November 5. 1690.

ORdered, That the Thanks of this House be given to Dr. Free­man, for the Sermon he Preached ye­sterday before this House at St. Marga­rets Westminster: And that he be desi­red to Print the same. And that Sir William Leveson Gower do acquaint him therewith.


A SERMON Preached before the Honourable House of Commons, AT St. MARGARET'S Westminster, On Wednesday the Fifth of November, 1690.

BEING THE Anniversary Thanksgiving for the Happy Deli­verance of King JAMES the First, and the Three Estates of the Realm, from the GUNPOWDER-TREASON; And also for the Happy Arrival of His present MAJESTY on this Day, for the De­liverance of our Church and Nation from Popery and Arbitrary Power.

By S A. FREEMAN, D. D. Rector of St. Paul's Covent Garden, and Chaplain in Ordinary to Their MAJESTIES.

LONDON: Printed for Ric. Chiswell, at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard. M DC XC.

[Page 1] A SERMON Preached before the Honourable House of Commons, NOVEMB. 5. 1690.


I have found David my servant, with my holy oyl have I anointed him.

My hand shall hold him fast, and my arm shall strengthen him.

THE Words contain in them God's gracious Promise to King David, of his special and more than ordinary Presence with, and Prote­ction of him in the Admi­nistration of the Government he had cal­led him to; And certainly, never had [Page 2] any person greater experience of it than David, both before and after his coming to the Crown: Witness, his Deliverance from the Paws of the Lion and the Bear, from the mighty Force of the uncircum­cised Philistine, from the Persecutions of Saul, from the Rebellion of Absalom, from the secret Conspiracies of Dome­stick Foes, and the open Invasions of Foreign Enemies. Sometimes, indeed, it pleases God, for the Punishment of a wicked People▪ to suffer a Righte­ous and a Religious Prince, to fall by the hands of Violence, as was the Case of the good King Josiah: yet this is but rarely so; for the most part such Princes may promise themselves Safe­ty and Success from the Providence of God; that God's hand will hold them fast, and his arm strengthem them; that the Ene­my shall not be able to do them violence, nor the Son of Wickedness hurt them; that God will smite down their Foes before their face, and plague them that hate them.

[Page 3] Three things are here to be consider­ed.

  • I. The Person to whom the Promise is made, King David.
  • II. The Promise it self; viz. God's special Presence with him, and Protection of him. My hand shall hold him fast, and mine arm shall strengthen him.
  • III. What are the proper Uses and Application of this Doctrine.

I. The first thing to be consider­ed, is, The Person to whom the Pro­mise is made, King David, whom the Text considers under a two-fold Cha­racter:

As a Religious King, David my servant; And,

[Page 4] As a Rightful King, With my holy oyl have Ianointed him.

1. As a Religious King, David my servant; Saul by his Disobedience had shewed himself unworthy of the Go­vernment, and God's Favour; 1 Sam. 15. 23. He rejected the word of the Lord, says the Text, and thereupon God rejected him from being King, and resolv'd to translate the Crown to another Family: And amongst all the Tribes and Families in Israel, he pitch'd upon David the Son of Jesse, as the most fit, and best qualified Person for it: I have found David my servant; con­cerning whom God gave this Testimo­ny, That he was a man after his own heart, and that he had done that which was Right in his eyes▪ A Good King is one; who is no less the Image of the Love and Goodness, than of the Power and Ma­jesty of God; who no less represents the Affection and Tenderness of our Heavenly Father, than the Authori­ty of the Universal Monarch; whose [Page 5] Care it is, That Religion flourishes, and the True Worship of God be esta­blished; That Justice be impartially administred; That Vice be subdued, and Virtue encouraged; That the One be sham'd by his Example, and pu­nish'd by his Laws; And that the Other Reigns and Triumphs under the Influence of both: One, who invades no Man's Property;1 Sam. 12 3. Whose Ox or Ass have I taken? Whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? So Samuel, when Supreme Magistrate of Israel, justified his Integrity: Who uses not his Pow­er to ruine his People, to undermine the True Religion, or to enslave their Persons; but to defend Both, and to preserve them in their Rights and Liberties: Who is truly Pater Patriae, the Father of his Countrey; having no distinct Interest from his People's, and making Their Welfare His highest Glory.

[Page 6] 2. As a Rightful King; With my holy oyl have I anointed him. No Man can call in question David's Title to the Crown, unless he will dispute God's Right to dispose of Crowns as he pleases; for David was immediately Chosen by God, and Anointed by his Prophet. But this was peculiar to the Kings of Israel and Judah; no other Princes can produce such a Patent for their Crowns.

That which comes the nearest, is, When God by a signal and wonder­ful Providence, for some Great and Noble Ends, to Save a Nation, or to Defend his Truth, or to abate the Pride and Insults of His and His Church­es Enemies, pulls down Kings, and sets up Kings. But this is no cer­tain way of arguing; Success does not always give a Title where it gives a Crown.

[Page 7] The ordinary Means of conveying a Right to Govern, are, Either Conquest in a just Cause, The Election of the People, or Hereditary Succession: Ours is own'd to be an Hereditary Crown, viz. Always de­scending to the next Heir, unless it so happen, that he be naturally or morally uncapable, and that the Publick Good and Safety will be evidently endan­gered in his hands. Here it leaps over, not out of the Royal Line, but to the next, against whom there is no such Objection. The great End of Government is the Publick Good and Safety; This for the most part is bound up in the Laws and Constitutions of the Community; and as all the Powers and Prerogatives invested by Law in the Prince, or Head of this Polity, are the better to enable him to execute those Laws, and maintain the Common Safety; so all the Oaths that are taken to him by the Subjects, are also in Sub­ordination, and Subserviency to the [Page 8] Common Safety, to which they were antecedently oblig'd, and he as well Vid. Tract of the Unreasona­bleness of the New Separati­on.as they sworn to preserve. And there­fore the Lords and Commons of Eng­land, as is evident all along in the Course of our History, have always lookt upon that Prince, who went a­bout by an Arbitrary Power, in Con­tradiction to their Laws and Rights, both Civil and Ecclesiastical, to En­slave and Oppress them, as one that had laid down the English Kingship or Monarchy; and have made no Scru­ple on such a just Occasion, to with­draw their Allegiance from him, and to place another of the same Royal Line on the Throne of Majesty. So, that would Men lay aside their Preju­dices and their Passions, their Piques and Revenges, their Peevish and Awk­ward, their Selfish and Narrow Spirits, they would soon perceive, that the Pre­servation of our Laws and Religion, wherein consists the Publick Good of this Realm, (nay, which yet adds to [Page 9] it, the Preservation of the Protestant Religion and Interest all the World o­ver▪ whereon the Glory of God, and the Salvation of Men's Souls do so much depend) have in a manner forced the Royal Diadem where it is: And this Consideration alone (had it not been seconded with a just Cause, and a pre­vailing Power in a Sovereign Prince) seems to me, to give an Undoubted Title.

II. Here's the Promise it self.

In the following Verses, from the 25th to the 30th, God promises David greatly to enlarge his Empire, to exalt him to the highest pitch of Human Power and Glory; to continue the Crown for ever in his Family, from which it should never be taken, as it had been from Saul's: But these may be thought peculiar to David, who was a Type of Christ as well as King of Israel; espe­cially the last, which did not receive [Page 10] its full accomplishment, but in the King­dom of the Messiah, who was to come of the Race, and is said to sit on the Throne of David.

What he promises him in the Text, is, His powerful Presence with him, to protect him in all Dangers, to direct and assist him in all his just Underta­kings; to strengthen him against all the Enemies, both Domestick and Fo­reign, of his Crown and Kingdom; and this every Righteous and Religi­ous Prince may ordinarily take Confi­dence in, and apply to themselves. And that,

1. As they are God's Representatives and Vicegerents in the World. They are call'd Gods; and St. Paul stiles the Supreme Magistrate, The Minister of God; Because we are not capable of an immediate Converse with Heaven, therefore does God govern us by Men like our selves, and so puts part of his [Page 11] Power into their Hands; for as Pro­phets receive of the Spirit, so do Kings of the Power of God. Now, those who are employ'd by God to act for, and under him in the World, have reason to expect proportionable Assistance and Protection from him.

2. As they are entrusted by God with the Management of Publick Af­fairs, and so the welfare of the whole Community depending in a great mea­sure upon their prudent Conduct and Safety. We have ten parts in the King, said the Ten Tribes; Thou art worth Ten thousand of us. And again, Thou shalt not any more go out to Battel with us, lest thou quench the Light of Israel, said the Israelites to King David. What the Sun is to the World, that is a Wise and Gracious Prince to a Nation, its Happiness, and its Glory. Now, we may be sure, that that Providence, which, as the Scripture tells us, extends its Care over the least and most despica­ble [Page 12] things, over the Birds of the Air, and the Beasts of the Field, will much more concern it self for things of a more worthy Nature, for Men, for Communities of Men, for Princes, the Life and Soul of Communities. God is more concern'd in Many, than in single Persons; and since a Kingdom is the general Concernment of a King, a King must be the special Concernment of God. Kings by the Ancients were call'd [...], Men kept by God, Hag. 2. 23. He hides them under the Shadow of his Wings, he keeps them as the Apple of his Eye. He sets them as a Signet on his right hand. God hath this as his peculiar Title, Psal. 144. 10. The God that giveth Salvation unto Kings.

3. That I may put many things toge­ther and hasten: Good Kings may expect God's special Presence with them.

In regard of the difficulty of their Office and Duty, being oft times to de­liberate [Page 13] about the Fate of Kingdoms, to judge in Matters of a dubious and intri­cate Nature, and to engage in Enterprises of the greatest Hazard.

In regard of the many Temptations, the Height of their Place and Power sub­jects them unto; The uncontrollableness of their Power, the abundance of their Wealth, the multitude of their Cares and Business, the Crouds of Sycophants and Flatterers that always follow the Courts of Princes, are ve­ry dangerous Snares to their Virtue; The Devil knows how much it would be for the advantage of his Kingdom in the World, to have the Governors of it on his side, that they cannot sin alone, but they must be fol­low'd by Troops, and therefore he's always watching occasions, and craving permission from God to seduce and pervert them.

In regard of the many Dangers they are expos'd to; Princes have not only many Potent Enemies from abroad, but for the most part many envious ill-willers and discontented Male-contents at home, [Page 14] that are always beating how to supplant or overthrow them.

In regard, lastly, of some momentous and important Work and Business a Prince may be call'd to by God; Be it, for example, to put a stop to the spread­ing of Idolatry, or to give a check to the merciless Rage of Tyrants and Per­secutors; This is the Cause of God, and he must be wanting to himself, should he be wanting to those whom he hath raised up for the defence of it.

The Worthies of the Old Testament, Mo­ses and Joshuah, and Gideon, and Barak, and Jeptha, and David, and many others, were bright examples of this; with whom God was peculiarly present, and sometimes after a miraculous manner. The Author to the Hebrews tells us what Heroical Atchieve­ments they perform'd by faith in God.

I must not stay to lead you far back in other History, yet I cannot forbear men­tioning the many wonderful Deliverances [Page 15] and Successes wherewith it pleased God to crown the Great Constantine, and our own Renown'd and never to be forgotten Queen Elizabeth, whom God raised up, the one, for the Deliverance of his Church Universal from Heathen Rage; the other, for the Deliverance of this Church from Popish Fury: But I must pass over these and innumerable others, that I may come to them which I am concern'd particular­ly to remember.

What an admirable Providence was it, that discover'd the Gunpowder Treason, the black Conspiracy of this Day, by the Lines of a dead Letter sent to the Lord Monteagle! What could it be but a Beam from Heaven that darted into the King's Mind a meaning quite contrary to the natural sense of the Words and all Gram­matical construction! The expression was, The Danger is past as soon as you have burnt the Letter, which King James interpre­ted, as quickly, making it signifie, the sud­denness and quickness of the Blow in­tended.

[Page 16] And no less visible was the Sword of the Lord, than the Sword of Gideon, in our late happy Happy and Glorious Re­volution; when we consider with what an invincible Spirit of Wisdom and Cou­rage His Majesty undertook the Cause of our Country; what general Desires and Inclina­tions were on the sudden kindled in Mens Hearts towards Him, their Laws, and their Religion; What a burning Zeal and Vigour, what an universal Harmony of Affections, what a perfect agreement of Councils and Endeavours inflamed the Breasts of all Men; What a strange Folly and Infatuation blinded the Coun­sels of our Enemies; What guilty Fears and Cowardise seiz'd their Spirits; How all was brought about by a dry Victo­ry, without the expence of the Blood ei­ther of our Friends or Enemies; We must conclude, That God was with him of a truth, and that it was he that made it to prosper.

[Page 17] III. It remains now only, that we con­sider what are the proper Uses and Ap­plication of this Doctrine. I shall name at present but these four. And,

1. What a sincere regard and esteem ought we to have for those, for whom God is pleased to have so great and par­ticular a concern? The Scripture is very strict in injoyning Honour and Reverence to them, we are commanded to fear the King, to obey him, to pay tribute to him; all just and legal Power and Authority is not to be resisted; this is the Ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to them­selves damnation. Wise and gracious Princes are so great Blessings to their Kingdoms, that in the Heathen World their Subjects not only paid them the highest Honours during their lives, but worshipt them too after their deaths. They could not ima­gine, that those who either by the inven­tion of useful Arts, or the institution of an excellent Government, or by many noble Exploits and Deliverances had in [Page 18] a high degree obliged their Countries, died like other Men, they reckon'd they became Divine, and were translated a­mong the Gods, and so chang'd their Al­legiance into Adoration. I mention this not for imitation, but as an infinite shame and reproach to too many Christians, who cannot find in their Hearts to make any other returns to their Princes for the in­numerable Benefits and mighty Delive­rances, they at the peril of their Lives and Blood have purchas'd for them, than Curses and opprobrious Language, than meditating Ruine and Destruction against them. What can we desire more, that is not by the blessing of God upon their Undertaking restor'd and confirm'd to us? Our Laws have recover'd their just Vigour and Authority, our Rights and Properties are secur'd, our Holy Religion safe, our Lives, and our Souls too, if we are not wanting to our selves, out of danger. We feel indeed at present some Burdens and Taxes, but are they any other than what are absolutely necessary for our preserva­tion, voluntarily impos'd upon us by our [Page 19] Representatives in Parliament, And what are tollerable and easie when compar'd with the Slavery and Oppression we are freed from, and the far greater Miseries we had just reason to fear were coming upon us? We have nothing to complain of, unless it be that the Government is too mild and merciful to them who so little deserve it. Certainly they who so mur­mur and repine under this Golden Scepter, consider not what it would be to feel the Iron Rod of French Cruelty and Popish Revenge.

2. God's special Presence with and Pro­tection of good Kings, shews how vain and foolish a thing it is, as well as sinful, to conspire against them. Never was there yet a Government or Governour that could give Content and Satisfaction to all its Subjects; so long as there are De­vils in Hell that delight in the Miseries and Confusions of Men, and so long as there is Pride, and Ambition, and Malice, and Revenge, and Covetousness lodg'd in the Breasts of Men, must Princes ex­pect [Page 20] to meet with those who envying their Power and Greatness, will be always contriving how to snatch it from them, or make them uneasie under it; some there are that affect a Change for Change sake, and therefore desire to be rid of their present Masters, onely that they might have new ones: Others are for troubling the Waters, hoping thereby for an opportunity to heal their lame Fortunes in them; Others are against the Govern­ment, because the Government is against them; It's an Enemy to some Mens De­baucheries, and they had as live part with their Lives as their Vices and their Plea­sures; Its an Enemy to some Mens Pro­fits and Honours, they have lost some­thing they had, or they want something they cannot get, they have no share in the Administration, no Place of Trust, no Post of Advantage in it, and some Men can be true to nothing but their own Interests, and because a Government does not serve their turn, they are for another that will; Its an Enemy to that which some Men call their Religion, I mean [Page 21] their Superstitious and Idolatrous way of Worship, and that State must not think to stand long, if the Devil and the Jesuit can help it, that does not fall down to their Dagon: But in vain are all the Attempts of Malice and Treason against those, who are compass'd about with God's Favour as with a Shield. Good Princes are the peculiar Charge and Favourites of God; He in an especial manner interests himself in their Safety; and unless their Enemies are of God's Privy Couucil, and can know before-hand that he'll suffer it, they can no more be secure of Success in their Conspiracies, than they can be of being too hard for the Almighty. Give me leave therefore in this case to apply the beginning of the 2d Psalm, that was literally spoken of David, as well as figu­ratively of Christ; Why do the Papists rage, and the disaffected People imagine a vain thing? He that sits in Heaven shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in Derision; yet have I set my King upon my Holy Hill of Sion.

[Page 22] 3. God's special Presence with and Protection of good Kings, calls upon us to pray for the continuance of it to those whom in his good Providence he hath set over us; the Mercies God promises, he ex­pects should be fetch'd down by Prayer. Now Kings being the main Instruments of Providence, whereby God conveyeth his Favours and dispenseth his Ju­stice to a People, as we cannot ex­pect to be happy and prosperous, but by their means; so we cannot expect that they should be a means of it, unless by fervent and devout Prayer, we engage the continual powerful Presence of God with them: Not to invoke the Blessing of God upon Governours, is to disown God's Government of the World whose Ministers they are: And how can that People expect to be blessed by God, who disown his Government? There are none but must be sensible how much the welfare of this Kingdom is bound up in the Preservation of this Government. In all likelihood our Religion, our Laws, [Page 23] and our Liberties will stand and fall with our Princes; we are therefore high­ly oblig'd, if not for theirs, for our own Sakes, to lift up our Hearts and our Voices to Heaven for them. I hope we have not yet forgot the Day of our Di­stress, what passionate Prayers we then sent up to Heaven to take pity on us: And God was pleased to hear the Prayers of his People, He rais'd us up a Deliverer, and has thereby encourag'd us still to pray, Strengthen, O Lord, that which thou hast wrought for us: Clothe all his Enemies with Shame, but upon himself let his Crown flourish.

4. God's special Presence with and Pro­tection of righteous and religious Princes, calls upon us to bless God for the two great Deliverances of this Day. An eminent Jesuit, Campian by name, long since declared in Print, that Camp. Epist. 10. ad Conc. Reg. Angl. p. 22. their Society had made a Holy League and solemn Oath, that as long as there were any of them alive, they would destroy heretical Princes by all means possible; and as for the Eng­lish [Page 24] Nation they would procure and for ever pur­sue its Ruine, and the utter Destruction of its Religion. And to do them right, hitherto they have made good their Oath; how unwearied and restless have their Malice and Rage been against us?

The Royal Family of the Stuarts, to begin Sir Edw. Cook's Speech at Gar. Tryal.no higher, are indebted to them for many signal Kindnesses: What strong Endeavours were made to keep King James the First from the Crown? Garnet a Jesuit brought two Breves from Pope Clement the 8th to exclude him, commanding all Catholicks, both Clergy and Laity, not to suffer him, or any other that was not a Catholick, to succeed to the Crown. Parsons another Jesuit, under the Name of Doleman, wrote against his Title, and set up another, that of the Infanta of Spain against his; after a most rude and insolent manner, blackning his Name, and loading his Actions with the most spiteful Calumnies; But when after all their Attempts, they could not hinder him from coming in, they resolv'd by dreadful blow of Gunpowder to rid [Page 25] themselves at once both of him, and his whole Family: A Villany so black and odious, that the Papists themselves are ashamed to own it, and would fain have it pass for a State-trick, and a Plot of an Eminent Minister at that time against them: But this was an invention of their own, not thought of till long afterwards, not in the least mentioned nor pleaded by any of the Conspirators in their de­fence. Pr [...]fat. mon. p. 146. Hist. Gun-Powder Tr. p. 232. Delr. disquis. mag. l. 6. c. 11. Pr [...]fat. mon. p. 8, 9.But, on the contrary, 'twas con­fess'd by the Traytors themselves, justi­fied by some of them, own'd by Sir E­verard Digby's Letters now made publick, taken care of before-hand not to be dis­covered in Confessions, The Success of it pray'd for under the name of a great Design in hand, for the good of the Ca­tholick Cause, The disappointment of it sorely lamented; but in all Probabili­ty, had it succeded, would have been welcom'd at Rome with as publick Festi­vals and Triumphs, as the great Thuanus, an Historian of their own, informs us, the Parisian-Massacre was, wherein 30000 [Page 26] Protestants were slain in one Night. But blessed be God who hath hitherto de­feated the malicious Purposes of the in­veterate Enemies of our Church and Na­tion, that brought to light that Work of Hell and Darkness, and hath preserved us in the Enjoyment of the Benefits of that great Deliverance to this Day.

In the Reign of King Charles the First, they carried on the same Design; They began with a Plot to murder the Arch­bishop, and to take away the King's Life, happily discovered by means of Andreas ab Habernfield. What salvage and inhumane Cruelties they committed in Ireland, I tremble to mention, wherein a 100000 Protestants were barbarously murdered in See Dr. Pet. du Moulin. Vind. of Prot. Relig. ch. 2. p. 58. and his Reply to a Person of Honour, p. 4, 5.cold Blood: What hand they had in kind­ling and carrying on that cruel and unnatu­ral War, and in the execrable murder of that incomparable Prince, how at their Consults they voted 'twas for the Interest of Holy Church, and how active and in­strumental they were to promote the [Page 27] Councils that did it, has been offer'd to be prov'd against them.

In King Charles the Second's time; Into what innumerable Sects and Factions did they break us; what fiery Strifes, what im­placable Animosities, (which, God help us, are burning to this very day) did they blow up amongst them? How dextrously did they manage the contending Parties, encou­raging now one and then the other, till they had almost beat out one anothers Brains? And then at last by plotting to take away the Life of that Prince, (who was now thought, it seems, to stand in their way) and to give a Toleration to the Po­pish Party, how advantagiously did they prepare the way for a total Extirpation, as they call'd it, of the Northern Heresy, which they doubted not to effect under the Reign of a more resolute Prince, that should more heartily and vigorously e­spouse their Cause? And you all know how near they were to the accomplishing of it.

[Page 28] Good God! What a black and melan­choly Prospect of things was then before us? What a horrible Storm hung over our Heads, threatning Ruin to every thing that was dear to us, and to entail Slavery, Igno­rance and monstrous Errors, even Tran­substantiation it self, upon our Posterity? How were we daily threatned with an Army of Forreigners, and those the most infamous for Blood and Cruelty, and some of them actually brought in up­on us.

But blessed be God who hath put an end to our Miseries, and almost to our very Fears; who put it into the Heart of the King to come in to our Succour, and who made even the Winds and the Waves propitious to him and his glorious Enter­prize.

Blessed be God who hath preserved him hitherto, to settle and establish us in that Salvation, which under God he hath [Page 29] wrought for us; who suffered not the fatal Bullet that came so near him, to do him Mischief; nor the Swords of his Enemies that thirsted for his Blood, to touch him; who preserved him safe in the Crowds of his Enemies, and in the midst of innume­rable Dangers, and after a signal and glo­rious Victory, landed him safe again on our joyful Shoar.

Blessed be God who hath given him the Hearts of his Parliament, and the Af­fections of his People.

Blessed be God for his Heroick Spirit of Wisdom and Magnanimity, for his merci­ful Disposition, for the Justice and Equity of his Government, for his sincere Love to the Church, for his unshaken Constancy to the Protestant Religion and Interest, and for his Fatherly Care and Tenderness over all his Subjects.

May his Life be long, and his Reign prosperous; and may the English Nation, [Page 30] under his Auspicious Conduct and Victori­ous Banners, become a Terror to its Adver­saries, Deliverance to the Oppressed, and as heretofore, so for ever, the Bulwark of the Protestant Religion.

To the only wise God our Saviour, be all Praise and Glory, both now, and for evermore. Amen.


A Sermon Preach'd at the Assizes held at Northampton, August the 26th, 1690. Before the Right Honourable Sir Henry Pollexfen, Lord Chief Justice of the Common-Pleas. By Sa. Freeman, D. D. Rector of St. Paul's Covent-Garden, and Chaplain in Ordinary to Their Majesties.

A Sermon Preached before the King and Queen, at Whitehall, on the 19th Day of October, 1690, being the Day of Thanksgiving, for his Majesties Preservation and Success in Ireland. By the Right Reverend Father in God, Gilbert Lord Bishop of Sarum.

Both Sold by Richard Chiswell, at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul's Church-yard.

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