[Page]GOD's CALL TO ENGLAND, For Thankfulness after gracious DELIVERANCES: Wherein is shewed, That our DELIVERANCES, Not answered with Reformation, Will be followed with Sorest Destruction.

By Thomas Gouge.

JOSH. 20.

If ye forsake the Lord—he will turn and do you hurt, after the good he hath done you.

Gratiarum [...]essat discursus, ubi recursus non fuerit. Nec modo nil augetur ingrato, sed & quod ascipit vertitur ei in perniciem.

Bern. Serm. 1. cap. Jejunii.

LONDON: Printed for Iohn Hancock, at the three Bibles in Corn-hill, entering into Popes-head-alley. 1680.

A PREFACE, Pressing to the great Duty of Thankfulness for Mercies.

THE eminent Appea­rances of a Divine Hand delivering this sinful Nation in its plunges of woful Distresses, have been such remarkable Testi­monies of Infinite Goodness and Patience, as are s [...]rce to be pa­rall [...] in any Age of the World, in any Nation under Heaven. So numerous are the Expressions of Mercy to a People daring Heaven with their Impieties, that whoever [Page] shall review the Catalogue of them, will be amazed to see one more superadded to the former so abused and slighted, as wickedly they have been by many of us. Yet Prero­gative Mercy, which acts beyond expectation and desert, conquering all Difficulties and Discourage­ments, hath not stept aside to give way to Justice, but hath continued its progress towards us: Had it not been for this, we had certain­ly seen more direful Effects of our Enemies Projects, than yet we have beheld. Had it not been for this, we had been as deeply involv'd in Misery, as we are in Sin. Hence in our great extremity, after all his forgotten favours, he hath spoken in his Love, as in Ierem. 16.21. I will this once ca [...] them to know, I will cause them to know [...] hand and my might, and they shall know my Name is the Lord. This once will I cause them to know my Mercy, to understand [Page] my unwillingness to destroy them: and hence it is, that England has not been forsaken of the Lord, al­though it is full of sin against the Holy One of Israel, Ier. 51.5.

Now what hath encouraged, what hath induced the Lord to express thus much favour to such, as so provoke the eyes of his Glo­ry? It is only because He will have Mercy on whom he will have Mercy, Rom. 9. Be it known, O People of England, 'tis not for your Righteousness that the Lord hath done this, for ye are a stiff­necked People, Deut. 9.6. Our works and ways deserve nothing but utter ruine, and perpetual de­solation. For his Names sake has be done all this, and that he might make his mighty Power to be known, Psal. 106.8. his super-transcendent Goodness hath wrought out these sweet Delive­rances for us. And for this end hath he done it, that we might [Page] remember our evil ways, and our doings that were not good, and might loath our selves in our own sight, for our iniquities and abominations, Ezech. 36.31. And now shall we be a happy People, if Mercies shall so prevail upon us, as to effect this blessed frame and disposition in us. For this end hath the Almighty tryed us with another Deliverance, because he hath said, It may be they will present every one their Supplica­tions, and return from their evil ways, Ier. 36.7.

Oh, what expectations hath God to see a repenting, reforming, holy, obedient carriage, upon our receipts of such wonderful favours from him! He looks that we will ap­pear another manner of People than we have been, after these eminent, frequent, seasonable, and Mira­culous appearances for us. Oh therefore, since the Lord hath not forsaken us a sinful People, but [Page] stood by us, and redeemed us, when appointed to Death, Let us joyn our selves to the Lord in a perpe­tual Covenant that shall never be forgotten, Ierem. 50.5. Let us offer up our selves to the Lord as a whole-burnt-offering, in the a­scending flames of purest Affecti­ons. Let us not occasion the ces­sation of Heavenly Kindnesses, by a wicked regardlesness of them. Let it be our employment, to ap­plaud and improve the Infinite Love of God in all his Mercies.

Come, let us view the sudden and sweet Dispensations of God's heavenly and holy Providence, and fix our thoughts on his surprizing Benefits, till our hearts are ena­mour'd with the Authour of them, and transform'd into the likeness of that loving God that gives them: let us trace him in his ways of Mercy, till we are sweetly brought into the ways of Duty: Let our Souls be drawn up to the Center of Heaven, [Page] by the Golden Chains of Mercies let down from thence unto us. Let us continue a leisurely Meditation on our gracious Deliverances, till our Affections are sublimated, our hearts inflamed, and a Thankful frame produced. Let us behold our most precious Lives preserved, our inestimable Liberties secured, the conspicuous and glorious Light of the Gospel continued, the Life of his Sacred Majesty defended: I say, let us contemplate these things, till our health shall sound Melodious Praises to that Almighty Power that hath done all this.

Now, Courteous Reader, what doth the Lord require for all this Kindness, but a truely thankful Heart and Life? And what less canst thou give to God than this? Thou canst present the Almighty with no such pleasing Offering, as a grateful Heart: For God hath sufficiently exprest his esteem of such Presents, by appointing the [Page] Altar of Incense, which was for Thank-Offerings, to be encompassed with a Crown of purest Gold: for though the most odoriferous In­cense is nothing in his account, the thank-ful heart that presents it as a Testimonial of unfeigned Gra­titude, is highly esteemed by him. Neither is there any thing more consonant to the Dictates of Rea­son, than that we express all manner of kindness to those that oblige us by their large Munificence: for, Quisquis magna dedit, voluit sibi magna rependi. The Donors of great favours, expect answerable requitals. And how­ever we may forget what we give, we must not forget what we re­ceive: And therefore I may say as Bernard, Cùm amat Deus, nil aliud vult quam amari; when the Lord expresseth love, he designes to be loved. And verily, a grate­ful reflexion of honour to God is [...], our highest and [Page] lowest Divinity, the highest pitch of attainments, is but Love; the lowest return can be nothing be­neath it, if any thing at all. The only [...], or Requitals we can render to God for his richest Fa­vours, are only Testimonials of Thankfulness, by extolling his holy Name with unfeigned Praises, and reflecting Honour on his blessed Majesty by chearful Obedience to his sacred Commandments. Now therefore as the piercing Rays of the glorious Sun, though passing through the transfluent Air with an imperceptible motion, yet mee­ting with a Solid Body rebound with an increasing lustre; so should our Hearts and Lives reflect the honour of all our Mercies on our Heavenly Benefactor. And unless the Bounty of Heaven gains so far upon our obstinate Hearts, as to effect this work, we shall gain little by the greatest Mercies: the sense of which caused a holy man to [Page] pray, Domine, da Gratitudinem cum Misericordiâ; nolo Misericor­diam sine Gratitudine. Oh Lord, give me a thankful heart with thy Mercies; Lord, I desire not Mer­cies without a grateful heart to improve them. And we shall finde it true, that Mercy unregarded, Deliverance not improved, will render our condition more despe­rate and dangerous, and our end more miserable. But, Oh! How much is it to be lamented, that a Vertue so applauded for surpassing excellency, a Duty enjoyned with such indispensable Necessity, is so much unseen in all, and unpracti­sed by most! How are the Mites of Mens Bounty more regarded than the Mountains of Gods Mer­cy! Of the Ten Lepers that our Saviour healed, but one returned to glorifie God, Luke 17.17, 18. How few of a whole Nation deli­vered from the barbarous hands of bloody-minded men, from the [Page] complicated Contrivances of Ro­mish Agents, have returned deser­ved Praises to our blest Redeemer? How are both private and publick Mercies buried in the Grave of Unthankfulness? which is the rea­son of that Unprofitableness which lays us under the greatest Curse.

Yet an Ungrateful temper is ex­tremely odious in the thoughts of all men. It receives a black doom even from such as may justly be condemned for it. Ingratitude is that sin which Lycurgus a Heathen-Lawgiver accounted so prodigious, in humane, and abominable, that he thought it was so impossible for reasonable men to be guilty of it, that it would be superfluous to enact a Law to condemn it: And 'tis reported of the Egyptians, that those among them that wanted Humanity to return Kindness to Benefactors, underwent no lesser Penalty than to be disabled from having a Posterity to survive them, [Page] that the world might not be pester'd with an ungrateful Progeny. But if the contempt of humane kind­nesses gives such offence to mortal men, and receives such Punishments; What punishment doth it merit, what hatred doth it deserve, when the guilt is infinitely raised, by the consideration of that infinite Glo­ry that is affronted by it! The just Threats of the Eternal God against such Offenders, express its pro­voking nature, Deut. 8.19. If ye at all forget the Lord, —I testifie against you, ye shall surely perish. If such Severity be to those that at all forget, what will be the por­tion of such as altogether forget the Mercies of God? But oh! which of us hath not suffered Di­vine Favours to slip out of our minds? What less in our thoughts than how much God hath done for us? Will not Vengeance fall upon us with a witness, if we proceed in such ungrateful courses?

[Page]Now therefore, to use the words of Jude, I will put you in re­membrance, how that the Lord having saved the people out of the Land of Egypt, afterwards de­stroyed them that believed not, Iude 5. Such will be the portion of all those, we may fear, who will neither love nor obey the Lord, after all the great things He hath done for us: but accounting them small things, deny those re­spects they ought to shew to him that did them, Who is wise in Counsel, and excellent in working. But shall we be worse than the Ox or Ass, that know their Masters, and serve them? Shall we be more ungrateful to God than we are to Men? The People of Israel told Gideon, Iudg. 8.22. Thou shalt rule over us, seeing thou hast de­livered us from the hands of the Midianites. Shall we not say to God, O Lord, since in thy infinite Mercy thou hast delivered us from [Page] the hands of our enemies, we will now submit unto thee, and thou shalt rule over us? Oh how plea­sing would this be to God? How happy should we be under such ac­knowledgments of God's Delive­rances? But to persist in sin is very unreasonable: Mic. 6.3. Oh my people, testifie against me: What have I done to thee? — vers. 4. I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redee­med thee out of the house of ser­vants, &c. Oh, my people, says God, remember what great Deli­verances I have wrought, what Miracles my arm hath performed for you; and will ye sin after all this? Oh England! Remember what God hath done, what Deli­verance from a heathenish condi­tion, what an escape from Popish darkness, what Redemptions from Romish Conspiracies, God hath bestowed; and then let Conscience speak, whether you do well or no [Page] to sin against such a God as this. This will never be tolerated long by a Holy God. This will make him say, as Ezek. 21.3. Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked. The Sword of Iustice sheathed by Di­vine Patience, will be drawn out to avenge the abuse of Mercies. Will not contempt of Goodness bring the fulfilling of that Threat upon us, Ezek. 44.25. I will not watch over you for good, but for harm? Providence hath hitherto been watchful over us to secure us from ruine; but miserable shall we be, when God shall watch opportunities to ruine and destroy us.

Now I must tell you, whatever our apprehensions of things may be, there is nothing will prevent our destruction after Deliverance, but a serious Repentance, and hearty Reformation. 'Tis not our [Page] Policy or Power, 'tis not our Cou­rage or Undauntedness can possibly secure us; but except we repent, we shall surely perish. Our Pro­fession and Priviledges are insuf­ficient to give us safety. Jerusa­lem, the holy City, is now a rui­na [...]ted heap: a place of strength, so that the Kings of the earth and all the inhabitants of the world would not have believed that the enemy and adversary should enter its gates, Lam. 4.12. and yet it is made a perpetual deso­lation by the fire of God's wrath kindled against it.

Neither may the Greatest in our Land, if living in sin, think to escape by or in wickedness. The hand of God will finde out his enemy, though never so potent, though guarded with all humane securities. And certainly, if God shall at last for our sins suffer our enemies to prevail, Prince and Peasant shall suffer alike; Royal, [Page] as base blood, will be a Drink-offering. And if in Policy they spare a while, yet in Cruelty they will slay at last. The dainty Dish is reserv'd for last. The best blood and the best wine are brought forth at last; the courser blood runs out before that pure blood that flows from the heart is drawn forth. Let none therefore flatter them­selves in sin, because exalted to eminent degrees of Honour in a sinful Land.

But if in sincerity we turn from our sins, the Lord shall be our Se­curity, and appoint Salvation for Walls and Bulwarks. This shall be a sign, we shall still escape when we shall be mourning for, and lea­ving off those sins, that have brought us into danger. Ezra 7.16. Those that have escaped shall e­scape, for they shall be on the Mountains as Doves in the Val­leys, mourning every one for their own Iniquity. Were there [Page] such an universal Mourning for our particular sins, we should soon [...]ee Providence scattering the [...]hreatning Clouds that hang over [...]ur heads, and raising a founda­ [...]ion for our further hopes of [...]scape. Oh then that Charity to [...] ruining State, that Compassion [...]o the languishing Church of our Lord Iesus Christ, that our Gra­ [...]itude to a gracious God for his Mercies, or that our dread of a [...]onfounding Majesty, and haste­ [...]ing Misery, may make us break off [...]n! God calls, as Ier. 14.17. I [...]ave seen thy abominations; Wo [...]nto thee, oh Ierusalem, wilt thou [...]ot be made clean? when shall it [...]nce be? Oh when shall we leave [...]ur sins, after so many years of Patience - tiring, Iustice-daring Provocations? When shall it once [...]e, after so many lesser Judgments [...]ounding warnings to us to prevent [...]ur ruine? Oh when shall it be, [...]fter all the miraculous engaging [Page] Deliverances God hath given? Oh let this be the time.

Now to this end I have presented thee with those Considerations, that may be Inducements to all, to learn to live more holily, after such rich enjoyments of Mercies; and pre­vent the abusing of them to sin. For as Hermes after Wine was wont to take a grain of Mastick, to prevent its Coagulation into destructive Tartar; so should we wisely fortifie our selves by weigh­ty Considerations, so to prevent those sins we are naturally pron [...] to commit after the receipt o [...] Mercies. And especially, because when Satan by his Instruments hat [...] attempted our destruction, and ou [...] gracious God hath prevented their designs by delivering, not sufferin [...] the gates of Hell to prevail agains [...] us; our vigilant Adversary, seein [...] he cannot destroy us, will exercis [...] all his wylès to deprive us of th [...] benefit of Deliverances given t [...] [Page] us, by endeavouring to divert our minde from considering them, and [...]ent [...]cing us to a wrong Improve­ment of them. Let us also be­lieve our future condition is like to be according to our carriage un­der Gods present gracious Dispen­sations. And I may say of Mercy, as the Heathens of Fortune, Nec cultores praeterit, nec haeret con­temptoribus. It slights not its Worshippers, neither will it stay with its Contemners. So those that are grateful for Mercies shall never want them, those that are abusers shall not long enjoy them. Continuance in son will be so great discouragement to God in ways of Mercies, that we shall have just Cause to despair of future relief from him. 'Tis reported of Al­phonsus King of Spain, that a Noble beggered by his wicked­ness, seeking relief, was denied, with this Answer, If thou hadst [...]pent thy estate in my Service, [Page] there were reason to provide fo [...] thee; but since you have foolish­ly wasted it, thou shalt live i [...] thy wants without my relief. S [...] although God will deliver thos [...] whose dangers arise from serving of him, yet he may justly deny deliverance to those that involv [...] themselves in miseries by sinning against him.

Now, Reader, if thou wonderes [...] so important a Subject as this, i [...] undertaken by so weak a hand a [...] mine; know, that gratitude raise [...] the price of the meanest present [...] And this is certain, God doth no [...] choose means because effectual, bu [...] means are effectual, because God chooses them. Young Samuel was chosen to carry a message to Ol [...] Eli, who did not contemn him fo [...] his youth, but received the messag [...] the Lord sent by him. And [...] though I am the meanest of Saints my weak endeavours may be prosperous with the blessing of an Almighty God.

[Page]There is such a pruritus scriben­di in this diseased Age, that would force me to make some plea for ex­posing this small Treatise to pub­lick view. But Apologies com­mence so low, that they are rather believed to be flatteries than truths; and (as one saith) should the highest Protestations of my hum­ble intentions be entered, I know men will take the liberty to be­lieve or question at pleasure. There­fore all I shall say is onely this; The subject and Treatise is peace­able, not mingling with the intem­perate and preternatural heats of the Christian, or rather unchristian Gladiatours of these days. The Treatise is also practical, designed to reduce the lives of persons to bet­ter order; and not stuffed with nice speculations, to gratifie mens itching ears and wild fancies. I believe also you will say 'tis plain, if not too uncouth. But I shall not affect the vain Pedantry of plausi­ble [Page] ostentation; for I reckon the simplicity of sober well-meaning hearts, need no such curious embellishments: And I shall be willing to be judged by any, whe­ther it be not seasonable; and so I shall depend upon the Lord to ac­company it with his blessing to the Souls of those who shall vouchsafe to peruse it; whose Prayers I shall desire, that I may spend my days to the glory of God, and in promo­ting the publick welfare; and so remain,

An unfeigned Well-wisher to the publick good, THOMAS GOVGE.

God's Controversie WITH ENGLAND, FOR Contemning Deliverances.

Ezra 9. 13, 14.

—Seeing that thou our God hast puni­shed us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such a deliverance as this: Should we again break thy Commandments?

—Wouldst not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?

SInce one effectual means to pro­mote the deserved honour and transcending glory of the Sove­raign Governour of Humane Af­fairs, is by a suitable Improvement of his various Providences to us; an industrious inquiry into the blessed designs of his providential dispensations, in order there­to, will be accounted no unnecessary work to such as intend that Religious improve­ment [Page 2] of them. Of these providential occurrences, which may not be preter­mitted without some serious Meditations on them, some are of that sort which we call common, from the frequent en­joyment of them, (of which kind is our daily Preservation, Provision, Guber­nation) although they are special, consi­dering our unspeakable misery without them; and these (I say) cannot be slight­ed and dis-regarded, without an unwor­thy disparagement of infinite mercy, and contempt of Soveraign Majesty.

But besides these ordinary works of Providence, there are oftentimes extra-ordinary works presented to our view, at­tended with special displays, and bearing some eminent impressions of Mercy or Justice; which are not to be over-look'd in a cursory way, or dispatch with a single glance, but require a deliberate Meditation, a fixed inspection, and a singular improvement. Such unusual dis­pensations from the Almighties hand, have frequently been known, both in ways of Mercy and Justice in our sinful Nation, which hath been a Theatre for the mixed displays of these Glorious Attributes for many years; and especial­ly [Page 3] of late, our long-suffering God hath stampt most illustrious impressions of mer­cy on many of his eminent Providences to us; of which our Miraculous Delive­rance in part vouchsafed to us, is an ap­parent testimony; and requires the most faithful improvement, that finite crea­tures can make of the doings of an infi­nite God.

The Deliverance I mean was that, when the supream Overseer of created beings in all their operations, cast an un­merited eye of pity on our sinful Nation, languishing with undiscerned distempers: when the boundless goodness of the Eter­nal God, made a timely stop to our hast­ning ruine: when the heavenly witness that is conscious to the secret actions of unmindful Mortals, detected the vaulted contrivances of the undermining Moles of our Common-wealth; when the Al­mighty God, who places bounds to the roaring waves, and says to the raging sea, Hitherto and no farther, took off the Chariot-wheels of our furious Enemies: when he unto whom belongs the issues from death, as by a glorious Resurrecti­on, rescued us from the jaws of destructi­on, who bore the Image of death upon [Page 4] us: when the faithful God discovered the unfaithful dealings of perfidious Plotters; and by a glorious ray of infinite good­ness shining on our clouded Land, hath made us a Land of Goshen, who were near to be made a miserable Golgotha. This is the Deliverance never to be forgotten, the wonderful work with such impressi­ons of mercy, which is to be beheld with most fixed intention.

Now can we cast our eye on this mag­nificent master-piece of mercy, but our eye must needs affect our hearts, and in­generate such motions as were in the heart of thankful David, Psal. 116.12. What shall I render to the Lord for all his mercy?

Can we pass by this Heavenly favour, without a pious inquiry into the gracious designs of our blessed God in bestowing of it? Hath this unexpected deliverance continued the choicest of blessings to us, and shall we dis-appoint the expectations of God, who is looking for signal re­quitals of it? Surely such a glorious work as this, wherein hath appeared the immediate hand of Almighty God, the most wonderful goodness of his sweetest nature, the highest testimo­nies [Page 5] of his enduring patience, can never be over-looked by us; unless we design to affront his mercy, disdain his kindness, and dare his justice.

But oh miserable Nation! oh ungrate­ful people! Where are the tokens of thankful respects for unmerited favours? What notice is there taken that such a work hath been done amongst us? Who lays to heart the operations of his hands? Where are the lips that praise him, the lives that honour him for it? The Idola­trous Philistines could assemble and sacri­fice to their Dagon, for delivering Samp­son their Enemy into their hands, Iudg. 16.23, 24. But when have we assembled to offer the sacrifice of praise to our God, for delivering us from the hands of our E­nemies? Oh regardless people! if talking of Deliverance be recompense enough, we have paid it; if cursing our foes be suffi­cient reward, we have given it: but if repentance of disobedience be the onely return, we have yet omitted it: if re­formation can onely be regarded as a sui­table requital, we are without it. What have we seen but unchanged conversati­ons in our changed condition? What have we given to the Lord, but a dou­bled [Page 6] measure of Impieties, for his doubled mercies? What have we done, but endea­voured to revenge our selves on the mer­cy of God that hath spared us?

Oh undeserving Generation that we are! how do we enjoy mercies, and never improve them? How do we comfortably reap the profit of Deliverance, and un­faithfully rob the Lord of the glory of it? How do we bless our selves in escapes, and forget the Almighty that gives them to us? We are sollicitous wanters, but careless enjoyers. How are we joyful when getting out of danger; but how little careful then are we to be getting out of sin? Methinks the Moon that is often changing and still keeps its old spots, is a plain Emblem of our wicked Nation: when all things are ruining, sin remains unruined; when enjoying escapes from ruine, still sin remains to be again a cause of ruine. Oh what unchangeable Ethio­pians are we in our sins? How like are we to the hardned Mariners, who escaping the fatal dangers of a threatning storm, remain secure till another Tempest hangs over their heads? What succession of mercies do we promise our selves, in the vilest continuance in destroying iniquities!

[Page 7]But is there no hope [...] that the conside­ration of delivering Mercies may over­power us from going on in our wicked courses? Were they prest upon our Con­sciences, would they not prevail to effect some reformation? It may be a word that will suit to the works of the Lord amongst us, may make some impression, effect some conviction, and produce some amendment. Behold then a Word enough to melt our hearts with the reading of it; to dissolve us into tears by meditating on it; to make us reform by applying of it. — Seeing thou hast given us such a deli­verance as this, should we again break thy commandment? — Wouldst thou not be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us? &c.

In these words are contain'd,

  • 1. A thankful acknowledgment of the undeserved mercy their gracious God had exercised towards them; consisting in these two things.
    • 1. He had punished them less than their sins deserved. They admire the Clemen­cy of Almighty God, that when their iniquities were wonderfully great, their punishments should be mitigated with so much mercy. The Hebrew Verb [...] [Page 8] here used, signifies (1.) Cohibere se, to with-hold ones self. And so the sence is elegant, Thou hast with-held thy self from doing what our iniquities deserved from thee. Thou wouldst not suffer thy dire­ful anger to break out against us to the utmost, but didst refrain thy self from making an irreparable ruine amongst us. Hadst thou proportioned thy destroying judgment, to our daring provocations, and thy wrathful dealings to our vast de­serts, we had not been a people at this very day: but thy mercy detain'd the hands of thy Justice; and thou didst not so much design to consume us, but onely to correct us. The like acknowledgment have we cause to make, having had ex­periences of the same clemency: for when our provoked God hath come out against us with wasting Wars, destroying Plagues, devouring Flames; yet he re­strained his wrath, and suspended the greatest part of the judgments we deser­ved from him; and although when he began, there was cause enough to make a full end of us all, yet in the midst of Justice he remembred mercy, and graci­ously desisted from ruining of us.
    • 2. The word signifies Cohibere aliquid, [Page 9] to restrain any thing else. So the sence is, Thou hast restrained, kept down our sins from rising up in judgment against us; for had they appeared against us, we had utterly been ruin'd.
  • 2. This Mercy was exprest to them, by the working out for them so great a de­liverance; Since thou hast given us such a de­liverance; implying how merciful, how seasonable, how undeserved a deliverance that was they received; and such is ours, that the Almighty God hath vouchsafed to us.
  • 2. You have here the deep sense of du­ty that was upon his heart; which duty was to break off sin, which onely can be a just return to God for his good­ness.
  • 3. You have his sense of danger, if sin was persisted in after such a deliverance; Wouldst thou not consume us? &c.
  • 4. You have the aggravation of that destruction under such hainous sinning, Till there were no remnant nor escaping.

The general Heads I shall insist upon, which are immediately contained in, or may serve to explain this Text, are these.

  • 1. That the great design of God in bestowing merciful deliverances on a peo­ple [Page 10] is to reclaim them from sin.
  • 2. That such is that wickedness that is in the most of men, that they are prone to wax worse after deliverances.
  • 3. That sinning after Deliverance, is the most hainous sinning.
  • 4. That sinning after Deliverance, hath a peculiar influence to hasten destruction.
  • 5. That Destruction for sins after De­liverance, will be the most dreadful de­struction. Now I shall endeavour, Deo ju­vante, to speak something to each of these in order.


The design of God in delivering a people from eminent dangers of ruine, is to oblige them to forsake all sinful and wicked practices. The intent of delive­ring mercies, is to cause us to repent of our destroying iniquities. The main end of Gods exercising goodness towards us, is onely to effect some goodness in us. The design of special mercies, is to make us a special people. The Almighty God delights not to reduce a people from sin­ful courses, by laying them under such heavy judgments as may render them in­capable [Page 11] of committing those sins, which otherwise their wills incline them to; but the way of his pleasure is to confer such mercies upon them, as may sweetly con­quer their stubborn hearts, and gain their averse minds to himself. Hence when the sin and folly of an obstinate people hath reduc'd them to inextricable straits, the eternal God doth not suffer his de­stroying wrath to break forth against them, saying, I see them helpless and past recovery, now therefore will I ease me of my adversaries, and avenge me of my enemies; but compassion being kindled in his merciful breast, Now says the Lord I will lend a helping hand, and give them that experience, and those eviden­ces of my goodness, that shall for ever oblige them to me, and win them from proceeding in ways of rebellion against me. Thus all our deliverances lay us un­der perpetual obligations to devote our selves to the blessed work and service of our delivering God.

Our mercies are not beautiful Tombes in our way, wherewith we may delight our eyes; but Chariots to carry us on with more pleasure and cheerfulness in the ways of our gracious God. The end [Page 12] of deliverances is plainly seen, Luke 1.74, 75. That we being delivered from the hands of our enemies, may serve him without fear, in Righteousness and Holiness all the days of our lives. We are not delivered from enemies, to continue enemies to God; but an escape is given us from the hands of enemies, that we may resign up our selves into the hands of our God.

When God prevents our becoming mi­serable preys to unmerciful foes, 'tis to ob­lige us ever to praise him with thankful Hearts and obedient lives, Psal. 105.37. He brought forth that people with silver and gold; spread a cloud for a covering, and fire to give light in the night, v. 39. He brought quails, and satisfyed them with bread from heaven; he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness, v. 43. And what was the design of all this favour? v. 45. That they might observe his Statutes, and keep his Laws. Although our mer­cies are Gods gifts, yet they greatly raise our debts. The favours we receive from our gracious God, are not as payments given to servants to discharge from work, but like the encouragements tender Pa­rents give to Children, to increase their dutiful service and obedience. 'Tis pro­mised. [Page 13] H [...]s. 3. u [...]. They shall fear the Lord and his goodness; or, ob tantam D [...]i beneficentiam, Grot. they shall serve and obey him for his goodnesses, in returning and restoring of them: that wonderful kindness was for this end, to ingenerate obedient love, and induce to constant loyalty to so blest a Redeemer.

Now had not these blessed intentions and gracious designs been in the heart of our God, he had never exercised his Almighty power for our help and relief, as of late he hath done: but he designing to reclaim us from sin, hath restrained his wrath, and revealed our danger; that so by giving us the advantage of such a mercy, we might render to him the glo­ry of it. And what can be more reasona­ble, than to give God the glory of that, whereof we have the profit? What more unjust, than to cross such gracious designs as these? And therefore unless we design to debar our selves from future mercies, it concerns us greatly to answer Gods de­sign in these; unless we intend by our incorrigibleness to bring irreparable ruines upon our selves, it highly concerns us by this goodness of God, to be led to that Repentance and Reformation inten­ded [Page 14] by it. For to what end hath this grace of God appear'd, but to teach us to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and that we might live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world?

I shall now propose some few Reasons, why the glorious God condescends to strive with Man with thus much good­ness, rather than reduce him by forcible coactions, and destroying judgments; why he doth not ease him of his Ene­mies by his Almighty power, but endea­vour to make them friends by obliging favours.


Because this way and method is most suitable to his gracious nature. Rough spirited men in reducing offenders, will use nothing but harsh severity: but such whose nature is tempered with amiable meekness, abhor such wrathful means; and will make experiment what clemen­cy and kindness will do, before they pro­ceed to powerful compulsions. Thus the great God having declared himself to be most gracious, will experience how far he can prevail by the exercise of good­ness, [Page 15] before he proceeds to the displays of his justice and greatness. So good is our God, that he is ready to make proof of the efficacy of a thousand smiles of mercy, rather than of a single stroak of Justice. The titles of honour which dis­cover his nature, do mostly set out his abounding goodness, Exod. 34.5, 6. The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and graci­ous, long suffering, and abundant in truth and goodness. The whole world is em­broidered with infinite impressions of goodness. Among his blessed Attributes, his grace is uppermost; and though he be equally just as good, yet he exercises his goodness more than his justice. This is the fairest flower in the garland of Ma­jesty; the brightest ray that issues from that un-approachable light; the height of his immensurable and Imperial glory. Now if we consider his readiness to mer­cy, and his slowness to anger; his fre­quency in displays of goodness, and the rarity of amazing judgments; his resol­vedness in ways of grace, and reserved­ness in ways of justice; we may easily see 'tis most agreeable to his nature, to ac­complish his designs by clemency.


Because this merciful method is most agreeable to the nature of man. The most powerful Engine to attract the will of man, is the good will and mercy of God. Man being of a generous spirit, is more easily drawn than driven, perswa­ded than forced. Murdering severity may force a slavish fear, but never produce any loving obedience. Dipping in the sweetest oyl of mercy, is most effectual to soften the hardned hearts of men. Parisiensis relates a History of a stubborn sinner, that nothing would reclaim; but God heaping up favours upon him, at last he cries out, Vicisti benignissime Deus indefatigabili bonitate: Oh kindest God, thou hast conquered me with thy un­wearied goodness. Were a man to re­lieve an inveterate enemy in a perishing condition, it could not but effect a change, and make him become an inti­mate and constant friend. Sullen, pe­remptory, and imperious commands, have little influence to sway obdurate Enemies. The kindness of conscientious David in sparing Saul his mortal Enemy, melted [Page 17] his stony heart, and made him promise eternal friendship, 1 Sam. 26.21. I have sinned, says Saul, I will do thee no more harm, seeing my life was precious in thy sight. And will not the most refractory sinner be ready to come to terms of peace, at the receiving such kindness from the hand of God? will he not say, Ah Lord, I have been an ungodly Enemy, and im­pudent Rebel against thee; thou hadst me in thy hand, and mightest have suffer'd my bloody Enemies to have cut me off; thou mightest have dispatcht me to eter­nal Torments: but since thou hast been so gracious to spare and deliver me thy Ene­my, henceforth I shall ever be thy friend, and never offer to rebel any more.


God proceeds in these gracious me­thods, because of the experienc'd in­effectualness of destroying judgments to effect a sincere Repentance, and produce an unfeigned obedience. Mercy hath ever prevailed more with sinners than wrath. Severity in exercising judgments, may curb a head-strong sinner from outward enormities; but the bent of his will, and [Page 18] the inclination of his heart still remains to commit it. These usually have no farther influence, than to render men like roa­ring Lyons confin'd by Iron grates; like ravenous dogs restrain'd by heavy chains; onely making an impediment from act­ing, not an amendment as to the will to act. A lock may stop a Thief, yet it al­ters not his mind.

This ineffectualness of judgments, hath often been evidenc'd in the devilish be­haviour that hath appeared in many un­der them. How many in blasphemous enraged passions, have belch'd out most execrable Oaths and reproachful speeches against Heaven, and the instruments of Divine vengeance, Et quem oderunt perire cupiunt; wishing the destruction of the God that destroyed them? As the Cilici­ans made War against Mount A [...]tna, spit­ting out sulphureous flames upon them: with such madness do rebellious wretches contend with the Almighty, consuming them by the fire of deserved vengeance.

How often do men bid defiance to God heaping up plagues upon them! and stopt in their sinful courses as Balaam by the Angel, still will spur on in despite of God himself.

[Page 19] Zeph. 3.5. Every morning be brings his [...]udgments to light, but the wicked know no [...]hame. Sins were continued under conti­nual judgments; so Ier. 5.3. They were smitten, and did not grieve.

And if at any time judgments have af­fected a sinful people, by reason of the extremity of them: yet all those appea­rances of Devotion under them, have been mostly delusions; being onely the workings of nature, expressing a sense of suffering, not the effects of grace, de­claring a sorrow for sinning: hence hard­ned Pharaoh un [...]er the distress of mira­culous judgments, is seemingly moved with Repentance. Thus thousands are beautiful in pangs, but 'tis onely the operations of judgments on the body, not their impression on the heart. But this [...]neffectualness of destroying judgments, [...]s declared abundantly by the following carriage of the sufferers by them. For how many have we known, after the wea­ [...]ing off the smarting sense of vengeance, have proved the grandees and Imperialists in provoking wickednesses? and the storm of judgements being a little over, have rid on with a full carreer, and un­ [...]ridled chase, in their unlicensed courses. [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [Page 20] Since then this way effects so little, God will rather make use of mercies: since horrid desolations will make no mere im­pression, God will make experiment what deliverance will do. So then, to conclude this head, God uses these means, because as Sola misericordia deducit Deum ad homines, so Sola misericordia reducit ho­mines ad Deum: As mercy onely brings down God to man, so mercy onely brings back man to God.


Such is the wickedness of our corrupt­ed hearts, that we are prone to proceed in sin, notwithstanding the Lord is using these means with us to reclaim us. We are apt to make use of our deliverances to further our sins, rather than improve them to the forsaking of them. For as the red Sea drinks in the River Iordan yet is never the sweeter; and the vas [...] Ocean all other Rivers, yet is not th [...] fresher: so we receive the most excellent mercies, and yet are but little the better. So entire is our cursed affection to ou [...] espoused Lusts, that whoever be dis-enga­ged, and whoever be displeased, we ar [...] [Page 21] too much resolv'd to continue in them. Hence the mercies God gives for encou­ragements to serve him, we turn to be instruments of sinning against him. When God doth most for us in ways of mercy, we are prone to do most against him in ways of sin. 'Tis reported of the Leo­pard, that 'tis most savage to those that do most for it. Too true it is of us; we are wretchedly most unkind, to those that shew most kindness to us. Felicitate cor­rumpimur, outward felicitie makes us abound in iniquity. After the receipt of special favours, we often loosen the reins to Impiety, and run more extravagantly after our own inventions. How many be­come more nimble in the feats of iniquity, by being anointed with the oyl of mercy? Men nurse the hateful brats of their devi­lish lusts, at the breast of Divine bounty. Our envenom'd natures extract food for the nourishment of abominable sins, from the singular favours of a gracious God.

As when the season grows warm, by fructifying rays of the Sun, the weeds spring up; so by the increase of mercies, there is often the abounding of iniquity, Hos 10.1. Israel is an empty vine: or, [...], vitis luxurians; a wild vine: ac­cording [Page 22] to the multitudes of his fruits, he hath increased the altars, i. e. Quo res habuit pr [...] ­speriores, eo magis indulsit Idololatriae, Gro [...] The more prosperity, the more Idolatry. 'Tis observed of the Spleen, the greater it grows, the less the body is: the more Temporal mercies, the less heavenly spi­rits and holy obedience. Hos. 4.7. As they increased, they sinned against me. Heb. [...] Sicut multiplicari eis, as I multiplyed to them; or, as I increased deliverances, ho­nour, riches; so they sinned against me. As judgments will not bridle us, so mer­cies will not break us off our sinning. Isa. 26.10. Let favour be shown to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness. In the for­mer verses the Prophet shews, that the people of God would serve him even un­der afflictions; but as for the wicked, nei­ther mercies nor afflictions work upon them. Mercies are messengers to instruct us our duty; but although for many years we have been called upon by them, yet how little have we learnt to love, serve, and obey our God by them? Noah mira­culously delivered, is abominably drawn into sin. He that had the highest proofs of the mercy and justice of God, mercy to himself, justice to the world, lyes drunk [Page 23] in his Tent; preserved from waters, over­come by wine: behold, you may see him guilty of the sin for which he saw the world condemned; you may see him to be rebuked for the sin he so often had re­proved: and he that was so holy before, now becomes a pattern of uncleanness, and example for future wickedness: thus prone are the best to sin after deliverance. Thus holy Hezekiah, 2 Chron. 32.24, 25. God delivered him from death, but he rendred not to the Lord according to the be­nefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up, not with thankfulness, but haughtiness; not in praises, but with pride. Deut. 32.15. Ieshurun waxed fat and kicked, then be for­sook the God that made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. Delive­rance had made way for his promotion; and he being promoted, God was reject­ed. Righteous Lot by distinguishing fa­vour escaping the flames of Sodom, fell into the fire of sin. The ashes of Sodom, the pillar of salt, made him not wise e­nough to shun the drunken bed of Incest. Who could have thought Lot should fall into such Impieties, upon the receipt of such mercies? but thus prone are we to abuse goodness, and ready to slight the [Page 24] greatest kindness: how often do we turn our Physick to poison?

How often do we make our Mercies Commeatus peccandi, Inlets to sin? 'Tis said concerning Eve, that God design'd her an helper to Adam, and made her of his rib; but the devil [...], took his rib, and made it a fatal dart. So God gives Mercies with good intentions, but Satan siding with our corrupt inclina­tions, makes use of them to our great disadvantage.

I shall now consider how it comes to pass, that Deliverances have no more In­fluence upon us, and how we become so prone to sin after them.

(1.) It arises from the mighty Power that accustomed sins have upon the heart. When highest Reasons are obliging to leave sin, the force of Custom prevents their operation. When men are soaked in Sensuality, flesht in Villany, thorough­paced in Rebellious courses, what is able to change them? Hereby the heart is so direfully hardned, the Devil's Kingdom so invincibly fortified, and sin itself so much endeared, that there is unspeakable diffi­culty in conquering of it. Ezek. 16.4. When delivered from Egypt 'tis said, Their [Page 25] Navil was not cut. The Navil is that whereby the Child is supplyed with nou­rishment in the Mothers Womb. So this expression means, Israel was still drawing in Egyptian Manners and Superstitions; be­ing accustomed to them, they still hanke­red after them, notwithstanding their great deliverance.

And although for a while a deliverance may seem to make some impression, yet as the water heated, redit ad ingenium, grows cold again: so affections to God wear off, and men are hankering after their former Lusts. So Ezek. 23.8. Neither [...]eft she her whoredoms brought from Egypt. Difficile est ab usitatis desinere: Accustomed [...]ins are hardly deserted: sins often renew­ [...]d, are hardly reformed; sudden mercies, [...]hough never so great, will hardly wear [...]ut continued sins.

2. The reason why our Deliverances work no greater Reformation, is, because [...]e fix our Eyes too much upon second [...]auses, and inferiour Instruments, with­ [...]ut a due acknowledgment of the hand [...]f God. Hence we are prone to con­ [...]eive our selves more obliged to Men than [...] God himself. How wickedly do ma­ [...] ascribe more to Humane Policy, and [Page 26] Heathenish Fortune, than to infinite pow­er and Heavenly favour? Hos. 11.3. They knew not that I healed them. Nescire dicitur qui gratiam non refert: He is ignorant who neither observes nor answers the merci­ful hand of God.

Attributing Deliverances to man, hin­ders the performance of duty to God. The reason why mercies are not seconded with obedience to God, is, because we look too much to second causes; so those Hab. 1.16. Their portion was fat, and they sacrificed to their nets, and burnt incense to their drags. Thus the Assyrian proudly ascribed all to himself, Isa. 10.14. By the strength of my hand have I done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent. How can the mercy of God be answered, if it be not owned? How can we requite God for delivering, if we deny the receipts of deliverance from him? If we look not upon our mercies as given by God, we shall give God nothing fo [...] his mercies.

3. Deliverances are no more influentia to reclaim from sin, because of our un­reasonable oblivion of them. Our grea­test mercies are but nine days wonders present impressions made by deliverance are soon worn off by neglect of future con­sideration. [Page 27] The sense of our Engage­ments to Obedience wearing off, our in­clinations to sin make head. When mer­cies are new, how frequent is our remem­brance of them? Whilst employed in our daily labours, our minds are admiring delivering love: When waking in the night, these are the objects of Meditati­on; when conversing with friends, these are the Theams we discourse of. Now somewhat must be done to requite this kindness; but too sudden a forgetfulness anticipates and prevents the performance of our acknowledged obedience. Deut. 32.17, 18. they are charged with abomina­ble sins; and it stands as a reason, because they forgot the God that formed them, and the rock that begat them. Did we not forget our mercies, our Consciences would force us to forsake our sins. Were our hearts more but Repositories for Gods favours, so much Iniquity would not be lodged in them. Forgetting Gods mercies, is not onely a base unworthy sin, but a breeding sin: many desperate sins arise from de­spising the kindness of our God. And oh, how unspeakably strange is it, that we can forget him, who doth so much to be remembred? That we can suffer his [Page 28] mercies to pass out of our mind, whose mercies are new every moment? How impossible would it be to live in unla­mented sin, did we live in the sense of undeserved mercies! Hence it is we are so prone to sin after deliverances, because we are so apt to suffer them to slip out of our labile memories.

4. This continuance in sin after deli­verances, arises from persons bolstring up themselves with sinful presumptions that the dangers of destruction are past. When men begin to apprehend all things are well, they are apt to take occasion to do ill. When men are conceiving the bit­terness of death is past, they little mind to reform the baseness of their lives. They care not how little they live to God, when they presume they shall live long. Eccles. 8.11. Because sentence is not speedi­ly executed, therefore the hearts of the sons of men are fully set in themselves to do evil, [...] Syr. roboratur: their hearts are strengthened, emboldned in them to go on in evil. [...], &c. Because of this delaying judgments, they go on with a full confidence, they sin with courage. This is as wind to their sayls, that drives them on briskly in sinful courses. With [Page 29] this did the wicked Jews under Divine comminations hearten themselves in their ways, Ezek. 11.3. saying, It is not near. Gods abstinence from judgments, was made an encouragement for continuance in sin. So Ezek. 12.21, 22. The days are prolonged. Carnal persons are willing to go on in sin as long as they can: and when dangers are a little gone off, they more boldly go on in desperate sinning.

5. This proneness to sin after such mer­cy, arises from flattering expectations, that in renewed returns of Distress, they shall ever meet with the same deliverance. How do men argue from their present safety, to their future security? How fond­ly do men conceive that God will be ever merciful, because of his present mercies? Did men wisely consider after deliverance, how soon they may stand in need of the same helping arm, how soon they may want the same mercy, they could not be so audacious as to slight and contemn it, left the next time they be deprived of it. Gods present deliverances are evidences of his power to deliver us again, but not as­surances of his Will to do it. 'Tis a groundless Supposition men go upon, who think Mercies are entail'd upon them, and [Page 30] inseparably annexed to them. We shall experience, if we do not leave off sinning, God can leave off delivering. If we can still forsake God, he can at last forsake us.

6. We are thus inclined to sin against God after deliverance, as we being de­livered, our hearts are brought off from their dependance on God, and we are magnifying our selves instead of God. When God hath given us our precious lives from the hands of devouring Ene­mies, we imagine we can live of our selves, and thence are regardless of living to God. Hos. 13.6. They were filled, and their heart was exalted, therefore have they for­gotten me. Their outward fruitfulness caused their sinful forgetfulness. Our hearts are apt to be set upon enjoyments, and not on the God that gives them. Hos. 4.11. Whoredome and wine take away the heart. The Hebr. word [...] signifies auferre, to take away by force; so did those things take away their heart from God by force; or occupare, to occupy. They occupy and take up that room in the heart God should have. Thus we having worldly enjoy­ments continued by deliverances, our hearts are detained by them, that we mind [Page 31] not God, care not how we go on in sin against him; mind not how little obedi­ence we yield to him, as if we could live well enough without him.

7. This proceeding in sin is partly cau­sed by persons apprehending themselves to be innocent, and their courses to be harmless, from the deliverances God gives to them. Carnal persons are apt to reckon their ways to be lawful, because they are spared and unpunished in them. Hos. 12.8. Ephraim said, I am become rich, I have found me out riches; in all my la­bours they shall find no iniquity in me, that were sin. As much as to say, Were my courses unrighteous, they would not be prosperous; whatever the Prophets charge me with, it appears by the dealings of God with me, that my doings are good; if I were so sinful, I should not be succes­ful. Thus corrupted persons will vainly argue from Gods delivering; were I so wicked, were my actions so displeasing, God would not have spared me, but deli­vered me to destruction. But oh how vain are these reasonings! God bears with long-suffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction; out of his mer­cy he gives a space to repent of thy sins. [Page 32] And who so wicked to conclude, that be­cause God exercises patience, therefore they are no offenders? This is a sign of Gods goodness, but not of thine.


Sinning after Deliverance, is the most hainous sinning. It renders sin exceeding great, to commit it after great mercies. It is a great sin, to count any sin small, that is committed against a great God: yet sin hath its aggravations, and admits of degrees, according to the circumstan­ces under which 'tis committed. There are two things which render a sin most abominable; when sin is committed a­gainst light, and against love. They are no little nor light sins, that are aggrava­ted with convictions by light: nor are sins against love of an inferiour nature; nothing more intolerable to Man or God, than to have ill will for good deeds. 'Tis sinful to render evil for evil to man, much more to render evil for good to God. What more provoking sight can be be­held, than a man impudent in evil under judgment, and barren in good under mercies? Affronts to love, are more un­sufferable [Page 33] than Rebellion under displays of wrath. The highest unkindness, is the highest sinfulness. The sin of David is aggravated by the recording Gods kind­ness to him, 2 Sam. 12.7, 8, 9. I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul, and I gave thee thy masters house—And if that had been too little, I would moreover have given thee such and such things. Wherefore then hast thou despised the command of the Lord, to do this evil in his sight? To sin in the face of God when smiling upon us with unmeri­ted mercy, is one of the greatest contempts can be cast upon God. To manifest our sinfulness, when we enjoy the greatest testi­monies of goodness, is the height of mad­ness. To withdraw our necks from an uneasie galling yoak, to rebel under the severities of a cruel Tyrant, to cast off the service of an imperious Master, may admit some excuse; but to wax wanton under mercies, to despise the clemency of Heaven, to deny obedience to a loving Father, is an offence indefendible, a crime unpardonable. When God would lay a people under a conviction of the hainous­ness of their crimes, he repeats his gra­cious dealings to them. Ierem. 2.20. Of old time I have broken thy yoke, i.e. When [Page 34] thou wert in Egyptian bondage under in­tolerable slavery, I set thee free: And thou saidst thou wouldst not transgress, yet thou hast slighted my favours, and bro­ken thy vows; and under every green tree thou wandrest playing the harlot. And v. 22. this is noted for an indelible sin; such sins as these are not [...], not written, but engraven: they are of the deepest die, and most permanent stain: Hos. 7.15. Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me. It hath an allusion to men with broken bones; Oh what would they give for a healing Chirurgion? what price would they give to be free from pain? so these in distress would promise any thing to God for deliverance: but, says the Lord, though I bound them up and cased them, though I strengthen­ed them against the destructive assaults of their enemies, yet still with the highest wickedness and unkindness they imagine mischief against me: the more I did to engage them, the more they have done to dishonour me.

The people of Israel were charged with their sinning at Gilgal above all other places, Hos. 9.15. All their iniquity is in [Page 35] Gilgal. The Hebr. word [...] which we render all, signifies summum, praecipuum, i.e. their highest, chiefest, most notorious si [...] was at Gilgal; why there? because there it was they received abundance of mer­cies. Here was the great circumcision, when the reproach was rolled away, after they had past over Iordan, and arrived to the Land of Canaan, Iosh. 5.7. here Ioshua pitcht the twelve stones, the everlasting memorial of their wonderful deliverance out of Iordan, Iosh. 4.20. here was the beginning of the rest promised to them in the Land of Canaan. Now to be involved in sin, when encompast with so many mer­cies; to be forsaking God after such late experience of his goodness, this was the highest crime imaginable.

Now I shall lay down some particular aggravations of sins after deliverances, that so you may lament those you have committed, and labour to prevent them for the future.

1. Such sins most wretchedly cast a blot upon the most Holy God, as if he were a countenancer of sin, and a patron to per­sons Impieties, rather than a severe aven­ger of them. Christ was accounted a friend to Publicans and sinners, for shew­ing [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [Page 36] kindness unto them: and will not Atheistical wretches be ready to asperse the glorious God as a friend to sin, for improving his power to deliver such per­sons as improve his deliverance onely for sin? 'Tis reported of one prophane Dio­nysius, that when by his covetous pilfe­ring he had preyed on a Temples glory, and enricht himself with its Sacred Trea­sure, and after transporting his Treasures, escaping a fatal Shipwrack of which he was in danger, with the greatest impu­dence cryes out, How do the Gods love Sacriledge! Because he presumed they de­livered him a Robber, he imagined they loved Robbery: Psal. 50.21. Because I kept silence, thou thoughtst me altogether such an one as thy self, i. e. Quod tuis maleficiis delector, Muis. Gods patient forbearance, made him reckon God unrighteous as himself. To go on in sin when delivered from ruine, is practically to say, I am de­livered to sin. Such an Impiety was char­ged on the Jews, Ierem. 7.10. Will ye steal, and murder, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? They were not come to that height of profaneness, to de­clare it in so many words; but by their ungodly courses after his gracious delive­rances, [Page 37] they did as much as say it. What is this but to make God an unholy God? What greater aggravations of our sins can there be, than to cast dirt on the ho­liness of God, which is the aggravation of all his glory? Certainly, if God suf­fers dishonour by his exercising goodness to us, we shall suffer destruction for our abusing of it. God will shew no favour to those, who make him a favourer of sin.

2. Such sinning is so abominable, be­cause 'tis a justification of all our former sins. This is in effect to say, We have done well enough in sinning; God is not angry with us, therefore we will still go on in our former courses, and follow our old wickednesses. How provoking must this needs be to God? when instead of a humiliation for sins, he sees a justi­fication of them: instead of a contrite lamentation for our evils, he finds an audacious approbation of them. How can a holy God bear this at our hands? We cannot justifie the best of our actions before the Lord, how abominable then to justifie those that are apparent evils? It was very displeasing to God for Ionah to say, I do well to be angry. And shall we [Page 38] say, We did well to be proud and pro­fane, to be drunkards and swearers? and what else is our persistence in sin, but a testimony of our allowance of it?

3. Such sinning, implies a daring pro­vocation of God to destroy us. To de­spise God sparing and delivering, is to dare him to smite and destroy us. Not to care for deliverance, is as much as to say, we do not fear destruction, Isa. 5.19. Let him hasten his work that we may see it. This impudent expression either respects Gods power, q. d. let him do his worst, we fear not, as men that had over-grown Divine Justice, and become too big and too strong for the Almighties arm; or it may be spoken in respect of the Truths and threatnings declared by the Prophets challenging God to the accomplishment o [...] them. But will God suffer himself to b [...] dared by worms? can you daunt his un­alterable courage? can you hold the Al­mighties hands, or lay bonds on his judg­ments, that they shall not destroy you Will God suffer his creatures to insult ove [...] him? are we out of his reach, that we fea [...] no ruine? can we match him with equa [...] forces? sure we are nothing to him. How then can he indure a challenge from us [Page 39] How can he suffer our sins after mercies? By these sins we are like those, Iob 15.25, 26. Who stretch out their hands against God, and strengthen themselves against the Almighty, &c. But who ever contended with him, and prospered? It will be dread­ful to fall into the hands of a living God. And this will certainly be the portion of those that affront him with such daring provocations.

4. These sins are so hainous, as by them the delivering mercy of God is horribly undervalued. What is our Rebellion af­ter the reception of such mercies, but to declare we account not our selves obliged to God for them? What is this but to disown the greatness of the favours God bestows upon us? What greater dis-in­genuity can be exprest, than to diminish the greatest favours of God, in love to our devillish lusts? Every mercy that comes from so great a God, must needs be great: but to undervalue the choicest blessings and highest mercies, must needs be a point of the highest wickedness. VVas it a small mercy, that by our late delive­rance so many thousand lives have been continued, such multitudes of Souls have been kept out of Hell? Is it nothing in [Page 40] your eyes to be delivered from Popish sla­very? to have the glorious Gospel conti­nued amongst us? Is the security of Church and State, the miraculous preser­vation of Priviledges and Liberties a con­temptible kindness? shall all these things have no notice taken of them? shall they all be dis-regarded? will you say 'tis not worth while to leave sinning for these? dare you declare they deserve no obedi­ence? let your Conscience speak, would not this be horrid Blasphemy? could you bear such undervaluing of kindness from fellow-Creatures? how then can God from you?

5. Those Sins are the testimonies of the highest Ingratitude conceivable. In­gratitude is the worst of Sins; and sin­ning after Deliverance is the worst Ingra­titude. This is unkindness that pierces the heart of God, to rebel against him, dealing with us as the dearly beloved of his Soul. How ungrateful is't to assas­sinate a Prince, to whose care we owe our Lives and Fortunes? To rip open the bowels of her, to whom we owe our be­ing? So is it to dishonour a God, that is both our Protector and Benefactor, our Preserver and Deliverer. David was [Page 41] greatly incens'd at the Ingratitude of churlish Nabal, 1 Sam. 25.21. Surely in vain have I kept all this fellow had in the wilderness, and he requites me evil for good. Will not the Almighty thus complain of an ungrateful people; Surely in vain have I kept them from the hands of their bloody Enemies, in vain I have delay'd the execution of Judgment, since all my return is Dishonour for Deliverance, sin­ning for saving of them? May not God speak to us, after the manner our blessed Saviour spoke to the Jews? For which of my good works do you stone me? For which of my good Works do you sin a­gainst me? Will you oppose me, because I appear so often for you? Will you hate me, because I help you? Will you rebel, because I relieve you? Is this the fruit of my Goodness? The Lord was great­ly offended with his Vineyard, Isai. 5. because after all his care to make it fruitful, it brought forth wild grapes. I looked it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. When God bestows any Mercies upon us, his eye is upon us to see what improvement we are making of them: He looks to see what [...]hou dost with thy Time, thy Talent; [Page 42] His eye is upon thee, to see what use thou makest of Means, Deliverances, and all thy Enjoyments: And when he uses good means, he looks for good fruit; and if we ungratefully bring forth wild Grapes, we shall highly provoke him, and to our disadvantage displease him. How intolerable a Sin must it needs be, to fight against God with his Goodness? to mischief his Honour with his Mercies? Should you be an instrument of raising a decayed Friend, and he turn your Ene­my, and use the estate procured by you, to manage mischievous designs against you, would you not count it intolerable baseness? Now what less, yea how infi­nitely more is your abusing the Mercies of God, to the disadvantage of his Glory, and dishonour of his Name? Should a [...] neighbourly Physician freely endeavour the relief of a helpless Beggar, and after his cost and care, when this man is re­stor'd, he should make it his work to study the death of this worthy Friend, how intolerable Ingratitude would this be accounted? What else is our sinning a­gainst God, on his sparing of us? What is it but the destroying the Honour of him, who saved us from destruction? [Page 43] Deut. 32.6. Do ye thus requite the Lord, ye foolish people and unwise? When un­grateful Brutus was among those that came to destroy Caesar, he pathetically cryed out, Etiam tu Brute! What, thou my Son Brutus! Wilt thou stab me? May not God cry out upon us, What ye, oh People of England, will ye still be enemies? You whom I have so deliver'd? You whom I have so often preserved, shall I meet with these dealings from you? Of all people you are obliged to love and serve me, and will you improve all my Mercies against me?

6. By sinning after Deliverance, we most unjustly deny to Go [...] that which is [...]is Right and due fo [...] [...]livering of us. Deliverance is the price of God for our Lives and Services. God redeeming of us, we remain no longer our own, but are especially obliged to be his. What can we give to God for preserving our Lives, less than [...] and that's an unanswerabl [...] [...] for the exercise of [...]is Wisdome and Power [...] delivering of us. Can we then rob God of his due, without [...] height of Injustice? Is not this the most [...]tolerable Sacrilege? The Mercies of God are to hire us to Obe­dience. [Page 44] Will a Master suffer a Servant to be engag'd in the work of another, when he hath hired him for his own? Is it not a provoking sin, for you to be employ'd in the service of the Devil, when God hath hired you into his? The Apostle pressing the Corinthians to Obedience tells them, They are not their own, but are bought with a price. Thus may we be perswaded to Obedience, by considering, God hath bought our Lives, by saving us from Death.

7. Sinning now is so heinous, as here­by God is frustrated of his designs in granting such favours. What may God expect, when stretching out his hand to help us, but tha [...] then we will inclin [...] our hearts to honour him? What are th [...] designs of God in displays of Mercy, bu [...] to raise up Glory to himself? He exer­ciseth Goodness to promote his own In­terest in the world, not the Devils. Wi [...] God exercis [...] Mercy to his own disad­vantage? Will a [...]ational man put Wea­pons into the hands of those would slay him with them? Would you deliver [...] man to destroy you? Surely the Lord may justly expect Love for his Kindness Duty for his Mercy, Obedience for hi [...] [Page 45] Deliverance. Isai. 63.8, 9, 10. He said, Surely, they are my people, children that will not lye; so he became their Saviour. This verse contains a kinde of Expostu­lation that might be in God; Why should I save such a people as this? I have enough against them to destroy them. I have found their unfaithfulness to their promises, their unanswerableness to my gracious Providences, why should I deliver them? Then God comes to a Resolution, Mercy turns the scale, Good­ness prevails; I will try them once more; they are my people, children that will not lye; I hope they will not frustrate me any more: I may take this oppor­tunity to cut them off, but I will make experiment once more. But proving un­faithful, he became their enemy, and fought against them. How heinous a sin [...]s it to cross Gods ends, to walk con­trary to him!

8. Sinning now is so heinous, as 'tis not only a neglecting Duty, but despising Remedy. There are Peccata contra officia, and contra remedia; Sins against Duties in omitting things commanded, and sins against remedy, slighting and opposing [...]he means which are designed for re­covery [Page 46] from former evils. And now what sin can be greater, than to despise the means that are used to cure our bleed­ing wounds? what aggravates the sin of unbelief, and makes it the destroying sin, but because 'tis the contemning of that blessed Remedy which is provided for mi­serable sinners? Hence this sin binds on the sinners guilt with an eternal bond, and makes Salvation impossible. Thus also slighting deliverance is the highest sin, as thereby we bid open defiance to all means of recovering of us from sin & destruction. Neglecting Salvation hath a most provo­king influence on the wrath of God: Heb. 2.3. How shall we escape, if we neg­lect so great Salvation? VVill the Lord bear this affront to his mercy, that when he is willing to save, we declare we re­gard no Salvation? This will be an un­pardonable crime, there will be no esca­ping for us. To sin with deliverance, is no less than to throw away the healing balm that mercy provides, and resolve to make our wounds incurable.


Sins after deliverance have a peculiar [Page 47] influence to procure and hasten destructi­on. Our present safety is no security a­gainst future Judgments: destruction de­ferred by Gods deliverances, will be hast­ned by our sinning after them: those whom undeserved mercies can't reclaim, incensed justice will speedily ruine. The Monuments of greatest mercies, have been made examples to declare the severity of Justice for the abuses of them. Such have experienced the most direful suffe­ring, to whom the Almighty hath been most long-suffering. VVitness the deplo­rable state of the hardned Iews, to whom the most singular favour was extended of any people on earth; yet now who more miserable than those rejected wretches, for their abusing favours? Justice will frown most sharply upon the disdainful affron­ters of mercy. No people are nearer an utter desolation, than those who heap up sin, when God is heaping up mercies. Although the Lord be most willing to smite, yet he knows not how to spare when provoked in this manner. Ier. 5.7. How shall I pardon thee for this.—When I had fed them to the full, then they committed Adultery, v. 9. Shall I not visit for these things, saith the Lord? shall I not be [Page 48] avenged on such a Nation as this? These sins put God to a stand; he knows not how to go about a pardoning act, al­though he delights so greatly in it: how shall I pardon, Heb. [...] parcam: how shall I spare thee any longer? I can't with­hold the hands of my justice, I can't de­fer the punishment of these transgressions. Thence, v. 10. God gives a Commission to enemies, Go upon the Walls and destroy, &c. delay no longer: let those feel the smarting impressions of Justice, that de­spise the sweetest expressions of mercy.

This wrath of God against despisers of goodness, appears, 1 Sam. 12.24, 25. Consider how great things the Lord hath done: but if ye still continue to do wickedly, ye shall be consumed both ye and your King. When once a people rise to that height of Impiety, that the most obliging kindness Heaven can show, can't win their hearts to obedience; what can be expected from Heaven, but the severest vengeance an Almighty arm can bring upon them? Will not the Lord soon rush out upon a people with wonderful plagues, when they are knocking at the door of justice by such impenitent courses? The most gracious Prince would dispatch that man, [Page 49] who should impudently persist in traite­rous designs against him, after a delive­rance from death by his pardoning of him. Thus will the King of Heaven mi­serably destroy delivered sinners rebelling against him. Divine patience sheathing the sword of Justice, will at last desist its pleading for the abusers of it; and im­patient justice by its revengeful arm will avenge the quarrel of despised mercy: Ezek. 16.43. Because thou hast not remem­bred the days of thy youth: q. d. the kind­ness and favour I then extended to thee; the deliverances thou hadst from me: Be­hold, I will recompence thy ways upon thy [...]ead. Thou hast grieved me with sin, I will grind thee to pieces with judgments; thou hast recompensed me with hatred for [...]ove, I will recompense hatred for your [...]atred. Thus will God deprive those of mercies, that deprive him of the glory of [...]hem. 2 Kings 21.13. God there threa­ [...]ens to wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a [...]ish, q. d. He would take away all their [...]elicate enjoyments, as meat is thrown [...]ut of a dish. They shall feed on judg­ments, who were wanton when fed with [...]ercies: but the Hebrew signifies, Delebo Ierusalem sicut deleri solent tabulae. As im­pressions [Page 50] on tables are wont to be wiped out, so shall my impressions of goodness upon them: the former inscriptions of honour and prosperity shall no more be seen, but the prints of destroying judg­ments shall be found upon them. It shall no more be written, These are a people de­livered, but, These are a people destroyed for abusing deliverance. This fatal con­sequence of despising favours, may be il­lustrated from the words of God, Hos. 6.4. Oh Ephraim what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it passeth away. Many inter­pret your goodness, the goodness bestow­ed on you, or your mercies. So the sence is, My goodness that I bestow upon you, is but like a morning cloud, that is dissipa­ted and scattered, and doth no good to you, you are not the better for it. And as the early dew it passeth away, i. e. Gra­tiam & misericordiam meam malitia vestra absorbetis: You soon wear off the im­pressions of my mercy, as the moistnings of the early dew are soon dryed up by the earth; therefore v. 7. I have hewed them by the Prophets, my judgments are broken out upon them: or otherwise, The tokens of my mercy make but short impression on [Page 51] you; your goodness fades away, you soon return to sin: what now shall I do to you? I am resolved to try no more mercies; I have made you grow with my kindness like flourishing Trees, now will I hew you down; because you are so unprofitable, I will be unmerciful to you.

Here it will not be amiss to consider, how this persistence in sin after delive­rance, promotes and hastens the destructi­on of a people.

1. Hereby that peculiar respect that God hath for one people above another, is made to cease; and they are lookt upon no otherwise, than the vilest of people in the world. In Gods providen­ [...]ial dispensations, he bears some singu­lar favour to some, beyond what he doth to others, although these may be nothing more deserving than other Nations; and from this favour he confers singular Tem­poral Blessings upon them; and these he [...]alls his people, as especially cared for, [...]reserved and provided for by him. But [...] these despise his kindness, and con­ [...]mn his goodness, he then un-peoples [...]em, and casts them out of his favour; [...]nd then they become as liable to judg­ [...]ents, as the greatest abjects in the [Page 52] world. Thus was it with the people of the Iews, the Lord separated them from all the world for his care and charge: hence he did mighty things for them; but continuing long in their sins, notwith­standing his mercies, Hos. 2.9. he bids the Prophet tell them, Ye are not my peo­ple, I will not be your God; and this re­jection made way for that ruine now up­on them. In the 9th of Amos, the Pro­phet is threatning judgment against that sinful people, against which they fortified themselves with presumptuous boastings of their being Gods people, chosen by him, & so often owned by deliverances; but for their abusing mercies, God tells them, v. 7. Are ye not as the children of the AEthiopians unto me? saith the Lord, i.e. Non pluri [...] vos facio quam AEthiopes, Grot. You are now no more to me than the vilest peo­ple.

You have been under my care, and now ye are under my curse: ye remain un­changeable in your sins, as the AEthiopians in their colour, and therefore ye shall b [...] of no more account with me than they [...] VVhat though we have been more to God than any people on earth, and re­ceived more blessings then any Nation [...] [Page 53] near us, insomuch that we might be cal­led his chosen people for his care over us? VVill not despising mercies, sinning after deliverances, make him say, as Hos. 9.15. I will love you no more? VVhat shall we be more to him than the AEthiopians, if we be like them in sin? Ezek. 15.2. What is the Vine-tree more than another? i.e. If the Vine bring forth no fruit, what is it more than another tree? why should it not be burnt? VVhatever we have been, if we be fruitless and ungrateful, why should we not be punisht? If we be not bearing trees, may not God make us burning trees? If we be not bettered by deliverance, why may we not be destroy­ed?

2. Hereby the Lord is made in a man­ner to repent of delivering a people: when men have gratified their fellow-creatures with signal favours, and after such ex­pressions of respect have nothing but un­grateful returns; it makes them wish they had never bestowed their love on such unworthy persons. Thus the Almighty God, unjustly requited for mercies, is said to repent him of his conferring kind­ness on a people. But we must observe that golden rule; Quae [...] Deo [Page 54] tribuuntur, [...] debent intelligi: Those things which are attributed to God after the manner of men, must be understood as become the Majesty of God. So Gods repenting is an improper allusive term, ex­pressing not a change in Gods mind, but in his action: not implying such an af­fection in God as repentance, but allu­ding to the effect of such an affection in man, Gen. 6.6. It repented God that he made man, and it grieved him to the heart. This implies Gods wrathful indignation at mans miscarriage, but no disturbing alteration in the mind of God, who is ever the same. But to speak after the manner of Men, when a people conti­nue in sins after deliverance, God may say, Oh! it repents me that I have deli­vered a people thus to dishonour me; it repents me to do so much for a people, to do thus much against me. Oh! how near are such a people to destruction, of whose deliverance God repents him! How soon will they be involved in ruine, of whom God may be provoked to say, as David of Nabal, 1 Sam. 25.21. In vain have I kept all this man hath in the wil­derness; In vain have I preserved the lives and liberties of this people, since [Page 55] the fruit of all is onely to be rebelled a­gainst and dishonoured by them. If we thus make the Lord griev'd at the heart for bestowing mercies, God will grieve us to the heart by destroying judg­ments.

3. Hereby God is provoked to stop all proceedings in way of deliverance, and leave a people to successless shiftings for themselves: Iudges 10.12, 13. Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites? yet ye have forsaken me; I will deliver you no more. Sinning after deliverance, dis-engages God from appea­ring any more for us. And what can be more dreadful, than to hear God say in his wrath, Oh ye ingrateful people! I have once and again improved my wis­dom and power on your behalf, to pre­vent your ruine; but since ye go on still to provoke me, whatever your condition is hereafter, you must never look for help from me; whoever be your enemy, you must not look for me to be your friend: I will never stand up for such Rebels, nor dishonour my Name in delivering you to sin against me. We cannot want comfort whilst under promises of Divine assistance, and help from Heaven in our dangers; [Page 56] but if God stands off, we must inevitably fall into the hands of our enemies, and become preys to their greedy lusts. If God says I will add no more deliverance, there is none can promise deliverance to us. Oh miserable people, whom God thus forsakes in anger! we shall never see another deliverance, if the Lord should resolve I will add no more. We shall ne­ver out-live the dangers we daily live in, if God should determine to leave us to them.

Corruption in our ways under mercies, will cause a cessation of them. So it was with the people of the Iews, Hos. 1.6. Call her name Lo-ruchamah, for I will not add any more to the house of Israel, but I will ut­terly take away. I will add no more days of prosperity, years of plenty; no more gracious deliverances, or pledges of mercy, but I will utterly take away: I have been filling, but now will I empty you; the Hebr. [...] signifies obliviscendo, ob­liviscor, in forgetting I will forget them. I will no more be favourable to them, but forgetful of them; though they perish, I wo'nt remember them; they have not minded my mercies, I will not mind their miseries. Thus God puts a stop to [Page 57] the streams of mercy, locks up the store­house of blessings, and adds no more. David prays, Psal. 36.10. Oh continue thy loving kindness, &c. Hebr. signifies, Pertra­ha, draw out, lengthen out the tokens of thy love; but this will be onely to those that are drawn to God by them. They may call every mercy a Ios [...]ph, which sig­nifies, God will add more. But 'tis not so with ungrateful sinners, God will make an end of bestowing mercies, unless they make an end of abusing of them: God will cease deliverances, unless we cease disho­nouring him with them.

Yea, although a deliverance may be be­gun to a people, whereby they appear in a happy way to escape; yet persisting in sin, God will carry on the work no farther, but leave them to ruine. Hence then, what especial care should be used to reform our lives, and renew our repen­tance, lest our deliverance should be left unperfected? we are in no better capaci­ty to finish it now begun, than we were to begin it, if God stands off. Our pro­ceeding in sin, will hinder our God from proceeding in mercy. Indulging our pro­voking lusts, will endanger our precious lives. These merciful buddings of Pro­vidence [Page 58] may easily be knipt. This small glimmering light may soon be over-clou­ded; our door of hope may soon be shut. Shall we provoke a gracious God to say, I will add no more? Shall we make him complain of being weary of delivering? What makes a stop to our deliverance, but our continuance in sin? This makes God in the posture we read of, Ier. 14.9. As a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save. Hebr. [...] Pavidus, as one afraid of us, astonish'd at our iniquities. A man astonisht doth walk up and down this way and that way, knows not what course to take; so our sinning whilst God is deli­vering, makes God at a loss what to do. Sometimes he goes forward with delive­rance, sometimes it seems to stand still, another while it looks as if it were set back; and all this, because we amaze God with our daring sins. God told the people of Israel, admiring he went not on with deliverance, Isa. 59.1, 2. My hand is not shortned that it cannot save, nor my ear deafned that it cannot hear; but your iniquities separate between you and your God, &c. We drive God from us by our sins; and how then can our Salvation be carryed on? Shall we make God go back [Page 59] and repent of the good he hath seemed to design for us? our sinning will do it: Ier. 18.10. If it doth evil in my sight, I will repent of the good wherewith I said I will benefit it. Shall we not repent of sinning, rather than provoke God thus to repent of his purpose to deliver? Why will you blast all your hopes of escape, and wither that flower that's springing up? Oh then, if you desire a farther de­liverance, desert your former sins! or else God will resolve to add no more. By this most abominable persistence in sin, the Lord is provoked not onely to stop delive­rances, but to step into ways of judg­ments, and that with unalterable resolu­tions to destroy. Instead of enabling people against enemies, he enables ene­mies against them. Instead of delivering from cruel adversaries, he justly delivers them up unto them. Hereby his saving arm becomes a smiting hand, and mercy it s [...]lf is made an enemy. Hereby our greatest friend becomes an implacable foe; and whereas oftentimes before he had graciously sent Commissions from Heaven for deliverance, now in his wrath he dis­penseth commands, and issues out Writs to destroy.

[Page 60]This severity to a sinful people you may see, Isa. 63.9, 10. In his love and in his pity he redeemed them; but they rebelled and vext his holy Spirit, therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and fought against them. Now how can they hope to escape, that have a victorious God to oppose them! How miserably will those be ruin'd, that by despising Gods helping pitty, convert it to destroying enmity? Oh, that the terrour of Divine displeasure for such transgressions, thus exemplified in others, might have that sutable influ­ence on our hearts, as to prevent them in us! let others corrections be our ad­monitions; let Gods vindictive judg­ments on others, be instructive warnings to us: Rev. 15.4. Who will not fear thee, thy judgments are made manifest! Let o­thers confusion be a subject of our consi­deration; and know, if we continue Enemies to God, after his friendly, father­ly dealings, he will soon become our ene­my, and fight against us; then the deepest policy, the highest power can be no secu­rity to us.

But that which is the most direful con­sequence of this horrid sinning, is, that it brings the Eternal God to unmoveable [Page 61] resolutions, to accomplish the destruction of such a people. He will not be pre­vailed with to deliver those, whom his mercies could not prevail with to desist from sin. If we grow incorrigible under mercies, God will grow inexorable when under judgments. If a deaf ear be turn­ed to God, when by mercies he calls for duty; he will turn a deaf ear to us, when we in misery invocate his mercy: whatever hopes we may flatter our selves withal, we shall meet with no help from God, when thus provoked. Although such is the goodness of God, that he of­ten repents before he destroys; yet such provocations will make him weary of re­penting, and resolve to ruine: Ier. 15.6, 7. Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou hast gone away backward; therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, I am weary of repenting. I have long indulged you, but I will now spare no longer, but a­venge your sins: Some render it, Labora­vi rogans, &c. I have taken pains intreat­ing you to repent, till I am weary; but now ye that have wearyed me with your sins, shall be wearied with judgments: So v. 7. I will fan them with a fan in the gates: that is, I will scatter them about [Page 62] as the chaff is scattered with a fan; I will bereave them of children, and destroy my people, sith they return not from their ways. Thus impenitent sin­ning brings unavoidable judgments: and Divine vengeance will infallibly pursue such as persist in these hainous sins. No Sanctuary shall shelter these ungrateful wretches from the hands of justice; nor shall flattering intreaties prevent the ruine of such unrepenting sinners.

The deserved judgments that belong to these inhumane offenders of mercy, will be threatned with unalterable certainty. Thus you may see them denounced a­gainst an incorrigible people, Ezech. 24.13, 14. Because I have purged thee and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged till I have caused my fury to rest upon you. Be­cause I have purged thee, q. d. I have en­deavoured to perswade thee, and oblige thee to leave thy filthy sins: Verba quae effectum notant, saepe de conatu intelliguntur: Estius. So God is said to do what he re­quires, desires, permits, or perswades to be done. Thus God had been inducing of them to obedience, reducing of them from sin; but under all, they were un­speakably [Page 63] obstinate; which caused these desperate resolutions in God against them. He would make his fury rest upon them: and their doom is confirmed with the highest asseverations conceivable, v. 14. I the Lord have spoken, i. e. I that am of undoubted faithfulness, and cannot lye; of infinite power, and can execute my pleasure; I have spoken it, and it shall come to pass; whatever evasions you think to make, however secure and careless you are, it shall come to pass, and I will do it. I will undertake the ruine of such as rebel against my mercies, and abuse the great­est instrument of raising my honour, viz. my patience; I will not go back, neither will I spare or repent. When I begin, I will carry on my work; I will not break off my judgments, since ye will not break off your sins; the sentence is irrevocable, you must expect no reversion of it, nor deli­verance from it. Now surely vengeance threatned with thus much certainty, will fall upon a people with intolerable seve­rity. When judgments are thus punctu­ally determined, it cannot be expected they should be a long while delay'd. What hopes now can we have, if persisting in sin after our many merciful escapes? Will [Page 64] not this grave-stone be laid upon us? Will not a consumption be decreed from the Lord of Hosts against us? What though we are spared this once, after all our for­mer evasions? Are we now out of dan­ger? Are there no instances to be found of a people preserved, delivered, as often as we, and at last the Writs of destructi­on were issued forth? What think you of that example, Amos 7. In the vision of the Prophet, the judgments of God on that people were shadowed by various de­structive things: v. 1. by Grass-hoppers, meaning the Army of the Assyrians, which were ready to invade them; but God from his infinite clemency prevented their ruine by them: v. 3. The Lord repen­ted for this, and said, It shall not be: V. 4. this people are threatned with another consuming judgment exprest by fire: where­by was signified either a drought, or the devastations of their Cities, by that un­merciful enemy and Element; or the ru­ining calamities which they were near in­volved in by Teglathphalasar; yet now a­gain he delivers them: v. 6. This also shall not be. But this Language is too good to hold always to unbettered sin­ners: now therefore, v. 7. God will wink [Page 65] no longer at their ungrateful sinning, he now is weary of repenting. The Lord stood upon a wall with a plumb-line in his hand: A Metaphor from those that build walls, they use a line to proceed exactly. Thus the Lord declares he would no lon­ger tolerate their abuses, nor use his cle­mency to deliver, but would exercise strictest justice till they were ruined: Hence v. 8, 9. a miserable destruction is threatned, I will pass by them no more, &c. Enemies shall now prevail, judgments shall effectually take place; I will use no­thing but strictness and severity. Now this leads me to the fifth Propositi­on.


Destruction for sinning after delive­rance, will be the most dreadful destructi­on: what can be more clear than this, from the words of my Text? Should we again break thy commands, wouldst thou not be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor esca­ping? That is, no common calamity would then fall upon us; no ordinary punish­ment would be our portion; but we ex­ceeding [Page 66] the common measure and degree of sin, thou wouldst exceed the common degree of judgment: E dulcissimo vino a­cerrimum fit acetum; The sweetest wines make sowrest vinegar; the strongest per­fumes are fatal as poysons; abused mer­cy will be avenged with unusual miseries. No mercy is to be expected in judgment, when mercies are despised that kept off judgments. Kindness not effecting an answerable reformation, will abundant­ly aggravate revengeful destruction: Isaiah 29.1, 2. God threatens Ariel, sc. Ierusalem, that wonderful distress should fall upon it; and it should be to him as Ariel. Ariel was the Altar for whole­burnt offerings, Ezech. 43.15. Now to avenge their abuses of mercies there, God would make their City, once the richest of their mercies, an Altar on which their blood should be offered as a sacrifice to justice. Thus our mercies abused, may become knives to open our throats; our Cities and Towns so often delivered, may be as Altars, about which our lifeless bo­dies may be heaped as sacrifices about the Altar. The quintessence of all judgments, the substance of all Plagues, shall be ming­led in one cup, with all the dregs of [Page 67] wrath, for the despisers of clemency and mercy. Mercy is sweet that is extended to us in midst of judgments; and judgments severe, when executed on a people abound­ing with mercies. A deliverance cannot bring so great mercies, but sinning after it will usher in as dreadful judgments. By how much the greater the deliverance is we receive, so much the greater will be the destruction for sinning after it. A thick cloud hath been over our heads, and the favourable gale of mercy hath partly disperst it; but the ascending of sinful vapours will cause the Lord to re­turn our sins upon our heads, with over­whelming inundations of judgments; slighting the gales of mercy, preventing ru­ine, will bring most dreadful storms of vengeance. Our float of goodness may be turned into floods of misery. Our sun may set at noon-day; and our cisterns, now fill'd from the boundless ocean of un­merited benignity, may soon be filled from the vials of wrath, with the waters of Marah. Our destruction adjourned a while, may return with unexemplify'd terrour. The Lord threatned the back­sliding Iews, Deut. 4.25, 26. That if af­ter his kindness in conducting them from [Page 68] Egyptian slavery, with infinite mercies through a tiresome wilderness, to the blessed land of Canaan; (I say) if then they should sin against him, although they had remained a long time there, they should not prolong their days upon it, but utterly be destroyed from off it. Thus notwith­standing our sinful Nation hath many years been like an Eden, a Palace of Roy­al glory, a Canaan flowing with milk and honey, a Theatre of mercies, an unpa­ralleld monument of many deliverances; yet continuing in sin, will deface its envy­ed glory, and render it a stage for de­stroying judgments, and lay it waste with storms of successive plagues; and then it shall be said, This is the Nation that would never leave sinning, till it forced the Almighty to make it a ruinous heap, a Land desolate and not inhabited. What high time is it then to depart from sin, left an Ichabod be wrote upon us! which signifies, Their glory is departed.

With what terrour may we look on those words? Psalm 68.20, 21. Vnto God belongs salvation, but he will wound the hairy scalp of every one that goes on in sin: Though he will multiply salvations to such as serve him the more for them, yet [Page 69] will he glorifie his justice in destroying such as go on in sin after them. The Hebr. word [...] signifies altè imprimere; God will make a deep impression of the hands of justice on all such incorrigible persons. The heaviest judgments will fall on the contemners of the highest mercies. Judgment will be with most amazing ter­rour, on the contemners of the Almigh­ties favour. As Gods resolutions against such sins will make destruction irrevoca­ble, so his wrath backt with unlimited power, will make them intolerable.

Now here I shall endeavour to shew you for what reasons destroying judg­ments will be thus heightned by provo­king sins after deliverance.

1. Because the longer judgments are coming, the greater severity they are at­tended with, when falling upon us. The longer a blow is fetching, the deeper im­pression is made by its force. If God tarries long before he punishes, the grea­ter terrour will be in his punishment. The destruction of the old world was delayed for many years, but at last it was accom­plisht with the greater severity. Deus tar­dus est ad iram, sed tarditatem vindictae gra­vitate compensat. Whilst sinners ruine is [Page 70] deferr'd, God is putting himself into po­stures of judgment, whetting his glitte­ring sword, sharpning his terrible arrows feathered with our sins, that so he may make the more sharp and sudden destructi­on. There is Crudelitas parcens, sparing cruelty, as well as misericordia puniens, pu­nishing mercy.

The longer the cloud is gathering, the more dripping showre is expected when it falls. So the greater provocations are treasur'd up in the days of Gods patience, the more miserable destruction will be in the days of his vengeance: Isa. 42.14. A long time have I held my peace; I have been still and refrained my self; now will I cry like a travailing woman, I will de­stroy and devour at once. You shall know I have not lost my power, though I have exercised my patience; though yo [...] have shared so much in my mercy, I will at length proportion the severity of my justice, to the clemency of my mercy. I will destroy you at once; I'll give no more alaruming warnings, awakening calls, or monitory afflictions; but now will I bring ruine on a sudden, with una­voidable calamities: Iob 21.31. The wick­ed is reserved to the day of destruction; there [Page 71] will be a murdering day for rebellious malignants, they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. The Hebr. [...] we Translate brought forth, signifies, Cum mo­ra & pompa deducere, Mer. To lead them to it with delay, to bring them to it by de­grees, and also with some pomp and splendour: but what is it they shall be brought forth to? What are they going to with their pomp and glory? oh 'tis but to a day of wrath; ad diem furorum, a day of wraths and fury; a day majorum poenarum, of greater punishment. When the wrath of God for every sin shall con­sume them, and increase their deferred torments. Sinners are brisk because judg­ment is delayed; but alas, sinners, though you go on with security, yet far from safe­ty, the day of wraths will come. Ier. 12.1. we read the wicked prosper; why are they not stopt in their courses? They take root, Hebr. pergunt, they go on: Non posuit Deus prohibitionem: Vatab. God doth not hinder them; are they happy therefore? will this always continue? No, v. 3. They shall be pulled out like sheep to the slaughter, they are set apart for the day of destruction. When a day is set apart, some eminent thing is intended in it. When a day is [Page 72] set apart for destruction, an eminent de­struction is implyed by it: a day is com­ing when sinners shall feel the smart of Di­vine vengeance for abuses of patience. This is call'd their day, as deserved by them, as peculiar to them: Psal. 37.10. The Lord knows their day is coming: Chald. dies calamitatis ejus: The day of his sig­nal and dreadful calamity is approaching; and the longer this day is coming, the more horrible it will be. As eternal con­demnation will be nothing the less for a present reprieve upon earth; so tempo­ral destruction will be nothing the more tolerable, for a patient toleration and con­tinued delay before it comes. We are little aware what is coming upon us, now our dangers are a little over; but whilst we are insensibly sinning after the expressi­ons of unmerited favour, the bottles of wrath are filling, and the clouds of ven­geance gathering; and who knows but suddenly they may ease and unburden themselves in a deluge of ruine upon us an undaunted people? Will not the pu­nishment of sins continued against light and love, distress and deliverance, so many years as we have enjoyed them, be of that nature that might make our [Page 73] hearts tremble to conceive it? will not the vials of wrath be unspeakably full, and the storm of vengeance most horrible, which hath been so long in gathering? Sinning after deliverance, renders the de­struction dreadful, as they make it in a peculiar manner our own. Now destructi­on lyes at our own door, and our selves onely are to bear the blame of it. In mercy God begins first, but in miseries we make the beginning. And what can be a more dreadful aggravation, than to have cause to say, Mercies are gone, God is departed, Enemies prevail? and what may we thank but our pride and pro­faneness, our ingratitude and ungodli­ness, after obliging mercies? what makes up the endless and intolerable torments of damned Souls, for ever banisht from the comfortable presence of the excellent glory, but this, that all that misery was procured by themselves? 'Tis observed of some Birds, that the lime is made of their own dung that is used to destroy them: The lime-twigs of Gods judg­ments, are made of the dung of our own sins. Our sins are the feathers, whereby [...]he fatal darts of judgments fly unto us. Propriis conficimur alis, wounded with [Page 74] our own weapons, with Arrows made from our selves: we do ill unjustly, and then suffer ill deservedly. All the judg­ments that spring up, are but from seeds of our own sowing. The Garment is ruin'd by the Moth bred in [...]t, and we by enemies of our own breeding. It was great aggravation to the misery of the Iews, that God told them, Ier. 4.18. Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee. I have delivered you, rescued you from miseries, and these now coming on you, you pull down upon your selves. This is thy wickedness; lay it not to enemies power, think not me unrighteous; this is all thy own. How miserable a condi­tion is this, to have no other comfort in calamities than this, to have God tell us this is our own? How sad when distressed to think, this is my slighting of mercy, my abusing patience, my persistence in drunke [...]ness, Sabbath-breaking, when I was delivered! Oh that I should be such an enemy to God and my self! Oh that I should bring such miseries on my self, by despising mercies! Nothing makes the condition of a people more hopeless, than their bringing themselves into a helpless condition. Hos. 13.9. Oh Israel, thou hast [Page 75] destroyed thy self: Thou wondrest at thy destruction, when it is from thy self. But in me is thy help. Learned Drusius trans­lates the Hebr. [...] alioquin; that is, other­wise thou hadst bad help from me. Had ene­mies ruined thee, I would have relieved thee; but since thou hast involv'd thy self in misery, thou mayst expect no mercy from me. I will not be the au­thor of deliverance to them, that are so wilfully authors of destruction to them­selves: you shall perish in the evils of your own procuring.

3. Destruction now will be greatly ag­gravated, because a people thus sinning, deserve to be exposed to the naked fury of incensed justice, without the least mi­tigation of their miseries by the interpo­sing of abused mercy. If we with un­grateful carriages contemn the help of mercy, we justly deserve to be utterly for­saken and cast off by it. And now, oh how dreadful will it be to drink the cup of Gods destroying fury, without any mixtures of relieving mercy! If mercy it self delivers us up to the cruel hands of inexorable justice, what then shall we experience, but vengeance without cle­mency, punishment without pity, and [Page 76] destruction without delay? Oh how sad will it be for helpless creatures to lye under the displays of vengeance, and none to cover them? to have innumera­ble iniquities crying for judgments, and none to plead for them? to have invinci­ble enemies opposing of them, and none to assist them? If mercy be dis-engaged, however fiercely the storms of wrath may be pour'd out upon us, there can be no shelter from it. Whatever wounds are made, there will be no salve to cure them. If merciful deliverances cannot prevail up­on us to reform us, will not mercy cease pleading for us? will it not say as Christ, Iohn 17.9. I pray not for them? I will put in no more intreaties for their salva­tion: Justice, take them, destroy them, ruine them, I have nothing to plead for them. How often doth mercy plead, as the merciful Vine-dresser did for the cum­ber-ground fig-tree, Luke 13.7, 8. Lord, let it alone this year also: let not thy wrath yet break out, let not thy fury ruine them, but spare them this time; try what they will do with one deliverance more? but when nothing is successful, mercy gives over; and what but intole­rable vengeance will then lye upon us?

[Page 77]But who can speak the dread of de­struction, that unmixed anger involves a people in? How dreadful will it be to fall into the hands of God, when armed with nothing but destroying indignation? How can our hearts endure, or our hands be strong, when all the Attributes of his glorious Majesty shall conspire together to make us miserable? When infinite wisdom shall be exercised in contriving, and in­finite power shall be engaged in executing the miserable destruction of a sinful peo­ple, it must needs be intolerable.

Here I shall take occasion to shew you the misery of a people, when mercy is dis-engaged from relieving of them; that so we may be fearful of depriving our selves of that blessed succour we have hi­therto enjoyed by it.

1. Mercy dis-engaged, all miseries en­dured are pure wrath. Such miseries are much of the nature of the Torments of the damned in Hell, whose plagues are a cup of vengeance without mixture. The happiness of Saints in all their sufferings, consists in enjoying ingredients of love in the bitterest cup that is mixed out to them: when outward distresses are most unpleasing to sense, they refresh them­selves [Page 78] with delightful objects, then visible to the eye of faith: Psal. 94.19. In the multitude of my thoughts, thy comforts de­light my Soul. But mercie dis-engag'd, there is no cordial to support us, no su­gar to sweeten the bitterest cup enforced upon us: Ezek. 7.5. Behold, an evil, an one­ly evil cometh. God never sends judg­ments alone to such as he favours; but designing the utter destruction of a peo­ple, he mixes a potion of onely fatal poy­sons for them: then he sends an onely evil.

2. Mercy being dis-engaged, the low­dest cries, and most importunate prayers that a people can put up, will be denyed and rejected. God will admit no Pray­ers from such as contemned his former re­turns of them. The ears of justice will only hear the cries of our sins, to avenge them; 'tis mercy hears the voice of our prayers, to answer them; or all the answer we shall have, will be by terrible things in righte­ousness. But mercy dis-engaged, we are deprived of that unspeakable privliedge of Audience with God; and then we may swelter in our miseries, roll in our blood, despair in our torments, without a redress.

[Page 79]Should we by our impudent continu­ance in sin, make mercy our enemy, our most urgent cries would prove unsucces­ful; and though joyned with floods of tears, would be unprofitable: for this will bring us under the doom of those, Zech. 7.13. Because when I called you would not hearken, therefore also when you cry unto me I will not hear. How just a retaliation was this from God, although a most dread­ful affliction! not to have the merciful ear of God in affliction, is the worst of afflictions. It is dismal now to find our hearts so strangely shut up, as not be able to pour out prayers: but how miserable then shall we be, if when involved in sinking troubles, God should shut out our prayers, & not be prevailed with by them? Oh ruining state, when we in distress shall be crying, Save Lord, or we perish, and then receive no other return, but, Perish you may, and perish you shall, for all the help you shall have from me. These sins so much overcome his mercy, that our prayers will never overcome his an­ger. And as it is an argument of the great­est sinfulness in man, not to pray; so of the greatest anger in God, not to hear prayers. These iniquities are so intolera­ble [Page 80] a slighting of him, that he will unmer­cifully slight all we do. Oh what will become of a Nation, when that key which was wont to unlock the Treasuries of bounty, the store-house of blessings, can do nothing? when that Embassador that was wont to prevail for a gracious Treaty, shall be denyed? when that suc­cessful friend shall be denyed admittance to the Court of Heaven? when that omnipotent engine can attract no com­passions? Whither now shall we go, when access is denyed to God? where shall we have supplies, if our former store-house be shut up? whither can we turn, when he turneth away our prayers? Will not our furious enemies prevail over us, when our most fervent prayers cannot prevail with God? What a shaking comminati­on was that, Ier. 11.11. I will bring an evil upon them, they shall not escape; and though they cry, I will not hearken. God will take no notice of their cries, who would take no notice of his kindness. What can be said worse to a people than this, I will not hear? If he will not hear, he will not help; if he gives no audience, he will give no assistance. This speaks the sum of all evils in one. The root of all mi­series [Page 81] lyes here, in Gods not hearing. This effectually seals men up for destruction. Ezech. 8.18. I will deal with them in my fury; and though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear. As lazy pray­ers will not prevail now, so the loudest Prayer shall not prevail then. Thou maist then spend thy breath, that now thou spendest worse, and not speed. Thou maist stretch out thy hands, and yet receive nothing: but disengaging Mercy may suffer like those, Isai. 1. When ye stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes; and when ye make many Prayers, I will not hear. Audire Dei est concedere, i. e. I will not grant what you ask. In the days of my Grace ye might have prevail'd, and did not pray, or did it formally; and now in the day of my fury ye may pray, but shall not prevail.

Neither can the Prayers of the greatest Favourites in the Court of Heaven pre­vail for a people under such circumstances. Should the dearest Servants plead with greatest fervency, they must be denied when Mercy is disengaged, Ier. 15.1. Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, my heart could not be towards this people. Standing is the Posture of Praying. Though these should endeavour to draw [Page 82] out my Affections to them by their im­portunate cries, yet they should never gain my heart: I cannot love them, I cannot yield it to them. Tantum medio­criter malis ob pios interdum parcitur, non ita contumaciter flagitiosis. God only spares those that are indifferently wicked for the sake of the godly, not those that are obstinately flagitious and ungodly. Ezech. 14. Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were here, &c. they should prevail only for their own Souls. Oh, says God, you think the cries of your Prayer shall drown the voice of your Sins; you imagine your earnest calls will make my bowels yearn to you; or if you cannot prevail alone, you will engage others: but I tell you, neither ye, nor my greatest friends that can most prevail, shall perswade me to spare so ungodly a people as you; they and you shall not effect your desires with me so.

3. Mercy disengag'd, the wrathful blows of Divine Vengeance will be (to speak after the manner of men) inflicted in a careless manner on a Mercy-contem­ning people. The Vine-dresser is most exact and curious in abscinding the luxu­riant branches of a fruitful Vine, but hacks and hews the unfruitful tree in a [Page 83] careless manner. Thus the Almighty God measures out and limits the Judg­ments that are out of Mercy to a fruitful people, to increase their fruit; but re­gards not how he strikes a barren gene­ration, that are only to be hewed down as cumber-ground trees. Whilst tender Affections remain in the heart of God to a people, he limits the proceeding of ene­mies, he restrains the rage of their foes; he afflicts pondere & mensura, with weight and measure: But when Justice only is exercised in Judgment, the worst of times, the most fierce enemies, the most astonishing manner is chosen in afflicting. When we are regardless of a mans life, we say, Let him eat, drink, do what he will, I will be no hinderance to him: Thus Mercy disobliged says, Let enemies wound, massacre, slay whom and how they will, I shall not help, I will not hinder. God permits enemies to do their worst, to go as far as they can, when he designs the ruine of a people. The Prophet prays, Jer. 10.24. Lord, cor­rect me, but with judgment, not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. In thy correction use moderation, for the anguish of thy anger is intolerable; the blows of thy wrath alone will bring us to [Page 84] nothing. The fatherly Anger of God is dreadful, but the fierceness of his Anger is fatal. If God doth not moderate his anger, we can never sustain the dreadful terrour of it.

4. Mercy disengag'd, we become un­der a total impossibility of receiving help from any means. If Mercy that should stop miseries be taken away, miseries must needs flow in. Whither shall the poor creature go, if Mercy be gone? If we re­sort to creatures for help, they all say, It is not in me: If God affords you no help, I cannot; if God withdraws his merciful influence, I have no efficacy. Psal. 3.8. Salvation belongs to God. 'Tis the honour of God, that he can easily save without any else, and that none else can save without him. However suitable means may be to relieve us, unless there be the harmonious conjunction of God with them, they prove ineffectual. Crea­tures can never help us in distress, if Mercy stands off. There is a counter­poising power to the ability of created agents, that may obstruct their success: there are unseen circumstances that may invalidate their attempts: there are in­tercurrent Causes, and unprovided-for Accidents, that may be unconquerable [Page 85] hinderances to their endeavours. The most suitable instruments voluntatem ha­bent, non potestatem, have only an impo­tent Velleity or Will, but no effectual Ability to help us. A Nation deserted by Mercy, is like a diseased, dying man, Head a king, Heart fainting, Wits con­founded, Spirits consumed, given over by Physicians, Friends stand behind the Curtains sobbing and sighing, weeping and bewailing; willing to relieve, not able. Thus 'tis with a Nation when Mercy is disengag'd, 'tis bleeding to Death, gasping for Life, its Friends de­jected, their Hearts melted; but dye it must, dye it will, none can help it. Let men be never so sollicitous, most unspeak­ably industrious to help a perishing Na­tion, they will be successless without mercy, for they are but media deferentia, non operantia, means of conveyance, not of efficience.

Mercy disengag'd, there can be no bind­ing the hands of Justice, no obstructing its fatal Blows, no stopping the floods of Vengeance, no perswading to spare, no prevailing to stay, no hindering its ar­rests, no opposing its violence; but de­struction will be unavoidable. The highest profession, the richest possessions, [Page 86] the strongest fortifications; will be no secu­rity; no shelter on earth, can secure from the vengeance of Heaven. The united forces of all Creatures, can no ways im­pede the actings of their Sovereign Cre­ator. Job 9.12, 13. He taketh away, and none can hinder him. If God will not with­hold his anger, the proud helpers must stoop under. However great the Patrons of our Cause may be, whatever Allies may consociate with us, whatever Assistants shall appear for us, yet they can never prosper to protect us, or succeed to de­liver us from the hands of resolved Justice. Our helpers must have the assistance of God, or they cannot procure deliverance for us. Had we thousands as strong as that world-bearing Atlas, they could never uphold us: had we a world of Con­federates, they could never preserve us, if Justice designs our ruine. The most potent Friends can never deliver those, who have the Omnipotent God to be their enemy. If Mercy will not help us, we must needs be helpless. Job 27.22. God shall cast upon him, and not spare; he would flee out of his hands. [...]ugere cona­ [...]itur, sed non effugiet. He shall strive to get out of his hands, but shall not escape. [Page 87] Neither Policy, Power, or Prayer, can prevail with, or succeed against God, when not seconded with the aid of Mercy. Dan. 4.35. There is none can stay his hand. None can deliver from the destroying hands of Justice, but victorious Mercy. What need then is there to be careful, that we disoblige not Mercy? What grateful carriage should we have under Mercies, lest we make them our enemies? And if Mercy be once against us, all things will work against us.

5. Destruction after Deliverance will be exceedingly aggravated by that self-confounding desperation that will be in our Souls, when God shall come out a­gainst us to vindicate the quarrel of abu­sed mercies, to avenge the contempt of former deliverances. Then we shall not only have God against us, but Conscience also will direfully torment us: the re­flecting on former deliverances, will cause as great terrour as present dangers. The very thoughts of contemn'd deliverances, will damp and destroy the confidence of the Soul in renewed Miseries. How can a man lift up his face before God to de­sire a mercy, that hath turn'd his back upon God when he obtain'd a mercy? [Page 88] How can he go to God for fresh sup­plies of Mercy, who getting a mercy, hath gone away from God? When God hath lifted thee up from a low condition, and thou hast gone on in a wicked life, with what face canst thou look upon God again? Canst expect a good look, when thou lookest to him? What canst expect but a denial from him, when thou hast denied obedience to him? Oh how will Conscience fly on thy face, and check thy Soul! Remember when you were in di­stress before, thou didst cry to God, and he delivered thee; but thou never didst love him the more, serve him the better for it. Then wilt thou imagine with thy self, Oh how can I go to God again! How can I think he will try me with further Mercies, who have been so un­faithful under those I received? How can I expect he will be prevail'd with to pro­long my Life, when I have heapt up provocations, after his former prolonga­tions of it? Oh what heart-faintings and failings will a sense of despised Mercy produce! What a Hell of Misery will this be to all thy Torments, that thou durst not approach to God? Will not inward troubles be a dreadful increase of distress [Page 89] in times of Judgment? And what in­ward trouble more heavy than this, to finde our hearts condemning of us, and to be clogg'd with the sense of abused Mercies? Wilt thou not fear God will tell thee, thy Prayer is an abomination? Wilt not dread lest he say, as Iephthah to the Elders of Gilead, after they had expell'd him, Judg. 11.7. Are ye now come unto me, when ye are in distress? What, are you so impudent after all your un­kindness to me, to seek kindness from me? What, do ye think I will shelter such enemies as you? Will not God say thus to us, when fleeing to him in distress? What, do ye that have forsaken me so long, flee to me now? Do ye that despi­sed my former Deliverance, come to me for another? Will not God say, Be gone, I'll admit you no more, I'll hearken nei­ther to your Prayers nor Promises? And then we may cry out as Salv. Quid digni­us, quid justius? non audivimus, non au­dimur; non respeximus, non respicimur. What more merited, what more just? We have not heard God, and we are not heard; we have not regarded, and we are not regarded. What confusion will this fill our faces withal? What a [Page 90] Calamity will this be to all our Misery? Oh take heed then of incurring any fur­ther displeasure from God, by abusing deliverance; lest when renewed dangers come upon you, thy mouth should be stopt, thy confidence dampt, and thy conscience thus checking of thee. But put Iniquity far from thee, and then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; then shalt thou have access to the Lord in thy troubles: and if destruction should come, thou maist cry for deliverance, and have gracious returns. Destruction for sinning under these circumstances, will be aggra­vated by that pitiless frame that shall be not only in God, but in man, to those that are involv'd in such deserved destruction. God will not pity, but be strangely hard-hearted to such hardened Sinners. Misery calls for pity; but there can be no pity, where there is no mercy, or where Mercy is disengaged: Ezech. 5.11. Neither shall my eye spare, neither will I have pity. He laid aside his tender com­passions; his bowels of mercy were shut up, and now he hath no tender affections to them.

Thus men also that may be preserved from our calamities, will have just cause [Page 91] to be pitiless to us. It was said of Vitel­lius, when going to Execution, with his Hands bound, divested on Robes, that men had no pity of him, Nam deformitas vitae misericordiam abstulerat, Tacitus. The impiety of his Life, had taken away mens pity for his Death. Will not our sin­ning after Deliverance give such cause of abstaining from pitying of us? Will not men say, They deserve to be miserable, that will not desist from being sinful. Oh dreadful aggravation of misery, to have all bowels shut against us! Extrema est miseria, cùm nemo miseri vices dolet. 'Tis extreme misery, the height of distress, when we are not only destitute of Help, but destitute of Pity. Jer. 22.18. Shall not say, Ah, my brother, or ah, my sister: They [...]hall not lament for him, saying, Ah, Lord, [...] ah, his glory.

I shall now endeavour to make some particular Vses of what hath been spo­ken.

Vses from the 1. Propos. Vse I.

Is it the great designe of God in de­livering [Page 92] a people from imminent dangers, to oblige them to break off sin? Let then the remarkable Deliverance that the Almighty God in abounding goodness hath lately bestowed upon us, effect this blessed change in our lives and conver­sations. With what face can we tram­ple on the just and sacred Commands of our merciful God, whilst he smiles upon us with such unmerited favours? Can our Hearts be so damnably obdurate, so insensibly hardned, as not to be melted by such an unexpected Deliverance as this? Should we again break his Command­ments? What pretence can favour such Impieties? What profession can cloak such Wickedness? What Allurements can entice us against Conscience, Reason, and Religion, to obviate and oppose the righteous requests and demands of such a patient God?

Should we again return to our Flesh­pleasing security in sin, the Fountain and Spring of our greatest misery? What but our belluine and besotting stupidity involved us in our direful dangers? and shall we return to our former posture, not regarding the rousing alarums the late discoveries of misery have sounded to us, [Page 93] nor minding the awakening calls to pre­pare for Judgments, or turn from the Impieties that deserve them? Would not this be an unpardonable crime, and a means most infallibly to ruine us? Should we again dishonour this delivering God, by profane, licentious courses? filling our Land with the hateful noise of our crying Iniquities, when God hath fill'd it with the blessed sounds of unspeakable Mercies? What an unworthy, ungrateful, unanswerable carriage would this be deem'd by all that bear the title of Chri­stians?

Would Heathens offer to do such things to their feigned Gods, or offer such affronts unto them, could they but do such favours for them? And shall we, to affront the Majesty of Heaven, belch out abominable Oaths, and account them as pleasing Ornaments of Language? Shall we shew our despite to our God, by bla­sphemous Expressions against inviolable Truths concerning the nature and being of God? Shall we, to express how little we value his kindness, provoke the eyes of his Glory by Noon-day Drunkenness, Rioting, and Debaucheries? Shall we witness a cursed contemning of him by [Page 94] impudent profanations of his holy Sab­baths, as before we have done? Shall not his Kindness courting us to amendment, prevail? Shall not his Goodness endea­vouring our betterment, operate upon us? Is it not impossible to be so wicked, after such wonderful expressions of Love?

Should we again with greedy minds pursue the perishing enjoyments of this alluring world, neglecting the profitable exercises of Religion, and required De­votion? Did the Almighty prolong our expiring Lives, to spend them thus? With what conscience can we allow our selves those large dispensations from holy Duties, for the sake of our worldly employments, after we are purposely de­liver'd, to augment and increase our de­served Obedience? Will not our days be yet shortned, if we remain so straitned in Duties still? And if we cannot spare a little of our strength to work for God, can we think that God will improve his mighty strength, to work out any further Salvation for us? If our houses that might have been without People, still re­main without Prayer, may we not ex­pect an angry God will soon unpeople [Page 95] them? If now we shall cast off Duty, will he not suddenly cast off us?

Should we again be rending and tear­ing one another by ravenous Oppression? and ruining one another by unhappy Di­visions? Should not this wonderful Love excite such bowels in our softned hearts to one another, that we should no longer be maintaining with unreasonable rigid­ness one anothers assumed Opinions, to the unspeakable prejudice of Church and State? But rather be sodering together into a perpetual Harmony, by mutual condescensions and compliances; thereby ending our unprofitable janglings in in­dissolvible Unity. Shall not we, who have partaken of this favour together, live always together in the beauty and glory of undissembled Friendship, and un­feigned Love? And if this effect shall not follow our being delivered together, 'tis to be feared, the effect of such disorders will be no other than to be destroyed and cut off together. Oh then let the Kind­ness of God to us, sweeten our tempers to one another; and let us be so fully united together, that all our Affections may make but one channel of Love, that so the God of Love may dwell among [Page 96] us. For as this sincere adherence to one another by Love, would be most effectual to prevent the designs of enemies against us; (who delight to see and sow our Divisions) so it would be so grateful an improvement of d [...]liverance, that God would more readily continue it to us. What then remains? But that we should lay aside Pride and Prejudice, and Self­designings; and standing to the compleat and unalterable Rules of Worship, and Principles of Religion, laid down in the blessed Word, henceforth (I say we should) dwell in most beautiful Uni­ty, and worship our God as far as can be, in a most desirable Uniformity.

Should we again become formal and hypocritical in our solemn Worship of the great God? Were this a suitable re­turn for Gods delivering, to mock him with dissembling Services, and weary him with heartless Offerings? Are Or­dinances continued, and the glorious Sun­ [...]ine of the blessed Gospel preserv'd un­ [...]louded; and shall we requite the Lord [...]o otherwise, than by profaning and busing of them?

Oh the price we should set, the value we should have of our Ordinances! What [Page 97] are these but the Wells of Salvation, the Conduits of Grace, the Ensignes of eter­nal Glory, the Food of immortal Souls, the Pledges and Models of eternal Loves, the blessed Mounts of Glory; in which are the clearest Resemblances of Heaven, the sweetest Refreshments on Earth, the most lively stamps of Divine Majesty, and the most blessed Appearances and com­fortable Visits of Christ? And can we contemn such Enjoyments, without abo­minable Ingratitude? Are they given to us by a new deliverance? let us shew our esteem by a new improvement. Never be so backward to attend them, so care­less under them, so unanswerable to them hereafter. Let God see that his kindness is not lost, his cost is not in vain, but that you endeavour a faithful return to what he doth for you.

But into what a large Field am I en­tring? Let all sins be reformed, let all holiness be embraced; be universal in reformation of known sins, though I can­not be particular in the enumeration of them; minde every particular duty, though I can name them but universally; let the love of God in delivering, con­strain you: And that the deliverance [Page 98] may have greater influence upon you, I shall lay down before you in a few parti­culars the greatness of it.

1. The greatness of our deliverance is manifest and apparent from the conside­ration of the Enemies from whose hands an Almighty power hath rescued us. The managers of the designs for our ruines, are the Race of murdering Cain, the bloudy Off-spring of devouring Canni­bals; whose monstrous cruelties are di­vulg'd in every corner of the world, re­corded in innumerable Histories; expe­rienc'd in many Nations, known in Ger­many, felt in Paris, found in Ireland; and we are wofully acquainted with them in England.

The most barbarous Inhabitants of the world can't parallel their inhumane Mas­sacres: the most desperate wretches in Hell can't exceed their practis'd Cruel­ties. These Hell-bred Salamanders de­light onely in ruining fires; these patri­sating Children of the grand Murderer, love no drink like the fulsome liquor of Innocents bloud; these Apostates from humane nature, can solace themselves with no pleasures like the tormenting butcherings of harmless Saints. How [Page 99] cruel are their tender mercies! how sa­vage is their sweetest carriage to those that submit not to that burdensome yoak that neither we nor our Fathers could bear! What love can answer the kindness of our God in giving escapes from these merciless Lions, from these pictures of malicious Satan, and fire-breathing Dra­gons of the infernal Pit? Can we do less than make our selves compleat Ho­locausts by the flames of ascending affe­ctions, to our gracious God, who hath delivered us from being Sacrifices to these most cruel beasts of prey? Had not these men been thus degenerated from merci­ful Humanity into belluine Ferocity, they could never have attempted the confu­sion and ruine of such innocent unmeri­ting a People as we.

But these empty Pretenders to Chri­stianity could never have accomplish'd their sincere designes of destroying us, had they not impudently laid the ground of all this wickedness with the Orient colour of specious Religion; and so pre­serv'd deluded Souls from the disturbing flashes of unstupifi'd Conscience. But the Principles of their avowed Religion war­ranting its Patrons in such Impieties, and [Page 100] defending such damnable Courses, hath animated their cruel minds with mighty expectations of renowning Merit by such bloudy Exploits.

Thus they transforming themselves into Angels of Light, have seduced a blinded Multitude, and by this powerful Engine have gain'd innumerable Allies to promote a Designe most diametrically opposite to Reason and true Religion. Thus Religion is us'd to destroy the Re­ligious; and Policy cloathing it self with the title of Piety, insinuates unspeakable Vigour into infatuated Mortals in the pursuit of gainful designes through grea­test difficulties. And had not the Al­mighty discountenanced such Religion by blasting designes promoted by it, their Religion had brought our ruine, and the shadow of Religion had con­sumed the substance of it. Now what favour have we found with God, that he should disappoint a Contrivance manag'd by those who had gain'd in so many Confederates by the deluding Pretences of Religion? which is also to make its seduced Zelots do more than the greatest Allurements imaginable.

Hence were the wonderful incitements [Page 101] to that unwearied Industry now visible among them, to confound and destroy us. Some drops of their Bloud they could undauntedly part with, that they might drink some draughts of ours. What Charges could seem too burdensom to them, to discharge the world of such Hereticks as we are accounted by them? How were their Breasts like threatning Thunder-clouds, whose Vapours never leave working till they vent themselves with amasing Terrour to the trembling world? How have their Heads, Hearts, and Hands, been willing, contriving, preparing for many years? How have they been, as is said of the Princes of Israel, Ezek. 22.6. Every one to their power to shed bloud? No Harmony, no Help, no Hearts, no Hands, no Power, no Purse was a long while wanting in at­tempting this Murdering Atchievement. What greater Deliverance was ever be­stowed on a People than this, when all the Forces of Hell and Ro [...]e with its Allies, are defeated?

How might I make this appear from the wonderful height of Power they were by all their endeavours arrived at: From the greatness of the danger, as most wic­kedly [Page 102] kept secret by means of inviolable Obligations and Oaths, which laid those that were conscious to it, under the grea­test incapacity of revealing of it: From the familiar Converse our fatal Enemies had among us: From the abominable Engagings of rotten Members to destroy the body they belong'd to, and cut off the Head that was over them: From Assistances forreign Enemies provided and promised against us! But what hath been spoken, sufficiently speaks the great­n [...]ss of our Deliverance, with respect to the persons contriving our Destruction.

2. It appears from the consideration of that miserable Destruction we were appointed unto, all these subtile heads and bloudy hands are not at work to ac­complish a petty Destruction. Their Throats, enlarg'd as Hell, would never be satisfied with Personal Revenge; no less than a Nation, yea, Nations of Pro­testants, can make up a single Meal for these savage Bloud-hounds. These tyran­nical Nero's are for the cutting off the Necks of all Christians at a blow. No less Bonefire would serve their turns, than the horrid Conflagration of a whole Na­tion. A Dioclesian Persecution was no­thing [Page 103] to this hellish Enterprize and at­tempted Destruction. How fain would Antichrist have waded to an usurped Throne to the neck in the bloud of oppo­sing Martyrs!

Had it not been a Destruction none like unto it? Had not Rome out-done its former Cruelties? Had not this dreadful day been a None-such? Come, and see. What should you have seen? Had this Designe been perfected, you had seen or heard, if alive, innumerable Troops of frightful Warriors, fierce in Countenance, more in Carriage, breaking forth, like the Plunderers of Troy from that fatal Horse, from the Bowels of our Land: You had seen the disguising Vizards of dissembling Friends thrown off, and the distinguishing Mark of the Beasts company, worn by thousands of our unsuspected Inhabitants: You might have seen the multitude of profane ones turn Popish, and the Neu­tralists become absolute Papists: You might have seen an astonishing Force of forreign Idolaters admitted to enter our English Coasts by the treacherous hands of mercenary Subjects: You might have seen the horrid Instruments of undreaded Death brought from their unsearched [Page 104] hoards, ready to be prov'd on thy own body. Ah, dreadful day, none like it! When those unthought-of Enemies had shewn themselves in warlike postures, arm'd with invincible Power, wing'd with speedy Fury, resolv'd with undaun­ted Courage, assisted with large Auxilia­ries; what then had been the Work? Come and see. Then had the Streets been dy'd with a Sea of Crimson-bloud, the Channels ran down with the Lives of massacred Christians: Then had our bolted doors in nocturnal silence been forcibly open'd, and our sleepy Bodies drag'd from their resting Beds, and but­cher'd by cruel hands: Then had our mangled Carcasses been strew'd in our peaceless Streets, to be trampled on like dirt by our Foes: Then had our Wea­pons, prepar'd for our defence, been mur­dering pieces for our Enemies service: Then had there been some fleeing in a­maze, some fighting in confusion, some turning out of fear, some tortur'd for not turning. Oh, black and gloomy day! Then had our stately Buildings be­come a Prey to the fiercest of Elements, as well as we to the fiercest of Men: Then had the desire of our eyes been [Page 105] taken away with a blow, we our selves not escaping: Then had the noise of bitter Lamentation, though nothing pre­vailing, been heard in our Streets; the Shrieks of the wounded piercing our hearts, the sight of the Dead amazing our spirits. Oh, what had they done? Come and see. How had the places of shelter been places of greatest dangers! how had it been in vain for unarmed men to oppose a furious Crue of well-equipag'd Souldiers! How fruitless had it been to flee, when dangers were unknown! How sad had it been to behold tender Infants rent from the bodies of their rifled Mo­thers, and cast into their Flames! Who could have endur'd the sight of Sucking-babes snatch'd from their Mothers breasts and dash'd against destroying stones? Who could have seen them sprawling on the tops of Pikes and hurl'd into cruel Flames, without bleeding hearts? Oh the gastly visages of the once most beau­tiful Objects, that then had been mar'd with deforming wounds! Oh what a de­liverance is this, to be thus far freed, to be thus long delivered from such a De­struction! Oh let this Mercy obtain its designe, lest the things we have feared should come upon us.

[Page 106]3. The greatness of this Deliverance will appear on the consideration of the condition we were in, who were design'd to be destroyed. Consider we but the daring provocations we have given the Almighty to forsake us, it appears a Mir­rour of Mercy that he should spare us. Might he not justly have said, Now will I ease me of my Adversaries, and avenge me on my Enemies: Now will I make known the dread of my unregarded wrath, for their impenitent sinning: Now will I shew how bitter a thing it is to abuse my patience by rebellion, and my goodness by offending? But now behold, his bow­els wrought in him; he delivered us re­bels, rescued us sinful wretches: and who can but lay to heart this mercy?

How helpless had we been in such a dismal Surprizal? the mighty men would not have found their hands, the valiant would have lost their couragious hearts, and we should have been but Magor mis­sabibs, terrour round about.

But the misery of our condition had lain in our unreadiness to have encoun­ [...]ed the King of Terrours, to have fol­low'd that amazing Messenger to the dreadful Tribunal of the Eternal God. [Page 107] How unfit had we been to die at a mo­ments warning? How miserable had thousands been to whom all space of re­penting had been ended, whose present misery had been the beginning of eternal torments, whose unprepared Souls had been sent to the place prepar'd for the devil and his angels? Oh then that now we could lay to heart these Riches of Grace that continues a preparing space: Patientia poenitentiae expectatrix: His Pa­tience expects Repentance. Let not our prolonged days be spent in provoking him any longer; let us not now be trea­suring up wrath to the day of wrath.

I might shew you the greatness of this Deliverance, by the nearness of the De­struction; it was in articulo mortis, all was almost concluded, our Passing-bell rung, the day was presum'd to be their own, and now delivered, as Daniel, è faucibus perditionis, from the very jaws of Destru­ction, from the very mouths of our Ene­mies. Oh wonderful goodness!

And most fitly might I mention the means of our Deliverance.

Vna eadémque manus vulnus opémque feret.

[Page 108]How did this sweetest Honey come from the Lions carcass? Men of their own Party must impart it to us; those of their own Conclave are means, under God, to deliver us from their own Counsels. Oh the wonderful Authority of God, that wrought on their Consciences so long benum'd! Oh the Wisdom of God, that works by contrary means! No Violence constrained them, but what the Almighty used with them; no Policy induced them, so much as Divine Power.

Vse 2.

Is it the designe of God in delivering, to reduce from sin, and oblige to Holiness? Let us then examine our selves, whether we have answer'd these holy designs of our gracious God. Oh Reader, faithfully ask thine own heart, Have I not been as loose and profane, as vile and vain, as carnal and formal as ever I was before? What inducement hath this gracious pre­servation been to the reformation of my Life? What Sin have I faithfully for­saken? what displeasing Lust have I un­feignedly left? what spiritual Obedience have I closed withal, since I enjoyed this [Page 109] unspeakable Mercy? Doth not thy Con­science accuse thee of thy regardlesness of it? Doth not thy heart smite thee, for not observing the Duties thou art oblig'd to by it? Abasuerus would know what was done to Mordecai, for the good deed he had done for the Kingdom. Ask thy self, What good hath been done to God for all the good deeds he hath done for thee? What hath been done to him for his delivering of thee? Hast thou not sinned the more against him, and turn'd his Grace into wantonness? Is that a meet requital for his kindness? Are Pride, Drunkenness, Sensuality, fit Votive Tables for our merciful escapes? Oh let not this Mercy be lost for want of improvement, lest you never enjoy such another. Re­member, exoneratio supplicii est oneratio officii; the laying off and freeing thee from pu­nishment, lays obligations upon thee for dutiful Obedience. Mercies are to be like showers on Valleys, making them fruitful; as a grain of corn sown in the tilled earth, bringing forth a plentiful crop of expected fruit. God hath sown the seeds of his Mercies, let not the Devil reap a crop of Sin. Oh how might I plead with you, as loving Ionathan with [Page 110] hard-hearted Saul, 1 Sam. 19.4. Let not the King sin against David, for he hath not sinned against thee; and because his works are good. Oh let not us sin against God; let us not rebel against him; he never dealt unjustly with us, but his deeds are good. He is ever working for us. He is ever heaping up Mercies, shall we sin against him? It will be better not to re­ceive a Mercy, than not to be better'd by it. Oh come now and consider with your selves, say with thy self, Hath God in his Providence made me a freeman from Popish Slavery, and shall I make my self a Slave to Lusts, and a Vassal to the Devil? Shall God continue my Life, and shall I cast it away as worth nothing? Oh examine your selves how you have acted. Plato, seeing any disorderly, would say, Num ego talis? Am I such an one? Thou seest many go on in sin, ask thy self, Am not I such an one? Do not I go on in sin? What a folly is it in us, that we utimur perspicillis plusquam speculis, use spectables to see other faults, more than looking-glasses to see our own? Learn the Art of Self-reflection, and that is the way to Self-reformation.

Vse 3.

Is it Gods design and desire to reduce us from sin by these merciful methods? Then let us not foolishly cause the Lord to use more forcible and fearful means, to effect this in us. Let us not force a gracious God out of his delightful ways of Mercy. Why should we make him be doing his works of Judgment, since he declares his unwillingness to it? Shall we turn his Scepter into a Rod? Shall we drive away those precious Mercies by sinful courses, which, with mournful hearts and wringing hands, we shall be glad to be recalling? Shall we make our Showers of Mercy end in Flouds of Ven­geance? Shall we wrest the Sword of Justice out of the Sheath of Patience, and violently pull down Vengeance on our own heads? Will you tell the Lord, you are weary of his Mercies, and will never regard them? Will you declare in the presence of God, that if he will not powre out his Vengeance, and display his Justice, and make your Plagues won­derful, that you will not fear him, nor break off sins? Is your strength so great [Page 112] to stand before his Anger, that you are resolute in provoking of him? Will no­thing serve your turn but destruction, and desolation, and undoing judgements? You must either cease sinning, or God will cease waiting, and give over fa­vouring of you. God speaks, Ezech. 6.9. how the Jews had broken him with their whorish heart; that is, he tells them, they should remember Eum quasi objecta quadam violentiâ à proposite abductum, & invitum planè adductum essë eorum persidia ut inter­rumperetur cursus misericordiae, Calv. That he was turn'd from his gracious purposes, with the violence their sins offered to him; and that it was by their perfidiousness he was brought to break off the course of his mercies. Thus God is broken off from ways of mercy, by our not breaking off our ways of sin.

The holy God is resolv'd to make us leave off sinning one way or other: if his goodness cannot gain us, if his mer­cies cannot induce us, his justice will come out against us, and by his mighty power he will rule us. Ezek. 20.33. As I live, saith the Lord, surely with a mighty hand, and an out-stretched arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you. God [Page 113] will bring us into subjection by mercies or judgments; his fury shall do that his favour will not. But why should we cause the Lord to be so severe unto us? we weary man, but will ye weary God also? Let us be constrained to amend­ment by his love, or else he must curb us by tormenting punishments. It was said of Israel, Psal. 81.11. Israel would have none of me. Shall it be so said of England, that we refus'd and slighted what God gives, and what he doth in way of mer­cy? Shall it be said we will have none of his mercies, none of his deliverances? shall we not then have his judgments, and feel his vengeance?

Vse 4.

Is this the designe of God in deliver­ing? then wisely make use of this as an Argument to invalidate all future tempta­tions to sin. When sinful occasions offer themselves unto you, damp the hurtful in­fluence of them by objecting to thy self the unreasonableness of sinning, after such mercies confer'd upon thee. Thus Io­seph did invalidate the eager assaults of his wicked Mistriss, Gen. 39.9. How can [Page 114] I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? He did not rashly admit the temp­tation, but consulted Conscience, and re­pel'd it with this weighty Argument: How can I sin against a God that hath of late been so favourable to me, hath delivered me from death, and advanced me to honour? Oh I cannot slight so much kindness, to please a sinful humour: I will never do it. When then thou meetest with allurements to sin, take to thy self this corroborating disswasive from it, and couragiously oppose all unworthy motions to Rebellion by pondering on it.

Inferences from the second Proposition con­cerning our proneness to sin after Deli­verances.

1. Hence we see the absolute Necessity that there is of Divine Power, to render any means effectual to bring us from sin. However probable means may be to effect this end, they are not powerful enough without the cooperation of an Almighty arm superadded to them. If rational Arguments were sufficient, such as are drawn from infinite Mercy might be [Page 115] enough to charm our Wills to a loyal Obedience to our God; but we see that outward Mercies, not conferring inward Grace, cannot accomplish such difficult work. The chiefest engine that draws the heart of man from sin, is Mercy; but 'tis the arm of God must fasten it to the heart of man, and Divine Power that can only attract him by it. Mercies are only cords, which Divine Power uses to draw men from sin. If Moral Perswasions were so wonderfully effectual in converting Sinners, as some would have them, it is strange men cannot overcome themselves to forsake their sins, by the consideration of the merciful Preservations, and gra­cious Deliverances the Almighty bestows upon them: Strange it is men cannot be perswaded to cease provoking God to Judgements, by the declaring his un­willingness to them by the experiences of deliverances from them. But how do we experience the ineffectualness of out­ward Mercies, whatever valid motives may be drawn from them! What need then is there to apply our selves most fre­quently to the Throne of Grace, for hea­venly Influences on earthly Blessings?

[Page 116]How should we earnestly crave the con­currence of God's Omnipotency, for the bettering of us by the confluence of Mer­cies bestowed upon us? Isai. 48.17. The Lord teaches to profit. In the greatest a­bundance of Means and Mercies, we shall have no profit, without the aids and assistance of God; He must teach us to improve Deliverances, to gain by his Goodness. When cords of Mercy are put into our hands, let us lift up out hearts to the Father of Mercies, and cry, Draw us, and we will follow thee. When Mercies are sown like precious seeds most plentifully amongst us, let us implore the showers of Divine Blessing to make us fruitful by them. When such invaluable Talents are put into our hands, let us seek to the Almighty for strength to work with them. Plead with the Lord to deliver thee from sin, by his Delive­rances; to give thee the incomes of his Grace, to improve thy Life miraculously continued to thee. Leave not the Throne of Grace, till Grace is given thee to leave thy sins: Cease not to importune the Almighties help against thy sins, till he hath delivered thee from them, as he hath done from thine enemies. Acknow­ledge [Page 117] thine own weakness, and so thou wilt engage the strength of God: Tell him with holy boldness, that now he hath given thee his Mercies, thou canst not be content without his Blessing with them. Let temporal Deliverance edge thy appetite after spiritual and eternal. Thou hast but half a Mercy, till thy Soul is better'd by a Deliverance, whether it be from Enemies, or Sickness, or any other distress or danger.

2. Are we so prone to sin after Deli­verance? Then hence be warned to be very watchful upon the enjoyment of such a Mercy. Oh that we, who enjoy so eminent escapes from danger, might use our greatest industry to prevent our pro­ceeding in sin! Let us fortifie our selves against such an evil practice. Make con­science of what you do in a delivered condition. Let us no longer carelesly run on in our sins, but seriously consider the inducements we have to a holy Life.

Now in order to prevent our pro­ceeding in sin, admit this serious counsel, and observe these Directions:

  • 1. Make frequent Reflections on the great Deliverance in part bestowed upon [Page 118] us. When the Creator of the ends of the Earth survey'd his glorious Works, he saw they were good, and delighted in them; and he greatly delights that we should be frquent in Meditations of his glorious Works of Creation and Provi­dence, and live in perpetual admirings of them, applauding the shines of his Power, Wisdome, and Mercy in them. The least of Gods Works deserve the admiration of the greatest Angel in Heaven. Incon­siderate Persons gain little advantage by the most considerable Mercies. Were our hearts more thankful, we should make a particular Computation and exact Chro­nology of dayly and yearly Mercies. The forgetfulness of Mercy is the ground of our forsaking God after them. 'Tis mighty effectual to ballast our hearts against our impetuous inclinations to sin, to be much in considering what God hath done for us.

Hence the people of Israel were admo­nished to be frequent in reviewing their sad condition in Egyptian bondage, with the blessed escape given them from it. Deut. 26.1, 2.5, &c. When thou art come into the land—thou shalt speak and say, A Syrian ready to p [...]rish was my father, and [Page 119] he went down into Egypt, and became there a great nation,—and the Egyptians intrea­ted us ill,—and the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and out­stretched arm, and with great terribleness, &c. Thus they were to make a frequent commemoration of their miserable state, and merciful escape. In like manner it were necessary for us to look back on what we lately were, and say, A little while since I was at the gates of Death, by the subtile contrivances of Popish E­nemies; a little time past I had near been devoured by the jaws of those preying Lions: Some few months are past since the Nation was in danger of being in­volv'd in incomparable Miseries; it hath almost been made a Stage for the acting a bloudy Tragedy, an Altar on which had been sacrificed innumerable precious Lives, a Prey to Roman Fury; and now behold (blessed be the Lord) the Scene is changed, the Curtains of Secrecy that covered the nasty vault of Popish Con­spirators, is happily drawn aside; the God of our lives, by his over-awing Majesty, hath influenced the hearts of Enemies to detect the Snare they once did endea­vour to lay. Should we not then argue, [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [Page 120] Should I that was so lately in such dan­ger of losing my precious life, now squan­der it away as a contemptible thing? Should I thus lately experiencing mercy from God, manifest my self by wicked courses to be a rebellious Enemy to him? Should not the thoughts of the death, danger, and miserable calamity God hath brought me from, bring me unfeignedly to love him, and constantly to yield obe­dience to him?

Let us therefore, to prevent proceeding in sin, reflect on the kindness of God: Seriously think how miserable thou hadst been without the Deliverance. Oh mi­serable state, had it not come! Enemies raging, if not reigning; Gospel corrup­ted, if not removed; Lives endanger'd, if not destroyed. How had we been flee­ing on Mountains, hiding in Dens, or burning in Flames, tortur'd with Racks! How had we been without Bread to eat, Houses to lodge in, or else all robbed by those pilf [...]ring Papists, if not burnt by their horrid malice, which is enough to put the whole Universe into miserable Conflagrations! How should we medi­tate how seasonably Deliverance came! we helpless, careless, and ignorant, then [Page 121] was it that his mighty arm brought a blessed Salvation to us. Behold, how un­worthy we were of such a Mercy, of such a Deliverance! A sinful rebellious peo­ple, for us to partake of so much favour, is the greatest Mirrour in the world. Now can we forget this goodness? If we have no memories to retain Mercies, we soon may have no Mercies to retain in memory. Or can we sin in the sight of such kindness? We shall never see such a glorious Deliverance, if we sin in the face of this. Oh let us often say as those, Numb. 23.22. What hath the Lord wrought among us! Oh what a glorious Work was this, embroider'd with Mercy, set forth with the shines of Wisdome, and illustrious by the impressions of infinite Power! Oh forget not this Work! If we forget Deliverances, God may forget to deliver: Isai. 17.10, 11, They were made desolate for forgetting the God of their Salvation. 'Tis known that the breasts that afford the sweetest Milk, will dry up, if not drawn; the breasts of Mercy will be certainly dryed up, if no benefit be drawn from them by a serious remem­brance, and faithful improving of them. Prayers and Tears are the best means to [Page 122] obtain Mercies, and a thankful remem­brance will be the best way to have them continued to us.

2. To prevent thy proceeding in sin, think with thy self what Promises and Obligations, what Pleas and Arguments you would have made to the Lord, and urged him with, to have induced him to have given such a Deliverance as this. Would you not have promised, that if it should please him to exercise his Power in saving of you, you would engage, that to the utmost of your power you would serve him? Oh what great obligations would you willingly have laid your selves under, to be freed from so dreadful a Destruction as you were appointed to? What obedience, service, love, and re­spects, do sinners vow to God on a Bed of sickness, languishing to death? What would we have promis'd then, when no less than a whole Nation was languishing, and every Enjoyment ready to give up the Ghost? Oh what solemn engage­ments to all possible obedience would then have been made! Would you have promised these things, and will you not perform them? Let the readiness of God to do it without these engagements, [Page 123] make you more ready to do those things than if you had engaged to do them.

Consider also what pleas thou wouldst have used with God to spare thee; think what arguments might have pre­vailed with him to deliver thee; and let them prevail with thee to forsake sin. Thou wouldst not have said, Lord▪ spare me to go on a while longer in rebellion against thee; cut me not off till I have dishonoured thy glorious Name a little more; give me my life to be a Drunkard, Swearer, Lyar, Sabbath-breaker, yet a while longer. Thou couldst never have the impudence to plead thus, thou couldst never imagine these Arguments could prevail; therefore use the considerations of Arguments which thou thinkest would prevail to curb thy heart from sin, as thou thinkest would have been proper to prevail with God to deliver thee. And what are those? Oh spare me, that I may prepare for death! Oh give me space, that I may repent of my sins, and reform! And let thy carriage be such now in part delivered, as may answer such motives as these, which would have been used with God to deliver thee.

[Page 124]3. Consider how thou wouldst carry to man, if receiving a thousand times smaller kindnesses from him. Oh the thanks that shall be return'd to man for a small favour! What readiness to do for man, when doing for us? Should a man but save us from perishing, how grateful, how serviceable should we be­come unto him? And shall kindness from sinful creatures make such impressions on our hearts, and the abounding goodness of the glorious God be disregarded? We love man loving of us, and shall we not love a loving God? We devote our selves to the service of our earthly Benefactors, and shall we be so devilish as to deny obedience to the great God, under all his benignity to us? Shall God have worse dealings from us than men? Wouldst thou not offend an earthly Friend, and wilt thou offend a heavenly Friend? Wilt make nothing of displea­sing God, when he gives thee such Mer­cies as all the men on Earth cannot be­stow upon thee? Oh let but this be con­sidered, and surely thou canst not persist in sin.

Vse 5.

See here the unconquerable stubborn­ness of mans heart. Oh how do our hearts stand out against God under all his dealings with us! We are [...], an unperswadable generation. Oh won­derful obstinacy, that the sweetest Melody of mercy cannot charm us! Oh what hardned souls are in us, when the pleasant distillations of showers of mercy upon us, cannot soften us! Oh what [...], strong holds, have sin, that the cords of mercy can't draw us from them! Oh how hard is it to gain a Victory over corrupted nature and accustomed sins! Oh strange affections that we have to sin, that the strongest engagements can't bring us from it! Such is the stub­bornness of unchanged souls, that whe­ther God walks in ways of Mercy, or paths of Judgment, they will go contrary to him. Oh the hardness to be lament­ed, that appears among us! Though the Almighty hath done thus much for us, we have not to this day been duly af­fected with what he hath done. We have gone on frowardly, when God hath [Page 126] dealt most kindly by us: we go on to provoke the eyes of his glory, when he hath made so much of his glorious good­ness pass before us. Oh stubborn souls, that will not regard the melting kind­ness of God! but do as it were resolve, whatever God doth, they will sin against him. Though he seek reconciliation, they will follow rebellion: though he strives to out-do their Rebellion with mercy, they will not lay down their Arms, but be avenged on his many mercies.

Inferences from the third Proposition con­cerning the hainousness of sin after deli­verance.

1. Is sinning after deliverance such hai­nous sinning? Behold then what crying sins are to be seen amongst us! Have we not sins of the greatest magnitude, who have mercies of the highest nature? Are not our sins worse than Sodoms, when our mercies are abundantly more than that enjoyed? Sins in England, are greater than sins in other Nations, that have not partaken of such signal favours as we. We wonder God bears with Antichristian Rome, with forreign Idolaters; Alas, their [Page 127] sins are not of that nature that ours are. Our sins it may be are minoris infamiae, of lesser infamy, but majoris reatus, of greater guilt than theirs. Our sins are double; and the more our mercies in­crease, the more abundant aggravations be­long to our sins. Are we not sinners above all, that have favours beyond any? Our sins that are small in abstracto, considered abstractly, are great in concreto, considering the circumstances of them. If small sins will not startle us, here are great sins then to amaze us. Oh let our sins that we have committed be more before us, that so the sense of their greatness may pre­vent our proceeding in them!

2. Hence see what need we have of great Repentance; an ordinary sorrow will not answer our extraordinary sins. Gravissima peccata gravissimis lamentis indi­gent. Greatest provocations call for great­est lamentations. Oh what tears and la­mentations can be great enough for our horrid sins? What sighs can be deep e­nough for a Nation so deeply involved in sin? Should not our mourning be as in the mourning of Hadadrimmon, in the Valley of Megiddon, every family apart, every person apart? Should not Ninive [Page 128] be our president? Should not our England become a Bokim, and our Island be over­flown with tears? Oh what floods of tears is there need of, to wash away our abominable pollutions! Oh what wail­ing and weeping should be in a Nation living and wallowing in such iniquities? Aut poenitendum vel pereundum. Repen­tance onely can prevent our ruine; Re­pentance onely can make justice to re­treat; Repentance onely can deliver us now delivered: But where shall we finde it? Where are the weeping eyes, the mourning hearts? Oh that repentance might appear among us, lest judgments appear against us! Oh that we could lay our selves down at the feet of mercy by hu­miliation, that we may not be laid down in a dreadful desolation, by the hands of justice! Oh that a hearty repentance might prevent our hastening ruine! Oh that we might lie in breathing sweats of Godly sorrow, that we may not lie swel­tring in our blood! Our sins reach up to Heaven, let our sorrow reach to heart. Oh that each part of unfeigned repentance might be really acted by us!

Let us make a strict inquiry into our fins, commune with our hearts; let us [Page 129] go the Circuit of our hearts and lives, and see the abominable sins to be condemned there. Let us read the Book of Consci­ence, and see what sins we there stand indicted for. As Letters wrote with the juice of Oranges, are not to be read but by the fire; Thus some have their sins written, and will not read them now; but shall at last read them by the fire of Hell. Lam. 3.40. Let us search and try our ways. Oh we are senseless of our sins; but aeger non sentiens periculosius laborat; a senseless sick man is most in danger. Oh open your eyes then, and see what disorders in heart, what wickedness in life! refuse not a sight of thy sins now; one day God will set them before thy eyes.

Disown not the Charges that are against thee, without reason. Let us no longer sew Fig-leaves on our sins. The impar­tial Judge of Heaven and Earth knows our crimes. Let us therefore return and say, Father I have sinned. Thus did those, Lam. 5.16. Wo be to us, we have sinned. David yeilded the case to Nathan, I am the man: maist thou not justly say, I am the man that have been nothing the better for deliverance; I am the man [Page 130] or woman have gone on in Pride, Sensu­ality, without repentance, reformation? Defend not thy sins by excuses, but own them; be convinced without further de­mur, and condemn thy self as a guilty malefactor. Then let us pour out our tears, and open the Flood-gates of Godly sorrow; and if we would escape, let us be like those, Ezek. 7.16. Who were like Doves in the Valleys, mourning every one for their own iniquity. Oh that our proud hearts might yeild to this work! Our dry eyes be filled with tears. Let us fill Gods bottle with our tears! What is weeping good for, but to testifie our sorrow for sin? it cannot recover a dying friend, it may a dying Nation: it can­not stop the course of death, it may the coming of judgments. Open then the windows of Heaven, and break up the deeps, and let us make us a hearty weep­ing, as may prevent the heavy judgments our great sins are calling for.

Then let us make a holy resolution, in the strength of the Almighty, to cease from our sins. Say as holy Iob, Job 34.32. If I have done evil I will, do it no more. With holy indignation reject thy former villanies. Oh let our souls be [Page 131] raised to a deserved hatred of these great iniquities, and let nothing content us, but the utter ruine of our ruining sins. Let us not be dismai'd at the difficulty attending that blessed work: 'Tis hard to destroy sin, but will it not be harder to be damned for it? If it be hard to bear the launching of those ranker'd wounds, what will it be to bear the smart of the envenomed arrows of divine justice for ever? Know also, thou may'st do all things through Christ that streng­thens thee; then carry thy sins with the solemnity of penitential tears, to their e­ternal funeral. And unless this reforma­on shall attend thy repentance, thou re­pentest with an absurd contradiction. Optima poenitentia est nova vita: The best repentance is a new life. This is the repentance our hainous sins require; and all this is to be done in a more than or­dinary way, because of the greatness of our sins.

3. If sins after deliverance are so great, hence▪ see how near judgments may be un­to us, because the measure of our iniqui­ties will be so suddenly [...]illed. The pa­tience of H [...]aven will soon be worn out with these daring provocations. As we [Page 132] are heaping up Sin, the Almighty is heaping up Wrath; and the greater sins, the sooner the treasures of wrath will be full. The more fuel we bring, the sooner the fire will be kindled to consume us. The Lord in his mercy is waiting to be gracious, backward to judgment; but such iniquities will soon waste his patience, and provoke his wrath.

We read, Gen. 15.16. that the Lord delayed punishment, because the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full. The mea­sure of sin and wrath are often filling many years; and according as sins are ag­gravated, judgments approach faster or slower. Thus Ioel 3.13. God calls for Sickles to be put in, because the harvest was ripe, the pressës were full, and the fats did overflow. God will suffer sinners to stand till they are come to their full stature in sin, and then he cuts them down, and makes an end of them. Thus Christ speaks to the Scribes and Pharisees, Mat. 23.32. Fill ye up the measure of your Fa­thers. i. e. Ye will be filling up the mea­sure of their sins, till the Lord comes and measures out judgment to you, according to the measure of your sins. Oh then what cause have we to fear, lest the Vials of [Page 133] wrath should suddenly be poured out upon us! Is not the harvest of sin almost ripe? or will not these showers of mercy suddenly ripen it? And then the sickle must be put in; a bloody enemy let in among us, that shall cut us down as the reapers do the corn. Oh let us dread the approaches of vengeance under the increases of sin and wickedness! The measures of wrath have been long a filling; the iniquities of our fathers are lay'd up for us, and may be rewarded on our heads when the mea­sure is full. We ripen apace for judg­ments now; destruction may be at the door ere we know.

Inferences from the fourth and fifth Proposi­tions concerning the destructive nature of Sinning after deliverance. Vse I.

May destruction come after deliverance? Then hence we may learn, that present impunity can be no evidence of our future safety. Mercies are not so inseparably entail'd upon us, that justice cannot de­prive us of them. Present prosperity may have a mournful ending in dismal [Page 134] adversity. National, as personal salvation from present dangers, may end in destru­ction. The wings of our feathery confi­dence had need be clipt, when we fondly presume the Almighty to be ever bound to deliver such a people as we, because he hath once more graciously done it. 2 Pet. 2.9. God reserves the unjust to judgment. The bird that escapes the fowlers net for once, may be afterwards caught: we that are wonderfully pre­served from the snares of hellish Plotters, may at last be made a prey, if we grow no more watchful. Our cloudy Heavens threaten new storms. The world is very full of great and unexpected mutations: The turnings of the wheels of Providence are very swift and various. We may now as suddenly be destroy'd, as we have often been delivered. Iud. 5. After deli­vered, God destroyed those that believed not. The ship that evades the dangers of the Sea more than once, may be swallowed up in its Sands, or shattered by its Rocks at last.

The reprieved malefactor may justly expect his deserved execution, after a lit­tle space afforded for preparation. And in truth, the relief our offended God hath [Page 135] given us, seems more like a Reprieve, than a Deliverance; and cause we have most seriously to fear, that ere long we shall experience that Justice can destroy, as Mer­cy can deliver. Our impunity is not from Gods impotency, but patience; and that may soon be expir'd. We have cause to dread that awakening word, Josh. 24.20. If ye forsake the Lord, then will he turn and do you hurt, after all the good he hath done you. Our not returning under good, will make him turn to do us harm. Proceeding in sin will inter­rupt the course of mercies, and introduce successions of judgments. You may be surprised with sudden miseries, in the midst of your feigned safety. God will not always draw with cords of love. Hos. 11.3.4, 5. I drew them with cords of a man, with bonds of love; that is, I dealt with them in the most gracious manners, striving to draw their rebelli­ous hearts into subjection; but since I cannot prevail, v. 5 They shall not go down to Egypt, they shall have no shelter there, but the Assyrian shall be their King, and the sword shall abide in their cities, and de­vour his branches. Thus may the dealings of God be changed, and cords of love [Page 136] be turned to chastising rods, to lash the backs of stubborn fools. We cannot en­sure the continuance of mercies, but by our compliance with the designs of God by them. That which was spoken to Ephraim, may fall upon us, Hos. 9.11. As for Ephraim, his glory shall flee away like a bird. We imagine we have mercies sure as a bird in the cage: but as the door be­ing opened the bird flies away, so mer­cies will take their wings, and be gone from a sinful people. Trust not then to your present freedom, you may be ensla­ved; flatter not your selves in hopes of perpetual deliverance, destruction may come at last.

3. Will this persistence in sin hasten such certain and miserable ruine! Then see what reason there is to shake off our pleasing but hurtful security, admitting some fearful thoughts, and affecting our hearts with apprehensions of our eminent danger. Unwilling we are to admit of such Truths near our decoying hearts, which may affect us with fear or grief: But 'tis far from the nature of wisdom to flatter our selves into ruine; or to fancy our selves secure in a glorious Paradise, till we be miserable in a desolate wilderness. [Page 137] Three things, says Luther, will undo a Na­tion; Oblivion of Mercies, Politick con­trivances, and Carnal Security. Well will it be, if these prove not our ruine at last.

Oh what a fearless Age do we live in? we sleep on pillows stuft with the fire of divine vengeance: We cry, Peace, Peace, and destruction is coming. How do we stupifie our Senses, fear our Consciences, lock up our Understandings, to keep out all fears in the midst of most dreadful dangers? What stupifying Opiums hath the Devil perswaded us to swallow, that makes us so mindless of approaching mi­series? How do we fortifie our selves with most fond presumptions against the threats of vengeance denounc'd from Hea­ven? Can fancyed safety deliver our Na­tion from Enemies, when we have no­thing else to secure us? Can empty boa­stings of conceited ability to defend our selves, prevent the assaults of Enemies, or deliver our Land from the ruine design­ed? Will security in sin be sufficient guard to preserve us from all Conspiracies? can neither God nor man do us any harm, whilst we imagine our selves out of dan­ger? Oh nos miserrimos! Oh miserable [Page 138] England! how do we surfeit with mer­cies, and wax sick with the kindness of Heaven, and yet say, It shall be well with us? How do we wound our selves, when the Lord is healing; and destroy our selves, when the Lord is delivering, and yet say. The Lord will go on to deliver? What Prosperity do we promise our selves, whilst God is threatning our ru­ine? What Halcyon-days do we vainly expect, though Miseries are ready to seize us? Oh the dreadful Dooms that are threatned to so stupid a people in the Word of the Lord! Oh the sad Cala­mities have come upon a people in this condition!

Is not this the posture our Enemies so greatly desire to finde us in? What is their work, but to lull us asleep, and then to be butchering of us? What is the great contrivance at this day of the Pa­pists, and such as affect them, but to suppress our fears by cheating devices? knowing our deepest security will be their greatest advantage. They know, our Throats will lye open to be cut by their cruel hands, when once we have emptied our hearts of sollicitous thoughts of de­struction. Hence, hence it is, instruments [Page 139] are active to inform us deceitfully, that we are sufficiently provided against them: for this they instruct theirs and the De­vils Martyrs to obtrude on the world the highest Protestations of Innocency: For this they strain their throats to swallow renouncing Oaths, which they will as certainly keep as ever they intended, which I fear was not at all. Hence they force themselves to a Parish-Church, that we may certainly think they can­not belong to the Romish Mother; and that we may fancy, they cannot go thence to contrive our miserable ruine. Oh then if this be their plot, how have they got us by it? How do we please our enemies, and promote their designs, by our sinful Security? But shall we not fear the Hammer and Nail will cleave our Pates, when Sisera-like we are droll'd in­to sleep with a Lordly Dish of Butter and Honey? You may certainly believe this stupifying Opium will be like the poyson of Asps at last.

Is not this the Posture most have been in, when Judgments came upon them? What was there but careless and senseless doings, when that dreadful Deluge sur­priz'd the world of old? Mat. 24.37, 38. [Page 140] How unexpected was the ruine of Sodome and Gomorrha? How incredulous were the Jews of their sad Captivities, and of their utter Desolation at last? Observe we but the frame of persons when Judg­ments have been rained from Heaven up­on them, and we shall finde they were fearless of any storms, and conceitedly se­cure from any miseries. When the Mas­sacre broke forth in Paris, the cruel but­chering was acted in Ireland, the ruining Persecutions and Distresses fell upon Ger­many, they were all involv'd in Lethar­gical Distempers, besotted with fatal Se­curity. This is the time the beasts of prey have ever gone out to glut them­selves with fatning blood. This hath been the season ever selected to manage the overthrow of Kingdoms. Yet ex­amples do not warn us, but we foolishly seem resolv'd to gratifie our enemies with a suitable season to ruine us. Is not this the posture that God hath severely threatned in his Word, to which he will ever be faithful? Isai. 22.13, 14. In that day the Lord of Hosts called to mourning and weeping, and behold joy and gladness: and it was revealed in my ears — Surely this Ini­quity shall not be purged from you till you [Page 141] die. Nothing urges Justice more to con­found a people with floods of Vengeance, than Epicurean stupidity under awakening Alarums. Hath not the Lord threatned, Prov. 29.1. He that being often reproved, and still hardens his neck, shall be destroyed suddenly, and that without remedy? Why then do we flatter our selves, and cry Peace, peace? Shall we say as those? Zeph. 1.12. The Lord will do neither good nor evil. Will not God then say, as v.13. Therefore your goods shall become a booty, and your houses a desolation? Whatever may be the foundation our Security is builded upon, so long as provoking Sins are heaping up Wrath, Security doth but hasten our Misery. 'Tis possible we are incredulous that Judgments can ever de­stroy a People renowned in Profession as we; but since our Profession is but as Samuel's mantle, under which are shrou­ded most devilish sins, or as a carpet cast over the mouth of Hell, it can never be a shelter for us, but stirs up the Lord to vengeance. Outside-Holiness and mock­ing Formality renders our condition the worse. Micah 3.11, 12. They leaned up­on God in ways of sin, and said, Is not the Lord among us? do we not profess him, [Page 142] and worship him? Therefore shall Zion for your sakes be plowed as a field, and Jeru­salem shall become heaps, and the moun­tains of the House of the Lord, as the high places of the forrest. The Ark of the Lord could not save the Israelites sinning; Zion will be no shelter for Hypocrites. 'Tis in vain to flatter our selves with conceits of safety in an outward shew of Godli­ness; that hay and straw can be no fence from the ruining flames of Divine Ven­geance.

Awake then from brutish security, and fall to work to prevent the threatned ru­ine, by repentance and amendment. Fan­cy not your selves beyond the reach of judgments, but tremble in your selves, that you may have rest in the day of trouble. Make the Almighty your friend, that he may not be a terrour in the day of Evil. Be afraid of all his judgments, For if you will not learn to fear that great and dreadful Name, the Lord thy God, then will he make thy plagues wonderful, Deut. 28.38. Is not destruction coming after deliverance? Are not dreadful days ap­proaching to us? Consider these few par­ticulars following, and you will see what cause we have to shake off security, and [Page 143] prepare our selves to meet the Lord in ways of judgments, who have so long en­joy'd the shines of mercy.

1. May we not justly fear our ungrate­ful carriage towards God, will hasten his formidable departure from us? Unkind­ness shown to friends coming to us, will certainly discourage them from abiding with us. The happiness of a Nation consists above all, in the fruition of the favourable presence of God; and if by a regardless carriage, or displeasing behavior, we provoke him to depart, our sudden ruine will be the consequence of his de­serting of us. Hos. 9.12. Wo also to them when I depart from them. There is that absolute necessity of the presence of the Lord with a people, to conduct them by his Counsel, to protect them by his Pow­er, to succeed them by his blessing in use of saving means, to deliver them in un­conquerable dangers, that if he withdraws it from them, none of these things can be done by another hand. Hence the Lord, unwilling to ruine Ierusalem, with bow­els of compassion cries out, Ier. 6.8. Be instructed, O Ierusalem, lest my soul depart from thee, and thy land becomes desolate and not inhabited. The soul of a man is the [Page 144] vivisick principle, on the separation of which from the body, there ensues a death; all strength, counsel, beauty, leaves the body. Thus when the Lord departs, the soul of a Nation is gone, and then the Nation is only a mouldring heap, and as a liveless carcass. We certainly loose all good, when the presence of God is withdrawn from us. If we by our sins make the Almighty go away, he for our sins will take away all kinde of Mercies from us. Deut. 3.1.17. I will forsake them. The regardless Ath [...]ists of our age will say, Let him go, and what then? Oh, says the Lord. Then shall ye be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come upon you; so that they shall say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because the Lord is not amongst us?

Now may we not fear God will depart from a people that behave themselves so unkindly as we at this day? We slight his presence, abuse his kindness; can we think to be blest with his presence long? We read, Hos. 8.3. Israel hath cast off the thing that is good. The Hebr. is only, [...] repulit à se bonum, i. e. [...], bene­ficium, or [...], Praeter quem non est bonum. So Rivet, Grotius, and others: [Page 145] that is, Israel hath driven from it God the onely good, hath made its kind Be­nefactor go away. Oh have we not done thus? have we not been driving God away from us; as weary of his Ordinances, tired with Gospel-proffers, nauseating Mercies, and despising Delive­rances? How can we think God, can walk with us any longer, when we walk so frowardly and contrary to him? Amos 3.3. How can two walk together, unless they be agreed? thereby God shews them how impossible it was for him to con­tinue in ways of mercy to them, since they refused to walk with him in ways of duty; which is the sweet harmony God expected from them: says the Lord, You would have me to walk with you, and bless you, yet ye depart from me, and blaspheme my Name. How can I longer walk with you? Thus the Lord threatens a people, Lev. 26.21. If ye walk contrary to me, I will walk contrary to you. v. 24. I will bring seven times more Plagues upon you, according to your sins. Oh how perversely have we walked! How contrary is Disobedience to Delive­rance, Sinning to Salvation, Cursing to Blessing! and may not God justly leave us [Page 146] to ruine, and suffer our destruction who deal thus unanswerably with him?

2. May we not justly fear that our provoked God in justice will set the wicked over us, who have despised his righteous and blessed Government? August. says, God sets up wicked oppres­sors, cum judicat res humanas talibus dig­nas dominis; when he judges a people merit­ing such masters. When Religion is co [...]nted an intolerable yoak, under a Government that decrees the observance of it, we may with terrour expect a yoak to be laid upon our necks that shall be so heavy, that we shall see our unspeak­able folly in accounting the service of God a slavery to him. Have we not cause to fear that dreadful word? Deut. 28.47, 48. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness and gladness of heart in the abundance of all things: Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and thirst, and nakedness, and in want of al [...] things; and they shall put a yoak upon thy neck, until they have destroyed thee. Our wanton spirits under sometimes-a-prospe­rous Rule, may be humbled by the seve­rities of either forreign Princes prevailing [Page 147] or home-enemies raigning. God punish­ing the iniquity of a people, is said, Hos. 13.11. To give them a king in his wrath. When God sets the wicked over a people, 'tis a manifest indication of his anger. God often sets the worst of Governours over the worst of people. As a holy man pleading with God about one Pho­cas made an Emperour, Cur Domine Pho­cam Imperatorem constituisti? responsum da­tum accepit, Quia non inveni pejorem. Why Lord hast thou made Phocas an Emperour? he was answered, Because I could not find a worse.

May not our hearts then dread the fatal effects of removing our present King? (whom God preserve.) Should God in anger do it, what bloody confu­sion may follow in this nation? and will not our sins in the abundance of mercies, make him destroy both us and our King? Prov. 28.2. For the transgression of a Land, many are the Princes thereof: that is, the continuance of Kings on this account is stortned, and for the punishment of their villanies the lives of their Kings are ab­breviated, and one is set up after a [...]o­ther; which great mutations are often attended with great confusions, and in­numerable calamities.

[Page 148]3. May we not justly fear, the Lord may suspend his divine influence from the Councels of this Nation, that since we have little regarded what he hath done for us, the ablest Advisers, the most po­litick Counsellours, may be disabled from doing those things which may be profi­table for us? How often have the Coun­cellours of a Nation deserted by God, been unprosperous in their enterprises and undertakings for a people? Notwith­standing the care our vigilant Soveraign hath taken or may take to suppress the growing power of Popery by his Royal Proclamations; and although the hearts of our Parliament may be filled with sin­cerest intentions, to act for the advantage of the Nation, yet they may fail in the means, and be disappointed of the end, if God should desist from concurring with them.

What if their Counsels shall not have acceptance? What if their advice may seem unsafe, and others must needs be chosen? Will not the Enemies of our Nation be working all this while? Will not our Foes be contriving and hastening our ruine, ere we have counsel to prevent it? Would not this be a heavy [Page 149] Judgment? And may not this be feared by us, who have seen how hard it is to give acceptable counsel in these difficult and dangerous times?

What if the Lord should do to us, as to the Counsellors of a people of old, Isai. 19.14. He mingled a spirit of perversness in the midst of them: Hence they became as a drunken man that staggereth in his vomit. They staggered about, were al­ways unfixed, ever unstable, but reeled this way and that way, not knowing what to do, or where to go. Should this Spirit of division be mingled with ours, what shall we finde but the breach made wider, the distress made greater? Private animosities would be the destru­ction of publick advantages: The Blessing that hath been promised to the godly, hath been wanting to Councellors in our age, Psal. 1.3. Whatsoever he doth shall prosper. But hath not a miscarrying Womb, and dry Breasts, been the Curse of the Lord upon us?

What if the Lord should suffer them to mistake the means of our recovery, or fall short in what they do? Sometimes it hath been known that Governours have been too sparing to the wicked, to [Page 150] their own ruine. The King of Israel lost his life, for sparing Benhadad that should have died, 1 Kings 20.41. Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thine hand a man whom I appointed to utter de­struction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people. It seems Ahab had too great a kindness for Ben­hadad, who deserved to dye, being an implacable enemy to them: And are there not such enemies to be destroy'd at this day? He also held by Tyranny places be­longing to the Israelites, and therefore deserved death: And are there not those who are seeking to possess what belongs unto us, that ought to be cut off for their malicious enterprizes? He was also one that God did manifest his displeasure against, by destroying 100000 Footmen of them, whereby he might understand Gods displeasure against him. Now for him to spare this enemy, to intreat so honourably this publick Adversary, when given into his hands, brought him under this threatning. Should our enemies be even spared like him, should we not suf­fer after this manner? And will not this be a bad exchange, to give our lives for theirs? Will this be a worthy deed, to [Page 151] spare a thief from the gallows to cut our throats? See 1 Sam. 14.21, 23. There is little trusting such enemies, whatever pretences they make. Iudaeo baptizato, & lupo domestico, non est credendum. We must not trust a baptized Iew, being an in­ward enemy to a Christian; nor a house-wolf, that will still make murder among the sheep.

Sometimes in the world it hath been known, that as men have been too sparing to the wicked, so too cruel to the godly. The rod hath been laid on the wrong back, as the Poet said,

Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas. The innocent Doves are censur'd, whilst the ravenous Crows are pardoned. The Chri­stians in former days have been cloath'd with Bears-skins, and then baited. Some persons are misrepresented, and then more severely reprehended than those a thousand times more guilty. We read in Scripture how Ahasuerus, that mighty Prince, was brought to decree the ruine of the Iews, by the aspersions Haman cast upon them, as if they were a people not fit to live, and that it was not for the Kings profit to suffer them; and by this means this innocent people had utterly been [Page 152] destroyed, had not a wonderful Provi­dence prevented. Hence sometimes it hath been experienced, that a poor af­flicted people have born the punishments designed for and deserved by others, only from the misprisions of prejudiced persons. Should it then be ever thus with us, how soon would our ruine come upon us? How would the hands of enemies be strengthened, and the Nation disabled from helping it self?

4. May we not justly fear our enemies have now set forward, by their doubled diligence, that designe which was set back by the discovery of their accursed Plot? Our enemies may be like the Devil, qui surgit armis quibus dejicitur, rises by the weapons by which he is cast down: So these politick Wretches may improve the discovery of their designs, to make for the advancing of them, by laying their Plots more cunningly. We have often heard of repulsed Armies gaining force, and at last become triumphing Conque­rours. Our enemies may yet be rallying upon us, and that with a more invincible fury. The Fowler often removes his snares, understanding the birds per­ception of it; our enemies may change [Page 153] or remove their snares, and yet be as nea to slay and undo us as before. And when we are most secure from it, we are nearest to it. The dreadful battle was against Gibeah, when he knew not such an evil was near him, Judg. 20.34. Those Serpents will not dye because their tails are cut off. Those grand Politicians can contrive more ways than one. 'Tis possible their fainting hearts have had some Cordials from Rome to revive them. France can help them at a dead lift: and their Ghostly Father will prevent the ruine of his cursed brats, if all he can do can ruine us. May we not fear things are brought to be statu quo, as they were before, or rather worse, if that be possible? I fear every gap is not yet stopt, whereby our enemies may possibly invade us. I think it may be feared our enemies are not yet so much impaired, but that they are able to recover their loss of some Arms they had to spare, and some men they will not miss amongst their thousands. Do they not cry in the stoutness of their hearts and pride of spirit, as Isa. 9.10. The bricks are fallen down, we will build with stones; the sycomores are cut down, we will build with cedars? We have been [Page 154] too remiss this once, but now we will be more invincible. The water cast upon their fire, may make it burn the more fiercely, and vexatious dis­appointments will make them more dili­gent.

5. May we not justly fear the relief that we have, may be no other than a faint chearing before a miserable death? How often do we see men labouring un­der deadly diseases, revive a little, and give up the Ghost? How often do we know a whist calm, before a raging storm? A people may get a little heart immedi­ately before their ruine. 2 Kings 17.4. compared with Hos. 1.8. When Lo-ammi was born, the ten tribes that before were dispirited, and by presents did ho­mage to the King of Assyria year by year, begin to be jolly, and hope to cast off the yoak of bondage, and bring presents no longer; but joyned in confederacy with Egypt, which was immediately before their rejection. God begins to save with a little escape, but it may be but a little lightning before death. The Dol­phin sports much before a storm. Men in jolly and fearless condition, is a dread­ful presage of a ruining storm. So true [Page 155] it is in maximâ fortunâ minima licentia. In the greatest prosperity, we are not allowed the least sinful liberty. God threatning to bring down judgments up­on Israel, says, he will feed him as a lamb in a large place, Hos. 4.16. To enlarge a peoples bounds, is in Scripture taken to free them from troubles; so God design­ing great distress, would a while free them from troubles. 'Tis a metaphor taken from Butchers, who about to slay their Cattle, first put them into large pastures to fatten them; so God about to destroy a people, often gives them a freedome from distress, and leaves them to fill up apace the measures of their sins, and then brings them out to slaughter: Hence Merc. on the place; Nunc Israelitas copiosè pascet, ut mox saginati hostibus dedantur tru­cidandi. He feeds the Isralites most plen­tifully with mercies, that being fatted up, they may become a prey to their butch­ering enemies. Oh how fast do we fat­ten! How soon shall we be ready to be sacrifices to our enemies?

6. May we not justly fear, that as God in his wrath hath dealt with others, he may deal with us? When Judgments on others are not made use of as warnings, [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [Page 156] they become but examples and patterns of our own destruction. Luke 13.3. Except ye repent, ye shall likewise perish. The Sword of Justice is not so blunted by wounding others, but it can wound the hairy scalp of every one that goes on in sin. The Arrows of Divine Vengeance are not yet spent, there may be many in reserve to pierce our obstinate, hardened hearts. God is the same yesterday, to day, and for ever; the same to love, protect and secure his obsequious people; the same to ruine and destroy rebellious sinners. Ezek. 20.36. Like as I have pleaded with your Fa­thers, so will I plead with you. The pu­nishments of sin other Nations have ex­perienced, may at last be inflicted on us. The Vengeance of God on others, is a signe to us, Jer. 7.12-14. Go ye now to my place which was in Shiloh, and see what I did to it, for the wickedness of my people Israel; and now because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, therefore will I do so to this house, &c. May not the dealings of God with others, prognosti­cate his dealings with us? May not the sore Desolations in Germany, the distresses of Protestants in France, the ruines of the Churches we read of in Iohn's Revela­tions, [Page 157] cause us to fear we at last shall experience the same Miseries, and drink of the same cup of Astonishment that hath been given to them? 2 Pet. 2.5, 6. If God spared not the old world, shalt thou escape his judgment? What have we more to secure us? Why should we not be made as Sodome by judgments, that pa­rallel it in sins? Let us take the caution God gave to Israel, Deut. 24.9. Re­member what the Lord thy God did unto Miriam by the way, when he brought thee from Egypt. Minde what God hath been doing to other Nations. The Inscription on Senacherib's Statue may be written on all ruined Nations, [...]. Beholding me, learn to be godly. But espe­cially when distresses fall on a people near us, we are greatly to regard them. The Protestants in France are already involv'd in unspeakable trouble, and as the Poet said,

Tua res agitur paries cum proximus ardet. Thou art greatly concerned when thy Neigh­bours house is in flames. The Cup passes from one to another.

7. To conclude, Although we may have an escape from final Ruine, and glorious Times may succeed our unhappy [Page 158] days, may we not justly fear, that our Mercies may be ushered in with a great deal of Misery, and that a black Storm will precede our glorious Sunshine? The approaches of Mercies may be attended with amazing Terrour. Great distresses may justly be expected, before our great Deliverance.

The shorter the time of enemies raign­ing is, the greater will be their rage. A Cloud ushered in the presence of God to the Tabernacle; Christs coming to re­deem his people, appears in a cloud. The darkest hour is a little before the dawning of the glorious day. The sorest conflicts Israel had, was on their entrance into their blessed and promised Canaan. Mercies of greatest excellencies, have pro­portioned difficulties. Iosephs pearled Crown, & Chains of honour, had answe­rable links of trouble. We have just cause from Gods promises to expect some glo­rious days, but certainly a gloomy day will be first. The earth will be shaken when Babylon shall fall. Before we can be happy, the filth of England must be washed away with the spirit of judgment and burn­ing. We may be dealt with as is spoken of the Iews, Zech. 13.8, 9 Two parts [Page 159] may be cut off, and the third refined. I may confidently assert, God will bring more glorious days than yet the world enjoyed; but as Balaam said, Alas, who shall live when the Lord does this? Numb. 24.24. Thou or I may be cut off, with millions more; and seeing this time is at hand, be not secure. The onely way to secure any future deliverance, is by im­proving this. The way to have future salvation, is to make use of this you enjoy, to mortifie sins. For the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to those that turn from iniquity in Jacob, Isa. 59.20. So then let us no longer abuse the patience of God; but since he is an indulgent Father, let us be­come obedient Children; that so we may hope, that he that hath delivered, and can deliver, will still be continuing deliveran­ces to us.




PREFACE. Page 6. line 14. for health read hearts.

BOOK. Page 21. line ult. read [...] p. 22 l. 10. r. multiplicavi. p. 47. l. 24. for willing, r. unwilling. p. 59. note, that at the twelfth line begins a fourth head. p. 73. note, l. 5. begins a second head. p. 90. note, l. 13. begins a fourth head. p. 100. l. 26. for also, r. able. p. 103. l. 3. for usurped, r. envied.

Books Printed, and are to be sold by John Hancock, at the Sign of the Three Bibles in Popes-Head Alley in Cornhil.

TWelve Books lately published by Mr. Tho. Brooks, late Preacher of the Gospel at Mar­garets New-Fish-street.

1. Precious Remedies against Satans Devices, or Salve for Believers and Unbelievers Sores: be­ing a companion for those that are in Christ, or out of Christ.

2. Heaven on Earth: Or a serious Discourse touching a Well grounded Assurance of Mans E­verlasting Happiness.

3. The unsearchable Riches of Christ held forth in 22 Sermons.

4. Apples of Gold for young Men and Women, or the happiness of being good betimes.

5. A String of Pearls: or the best things re­served till last.

6. The Mute Christian under the smarting Rod, with Soveraign Antidotes against the most mise­rable Engines.

7. An Ark for all Gods Noahs in a stormy Day.

8. The Crown and Glory of Christianity, in 48 Sermons on Heb. 12.14.

9. The Privy Key of Heaven: or a Discours of Closet-Prayer.

10. An heavenly Cordial for such as have had or escaped the Plague.

11. A Cabinet of choice Jewels, or a Box of percious Oyntment: containing special Maxims, Rules and Directions, in order to the clearing up of a mans Interest in Christ, and his Title to all the glory of another World.

12. Londons Lamentations.

[Page]The Godly Mans Ark, in several Sermons. To which is added Mrs. Moors Evidences for Heaven: By Edmund Calamy, B.D. at Aldermanbury.

Christs Communion with his Church Militant: by Nicolas Lockyer.

Sin the Plague of Plagues: by Ralph Venning.

A true Narrative of those two never to be for­gotten Deliverances. One from the▪ Spanish Inva­sion in 88, the other from the Hellish Powder Plot, Nov. 5, 1605: by Mr. Sam. Clark. To which is newly added a brief account of the late Horrid Plot, discovered 1678, with a Relation of other Popish Cruelties, hear and beyond seas.

The Accurate Accomptant, or London Mer­chant: being Instructions for keeping Merchants Accompts: by Thomas Brown Accomptant.

Short Writing, the most Easie, Exact, Lineal and Speedy Method that hath ever yet been ob­tained, as thousands in the City and elsewhere, can from their own Experience testifie: by Theophilus Metcalf.

Also a Book called a School-master to it, ex­plaining all the Rules thereof.

A Word of Advice to Saints; or a choice Drop of Honey from the Rock Christ.

A Coppy-book of the Newest and most useful Hands, with Directions for Spelling and Cypher­ing.

Bridges Remains, being Eight choice Sermons: by the late Reverend Mr. William Bridge of Yar­mouth.

A Disswasive from Conformity to the World: also Gods severity against Impenitent Sinners: by Henry Stubbes Minlster of the Gospel.

Vennings Remains, belng the substance of many Sermons: by Mr. Ralph Venning, prepared by him­self for the Press a little before his death.

[Page]The Poor mans Family-book: by Richard Baxter.

Luthers 34 special and choice Sermons.

Comae Berenicis, or the hairy Comet: being a Prognostick of malignant Influences from the ma­ny blazing Stars wandring in our Horizon.

Gospel love, Heart purity, and the flourishing of the Righteous; being the last Sermons of that late Eminent Divine Mr. Iosept Caryl.

The Young mans Guide to Blessedness, or sea­sonable Directions for Youth in their unconvert­ed estate: by R. Mayhew, Minister of the Gos­pel.

Causa Dei, or an Apology for God: wherein the perpetuity of Infernal Torments is evidenced, and both his Goodness and Justice defended: Also the Nature of Punishments in general, and of Infernal ones in particular displayed: by R. Burthogge.

The Legacy of a dying Mother to her mourn­ing Children, being the Experiences of Mrs. Su­sanna Bell: published by Thomas Brooks.

King Iames his Counterblast to Tobacco: To which is added a learned Discourse touching To­bacco, by Dr. Maynwaring: wherein men may see whether Tobacco be good for them or no.

Strength in Weakness: being a Sermon preach­ed at the Funeral of Mrs. Martha Brooks, late Wife to Mr. Thomas Brooks, Minister of the Gos­pel: to which is added some Experiences of the Grace and dealing of God, observed and ga­thered by a near relation of the said Mrs. Brooks.

An Excellent Catechism by the late Reverend Mr. Ieremiah Burroughs.

A Discourse of Christs coming, and the Influ­ence which the expectation thereof hath on all manner of Holy Conversation and Godliness, By Theophilus Gale.

[Page]The Shepherds Legacy, or forty years experi­ence of the Weather.

The Young Mans conflict with and Victory o­vea the Devil by Faith; Or a true and perfect Relation of the Experiences of Thomas Powel, begun in the fifteenth, and continued till the se­venteenth year of his Age.

Christs certain and sudden appearance to Judg­ment, By Sam. Malbon.

A brief Dlscription of New York, and the places thereto adjoyning; with Directions and Advice to such as shall go thither, By Dan. Den­ton.

A Cry for Lahourers in Gods Harvest, being a Sermon preaceed at the Funeral of Mr. Ralph Venning, By R. Bragge, Minister of the Gospel.

Christian Directions, shewing how to walk with God all the day long, By Tho. Gouge.

Conscience the best Friend upon Earth, or the happy effects of keeping a good Conscience, By Henry Stubbes.

Mr. Stubb's Directions for making peace with God, and his true last Speeches.

Patience and its perfect work under sudden and fore Trials, by Tho. Goodwin, D.D.

Orthodox Paradoxes Theoretical and Experi­mental, or a Believer clearing Truth by seeming Contradictions. With an Appendix of the Tri­umph of Assurance over the Law, Sin, World, Wants, &c. To which is added, The New Com­mand Renewed, or Love one another. With 10 Rules for the Right understanding of Scripture, by R. Venning, A.M.

An Awakening Call from the Eternal God to the Unconverted, with seasonable Advice to them that are under Convictions, to prevent their mis­carrying in Conversion, by Samuel Corbin, A.M.

[Page]The Triumgh of Mercy in the Chariot of Praise: a Treatise of preventing secret and un­expected Mercies, with some mixt Reflections, by S. Lee.

The best Friend standing at the Door, or Christ's awakening and affectionate Call, both to Professors and secure Sinners, for Entrance into the House, in several Sermons, by Iohn Ryther.

Israel Redux: Or, the Restauration of Israel; An Essay upon probable Grounds that the Tartars are the Ten Tribes of Israel, by G.F. With some Scriptue Evidences of their future Cor­version and Establishment in their own Land; together with two Discourses on the mournful state of the Church, with a Prospect of her Dawning Glory, by Samuel Lee.

Beams of the Spirit Enlivening, Enlightning, and Gladding the Soul, Imp. Ios. Caryl.

The absolute Accomptant, or London-Mer­chant, containing Instructions and Directions for a methodical keeping of Merchants Accounts, after the most exact and concise way of Debitor and Creditor. Also the Memorial, vulgarly called a Wast-book, and a Cash-book, with a Journal and a Leager; and at the end of the Leager a Ballance. Likewise Accounts of the Rents and Profits of several Estates mentioned to be mortgaged, with the Deductions for Taxes respectively. As also a transaction and carrying on of a Trade Foreign and Domestick, for above one whole Year; with many Varieties of Demon­strations, to please, profit, and delight those that desire to learn, and will take the pains to examine the said Account; very plain and easie to be nn­derstood by any of an indifferent capacity; and expedient for all Schoolmasters that teach, and [Page] all thae desire to learn to keep Merchants Ac­counts, by Thomas Brown Accomptant.

An English and Nether Dutch Dictionary, com­posed out of the best Authors.

An English and Nether-Dutch Grammar, easie to be understood.

The Sole and Soveraign way of England's be­ing saved, humbly proposed by Robert Perrot, Minister of the Gospel, in London, from Psalm. 80.19. With an Epistle to the Reader, by Mr. Ioseph Caryl and Dr. Manton.

Theological Treatises; being Eight Theses of Divinity; viz. 1. Production of Mans Soul. 2. Divine Predestination. 3. The true Church-Regiment. 4. Predictions of Messias. 5. Christs two Geneologies. 6. The Revelation Revealed. 7. Christ's Millenar Reign. 8. The Worlds Dis­solution, by Rob. Vilvain.

The Poetical History, being a compleat Col­lection of all the Stories necessary for a perfect understanding of the Greek and Latine Poets, and other antient Authors, by Mareus d' Assigny, B.D.

Memoires of Mr. Des Ecotais, formerly stiled in the Church of Rome, The most Venerable Fa­ther Cassianus of Paris, Priest and Preacher, of the Order of the Capucines, or the Motives of his Conversion; in two Parts. I. That the Do­ctrine of the now Roman-Church is not grounded upon the Scripture. 2. That the Church of Rome is not the true Church. In French and Eu­glish. In Octavo.

A Description of the Nature of Four-footed Beasts, with fourscore large Figures engraven in Copper. Written in Latine by Dr. Iohn Iohn­ston; translated into English by I. P.

The Compleat Clerk; containing the best Forms of all sorts of Presidents for Conveyances, [Page] and Assurances, and other Instruments now in Use and Practice; with the Forms of Bills, Plea­dings, and Answers in Chancery, as they were penned and perfected by eminent Lawyers and great Conveyances, both Antient and Modern.

The true Intellectual Systeme of the Universe; wherein all the Reason and Philosophy of Atheism is Confuted, and its Impossibility Demonstrated, by R. Cudworth, D. D.

The History of the Church and State of Scot­land, beginning the year of our Lord 203, and continued to the end of King Iames the Sixth of blessed Memory, in seven Books, by I. Spots­wood.

The Memoires of the Lives and Actions of Iames and William Dukes of Hamilton and Castle­heruld, &c. in which an account is given of the Rise and Progress of the Civil Wars of Scotland; with many Letters, Injunctions, and other Papers written by King Charles the First, never before published, by Gilber Burnet.

An Epitome of Essays, containing Six Classes of 1. Theologicals, 2. Historicals. 3. Heteroge­neals. 4. Bruto-Anglicals. 5. Miscellaneals. 6. Mutuatitials; besides a fardel of seventy six Fragments, by Robert Volvain.

The true and only way of Concord of all the Christian Churches, the Desirableness of it, and the Detection of false dividing terms open'd, by Richard Baxter.

A true Believers Choice and Pleasure, instanced in the Exemplary Life of Mrs. Mary Coxe, the late Wife of Dr. Thomas Coxe: Preached for her Funeral, by Richard Baxter.

A Narrative, and Impartial Discovery of the Horrid Popish Plot; carried on for the burning and destroying the Cities of London and West­minster, [Page] with their Suburbs, &c. Setting forth the several Consults, Orders, and Resolutions of the Jesuits concerning the same. And divers De­positions and Informations relating thereunto, never before printed. By Capt. William Bedloe, lately engaged in that horrid Designe, and one of the Popish Committee for carrying on such Fires.

A Narrative of unheard-of Popish Cruelties towards Protestants beyond Seas: or, a new Ac­count of the Bloody Spanish Inquisition. Pu­blished as a Caveat to Protestants. By Mr. Dug­dale.


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