[Page] David and the Amalekite Upon the DEATH of SAUL. A SERMON Preached on Jan. 30. 1682. Being the Anniversary of the MARTYRDOM OF King Charles I. Of Blessed Memory.

By EDWARD PELLING, Rector of St. Martins Lud­gate, and Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Somerset.

Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the Streets of Askelon, &c.

2 Sam. 1. 10.

LONDON, Printed by J. Redmayne, Jun. for William Abington at the three Silk-Worms in Ludgate-street. 1683.

To my most Honoured Lord, Charles Duke of Somerset, Marquess and Earl of Hertford, Viscount Beauchamp, and Baron of Trowbridge.

May it please your Grace,

IT is no small part of your Honour, that you are de­scended of such Noble Ancestors as have been Great and Eminent, both for their Alliance to the Royal Family, and for their continual Fidelity to the Interest of the Crown. He that shall peruse only the History of the Late Rebellion, and the Letters which did pass between his Late Majesty and the Queen, may easily see how Confident that Blessed Prince was of the Loyalty, and how Faithfully he was served all along by the Wisdom, and Courage of your Noble Grand-Father the Lord Sey­mour, and your Great Ʋncle the Marquess of Hertford, who was the First General of the Kings Forces against the Parliament; and lived to see the happy times of Restitution, and Dyed Duke of Somerset (full of years and Honour) since the Restauration of his present Majesty. But that which greatly addeth to your Honour is, that as you inherit the Titles, so (God be blessed) you inherit the Loyalty of all your Honourable Predecessors: Which I say (My Lord) not by way of Complement, but to do you Justice: And I must beg your Graces Pardon if that Expression seems to Derogate from your Virtue, in ma­king your Loyalty to be, not a thing of Choice (as all Virtue is) but a Principle cleaving to your very Nature, [Page] which cannot be overcome. It is this that hath indear'd you to the King; who has given you an Earnest of his Favour, in Reposing in you so Great a Trust, in the North, for Conducting your affairs with so much Judgment and Integrity, assoon as ever Providence brought you to bear such a great Figure in the World. It is this, that has made you to lie so deep in the Hearts, and Affections of Good Men, wbo take Heart and Courage by seeing your Grace to act so in all things like a good Subject, notwithstanding those Temptations which have Mis-led some, whose longer Experience should have taught them Wisdom. It is this (My Lord) which I must crave Leave still to put you in mind of, that above all things you be careful to have a most Tender regard of your Virtue, and to be ever (as you are) Faithful and True to your Prince: For here­by you will do right to the memory of your Honourable Progenitors, you will maintain your Honour Clean and Ʋnspotted, you will be useful to the King, to the Church, and to your Country, you will be an Honour and Comfort to your Friends, and an Excellent Example to the World. It is for these Ends (My Lord) that I take upon me to present to your Grace this following Discourse, begging your Lordships, Kind acceptance of it, and beseeching God (whose Providence hath been so Gracious to you hitherto) to Guide, Govern and Preserve your self and Noble Con­sort, and to Bless Both your Graces with the long Happiness of an undivided Heart, and with a Numerous and Flou­rishing Issue; which is the Hearty Prayer of,

My Lord,
Your Grace's most Humble, Faithful, and truly Affectionate Servant and Chaplain, Edw. Pelling.
2 SAM. 1. 14.

And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand, to destroy the Lord's Anointed?

BEfore we enter upon the consideration of this place of Scripture, we must come fairly to it by making our way through the Context, to which the Text doth relate; and thus it was. There had been now a War between Saul and the Philistines; a War that was founded on the Law of God, where­by the Children of Israel were forbidden to make any Covenant with the Inhabitants of Canaan, or to shew them mercy, Deut. 7. 2. This War ended in the Death of Saul; and the overthrow of his People though he was made King by God's own appointment, though he was God's own Vicegerent over God's own Inheri­tance, and undertook a quarrel pursuant to God's own Will, yet in the Conclusion both He and his Forces (Good Jonathan himself not excepted) are routed upon Mount Gilboa by the Ʋncircumcised Philistines: To shew, that Success in War is not an Argument of the [Page 2] Righteousness of a Cause, or of the Righteousness of a Party, but of the unsearchable Wisdom and Righte­ousness of God.

Saul being defeated was full of Horror and Despe­ration, and resolved to hasten out of the World since he had fled before the Philistines; and because his Armour-bearer could not be entreated (by reason of that Awful regard he bore to Majesty) to befriend his undone Soveraign with a Mortal Blow, Saul gives Himself his Deaths-wound with his own hands.

An Amalekite happening to be there, took off his Royal Diadem and Bracelet, and with great Speed carryed them to Ziklag to David, who by Common Fame was known to have been Anointed next Heir to the Crown of Israel.

David received the news of Saul's and Jonathan's Death, with excess of Sorrow: But hearing that this Amalekite had had an hand in Saul's destruction, his Heart was struck through with Amazement and Indig­nation. Though Saul had been his Bloud-thirsty Ene­my, yet his Soul was on a Flame, at the sad Tidings of his being Murder'd and though this young man was not one of Saul's Subjects, but a Stranger, yet for the Sake of God, whose Impress the Unfortunate King bore, for the Honour of Majesty, and out of respect to Saul's Divine Ʋnction and Character, he was resolved to revenge the Kings Death with every drop of this Amalekites Bloud; and this was the Preamble to his just Sentence, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand, to destroy the Lord's Anointed?

In which words we are to consider, by way of Ex­plication,

[Page 3] 1. First, the matter of Fact, which this Amalekite own'd himself to have been guilty of.

2. Davids deep Resentment of the Relation which this Amalekite made of the matter.

1. The matter of Fact was, that he had stretched out his hand to destroy the King of Israel; this he ac­knowledg'd, and seemed to boast of, as a Meritorious office, which he had done for David, who was to be Saul's Successor in the Throne. Now, it has been a great doubt both among Jews and Christians, whether this was a Reality, or only a Pretence. Many of the He­brew Doctors affirm (which is also the general sense of Sunt apud He­braeos qui pu­tant hunc Ama­lekiten adula­torum more, mentitum fuisse, quando se dixit Saul in­terfecisse. Mun­ster. Antiquit. Ju­daic. lib. 6. Christian Writers) that Saul killed himself, and that the Amalekite was a Liar as to that particular. Nor doth this opinion want its Reasons. For in the last Chapter of the First Book of Samuel (where the manner of Sauls Death is related) no mention is made of the Amalekite, but the Text saith, that Saul took a Sword, and fell upon it, v. 4. On the other side, Josephus and some more tell us, that Saul had not the Onely hand in the case, but that the Amalekite was the Principal actor. Nor doth this opinion want its Reasons neither. For the Amalekites were as much Enemies to Israel, as the Philistines were; and this Amalekite was on Mount Gilboa when Saul fell; and he did not only post away to David as a Messenger of the Fact, but persisted in the story as an Agent that had been concern'd in it; and persisted to the end too, without owning his Folly, or excusing his Lye (which probably he would have done) when he saw, that a Sentence of Death against himself, was the Onely Welcome and Reward, that he was to re­ceive.

[Page 4] Now for the Solution of this doubt, there seem to be some grounds for a Third opinion yet, which will make the whole story to Agree, viz. that Saul and this Amalekite did (Both of them) jointly Concurr in the carrying of this Sad Tragedy on. For that Saul fell upon his Sword, and so gave himself his Deaths-wound, is clear. That his Armour-bearer might look upon him as Dead (though indeed he was not) may be Pro­bable. That being incumbered with his Arms and So some un­derstand that place (agree­able to what we find in the Margin of our Bibles, v. 9. Inclusus teneor vestibus & Armis, ut gladius in quem rui non potue­rit me perdere. Coat of Mail, he did not dispatch himself Fully, is not incredible: And then 'tis likely enough, both that Saul did beg a Bloudy Kindness of the Amalekite, for fear of falling alive into the hands of the Philistines, and that this Amalekite did readily gratify him, in hopes of a Richer booty, than the price of the Crown and the Bracelet came to.

But it is not much material, whether this Ama­lekite was Really Guilty, or had a mind only to Father the action. We will now (as David did) take his own Word for it, and Suppose him to have spoken Truth. For none can be better believed, then he that confes­seth against Himself. Every man will be sure to make the best of his own story; and though an Evidence may Swear away other mens Lives, he will be tender of his own, and beware of being his own Accuser, though he deposeth to a Lye. We will not therefore contrast the Credit of his own Testimony, but ac­quiesce in what he said, and look upon him as a Crimi­nal; and proceed to

2. The second thing (which is most pertinent to the business of this day) Davids deep Resentment of this Amalekites relation; it was a Dreadful story, a [Page 5] most Horrible and Fearful thing in the account of this good man, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord's Anointed?

Had it not been a Sin of a most Horrid nature and a clamorous voice, He who was so near the Throne, would at least have forgiven the man, that did so rea­dily help him to the actual possession of it, especially being an Heir that had waited with so much Suffer­ing, and been provoked by Saul with so many Indigni­ties. But King-Killing is a Crime that is Odious and Abominable in the eyes even of those, that fare well by the Regicide. To which purpose the Learned Grotius has rightly observed out of one of the Roman Tacit. Hist. lib. 1. Histories, that when the Emperor Galba was Mur­der'd, Vitellius, though (Humanly speaking) he had reason enough to be glad of the Fact, having thereby got the power into his hands, yet out of a due sense he had of the Horridness of the Villany he comman­ded those Traitors, who had served his turn, to be slain all of them, when they had the confidence to Address for a Reward.

An instance not much unlike King David's dealing with this Amalekite, when he brought Saul's Bloud upon his own head; because he had stretched forth his hand to destroy the Lord's Anointed.

Those Words, the Lord's Anointed, denote the great, nay the Sole thing, which we find here and in other places to have made such a deep and continual Impression upon David's Spirit: So that when he had cut off the skirt of Saul's robe, his Heart Smote him: When he was tempted to Kill him in the Cave, he ab­horr'd the very thoughts of it; when Abishai would [Page 6] have destroyed him at one blow as he was asleep, David with-held him with a strong hand: When Ab­ner was so careless of his Masters safety, as to let him fall into David's power, David reprehended him: And at last, when this Amalekite had smote him (him, who had so long hunted after David's Soul) He pre­sently smote the Amalekite; all this was grounded upon this Great and Weighty consideration, that Saul was the Lord's Anointed.

A King is said to be the Lord's Anointed in a Two-fold respect.

1. In respect of that outward, Ceremonial Unction, whereby for Sate-sake he is by the Priest separated from the People, or rather Declared, Notified, and Acknow­ledg'd to be a Sacred person. Now this is not the great thing considerable, because it is but a Rite and Form that is not absolutely necessary: For many Princes at this day are not thus Anointed at all; I know not whether this Unction was ever used to Pagan Kings, who yet were Gods Ministers, and had Gods Autho­rity, as well as others; it was a long time before it came to be used even in the Christian World; anci­ently and originally it was a rite peculiar to the Jews alone; and among them it was not used constantly neither, but when the Succession was broken, or a dis­pute arose about a Successors Title; commonly one of a Family was Anointed for all his Posterity and Issue; and even then the man was not made King because he was Anointed, but he was Anointed because he was King. Though there be neither Horn, nor Cruse of Oyl in the case, yet he is Gods Anointed nevertheless, [Page 7] and that upon an Higher and more Noble account, viz;

2. In respect of that inward and essential Unction, which he receives at the very first minute of his King­ship, and by which he is Sanctified and set apart and above all others in that very Article of time, and which from that day forward is inseparable from his Person. Now this Unction consisteth in that Supreme Power which is given unto him, in that Sacred Au­thority which is vested in him, in that inviolable Ma­jesty which is inseparable from him, in that Divine Image and Impress, whereby he bears a different and singu­lar Character, and becomes Hallowed. And because he receives all this at the hands of God alone, because he oweth all this, neither to Priest nor People, but to God alone; because this Power, Authority, Majesty, Image, and Character is given him by the Lord only, therefore he is called, The Lord's Anointed, that is, a Person made so Sacred by God by the Communication of his own Authority, that now he cannot be treated with rudeness or violence, without Dishonouring God's own Majesty and striking at the Face of God himself.

To this purpose we are to observe, what God said of King Cyrus, an Heathen, an Infidel, a Foreigner, no more related unto him than a Philistine, or an A­malekite Prince, yet all this notwithstanding he calls him his Anointed, Is. 45. Thus saith the Lord to his Anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden (or strengthned with Power) v. 1.—I have even called thee by thy name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me, v. 4.

[Page 8] This was Prophetically spoken, for at this time Cyrus was not so much as Born: And when he came to be King of Persia he was no more Anointed there, than Nero was at Rome; and yet, as the Prophet calls the former God's Anointed, so the Apostle calls the latter the Minister of God, the Ordained of God; and both Isaiah and St. Paul spake so upon these grounds, because all Lawful Princes are endued with God's Power and Authority, whereof the Material and Ceremonial Unction among the Jews, was a Signification and Argument only.

Now do but compare all this, with what is recor­ded of Saul, whom David speaks of in my Text, and styles him, The Lord's Anointed. Not very long af­ter he came to the Crown, out of Timorousness and Infidelity, he offered up Sacrifice himself in Samuels 1 Sam. 13. absence, and therein he was an Ʋsurper of the Priest­ly Office. Afterwards, he spared the King of Amalek, c. 15. and the best of the spoil, contrary to what he was required to do; and therein he was a Rebel against Gods Commands. After this, he sought the life of c. 18. David (the best Subject, that ever any Prince had) and would have struck him to the wall with a Javelin, and all this for David's good Service; therein he was a Tyrant. After this, he unjustly Kills at once 85 of the Lord's Priests, besides the Men and Women, Child­ren, c. 22. and Sucklings that were in Nob; and therein he was a Murderer. After this, he forsaketh the Lord for the Devil, and consulteth a Witch at Endor; and therein c. 28. he was an Apostate. And after all this, last of all, as if he could not perish by any impurer hands than his own, he rusheth on the point of his Sword, en­deavours c. 31. [Page 9] deavours and attempts his own final Destruction; and therein he was a Self-Homicide.

Notwithstanding all these Sins, he was the Lord's Anointed still; and David own'd, treated, rever'd and in the end vindicated him, as the Lord's Anointed. He distinguish't between the Sinner, and the Prince; He look't upon his Personal Crimes with one eye, and upon his Holy Ʋnction with another. And if the Scripture may be allowed to bear us out in any con­clusion, we have warrant enough to infer hence that the Worst of Kings (supposing him to be a Lawful King) hath a Divine and Indelible Character, for the sake whereof, he ought to be accounted and Honour­ed as the Lord's Anointed, and consequently as a Sacred and Dread Soveraign.

Nor will it avail us to consider, how or by what means he came to his Soveraignty, whether by Inheritance, or otherwise. A Lawful Prince is the Lord's Anointed ever, beholding to God alone for his Power and Authority. Succession, or Conquest, or E­lection may be the Instrument to convey the Title, but the Deed is Gods, and the Soveraign Power is a Do­native and Estate which the King holdeth in Fee of God, and of God alone, whether it be by Nature, that the Man is brought forth; or whether it be by the Sword, that he cuts his way; or whether it be by the Con­sent of Men, that he is pitch't upon, still these are but the means, the ways, and the methods of a Nation, whereby a Prince is brought to the Throne: 'Tis God that gives him his Commission to Reign in it; the Right of Governing, the Authority he hath over his People, the Power of Life and Death, the Crown [Page 10] and Scepter, the Regalities and Prerogatives of a King (however he may diminish or give some of them a­way) they are owing only to the Courtesie of Heaven.

In this case 'tis necessary for us to distinguish be­tween the Power it self, and the Choice, or Ap­plication of the Person to that Power. Now, the Pow­er is God's, by whom Kings Reign: But under God there may be divers Subordinate, Instrumental, and Ministeri­al hands to give a man a Right to that Power. Anci­ently and first of all, Monarchical Soveraignty went by Lineal Descent, and Proximity of Bloud; and this was the Regular and best way. But in after Ages the Wic­kedness of a few Nations altered this course, and Monarchies came to be Elective. And though a Prince be chosen by the Suffrages of the People, yet this is but a Qualification of him to use that Power, and to exercise that Authority which is given by the King of Kings. Nay, though they Anoint and Crown him, yet in all this they are the only Masters of the Ceremonies, to declare their Obligations to Obey, and to Assist in the Prince's Investitures; still the Authority whereby he acteth, the Substantial and Essential Unction, is from above. They may put on his Robes, and gird him with the Sword, and place him in his Imperial Chair, and cover his Head with a Royal Diadem; but when he is in his Throne, 'tis by a Superior Authority that he strikes with his Sword, and by a Divine Com­mission that he Commandeth, Governeth, and Mini­streth Justice unto the People which he is set over: And so Valentinian told his Soldiers when they had chosen him Emperor, and asked him something which he did not like; It was in your Power to chuse me to [Page 11] rule over you (said he) but since you have chosen me, what you desire dependeth not upon yoru pleasure, but mine. Your business is as my Subjects, to obey me; and my busi­ness is as your Prince, to order what you are to do. Though Valentinian was taken from among the Soul­diery, yet his Power was not derived from the Camp, but it was from God, as King Soul's was, when he was fetch't from among the Stuff, 1 Sam. 10.

Things are best understood when they are illustra­ted by familiar Instances. Take then 1. an Instance in an Ecclesiastical matter: Judas the Traitor being Dead, the Eleven think of Substituting some other in his Room, and by lot they Elected Matthias, Act. 1. But Matthias was not their Delegate, nor did he Act by their Commission, or in their Name, or by their Power; but his Authority was from Christ, as the rest of the Apostles was: They indeed pitch't upon the Man, but his Apostleship, his Ministerial Character, his Power to Preach, to Administer Sacra­ments, to Bind and Loose, this Power was from Heaven. 2. Take a second Instance in an Oeconomical matter: Say a Servant chuseth his Master, or a Wife her Hus­band, each of theft pitch upon the Man, but neither of them gives him his Authority, but both consent to submit unto it; his Power of Governing his whole House-hold is from Nature. 3. Take a third Instance yet in a Political matter: Say a Parish do chuse their Constable, or a City their Mayor, or a County their Sheriff; these indeed determine upon the Person but they give them not their Power, nor do they act in the Names of the Electors; but their Authority to keep the Peace, to Distrain Goods, to Seize and Execute [Page 12] Malefactors, is from the King, and the Kings Officers they are. Why, much like hereunto is that other Instance when a People chuse their King (though it would be better for the World, if no People did so, Haereditary Government being the best:) After a great deal of Clamour, Disorder, Animosity, Strife, Confusion, Distraction, and perhaps Bloudshed, at last Necessity brings them to agree upon the Man: But the Kings Authority comes not from the dirty hands of a Rout, nor doth he act in the name of a Soveraign multitude, but his Power is from God: By his Command Kings are constituted, by whose pleasure Men are born; God ap­points Cujus jussu homines nascuntur, hujus jussu & Reges constituuntur, apti his qui in illo tempore ab ipsis regantur. Iren. lib. 5. adv. Haeres. cap. 24. them, and fits them according to the condition of the Times, saith Irenoeus. And so Tertullian affirms, that the Em­peror is thence, whence the man was be­fore Inde est Imperator, unde est ho­mo antequam Imperator. Inde Po­testas illi, unde & Spiritus. Ter­tul. Apol. c. 30. he was Emperor. He receiveth his Power from the same hand which gave him his Spirit. And elsewhere saith he, We (Christians) worship the Emperor so Colimus Imperatorem sic quomo­do & nobis licet, & ipsi expedit, ut hominem à Deo secundum; & quicquid est, à Deo consecutum, solo Deo minorem. Tertul. adv. Scapul. as 'tis lawful for us, and expedient for himself, as a Man next unto God; as one that hath received all that he hath from God; and as one that is inferiour to God alone.

Now, if the case be thus, where a Monarchy is Elective (as the Roman Empire was, whatever is sug­gested to the contrary) the Plea is much the Stronger for the Divine Authority of a Prince, where the Crown descendeth by Inheritance (as, God be blessed it doth with us, and for the good of the Kingdom, [Page 13] may it descend still in that Natural and Peaceful course to the Worlds end.) In this case, the Consent of the People is neither Essential nor Accessory; as they are not capable of conferring the Authority, so they are praecluded the liberty of disputing about the Person (where there is an apparent or undoubted Heir) for God and Nature have already determin'd the Controversie. Men may Recognize his Right, (and in point of Conscience are bound to do so) as the Men of Israel did Recognize Saul's Right, after he had been Anointed; but where a Kingdom is He­reditary, ones Right taketh place upon the voidance of another's Possession; which is the ground of that Maxim in our Law (which is the sharpest Dagger in the Republican's Heart) that the King cannot dye.

I have been the longer upon clearing the account of the Divine Authority of Kings, because it was the only consideration which David had in his thoughts, when he was moved to proceed so severely against this Amalekite, for offering violence unto Saul. Quare non Timuisti? How came it about that thou wast not afraid, that thy Heart did not sink, that thy Soul could suffer thee to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord's Anointed?

And hence we may fairly proceed to Two Con­clusions.

1. That it is a Fearful thing, even to Resist the Lord's Anointed. A Fearful thing indeed (according to St. Paul's Divinity) if it be a Fearful thing to be Damned. For Opposition tendeth to Destruction; and there is no more difference between Resisting and Kil­ling, [Page 14] then there is between the means and the end, or between putting a Sword to a Princes Throat, and direct, Cutting it. If he be a Murderer (by Inter­pretation) who Hateth his Brother, he must be a Regicide (in the intent,) who draweth out his Ar­tillery against his Prince; and Rebels are beholding to our Charity alone, in this as well as other cases, if we do not say, that never any Subjects drew the Sword against their King, but with a Resolution (if there was no other remedy) to sheath it in his Bloud.

I do not intend (for the Time will not give me leave) to handle the case of a Defensive War against a Rightful Soveraign (a case, that never was maintain­ed, but by an Atheist, or a Papist, or a Protestant-Jesuite.) When our Saviour commanded us, Not to resist evil, Math. 5. 39. we must suppose him to teach us to suffer Indignities with Patience, as well from the hands of a Superior, as from the hands of an equal. And when St. Paul affirms, that whoso­ever resisteth the Power, resisteth the Ordinance of God, Rom. 13. 2. we must conclude, that a War against Lawful Authority is a War against Heaven. And when St. Peter requiring us to Honour the King, presently Subjoined, Servants be Subject to your Masters with all fear, not only to the Good and Gentle, but also to the Froward, 1 Pet. 2. 18. we must look upon him to have taught us the necessity of Passive Obedience in the State, as well as at Home; for otherwise it would follow (what is unreasonable to conceive) that Prin­ces have not so much benefit by the Gospel, for the securing of their Authority, as every Ordinary and Private Man hath.

[Page 15] And in saying thus much, God is my Witness that I aim at no other end, but to vindicate the Doctrine of the Cross, which divers lately have endeavoured to expose to Contempt and Derision. But (to return to David's practice in reference to Saul) because David's having of an Army, has been pleaded by Re­bels to justifie Resistance, for the removing of this Objection, many things are to be consider'd. 1. That David's case was Particular; for he was already A­nointed unto the Kingdom, and was Haeres Viventis not only Lawful Heir, but as sure of the Crown as if Saul had been dead. 2. That the little Army which David had, was not of his own Raising but they re­sorted unto him of their own accord; partly for Refuge-sake (for they were Indigent and Discontented Persons) partly to shew David their best respects; partly out of Pity and Compassion to a wronged Prince (and the Hearts of Men are generally Pitiful and Compas­sionate in such a case) and partly to endear them­selves to David, and to make their Fortunes by him when he should come to the Crown. 3. That when the Men were come, David used them rather as a Friendly Retinue, then as a Formidable Army, to secure his own Life from the hands of Pick-thanks, who otherwise might be ready to shed his Bloud to curry favour with Saul, and without Saul's Order and Commission. 4. That when David imployed his Re­tinue to Military purposes and after a Military man­ner, it was against those People who were Enemies to Israel, and who by the Command of God were to be destroyed; and even then too David acted un­der King Achish, as his chief Commissioner and General. [Page 16] 5. That from the beginning to the end of the whole matter, though David had so many Swords at his command, yet he never once Resisted his own Dread Soveraign, but only Fled from him, and Fled with more security then he could have done otherwise. Nay, though David had two the fairest opportunities, of making Saul his Prisoner, and of taking away his Life, one in the Cave at Engedi, 1 Sam. 24. and another on the Hill of Hachilah, 1 Sam. 26. yet still he forbore all manner of violence, at both times using this Heroick and Loyal Expression, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my Master the Lord's Anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the Anointed of the Lord.

2. Whence I proceed to the next conclusion, that the Destruction of the Lord's Anointed, the stretching forth the hand to Invade his Life, is of all other acts of violence the most Fearful and Horrid Crime. The Lord forbid that I should do this thing, saith David; for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's A­nointed, and be guiltless? As he said to Abishai, 1 Sam. 26. 9. For Subjects to draw Bloud out of the Sacred Heart of their Prince, to cut his Head off, as though he had not been Anointed with Oyl, to Invade the Life of Gods Vice-gerent, and especially to do it, as did the Regicides of this day, not in a Cave, but before the Face of the Sun, and at his own Palace door, and all this with the utmost Pomp of Villany, under colour of Justice, by formal Proceedings, after a Judicial manner, with an unheard of Pageantry of Conscience and Religion: After they had taken off his Crown, and as it were, cut off his Hands; after they [Page 17] had Hunted him from his House to the Camp; and from Field to Field, at last to Arraign the best of Kings as a Malefactor, to Condemn him as a Tyrant, to Dragg him to the Scaffold as a Traitor, and there to cut off his Neck as a Dog; Blessed Jesu! Since the foundations of the World were laid, the like in­stance, with all its circumstances was never known; no Humane History can afford us a Parallel; nothing that can come near it, unless it be that instance late­ly observed of Conradine the King of Naples, who after such a manner (but upon different pretensions) was Dr. Turners's Sermon before the King, 1680/1. Arraigned and Murdered in his own City upon a Scaffold: And as that was done by pretending Catho­licks, so this was done by pretending Protestants: They set the Copy, and these took it out, and in as Bloudy a Character; so true is that observation, that there was hardly so much as a pair of Sheers between the [...]; no more difference indeed than between Judas and Iscariot.

When David had privily cut off the skirt of Saul's robe (though it was only with a design to let him see that he had been in his Power) his Heart soon Smote him, as if he had made a Breach upon Gods Law, and had been guilty of a very Ʋnworthy and Disloyal Act (for the Oyl upon a Kings Head (like the Ointment upon the Head of Aaron that descended upon his skirts) makes even his Vestments Sacred.) But with what Agonies and Convulsions would his Soul have been Tortured, had the King of Israel been mocked by such a Juncto of Jews, as on this day Butcher'd the King [Page 18] of England, and in the name of the Lord vied for Wic­kedness with all the Devils in Hell?

The story of Saul's Death is a very sad relation, all the Parts and Appurtenances thereof, together with Saul's own Guilt, and the Sin of his Armour-bearer, and this Amalekite being rightly considered. But yet there are some passages in the story, which it may not be amiss for us to observe:

1. Concerning the Armour-bearer. Saul Comman­ded him to draw his Sword, and to thrust him through therewith, being desirous rather to Dye by the hands of his own Servant, than to be Abused by the Un­circumcised Philistines. But notwithstanding the Kings own Command, the Armour-bearer refused to hearken in that particular; he durst not obey the King to the Destruction of Majesty; he was sore afraid, saith the Text, 1 Sam. 31. 4. Read on now to the next v. and you will find, that this Armour-bearer feared not to Kill himself, though he was sore afraid to Kill his Soveraign. By which instance it is clear, not only that he valued his Prince his Life far above his own, but also that he thought it much a more pardonable Sin to be a self Murderer, than to be a Regicide, though tempted to be so by his Soveraigns Command. Doubt­less, for a Man to Kill himself is a very Horrid Sin, because it is his last Act, whereby (in Humane pro­bability) he hurryeth himself off the Earth into Hell. Yet this Armour-bearer chose rather to Dye with the Guilt of his own Bloud upon his hands, than to Live [Page 19] Guilty of the Bloud of the Lord's Anointed; and be­fore he would be such a Traitor, ran a sad venture of being Damned for ever, by being Felo de se.

2. And then as for the Amalekite, that did effectu­ally help on the Destruction of Saul, though he did it not of Malice, but upon Saul's intreaty; though he did it when Saul was now half breathless, and when he was sure otherwise to be Killed by the Philistines, though he did it to rid him of his present Fear and Pains, and struck him more like a Friend, than an Ene­my, doing no other than what Saul himself had already done in part; yet this Regicides Conscience seems to have been troubled presently at an excessive rate: His breast was filled with Remorse, and Anguish, and Bitterness of Spirit, so that he could not but put on a Mournful and Penitential Habit; for he ran to David with his Clothes Rent, and with Earth upon his Head, Confessing by his Actions, that he had committed an Abominable Crime, when his Lying Tongue pretended that he had done a meritorious Act.

And yet (which is observable) this Regicide was no Subject of Saul's, but a Stranger, an Alien from the Common-wealth of Israel, an Amalekite. Lord! What Soul is able I do not say to Aggravate, but to Measure the Guilt of the Regicides of this day? Regi­cides, that acted not only without any pretended Com­mands or Allowance of Just Authority (though all the Powers on Earth could not have made a Law competent or tolerable in this case) but shed the Bloud of [Page 20] the Lord's Anointed, contrary to all Law of God, of Nature, and of the Land too. Regicides, that were Amalekites indeed, as to Faith, Religion, Conscience and Inhumanity, but otherwise the Kings own Natural and Born-Subjects, that owed him Fealty and Loyal­ty from the Womb, that had often renewed their Na­tural Obligations by several voluntary and the most Solemn Professions, Promises and Vows, that had many times repeated the Sacred and Strict Oaths of Supre­macy, and Allegiance; and besides all this, that in a Solemn League and Covenant of their own had Sworn Article 3. to Preserve and Defend the Kings Majesties Person and Authority, that the World (said they) may bear wit­ness with our Consciences of our Loyalty, and that we have no Thoughts or Intentions to diminish his Majesties just Power and Greatness: Regicides, that Vowed and Swore all this, and that with respect to the Glory of God, to the advancement of Christs Kingdom, to the Honour and Happiness of the Kings Majesty, and his Posterity, and with Hands lifted up to the most High God, as saith the Preamble to that Covenant. But never do Hypocrites hands fall more heavy, than when they have been lifted up in Gods Worship: A Traitor is then most Formidable, when he has been at a Test, or at a Sacrament, or at a Prayer (Judas was fullest of Mischief, when he had been at the Dish and the Sop.) To answer all these Declarations, Vows, and Oaths, as at first they lifted up their Hands to the most High God, so at last they stretched forth their hands to Murder Gods Anointed, and they Murder'd him in cold Bloud, and after Deliberation, and Council, and [Page 21] Fasting, and (as their Phrase was) when they had been seeking the Lord too.

This very Amalekite will one day rise up in Judg­ment against those Regicides, and will condemn them; for he seem'd to Repent when he had done the Fact, he Rent his Clothes, and put Ashes upon his own Head, for the violence that he had offered to the A­nointed one. But these Regicides instead of Relent­ing or being Smitten in their Hearts, were of Re­probate Minds, and of Seared Consciences, being past Feeling any thing but the Fire of Hell: They persisted in hardness above that of Judas, or of Cain: They own'd the Villany, and endeavoured to Justifie that as a Noble, Heroick and Godly Exploit, which made all Churches abroad (but Rome) to be asham'd, and all Foreign Nations, not only the Christian World, but even Infidels and Barbarians to Abhorr all English men, as so many Savage Dogs.

Nor was this the Wickedness of Dathan's and Abiram's only, but Korah's and Sons of Levi were found also, some that to Poize the Vessel had a great hand in casting the Pilot over board, some that inten­tionally Preached off the Crown from his Majesties Head; some that drove him to the Block; some that were upon, or not far off from the Scaffold; and some too, that made the Sound of the Blow to Eccho in the Temple, and did not stick with hands lifted up too, to Sanctifie the Fact in the very Pulpit. And I cannot but take notice of one singular Instance, out of due [Page 22] respects to a certain Doctor still Living, and in great Vogue, that on Jan. 31. 1648. the very day next Jo. Owens Ser­mon Jan. 31. 1648. dedica­ted to the Commons. pag. 7. after the Murdering of the King, as he was holding forth to the Regicides (whom he complemented, as the visible Instruments of the Work of the Lord) and speaking with reference to the things that had been found in England, he insisted much upon the Sins of Manasseh Son of Hezekiah King of Judah, spake of his false Worship, Superstition and Cruelty, and of the Apostacy of those who flattered him in his Tyranny for ibid. p. 5. their own advantage, and positively asserted, that when Kings turn Seducers, both the Blind Leaders, and Blind Followers Justly fall into the Ditch; and that, when Kings Command unrighteous things, and People suit them with a willing Complyance, none doubts, but the Destruction of them both is Just and Righteous.

Come thy ways now, my Honest Amalekite (Hon­est in comparison) who, though thou wast not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the King of Is­rael, yet, for ought we know, didst never suffer thine Heart to swell against thine own Soveraign; didst never trample Faith and True Allegiance to thy Natural Prince, under thy Feet; didst never break Covenants, nor violate Oaths, nor any ways further or abett the Bloudshedding of the King of Amalek; nor didst ever harden thy Heart to that Desperate State of Impenitence, Deadness or Reprobation, as to Justifie and Vindicate the most Horrid Act of Treason, with hands stretched out and lifted up before the most High [Page 23] God, as did those Sons of Belial, the Regicides of this day.

And yet behold, a Greater Prince than either the King of Amalek or Saul, was here: Greater for his Lineage and Extraction; Greater for his Wisdom, Faith, and Constancy to the Truth; Greater for all Vertues Divine, Moral, Political; Greater every ways, but in the esteem of Men and in the Hearts of his own Subjects, and only too Great by being too Good for a most Ʋnthankful and Improvident Nation.

To draw now towards a conclusion, The design of this discourse is not so much to expose the Traytors, as to Represent the Excessive Sinfulness of the Treason of this day, to the End that we and our Posterity may see what reason all of us have to be truly Hum­bled under the Sense of it. For murder is a Crying Sin, that filleth Heaven with its Noise and Clamour: And one reason of it is, because it is not only an In­jury against the Man but moreover a Contumely offer­ed to the Majesty of God, whose Image the Man bears; and therefore Philo the Jew calls it [...], Philo de Spec. Leg. Sacriledge, and the Greatest of all sorts of Sacriledge. Nay, it is of such a Staining nature, that it polluteth a whole Land; as God himself said, Bloud it defileth the Land, Num. 35 33. And an Instance hereof we have upon Saul's killing the Giheonites: He slew them indeed in his Zeal to the Children of Israel and Judah; but though 'twas His Fact and [Page 24] Cruelty, yet a Three years Famine came upon the Land for it, 2 Sam. 21. 1.

And if all Innocent Bloud staineth a Nation so, how much more the shedding of Bloud Royal, the Bloud of Kings, who in respect of their High Office and Su­preme Authority Represent God above all others, and bear his Image and Impress after a Peculiar and Emi­nent manner.

I must confess, that I cannot but still own my Fears, that our Land is not yet throughly cleansed from the Bloud of that Innocent, Vertuous, Religious, Matchless Prince, who was so Barbarously murder'd among us on this day. For though we may believe, that the merciful God will not require that Sacred Bloud of us, so as to make us smoak under that Wrath which is the vengeance of another life, (Ʋs especially, who cannot Read, nor so much as Think of that Dismal Tragedy without the deepest Sorrow, Hatred and Abomination) yet we have too great Reason to suspect that the Sin is not Forgotten in Heaven, that there is no such Act of Oblivion There, but that as we have Smarted for that Sin already, so we may Smart still under those Plagues and Judgments which are the Discipline of this life. We are to distinguish between a Sin and its Punishment. The Sin may be forgiven, and upon true Repentance is certainly for­given, so that it shall not Rise up in Judgment against the Sinner at the last day: But seldom does the Cry of a Vocal Sin cease before God letteth loose some [Page 25] Temporal Judgments upon it; either for the warning and Admonition of other Men, or for the Correction and Reformation of the Sinners themselves, or for the ex­ercising of their Patience, or for the like Holy and Gracious purposes. The thing is clear from that In­stance concerning David, whom God visited with the Death of his Child, and with other Sharp and Poynant Evils, for the Wickedness acted upon Bathsheba and her Husband, though the Sin it self was for­given him. The Lord hath put away thy Sin, thou shalt not die, said Nathan; Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great Occasion to the Enemies of the Lord to Blaspheme, the Child that is born unto thee shall surely die, 2 Sam. 12.

Nor is it a just Ground for our Confidence and Se­curity to consider, that the Sin of this day was acted by a Few (in comparison) and that several years agoe too.

For, the Sin of One Man (and much rather of an Army) may be so Odious and Abominable in Gods Account, that by Occasion thereof he may visit the Iniquities of a whole Nation. Let us go to Achan for an Instance: Upon the Destruction of Jericho Achan found a Babylonish Garment, a wedge of Gold, and two hundred Sheckles of Silver; and because He took of the Accursed thing, the Anger of the Lord was kindled against the whole Body of the Children of Israel, so that at the very next Battel, they were all Routed by their Enemies, Josh. 7.

[Page 26] 2. Again, God is not wont to punish a Nation to the Full assoon as the Sin is committed, but usu­ally leaves a great part of the Burden, many Ta­lents of Judgment to fall down in after-times, to put Men still in mind of that Guilt, which other­wise they would bury in perpetual Oblivion. Let us go for an Instance hereof to the Jews in the days of Moses. At Shittim they joyn themselves to Baal-Peor, and a Plague ensueth thereupon. But, though for Phinehas his Zeal the Plague was soon stayed, and the Wrath of God was turned away from Israel for that time, yet afterwards in the days of Joshua, when the Israelites had been Possessed of the Holy Land, Phinehas himself Remembred the Iniquity of Peor, and told the People that they were not cleansed from that Iniquity unto that day, Josh. 22. 17.

Now (to draw down this Consideration to our selves) if God be wont by way of Discipline to chastize Evil Men as a Governour, even after he has taken away the Guilt of their Wickedness as a Judg; if by Occasion of One crying Sin, committed by a Few, or perhaps by One only, he doth some­times bring Calamities upon a whole Nation; and if this be often done some Considerable time, some years after the Sin was acted: Then truly, we of all People living have most Reason to call to mind the Calamities we have groaned under, and to Inter­pret Providence the Right way, and not only to mis­trust that God hath visited us, hitherto, but more­over [Page 27] to Fear that he will visit us still (especially, if we Repent not from the bottom of our Hearts) for that Loud and Clamorous Sin of this day, the Destruction of the Lords Anointed (and a Man ac­cording to Gods own Heart too) though he was De­stroyed and Murder'd, not by our own Hands, but by the Hands of a Few Amalekites, and that above Thirty years ago.

To come a little closer yet: Of all the People of this Land, You of this City are very deeply con­cern'd, to lay your Hands upon your Breasts, and your Mouths in the Dust, and the Sin of this day to every one of your Hearts. For, though (God be blessed) we can truly say and Boast, That this City (nay this Kingdom) was never more Happy than it is this day, for that great Number we have here of Brave, Heroick and Right Loyal Spirits (witness their Generous, and Successful, when they were thought Desperate Adventures of Late, to stop that Torrent of Wickedness which was coming in afresh upon us, and God alone Knows how far it would have gone, and how many it would have swept away, had it not been stopt: Yet all this notwithstanding, it is necessary for you to Remember the days of old, and the years that are past and not suffer the Horrid Sin of this day, or the Judgments which God hath executed upon this City, to slip out of your minds or to be past over lightly, without a due Sense and Application thereof.

[Page 28] Now, what if we should conceive, that when this City was turned into a Flaming pile, the righteous God came to purge it from the Bloud of his Anointed? When the Jews of old were in any sharp afflictions, the business of the Golden Calf usually came fresh in­to their Minds, and on every turn they mistrusted, that God afflicted them for the iniquity of their Fathers in making a Golden Calf. The story of it you have at large in Exod. 32. the People would have some Representation to go before them instead of Moses their proper Captain and Leader; they prevailed with Aaron to consent and concurr with them, and they con­tributed their Riches, their Gold and their Ear-rings to carry on the Work of the day; and at last out came a Calf, a little Similitude of the Great Idol, which was Worshipped in the House of Bondage, whence they had now been delivered, so that, though they had escaped out of Egypt, yet they espoused the Egyptian Religion. To Accomodate this story a little: We must acknowledg, that God had marvellously delivered us too out of Our House of Bondage (chang­ing only the names, Rome for Egypt) we had a Moses too set over us, Meek and Good, and one that was Learned in all the Wisdom of the Egyptians: But the People were Sick, to have an Idol of their own make­ing in the room of their Moses; and some that wait­ed at the Altar had a Stomach that way too; and the Zealots of this City would not fail of their utmost help, but brought their Riches into Guild-Hall, their Money, Plate and Rings, and even their Thimbles and Bod­kins; and what came of this at last? Why truly [Page 29] out came a Calf, a Golden Calf, a Dainty thing that had cost great Sums but yielded no Milk, a Religion like that Idol which we had been Delivered from, full of Superstition and Jesuitism in the belly of it, and differing no more from Popery, than a Calf differeth from an Ox.

And why should we not think now, that when God visited us with his Judgments, he did not remem­ber Peoples Ingratitude to him and his Anointed? Or why should we not Fear that he will remember us again, and that with more Sore and more Dreadful Judgments, if People persist in their Ingratitude still? For this is a Sin of no ordinary rate, but one of the First Magnitude; the Kings Authority being a Do­native of Heaven, and a Ray of Gods Majesty, and his Power to Govern and Punish being given by Gods own Warranty, the Sin of Rebellion must necessarily be of a Da [...]g Nature, and of a Clamorous Tongue, however forme (whose Consciences are Armour-proof against all Arguments from Scripture and Anti­quity) have begun again to speak of the Lawfulness of Resistance, as if their hands were already laid up­on the Hilts of their Swords.

Take heed therefore (you especially of this Great City) that ye join not in the Confederacies of Korah, lest ye utterly Perish in his gainsaying. Is the Ini­quity of Peor, and the Sin of the Golden Calf too little for us? Are not the Judgments, which we have groaned under, heavy enough yet, but do we sollicite [Page 30] God to add more Talents to the weight still? As­sure your selves, that if People Repeat their Sins, God will not fail to Repeat and Double his Blows; and he hath more Judgments in Treasure besides the Plague and the Fire; and the Posterity that cometh after us will (as we our selves have done) see the Follies, and smart greatly for the Impieties of their Fathers; for as Ezra said upon the Return out of Captivity, After all that is come upon us for our Evil deeds, and for our Great trespass, seeing that God hath punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hath given us a Deliverance (a miraculous deliverance out of our Thraldom) should we again break his Commandments, and join with the People of these abominations, would not God be Angry with us till he had Consumed us, so that there should be no Remnant, nor Escaping?

For the preventing of the worst of Evils it is our great Concernment, and ought to be our great Care, and 'twill be found to be our best Interest, when all is done, to lay aside all Unnatural Animosities and Heart-burnings, which Evil Men make use of to Di­stract this Kingdom, and to tear all our Establishments in Church and State into pieces; and to be filled with the True and Primitive Spirit of Christianity; to be Meek, and Gentle, and of Humble Minds; to Act according to that Wisdom, which is Pure and Peace­able; to Study to be Quiet; to endeavour by all pos­sible means to keep the Ʋnity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace; to be Tractable and Honest in Heart; to be subject to the Higher Powers, and that not for [Page 31] fear of the Laws only, but readily and ingenuously, and for Conscience-sake, to Fear God, to Honour the King, and to Love the Brother-hood; to be in perfect Charity and Ʋnity among our selves, as becometh Brethren; and so, in all manner of well-doing to com­mit our selves to God; to whom be Glory, Dominion and Praise. Amen.

FINIS.

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