[...] Nov. 1680.

ORde [...] [...] of this House be re­tur [...] [...], for his Sermon ye­sterday [...] House at St. Margarets, and that [...] the same: And Mr. Speaker is [...] use to give him Thanks, and to [...] of the House to Print his Sermon.

[...]. Goldesborough, Cler. Dom. Com.

A SERMON Preached before the HONOURABLE House of COMMONS, At St. Margarets Westminster, November 5. 1680. BY HENRY DOVE, D. D.

LONDON, Printed by M. C. for H. Brome at the Gun, and Benj. Tooke at the Ship in St. Paul's Church-yard, 1680.

A SERMON Preached before the HONOURABLE HOƲSE of COMMONS, At St. Margarets Westminster, Nov. 5. 1680.

Psalm 64. 9, 10.

And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God: for they shall wisely consider of his doing.

The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him: and all the upright in heart shall glory.

THAT this Psalm is a Prayer of Davids for preservation of his Life from fear of the enemy, we are assur'd from the title and the first verse: And if that rule of Interpreters hold good, That where nothing is new in the Title, there the Ar­gument is the same with the foregoing Psalm, we may probably infer, that it was indited by [Page 2] the Royal Prophet, when Saul and his associates sought his life.

However it be (for Expositors are not agreed about it) without any force to the Text, or any part of the Context, we may fitly apply it to the Publick Solemnity of this day, wherein we are assembled to magnifie the providence of God for his memorable deliverance of the King and Kingdom from the bloody designs of Popish Traytors, and to implore his goodness for the continuance of his favour to our present Sove­reign and the whole Nation; to give him thanks for the great things he hath done for us already, and to pray for the final defeat of the like hellish Plots against us. This is a day which the Lord hath made, let us rejoyce, and be glad in it: nay, this is a season which he hath once more sig­naliz'd, let us pray and sing praises to the God of our lives. And what great reason we have to re­joyce in his Providence, and glory in his Power, and trust in his Goodness, will be evident from the words when applied to the day: for it is most remarkably of his own making; he hath made it his, by a miracle of mercy; And all men shall fear and shall declare the work of God, for they shall wisely consider of his doing: and he hath made it ours by a return of duty; The righteous shall be [Page 3] glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

In the words we have these three general parts.

I. An Act of God; something of his doing.

II. Its Effect upon men in general: All men shall fear, and shall declare, &c.

III. A special Duty resulting from it, incum­bent on good men: The righteous, &c.

I. I begin with the first, as the ground of all the rest: An Act of God, which is twice men­tion'd, called The work of God, and His do­ing: The expression is doubled, to make it at once more certain, and to bespeak our obser­vance of it: But what that work was, and by what means accomplished, we must learn from the precedent verses. The Psalm (as I said) is a prayer of Davids for deliverance from his ene­mies, with a description of their intended cruel­ty, and a prediction of Gods judgments on them. His enemies were strong and powerful, but God was omnipotent, and in Him was his help and trust; they design'd his utter ruine, but God turned the mischief upon their own heads. And that we may see how great a deliverance God wrought for him, let us first consider what they plotted against him. In the description we [Page 4] have several characters of their rage and cruelty, and as many intimations of his danger.

1. Their secret counsels and midnight con­trivances, [ver. 2.] Hide me from the secret coun­sel of the wicked; for so usually all Treasons and Conspiracies begin, in private Combinations and clandestine Plots: And though it be true of all sins, that they are works of darkness, yet Treasons most of all hate and avoid the light, being hatch'd in the dark recesses of wicked hearts, and promoted by secret Meetings and Consultations. But their malice was too great to be long conceal'd by darkness it self, and there­fore it soon broke out,

2. Into open Rebellion; for so it follows, [ver. 2.] Hide me from the insurrection of the work­ers of iniquity: that's the next degree of their mischief and his danger: They that harbour Treason in their hearts want only an opportuni­ty to act it with their hands; and when men are engaged in wicked Conspiracies, they are soon drawn on to open Insurrections: They that dare imagine evil against the King in their Bed­chamber, will not stick to countenance Rebelli­on against him in the Camp: For the malice of Treason, like fire conceal'd, will either find or force its passage. So their secret counsels here, [Page 5] were soon formed into an Insurrection, and the heat of their rage kindled the flames of Rebelli­on.

3. In their slanderous reproaches and unjust insinuations, ver. 3. They whet their tongue like a sword, and shoot out their arrows, even bitter words: This is the usual Prologue to all Traytorous de­signs, to calumniate the Government, and speak evil of Dignities, to reproach the one and make it odious, by traducing the other, and render­ing them contemptible: They shoot out their ar­rows, intimating the number of their slanders; for such will be sure to say enough, that some­thing at least may be believed: Or if their re­proaches be too gross to find credit, then they rail and discharge bitter words, sharpned with spight and envenomed with malice, and these they dart in private suggestions and crafty insi­nuations, ver. 4. That they may shoot in secret at the perfect, suddenly do they hit him, and fear not. And when they have infected others with this poison of asps that is under their lips, we soon find 'em in the next place

4. Met at their private Cabals, to animate the Traytors, and carry on the Treason, ver. 5. They encourage themselves in an evil matter, and com­mune of laying snares privily: For Treason is usually [Page 6] an underground work, and as far as possible is brooded in the dark; mischief is the design, and secresie is the midwife to bring it to the birth, and no means unattempted lest it should prove abortive; which is a further description of their designs, and his danger.

5. Their great industry and diligence, ver. 6. They search out iniquity, they accomplish a diligent de­sign: There is not a more active Principle in the world than malice, nor any malice more de­vilish and busie than that of Rebels: 'Tis the Devils malice that makes him restless, and Re­bels have so much at least of his temper, that they leave no stone unturn'd which may carry on, or accomplish their mischievous designs: and hence they are fitly stiled in Scripture, Sons of Belial, i. e. of the Arch-rebel.

These are the characters which David gives us of his enemies within the compass of this short Psalm; and a true description of all their succes­sors, such as are enemies to Kings, and Traytors to Governments: and when we have put 'em all together, their secret counsels and their bare­fac'd Rebellion, their malicious slanders, and their deep-laid Plots; and all these acted with unwearied diligence, and restless industry, we need no further proof of his enemies designs, and his danger.

[Page 7] But in the midst of all these dangers, and in the height of their expectations the good man looked up to God, and foresaw his own safety, and their ruine, ver. 7. But God shall shoot at 'em with a swift arrow, suddenly shall they be wounded. God who hath set up Kings, will defend 'em; He that called David his Anointed, did preserve him; He that has said, By me Kings reign, has thereby entitled 'em to his protection: And that it might appear that his rescue was from Hea­ven, that both his deliverance and his enemies destruction was Gods own Act, he has men­tioned two circumstances, which I shall briefly consider as most applicable to the case before us.

1. The suddenness of their destruction. And 2. The manner of the discovery, and preven­tion of his danger.

1. The suddenness of the destruction; sud­denly shall they be wounded. When they were in the height of their hopes, priding themselves in their well-formed Plots, and secure of the suc­cess, he that searched the secrets of their hearts and knew their treachery, blasted the design, and rendred all their contrivances vain and fruitless. The suddenness of events does usually enhance the wonder, and when things most im­probable [Page 8] and unlikely are brought to pass in the twinkling of an eye, when men least think of 'em, and have no reason to expect 'em, 'tis a plain intimation that some more than ordinary cause concurr'd to their production, and the finger of God is clearly visible in such surpri­zing and unaccountable events. When the Is­raelites were delivered from Babylon after a te­dious restraint, and all of a sudden sent back to their own Country in peace, as the joy of such an unexpected return almost amaz'd 'em. When the Lord turned again the captivity of Sion, then were we like unto them that dream, [Ps. 126. 1.] they could scarce believe it to be real; so they right­ly concluded [ver. 3.] The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we rejoyce. Such sudden events are beyond the power of ordinary means, and must needs be concluded to be Gods own work. And so the sudden destruction of the wicked in the midst of their prosperity, and when they think themselves most secure, is a manifest proof that it is the Lords own doing. To see fearless sinners baffled in an instant, and sunk into confusion when they think of nothing less, is an undeniable argument that it was an omnipotent arm which smote 'em. And it qui­eted David's doubts of the equity of Gods pro­vidence, [Page 9] when he saw the wicked brought into desolation in a moment [Psal. 73. 19.] To be­hold them flourishing to day like a green Bay-tree, and to morrow dried up like the Fig-tree cursed by our Saviour, makes it notorious and plain, that they were blasted with a breath from Heaven. So perish'd David's enemies, whereby it is evident it was Gods own work: And so was it

2. From the manner of the discovery, and the prevention of his danger, ver. 8. They shall make their own tongue fall upòn the head of themselves. Intimating, either that the mischiefs which they had devised for others, should return upon themselves; or that their own tongues should be made their own betrayers. The first is the Psalmists common observation of the wicked, and of the equity of Divine Justice in their pu­nishment, that they are taken in the snares which themselves had laid, and are fallen into the pit they had digg'd for others. And the other is as certain (though not so common) that the wicked are oft made the revealers of their own secrets, and the contrivers of mischief are the betrayers of themselves. And both are argu­ments of an over-ruling power in such mysteri­ous events, and manifest that it is Gods own doing.

[Page 10] And thus have we seen what work it was that David here ascribes to God, namely, the destru­ction of his enemies, evident to be his doing, more especially by the suddenness of their ruine, and the manner of the discovery, and preventi­on of his danger. And the case suits well with the occasion and the day, wherein we escap'd as great a danger, by as strange a deliverance, and that from God too, and of the Lords own doing; which will plainly appear when I have paral­lel'd the forenamed circumstances with the sub­ject of this days solemnity.

I shall not need to describe the greatness of our danger, when I have but mention'd the horror of this days Treason; how the King and Prince, with the whole High-Court of Parlia­ment were all marked out for slaughter, to be blown up alive, and involv'd in one common death without a minutes warning: And 'tis not hard to imagine, what tyranny and usurpa­tion, what oppression and blood-shedding had ensued, what unspeakable misery had been en­tail'd upon us and our posterity, to the loss of our liberty and fortunes, to the change of our Go­vernment and Religion, to the continual haz­zard of our lives, and of all that at present we peaceably enjoy: which was all certainly in­tended, [Page 11] though by the infinite mercy of God, it was never executed. A design so cruel, that they who cannot but abhor it, if true, would wil­lingly persuade themselves and others, it is false; and we are forbidden to trust our ears, because we did not see it with our eyes. 'Tis hard, that they who lay the greatest stress on Tradition, should not allow us to believe one, especially of a matter of fact, of less than fourscore years, and within the memory of some now living: But what will not they deny, who cry down the Bible it self, and vilifie the testimony of Gods holy Spirit, when it makes against them? For unless the several publick Records of the King­dom, and the joynt consent of our deceased Fa­thers, unless the confessions of the Traytors themselves, and some of their own most credit­able Wtiters; nay, unless our own senses at this very day, and our fresh experience of the like damnable designs, can be all suppos'd to deceive us, a Conspiracy no less certain than barbarous, as firmly to be believed as heartily detested by all that wish well to our English Israel, and re­nounce those ungodly Principles, which coun­tenance or defend such unchristian and bloody practices. I know rhere are few (if any) that hear me, unacquainted with the story of this [Page 12] days Plot; and therefore I shall leave it to your memories to run the parallel between David's Conspirators and these Traytors, in the secresie of their Counsels, designs laid deep as Hell, and black as utter darkness, in the maliciousness of their calumnies and imbitter'd slanders, in the insolence of their insurrection and bold-fac'd Rebellion; and in their industrious sedulity to carry on their Treason, and an unquenchable thirst after blood and ruine; to all which they wanted only success to make 'em the most matchless villains that perhaps ever trod on the earths surface.

But he that sits in Heaven laugh'd 'em to scorn; the Lord had them in derision: What David foresaw, God himself reveal'd, by disco­vering the Treason and confounding the Tray­tors: which happy discovery gave birth to this days joyful gratulations, to praise the Lord for his goodness, and declare the wonders that he doth for us the children of men. To which as the proper matter of this days duty I hasten, when I have first briefly evinc'd, that this was also Gods own doing: which will be more evident from the same arguments, wherewith David manifested the destruction of his enemies to be Gods own work.

[Page 13] 1. From the suddenness of their destruction. When there was but one night between us and ruine; and e're the next Sun had set, the whole body of this flourishing Kingdom had either bled its last, or fainted with the loss of its best blood; when the Treason was ripe for action, and nothing wanting to the execution but only stretching out an hand to fire the fatal train; when the Traytors grew big with hopes, and altogether fearless of disappointment, God shoots at 'em with a swift arrow, and suddenly they are wounded. They had posted themselves in several quarters of the Kingdom, looking for destructi­on; and it came so effectually on themselves, that as they did not suspect it, so they could not possibly avoid it. Their designs were so near the issue, that their Confederates at a distance be­liev'd 'em done; and so nigh was our danger, that we might truly say with David, [1 Sam. 20. 3.] As the Lord liveth, there was but a step between us and death. But God who rescued Isaac from the knife and the fiery pile, withheld That terri­ble Blow, and made them the sacrifice to their own merciless cruelty, delivered us from the fire, and made them the offering, consuming 'em in a moment by their own wickedness: For 'tis no new observation that several of those re­bellious [Page 14] accomplices, who had prepared the fa­tal Pile, were first scorch'd and afterwards slain by the direful effects of that very element, which they had chosen as an instrument of our ruine: And when we see such notorious offenders cor­rected by their own sins, when they are punish'd by the same thing wherein they have offended, and made to drink (as it were) out of their own cup, we may easily discern who administers the potion, and how just the retaliation is. And 'tis oft the case of the wicked, that Gods hand may be manifest, and his providence glorified by the resemblance of the punishment to the sin: The Psalmist hath noted it [Ps. 109. 27.] Hereby shall they know that it is thy hand, and that thou Lord hast done it: and how's that? [ver. 29.] in that they are cloathed with their own shame, and covered with their own confusion, as with a mantle: That they fall as fast as they rise; are still confounded by their own devices, and still thy servants re­joyce.

2. In the manner of the discovery, and pre­vention of the danger: That the Traytors should be made their own Betrayers; and one of them by endeavouring to save a Friend, should destroy all the rest of his accomplices: That darkness should bring their deeds to light, [Page 15] and one night discover what ten months had conceal'd: That the obscurity of a Letter should prove the best comment to find out its meaning, and the darkness of the Text give light to its interpretation: That the Actors should be apprehended on the Stage, when they were just ready to begin the Tragedy, and all the danger blown over in a moment: That the intended Massacre should be the means to our greater safety; and the ruine threatned to our Church should prove its establishment. These are all undeniably such effects, as carry on 'em the Signacula Dei, the print of Gods finger, the legible characters of infinite Wisdom, and Om­nipotence. So that we may boldly appeal with David to all that see it; O come hither and behold the work of God, how wonderful he is in his doing! Psal. 66. 5. And what's that? that such as are rebellious are not able to exalt themselves [ver. 7.] but are snared in the work of their own hands: for it was this day done, the ungodly were caught in their own snare, and trapped in the pit they had digged for others, even without a figure. They said among themselves, Come, and let us make havock of 'em all together, by undermining 'em in that very place where they have made such Laws against us. They sought [Page 16] deep to hide their counsel, and their works were in the dark; and they said, Who seeth it? and who knoweth it? They took an Oath of Secresie, nay they received the Sacrament up­on it: Blessed Lord! that thy most Holy Or­dinance should be thus prophaned; that men should call upon thy Name, while they delibe­rately blaspheme thine Honour! The Seal of Confession must not be violated to save the King and Kingdom; but the Seal of our Eternal Re­demption is made the Bond of Iniquity without any scruple: Such is the Piety of those who make Religion a cloak for Treason, and turn Rebels out of Conscience! They stuck (you see) at nothing to lodge the Secret safe; but God a­veng'd their prophaneness by infatuating their Counsels: He darts a scruple into one of their minds [Lest the righteous should perish with the wicked] and makes his own Conscience tell him more than seven Confessors: He reveals the Treachery by the hand of a Confident, and makes the mischief betray it self, that he might protect the Innocent, and make himself known by the execution of his Judgments upon the wicked, especially on such as delight in Trea­son and Blood, and so horribly dishonour Christ as to call it His Religion. So the Plot was disco­vered, [Page 17] and the crafty confounded, whereby it is evident, it was Gods own doing. That's the first general, the work of God.

II. But when God makes bare his arm, and stretcheth out his hand to work wonders, sure the world must be awakned into an observance of them; and that's next to be considered:

Its Effect upon men in general: and here's a threefold Effect mention'd. 1. All men shall fear. 2. Shall declare the work of God. 3. Shall wisely consider of his doing.

1. The first effect is Fear, which naturally a­rises in mens minds upon the apprehensions of Gods irresistible power and greatness; For who has an arm like God? or who can thunder with a voice like him? yea, who can hear his voice and not tremble? or see his hand stretched out and not be afraid? Thou didst cause thy judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth trembled and was still; Psal. 76. 8. Thou, even thou art to be feared; and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry? [ver. 7.] And as the apprehensions of his Pow­er and Majesty strike dread and terror into men, so the wonders of his Providence, especially the eminent deliverances of his people, and the confusion of their enemies, must needs beget an awful reverence of that Omnipotence, which [Page 18] alone doth wonders, and bringeth mighty things to pass. And all men that see such things shall fear, i. e. shall tremble before his Power and Providence, who by such events makes it ma­nifest, that he interposes his Wisdom in the most secret counsels of men, and over-rules all their malicious contrivances, to the ends of his own Counsel, and the designs of his Goodness. As Joseph said to his Brethren, Gen. 50. 20. As for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it un­to good; to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. And all men shall fear, i. e. shall be afraid to conspire against them, whose cause God himself so miraculously owns and abets; and shall be convinc'd, that the care of the righ­teous is with the most high; that with his right hand he covers them, and with his arm he pro­tects 'em. And all men shall fear, i. e. shall be a­fraid to do any more so wickedly, and shall de­part from the tents of such ungodly murmurers, left they be consumed in their sins. And all men shall fear, i. e. shall fear God and the King too, whose Minister he is, in whose name and be­half he acts; and into whose heart God was pleased to put the first discovery of this days happy deliverance, and to make him the instru­ment of his Peoples Preservation, that they [Page 19] might know him to be Gods visible Deputy up­on earth, and might fear before him; accord­ing to the wise-mans advice, My son, fear God and the King, and meddle not with them that are gi­ven to change.

All men shall fear, but fear alone will not profit us; for the Devils tremble before the power they hate, and wicked men may dread Gods vengeance, where they are unwilling to see his hand: and therefore here follows another effect, which such signal actions have upon men:

2. They shall declare the work of the Lord. And this is an effect as general and large as the other, though upon different accounts; for even they who are unwilling to own it, shall be forc'd to acknowledge it, and they for whose sake it is done shall rejoyce to publish it. When God re­scued his people from Babylon, the Psalmist ob­serves, that even the Heathen took notice of their wonderful deliverance, Psal. 126. 2. Then said they among the heathen, the Lord hath done great things for them: And if Strangers that have only heard of ours, shall talk of Gods providence over us, surely we that reap the benefits of his goodness, should sing forth the honour of his name, and make his praise to be glorious: If [Page 20] it was wonderful in their eyes, we were the un­worthiest persons in the world, if it should not be so in ours too. And truly they deserve not to share in so great a blessing, who neglect to de­clare this work of the Lord, who refuse to pay him the honour due unto his name for the fre­quent deliverances vouchsafed to our Land and Nation. 'Tis no less than brutish stupidity that makes men regardless of these wonders of Pro­vidence, which he that rightly considers, will find reason enough most solemnly to admire and adore; which is the third effect.

3. They shall wisely consider of his doings. That is, they shall better understand the method of Gods proceedings, and the reasons of his deal­ings in the world: for these things make it plain, that God takes care of the affairs of his people, and that the enemies of his Church, (enemies I say in their minds, though the Church be still in their mouths, while they continue their wicked works) with all their crafty devices, with all their spite and malice, and the gates of Hell to help them, shall not be able to prevail against her. And these sudden defeats, and remarkable disappointments of such treasonable designs, are evidence sufficient that they are hateful to God, who is the governour of the world, and is con­cern'd [Page 21] for his own Vicegerents; That venge­ance belongs to him, and he will surely repay it for such sins. Whoso is wise, says David [Psal. 107. 43.] will observe these things, and they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord: And 'tis the wise-mans observation in the like case [Prov. 24. 22.] having told us of those that are given to change, that their calamity shall rise sud­denly, and who knoweth the ruine of them both? He immediately subjoyns, These things al­so belong unto the wise, [ver. 27.] that is, these things are matter of weighty consideration, and thereby we may learn by experience, that God for the better government of the world thinks it fit, to make Rebels and Traytors the most me­morable examples of Vengeance and Judg­ment: Search the Scriptures, and turn over the Annals of all Ages, you shall scarce meet in story with a seditious Innovator or a Rebel, who has not ruin'd himself: Destruction treads close upon their heels, and punishment will as­suredly come from God; for they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation, says St. Paul, [Rom. 13. 2.] They shall utterly perish in their own cor­ruption, says St. Peter, [2 Pet. 2. 12.] Their judgment lingereth not, and their damnation slumber­eth not, [ver. 3.] Not one of the mutinous ge­neration [Page 22] among the Israelites came into the Land of Promise, because they rebelled against Mo­ses and Aaron, and in them against God. And that all the earth may stand in awe of him, and the Governours he hath appointed, God opened the bowels of the earth, and she swallowed up Corah, and covered the congregation of Abiram; They went down alive into the gulf, with their wives, and their sons, and their little children, Numb. 16. 27. And that we might perceive it to be Gods own immediate work, we find Moses putting it upon this issue, [ver. 29.] If these men die the common death of all men, then the Lord hath not sent me; then let me have no authority among you: But if the Lord make a new thing, or create a new creature (as the phrase imports) such a thing as ye never saw, nor was ever heard of be­fore; If the earth open her mouth, and they go down quick into the pit; what then? why, Then shall ye understand that these men have provoked the Lord, ver. 30. then shall ye know that 'tis his doing. Beware of the way of Corah, lest ye perish in the gain-saying of Corah: God hates the dispositi­ons, which are the cause of Rebellion, and will never let the practices go unpunished. If there­fore we tremble at the vengeance, let us dread the crimes, and so wisely consider of Gods do­ings, [Page 23] as to detest the sins for which others have been so notably punish'd. But there is something more yet to be done, as the proper work of the day; and that is,

III. A duty resulting from all these conside­rations, and chiefly incumbent on good men: and that (as the other) is three-fold. 1. Rejoy­cing in the Lord. 2. Trusting in him. 3. Glo­ry and triumph. The righteous shall, &c.

1. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord. A du­ty no less easie than pleasant, and that which we all seem to covet and desire most; that which we eagerly pursue as the best of this worlds sa­tisfactions, joy and rejoycing: There is no such gladness of heart, as that which a good man en­joys in the contemplation of Gods goodness: And sure we need no invitations to what we are all so naturally inclin'd: God himself requires it, the deliverance of the Day, and the disco­veries of a later date call for it: Rejoyce in the Lord, O ye righteous, and again I say, rejoyce; for the voice of praise is comely, and it beco­meth well the just to be thankful. And seeing God requires a sign, and some outward testimo­ny of your joy and thanks, let me bespeak your Charity to the Poor, in those emphatical words of Nehemiah, [8. 10.] Go your way, eat the fat, [Page 24] and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord; neither be you sorry, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. God who frankly bestows his blessings, loves a chearful return of what he gives; and since our goodness extends not un­to him, but to the Saints that are in the earth, he has left the Poor among us as his standing Re­ceivers by his own Patent, The poor ye shall have always with you, (says our Saviour) and whenso­ever ye will ye may do them good, [Mark 14. 7.] Do it therefore at this time above all, and make them partakers of your fulness and joyfulness: for then we glorifie his name, when we joy in his salvation, and are glad to do good to others, as God hath done unto us; when the voice of re­joycing is heard in the Tabernacles of the righ­teous, and the tokens of our joy are sent to the poor and needy. And that our joy may be per­fect, let us temper it with Faith, and add the next degree of our Duty:

2. The righteous shall trust in him. And good reason indeed to trust in him, of whose favour and loving kindness we have had so large expe­rience; well may we rely on that power which is so able to protect us; well may we depend on that providence, which so remarkably takes care [Page 25] of us. And herein lies the difference of the ef­fects, that such works of God have upon the righteous and the wicked; that the one are struck with horror from the apprehensions of his power and providence, and confounded with the sense of their own guilt; whilst good men glory in the demonstrations of Gods power, and make all his Dispensations an argument of a more chearful dependance on him. 'Tis this that sup­ports the spirits of good men, under all the trou­bles and distractions of the world, and keeps 'em from despondence with fear of future evils, and apprehensions of mischief and disturbances, when they call to mind the deliverances of past times, and Gods manifold appearances in the cause of his Church and People.

And what if a cloud appear, or the storms arise? if we build our confidence on the rock of ages, we have a shelter against the Tempests, a strong consolation and a good hope, as an anchor of our souls, both sure and stedfast: And what if the same danger threaten us, and the storms a­rise from the same quarter? we have still the same God to flee unto, who hath manifested his care of our Church by a continued series of Mi­racles and Mercies. Though the unquiet spirits of the world, and the powers of darkness com­bine [Page 26] against us, yet if we hold us fast by God, he will never leave us nor forsake us; if we adhere constantly unto him, his Faithfulness and Truth will be our Shield and Buckler; and while we are under the defence of the Almighty, we shall not be greatly moved. This was David's confi­dence, whose deliverances always equal'd his dangers, and from his own experience he en­courageth others to depend upon God, [Psalm 62. 6, 7.] He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence, I shall not be moved: In God is my sal­vation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God: And then immediately it fol­lows, ver. 8. Trust in him at all times, O ye peo­ple; pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. The times and seasons to come are in the hand of God alone, and we know not what a day, much less what a year may bring forth, though we cannot but know what our sins have deserv'd if God should enter into judgment with us; yet even this is matter of great rejoycing, that we are still assembled to give him thanks in the great Congregation, and to praise him among the Heads of the people, And this too is an encouragement to rely on the same infinite Power and Goodness for the continuance of our safety, That the next [Page 27] year shall be as this, and much more abundant; That God will settle and root us faster by sha­king us a little; That he will perfect his own work by a full detection and final defeat of all our implacable enemies. And in this humble confidence and assurance of his favour we tri­umph and glory: Which is the last branch of our Duty.

3. All the upright in heart shall glory: They shall glory in his strength, and triumph in his favour. But that's not all; they shall glory in the confusion of the wicked, and rejoyce in the continual disappointment of such treacherous designs: And they that do not rejoyce and glory in such Discoveries and Deliverances are none of the upright in heart; for they defraud God of his due, and deny him the honour of his own work; and they give us reason to suspect, that they wish the Treason had been acted. They that refuse to give thanks for the Deliverance, want only an opportunity to contrive the like mischief, and put the Design in execution. But let us (I be­seech you) as men upright in heart, with all our Souls, yea with heart and voice, offer up our Thanksgivings to the God of our mercies, and confess his Name, and glory in his Strength, and triumph in his Goodness: As we are sensible to [Page 28] whom we owe our safety, let us keep the Feast with joyful and thankful hearts, making it (like the Feast of the Passover) a day to be much ob­served throughout all our Generations; let us all, as friends to Sion, the Church we wish well to, give thanks to the preserver of our Sion; as Subjects of a Kingdom, whose peace and pro­sperity we pray for, let us bless the God of our Israel, the mighty defender of our Nation.

We have heard with our ears, and our Fathers have declared unto us, the noble works which God did in their days, and in the time before them. How he did de­liver our Nation from the Tyranny of the Pope, the Usurpations of his Sea, the Treasons of his Emissaries, and from the Idolatry, Superstition and Cruelty of his Religion (I call it His, for Popery is no more like Christs Religion, than a Wolf is like a Lamb.) How soon he extinguish'd the fire of the Marian Persecution; and in the years next ensuing, gave us Beauty for Ashes, even ten for one: How he put to flight the Forces of the Aliens, and display'd his wonders in the deep in 88: and how he delivered both our Church and State as on this Day.

And as we have heard, so have we seen, how mi­raculously he dispell'd that dismal Cloud which covered us, by bowing the hearts of all-the Peo­ple, [Page 29] as the heart of one man, to bring back the King to his own Throne: How he made Him among the Princes of the earth, the First-born (as it were) from the dead; How his Hand hath held him fast in the midst of manifold dangers; and by Gods protection of Him, we also are protected in the quiet enjoyment of our Lives, Liberties, Fortunes, and Laws, and in the free and open Profession of Christs true Religion. Oh! let us walk worthy of these reiterated Deliverances, and live as becometh a Reformed and a Re­deemed People. Let not our Heats and Divisi­ons on one hand, nor our Looseness and Pro­phaneness on the other, give occasion to the Ene­my to triumph over us, lest they say in their hearts, There, there, so would we have it; lest we ruine our selves in a more effectual manner, than all the Papal Conspirators in Europe can devise. But let us manifest our thankfulness to God, by living piously and peaceably in the stedfast Pro­fession of his holy Gospel, and in hearty Loyal­ty and Fidelity to our King; whose strength and security, next under Providence, does princi­pally depend on the Hearts and Affections of his Subjects, on the Counsels and Assistance of his Parliament: So shall we best secure our selves, consulting at once our Duty and our Interest; [Page 30] so with St. Paul, may we hope in God, who hath delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver, in whom we trust that he will evermore deliver us, [2 Cor. 1. 10.]

From all Sedition, privy Conspiracy, and Re­bellion; from all false Doctrine, Heresie and Schism; from all Popish Principles and Practi­ses; good Lord deliver us, through Jesus Christ our Saviour and mighty Deliverer.

To whom, with thee, and thy Holy Spirit, three Persons and one Eternal God, be ascribed of us, and thy whole Church, all Power and Glory, Thanksgiving and Praise now and ever­more. Amen.


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