A SERMON Preached upon September the 9th, 1683. BEING A Thanksgiving-Day For a Late DELIVERANCE From a Fanatick-Conspiracy.

By Edw. Pelling, Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Somerset.

Printed in his own Defence.

LONDON, Printed for Will. Abington next the Wonder Tavern in Ludgate-Street. 1683.

To His Grace Charles Duke of Somer­set, Marquess and Earl of Hertford, Viscount Beauchamp, Baron Seymour of Trowbridge, Lord Lieutenant of the East-Riding in Yorkshire, and of the County of Somerset.

May it please Your Grace,

AFter so many Honourable Titles (some due to you by Inheritance, some given you by your Prince his Favour, All Your own, besides that of Your Virtue and Loyalty, which is Your greatest Character) it might justly be ex­pected, that some Considerable thing (something more than an Ordinary Ser­mon) should be presented to Your Noble Patronage: and I have only this to say in my Excuse, that it comes from the hands of him, who has nothing Great enough to lay at Your Feet. My Lord, I am bound to tell You, that the reason of Publishing these Papers, is my own Vindication; some Passages therein being so mis-re­presented, as if I had made several Rude [Page] and Unjust Reflections; from which no­thing can clear me, but the submitting of the whole Sermon to Publick Cen­sure.

And now, My Lord, I cannot blame that Necessity, which obligeth me at once to do my self Right, and to express my Duty to Your Grace, whom I am bound to Honour particularly, not only for the sake of the same Loyal Principles, but also in the Bond of Natural Affection, which is no more than a Just and Necessa­ry Homage from me.

I most humbly beg Your Favourable ac­ceptance of this my Duty, beseeching God to Bless Your Grace, and Your Noble Consort, with a long Continuance of the Dearest Love, with a Noble Train of a most Prosperous Issue, and with all the Blessings of This world and a Better: it is the Hearty desire, my Lord, of

Your Graces most Dutiful, and Affectionate Servant and Chaplain, Edw. Pelling.
Psal. XXXIV. 19.‘Many are the afflictions of the Righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.’

THE Special Providence of God is seen in nothing more, than in watch­ing over Princes, in preserving Them and their Kingdoms, and in support­ing their Government and just Authority. For the Hearts of Men are Naturally so impatient of Subjection, and so greedy of Power; their par­ticular Interests are so Divided, their Designs are so Various, their Passions are so Violent, their Principles are so Different, their Minds are so set upon Villany and Mischief, (and what through Ambition, or Covetousness, or Discontent) their Spirits are so Restless, that 'tis by a daily Mira­cle that Princes live, and that their Thrones stand; and 'twould be impossible for them to be safe one moment, did not the immediate hand of God (of whom alone they hold their Crowns) [Page 2] shelter and protect their Persons, and over-rule the Madness of Turbulent and Bloud-thirsty People.

Perhaps no Prince living ever had such am­ple Experience of this, as King David had; unless we will except our own Dread Soveraign, whose case comes nearest to a Parallel. David's Title to the Crown was unquestionable, for it was set up­on his Head by the direct appointment of God himself: His Government was equal and easie: His Heart was of a Tender and Compassionate Temper, he was ready to Forget the greatest Wrongs, and not only to Forgive, but also to express Kindnesses to the greatest Criminals; in­somuch that Joab had the Confidence, in the heat of his Passion to tell him, That he loved his Ene­mies more than his Friends, and, by so doing, shamed the Faces of all his Servants, 2 Sam. 19.

All this notwithstanding, though David was a man according to Gods own Heart, (a Character which God himself gave of him) yet the poor Prince found Troubles on every side. First he was per­secuted by Saul, and anon forced to a Contro­versie with Saul's House. One while he was in danger from Enemies Abroad, and another while from dis-affected men at Home. Now he was Conspired against by Absalom, which afflict­ed [Page 3] him the more, because the Rebel was his Son. This Conspiracy was fomented by that Oracle of Treason, Ahitophel, that afterwards Saddled his Ass, and Ran for it, and ended his Life miserably through Discontent. Then he was railed at by Shimei, that Dog, (as Abishai rightly called him) the Sire of all that Litter which are continu­ally yelping at the Lords Anointed. Nor was this all; for after all this, Sheba and his Fellow-Tray­tors raised a formidable Insurrection against him, being frustrated of their Expectations at the Kings Return. For David had been in Exile, being forced to flee from his Rebellious Subjects, and upon his happy Restauration some Israelites were inraged, that they had not that Interest at Court which they hoped for; and hereupon they were vexed that the King was come home, and so an Alarm was sounded, Every man to his Tents, O Israel, 2 Sam. 20.

Had not the Divine Providence been David's Shield and Salvation, that Excellent Prince had been utterly Ruin'd by this Army of Troubles, which continually follow'd him at the Heels. But God was his support and stay; and though there was Plot upon Plot, and Rebellion after Re­bellion, yet he trusted still to the Righteousness of his Cause, and to the Promise of God, That he [Page 4] would cloath all his Enemies with shame, and that upon his own Head his Crown shall flourish. This was his Hope and Confidence, and this Hope made him not asham'd.

David Commemorates with Thankfulness throughout this his Book of Psalms, the Singu­lar Mercy of God to him and to his People. And from that constant experience which He and They had of Gods unwearied Goodness, he draws this Conclusion, for the Comfort of all Righte­ous Princes which should come after; that though God may, and many times doth, for great Ends and Reasons, suffer them and their good Sub­jects to be Evil-intreated for a time; yet he will not only be with them in their Troubles, but al­so will (sooner or later) give them a fair Exit out of all their Distress: Many are the afflictions of the Righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

I shall not, for the further clearing of this mat­ter, speak more of David's Troubles and Delive­rances; for our own late Deliverance, which we thankfully Commemorate this day, is a plain Comment upon my Text. A Deliverance, which the very immediate hand of God hath wrought for us, as we shall see anon. A Deli­verance of a Righteous Church, of a Righte­ous [Page 5] Prince, and of all his Righteous Subjects throughout the Nation. A Deliverance, which if we consider the Nature of it, is one of the most Signal; if the Manner of it, is one of the most Surprising; and if we consider our own former Ingratitude, one of the most Unpresi­dented Deliverances, that ever was wrought for a People.

But before I speak of the particular Branches of this Deliverance, 'tis necessary for me to say something of the Reality of those Dangers which we are in some measure delivered from; because there are some, who have gained such a perfect Mastery of their Consciences, that they can be­lieve even a Cheat that serveth their Turn, and Dis-believe even a Miracle that wounds their Interest.

Now Discerning Men have seen for several years last past, that our King and Government both were in eminent danger; because those very Artifi­ces being imploy'd again, which served effectually to destroy the Father, we had all the reason to be­lieve that they were intended to destroy the Son too; it being impossible, but the same Means used in the same manner, must tend to the ac­complishment of the same Ends. When it was [Page 6] taught for Doctrine, that the King is a King by Law, and it past so currently for the Protestant-Faith, that the Clown hath as much Title to his Cottage, as the King hath to his Throne, it was manifest enough then, that a Mine was preparing to blow the King up, and that nothing was want­ing, but a convenient time to spring it. When the Kings Actions were so maliciously mis-inter­preted, when his Designs were still looked upon to be Insincere, when his Counsellors were brand­ded for Popish Conspirators, when His Majesty himself was represented to the People, as one that was not to be Trusted; and when endeavours were used to reduce him to the mean Condition of an Orphan and a Beggar; what could we make of all this, but a Devillish Stratagem, either to make him once again an Exile abroad, or to spoil him of all his Crowns at home, and to leave him no more, than what they left his Father, the Crown of Martyrdom? When so many Seditious Libels appeared every week in the World; now a Vox Patriae, then a Vox Populi; now an Appeal, then an Advice to the Country; now a Treasonable Post­script, (by a True Protestant,) and then a whole Treasonable Doleman (by a True Jesuit); now the Advance, and then the Growth of Popery; now a Plato, and then a Julian Redivivus: In a word, [Page 7] when we were Plagued with as many Mischievous Pamphelts here, as there were almost Locusts in Egypt, what could any Reasonable man believe, but that Ruin and Desolation would be at the end of all? When Faction grew more sturdy and insolent, since the Discovery of the Popish Plot, than they were before, as if they scorn'd to take Quarter, and believed that one day it would be at their own pleasure whether they would give a­ny; we might well imagine, that they thorow­ly knew what Designs were laid, and what Foundation and Bottom they stood upon, and hoped in a short time to give us Battel, not upon the Level, but upon the Highest ground. When we have had such Non-conformists-Pleas, instead of their Repentance; and when they combined together to maintain that Liberty as their Right and Due, which before they crouched for as a thing Precarious, we might easily see what those Affronts of Authority did mean, that now at the last push, they would not give over, but for their Party-sake, and to serve the Interest of the Com­mon Cause against the King and Church, they were resolved to Labour hard in their respective Seminaries of Rebellion, and never be tempted from their New England Colonies by force of Ar­gument. Briefly; when for many years we have [Page 8] seen perpetual Endeavours used to pull down that admirable Frame of Government which is by Law settled among us in Church and State; and when they who call themselves The True Prote­stants have imployed all their Wit, Power, and Malice to make Majesty Odious, to expose his Mi­nisters to publick Scorn and Hatred, to Reproach and Threaten all his Friends, to poyson the World with Rebellious Principles, to bespatter the purest Church in the whole Christian World, to Revile her whole Government, Discipline, and Service, to Traduce her Clergy of every Rank and Order, and to stir up the Fury of an Ʋngover­nable Populace against them; it was too too ma­nifest, that they intended the utter Destruction of our Laws and Establishments, and to bring about their Villanous Ends by some the most vio­lent Methods, either by Assassinating his Majesty, (which some looked upon as the shortest Course,) or by a General and formed Rebellion (which o­thers conceived to be the most Generous and He­roick way.)

These Rogueries were so plain, that all men had Reason to mistrust, and some had the Confi­dence to say, That while we were in pursuit of the Jesuit, an unsuspected Enemy would come be­hind us, and reward us with Joab's Compliment un­der [Page 9] the fifth Rib. And so it proved in the Issue; for while we were afraid of one Enemy, we were in danger of another. Here was truly a Wheel within a Wheel; and while the Papist was at his work, the True Protestant (so called) kick'd him by, and took his place. That light which a few saw then through a Crevise, every man may now behold clearly; for now the Window is o­pen, and the Conspiracy, which we feared, is as plain as the Sun. We need no further proof hereof, than what hath been given us by the Conspirators themselves. For, if to be Felo de se, be an Argument of Guilt, we have had too sad an Argument of that kind. If to fly from Justice be the Indication of an Evil Conscience, there are many that Undeniably argue themselves to be Criminals. If the Voluntary Confessions of Con­federates be Testimony sufficient, here is the most Pregnant and Unquestionable Evidence that ever was given, by some at the very point of Death, and by all before the face of the World; against whom nothing can be Objected but this, (which yet is no Objection at all) that what they wicked­ly Consented and were Privy to, they Honestly Discovered, and some of them too when there was no Hope of saving either Life, or so much as an Hair by it. And as for those very few [Page 10] (scarce enough to makeup a Number) who have taken an Improsperous and Impossible Course, to Conceal or Palliate their Crimes, we may tru­ly say, That, by their Tacit Confessions, and Open Contradictions, and Artificial Shifts, they have (and perhaps beyond the rest) Confirmed the Cre­dit of this Horrid Conspiracy, when they intended to Stifle or Weaken it. For by extenuating and mincing matters, they force all Men to con­clude, that there was some Great thing in hand, which needed the utmost of their Art and Skill. And indeed they seem Agreed with us upon the main point; only their Language is different from ours; for what they call Disorders, that the Law and We call Treason. Now this is no Denial of the Matter, but only a different way of expressing it; and I am apt to think, that had the Conspiracy taken its intended Effect, these Men would have Extenuated and Minced it after the same manner; and they who now call Rebellion, Stirs; and Re­sistance, Innocence; would then have lessened the Plot so, that Cutting of Throats would have been counted only a Scotch-way of Trimming, and the Destruction of Princes, to be no more but a Perfecting the History of the Reformation.

But Blessed be God, that the Counsels of Achito­phel, and the Designs of Sheba, and the Persidi­ousness [Page 11] of a Judas, are all hitherto Ineffectual. Though we have been Troubled, and Afflicted, and in extremity of Dangers on every side, yet he hath not suffered us to be tempted above what we are able, but with the temptation hath now made a way for us to escape, and in a great measure hath delivered the Righteous out of their distress.

For (to speak now particularly of this Delive­rance) he hath, first, delivered a Righteous Church; Righteous in her Cause; Righteous in her Princi­ples; and Righteous in her Ways. When the Villanous Practices of some Romanists were De­tected, and set the whole Nation in such a Rage, we had reason to expect, that every English-man professing the Protestant Religion, would have lent an helping Hand to preserve that Church, which the common Enemy did thrust at with so much Malice and Fury. A Church, which hath rolled in Blood, for her Faith and Loyalty. A Church which hath sent into Heaven such Colonies of Confessors and Martyrs for the Truth. A Church, which hath constantly maintain'd her own Cause, and the common cause of all Reformed Churches. A Church which hath stock'd all Christendom with Learn­ing, and hath obliged even Foreigners to be her Advocates. A Church, which hath laid the Ho­ly Scriptures so open, and hath instructed her Children so in all Literature, Divine and Humane, [Page 12] that every the meanest Idiot may be able to give a good account of his Faith and Hope. In a word; a Church which in all her Conflicts hath been so Victorious and successful, that 'tis gene­rally acknowleg'd by us, that she is the only Substantial Bulwark against Popery. I say, we did justly expect, that when this Church was so Beset by Enemies from abroad, she might be sure to find none but Friends at home. And how did the matter go at last? Why, instead of Preserving her, these Apollyons marked her out for Destructi­on. Every Law which was made for her Support, was to be Repealed. Every Kennel was to be o­pened, and every Ravenous and Bloud-thirsty Sect was to be let loose against her. The whole Body of her Honest and True-hearted Clergy were to be Routed or Sacrific'd: Her Government was to be pulled down; her Discipline was to be taken away; her way of Worship was to be a­bolished, and God alone knoweth whether any Form of Worship at all was to be set up in its room. Her Church-doors were to be set wider o­pen, tolet in Godly Traytors, Sanctified Hypocrites, Religious Atheists, and Protestant Turks. Her Lands were to be Escheated to our Soveraign Lords, the People; to pay all the Charges of the Plot, to reward every Mercenary and Forsworn Syco­phant, and to mend the Fortunes of every Beggar­ly [Page 13] Dependant upon the Plot-Office. All her Dutiful Children were branded for Papists, and by a strange kind of Comprehension were to Communicate in the same Fate with the Papists; and if it were once given out, that the King was killed by the Papists, (though Protestants did it) All of us with­out Discrimination were to be Assassinated in our Houses, or in the Streets, because we were all con­cluded Papists. They would in all haste have Reven­ged the Kings Death upon us all, not so much be­cause the King was killed, as because he Lived so long, and We would not help to Kill him. Thus the poor Church of England was to be rewarded at last for all her Faith, for all her Integrity, for all her Merits and Care of Souls, and even for her daily Prayers for her Enemies and Persecutors. Cursed be their Anger, for it was fierce, and their Wrath, for it was cruel; and except the Lord himself had been on our side, when they rose up against us, they had swallowed us up quick, when their Wrath was so kindled against us. But Blessed be the Lord who hath not given us over as a prey unto their Teeth. Our Soul is escaped as a Bird out of the snare of the Fowler, the snare is broken, and we are as yet delivered.

2. Together with this Deliverance wrought for our Righteous Church, God hath wrought a Deli­verance for our Righteous Prince too. We little [Page 14] dreamt that this King was to be Murder'd also; and that too, when the Bloud of Charles the First cry­ed yet for Vengeance; and within a few years after Charles the Second was Restored to us by a Miracle, being risen as it were from the Dead, and received by us with all Publick and Triumphant Hosan­na's and Acclamations. Who could imagine that after so many Frotestations and Professions of Sor­row for former Miscarriages, after so many Vows of Loyalty and Hearty Obedience for the future, af­ter so many Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy re­peated over the whole Nation, after such Acts of Indemnity granted even to Monsters of Rebels, after such Profuseness of Royal Bounty, whereby Villains were enriched, and grew fat; after so many Ex­pressions of Goodness, Tenderness, and Clemency, e­nough to soften any Devils but Fanaticks; after such pretended Fears, lest his Majesty should be destroyed by the Papists, after so many Professi­ons of the most sollicitous care for the Preser­vation of his Sacred Life, after so many Specious Addresses said to be presented by his most Dutiful and Loyal Subjects, and after so many formal Pe­titions to the King, that he would be careful of his own Person: I say, who could imagine that af­ter all this, any such Men should be found among us, as would time after time Conspire to Murder his Majesty in his Coach, and as if all his Favours [Page 15] had been Injuries, to make Reprisals upon his Life? But I remember what a Character Josephus gives of the Pharisees, (those great Pretenders to Religion of old) that they were a Bold and Arrogant Sect; that would not Antiq. l. 17. cap. 3. Swear Allegiance unto Caesar; but were inveterate Enemies to Kings, and would not stick upon occasion to make Attempts upon Kings, and do them Mischief. And may not this be the Character of the Sectaries among us? Truly, it may be question'd whether there be any diffe­rence between them in their Morals; but this, That the Pharisees in that Nation were Jewish Fa­naticks, and the Fanaticks in this Nation are Chri­stian Jews. Did not the Pharisees continually way-lay the Son of God to Stone him? Why, even so did some of these Conspire to way-lay the Anoint­ed of God to Assassinate him; as if in every Age the Good Old Cause (so called) must be Consecrated by shedding a Princes Blood.

Azorius the Jesuite, endeavouring to prove the Lawfulness of Deposing Kings, urgeth several Pre­sidents for it, and among other Examples which he mentioneth, he saith, That it was a common Practice in Scotland. The very same Argument is used by Buchanan the Scotch Presbyterian; I could reckon up (saith he) Twelve of our Kings, or [Page 16] more, who have been either thrust into Prison, or forced into Banishment, or to Death. Truly it is a fine Credit for that Nation! But accord­ing to the course which some have taken here, they were like to lay a Ground for Such Another Account in this Nation, by their Barbarous and Bloody dealings with our Kings, from Father to Son: The consideration whereof is enough to enrage the Spirits of every English Subject, that hath the Conscience of a Christian, or but the Heart and Face of a Man.

And now we clearly see the meaning of those late Mysteries, which some among us were not able, or not willing to look into before. The People were told, that the Crown is at their disposal, and that Princes may be Deposed. Our King was Li­belled as a Favourer of Popery, and was brought into a Plot against himself. 'Twas insinuated boldly, that he would use his Power after an Arbi­trary manner; and that all our Liberties and Pro­perties were in Danger. 'Twas said, that the Go­vernment was abused, and that there was no hope of Redress, the King being guided by Evil Coun­sellors. All the most wicked Arts of 40 and 41, were used again, to Blacken Majesty, and to render a most Excellent Prince Contemptible, and Vile, and Odius to his Subjects; and at last his very Guards [Page 17] were complained of as a great Grievance to the Nation, and as Mercenary Forces that were raised to advance Arbitrary Power, and still kept up to the great Amazement and Terror of all the good Peo­ple of the Land (they are the words of a Treasona­ble and Cursed Association.) Now, what was the meaning of these, and an hundred Devices more, but to alienate the Hearts of the Kings Sub­jects from him, to make the whole Nation Dis­contented, and to bring his Majesty to such a Na­ked and Defenceless Condition, that nothing should be wanting but a few hands to take him off? which among so many Old Rebels, Cromwel­lians, and Army-Officers, that lately swarmed about the City of London, was no very hard matter to find.

But that Good God, who caused a Star at Noon to light our Prince into the World; who hath all along covered his Head in the day of Battel, who preserved him in the Belly of an Oak, as he preserved his Servant David in a Cave; who de­fended him abroad from all the Dangers that at­tend a Twelve years Banishment; who at last bow­ed the Hearts of his People, as he did the Hearts of Davids Subjects, and by a new Miracle brought him home, without shedding of one drop of Bloud; who hath ever since supported him against the [Page 18] strivings of Unthankful and Violent Men; and who hath kept him safe from the Practices of Popish Jesuits; that Good God hath delivered him from the Inhumane Designs, and Bloody At­tempts of these Protestant Jesuits also: And me­thinks if men would but seriously consider, how the Providence of God hath been particularly concerned for the King all along, from his Birth even to this day, it should be enough to turn the Hearts of all his Enemies, and prevail with them to Love his Government and him, who hath con­tinually been, and still is, the very care of Heaven. I have heard of a Jew that was Converted to our Christian Faith, by considering the wonderful manner of his Majestics most happy Restaurati­on: For he presently concluded, that the King and his People were very dear unto God, who had wrought such a Miracle for both. And truly it will be matter of great Admiration, if for the future there be any Republicans, or Anti-Roy­alists among us, since the God of Heaven hath seemed thus to Attest and to Assert the Authority of the King, and the Righteousness of his Cause, by working so many Deliverances for him: This late Deliverance especially, which nothing but Gods own Hand could work for him: As if the Almigh­ty did intend by a continued and long Series of [Page 19] Mercies to him, to make up to us all those Losses which the Three Kingdoms sustained, by the loss of that Incomparable Prince and Royal Martyr, of whom the World was not worthy.

3. I am sure every Ʋpright and Loyal man hath all the reason in the World to be truly thankful for, and to keep alive the memory of this wonderful Deliverance. For, Thirdly, This Deliverance was wrought for us all, for you, and for me, and for every Faithful and Righteous Subject through­out the Land, and, which is more, for our Hope­ful Posterity too, and for the Children that are yet unborn. Had the Conspiracy succeeded, Lord! I tremble to think, what Confusion, what Violence, what Massacres must have presently followed; and what Seas of Blood we had been drowned in by this time. For these were not the desperate Designs of a few; the business was laid very broad, (as one of the Conspirators did confess in his Letter to the Secretary of State.) And it seems, by the Confession of another of them, that in and about the City of London above ten thousand men were ready to rise at the holding up of one Mans finger, and that these were to be multiplyed in the space of twenty four hours into five times the num­ber; besides an infinite Army of Rebels that were to be raised up and down in all Quarters, by the seve­ral [Page 20] Agitators in every Country. And what could have come of this, but Plunders, Rapine, Mur­ders, Outrages, an unheard of Slaughter, and an Ʋniversal deluge of Blood over the whole Nation? The Loyal Nobility, the True-hearted Magistracy, the Faithful Clergy, the Honest Gentry, all were marked out as Sheep appointed for Destruction. Peers, Prelates, Judges, every rank of Men, from him that sitteth at the Council-Table, to him that tradeth in his Shop, or laboureth at the Plough, all were to be under the same unavoidable necessity, either of sacrificing their Lives, or of prostituting their Consciences to those Barbarous Villains, whose very Mercies are as cruel as the Grave, however their Consciences are pretended to be so very Nice, Delicate, and Tender.

'Tis no New thing to be observed, that some who cannot rise up to all the heights of Conformity, (as the Northern Phrase is,) can yet strain a point upon occasion, and rise up to all the heights of Re­bellion and Barbarity. And had not God so mar­vellously interposed, these Squeamish-Conscience-Traytors would have shewed us the Truth of this, to our great Sorrow and Cost, and beyond the Experience of the former Age.

For, 'tis a Mistake, if we think that their facino­ [...]us Designs were levelled only at his Majesty and [Page 21] his Royal Brother (though that was a most flagitious and barbarous Wickedness). No; the very Foun­dations of the Earth were to be moved; the whole Form of Government in Church and State was to be new model'd, if they could but agree upon the Project. To be sure, Monarchy and Episcopacy (the two great Pillars of all our Happiness and Safe­ty) were to be utterly pulled down, never to be set up more, without a Miracle, which they, who had not God in all their Thoughts, nor any true No­tion of a Deity, did not think it worth their while, or consideration to Fore-cast. Where the Traytors of the Late Times were Defective and O­verseen, there these Rebels would have been very Circumspect and Wary; so that they would have left us no tolerable Hopes of ever seeing the Royal Family, and our Ancient, Legal Government, re­stored again. And what infinite Havock and Destruction would not this have cost? For had these men prevailed (which was not possible for them without the Expence of many thousands of Lives, besides the sacred Life of Him who is an whole Kingdom unto Ʋs: but had their Villany prospered) they could not have been secure long, if but a Remnant was left of such as are faithful Friends to the Crown and Church. So that they could not propose to themselves any other [Page 22] probable ways of setling themselves in that Power they longed for, but by the utter Ruine of Loyal­ty, and by a total destruction of every Honest Fa­mily, from the Father to the Child, in all parts of the Nation. And what then would the sum of all have been? why, I will give it you in the words of a zealous Writer in the Late Dr. Ga [...]den, [...]. Times: We should have left us a King­dom without a King, Government without Authority, Magistrates without Power, People without Laws, a Body without an Head, Sheep without a Shepherd, Christians without Christ, Churches without Mini­sters, or Ministers without maintenance, and a Na­tion without Faith; and let me add too, a Land without any Peace, Armies without any end, Oppres­sions without any Mercy, Protestants without any Re­ligion, and an Associated Heard of the most Savage and Ʋnclean Beasts, without any God.

That this is not our present Condition, we must ascribe it wholly to the great Goodness of God, whose Mercies and Compassions never fail. And (that we may now make some use of this whole matter,)

1. The Consideration both of our Dangers and of our Deliverance serveth, First, To Justifie the Zeal of those, who for these several years have given the World warning of the Dangers we were in, [Page 23] and have vigorously appeared for the interest of the King and the Church. Though the generality of Men have been strangely Blinded and Mis-led, by the Artifices of those who made use of Mens Fears of Popery, to promote their own Fanatick and Re­publican Interests; yet there were many who would not be wrought upon to bow down their Knees to Baal, nor suffer themselves to be cheated of their Consciences, but told men plainly, That Factious and Antimonarchical Designes were carrying on, and that Ruin would be at the end of all, if they did not take heed in time. For how could it o­therwise be (without the help of Gods special Pro­vidence) but that men would fall into the same Pit again, when they drave on so furiously in the very same Broad ways which led us to Destruction before? Yet these Faithful and Plain-dealing (not to say Prophetick) Monitors, were then either laugh'd at for a sort of rash and impolitick Fools, or stigmatiz'd for Men of Hot Heads, for talking so much of Forty One, and of an Intemperate Zeal for Arbitrary Power and Popery. And in this respect, the honest Clergy, some in the Country, divers about the City of London, have suffered in a very great measure, being oftentimes pubickly and in Print, exposed to the Fury of a mad Rab­ble, not only as weak and undiscerning men, but [Page 24] also as direct Betrayers of the Nations Liberties and Religion. But there is a time when Wisdom will be justified of her Children; and now all well-mean­ing (nay, even the moderate) men (so called) must own, that there was too great cause for us to act and say as we did. Did not the Faction every day grow, not in numbers onely, but in insolence too, beyond all Comparison? And when they had so much Strength, Malice, and Authority on their side, what did they want but our Pul­pits? Had the Alarm been but given there, the Sword had been presently drawn, and such ano­ther Rebellion had followed, as was once pro­claimed with a Curse ye Meroz, and was Sancti­fied in so many Churches as the Cause and Quarrel of God. Indeed, I cannot vouch for every Pul­pit; especially since it is Discovered, that Three famous Non-conforming Preachers have baen zea­lous Promoters of this Horrid Conspiracy; and time must shew us how many more of them have been holding forth the Armatum Evangelium, the same Gospel of War which was once before covered with Buff, and sprinkled with the Blood of a Scotch-Co­venant; but 'tis very suspicious that more than an Ecclesiastical Council of six have been beating the Drum; though, God be blessed, it was only a dead sound in a Corner, and the generality of [Page 25] Men have hitherto been out of the hearing of the Beat.

2. I have not said this for the Honest Clergy of our Church (for I except a Judas and a Julian) out of any Principle of Vanity, or with a Design to insinuate, that we are any more than mean and poor Instruments in the hand of God. No; it is the great Bishop of the Church and of our Souls, the Lord of Glory and Power, to whom we owe this, and all other our wonderful Deliverances to, and who with his own right hand, and with his holy arm hath gotten himself the Victory. And therefore, Se­condly, The sense of this Deliverance should make such a deep Impression upon all our Hearts, as will bring us to a thorow Repentance from all dead Works, and to an Ʋniversal Obedience to his Heavenly Will. And this, not only as the best Expression of Thankfulness for this Mercy hitherto, but also as the best and only means to incline the Divine Goodness still to perfect that good work which he hath of himself begun among us. Lord! how near were we to Destruction? Upon the very brink and edge of it; so that (to all Humane appearance) had his Sacred Majesty staid at New-market but two days longer, of necessity we must have been all Buried before now in a Common Ruin. Blessed be God (the God that doth wondrous things) that he hath given us this one opportunity more, to praise [Page 26] his Name, and to declare the Works that he doth e­ven for the unthankful children of men. But this is not all our Business, to offer up unto him the Sa­crifices of our Mouth, and the Calves of our Lips: for unless we be careful to direct our Lives, and to order our Conversation as it becometh Saints, we shall come very short of our Duty, and for ought I know, may still come short of our Deliverance. Remember what Samuel said to those willful and ungrateful People, 1 Sam. 12. 25. If ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your King. We all pretend great Honour and Affections for his Majesty, and a most tender care for his Safety and Preservation: Why, I will tell you a short and a ready way, how he may be safe and happy, and continue a long Blessing to us and to our Chil­dren: Let us that are his Subjects make it the bu­siness of our Life, truly to Fear and Obey God, and the thing is certainly and soon done. But 'tis dangerous for men to dally with the Divine Pati­ence, and still to be trying Conclusions, whether God will preserve them on still, notwithstanding their great and high Provocations; and it was the very thing, which made him at last utterly weary of his ancient People, the Jews. Though he had not dealt so with any Nation, and though he had born them all along from the Belly, as the Prophets Expression is, Isa. 46. 3. yet in the end he threw [Page 27] them out of his Arms, because they sinned yet still, and hardned their Hearts, notwithstanding so ma­ny Deliverances all along. That this may not be our sad case, let every one who professeth himself a Loyal and Good Subject, apply himself heartily to the necessary business of Repentance, and turn from the Evil of his ways, especially that Evil way which he is most addicted to; and then we need not fear the most malicious and wicked Practices of those, who have basely gone off from the Kings side (if e­ver they were really on it) and have gone off too with all sorts of Debauchery and Immorality along with them. Read and consider well that Declaration of God himself, Jer. 18. 7, 8. At what instant I shall speak concerning a Nation, and concerning a Kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it: if that Nation against whom I have pronounced, turn from their Evil, I will repent of the Evil that I thought to do un­to them.

3. And 'tis necessary too (which is the Third Ʋse to be made of this Deliverance) that men Repent of their Follies, that they have been so credulous and easie in taking the Words, and trusting to the Princi­ples, and abetting (though inadvertently) the Practices of these Conspirators; and to beware of the like Follies for the Future. Those Principles which have been sent so thick abroad of late, that the King holdeth not his Crown Jure Divino, but is the [Page 28] Common-wealths Trustee and Delegate, that he is accountable to his People, that all his Rights are foun­ded upon Humane Laws; that he is a Co-ordinate State, and that the Supream or Soveraign Power is lodged in the People; whither did these Doctrines tend, but to the Deposition and Destruction of his Maje­sty? You may observe, they were the Principles which Bradshaw went upon at the King's Tryal. The manifest obstructing the course of Justice, not­withstanding full and pregnant Evidence; the pro­tecting of the basest Fellows, and the greatest Crimi­nals, who had nothing to recommend them but this, that they were factious and dishonest; the tak­ing of Oaths, not in the sense of the Law, but ac­cording to every mans Private Construction; the justifying of the most InfamousVillains; and the zea­lous indeavours which have been used, both to Re­scue Traytors from the Law, and to cleanse their Re­putation, after they were condemned for the foulest Malefactors; whither did all this tend, but to em­bolden Conspirators, and to encourage them with Securities from all manner of Penalty, if they had but the Character of True-Protestants? The sub­borning of Wretches to say and unsay, to speak by roat, and to Tell every thing but Truth; the support­ing of Perjury as a Trade, far more profitable than any Old English Manufacture; and the stitching up of every Hole, which any Common Idiot [Page 29] could see in an improbable Story; what did this tend to, but to keep a great stock of Oaths in bank, to swear the King himself out of his Honour and his Life? The Charge and Sweat which thousands have wasted, to put the most dis-affected Persons into Places and Offices of great Trust, and Power; what did this tend to, but to make Resistance and Re­bellion look fair with the Face of Authority? The Aspersing of the Government, the Calumniating of his Majesty, and all Subordinate Magistrates, and Loyal Ministers of State; the frightning of men with such a noise of Popery, when so many had ex­changed all Religion for Atheism; the Out-cries a­gainst Tyranny, when the Licentiousness of those very men argued that common Justice could not be done, no, not for the King himself. What did all this tend to, but to subvert the Fundamental Constitutions both in Church and State? The Dis­persing of Libels, the countenancing of the most Se­ditious Pamphlets, that came from the rudest and filthiest hands; the scaring of men (if it had been possible) from speaking Reason, Justice, or Truth; and the practising of every thing that served for the diminution of all that is Good, Great, and Noble; what did all this tend to, but to help Evil-minded men by Degrees and Inches to get to the Kings Throne, that they might Assassinate his Person with a full thrust, and then leave it to the prejudiced [Page 30] and ill-affected World to make their Apology?

One would have thought it impossible, that Discerning men should not be able to look to the end of these things, (nor so much as to guess at the Conclusion by the Premises) without putting an Honest and Experienced Observator to the pains of drawing out the whole Scheme of the Villany. But so it was, that great Multitudes of men (some of whom I am perswaded were not guilty of Black Intentions) were led away with the common Error, and upon false presumptions that nothing was at the bot­tom, but a true Design for the Interest and Stability of Religion; the stale pretence that turn'd the Nation into an Aceldama once before. 'Tis high time therefore for such to be sorry to see how greatly they were befool'd, and to consider with themselves how far they may have Contributed (though unwitting­ly) to the carrying o [...] a Design so Horrid and Barba­rous without a Parallel; and by their just Indigna­tion for what is past, and highest Zeal for the fu­ture, to indeavour if it be possible) to make the King and the Church Reparation for those Intolera­ble Mischiefs, which Blood-thirsty Trayters would (perhaps) never have Attempted upon the Confi­dence of a meer Fanatick Interest.

4. Once more, and I have done. The Singu­lar and Abundant Goodness of God to us in this Instance of his Providence, teacheth us to cast all [Page 31] our Care upon the same Providence still, and to commit our selves to him in well-doing. In the very height of These Times it was our Hope, that God would open a way, which we did not foresee, or so much as think of, and lead us out of our dangers and difficulties, if we did but study to act like true Christians; and that his Providence would not leave nor forsake us. And now we see that our Hopes are made good to us; for God hath saved us after a Miraculous manner, by two strange, and sud­den, and astonishing acts of his Providence. First, By his Providence at New-Market: For when the King was there, and some of the Traytors were now pre­paring their Forces and Instruments of Death, and they thought themselves Cock sure; they dreamt as little as we, that a dreadful Fire would happen there, to force Gods Anointed home in all haste, and but a few hours before his Bloody Enemies were to be gathered and planted in Ambuscade. This was Gods doing, and it is marvellous in our Eyes. And then, some considerable time after his Majesties return, he himself not mistrusting what narrow dan­gers he had escaped; the Conspiracy going on still vi­gorously, to destroy him in some other place; when the Devilish Design was fixt, the Providence of God was seen the second time, by forcing a Discovery of the Plot, and by touching with his Finger the Conscience of one of the Accomplices to the very quick. As he hath [Page 32] honestly and ingenuously Confest, it was nothing but a restless Conscience that brought him to it, and that through the dangers of Death too. I was troubled in my Mind, (saith he) I had See the Tryal of Walc [...]t. no Peace, no Satisfaction, no Content, I did not mind my Business, nor could I take Rest; and that was the moving cause that I discovered the Con­spiracy, and no other. This was manifestly the work of God, for the deliverance of Prince and People, to make a mans Sin his cruel Lictor, and intollerable Plague, and as he had already prevented the greatest Evil, so to draw Good (and we hope a perpetual Good) out of it at the last.

I have no more to add, but that we give all di­ligence Religiously and Honestly to perform our du­ty to God, to his Anointed, and to all Mankind, and in so doing to look up to the hills from whence all our help cometh, and to trust in God for our delive­rance from those dangers which are yet before us; casting all our care on him, who thus continually careth for us; and who hath hitherto delivered us, and (if we do not offend him by wicked and ungrateful Courses) will deliver us yet still. Though the Troubles of the righteous be many, yet the Lord delivereth him out of all. To that Merciful, Watchful, and Ever­blessed God, be all Honour, Glory, and Thanksgiv­ing for evermore.

Amen.

FINIS.

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