A SERMON Preach'd in the Cathedral Church OF CARLISLE, On Sunday Feb. 15. 1684/5.

Being the next day after our Soveraign Lord JAMES the Second, was Proclaim'd KING in that City.

By Will. Nicolson, M. A. Archdeacon and Prebendary of CARLISLE.

LONDON, Printed for John Gellibrand at the Golden-Ball in St. Paul's Church-yard, 1685.

TO PHILIP MƲSGRAVE, Esq; One of the CLERKS of His Majesties Most Honourable Privy-Council.


I Know not what to think of the Present I here offer you. If it be worth your Acceptance, it cannot meet with a more deserving and worthy Patron: and, if not, you have so much kindness for the Author, that the Censure will be easie. All I can say in behalf of [Page] it is only this: That its appearance in publick is encourag'd by a City, whose Loyalty has been sufficiently signaliz'd in her being own'd by the MUSGRAVES; and I cannot doubt but that, in this gene­ral Patronage, some small share may be al­low'd to

Your most affectionately faithful Servant Will. Nicolson.
Prov. XXIV. xxi.‘My Son, fear thou the Lord and the King: and meddle not with those that are given to change.’

THat Solomon was as great a Ma­ster of Politicks as any other part of Knowledge, and that He was as expert at rearing of Kingdoms as building of Temples, we have little reason to doubt; if we consider how unreasonable 'tis to imagine that God, who had promised to make him wiser than all the Children of the East, and to furnish Him with Understandiing exceeding much, should yet with-hold from Him that part of Wisdom which was most necessary for so great a Prince. The young King was con­scious of his own Weakness and Unfitness to go in and out before so great a People: And there­fore He readily concludes that the most proper Boon that He could possibly beg at the Al­mighty's [Page 2] Hand was an understanding Heart, able to direct him in the Execution of Justice and to discern betwixt Good and Evil. Accordingly, his Petition is heard; and God assures him that his request shall be granted him in so ample a manner, that (for Wisdom) none of all the Kings that had gone before him could be compa­red to him, neither after him should there ever arise any like unto him. Kings. 3. 12. So that a Monarch, thus wise and knowing, could not be mistaken in his directions: But his Advice must needs be look'd upon as most weighty and solid; as well in his prescribing the Mea­sures of our Duty to God, and Allegiance to our Prince, as in his Cautions against the im­politick Vanity of Treason and Rebellion.

In these particulars, his own experience had been sufficient to instruct him; without any extraordinary Assistances of a Divine Spirit. He could not but have observed how the Mercy and Meekness of his Father David had encoura­ged some Sons of Belial in Factions and Con­spiracies: and withal, how unsuccesful such Attempts had always prov'd, and how the Designs of restless Men (to subvert the Go­vernment, and to establish Anarchy and Con­fusion) [Page 3] had been continually blasted and over­thrown. Three notorious Plots especially had miscarried within his remembrance; and these were enough to convince him of the madness and folly of such hairbrain'd and un­setled Hotspurs as are ever uneasie under the lightest Yoke, and always giv'n to change.

The first instance in this kind that King Solomon had met with was in his Brother Ab­solom: A Prince whose sweet Countenance, and sweeter Carriage, had (as himself fancy'd) procured him Interest enough to gratifie his Ambitions; and sufficiently strengthned his Aim to wield his Father's Scepter: Flush'd with the prospect of so good success, he re­solves to give the King Battel; and either to carry the Crown, or perish in the Adventure. For the better furtherance of his Design, he begs leave of his Father to retire to Hebron; under pretence (forsooth) of paying a Vow and offering Sacrifice: As Rebellion never appears barefac'd at first, but steals into the World under the Veil and Mask of Religion. This plausible Petition the good King has no sooner granted then he is alarm'd with Trum­pets [Page 4] and the noise of War; forced to quit Je­rusalem and his Palace; and leave his Throne to the Usurper. But Traytors are seldom long liv'd, having always Vengeance at their Heels: and accordingly, if we follow but Absolom a Chapter or two further, we find him hang'd and stab'd.

The second Plot, in the latter end of King David's Reign, we find to spring out of the Ruins and Rubbish of the former. The Rebel­lious Tribes, having lost their General, begin immediately to tack about; and to sneak and fawn on their lawful▪ Soveraign, with as great a shew and appearance of Zeal as that wherewith they had lately opposed him. They have ten parts, they say, in the King: and therefore they conceive 'tis a sawcy encroach­ment upon their Right for Judah to mono­polize their Prince. But the King, it seems was too well acquainted with the rebellious Tempers of these Hypocrites to repose any great share of confidence in them: And therefore he believes it to be the safest course to re-establish himself among his old trusty try'd Friends at Jerusalem. Upon this She­ba, [Page 5] a hot-headed Benjamite, takes upon him to rally the Rebel-Forces; and proclaims a second Revolt, with this popular Remon­strance, we have no part in David, neither have we Inheritance in the Son of Jesse: Every Man to his Tents, O Israel. 2 Sam. 20. 1. But, be­fore we come to the end of that Chapter, we have the Head of this Fool-hardy blade thrown over the Walls of Abel; and there­by another stop put to the progress of Re­bellion▪

The third and last Conspiracy, within the Memory of Solomon, was that of Adoni­jah. 1▪ Kings 1. A design as unfortunate as either of the former; and every whit as fatal in the end. This brief survey of these three Plots is sufficient to illustrate the Text without any other Comment; and we may hence easily learn upon what grounds the Wise Man was induced to give this advice to his Son, To fear the Lord and the King; and not to meddle with those that are given to change▪

The Words do evidently contain in them

1. An absolute command, pressing the observance of a positive Duty; fear thou the Lord and the King.

[Page 6] [...]d. A negative Precept, or Caution against a dangerous failure; meddle not with, &c. Of both which in their order.

And first I take it for granted that 'twill be needless at present to inforce the Duty of fearing God. I presome there can be none here, who are not already sufficiently con­vinc'd that 'tis this which is the beginning of Wisdom; and that therefore to be ignorant of, or not to regard, our Obligations in this particular must doubtless be the errantest fol­ly and madness imagnable. So that our main business in this place will be to shew you the necessary connexion there is betwixt the true Fear of God and the Fear of the King; and the reasons why King Solomon has here link'd them together.

And indeed we shall not need many In­structions to find out the reasonablness of the Wise Mains Injunction; if we consider that the Power of Princes owes its Original to that of an Omnipotent God: and therefore if we quake and tremble at the remem­brance of the one, we cannot but shiver at the thoughts of the other. For all supream [Page 7] Governours and Law-givers (such only excep­ted as have advanced themselves to that Station by their own I reasons and Ambiti­on) have a fairer Character than ordinary of the Divine Essence stamp'd upon them: They are Gods Vicegerents on Earth, and act wholly by his Authority and Commission. Now, whether their Titles and Government have descended upon: them by hereditary Right or the free Voice and the Election of their Subjects, their power is still the same▪ They are ever the Ministers of God, and not of the People; and therefore are to be obeyed not solely in regard or bearing the Sword, and executing Justice on Offenders; but because they are the Ordinance of God, and Deputies to the King of Heaven. To say that an Elective Prince has his Power from those that have voted him into the Throne, is indeliberate and unreasonable Nonsence. For, since no private Man has a Legal Power over his own Life, to dispatch and execute him­self upon the Sence of some gross and enor­mous Crimes, it follows that he cannot trans­fer any such Power to another; and there­fore▪ [Page 8] that those that have any just power of Life and Death must necessarily borrow it of him by whom Kings Reign, and Sendtours de­cree Justice, who only has the Supream dis­posal of our Souls and Bodies; and who can, at Pleasure, throw both into Hell Fires▪

The old Testament is every where very plain in asserting this Divine Original and right of Government: Always stiling Prin­ces the Anointed of the Lord, or bestowing on them such other Titles as do necessarily imply, that their Deputation comes from above. The Almighty himself has there declared of them that they are Gods, and that they are all the Children of the most High▪ Having nothing common with other Mortals but that they dye like Men. And if so, the Fear of God and the Fear of the King are not only mutually depended the one on the other; but are one and the same▪ It can be no less than Sa­criledge to rob our Princes of that Tribute of Fear and Honour▪ which is due to them and it must be direct Blasphemy to despise their Dominions and to speak evil of their Dig­nities.

[Page 9]Nay; and to take of all occasion of Cavil upon a Princes Mal-Administration of Af­fairs, and falling into Irreligious practises (as if these failures were enough to forfeit his Commission and supersede his Authority( we find in the Language of the Holy Scrip­tures the very Heathen Emperors stiled God's Anointed, as well as the Kings of Israel and Judah; as deriving their Authority from the same Fountain of Government, the great and Almighty Law-giver of the Universe. Thus Nebuchadnezzar, the Pagan King of Babylon, is called Gods Servant. Jer. 27. 5, 6. I have (says God there by the mouth of his Pro­phet) made the Earth, and given it to whom it seemed meet unto me: And now I have given all these Lands into the Hands of Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon my Servant, and all Nations shall serve him and his Son and his Sons Son. And therefore the Prophet Daniel applies himself to this Tyrant, in the same awful strain as he would in any other Prince appointed by him who stands in the Congregation of the Mighty, and delights to be intituled a Judge among Gods. Thou O King, says he, art a King of Kings: [Page 10] for the God of Heaven hath given thee a Kingdom, Power, and Strength and Glory. Dan. 2. 37.

And the Doctrine of the Gospel▪ in this particular, runs exactly parallel with that of the Law: Our Saviour having there in the same Sentence and breath, commanded us to give to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things which are Gods. Which is only another Phrase for Fear the Lord and the King: And does in as express Terms command us to remember that Religion and Loyalty go hand in hand; and that a firm perseverance in Religious Practises is the surest Prop that can be thought of to support the Credit and Re­pute, the Power and Authority of a Lawful Prince. 'Tis true, our Saviour's Enemies accus'd him of this, amongst many other Capital Enormities, That he was a Fellow that perverted the Nation, and forbad▪ to give Tri­bute to Caesar, saying that he himself is a King▪ Luke 23. 2. But had he bin, as his Accu­sers there represent him, a man of a Facti­ous Spirit, and one that loved to raise fe­dition, he would certainly have resisted the Authority that led him to the Cross; especi­ally, [Page 11] since (upon one Prayer to his Father) he could have bin furnished with more than twelve Legions of Angels to assist him.

Nor were his Apostles any greater Encou­ragers of Tumults and Rebellion than their Master. St. Paul, the great Doctor of the Gentiles, tells his Flock that they must needs be subject to their Magistrates, and pay them Tribute; because they are Gods Ministers. And therefore he advises them to render to all of them their dues; Tribute to whom Tribute is due, Custom to whom Custom, Fear to whom Fear, Honour to whom Honour. Elsewhere (Rom. 13. 1, 2.) he requires passionately, that every Soul be subject to the Higher Powers; because there is no Power but of God; the Powers that are, are ordained of God. And he there adds, Whosoever resisteth the Power resisteth the Ordi­nance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves Damnation. St. Peter's Epistles teach the same Doctrine; that we ought to submit our selves to every Ordinance of Man for the Lords sake; whether it be to the King as supream, or unto Governours as unto those that are sent by him: for so is the will of God. And again: This is [Page 12] thank-worth if a Man for Conscience sake towards God endure Grief, suffering wrongfully. For what Glory is it, if when ye are buffeted for your Faults, you take it Patiently? But if when you doe well, you shall take it patiently and suffer for it, this is acceptable to God. 1 Pet. 2.

Upon the whole Matter, our Duty to God and the King seem to be as inseperably linked and twisted together, as the Love of God and of our Neighbours. And how firmly that is done, St. John will teach us. 1 John 20, 21. If a Man say, says he, I love God, and hateth his Brother, he is a Lyar: for he that loveth not his Brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this Commandment have we from him that he that lo­veth God loveth his Brother also. Which two Verses, by a very small variation of the Words, may be very well applyed to our present Pur­pose. For if a Man say he fears God and yet fears not his King, he is a Lyar: For he that fears not the King whom he has seen, will never fear God whom he has not seen. And the latter Verse is yet more apposite than the former. And this Commandment have we from [Page 13] him, that he that fears God should fear his King also.

I have now done with the Former Part of the Text having shown you the reasonableness of joyning the fear of the Lord with the fear of the King: But to reduce this Doctrine the better into Practice, 'twill be extreamly con­venient to take along with us.

In the Second place, King Solomon's ne­gative precept, or Caution against a dangerous failure; mentioned in the Words following: Meddle not thou with those, &c.

By Men given to change some Interpreters would have us to understand iterantes pec­cata; suck luke-warm Converts as for a while (to secure their Interest and the main Stake) put on an outside Colour of Loyalty; but, upon the least Prospect of Advantage re-assume their beloved Principles of Faction and Sedition. 'Tis underlyably true that there have always bin, and to the end of the World always will be, a numberless Com­pany of such Pharisaical Loyalists as these; who fear the King, as the Indians worship the Devil, to prevent his hurting of them, and [Page 14] not out of any Right and Sincerity of their Duty. And 'tis as certain that these fellows are a most pernicious Race of People, and utter strangers to God and Religion: So that, if we are wise, we should no more meddle with them than we would bear compa­ny with a man infected with the Plague, or sojourn in a Pest-Pouse. But these men are not properly geven to change, because of their returning thus with the Dog to his Vomit, and with the Sow that was wash'd to her wallowing in the mire. No. They are rather to be ranked among such as the Scripture tells us are setled on their Lees; and can no more alter their Rebellious Opinions than the Ethiop can change his Skin, or the Leopard his Spots.

Others again will have the wise Man's Inhibition levelled at such sickle and un­constant Souls as have ever their thoughts gadding after this and the other new Toy; and are ever satisfied with the present jun­cture of Affairs, how happy and prospe­rous soever. We are all of us (God knows) to be liable to transgressions of this Nature; and are seldom, if ever, pleased with our [Page 15] own Lot and Station in the World. Am­bition, Envy, Pride (or some such unlucky passion or other) is alwaies a hurrying us on to some new project either out of a de­sign of gratifying a revengful humour, or out of a fail Prospect of advancing our Fortunes. This Weathercock Temper may indeed be most justly and modestly reckoned a being given to change: and 'twill become a man of Prudence first to endeavour to cure himself of this Natural and Epedimic Di­stemper, and then to have a care not to med­dle with such as are over-grown in it.

However; since King Solomons Caution in the Text against medling with such as are given to change, is annexed to his command of fearing the King, it seems most agreea­ble to Reason that we should here think our selves forbidden to associate with those that have a Pique at Monarchy, and are always pressing for a Change of that into some other new Model of Govern­ment. We may every where meet with too many sad instances of this kind: Men that have accustomed themselves to con­found [Page 16] Liberty with Licentiousness, and Freedom with Power; and therefore they are very apt, or very desirous at least, to think their Propreties invaded if they may not be permitted to share the Scepter with their Soveraign. By these Blessed In­formers we are taught to look upon our selves Free-born Subjects; Men fairly entitu­led to Liberty and Property, and a People that (by the fundamental Laws of our Land; have a right to prescribe Rules to our Prince and to sit as Fellow-Companions with him on his Throne. Any other kind of subjection then this is to be interpreted Slavery; and we may not, for shame, ten­der any other Obedience than what will just serve to create a distinction betwixt Prince and People.

Now whereever we meet with any of these preposterous Politicians (that are for fixing the Head of Justice in the Heels and fag-end of the Nation) we are to betake our selves to the Advice the Text gives us; and to be industriously careful not to meddle with them. We are not, by any means, to suf­fer [Page 17] our selves to be wheadled into their Councels and Cabals; or ever to indulge our selves the Curiosity of prying into their Secrets. And we ought the rather to be on our Guard, the more prone we are to be tempted into this sort of miscarriage▪ 'Tis a mighty tickling piece of Honour to be reputed a Man of Intrigue, and a Person well vers'd in the Mysteries of State; to be admir'd and cried up for one of a po­litick Pate and a shrewd Commonwealth-Man. These are the Glittering Tempta­tions which usually betray Men into an acquaintance and intimacy with such as are given to change▪ Till experience, in the end, convinces them of their Folly, and shows that those edge-tools are not to be medled with by every forward Child and Stripling Statesman. And therefore any man of common dirscretion, that observes a Bait of this Nature laid for him, ought to arm himself with Old Israels Ejaculation O my Soul, come not thou into their Secret unto their Assembly, mine Honour, be thou not uni­ted.

[Page 18]But, yet farther; we are not only to avoid the being drawn into the secret Leagues and Associations of these Men: But we are withal to shun and fly their Compa­ny, as much as we would a common Infe­ction Evil Communication, the Apostle▪ has forewarned us, will corrupt good Manners: and the best of us will be sure to bring away some tincture of the ill Habits of those with whom we converse. Besides, Rebellion (we are told) is as the sin of Witch­craft 'tis a virulent and incurable Distem­per, not to be wrought on, nor removed by any Application whatever. Nay, and 'tis such awkard and unaccountable sort of Witchcraft, as (by a strange and unusual kind of philtre) makes us in Love with Ugliness and Deformity: A Passion every way as unnatural as for a Man to dote upon a Spirit or Hobgoblin.

Some of us here present may have cause to remember the time when the Fear of the Lord and the Fear of the King were banished the Land together and when the vanity of being given to change was an Humour [Page 19] that generally prevailed. And we cannot surely have forgotten the ghastly Face of Affairs in those days, when every man was permitted to do what was right in his own Eyes, or (to speak in the Language of the Times) as the Spirit moved him. A Spirit of that infernal Hue, that Hell it self is hardly able to give us a prospect of more Horror and Amazement than Liberty of Conscience (which is only another Name for License to Sin) had then brought upon us. Into how many hideous shapes, with­in the space of twelve years, was our Go­vernment changed? First, we had a Parli­ament to lead and guide us then a crazy Remnant of the House of Cmmons after­wards a Committee of safety; then an Army; and last of all a Protector. And under all these various forms of Treason and Rebellion and Usurpation, our Land lay a bleeding and wallowing in her Gore; nothing out an universal Destruction and Desolation ap­peared in our Streets. Our Young Men were slain with the Sword, and there was hardly any left to make Lamentation, but those Tray­terous [Page 12] Crocodiles that had done the Mur­der.

This is the Countenance of Affairs so much admired by Rebels; and the Diana that's ador'd by men given to change: But certainly the Features are not so lovely as to ensnare men of Thought and Considera­tion. On the Contrary, if we desire to have a view of the Blessings and Beauty of Monarchy; we cannot furnish our selves with a fairer Draught than we meet with in the Reign▪ of our late Soveraign: A Prince so peculiarly the care of Heaven, that his very Enemies would confess that God was with him of a Truth. The whole Tenour of his life was a continued Series of Miracles; and he was every where most visibly protected by the Arm of the Om­nipotent. Who less than a God of In­finite Power could have brought back that exiled Prince to his Fathers House in Tri­umph: And that too without the expence of a drop of Bloud; with the General Shout and Acclamation of his People? Nor has the Glory of our Peace bin since eclyp­sed. [Page 12] We have sate happyly under our own Vine, and eaten of our Fig-Tree without Di­sturbances whilst our Neighbours round about, the Generality of Europe, has bin floating in a Sea of Blood. Nay, and he had reduced the Unity of our Church to as great a measure of perfection as that of the State. Instead of our late infinity of se­perated Assemblies and Congregations, stee­red and pilotted by puny Zealots of diffe­rent Notions and Interests; he liv'd to set­tle among us an Uniform Profession of one God, one Faith, one Baptism▪ And in this compleat State of Happiness (when it could neither be said of us that without were quarrels, nor that within were Fears) it pleased the Lord to take away our Head from us; to crown him with an eternal weight of Glory in the highest, for the Faithful discharge of his Commission on Earth.

And after all these Demonstrations that the Lord careth for us, shall we be afraid to make him our Confidence and our Portion for ever? Doubtless the Almighty's Arm is [...]ot shortned: But he is still as mighty to [Page 22] save as ever. Our Religion cannot want a Protector; as long as the Crown is worn by a Son of that Royal martyr that sealed it with his Bloud. The blackest of our present Soveraign's Enemies will acknow­ledge him to be Prince highly Generous and brave; and therefore we may be well assured he will keep his Wold in fol­lowing the Example of his Gracious and Merciful Brother, as well in the Pre­servation of our Religion as in the Maintainance of our Laws. The Re­presentative of a God of Infinite Truth cannot but be Faithful when he his promised. In this Assurance let us rest quiet and peaceable; always remembring that we are not to say any Evil of the King so much as in our Hearts. Be­sides; if we desire that our Soveraign should make the Laws of the Land his Rule as we have no manner of Reason to doubt but he will▪ It is ve­ry fitting that we should first make them ours. And if so, we shall there find that it has bin deemed Treason to [Page 23] think the King was of any other Co [...]mu­nion then the Church of England; and [...] th [...] Loyalty and Obedience to [...] Soveraign is still consistent with the establish't Prin­ciples of that Religion, which his Majesty has already engaged to defend and protect.

Lastly; supposing that any of our Princes (which in our present Circum­stances cannot be imagined) should so far forget his Duty to God, as to transgress the Commission wherewith the Almighty had entrusted him for our good; yet this cannot possibly give us any warrant to go and do likewise. No. We must, with all Christian Humility, submit to the severest Penalties in the Ordinances of our Lawful Soveraign; wh [...] the Precepts of the Gospel will not allow us to pay an Active Obedience. These are the true Measures of Allegiance, chalked out to us in the examples of our blessed Saviour and his Apostles: And if any Man teach any other Doctrine than this, we have no such Custom neither the Churches of Christ.

[Page 14]Now to God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost; three Persons and one God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords▪ be ascribed all Glory, Honour, Praise▪ Might, Majesty and Dominion now and for ever.




A Plain and Profitable Exposition of, and Enlargemeut upon, the Church-Catechism: By way of Questions and Answers. For the more ample instruction of the more adult Chil­dren, and other elderly Persons that need it. And divided into so many Parts as there are Lords Days in each Year; that it may be gone through Yearly, either publicky in the Churche, or privately in Families. Together with the Scheme of a short Catechism annexed for the benefit of the Younger sort of Catechumens. By SIMON FORD D. D. and Rector of Old-Swinford in Worcester­shire. And are to be sold by John Gellibrand at the Golden Ball in St. Pauls Church-Yard.

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