A SERMON To bring to Remembrance GOD's Wonderful Mercies at the BOYN; PREACH'D On the Second Day of July, 1699, At St. Nicholas within, DUBLIN:

By Iohn Stearne, D. D.

DUBLIN, Printed by Joseph Ray, and are to be Sold at his Shop in Skinner-Row, over against the Tholsel. 1699.

To Their EXCELLENCIES • CHARLES Duke of Bolton, , • HENRY Earl of Gallway, And , and • NARCISSUS Lord Archbishop of Dublin,  LORDS JUSTICES OF IRELAND.

This SERMON (Preach'd and Publish'd in Remembrance of God's Wonder­ful Mercies at the Boyn.) Is humbly Dedicated by

Their Excellencies Most obedient Servant John Stearne.

A SERMON Preach'd the Second Day of July, 1699; ON The 24th. and 25th. Verses of the XXXVI. Chap. of Job.

Remember that thou magnifie his Work which Men behold:
Every Man may see It, Man may behold It a far off.

THrough the merciful Providence of Almighty God, We are All, this Day (to the great Dis­appointment of our Enemies) in the Land of the Living: and this very Day, nine Years are compleated since We were assur'd of our Deliverance from the threatning Pow'rs of France, and the bloody Hopes of Rome: for, thô the First of July will be long observable in Story, for that Glorious Victory with which Heaven was pleas'd to bless the Forces of our Mighty Deliverer, KING WILLIAM, at the Boyn; yet, in what Me­lancholy Thoughts, what fearful Expectations, and what rest­less Distraction, that doubtful Day was spent, many of this City cannot easily forget. But on the Second of this Month, on this memorable Day, did We joyfully behold the prevail­ing Fears of our Enemies prevent the Execution of their own cruel Designs.

This Day, instead of being buri'd in the Ruines of our City, or of seeing it in Flames and Ashes round about Us, did We (thô still with some Remainder of our Fears, as the Sea con­tinues [Page 2] disturb'd and rough, for some time after the stormy Winds are laid) this Day, I say, did We look out from our Consinement, and see our Enemies in their disorderly Flight: as if they cou'd not make too much Haste from an advancing Army, whose Hearts and Hands they had lately known to their Loss and Sorrow. For, thô they are a sort of Men that allow their Senses to be Dull and Deceitful in the Church; yet, in the Field they are very Quick and Faithful: and in Our Great Day of Battel all their Catholick Faith cou'd not hinder their Senses from doing their proper Office: they soon felt the Blows and Shot of our Army, and believ'd them Real; They saw their own Party Substantially beaten, and did not conceit that they were knock'd down by Accidents. In short, they were too sensible that Our Army was a Body of Men too Brave and Daring for them to rally against and engage; and, therefore, with all the Expedition of Fear, they turn'd their Backs, ran away, and spurr'd on, as if a wing'd, commission'd Angel had pursu'd their dismay'd, fly­ing Camp, to execute the Vengeance of the Lord of Hosts. And since on this Day, We saw Our Enemies scatter'd, and those that hated us (like well disciplin'd Souldiers follow­ing their Leader) flie before Us; shall not We this Day, shall not Our Posterity for ever, magnifie this marvellous Work of God which We beheld, that God may never up­braid Us, as He did his People, with this heavy Charge; They remember'd not God's Hand, nor the Day when He de­liver'd them from the Enemy?

We must, not only magnifie God, for his Eminent Works of Mercy, while they are New, and can hardly be forgot­ten, but allow them a constant Place in our Remembrance; and that vast Debt of Gratitude which We our selves cannot wholly discharge, must be entail'd upon our late Posterity. In a due Sense of this, did the Jews, upon the sudden Dis­appointment of Haman's bloody Conspiracy, set a part the Days of Purim, as Days of Feasting and Gladness, in Commemo­ration [Page 3] of so signal a Deliverance. They ordain'd that those Days should be kept through ev'ry Generation, ev'ry Pro­vince, ev'ry City and ev'ry Family; that the Memory of them might not perish from the Jews, nor from their Seed for ever. This their Religious Decree must condemn us all, unless We faithfully record Our Deliverances, for the Gene­rations to come; that the Children which are yet unborn may praise the Lord. If the Deliverance of any People upon the Face of the Earth, has deserv'd a stated Day of Anniversary Thanksgiving, surely Ours, (as at this Time) may justly expect It: and I wish that the want of an Act of Parliament for celebrating the First of July, as well as the Twenty Ninth of May, or the Twenty Third of October, may not be number'd among those National Sins which provoke the Jealous God to visit Us again, with a more heavy Hand. Shou'd We or Our Posterity ever suffer God's Great and Compendious Mercy at the Boyn to grow into neglect, the Astonish'd World may justly tell us (in the Psalmist's Words) that We have sinn'd with our Fathers, who regarded not God's Wonders in Egypt, neither kept his great Goodness in Remembrance, but were disobedient at the Sea, even at the Red Sea. Even the most important Blessings We are too prone to forget: and, therefore, wise and grateful Antiquity contriv'd various Ways to renew and strengthen our Memories. And our Blessed Saviour, considering how often the thronging Con­cerns of this present Life thrust Him and All his Benefits out of our Minds, very kindly left us a most indispensible Com­mand for the frequent Celebration, of the Holy Eucharist, saying, Do this in Remembrance, (or [...], for a Me­morial) of Me. And that the People of God might never want an Evidence of His exceeding Goodness towards them, in destroying Amalek, with the Sword of Joshua, God en­joyn'd Moses to write It in a Book: and for a standing Mo­nument of so glorious a Defeat, Moses built an Altar, and call'd the Name of It, JEHOUA-nissi, The Lord my Banner. [Page 4] And surely We are not less oblig'd to convey, by ev'ry kind of Tradition, the wonderful Works of Divine Mercy, to the coming Generations; that God's Name may be exal­ted in ev'ry succeding Age, to the Consummation of all Things: when all Holy Souls shall joyn with the coelestial Choir, in more refin'd and sprightly Hallelujahs; and keep one great Day of Thanksgiving that shall never know a Night.

And if this be our Duty, (as most certainly It is) Won­der and Pity must, by Turns, employ a serious Person, when He Duly reflects on our National Mercies, and our general Ingratitude. For, How can He but be fill'd with Admiration, to consider the many and great Deliverances, which a most gracious Providence has vouchsas'd to give Us, notwithstanding all our provoking Impieties? And how can He but look down, with a sorrowful Eye, upon the unhappy Condition of such Men as (by their continu'd Course of Wickedness) seem obstinately resolv'd to disappoint all the obliging Methods of Divine Goodness and Love? Thô the Lord hath done great Things for Us already, and so done them that they ought to be had in Remembrance; Yet, (so unanswerable is our Return) We hourly magnifie our own Ingratitude more than his marvellous Works. Our numerous Transgressions have made our Unthankfulness so prodi­giously Great, that, in this one Respect, It is like the Wonderful Work of God in the seasonable Deliverance of our Church and State; ev'ry One may see It, Man may behold It a far off.

It was thought very unreasonable by our Blessed LORD, that, of the Ten that were cleans'd, but One return'd to give Glory unto GOD for his saving Mercy; and yet our Un­thankfulness is more unequal; for, of the many Thousands in this Populous City, which was surpriz'd with a Deliverance from a consuming Fire and an undistinguishing Sword, not One in an Hundred daily offers unto GOD the Publick Sacri­fice [Page 5] of Praise and Thanksgiving for so desireable a Mercy. The Devotions of our Church are, generally, so neglected, that many may be thought to be sorry for GOD's Goodness towards them in restoring our Temples, (abus'd by Super­stitious and Idolatrous Worship) to their Pure and Reasonable Service, because this Religious Turn of Providence dos take away all Excuse for their Ingratitude, in not constantly Mag­nifying GOD, in His House of Prayer. Ev'ry slighted Op­portunity of Thanksgiving dos but heighten their Guilt: So that it had been better for them to have suffer'd the utmost Severities of Popery, than to live ungrateful for such an ex­ceeding Blessing as the Continuation of the Protestant Religi­on: And it wou'd be a very Just Judgment, shou'd GOD (in His Anger) once more, and for ever, give our Churches into the Hands of our Enemies (who wou'd make them Dens of Thieves that rob the silly People of their Money and their Souls together) since We our selves too seldom make any Good or Religious use of such Holy Places. One Spe­cial Reason, why GOD dos often delay the granting of choicest temporal Mercies to a People, is, their own unprepa­redness for them; and when He has at length, answer'd the earnest desire of Their Hearts, Their not Magnifying, in a becoming manner, His Signal Providential Dispensations, or not faithfully improving them to the Glory of His Name, and the Salvation of Their own Souls, dos frequently pro­voke, Him, to vindicate His Honour, and to bring Them unto a better understanding both of Him and of Themselves, by a Sensible Abatement, or a Total Removal of His abused Favours.

To prevent such an heavy Fate, let us come unto a closer and more distinct Consideration of Four weighty Duties which this compendious Term, MAGNIFIE, dos impart and en­joyn, as the special, solemn Business of ev'ry grateful Soul, in reference to the Eminent, Merciful, Providential Works of GOD. For, [Page 6]

  • 1st. In order to our Magnifying such Works of GOD, We must freely own His over-ruling Hand in all, acknow­ledging Him for the Fountain from which all our Blessings, like so many refreshing and wholsom Streams, are de­riv'd unto us.
  • 2dly. We must carefully observe those more Material and Signal Circumstances which render any national Work of Divine Providence more considerable and obliging.
  • 3dly. To the utmost of our Pow'r, and with the profound­est Humility, must We pay all that Honour, Reverence, and Adoration unto GOD, for His extraordinary Works of Providence, which They most justly challenge from Us. And
  • Lastly, It must be our constant Endeavour to answer (by a sincere Practical Reformation) the just Expectation of GOD in His merciful Works of Providence.

The First Duty requir'd (in our Method) unto a more re­spectful Magnifying of GOD's Eminent Works of Mercy, is, a free owning of His over-ruling Hand in All, and acknowledging Him for the Fountain of all our Blessings.

'Thô We were bless'd with a King of such Undaunted Courage, such Prudent Conduct, and such Constant Devotion, that He seem'd, at the Boyn, to design, at once the Conquest of Heaven and Earth, or taking them Both, by the united Force of Arms and Prayer; thô We were favour'd with a Gene­ral, deservedly fam'd thrô more than the Christian World, for His glorious Exploits in War; and who, as if, with such a King, He had been too great a Blessing for us, like another Moses, only saw that Good and Promis'd Land which He was not suffer'd to go over the River and possess: 'Thô Our dreadful Host was, On the First of July, led forth to Battel, by so Experienc'd and so Wary a Commander; and 'thô such a King be yet, 'thrô all the long Toils, and bold hazardous [Page 7] Attempts of War, thrô many treacherous Plots, both at Home and Abroad, mercifully continu'd to Us, yet all the Success of Our Armies, all the Glory of Our Campagnes, and all Our present Blessings under His gentle and easie Scepter, must be ascrib'd unto the Supream Governour of all Things, whose Power no Creature is able to resist. He, and He only, gives Salvation unto Kings; He, and He only, at the Immor­tal Boyn, deliver'd William His Servant, from the hurtful Cannon. An Horse is counted but a vain Thing to save a Man; nor shall He deliver any by his great Strength: It may be pre­par'd for the Day of Battel, but still Victory is of the LORD. Cou'd a Man be sav'd by the Multitude of an Host, The [...], the Great Schomberg, might have enjoy'd, as well as promoted, Our Deliverance: But how is the Mighty Man fall'n? He expir'd, as He had liv'd, in the Arms of Victory: For, 'thô He lost His Life, He won The Day.

There may be, and often is a lucky Hit of second Causes, very observable in compassing the general Happiness of a Nation; in delivering the Inhabitants from the complicated Designs of Romish Agents, from Superstion and Idolatry, from Oppression, and Slavery, from Fire and Sword, from the most cruel Tortures, Jesuitical Racks and Inquisition; yet such a grateful Deliverance is the Work of that Alwise and Almighty GOD, who, for the Honour of His Name, in the Defence of His injur'd Cause, goes forth with the Armies of His Anointed. He only can, at His Pleasure, scatter the People that delight in Blood; and Strike Their Hearts with such a distracting Fear, that They Flie when no Man Pursues; and (taking ev'ry Leaf that is mov'd with the Wind, for the shaking of a Spear) run with a Strong natural Biass, unto Their own Boggs and Woods, as to a more sure Defence against the Strange Engines of War, than all the Auxiliaries of France and Rome, with the long implor'd Assistance of Their Queen of Heaven.

I do not much wonder at the Inglorious Flight of a vast Army upon the close Advance of Our Jehoshaphat at the Brook, when I remember (and He must be very unworthy of a De­liverance that forgets) those Instruments of GOD, those Men of War whose Names might have been as dreadful to our Enemies, as Epaminondas was unto the Lacedaemonians, and Scanderbeg unto the Turks; Hannibal unto the Romans, and the Black-Prince unto the French; and who shou'd therefore, live among the Sons of Fame, in something more lasting than Brass or Marble. Let not Envy or Ingratitude rob those Heroes that have slain their Thousands, or put Ten Thou­sand to Flight, of the Honour due unto Their worthy At­chievements; but let not us so wholly fix Our Thoughts and Admiration upon the Happiness We enjoy, or the great Instruments of GOD in effecting It, as to render our selves careless in acknowledging the uncontrouled Hand of that GOD, whose Battles They Fought with so much Bravery and so great Success. David cou'd not believe that Joab, His General, and all His Host cou'd answer His Desires with Victory; thus, therefore, dos He Question and thus Pray; Who will lead Me into the Strong City? Who will bring Me into Edom? Wilt not Thou O GOD? Give Us Help from Trouble; for vain is the Help of Man: Thrô GOD We shall do valiantly, for it is He that shall tread down Our Enemies. The Battel is not always to the Strong, but GOD, in His Infinite Wisdom and by His Almighty Arm, putteth down One King, and setteth up Another; that the Living may know that the most High ruleth, in the Kingdom of Men, and that he giveth It to whomsoever He will. In such a surprizing wonderful manner dos GOD often deliver His People, that They must be very Blind if They do not see, or very ungrateful if They do not own, that They are sav'd by the LORD Their GOD. Such is HIs Might that He can (according to His own Will) make the most incon­siderable Instrument, One no bigger than Davids Pebble, Pow­erful enough to over-match the Strength of a Weaver's Beam, [Page 9] and to lay the most Insulting Enemy in the Dust. His Com­mand is as wide as his Creation; so that He can, at any time, summon Heaven and Earth, Angels and Men, Sun Moon, and Stars, the Sea and all that is therein, to joyn in Battel, and execute His Just and Heavy Vengeance upon all such as worship Deaf and Helpless Gods; and to give Sal­vation unto those that sincerely call upon His Name. Let not us then, be guilty of so much Atheism, as not to ac­knowledge a Supream Being, in all the Great Changes of the World. When We behold Lightnings or Inundations, a sud­den Earthquake or a devouring Pestilence, depopulating the most delightful, spacious, and frequented Cities, let us em­ploy Our selves (not so much in curiously searching out Natural Causes, as) in eyeing the Hand of God, in such ge­neral Calamities. And when We see a Kingdom, by the de­structive Principles, and prodigious Unskilfulness of One, al­most shaken in Pieces, and, at length, thrô the Care of Ano­ther more wise Master-builder, setling upon its Old Firm and Lasting Foundation, let Us (in a thankful Acknowledgement of such a Providential Work) say (with the Psalmist,) not unto Us, O Lord, not unto Us, but unto Thy Name, be all the Glory. And that We may be the more dispos'd to do so, We must,

In the Second Place, carefully observe those more Material and Signal Circumstances, which render any National Work of Divine Providence more considerable and obliging.

So curious a Thing is the Work of Providence, that to a diligent Observer, ev'ry Part of It will appear full of Wisdom and Beauty: and the more heedfully We survey Its various Circumstances, the more will It excite Our Praise and Admi­ration. As therefore, true Penitents pathetically charge and load their Confessions with all those Aggravations which may heighten their Detestation and Sorrow; so the grateful Soul dos critically remark those many and great [Page 10] Circumstances which set off Gods Work, and more advanta­giously recommend It to Us. Several Acts of Providence, at the first transient view, may seem to offer but little Mat­ter of Importance; yet, upon a repeated Observation, We find them very considerable. In our Present Reformation or Deliverance from Popery, many Circumstances might be ta­ken notice of to raise our Acknowledgements; but several Pens having oblig'd the Nation with a full Account of the most Remarkable Ones, I shall briefly observe at this time, only some few Particulars that well dispos'd Our Neigh­bouring Kingdom for that Blessed Change; and the Seaso­nableness of such a Revolution to the miserable Inhabitants of this.

All the late Fears and Jealousies in England; all the solemnly made, and as often solemnly broken Promises of a King; all the Intrigues manag'd with an Old Prince abroad, to set up a pretended Young Prince at Home; all the base, mercenary Compliances of many Civil and Ecclesiastical Ministers; dissolving Charters, and authorizing Mass in Colledges; ad­vising a general Toleration, and advancing an unlimited dispensing Power; labouring to repeal the Penal Laws and Test, setting up a New High Commission, and Committing the Right Reverend Bishops to the Tower, for not acting a­gainst Law and Conscience; turning out good Protestants, and promoting profess'd Papists to the most considerable Ci­vil and Military Places of Profit and Honour; All these Things, and many more (too many either to have been done by any King that wou'd not follow Dioclesian, or to be re­peated by me now) did strongly incline the Nation to a quicker Apprehension of the growing Evils of Popery; and bring them to a more easie Compliance with the Methods of God's Wonderful Work.

And how seasonable the happy Consequences of all such Proceedings were to Us of this Kingdom, our whole Lives [Page 11] will be too short duly to consider. If the well timing of a Mercy dos make It the more valuable, surely Our Delive­rance must be highly recommended to Us by the Seasona­bleness of It. To what shall I, for This, compare so great a Mercy? The Coming of our King was like that of the An­gel of God to Isaac, when the Hand was lifted up for the Fa­tal Stroke: Poor Ireland's Relief was like the refreshing Well of Water to the disconsolate Hagar, when she had given up Her self to Sorrow, and Her Son to Death: in a Word, the Generous Resolution of King WILLIAM to visit this di­stressed Nation, was as Opportune as the Night-thoughts of King Ahasuerus (kept awake by the special Providence of God) to reward the Good, recorded service of Mordecai; just at a time when the Ambitious and Revengeful Haman's Plot, for an utter Exterpation of the Jews, was ripe for Execution.

And what shall we render unto the Lord for all the Benefits comprehended in so seasonable a Mercy? I will magnifie thee, O Lord, because Thou hast set me up, and not made my Foes to triumph over me: O praise the Lord with me, and let Us mag­nifie His Name together. The Dead praise not Thee, O Lord, neither All they that go down into silence. The Living, the Living, they shall praise Thee as We do this Day: the Father: to the Children shall make known thy Work. Thou Lord wast ready to save; therefore will We sing of Thy Praise without ceasing; O my God! I will give thanks unto Thee for ever.

The grateful Resolution of Two Pious Princes, (David, and Hezekiah) in these Words, which I have apply'd unto Our own case, cannot but mind you of

The Third propounded Particular, viz. That We must to the utmost of Our Power, and with the profoundest Humility, pay all that Honour, Reverence, and Adoration, unto God, for His more Eminent and Extraordinary Works of Providence, which they most justly challenge from Us.

God is known by the Mercies He bestows, as well as by the [Page 12] Judgme [...] which He executes, upon a Nation. Sometimes the merciful Work of Providence comes so recommended to Us, by the Image and Superscription of a God, bearing such clear and legible Characters of the Divine Wisdom, Power, and Goodness, that upon the First serious View, We cannot but conclude that It is the Lord's Doing. And the more conspi­cuous and remarkable the Appearances of a God are, in any of His Works of Providence (in raising a Nation that was al­most as much without Hope (thô not so free from Misery and Sorrow) as those that lie in the Grave, with the Speed of a Resurrection, unto a comfortable State of Affairs; the more signal, I say, the Hand of an Omnipotent God is, in any such Providential Dispensations) still the more Publick and Extraordinary Expressions of Respect and Gratitude, do they justly command from all that share in such gracious Manifestations of His Goodness. And shou'd not Man spread abroad the Praises of His Great Creator and Preserver, his very fellow-creatures that want, not only Reason, but Sense, wou'd condemn his ungrateful Silence. Even The Heavens declare the Glory of God, and the Firmament sheweth His handy-Work. As constantly as Day and Night do follow one ano­ther, they instruct the World concerning the Wisdom and other Attributes of God, which most illustriously appear in their appointed Course and orderly Succession: and their Voice is understood by ev'ry Nation under Heaven; as if ev'ry Man heard them speak in his own Tongue, the Won­derful Works of God. And, as ev'ry Return of Day renews the bright demonstrations of God's Glory, so Day by Day our Souls shou'd magnifie the Lord. When sensless Creatures do thus (according to Ability) manifest unto the World the Glory of their Maker, surely a much greater Obligation must lie upon Man, to joyn in that universal Work, and to perform It in a more noble Manner; in a way most suitable to the Excellency of his own Rational and Immortal Soul. [Page 13] Since the Glory of Gods eminent Works of Mercy is so conspicuously Great, that Man may behold It a far off, and yet can never come near their surpassing Excellency, in the most sublime Acknowledgments of a grateful Spirit; since the Dignity of any Person dos command a proportionable Respect; and We greatly honour Kings for their Transcendent Majesty, how can We sufficiently reverence and admire the infinitely Glorious Lord GOD, whose Perfections have been so wonderfully display'd in the Works of Wisdom, Pow'r, and Love to this undeserving Nation? Or (in the wise Ben-Si­rach's full Expression) Who can magnifie Him, as He is? Ad­miration is the Gazing or Fixing of the Understanding upon an Object that is too big for It: and since there is such a Discovery of God's Excellencies in His late signal Provi­dences towards Us, that We cannot comprehend all the Glory which shineth in them, well may We, in an humble and awful Respect joyn with the Saints in the Revelation, saying, Great and Marvellous are Thy Works, Lord GOD Al­mighty! Just and true are Thy Ways, Thou King of Saints! who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and magnifie Thy Name? And for your better Instruction in this important Duty, you may, at your Leisure, consult Moses's Song of Thanksgiving in the 15th. Chap. of Exodus. In that, you hear him solemnly bles­sing the Lord for the dreadful Overthrow of Pharaoh and his mighty Host, at the Red Sea: in that, you may easily ob­serve with what Affection and Reverence, he magnifieth the Hand of God in compleating that Wonderful Deliverance of His People. So far is Moses from letting the Merciful Works of God pass by unregarded, and from concealing them in his own Breast; that, in the most lofty Strain, he openly declares his noble Deeds, and labours in provoking others unto a joynt acknowledgment of Gods Glorious Attributes in so strange a Dispensation of his ever-watchful Provi­dence. And, following so fair a Pattern, after such a Man­ner, [Page 14] must We celebrate and record the adorable Perfections of our God, most illustriously appearing in His Special Pro­vidences towards Us, as may most excite (not only the pre­sent Generation, but) future Ages of the World, unto all possible Returns of Gratitude, for the seasonable Preservati­on of Our Liberties, Our Lives, Our King, and Our Reli­gion, to the Almighty Defender of them All. God dos of­ten permit the Enemies of His People to oppress and triumph over them, with the most intolerable Insolency; as the Pro­testants, in this City, were abus'd, plunder'd, crush'd, and trampled on, by the Jacobite Party, before the Arm of God and Man restrain'd their fierce Malice at the Boyn: He fre­quently sees his Own brought into extream Distress, into a Strait like that of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness, (having Rocks and Mountains on the right Hand, and on the left a strong Garrison of the Egyptians, an unpassable Sea before, and behind a mighty pursuing Host; He suffers This,) before His Hand is stretched out in any appointed Instrument which, like Moses's Rod, must open a Way for their Deliverance. And this Method He is pleas'd to take (not only for an Improvement of their Gra­ces, which come more pure and bright out of the fiery Tryal but also) to magnifie the more His own Attributes in the Strangeness and Seasonableness of their Salvation. His own Glory is the End of all His Actions: And That is in a more visible manner display'd in such opportune Acts of Providence. And shall not a Deliver'd People answer GOD's Great Design, by exalting, in the most publick way, His Glorious Name, for such well-tim'd Expressions of His Care and Goodness. If when the LORD turn'd Our Captivity, They said even among Our Enemies, (as before them, the Egyptians once did in the Day of Their Distress) Let Us Flie for the LORD Fighteth for them; if Our Enemies, said then (as the Babylonians did on another great Deliverance of [Page 15] GOD's People) The LORD hath done Great Things for Them; surely it wou'd be very base and unworthy in Us not to take up and thus gratefully improve Their Acknowledgment, Yea the LORD hath done Great Things for Us already. O that Men wou'd therefore Praise the LORD for His Goodness, and Declare the Wonders He hath done for (Us) the Children of Men: That They wou'd offer unto Him the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving, and tell out His Works with Gladness. And if by performing These and the foregoing Duties, We expect any Advantage, it must be,

In the Fourth and last Place, our constant Endeavour, to answer, by a sincere practical Reformation, the just Expecta­tion of GOD in His Merciful Works of Providence.

Thô GOD cannot receive any Addition to His own Essen­tial Perfections, from Our most exact Performances, yet, it must be highly reasonable to answer the Expectation of such an infinite Being, in conferring any special Favours on Us, by conforming our Lives unto His Holy Commandments. 'Tis a Damnable Hypocrisie to own GOD with our Lips, by the most solemn Returns of Praise in His Holy House; and to deny Him by an unsuitable Conversation. And yet, there is too much Reason to believe, that GOD is not so much Magnify'd by all the Time many allow unto Their publick Devotions, as dishonour'd by Their spending losely and in the most abominable Impieties, the Remainder and much greater Portion of Their Days. But how unbecoming is such an Abuse of God's Favours? How provoking must it be to sin thus against the Mercies of Heaven? What can We con­sidently depend upon either for Eternal or Temporal Salvati­on, but the infinite Mercies of God the Father, and the equal Merits of His Son Christ Jesus? But a Course of Life unan­swerable to those Deliverances God has been pleas'd to give Us, cuts off all reasonable claim to Both: and if Mercy It self be disoblig'd, what can save Us? Seeing that our GOD has given Us such a Deliverance as this, which We this Day, [Page 16] (and which We for ever ought to) magnifie, shou'd We a­gain break His Commandments, wou'd He not be angry with Us, till He has consum'd Us, so that there shou'd be no Remnant nor Escaping. Thou art inexcusable, O Man, whosoever thou art, that despisest the Riches, of God's Goodness, Forbearance, and Long­suffering, not considering that the Goodness of GOD shou'd lead thee to Repentance. God seems to have repented of those threatning Evils which We had long fear'd, because We most righteously had deserv'd: and by His own Example (in an An­cient Writer's if not Tertullian's Phrase) dedicavit Poenitenti­am, has consecrated Repentance for our Imitation. And if this His Goodness dos not so far prevail as to make Us re­pent too, notwithstanding all that has been done for Us, We are miserable: for He will repent, at last, even of His own Kindnesses to such an ungrateful People. And what Re­venge more hot than that of abused Love? Because the Chil­dren of Israel (whom God by a mighty Hand, and a stretoh'd­out Arm brought up from the Land of Egypt,) had forgotten GOD their Saviour and lightly esteem'd the Rock of their Salva­tion, therefore, thus said the Lord unto them, by the Pro­phet Amos; You only have I known, (or favour'd in a more sig­nal Manner,) of all the Families of the Earth; therefore I will punish (more severely punish) you for all your Iniquities. And the Psalmist assures Us, that when GOD brought forth His People with Joy, and His Chosen with Gladness, His Great and Just Expectation was, That they might keep His Statutes and observe His Laws. And do not the extraordinary Mer­cies We enjoy oblige Us unto a like answerable Return? Did you not make large Promises unto God, in the Day of Trouble? Did you not then pray and resolve with David; Deliver me, O Lord, from the Oppression of Men, and so will I keep thy Precepts? And are all our Promises, all our Resolu­tions like the hasty Vows of some endanger'd Passengers at Sea? Are they all forgotten now the Storm is, in a great [Page 17] Measure, rebuk'd and laid? To be freed from out late Op­pressions, (of which too many that took timely shelter in a­nother Kingdom, from that violent Tempest which almost overturn'd all in This, are not truly sensible,) what wou'd We have done for Our Deliverer? And yet, how strangely, how unworthily do too many, now, requite a most Gene­rous Monarch for all his Royal Favours, by provoking God with their bold Impieties, to infatuate his Councils, and to destroy his Armies that have so successfully advanc'd in Our Preservation! Let not any wicked Man be so vain as to boast of his great Affection to the Church of England, and Loyalty to his Prince; or of what mighty Things he wou'd attempt for the Honour and Safety of a King, that is the Dread of France, the Delight of the Protestant World, and the Special Favourite of Heaven; that appear'd, at once, a Moses and a Joshua, boldly charging his Enemy in the Field, and boldly praying unto Heaven for Success; Let not, I say; any Man whose Life is not answerable to those great Bles­sings which such a King has, under God, convey'd unto Us, talk at so extravagant a Rate; for He that unsheaths his Sword against our King in Battel, dos not so much shake his Throne as a debauch'd WILLIAMITE: and after all is con­sider'd that can be fear'd from the Dissenters, He will be found to be the most dangerous Non-conformist, whose per­severing wicked Life contradict's Our establish'd Liturgy, in calling for Plague, Pestilence, and Famine, Battel, and Mur­der and sudden Death.

If there be any Gentlemen of the Sword present, let them know that it nearly concern's them to remember and duly ponder these Things: and, more particularly, I leave unto their sober Meditations, that pertinent Injunction in the 23. Chap. of Deut. When the Host goeth forth against thine Ene­my, then keep thee from ev'ry wicked Thing. Observing dili­gently this Law of God, thô they fall in the day of Battel, [Page 18] they may, at last, stand in Glory with those renowned Wor­thies of God (Joshua, Gedeon, Barak, Samson, and David) who, through Faith, so much prevail'd with Heav'n, that they subdu'd Kingdoms, escap'd the Edge of the Sword, were made strong, wax'd valiant in Fight, and turn'd to flight the Armes of the Aliens.

And such Persons as are favour'd with a more easy world­ly Fortune, and are not engag'd in the Fatigues of War, must be told, that being deliver'd from the Hands of their Ene­mies (who had, by the most illegal Methods, seiz'd their Purchases and Inheritances,) if they reasonably expect to keep their Estates, they must keep the Commandments of their God too: Without such Obedience never let them hope to enjoy them with the Blessing of Heaven.

In a Word, let all such as (through the common Calami­ties of War) are fal'n from a plentiful, to a mean Conditi­on in the World, gratefully remember that God has already, and lately, as on this very Morning, made Our Day of Light and Joy break when the Night was darkest; that His Arm never casts down His People lower, than It can reach to lift them up; that, thô Enemies, as bad as the Chaldaean Bands, have destroy'd their Substance in the Land, fal'n upon their Cattel and driven them away, and slain their Servants with the Edge of the Sword; Yet God can be as bountiful unto them, as he was to Job, and bless their latter End more than their Beginning. Many, out of the Abundance of their thankful Hearts, will readily acknowledge, that Providence has restor'd them, in a very considerable Measure, unto that flourishing State which they enjoy'd before, and which they were depriv'd of in, the last Reign. And the Consideration of this shou'd encourage such as have not yet recover'd their former Pro­sperity, to apply unto themselves those Words of the Tema­nite in the 22th. Chap. of Job, (according to the usual Li­mitations of Temporal Promises under the Gospel,) If thou [Page 19] return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up; The Almighty shall be thy Defence, and thou shalt deliver the Island of the Innocent.

And when We are all from the Highest to the Lowest, Rich and Poor (even in Gratitude to God for his past Mer­cies) thus sincerely reform'd, We may boldly address unto the Throne of Grace, for a continu'd, for a more compleat Deliverance: that ev'ry day may be as the First of July un­to our King, and as the Second unto Us All.

On this Day particularly (for a Close of the whole Dis­course) let all true-hearted Protestants, that love their Country and their Religion, jointly petition for Him, in that joyful and comprehensive Acclamation of the Clergy and Peo­ple, at the splendid Inauguration of Charles the Great, (Em­perour of the West) GULIELMO Magno, Piissimo, Augusto, à DEO Coronato, Vita & Victoria. To WILLIAM the Great, most Pious, August, and crown'd by GOD, long Life and Vi­ctory. Amen.


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