A SERMON PREACHED UPON APRIL xxiii. MDCLXXX. IN THE Cathedral Church OF BRISTOL, BEFORE THE Gentlemen of the ARTILLERY-COMPANY, newly raised in that CITY.

By SAMUEL CROSSMAN, B. D.

LONDON, Printed for Charles Allen, Bookseller in Bristol. 1680.

To the Right Worshipful and Much Honoured, the Gentle­men of the Artillery Company, newly raised in Bristol, by the favourable allowance of his Sa­cred Majesty.

Gentlemen,

YOur voluntary undertaking this honourable loyal Exercise of Armes, is in order to render your selves thereby the more useful to your King and Countrey.

That Government which preserves us (that it may so do) must be inviolably preserved by us: And certainly 'tis a great Debt and Duty which we all owe to it.

'Twas long since the wonder of an ingenious Platonist,Max. Tyri­vs [...], &c. Speaking of Man, says he, Oh God! the Creator of all things, what a strange, temerarious, rash, unmanageable kind of Crea­ture is this which thou hast placed upon the earth!

We may resolve his Riddle, and answer as Solomon, Eccl. 7. 29. God made man upright at first [Page] But ever since the wretched Fall of our First Pa­rents, all manner of Distempers and ill humours are like the Sons of Zerviah, too hard for us; and even inherent in our corrupt Natures.

Experience shews us,Jam. 3. 7, 8. all other Creatures are and have been tamed by Mankind; but (as holy Scripture observes) we our selves remain still in many things too unruly.

The All-wise God hath given us the har­mony of Government (as David's Harp in Saul's Case) to charme this unquiet and evil Spirit; That we might go the journey of life, not as Savages but as Men. And (which is far more) as the professed Servants of that God, who is not the Author of confusion,1 Cor. 14. 33. but of peace, as in all the Churches of the Saints.

My Endeavours have been, inoffensively to strengthen so Divine a Concern in this ensuing Sermon. As your desires occasioned the compo­sing of it at first, and your importunities the publishing of it at present; so You must now please (such as it is) to accept of it from,

Gentlemen,
Your cordial and very humble Servant, Samuel Crossman
2 Kings XI. 8.‘And ye shall compass the King round about, every man with his weapon in his hand; and he that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain; and be ye with the King as he goeth out, and as he cometh in.’

IT hath been very well observed by a judicious Authour, though the Case is scarce either minded or regarded as it justly deserves,Plutarch. [...]. In the whole compass of humane life there is not any one thing of greater impor­tance and value toward our true welfare, than a due consistence with publick Go­vernment.

Which mov'd a modern Writer as po­sitively to conclude,Danaeus. Nusquam periculosius a [...] hominibus erratur, quàm in Politicis, Men ne­ver err more dangerously, than when they happen to dash against the true rules of Civil Society.

Other errours may be personal, unhap­py [Page 2] to our selves, and there they cease; but these, as Phaeton, attempt to fire the whole world; as Achan, they trouble all Israel.

Our late times have prov'd too clear a Comment upon so sad a Text: wherein the insolent extravagant fancies of some few, brought in confusion upon the whole.

Then was that joyless Scripture written in large Characters, in letters of blood, he that ran might read it; [...] 3. 5. The Child then behaved himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable; then were the people oppressed every one by another. And the foot of that doleful Song was still of the same Tune,Jud. 17. 6. and like the rest, In those days there was no King in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. The Text offers very fair to obviate these great evils, and may serve as a Divine Antidote to prevent our relapsing any more into them.

The words are part of a very memora­ble History. For our better understanding whereof, we may take notice, 1. Of the action it self here on foot, The security [Page 3] of the King and Kingdom. 2. The Conjuncture of time when, Upon a hap­py Restauration. 3. The Person chiefly managing this great affair, Jehojadah the High Priest. 4. The means and man­ner whereby he carrieth it on; and they are both Divine and humane.

1. The action it self here on foot, The security of the King and Kingdom: A high Concern! The preserving the Ship wherein we are all imbarqu'd. A loyal care for the support of Govern­ment, the Subjects, as well as the Sove­reigns safety. A Concern so essential, that the Roman Oratour (and indeed all experi­ence as freely) tells us, Neither Family nor City, neither People nor Country, neither the Heavens nor the Earth, can any of them subsist without it. He that faithfully stands by Government, shews himself a friend to his own safety, as well as a true Liege-man to his Prince.Lam. 4. 20. Gods anointed, and the breath of our nostrils, they may be two distinct Periphrases, but they both make up but one and the same Per­son in Scripture account. Our loyalty to [Page 4] him, is at second hand a kindness to the breath of our own nostrils.

The Government thus zealously own­ed in the Text, is that of Monarchy. [...], as the Philosopher calls it, The first, the ancientest, the noblest, the divinest Form of Government upon the face of the Earth. In the time of the Patriarchs, in the time of the Judges, in the time of the Kings of Israel the titles might and did vary; but 'twas still a real visible Monarchy. The bright I­mage of Gods Government over his Crea­tures, The Kingdom is the Lords, and he is the Governour amongst the Nations.

Upon which account the Ancients paid so great a veneration to it.Plato. [...]. When we see a King amongst his Subjects, we may therein behold a prospect far more divine, a less but lively Pourtraicture of the Ce­lestial Empire. It fairly brings to mind the regency of Almighty God over the U­niverse.

Now as to their fidelity to this Go­vernment. The Text would have that [Page 5] demonstrated in their utmost care for the person and safety of the Governour. In this sense the meanest Subject may be truly said to be one of his Sovereigns Life­guard, most highly concern'd in his pre­servation. If we would strengthen the house,Psal. 75. 3. we must not weaken him that bears up the Pillars of it.

We have here no news of that traite­rous Position, Taking up of armes by the Kings Authority against his Person. The Lover of his Prince is not here run down in a popular fury as a dangerous Malig­nant. The faithful Royalist is not here sequestred and sentenc'd as a Criminal Delinquent. We hear of no specious hypo­critical crying up the well-affected Party, or the Good Old Cause; the more easily to oppress, the more invidiously to bring in­to contempt any that should dare (though never so modestly) to owne our fundamental Laws and Government.

The Text is of a far different Genius; serene and regular, deliberately issuing out a legal Commission of Array for the just defence of King and Kingdom. The [Page 6] truest Patriot to his Country bears as true Allegiance to his Prince: what God and right reason have so nearly joined toge­ther, he dares not morosely put asunder. He understands not, how bad measures toward the Pilot can ever become good offices to the Ship. The Relate and Cor­relate (in all true Polity as well as Na­ture) either live or dye together. God save both King and Kingdom.

2. We have the Conjuncture of time, when this great transaction happened, up­on a most welcom restauration. The Case was briefly this, Athaliah the Daughter of Ahab becomes married to Jehoram King of Judah: upon his death Ahaziah his Son succeedeth in the Throne. He being slain by Jehu, Athaliah his Mother (an am­bitious idolatrous Woman) destroys all the Seed Royal that She could any way come at, and for several years usurps the Crown. Most unnaturally verifying that of the Poet,

Saevus Amor docuit natorum sanguine matres
Commaculare manus.

Whether it were by Sword or Poyson, or [Page 7] by what other means this wretched wo­man procur'd the death of these Children (many of them her Nephews and near Relations) is not express'd: but plain it is, 'twas most impiously and inhumanely done. Per fas per nefas, is the great Ma­xime of State whereever Ambition reigns. While the rightful Prince chuseth to pro­ceed by methods of clemency and gentle­ness, the Tyrant or Usurper swims com­monly through Seas of Blood to his de­sparate Designs.

Athaliah's aim was to cut off the right Line of the House of David. More par­ticularly, all that descended from that pi­ous good Prince Jehosaphat, (her own Husbands Father) whose Reformation She had so highly stomach'd, and now thrown down. Never did the most vin­dicable Reformation want its Enemies, or the most treasonable enterprize some Bigotted Zealot, some blind Devoto to en­gage in it.

But behold, after she has waded thus far in blood, she begins now (like Pha­raoh and his Chariots) to sink in this Red [Page 8] Sea. Never did Treason thrive long with the Traitor. The rightful Heir is still safe, survives the attempts of malice, and is brought with triumph to enjoy his own. Jehoshebah the daughter of king Joram sister of Ahaziah, 2 Kin. 11. 2. took Joash the Son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the kings-sons which were slain; so that he was not slain. There is a God in Heaven that takes care of Princes here on Earth. The rage and i­maginations of the people against him and his Anointed, they are but vain, suc­cessess things. Pharaoh may give strict charge to destroy the Children of Israel, but Gods Moses is even miraculously pre­served, that he might be King in Jesurun; Herod may murther the Infants in Bethle­hem, but the Lords Christ escapes his bloody hands.

The Text exemplifies the Case with a living Joash, England illustrates it with a living Charles, after all the various snares of death so often contriv'd and laid for both.

And now the day dawns apace, the Restauration becomes conspicuous, They [Page 9] brought forth the kings son,2 Kin. 11. 12.they put the Crown upon him, and they made him King. The Ar­chers shoot sore, yet the royal Bow abides still in strength. Thus signally does the Providence of God baffle and triumph o­ver the Conspiracies of men.

We might modestly challenge the trea­sonable Plottings of most Ages in the lan­guage of the Prophet, Surely this turning of things upside down is but in vain. The Stone which the Builders refused, becomes neverthe­less the head of the Corner.

At this posture were the present Affairs of Judah: Joash (far beyond all humane expectations) brought as another Isaac in a Figure from the Dead, restored with Honour to the Throne of his Forefathers. All their former confusions now fairly end­ed, the Land orderly settled,vers. 12. the people clapping their hands, and saying, God save the King.

And so we come to the third, The per­son chiefly instrumental in bringing about this eminent, this desired revolution. 'Tis pity that good actions should stick in the birth for want of some willing hands to [Page 10] assist, and facilitate their being brought forth.

No doubt, there were many Worthies in Israel, heroically appearing in so just, so generous, so publick a concern. The A­gent we find chiefly mentioned in the Hi­story, is Jehojadah the High Priest.

Jehoshebah, she has the honour of shelte­ring the King under his first and most im­minent dangers. That God that has the whole world at his command, chuses what instruments he will please to work by. A weak woman (as you have already heard) acts so noble a part towards the preserva­tion of the whole Kingdom.

She was both Daughter and Sister to a King; and now Wife to this Jehojadah the High Priest: which gives us occasion of calling to mind that passage of Pharaoh, when in token of further favour he would chuse a Wife for Joseph his prime Minister of State, he gives him Asenath the Daugh­ter of Potipherah Priest of On; supposing (as it seems) a Match into such a Family no disgrace to the greatest Peer in his whole Kingdom.

[Page 11]Such was Jehojadah, venerable in his Function, and as honourable in his Rela­tion, Uncle to the present King, Brother to the former, an eminent pillar both in Church and State all his days. He lived in this unspotted piety an hundred and thirty years, and died as he lived, still laden with fresh honours. For the sake of this and many other his great services to the Pub­lick, he was solemnly interred amongst the Royal Sepulchers of the Kings of Judah, 2 Chron. 24. 16. And they buried him in the City of David among the Kings, because he had done good in Israel, both towards God and towards his House.

Men and Brethren, would to God you could bear with me a little in my folly, and indeed bear with me, if I say, The Priesthood has been (as you see) highly esteemed in elder times, how contemptible soever it may seem to many in these late disingenuous days. Sa­cred and prophane History are both unani­mous in this. Our reverence to God will manifest it self in our respects to his Mini­sters. He that truly loves the Master, will not be very forward to despise his Servant.

We find Jehojadah Privy-Counsellour to [Page 12] Joash: Nor was it amiss either for King or Kingdom. If he had a potent hand, he had also a successful hand in the admini­stration of Affairs: which the holy Ghost is pleased to take a particular notice of, to the honour of those happy times, and so to leave it upon record for the instruction of future Ages,2 Kin. 12. 2 And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all his days, where­in Jehojadah the High Priest instructed him.

Now if Princes out of reverence to such ancient Scripture-Precedents (no bad Co­pies for any to write after) if they have seen meet in these later days to continue somewhat of this practice in their Coun­cils, here seemeth no matter of grievance or offence given to any. Nor needeth our eye be evil, where the eye of God is good.

Sure we are,Orat. ad Pontif. Cicero valued it as a nihil prae­clarius, &c. he thought they had nothing more noble in the whole oeconomy of their Government than this, That their Priests were highly honoured, and persons whose joint assistance was always so re­spectfully taken and made use of in the arduous affairs of their State.

[Page 13]Nor was it so much personally for their own sakes, but rather for the sake of the Sphere in which these men stood, that wise and sage Governours saw cause to conferre such signal tokens of honour upon them.

It seems to savour very much of unkind­ness or prejudice, to labour the deprecia­ting of so sacred an Order. Had the com­mitting of any Civil trust or power into such hands, been so prodigiously irregular or dangerous to Government (as some would censure it) certainly Almighty God would never have given that express charge, which we find he did to Israel, The Priests the Sons of Levi, Deut. 21. 5. whom God hath chosen to bless in his Name, by their word shall e­very controversie and every stroke be tried.

The Kingdom of Judah had now for se­veral years lain under a most horrid Apo­stasie and Usurpation; Jehojadah restores the King to his Throne, and (together therewith) Religion also to its true ancient state. It had been prostituted to all abo­minable Idolatries; 'tis now most happily recovered to pure original institution, Je­hojadah appointed the Offices of the House of the [Page 14] Lord by the hands of the Priests, 2 Chron. 23. 18. the Levites, whom David had distributed in the House of the Lord, to offer the burnt-offerings of the Lord; as it is written in the Law of Moses, with rejoycing and with singing, as it was ordained by David.

The Usurpation over the State was not without a depravation of Religion in the Church. They are commonly both in­volv'd in the same Fate. The Case before us is a lively instance of it. The return of Joash, the right Heir to the Throne, is im­mediately crown'd with the re-establish­ment of the true state of Religion.

And all this so acceptable throughtout the Kingdome, that 'tis said, All the people of the Land rejoyced; 2 Chron. 23. 21. and the City was quiet. So happy are the consequences of a right settlement in Church and State: all is then at a kindly rest, fairly repos'd in its proper Centre. Cursed be he that would disturb so just a joy, or disquiet so good a peace. May England long enjoy this dear, this sa­cred blessing; and let all the people say A­men.

4. We have the means whereby Jehoja­dah carried on the whole; and they are in [Page 15] part Sacred and Divine, in part Martial and Military.

1. Sacred and Divine.2 Kin. 1 [...] 12—1 [...] Jehojadah admi­nisters to the King the Coronation Oath, solemnly anoints him, and delivers the te­stimony of the Law into his hands: which Book (as the Jewish Writers relate) was to be always, and in all places present with him. If he went out to War, that also went along with him. If he sate in Judgment, that was constantly laid before him. That he might consult with it as with the Oracle of God, to direct him in all his ways.

'Tis Religion that is the true Jachin and Boaz, the strength and stability of any Kingdome. The Tragedian could easily observe, Ubi non est sanctitas, pietas, fides, instabile Regnum est. Where piety and ver­tue die, the Kingdom it self dies also with them.

God forbid, we should be careless of that which (through the Divine Blessing) is to be our best and chief support. Have we any principles of honour? any good will to publick welfare? ought that may [Page 16] become the dignity of humane nature, or the sacredness of Christian Profession? Oh then instead of this common curst way­wardness one against another, let us unani­mously pluck up generous resolutions, to do every one what in us lies for retrieving (what we all seem to long for) solid, pra­ctical Christianity; the hearty exercise of all moral vertues, all Christian Graces, that England may yet flourish, and Religion be­come indeed a praise amongst us.

Most will seem, as Judas, to kiss, though too many rather betray this sacred interest. Religion is high, and little understood. There may be much of popular humorous­ness, too much of fulsome, stubborn con­ceitedness, and yet too little of real genu­ine religiousness.

The Weavers Shuttle may serve in his Loom, the Shoo-makers Last may be of use in his Shop; but when the common People must needs turn Dictators in matters too high for them, and take the Chair in the Divinity-Schools, the issue generally proves like that in Exodus, They turn presently out of the right way, they make but calvish Gods, and [Page 17] (as Aaron complain'd in that case) they shew themselves set upon mischief.

The Reformation of the Text is more august and solemn. The service of the Temple in its just decency and order; Scri­pture peaceably practis'd, though not liti­giously or absurdly canted and talked of.

2. The second sort of means was Mar­tial and Military, Every man with his weapon in his hand. The insolencies and mischiefs had been so notorious under the late usur­pation, that Jehojadah sees it needful to pro­vide the stronger Guards for his Princes safety now.

These Arms were said to be David's,2 Kin, 11▪ 10. gi­ven by him, and now laid up in some Chambers of the Temple in a readiness, as any occasion might afterward require. Sanctus Rex post partas victorias, Peter Mar­tyr. Arma sua vo­luit esse Deo consecrata; Holy David after his many atchievements and victories, conse­crates his Armes to God. Thus he had laid up Goliah's Sword with Ahimelek the Priest long before. These he dedicates as Trophees for honour and instruction: for honour to Almighty God, the supreme Deliverer; for [Page 18] struction to men, that they might the bet­ter preserve the history and memorial of Gods great goodness.

The charge of these Guards was both offensive and defensive. 1. Offensive, He that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain; that is, he that thrusteth himself beyond the appointed bounds, he that rudely rush­eth within the Centries, nearer the Royal Presence than may consist with the safety of the Sovereign, let him be slain. There is a distance to be observ'd, as well as a re­verence to be paid, in all our approaches to Majesty.

2. Their ultimate charge and service, was the defence of the Kings Person. In Nature, the hand or arm upon any dan­ger offers it self of its own accord to shel­ter the head. In Government the Case is still parallel; The loyal Subject sees no such way to preserve the Body, as by be­ing truly careful for the head.

Upon this account, David's Worthies, though they cared not how far they jeo­parded themselves, yet they could not bear that their Sovereigns Person should [Page 19] come within the least shadow of danger, Then the men of David sware unto him, 2 Sam. 21. 17. saying Thou shalt go no more out with us to battel, that thou quench not the light of Israel. Lo here their piety as to their Prince, lo here their prudence as to themselves. They easily concluded the Eclipse of this Sun in their Horizon, would be darkness to all Israel. The smiting this Shepherd would be no less than the scattering of the Flock.

In this respect his most religious faithful Subjects thought it no flattery to tell him elsewhere,2 Sam. 18. 3. Thou art worth ten thousand of us. In a theological sence, the meanest of David's Servants, had a heaven-born, immortal Soul as well as David, and there­in of the same equal price and value in the sight of God. But in a political sence, Da­vid's single life weighs more than many thousands of theirs. The Person of our Sovereign must be sacred with us.

Gentlemen, I shall not now affect to exer­cise you with any further discourse in mili­tary language from the Pulpit. There is a [...], a decency proper to the Church, a decency proper to the Field. All things [Page 20] are most beautiful in their own places.

Neither shall I Classicum canere. 'Twas but ill with England, when our Pulpits sounded at that thundring rate, Curse ye Meroz. By such specious fallacies the poor unstable multitude were conjur'd up into an open Rebellion against their lawful Prince. By such Bellows were the flames of our bloody wars too much blown up. The Christian Ministers work is more gen­tle; the preaching up of peace, the sweet­ning the minds of all one towards another. That all meekness may be shewed to­wards all men, especially towards those whom God hath set over us. Others may be for fierceness, unadvisedly calling for fire from Heaven; but nil nisi mite suadet Evangelium, the Gospel pleads for a more sedate calmness and candour of spirit.

I confess, as one well observes, Expert Souldiers and good Armes,Tacitus. they are in Pa­ce Decus, in Bello Praesidium, our Ornaments in Peace, our Safety in War. But still the Christian Souldier looks upon War as the means, Peace as the more desired end. War, though in some cases both needful [Page 21] and lawful, 'tis yet to him as so much Phy­sick, always sharp: he esteems Peace as health; of a far sweeter relish, and much more welcome to all.

He wants not valour. When ever just occasion calls for it, he could cheerfully say to his Prince, as David to Saul, I will go and fight with this Philistine; and yet so mild in his own habitual temper, that the same David's Motto is as truly his,Psa. 120. 7. I am for peace.

Your appearance here upon this auspici­ous Day, The Kings Coronation-Day. as it is by virtue of Royal Autho­rity, and with your voluntary avowing all faithful Allegiance; so is it in it self high­ly honourable, the fair expression of a ge­nerous Loyalty in this great City. The more valuable, because so eminently sea­sonable. While we hear of Plottings a­gainst the Government, and dangers to his Majesties Sacred Person, it well becomes every true-hearted Subject (by a noble an­tiperistasis) to shew the greater zeal for both.

And I hope your regular forwardness herein may prove a happy Precedent to other Parts; That it may be said of the [Page 22] King of Great Britain, He is King of hearts, as well as King of persons: Or as of Solo­mon, Behold the valiant men of Israel are about his Throne, they all hold Swords, being expert in War; every man hath his Sword upon his thigh, that the Government might be at the bet­ter safety from all danger.

And now, Men and Brethren, while we occasionally thus name the word, we must become afresh in love with the thing it self. Oh the happiness of England's Go­vernment! Here (if any where upon the face of the Earth) here's the easie yoke, the light burthen.

A Government of that rare ballance and temperament in the State, that Prerogative and Property even kiss each other.

Altius egressus coelestia tecta cremabis,
Inferius terras.

Loe here one of the fortunate Islands indeed, a temperate benign Climate, most com­fortably habitable, fairly situate under the true Aequator, at just distance both from the torrid and frigid Zone. While the Sovereign sits upon his Throne in the brightness of Imperial Majesty, the [Page 23] meanest Subject may as truly sit under his Vine and Fig-tree, enjoying his own with security, peace and plenty.

A Government of so impartial Refor­mation in the Church, that it dares owne the venerable Antiquities of primitive and purer Times; and yet as zealously reject the absurd inchroachments and corruptions of later Ages. A Reformation, so clearly subservient to all good ends; so careful to nourish us up with wholesome food, the words of sound Doctrine; so ready to furnish us with the means of Grace, (soberly and truly so call'd) that if our design by Reli­gion be (what it ought to be) nakedly to save our Souls, we may then in all quiet Communion with the Church of England, pass fairly to Heaven, as the Traveller who goes his whole journey in a pleasant sun-shine day.

God hath not dealt so with other Nations; nei­ther have they such confortable freedome in Gods ways. Your selves, who have many of you travell'd into Foreign Parts, and have seen the sad circumstances of poor Peasants there, your selves right well know it. And [Page 24] we may all of us gratefully sing as David, The lines are fallen to us in pleasant places, Psal. 16. 6. and we have through the Divine Providence a goodly heritage.

I could not but offer you this memorial for your encouragement from the excellen­cy of the Government: A Government most highly priz'd by others abroad, O let it not be as unworthily despised by us at home.

I might as pathetically adjure you from the common miseries (scarce ever to be for­gotten) under our late want of it. A Sub­ject fitter for tears than words. The de­sire of all good men that it might for ever sleep in the deepest silence, did not the noise of our present distempers and dan­gers awake it, that it might fairly give warning to all.

Then was that Scripture-Lamentation so mournfully reviv'd, Wo is us, the Crown is fal­len from us. Then were the barbarous assaults against sacred Majesty so common and da­ring in almost all places. First in Effigie, At one place the eyes in the Statue of King Edward VI. insolently plucked out, with this [Page 25] absurd, villanous taunt, All this mischief came from him, in his establishing the Book of Com­mon Prayer.

At another place, the Crown upon the Statue of our late Sovereign contumeliously mangled by the rude Souldiers Swords. Then the Regalia, which had been laid up with all care and safety through the succes­sive Reigns of so many Kings; The Roy­al Crown, wherewith our Kings were u­sually crown'd; the Robes, the Sword, the Scepter of King Edward the Confessor, all forcibly plucked out from their reposi­tory by a pretended order, and after ma­ny most unworthy and unmanly abuses (far beneath humanity as well as loyalty) offered to those ancient (I might almost say awful) Ensigns of Sovereignty, this base Sarcasm was thrown out in way of scorn, There would be no further use of these toys and trifles.

After these ominous Praeludia in Effigie, then follows, Quis temperet à lachrymis? then follows the real Murther and Martyrdom of our Sovereign himself in his own Per­son; with whom fell likewise this ancient [Page 26] and flourishing Government. Then was the Royal Family it self proscrib'd and scat­ter'd. Our Nobles, who had been brought up in Scarlet, many of them forced then to embrace the Dunghil. Then were the Fields and Scaffolds so often stain'd with noble and loyal bloud. Then were heard those heart-breaking groans of so many ru­ined Families; the deep sighings of poor Widows and Orphans, bewailing the loss of their dear Husbands and Fathers, de­stroyed and cut off for no greater crime than paying their just duty to God and their King. Property (the choicest flower in the Subjects Garden) was then violent­ly torn up. Antient and indefeasible E­states arbitrarily taken away and sold. The whole course of the Law, and Magna Char­ta it self, forced to strike sail to the bound­less power and pleasure of some new-rais'd Committee.

En quò discordia Cives! See, see, what I­liads of misery our discords and tumults brought in upon us! We would needs then violently remove our ancient Land-marks, and we became thenceforth inevitably ex­pos'd [Page 27] to all this series of common calamity.

Nor was the Church less tragically pas­sive on her part. Our Books of publick Liturgy, compil'd with so much decent gravity, adapted with so much care and prudence to general edification, confirm'd and recommended so often by supreme Authority; became nevertheless the com­mon subject of prophane sport and disdain to the Genius of those licentious times.

The blessed Sacraments (the very seals of the Covenant of Grace, the richest trea­sures in all Christian Religion) fell then under a supine neglect and contempt. These fair Temples dedicated to the high­est ends and uses that such Structures are capable of, the Service and Worship of Al­mighty God, his Bethels, his peculiar Houses here on Earth, the Tabernacles of solemn meeting between him and his people; were then nevertheless in a kind of rage and phrensie more wretchedly defaced within the space of very few months, than many years are or will be yet able to re­pair.

Our Cathedrals in some places (to the [Page 28] great affront even of Religion it self) turn'd into beastly Stables. In other places into Gaols, for poor, cold, starving, loyal priso­ners; and no fewel allow'd them, so long as the curious carved Wainscoat of the Choir afforded any.

The Statue of our Saviour in stone be­ing espied at one Cathedral, no fewer than forty Musquet-shot were discharged at it, and high triumphing who could hit the head or face. The Ornaments, costly Ves­sels and Plate of the Church sacrilegiously ravaged and torn away.

At another Cathedral, the Chalice for the holy Eucharist being snatcht up as spoil of more than ordinary prize, some entreaties were modestly made that it might have been spared, and restored for that sacred use; but they received no better than this churlish answer, They might serve that turn in a wooden dish.

Neither might the holy Table it self, where the Sacrament of the Body and Bloud of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is administred, escape its share in these in­dignities; although for modesty sake, that I [Page 29] may not contaminate any civil ears, I must forbear the relating of them.

But alas! what are these Buildings of stone, these dead (though curious) Fabricks, in comparison of the Living Temples, the Ministers of God? 'Twas they who drank so deeply of this bitter Cup; and might now weep upon an unexpected account be­tween the Porch and the Altar.

The great City of London, and the lines of that Communication, may be too true a witness in this unwelcome Case: where in a short space of time far above an hun­dred reverend learned Divines (the flow­er of England's Clergy) were most illegal­ly and unworthily turn'd out of their Mi­nistry and lawful possessions, they and their families, to irreparable ruine.

Then followed that numerous seque­string of the Clergy in almost all Parts. the ejecting and silencing such vast multi­tudes of worthy able Ministers. A Case that even astonish'd many Churches a­broad, what England was then a doing, how these violences against Religion, and the Ministers of it, could possibly agree with [Page 30] (what was so much then pretended) the promoting of the Gospel.

Your selves may possible remember this place was not without some deep sufferers in that kind. One instance (adjoining to our very walls) offers it self too appositely to this sad Subject. I am almost at a loss whether to suppress or relate so woful a story: Bishop Howell, a Person to whose memory all good men (who had any knowledge of him) will ever pay a very high respect and honour; he being in the time of our late Wars Bishop here, his E­piscopal and Personal Estate both taken from him, himself with his Wife and a nu­merous Family of nine or ten Children in the Palace, She lies in; but those who had pretendedly bought the House, to make sale of the Leads, uncover the room where­in She lay in Child-bed; So that the rain and weather beating in (and it may be a mixture of grief together with both) She becomes carried from her Child-bed to her Bed of Clay. Nor might this suffice, affli­ction is further added to the afflicted. The distressed, disconsolate good man must [Page 31] next be dragg'd forth: He catches hold up­on the Staple of the Door, loth (as it seems) to lodge in the Fields, and scarce knowing how or where to shelter his now poor motherless family. With this struggling he lingers some few days in the house, and in less than a fortnights space, overwhelmed with these indignities and sorrows, he dies also, and so retires to God and Heaven as his truest asylum, his safest retreat from all these oppressions.

So far were the very rights of humani­ty, as well as the ancient laws of the Land, and (which is far more than either) the sacred Precepts of Christian Religion, a­bandoned by the phrensies which we were then distemper'd withal. Tantum Religio po­tuit suadere malorum. 'Twas grown with some almost a Point of Religion, to be in these Cases inhumane and irreligious. Scarce any thing but might be then allow­ed, save only what the Law it self requi­red, what our just duty to Gods Anointed and his Church obliged us to perform.

But I must break off (though never so abruptly) from this unpleasing Theme. [Page 32] Far be it be from us to take pleasure in ex­posing the wretched miscarriages of those joyless times: The remembrance of them may be instruction to all, delight to none. He that is truly sensible of his deviations then, will modestly say, (as in Job) I have done iniquity, but will offend no more.

The only end why these things have been thus mentioned is nakedly this, That we might hear and fear, and do no more so wicked­ly. Small rushings against Government, may by degrees bring on far greater and sorer evils than we can at first foresee. That may be the unhappy end of the acti­on, which was not the real intention of the Agent. No doubt, in our late confusions, many abhorred at first what was yet done at last. But those ill actions being once set on foot, could not be so easily stopt; they ran on to those fatal mischievous con­sequences which became an astonishment to all. I confess, we are easily flatter'd into irregularities, by fond presumptions that we could presently make all things much bet­ter. Our project, forsooth, (if we might but try it) would infallibly heal all. But such [Page 33] counsels prove commonly (as the Historian has observed to our hand) Primâ specie laeta, Livius. tractatu dura, eventu tristia. They may seem to begin briskly, but soon after they drive on (as Pharaoh's Chariots) more heavily, and they always end most miserably. Thus Absalom in his hot-brain'd insurrection men­ded the matter very fairly, by ruining both himself and multitudes with him.

Whence it is that the wisdome of God tells us,Prov. 17. 14. The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water. We open Pandora's Box. We let loose an unruly Element. Where­as our care should rather be, not to stir those floodgates, lest we be drowned in the torrent. God hath graciously spoken peace to us, O let not us return any more to such folly.

It were a noble posture for every man wisely to stand upon his own guard, and not to suffer himself to be weakly impos'd upon, or speciously drawn aside from his just duty toward God or man. There are divers opinions and courses, which upon sad observation are found to breed much fond conceitedness of our selves, an uncha­charitable [Page 34] disesteem of others, a morose sowrness of Nature, a rash cenforiousness of Superiours, and a dangerous pragmatical­ness in all our ways. For Gods sake, e­ven for Gods sake, let not any of your Souls come into those Secrets, imbibe not such feral opinions. They are as Circe's Cup, and will intoxicate. The Distemper once flown up into the head, will certainly produce irregularities in the life.

I must conclude. Gentlemen, You have willingly offered your selves to serve the Government. You cannot but have a deep sense of the manifold blessings we all enjoy under it; the woful distractions we were all exposed to by the late violences offered to it.

In Gods name, stand by this Govern­ment. 'Tis well worthy your highest va­lour, well worthy your truest fidelity. Modesty it self may say, as that pious man long since,

Haec tibi sola salus ejus servare salutem.Nic. de Cle­ma [...]g.

Our welfare is apparently bound up in the welfare of the Government. There needs no more, under God, to make us a happy [Page 35] people, than honest endeavours, every one in his proper place, for the faithful admini­stration of it, whether in Church or State. This may our Divisions hinder. This might our love and harmony promote. We need not then fear what Superstition could do against us on the one hand, or Faction on the other. He that fixeth up­rightly with his duty, may safely bid defi­ance to all the attempts of Men and Devils.

Put on, I beseech you, as good Christi­ans, and good Englishmen, a generous large­ness of spirit. 'Tis a counsel no way to be despised, Alteri vivas oportet, si vis tibi vivere. Seneca. We must comport in a vertuous nobleness with the publick, if ever we desire it should be truly well with our selves in private.

'Tis the excellency of humane life (says the Royal Philosopher) when man has learned a real dexterity,Antoni [...] [...]. When we have learn'd our true postures of conversation, so that we dash sullenly against none, but demean our selves with amiable and just observances towards all, Rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.

[Page 36]And this might be honourably done, non amittendo fidem, St. Gregor. sed oftendendo pietatem. Such a well tempered carriage would be no be­traying our Religion, but a fair approving our selves to be (what we profess) persons truly religious. We are not less thine, O Lord, for being faithful Subjects to thy Vicegerent, or dutiful Children to our Mother, thy Church.

Long may the Crown of David flourish, long may the Rod of Aaron blossom: May those that have ill will at Zion, be as the grass upon the house tops, which withe­reth before it groweth up. But let all those that love thee, O Lord, and thine A­nointed whom thou hast set over us, let them be as the Sun when he goeth forth in his might; and the whole Land blessed with peace and rest to all Generations.

Now unto him that is the Lord of Hosts, and yet King of Peace, be Glory in the Church through all Ages. Amen.

FINIS.

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