HONOUR THE KING A SERMON Preached on the SOLEMN FAST, Ianuary 30. 1672/3.

Wherein the Duty of SUBJECTS to their SOVEREIGN is Opened and Asserted, the Principles and Practices inconsistent therewith are Detected and Condemned, and the Innocent Vin­dicated from Unjust Censures.

At Birmingham in Warwick-shire, at the Publick Meeting-Place there Licenced according to His MAJESTIES Gracious Declaration.

By Samuel Fisher, M. A. late Preacher of the Word at Thornton in Cheshire.

He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are an abomination to the Lord, Prov. 17.15.

Praesens aetas probris onerabit quos oderit,
Posteritas suum cuique impendet.

London, Printed for George Calvert at the Golden Ball in Duck-lane, and Hierom Gregory Bookseller in Birmingham in Warwick-shire, 1673.


Right Honourable, and my very Honoured Lord,

THIS poor Brat that now creeps under your Lordshps wing for shelter, was begotten and brought forth upon your Lordships Free-hold at the Parsonage of Thornton in Cheshire, to which your Honour (without my seeking) was pleased freely to present me; in that place, after your Lordships great adventures to serve His Majesty, our Lord and Sovereign, in your cordial endea­vours for His reduction to His undoubted Right, with the hazard of your All in Temporals, and your great suf­ferings in the Tower for those Loyal (though miscon­strued) endeavours; and after God, had succeeded second attempts, (when your Lordship had broken the ice) and had brought our Sovereign Lord (with great rejoycing) to His Native Soil, People, and Inheritance; I judged [Page] it my duty to acquaint my People of that place with my duty and theirs to our Sovereign Lord the King, which accordingly I prosecuted several dayes from that Text, and in the same method and expressions as they now lie before your Lordship.

Since that time it hath pleased the wise and just pro­vidence of God, to suffer my self, with many hundreds more, and more deserving, to be laid aside as dead men; save only that (through a merciful connivance of Au­thority) those dead men did speak now and then to smal­ler numbers of the People, where it might be done with least noise and appearance of contempt to Authority, (which we heartily bless the Lord for, and give thanks to Authority for their moderation. In this condition (my Lord) I had thought I should have lain, being upon the sixty eighth year of my age, till God should call me off the stage of this world: but in the midst of dying thoughts, and under the stroke of a civil death, of [...] sudden, and unexpectedly, came forth words of life to those that were in their graves, from His Majesty the Lords Anointed, whose Heart the great God had inclined to give them a gracious Indulgence to stand up again, and to speak in the Name of the Lord to his People. How joyful this hath made the Hearts of Thousands of His Majesties Loyal Subjects, both Ministers and others, it is hard to ex­press. Vpon this good news, (my Lord) amongst others, I applied my self, with the first, to petition His Maje­sties Licence; which being obtained, I did without delay fall upon my work, to winde up the bottom of my dayes in the service of my Master, and for the Souls of Men. Whilst I was in the improvement of my slender T [...]le [...]t, the Thirtieth of January coming on, it was resolved [Page] amongst us solemnly to observe the Day, the preaching of the Sermon in the Sermon in the afternoon (the Con­gregation having been at the Parish-Church in the morn­ing) was by my Brethren made my Province. I submitted to their determination, knowing that I had a Sermon in readiness to serve the occasion. When the day came I did address my self to the work, (though much indisposed, by reason of an arrest of the Gout, which had siezed upon me in the interim) hoping that when my Sermon was done, my work had been ended; but contrary to my ex­pectation, when the Sermon was preached, I fell under an honest rape, (I dare not give it worse language) and was beset from all quarters by those that were Hearers, to Print the Sermon; and was told plainly upon my refu­sal, that if I would not part with my Notes, they would amongst themselves gather up the fragments of what they had taken, and Print them without my leave. My Lord, I was I thought fixedly resolved, having once escaped the Press, never to come there again, there being so many in this learned Age, able to serve their genera­tion to all purposes, with the Artillery of their Pens, which I never durst think my self in the least measure accomplished for: but (my Lord) who can withstand a torrent? I am forced with an unwilling willingness in this storm▪ to throw my goods over-board to prevent a wrack; what will be the fate of this poor Sripling, thrust into the wide World, I know not, if innocency in the in­tention, and charity in the interpretation do not procure its pass, it is like to suffer; however, it must to the Wa­ters in an Ark of Bulrushes, and take its lot.

Now, my honoured Lord, I have given you this trou­ble in a broken account of what hath passed in the latter [Page] p [...]t of my dayes▪ I humbly crave your Lordships pardon for [...]he boldness of this address to your Lordship, having none amongst Nobles to whom I owe more, nor from whom I can promise my self more candour, and fair re­spect, then with your Lordship. My Lord, since I left those parts, distance of place hath not made me forget my duty; and though I have wanted opportunity to wait upon your Lordship where your residence hath been, yet I have not ceased dayly to make mention of your Lordship, and noble Family, for the blessings of the great God, the Father of mercies, to fall upon your Lordship, and all yours, that you may live long, and whiles you live be sin­gularly instrumental for the glory of God, the service of His Majesty, and the Country round about you. Now to that God (who hath promised to honour those that ho­nour him) I do humbly commend your Lordship, and beg leave to style my self.

My LORD, Your Lordships humbly devoted, (when I can do nothing else) to serve you with my poor requests to God, who hath Heaven in his gift, Samuel Fisher.

Honour the KING.

LET no man wonder to see a Minister of the Presbyterian perswasion stand in a Desk this day, to preach a Sermon upon occasion of this sad Solemnity: to call my self a Minister is no presumption, to be of the Presbyterian per­swasion, I take it for no disparagement, to stand here upon this day to preach, is no way ex­centrick to the motion of Presbyterians.

Presbyterians are as willing to observe the commands of Au­thority as other men, in matters indubitable; and where I have lived, it hath been the practice to obey Authority in the observa­tion of this day. I grudge no man the Honour of his Loyalty, but I cannot but look upon it as a heavy grievan [...]e, for any sort of men to monopolize the style and opinion of Loyalty to themselves, as if other [...]en of different perswasions in some other matters, must needs have forfeited their Loyalty because of this difference. It hath been the sad fate of the Presbyterians to lie under this odium; when men have had nothing else to charge them with, to make the World believe that they wanted Loyal hearts to their Prince. But if to pray for the Lords Anointed, and those that are sent by him; if to preach subjection to their Authority as God's ordinance, if to obey and submit for conscience sake to their just and lawful com­mands, if to pay tribute and custome to them according to Law, if to endeavour to preserve, to rescue, to vindicate and engage for them, if t [...] disown unjust and usurped Power, and to suffer upon such an account, may be accepted for a testimony, these men do not, will not want their Vouchers. And as to the sad occasion of this days Solemnity, let it offend no man if I say (not to make com­parisons) they were not behind most, if any, in their cordial, stre­n [...] endeavours, upon the suspition of the design, to have pre­vented [Page] that Barbarous Bloody Stroak; and when it was given. were as true and sad Mourners, did carry as heavy hearts, and moyst-eyes, for the loss of their Sovereign, and the sin against God, as others that would fain blemish their Loyalty: And blessed be God His Majesty, our dread Sovereign, being possessed of the truth, hath honoured with His testimony, when the envy of other men would have blasted their reputation. Loyalty terminative is a Flower of the Crown; blame us not if we be unwilling to be ex­cluded from bearing a part in adding to those Ornaments that must Crown the Royal Brow. And if any will yet question their Integrity, let them shew us a fairer testimony then the R [...]mon­strance of the Presbyterian Ministers of London, sent in a Let­ter from them to the General and Councel of War, Jan. 18. 1648. when they were upon the Trial of His Majesty in the High Court of Iustice; in which they deal most plainly, convincingly, and very clearly, though to the hazard of their lives, with which they were threatned. Besides their representation to the General, and Councel of War, they published their Vindications from the unjust Aspersions cast upon them by Malevolent Spirits; let me give you one passage in their Vindication, it is this: We hold our selves bound in duty to God, Religion, the King, Parlia­ment and Kingdom, to profess before God, Angels, and Men▪ That we verily believe, that which is so much feared to be now in agitation, viz. The taking away the Life of the King, in the present way of Trial, to be not only not agreeable to any Word of God, the Principles of the Protestant Religion, (ne­ver yet stained with the least drop of the Blood of a King) or the fundamental constitution and Government of this King­dom, but contrary to them, as also the Oathes of Allegiance, the Protestation of May 5. 1641. and the Solemn League and Covenant, from all or any of which Engagements, we know not of any Power on Earth able to absolve u [...] or others.

1 Pet. 2.17. Honour the KING.

I Shall neither look backwards nor for­wards, as it is usual, but take the very words as they lie, Honour the King, [...]. It may be under­stood specifically, as differing from other Governors, and the chief a­mongst them; him whom the Apostle calls Supream, by way of distinction, [...], ut qui superemineat, or supereminently, 1 Pet. 2.13. or synechdochically, as comprehending all others of what kind soever, the rest that are subordinate being but sprigs from this root; and so Calvin understands it: And he thinks the Holy Ghost makes use of this name the rather to put the duty out of all question.

1. Because this name, and the kind of govern­ment, was of all others to the People of Rome most offensive; yet the Apostle urgeth it upon these scat­tered Jews, to Honour the Rulers, though Caesars, yea, though Heathen Caesars: and the rather, because they being Jews, and the seed of Abraham, were apt to shake off the yoke, and thought much to be in sub­jection to any, especially to Heathen Princes and Go­vernours: And therefore after he had more largely [Page 2] urged it before, ver. 13. he toucheth it again ver. 17. Honour the King. Vid. Calv. sup. locum.

Honour] it is comprehensive of the whole duty of Subjects to their Princes, or Rulers, to say the least, whether the supream and most excellent amongst men in his Territories, (for in no other sense do we give Supremacy to any) the highest among men ha­ving one above him, i. e. God, by whom he reigns, and to whom he must give an account. And in such a sen [...]e are the words Supream to be understood in the Oathes of Supremacy and Allegiance, as Dr. Rey­nolds doth answer to Calvin, and the Magdenburgh Centuriators, vid. Rivet in 5. praec.

I say this Honour is comprehensive of all duties, as we find it in the fifth Commandment, where the wis­dom of God (which delights to express much in lit­tle) coucheth all relative duties in a word, Honour thy Father and Mother: So here, all the duties of Subjects in this, Honour the King.

The Doctrine: It is the duty of all Subjects to Ho­nour their King.

I shall not at this time, nor do I need to discourse of the several kinds of govern [...]nt, nor particularly of Kingly government; nor of the nature and distin­ction of Subjects, especially in a Monarchy, where all are Subjects, except the King himself that is Su­pream, and amongst men hath none above him. Subordinate Rulers, though they bear some part of the government for the ea [...]e of the Prince, and for the benefit of the People, yet they are still subject to the chief Magistrate, to whom from them the meanest Subject may appeal in case of mal-administration. [Page 3] Scripture proof, the fifth Commandment, Exod. 20.12. Rom. 13.1, 2, 3, 4, 7. Titus 3.1. Prov. 24.21. Ec­cles. 10.20.

The opening of the duty to Honour.

Question. What is implied in this duty to Honour?

Answer. There are divers things implied, though some make more, some fewer: They are such as these.

First, Reverence: and this is both inward in the heart, in the high estimation of them, and maintain­ing awful and reverential thoughts towards them, 2 Sam. 14.17. and Chap. 19.27. the contrary for­bidden Eccles. 10.20. And as it is inward in the heart, so it ought to be outward in the expression, in speech, gesture, action, as there is occasion to express it.

One gives us six particulars whereof this Honour of Reverence is made up.

1. Divinae ordinationis agnitio, the owning of Gods Ordinance and Institution, Rom. 13, 1 Pet. 2.13.

2. Honesta de Magistrat [...] existimatio, an honour­able esteem of the Magistrate: we must look upon them, as one saith, tanquam Deus terrenos, i. e. as earthly Gods; as Gods, because they represent him, and are in his stead; yet but as earthly, because they must die like men, Psal. 8 [...].7.

3. Honorifica Magistratus compellatio, such honour­able titles as may best express the reverence that is in the heart, as the Woman of Tekoah and Mephibosheth did, 2 Sam. 19.27. 2 Sam. 14.17. Yet here we must take heed of flattery, and unjust praises, least they prove a temptation to them, and a provocation in God's eye, as in the case of Herod, Acts 12.

4. Honorifica coram Magistratu inclinatio; such re­verent [Page 4] gestures of body, as carry the fairest sign of re­spect and reverence to Authority, as it was observed of Ioseph's Brethren to Ioseph, as Lord of the Coun­try, Gen. 42.6. in Nathan to Solomon, 1 Kings 23. and in Bathsheba's Mother 36.31.

5. Infirmitatum condonatio, or rather obtectio: I shall render it, the charitable covering of their infirmi­ties. They are Men in respect of infirmities, not An­gels, though, in respect of Dignity, as Angels among Men; they have their naevi as well as their Subjects. They do but flatter them that ascribe perfection to them, and will undertake to justifie every thing that a Prince doth, because he doth it that is a Prince; as if the very place did alter the nature of the action: this is to call evil good, which hath a woe denounced to it, Isaiah 5.20. We may endeavor to cover the in­firmities of others; this common charity requires to our Brethren, Prov. 10.12. and 17.9. 1 Cor. 13.5. much more to our Rulers, because their places are higher, and their temptations greater; but we must not justifie them, least we make our selves partners. Doubtless it is a fault to inhance, to aggravate, and much more to divulge and spread with an evil inten­tion the errata, especially of those that are chief; every thing should be construed in the better part, that may bear a better construction. There may be many things that we know not of to excuse a tanto, either ignorance, provocation, evil counsel, or want of those that should and would deal faithfully with them: and such things considered would make them objects of our pity and grief, rather then of anger and displicency.

[Page 5]6. The last is Vitatio detractionis, Exod. 22.28. Ec­cles. 10.20. but this I take to be included in the for­mer, which will not stand with detraction.

Secondly, The next thing implied in this duty of Honour, is obedience; and this is a singular way of honouring: And therefore the general in the fifth Commandment, which is couched under the name of Honour, when it comes to be taken in sunder, and the duties of Inferiours to Superiours particularly ap­plied, it makes obedience a special part of this Ho­nour, Wives must obey, Ephes. 5.22, 24. Children obey, Ephes. 6.1. Col. 3.20. Servants obey, Col. 3.22. People obey their Ministers, Heb. 13.17. and it cannot be imagined it should be less to the Prince, and chief Ruler of the People, from his Subjects, but rather to be strengthened by the eminency of his place; the greatness of his Authority, the necessity of subjection for the common good. To the Magistrate is commit­ted the power of Rule by God, and therefore they have their name Rulers, 2 Sam. 23.3. Exod. 22.28. And if of right it belong to them to Rule, it must needs follow that it is the Subjects duty to obey; for these two, Rule and Subjection, are relatives: He doth not rule, that hath none of right to yield him subjection and obedience. But for this the Scripture is clear, and is not questioned, Rom. 13. Titus 3.1. 1 Pet. 2.13. Gen. 41.40. Deut. 17.8, & 14. Iosh. 1.16, 17, 18.

The command of God, Titus 3. the celsitude and dignity of Magistra [...]y, Rom. 13. the utility and pro­fit that▪ comes to subjects by the vigilant ca [...]e of Ru­lers, [Page 6] Rom. 13. the necessity of subjection, because it cannot be denied without sin, and danger of Gods displeasure, Rom. 13.2, 5. Prov. 24.21. There be ex­amples enough of the judgments of God, upon those that have rebelled against Authority, Numb. 16.3, 29, 30, 31, 32. And we need not to go far for the proof of it, if we have been observers of God's provi­dence in our own times. Obedience is certainly a duty from the Subject to the Soveraign; but we must un­derstand it of lawful commands, where the command of the Magistrate doth not clash with the commands of God. It obedience be required to things unlawful, we must flie to that of the Apostle, Acts 4.19. & 5.29. Whether it be lawful to obey God or Man, judg ye. In such cases, though we may not resist, yet we may and ought to suspend our act, using the best lawful means to qualifie the Superiour power. As

1. To offer our protestations, that we refuse not out of perverseness, but conscience.

2. To use the mediation of Friends to beget a right understanding.

3. Humble Petitions to the Magistrate for his In­dulgence, that our Consciences may be kept pure, and our God at peace with us.

If this will not serve, we are bound to yield up our selves to the penalty of the Law, and to compensate the want of active, by a passive obedience, chosing af­fliction rather then sin, mourning that we should be put upon it to suspend our active obedience to our Superiours for the preventing of God's wrath, and the security of our own peace and happiness. I am [Page 7] not unprovided altogether to solve the cases that bor­der upon this Doctrine, but did foresee it would cut off all the rest of my work. Besides, we are under the sense of the warm and benevolent beams of our po­litick Sun, who hath given the world to know, that he carries tender bowels towards his Subjects tender consciences, who must be convinced by Arguments, rather then forced by penalties. And therefore by an act of grace; he hath pleased to suspend the execution of the paenal Laws against such, and to indulge his Subjects of different perswasions, a liberty to wor­ship God as they are fully perswaded in their own minds that they ought to worship him. And for this grace and favour, as we bless the disposer of hearts for inclining his Majesties heart to afford us this gracious in­dulgence, so we trust we shall never cease to bless his Majesty, and to give him thanks who hath prevented our petitions to him, and given what we impetuously longed for before we asked: And we do profess our selves for ever obliged, not only to acknowledg this superlative favour, but to endeavour to the utmost to walk worthy of it, that it may never repent our Soveraign that he hath thus warmed our hearts with his Indulgence. And shall ever pray that he may never want mercy from our gracious God, that hath so freely shewed mercy to us, in setting both our hearts and tongues at liberty to utter the high praises of the eternal God, and to pay the largest ac­knowledgments of our gratitude to our gracious King.

Thirdly, Another duty incumbent upon Subjects, is the free and chearful payment of tribute and cu­stomes, according to Law. I shall neither trouble my [Page 8] self nor you with the etymology of the words, tribu­tum, vectigal, redditus, nor with the several distincti­ons that some of the Learned do give, in reference to the persons, whether urbani or rustici, or from the matter whence they arise, whether de mobilibus, or immobilibus, de exportatis, or importatis; whether pri­vatum or publicum, ordinarium or extraordinarium. I take in all the just payments due to the Magistrate, of what kind soever, whether hereditary or voluntary, and which way soever to be raised according to Law.

1. For this duty the Scripture is clear: 1. We have the command of God, Rom. 13.6, 7. Render therefore to all their dues, tribute to whom tribute, and custome to whom custome is due. And this was the determination of the case by our Lord Iesus Christ, when he was maliciously set upon by the Pharisees, sending the glavering Herodians by propounding a Question to get an advantage in the Answer; the Question was, Whether lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not? ushered in with a subtile insinuation, Matth. 22, 11, 16, 17. Christ though well aware of their wicked hypocrisie, though he rebukes them sharply, yet refuseth not to resolve the Question: And you may see how wisely, and how justly he determines the case, Matth. 22.19, 20, 21. Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's: Which is in effect, let Caesar have his due, but let him see he neither deny, nor incroach upon God's right.

2. Christ himself he might have challenged free­dom, yet to avoid offence did himself pay tribute, [Page 9] the Most probably this was the yearly tribute to the Temple, gather­ed by the Jews accord­ing to Exod. 30.13. not a tribute to the Roman Power, but to the King of Heaven; so our Sa­viour intimates, that he was the Son of God, and therefore, accord­ing to the priviledg of Kings Sons; should be free, only (the Jews not being convinced of this) to avoid offenc [...] he submits to their de­mand. Vid. Dr. Ham­mo [...]d in Matth. 17.26. Didrachma, which was of the value of fifteen pence, when it was demanded, as you see Matth. 17.24, 25, 26, 27. for Peter was sent to the sea to take a Fish, in whose mouth he should find a piece of Money, i. e. a Stater, which was half an ounce, to serve for them both; by which, though to avoid offence he sub­mitted to the payment of tribute, yet in doing it, he shewed himself a greater Lord, then he was for whom tribute was required of him, Lord of the Seas, that could command his tribute from the ir­rational Fishes; yet how great soever, tribute he payes: and in paying of it him­self, who might so justly have pleaded his freedom, (being of the Royal stock) he gives us a pattern, and puts it out of doubt as our duty, who can pre­tend to no such immunity.

3. The Apostle gives a special reason for this ex­hibition of tribute and custome, because they are the Ministers of God, that do continually attend upon▪ this very thing, Rom. 13.6. It is the imployment of Princes to wait upon Government, as the Ministers of God; and therefore since it is their work, it is reason, as in cases inferiour, and far different, they should have the recompence of their work, and a recompence answerable to the dignity of their place, and nobleness of their employment. Shall the Mi­nisters of Men in the lowest services be rewarded, [Page 10] and taken care for, and shall it be worse with the Ministers of God in so great a service? Rom. 13.6.

4. There lies a necessity upon it, for the service of the Common-wealth; the great things that do lie upon the hands of Kings and Princes, cannot be managed without a great charge: Tributa illa sunt or­namenta pacis, subsidia belli & nervi Reipub. And Cicero saith, Impossibile est ut sacris tributis non illatis, alioqui Respublica conservetur. How shall the just splendor and magnificence of Princes be upheld; Ministers for Embassies, Negotiations, Counsels, In­telligence be provided for, military Forces, whether for Sea or Land, towards the defence of Kingdoms be maintained, Palaces of Princes raised or repaired, besides many other Publick services, nisi tributa sisco Magistratus inferantur? I [...] is a saying of Menenius Agrippa, As the whole body must needs be brought to a mouldring condition, alimentis ventriculo dene­gatis▪: so it m [...]st needs fare with the Common­we [...]lth, if the Magistrate be not supplied by his tributes. Nec quies Gentium sine armis, nec arma sine stipendiis, nec stipendi [...] sine tributis haberi possunt, saith T [...]i [...]us.

5. Thus it hath been from the beginning, and all Nations wh [...]soever have still paid tribute and cu­ [...] their Lords and Rulers, our Saviour takes it for gr [...]nted▪ Matth. 17.25. 1 Sam. 8.11. 1 Kings 4.6.2 S [...]. 8.2. This duty takes hold not only of persons in a Civil, but in an Eccle [...]astical capacity, as is [...] by our Saviour's practice, and the general command. And therefore we cannot but explode and damn the presumptuous incroachments of the [Page 11] Romish Clergy in their Plea, and challenge for im­munity, both to their Persons and Purses from the Civil Magistrates power and claim both of tribute, and service from them. For though it be true that some Christian Princes, have indulged great Privi­ledges to the Churches Servants in the Ministry, yet its as true, those liberties, especially amongst the Ro­mish Clergy, have been abused to the contempt of Magistracy, to Pride, Sloth and Luxury, and the great injury of the Commonwealth. And it is as true, that the priviledg not being of Divine right, it is no less in the power of succeeding Princes, to require both tribute, obedience and service from them, then in others to give it way; especially where the abuse of a priviledg calls for the retraction and abrogation of such Indulgence. And though it had a very great shew of piety and devotion in some Princes to grant such an Indulgence to the Church, yet I am of the mind of Festus Hominius, Serio it aque Principes Chri­stiani cogitare tandem debent, an aequum sit in tant [...] honorum Ecclesiasticorum affluentia, istis immunitatibus tot otiosorum ventrium luxum atque ignavia [...] foveri, atque interim reliquos subditos tanto gravioribus vecti­galibus onerari?

Fourthly, That which treads upon the heels of the former, as a duty incumbent upon Subjects, is not only to obey, and not to resist lawful Authority, but to defend the supream Magistrate, and those that are lawfully deputed by him in their Persons, Go­vernment, and just Rights against all Invasions by forraign Enemies, all usurpations of Men that am­bitiously hunt after unjust Dominion, all cursed As­ [...]assinations [Page 12] or murderous intentions against their Persons, with all trayterous Conspiracies, whe­ther against their Persons or Government from any whatsoever: and this they are bound to do though it be to the hazard and loss of their estates, lives, and whatsoever is dear unto them in a lawful way, and according to their capacities.

1. The ground of this is not only the general Rule of the sixth Commandment, which engages every man to be his Brothers keeper, and to endeavor the preservation of his Brother's person, as the fifth doth his Honour, the eighth his Estate.

2. But because the Prince is the Lords anointed, a person designed, appropriated and consecrated unto the place and employment of Rule and Govern­ment. And God hath given a peculiar charge, say­ing, Touch not mine Anointed, do my Prophets no harm, Psal. 105.15. Kings, Priests, and Prophets, were all anointed under the Law, as typifying the triple Of­fice of Christ the Mediator: and of these consecrated ones God took a special care, and gave a special charge, Touch them not (i. e.) to offer any violence; to do them any injury.

3. All the people have an interest in him; he is a publick, yea the most publick Person, in a sort the breath of the Peoples nostrils, Lam. 4.20. their lives, peace and welfare are much what bound up in his; he cannot fall, especially in a way of violence, with­out the disturbance, nay hazard and confusion of the whole Body, to which he is the politick Head. We have had woful experience of this in our own times, in the wicked and monstrous Usupations of [Page 13] some, who by the cutting off of the supream Magi­strate, under specious pretences, took the reins of Government into their own hands, not only to the great dissatisfaction, discontent, and abhorring of all loyal Subjects, but to the oppressing of many, and the hazard of overturning all our just Priviledges, yea of the very being of the Nation, if God in his mercy had not prevented.

4. This our Oathes of Allegiance and Supremacy do bind us to, which ought to be esteemed sacred and inviolable: no man can attempt any th [...]ng in this kind, but he must dash upon the Rock of Perjury, as well as Treason; sins that are sufficient to split any man upon the Rocks of Death and Damnation, if not repented of, Rom. 13. You see how tender David was of the person of Saul, though he was David's enemy, one that did persecute him with deadly rage, Psal. 7.4. Psal. 143.3. one that in his persecution hunted after his precious blood, and ingaged all that he could to be serviceable to him in his design, 1 Sam. 18.25. and 19.2, 10, 11, 20, 21. and 22.7, 8. and 23.7, 8. one that hated and persecuted him with­out a cause; a man that not only had never done him h [...]rt, but had been the choicest instrument of service for the preservation of him and his Kingdom, 1 Sam. 19.4, 5. Psal. 7.3, 4. and 35.7. yea though he were himself anointed to be King in his room, and had the prom [...]se of the Kingdom, 1 Sam. 16.12, 13. yea further▪ though he had the opportunity, and the life of Saul, his bloody enemy, put into his hand more then once, 1 Sam. 24.4. and the 26 8▪ 9. yet he would not▪ he durst not put forth his hand against the [Page 14] Lord's Anointed: and when he had but for testimony cut off the lap of his garment, he hath upon record left the account, how his heart smote him for the do­ing of it, 1 Sam. 24.1. As the rebellion of Absalom was most unnatural and accursed, for which himself and his confederates were involved under the just wrath of God, 2 Sam 15. and 18.6, 7, 8, 9. so was the faith­fulness of Hushai, and those that went with David, highly renowned; you have the story of Hushai seek­ing to defeat the counsel of Ahitophel, 2 Sam. 17. 7, 8. But that which I would present you withal, is the loyal and most memorable expression of the ten­derness of those that adhered to David, when he was deserted of other of his Subjects, you have it 2 Sam. 18.2, 3. I pray read it.

If you read the Scriptures, you will be furnished with instances of Peoples readiness to go forth to enounter enemies in case of invasion to their greatest hazard, 2 Chron. 14.8, ad 14. and 20.20. Iudges 4.10. and 5.9. How memorable are the names of David, 1 Sam. 17.32, 33. and 19.8. of Mordecai, in dis­covering the treason against the King, Esther 6.1, 2. of Iohanan, Ier. 40.13, 14, 15. you might be loaded with excellent examples from the Histories of Ro­mans and Greci [...]ns, running upon death themselves, to rescue and preserve the lives of their famous Go­vernours. But I have said enough, to shew that there lies a duty upon Subjects to stand up for the preservation and defence of the lives, government, and safety of their Princes.

And 1. this may serve to discover the degenerate state of the Church of Rome, and those cursed Do­ctrines [Page 15] and Practices maintained there against this Scripture-loyalty: What must we think of their Doctrines,Let him that questioneth any of this himself, read but Concil. Lateran. sub Innocent. III. and Concil. Rom. sub Greg. VII. and Henry Fowlis Book of their treasonable Doctrines and Practices, who by a mul­titude of exact citations proveth it not a few single mens Opinion, but the current Doctrine of their Church, and most famous Doctors; a Book that more fully openeth them to the World then any one that ever was before written. that do teach, That Subjects may lawfully breake their Oathes of Allegiance and Supremacy to their Natural Liege-Lord, if the Pope ab­solve them from them?

2. Of the lawfulness of Killing and Murthering Princes, if their Church declare them Hereticks, and it may be for the Advancement of the Catholick Cause?

3. And is not the Practice every way as Damna­ble in giving Dispensations to Subjects from their Oathes?

4. In their Jesuitical endeavours to engage Per­sons to this desperate employment of killing Kings and Rulers?

5. Consecrating Persons, Knives, Pistols, and other deadly Instruments for the Work?

6. And what are their Prayers for success in these hellish Atchievements?

7. Their Pardons given out to free their Assassi­nates from all their sins, and from Purgatory it self?

8. Their Canonizing of such cursed Miscreants, and unnatural Monsters, for Calender-Saints, though Hell it self could hardly yield more wicked Imps?

Judge ye what the Church of Rome is come to▪ [Page 16] and how far degenerate from her primitive purity, when St. Paul wrote his Epistle, and therein that fa­mous Doctrine of Subjection to Rulers, yea though they were then Heathens that ruled over them. Oh how doth the Romish Whore stinck in the nostrils of all the Purer Churches, for the bloody cruelty of her Doctrines and Practices of this kind: For their Doctrine, their own Books will condemn them; enough of this is held forth in a Piece, called The Mistery of Iesuitism. And for their Practice, Ravi­liack of France, Faux and his Complices in England, besides many more, have given them their Brand, to be Trayterous, Blood-suckers, and King-killers. And surely i [...] Scripture do oblige Subjects to such a passive subjection as you have heard of, and such an active defence of Princes, even to the hazard and loss of life, how execrable in our esteem, and in the eyes of all loyal Subjects, must that design and pra­ctice be accounted, which we come this day to ac­knowledg, bewail, and to witness our abhorrence of, yea and implore the grace of God to wash away the guilt of, that it may not cleave to these Nations? I mean that most horrid, and almost unparallelled practice, of putting to Death our late Sovereign Charles the First, Father to His Majesty our now gra­cious King, and undoubted Ruler: the thing it self, with its circumstances, took so deep an impression upon our hearts, and is to this day [...]o fresh in our memories, that I need not now again represent the Tragedy.

1. If it be considered, by whom this fact was com­mitted? His own natural Subjects.

[Page 17]2. In what manner? in a form, and under a pre­tence of Justice: Heavens blush to see a King stand­ing at a Bar before his Subjects.

3. At what time? after His large Concessions, and the Parliaments Judgment, that they were a suf­ficient Ground to proceed upon for a lasting Peace.

4. The Execution it self, with the Circumstances; to be Beheaded at His own Royal Palace Gates in the highest contempt.

5. The Consequents of it. 1. The Dispossession and Banishment of the undoubted Heir, with the Banishment of all the Royal Seed. 2. The Intrusion of the Bloody Usurper. 3. The Subverting of Go­vernment and Laws. 4. The Confusion of the Na­tions Order, Peace and Settlement. 5. The Discon­tent, Grief, and Heart-break of all Loyal Subjects. 6. The Shame of the most Glorious and Loyal Peo­ple in the World. 7. The greatest Scandal of the Reformed Protestant Religion that ever it endured. I say, if these things be considered, our practice this day may very well be justified, to make use of this day to confess, bewail, and beg pardon, as for other of the crying sins of the Nation, and for other blood, both of Prophets and Innocents, so especially for that thrice-dipt Rebellion of shedding the Blood of the Father of his Country, and the politick Head of these eminent Kingdoms: And the Lord give us sadly and mournfully to lay it to our hearts, that the guilt of it may not lie upon our heads.

Fifthly, Another and great duty that Subjects owe to their Rulers especially to the King as supream, is their prayers and hearty desires for their universal [Page 18] good: We are bound to pray for all, 1 Tim. 2.1. yea for our very enemies, Luke 6.28. how much more therefore for Princes and Governours, that have rule over us by God's appointment, Rom. 13. 1, 2. and so great an influence upon the Subjects, either for their welfare or their hurt? This duty the Scripture holds forth with as clear and pregnant in­stances, precepts, and examples, as any duty we owe to them, 1 Tim. 2.1. here you have an express com­mand for whom, and upon what grounds we should make our prayers: And it is observable, that the Apostle enjoyns this to Christians when the Ma­gistrates under whom they lived were H [...]athen. Gen. 47—it is said twice, that Iacob blessed Pha­raoh, vers. 7, 10. Hoc est (saith one) fausta illi prec [...]tus est, a [...] seriis precibus, ipsius [...]c regni incolumitatem Deo commendavit. Ieremiah gives this advice to the Captives in Babylon, Ier. 29.7. that th [...]y should seek the peace of the City whither God had caused them to be carried away Captives, and to pray to the Lord for it, for in the peace thereof shall you have peace. And in this (though I cite no [...] Baruch, because not received as Canonical) where it is said, they were charged to pray for the life of Nebuch [...]dn [...]zar, and his So [...] Beltbazar, ye [...] it mus [...] n [...]ed▪ be understood, that in praying [...]or the peace of [...]he City, they did pray for the King, under▪ whose go [...]e [...]n [...]nt and pro­tection the City was, and they in the City. When Daniel spake to the King D [...]ius out of the Lions Den, b [...]ing miraculously preserv [...]d from [...]he [...]aws and teeth of those ravenous Beast [...], upon the King' [...] appro [...]ch to the Den, Da [...]. 6.20▪ [...] King live for e [...]r. [Page 19] My God [...]ath s [...]t his Augel, &c. which was expres­sion of his loyal affection, and desire of all good and prosperity to the King. And this was according to the custome of the Jews, upon the inauguration of their Kings, to cry out, God save the King; or Viva [...] Re [...], let the King liv [...], 1 Sam. 10.24. 1 Kings 1.34. But most considerable is that piece of Scripture, viz. Psalm. 20.—which contains a Prayer of the Church for the King; which though it look at Christ in the managing and success of his spiritual Kingdom, yet must needs take in David the type, and inspired Pen-man of the Psalm; the whole Psalm is a Prayer, [...]nd expression of confidence upon their Pray [...]r: and this Prayer, that God would hear them for the King, and bear the King when he prayed for himself or them; and that God would incline the heart of the King to hear them, when upon occasion they should call to him in any mat [...]r of conc [...]nment. So much you may see in the general scope and tenour of the Psalm, perhaps I may make some [...]rther use of the particulars afterwards.

Tertullian in his Apology for the Christians, who were often burthened with false Charges of Sedition and Treason, said, Nos pro salute Imperatorum Deum invocamus, Deum aeternum, Deum vivum. ‘We Christians do pray for the safety and prosperity of Emperors to the eternal God, to the living God, whom the Emperors themselves do desire to find propitious to them, besides others, and before all others: And therefore we do pray for all Empe­rors, that they may have long Life, a secure Go­vernment, a safe House, valiant Armies, a faithful [Page 20] Senate, an honest People, a quiet World, & quae­cunque Hominis & Caesaris vota sunt. The Speech of Bugenhagig of Pomerania is worthy observation; If we were so ready as we should be to pray for Magistrates, as we are apt to murmur and detract from them, it would be better with us under their government then it is.

Question. If you ask, What we should direct our prayers to God for, in relation to our Princes and Go­vernors?

Answer. I answer in general, for their universal good; for all that they do, or may stand in need of in every capacity, as Men, Christians, Magistrates, and all that may be useful to fit them for, and make them successful in their goverment. Whatsoever we read in Scripture of the duties of Princes, of the qua­lifications of Princes for their duties, of the com­mendable practice of Princes in any cases, of pro­mises of God made to them in reference to their persons on government, if made to them as such, not with any special or limited reference; whatsoever we read of their sins, failings, miscarriages, or God's [...]nger and displeasure against them; all that tends to their good, and the good of their relations, go­vernment, people, or the preventing or removing of [...]y evil t [...]reatned, or in execution, may very fitly be turned into prayers.

It i [...] not within my [...]each to reckon up [...]ll that may engage our prayers for the chief Magistrate, and those that are under them, there are besides or­dina [...]y and stated cases, many emergencies and ex­traordinary cases, which may call for alterations, or additions in our prayers. It behoves us therefore to [Page 21] be acquainted with Scripture, to know what is be­hoveful for them; and to enquire after them and their government, to know what is meet for us in our capacities to know of the state of their persons and affairs, that we may suitably make our appli­cations to God for them. But I shall hint some par­ticulars.

1. It concerns us much to pray for the health, welfare, safety and preservation of the King's per­son, that he may be kept from sickness, weakness, or any thing that may disable him from the free and chearful attendance upon his duty, and most ad­vantagious management of his government; that he may be kept from all Treasonable plots▪ Conspira­cies, and Bloody attempts against his Person, such as have been endeavoured or practiced against other Princes. That God would lengthen out the thread of their lives, grant them long and many happy dayes, It hath been the ancient Vote of the People, Vivat Rex, Let the King live▪ and great reason, because it is threatned as a Judgment to have many Rulers, i. e. to have the Seat of Government often changed by a multiplied succession of Princes, whether taken away by God's hand immediately, or by the violent hand of Traytors; seldom is there a change of the person, without some shaking of the Seat and Government it self: Be earnest therefore with God [...]or this, as for your own lives, that God would secure and preserve the life of the King for many dayes, Daniel wished this for Darius ▪ when he was in the Lions Den, Dan. 6.21. O King live [...] for ever. And the Church prayeth for the King [Page 22] that the Name of the God of Iacob might defend him.

2. Because the Kingly Office (and so of other Rulers) doth require high endowments, special qua­lifications, and a greater measure both of natural, moral, and supernatural accomplishments, then is necessary for other men; therefore God is to be sought earnestly to bestow all such gifts and graces upon them, as may serve to accomplish them for their high and weighty employment; by observing what the Scripture directs to, as qualifications in Persons to be chosen to, or set apart for Govern­ment; or what the Scriptures do commend in such as were called to Government, in the management of their places, or what any have prayed for for themselves or others for them, that may and should we pray for our Princes and Rulers. It is an honest ambition for People to desire that their own present Governours might be equal to, yea, if it were the will of God, might out strip the best of those that have gone before them in any Kingdom. Now if you read Exod. 18.21. Deut. 1.13, 15. 2 Sam. 23.3. 1 Sam. 13.14. 2 Sam. 22.24. 1 Kings 2 Kings 22.19. In these places you may see some of the excellent qualifications that are fi [...] to be seated in the heart of a King, viz. 1. The fear of God. 2. Wis­dom and ability. 3. Iustice. 4. Vprightness. 5. Hatred of covetousness. 6. Tenderness of heart. 7. Zeal for the Hou [...]e of God. 8. Temperance. 9. Love to and care of [...]he People, as Mo [...]es. Make these therefore, and what­soever else you find, as [...] Jewel in the Crowns of Princes, which hath rendr [...]d th [...]m famous and illu­strious, [Page 23] whether Meekness, Mercy, Magnanimity, Curtesie, Liberality, Truth and Faithfulness in per­forming Promises, &c. the object of your Prayers; and be earnest with God to enrich and enoble His Royal Majesty, our King, with all these excellent Graces, by which he may be furnished and fitted for all the parts of His Government.

3. Pray also that in the execution of His Govern­ment, all things may be rightly administred accord­ing to the rule of God's Word, that he may shew forth the beauty and glo [...]y of such rare and virtuous endowments as we have spoken of.

1. That in His and Their personal carriage, He may be free from all that may in the least eclipse His glory, that His graces may sparkle in His con­versation, and His example make all others asha­med that are tainted with any thing contrary to the virtues of the Prince. It's a glorious thing for a Prince to go before His Subjects in the practice of that which is noble and praise-worthy; Regis [...]d ex­emplum, &c. Psal. 101.1, 2, 3, 4. 2 Kings 20.3. It is a shame for Subjects to appear vitious, when the Prince draws such fair lines in His course to be their Copies.

2. That His Family may be rightly ordered in all points; and therefore that He may have such (and none other) to serve Him, as are themselves most careful to serve God. It is noble for a Prince to take up Ioshuah's resolution, Iosh. 24.15. and add David's to it, Psal. 101.6, 7. and to follow Abraham's practice; [...] [...]8▪18▪ 19. and i [...] must need [...] be worthy of [...] Peo­ple [...] pray fo [...] the [...]rince that He may [...]o so.

[Page 24]3. In reference to the Public [...], we should pray to God that our Princes end Rulers, may

1. Always, in the first place, look to the Interest of God and Religion, above any of their own Interests and Concernments, Psalm 132.2, 3, 4. Psalm 69.9. becau [...]e the settlement and security of theirs, lieth principally in the maintenance and security of God's Right, 2 Chron. 29.3. and 34.3. It cannot be ex­pected that God should indulge them theirs, if they be careless of his Property. Pray

1. That by their Authority, they may make the way open for the free passage of the Gospel, that it may run and be glorified, 2 Chron. 29.3, 4.

2. Call the Ministers of the Lord, and such as are to wait upon God's Altars, to attend upon their Charge, and be diligent in it, 2 Chron. 29.4, 11, 25, 30, 31. and not to suffer any that are idle, or scandalous, in God's House.

3. To cast out Idolatry, with all the Relicks and Monuments of Idolatry, that nothing remain to be a snare to the People, to make them turn from God, or to have an itching towards it, 2 Chron. 30.14. and 31.1.

4. To see whatsoever is wanting to the Worship of God, which God hath appointed, be restored, 2 Chron. 30.1, 2, 3, 4, 5. and if any thing be crept in, which is not of God's institution, as Worship, that it be swept out.

5. That the Lord's Ministers, who labour faith­fully in the Word and Doctrine, may be encouraged to th [...]ir Work, by having their Portion set out for them, and duly exhibited to them, that they attend [Page 25] [...]heir Work without distraction, 2 Chron. 31.4.

6. That care may be taken for the preserving, en­couraging, and keeping pure the Fountains and Nurseries of Learning and Religion, the Universi­ties, that from thence may still be raised up a learned and godly Ministry, to officiate in God's House, and to administer the Holy Things of God in all suc­cession, that there may be no room for the incroach­ment of Errors, Heresies, and False Doctrines. These are things that have a special influence upon the hap­piness and welfare of Kings and Kingdoms; and therefore God is earnestly to be sought, that herein principally our Princes may approve themselves, that they may have God with them and for them: A pure flourishing Church doth usually make an happy and flourishing State; God's promise is to ho­nour them that honour him. And on the other side, the Apostacy, Corruption, and Degeneration of the Church, hath fatally proved the Ruine and Destru­ction of the State; beg therefore, above all things, that Kings and Princes may be Nursing Fathers to the Church, Patrons to pure Religion.

2. We should pray that our Princes and Rulers may bend themselves to look after the peace, wel­fare, prosperity, establishment, and good govern­ment of the Commonwealth, that all the People, as much as in them lies, may live in peace, and lead quiet and peaceable lives under them, in all godliness and honesty, 2 Tim. 2.2. that every man may be encouraged to serve God, and follow his particular calling for the publick good; and that this may be, God is to be sought unto, to bless the King and King­dom.

[Page 26]1. With a grave, wise, sober, religious, publick-spirited Council, such as may be ready to advise for the best, both between the Prince and People, and in all other the great Affairs of the Kingdom; not such as Rehoboam's, 1 Kings 12.8, 9, 10, 11. Absa­lom's, 2 Sam. 16.20, 21, 22. Abasuerus, Esther 3.8, 9, 10. Zedekiah's, Ier. 38.4. Nebuchadnezzar's, Dan. 3.8, ad 13. Darius, Dan. 6.6, 7, 8, 9. had, but the best of the Nobles, and Elders of the Tribes.

2. With learned, religious, and righteous Judges, Justices, and inferiour Magistrates, seeing the exe­cution of the Laws lies especially in the hands of these subordinate Ministers of State; and for the most part such as they are that are intrusted, such is the administration in their hands: I [...] requires prayers for the King, that God would incline his heart to see that his Authority be entrusted in the best hands, and such as are most like to administer justice faithfully and impartially to all his Subjects; men of truth, and hating covetousness, Exod. 18.21. Pray to God to restore Iudges as at the first, and Counsellors as at the beginning, Isaiah 1.26. and 60.17. To make our Officers peace, and our Exactors righte­ousness, Ier. 7.5, 6, 7. and 22.3, 4. It is the great happiness of a Kingdom to have judgment executed faithfully, sin suppressed, disco [...]nte [...]anced, punished, godliness, sobriety, justice, [...]ruth, mercies, and all good works praised and countenanced, this is the end of Magistracy; and therefore it should be our prayer, that none may be en [...]rusted with power, but such as will endeavour to answer the end of govern­ment, and that those may answer the end that are [Page 27] intrusted with the power; that so Iudgment may run down the streets like water, and Righteousness like a mighty stream. And if these, Religion and Righte­ousness, according to the just measure of them in the Word of God, be established, we may conclude, the King's Throne, and Kingdoms happiness stand up­on a sure foundation, Prov. 16.12. these are excel­lent supporrers, strong pillars to bear up Dominion.

3. It behoves us, as a thing that may have much influence into the happiness of King and Kingdom, to pray to God to bless the Royal Bed, to raise up a numerous and virtuous Issue, that there may never fail of the Branches of that Royal Stock to sit upon the Throne: God entailed this as a blessing upon David, that he should not want a man to sit upon his Throne, Psalm. 132.11, 12. And I do not know but that (with submission to God's will) we may pray, that our Kings and Princes may never want of their Seed to sway the Sceptres of these Kingdoms.

4. It is of concernment to pray, that God would bless his Majesty with loyal, faithful, couragious Armies, that both Officers and Souldiers may be men of clean conscience, and great courage; and in­deed it is hardly to be expected they should be of good courage, if they be of debau [...]hed carriage and guilty conscience, Iosh. 7.1, 4, 5, 10, 11. That such they may be that are intrusted with Martial Affairs, whether by Sea or Land, is worthy our prayers, that so (though Peace is to be desired in the first place, and that God would bless the King and Kingdom with Peace) yet seeing War in some cases is an Or­dinance of God, Deut. 10.1, 2, 3. it is not below [Page 28] prayers to desire (if War must be) that it may have a just ground, be against the Enemies of God, not Friends; be rightly managed, and happily succeeded by Gods blessing. And thus we may do for a bles­sing upon all Counsels, Negotiations, Embassies, which have Gods warrant for them, Gods approba­tion of them. We may and ought to pray in a special manner, that God would keep the King, and all Rulers, from every evil way, and from all evil coun­sels, because both themselves and their Kingdoms are subject to a great deal of hazard and mischief thereby; but if they do sin, whether it arise from their own inclination, or the provocation of evil Counsellors, (and who is it that lives and sins not? Eccles. 7.20. 1 Kings 8.40.) then it is our duty to be instant with God, for the pardon both of his and their sins, that the guilt of them may not remain upon the Throne, Lev. 4.22, 23, 24, 25, 26. We may also, and ought to pray as the Church doth, Psal. 20▪3, 4, 5. that God would fulfil & grant him all his righteous desires and petitions, that the King may be a Iedidiah to God, 2 Sam. 12.24, 25. that God may singularly delight and take pleasure in his Anointed, and that God may be to him his Crown and Glory.

Finally, Let us pray to God to bless his Majesty with a numerous and great People, because the glory of a King consists much in the multitude of his Sub­jects, Prov. 14.28. and that therefore nothing may be done on either part to provoke the jealousie of God, by any sweeping judgment to [...]ut off and lessen the number of his Subjects, as in David [...] time, 2 S [...]m. 24.1, 10, 12, 13, 15. but especially let us pray, that he may be blessed with a loyal, religious, and obe­dient [Page 29] People, which will be as much his honour, and much more their strength then their multitude; the multitude honour him with their names, but the loyal and religious will serve him with their hearts; and theirs will be the best service, because whilest they obey their Prince, they are men that rule, and have power with God, Hos. 11.12.

I need not use Arguments to urge this duty, I hope there is no man but is convinced of it, and in some measure doth desire to perform it; only I would per­swade you to make a business of it, not a complement; to do it seriously, to do it frequently, to do it strenu­ously and fervently, to do it feelingly and with affe­ction, as those that are with Child, and do more ear­nestly long after all that concerns his Majesties hap­piness then our own. I would beg of you this day, as oft as you bow your knees before the eternal God for your selves, to make conscience to lift up your hearts to God, who hath the life and hearts of Kings in his hand, for all the blessings of Heaven and Earth, of this and that life that is eternal, for his sacred Ma­jesty: Almost every thing be speaks this at your hand; 1. The command of God, 1 Tim. 2.2.2. The dignity and celsitude of his place, 2 Sam. 23.3.3. The worth of his Person, better then thousands of us, 2 Sam. 18.3.4. Our relation to him, as Subjects to their Prince, Ti­tus 3.1. Sheep to their Shepherd, Isai. 44.28. Chil­dren to their Father, Commandment 5.5. The influ­ence that their government hath upon us, either for ou [...] good or [...]urt, our good if it [...] with them▪ our hurt [...]f they miscarry. [...]. Th [...]r business and their burden is exceeding great; though they wear Crowns, their Crowns have Thorns. O [...] the wisdom care, [Page 30] watchfulness, sedulity, patience, magnanimity, required in so great a charge, as the preservation and well or­dering of such vast bodies, such great vessels, so richly laden with the lives, peace, wealth, yea souls of Sub­jects, especially the steering of them amongst rocks and shelves in the midst of storms and tempests.

Their temptations (not inferiour) indeed much greater then any of their Subjects; it is not ordinarily considered how dangerous their standing is, and its the more dangerous, because it is so high.

1. In high places men are naturally more obnoxi­ous to the swimmings of the brain; and if they fall, their fall is more pernicious, because of their distance from the Earth: It was a temptation to be on a Pi­nacle, Matth. 4.5.

2. Though they be Princes, Psal. 118.9. Angels, Gods, Psal. 82.6, 7. in their titles, yet in respect of cor­ruptions, infirmities, temptations, they are men: the best not free, not Moses, David.

3. It is Satans great design to corrupt Princes, be­cause if he can get advantage of them, he shall be sure to have company with them, 2 Kings 3.3, 4. they sel­dom fall but they have others to fall with them; they are not always so happy, as to have all that are about them, faithful to them; some that get about the Throne will be Corruptors and Flatterers, though some others be never so upright; and those that are corrupt will watch their advantage, and use plausible pretences of the Kings honour and profit, as Haman, Esther 3.8. when the bottom of the design is their own advantage, the Kings dishonour, and the Peoples damage.

. Besides, there is much danger in the greatness of [Page 31] the Revenue; it is a hard matter where there is so much comming in, to issue it out again in the service of the Publick, without the gratifying of some sinful Privadoes, that will call for maintenance out of so rich a Treasure: They are something more then men, that in so great a fulness can master ambition, lust, intem­perance, prodigality, and such like, which though it may be done, yet will be better done by the help of Gods Peoples prayers, Deut. 32.15. 2 Chron. 26.16. Solomon himself could scarce manage his Prosperity.

5. The miscarriage of Princes is dangerous, not to themselves only, but to the People; as the Peoples sins may occasion much evil to the Prince, especially where his neglect hath given any life to the breathing out of their sins. So on the other hand, the sins of the Rulers may entail a judgment upon the People, 1 Kings 12.28, 29, 30. and 14.15, 16. because for the most part the Peoples sins are the imitations of the Rulers mis­carriages; the danger is mutual, and therefore there is need of mutual prayers, that neither the Prince may suffer for the Peoples, nor the People for the Princes sins. Prayer is God's Ordinance, and it is a mighty Engine by which the poorest Peasants amongst men do go forth, and commence Princes with God, as it is said of Iacob, Gen. 32.28. I will not disparage Ar­mies, because they also are in some cases God's insti­tution; yet I shall not fear to say, that an Army of Prayers may do more then an Army of Souldiers; and Souldiers do always fight best, that do edge their wea­pons with their prayers. When Moses prayed the Is­raelites prevailed, Exod. 17.11. Iehoshaphats and Heze­kiahs Prayers did more service then the Souldiers Arms, [...] Ch [...]on. 20.3, ad 19. and 32.20, 21. We are [Page 32] b [...]und to serve th [...] King with our B [...]dies, Lives; and Estates, and yet we cannot do him better service with any thing then our Prayers. In Prayer poor Mortals deal with God, whilst Ar­mies only deal with Men, Exod. 32.10. Deut. 9.14. In the con­ [...]est of Prayer, the great God suffers himself to be overcome by his weak Creature, whilst in contesting with Men, many Men lose their own lives, if the whole Army do not lose [...]he Field: at the utmost they do but conquer Men, but in Prayer Men (I desire to speak with humble reverence) do gain the Victory of God himself; and it is no disparagement to Him to be over­come by Prayer, because it is not an Enemy, but a Friend, that overcomes him, his own spirit in his Peoples prayers, and their conquest over him, brings him a conquest sometimes over Men, sometimes over Lusts, sometimes over Devils, for what is the Conquest of Prayer, but a prevailing with God, to exert his Power for the subduing and conquest of his own and our worst Enemies. Oh puissant mighty Wonder working Prayer! Re­strain not Prayer, but improve it to the utmost in behalf of the King, and all in Au [...]hority. By this you may serve them in any Case, in every Case, a [...]d so you cannot do with Arms. Prayers have undoubtedly been the happiest Engines for the bringing in, and peaceable settling him upon the Throne: His Majesty did most religiously, and affectionatly acknowledg it as he passed through London to the Ministers that humbly presented him with a Bible. Prayer hath done no little for his Majesty and us since his entrance, and I am very hopeful there are yet great things to be done by Prayer for his Majesty: follow it, and try the issue of it, I dare say it will not repent you. Prayer will stir God, if you stir God, he will stir all things else, and it may be, may stir up the heart of the King to be his Instrument [...]o do something for him, that we do not dream of. The hearts of Kings are in Gods hands, and Gods hands are very much ruled by Prayer. Oh Pray, Pray for the King, and be not discourag­ed, because by some men your Prayers are slighted: they little think how Prayers, contemned Prayers of private men, who pray in and by the Spirit, may shake them who fill their Dis­courses with Invectives against Prayers.

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