not have greatly harm'd us, yet will it not be allowed, I fear, that we had not [Page 13] power of our selves, and that we would not use that power too, to our own Destructi­on.

Indeed that power we had, and too sensibly did experience it; if that be our Glorying, we may Glory; but it is in our Shame, and Con­fusion of face should attend us for it.

This very Day reminds us of our Humilia­tion for those past Transgressions, and it is by public Authority made a standing Law to our Israel, that once a Year at least, we should be­wail our former Captivity, and Repent us of those deadly Sins that occasion'd such a Na­tional Calamity,—Deliver us from Blood-guil­tiness, O Lord, that of this Day especially, thou that makest Inquisition for Blood: Thou that sayst Num. 35. a Land is Defil'd with Blood, be Merciful unto this Land of ours, so staind as it is, not with vulgar ordinary Blood, which yet was too dear to be pour'd out like Water, but with that of our Princes and Nobles, and what is most Astonish­ing, even that of the Lord's Anointed, our late Slaughter'd Sovereign himself.

And must this Land still Mourn for Blood then? Without an Attonement and a deep Re­pentance, it must do so.

But have we not already Repented long [Page 14] enough? May some say, what! Still the old Saw of a returning Fast?—Ye Men of Israel, Ye Men of the Sanhedrin, Ye have given us Laws and Ordinances that are not good. Not good in­deed, to those to whom they are grievous; and so the Statutes of the Almighty himself are not good to a Rebellious gain-saying People, hardn'd in their Impiety, unrelenting for their Sins, and impatient of coming to an Acknow­ledgment of their Faults.

And if there can be found any such amongst us of that unhappy temper, to them truly the Statutes and Ordinances of this Day are not good: But then it must be confess'd, that it is their own Wickedness, their own Impeni­tence that makes 'em so.

If the Law of Moses would admit of no Sacri­fice for wilful Murther; for who so sheddeth Man's Blood, by Man shall his Blood be shed, ye shall Gen. 9. not in any wise take Satisfaction for a Murther, Numb. 35. 31. says the Law: Is it a great thing then for us, when even the most heinous Murthers (and I think that of this Day must stand by it self alone without Parallel) find Remission in the Blood of Christ, the cleanser of all Sins whatever, conjoyn'd with a true Com­punction and Sincere Repentance: Is it a great [Page 15] thing then, I say, since we Christians have a Provision now made, a Sacrifice ready to offer, to adjoyn our Tears, our Sorrow, our Confessi­on of what we have done amiss to provoke God's Wrath against Us? Is it a great thing to melt a little into Tenderness and Compun­ction, to bend our stubborn Hearts, to bruise and soften them a little with the Discipline of this Day? What are we afraid we shall be too Repentant? We shall overdo in Duty? More than Compensate for our Crime? Forgive this once that excess to us, never was better fault committed.

But why do I Quaere about the Day, as if we could be Sick of it? Since that were an Argument against the Sincerity of our Re­pentance, since it would seem as tho' we car'd not to remember our old Sins, and not so old neither, since within Memory of Men still living. Not remember the Murther of this Day? Why, the Decree is perpetual to that very end, it never should be but Re­member'd; and for this Reason I take it, that never the like Fact a second time be done again.

If then our Repentance does not come up to this, perhaps it were as good as none, a [Page 16] prevaricating Repentance, a Repentance it self to be Repented of.

No! The Piety and Loyalty of our Senate upon the joyful Turn of our Captivity, when Peace began to dawn upon us after a dark night of affliction; when our Ancient Laws and Constitutions began to revive: When Liberty truly so call'd, and Religion reform'd from Rage and Enthusiasm, regain'd their for­mer Lustre and Settlement, when the Crown and the Church Establish'd (and may it be ever so Established!) When Moses and Aaron were in Credit and Authority with a Repent­ing People once more: Then it was, I say, that the Piety and Loyalty of our Senate, ma­ny of whom are now present in this Honou­rable Assembly, as they concur'd in their joy­ful thanks to the Almighty for his wonderful visiting us with Blessings, after the time that he had pla [...]ed us: So did they lay to Heart likewise, look back with anguish upon those crying Sins that brought God's Judgments so heavily down upon this Kingdom, and by as publick a Sanction as the Crimes were publick, enacted this Day of Humiliation, for the averting God's Anger, for imploring God's Mercy and Forgiveness to us of Sacred and [Page 17] Innocent Blood, that it might not be visited upon 12 Car. 2. l. 30. Manby's Collect. Ʋs or our Posterity.

But I must not forget to distinguish what our Loyal and worthy Patriots have done al­ready to my Hand: I must not Confound the Innocent with the Guilty. We were not all of us Sons of Corah, not all Embark'd in the Ruin of a Flourishing Church and Monarchy; not a Quarter part of the Nation (I mean those that knew what they were a doing) did give their Suffrage or Approbation to that Horrid Pageantry of Injustice, that Murther­ing High Court by which our Sovereign fell.

No, the Infamy is given where due, to a part, to a Faction, to some Armed Traitors, who when they had forc'd from themselves the King, and then the Lords, and then the bet­ter and honester part of Themselves, sat a Jun­to by their own Authority, because they had Power, and thence sprang that Notorious Ordinance, that Law of King-killing, never before heard of, nor I hope, ever shall be in this Land again.

And that it was so, I cannot bring better Authority, nor more Pathetick words, or better Sens'd, then I find in the Act of [Page 18] Attainder of some Guilty Persons of this Day.

By this Horrid Action (i. e. the Murther of12 Car. 2. our Late Sovereign) I Repeat the words of the Act, the Protestant Religion hath receiv'd the greatest Wound and Reproach, and the Peo­ple of England the most insupportable shame and Infamy, that was possible for the Enemies of God and [...] the King to bring upon us: Whilst the Fanatic Rage of a few Miscreants, who were as far from being True Protestants, as they were from being true Subjects, stands imputed by our Adver­saries to the whole Nation.

And did we then give our Adversaries this advantage against us? Did our Sworn Ene­mies take occasion from hence of Magnifying themselves against us? Did they upbraid us for being better Masters in the School of Trea­chery, than were themselves?

Nay, did we chuse to gratifie them so far, as to be doing their own Work for them? And what they were desirous we should do—Ay, there, there, so would we have it, might they say, never better harvest for Popery, [...]s. 35. 25. than now. And it is all one to an Enemy, which way the Design be brought about, whether by his own Skill, or others being Instrumental for him.

And it is for such reason, as I take it, the 30th. of January stands in our Calendar a Me­morial, and as much a Witness against those Factious Anti-Monarchical Men, as that other of the 5th of November against that daring Popish Impiety.

They both aim'd at the Public Ruine, tho' the one happily miscarry'd in the At­tempt, the other as unhappily took Effect, and it was then their Power of Darkness. Luke 22. 53.

If Popery be then so highly Detestable; if Arbitrary Power be so justly odious, why should either of them find room for practice with them, who say they hate them? If Ar­bitrary Power be so dangerous in the Prince, why should it not be deem'd so in the Subject? in a popular Junto too?

For Popery is still Popery under what Guise soever it appears, in what place soever found, and to kill Kings, and to teach Subjects to do so, is as errant Popery as any in the Court of Rome; as on the other hand to take away Life, Liberty and Property, without respect to Conscience and Equity, Rule of Law, and the known Justice of a Nation; is surely, I should think, as Arbitrary a piece of Tyran­ny, as any can be found in France.

If we then object these things to our Ene­mies,1 Sam. 13. 20. why do we not keep our selves free from their Contagion? It is true indeed we may go down, like the Children of Israel to the Phi­listines1 Sam▪ 13 [...]0▪ forge to whet our Weapons, and it is a Stratagem well enough, supposing we attack the Enemy with them: But for shame, let us not bring the deadly Armory to our own home: Let us take the Enemy at whatever Advantage we can, but have a care of practising these Wiles upon our selves: Otherwise we are doing their own very work for them, we are opening a Breach that they the better may come in.

Thus when the Roman Army was beleagu­ering Jerusalem, (at the time of the Desolation foretold by our Savior) as we learn from Josephus there were a sort of Zealots in the City, that did them more Service than all their battering Rams besides; by the help of this Faction it was, that the Jews became a Prey to the Roman Conque­rors: Nay, tho' they could Repel the Enemy as often as they pleas'd to unite themselves, yet up­on a Respite, when one wou'd think they should be taking breath, and preparing for a new At­tack, what do they do but employ that time in Civil Wars among themselves?

Thus the Roman Army by looking on only, [Page 21] if they had not struck a blow, might have carry'd the Town, while the Jews were Con­quering one another, to make themselves the easier Booty to their Enemies.

We had our times of Zealotism too, and what the Miseries and Confusions then were, this very Day is a sad Remembrance of. We can undoe our selves 'tis true, we have try'd it once already: But for God's sake let not the Enemy ever have Advantage of us by a second Attempt of that Nature, for if ever the Romans do come to take away our Place and Nation, which God forbid, I wishJoh. 11. 48. it may not be by the help of Home-bred Divisions, by private Animosities, Secret Jea­lousies, and particular Interests going contra­ry to the Public Good.

And I can't tell how, there never were any Broils where Religion had not it's share too, be there Reason for it or no, no matter, it makes a noise, and serves for an excellent pretence to cover Villany with.

Some have an unruly Zeal, too much, it is too strong for them: Others have as little or none at all, Some are Religious, even to a Nicety and Scruple: Others are never so much as troubled with Niceties at [Page 22] all: Some have the power of Religion, and that's well: Others have the form of it, and they think that's better, and it may be some others there are that have neither Power nor Form, and they think it best of all: For these latter upon occasion can serve with any Zeal or Religion afoot: Can be as Strenuous Assertors, and as violent opposers as if it were all Truth and good Earnest, when still there is something of Self, lurking at the bottom, something that does not appear at present, but may do afterward, that gives the first Spring and Motion to all.

Thus that good-natur'd thing Religion, that harmless simplicity, that well-meaning Since­rity, that inoffensive Dove, that Universal Charity that believeth all things, hopeth all things, thinketh no ill its self, and therefore cannot easily think ill of others, is for that Reason liable to the abuse of those who by cunning Craftiness lye in wait to deceive, and so the intention of the Religious, tho' at first it means well, yet by the Crafty Manager, of­ten Terminates in a quite different end from what the purpose was.

And so it far'd with a great many well-meaning People, in the beginning of our late [Page 23] unhappy Wars, who never thought things would have come to that pass as they did, or if they had thought it, would for ever have kept their Scruples in their own Breast.

A Caution then this is to us (for what has been may be) to have a Care of the begin­ning of things, least when we have set them a foot, and have put them out of our pow­er, we cannot, tho' we would never so wil­lingly, recall them back.

Rather let us bear with some things tho' supposedly inconvenient, if there be no Sin in them, than by an over-fondness of Inno­vation when it is unseasonable, Date the be­ginning of some new Deformity, rather than the mending of what we suppose Defective.

And think not the worse of me, if I speak the Sense of the Blessed Martyr of this Day; in wishing you to think well of the Piety and Prudence of those that have gone before: Those Reformers who as they were duly Qua­lified, and Regularly call'd, had time to Debate Calmly, to weigh Impartially, and settle or­derly Matters of Religion, the Benefit of which we still enjoy, did we know our Hap­piness: And when we are well enough (to speak with the least) we should be very sure [Page 24] of an Advantage, before we venture upon a Cha [...]ge.

Zeal is a good thing 'tis true, and Com­mendable, when according to knowledge, and in a good Matter as the Apostle speaks; Other­wiseGal. 4. 18. to his sad experience, he knew the Dan­gerousness of it, and in nothing repented himself so much. For Zeal if blind, is a sort1 Tim. 1. [...] 3. 1 Cor. 15. 9. of Wild-fire, that burns madly, and scatters its flame at Random; it sets the Church on Fire at first, and then the State: And so the Flame that proceeds from the House of God, Devours at length all the Houses of the Land too.

Zeal then for the Matter of it, must be always good, it must be directed to a right end, and proceed to that right end by Just and Equal Measures too; for we must not Rob for God, may I say, neither must we Murther Kings for the sake of Religion.

Another Qualification of Zeal is, that aMr. Mede Discourse 52. Man does not exceed the Bounds of his Vo­cation. Art thou called to be in this or that Station? Says the Apostle, abide in thy Voca­tion1 Cor. 7. let not thy Zeal Transport thee beyond the bounds of Duty; God Almighty Loves to be serv'd Regularly, he is a God of Order, and not Confusion,

No doubt, it was a Zeal in Ʋzzah, to put [...] Sam. 6, 7. his Hand to the Ark, to hinder its suppos'd falling; yet was he smitten with Death; for this Reason, because his Zeal exceeded his Vocation, in medling with what according to a Law of God, was the Business of the Priest alone.

'Twas a Zeal in Saul perhaps, to Sacrifice1 Sam. 13. 9. in the Absence of Samuel, but the loss of his Kingdom to his Posterity, taught him, he had much better have let it alone.

St. Peter's untemper'd Zeal, cost our Lord a Miracle to heal the Damage of it, and those two Disciples, no doubt in Zeal too,Luk [...]. 9. 54. when they were for calling for Fire from Heaven, upon the Samaritans, received a suf­ficient Rebuke from our Saviour, when he told 'em, ye know not what Spirit ye are of.

I cannot tell what to say to others, but me­thinks, I cou'd give my self this Advice, I my self cou'd learn this Lesson well enough,Office for Gunpowder Treas [...]n. never to stand up for an Armed Gospel, to turn Faith into Faction, and Religion into Rebellion, as one of the Offices of our Church has it.

From this untempered Zeal, managed by an unlucky Faction, was the Source of all our late Blood-shed and Rebellion, which brought on the Death of the King, and the Destruction of an Excellent Monarchy, the true 12 Car. 2. Protestant Religion had so long Flourished un­der.

And can we be too watchful of our selves, to prevent the like again? Can we lay to Heart sufficiently the Mischiefs already done? If we can, we should learn at so great cost, to be so far wise at least, as never to undo our selves by the same Methods again; never by Sinning over the same Sins, endanger the same Reproach and Calamity to Our selves and Nation once more.

If Religion plaid the Counterfeit once, we shou'd take care it shou'd do so no more; if pretended Zeal shew it self in outrage before, it should know its boundaries now.

We may give what Names we please to things; yet in their own Nature, they are what they are, and tho' we Banish 'em ne­ver so, they still recur; Truth will be Truth, and Error, Error, notwithstanding the ill Treatment of the one at sometimes, and the [Page 27] Colour and Speciousness of the other. Religi­on must be, what it is; first pure, and then Peace­able, the Ornament of a Meek and Quiet Spi­rit, the best good thing, and most perfective of Man's Nature, and best fitted for the Well­fare of Human Society; as making always for Peace, and things wherewith we may edifie one Rom. 14. 19. another.

If it shew it self Turbulent and Disorderly, it is no longer Religion than in Name, it be­comes a Sword in the Hand of the Revenge­ful, a Trick to amuse with in the Juglar, and no other than Rage and Madness in the wild Enthasiast; but all this by accident, and through abuse of the best thing, by Distemper'd Passions of Licentious Men; upon which Score it is, our Saviour says, he came not to send Peace upon Earth, but a Sword, but Division and Variance, ev'n of those of a Man's own Mat. 1 [...] 34. Luke 1 [...]. [...]1 Houshold: Not directly sure; for there is no such ill in the Nature of Religion, but through the Corrupt Will and Affections of unruly Men, in which he foresaw what the event wou'd be.

If the Corruption of the best things then, be thus Dangerous, what Care and Caution [Page 28] should we use against all such Inlets of De­struction, all such Appearance of Evil, tho' Recommended to us by an Angel of Light? Wou'd we then truly lay to Heart all our by­past Miseries, Oppressions, Tumults and Desolation, usher'd in by this false Light, and pretended Zeal for Religion, the better to Cloak over a Malicious War? Wou'd we rightly Consider, the Sins and Wickedness that occasion'd the Perishing of so many Righteous of our Israel, especially Him of this Day, our Late Martyr'd Sovereign, a Martyr for the Law, Liberty and Religion truly so; nay a Martyr of the People too, whether they will or no? Would we do all this? There is no better way of Commend­ing our Repentance, than by bringing forth Works meet for it; such Works as shou'd shew a thorough Change.

If the Fountains which sent forth bitter Wa­ters before, do now send forth sweet and whol­som Streams, we have nothing more to fear. If we stear a quite different Course now, avoiding the Rock of Offence, at which we struck before: if we leave off our Old Sins: and tho' we heartily lov'd 'em once, can [Page 29] now as Heartily pray in the Language of our Church against Sedition, Privy Conspiracy and Rebellion: If in stead of Wrath, Hatred, Malice, Evil-speaking, &c. Those Lusts from whence Wars proceed; We are able to put on Gen­tleness,St. Jame [...] 7. 4. Meakness, Charity, Long-Suffering, Patience, forbearing one another in Love, &c. then is our Work of Repentance in a great Measure Accomplisht; then are we said to be Adorn'd with that peaceable Christian Spirit; to partake of that Wisdom from above, James 3. 17. 18. full of Mercy and good Fruits, without Par­tiality, and without Hypocrisie; the Fruit of which Righteousness, is sown in Peace of them that make Peace.

If we come thus far, the Remaining part is easie, and flows as a Consequence from the former Vertues, viz. a Submission where due, a ready Obedience to Authority, a regard to our Superiors, an awful Reverence to Crown'd Heads, a Dutiful Subjection to their present Majesties, whom God has set over us, ev'n in the Race and Lineage still, of that Glorious Martyr, we now Com­memorate.

This indeed is laying to Heart our for­mer Sins and Iniquities, when we can leave of speaking Evil of Dignities, and ev'n in this Our Day at least, cease to Disturb the Ashes of that Good and Religious Prince, who fell by His People's Sins. It was our shame, not his, and shall we not then take away that Reproach from us?

If our Repentance be Hearty, we cannot furely either our selves be still Reviling of his Memory, or have an Itch and Pleasure in those that do—but I must have done.

And for a better Farewell, shall direct1 Tim. 2. to one right use of Religion especially, and that is, according to the Apostolick Canon, to Exhort that Prayers and Supplications may be daily made for Kings and all that are in Authority, that we may lead peaceable quiet Lives in all Godliness and Honesty. You see the Reason of the Apostle for this, that we may lead peaceable Lives in all Godliness and Honesty; Obedience to the State, has an Influence upon the Church and Reli­gion too. They naturally help one the other, they either fare well or ill toge­ther.

In a Word then, let us Conjoyn what things the Apostle has Conjoyn'd, and why should we separate them? Let us put to­gether in our practice, what St. Peter has1 Pet. 2. given us together in his Precept, and That is, Let us fear God, and Honour the King.



PAg. 12. l. 12. read we; p. 20. Marg. dele 1 Sam. 13. 20. p. 24. l. 2. read Change.

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DR. Pelling's Practical Discourse on the Sacrament: Octavo.

—His Sermon before the Queen, March 16. 1691/2. Quarto.

—His Sermon at the Bishop of Chichester's Primary Visitation, Sept. 28. 1692.

—His Practical Discourse of Prayer in Octavo, Price one 1 s. Bound.

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