THE NECESSITY OF A WELL EXPERIENCED SOƲLDIERY, OR, A Christian Common Wealth ought to be well Instructed & Experienced in the Military Art.

Delivered in a Sermon, upon an ARTILLERY ELECTION June the 10th: 1675.

By J. R.

Psal. 144.1.

Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to Warr, and my fingers to Fight.

Jer. 48.10.

Cursed be he that doth the Work of the LORD deceitfully, and Cursed be he that keepeth back his Sword from Blood.

CAMBRIDG Printed by Samuel Green 1679.

2 Sam. 1.18. Also he bade them teach the Children of Judah the Ʋse of the Bow.’

AFter a long Scene of Peace, Wars ever enter the Stage; Wars are in the same nature with Offences, necesse est vt veniant, they must be; though there be a vae inducenti, a woe to him that is the unjust cause of them:

Neither is there any particular place in the VVorld (though at present never so quiet and secure) that can plead any exemption from such a Visitation, till the Lord hath created his universall, everlasting Peace in the world; till then the Church of God upon Earth is Militant, in a Civill as well as in a Spirituall sense, VVhile Sin and the Sons of Anak are unsubdued, while the Philistims are in the Land, they'l be bid­ding Defiance to the Host of the Living God, and Israel shall not be without her daily Annoying cares and feares. Thus while the Church hath her Enemies in the world, men ought to be in a readiness, not only to Pray with their hearts and tongues, but to fight with their hands for the Peace of Ierusalem.

The likeliest way to prevent an evill, is to be prepared for it, fore-warned, fore-armed, when the Army of the uncircumcised are in the field, especially when they grow skillfull to destroy, it is time for David to Command, to teach the Children of Judah the use of the Bow.

A thorow dispatch of these words will not allow the ex­pence of much time in speaking to the Analysts of the Chapter it self; yet for our better understanding and profiting by this text, I shall briefly speak a few words concerning the Context: to this end you may note, that this Chapter divides it self into these two Principal parts, viz.

First. A Narration brought to David, Concerning the Death of Saul & Ionathan, those former Victorious Champions of Israel.

Secondly. The Effects which this Sad Relation produced, which were these two, viz.

1. A mournfull Poem, or Song, or a Funeral Elogium upon the loss of those two Skilfull & excellent Warriours, v 17. And David Lamented over Saul &c. Davids afflictions produced us many a Song, and this is one among the rest.

2 A studious Care for their own Defence and safety, implyed in the words of the Text; He bad them teach &c. Saul and Io­nathan's Death, Israels defeat, and the Philistims Victory, made David not only mournfull, but also carefull how to prevent the like disaster, when occasion should be for another on-set.

The words of the Text are contained in Davids Funeral song, and are inserted (if you observe) in a Parenthesis, in which respect there is somthing worthy of notice:

In the former Verse, David [you see] had just began to com­pose his mournfull Song; The sad and unexpected newes of Israels Overthrow, Saul, and Jonathans Death, those expert and valiant Commanders, who [under God] had been Judah's safety and the Defence of the Country; the loss of these made David break out into a deep Lamentation. And David Lamented &c:

Now least Davids mourning should make others either heart­less and fearfull, or give them any occasion of suspicion con­cerning his own Valour and Courage, I say, least any should draw up this disheartning Conclusion. viz seing the Philistims have slain our Mighty and skilfull, and David himself hereupon becomes thus dejected and sorrowfull, it will now be in vain for us to think of resisting or prepare for further engaging; wherefore to remove this damp of daunting fears, before he proceeds any further to Lament, he inserts his solemn charge, that they should learn experience how to Fight, cause of sorrow should be no cause of Cowardise, David had good Courage in his great grief, Also he bad them teach &c:

Davids Apostrophe from Lamenting to bid them prepare for fighting, is an Argument both of his Prudence, and constant Care and Courage. And David Lamented &c. But [lest any here­by, sh [...]uld judge David become either Careless or Cowardly] be­fore [Page 3] he goes on with his Lamentation, he makes this Pause in a Parenthesis. Also he bad them teach the Children of Judah the Ʋse of the Bow. It was by this Instrument (we heard in the former Chapter) Saul was wounded, and so also Jonathan, and many others.

The Bow was a principall Instrument then used in their wars, by the more acu [...]e, nimble and skilfull m [...]naging whereof the Phi­listims [very likely] then gained their Victory over Israel;

Wherefore David makes this good use of it, viz. That for the better dealing with the Enemy, it was very expedient to teach the Children of Judah the exact using and skilfull handling of that Weapon, q. d Our best Policy now is, (knowing where our Enemies skill and advantage lyes) to Labour to match, or rather excel them in their own Art, and so wee shall beat them with their own Weapons.

Skill is a great spur to Courage, and Warriours skilfull and Couragious, are most probable to be Victorious. A skilfull head or hand and a cowardly heart are most unequal Mates, pitty it is they should ever meet in one person.

I shall speak but a word or two more to the Text, and so pro­ceed to the Doctrine. He bad them Teach &c:

The Bow was a principal Instrument then used in War; and it is here figuratively to be taken for all kind of Martial Weapons: and so their learning the right and exact use of that, implyes their learning the skill in the whole Art.

Many Doctrines worthy our notice, and very pertinent to this Dayes design may be deduced from the Words, I shall brief­ly name them, and center upon one of them cheifly.

He bade i. e. David bade, Whence Observe.

Doct. I Doctr. I. It is the great Duty and Prudence of those in Supream Power and Authority, to Order that their People be Trained up and Experienced in the Military Art, or in the right and skilfull Managing of Martial Weapons.

David bade &c: VVe have here an Example of Davids Kingly Care and Prudence, who (from the overthrow of Saul &c:) doth Command his Subjects (for the safety of themselves and preventing the like defeat) to excercise themselves to the skilfull managing of that weapon; now every good example is [Page 4] binding. David as King ac [...]un [...]ing it his place or Duty to look after the Ordering of that Affaire, sheweth it to be a Duty incumbent upon all Christian Rulers in Place of like Authority or Power; and they that are Rulers over others, are chiefly ac­countable for any neglect in this great Duty.

He bade THEM, i. e. his Chieftains, Lieutenants, or other under Officers that were experienced professors of that Art, and so able to teach, Whence Observe.

Doct. II Doct. 2. It is very necessary in all Military Exercises, and for the makeing a true Proficiency therin, that there should be such experienced persons that may be able, skilfully & expertly to Train up others in the expert knowledg of that Art. If there be none to teach, how can any be taught: that Body is a meer Chaos where all is alike. But again, He bade them Teach the Chil­dren of Iudab, VVhence Observe.

Doct. III Doct. 3. Martial Weapons and Military skill and Exercise do well become and truely belong to a Christian Common Wealth. Contrary to the Tenent of that abominable Sect, who would perswade us to a Stoical Apathy or stupidity, & never to use any means of defence against wrong or injury: such Armour they al­ledge is unbecoming a Christians Coat; And therefore their onely word of Command is, Lay down your Armes, that so they might have the advantage to take them up. But again, The Ʋse or skill of the BOW. Whence Observe.

Doct. IIII Doctr. 4. The Art or skill of a right and Exact Ʋsing or handling of Martial Weapons, is that which a Christian People ought to be carefully and diligently Instructed in. A Christian people ought to be Conscientiously Trained up and experienced in Military skill. There is a Civil as well as Spiritual Warfare that a Christian must be exercised in. This is the Point which I intend to handle, and that which I judge may be most usefull at this time. In the handling of which, I shall only concern my selfe with these two things, viz. to Confirme and Apply; As for Explication, I know not almost what should be said, I say that Martal skill is that which a people ought to be taught and experienced in. Now as to the number or quality of persons that ought to be Instructed in this Science, is none of my business to discourse, but theirs whose duty it is to Inspect the Ordering [Page 5] of that Affair; Neither shall I now spend any discourse de Jure Belli, concerning the right or Lawfulness of Warr, the proof of the Doctrine will of necessity inferr the Truth of that: I [...] it appear that Military skill is that which ought to be taught, it will certainly follow that it is that which may (when occasion calls) be lawfully practised, since this is the very end of that: that Art or science is altogether vain which may not admit of a practicall part. Neither again can it be expected that I should explain the Nature of Military skill and the manner how men should be disciplined in that science, that is a work neither with­in my sphear nor belonging to my place: But is the bu [...]sines proper to the field, not the Pulpit: and the explanation of it to be learned of those who have arrived Artists in that Profiession, and are designed to instruct the unexperiencd therin. It is none of my busyness to teach that Art, but to shew that it is a peoples Duty to be carefully and diligently Instructed in it, I now preach matter of Duty, which ought to be practised, especially more diligently and conscientiously then it is or hath been. That it is an Art or skill which is not Natural, but acquired with much Instruction, Industry, Practise, that men do not naturally or very easily come to be Artists in that profession, I suppose, will be readily granted by all that have any experience therein;

Besides the teaching and learning of it which the Scripture in many places doth attribute to it, doth imploy that there is an art, skill or slight in it, which doth require study, discipline and instruction, for the attaining to it.

But, that the Truth of the Point may appear, we may First, Look into the Scripture it selfe, and see what that may afford in order to the confirming of it. And this we shall find not at all to be scant but rather to abound with such examples and presi­dents as do fitly testifie to the truth of this Assertion; though that in the Text being it selfe of Divine Authority, may be suf­ficient to confirm the duty alledged.

That it was the practise (Commended and allowed by God) of th [...] people of God in former ages, the scripture doth plentiful­ly hold [...]; Now seeing what is written is written for our in­struction, it is our duty to follow [...]ose patterns till God shall be pleased wholly to remove all occasion for the like practise.

[Page 6]I know before I proceed, that all that can be Objected by any is, the Promise of peace in the Gospel times, that Jerusalem shall be a quiet Habitation, and that the Nations shall learn Warr no more &c: But how ever (as one answers well) we must not Anti [...]ate Gods work, all Gospel Promises are not yet fulfilled; That time shall come, but in the mean time [so long as ther's Warr and rumours of Warr in the World] we must stand upon our Watch & Ward, alwaies in a Posture or defence for the peace of Zion. While that spirit in man that Lusteth to envy, to fewds and Quarrels, especially with that and those that are good, be more then it is at present Curb'd and suppressed, it is both duty and prudence to arm our selves against the cruel invasions that may we know not how soon from thence arise.

I will never believe that our Priviledges under the Gospel are now more narrow then theirs were under the Law: If that were a duty and priviledg then for the people of God to prepare for Warr, and to fight for their Lives and Libertys, I cannot believe but that we especially under the Gospel ought rather to be duely prepared against those bloody attempts. I cannot believe that the people of God are bound to sit with their hands in their pock­ets & give themselves up as a prey to their Enemies, & Coward­ly to part with those Priviledges which Christ hath so dearly pur­chased. The Law of Nature, which is Gods Law too, doth ever bind us, so far as we can in a just way, to prevent any evill unjustly offered.

In the Latter dayes, we are told there will be bloody times, Nation shall rise up against Nation &c: from hence it will follow that we under the Gospel ought to be more expert and fitted for Battel, then those in former ages; For God you know then did immediatly and miraculously fight for his people, often times giv­ing them very great Victorys, by very mean unlikely meanes.

But we in these dayes have no promise of such a miraculous & immediate assistance; God works now by men and meanes, not by miracles: Neither can we expect that the walls of Rome as the walls of Jericho shall fall with the sound of a Rams-horn:

The Man of sin (no doubt) when his time is come, shall be overcome with the sword of men as well as the sword of the spirit To her that hath shed the blood of the saints, shall blood be given to [Page 7] drink, now God alone knowes whose Lot it will be to be called to that work, but yet he expects that his people be fitted for such a designe, when he shall be pleased to call them to it. God hath his work for his Militia on Earth as well as for that in Heaven. Warr is an Ordinance appoynted by God for sub­duing and destroying the Churches Enemies here upon Earth.

But this discourse is almost a Digression. I say, as yet we have no assurance of freedome from War, and therefore still to be prepared for it; Times are now most dangerous, But to return from whence I have thus digressed.

Abraham we read was the most renowned for Faith, and if that alone without the use of meanes would have done it, Could have believed his Enemies into the dust; Besides we read that he is called the Friend of God, and so had the better grounds to expect to live in Peace, and yet we find, he thought it both Reason and Prudence to be prepared for War; Thus the Scrip­ture tells us that he kept his man both Armed & Trained, he pro­vided them not only Weapons of War, but also taught them the Art and skill to use them; as appeares soon after, by the great exe­cution he did, and good success that he had thereby. Gen. 14.14.

Againe, the great Commendation that the Scripture gives of the Benjamites skill in slinging Stones at an haires breadth, sheweth that it is a thing very likeing to God, and that which he requires as a Duty in his people, to be very exact & expert in the right using of Warlike Weapons; The Sling was an Instrument of War, much used in the times of Old, and the Benjamites we read, were the most renowned for their exact skill in handling the same; They could sling to an haires breadth: This plainly shewes that it is the duty of Souldiers now to learn to be wonder­full expert, Benjamite like in the use of their Martial Weapons and Military Exercise.

Againe, what other use do you think can we make of all those places in Scripture, which do so often mention the skill and Va­lour of all those Worthies of Old, why are they so Renowned in Holy Record, and so much commended for their Martiall skill, endowments and exploits, as you may find in that [and many o­ther places] 1 Chron: 5.18. and Chap-12.8, 33. verses. Yea how many Pages in Sacred Writt are wholly taken up in menti­oning [Page 8] of those who have been renowned for the Art of Souldiery; now to what purpose should all this be, but cheifly to instruct us in these two things, viz.

1. That it is an Art Commended and allowed by God.

2. That by these Patterns we should learn to practise, that as it is said, they were expert in War and handling their Weapons; So it is the Duty of a people now to be. And this still confirmes the truth of the Doctrine, viz. That therefore a people ought to be instructed and trained up to the knowledge of it.

Certainly it requires good teaching and diligent learning to sling a stone at an haires breadth, i. e. to be an exact and expert Souldier, to be acute in that Calling.

Again consider, what a Blessing David counted to be well experienced in that Art, 144 Psal. 1. and think you then, so long as there may be use for it, that it is not the duty of a people to be blessed with the knowledge of it.

Again Lastly as to Scriptural proof, The Souldiers that we read of in the Gospel time were not disbanded or discharged, but indeed allowed and encouraged, as those that came to John the Baptist, we find not one word of Reproof as to their Calling, but only good counsell how to behave themselves in it, Luke 3.14. q. d. go on still, but do not so and so, be content with your wages, which implyes indeed be content to be Souldiers.

So the Centurion that came to Christ, was a good Christian & an excellent Believer although a Captain in that profession, Mat. 8.8, 9. Surely Christ that commended him so much for his faith would have reproved him for his Office, had it not been that which was in it self commendable and requisite. But then for our further satisfaction, I shall now give you the Reasons of the Doctrine, why it ought to be so.


Reas. 1 First, Because this Military way is the way which God doth ap­point, and the usuall meanes whereby he defends and workes delive­rance for his people; He forbids indeed ye should trust in, yet looks that we should make use of an Arm of flesh. Look through the Scripture, and ye shall find that the general and usual way of Gods delivering his people from or defending them against their enemies, hath been by this meanes, viz. by the use and help of [Page 9] Arms; Some here and there, one particular instance of Gods miraculous way of defending or delivering his people, doth not at all invalidate the force of this Reason, nor excuse us from the duty propounded; Gods sometime sending an Angel to fight for his people and destroy their enemies army, as it was not to them so neither is it now any warrant to us from being prepared to de­fend our selves; we have no promise to assure our selves of any such miraculous way of deliverance or defence: Now seing this is Gods way, and he being a Wise God and a God of Order, he will therefore have things to be done in the most orderly and artificiall way or manner. War is his Ordinance, and he hath ordered a certain Art or skill in warring, and hence Commands that his people be trained up or exercised to the knowledg of it; Gods work must be done wisely, artificially and in the best man­ner, so as may be suitable to the glory of his own Nature; to be able to war or fight according to Art, gives much glory to him, who is the Author of every commendable Art or Science.

Reas. II Reas. Second. From the great dependance that the safety and preservation of mens lives and libertyes hath therupon, and upon their so being, viz. Experienced Souldiers. I told you before, it was Gods usual way of defending us to make us Instrumentall to defend our selves; Now when I speak of Dependance, I speak in subordination to him who is Independant. The Art Military [saith one of your own Instructors] being the highest profes­sion as to the preservation of our Countrys [non nobis nati Sumus] wherin our Lives, Libetries and Estates are included,Barrif we ought to be more studious thereof, and exercised therin, but especially Christians who are betrusted with the Oracles of God, and the pleasant things of his house, ought conscientiously and carefully to furnish themselves with skill and ability to defend and main­tain those precious things that are of more worth than the whole world; Yea this is one great part or duty of our Christian war­fare to be skilfull to defend and preserve the true Religion; I say that God hath Ordered a kind of Dependance as aforesaid, yea was it not in a Military or Martial way that the Saints in former ages did preserve and defend themselves, theirs and their Reli­gion, against those that would have rob'd them of all; yea were not others also by them turn'd out of house and home, and that [Page 10] because of their great Security and willfull ignorance in the Military Science, Judges 18.7, 8, 9, 10.

Do you not count your Lives &c: worth defending or pre­serving, and is it not rational than to endeavour the most artifi­cial and safest way of accomplishing it? One, and a great Sense wherin God is your Walls and Bulwarks, is when he makes you so unto your selves, viz. experienced Souldiers, expert to defend your selves: I say, a Countries safety depends much upon an ex­perienced Militia; yea is it not therefore reckoned as the curse, confusion and undoing of a place, when their Mighty and skilfull men of War are taken away? Isai 3.1, 2.

Reas. Third. Because Skill is one of the greatest helps to Vict­ory, especially, where other accomplishments do also meet; Victory is the Mark that skill aims at; Skill of hand, Strength of body, & Courage of mind do make a compleat Champion, and seldome it is that ever they do miss of Victory; yea good skill is more needfull than great strength: Skill many times overcomes strength; A skilfull though a weak Arm, hath many times given a Fatall blow to an unskilfull though a strong man. Davids skil­full hand fetcht great Goliah to the ground, he fights blindfold, or like a mad man, that fights not according to Rule.

Reas. Four. Because Security, Ignorance and want of experi­ence in the Military Art, is the way not only to invite an Enemy to in­vade a people, but also renders them very lyable to become a Prey when they shall so do; See that Instance, Iudg. 18.7, 8, 9, 10. This tempts God to leave you, and let the Enemy take you, wher­as he report of a warlike people and their fame for Martial skill many times strikes fear into an Enemy, and so is one meanes to prevent War. Invasions are judged far more dangerous than pitcht Battels; because they are suddain, and usually take men unprovided, the unskilfull man is an unprovided man: times of of Peace are times to prepare for War.


Ʋse 1 Use I. Hence Learn, that the Commanders and Officers in a Militia, who stand for Examples and Teachers to others ought in a special manner to be well qualified and accomplished for those places. Leaders should strive to be excelling persons; If they are to teach others to be Souldiers, then certainly themselves [Page 11] should be Artists [...]; A certaine Authour in his miscellaneous discourses occasionally speakes how Martial Leaders should be qualified, saith he, the Commanders in War and [as neer as can be Commanders in Trayning Companyes) ought to be built upon these three Virtues.

They should be Wise, Valiant, Experienced.

Wisdome in a General oftentimes Ends the War without War; of all the Victories the Romans, thought the best, which was least Stained with Blood, and they were content to let Camillut Triumph although he had not fought. In these times it is especially requisite since Stratagems and advantages are more in use then open and daring Valour: Yet,

Valiant he must be, else he growes Contemptible, looseth his Command, and by his own Fear infects his Troops with Co­wardise. To the eternal Honour of Caesar, Cicero reports that in all his Commands of the field, there was not found an Ito, but a Veni, as if he had scorned in all his Onsets to be any thing but still a Leader, alwayes teaching by the strongest Authority his own Forwardness, his own Example: And though these be Ex­cellencyes, they be all Lame without

Experience; Let him be never so Learned in a Paper plot where his eye hath all in View, he'l fall in a Leager where he seeth but a Limb at once: Besides, Experience puts a Credit upon his Actions, and makes him far more Prompt in undertakings.

Ʋse 2 Use II. Then this should teach those that are or may be Teach­ers, Leaders and Commanders of others (as much as in them lies) to be Carefull, Diligent and Conscientious in the performance of their Duty towards them that are to be Instructed by them: Believe it, the work is the Lords, it is his Ordinance, and you have a great account to give, or you are greatly accountable according to your well or ill management therof; The Lord is your Super­visour, You that are in the Front, have not only mens but Gods eye upon you; and if there be as hath been proved so great a Dependance upon a well Ordered & Instructed Militia, consider that you will have but a bad & sore account to give for your neg­lect & rem [...]sness in the discharge of your Duty: What Disaster and Calamity may come upon a Common wealth through your defect will cheifly center upon you in the End, & you are lyable [Page 12] to a greater share in the Curse then other Inferiour Souldiers.

It behoves you in some sense more than others, ever to remem­ber and keep in mind that dreadfull sentence against Deceitfull dealers in Gods service, Jer. 48.10. God who is a man of War hath a Curious and a skilfull eye. Labour then as alwayes in his presence to do your Dutyes carefully and skilfully.

The Dutyes of your places, I hope you know, (or I wish you did) better than I can tell you:

Labour (as indeed your places require) to be Grave, Serious setting good and edifying examples; especially keeping a good Command over those that are to be Commanded by you; and when you are upon the Exercise and Instructing them, be con­scientious in spending those times and seasons to their best advan­tage and edification in that Science: Quicken such as you observe backward, lazy and idle, let them be ashamed out of their Duncery, or be severely punished for it; Of all men you that are Officers and Commanders, FOREMEN, do you see to it, that you be alwayes Foreward and never backward in this great and solemn work.

Ʋse 3 Use III. Another word may be of Exhortation, and that unto all that are Listed under Discipline and Command. Be Exhorted (in Obedience to God & safety to your selves) to put this Doc­trine into practise, viz. Labour now with all Diligence (while you have the time & meanes for Instruction) to approve your selves skilfull and Expert Souldieres. It is the Duty of others to teach and it is as much your Duty to learn, therefore make progress:

Dread to be among the number of those that are ever learning and never come to the knowledg of this Truth; Loath to be low in the knowledg of that which is thy Profession. Oh! Press for­ward, strive to become Expert, Renowned.


1. Be Consicentious and Diligent in the spending these times and seasons that now present, for the getting more and more Art and skill Spend them I say, to that very end. Look at this as thy Duty, and do it withall thy Might; Spend it not in a meer shew of thy glittering Armour, neat or gaudy dress: Spend it not (as too often it is spent) in Licentiousness, Revelling, Rioting Ranting, but in the Solemn bussiness of the day, be all in these [Page 13] things: Thou that goest under the Name of a Souldier, be not (as one Cautions thee well) so much a Boy, as to turn Training dayes into playing dayes.

2. Hearken Diligently to and then keep in mind the Instructi­ons of those that are thy Teachers and Commanders; Learn so as to be able to do: Consider the Way and Method and Reason of things, that so thou mayest be a Souldier not only by Rote, but according to Art.

3. Be much and as often as yon can upon these Exercises; Use makes perfectness or Expertness: Thou canst not be too exact in this Art, make David thy Pattern, never leave till thou hast it adunguem at thy fingers ends, as we may inferr from those words of his, Psal. 144 1. So, Benjamite like, endeavour to be exact and expert to an haires breadth: You that are of this Company of the Artilery, are indeed Volunteers, which in­timates your great desire to become expert in this Art, in that you have been so forward as Voluntarily to List your selves into a Mi­litary Body; So that more may justly be expected from you than from others, who spend not so much time in these Exercises: therefore be Constant and Diligent in this great and weighty work.

4. Be Orderly and Obedient, willing to be Commanded: Souldiers of all men in the world should be willing to Obey: Though every one should labour for such Experience as to be able to Command. A Souldier is under absolute Command; He must not dispute the Orders of his General, but Obey them: therefore Souldiery is well defined, the Obedience of a Stout & Valiant mind, out of his own dispose; he must move upon direction having a Charge or Word from his Commander for every step he treads or action he undertakes, Mat. 8.9. There is so much keeping of Order in War or Battels, that a Souldier Command­ed to stand such a ground, must not stir though he dy for it, and if he stirrs by Martiall Law he shall dy. Confusion may soon bring destruction upon an Army. Order is the Soul of Common Wealths and Societyes, it matters not who goes first, strive ra­ther who shall March best: he can never well Lead, that knowes not well to Follow. Experienced Generals hold this Military Maxim, that 'tis as honourable in Wars, exactly to Obey, [...] exactly to Command.

[Page 14]Last Direct. Strive every one to Excell the other, and this I am certain is a [...]ikely way to make some expert indeed: That's a dull stupid, or a slothfull Spirit that hath nothing of Emulation in it: you may lawfully strive who shall be best in that which is good.

Motives, some to Draw & others to Drive.

1. Consider that it is thy Duty to be thus skilfull and Ex­pert: For it is thy Calling, is it not thy Duty to be Expert in thy Callng? what shou dest thou be so much knowing in as in that which is thine own business.

2. Consider that thou art not only Lyable to, but under a Curse for thy neglect, carelesness or wilfull ignorance in this work, for this work is the Lords; and see what the Lord saith of such as are negligent in it, Jer. 48.10. What a shame is it, yea what a plague is it for a man to be a Bungler at his own Calling?

3. Consider, [as was said before] that there is a great and solemn dependance upon an Experienced Militia, as to the safety and preservation of our Lives, Libertyes &c: And if all should be as Careless, Ignorant and unexpert for defence as thou art, all should quickly become a Prey to the Enemy.

4. Consider, the Enemy growes skilfull to destroy, there­fore thou shouldest grow skilfull to defend, upon this account it was that David in the Text Commands them to Teach &c.

5. Consider That through thy un-expertness and wilfull ignorance in this Art, thou mayest be guilty of thine owne blood, and it may be of the lives of many others; Thou art a meer deceit and cheat to the Country or Body wherin thou art.

6. Consider, that though your present Exercise be a mat­ter of Delight and Sport in a sense, yet it tends to a solemn Exceution; i. e. you may be called to be in good earnest; thou knowest not how soon Orders may come from the Lord of Hosts for thy suddain March, and then there will be no [Page 15] time to get any skill to defend thy self; You are now as it were in Garison, but you may very quickly bee in the Field, not in a naked field, but in a field of Warr, yea perhaps in Acheldama, a field of Blood, where thou shalt not want for an Enemy, but find one, not one it may be, but many.

7. You are most likely, having followed Gods Order to have his Presence with you and Protection over you, he de­lights in those that are like himself; He is the Lord of Hosts, the Man of Warr, And this is one part of his Image, viz. Wisdom and Experience in these Affaires: Study than to Quit your selves like Men, and to become the Bulwarks of the places where you Live, that so we may be able to say truely of you, what Tertullus said flatteringly concerning Foelix the Governour of Judaea, By You we enjoy great Quietness, which we cannot but Accept alwayes in all places with much Thankfulness.


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