THE Bishop of NORWICH's SERMON Preach'd before the House of LORDS, On JANUARY 31. 1697.

Die Lunae 7o Februarii, 1697.

IT is Ordered by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament Assem­bled, That the Thanks of this House be, and are hereby given to the Lord Bishop of Norwich, for his Sermon Preach'd before this House the One and Thirtieth Day of January last, in the Abby-Church; and he is hereby desir'd to Print and Publish the same.

MATTH. JOHNSON, Cler' Parlamentor'

A SERMON Preach'd before the House of Lords, IN THE Abby-Church at Westminster, UPON Monday, January 31. 1697.

By the Right Reverend Father in God, JOHN Lord Bishop of NORWICH.

LONDON: Printed by R. R. for W. Rogers, at the Sun against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleetstreet. MDCXCVII.

1 TIM. II. 1, 2.‘I exhort therefore, that first of all, suppli­cations, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.’

NOtwithstanding the Care at first, which was taken in planting the Gospel of Christ, and that the Doctrines and Precepts thereof were publish'd by Men divinely inspired, yet Errors of a dange­rous nature did early creep into the Church.

Two of which are opposed by St. Paul in the Text; the one concerned the Extent of the Chri­stian Religion; and the other related to the Sub­jection due to the Civil Magistrate. It was a pre­vailing Opinion among the Jews who were the first Converts to Jesus Christ, That his Gospel was only to be preached to themselves; and that [Page 2] the Infinite Happiness promised in it, should be limited to the People of their own Nation.

They were puff'd up with the long Course of Favours God had been pleas'd to vouchsafe unto them, and could not endure with patience to hear and think, that under the Dispensation of the Gospel, the Gentiles should stand on a Level with them, and become equally capable of the hopes and means of Salvation.

And as the Epicureans would have shut the Pro­vidence of God out of the World, so They would have confined the illustrious Manifestations of it by Jesus Christ, to the Seed of Abraham.

While indeed the Jews were under the peculiar Care of God, the Laws he made to govern them were chiefly Political, and had regard to their Publick Good and Safety as a Nation and Com­munity, like the Civil Laws of other Countries; and Submission to them was enforced by Tem­poral Rewards and Punishments.

But when it pleased him to enact Laws which were for the Reformation of the Minds and Af­fections, as well as the Manners of Men, and which would not only advance their general Good in this Life, but procure their Eternal Welfare in the next, it seemed agreeable to his boundless Goodness and Wisdom, that what he intended for the Advancement of Human Nature, and the [Page 3] Reparation of his own Image in the Souls of Men, which was defaced by Adam's Fall, and Man's own wilful Transgressions, should reach to all who did partake of that Nature.

And this being the highest Favour his poor re­volted Creatures were capable of receiving, it was his merciful Resolution not to deny any of them the Means to obtain it.

Insomuch that the Merit of Christ's Death was to extend not only to the Seed of Abraham, but to the whole Posterity of Adam. That as in Adam all 1 Cor. 15. 22. dye, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

And that God's designed Bounty by the coming of the Messiah, should comprehend all Nations, the Jews had sufficient notice from the Inspired Writers of their own Country. And I will shake all Hag. 2. 7. nations, and the desire of all nations shall come.

I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Isa. 49. 6. thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

And in support of this great Truth, St. Paul doth exhort Timothy, That Supplications be made for all Men: Whether Jews or Gentiles, Believers or Infidels; of what Country, of what Rank or Quality soever they be.

But the Occasion of our being at this time as­sembled, will not permit me longer to insist up­on the Refutation of this first Mistake of the Jewish Christians, against which St. Paul's Exhor­tation [Page 4] is here directed: I proceed therefore to the Consideration of the other immediately follow­ing; which was, Their Averseness to live in Sub­jection to the Civil Magistrate.

Their Untractableness and Disrespect to Ru­lers, had appeared on several occasions, especially since they were brought under the Roman Yoke; and may probably be in some measure imputed to a wrong Interpretation which they had put upon a Precept that God gave them by Moses.

God had required them to make no King, but of their own People. One from among thy brethren Deut. 17. 15. shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. This made them unwilling to submit to any Foreign Power.

It is true, while a liberty of Election conti­nued, they were to chuse a King of their own Nation; but after God for the hardness of their hearts did suffer them to be subdued by their Neighbours, and to be carried Captive into a strange Land, it became their Duty to be subject to them who had brought them under their Pow­er, and to conform themselves to the Laws of the Emperors and Kings who protected them.

Now St. Paul having some cause to suspect, since their Conversion to the Christian Religion, that they had not quitted all their Prejudices and [Page 5] false Notions about Obedience and Submission to the higher Powers, which they held under the Mosaick Dispensation, does in the Text exhort and desire Timothy, that as Prayers should be made for all kinds of Men, so chiefly, and in the first place for Kings, and all that are in Authority. In treating of which Argument, I shall endeavour to shew,

  • (1.) That it is not foreign to the Office of the Ministers of the Christian Church, to remind the People of their Duty to the Civil Power.
  • (2.) That the People are bound by the Laws of God and Nature, to pray for those in Authority, and to live in due Subjection to them.

(1.) That it is not foreign to the Office of the Ministers of the Christian Church, to remind the People of their Duty to the Civil Power.

Which Proposition may be grounded on the Exhortation of St. Paul to Timothy. The Apostle did not think it sufficient, when he writ to whole Churches, to injoyn them to render Tribute [...] and Service to Chief Governors, and all in Au­thority under them; but in his Epistle to Timothy, who being made Bishop of Ephesus, was about to order and establish the Worship of God in the Assemblies of the New Christians, he does exhort and beseech him, that their Publick Service should begin with Prayers for all Men, and particularly for Kings.

[Page 6] And with equal Care and Zeal to preserve Chri­stians from Seditious Designs and Plots against the Magistrate, in his Letter to Titus, by him con­stituted Bishop of Crete, he presses him to put the Churches in mind to be subject to Principalities and Powers, to obey Magistrates, to be ready to every good.

Insomuch as Timothy is required, That in his Office of Publick Prayer, Kings should have a principal part; and Titus hath order in his Ser­mons, to put the Hearers in mind of their Duty to the Supreme and Subordinate Powers.

Whatever therefore is declared a Duty of our Holy Religion, and is contained among the Apo­stolical Precepts, must not only be a Subject pro­per, but very necessary for Christian Ministers to ex­plain, and seriously recommend unto the People.

There was more cause for making this Obser­vation, which arises directly from our Text, be­cause it hath been often objected to the Clergy, when they preach Loyalty and Submission to the Government, that they exceed the Bounds of their Office, and meddle with Matters which do not belong to them.

As if a Christian Minister could go beyond his Commission, while he contained himself within the compass of his Bible, and only published those Doctrines unto the Congregation, which our [Page 7] Lord Christ, and his Holy Apostles had taught before him. If any therefore have been worthy of blame for their Discourses on these Arguments, it must proceed from want either of Judgment, or Sincerity in their Performance.

We do not therefore pretend to excuse either those who have taught the People to speak Evil of Dignities, and would have disposed them to Mutiny and take Arms against their Sovereign Lords; or those who would persuade Governors to Rule by Arbitrary Power, and not to have respect to the Laws, and the general Good in their Administration.

Such Men indeed transgress their Commission, and Act without Integrity or Skill in both the Extremes; and ought not to be esteemed Friends, either to the Prerogative of Princes, or to the Li­berty of the People. For neither the one, nor the other, can be stretched beyond the Measures of Law and Justice, without hazard of being broken.

But then this is not the only Case in which Men may betray the defects of their Understand­ing, or of their Honesty; seeing other Religious Matters have likewise their Extremes; and we need not seek much, or go far for a pertinent In­stance.

For in the same Verse that St. Paul does bid Titus to put them in mind to be subject to Prin­cipalities, [Page 8] he also requires him to exhort them to be ready to every Good Work. Now Good Works are a most noble and necessary Subject for Preachers to treat of in the Pulpit, and they hard­ly can compose a Sermon, without having occa­sion to make mention of them.

And yet some have set too high a rate even upon Good Works, and others have as much un­dervalued them. The Romanists over-rate them, while they contend they are meritorious, and that God is bound to reward those who do them; making that a Debt of his Justice, which is the effect alone of his free Grace and Mercy.

On the other hand, the Antinomians and Solifi­dians, as they are called, do put too low a Value on Good Works, by not allowing them, accord­ing to the ordinary Laws of the Gospel, to be necessary Ingredients of the Condition upon which the Christian man shall be justified: When yet our Saviour hath declared, that the truest Test we can give of our love of him, and the way to enter into Life, is to keep his Command­ments; and St. James does pronounce, That faith without works cannot save us.

Wherefore to conclude this matter, Accusati­ons and Clamour should never divert us from our Duty, but they ought to make us more diligent and exact in the manner of doing it. We proceed therefore to shew,

[Page 9] (2.) That the People are bound by the Laws of God and Nature to pray for those in Autho­rity, and to live in due Obedience to them.

The Obligation upon Men to be Subject to Kings and Princes hath been made appear from the Holy Scripture in part already: But before I fetch further Proof from thence, it may be of ad­vantage to this Point, to enquire what Evidence there may be for it from Reason and natural Light.

The Evidence from the Light of Nature and Reason will be strong, if it can be proved that the Original of Society is from God, and that he hath made Government necessary to Mankind, and consequently hath obliged every Man to comply with, and submit to all things necessary to up­hold Rule and Discipline in Bodies Politick. In order to make which out, I shall shew,

  • (1.) That God hath qualified and fitted the Nature of Man for Society.
  • (2.) That Man has a great Love, Appetite, and Desire to Society.
  • (3.) That the Wants and Deficiencies, una­voidable in the present State, cannot be supplied without Society, and other Mens Assistance.
  • (4.) That unless Men submit to the Authority establish'd in every Society for the Government of it, no Society or Community can subsist or con­tinue.

[Page 10] (1.) That God hath fitted and qualified the Nature of Man for Society, is manifest both from the Faculties of the Mind, and the Powers of the Body, wherewith he hath endowed him. Man is furnisht with Primum est quod cernitur in universi generis humani socictate. Ejus autem vin­culum est, ratio, & oratio, quae docendo, discendo, com­municando, disceptando, ju­dicando, conciliat inter se homines, conjungitque natu­rali quadam societate. Ci­cer. de Off. l. 1. p. 26. Reason, and Memory, and Speech, and Bodi­ly Strength, which are so many Qualifications for the making him a sociable Creature; since they are all contrived, and may be used as well for the benefit of others, as of our selves; and Speech seems for no other end designed, than Conversation, and the furtherance of Mutual Good.

Man by the Exercise of his Reason does disco­ver a difference between things; that some are [...]. Arist. de Repub. l. 1. c. 2. Good, and others Evil; those things he judges Good, which will preserve and improve the Faculties and Powers of his Being; and those Evil, which have a tendency to corrupt and destroy them.

Next, by comparing his own Nature with other Mens, and observing the respects they have one to another, he concludes that what is Good or Evil for him, will be so for other Men; that what contributes to his own Safety or Destruction, in the same Circumstances will do so to theirs who [Page 11] have the like Intellectual Faculties and Corporeal Powers with himself.

Hence he advances to find out the different de­grees of goodness in things, and to compute how much one Good exceeds another; and he cannot but determine that the Good which is durable, is to be preferr'd to that of short continuance; that what causes Peace and Tranquility of Mind, is more to be esteemed, than what procures free­dom from Pain, and Ease of the Body; and that Goods, of every kind, are so much more valu­able, as they are more diffusive.

And therefore what is good for him, and for others also, is a greater good than what is so for himself alone; and that, in proportion, every Good is still the greater, by how much the more have benefit by it; and consequently, his Reason will engage him constantly to pursue and pro­mote the most Universal and Publick Good, in which his own will ever be involved, before and above all others.

Moreover, Men have much help from their Memory in forming Notions of Truth and Fal­shood, and of the Good and Evil in things, by re­calling the Times and Actions which are gone, and by recollecting what Fruits such Courses of Life did produce, and what was the gain or loss such Deeds did bring along with them. So that [Page 12] in passing Judgment upon Matters in view, they may be directed not only by the Objects which at present work upon their Senses, but consult the Register of all that are past, and therefrom col­lect, that the same Causes will have the same Effects; and so get Instructions how, by chan­ging the way, to attain the Good, in the pursuit whereof before they miscarried; and to escape the Evils, into which by Ignorance or Rashness they formerly had fallen.

Then lastly, By Speech, which would be of no use without Society, Men are enabled to com­municate to each other not only their present Thoughts, but their former Experience; and so to arrive at the same Opinions of things, and at length to agree upon such Rules in ordinary Deal­ings, which they shall judge to be for the general Good.

(2.) We prove Order and Government to be ordained of God, from the great Love and Ap­petite all Men have for Society. Where an Appe­tite is universally rooted in the Nature of any kind of Beings, we can attribute so general an Effect to nothing but the Maker of those Beings. As all the Faculties of Men are fitted for mutual Intercourse, so no Desires are more constant or stronger, than those of conversing one with ano­ther.

[Page 13] How great is the Delight that arises from Vir­tuous Friendship! How unspeakable the Pleasure which springs up in our Souls, from Opportuni­nities to imitate our Glorious Lord and Maker, in doing good to great Numbers! Actions of this kind are most agreeable to our Sense and Reason. And we cannot return Acts of Gratitude to our Friends, do Deeds of Charity to the Poor, or shew Kindness to any in their present Distress, without sweet and pleasing Reflections, and feel­ing the truest inward Satisfaction.

As to them who pretend to be most delighted with hiding themselves from the World, it is enough to answer, That they could not retire with safety, and freedom from fear, were they not protected by the Laws of the Community, and the Care of those who apply themselves to Publick Business; and that their Retirement would prove very uncomfortable, had they not the Works of such Persons to entertain themselves with in their Closets, whose Company they de­cline abroad.

(3.) That the Deficiencies and Wants unavoi­dable in the present state, cannot be supplied without Society, and other Mens Assistance. No living Creatures have such need of one another as Men; they cannot come into the World without much help; and when in it, they know no means [Page 14] to support themselves; it is for a long time that their Parents provide all Necessaries for their Sub­sistence.

Many sudden Calamities and Disasters befal Man, which would presently make an end of him, did not his Neighbours come to his relief. He is liable to numerous Diseases which he can­not cure or prevent; some whereof not only dis­order his Blood and Spirits, but deprive him of the Use of Reason; in which distressed Condition he owes his Life, under God, wholly to the Com­passion and Care of his Friends.

Moreover, to make Men more ready to do good Offices, God hath put Passions in them, whereby they are deeply affected with the Pro­sperity or Misfortunes of them with whom they converse. The good success of the Affairs of their Allies, does stir up secret Joy and Pleasure in their Minds; and the fear of any harm hapning to them, is the cause why they bring in more speedy and ample Supplies for their Deliverance out of Trouble.

But that our Passions should not transport us into any Excess hurtful to our selves or others, God hath put them under the Government of our Reason: So that any Mischief coming to us by their Unruliness, must be imputed to our own want of Care and Consideration.

[Page 15] More Reasons, was there now time, of the necessity for Men to confederate and join together in Bodies by Rules and Covenant, might be of­fered. Nature teaches us, that what it hath left in common, ought to be divided into shares; for while men have nothing proper to themselves, the use of things would be the occasion of per­petual Quarrels; they would ever be contending who should be the first Possessor of this or that Portion of Land, and how long they should keep Possession of it.

Insomuch that it is of absolute necessity there should be general Rules to separate and distin­guish one man's Share and Propriety from ano­thers; which are what we mean by Laws: And the making an equal Division among all Parties in like Circumstances, is stiled Justice: Which Vir­tue the Arist. Ethic. Nicom. l. v. c. 1. Philosopher thinks more difficult to be practised, because it primarily has relation to the good of other men, but the rest of the Virtues to our selves.

Indeed there could be no Encouragement for Man to labour and cultivate the Earth, if there were no Laws to restrain the Strong from taking by Violence, or the Weak from secretly purloin­ing the Fruits and Products of his honest Indu­stry; or to punish the Malicious Person, whose Spite and Ill Nature should prompt him to do a shrewd Turn to his Neighbour.

[Page 16] Wherefore those Savage People among whom little Government, Order, or Discipline is visible, seem to be in a state of Life not much preferable to that of the Wild Beasts of the Forest: They both spend their Time in hunting for their Food; and there is no great difference between the Huts of the one, and the Dens of the other: Nay, Birds and Beasts, by Instinct of Nature, delight to flock and herd together, and to receive some low degrees of Advantage from such imperfect Society as they are capable of by their Nature.

(4.) That unless men submit to the Authority erected and establish'd in every Society for the Government of it, no Society or Community can subsist or continue.

If the Providence of God hath so contrived the state of things, that Mankind cannot live happily in the World out of Communities or Confederate Bodies; and if Subjection to the So­vereign Power in every Community, be required absolutely to the Preservation of it; then God has made Subjection a Duty incumbent upon the Members of the Community.

The Truth of this Assertion will be more clear and evident, by considering the several things re­quired to the Constitution of a Society or Com­munity; which I take to be these Three.

[Page 17] (1.) That there should be Laws enacted and published for the Government of the Society. As I have shewn it to be the Dictate of Nature, that the Earth and the good things it does bring forth, should be divided among men, for uphold­ing Peace and Order in the World, so it is plain that what Portion thereof every particular man should enjoy, must be determin'd by the Laws of the Community where he resides.

It is the Work of them who have the Legisla­tive Power, to make Laws to describe the Pro­perty of single Persons; to try the Justice and Equity of Bargains and Contracts; to estimate the Losses and Damages men suffer one by ano­ther: By these Laws mens Labours and Service are to be rated; Rewards or Punishments are to be measured out to Persons, according as they shall advance the Welfare of the Society, or it shall receive Detriment from them. In a word, the Civil Laws do allot what Tributes and Taxes each man shall pay, to defend and preserve the Body Politick, whereof he is a Part.

(2.) It is necessary that in all Societies there should be a Chief Governor to interpret the Laws, and according to them to decide the Con­troversies between particular men, without Fa­vour and Affection, or Prejudice and Hatred to any Party.

[Page 18] But if there was no Publick Person to expound the Laws, every Private Man might understand them in his own Sense, and make them bend to his peculiar Interest: And hence it would follow, that there would be as great and endless Strifes about the meaning of the Laws, as would have been about the several Portions of Land in a Country, before a general Division was made. And therefore it is very clear and manifest in the Third Place:

(3.) That all the Members of a Community are bound to submit to the Laws and Decrees of their Chief Governor. For neither Laws nor a Governor can constitute a Society, if private Men have Liberty not to submit to them. Of what Use would Laws be, if every one might interpret them to his own particular Advantage? To what purpose should a Governor undertake to hear Causes, if the People were not bound to stand to his Determinations? This therefore never can happen in any Place, without a Dissolution of the Government, and the bringing all things into Confusion. And Men in a State, where every one presumes a Right in himself to oppose what he mislikes, must not be thought an order­ly and regulated Society, but a disjointed and lawless Multitude. Wherefore no one is to doubt, but that God who is Author of Societies, has gi­ven [Page 19] the Supreme Rulers in every Society, a Right to so much Power as is sufficient to compel men to yield Obedience to the Laws; and that he has obliged all Persons belonging unto it, to submit to their Authority.

But now let us observe in the Revealed Will of God, what further Approbation he has given of the Sovereign Powers over Nations and King­doms, through his Providence settled in the World, for the Good and Welfare of Men.

When God did put the Children of Israel un­der his immediate Government, we may take notice how severely he punished those who did mutiny against the Rulers, that by his Commissi­on acted under him. Miriam was smitten with the Leprosy, because she unadvisedly spoke against Moses. Korah seduced some Malecontents into an Insurrection, and the Earth opened and swallowed him and his Company for their Rebellion.

God so far countenanced the Erection of So­vereign Power over his own People the Jews, as to grant their Petition for a King, notwithstand­ing they did sin, in rejecting him, when they desired a king to judge them, like all the nations: And what is remarkable, he caused their two first Kings to come to the Throne by his special Choice and Designation.

[Page 20] It is also worthy of noting, That the usual Title and Stile of Kings in Holy Scripture, is, The Anointed of the Lord: In which he forbids the reviling of Rulers, and the cursing of the King even in our Thoughts; he declares them his Re­presentatives; that by him they rule and decree Justice: Nay, he threatneth to pour his Judg­ments upon Jerusalem, for their revolting from the King of Babylon, after he had conquered their Countrey.

Our Saviour likewise, whose Kingdom was not of this World, was so far from designing any Alteration in the Forms of Government, and Ci­vil Laws of Nations, that were agreeable to Rea­son and Morality, that he confirmed their Esta­blishment, and did subject himself to the Su­preme Authority of his own Time and Country, by ordering Tribute to be paid to Caesar, and in acknowledging to Pilate, That his Power was gi­ven him from God.

Subjection to Kings and Governors is more largely and distinctly asserted by the Apostles, who in their Divine Writings were assisted with his Holy Spirit. And to render their Precepts con­cerning Obedience to those who preside at the Helm, and direct and rule Kingdoms and Na­tions, the more effectual, they back them with strong Arguments, taken from the Profit which [Page 21] accrues to Societies, through their respectful and dutiful Behaviour to the Civil Authority; and from the Judgments God will bring upon Men of a rebellious and untractable Spirit.

St. Paul requires every Christian Soul to be sub­ject to the Higher Powers; because those Powers are ordained of God, and because they that resist them, do resist the Ordinance of God, and by his Decree, who will maintain his own Ordinan­ces, shall for their Sin of Resistance, receive to themselves Damnation.

St. Peter enjoins Christians in general to be subject to the King, who is Supreme, and to Go­vernors that are deputed by him, for the Lord's sake, and because so is the Will of God; and both point to the Blessings and Benefits that will there­from proceed to Men: The one says, Rulers are not a Terror to good Works, but to the Evil: And the other, That they are for the Punishment of Evil-doers, and for the Praise of them that do well.

St. Paul affirms, That the Magistrate is the Mi­nister of God to thee for Good; that is, for the support of Justice, and Honesty, and Peace a­mong Men; and that in defending the Authority of Governors, we shall include our own Quiet and Safety.

[Page 22] It is not unworthy of notice, when St. Paul urged the Duty of Subjection, that Nero was Em­peror, one of the worst of Men; and to obviate an Objection made by some since, who had more regard to their own Will, than the Word of God; That the Primitive Christians did sub­mit to the Authority of the Emperors, because they, being but a handful of Men, had not Force sufficient to oppose them; he adds, That they were to be subject not only for Wrath, but also for Conscience sake; that is, not only for Fear of the Emperors, who in their Rage might let loose their Armies upon them; but upon a Principle of Duty and Justice, in Consideration of the Ad­vantage and Profit they gain by their Govern­ment.

And if we are to be Obedient to the Higher Powers for sake of Conscience, then, by Rule of Contraries, we shall contract a guilty Conscience by our Disobedience. The Sum of all is, That we ought to pray for, both in Publick and Private, to Fear, and Respect, and Honour in our Beha­viour, Kings, and Princes, and other Magistrates, and to submit to their Righteous Laws and Con­stitutions, not only in regard they are set over us by God, and Reign by his Commission, but out of good Will to Men, who are protected in their Lives, Freedoms, and Estates, through their Au­thority.

[Page 23] How wide then are they from Praying seriously in the Church or Closet for the Prosperity of the Civil Powers, and the Blessing of God upon their Management of Affairs, from Reverencing and Honouring them, who speak Reproachfully of their Persons, and make it their business every where to traduce their Actions, and to incline the People to Sedition and Tumults?

The right ordering the Interest of a Kingdom, is matter of great difficulty, and needs the utmost Application, even where the Subjects have their Prince in highest Esteem, and concur with him in carrying on the Work; but when bad Men by Slandering the Governors, and Censuring their Proceedings, whereof they commonly have but little Knowledge, do create Misunderstandings between them and the People, 'tis next to impos­sible things should go well in a Nation. And for the most part, the Cure of the Faults they have detected, does not near so much Service to the Publick, as the Fears and Jealousies they stir up, do harm.

No Government, of what Form soever, did ever arrive at that degree of Perfection, as to have no Slips or Errors committed in the Administration. The best of Kings while they carry Humanity about them, must have failings; neither is it to be expected, what care soever is taken in chusing, [Page 24] that all who serve the Crown, should be both Able and Honest.

Princes are fain to make that use of the Eyes and Hands of other Men, as it will be no wonder sometimes to meet with Mistakes in Matters re­solved upon with the greatest Thought and De­liberation; and where they act with all diligence and sincerity, an unequal Distribution of Justice may happen, and Rewards or Punishments not exactly always follow the Merit or Demerit of Men.

They therefore must be thought to resist the Ordinance of God, and to act against the true Interest of Kingdoms and Societies, who upon Slips and Ordinary Miscarriages, and perhaps great Hardships upon some Single Persons, do at­tempt to change the Form of Government, and openly oppose with Violence those in Authority. For upon such rigid Terms, as appear unpracti­cable both to the Reason and Experience of Men, no Kingdom or State can stand. Nothing there­fore but the assuming a Power to set the Laws all aside; a General Invasion of Property, and the endeavouring to destroy the Fundamental Con­stitutions of a Society, can break the Bands of it asunder, and leave the People at liberty to take care of themselves.

[Page 25] But this was remote from the Case of our Martyr'd Sovereign, King Charles I. whom there was so little Colour to charge with a Design to alter the Ancient and Legal Settlement of the Nation, and to diminish the Force of the Laws, that he seemed really persuaded they were ever on his side, and upon all Occasions did openly condemn proceeding by Absolute Power.

And in the great Point he was believed to depart farthest from the Law; it may be said in abatement of what he did himself, that he acted by the Advice of his Council, and followed the Resolution of all his Judges; Men not put into Place to serve a Turn, but of Eminent Abi­lities in their Profession, and hardly, in other respect, blameable for the Execution of their Trust.

How sincere he was in his Intentions to Rule by Law, we learn from the Solemn Protestation he made at a time when Success did most attend his Arms.

I do promise to Almighty God, as I King Charles Works, p. 435. hope for his Blessing and Protection that I will to the utmost of my Power,' de­fend and maintain the True Reformed [Page 26] Protestant Religion, establish'd in the Church of England.—And do solemn­ly and faithfully Promise in the sight of God, to maintain the Just Privileges and Freedoms of Parliaments, and to Govern by the known Laws of the Land, to my utmost Power.

And when I willingly fail in these Particulars, I will expect no Aid or Relief from any Man, or Protection from Heaven.

Agreeable to this Principle was his Behaviour during the time of the War. As his Courage and Firmness of Mind were Conspicuous in the Dan­gers of Battel, so was his Moderation in the use of Victories: He did temper his Success and the Advantages of his Sword with Mercy, and ever manifested a readiness to forgive Injuries, and to heal the Wounds and Breaches of his languish­ing Kingdom.

But how much his Enemies sunk below their first Golden Pretences of Reforming our Reli­gion, and removing the Grievances of the Peo­ple, we may instruct our selves both from their [Page 27] own Writers, and the sad and dismal Confusion But when once the Superfi­cial Zeal and Popular Fumes that acted their New Magistracy were cool'd, and spent in them; straight every one betook himself, setting the Commonwealth behind, and his Private Ends before, to do as his own Profit led him. Then was Justice delayed, and soon after denied; Spight and Favour determin'd all. Hence Faction, thence Treachery, both at Home and in the Field; every where Wrong and Oppression; foul and horrid Deeds committed daily, or maintain'd in secret or open. Milton's Character of the Long Parliament, p. 2. For the Faith which ought to have been kept as Sacred and Inviola­ble as any thing Holy, the Publick Faith, after infinite Sums received, and all the Wealth of the Church not better employ'd, but swallowed up in a Private Gulph, was not e're long asham'd to confess Bankrupt. Ibid. p. 4. of Church and State which followed.

In their Petitions, with the things plausible, that the King was always willing to grant, they mingled still something, unto which in Honour and Conscience he could not yield. And as their Sword got ground, so did their Modesty and Sense of Duty decrease, and the Extrava­gancy and Unreasonableness of their Demands enlarge it self, till at length nothing less would satisfy, than the Concession of such Powers to themselves, as would subvert the Constitution of the Realm. And by these Unchristian Ways they endeavoured to render all the well-intended Pro­ceedings of that Excellent Prince harsh and odious unto the People, and at last brought him to the Fatal Block.

[Page 28] A Prince of incomparable Virtues, scarce equalled by any who have sat on Thrones, or out-done by those who have made Religion the Profession and Business of their Lives; such Pie­ty, Temperance, Chastity, Inno­cent Chearfulness and Wisdom, Temperate he was above all his Predecessors, both as to Wine and Women; taking no more of the first than might well suffice and cherish Nature; and for the last, constant to one. Life of O. Crom­well, p. 39. Publish'd not long after his Death. eminently appeared in his whole Conversation, that he made him­self an Illustrious Example of God­liness and Virtue to all his Sub­jects. So devout and hearty a Worshipper of God, that neither his Business nor his Pleasures put by his Hours of Prayer and Attendance on Di­vine Service.

But he never shewed himself more Great and Glorious than in his Sufferings, nor gave greater Demonstrations of his Goodness, Fortitude, Pru­dence, and Constancy, than when his Friends and Servants were removed, who might Advise, Aid, and Comfort him. Under his last Illegal and Inhuman Treatment, to the Hour of Death, he did not any thing misbecoming the Majesty of a Great King, or unsuitable to the Piety, Meekness, and Resignation of a good Christian.

But now we ought not to impute this Barba­rous Murther to the whole People of the Realm, since of the Nobility and Gentry, much the [Page 29] greater Number all along firmly adhered to the Interest of the King, and kept stedfast to their Duty.

No, nor to the whole Parliament which first le­vied War against him; for many of them seemed to have honest Intentions, though they were much misguided: And before the Mem­bers of most Publick Spirit, and To prepare a Way to this Work, this Agitating Council did first intend to remove all out of the Parliament who were like to oppose them; and car­ried it on with such Se­cresy, as I had not the least Intimation of it till it was done. Sir Thomas Fairfax's Memorial, writ­ten by himself. MSS. greatest Reputation for their Inte­grity, were secluded the House of Commons, no Progress could be made therein; they having come to an Opinion, That the Points the King had conceded, were suffi­cient for them to proceed upon to reconcile Parties, and to establish the Peace and Quiet of the Kingdom upon a good Foundation.

No, nor yet to all the Army who fought against him in the Field, for they were also garbled and pick'd; and a Faction only among them, called Agitators, who had got the Power in their hands, Here the Power of the Army I once had, was usurped by Agitators, the Forerunners of Confusion and Anarchy. My Commission as General, obliged me to act with Counsel; but the Arbitrary and unlimited Power of this Council, would act without a General: And all I could do was inef­fectual to oppose them; especially when the Parliament it self became divided. Sir T. Fairfax Mem. Ib. —The King's Removal from Holmby, the sad Consequences whereof fill my heart with Grief in the remembrance of them, as they did then with Care how to prevent them. Id. Ib. [Page 30] did go through with, and perpetrate this horrid Wickedness.

Concerning which, a Person of the greatest Truth, Probity, Honour, and Command in the Army, affectionately declares his Sense, in these Words:

My afflicted and troubled Mind for it, my earnest Sir Tho. Fairfax's Mem. Endeavours to prevent it, will, I hope, sufficiently te­stify my Abhorrence of the Fact: And what might they not do to the lower Shrubs, having thus cut down the Cedar?

Indeed there is such Testimony from Authors of great Credit, of the Insincerity and Ill Pra­ctice For be you as­sur'd, the Romish Clergy have gull'd the mis­led Par­ty of our Nation, and that under a Puritanical Dress; for which the several Fra­ternities of that Church have lately received Indulgences from the See of Rome, and Council of Cardinals, for to educate several of the Young Fry of the Church of Rome, who be Natives of his Maje­sty's Realms and Dominions, and instruct them in all manner of Te­nents, contrary to the Episcopacy of the Church of England.—For which purpose above Sixty Romish Clergymen are gone, within these Two Years, out of the Monasteries of the French King's Domi­nions, to Preach up the Scotch Covenant. Sir Wil. Boswel's Letter to Archbishop Laud. Archb. Usher's Letters, Append. p. 27. of many of the Roman Communion, not­withstanding they declared for the King, and rid in his Armies, that they cannot be cleared from having had some Hand in his Death: For as they had heightned and fomented the Misunderstand­ing [Page 31] and Divisions between the King and People at first; so divers of them, under a Puritanical Disguise, were listed with the Parliament Forces, and did through the Course of the War secretly blow the Flames, and push on our Ruin and Confusion; they having had it resolved in a Con­sult, That it was lawful to put the King to Then some of the mer­cifullest of the Romanists said, This cannot be done, unless the King dye: Upon which Argument the Romish Orders thus licensed, and in the Parliament Army, wrote unto their several Convents, but especially unto the Sorbonists, Whether it may be scrupled to make away our late Godly King and Master; who, blessed be God, had escaped their Ro­mish Snares laid for him? It was return'd from the Sorbonists, That it was lawful for Roman-Catholicks to work Changes in Governments for the Mother Church's Advancement, and chiefly in an Heretical King­dom, and so lawful to make away the King. Archbishop Bramhal's Let­ter to Archbishop Usher. Usher's Let. p. 612. Death.

But what part soever the Scots had acted before in our Troubles, the Parliament of Scotland did by their Commissioners signify their utter Dislike of the Proceedings against the Sacred Person and Life of the King. And many at home, how instrumental soever they had been in the Ca­lamities —Nor other Byass of self­ends, or respects whatsoever, did move us thus to declare our selves, but the Conscience of the many Oaths of God, in which the Parliament, You, We, and the generality of the well-affected in the Kingdom, indispensibly stand bound before God, Angels, and Men, that we desire to wash our Hands, as from the Blood of all men, so especially of our Dread Sovereign, and to approve our selves innocent of all that Blood and Misery, the depo­sing and taking away his Majesty's Life, will in our apprehension in­volve us, our Posterity, and all men professing Godliness in the Three Kingdoms. We do therefore from our Souls beseech and importune you, and every one of you, as Men, Gentlemen, and Christian Soldi­ers, by all that can be dear to good men, as you desire to render a good Account of your Actions at the Great Day, to the Righteous Judge of Heaven and Earth, That you will forbear doing ought in the Premises.—The humble Advice and Desires of the Ministers, Lecturers of Banbury and Brackley; Licensed Jan. 25. 1648. and the same day presented to the General and Council of War. which befel the King, did earnestly, in Numbers, petition for the Preservation of his Life.

[Page 32] The Churches of the Reformed Religion beyond Sea, preached against the abominable Pastores toto Gal­liae reg­no cele­berrimi, tam pri­vatim quam è suggestu, hoc facinus uno ore detestati sunt, ut verbi divini regu­lis è diametro oppositum. Et Greges suos sedulo monuerunt, ut ab hoc sermento sibi caverent, neque in exemplum traherent crimen ab iis perpetratum, quos Na­tionalis nostra Synodus expresso canone pridem Proscripsit. S. Bochart. de jure Regum, col. 1021. Wickedness designed, and condemned the Actors in Synod.

Foreign Ambassadors by their Mediation would have prevented the Commission of so crying a Sin. And the Bulk of our Nation did lament, groan, and miserably sink under the Weight of it; and performed what Right they could to the Memory of the Blessed Martyr, whose Life their united Endeavours could not save.

[Page 33] Insomuch that the sharpest and most spiteful Writer against his Royal Person and Cause, ha­ving observed, that the Inimitable Virtues of the King in his calamitous and afflicted State, had made a wonderful Change in the Minds even of those who first resisted him, though in a Season too late to rescue him from the hands of the Bloody and Inexorable Men who put him to Death, could not but acknowledge.

That they who before hated him for his Misgovern­ment, Milton's Iconoclast. Pref. nay, fought against him with display'd Ban­ners in the Field, now applaud him, and extol him for the Wisest and most Religious Prince that lived.

However, it is most certain, and ought hum­bly to be confess'd, if the Crimes, in a manner, of the whole Kingdom had not been great and manifold, and the Faults of all Parties had not provoked God in high measure to be displeased with us, he would not have permitted this wast­ing and destructive Judgment to have fallen upon our Land.

The Downfal of the Best Constituted Church in the World, the Wound to Religion, the Sub­version of the Laws, the Devastation of Right and Property, the Slaughters, the Banishments, the Imprisonments which were consequent upon [Page 34] this Dismal Stroke, it does not behove me now to relate.

But I ought, according to the Office of the Day, to exhort you to return Thanks to Al­mighty God, who was graciously pleased to re­store his Son King Charles II. to the Throne of his Father, and with him the Church and Laws to their Ancient State and Condition.

Nay, We the Sinful People of this Land, have yet more and fresh Arguments of rendring Prai­ses and Thanksgivings to our God, who, when our Religion, Freedoms, and Laws, no long time since, were reduced to Extremity of Dan­ger, insomuch as the whole Nation, even to a small Handful of Men, did despair of their Continuance among us, was pleased then to se­cure them, and work a Deliverance for us by His Excellent Majesty King William.

May God long preserve Him and Them un­to us: May the Sense of the Divine Mercies, and the Remembrance of the great Hazards we so narrowly escaped, prevail with us all seriously to repent, and to amend our Hearts and Conversa­tions: May a Stop be put to Irreligion, Prophane­ness, and Immorality, Sins too notorious in our Countrey: May the Love of God, and of the Publick Weal, of Justice, of Honesty, of Cha­rity, and Good Will one towards another, have [Page 35] a daily Increase among Men of all Ranks and Conditions: So that he may delight still to dwell with us, and to do us good, and be mercifully pleased to suffer us and our Posterity to abide in the Profession of the true Religion with Peace and Safety under his Protection.


BOOKS Printed for William Rogers.

ARchbishop Tillotson's Works, containing Fifty four Sermons and Discourses on several Occasions. Together with the Rule of Faith. Being all that were published by his Grace himself, and now collected into one Volume. To which is added, An Alphabetical Table of the Principal Matters. Folio.

The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Narwich's Two Sermons of the Wisdom and Goodness of Providence, preach'd before the Queen at Whitehall, August 17. and 24. 1690. on Prov. 3. 6.
  • —A Sermon preach'd at St. Andrew's Holbourn, June 28. 1691. on Gal. 6. 7.
  • —Of Religious Melancholly: A Sermon preach'd before the Queen at Whitehall, March 6. 1691. on Psalm 42. 6.
  • —Of the Immortality of the Soul. A Sermon preach'd before the King at Whitehall, on Palm-Sunday, 1694. on Matth. 10. 28.
  • —A Thanksgiving Sermon preach'd before the King, April 16. 1696. on Psal. 50. 15.
  • [Page]Dr. Sherlock, Dean of St. Paul's Practical Discourse of Death. Octavo. Ninth Edition.
  • —A Practical Discourse concerning a Future Judgment. Fourth Edi­tion. Octavo.
  • —A Discourse concerning the Divine Providence. Second Edition. Quarto.
  • —A Vindication of the Doctrine of the Holy and Ever Blessed Trinity, and the Incarnation of the Son of God. Third Edition. Quarto.
  • —An Apology for Writing against the Socinians. Quarto.
  • —The Present State of the Socinian Controversy, and the Doctrine of the Catholick Fathers concerning a Trinity in Unity. Quarto.
  • —The Danger of Corrupting the Faith by Philosophy. A Sermon. Quarto.
  • —A Vindication of the Sermon, in Answer to some Socinian Remarks. Quarto.
  • The Doctrine of the Fathers and Schools considered: Concerning the Ar­ticles of a Trinity of Divine Persons, and the Unity of God. In Answer to the Animadversions on the Dean of St. Paul's Vindication of the Doctrine of the Holy and Ever Blessed Trinity. By J. B. A. M. Presbyter of the Church of England. Quarto.
  • A Defence of the Dean of St. Paul's Apology for Writing against the Soci­nians. Quarto.
  • A Defence of Dr. Sherlock's Notion of a Trinity in Unity. Quarto.
  • The Distinction between Real and Nominal Trinitarians examined: In An­swer to a Socinian Pamphlet. Quarto.
  • Mr. Tyrrel's General History of England, both Ecclesiastical and Civil: From the Earliest Accounts of Time, to the Reign of his Present Majesty King William III. Vol. 1.
  • The Knowledge of Medals; or Instructions for those who apply themselves to the Study of Medals, both Ancient and Modern. Octavo.
  • The Liberty of Prayer asserted and guarded from Licentiousness. By a Minister of the Church of England. Octavo.
  • The Psalms of David in English Metre; Translated from the Original, and suired to all the Tunes now sung in Churches: With the Additions of several New. By the Reverend Mr. Milbourne. Twelves.
  • The Original, Nature, and Immortality of the Soul. A Poem, with an Introduction concerning Humane Knowledge. Written by Sir John Davies, Attorney-General to Queen Elizabeth. Octavo.
  • The Picture of Quakerism drawn to the Life. In Two Parts. By Francis Bugg.

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