Tho. Tomkyns Reverendissimo in Chri­sto Patri ac Domino Dno Gilberto Di­vinâ Providentiâ Archi-Episc. Cant. à Sac. Dom.


As it was (great part of it) deliver'd in a Ser­mon before the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, in Guild-Hall-Chappel, Iuly 4.

By AD. LITTLETON, Presbyter.

Opto equidem, ut, si fieri potest, nemo de fratribus pereat: si tamen quosdam Schis­matum Duces; & dissensionis Auctores non potuerit ad salutis viam consilium salubre revocare; caeteri tamen, vel simplicitate capti, vel errore inducti, vel aliquâ fallentis astutiae calliditate decepti, à fallaciae vos laqueis solvite, &c. S. Cyprian, de Unitate Ecclesiae.

LONDON, Printed for Philip Chetwind, MDCLXIX.


'TIS sad to consider, that, as we owe all our Vnsettlements to our Di­visions, so we our selves are so settled upon the Lees in these our Divisions, that he that endeavours to remove us, does but put us upon a new Fermentation, and an exercise of Passion. The charming name of Peace it self is now become an Alarm, and entertain'd by most as unwelcom news; and [Page] they, that bring any tidings of it, lookt upon, as Enemies, and Ill-affected. The reason of this 'tis no hard matter to find out: for seeing many People have engaged themselves into par­ties, out of a wrong apprehension of Interest; as long as that prejudice lies in the way, there is no hope of doing any good; or ever reconciling them to that, which seems to dis-interest them. Let the best Oratour in the world go to perswade any man against his Interest, he shall but lose his own labour, and the others good opinion to boot. Wherefore I have in this Discourse endeavour'd to und [...]ceive people b [...] evincing, That the par­ticular interests of us all, as we are Brethren and Companions, are involv'd in the Churches Prosperity; and that her Peace, by which the whole and every part, (the Government, and every Person under the Government) is [...]cur'd, is, at least ought to be, the Center of all our con­cerns. If Jerusalem miscarry, if the things of her peace be hid from her eyes; none of her In­habitants, what-ever their Zeal or their Wealth, their Religion or their Interest may be, must hope to escape. I do again confidently say, that mis­taken Interest is the main ground and principle [Page] of our present Divisions: because, had they a­rose out of pure Conscience, that's a more treat­able thing, and is willing (if it be a good conscience) to be inform'd; whereas now the hu­mour of most is, to run after things without any examination, and to cry up one thing, and con­demn another, many times, which they have little or no knowledge of, the one or the other. Now, Reader, to apply to thee; whether thou art for the Church, or against the Church, this discourse will be serviceable and useful to thee, upon this meer account, as thou art an honest English-man, and wishest thy self well and thy Countrey no harm. If thou art a Friend to the Church; here thou wilt find some Arguments to confirm thy judgment, and to inable thee in debating with others, that are not Friends. If thou separatest from the Church; then thou must know, that 'tis mainly for thy sake, that this comes abroad, to find thee out: because such discourses cannot meet with thee, where they are deliver'd. What-ever thy Opinion be, and whether it were Conscience or Interest, that made thee take it up (which thou art best able to resolve thy self) do not prejudge me, but weigh [Page] impartially the truth and reason of things. I desire not to be credited any farther, then I have them on my side. If thou findest the Language any where harsh and severe, do not presently be offended: 'tis the nature of truth and reason so to express themselves; and I do assure thee, my design is only to convince thy understanding, without any intention of breaking thy head.

One thing, for thy further satisfaction, I must not conceal from thee, which, besides the im­portunities of some Friends and others worthy Citizens, which heard me that day, was in part a reason of this Publication; that some while, after I had Penn'd this Discourse, I met with a Ser­mon in Print of Doctor Reynolds, the present Lord Bishop of Norwich, Preached in the Parliament-House, Jan. 9. in the Year, 1656. upon this very subject, Intituled, The Peace of Jerusalem: wherein he has, over and above his pious inlargements upon the latter part of this Psalm (for he takes all the four last verses for his Text) in his Exhortation to those then in Power, so Learnedly and Solidly, as his manner is, by several strenuous Arguments prov'd, that The [Page] Christian Magistrate has a coercive power in matters of Religion; (Page 23.) shewing plainly, 'tis but a trick and a design in those that cry it down; (Page 22.) and that the difference of dispensations in the Jewish and Christian Church, doth not a whit alter the case; (Page 26.) nor Christian Liberty pri­viledge or exempt men from that Power: (Page 29.) That with me, and I think with any indifferent Reader, he leaves no place of doubt. I was glad to see that the Church even then, when her Friends were under hatches, was not in so hopeless and desperate a Condition, but that her cause was fairly pleaded with accep­tance, before her Adversaries: and This it was encouraged me to entertain some hopes, if not of the like acceptation of my weak performance, yet of a ready excuse for my dutiful endeavour, be­fore those, that have been always, and, I hope, ever will be the Churches Friends. For though that were at such a time, when our Church-Go­vernment was laid aside (which yet that Re­verend Person, I make no question, did even then, out of his great Learning, in his Consci­ence approve and wish restor'd) and therefore out [Page] of prudence the main Controversie (which is with the Authors of the division, those that made the first breach) seem to be wav'd, and his style particularly directed against those Sects, which improving the Schism into Heresie, have depart­ed from the Foundation: yet those weighty Ar­guments, he brings, are generally applicable to all, and are apparently of force against the most specious Sect, we have amongst us; and that upon this ground, (Page 31.) that divisions and sub-divisions in the Church do exceedingly tend to weaken, to distract; to betray it. To make good this, I shall apply one of his Argu­ments, which alone is enough to carry the Churches cause; (Page 28.) Whatever things are, per se, subversive and dangerous to the prosperity of States and Nations, come under the proper cognizance of the Civil Magistrate to prevent; But Heresies, Blasphemies, Ido­latries, Impieties against God (and Schisms too, say I, and so the Reverend Author himself joyns them, (Page 8.) Blasphemies, Heresies, Schisms, Idolatry, Superstition) do as well en­danger the Prosperity of States as sins against the second Table. 1. Because God is as much [Page] provoked by the one as by the other. 2. Be­cause such sins do more exceedingly divide and unty the bonds of Love and Amity, then other Civil differences do, and so loosen the hearts of men from one another.

The Instances, wherein He would have the Magistrate exsert his power, are these;

(Page 32, 33.) To encourage Orthodox Ministers, and the Schools of Learning.

To take care that all who own Christian Religion amongst us be required to attend upon the Ministry.

To endeavour to reconcile dissenting bre­thren, that we may unite against the Common Adversary.

To secure Fundamental Doctrines, and for that purpose to take care for Catechising, &c.

I thought fit to give thee this Intimation, that, if thou think'st my answers not full enough to those Objections (which the streights of time would not give leave for in the Pulpit) thou may'st know whither to have recourse (as I said) for thy better satisfaction. I shall conclude with the same profession, as that Reverend Author does, (Page 34.) that I have not pressed this [Page] Doctrine of the Peace of the Church to the straightning or grieving of any, who love our Lord Jesus in sincerity. Only I wish, that they, who made the earliest departure from the English Church in these late times, would (as He does for many of them) reflect upon themselves and apply that of Hazael; whether they could some years since have been perswaded to believe, that they should have lived to see such a trail of opi­nions and mischiefs break in upon Church and State, upon the advantage of their (perhaps at first not ill-meaning) discontents. And let thee and me and every honest English-man pray for the Peace of our Jerusalem, in His Paraphrase; (Page 8.) That God would protect his Ordi­nances, and maintain his Truth; that he would prosper Fundamental Laws, the beauty and stability of Religious Government, &c. that the Tabernacle and the Tribunals, Religion and Policy may jointly flourish, they being the foundations of publick happiness, and which usually stand and fall together.

PSAL. CXXII. Vers. 8.‘For my Brethren and Companions sakes I will now say, Peace be within thee.’

THE Occasion, upon which this sacred Ode was penn'd, a Reverend Person in his An­notations tells us, he believes, was Davids return to Ierusalem, to the Publick Service of God again at the Temple, after Absalon's defeat. Calvin is of opinion, that David made it at the time, when the Ark was set­led upon Mount Sion, and the building of the Temple designed, for the uniform Ex­ercise of the National Religion. Upon either account it will very well suit with our Meridian.

The whole Psalm is an Elogy or Panegyrick Description of the Metropolis of Iudea, the City of Ierusalem: and that not only nor so much upon the Civil account, that there are set Thrones of Iudgment, the Thrones of the House of David. Vers. 5. That 'twas the Imperial Ci­ty, where the King kept Court, whence Laws were issued, and Au­thority derived for the Government of the rest of the people. There sate the Sanhedrin, the great Council of the Nation; and there the supream Courts of Judicature, which received Appeals from all infe­rior Districts: But also and much more upon the Ecclesiastical ac­count; this City being the Residence of the great King, the Lord himself, who had set his Name there, and chose the Temple for his dwelling-place. Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, (or, more exactly to the Original, according to the testimony for Israel) to give thanks unto the Name of the Lord. This City then was the appointed place of Gods publick and solemn Wor­ship, whither all the people of that Country were thrice a year, at the three great Festivals, obliged to come up to present themselves before the Lord in the Temple, according to the testimony of Israel, i▪ e. [Page 2] by a perpetual Statute and standing Ordinance to that people: the Laws of God being usually in Scripture-language styled Testi­monies.

Now that there was by this Testimony or Statute for the Tribes coming up to Ierusalem designed a strict Uniformity in that peoples Exercise of their Religion, is of it self clear in the very History; for the Tribes did not every one bring up a several Form of Worship along with them, but all as one man made a solemn appearance to­gether at the Temple in one joynt acknowledgment and regular Ser­vice. And Mr. Calvin tells us as much, that God appointed one Temple and one Altar on purpose for the whole Nations use; nè populus in varias superstitiones difflueret, that the people might not, by being left to their own liberty in the Worship of God, run loose into a world of wild opinions and practices about matters of Religion. And that further by Ierusalem, whose Peace we are here to pray for, is to be understood the Church, as it is the appointed place of Gods publick Worship, appears by the very context of the Psalm it self, which begins and ends with this Notion, vers. 1. I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord: and then in or­der to this 'tis said, vers. 2. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Ierusalem, that being the ready way to the Temple: and in the last verse again he concludes, Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek thy good, i.e. the good of Ierusalem in its Ecclesiastical State; as the House of God, the Temple, the place of solemn Assem­bly, belonged to it. And thus Calvin expounds that of the third verse, Ierusalem is built as a City, that is compact together; or, as the common Translation has it, As a City, that is at unity in it self: not for the uniformity of the building, but, says he, propter civium con­sensum, for the unanimity and mutual agreement of its Citizens in the Worship of God and in the Exercise of Religion.

And that the people should all thus joyn their affectionate good wishes and most earnest endeavours for the Peace of Ierusalem thus considered, to seek the prosperity, and to promote the welfare of the Church, in a fair compliance with publick Order, and in a quiet regular Exercise of the National Religion, the Psalmist here in the close of the Psalm, bring no less than three Arguments.

1. From every mans personal concern in the Churches safety. Pray for the peace of Ierusalem; they shall prosper, or, they shall be quiet and at ease, that love thee, i.e. God will bless such persons with [Page 3] a quiet and a happy life, that love the Church, and wish her well, and pay a regular obedience to her Orders and Government. And this upon a meer Natural Principle of self-love implanted in every mans breast, and of that charity, which, we use to say, begins at home; the parts being all safe in the preservation of the whole; every pri­vate mans Cabin secure, while the Ship of Government steers right: whereas those, that by wilful disobedience contrive publick distur­bances, manifestly hazard their own prosperity in the general Confu­sion, and at long run do themselves no less mischief than they design­ed the Church, drowning for company in the miscarriage of the Vessel.

2. For that which ought to be every honest mans next considera­tion; for the good of [...] Community: for a Heathen could say, Non nobis solùm nati sumus, &c. we are not born only for our selves, but our Country, our kindred, our friends, our brethren and compa­nions, challenge a great share in us: so that, if a man cast up his ob­ligations aright, he ought not so much to live to himself, as to the Publick; and this much more upon the score of Christianity, where Self-denial is the main Principle, and Charity the grand Duty. And this Argument is represented in the Text. For my brethren and companions sakes, for my Friends and Country-men, for my Neigh­bours and Relations; I will say, Peace be within thee, or, as in the reading Psalms, I will wish thee prosperity. And this is upon a Civil account; the Peace and prosperity of the Church being likely to procure the settlement of good order and the establishment of peace in the Civil State: whereas quarrels about Religion seldom or ne­ver end there, till they have involved the Government and Policy of a Nation into dangerous consequents.

3. From that, which, though set last, ought to be considered and resolved on in the first place by all pious men, that have any sense of Gods Honour, any zeal to his Name and Service, any love or kind­ness to his House and Ordinances; from the Worship and Respect due to God from his people: Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek thy good. And this upon a Spiritual or Religious account; to love the Church for the Churches sake, and to do it all the good we can for the honour of God, as well as for the benefit of our brethren and companions, that so we may under our King live quiet and peace­ble lives in all godliness and honesty, as our Church has taught us to pray.

[Page 4] Being to speak before this Honourable Assembly, with whom the Care and Government of our Ierusalem, this once famous City, is intrusted; I have made choice of the second of these Arguments, which shews how Civil Society is concerned in a quiet Exercise of the National Religion: wherein the Psalmist makes it his resolution, and recommends it to us all, to pray for the Churches peace, and to wish her prosperity, for our brethren and companions sake, in the behalf of our Friends and Country-men; as we wish well to our King and Country, and stand well affected to the Government and the Laws; as we hope to see the Nation thrive, Trade flourish, the City rebuilt, and all our friends and acquaintance in a prosperous condition: the peace of the Church and the peoples agreement in the Service of God, being the only probable means of securing and ascertaining our Ci­vil Interests and Publick tranquillity. For my brethren and compa­nions sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee; I will wish thee prosperity.

In the words we have two things fall under our Consideration.

1. A Duty recommended to us in Davids Example and Resolu­tion: which is to wish the Churches peace.

2. A strong Motive to inforce this Duty: for our brethren and com­panions sakes; out of that love and affection, we bear to the Publick and to our native Country.

The Resolution of Duty exprest in the latter Clause of the Verse; I will now say, Peace be within thee: where, though our English render it as the common form of Salutation used amongst that people, when they met or parted with one another: as our Saviour ordered his Disciples, when he sent them forth, Luke 10. 5. Into whatsoever house they entred, first to say, Peace be to this house: and thus our Church has in her Offices for the Visitation of the sick after our Saviours Example ordered, that the Priest entring into the sick persons house, shall say, Peace be to this house and to all that dwell in it: and cer­tainly when ever we address our selves to Gods House, the House of Prayer, 'tis very comely and most meet, that we should all of us sa­lute her in this Form, Peace be within thee. Yet this I take to be too narrow a sense; for the Form of Salutation was somewhat dif­ferent from this; and it should have been said, if that had been all intended, [...] Peace be to thee; not [...] Peace be in thee. Therefore the rest of the Interpreters take it in a wider sense by a plainer construction.

[Page 5] I will speak peace, say they, in thee: and thus it may be the Ma­gistrates part to speak peace with Authority, to command it, and to see it kept.

Say others, I will speak peace for thee, in thy behalf; and that belongs to the Minister, to preach up the peace of the Church, even with that earnestness as to quarrel for it: though with Ieremy he be­come a man of contentions, in a perverse and froward generation, while he does so, and when he speaks of peace, others make them­selves ready for battel.

The Septuagint and Vulgar read it thus, I will speak peace of thee, or, concerning thee, i.e. to speak kindly of it, and to wish it well; and thus it will concern all the People, the generality, every man in the Nation. And I am afraid there is but too much need, that both Magistrate, and Minister, and People, and all, should all of us bestir our selves, and contribute our utmost endeavours for the Churches peace and welfare, if we will but do what we ought to do, and that out of Interest as well as Duty, for our own and our Countries sake; for that's

The Motive and Reason, with which this Duty is back'd, indeed faced and put forward with, in the beginning of the verse; for my brethren and companions sakes; whose good, will they nill they, be they the Churches friends or foes, is to be sought in the preserva­tion of the Church: for as the Churches peace depends upon the union and agreement of these brethren and companions, so on the other hand in her peace and prosperity, is comprehended the happiness and nearest concerns of us all.

By Brethren is meant Kindred and Relations, the charitates natu­rales, in a strict sense; but according to the larger acception of the word in the Hebrew language all our Country-men from one end of the Nation to the other, all that live under the same Laws and Go­vernment; especially those that are of the same houshold of faith, and profess the same Gospel of Peace.

By Companions or Friends are to be understood those of a stricter and closer Alliance, with whom we have contracted nearer and dearer familiarities; above all, those that agree with us in the same Orthodox Judgment, and walk regularly and lovingly with us, ac­cording to the same Rules and Institutions of Gods publick Worship, whose concerns are more immediately united in the Churches wel­fare: which we are in that manner to preserve and promote for both their sakes, as not to exclude either.

[Page 6] And thus much for the coherence and explication, which I have the longer insisted upon, to gain your full assent to these two things. 1. That by Ierusalem here is meant the Church. And 2. That by her peace is to be understood our agreement in religion; since with­out this agreement there is no probability, no likelihood of her en­joying peace.

I shall now crave leave to gather up all I have to say into one pro­position; and such a proposition, as the words do naturally without any force put upon them afford us. And 'tis this, in the words of the Text, That we ought for our Brethren and Companions sakes to wish and endeavour the Churches peace. Which in a brief Paraphrase speaks thus; That 'tis the duty of every Man amongst us, whether Magistrate or other, as he is the Governour or Member of a Society, upon a meer civil account, our affection to our Native Countrey, and the good of community in our several places and stations, hearti­ly to wish, and vigorously to endeavour the peace and prosperity of the Church, in the uniform exercise of Religion and God's publick worship.

And this Proposition I shall make good by three Arguments, taken

1. From the ground of a Peoples happiness, Divine favour and protection; and that favour not to be procur'd, but by keeping up God's publick honour amongst us; and that honour no way to be secur'd, but by our unanimous agreement in his publick worship.

2. From that influence, which Religion is apt to have upon the minds of Men, both in awing them and uniting them: which aw and union both without the uniformity of worship, if People be left to their own liberty to worship God publickly how they please, will infallibly utterly be lost; and when Religion shall once be brought into a publick contempt, and made the ground of an universal quar­rel; when the candlestick is once removing out of the Church, 'tis easie to foresee what danger the State will then be in, and what will in a short time become of such a People.

3. From the particular constitution of our Laws and Government, wherein the concerns of State are so intimately and closely link'd with the Peace and prosperity of the Church, that they must needs stand or fall together.

First, then for the first Argument, that the Peace of the Church, that is, our agreement in the service of God, is the only way of keeping [Page 7] up God's publick honour amongst us, and consequently of after-taiming to us the favour and blessing of God, which is the main and only ground of National prosperity and happiness, the great con­cern of all our Brethren and Companions. Wherein I have three things to make out.

1. That the Divine favour is the main and only prop of a Peo­ples happiness.

2. That the setting up Gods honour in publick amongst us is the only means of procuring and ascertaining his favour. And

3. That our agreement in the service of God is the only way of keeping up his publick honour.

I say first, That the favour of God is the grand support and alone foundation of any peoples prosperity and happy estate. This is the Palla­dium of the Government; ancile imperii, the buckler of State; when, as the Psalmist expresses it, God encompasseth us with his favour, as with a shield; whereupon it is, that by vertue of this divine influence upon his Vice-gerents the Magistrates, they themselves are also term'd the shields of the earth. A learned Frenchman tells us, that the Eastern people were wont, at the building of any City, accor­ding to the positions of Heaven at that time, by rules of Astrology and other Magical observations, to make Artificial Sculptures upon Brass, which they call'd Talismans, and to consecrate them to the auspicious beginnings and fortunate success of that City: which they fancied, as long as those Hieroglyphicks were preserv'd, would never miscarry by fire of water, war or plague. And of this na­ture and design he takes Laban's Teraphim to have been, which his daughter Rachel stole away; and those of Micah, which the boisterous Danites plunder'd him of: as the pledges of good fortune to those Families, who were therefore both much concern'd in the loss of them. To the same purpose the Grecians and others (indeed who not) had their Tutelar Gods, as the guardians of each City: so that the first thing enemies did, that came to besiege a Town, was to call away their God, either by inchantments inticing him, or by extraordinary respects out-bidding the Inhabitants, and proffering the Deity better terms, if he would come over to their side: in­somuch that the Tyrians, when Alexander's Army beleaguer'd them, upon such an apprehension of Apollo's leaving them, tyed him fast with a Golden Chain to Hercules his Altar, that he might not stir. And 'twas a great part of policy among [Page 8] these Heathens, to conceal these their strengths, and keep them close, as the arcana imperii, that in time of danger they might be sure of them. From these and the like superstitious usages, this serious truth at least may be learnt, that very Infidels and Strangers to the Common-wealth of Israel had, from the instincts of Nature, that sense of a Deity and an over-ruling Power, that they trusted not to the situation and strength of their Cities, to the number or valour and wealth of the Inhabitants, for the defence of them; but wholly im­puted their safety to divine protection. And this much more to be ac­knowledged by us, to whom God has made himself so well known in his Word, with whom he has entred into Covenant, whom he has admitted unto so endearing nearnesses to himself. Our Royal Author is every where full of these acknowledgments in this his Book of Publick Devotions, calling God a Sun and a Shield, his strong Rock, and Tower of Defence, and mighty Deliverer; ascri­bing all his deliverances and preservations to the light of his counte­nance and the saving strength of his right hand. Particularly in Psal. 144. where he does ex professo handle this Argument, he says, 'tis he that gives Victory unto Kings; and then having recited the several instances of a peoples outward prosperity, That our sons grow up as young plants, and our daughters as the polished corners of the Temple; that our garners be full and plenteous with all manner of store; that our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets; that our oxen be strong to labour and in good plight; that there be no invasion up­on us, no leading into captivity, and no complaining in our streets; he closes this account with an acclamation, wherin he resolves the sum of all into divine favour, as the ground and original of all these blessings and advantages: Happy are the people that are in such a case: happy, I say, are the people which have the Lord for their God. But yet more closely to your purpose in Psal. 127. he tells you; Except the Lord build your houses, they labour in vain that build them. If God be not the Master-builder the great Undertaker of the Work, you do but aedificare in ruinam, build up your ruines to farther ruines: And then too, unless he keep the City, when 'tis built, the watchman waketh but in vain. May he build your houses for you, to be habitations of peace, and preserve your City; make it beautiful for situation, and the joy of the whole Land: may God be well known in her Palaces for a Refuge; may he love her Gates, and may the most High establish her, and raise up his own Tabernacle in the midst of her: may he make [Page 9] it the City of God, and the Mountain of his Holiness. God does, that I may with reverence speak it, by the very inclinations of his own nature, peculiarly affect man; and then further he that said, It is not good for man to be alone, he has a more then ordinary care and regard for societies of men. Well govern'd Cities and well or­der'd States are the special objects of Almighty Gods singular pro­vidence. And as he has this care for our good in community; so it must be our care to keep up his honour in publick: since, which is our next,

2. The setting up Gods honour amongst us in publick is the only means of procuring and ascertaining his favour. The condition of his covenant with all Nations, as well as his own people, is, I will be their God, and they shall be my People; when we cease to be his people, we must not hope that he will continue to be our God. All just govern­ments are influenced and supported by him; but, if we abuse those influences and neglect those supports, 'tis just for him in displeasure to withdraw the light of his countenance and the saving strength of his right hand, and to leave us in the dark to the weakness of our own counsels and undertakings. He will honour them that honour him; 'twas a pitiful request of Saul, to desire to be honour'd before the people, when he himself had dishonour'd God before them. When Governours are like God, and act all to his glory, as he him­self does; then blessings are showr'd down upon them, and from them to the whole community. This was Christ's own case: Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness; therefore God thy God hath anointed thee with the oyl of gladness above thy fellows, Psalm 45. 7. 'Tis not the Crown and Scepter, the Purple and the Mace, that di­stinguish the Magistrate from a common man; but the oil of glad­ness, the divine benediction upon his doing righteous things. Then all his Garments smell of Myrrhe, Aloes, and Cassia, out of his ivory palaces; when the fragrancy of publick example commands at once the veneration and imitation of all that are about them: whereas upon wicked Nations that forget God, and such families as call not upon his name, he pours out his severest indignation. This the very Poet could observe to his Countrymen the Romans, ‘Dîs te minorem quòd geris, imperas;’ Says he: that they ow'd their success to their piety, and were made commanders of the world for their obedience to their Gods. Nor [Page 10] is it strange, that God should, even in false Religions, bless people with outward prosperity and temporal success, for that honour they did him under wrong names and mis-apprehensions; since at bottom of all their vain conceits and idolatrous practises there lay metus numinis, the awe and reverence of a supreme infinite power, wherein the notion of Religion in general consists. And he goes on, and tells them, that all their miscarriages, and all the calami­ties, that had of late befaln that City and State, were to be impu­ted to their neglect of Religion. How much more happy should we be, that have the truth of Religion amongst us, if we would but be true to it our selves? And if a pretended zeal for God's honour has, in our remembrance, made Vsurpation thrive, and heap'd Palms and Laurels upon an unrighteous Cause: what advantage would real devotion do to the establishing of a just Government? And on the other hand, how much more miserable and improsperous must we expect to be, then any wicked Heathens or backsliding pre­tenders, if we, having such advantages and such reasons both of ad­vancing God's honour amongst us, fail in our duty, and do not, as we ought to do, for our brethren and companions sake, with one common consent and mutual agreement, praise God for his mercies, and fear him for his judgments, which he hath shewn in the midst of us. That's the last thing of this head.

3. That our agreement in God's service is the only way of keeping-up his publick honour amongst us. When Cities and Societies here be­low look like the Sedes beatorum, the blessed company of Saints and Angels above, wherewith the Heavenly Throne is inviron'd, all serving God the same way in perfect harmony of worship: This is doing, that the Apostle bids us, having our conversation in Heaven, by bringing Heaven down to us, and being all of one mind, as we shall be there. For brethren thus to dwell together in the unity of pro­fession and practice, is, as the Psalmist compares it, like the conse­crating oyl upon Aaron's head, that ran down to the skirts of his gar­ment, that is, all over from the head to the foot; the meanest person of the Nation equally sharing with the highest in the advantages of the Priesthood and one common service. This is that dew of Sion, the Church, where God commanded the blessing, the blessing of peace and plenty. A Church, as ours now is, without this unanimity, is but like the Ship, where Ionas was, toss'd and tumbled with winds of doctrine and waves of faction; till, at the upshot of all, when [Page 11] they all apply themselves to their several gods, in their several ways of Worship, the Ionas, the only true Religion amongst them, is to be flung over-board. God is a God of order and peace, and accounts himself highly dishonoured by our confusions. 'Twas Baal, that delighted to be served with loud crys and furious slashings. It was the Devil with his forked foot, first brought in Heresie and Schism; that, by multiplying Religions, he might make the world believe, there was no such thing; and if there were, that people might not trouble themselves about a thing, where it would be so difficult not to mistake in the choice. Thus, when this enemy of God and man saw, that the crucifying Christ would not be sufficient for the dis­gracing of Religion; he fell presently, even in the Apostles times, to divide him, for the puzzling of it. It has been observed, that Travel­lers, that have been abroad, and seen Religion in its various dresses and forms, in the several Countries, where they have been, and in what different manners they serve God, are apt at last to turn Scepticks, arrive at a quiet indifference, and think it a matter of no great concern, what Religion they are of, or whether they be of any at all. But alas! we have now in this Church that disadvantage, without travelling for it. Our people stay at home, and see fashi­ons; and some (as Travellers use to put on the habit and garb of each Country, they go through) have appeared in all shapes, taken up all Opinions and Forms, and done exercise in them all; till at last they have taken the degree of Doctors in the Scorners Chair, and have turned profest Atheists. How do the Romanists triumph in our dis­sensions, make Bonfires out of our flames, and daily get ground of the Protestant Cause; whilst we Protestants our selves do their work for them, by unnatural quarrels destroying our common Mother the Church? How do prophane persons make themselves merry at the miscarriages of the Church, and harden themselves in their Atheisti­cal Reasonings against God himself; when they see so much ado made, such zeal and heat shown on all sides, about Forms of Wor­ship and the Circumstances of Religion: when the mean while the great Duties of Christianity, wherein the life and power of Religion lyes, are by most of us of all perswasions neglected? and how can they chuse but think Religion it self a trifle, if that be it, that makes us so earnest about trifles, and yet so regardless in those things, which the worst of Atheists themselves confess are necessary for the preservation of men, whether singly in their own persons, or joyntly in Society: [Page 12] such as are Iustice, Temperance, Charity, and the like? What can Neighbour-States and Churches abroad think of us, that, after God had so wonderfully restored us, to the astonishment of the world, we have so strangely and with no less astonishment, to the dishonour of God and our own shame, lost the Miracle and let it fall to the ground, and given up the Cause in a manner, to which God by his extraordinary Providences and his Anointed our late Soveraign the blessed Martyr by his unparallel'd sufferings gave such testimony? And at last what can we our selves look for now, that God will yet work more Mira­cles for our preservation, who have, by our divisions in his Worship and our Spiritual fornications, not only forfeited his protection, but procured his displeasure, and at once both disobliged his mercy and provoked his Justice? To me, to speak what I apprehend freely, it appears, in the posture we now stand in, a very shrewd symptom and a dangerous indication, that God himself and Religion and all are now about to take their solemn leave of the Country, together with the Churches peace. And then what will become of our brethren and companions, for whose sake we are to endeavour the Churches peace; when God has once forsaken the Land? And thus I have done with the first Argument.

The second is, that the peace of the Church in the uniform Worship of God is a necessary expedient, to make Religion the happy instru­ment of Government, by securing that influence it has upon the minds of men, in awing Subjects to obedience, and uniting our brethren and companions in love: without which obedience and love, 'tis impossi­ble, that any people should hold together, and prosper; since, where discontents and divisions prevail, a Society must needs of it self na­turally tend to dissolution. A House, a City, a Kingdom, divided against it self, cannot stand; is a State-Aphorism, we have from the mouth of Truth it self. So then, whether 'twere fear or love, was the Principle, which gathered mankind into Nations and Common-wealths, and brought them to live in Community under the same Laws and Priviledges, we find them both in Religion. Whereupon 'tis the remark of a Roman Historian, that, as Romulus founded the City by Arms, so Numa setled it by Religion, and then came Ancus and found leisure to adorn it with Temples and publick Buildings. Thus Religion secured the acquists of the Sword on one hand, and prepa­red the design for the Truel on the other. And till Religion be in a better condition amongst you, then for ought I see 'tis now in, I can­not [Page 13] not tell, what you may think of your Building. 'Tis true; it seems to me, in our present divisions, that, much what like the Iews after their return, we rebuild our City with a Sword in one hand, and a Truel in the other: but so, as if that Sword were to be used against our selves, not against an Enemy, as theirs was. I wish heartily, that the peace of the Church may be so setled amongst us, and the rubbish of our late ruines there removed, that you may lay your Foundations upon fair even ground, and raise the Superstructures with comfort and honour; that, when you have built up your Walls and your Palaces, Peace may be within your walls, and plenteousness within your palaces: which would then most certainly be, when, as you are obliged to an Vniformity of building the City, so the Citizens themselves would joyn all in an uniform Exercise of Religion; whose first Character it is, that

1. It aws the consciences of men, and binds them up to their good behaviour, in a strict attendance upon the duties of every one in his place, and a careful obedience to the Law in common. And thus Machiavil himself tutours his Prince, that he will put on the shew at least of Religion, to make his Government dreadful; though he hold it dangerous to his interest to be bigotted into it, and would have him take up no more of it, then will serve his turn. But if the mask and vizard, the bare appearance of Religion be, in the esteem of carnal worldly Policy, so considerable a help to Government: how serene and awful would it be in its genuine native countenance? with what rays of Divinity would the truth and power of it cloath the Magistrate; that the people would behold him as an Angel of God? For since all Government derives its power from God, the more of God it shews, the more powerful it must needs be. Where­fore, if once Religion grow mean amongst a people, no wonder, if they grow familiar and sawcy with the Government, and, having got the reins of conscience upon their neck, run away with their Rider, and 'tis well if not dismount him too. When men are suffered to set their mouths wide open against Heaven, to blaspheme God and deny him in a breath, and to droll in Scripture-language, and jeer at sacred things; how can it be expected, that earthly Majesty should preserve its reverence with the people, but that God will suffer some to be as bold with their Governors, as they have suffered others to be with him: that by way of Reprisal he may recover his lost Honour, and those, that have slighted him, may be meanly [Page 14] esteemed. For, as God subdues the people under their lawful Prince, so it must be the Princes care to subdue the people to God, by keeping up the aw and port of Religion.

And this is done in the uniform and unanimous Exercise of Reli­gion. Then the Church shews like an army with banners; For the Church triumphant, no body doubts but 'tis so: but this is spoken of the Church militant; it should be so; a well ordered and discipli­ned body of men. Without discipline and good order and unifor­mity of Exercise, it may be a tumult, a mutiny, a crowd or throng of men, but not an Army: or if an Army, 'tis but a broken routed one, and needs rally and recruit. And such an Army must I call our Church, with her broken Ranks; when so many flye daily from her Banners, and repair to other Standards; when some are so hardy to make themselves Commission-officers, and appoint Rendez-vous, and make Musters in private corners; indeed, in publick Assemblies, to the defiance of the Church and Civil Authority at once. Truth is; Our divisions have made Religion a ridiculous thing; whilst every Party priding, it self in the glare of its own spiritual know­ledge, looks upon the rest with contempt. The Sects wonder at us, that we stick where we do, and not come up after them: we as much wonder at their unkindness in leaving us, and their confidence in going so far. And the wonder goes round: for they all admire and pity one anothers ignorance. All of them see a great light in the way they walk in, and conclude they are got into Goshen; when all the rest of the world, as they fancy, are still sitting in Egyptian dark­ness. Thus we censure, one another, and, when we have hoodwinkt our selves with our own form, think our selves the only seeing peo­ple, and all else, that are not as we are, blind-fold; to the merri­ment of by-standers, but withal to some peril, lest from these giddy reflections, we make upon one another, they conclude, we have no light at all amongst us in the English Church, but that we are now in Egypt, more then ever we were. What pastime and advantage our divisions give Atheists and Papists, I shewed before: I am now speaking of us amongst our selves. Nor do these differences only stir the spleen, but the choler too, and fill all Parties, as with spiritual disdain of one anothers ways, so with zealous passion too against one anothers persons. The Sectaries are scandalized at Church-musick, and look upon our decent Rites and Ceremonies as trumpery, and reckon our Solemnities of Worship contemptible things. The [Page 15] Orthodox on the other hand are justly offended at their slovenly familiarities with sacred things, and indeed with God himself. So that 'tis clear, by dividing from one another, Religion has lost all its awe amongst us, every sort of it being lookt on, as mean and despicable, by all those that are of any other sort. Nor must the National Religion think to find better treatment, then the rest, but rather worse; as lying under this peculiar disadvantage, that those, who adhere to that, though never so conscientiously, lay themselves open to a general censure of all dissenters, that they, in that they side with the Government, are pleasers of men, and time-servers. Besides, this is that, they all in strict judgment account to be to them Antichrist, that which holds back and hinders, that no one of them can get up in to absolute power. And certainly they must be so good-natur'd, as to pity the Governour himself, if his conscience be not of their model: I, and should he be but half so severe in the maintenance of his way, as they are zealous in theirs, perhaps hate him too, at least have but little kindness for him, who, as they fancy, keeps Christ out of his Throne. Thus we see, if Religion be not tyed up to rules, if it grow lawless, it will quickly become awless too, loose all its respects, and not be able to assist the Government, in the protection of our brethren and companions, whose concerns lie bound up in the Churches peace.

Nor Secondly, Will Religion avail in its second property, which is to Vnite; unless God's worship amongst us be uniformly exercised. Religio à religando; Religion has its name from binding up men, not only in themselves, binding up their spirits so as to restrain them from publick disorders; but as to one another too, binding their hearts together in mutual offices of love and kindness. And thus, when we can walk together, as brethren and companions, to the house of God, and there take sweet counsel together; this is a kindly Vnion: when all the members of the civil society are guided and governed by the same spirit of the mystical body, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. This is the true cement, which conjoins neighbours and friends closer, then any legal priviledges and obligations can do. Without this, you build your City with untemper'd mortar: nor will it well bear the weather, when the flouds shall beat, unless it be thus com­pacted together, and be at unity in it self. And how can it rationally be expected, that Religion should bind us together, if it self be left [Page 16] loose and tyed to no rules and orders? I confess, the Vnity of the Catholick Church may consist, without the uniformity of particular Churches among themselves; and thus, notwithstanding some diffe­rences, they have in ordering their own affairs prudently to their best convenience, and accommodating themselves to the necessities of time and place, still holding to the Analogy of Faith, and sound Doctrine, and the rule of God's Word: I say, notwithstanding these differences in externals, we do own the communion of Saints, as an Article of our Faith. But to say, that every particular person or party, in the same Church, has, by vertue of his Christianity a liberty to disobey the publick orders of that Church, whereof he is a member; and to serve God, as shall, notwithstanding those or­ders, seem good to that party or person; (for, as the party breaks, it will come to persons at last:) to take liberty in this notion is to make it but another name for confusion. Wherefore, what they say, is not true, being applyed to fellow-members of the same particu­lar Church; that, according to our Christian liberty, and that lati­tude, God has left things in, if the Church would leave them so too, and not bind, where he has not bound, this would prove the best expedient of peace, and unity: for the way would be wide enough for every one to walk in; we should not need justle one another; but though we used not all one form in our serving of God, we might be all of one mind, as to our civil concerns at least. It were well, if dissents in judgment could be so managed, as not to beget distances of affection; but this is a thing rather to be wished, then hoped for. For, whilest every party thinks it self obliged in consci­ence, to advance it self, even to the prejudice and ruine of the rest; Conscience being a principle of that violence, that, right or wrong, it acts, like nature, ad extremum virium, to the utmost of its strength and opportunity: hence it comes to pass, that odia religio­num acerbissima, those heats and animosities, which are grounded upon the cause of Religion, are the most dangerous and irreconcile­able; by reason Conscience is ingaged in the quarrel, whose tender­ness of apprehension is worse then the jealousies of love or power, which will admit of no rival, cannot indure any competitor. Thus it was betwixt the Iews and Samaritans, that did, upon the score of their Religions, so abominate one the other, that they would not so much as eat and drink together, or buy and sell, or converse in the ordinary civilities of Good morrow or Good even. So nice and [Page 17] squeamish distasted conscience is, out of fear of partaking with others sins, and fancying it can never be at distance enough from what it conceives a dislike to.

Nor is that a sufficient Salvo, to keep up Vnity amongst us, that we agree in Fundamentals; (I wish we all did that) and that we differ only in some things of smaller allay; the more to blame they, that fall out about such things, and to the hazard of publick Peace, make end­less differences and quarrels about things indifferent. I must com­mend the generous Charity of some, that profess to love all that have faith in Christ Iesus, whatever their Form be: and I am of their mind, that our Charity is not to be confin'd to a Party, but to be extended to the whole Community, the Body of the Church. But then 'tis a gross mistake, to think the Church it self, in its establishments, a Par­ty in these our divisions; who is to be lookt on, what S. Paul says of Ierusalem here, as the common Mother of us all: and herein lies the main of our Charity, to seek and secure the Churches peace, in endea­vouring to appease divisions, and to reconcile her disobedient Chil­dren. This, I say, is right Catholick Charity. As to those persons, who are seduced and live in errour, the greatest Charity can be shew­ed to them, is to reclaim them, or at least, if that may not be, for our brethren and companions sakes, to keep them quiet. For to see the humor of Schism, after it has once broke off from the Church, how restless a thing it is, and how quarrel is apt to beget quarrel, till it have brought all into confusion. The Sects, we have amongst us, do no more disagree from the Church, then they do from one another: 'tis Ephraim against Manasses, and Manasses against Ephraim, as well as both against Iudah. And though they all agreed, time was, too well against the Church, as a common Enemy; and, whilst her ruine was contriving, held together: yet no sooner had they obtained that, which was the common design of them all, but they fell out among themselves about their particular ends: and when they had pulled down that, which they maliciously termed Babylon, the English Ierusalem, their language was so divided, that they could none of them build up a Babel of their own. For the same Arguments, which the Presbyterian Party had fiercely used against the Bishops, were by the Independents unanswerably ma­naged against themselves: and then there succeeded more subdivisi­ons; the Baptized Churches got up and bore sway; the Fift-Mo­narchy-men made a bustle for the Rule; then at last arose the Qua­kers, [Page 18] a spreading Party, and feared by all the rest. What should I speak for Free-willers, Ranters, Bedel's Followers and Naylor's crew? it shames me thus to discover the nakedness of my Country; but it grieves me more, to think, these pretences are still on foot, and most of the Parties still owning themselves in their distinctions: who, though, in the general, as Sects, and equally obnoxious to the Laws, do by a kind of Syncretism unite; yet, had any one of them power in their hand, would be far enough from looking on the rest, that dissent from them, as Brethren and Companions, or shewing that sa­vour to any of them all, as the Church of England does now to them all together. And so the case stood with their Fore-fathers at Frankfort, Amsterdam, &c. where, in opposition to our Liturgie and Discipline, setting up purer Forms of their own, they could not agree; but were so zealous in their divisions (though it highly concern'd them, for credit of their new-found way and comfort of their exile, to have held together) till at last the Son excommunicated the Fa­ther, and one Brother the other. So giddy and lost a thing Con­science is, when 'tis once stept aside, and gone out of its way. I could wish, the moderate and sober men amongst them would con­sider this; that, if God should, in his just Judgment to the Nation, give them an opportunity of another tryal, they may easily, if not blinded with self-conceit, fore-see the event, and in publick ruines read afore-hand their own disappointments. But, they say, they have no such designs; they are quiet and peaceable men, desire only to seek and to serve God; but that some of unquiet fierce Spirits amongst us will not let them alone: they intend no disturbance to the Government, but the Government disturbs them, in their religi­ous Exercises and Meetings. The same Plea will serve for the worst of Malefactors; that, if the Law would let them alone, they an [...] very quiet men: but, pray, who breaks the peace? he that looks after the execution of the Laws, or he that disobeys them? he that dis­obeys, certainly is the Aggressor. I cannot say but Ishmael and his Mother were hardly dealt with, and did suffer a kind of persecution; and yet the Apostle tells us, that Ishmaels self was the Persecutor, for but mocking of Isaac: but this, were it sport or contempt, reflecting on the Heir of the Family, the Son of a Princess, (who in the Alle­gory is Ierusalem here) is interpreted Persecution; while the turn­ing out of Ishmael is own'd as just punishment. And in like manner 'tis the Sects persecute the Church, by derisions and contempts; not [Page 19] the Church, that persecutes them. But if they are so well inclin'd to Peace, why then do they not do what they acknowledge may law­fully be done, and submit in those things, where their Conscience may give them leave; i.e. in such things as God in his Word has not forbidden? The Magistrate has bid them come to their Parish-Church; bid men of my Order renounce the Covenant: God hath no where commanded to the contrary. Why should not they come? why should not we renounce? There can be no scruple in the case: for in things, where God himself has given no order, we are to obey the Magistrate, not only for Fear, but for Conscience sake. We read, that our Saviour himself, kept the Feast of the Dedication, though no where appointed by God himself, no where mention'd in the Old Testament (an Apochryphal Feast) and taught daily in the Temple and in their Synagogues; and that some of his Apo­stles, after the Ceremonies were dead and buried, came up to the Temple still at the hour of Prayer: to set us an example, that in such things, where there is no express command of God against them, though there be no express command for them, we are to comply with publick order and decent custom. If they would but do thus ingenuously, there would be some likelihood of Peace. But they would have the Church submit to them; and then all should be well. Which of them? for they cannot all be comply'd with; that's impossible: for to take in one, and leave out another, will be the ground of further discontents; and to gather all at a cast into the comprehension, would possibly be to please none of them, at least to displease the better half. If they would but once agree among themselves and say what they would have; they would then have some fair pretence to be consider'd. But here's the misery on't: 'tis very hard for them themselves to define what will satisfie Con­science: because that, being not engag'd upon certain Rules, may to morrow judge that necessary, the necessity whereof to day it doth not fore-see; and if any mens Consciences are to be satisfied thus at random, the Church will never know, when it has done, but be still to seek upon new emergencies. Whereas would they come to some certainty of demands, wherein the whole party, in all its sub­divisions, would agree, they might the better be treated with: there would be some hope in time of a good understanding. But if their meaning is to be left to such a latitude, to do whatsoever they shall upon occasion find agreeable to their Conscience, i.e. possi­bly [Page 20] sometimes to their interest or humour to do: there's no body so void of reason, but must needs see of how dangerous a consequence it is to any Government, to leave any sort of men (whatsoever their Principles be, be they never so honest) to such a Liberty. And such a Liberty, if they had it, would be so far from composing differences; that those everlasting quarrels and irreconcileable animosities, they have purely out of Conscience taken up one against another (which are now, partly in kindness to the common cause they are engag'd in, for the reputation of Schism; and partly for fear of the Laws, smother'd and kept in) would then instantly break out with violence into open flames: whilst some, sticking rigidly to those measures, they have already attain'd, and comparing themselves with them­selves, severely censure those, that, upon pretence of greater light and more plentiful effusions of the Spirit, walk beyond their line and rule: And those on the other hand priding themselves in their Spiritual Priviledges, and the purity of Ordinances, despise their Brethren, as carnal and narrow-spirited men, that still keep close to outward forms, and walk according to the flesh, and the will of man, in the beggerly rudiments of the world. Thus you see, if we do not come to an agreement, as I do not see, how we ever shall (unless authority interpose) in the exercise of Religion, the hearts of Eng­lish-men are never like to be united, either in brotherly love to one another, or in common affection to our Countrey: but that, the awe and union of Religion being lost, the hazard of the Churches Peace threatens disturbances also to the Civil State; which is our third and last Argument, Taken from the particular constitution of our Government, wherein the Civil and Ecclesiastick State are so nearly united, that, like Hippocrates twins, they are both well or ill toge­ther, and run the same hazard of health, and must take share of the same fortune: so that, who wishes well to the Government, to the concerns of our Brethren and Companions, must by unavoidable con­sequence favour the prosperity of the Church.

To prove this, I shall not pretend to the Law (though however unkind Lawyers may be to the Churches interest in its Iurisdiction) there's enough in the Law it self to this purpose; nor shall I quote King Iames his Apophthegm, though he must be acknowledg'd a wise man, and one that well understood the nature of Government; nor shall I tell you out of our own Stories, that men of this Robe have usually undergone the greatest Offices of State, and publick imploy­ments; [Page 21] which 'tis very uncharitable wholly to impute to Church­mens ambition, and to allow nothing of merit in the case, upon which those preferments and publick trusts were grounded; nor what great benefactures some of them left behind them to Commu­nity from those secular advantages, they were assisted with; nor yet shall I insist upon our own experience (an irrefragable proof) in the late times; when the design seemed levell'd only at the Hierarchy, but was carried on to the ruine of Monarchy it self, and the overthrow of Prelacy was so zealously prosecuted, that they brought all Orders into confusion, and Mar-prelate proved the Mar-all of the Nation. And if we did not buy wit then, at a rate dear enough, we may, if we please, make farther tryal to our greater cost.

I shall only make a general Propose. That Magistracy and Mini­stry are the two Pillars and supports of Society, there's no body, I think will deny; and if either of these Pillars fail, the whole Stru­cture is in danger of falling: nor can publick order be secur'd, un­less the two Swords, the Sword of Iustice, and th [...] Sword of the Spirit, assist each the other in the administration of affairs, and in the execution of their several off [...]s. Now for any man to take upon him to be a Minister, or, if he be one, to exercise that Functi­on, without the approbation and against the plain sense of the Law, is as irrational and irregular a misdemeanour, and must needs be of as dangerous a consequence to the publick, as for any man to create himself a Magistrate, or to execute the office of a Magistrate without Law. I say, for one, that has no Commission, or has been put out of the Commission of Peace, to act notwithstanding, as a Iustice (let him be as wise and as honest a man as he will) is sure a high crime: I know not how the Law may call it. And it is the very same, or worse, in the Ministry; because this office has a more immediate influence on the Consciences of men, the most busie and sturdy principle in humane Nature. 'Tis confest on all hands, that a man cannot exercise the office of a Minister without a Call. Let me ask then, whether theirs be an ordinary or extraordinary Call? If extraordinary (by the way, 'tis Enthusiasm to say so) let them make it appear by Miracles and Languages. If Ordinary, certainly they knew afore-hand, before they came into Orders (for to such I speak) what the legal constitution requires of them, is their Canonical Obedience; if they did know this, and yet came with a resolution to disobey; this is manifest prevarication: if they did [Page 22] not know, and their ignorance betray'd them into a snare; the men are to be pitied, but their ignorance is by no means to be ex­cused: if they knew it before, and were then satisfied, but have been inlightned since, and changed their mind; they must know too, that that power, which gives men in publick place leave to act; may upon publick inconvenience suspend their acting; and if then they do act, 'tis an unjustifiable disobedience. Nor is it with them as it was with Saint Paul; Wo be unto me if I preach not the Gospel: he had another kind of Call, but for these there's a Wo be­longs to them, if they do. 'Tis otherwise too, now the Church is setled under Christian Magistrates, and govern'd by Christian Laws, then at that time, when it was to be planted under the Go­vernment of Heathen Emperours. The Church now, with all her subordinations and dependencies, in all her jurisdictions and pow­ers, owns the King her Supreme. She challenges nothing to her self, but what the favour of her Prince, and the Laws of the land have allow'd her. Thus Bishops, as to the execution of their Office, are sent by the King as Supreme, and act in their Courts by the Kings power, as Civil Courts do: the King deputing Arch-Bishops, and Bishops, to be Judges under him in causes Spiritual, and in his name to govern the Ecclesiastical State; as he makes Lord Keepers, Chief Iustices, and other Iudges of the Land. For had the Church any power in it self in Civil affairs, besides what the Laws give her; I dare say, there's ne're a Bishop in England, but would speedily re­dress those scandals and grievances, possibly brought into their Courts by Lay-Officers, which people so much clamour against. But now what can they do? they are ty'd up by Law. All of us, that are of the Clergy own the Civil Power, pay the same obedience to the Laws, as any of you do; and in First-fruits, Tenths, and Subsi­dies, make as chargable acknowledgments, as any of the popu­lacy.

I know, 'tis said though; what need of such a pompous costly Religion, of a Church with so great an allowance of means? This ample Revenue exhausts and weakens the State: smaller stipends would serve turn very well. But can any one, with any shew of in­genuity, fairly reason against the encouragements of Learning, and the rewards of desert? Let it be consider'd that several of this Or­der, had they gone another way, might (with submission I speak it) have sate in your Seats, and been clad with your Purple. After all [Page 23] our pains, and time, and strength, and charges too, spent in stu­dies, do not think that what the Law allows us, we have by doing nothing for it. These things are propos'd publickly as the Acquists of Industry, and may be got and injoy'd, as legally, as any of your Estates. And is it not fit, do you think, a National Church, wherein the honour and reputation of Religion is to be kept up, should be secur'd from poverty, and that contempt, which always accompanies meanness? It were to be wish'd that, as Kings are to be the Nursing Fathers of the Church; so Princes and the Sons of Nobles would fit themselves for her dignities: that they might bear up the honour of Religion with their personal attendence. It has been so hereto­fore, when the two great Offices were united in the same person; Melchisedek King of Salem, and Priest of the living God: and they were kept pretty near in the persons of Moses and Aaron, bre­thren; and the Priest elder brother to the Prince. And hence the Hebrew word [...] Kohen (whence we have King) signifies indiffe­rently Prince and Priest: whereupon the Apostle, Rom. 13. calls the King, in Ecclesiastical terms, [...], and [...], Gods Minister, say we for both; 'tis Gods Liturgie-maker, and Gods Dea­con; to shew too, that a Christian Magistrate, as such, has power to order religious affairs, in the Service of God. This I say, has been, and 'twere well, if it could be so with us: however, must the Church alone be held up by a precarious dependence? Is it not this, that makes Religion a Prostitute to the humors of the people? when men of mean spirits and parts shall, out of fear, comply, for a paltry live­lihood, to preach things that may please; and others of ambitious minds, and voluble tongues, to serve an interest, shall lead the peo­ple to their own hurt. But some will say; what would you have men do, that are not otherwise considered? since there is that un­equal distribution of Church-favours, that some go away with all, and others get little or nothing. Judge in your own case, whether this be a reasonable ground of quarrel. Shall the inequality of Estates amongst you make the meaner Citizens quarrel the Govern­ment of the City, because they have not all the wealth of Aldermen? Shall I, or any of my brethren and companions, because we have not that place and esteem in the Church, as we, out of the pride of our own hearts may think we deserve, go in a sullen arrogance, and set up for our selves in a distinct interest from the Church; and flye in the face of our Mother, and put undutiful affronts upon her, for not [Page 24] being so kind, as we would have her? No. Gen. 49. 6. O my soul, come not thou into such mens secret; unto their private assemblies, mine honour, be not thou united. Let them for me be divided in Iacob, and scattered in Israel; that, in their anger and self-will, practise such things. To go on, I know it has been seriously discoursed, and p [...]inted too, that the largeness of the Church-revenue in any Nation impoverishes the State, sets the people behind-hand, and puts them out of a thriving condition: and no less then demonstration offered, that, if it were retrenched, Trade would flourish, Manufactures and growths receive wonderful improvements, and the people generally grow rich apace. But to Answer that Author; those Common­wealths, he speaks of, and ours are not alike, in the constitution and nature of the Government; and God forbid, they ever should. But it may be ones wonder, why our people cannot now, with much more case, make those improvements; since the Church keeps little in her own hands, and for the most part lets easie penny-worths: nor can it be any reason, that the Church drains the peoples money; since, if the Church had not what she has, some body else would in the Churches right; nor would the people be much the better. How our Neighbour-States order their Church affairs, I suppose, ought to be no precedent of Policy to us: though they, to keep up a National Religion, by which those, they admit into publick trust, are brought to test; and, for the securing publick peace, amidst the differences of Religion, maintain a standing Army; Further, why our dissenters should not, upon their own bottoms, be comprehended within the le­gal settlement of the Church, they themselves give a very just occa­sion: for the very best Party amongst them have such Principles of Policy and Government, as are utterly inconsistent and incompati­ble, not only with any other Form, but with Monarchy it self; as hath been clearly evidenced from their own writings and practices: and others there are, that do, in effect, loosen the bands of all Society, by excusing that duty, Servants owe to their Masters, Children to their Parents, Wives to their Husbands, under a pretence of seeking God, justifie disobedience by the Corban of Religion; and for any com­mand of their Superiors, they like not, have a ready answer, that they are to obey God rather than man: whereas, on the contrary, there is no one thing, that the English Church does in her Doctrine more positively affirm, or in her Offices more zealously express, then obe­dience to Governors, and her duty to her Soveraign. To draw to an [Page 25] end in this Argument; some there are, that fear not to charge the Church it self with Sacriledge; and truly I must grant, that Church­men may be guilty, by imbezilling and mis-imploying Church-reve­nue, which sure enough was mainly design'd for Pious Uses: but may not a man, that faithfully serves the Publick in his place, have some regard to himself too, in fair provisions for his own Family? The Apostle tells us, that he, that does not, is worse then an Infidel. To shut up all, and to drive this nail to the head; I do freely acknowledge, that the Church never flourish'd more under Pagan Governments, then when it was in the poorest condition for it's temporals; when it lay un­der Pressures and Afflictions, and had the Heathen-State its Enemy.

But shall any Christian Magistrate now design the Perscution and Ruine of the Church therefore? This were to Argue with the Apo­state Iulian, to strip Bishops and Priests of their lively-hood, and to turn them out of all they have; that they may be poor in imita­tion of their master's Example, and in obdedience to his command may learn to contemn the World. But, thanked be God, we live not now under Heathen Emperours and Pagan Governours: though, if we did, it were our duty to pray for them, and to thank God for then too, and to obey them in all lawful commands, and where we can not safely obey, chearfully suffer for a good Conscience. Neither is, nor ought the Church to be so now, as it was in the Primitive times, before it was setled under Christian Magistrates; though then too there was fair liberal allowance; and there's no Minister, we have, but would be contented to Preach at the Primitive rates, were our Auditors as free and open-handed, as they were then. In the close of all, these sacred Morsels, though they may seem sweet, yet leave gravel behind them: and this I dare boldly say, that the de­cay of the Church, and the disrepute of Religion, amongst any peo­ple, is a certain token, and an infallible character of that People's approaching Ruine;

Sic profanatis sacris
Peritura Troja perdidit primùm Deos.

So that from the complication of Church and State, and the ex­treme hazard, each of them runs in the other's perils, we stand ob­liged, upon a meer Civil account, for our Brethren and Companion. sakes, to wish the Churches prosperity and welfare, in our mutual Agreement among our selves.

[Page 26] Before I make an end, I think it necessary to take notice of an Objection or two, which may seem to overthrow the purpose and design of this whole Discourse. For though it hath already been clear'd out of the Context, that by Ierusalem here must be meant the Church; and that the Churches Peace, which for his Brethren and Companions sakes David resolves to wish and endeavour, did consist in that People's uniform Worship of God: as appears further by that Churches sad experience, when Ieroboam drew off the Ten Tribes from their Allegiance, and (which is reckon'd his great sin, which he made the Children of Israel to sin) had, by setting up new forms of Worship, made their return, as well to the Thrones of David at Ierusalem, as to the Temple, impossible, and, by a subtle con­trivance of an establish'd Schism to render his Rebellion perpetually successful, divided them from their brethren in Religion, and made the breach irreconcileable; then by degrees the poor Samaritans fell off into all kinds of Superstitions and Idolatries, the Statutes of Omri and Ahab, and I know not what else gallymawfreys of Reli­gion: and all this grounded on the fair pretence of that Precise Sect, the Karaei, who would admit of nothing, in the Worship of God, but what they found expresly commanded in the Law of Moses. I say, though thus it stood with the Iewish Church; I fore­see an Objection may be made, that our case is much different from theirs: for first, Theirs was but a Typical Ceremonial Service, which in the Gospel state has no place; since our Worship now must be in Spirit and in Truth: and then again, for these very Types and Ceremonies they had a Divine Command, and were by strict precept oblig'd to that uniform attendance upon the Temple; whereas such a precept or command now we have none, to tye us up in like man­ner to any one form of Worship.

To the first part of the Objection, that that was a Typical Service in the Iewish Church; but that the Holy Iesus has to the Christian Church brought Grace and Truth, which do not tye us up to such severe observances in external things, but have instated us into a Liberty, wherein we are commanded to stand fast; and therefore we are not to part with it upon any terms; I answer, that, though the Ceremonies of that Religion be abolished, yet the substance of it re­mains still in the Christian Church: for the shadow and the truth were to answer one another; and those Types and representations are therefore now to be made out answerably by us in real perfor­mances; [Page 27] so that the Vniformity of Worship is as agreeable, and per­haps more necessary, now to the Substance, as 'twas then to the Shadow; and the obligation proportionably the same upon us, as upon them. For though God did, by the death of his Son, rent the vail of the Temple, and break down the Partition-wall, and so has brought us Gentiles into the Fellowship of the Church; it was, that we should in the same orderly manner serve him in substance, as they did in Germony, and in suitable methods accomplish their Types with the Truth of our services. They brought their Calves and their Lambs to the Priest, and had them by his hand offered in the Temple: Christian Religion has, for their Priests and Levites, distinct orders likewise of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, and instead of a Temple, Churches, where the People, by the Ministration of the Priesthood, are to offer up their Prayers and their Praises, which are our morning and evening Sacrifices. And thus for their Temple, their Sacrifices, their Sabbaths, their Priesthood, and almost all consi­derable Instances of their Worship, there is a perpetual uniform Ana­legy throughout betwixt them and us. Only their Worship was perform'd in the shadow of the Law; ours in the light of the Gos­pel: and if this light proves to us darkness, how great will our dark­ness be? For alas! that liberty they talk of, and that light, which so dazzles their eyes, that they cannot see their way, is quite mista­ken by them. That light was indeed design'd, to lead them out of the shadow; but not to lead them into the fire; for of that nature all Schism and division is: and that liberty as it releas'd them from the bondage of the Ceremonial Law, so it doth not at all disoblige them from the Moral Law, but rather engages them to it with faster ties of gratitude. Now, as I take it, the Fifth Commandment, which enjoyns obedience to the Magistrate, was never lookt upon as a part of the Ceremonial Law, but always accounted to have a Moral and a perpetual indispensible obligation in it. And I must assure them, that disobedience to a lawful Governour, in things not simply in their own nature unlawful (as most of them confess our Liturgy and Rites to be) is a great sin and of dangerous consequence, to their own Souls, as well as to the Peace of the Church. So that that answer, they make the Magistrate in this case, is not proper; that they are not free to obey him: for they are by all Laws both of God and Man Free nay more, obliged and bound to obey. Only let them, I advise, take heed of making [Page 28] that Liberty they pretend to, a Cloak of Maliciousness.

Again, as to what they say, that the Iews had a peremptory command from God himself for their Vniformity; but we can pro­duce no such for ours. I grant them, nor am I so fond to say, we have an express command, set down in God's Word, for every rite and usage, our Church has thought fit, for Decency and good Or­der, to retain. Nor is it at all necessary, it should be so. No, nei­ther had they for all theirs; as appears by David's and Solomon's ordering the Quire of the Temple, in the course of the Singers, ma­king forms of devotion, and prescribing them for publick use, and instituting several other things, as occasion required, in that ser­vice. And the like may be said of Asa and Iosias their Reformati­ons. And this those godly and wise Governours thought, they might with a safe Conscience do, even in that service, which God himself had appointed; and that Church was never in a more flourishing condition, then it was then. And are they able now to produce any reason, why we should not believe, the Governours of our Church (of whom we own the King as Supreme) to have the same power now, as they had then, upon the like occasions; and that the People stand equally obliged to accept the Proposals of publick Authority, in things of the same nature, that concern the Worship of God. Especially, since Christ at his promulgation of the Gospel, in his own person, took care only for the weightier things, and left those of lesser alloy, which tend only to the con­venience and beauty of the Church, not to the Essence of Religi­on, to the care and prudence of the Apostles, and so from them to others, their Successors, Governours of the Church; to order the Affairs of each Church, as would be most expedient for the ne­cessities of each Church in its Plantation. And some of these Apo­stles sure, if I understand any thing, have left not only commands, but Examples behind them too, which reach our case. For what means that, which is said of the Primitive Christians, that they con­tinued together, and were all of one mind? They were not sure met, some in one place, and some in another, in different forms to exercise their Religion: one part kneeling, another standing, a third sitting at the breaking of the bread. Let not such unhand­som thoughts enter into our hearts. What means the Apostle, when he chides some, that sunk and withdrew from the Publick Assemblies, as the manner of some was? but that he would have them keep [Page 29] close to an uniform Worship, and not separate, and set up for them­selves, in new fangle ways of their own. Indeed what mean those many vehement perswasions to like-mindedness and brotherly love, which we meet with every where in the Apostles writings; but agreement in Religion? Since that love can be no way so well ex­prest, as in such an agreement; and upon tryal 'twill be found im­possible, it should be maintained and preserved amongst us other­wise. In a word, if that general Rule, the Apostle doth authorita­tively set down, have not in it the force and purport of a Command; I am to seek, what a Command is; Let every thing be done decently and in order. And how in the same Church every one might have liberty of his own Methods to serve God by, and yet the Decorum of Religion, and the good Order of the Church, be nevertheless kept up; I must confess, I am still further to seek for my understanding. In a word; let them talk of Christian liberty, as they please: that cannot reasonably by pretended, to justifie publick disorders in any Chri­stian State. This may be rational to suppose, that the several Churches, according to the nature of their several constitutions, in several Countries, were left to a liberty, upon prudential reasons, to order their own affairs, to their own convenience, in things in­different, whether in matters of Government, or Worship, or Disci­pline: keeping still to the Analogy of faith and sound doctrine, and to the Rule of Gods Word. And hereupon it was, that the English Church, when it threw off the tyrannous yoke of Popery as it did, with prudent Zeal, and by publick Authority, reform the abuses and corruptions of Doctrine, and abolish all superstitious and idle Ceremo­nies; so of them what were found not contrary to Scripture-rule, and agreeable to primitive practice, it thought fit to retain, for de­cency and good order, in her Liturgie and Publick Service. And though some were even then discontented, that no more was done; and called for a farther Reformation; yet this was but according to the British Proverb, which tells us, that the Saissons (so they call us) never know, when a thing is well; but will be mending still, till they mar all: as our late times plainly shew; when, under pretence of reforming Religion, we had put our selves into the ready way of losing it quite, and had scarce the face of a Church left amongst us. Upon this ground Calvin himself (as judicious Mr. Hooker tells us) erected his Model at Geneva, applying himself to the exigents of that time, and those people, he had to do with: though others since, be­sides; [Page 30] his first intention, have, with violent zeal, endeavoured to im­pose that Form upon other Churches also, as matter of Conscience; which was designed by him, meerly out of prudence and convenience. And no question, but Calvin might look upon Government, (though he had for his own part as much Authority, as ever Bishop of Geneva had; and Presbytery it self is little else then a multiplied Episcopacy, setting up in every Parish a Diocesan) I say, he might probably look upon Church-government, as an indifferent thing, as well as he did upon the Lords day it self, which he was about (as Martin Bucer re­ports of him) to have changed from Sunday to Thursday, for the convenience of that people, in their marketings. Again, hereupon it is, from this liberty, whereby the Churches may each order its own affairs in Christian Policy, that the Reformed Churches themselves, though agreeing, as to the main, in doctrinals; yet in other things differ so much among themselves: and yet with that fair regard nevertheless, that, as all the Reformed Churches abroad do highly magnifie the constitution of the Church of England, and approve her Methods; as being the main Rampart and Bulwark against the Ro­mish Tyranny; So, on the other hand, the English Church is very far from condemning them, for accommodating themselves to the necessity of their conditions, but embraces them all with a hearty friendship. And herein, I say, if I mistake not, lies the very ratio formalis, the nature and extent of Christian liberty, so much talkt of; that the several Churches indeed may, in externals and circumstan­tials, square themselves to the necessity of times and places, and order their affairs accordingly. But to say that every particular person or party, in the same Church, has, by vertue of his Christianity, a liber­ty to disobey the publick Orders of that Church, whereof he is a Member, and to serve God, as shall, notwithstanding those Orders, seem good to that party or person, (for, as the Party breaks, it will come to Persons at last:) to take Liberty (as I said before) in this notion, is to make it but another name for confusion. Wherefore, since Churches are now constituted, and 'tis clear, they are no more to be under the peoples Government, then the Civil States are; but that the ordering of both belongs to the Christian Magistrate as the Guardian of both Tables; I say, since 'tis so, it necessarily follows, that for any man to affirm, that, what the Magistrate, upon grave deliberation, requires of us, in Gods publick Service, is an intolera­ble imposition upon conscience; and that things indifferent, and in [Page 31] their own nature lawful to be done, being once commanded and recommended by lawful Authority, become eo nomine, upon that very account, unlawful; is a most absurd defiance, and not to be endured. For these are such Theses, as, although some have been bold to publish them, and are still confident enough to act according to them; yet have no footing, either in the Word of God, or in right Reason, (upon which two, Societies are founded, and the right of Government stands) as being destructive at once, not only to the Peace of the Church, but to the purposes of the Civil Power too.

That I may make all clear; I shall, to omit that of Korah, the Son of Levi, who might possibly otherwise be lookt upon as a godly and able man, as having a great opinion amongst the people, and an inte­rest in many of the Princes, and, for ought as we read, was guilty of no other fault but Non-conformity and murmuring against Aaron, Numb. 16. 11. Indeed Dathan and Abiram, Lay-men, Sons of Reuben, went further against Moses himself, in vers. 13, 14. though these State-Reb [...]ls too, as well as that disobedient Levite, had the luck upon the very morrow after that dreadful execution upon them, to be esteemed at vers. 41. by all the Congregation, the people of the Lord. Though this look too much like our case; yet, I say, to pass it by; because that was a severe example, I shall give you two milder instances; the one, in the Jewish Church, long before the building of the Temple, that of Micah: the other, of a famous Christian Church, planted by S. Paul, that of the Corinthians.

The Story of Micah is, that he made an Ephod and Teraphim and consecrated one of his Sons to be his Priest, Iudg. 17. 5▪ upon which the remark is, in the next verse; that in those days there was no King in Israel; but every man did that which was right in his own eyes, Nor was the matter mended, when he got a young Levite to be his Father and his Priest: for in the very beginning of the next Chapter, 'tis again said: In those days there was no King in Israel; so that 'tis clear, that this is taxed as a scandal of those loose ungoverned times, when there was no King; that any man should set up for himself a private Form of Worship, to which it should seem the people of the neighbour-houses resorted, Chap. 18. vers. 22. This practice then of Micah's was a fault without doubt; which, had there been a King in Israel, a lawful Authority in being, to have taken order about such things, would not have been suffered.

That of the Corinthians is yet more plausible, and yet not fault­less [Page 32] neither: they kept to their publick Ministers; yet, because they prefer'd one to another, and some liked better of Pauls performance, others of Apollo's, in the same common work; he taxes them of car­nality, i. e. of Schism. 1 Cor. 3. 3. for so he gives the reason; For, saith he, whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions or factions, are not ye carnal? why? what factions or divisions are these, he speaks of? he tells you, vers. 4. For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollo; are ye not carnal? and yet Paul and Apollo were excellent Persons, both of them; not only Or­thodox sound men, but men of eminent abilities both, and extra­ordinary graces. But Paul and Apollo were but Ministers, as he tells us in the next verse, that employed those gifts, and exercised those graces for the Churches good, as the Lord giveth to every one. If this be envying, and strife, and division or faction, what would Paul have said of us? how carnal are we, who do not gad after the Pauls and Apollos? I wish they were, for their own and their Hearers sakes, all such, whom people now-a-days so eagerly follow; but quite Kim-kam leave the regular Assemblies of Orthodox men, and run a wildring after every Will-in-the-wisp, that comes in our way, and have such persons in admiration, as are, many of them, neither Orthodox nor able; and further, some of us take up dangerous Principles at any rate, and exercise Religions of our own making, in such a manner, as must needs in the end (might such things prevail amongst us) prove destructive to Christianity it self.

And thus I have answered that Objection at large, taking in th [...] ground of the main Controversie, as far as I could, which is in debat [...] at this day among us. There is another too, which I must not le [...] go without its Answer, (and I shall be brief) That these reasons [...] mine for Vniformity will serve indifferently for all Religions of al [...] Countries, as well as ours; and that Mahumetans and Papists are, by this Doctrine, no less obliged, then we, to keep up their ways o [...] Worship amongst the people, for the honour of God, the reputation of Religion, and the safety of the Government: since we ought not in stark Charity to suppose, but that they, who profess the worst of Religions, do, in their conscience, and according to their Principles, take it to be the best in the world. I hope there's no one in this Assembly, will make so uncharitable a reflection upon my Discourse, as to imagine, that has been the drift of it, to countenance the bloo­dy practices and cruel persecutions, used, either in the Popes Domi­nions, [Page 33] or the Grand Signor's Territories. Far be it from me to plead the cause, either of the one or of the other. Yet I do in my Conscience think, that some of those the most violent Princes of either Religion, that have been the most zealous Persecuters, were in their Conscience perswaded, that they were in the right. You'l say, that's fair for me to grant: Our Saviour says the same; they shall kill you, and think they do God good service by so doing: and yet I say Positively, and I would have it taken notice of, be­cause it may concern some, who may think themselves far enough from being in the same form with Turks and Papists; I do Posi­tively say, that this their acting according to their Conscience will by no means excuse them. For my proof, I have both the great Apostles Rule and his Example too. His Rule is set down, Gal. 4. 18. It is good to be zealously affected, always in a good thing. The case, he brings it upon, is not so clear; I suppose upon the ac­count of some false Teachers, which endeavour'd to alienate them from that Doctrine, which he had taught them, and to withdraw them from the Church for their own advantage; and this with a great shew of zeal, in the fore-going verse: They zealously affect you (says he) but not well: yea they would exclude you: or, in ano­ther reading, they would exclude us, that you might affect them. I wish our People would beware of such, who with a great deal of zealous affection carry on their own designs. But whatever the particular case was, the Rule will hold in general. 'Tis good to be zealous, if a man's cause be good, and if the man be con­vinc'd, his cause is so. Otherwise Zeal without knowledge, or in a wrong cause, is a ridiculous and mischievous thing; and is upon this score reckoned amongst the works of the flesh. And thus is it with those Idolatrous People, who, the more zealous they are, the more they have to answer. I confess 'tis a sad thing, for any man to have an erring guide to follow; I mean an errone­ous Conscience. For which way soever he take, either with or against Conscience, he is concluded to an unavoidable necessity of sinning; and I must acknowledge too, that 'tis safest to sin on Conscience side; and yet the mistake of Conscience will not be a sufficient plea for unjustifiable actions. And thus it was with Paul, who, in the time of his Pharisaism, was a zealous Persecu­tor, and thought he did well; but after his Conversion, for that very thing condemns himself, as the worst of sinners, and yet was [Page 34] no less zealous for the Religion he turn'd to. Now does his Zeal, whilst he was a Pharisee, which was his great sin, make his Chri­stian Zeal e're a whit the less commendable? No sure. No more does Nero's or Dioclesian's Persecutions of the Saints blemish any Christian Magistrates severity, in defending the Faith against Hereticks, or the Order of the Church against Sectaries. Alex­ander's killing of a Friend in his drink could be no Argument against his putting a Traytor to death by sober advice; nor could the execution of a Traytor excuse the murder of a Friend. To retort it upon the Objectors: if they are so zealously affect­ed, that, rather then their conceits shall not carry, they will ven­ture the pulling down. Church and State about their ears; let any one judge, is not the Magistrate, whom God hath intrust­ed with the care of his Church, obliged to be as Zealous for the preservation of Church and State, in the vigorous defence of Truth and Peace? To make a familiar instance: an honest man in pos­session shews a just courage in maintaining his right, and is com­mended for it; whilst the injurious invader, let his courage be what it will, is apprehended and deservedly punish'd by Law, unless he grow too strong for the Law; and then that's a sad case.

I have done with the Arguments, wherein I could not but think it my duty, as to plead the Churches Peace, so to vindi­cate her against Objections, which are usually made; and now shall only desire, that, as you have hitherto attended me with an obliging patience, so you will extend that patience a little farther, whilst I make an earnest and affectionate Address to you, in a short Application, with which I shall close all. Let me then press it upon you, Right Honourable and Worshipful, the Magi­strates and Patriots of this great City, and you worthy Citizens, of what rank and degree soever, which hear me this day (and I could wish, my voice could reach from one end of the City to the other) that you will all of you put on Publick Spirits, and lay to heart the concerns of your Brethren and Companions, and every man in his place exsert his Authority and Interest, contri­bute his Prayers and endeavours for the Prosperity of the English Church, and the composure of our unnatural irreligious differences in Religion. Your City is the Metropolis of the Nation, the Royal Seat of the Government, and the great Staple of Trade; which [Page 35] spreads its universal influence into all parts of the Land; and your Example gives law to all the rest of the people. 'Tis your Iustice, which holds the ballance in all National dealings, 'tis your mode of Religon here, that is follow'd every where; yonr fashions of serving God, that are taken up and retayl'd into the Countrey. The union of this City would unite us all. O do not be wanting to so Pious, so Necessary, so Charitable a Work. If you have any regard to God's Honour amongst us, if any care of Religion, if any love to your Native Countrey and the Go­vernment you live under; if any kindness to your own Per­sons and Families, to your Wives and little ones, to your Friends and Relations; if you have any hopes left, after all those heavy Iudgments that have gone over you, of enjoying Peace and Liberty and Plenty in your new dwellings; if all these dear concerns do, as I know they needs must, lye near your hearts; act then in the name of God, for his sake and your own, in a full and vigorous sense of these things, and study the Churches Peace, which is to secure them all to you by your unanimous Agreement in God's Worship and Service. Your publick Iustice, and Regulation of Trade, and Reformation of Abuses in Civil Affairs, and the prudent and vigilant admini­stration of the Government of the City, are things make you wor­thily spoken of: but if this be all, if there be not a like zeal for Gods House, and the cause of Religion, we may say, as he did, Arcem perdimus, dum castella defendimus; We have lost the main sort of our happiness, the Churches Peace; while we take care of the out-works, things less considerable. Pardon me; 'Tis not flattery, will uphold a Government. I speak it out of hearty affection to my Countrey, and a due respect to this famous City. My heart bleeds within me, and my bowels earn, to think, in what a posture our Ierusalem now stands. You are very now building in the Flames; they have seiz'd your Suburbs, and are got within your Gates, and are smothering in the midst of your Ruines. Let us do, as is usual, when a Fire breaks out: every one bring his Bucket, and help to quench: unless such a Stupor and unactive astonishment hath overtaken us, as did in the late Conflagration, and we tamely give up all to the Fury of the Merciless Element. And this sure is the far more deplorable Fire of the two, as laying wast the Consciences [Page 36] of men, and burning up our main strengths and greatest orna­ments, and laying us open to dismal expectations. I pray read the 28. of Deuteronomy, and apply it to our case; that, if they did not observe the Commandments and Statutes, God appointed them to walk in, (by which was not meant the Moral Law alone, for that has an equal obligation upon all mankind; but those National rules and institutions, by which they were made a People and a Church) they should be cursed in the City, and cursed in the Field; they should build Houses, and not dwell in them; they should be pursu'd with Plagues, and at last given up to the inso­lence of Forreiners, and pluckt off from the Laud of their Nati­vity. What then can we look for at last, after so many me­thods, God has lost upon us, after so many praeludia of his dis­pleasure, but some determining exterminating Judgment? But God forbid! I have some hopes still of Gods mercy to this our Ierusalem, and his pity to her, as she lies in her dust. Nor is the thing it self, I am perswaded, past remedy, were it apply'd to, and we would take Saint Iude's advice, Iude 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. verses, where he tells us of those, that separate themselves; that, for all their pretences, have not the Spirit. But ye Beloved, (says he) building up your selves on your most holy Faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, (which may most certainly be done in the publick wholsome forms of Church-Devotion) Keep your selves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Iesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a diffe­rence: and others save with fear, his meaning i [...], by rugged means; pulling them out of the Fire. This Schism then and Se­paration is a Fire, in the Apostles Language; and some are to be pull'd out of it by force. The ingenuous will be sham'd, the meek will be convinc'd, the considering will be reason'd out of it; but some there are, it seems, must be roughly dealt with; and aw'd by Authority. Let us, like Brethren and Companions, take up the business between our selves. Come; We are Men. 'Tis the priviledge of the blessed Angels to be free from errour; but the infirmity of humane nature to commit mistakes; to persist in errours though, even to publick mischief, is the character of the Devil's pride and malice; but to return and repent, is the glo­ry of the Saints of God. Why should any one of us be asham'd of that which is his glory, and will be his Eternal comfort? [Page 37] We are Brethren and Friends; we live under the same Laws, and profess the same Gospel of Peace; why should we disagree, and fall out in our greatest concern, and quarrel one another into common Ruine? Ierusalem is the mother of us all; let not us by our Divisions make her a Samaria, a Seminary of Sects and Factions: let us not make our Mother a harlot. What have we to do with the Statutes of Omri and Ahab, and the sin of usurp­ing Ieroboam, which he caused Israel to sin? They are dead and gone, and let their Statutes dye with them. You are Citizens of London, a People of great Credit and Reputation all the World over, for your Prudence and good Government, for your vast Trade and Dealings; and you are allied to most of the con­siderable Families of the Kingdom▪ let it not be said of you; that you are grown weak and mean, a fluttering and unsteady Peo­ple; that you have quit your establishments, and are perpetu­ally to seek for your Religion, and are ready like Children in your streets, to be caught up by every Spirit, and to run after any one, that pretends to be a Guide. London, an Ancient and Noble Mart, long talkt of in the world, before ever there was Dam or Dike in Holland; let it not truckle under Amsterdam, and be made a Magazine of Opinions, and new fangled Religions. For shame do not justifie that advantage, the Enemies of our Church have taken from 666. to clap the name of Babylon upon your City; but wipe off the reproach, and fling it back into the face of them, as they deserve it; by uniting all, as one man, in the service and worship of God, and in the common defence of the Protestant cause. And then, when you are thus agreed, when your minds are as uniform, as your buildings are like to be; then shall ye be blessed in the City, and blessed shall ye be in the Field; blessed shall be your Basket and your Store: then the Lord shall establish you a holy people unto himself; and all people shall see, that ye are call'd by his name, and they shall be afraid of you. Then the Lord shall open unto you his good treasure, and shall make you plenteous in goods; and he shall command the blessing upon you, in your Store-houses, and in all that you set your hands unto. And then, when your Example, has prevail'd with the rest of the Nation (as it will in a very short time) that having our hearts united in God's fear, and laying aside all animosities and unnecessary quarrels, we may serve him with one heart and [Page 38] with one shoulder, and with one voice confess his holy name and his word, and, being like-minded, we may unanimously seek those things, which tend to publick peace, and to the good of community; Then, when we are thus united, all other disor­ders will easily be regulated, all grievances redrest, and all scan­dals remov'd, to the honour of the Government, and the welfare of the People; Then shall the Earth bring forth her increase, and God, even our own God, shall give us his blessing: Then shall we see both Church and State, once more in a flourishing condition: when God shall make all our Officers righteousness, and with his favour shall encompass us, as with a shield: Then shall this float­ing Island be setled upon sure and lasting grounds; Then shall Albion again be the praise and terrour of the Nations, nor shall her white cliffs, or her wooden walls, or the embraces of her beloved Ocean, so much secure her, as the Divine protection, and agreement of her Inhabitants: Which God in his good time, of his Infinite Mercy, grant, for his Churches, and for our Brethren and Companions sake. Amen, Amen.


PAge 3. Line 13. read of community. p. 13. l. 18. will r. would. p. 20. l. 18. form r. forms. p. 22. l. 22. r. of the Land, in Civil affairs, and leave out in Civil affairs in the next line. p. 25. l. 12. r. persecution. p. 27. l. 31. indis­pensible r. indispensable. p. 28. l. 38. sunk r. slunk, p. 30. l. 7. [...]ok r. look.


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