AN ASSIZE-SERMON Preach'd before Judge Twisselton and Serj. Bernard AT CARLISLE September the 10th Ann. 1660.

AND Now Publish'd and Recommended to the Ma­gistrates of the Nation, as a Means by God's Blessing to quicken them to a serious Pursuit of the Honour­able and truly Religious Design, for the Reformation of Manners, which is now on foot, and Countenan­ced by the Nobility, Bishop's, and Judges, in the late Account of the Societies for the Reformation of Man­ner's, and applauded by the Serious and Religious Men of all Perswasions.

By R. GILPIN, Now Minister of the GOSPEL in NEWCASTLE upon TYNE.

LONDON: Printed for Tho Parkhurst, at the Bible and Three Crowns near Mercers-Chapple; and Sarah Burton, Bookseller at New­castle. 1700.

TO THE Right Worshipful, and WORSHIPFUL • Sir WILLIAM BLACKETT Baronet, Mayor. , • Sir ROBERT SHAFTOE Recorder. , •

ALDERMEN of the Town and County of NEWCASTLE.



THE Printing of the following Sermon, now al­most Forty Years after it was Preached, needs a longer Apology, than at present either my Lei­sure will allow, or others perhaps will have Patience to read: To save therefore my self and others from a [Page]needless Trouble, I shall only tell you, That these Notes were bury'd among my Papers, and out of Mind, but upon a particular Occasion they came to Hand. Ʋpon a short view of them, I conceiv'd they might be of some use to quicken Magistrates in that Noble and Important Duty, of the Reformation of Manners, which of late hath been publickly counte­nanced and own'd by many persons of great Name, Noblemen, Bishop's, and Judges.

The Author of the Account of the Societies for Reformation, hath with a commendable Zeal, and many unanswerable Arguments, urg'd this Religious Design upon all sorts of Men; and there seems not to be any necessity to add any thing to that which is so excellently done already; yet such is the weak­ness of Human Ʋnderstanding, that even where the Conviction of Reason is so clear and full, as makes new Arguments useless, yet through the Weakness either of Memory, or want of due Impression, we are apt to let them slip. In this Case where Ar­guments are useless, a Remembrancer may be neces­sary.

This Sermon was Preach'd at a Critical Time, as appears by its date; to speak Boldly upon such a Subject at that time, seem'd so hazardous, that those that heard it, expected that I should meet [Page]with some Effects of the Judges angry Resentments; but such was their Conscientious regard to the Mat­ter that was spoken, and such were their Convicti­ons of the Truth and Weight of it, that contrary to all expectation, they publickly recommended the Sermon to the Consideration of the Grand-Jury, and in private also gave me their Hearty thanks.

The main Drift and Design of the Sermon is, to Excite Magistrates to countenance the Practice of our Holy Religion, and to punish Vice and Decauchery: Seeing then this is the thing that is now expected from Magistrates, as their Duty which they owe to God, and to the Safety and well government of the Country; why may not this be useful to them by put­ting them in remembrance.

Many of the Reverend Pious Clergy of both De­nominations, have preach'd and printed Sermons for the promoting of a Reformation; this though preach­ed long before, yet is not printed so much out of due Time, but that it may come in the Rear.

This Discourse I humbly offer to the serious Con­sideration of the Magistrates of the Nation, and more particularly to you, whose Names are prefix'd to these Papers (as the present Magistrates of the Famous Town and County of Newcastle upon Tyne, where I [Page]have lived many Years,) partly as a Testimony of my Respect to your selves, which I am oblig'd to, for your civil Respects to me, and partly as a Testimony of my best Wishes to the whole Corporation, for their Spiritual and Temporal Prosperity, but chiefly to give you my Thanks publickly for what you have already done, in prohibiting Tipling in Publick-houses on the Lord's-day: 'Tis a good Beginning, and you have honour'd your selves so much by it, that Judge Powell in his Charge at your last Assize, thought fit to take No­tice of it.

Honour'd Gentlemen! Give me leave to tell you, that a Reformation of Manners, is a truly Religious and Noble Ʋndertaking, you will hereby shew that you take God's part, and fight against the Devil's Kingdom: You may expect that the Prince of Darkness will stir up his Instruments against you, but the Battle is the Lord's, and if you faithfully plead his Cause, and put due shame and disgrace impartially upon Debau­chery and Vice, he will stand by you, and own you, and your Names will be Honourable among all good Men.

Be strong therefore, and quit your selves like Men and good Christians, you have many considerable Ad­vantages on your side, besides the Divine assistance and protection which is the Chief; you have not only [Page]the Advantage of Law, but the Example and Encou­ragement of the most considerable Persons of the Nati­on; you may promise your selves the hearty Concurrence of all the Serious Religious Clergy, whose Office it is by all means to Promote the Honour of God, to whose Service they have devoted themselves, and you may expect to see the Blessed Effects of your Religious Endeavours, to your great Comfort and Satisfacti­on.

I shall only add this, The hearty Agreement and Concurrence of Men of different Perswasions in other Points relating to Religion, in promoting of the Practice of serious Piety, and in putting a Disgrace upon Vice, is the best Means that was ever yet offer'd for the Agreement of all our Differences in other Matters; this is what all good Men would be glad to see: But as the Case stands, there is little Ground to hope or expect it, and the great Thing that stands in the way, is the Perjudice which is deeply radicated in the Minds of the con­tending Parties, occasion'd by mutual Reproaches, Revitings, and Passion, that our angry Contentions have produc'd against one another: This Prejudice is now become so invincible, that except this holy Oil of Brotherly Concord in this Matter do soften it, and beget a love in Men seriously Religious, the Fire will not be extinguished: We are already agreed in [Page]the Doctrinal Articles of the Church of England, and if we were as heartily agreed too in the End of all True Religion, as in the Principles, a farther Progress would be more feasible: This might be suf­ficient to beget a brotherly Love to one another, and then we would more calmly hear, and more clearly un­derstand our mutual Reasonings about the remaining Differences, which would either incline us to Condes­cension for Peace sake, or enable us to bear with one another, so that all might keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace. That such Effects may be produc'd shall be the Prayer of

Your Humble Servant R. GILPIN.
PSALM II. v. xij.‘Kiss the Son lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little, blessed are all they that put their trust in him.’

THIS Psalm is a Prophetick Discourse of the Kingdom of Christ, shewing what should happen to it, and what should happen be­cause of it, in all Ages. Herein is set down;

  • 1. The Opposition that is made against Christ's King­dom.
  • 2. The Vanity of that Opposition.
  • 3. The Application of both.

1. The Opposition that Christ's Kingdom should meet withal is the greatest that may be, and that in these three Respects, 1. It is universal, made by all Sorts of People, not only by the common Rout (whose Persons ordinarily disgrace their Cause, and who (like the wild Ass) do car­ry their Bow in their Heels, or (Parthian like) shoot their Arrows backwards): But King's and Ruler's also appear in in this Opposition, who however unworthy, and ungrate­ful they are in their Attempt to Justle that God out of all, that takes them up into his Throne (as that of Revel. 12. v. 5. is expounded of Constantine) yet are they most like­ly to prevail. 2. The greatness of this Opposition to the [Page 2]Kingdom of Christ appears also, in that they who are inga­ged in it, do make it their Business to drive it up to the greatest height, For 1. They summon up their whole strength to accomplish it: And 2. The King's of the Earth themselves back this their strength with Policy and Counsel, The Ruler's take counsel together, v. 2. And not only so, but 3. They harden themselves in these their Ways with firm Resolutions, they set themselves, &c. v. 2. and 4. They incourage themselves therein with hopeful Imaginations, The People imagine a vain thing v. 1, and 5. They whet their courage and resolutions with Rage, The Heathen rage, &c. v. 1. 3. The greatness of this Oppo­sition is such, that it is accompany'd with the most un­reasonable Demands imaginable, no less than this will serve; That God must part with his Soveraignty, lay down his Scepter, repeal his Laws, and suffer them to live as they list v. 3. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. This was the Opposition, now follows.

2. The Vanity of this Opposition made against the King­dom of Christ: Which appears in these Four things.

1. In its unlikeliness, v. 4. God sits in Heaven, above their reach, beholding their undertakings as ridiculous, he laughs at their vain Attempts, as you would do at Worms that should endeavour to storm Castles, or en­counter Armies, &c. 2. The Vanity of these Men's un­dertakings is made evident farther in the vexatiousness of the disappointment they meet withal in the Prosecution of these Attempts, God will fret and vex them, by carrying on all his Designs, maugre the utmost of their Opposition, v. 5, 6. He will vex them with this,—Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill. 3. The absolute impossibility of Success, shews the Vanity of the undertaken Opposition; for, here is no less against them, than 1. An irrevocable [Page 3]Decree, v. 7. A decree already declar'd, and Promulgated, from which God cannot recede in point of honour; and 2. There is Christ's Merit and Intercession against them, which God will not disappoint, v. 7. Thou art my Son. v. 8. Ask of me and I will give, &c. which shews 3. That there is also against them, God's Covenant with Christ up­on that undertaking, wherein he had ingaged himself to see the Opposition brought to nought, I will give, &c. v. 8. so that 4. The Vanity of their Attempt appears from the speedy, certain, and irrecoverable Ruin of the Attempters: v. 9. Thou shalt break him with a rod of Iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a Potters Vessel. A Potters Vessel must needs break with a stroke especially of an Iron rod, and being broke its thenceforth useless; and such is the Case of these vain Opposers of Christ's Kingdom.

3. The Application of these two (this Opposition and the Vanity of it), is directed only to King's and Ruler's, v. 10. Be wise now therefore O ye King's, &c. not that others are unconcerned in it, but because 1. They are not so easily perswaded to desist from so foolish an underta­king as the Vulgar are, as having stronger Temptations and Judgments to prosecute this Opposition, than others have: Being usually Jealous of Christ's Kingdom as of that, that does too much streighten and limit them in their Pleasures, abridge them of the absoluteness of their Authority, eclipse their Honours, and vex them with Reproofs, and searching Convictions. 2. It is directed to them because they do more dangerously oppose and resist, both in respect of themselves and others; for, their Personal Offences in this kind may become National Sins, and consequently may occasion National Punishments. 3. This Application is especially directed to King's and Ruler's, because their Au­thority and Example (if they yield), hath a great Influ­ence [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 1] [...] [Page 2] [...] [Page 3] [...] [Page 4]upon others to bring them also under Christ's yoke. The Duty that is here pressed upon them is, 1. General, to stir them up to Wisdom, and Serious Consideration, v. 10. and 2. more Special, considering them in their double Ca­pacity of being private and publick Persons, 1. as Private Men that have precious Souls to take care for, and accor­dingly they are advis'd to strictness and sincerity of Holi­ness, v. 11. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with tremb­ling: I thus interpret it, because these are Duties that are incumbent upon Christians as Christians; and 2. under a publick Capacity, or as they are Magistrates, they are ad­vised to have a care of others in the management of their Office, and so they are advis'd to own and advance Christ's Government and Kingdom, v. 12. Kiss the Son, &c.

The Text contains two Parts, 1. The Duty: and 2. The Motives to it.

1. The Duty which is contain'd in these Words, Kiss the Son; a Kiss is a publick Symbol and Testification 1. of Love, as the use of the greatest Part of the World shews; 2. of Subjection, as appears by the Phrases of kiss­ing of Baal, and kissing the Calves. Kiss the Son, that is, testify your Love and Subjection by submitting to his Com­mands, and promoting his Honour and Authority, in all your Offices.

2. The Motives to this Duty are, 1. his Displeasure, if you refuse, Kiss the Son least he be angry. 2. You are ruin­ed if he be displeas'd: If he be angry you perish. 3. The suddenness, and unexpectedness of the overthrow, while you are in the way, in the height of your pursuit and hopes. 4. The easiness of the dispatch, a little wrath will effect your overthrow. When his wrath is kindled but a little, &c. [Page 5]5. The happiness of Submission, Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

From these words I shall propound one Doctrine which is this. That,

Doct. Magistrates owe such Homage and Subjection to Christ, that in all their Government, they must advance his Kingdom, upon pain of his Displea­sure.

In the Explication of this Doctrine I shall shew,

  • 1. The Magistrates Debt, and
  • 2. Their Duty.

First then, They owe Homage to Christ, that is their Debt, 1. because he is higher than they, Psal. 47. v. 2. He is a great King, the only Potentate, King of King's, and Lord of Lord's, 1 Tim. 6. v. 15. The eternal, immortal, invisible King, 1 Tim. 1. v. 17. The universal King of all the Earth, Psal. 47. v. 7. he hath prepared his throne in the heavens, his Kingdom ruleth over all, Psal. 103. v. 19. The greatest Ru­ler upon Earth, in all his highest and mightiest Titles and Power, is but a glittering guilded Potsherd; he is but illu­strious, mighty, most excellent, honourable Dust and A­shes, take the highest Title the Scripture affords, as Psal. 82. v. 1. where they are all called God's, yet they are but God's Metaphorical, either analogically having some simili­tude of God in their height above others, as high Moun­tains and Cedars are call'd God's Mountains and Cedars; or representatively, because they sit in his Throne, and do (as it were) represent his Person; for they are notwith­standing [Page 6]such God's as are but Men, Psal. 82. v. 7. and when they are dead, their Ashes shall carry no more Prints of Honour than the Beggars that embraces the Dunghil, nor shall be distinguish'd from common Dust. And if some aspired higher, as Caligula, Domitian, &c. who arro­gated Divine Honours to themselves, yet God discover'd their folly, by making good that threatning, They shall fall like one of the Princes, or as Illyricus expounds it, like those Tyrants that perish in their Cruelties: That dye as Boniface the 8th like a Dog, and have Jehojakim's Burial, the burial of an Ass. If in the World petty King's shew Homage to the more Potent, as it was in the Heptarchy in England, and under the Roman and Graecian Conquerours, much more then do the greatest Rulers owe Homage to God, upon account of his Greatness; have you an Arm like God, or can you Thunder with a Voice like his, if not, then bring pre­sents to him, Psal. 72. v. 9, 10. They that dwell in the Wil­derness shall bow before him: The King's of Tarshish, and of the Isles shall bring Presents.

A Second reason to Prove that even King's and Ruler's owe Homage to Christ is, Because all their Authority is derived from him: Their Authority is derivative these two ways. 1. In Constitutione Regiminis, and 2. Institutione & designatione personarum. 1. In the Constitution of Govern­ment it self: Dominion and Rule is Christ's appointment, even in the State of Innocency, as Parens observes, God gave Man Power over himself (by free Will) and over the Creatures, and his Family too: Which (though some think that the State of Innocency and Magistracy are incon­sistent yet) carries some resemblance at least of Magistracy; however since their Fall, as God appointed Sun and Stars to rule Day and Night, so hath he appointed Magistracy (as Stars in their Courses) as a means of Order in the Uni­verse: [Page 7]Hence it is call'd God's Ordinance, in which Word there is a special Emphasis (it is Tolet's observation), they are not of God as War and Famine are said to be of his Appointment, but they are more especially or­dained by Command and Promise: 2. The Authority of Rulers is derivative too in designatione Personae: Thus he appointed Saul, found out David, and choos'd Solo­mon, &c. Yea in unjust Usurpations, though the Man­ner of attaining and managing be not à Deo approbante, having not the Allowance of his preceptive Will: Yet they are à Deo permittente, and according to his Will of Purpose: The Powers that are, Rom. 13. (which points at Nero, for the Abstract cannot consist without the Concrete), are ordain'd of God. Nature teacheth all Creatures a thankful Respect to them from whom they had their Being; the Rivers pay a constant Tribute to the Sea, whence they all come, much more then should Magistrates own that God that gave them as well their Natural Beings (for they are the Work of his Hands as Men), as also their Political Beings, for they are the Children of the most high as Magistrates, such a tributary was David, 2 Sam. 7. v. 18, to 22.

A Third argument that shews that King's and Ruler's ought to be Christ's Homagers is, That as their Power is borrow'd, so also it is ad Placitum (not absolute and independent), and that two ways. 1. In regard of their Rules, Laws, and Limits, which God hath fix'd for their direction, he is the supreme Lawgiver, and they must take the Law from his Mouth, in the Essentials of Piety and Justice: He hath given them positive Commands, which they are not to Transgress; In Circumstantials, and particular Emergencies, which although he hath left un­determin'd, yet even there he hath given general Rules [Page 8]of Order, Decency, Edification, and Salus Populi to walk by in their determinations of Things, ad hic & nunc: 2. They are dependent on his Pleasure for the Conti­nuation of the Power in their Persons, he taketh down one, and setteth up another, he can cut off the Spirit of Princes, Psal. 76. v. 12. and can raise up the poor out of the mire, and the needy from the dunghil to set him with Princes, Psal. 113. v. 7, 8. Pope Coelestin crown'd the Emperour Henry with his Feet, and spurn'd off the Crown again, as an Emblematical boast of his Power, of making and unmaking King's; but though this was too much Arro­gancy for Man, yet it is one of the Jura Regalia of the King of Heaven.

Fourthly, King's and Ruler's owe Homage to Christ, because as their Authority depends on him, so it is al­so Ministerial in subordination to God's Ends and De­signs; the Magistrate is [...] Rom. 13.4. the Mi­nister of God, God's Agent and Servant, his Esse as a Magistrate is alterius esse, a Servant entrusted by his Lord, may have many encouraging Priviledges and Advanta­ges for himself, yet the great End of his Employment and Advancement, is his Masters service and profit; the Honour and Power of Ruler's are not terminated, neither wholly, nor chiefly upon their own Persons, as if God design'd only the gratifying of some few Men above the common Rank of Mankind, giving these Au­thorities for their Person's sakes, only to make them Great: No! His main End is, the Service and Fruit that is expected from them both to God and Man, and the Dignity is affix'd to the Person, as an encou­ragement to, and a necessary Means of doing that Ser­vice: They are but God's creatures and substitutes, for affecting his Will in the Government of his Church in [Page 9]the World; to them therefore I may apply that of the Apostle, Ye are not your own, your Places and Offices are not given, but with Reference to your Service; then give Homage to your Master whose you are, and for whose Ends you are employ'd; he is an unworthy Servant that grows Proud and Insolent by his Master's bounty, and yet 'tis a common Fault, as appears by the Prophet Jeremy, Chap. II. v. 31. When God had been no barren Wilderness to them, but had given showers of bles­sings, they could wax wanton, and say, we are Lords, we will come no more unto thee.

Fifthly, That Magistrates owe Homage to God, ap­pears in that this Depositum is given them in reference to an Account; and surely Homage is due, where Ac­counts are unavoidable: Give an Account of thy Steward­ship, will be a terrible Voice to those Servants, who (upon a conceit of the Lord's delay) instead of keep­ing the House in Order, have become the Master's of Mis-rule, and have eaten and drunk with the Drunken: The Lord of that Servant will make him know that he hath not given to God, the things that are God's, what­ever pretence he might make of giving to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.

Sixthly, Sometimes Personal Obligations from God calls for Homage, as of this Nature are the Personal Quali­fications of some for such an Imployment, and of this Nature too is the very Means and Manner of Advance­ment in some others; when God by a strong Hand, and (as it were) from the Dead sets them upon the Throne. Who am I saith David, 2 Sam. 7.18. and what is my House that thou hast brought me hitherto? A Spirit of Magistracy may be an Obligation upon others, as it was in Saul, who had another Spirit given upon his as­suming of the Magistracy; so their Success and Useful­ness [Page 10]may oblige others, when they hold up the Pillars of a shaking Land as David did; and others again may be induc'd by the Eminency of their Service, as when they lay the Foundation of the Lord's House, and al­so bring out the Head-stone with shouting, as Joshua and Zerubbable; or when they are Instruments of some signal Deliverance, as Gideon, Jephtha, &c. or become a Means to Reform the People (over whom they are con­stituted) from their Wickednesses as Josiah did.

Thus much for Explication of the Magistrates Debt, we are now to take Notice of the Second Thing that offer'd it self to our Consideration from the Doctrine, and that is, the Duty incum­bent upon Magistrates, which is, to Advance the Kingdom of Christ.

The Reasons why Magistrates are thus bound to Ad­vance Christ's Kingdom are these;

First, It is God's Design all along to Advance the Kingdom of Christ, and to this End, 1. He hath gi­ven all Power into his Hand, Matth. 28.18. All Power is given unto me in heaven and in earth: John 13.3, Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his Hands, &c. God hath then committed all Judgment and Authority to Christ to execute it, John 5.22. The Father judgeth no Man, but hath committed all Judgment unto the Son, and v. 27. He hath given him Authority to execute Judgment also, because he is the Son of Man, and for this end Christ both died and rose again, and re­vived, that he might be Lord both of the Dead and Live­ing, Rom. 14.9. 2. Upon this Account also God hath promis'd to enlarge Christ's Territories, in the Hearts of a willing People in the Day's of his Power, even to the [Page 11]Heathen and uttermost Parts of the Earth, that all Peo­ple and Nations should Serve him, Dan. 7.14. 3. Hence also he hath commanded all to Submit to him, he hath also a Name above every Name, Philip. 2.9. God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a Name which is above every Name. v. 10. That at the Name of Jesus eve­ry Knee should bow: That is, that all should express their reverent Submission and Obedience to him; bow­ing of the Knee (being a Gesture of Respect) is put for all Acts of inward and outward Obedience: They that interpret it of the Gesture of bowing at the name­ing of the word Jesus, do not only affix that to the Name, which is intended to the Person (for otherwise they should bow at the Name Christ, Immanuel, &c.) but also level the Place to a far lower Sense, and would put much less Honour on Christ, than the Apostle in­tended. 4. For this End also (viz. the Advancement of the Kingdom of Christ), God hath ordain'd Magi­stracy, designing it for an especial Means of advancing Christ's Kingdom, and therefore it is the Magistrates Du­ty to concur and comply with this grand Design of God, in reference to the Advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. Which,

Secondly, If Magistrates do not, they neglect the main Work and Business of their Places; for although it be question'd whose Vicegerents they are, whether God's as Creatour, or Christ's as Mediatour, and though the ex­tent of the Magistrates Power in Ecclesiastical Matters be disputed, while Erastus would give all to them, and Do­natus take all from them; yet I say, however most So­ber Men agree, that the great End of Magistracy is the Ad­vancement of Christ's Kingdom, even as it is the End of Ministry: And therefore [...] (which is a general Name is attributed to both, Rom. 13.4. [...], [Page 12] &c. having relation to [...] in the precedent Verse; so [...] is a Title of Magistracy; True! Though Ministers and Magistrates have the same End, yet they dif­fer in the Way of Prosecution; the Magistrates cannot eli­cere actus Ecclesiasticos (as Preach the Word, Administer the Sacraments, &c.) for that cost Saul the loss of his King­dom, and Ʋzziah a Leprosy; but yet he may Imperare & cöercere, and therefore that Good for which he is a Mini­ster, is not only Natural for the Preservation of Life, Civil for the Preservation of Estate, Moral to keep off Exorbi­tances in Life and Manners; but also Spiritual for the Ad­vancement of Religion (as Paren's well observes): And indeed this is one of the Ends of our Prayers for you, that you in your Stations may be serviceable in promoting Reli­gion, for so you have it, 1 Tim. 2. where Prayers and In­tercessions are injoin'd for King's and all that are in Authori­ty, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable Life in all Godliness and Honesty; and consequently you come short of the End of your Office, if you omit to take care for the Church of Christ; if you neglect this, you are but empty Vines, Ves­sels wherein is no Pleasure, sounding Brass and tinkling Cym­bals.

Thirdly, Your refusal of this Care, is opposition and en­mity against Christ, there is no nutrality between Christ and the Devil, betwixt Religion and Irreligion; Men in this Case must either be Friends or Enemies, Act for him or against him, for where the Duty is necessary (as it is here) the wilful neglect is Rebellion: In this Case that Proverb is True, Matth. 12.30. He that is not with me is a­gainst me. Not to be against Christ as a Teacher asserting Truth is to be for him: Mark 9.40. He that is not against us, is on our part: Not to be for him as a King warring against Satan's Kingdom, is to be against him.

Fourthly, Consider that if you be slow in promoting Christ's Cause, you contract the Guilt of other Men's Sins, and that two Ways; 1. Non prohibendo, for, Qui non prohibet cum potest jubet: And 2. You do it Exemplo, for if Magistrates be Supine and Careless, People will easily see it, and think their Example a warrantable Pattern for Imitation: Jerusalem and Samaria were Royal Cities (where were the Thrones for Judgment) hence they were the Fountains of Iniquity to the Land, and the Sins of the Land charged upon them, Micah. 1.5. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Sa­maria? And what are the high places of Judah? Are they not Jerusalem?

Fifthly, If Magistrates advance not the Throne of Christ, they commonly prove Furious against it, and Plagues of God's People; if this proceed from a careless blockish Temper, then Judgment of it self will degenerate into Gall, and the Fruit of Righteousness into Hemlock. Justice like Water, purifies it self by Motion, when it runs down like a stream; if it be a standing Water it Corrupts, and Corruptio optimorum pessima. If this neglect proceed from Enmity to Christ, then seeing they have the greatest Advantages in their Hands to do Evil, they may establish Wickedness by a Law: They can push with the horn, and tread down the Pasture with their feet, Ezek. 34.18. When the wicked beareth rule the Peo­ple mourn, Prov. 29.2. Or, if it proceed from Apostacy, then the revollers are profound to make slaughter, Hos. 5.2. And this happens not so much from the Churlish and Cruel Dispositions of Men, as from God's giving them up judici­ally to Rage against his Ways, either as a Scourge to his People, or in order to their own Ruin: Hence 'tis noted, that the cruellest Persecutions were set on foot by Emperours sometimes of the best Parts and most civil Dispositions, as Antoninus Philosophus, Trajan, Severus, Decius, &c. Magi­strates are for the most Part like the Prophet's Figs, either [Page 14]very good, or very bad, they are the Heads of the People, and all Diseases in the Head are Dangerous: So when the Le­prosy appear'd in the Head deeper than the Skin, the party was pronounc'd utterly unclean.

Sixthly, If Christian Magistrates do not Advance the King­dom of Christ, what do they more than Heathen Magistrates? Christ will have his Subjects to outstrip the Heathen, as you may perceive by his arguing, Matth. 5. Do not even the Pub­licans so? Heathens have made Good Laws for Moral Hone­sty, and have been just in the Execution of them, as among the Athenians Solon, the Lacedaemonians Lycurgus. There were many Good Laws among the Romans, but of the La­cedaemonian Laws Erasmus gives you this Account; Dixeris says he, speaking of their Laws, Christianos, si pro Lycurgo Christum nacti fuissent Legislatorum. Nay you find farther, that even among the Heathens, the Decij and the Curtij, &c. have devoted themselves to Death for the Publick.

A Seventh Reason why Magistrates should set themselves to Advance Christ's Kingdom is, because People are deno­minated Good or Bad, from the goodness or badness of their Ruler's; for 1. The more noble Part gives the Denomina­tion, a heap of Wheat and Chaff is call'd a heap of Wheat: And 2. it influenceth the rest; I speak of external Goodness of Profession chiefly; though as a Means it may be extend­ed to internal: If Jeroboam be wicked, the Ten Tribes are so: And to this purpose you have the Prophet Isaiah telling you, Isa. 21.26. That a Restauration of Good Ruler's (for it speaks of the Qualifications not the Species of Ruler's v. 23.) makes a City of Righteousness.

I have now done with the Explanation of the Do­ctrine, my next Work is to apply it. And,

Here I must first address my self to the Reverend Judges, and the Magistrates of this County, and because the time will [Page 15]not allow me to speak to you severally; I shall direct my Ad­vice to you all at once, that as God hath lifted up your Heads above your Brethren, so you would study to Advance his Honour and Kingdom: Kiss the Son: Give me leave in com­passion to your Souls, and in discharge of my Duty (for surely I am not call'd either by God or Man to Complement with you) to be plain with you in a few Directions: And surely if you were in my stead, and heard God speaking to you, Son of Man tell the House of Israel their Sin, else their Blood will I require at thine Hand, lift up thy Voice like a Trum­pet, spare not: If this were your Case, you would judge a Necessity is laid upon me to speak plainly, and upon you to receive the Word with meekness.

First then, Submit to Christ's Scepter as Christians and Men; Serve the Lord with fear: How can it be expected that you will to any purpose submit to Christ as Magistrates for the Good of others, if you do not submit to him as Christi­ans for the Good of your own Souls? In the Ceremonial Law the Snuffers were of pure Gold, to shew the Necessity of Holiness in them that are to be Censurers and Correctors of others: Your Stile and Titles shew as much; you are call'd God's, and should you be ungodly, you would make Men think, that you are such God's as the Witch of Endor saw rising out of the Earth, which indeed were Devils: If you live in Rebellion against the King of Heaven, you dis­honour your great Master, stain your Commission, and dis­able your Selves from punishing others. For how unseemly would it be for Vice to correct Sin? And if Vice would be so officious, yet how will you pluck the Mote out of your Brothers Eye, while a Beam is in your own? And besides it would give the People just reason to Lament over you with that of the Prophet, Our Silver is become dross, &c. If you shall ask me now what I call Holiness? I answer, 1. Humility, Consci­encious walking with God, Self-denial, Prayer, hearing the [Page 16]Word, Self-examination, Family-worship, &c. are undoubt­ed Works of Piety. 2. The Works of the Flesh are mani­fest, Swearing, Drunkenness, Uncleanness, Pride, Hatred, Sabbath breaking, &c. are certainly not Holiness. 3. To live carelesly (though in the Practice of external Duties) after the rate of most Men, without Conviction of Sin, Repentance, inward Communion with God, Love, Joy, and delight in his Ways; not striving against little Sins, nor watching a­gainst vain Thoughts: This is in no other Sense holiness be­fore God, but as a dead Carkass is call'd a Man. 4. To think any Service enough for God, secretly to loath and hate the Strictness of God's Ways, &c. will shew that you are not ac­ceptable Servants to Christ who hath requir'd all these things of you: Can you deny, but that these are the Plain Com­mands of God? Or, will any Man say that Great Men are not bound to these things? Be not deceived, God is not to be mocked, Gal. 6.7.

If you'l say, That Men that pretend to these things are but proud Hypocrites: I answer, I will ask no stronger Convi­ction against you, than what may be drawn from hence. The Objection shews, and grants the Necessity and the Truth of the Thing I plead for: If others are Hypocrites, where is the Fault? Not in doing these Things, for they are expresly commanded; but in doing them no better, first then come up to these Things that others do, and then go beyond them in sincerity of Performance. I pray Scorn not these Truths, the Great Judge is at the Door.

My Second advice to you is, that you oppose not Christ's Kingdom. Now this may be done two Ways. 1. By ob­structing his Designs in the Means he appoints to propagate it; the preaching of the Word is his Scepter, his Sword, his Chariot of Salvation, the Word of the Kingdom, &c. it is op­posed too by discountenancing the Work of his Kingdom, the Practice of his Laws, these are the King's high Way, cal­ed [Page 17]the Royal Law by the Apostle James. Now Christ's De­sign is obstructed: 1. When Men call for Darkness and puts out the Light. 2. When they bind heavy Burthers and lay them upon the Shoulders of the Ministers. 3. When they forbid them the plain and conscientious Exercise of their Du­ty, saying, Prophesy to us smooth things. 4. When they take the advantage of their conscientious Dissatisfactions, to stop the Course of their Ministry, laying a Snare on Mizpah, and spreading a Net on Tabor. If you should do thus, The Lord grant he take you not at your Words. See how he threatens this Opposition, Hos. 5.1. Hear ye this O Priests, and heark­en ye house of Israel! And give ye ear O house of the King, for Judgment is toward you, because ye have been a snare on Miz­pah, and a net spread upon Tabor, &c. And in Isa. 30.10, 13. They say to the Seers, See not, and to the Prophets, Prophesy not, &c. Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh sud­denly at an instant. Consider also how suitable the Punish­ment is to such a Sin, Hos. 9.7, 8. They had laid Snares for the Lord's Prophets, and he punisheth this iniquity by give­ing them Prophets that should be Snares to them: The days of Visitation and Recompence are come, Israel shall know it even by this, He will give them Fools for their Prophets, and Madmen for their Teachers. —It follows, the Watchman of Ephraim was with my God, that is, as some expound it, they never let him alone till he dy'd, and then he had rest; or as others think, he was with God in earnest Prayers and Groan­ings: They put him to complain, Well! How doth God avenge himself? Even thus: They shall have Prophets that shall be a Snare of a Fowler in all their Ways, to blind and de­lude them, till they bring on God's hatred and Judgment upon them all. So also Mic. 2.11. He that will Prophesy of Wine and strong Drink, he shall even be the Prophet of this People. Again, The Work of Christ's Kingdom is discoun­tenanced, [Page 18]when God's People are abus'd, revil'd, scorn'd, and hated for Holiness, for Praying, Hearing, &c. or when they are restrain'd from, or interrupted in the Exer­cise of Religion, if you do thus, they will cry to their God, or (to speak in the Language of Children) they will go tell their Father, and when he examines the Matter, you will be found fighters against God, and he will undoubt­edly deliver them out of your Hand, he hath assured us of it, Psal. 12.5. For the oppression of the Poor, for the sighing of the Needy, now will I arise saith the Lord, I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. Take heed therefore what you do, and give not any Occasion for Men to read that of Rom. 13.3. backward, saying, Ruler's are not a ter­ror to evil works, but to the good.

Thirdly, Set your selves strenuously against the Works and Kingdom of the Devil; you have good Laws, which are as Banks against the Floods of Ungodliness, look well to the Execution of them: Wickedness is Fruitful, it needs no planting nor watering, it grows like Hemlock in the Fur­rows of the Field; all that the Devil will ask of you is but to let him alone; all that wicked Men long for is, that the Yoke may be taken off, that they may go to Hell with­out controul: See how the Land breaks forth Impieties, like the Frogs of Egypt make the Land to stink; Judge of the Nation by this one County, in this little time of Solsti­tium, in the Change of Justices, Wickedness that was un­der restraint (for Sin is cowardly) is now become a staring, daring Cockatrice: What Sabbath Breakings, and Drunk­enness have we had of late? I impute not this to any in Authority, look but into the Tempers of debauch'd Wretches, and you'l find that their hopes of Licentious­ness, is the ground of their Love to any Change of Go­vernment, Civil or Ecclesiastical, and the fear of Restraint, the ground of their Dislike: When the King came in, then [Page 19]some rejoyc'd that now they might Drink and Swear with­out the fear of the Stocks; some of you that hear me know the Truth of this; but when he publish'd his seaso­nable Declaration against Debauchery, then as much as they were for the King before, they could speak against him, as being a Puritan and Presbyterian: These have been the Words of some; and indeed what better can you ex­pect from those that know no other joy but Drunkenness and Excess? That can delight in no Thank-offering, but such as is fit to be given to some drunken God, that can make no better use of the King's Name, but such as a Far­rier makes of his Drenching-horn, to force Drink down their Throats, beyond the Measure and Desires of their own Stomachs? Rise up then in the Strength and Might of the Lord against these Impieties: Break the Jaws and Teeth of Wickedness, spare none of Amalek, great nor small; if you do (however privately it may be) the bleating of the Sheep, and lowing of the Oxen will discover you to be no Friends to Christ's Kingdom.

Fourthly, Make not your Power subservient to your Pas­sions and Desires of Revenge, this is not to do Christ's Work, but to serve your own Turn of him: Remember not former Provocations, and when you come to Punish any that formerly have Offended you, put no more into the Scale of Justice, then the present Crime requires, this is a seasonable Advice, though hard and difficult to Flesh and Blood, — Manet altâ mente repostum, &c. to this Purpose I might apply a Story which we have of Themistocles, who coming into a School, asked what Art they profess'd? They told him the Art of Memory; He reply'd, that the Art of Memory was but an unprofitable Art, and that he had rather learn the Art of Forgetfulness: To forget Things that might provoke our Fury and Passion, is certainly a Di­vine Art, and the best way to attain it, in reference to [Page 20]what I now put you in mind of, is not only to have the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion ad unquem, if I may so speak, but to learn it by Heart: Let not Law and publick Justice be made a Pretence for secret Grudges and private Revenge, for this is what the Psalmist calls, Psal. 58.2. To weigh out the violence of your hands; let not Men say of you, as Theodorus Gadareus, Nero's Tutor said of him, [...] that you are Dirt kned with Blood: Will not the wrong'd cry out, the best of them is as a bryar, the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge, Mic. 7.4. Read Psal. 94.20. Shall the throne of Iniquity have fellowship with thee which frameth mischief by by a law: See what the Prophet threatens in this Case, Isa. 10.1. Wo unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescrib'd, to turn aside the needy from Judgment, &c.

Fifthly, In your Administrations of Justice, let there be a decorum and suitableness both to the Cause and to the Person: 1. to the Person, let Justice run with an even Current, without partiality or respect of Persons: It was an old Complaint, ‘Dat veniam corvis, &c.—’ and an Ancient Similie wherein Laws were compar'd to Cobwebs, which take the little Flies, but not the Hor­nets: Levi's impartiality, even to the disowning of nea­rest Relations when God requir'd it, Deut. 33.9. is your Pattern. 2. Let there be a suitableness to the Cause, as that varieth, so must you let out severity or clemency, activity or moderation. To Punish smaller Transgressions with the same Scorpions that you would Punish greater withal, can never be justifi'd by such a Heterodox Para­dox as that of Cicero, [...], all Sins are equal: To have Life and Activity about the Mint and Anise, [Page 21]wholly neglecting the greater Things of the Law, is re­proved by the Mouth of Christ himself; as Justice must be your Robe and Diadem, so that Robe though wrought of divers Colours, must carry an equal suitableness of Embroidery, and not like a Beggar's Cloak (pardon the Comparison) one Piece good Cloth and another Course: The Scales of Justice must not have a false Ballance, or a Bag of deceitful Weights.

Sixthly, Let Christ be the Alpha and Omega of all your Employments, carry him along with you in your Heart, set him before your Eyes, make him your Pattern, con­sult with him as your Oracle and Lawgiver, let him be the Loadstone to your Souls to draw them to him, for the Ends of his Glory; truly you'l have little Comfort in any thing you do, if you as Augustin said of Tully's Work's, find not the Name of Christ in it, for of him, and to him, and thro' him are all things.

I have done with my Directions, I should now press this upon you, but I shall use no other Motive, than that of the Text, you must do this upon Pain of his Displeasure, Kiss the Son least he be angry: After a few days are pass'd over your Head, you must give up your Account to him, who is the Righteous Judge, who will not be afraid of your Looks, nor regard your Persons more then the Meanest, but will render to you accord­ing to your ways and doings: If you be Guilty, you will tremble a Thousand-fold more before his Throne, then the Guilty Criminals shall tremble before yours this Day; if it be found, that while you were in the Throne you oppress'd his Kingdom, he will then make you his Footstool, and then Ten thousand times Wo to you, you had better never have known your Honours and Exal­tations; you will then find that any Trouble or Molesta­tion caus'd by you on the Innocent or Pious, shall be hea­vier [Page 22]on you that inflicted it, than for those that suffer'd by you: When they shall be comforted, and you tormented, Sol Justitiae qui quondam erat in signo leonis, nunc in signo vir­ginis, tunc erit in signo librae, as Abssabritius hath it. His meaning is, that God will weigh you in a strict Ballance, and he can easily do it if he be angry never so little, by the Breath of his Mouth they Perish, as easily as a Bear can tear the Caul of a Man's Heart, Hos. 13.8. O that you would consider this, and be instructed ye Judges of the earth; take Advice in time, advance the Honour of Christ, and of his Ways in your selves and others, and then he will Crown you with Glory and Immortality, for blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Before I dismiss you, I shall speak a word or two to the People.

You have heard how Plain I have been with the Magi­strates, and I know People love to hear them so dealt with­al, and yet the Lord knows I have not done it to make you Sport: Their Ingenuity and Religion will make them take it well: Will you take it as well if I use the same boldness of Speech to you? I have not time to press much upon you, I shall only charge you with these Four Things.

First, Do you also kiss the Son. If Magistrates must do so, much more you, and this is one Reason why Magi­strates are only mention'd in the Exhortation of the Psalm, if their Greatness cannot excuse them, what can you plead for an exemption from this Duty? Do not then oppose Christ's Kingdom, by your own Disobedience and Contempt of his Commands, break off your Sins by Repentance, be at last asham'd of Swearing, Drunkenness, Uncleanness, Sabbath-breaking, &c. neither do you Reproach others for taking more Care of their Souls, than you are willing to take of your own: Make Conscience of Family-worship, attend on Preaching, examine the Condition of your Hearts, [Page 23]and be Examples of Piety to others: For this purpose I shall mention two Incouragements to you; 1. Thus will Christ be a hiding Place and Sanctuary for you, and your Avenger: If Magistrates should become as evening Wolves, yet God would awake for you; it is the Conclusion of Psalm 58. which was penn'd for a Support against wicked Ruler's, that God would so visibly stand up for his People, that a Man should say, Verily there is a reward for the righte­ous, verily he is a God that Judgeth in the earth. And Luke 18.8. Shall not God avenge his own elect, that cry night and day, I tell you he will avenge them speedily. 2. A second En­couragement is, that thus may God make your Ruler's Good, and give them as a Blessing; the Reason why Saul was such an Oppressive Ruler, was from the Sin's of the People, that provoked God to give them a King in his Wrath: The Reason of David's miscarriage in numbring the People, was the People's Sin that provoked God in An­ger to Israel to permit his Fall, 2 Sam. 24.1. 1 Chron. 21.1. In the Body Natural, the destillations from the Head up­on the Stomach, are usually from the Stomach first, which afflicts the Head before the Head trouble it; so in the Body Politick, our Sin's provoke God to, leave our Ruler's to Temptation.

Secondly, Let me charge you, That if Magistrates are so much intrusted with Christ's Kingdom, you neglect not to Pray for them, you have very great Reasons to induce you to it, and the Apostle Paul 1 Tim. 2. gives these three Rea­sons, that should stir you up to this Duty even to wicked Ruler's; 1. Our own Benefit, Encouragement, and Protecti­on in the Ways of Religion, v. 2. That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. 2. A second Reason for it is, the Acce [...]leness of it to God, v. 3. This is good and acceptable in t [...] [...]ght of God our Saviour. And 3. He endeavours to perswade Men to this Duty, from the [Page 24]possibility of the Change of their Hearts, v. 4. In that God would have all Men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.

Thirdly, If then the Magistrates are God's Trustees, and Instruments, then for Conscience sake let them have Respect in our Carriage and Language according to their Places: Paul acknowledg'd his Failing in this, Acts 23.5. when he call'd the high Priest whited Wall, the Expositions usually given here, are either gross, as if Paul meant his Wickedness had brought a Forfeiture of his Honour upon him, and so he would not acknowledge him as high Priest; or contra­dictory, as if Paul who was no Stranger in Israel did not know the Person of the high Priest, and yet acknowledg­ed him a Judge, sittest thou to Judge, &c. so that if you will pardon me in a little singularity, I would thus ex­pound it, [...] non considerabam: I consider'd not; and thus you find, Acts 12.12. [...] translated (as it cannot properly be otherwise) Considerans, Considering, or when he had considered: So that Paul here acknowledgeth [...] In­cogitancy, and eats his Words as not warrantable.

Fourthly, Obey the Magistrates, and submit actively in all lawful Things, and passively, when it comes to thi [...] [...] you must obey God rather than Man.


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