A SERMON Preach'd before the Honourable House of Commons, AT St. MARGARETS WESTMINSTER, Upon December the 11th, 1695.

BEING The Solemn Day of Fasting and Humiliation, for Imploring the Blessing of Almighty GOD upon the Consultations of this Pre­sent PARLIAMENT.

BY WILLIAM HAYLEY, D. D. Rector of St. Giles's in the Fields, and Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty.

LONDON, Printed for Iacob Tonson, at the Iudges-Head in Fleetstreet, 1696.

A FAST-SERMON BEFORE THE House of Commons.

EZRA VIII. 21.‘Then I proclaimed a Fast there—that we might afflict our selves before our God, to seek of him a right way, for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.’

THE Words are a part of the Re­lation, which Ezra the Scribe gives of his Conduct, in leading back a Remnant of Israel from their Captivity. They had been, since the time of Nebuchad­nezzar, who carried them from their own Country, Sojourners in a strange Land, Sub­jects to a Foreign Prince, and deprived of [Page 2] the Protection of their Laws, the Glory of their Temple, and the Exercise of their Re­ligion: But it having pleased God, after some years Chastisement, to turn their Cap­tivity, and to put it into the Heart of Cyrus, to grant, and of Darius to confirm, the Re­stauration of their Temple, a part of that unfortunate People were now resettled in Ierusalem and the Cities of Iudah. And by the favour of Artaxerxes, another Portion of them were to be led by Ezra, to a Re-esta­blishment in their own Country, and to the Enjoyment of their ancient Laws and Reli­gion.

They were now assembled together at the River Ahava, in the Borders of Assyria; joyful in their deliverance from a Foreign, and their prospect of their Native Land; but however great the Blessing, and how sweet soever their Hopes were, they were not un­mix'd with Fears and doubtful Apprehensions, for they were to pass thro' People that were Enemies to their Name and Nation; and they had reason to expect all the Opposition their Malice could make, and all the Obstructions their Spite could contrive, to disturb their Journey, and prevent their Settlement.

[Page 3] And for this Reason their wise Conductor look'd upon it as the most prudent and ra­tional Course he could take, and what was like to procure the most certain success to his Expedition, to begin the undertaking with a solemn Approach to God in Fasting and Praying, that the same Goodness which had begun their Deliverance would perfect it, and direct them to the taking of such measures, and the using of such means, as the Divine Wisdom saw most conducing to the safety of their March, and to their Re­establishment in their Land. Then I pro­claimed a Fast there—that we might afflict our selves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

We cannot easily hear this Story, with­out reflecting on some kind of Parallel that runs between it, and our own past and present Circumstances; how near we our selves were brought to a sort of Captivity, even in our own Land. There lay before us the dismal Prospect of Slavery in our Per­sons, Consciences, and Estates, and what made it yet more grievous, in this very Island, a place, which God had bless'd with a long [Page 4] Possession of a just Liberty, and well regu­lated Government. We saw a strange Wor­ship eager to extirpate our purer Religion, our Laws just submitting to an Arbitrary Sway, and both Church and State, by the Artifice of our Enemies abroad, and the Violence of those at home, upon the Brink of Subjection to a Foreign Power.

It hath pleased God to Bless us with the grateful Surprize of a Deliverance from these great Evils, to turn our steps, and to set us on our way toward Settlement and Peace, and the Establishment and Security of our Religion and Laws. And we are now here before him, to beg a Blessing upon the Counsels of those, who are studying and and consulting upon the best Methods for the furtherance of so great Ends, and therefore we ought to imitate, and to exceed, if possible, the Humiliation of this Jewish Remnant in our Fast, and their Devotion in our Prayers to the God of Heaven, who has brought us thus far; considering that we now make our Addresses, not for a handful of our Countrymen, but for our whole Nation; for the Security and Hap­piness immediately of Three-Kingdoms, and [Page 5] by Consequence of all the reform'd Churches, and the greatest part of the States of Europe. And we are concerned (as these Iews were) for our selves, for our little ones, and for all our substance.

I. For our selves; who have asserted our Native Rights and Liberties, and therefore must be the most unfortunate of all Men, if at last we come to lose them; who have stood up for the Reformed Religion, and the Preservation of our Church, as it is happily established amongst us; and who therefore can with less Patience see Error and Super­stition invade our Temples, and corrupt our Brethren, the Temples of the living God. And who have personally exasperated the Ene­mies of both our Liberties and Religion; have thwarted their Projects, baffled their Hopes, and turned the Mischief they de­signed us upon their own Heads; and there­fore, should they ever prevail, must expect the highest Degrees of their Rage, and the redoubled Violence of their Malice and Cruelty.

II. For our little ones, whose Trustees and Guardians we are, to whom we ought with our Blood to conveigh the Rights and Pri­vileges [Page 6] that accompany it; that as we have been instrumental in giving them Life, we may be likewise so, in handing down to them those things, without which Life would scarce be desirable: For whom, if we have any natural Tenderness, we must be con­cerned both for their Souls and Bodies, that the one be not blinded with Ignorance or Error, and led out of the Way of Salvation; and that the other be not enslaved to the Will of those, who seek only their own Grandeur, and have no regard to publick Good. Lest, if we be wanting in our care for Posterity, we be justly reproached as un­sensible of the common Tendency of human Nature, and unworthy of those Rights, which the Vigilance and Courage of our Ancestors have continued to us.

III. For our substance, which makes this Nation considerable in the World, and fur­nishes us with means for its Preservation; which our Enemies have long envied; which they would have devoured at once, had not Providence over-ruled them, but which they continue with all their Policy still to undermine. And it must be confessed, that they have been but too successful in it, by [Page 7] obstructing our Commerce abroad; and wicked Men among our selves have contri­buted to the same end, in disturbing that at home, and robbing the Publick by the Corruption of our Coyn. And these are Evils of so dangerous a Consequence, that it becomes as necessary for us by our Coun­sels to countermine and stop the Progress of them, as by our Arms, to oppose that Power which appears against us in the Field. That we may secure those Advantages which God has given us above our Neighbours, and that we may not forfeit the Kindness of Heaven by our own Remissness and want of Care; or betray the Favour of Nature and Providence, which seem to have designed us for a Rich and a Powerful People.

These are all very great and weighty Ar­ticles, and therefore it highly becomes us to behave our selves under them, as Per­sons that have a Sense of their Importance; and to begin there, where Reason, and Piety, and the Words of my Text lead us; to in­voke the Assistance of Heaven for our Coun­sellors, and those that watch over us, To fast, and afflict our selvesbefore our God, and to seek of him a right way, for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

[Page 8] Now in Order to this end, I shall in my Discourse upon these words, propose to my self this following Method.

1st, To shew that the best means to pro­cure Success upon our Counsels and Endea­vours, is to seek to God for his Blessing.

2dly, That solemn Fasting is a very pro­per Method to be used in such Addresses to God.

3dly, I shall reflect how much we of this Nation are particularly obliged to a devout performance of this Duty.

4thly, I shall enquire what conduct will be proper for us, in order to obtain that Blessing which we seek of God in this So­lemnity.

1. I begin with the first. To shew that the best means to procure Success upon our Counsels and Endeavours, is to seek to God for his Blessing. This is a Truth that plain­ly results from the very first Principles upon which all Religion is built; That there is a God of infinite Power who governs the World, and can dispose all Things in it to such Ends as are agreeable to his good Will and Pleasure; That Human Policy and Strength are of no moment when they come [Page 9] in opposition to his Providence; and that, as the Wise Man expresseth it, There is no Wisdom, nor Understanding, nor Counsel against the Lord, and that this God has a particular Care of those who serve him Faithfully; who call upon him with Devout Hearts, direct their designs to his Glory, and depend on his assistance in the Execution of them.

Now though this Supreme Governor of the World may, if he please, alter the Course of Nature, for the effecting his Purposes, and hath frequently made use of a miracu­lous Power, for the Assistance or Delive­rance of his Servants; has rendred the wi­sest Counsels, and the most powerful Means, fruitless and abortive; yet he generally con­veys his Blessing by the more common Me­thods of his Providence, directing those who are the Defenders of Truth and Iustice, by the Influence of his good Spirit, to the wisest Counsels, and the most proper Me­thods, and infatuating the Enemies of his Church and People; carrying them headlong to rash, or rendring them deaf to wise Counsels, as he did particularly to that of Achitophell. Thus Eliphaz remarketh in the 5th of Iob, [Page 10] 13, &c. He taketh the Wise in their own Craf­tiness, and the Counsel of the froward is carried headlong; they meet with darkness in the day time; and grope at noon day as in the night, but he saveth the poor from the Sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty.

'Tis true, the Spirit of God does not act always in the conveying his Direction and Assistance, in so palpable a manner, as that whereby we see Second Causes produce their Effects; and therefore Men, who live and act by Sense, do generally not regard it; and are not much affected with Dis­courses concerning it. But whoever will reflect a little seriously; that 'tis impossible for a Creature to be Independent, that God can no more cease to Govern the World, than he can cease to be God; that he can­not Govern his Creatures, if he do not In­fluence them; that those who depend on their own Policy and Strength, without any Regard to his Will, affront his Majesty, re­ject his Government, proceed in Opposition to him, and justly provoke him to punish and disappoint them: Whoever, I say, makes but these and such like Reflections, [Page 11] which are obvious enough to any Man that will give himself Leisure to consider, will be apt to conclude, That 'tis the most rational and prudent, as well as the most religious Way, to begin at Heaven in all his Con­sultations and Designs, and to beg Light from that God, who Foresees Things that are hid to our short-sighted Judgments, and whose Goodness, as well as the com­mon Methods of his Government, obliges him to have a peculiar Care of those that seek him, and put their Trust in his Mercy. And therefore we find it is the Advice of the greatest Master of Wisdom, Prov. 3. 6, 7. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil; in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

2. I proceed now to my Second General; That Solemn Fasting is a very proper Me­thod to be used in such Addresses to God. We have but two Ways to express our Thoughts and the Inclinations of our Minds, either by Words, which are made common Signs of them by Art and Agreement, or by such Actions as naturally flow from them; and both of these are very proper [Page 12] Expressions of our Sentiments, and therefore such as become our Devotions.

For God is the Author of Decency and Order, and his Service is then most decent and orderly, when 'tis unaffected and agree­ble to Nature; and therefore such Gestures or Actions are proper in his Worship, which do naturally flow from, or by Custom are used to accompany such a Disposition of Mind, as we ought to be in when we make our Approaches to him. Thus Kneeling be­comes us at our Prayers, because 'tis the usual Posture of Supplicants; Singing of Hymns is decent in Thanksgiving, because Songs and Musick are fit attendants on Praise and Joy; and Fasting is extreamly proper for a Solemn Humiliation before God, for the begging Pardon of our Sins, and Assistance in our Difficulties, because it is a natural Expression of Sorrow, and a deep Concern, and is productive of humble Thoughts in our selves, and devout ones towards God. And therefore we find that it has been the constant Practice; not only of the Churches of God, but even of the Heathens themselves, to use solemn Fasts upon extraordinary Ap­plications [Page 13] to Heaven; and that so Uni­versally, that it may justly enough be rec­koned a part of Worship, which the com­mon Sense of Men, and Nature it self has prescribed.

And 'tis highly fit and decent, that upon such Solemn Occasions our Fasting should be attended with all the Publick Demonstrations of Seriousness and Concern, such as a Gra­vity in our Discourse and Behaviour, a cea­sing from the Business of our particular Cal­lings, abstaining from Ornaments, Recrea­tions and Places of Civil Concourse, and spending the Day in the Publick Devotions of the Church, and in the Retirements of our Closets. For though a Private Christi­an may Fast, (as he may Pray) without any of this Pomp, and discharge the Duty in his own Breast; yet to make it publick, there is no other way but an outward Solemnity▪ and a Community cannot hold a Fast but by such an appearance.

Neither is this a bare empty Shew and Formality, but 'tis of real Use; the Minds of Men are more apt to be Grave and Seri­ous, when there is no appearance of Jollity to divert them: And Men are drawn off [Page 14] from the thoughts of Worldly Business, and fix'd upon Pious Meditations, when they see their Neighbours thronging to the Tem­ple, when there is no Commerce in the Shops nor Hurry in the Streets. But such a face of things, as shews that Men are about the more Serious Business of another World.

Thus have I done with my two first Heads. That the best Means to procure success up­on our Counsels and Endeavours, is to seek God for his Blessing, and that Solemn Fast­ing is a very proper Method to be used in such Addresses to God, which I have dis­coursed of very briefly, just to represent the rational Grounds of our present Assembly; but I forbear insisting longer upon them; partly, because a moderate Degree of Natu­ral Light, and a common Sense of the Obli­gations of our Holy Religion, will convince a Considering Man of the Truth of them; and partly, because the very Solemnity of the Day, the Piety of the King in enjoyning, of this Honourable House in requesting, and of all the Congregations that joyn in the Devout Celebration of it, shew that it is the general Persuasion of both the Governors and the Body of our People, that the Oc­casion [Page 15] of this Solemnity is important, the Duty rational, and the Manner decent.

3. I come now therefore to bring the matter something nearer to our selves, by considering under my third General, how much we of this Nation are particularly obliged to a Devout Performance of this Duty: And this I shall shew, by reflecting upon what we have already received, and what we yet want; The former of which will discover the Encouragement God has given us to trust in him, and the Latter, the Necessity of having recourse to him.

(1.) What we have already received. Now the Main and Body of the Blessing God has already vouchsafed us, is the unexpected Deliverance of our Nation from an utter ruine, ready to befall our Laws, our Liber­ties and our Religion, from Calamities, the greatest that can happen either to Wise Men, or Good Christians; an Arbitrary Govern­ment, and an Idolatrous Worship: And this wonderful Mercy has been sweetned and im­prov'd by many concurring Circumstances that attended it; it was wrought for us by the Hand of Providence, without the blood of our Inhabitants, or the dismal Ravages [Page 16] of our Country, by an Intestine War; it surprized us when we had lost even our hopes, and came whence the most Vigilant of our Enemies never suspected it. It has been main­tain'd against Superior Force and United Counsels abroad, and against turbulent Spi­rits and divided Parties at home; and it has pleased God wonderfully to preserve to us the Instrument he has made use of for this great end, and to deliver him from open Force and private Conspiracies; to give such success to his Arms, as to put a stop to a Power generally thought Irresistible, to con­vince us by a late Signal Demonstration, that it is declining, and to give us a rational Pro­spect of what we so much desire, the Set­tlement and Establishment of this Delive­rance by an Honourable and a secure Peace.

These are very moving Encouragements to make our Addresses to that God, who has done so great things for us, and should per­suade us to all possible Demonstrations of Duty and Gratitude, though we had nothing more to expect; but his Wisdom has thought fit to keep us yet in expectation, and un­der a Necessity of having recourse to him for our own Interest, which may further in­fluence [Page 17] us to a Devout attendance on his Mercy; and this will appear by reflecting,

(2.) Upon what we yet want. It has pleased Almighty God to deliver us from a state of Misery, into which we were just falling; but he has not yet blessed us with a state of Confidence and Security, which we still wish for, and labour after. The Rod does not seem to be wholly out of our sight; we are frequently in Fears and doubtful Expectati­ons, and solicitous under the Apprehension, that what we dread may still return, and that the Evil is rather put off for a time, than fully subdu'd. The Force of our Ene­mies is yet too considerable, to be trusted where there is so little Justice to manage it, and we cannot think we have any tolerable degree of Security, whilst the Peace of our Land, and of all Christendom shall depend upon the bare Will of one single Person, and of one, whose Faith in Treaties and Compacts has not yet been accounted Invio­lable. We are not free from Domestick Ene­mies, who endeavour to disturb our Peace, and obstruct those Counsels and weaken those Hands, that work for the Publick Safe­ty; and we have very considerable difficul­ties [Page 18] to struggle with, to secure our Commerce, and heal those Grievances that disturb the Minds of our People, and render them less active, or less united in the Support of our Government. And besides, what gives the most dismal Prospect is, that we labour un­der a very great Corruption of manners, and our National Vices are so very heinous, and so plainly visible, that it gives us just fears, that if Providence be now expecting what our fruitfulness will be under past Mer­cies, in order to determine the Event of things; it is like to be (which God avert) rather what is wish'd for by our Enemies, than our selves.

These are things of the most weighty Consequence, and in which we are all most nearly concern'd; and therefore 'tis with very good reason, that we are now assem­bled to humble our selves deeply under the Sense of our Corruption, the last of the Evils I mentioned; that we may be in the fitter preparation to implore the Blessing of God, upon those Counsels, which are employ'd for obviating of the rest.

Let us then out of a deep Sense of our manifold Provoca [...]r selves [Page 19] before the Throne of Grace, and confess with shame that we are a Sinful People, and unworthy of that Mercy that watches over us, that we have merited the Severity of God's Wrath, and that 'tis of his unde­served Grace that we are yet in a Capacity to send up our united Prayers for our Pre­servation. This Humiliation may prevail with a Merciful God, to hear our Cry, and graciously to answer our Addresses, by Bles­sing the Consultations of this present Parlia­ment, and by directing them to such means, as may prove most effectual for the remo­ving our Pressures, and securing our Happi­ness and Peace.

Now that we may not obstruct the Graci­ous Designs of Providence for our Good, nor by want of a due Management of our selves, prevent God's granting our requests; let us

4. Enquire what conduct will be proper for us, in order to obtain that Blessing which we seek of God in this Solemnity; and that (1.) more Particularly with relation to our Counsellors themselves, and (2.) in Gene­ral with respect to the whole Nation, for whose safety they consult.

[Page 20] I. Now to prepare our Counsellors them­selves for this Blessing, it seems very requi­site;

1. That they would reflect that in our present Circumstances we depend upon their Wisdom and Prudence, as well for the secu­rity of those advances which God has alrea­dy enabled us to make, as for such a further Progress, as may secure us against those Evils, which we have lately felt, and still fear. That the Crisis is such, that they can scarce act within the Limits of Indifference, but must either gain the Honour of Perfe­cting, or the Reproach of Spoiling the most Glorious Attempt, that has been known in this Part of the World, may be in any Ge­neration. And that they would for this reason conscientiously use their best Endea­vours to answer the Expectation of their Country, and convince the World that they have not been the Authors of idle Prayers; but that they would apply their most serious Thoughts, and their utmost Diligence) to further what they pray for, and to find out such Means as may be by God's Blessing most effectual, for the accomplishing the great work we are engaged in.

[Page 21] 2. That they would consider that should there any Mischief flow from an unfaithful Discharge of their Duty, they must be one day accountable for it; and that, not only to their Country, whose Experience will at last give Judgment upon their Counsels, but to God himself, who is a severe Revenger of all Breach of Trust, and whose subordinate Ministers all they are, who are employed in the Government or Direction of a People.

Such a Reflection as this will be apt to discover, that it is a sinful, as well as an im­prudent thing, to govern those Debates by the Tendency or Interest of a Party, which are designed for the publick Peace and Wel­fare, or to clog and retard those good Pro­visions which are of evident necessity, by distant Surmises, or present Delays; and that 'tis the Duty of all such as consult in our publick Councils, to do it with that Up­rightness and Sincerity, as becomes those who are fully perswaded, that there is a God who sees the Spring of their Advice, and will Judge them accordingly, that they who take Counsel as well as they who sit in Judgment do it for the Lord and not for Men, and that 'tis of him they must at last receive their final Censure or Reward.

[Page 22] 3. As a Natural Consequence of such re­flexions, that they would resolve to have respect to the Glory of God, and the Pub­lick Good, in all their Debates, that they would endeavour to divest themselves of all those Passions that usually trouble, and re­tard their Work, and cast away the thoughts of Private Interest, Ambition, or Resentment from their Consultations; that they would set themselves with Calmness, Industry, and Application to the Dispatch of those Impor­tant Matters that lie before them, and that they would have a Just regard to his Provi­dence who advances them to this Charge; and to the end for which they Assemble; and so, not guide themselves by Humane Passions, but steer that Even and Unbyass'd Course, to which the Honour of God, the Obligations of Conscience, and the Happiness of their Country direct them.

Such Reflections and Resolutions, highly become Persons in so Honourable a Station, and upon so Important a Conjuncture; and blessed be God, there is a fair Appearance that they have been consider'd, and have had a due Influence, by the happy beginning which shews it self in the Weight and Unanimity of [Page 23] the first Debates and Votes of this Session. These give us very promising Presages of a happy Progress, and a comfortable hope that God will hear our present Prayers, and conti­nue and improve the same good Dispositions to a joyful Conclusion: Which that we may not obstruct by our own Unworthiness, I proceed,

II. To consider in the last place what Conduct more generally becomes us of this Land, in order to influence Heaven to give a Blessing to the Consultations of this present Parliament.

Now the great Preparation that God re­quires of us, to fit us for this, or for any o­ther Mercy, is to amend our Lives; if our Fast have not this Influence upon us, it will have no Influence upon Heaven, except it be to hasten the Judgments which we pretend to deprecate. For how can we expect that God should remember it, to make us hap­pier, if the thoughts of it are lost to us, when the performance is over, and we never reflect upon it to make our selves better? This every single Person should apply to his Conscience, and immediately begin the pri­vate Reformation of his own Life, in order to promote the publick One.

[Page 24] But the more General one, is a proper consideration in this Solemnity, and our Corruptions are so general, that there is scarce any serious Man, but sees the Necessi­ty of it, and wishes for it; God is visibly and universally provok'd among us, by National Vices and Publick Wickedness, which good Men daily see the encrease of, but know not how to remedy. We have lost the Seriousness and the Sobriety of our own Ancestors, and out-do our Neighbour Nations in Vices and Follies; Religion and Virtue are almost every where Neglected or Derided, and even Honour and Humanity fallen to a very low Ebb. Base Interests and Shameful Pleasures have so generally oblite­rated the Sense of Publick Good, even a­mong those, whose distinction should make them value it, that 'tis hard to say where there was to be found in any Age, a more depraved and degenerate People: 'Tis too plain we do not deserve the Mercies we pray for, God grant our Unworthiness do not so far prevail, as to hinder their descending.

'Tis without doubt a very fit Considera­tion, for those who have the Government of us, to seek for some means or other to oppose [Page 25] those growing Corruptions that disgrace us on Earth, and render us unacceptable to Heaven. That boldness wherewith Atheism attacks the very Being of a God, that Liberty which Deists take to despise, and sometimes to ridicule the Mysteries and Revelations of our Holy Religi­on, and that general Prophaness and Contempt of things Sacred, which is a Publick Demon­stration of the decay of Piety among us.

But these are too weighty to be distinctly handled in the remaining part of my present Dis­course, I shall therefore leave them to your Pri­vate Reflections, and shall now only instance in two or three Particulars, more immediately re­lating to our Present Circumstances, in which many among us seem to behave themselves un­worthy of the Deliverance God has wrought for us; and these I shall briefly caution against, and so conclude.

1. The first is an Insensibility of what God has already done for us, and a Forgetfulness of our for­mer State; what we would then have given, and what we would have suffer'd to have purchas'd one much short of the present. The thoughts of these things are among too many vanished with the Condition that suggested them, and now no Pressures are thought comparable to the present.

[Page 26] 2. Impatience in the Expectation of that Set­tlement which we so much desire▪ we are wea­ry of waiting God's leisure, and fancy the Fruit is too long in ripening; we press faster than the Nature of things will bear, and are angry that all those Evils are not remov'd in a few years by the Conduct of our present Prince, which our own Stupidity suffer'd to grow, almost past Cure, in the many ones of his Predeces­sors.

3. Murmuring and Discontent at the Charge and the Losses that attend our Deliverance, and must be felt before it be perfectly Established: Whereas it ought to be consider'd that so great a Birth must have some Pangs, and that the Nature of the thing is such, that it cannot be perfected without some Trouble, some Charge, and some Misfortunes too. But that the Pro­duction will abundantly recompence what we suffer; and our Pains would soon be forgotten for Joy, if it were once fully brought forth, and in our Arms.

These and such like Dispositions are very un­becoming the Circumstances we are now in, and may justly provoke God to blast his Favours, to those that behave so unworthily under them: And therefore let us out of a due Sense both of what we have deserv'd, and what we have re­ceiv'd, [Page 27] praise God that we are now a People, and wait patiently for what his Goodness has still in store for us. Let us reflect that it is not a small thing, that the Torrent of our Enemies Conquests has a stop to it, and that the Tide is turned upon them; that we are out of fear of their Invasions, and at Peace among our selves, that our own Nation is free from the Ravages and Distractions of War, and that our Enemies Cities, and Coasts, and Frontiers now feel those Severities which they exercised in many Places, and threatned in more. These are plain Signs of the care that Providence has had of us, and the Blessings it still designs for us, if we do not by our own Murmuring and Impatience stifle that in the Birth.

Let us then be asham'd of being insensible of God's Protection, even while we feel it; and subsist by it; and let not our Impatience for what is to come, destroy the Sense and Memory of what is past; let not our thoughts crowd faster than the Nature of Human Affairs will permit, but let us thankfully enjoy what we have, bless God for the Hopes he gives us of better, and with steady Endeavours and Dependance on his Providence wait for its arrival.

Neither let us diminish the Value of our Deli­verance, by Murmuring at the Expence and [Page 28] Troubles that attend it, but let us [...]ow­ledge that God's Judgments have been [...] in what we have suffered, and that the P [...] we have paid, how great soever it be, is [...]er than the Mercies it has purchased; [...] no Difficulties make us undervalue the Advantages we enjoy, or the Blessings we expect; o [...]e ma [...] Pretence to thwart the good [...] of [...], by rendring us negligent, unactive, or qu [...] ­lous; but let us conclude, that we do not [...] ­serve to share in the Happiness, if we do not think our Charge well applied, and our [...] well employ'd in promoting it.

In one Word, Let us prep [...] a Serious Conversion for the [...] we wish for, but do not deserve, and [...] patient Conti­nuance in [...] incline [...]e God of Hea­ven to [...] to preserve the In­strument of our Deliverance, and Compleat his Work, to give the Direction of his Spirit to those that Con [...], and Success to the Arms of those that Fight for us, and to Crown all at last with an Honourable, a Secure, and a Last­ing Peace, which, with Grace to make a good use of it, may GOD in his due time Grant.

FINIS.

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