[Page] A KING AND HIS SUBJECTS Unhappily fallen out, AND Happily reconciled.

Being the Substance of a SERMON, With very little alteration Fitted for the Present Time. PREACHED In the Sermon-House belonging to the Cathedral of Christ-Church CANTERBURY. Jan. 15. 1643. Upon Hos. 3. 4, 5.

By Meric. Casaubon, D. D. and one of the then Prebends of the said Church.

London, Printed in the Year, 1660.

HOSEA 3. 4, 5.

For the Children of Israel, shall abide many dayes without a King, and without a Prince, and without a Sacrifice, and without an Image, and without an Ephod, and without a Tera­phim.

Afterwards shall the Children of Israel re­turne, and seek the Lord their God, and David their King; and shall fear the Lord, and his goodness, in the latter dayes.

I Shall make no other division of the words, then such as I finde made to my hand, and any body that hears, may anticipate: In the first Verse, a Sad Desolation (or Subversion both of Church and State) threatned: in the second, a blessed Restitution or Restoration of both promised. For the Children of Israel, &c. a sad Desolation. Afterwards shall the Chil­dren of Israel returne, &c. a blessed and glorious Restitution. The Words, immediately were spoken of, and to the Chil­dren of Israel: that is the Ten Tribes of Israel, separated from the two Tribes, the Tribe of Judah and Benjamin: which adhered unto the posterity of David. The Children of Israel? a glorious title for such Rebels, and Idolators, who at one time had shaken off the yoake, both of their God and of their King. But Titles and Things, do not alwayes agree: we know that by the experience of all ages. So we may call [Page] them Catholicks, who damn all men that are not of their Communion; not for any want of Charity either in their judgments, or to their persons, that they can justly charge them with; but because they think themselves bound to professe against; and their Conscience will not give them leave to joyn with them in their errours. So may we call them Saints: but I will forbear further censure: it is but upon the by; a touch is enough.

Well, but how doth it appear, that by that goodly title, or denomination; those Rebellious Idolatrous Tribes are im­mediately spoken of, or to? First, because most part of this Prophesie doth belong unto them: Ephraim, often here in most Chapters repeated: and that is as much as The Chil­dren of Israel: or ten Tribes. But more especially, be­cause those words of the Text (David their King) manifest­ly allude, or relate, to that breach or division of Davids Kingdom under the reign of Roboam Salomons Son: when the ten Tribes fell off, and constituted another Kingdome, under the Government of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Salomons servant. (1 Kings 11. 26.) These be the chiefest reasons that are given by Interpreters. Though somewhat might be objected, yet I am content it should be so; I will not contend about the Word, imme­diately: so it be granted, that the substance of the Prophe­sie, doth extend to all Jewes, in Generall. Some talk of the Gentiles too; but we need not stretch it so farr. But in ve­ry truth, it being very uncertain what became of those ten Tribes after their Captivity: and whether any part of the Jewes, in Christs time; or even at this day: we should be very much put to it, when we come to the accomplish­ment of the Prophesie, here promised, in the latter dayes: if we do not extend those words the house of Israel (as fre­quently in the Scripture) to the Jewes in generall. To this purpose you may observe, that in the first Chapter of this [Page] Prophesie, though the tenth verse mention only the house of Israel; yet in the eleventh verse, wheer the same matter is prosecuted, both the House of Judah, and the House of Israel are distinctly named. Then shall the Children of Judah, and the Children of Israel be gathered together, and ap­point themselves one head, and they shall come out of the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

The next thing we will take into consideration, which will give more light to the whole Prophesie, and main drift of it, is the Time, either of the desolation threatned; or restitution promised. In the latter dayes; saith my Text, in the last words. It is the opinion of many, that this Desolation be­gun from the captivity of each people, by the Assyrians; of the ten Tribes, under Hosea (or Hoshea as some write it) the son of Ela, the last King of Israel▪ of the two Tribes, un­der Zedekia: the last of Juda: and that their Restitution, the beginning of it, is to be accounted from their returne of the said Captivity, by the ordinance and appointment of Cyrus, King of Persia, as is more particularly related in Esrah and Nehemiah. It cannot be denyed indeed, that at the return of the Jewes from the Babylonish Captivity, they were re­stored to a government of their own, under some Princes, first; and then Priests; enjoyed their first Fundamentall Lawes▪ And that at the same time, the worship of God also was restored. But here is a great difficulty, a main cir­cumstance of the Text, or Prophesie wanting: a King, and that King, David by name. Somewhat is said of Zeroba­bel: he was of the Royal Seed; that is somewhat, but not enough to verifie, the accomplishment of this glorious pro­mise of a King: of the best, and best beloved of Kings, King David. Yet I do not deny, but that the words of this pro­phesie, might have some reference to that returne, and re­storation also. It is the nature of prophesies sometimes, to comprehend different times and events, some more immedi­ately; [Page] some more remotely: if they agree in some one, or two main circumstances, though they do not in all, it may become a prophesie well enough.

All things well weighed and considerd, (not to trouble you with many doubts, and variety of opinions) we must conclude, that both in regard of the Desolation threatned, and the restitution promised; being taken together, as they are here joyned together: the most genuine, full and sa­tisfactory sence will be, to begin the threatned Desolation: (or subversion of State, both Civil and Ecclesiastical) from the last great Calamities of the Jews by Vespasian the Ro­man Emperor, when the City was taken and destroyed, the Temple burnt, Millions of Jews perished: now full 1500. Years ago. So that the most warrantable exposition (and which we shall pitch upon) of the words will be this: The Children of Israel: that is, the Jews in generall; ac­cording to the ordinarie Scripture phrase, not of the Old, but New Testament also, as Luke 1. 16. Acts 5. 21. and elsewhere. Shall abide many dayes: many dayes, God knowes, they have now continued a distinct people, from all other Nations, though dispersed among, almost, all Nations of the World. Without a King, and without a Prince: a thing not little to be wondred at, that being so many and so potent, in some places, as they are reported to be; they should in so many Ages of the World, get no King, no Prince, of their own, in any place. As they have no King or Prince; so no Sacrifice, nor any of those other particu­lars, mentioned here in the Text, which I forbear here to mention, untill we have better enquired into the true meaning of the words. Aftewards shall the Children of Israel returne and seek after the Lord their God, and David there King: that is, they shall turn unto God, repent of their incredulity, and seek after Christ the Messias, stiled in the Scripture, not the Son of David, only; but also David, [Page] absolutely: as by Jeremie, and Ezechiel, in divers places. Him, whom when he came first, and sought unto them, they would not receive: in the Latter dayes, that is, at the end of the World: They shall seek and become Christians: as St. Paul also doth assure us: For I would not Brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery—that blindness in part is hapned unto Israel, untill the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved, Rom. 11. 2, 5, 6. And shall fear the Lord and his goodness: that is, they shall worship God for his goodness, according to that of the Psalmist, There is mercy with thee, that thou mayest be feared, Ps. 130. 4. that is, worshipped, because fear is a principall part, and first Original, as it were, of Gods worship. That is the right sense; but I may not at this time insist upon it.

So you have the most genuine and warrantable sense of the words. Before we proceed to that use, in several Obser­vations upon the words I aim at; we will consider of some expositors, or rather opinions of expositors, upon the same words: as also of some particular words of the Text, which have bred some difficulty.

I told you it is the opinion of some Interpreters, that the promised restitution of the Children of Israel: is to be reckned from their return out of the Captivity of Babylon, and this to be the most literall interpretation of the words. What might be objected, I tould you likewise. This King David, so eminently, so emphatically here promised, must certainly be some body else, besides Zerobabel. Yet I will not deny, but that even in Zerobabel, this prophecy might have some accomplishment: I find most interpreters of that opinion, and that is enough to perswade me. Wherein (by the way (the infinite wisdom of Almighty God, is much observa­ble, so to forecast events from all eternity, that the same words of his Prophets, might both fit the times and occur­rences of the Gospel, so long after: and yet fit the present [Page] occasions and occurrences of those times, and events un­der the law.

Here I cannot but take notice of an objection, made, by Ribera the Jesuite (a very learned Jesuite, as most of that order) against this literal interpretation. For, saith he, Jehojakim, K. of Juda, lived a long time during the Capti­vity: Of whom we reade: (2 Kings, last Chapter, last Ver­ses:) that Evilmerodach, King of Babylon, in the first Year of his reign, did lift up his head out of prison, and spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the thrones of all other (Captive, or Tributary) Kings that were with him in Babylon. And changed his prison Garments: and that he did eat bread continu­ally before him all the dayes of his life. What an objection is this? What shall we make of it? I expected Ribera would have told us, that Evilmerodach had restored unto Jehoja­kim King of Juda, his Royall power and Soveraignty: that he had restored him to his subjects, and his subjects unto him: Then indeed he had said somewhat. But because Jeho­jakim had a bare title, and an empty throne; yea and an allowance for his daily expences (for that also is expressed in the Scripture) vouchsafed unto him, by him that had ta­ken away all his power, and authority: hence to inferr, that therefore the Children of Israel, were not without a King, during the Captivity; whether more strange, from such a one as Ribera; or more ridiculous in it self, I know not. Yet let me say? Such an objection might become well e­nough a Jesuite; that is, a perfect enemy to the power and authority of Kings. I do not deny, but Evilmerodach, was great enough, to make a true King. That honourable Se­nator of Rome, Pompeius Magnus [when Rome was Mistresse of the then known world, but little excepted:] made many that were true Kings, and had the power and authority of Kings, where they did reign, and where constituted by him. But a meer titular King, that hath the pompe and [Page] garbe only, or [...]ay, the allowance, but not the substance, that is the power and Soveraignty; is a sad sight. Not a King according to the Scripture, I am sure, whom we may call, the breath of our Nostrils: of whom we may say; under the shadow of his wings shall we live among our enemies, Lament. 4. 20. Such a King is none of those comely things that wise Salomon did admire. A Lyon which is strongest among beasts: that is the first: a King against whom there is no rising up: is his concluding instance; the last in order, but the first, and chiefest in his intention, as may be gathered by other examples of the same nature. But we have done with this Jesuitical King; as we may call him: Not so much because Ribera a Jesuite doth make this objection; and not any but he, that I know of: but because it is the proper Character of a Jesuite, to be an enemy to the power and authority of Kings.

As to the sense of the words in generall, I have said as much as needs: but there is yet in the words, if more parti­cularly examined, that wants cleering. For the Children of Israel (saith my Text.) Shall abide many dayes without a Prince: and without a Sacrifice, and without an Image; and without an Ephod, and without Teraphims. We made the meaning of the words in generall to be, that the Israelites during the time of their desolation, shall be without any publick wor­ship of God; such worship as was established and com­manded by the law of God; the Leviticall and Ceremoni­all law: as particularly, Sacrifices, and an Ephod: which was a sacred garment: sufficiently known, both, to them that are not unacquainted with the law of Moses. But how come Images, here; and Teraphims; that is, Idols: as par­ticulars of Gods worship? Here Interpreters are put to it. They say (the best shift they can make) the intention of the words is this: That the Israelites shall be without any publick exercise of religion, or divine worship; whether [Page] true, set out by Sacrifices, and the Ephod, ordained by the law: or false and idolatrous, set out by Images and Tera­phims: that is: Idolls. Though this be said by many, (be­cause they know not what else to say:) yet it is strange, and somewhat unlikely to me, that the Prophet should mix true, and false worship, in this manner: God, and Mammon: light and darkness: in one verse without any need. And I doubt, whether it can be made good by History, that the Israelites in generall, who many times were notorious Ido­laters, in the Holy Land; continued alwaies true worship­pers in the Land of Idolaters. I could say more, but I will contract my self, because I reserve my self for somewhat else.

But what if this Idolatrie be but a conceit of Interpreters, some Interpreters: and upon better examination, prove no such matter? First, for the word image, it is granted that the Original word matseba, may as well be translated, an Altar, [and so indeed it is by the old Latin and Greek interp.] or Pillar, intended for a sacred memorial: as Gen. 28. 18. Es. 19. 19. where Altar and Pillar, seem to stand for one thing: both dedicated to the true God: And is it not much more pro­bable, that Sacrifices and an altar, should be joyned; then sacrifices and images? So here is no idolatry in these words. There is more difficulty about the Teraphims: because we have not [as is objected] a president in Scripture, where Teraphim is taken in good sense, for any part of Gods service or any thing that was then lawful, and in use. If it were granted: yet we doe not want exemples in Scripture, of other words; which are taken in some one place or other, in a different sence, from their usual signification. I could instance in many such words, if I thought either time or place seasonable. In some places, it is translated idol; as Gen. 31. in some idolatry: as 1 Sam 15. 23, In some images: as 1 Sam. 19. more then once. Where best Interpreters [Page 9] by images understand an Ordinary Statue or mans picture: not any thing that was unlawfull, or idolatrous. And why not here also, Teraphim being joyned with other good words, in a good sence? But what use of pictures or images in Gods service? Or to religious use? St. Jerome will tell us: both for his antiquity and exquifite knowledg of the originall Hebrew one that deserves credit, as much as any. His words are, Teraphim, proprie [...], id est figurae & simula­cra, quae nos possumus in praesenti duntaxat loco, Cherubim, & Seraphim, sive alia quae in templi ornamenta fieri jussasunt, dice­re. That is, Theraphim, properly certain images, shapes, or fi­gures, by which in this place, we may understand Cherubins and Seraphims, and other such things, that were commanded to be made, for an ornament to the Temple. But to put all out of doubt (and I wonder so many expositors should take no no­tice of it:) Let us interpret Scripture by Scipture, which is generally acknowledged the best and safest way. What is here more largely and fully set out, that is by more par­ticulars: 2 Chron. 15. 3. is thus comprised: but here, by the praeterit, historically: in my Text, by the future, as a prophesie: of the same people, but not of the same men. For the Children of Israel shall abide many dayes, saith my Text. there; Now for a long time Israel hath been: what? without the true God, and without a teaching Priest, and without a Law; their Desolation. The Restitution follows, in the next verse. But when they in their troubles did turne unto the Lord God of Is­rael, &c. The difference is great, as to the matter of the words in the second verse; no Messias, no King David here; but only a restitution in general. But in the first verse, there is no question but the same thing in effect was intended in both places; here more concisely, (as I said before:) in my Text, more fully set out, to wit, that the Israelites had been, in Chronicles: should be in the Prophet, without any publick worship of the true God.

[Page] So now the Text is clear, and the words acquitted of all superstition and Idolatry. An easie mistake. Though in the true nature, or formalis ratio, of true Religion and Idolatry; there is a vast difference: yet in outward appearance, they may come so neer sometimes, that a man had need much cir­cumspection, to give a right judgment. And indeed this is the method that Gods word hath prescribed unto us, in the tryall of Idolatry, before we pass any judgment. Deut. 13. 12, 13, 14. Then shalt thou enquire, and make search: and ask diligently: and behold if it be truth: and the thing certain: then shalt thou, &c. Then, and not till then. And why so much caution I pray? I told you before; it is an easie matter to mistake; there is so much affinity sometimes (externally) between true and false worship. The Jewes once mistook their brethren the Reubenites; and they had like to have made a foul work: much innocent blood was like to have been shed, and a whole Tribe of the house of Israel destroyed. Fierce Zelots would have had it so, you may be sure. But the sober part carried it. They went ac­cording to Gods rule: they first inquired diligently: and up­on diligent inquisition, they pronounced them innocent, and acknowledged them Brethren, whom but a little before, they were in a readiness to destroy, as unworthy to live, as abominable idolaters. You have the story, Josua, 22. The Jewes themselves (in general) for doing no more then what they were commanded by God, observing New Moons; and the like: (as by some very learned is observed) were accounted Idolaters, worshippers of Sun and Moon, by some other Nations that were really guilty of it.

I said before, that it is any easy mistake: but alas! That is not the worst. A bare mistake where there is no other engagement; upon better information may easily be redres­sed. But where interest and worldly ends oblige, if not to believe (for belief is not so easily wrought) yet to criminate: [Page] information will not avail. Say what you will, bring rea­son, bring authority: in despight of truth, though never so manifest; in despight of all Conscience, an Altar or sacred Pillar shall be a prophane Image, and Teraphims must be, shall be found Idols. It is expedient it should be so, reason must yield to profit, and conscience to gain. O this ima­ginary idolatry! How really profitable and advantagious hath it proved in all ages to wordly Wise men? Yet St. Paul had warned us long before; Rom. 2. 22. Thou that ab­horrest Idols, doest thou commit Sacriledge? A man might think, that he had prophesied this of the latter dayes. Noe: long before his time, there were some known Atheists; despisers, by their life, of all Deity and Religion; who ne­vertheless under colour of piety, robbed Churches, (Tem­ples rather) and committed sacriledg, with all licentious­ness. It is hard to be judged, whether Idolatry (the most provoking sin, out of all question, and most inconsistent with true Religion) have done more hurt in the World; or a pretended zeal against idolatry. I am confident, that the idolatrous worship of images (for there it begun, and continued a good while, before it came to these Western parts) hath been a main thing that brought the curse, and judgments of God upon those famous Eastern Churches, where once Christian Religion was in so great splendour and purity. And as certain it is, that Arabs and Mahometans both prevailed at the first, not a little; and to this day up­hold themselves very much, in their abominable Apostacy from Christ, by their pretended zeal against Images, and idolatry. Those miscreants, that think it great idolatry, to see the image of a King stamped upon a peece of money, which Christ saw and allowed of: think it no idolatry, to prefer Mahomet, before Christ; a meer man, before the eternall Son of God; an Impostor, a cheater of men; before the Saviour, and Redeemer of Mankind.

[Page] And what think you of the Idolatry of Cathedralls, and other goodly Churches; erected to the honour of Almigh­ty God, and endowed, for the maintenance of piety and learning; Of the Idolatry of a publick Liturgy, whithout which was never any Christian Church in any part of the World heard of, that ever I could hear, till of late years: but to be short; what of the Idolatry of a Surplice; Church-Musick, Bishops, and the like? Have not Men got, some brave Estates of Lands, by this pretended Idolatry; some good benefices: nay some built themselves stately houses with the very stones which they have bereaved God of? Some write of one of the Popes of Rome, that he should applaud himself with his Mates, and Cardinalls, how much they had gained by this fabula Christi. They indeed (if it be true) very blasphemously, calling that a fable, which we believe, and know a truth, attested by God, with all pos­sible evidences, and demonstrations of sound reason. But much more reason have these men (as it is likely, where they may freely) hug themselves, and make their brags, that they have thrived so well, by this subtle device of pre­tended Idolatry. Be sure of this, there shall never be want of Idolatry, whilst there is any thing to be got, let but time and opportunity serve them: Tythes, Colledges, Libraries, Hospitalls, Corporations: nay rather than fail, the very prayer of the Lord, that holy prayer, (the use of it, I mean, accor­ding to Christs institution) shall be made Idolatry: their goods, if not their lives, shall be in danger that have used it: It will be found such horrible Idolatry.

We have done with our first Observation, upon the sup­posed Idolatry of the words: and all that we have more to do, is but to make some further use, by way of Observation, upon the rest.

The second then, shall be this: that the name and title of a King, according to the Scripture, is both honourable [Page] with God (there is no incongruity in the words: God saith He will honour them, that Honour him:) and is proposed, by the Scriptures, as an object of joy and happiness among Men, in times of greatest distress. No King: no Prince: in the threatned desolation: They shall return to the Lord their God, and David their King; in the promised restitution. It may be some body will say, this King: this David here promised, is no other then the Messias: or Christ himself: the Son of God, no Earthly mortall King. Let it be granted. Is it not a great honour to Kings, and to their office, that Christ the Messias, the expectation of all People, the Re­deemer of the World, is here promised under the tipe, and person of a King? That he was really and literally, of the Royall seed, and linage, and did not despise the very name of a King, King David? This observation might have been spared, had not the impiety and impertinency of other Men, made it seasonable, and necessary. Do not we know how much some Men have endeavoured, to discredit that sacred Name and function: to perswade Men, that a curse lay upon it, rather then a blessing? O how have the Pulpits rung with, Tophet is prepared for the King: and, He shall bind▪ their Kings in chains, and the like? Blessed Scripture, how hast thou been wrested and racked, by corrupt, illiterate teachers; to serve their ungodly private ends? We will not argue the case, from broken loose pieces of Scripture; as the manner of these Men is: there be cleer proofs and testi­monies enough, both from matter of fact; and from positive doctrine; as of the Old; so of the New Testament, to assert this sacred authority: but I will content my self here with what I have said, by way of observation upon the Text.

The third, (or next) shall be: That a King may be at variance with his subjects, and his subjects with him so, that it may proceed to a direct separation: (nay, which is [Page] more [...] this may happen between a good King, and good subjects for the generality: as in Davids case, here na­med, when part of his subjects were drawen from him, up­on pretence of evill government by his Son Absolom, and he forced to fly:) but proceed I say, to a direct separation, and yet afterwards reconciled, to the great joy and satis­faction, both of King and people.

There is no Nation so wise, or so well governed, but is lyable to discord and division. [...], saith our Savious. It must needs, that offences come. Why? Nothing is impossible to God. No: but consider the Nature of Man, in generall; and the nature of the world; this sublunary World, which we cannot expect with reason that God will alter, till the time of its generall alteration come: so it is impossible, that there should not be offences: and where Men are, stri [...]e and contention at times should not arise. It is a high speculation, but which hath much of truth in it, that this World (this sublunary world, I mean still,) doth subsist by contraries, that is, by continual strivings: and those Philosophers had some reason too, if rightly un­derstood, that made [...], that is strife and contention, one of the [...], or Originall principles of the world. Yea such is the nature of man, though he be most happy by peace, and in peace: yet he becomes insensible of his hap­piness, he loatheth it, if he do not want it sometimes, and recover himself to a right sense and judgment, by the con­trary effects, of strife and contention. This made a wise Hea­then say, with some admiration; Quae magna gaudia, nisi ex malis? That all great joyes were the products of great suf­ferings, or sorrows.

Well, a King and his Subjects may fall out, and be sepa­rated. David and his Subjects, were our instance. So for this also, that they may be reconciled. The history is known, in Absaloms case. David was happy, and his subjects happy, [Page] that their division did hold no longer. Yet it is very possible that where the breach hath been longer, and the want of a King longer; if it once come to a perfect and cordial re­conciliation, if not the joy greater, yet the sense of it may be longer. The Prophet intended a very great joy; as great as he could make it, the greatest of the World: the long expected Messias: and this joy he sets out by the joy of a King and People, who after many dayes (so he saith) many dayes divorce, are again re-united. Behold how good and how pleasant it is (saith the Psalmist) for Brethren to dwell together in Unity. Unity indeed, should alwaies be our wish, and our aim: and they that are the causes of division, deserve the curse both of God and man. It is not allwaies true, that Amantium irae amoris redintegratio est. Sometimes a little spar­kle doth kindle a great fire, not to be quenched untill it hath made an end of all. But where God is so mercifull, as after a long breach and gasping condition, to grant a per­fect Re-union and reconciliation: a man had need of the tongue of Angels, to express the greatness of that joy, not here in earth and among men only; but, I am confident, even in Heaven, in the presence of the Angels of God; and all the hoast of Heaven. Hear I pray how pathetically the words of my Text doe run: Afterwards (after that sad De­solation, or separation of many dayes,) shall the Children of Israel returne, and seek the Lord their God, and David their King: and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter dayes. And here offers it self our last observation upon the words: viz. the method of this Returne, or Reconciliati­on. First, they seek the Lord their God: and after, their King. There may be a returne, or reconciliation for meer politick ends, on both sides: It may be they finde, they cannot subsist asunder; and that the continuance of their division, will be the ruine of both. Such an occasion will cause a returne, if they be not infatuated to their own de­struction. [Page] And God doth use sometimes such outward means and inducement to bring us to Himself, and to work us by degrees to a perfect conversion, or reconciliation. How­ever, the truest and surest foundation is to begin with God, acording to the method of my Text. It is God that maketh men to be of one mind in a House, Ps. 68. 16. according to some tran­slations: in a house, much more in a Kingdom. I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil, So God of himself, Esay 45. 7. God then is first to be sought ac­cording to the right method, upon a sure foundation. But what if Men will pretend to seek God, and to return unto God: but resolve to go no further. It is very ordinary for worldly politick Men, to put that cheat upon them­selves, or rather, upon others; credulous, ignorant People. They will affoord us fasting and praying enough, in their kind: and God shall be in their mouths, and Christ Jesus; nothing more. By these fair pretences, they drive on their designes, and thrive by the miseries and sufferings of the publick. To these men, or to them rather that are gulled by them, I shall commend the advice of an interpreter of great fame: John Calvin is the Man. Non frustra (saith he) Hoseas in resipiscentia populi, &c. in English, thus: It is not without great cause, that the Prophet in setting out the repentance of the People, doth also particularly remember (or, relate) their return to David their King. For otherwise the People could not truely and really seek God, except at the same time it did submit to the lawfull government; to which it was obliged, (or, subjected) not by Man, or by chance, but by the appointment of God himself. The last words require a candide interpreta­tion, lest he should be thought to say, that ordinary Kings, that have not such immediate calling as David had, are by chance, or by Men only: which is so contrary to Scripture, and to sound doctrine, that the very Jesuits would exclaim as much wronged, if laid to their charge: though many of [Page] them say little less in effect, and act accordingly, as it is well known. But the Counsel well understood, is very good: I need not to add any thing to it.

So we have done with the Text; the exposition of it, and such Observations, as I apprehended not impertinent to it. These times, and the common talk of all People, might seem to prompt some application. But this is lubricus locus, such a subject wherein a man that will be meddling, may soon go beyond his bounds, and sooner do hurt then good. Though Kings are by God, and we warranted, nay obliged by Scripture, to preach subjection for conscience sake: to de­clare against rebellion, in generall: much more against all killing, or murthering of Kings (O horrible!:) under pre­tence of law; yet since the power and praerogative of par­ticular Kings, is limited and constituted, by the fundamen­tall laws of every Kingdome, approved and confirmed by the assent and consent of successive Kings: in this case, what a King may do lawfully, what he may not, according to law: what opposition in case he attempt, or do any thing against the fundamentall law, may be made according to the same law: by whom, and how farr: these things, as they are out of our spheare, and scanning, as we are preach­ers of the Gospel; so must it be high presumption, in any of our profession, to pass judgments, or indeed, to inter­meddle. So, if the business of union, or reconciliation be in hand, after many dayes separation and division: I know [...] what a loyall Israelite is bound to wish, what to pray, in ge­nerall; but many cautions, and considerations of State, may belong to such a business, to bring it to a good and well grounded issue. They that can judge what is most agreea­ble to the proper constitution, and fundamentalls of a Realm (Lawyers and Sages of the land, as I take it.) They that know what the present condition, inclination, ability, ne­cessities of the people of the land is: what may be done; [Page] what must be borne to prevent further evils, and effusion of blood, (a Parliament as I take it:) I think it belongs unto them, and is their proper work: Let them look to it, as they are accountable to God, and their Country. If they (to whom it belongs) shall enact any thing, to which I cannot yield obedience with a good conscience, that is without dis­obeying God: I may resolve, with Gods assistance, to suffer, I may not to oppose. Yea though it were in my power to do some what, and to disturbe; yet my conscience tells me, it is not lawfull.

This is all the application I shall make: God give us all grace, to apply our selves unto him, in simplicity and synce­rity of heart▪ to depend of him in all things: to seek his glory, and his favour above all things: to whom all honour, glory, power, and majesty:


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