A VVARNING TO England: OR, THE Nations Looking-Glass.

WHEREIN They may plainly see what are those Good Things, that are with-held by the sins of the Nation.

ALSO, VVhat are those National Sins, which with­hold Good Things from us. Some of these have been lately endeavoured to be sur­prest by Act of Parliament.

To which is Added, An earnest Exhortation, to break off our Sins by a timely Repentance, least the Lord break forth in wrath against us.

By Robert Russel, in Sussex, Author of the Book of the Unpardonable Sin against the Holy Ghost.

Hosea 4.2.

By Swearing, Lying, Killing, and Stealing, the land mourns.

Licensed according to Order.

Printed for J. Blare on London-Bridge.

A Warning to ENGLAND, &c.

Jer. 5.25.

Your Iniquities have turned away these things: And your Sins have with-holden good things from you.

AMongst the many Books, that I have for­merly wrote, I think it now very neces­sary, at last, to write a Book, whereby people may be convinced of their evil ways, and wic­ked practices; hoping that by the special Bles­sing of God, the Inhabitants of this Nation may reform their lives, and turn to God by unfeigned Repentance, so that God may avert those judgments which the sins of this Nation do daily cry aloud for, and are continually hanging over our heads.

Many there are (as I have told you in my book of Joshua's resolution to serve the Lord) complain of the badness of the times, because trading is so low, money so dead, taxes so great, and the wars con­tinuing thus long, still expecting the end of the wars, and the coming of good peaceable times. But Friends, deceive not your selves, you cannot ex­pect good peaceable times, so long as wickedness abounds so in the land, as it doth: For I verily think, that since the time that England has been a Nation, there never was more prophaneness and un­godliness than there is now; there never was more swearing, cursing, cheating, oppressing, lying, pro­phaning the Sabbath, and all manner of uncleaness, as there reigns amongst us in these our days: this Land certainly is like another Sodom, for wicked­ness; therefore instead of hoping for better times, [Page 4]we have just cause to fear that (except there be a timely Reformation amongst us) some sader stroak of Vengeance will fall on this nation, than yet has befallen us. People complain because the times are bad; and because these troubles are continu­ed so long among us; whereas they themselves are the cause, 'tis their sins that stands as a cloud, and [...]tops good things from descending upon them: As the Prophet tells us in the words of my Text; Your Iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have with-helden good things from you.

The Doctrin which I shall raise from these words shall be this: That it is the sins of a people or nation, that keeps back Mercy, and hinders good things from coming upon it. This whole chapter contains a discovery of God's judgments upon the Jews for their transgressions; the substance of which is sum'd up in short in the Text, Your Iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have with-hol­den good things from you. Now from the Text we have considerable these two things: First, To shew you what are those good things which sin doth with-hold from a people or nation. Second­ly, What are those sins which do keep back mer­cy, and hinders good things from coming unto a people or nation: And so I shall conclude all with a word or two of Application.

I begin with the first, to shew you what are those good things which sin doth with-hold from a people or nation: Now those good things that sin doth with-hold, I shall reduce into these three Ranks, First, Spiritual good things; Secondly, Tem­ [...] good things, Thirdly, National good things.

First, Sin doth with-hold from a people or na­tion spiritual good things: Now those spiritual good things, which sin doth with-hold from a peo­ple, are such as the pardon and forgiveness of all their sins; the special love and favour of God through Jesus Christ, revealed to their souls, in the full and free pardon of their sins; the saving graces of God's spirit to change them and renew them; these are those special and excellent good things which sin doth commonly deprive a people of. God has in his great mercy to our souls gi­ven us all his ordinary ways and means, whereby these spiritual blessings might be procured; he has given us his Word, his Gospel, his Ministers, his Day, and Ordinances. Now in the careful and di­ligent use of these means, God has promised to give his Son, and with him all the saving graces of his spirit; b [...] if a people will slight and con­temn the Ordinance of God, and will love, and de­light in their sins, and follow the lust and carnal desires of their own hearts; God many times in justice leaves them to their own hearts lust, that because they love and delight to be wicked and unclean, and will be so, and never care to seek to the Lord by fasting and prayer, and by using the means, prescribed in his word, for the graces of his spirit, to change, and renew them: Therefore it is God's order and way, in justice, to give such over to obdurancy, and hardness of heart, so that they will be wicked and unclean still, For this cause, saith the Apostle, Rom. 1. God gave them up to vile affections, and to uncleanness, to follow the do­sires of their own hearts. Thus God dealt with his [Page 6]own people the Jews, Psa. 81.12. that because they would not hearken to his voice, and would have none of him, therefore he gave them up to their own lusts, and they walked in their own counsel. Friends, it is our sins, our wilful fins, our continued rebellion against God, that hinders spiritual good things from descending into our own souls, it is our delighting and living in sin that hinders our prayers from being granted, and that hinders our services from being accepted: If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. saith David, Psa. 66.18. God declares him­self not only willing, but able to bestow the choi­cest of his blessings upon those that seek him in the use of means, Isa. 59.1. Behold, the Lords hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither is his ear hea­vy that it cannot hear; But, saith the Prophet, in ver. 2. your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins hath hid his face from you that he will not hear. It is a peoples sins that with-holds good things from them, even spiritual good things.

Secondly, The sins of a people or nation, keeps back from them temporal good things also; our blessed Saviour has promised, Mat. 6. that if we s ek first the Kingdom of God and the Righteousness thereof, that then all outward good things shall be ad­ded unto us. But our seeking to please the flesh, and to satisfie our lust, and living in sinful ways, this hinders the stream of God's blessing from de­scending upon this our land. Have we not seen within this year or two, several tokens of God's wroth against the inhabitants of this land, for their u [...]g [...]dly doings, even in keeping back from [Page 7]us these outward good things, which we have ex­pected, some times God seemed to manifest the to­kens of his anger, by stopping the influences of the Heavens, and threatning to dry up our Corn and Fruits, by sending of a drought upon the land; at other times, when our Corn has been come to per­fection and ripeness, then God was pleased to ma­nifest the tokens of his anger in threatning to de­ny us the enjoyment of it, by sending of excessive Ruins in the time of harvest; and now this last year it pleased Almighty God, as a token of his anger against our evil doing, to send a blast upon our Corn. Friends it is our sins, our iniquities, that procures these judgments; Beloved Friends, let us not murmur at God's dealings with us, but rather let us admire his patience & bounty toward us, in that he hath but only sent to us the tokens of his anger and wrath, the least mercy that we receive at his hands is more than we deserve: If we consider what oppression, cheating, lying, swearing, cursing, drunkenness, and uncleanness, reigns in this Nation, we have reason to wonder at God's pati­ence and long suffering towards us, in that he bares with us so long, and doth not send a Famine, or some utter destruction. Let us consider, that it is our sins and evil doings that with holds the Rain from coming in its season, and causes a drought upon the Land; it is our sins that brings violent and unseasonable floods of Water to destroy the fruits of the earth; it is our sins and iniquities that brings a blast and mildew upon our Corn and Fruits. O therefore let every one of us turn from our ways and evil doings, if ever we would delive [Page 8]God to turn from his fierce indignation, that is gone forth against us, but I fear there may be as just a complaint taken up against the inhabitants of this Nation, as there was against the Jews in a verse or two before the Text, That this people hath a revolt­ing and rebe [...]ious heaert; neither say they in their heart Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth us both the former and the latter Rain in its season, he reser­veth unto us the appointed Weeks of the harvest; But (saith the text) your iniquities have turned away these things from you, and your sins have with-holden good things from you, even temporal good things.

Thirdly, and lastly, The sins of a people or nati­on keeps back and with holds from them National Good things. When God's judgments hangs over a people or nation; when wars, troubles and con­fusion are abroad; and when their Enemies are at their backs ready to invade them; then when the same people go onstubbornly & perversely in their wicked courses, and will not be reformed; and when God is working mercy and deliverance for them, and they then take the more liberty to wol­low in their abominations, and to sin the more a­gainst the Lord, and spurn against his mercies; these doings makes themselves unsit for mercy, and do as it were stay the hand of God, and stop him in his proceedings. The Lord our God is a God of Marcy, it is his Nature to shew mercy, and to work about deliverances; but yet a wicked people many times pull down Judgments upon thier own heads, by their ungodly and wicked doings. Alas how, loath is God to destrey a people or nation, if there be any probability that they will at last Repent, [Page 9]and turn from their evil ways. How often did the Lord's own people Israel provoke him unto wrath by their many Rebellions against him, and yet the Lord was gracious towards them and spa­red them, and would not pour out all his wrath; one time when they had provoked him so much by their sins that God was about to destroy them, then Muses stood before him in the broach, least he should destroy them; At another time, when the people had provokea the Lord by their Inventions, he sent the plague among them; the Lord was graciously pleased upon the prayers of Phinchas to Repent of that evil, and remove his stroak from them, Psal. 106. Yea, not withstanding they provoked him time after time with their Rebellions, yet he wrought many deliverances for them. But yet consider this, the Lord did not always bear with them, his patience was at last worn out, his long­sufferance at last had an end, he at last was provo­ked to sware in his wrath that they should never enter intohis rest. We read that when God speaks of a stubborn & rebellions people, he tells them that h [...] is weary of Repenting; thus he speaks to his own people here, the people of Jerusalem, Jer. 15.6 After their many and long provocations, and wea­rying of his patience: Who shall have pitty upon thee O Jerusalem? who shall bemoan thee? thou has [...] forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee to do stroy thee, I am weary of repenting, I am weary of Re­penting. Behold here how the Lord speaks after the manner of Men, when the Lord is pleased b [...] his providencial dispensation to threaten a people [...] [Page 10]tokens of his wrath and indignation again them, and then in the midst of Judgment thinks on mer­cy, and so withdraws his hand, and forbears to strike, & works about deliverance for them, then the Lord is said to redent; but then after a long time, after many repentings of God, after many turns of providence, if that people or nation will not turn from their evil ways, but will still con­tinue resolutely and obstinately in their sins, tho' they have many warnings, threatnings, mercies, and judgments, until Gods patience is quite worn out, then God is said to be weary of Repenting, thus it was with Gods people of old, and thus God seems to be dealing with the Inhabitants of this nation. When God has many times sent to­kens of his wrath and displeasure against us for our sins, and has been ready to strike, then the Lord has been pleased graciously to call back his shroaks, and has seemed to repent of the evil he was about to bring upon us; thus God did graci­busly deal with us in the days of Queen Mary, when many thousand poor souls suffered Martyr­dom, and when the whole Nation was next door to ruine and destruction, then the Lord seemed to repent, and wondersully stept in for our delive­rance. Thus in the time of King James the II. Gods hand of Justice was then up ready to strike the final stroak, then there seemed in all outward appearance to be nothing but utter Ruine and de­struction, but yet in the very nick of time, the Lord seemed to repent of the evil that he was a bringing upon this nation, and in the midst of [...]dgment thought upon Mercy, and mercifully [Page 11]brought in our gracious Soveraign King, William, to be the happy Instrument of our deliverance And many a time when our malicious enemies ha [...] been a plotting & working about our destruction God has been a working about our deliverance, & bringing to nought their wicked devices, but ye [...] let us assure our selves, that if we donot in time re­pent & turn from the evil of our ways but continua still provoking him to wrath, his Repentings will have an end, his patience will be worn out, & the he will pour out his wrath to the utmost, and de­stroy us utterly, for if after all his smiting of us, [...] delivering of us, we will still walk contrary to him He will walk contrary to us, & will punish us seve [...] times more for our sins, until he hath consume us, as he hath threatened, Deut. 26. Therefore now, whilst the I ord is going forth against us [...] a way of wrath, it would be our wisdom to me [...] him by true and unfeigned Repentance, and the he will meet us in love and mercy, and delight [...] do us good, for God declares himself the Lor [...] God gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and [...] great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Alas, how loath is God to destroy a people [...] nation, if there be any hopes at all of their [...] turn: O how doth the Lord expostulate with [...] phraim, when he is going to destroy them, h [...] doth his Bowels seem to be troubled, when he about to smite, saying: How shall I give thee [...] Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee I srael? how sh [...] I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as [...] boim? my heart is turned within me, my Repent is are kindled together; I will not execute the fiercen [...] [Page 12] [...] mine anger; I will not return to destroy Ephraim, For I am God, and not Man, He sea 11.8, 9. Thus [...]ere, when Popery and Slavery was coming upon [...]s apace, and our gracious King William was step­ [...]ing in for our deliverance, then the Lord seemed [...]o be bemoaning of England, saying: How shall I [...]ive thee up England? how shall I deliver thee up [...]to the hands of thine Enemies; my Bowels are tur­ [...]ed within me, I will not destroy England. O there­fore Friends, let us not run on in sin after such a [...]ate as we do, offending and grieving so gracious [...] God, lest his patience should be quite worn out, [...]nd he be weary of Repenting, & so be provoked [...]o deliver us over into the hands of our Enemies, [...]nd consume us utterly. Consider what great [...]hings the Lord hath already done for this sinful [...]ation, and greater Blessings he would yet bestow [...]pon us, if our sins did not stop him. Almighty God seems now to be expostulating with England, [...]s once he did with his people of old, Psa. 81.13, 14, 15. O that my people had hearkened unto me, and England had walked in my ways, I should soon have subdued their Enemies, and turned my hand against [...]eir Adversaries, the haters of the Lord, should have submitted themselves unto them, he would have fed [...]em, and satisfied them with the finest of the Wheat, [...]d honey out of the Rocks. O that England would once repent and turn from her evil ways! how [...]ickly would the Lord turn away his anger from [...]? how quickly would he put an end to our wars and Troubles? how soon would he bring [...] a lasting Peace and Tranquility amongst us, [...]d would rejoice over us to do us good; but it [Page 13]is the sins of a people or nation that withhold good things from them, even national good things.

Thus I have dispatcht the first part of my text which was to shew you what are those good thing that the sins of a nation or people do with-hold from them, they are Spiritual Good Things, Tem­poral Good Things, and National Good Things

Secondly, The second part of my Text is to she [...] you what are those common sins that with-hold Good Things from a People or Nation: No [...] the Prophet Hosea gives us a Catalogue of some [...] them, Hosea [...]. 2. By Swearing, & Lying, & Killing & Stealing, & committing Adultery, they break o [...] and blood touches blood, therefore shall the Land mour [...] Now the sins of England which with-holds Good Things from them, are such as these: I sh [...] name some few of them, which are the chief, First the first sin which I shall here mention, that with holds Good Things from a Nation, is Swearin [...] and Cursing. O how dreadful it is to hear [...] ­cked Wretches, when they are drinking in a A [...]e-house, and at other times, belch out the Hellish Oaths; O it many times makes ones hea [...] ­ach to hear how they swear at almost every wo [...] they speak, by the Name of God, by Blood and Wounds, and such like horrible Oaths, notwith­standing that Act of Parliament which has late come out against the sin of Swearing, yet I cannot see that people are much more afraid to swear [...] Oath, Surely, as the Prophet saith, Jer. 23.10. Because of swearing the Land mourneth; And if ev [...] this our [...]and mourned under this grievous by [Page 14] [...]len, it mourns now at this day, nay, and if Swea­ring be not bad enough, many in their Rage and Fury fall a cursing of one another, yea, cursing of themselves too, nay, and that which is worst of [...]ll, many have been heard to curse themselves to the pit of Hell, and wish damnation upon them­selves. I can tell you of a man, which I saw but a little while ago, being a little in drink, I heard him call upon God to damn his soul at almost every word he spoke. O what a most dreadful Impre­ [...]ation this is? that people must wish eternal [...]amnation upon themselves. O Sinner, what if God should indeed take thee at thy word, that as [...]oon as the word Damn me is out of thy mouth, he hould send some sudden stroak of vengeance or other upon thee, and send thee immediately out of this world into Eternal Damnation, I tell thee [...]nner, it is just with God to do it, and indeed thou have great cause to expect, every time the like imprecation comes out of thy mouth, that he [...]hould clap the like Judgment immediately upon [...]y head; & then thou canst not but acknowledge [...]hat God hath given thee no worse than thou didst wish upon thy self, and didst call upon him for; [...]ay some there are that are so inclinable to the [...]ns of Cursing, and Swearing, and Railing, and [...]vil-speaking, that they infect their Off-spring with the like Vices; there poor Children, as soon is they come to be of any bigness, how quickly [...]o they learn these Hellish Arts of their parents [...]nd elders, so that in many Towns and Streets where children are playing together, they have [...]een heard to curse and swear one at another in [Page 15]a dreadful manner, and some have been heard to call one another all to nought, as Dog, Rogue, and I know not what, as I gave a hint of in my little Book, being a second part for children.

Obj. But many Parents will be ready to say, that it is not they that teach their children, but the children learn one of another.

Ans. To this I answer: It is true that young ones having a vitious nature, which they brought with them into the world, they are naturely back­ward to learn any good, but very inclinable to learn evil even one of another; but pray consider where the foundation lyes all this while, it is the Parents many times are the first Instructers in e­vil, we have had in our days many proofs of this, for some ungodly Parents have been many times heard to gape at their own children when they would not come at their call, and would not do just as they would have them, they have been heard to curse and swear at them, and call them all to nought, and so the poor children think that they may use the like words and expressions one to another, and then if these children happen into the company of those children whose parents are godly, and who labour to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, yet how quickly do they learn vitious and foul language of the others, and so by this means ordinarily young ones learn one of another. O Friends, are not your children prone enough to evil of themselves, but you must infuse sinful Vices into their corrupted Nature? O you that are parents and governours of children, let me beseech you to consider what [Page 16]you are doing when you are mouthing at your children, and a using foul language in their hear­ing, that you are a doing your endeavour to in­fect whole Towns and Families with wicked Vi­ces, nay, and the whole Nation it self, and so ha­sten God's wrath and Judgment upon the whole Nation.

Secondly, Another National Sin, which keeps Good Things from us, is Oppression, Deceit, Treachery, and Unjust Dealing, and indeed there is so much of these sins reigns in this our Nation, that it is to be feared that Oppression, Treachery and Deceit, will at last be the utter Ruine of this Nation: Behold how God complains of his Vine­yard, the Land of Israel, Isa. 5.7. He looked for Righteousness, and behold Oppression; for Judgment, and behold a cry: Oh! may not the Lord justly complain the like of this Nation? that he looked for Righteousness, Justice, and Equity to be in it; and there is nothing in it but Oppression, Unjust­ness, and Deceit. The poor and needy beg at the Rich Mens doors for Relief, but the most had rather consume pounds upon their Lust, than to spare one half shilling for the Relief of the Needy. And many Farmers there are in the Nation, Oh! how do they wish for a Dearth, and watch for an opportunity to raise the price of their Corn, and thereby oppress, and grind the faces of the poor and needy, that they might hoard of Riches unto themselves, and the poor Laborours, they must be oppressed of their wages; there are many poor La­bourers now a days are fain to toil themselves early and late to get a poor maintainance for [Page 17]themselves and their Families, and in the mean time those that hire them, study how to abate them in their wages. And likewise what a deal of Oppression and Deceit there is amongst us in buying and selling, the Buyer he will Oppress the Seller by debasing his wares, and will not give so much as he knows they are worth; and the Sel­ler he will endeavour to oppress the Buyer by ex­alting his Ware above the worth, and will tell the Buyer that his Wares cost him more than they really did; and the Buyer crys out, it is naught, it is naught; and when he is gone away, then he boasteth, Pro. 20.14. I verily think that there ne­ver was so much Oppression, so much Deceit as there is now in these days, deceitful wares, de­ceitful weights, deceitful measures, deceitful mo­ney, and deceitful doings, that sure it is for our Oppression, Iniustice, Treachery and Deceit, that the Lord with-holds good things from us.

Thirdly, Another National Sin is Drunkenness, and I think never did this sin so much abound in this Nation as it doth now in these our days, ma­ny men complain that every thing is dear, and that they can hardly get money for their necessary use, and grutch to spare a penny for a deed of Charity, and yet can find shillings to consume in an Ale house; many times I have been at places where there has been drinking, playing, singing, and ranting almost a whole night together, now there is a woe pronounced against such, Isa. 5.22. Woe to them that are mighly to drink Wine, and Mon of strength to mingle strong drink. O how sad it in to see how Drunkenness abounds in every City, in [Page 18]every Town and Street in this Nation, O how much precious time is wasted away in Drunken­ness, Voluptiousness, and the works of the Flesh, surely these sins of Drunkenness, Volupteous­ness, Fornication, Uncleanness, and all other Works of the Flesh, are a means to with-hold all good things from us.

Fourthly, Another National Sin is neglect of Family Dutys, most that are Governours of Fami­lys scarce so much as pray in their Familys once a Week, they are careful to call upon their Servants to do their work, but never mind them of the con­cern of their immortal souls. There is a severe threatning goes against such, Jer. 10.21. That the Lord will pour out his fury upon the Heathens that know him not, and upon the Nations that call not an his Name. But I have wrought something of this in my book of Joshuas Resolution to serve the Lord, therefore I will say no more of it here.

Fifthly, Another National Sin is Unfruitful­ness under the means of grace, though they have Reproof upon Reproof, Sabbath upon Sabbath, Line upon Line, Preceipt upon Preceipt; though they enjoy Sermon Opportunitys, Sacrament Oppor­tunitys, Praying Opportunitys, yet for the gene­rality of them they are never the better, they go on in a Customary Road of Dutys, but take no care to reform their hearts and lives; now we that are unfruitful under all means of grace, what can we expect, but that the Kingdom of Heaven shall be taken from us, and given to a Nation, bringing forth the fruit thereof. And to be cu [...] down by the A [...] of Gods judgments, because we are [Page 19]but cumbers of the ground, Luke 13.

Sixthly, Another National sin, that I shall here mention, is Pride, especially pride in Apparel, and sure never did this sin reign so much both in City and Country, as it does in our days, and if England be destroyed, is is thought that pride will be a great cause of its Ruine; for how do our La­dys and great Ones invent new fashions, some must go with powdered hair, some with spotted faces, and some again with high heads, so that they appear more like Moorish Dancers than like sober devout Christians. But some will be ready to say that pride lyes not in the dress, but in the heart. To this I answer, that as meat may be known whe­ther it be sweet or sower by the tast, even so pride in the heart does often discover it self by the outward gestures of the body. O let the great ones of this Land have a care that they do not lye under that threatning denounced against proud persons, Isa. 3. from ver. 16. to the end, That be­cause the Daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth weeks, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinckling with their feet, there­fore in that day the Lord will take away their bravery, their chains, brasless and mufflers; their Rings and changable suits of Apparel, their mantles, wimples, and crisping pins, their glasses, fine linnen hoods and vails, &c. But this is not all, there is a worser judgment threatened in the two last verses: Their Men shall fall by the sword, and their mighty Men in War, &c. O that the Inhabitants of this nation would break off this sin by Repentance, least the like Judgment should speedily fall upon them, for [Page 20]sure pride is a great sin that hinders good things from us.

Seventhly, and lastly, I will name but one Nati­onal Sin more that with-holds good things from us, and that is Sabbath-breaking, and this is a sin that reigns very much in this land, tho 'there has been good and wholesome Laws, set out by Act of Parliament, against the common prophanation of the Lord's day, yet I think the generality of peo­ple now a days do but little regard either the laws of God or Man, and a great many there be, tho they dare not work at their callings on the Lords day, yet they will besure to chuse that day above all the rest, to go and visit their friends, and to make merry amongst their sinful Companions, and sometimes ride abroad about unnecessary [...] [...]iness, because they cannot spare time on other days. O how careful are a great many to pise early on the week days, and work later than ordinarily on Saturday nights, thinking that when the [...]ords day comes then they may that morning rest them­selves in their beds, never considering to what end that day was given them, nor what is to be done on that day, and when the King and Parlia­ment was graciously pleased to set a part days of fasting and humiliation for the sins of the nation, that by fasting and praying God might avert and remove those judgments that bang over our heads, yet these days were but little minded by a great many, for when a fast day came, they could not spare time from their worldly imployments to at­tend on God in publick, and many others tho' they do go to church, as soon as publick exercise is end­ed [Page 21]away they go to the Ale-house to drinking; thus they seem to keep a fast, but it is but a mock fast, instead of keeping that day in offering up un­to God an humble and contrite heart-for their sins, and the sins of the nation, and importuning of God, by their earnest prayers, to remove those Judgments which hang over their heads; instead of that they must go to satisfying of their lust. Ah sinful people, ah nation laden with iniquity, will you thus continue to provoke the Lord at all times, will not the Lord be avenged on such doings as these? but praised be the Lord, that there are ma­ny in this nation, that do keep a sincere fast unto the Lord, and by their fervent and hearty prayers stand in the gap, and stop God s Judgments from falling upon this sinful nation, otherwise, Woe had it been to us long before this time. Beioved people you that are the inhabitants of this land, if our gracious King and Governours will be pleased to set a part at any time another day of humiliation, for the Lords sake let me prevail with you to spend that oue day wholly in exainining your hearts and lives, in confessing, and mourning for your sins, and for the sins of the nation, and resolving to break off your sins by repentance, as the people of N [...]nive did that God may yet turn away from the sierceness of his wrath that we perish not.

A word or two of Application and I have done.

Beloved Friends, you have seen here what those sins are that with-hold good things from us, & not only so, but pulls down most heavy judgments upon our heads, and I think these sins never so much a­bounded in this nation as they do now, never was [Page 22]there so much swearing, lying, oppression, cheating, pride, drunkenness, and Sabbath-breaking, as there reigns among us now in these days. Beloved Friends for the Lords sake, let us set upon the reforming of these sins, & break them off by a timely repentance, I say for the Lords sake, who is still patient, and is loath to strike, but forbears to the very utmost, if it may be that we will yet turn to him; methinks the Lord at this day is bemoaning England, as once before I told you he bemoan'd Ephraim: How shall I give thee up England? how shall I deliver thee up into the hands of thy Enemys? O that thou wouldest once reform and amend, that my wrath may not yet break forth against thee. Consider how the Lord hath timely given us warning by his word, by signs and by his servants, and still he forbears to strike, and shall not we yet take warning until destruction comes at our backs? O for the Lords sake reform & amend, if not for the Lords sake, yet let us do it for our own sakes, nay for the nations sake; what pitty is it that we should by our sins pull down ven­geance upon the whole nation; nay lastly, Friends, let us all be prevailed with to break off our sins by repentance, and amend our lives for the sake of William our King and Governour. A few years ago, when we were even at the brink of utter ruine and destruction, and he out of tender love to these nati­ons, was graciously pleased to leave his habitation [...] Holland, and did venter thro' many difficultys & l [...]wgers, and did hazard his own life that he might [...]ome to deliver us from bondage and slavery, and [...]et must we take this love and good-will so unkind­ly, and so unthankfully, so as to do what in us lyes [Page 23]by our sins and iniquities to pull down Gods judg­ments upon his head and the whole nation besides, O what a dreadful thing this is to consider of. Friends, we have provoked God so much by our sins, that God has threatened several times to re­move him from us; how often has he been very near to have been shot, and yet for our sakes he preserved him, and praised be his name still pre­serves & shields him from the hands of his enemies. It was but a little before the Queens death that there was a day of thanksgiving appointed for the Kings return home, which was on the Sabbath-day, but O how sad it was to behold how the Lord's day was profaned, in many Towns and Citys, by Ringing, shouting, and making of bonfires; but alas! how soon was this our mirth and jollitry turn'd into mourning; and truly friends, I cannot out look upon the death of our gracious Queen, which hap­pen'd soon after, no other wise than as part of Gods just Judgments to this nation, as for their many other provocations, so-particularly for that one a­buse of the Lord's day, and yet people will take no warning, but run on still in the same prophanation of the Lord's day: beloved Friends, and inhabi­tants of this nation, we have, if I may so speak, but one string to our how, and if the Lord should be pro­voked by our sins, by any means, to remove from us our gracious King, what can we look for then but utter Ruine and Destruction: my Friends, if ever the King and Parliament should appoint at any time another day of thanksgiving, he exhorted to spend it in publick prayers and praises, & the rest of the day spend both in meditating, and also in dis­coursing [Page 24]one another concerning God's wonderful works, his mercies, and miraculous deliverances in all Ages of the world, particularly of our Redemption by Christ, and of God's mercys to this nation. And towards the end of the day, let it be concluded in reading in your familys, in expounding, in singing Psalms, in praying and praises; now a day thus spent, would resemble the life of the Saints in Hea­ven. If, this day of thanksgiving be on the Lord's day, for the Lord's sake do not prophane it by drinking, ringing, shouting, and bonnring, as the custom has been, and if our Rulers would be plea­sed to set a part a day in the week time, which I think most convenient, pray let it not be spent in such vanity and sooleries, but in spiritual exercises, and what money you intend to bestow in drinking and ringing, and faggots, you intend to give to be consumed in bonfires, be exhorted to offer up these as a thanksgiving offering to God, by be­slowing them upon the poor and needy, to feed and warm them; with such sacrifice God will be well pleased, such a thanks offering as this, will a­scend up as a sweet savour unto God, whereby God's wrath will be pacified, and will remove his Judgments from us, and delight to do us good. To conclude, let us be exhorted to break off our [...]ins by repentance, and to amend our lives, & then God will bless and prosper our King, and the whole nation, and deliver us from all our Ene­mies, then we shall yet see Happy Days, and be blest with a lasting Peace and Plenty: Which the Lord of his Insinite Mercy grant, Amen.

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