A SERMON Preached before the KING ON The 30th of January, 1684/5.

Being the FAST for the Martyrdom of King CHARLES the First of Blessed Memory.

By FRANCIS Lord Bishop of Ely, and Almoner to His MAJESTY.

Published by His Majesties special Command.

LONDON, Printed for Robert Clavell at the Peacock at the West-end of St. Pauls Church-yard. 1685.

ACTS V. 28. later part.

—And intend to bring this Man's Blood upon us.

TO direct and determine our Choice what parts of the Ho­ly Writ are fittest to be dwelt upon by us in our Pulpits, by you in your Closets on this Day (the Anni­versary Memorial of a most horrid Murder, but also of a most glorious Martyrdom) Whose Judgment is so fit to be followed, as His, whom we do now Commemorate, the Blessed and Royal Martyr, escap't from his Murderers, and out of the reach of those hands that were deeply dy'd in his Blood? When his Soul was almost upon the Wing, ready to take it's flight, and the Angels stood waiting to conduct it [Page 2] to the Place of Blifs, whither Christ was gone before; Then He did with strong Consolation reflect, and with intense De­votion did He meditate on the Story of the Passion, as the Lesson appointed of old by the Church for this day of the Month, but then the most Seasonable, and now the most proper Lesson for this His Day.

The Words I have chosen are in the Continuation of that Story, relating the Consequences of the Passion, the hea­vy Consequences that were like to fall up­on the Betrayers and Murderers of that Just One, Titles which St. Stephen, the next Martyr after Him, gave Them and Him. Yet I do not intend to draw any studi­ed Parallels between the Passion of our Lord, the Lord from Heaven, and the Suf­ferings of an Earthly Prince, though as So­veraign a Prince, and as Sacred as any of those whom the Holy Ghost has call'd the Christ's, or Anointed of God: For, although the Royal Prophet has said to all other Kings, Ye are Gods, yet our Solemn Mourning at this time is enough to put us in mind of what he subjoyns immediate­ly, but ye shall dye like men; of which [Page 3] this bloody Day gave the most fatal Instance, and the most amazing one that was ever given. But infinitely more astonishing was the fall of him whom the Prophet Daniel styles Messiah the Prince, though he lov'd to style himself the Son of Man; yet in all his Life and Death there was so much of a God, that we may ask concerning that King of Kings, such a Question as himself asks concerning the Kingdom of God, by what Comparison shall we compare him? Most Parallels are hard and stiff, and come up lamely, but in this case they would look too bold and swelling: They would offend the tender Piety of that most Christian King, if he in Heaven could hear them: [...], as St. Gre­gory Nazianzen speaks, where he speaks in his Rhetorical way, to the Soul of the dead Emperor, If in those Regions of Bliss be knew what was doing here below. There­fore I shall not strain the Circumstances of one Tragic story to make it resemble the other; yet safely I may say in Gene­ral, our most devout Prince made it his Prayer, made it the Labor of his Life, as the Apostle had done, That he might [Page 4] know Christ, and the Fellowship of his Suf­ferings, being made conformable to his Death: And this Prayer of his was so favourably heard, that he might have said with an humble Confidence after that same blessed Apostle St. Paul (who also was beheaded for the Testimony of Jesus) I fill up that which is behind of the Afflictions of Christ in my Flesh: And again, The Sufferings of Christ abound in me.

To let my self into my own most pro­per Business and Task at this time, I must open the matter of Fact, as it stood in that Conjuncture when these words of my Text were spoken, by some of the Chief Leaders among the Jews. They had shed the blood of their God, their King, their Messias; yet they would fain have shifted off the Guilt from themselves; but still the Apostles thought it their part to put it extremely home upon them. A curs­ed prevailing Party among the Jews, the Pharisees and Sadducees, had Conspired, or in plain terms, a Race of abominable Hypo­crites, had combin'd with a Crew of de­testable and damnable Atheists (such a Jun­to, as the like never was before, nor ever [Page 5] since has been, except our late Regicides) These men had at length gain'd the Peo­ple from Christ, and gotten them, or enow of them on their side, to be in­stant with loud Clamors, Crucifie him, Crucifie him. When they had done the Deed, then they would have silenc'd the Cry of his Blood against them. They Menac'd, Imprison'd, and Haras'd all those who had the Courage to charge them with the Guilt, though at the same time these Preachers of the Gospel had the Charity to shew them how they might sue out their Pardon. But how ungrateful and unwelcome a thing is Truth where it shews ill men to themselves! Though Pilate had the hardiness to ask our Lord Christ, What is Truth? yet he durst not stay for his Answer.

And now what would not these Mis­creants give for an Act of Oblivion; that they might forget the thing they had done, and the very Name of the Person might be forgotten! Ye intend, say they, to bring this Man's blood upon us, but it was grievous to them to say the Blood of Jesus. That there was such a Man put to [Page 6] Death, they must needs acknowledge, that They had been the Accusers, They the Solici­tors, They the Petitioners for Justice and Ex­ecution upon him, they could not deny. Pilate indeed would gladly have been but Passive: But for Them, so Active were They, that no body needed to bring this Man's Blood upon them: For, to ease that tame Wretch, the Governor, who ought to have drawn his Sword instead of washing his Hands, they had call'd this Blood upon themselves, and upon all their Posterity, His Blood be upon us, and upon our Children.

Their meaning then in my Text was this; You intend to bring this Man's Blood upon us, as if it were Innocent Blood, nay, as if it were the Blood of our Messias; you would make us Guilty, not only of Homi­cide, but of Regicide, nay even of Dei­cide, as if we had shed the Blood of God, whereas He whom ye style your King was delivered up as a Malefactor, was Try'd as a Subject, and Condemn'd as a Traytor to the Government, so that it was no Murder, but an Execution. But ye have fill'd Jerusalem with your Doctrines, there was the galling Point, that these great Preachers regain'd [Page 7] the People apace; and then, those proud Demagogues that were lately so very go­verning, must lose their dear Popularity, and fall from their Empire to be mark't and pointed out for the Men of Blood.

The words being thus explain'd, do na­turally offer and afford us these Observati­ons. And,

  • 1. First, How backward are the most bloody Zealots to Confess the guilt of Blood? How for­ward to acquit themselves from so just a Charge?
  • 2. How necessary it is, how absolutely neces­sary, to lay them open, to shew men of Blood their own guilt?
  • 3. Ʋpon whom should we intend to bring the guilt of Blood? Ʋpon none but those that have brought it upon themselves. And Who are those?
  • 4. Fourthly, In all this we should mainly intend, that which the Apostles intended, to bring even the most Guilty to true Repentance.

1. How backward are the most bloody Zea­lots to Confess the Guilt of Blood? How forward to acquit themselves from so just a Charge?

Exactly at this pass are our English Re­gicides; They kill'd and took possession, as Eliah charges Ahab in the Case of Naboth. Yet [Page 8] was their Case worse by far than that be­tween Ahab and Naboth, a King and one In­nocent Subject; for this the Regicides did to a great number of their Innocent fellow Subjects; and this they did to a King as Eminent for all manner of Goodness, as Ahab was remarkable for Extream Wicked­ness. Yet if the Prophet Eliah should come again (as some are of Opinion he shall come at the end of the World, but if he should come) at this time to deliver his Master's Errand to any of these, he must expect no better Reception than Ahab gave Him, Hast thou found me, O mine Enemy? for he be­comes their Enemy that tells them the Truth. Yet for all That, Eliah like a Prophet from God immediately goes on, I have found thee.

How gladly would they part with this o­dious Business out of their own Memories? And how do they abhor us only for doing our Duty, as the Apostles did here, Cal­ling their Sins to Remembrance? They ap­ply to this matter that saying of the Wise­man, The Repetition of a matter separateth very Friends. They would be Friends with us, if we could find in our hearts to be their Flatterers. They Complain as if it [Page 9] were ill-natur'd, as if it were Uncharitable and Unchristian to mention their murder­ing of the King, as if it were high time the Act for observing the Thirtieth of January were Repealed, as if it were almost as great a Grievance as the 35th of the Queen.

To shew I do this sort of men no wrong, How very few, if any of those who took upon them to act as the King's Judges, would take the Christian shame upon them­selves, when they came to suffer, or profess the least regret for what they had acted? Preach Repentance to them! (as was done to Several of them before their Deaths) they would have us to know their names were inroll'd in the Book of Life, their Cal­ling and Election was sure. And some of the last words which the Arch-Traytor was heard to utter were such as These, I am sure I was once in Christ, therefore ever in Christ. I have kept it ever since for a Reply upon some well-meaning, but ill-instructed Peo­ple, who are ready to Despair if they do not satisfie themselves of their being in the State of Certainty when they are dying; that some of These, whose hands were so full of blood, yet were as full of this false Security, [Page 10] as the most glorious Martyrs were of the true One.

If it were needful to give any more In­stances, I might shew by later Examples of the same Party, to what a Reprobate Sense men may be given up, that have once Sear'd their Consciences to stop their own bleeding at heart while they are shedding innocent Blood with their own hands, while they break into Houses, massacre Innocent men in their Beds, mangle them with such Cru­elty as the like was scarce ever heard of since Dolabella perform'd his Barbarous Exploit in the dead of Night, upon Trebonius: But that was for his being one of Caesar's Murder­ers: Whereas these poor Sufferers were Guilty of no Crime, but their being of his Majesties Guards. And yet these same Mon­sters do in their Declarations solemnly pro­test they hold no Cruel Principles, they would by no means be mistaken for men of Blood.

But the more Confident they are of their own Innocence, and the more they turn away their Impudent eyes from seeing their own Guilt; the more absolutely necessa­ry it is for us to lay it before them, which leads to my Second Part.

[Page 11] 2. In this we do but follow the great Examples before us, we do as was done by the Apostles: And this ought to be done not barely for the sake of those that are guilty, but also for the securing and pre­serving our own Innocence; for He that hates his Brother is a Murderer, says the Apo­stle, and he that Suffers Sin upon him, or does not reprove him for it, is, in another place of Scripture, supposed to hate him. Nor could St. Paul have enter'd this Protestati­on, I take you to Record this Day that I am pure from the blood of all men; but that he was able to add, for I have not shunn'd to de­clare unto you, all the Counsel of God.

Besides, we are well aware that the voice of the meanest Blood, much more of the Royalest, if it still crys from the Earth, will pluck down more Judgments from Hea­ven: and that the most Innocent private man, the most unspotted from Blood, may yet be involv'd in those public Calamities. We turn the Case upon our Selves, the Case in the Second of Samuel, that there was a Famine in the days of David three years, year after year, and David enquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and for [Page 12] his bloody House, because he slew the Gibeonites, for the Children of Israel had sworn unto them, and Saul sought to slay them.

I do very well remember how pressingly this Case of the Gibeonites was urged in fa­vour of those Murderers of the King, that had render'd themselves. But I must needs say it had been more pertinently urg'd, if instead of Saul's putting to Death the Gibeo­nites after they had made a Covenant with Israel, the Gibeonites had put King Saul to Death by vertue of a Covenant made among themselves, without their King, and against Him. Now suppose those Gibeonites, that were no better than Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water to Israel, had Constituted some of their Draymen a High-Court of Ju­stice to Murder King Saul, with a shew of Authority on their Side; Then had a Fa­mine ensu'd, had a War follow'd upon That, had a Pestilence began where the War had ended, had the Capital City, in which such a Tragedy was acted, been reduc'd to Ashes, and after all That had the Famine begun a­gain; David would scarce have needed to Consult the Oracle of God to Discover one great Cause of so many Judgments.

Since then Almighty God, when he makes Inquisition for Blood, he remembers them, and forgets not the Cry of the humble, as David (the Party concern'd in the former Case) has set it down, Psal. 9. 12. We had best make strict Enquiry, and consider well, (as the Apostles did here before they would charge any with the Blood of Christ,) upon whom we intend and ought to bring this fearful Guilt of Royal Christian Bloodshed. Ʋpon none but Those, that in a higher or lower Degree, in a greater or less proportion, have brought it upon themselves. And who are those? which must be my third Consideration.

3. Since Actions full of Horror and Asto­nishment, if they are long deliberated, and done with Form (as was the Deed of this day) are never done without that which the Sto­ics call a Prolepsis, that is a deep and firm per­suasion of mind that such Actions are both lawful and necessary to be done; they that establish the Principle by which the minds of men are set and fixt on Such Actions, must be Responsible for the next immediate visi­ble and unavoidable consequence of their own Principle.

When the Principle is once Rivetted in [Page 14] the heart, there is nothing so desperate or so damnable, but men will go through it without fear. Women among the Bar­barians will ascend the Funeral Piles of their dead Husbands, and smile as they give their own Bodies to be burnt to Ashes. Yea, very Children have suffer'd Torments, not only patiently, but joyfully, for a false Re­ligion strongly impress't upon them, instead of the true one. Whoever therefore confirm and harden others in King-killing Principles must bear a share in the Guilt, though not they, but others shed the Blood of Kings, because such Principles strike at all Kings, for they strike at the Kingly Office it self, and they do it once for all: As the Son of Zerviah offer'd to Smite King Saul, and so as he should not need to Smite him a second time.

Now upon this Supposition, as I shall shew anon, that some who came into the World since our present Gracious Soveraign began to Reign, have brought upon themselves the blood of his Royal Father by defending the Re­gicide; so others that liv'd some Ages before that dismal Period of time, did as it were ante­date the Guilt by introducing odious Pre­sidents, or laying down wicked Premisses [Page 15] long ago, from whence these late Great Of­fenders follow'd their footsteps, or drew their abhorred Conclusions.

Out of the many Instances of this kind, which I could easily produce, I shall men­tion but a very few against two Parties. Those of the one Party do pass in the Church of Rome for true Catholics. Those of the other Party would fain pass among Ʋs for the true Protestants. Both Parties are as opposite each to the other, as they are to Ʋs and the Truth, yet both of them agreed in the main Design to Confound Monarchy.

Pope Zachary was (I think) the first, who pretended to exercise a power of Absolving Subjects from their Oaths of Allegiance, whereupon a King of France, Childeric the Third, was depos'd as unfit for Government, the ancient Royal Family was laid aside till it was at last extinguisht, the Crown of France was set on another Head, and settled on another Family.

Now I may truly say, That Bishop of Rome laid a Foundation for many a following Rebellion, even That Rebellion arising so long after from the Holy League. And Gre­gory the Seventh, the first who avow'd open­ly [Page 16] that pestilent Heresy, call'd by his Name, the Hildebrandian Heresy of the Deposing, and if need were, the King-killing-power, made way for the Clements, the Ravillacs, and the Powder-Traytors. And T. Aquin. him­self, for all he is Sainted, and stands as the Pillar of their Schools; yet deliver'd this for good School-Divinity, That, as soon as any Prince is denounc'd Excommunicate for Aposta­cy from the Faith, his Subjects are ipso facto free from his Dominion over them, and from the Oath of Fidelity by which they were bound to him. I must needs say, whoever they are that bring such Principles as these for Chri­stian Doctrine into the Church, they attempt to give the State, and the Kingly Office it self, a mortal wound; They do their best to set up the Court of Rome as a standing High-Court of Justice over all Kings.

And then for the other Party, Knox and Buchanan, with the rest of those old Leaders to Rebellion, as well as Milton, and several later Patrons of the Good Old Cause, they shall one day be star'd in the face by all that pre­tious Blood which their Writings encourag'd others to shed so prodigally. And Calvin himself is inexcusable, who clearly enough [Page 17] discovers his ill-meaning, though he thinks fit to shew it but in half-lights, to disguise it with Ifs or Ands, with a perhaps, or it may be. If there be now, says he, any popular Of­ficers ordain'd to moderate the Licentiousness of Kings (such as were the Ephori set up of old a­gainst the Kings of Sparta, the Tribunes of the People, against the Roman Consuls, and the Demarchi against the Athenian Senate, and with which power, says he, perhaps, as the world now goes, the Three Estates are seiz'd in each several Kingdom, when they are Solemnly Assembled;) so far am I, says he, from hindring them to put restraints upon the exorbitant Power of Kings, as their Office binds them; that I con­ceive them, says he, rather to be guilty of a per­fidious Dissimulation, if they connive at Kings when they play the Tyrants, or wantonly insult on the Common People, in that, says he, they treacherously betray the Subjects Liberties.

This was, as a certain Learned Author just­ly terms it, a Stumbling-block of Disobedience and Rebellion, cunningly laid by Calvin in the Subjects way. And so it prov'd; for this Doctrine was quickly improv'd into Applica­tion and Ʋse; As the same Author tells us from another, that the Commissioners from [Page 18] Scotland endeavor'd to justifie their pro­ceedings before Q. Elizabeth against their unfortunate Soveraign Q. Mary, by those very words of Calvin which I have repeated, from whence they inferr'd, That it was lawful for them to put evil Princes into Prison, and al­so to deprive them of their Kingdoms.

Nor is it any great wonder, after this De­termination from Him who was an Oracle with them of Switzerland and Geneva, That (in spight of all that honest Deodati had de­clared against our Rebellion) they afforded a friendly Reception, and gave the right hand of Fellowship to some of those whom they knew to have been at the Top of that bloody Cabal, which past the Sentence upon the King.

Indeed this Principle leads directly to the Trial of a King by his Subjects; it exposes the Majesty of Princes to be made a Cruel Pageant to their People, as one of our Re­publican Assassins is reported to have urg'd, that the King whom they promis'd to make a glorious King, might be array'd in his Robes, and brought to the Scaffold with the Crown on his Head, to shew, that together with the Monarch they would cut off the Monarchy [Page 19] it self. This Principle (one of Calvin's Insti­tutions) in it's own natural and necessary tendency would set up a High Court of the Three Estates in each Kingdom, as another stand­ing High Court of Justice over each King.

But to come nearer home to our own times, Ʋpon whom now do we intend, and upon whom ought we to bring the guilt of this Day?

Intending to bring the guilt of any man's blood, but especially the blood of a King, upon any that are not guilty, and so to murder their good Name, which is as it were a man's other Life; such a Calumny would be a Crime little less than killing the Body of a Fellow-Subject. But on the other side to ac­quit the guilty, is of equal abomination as to con­demn the Innocent.

This place in the Proverbs was notorious­ly misapply'd and abus'd by One, of ever cur­sed Memory, whom they styl'd the President of their Court, when he brought this place to justifie that Diabolical Sentence he was about to pass on an Innocent Person, and an Impe­rial Prince, a Crown'd Head accountable to none but God. But now the place is justly apply'd, when it is thus retorted upon Him and Them, who sate in that Hellish Court of [Page 20] Mock Justice, who all exprest their assent by standing up, as was before agreed and order'd. They gloried in the Act at their Deaths, as they made it the pride of their Lives. Their Ghosts would be offended, and think their names affronted, if they should not for ever stand in red Letters, as they have written their own Characters in Royal Blood.

For those that fought against him, those that betray'd and deliver'd him into the hands of his Murderers; Those that made Treaties with him ineffectual, by clogging them with such hard Conditions, as neither his Honour nor his Conscience might Comply withal; Those that bred Parliamentary De­lays till the Army had gain'd their point, and were come up to the City; such must be put in mind, at least once a year, that they may apply to themselves the Case of the Jews, who did but deliver up Christ to the Romans, and yet St. Peter tells them, Ye have crucified him. Nay, they may apply the Case of Judas, who, it appears by the Story, did not imagine the Jews would have gone so far a­gainst his Lord and Master, as to press the Sentence of Death against him; for when he saw that he was Condemn'd, Judas repented him­self, [Page 21] and brought again the Thirty pieces of Sil­ver, a farther Step than ever I heard was made by any of these Traytors, to make a vo­luntary Restitution, as he did, of the price of blood. Very few of them would make such a Confession as he did, I have sinned in that I have betrayed Innocent Blood.

But as that furious Crisis, that woful Con­juncture is over; as most of those execrable Wretches have born their own Judgment; so I would to God the Guilt of that Sacred Blood might fall on no more Heads than such as those that stand as Monuments of their own Barbarity. But, good God! what shall we think when men unborn in that fatal year of Forty eight, shall act at so high a rate of almost incredible, yet most de­monstrable Villany, as to derive that horri­ble Regicide upon themselves? As the Apostle supposes that some had Crucify'd Christ over afresh; So Christ himself supposes, that all the Blood shed from the time of righteous Abel, should be required of that Generation. And so it may be of This. And Some that had no Being in the Reign of the late good King, and others that were none of his Subjects, may involve themselves in the same guilt by Owning, Ju­stifying [Page 22] and Glorifying (as much as they can) some others that bore a part in it. Old Voet that abominable Divinity Professor at Ʋtrecht, whom Honourable Witnesses have heard Catechizing his Scholars, and explaining the the Sixth Commandment, Thou shalt do no Murder, but putting this Answer into their Mouths, That putting our King to Death was no Murder at all; He, though a Foreigner, one that liv'd so far off, yet he brought this Blood upon himself. And 'tis to be fear'd he left also Sanguinary stains upon the Minds of some his too easy Disciples.

So Those that set up Fanatic Schools, and their Country Academies here at home, on purpose to breed up their Children so as to make them Rebels, if occasion shews; if ever they have another Day for it (as they use to speak) such Parents go far towards the ma­king Regicides both of themselves and their Children. The wise Ʋlysses is brought upon the Stage by the Tragedian expressing an im­patience to think that the Trojans should steal away young Astyanax the Son of Hector, as if, after an end was put to the long Trojan War, they liv'd still in hopes that he might one day Head them to retrieve their Cause: Bel­la [Page 23] Telemacho parant; They are contriving, says he, to bring the Calamity of another War upon my Son Telemachus. So such as Spirit away our Youth into the Disaffected Commonwealth-Party, are studying to bring New Miseries upon our Childrens Children: They go the way to entail the Paricide Committed on the Father of their Country, to bring it upon the Postnati, the Children born after the Crime was acted: They com­municate Sin and Mischief from one Genera­tion to another, as a wise Patriot said concern­ing the Accomplices of Cataline, who had taken exquisite Care to Corrupt the Gentry of Rome, that although Catiline were gone, yet if such as were of his breeding continued among them, they would prove a Catilinarian Seminary in the Commonwealth. Nay such among us take an effectual Course, not on­ly to propagate, but to perpetuate the Guilt of the Blood that was shed this day: for at this rate it will run on in Infinitum, and till the end of the World there will be no end of blood touching Blood, as the Prophet Ho­seah speaks: and they bring it upon themselves, all they that are in the same Association, the same Bond of Iniquity with the mad Zea­lots, [Page 24] though they are not so far gone into the Gall of Bitterness: Yea, they draw on their own heads the blood of those also whom the hand of Authority strikes with the Sword of Justice; of those, upon whom they would fain shift off from themselves the name of the Fanatic or Frantic Party.

And now if we have brought the guilt of Blood upon many who hitherto perhaps thought themselves perfectly guiltless; how can we help it? How can they avoid it? 'Tis their burden, and they must bear it. And yet, for those Guilty men who are still in the Land of the Living, we intend to lay it upon those, only to make them feel it as a Burden too heavy for them to bear, that they may give a mighty Spring from under so great a Load. For,

4. In the fourth and last place (of which very briefly). We mainly intend, as the Apostles intended, to bring even the most guilty to true Repentance.

One that was justly reputed a great States­man, as well as a good Citizen of Rome, and the noblest Orator, made this Complaint: Either our Foreign Enemies, says he, are o­vercome in fight, and then they Serve us; or, if [Page 25] they are taken into our Friendship, they are ob­lig'd to us in generosity. But if any of our own Countrymen are once debauch'd into so high a degree of Frenzy, as to declare themselves Ene­mies to their Country; These, says he, when you have represt them from destroying the Com­monwealth, yet you can hardly restrain them by any Force, or reconcile them by any Fa­vour.

By a long sad Experience we find this Observation is too true. Most of the Shi­mei's that have once lift up their Voice in Curses against the King, and lift up their Hand to sling Stones at his Sacred Head, though they be heartily forgiven, yet they will keep no bounds, but transgress again the most easy Conditions given them. They that have brought the Royal Blood upon themselves, can scarce be prevail'd withal to make any stop, till by some new Trea­sonable Attempt, they bring their own Blood also on their own Heads: and so did these in the Text, these whom the Apostles do thus Accuse for shedding the Blood of Jesus: (whom ye slew and hang'd on à Tree) although they were told in the very next words, that he was ready to impart that Grace, which [Page 26] no earthly Prince can bestow, to give Repen­tance as well as forgiveness of Sins; yet it fol­lows, When they heard this they were cut to the heart, and took Counsel to slay them.

And yet but two Chapters before, a great number, whom St. Peter charges Ye have Crucify'd him, when they heard this, were prickt to the heart, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the Apostles, Men and Brethren, What shall we do? He bids them Repent, and with many words he exhorts them, Save your selves from this untoward Generation Whereupon a Multitude of them came over that same day; one short plain Sermon converted three thousand of Christ's Murderers: And I make no doubt, not a few of those that were carry'd away with the Dissimulation of the men of malice among us, have been converted by the Blessing of God, and the preaching every Thirtieth of January more than Three thousand Sermons.

There is still a healing Principle in the Blood of Christ. The Lamb of God that was slain; that is, design'd to be slain, from the beginning of the World, takes away the Sin of the World, that is, he gives his Grace to all that are ready to receive it, for the taking [Page 27] away of Sin, all the whole heap of Sin, e­ven this Sin which lies so hard upon many, of Shedding the Blood of Kings. For Christ did his part to expiate even for those that shed his own Blood, and that was the Blood of God. No Traytor, if he be penitent, ought to Despair, but his Spirit may be Sav'd in the Day of the Lord Jesus, since our Blessed Saviour has said it, St. Luke 22. This is my Blood which is shed for you (speaking to all that were present) nevertheless the hand of him that betrayeth me, is with me on the Table: Therefore Judas himself, the foulest Traytor, had a Share in the Blood of Christ, if he would have put in his Claim to it, He had offer'd him, if he would have accepted the Grace of Repentance.

And in that weighty Christian Duty, in order to which this Divine Grace is extend­ed to all Mankind, we are all of us deeply concern'd: Since alas! we are none of those whom our Saviour calls just men that need no Repentance; for as many of us as have broken our Baptismal and Sacramental Vows are Guilty of the Death and Passion which Christ once suffer'd for us upon the Cross.

And for those of Us that were men, knowing Good and Evil, before this abomi­nable Fact of Murdering the King (for it was done within the memory of Man, and of many in this numerous Audience) We are not able to say (u [...]ss we deceive our selves as Pilate did) that we are Innocent of the Blood of this just Person. The Crown is fallen from our Head, Wo unto us for we have sinn'd; Such was the Lamentation of the Prophet Jeremiah upon such a Calami­ty as ours was, and with great Reason, such was his Reflection on the Cause of that public dreadful Calamity, Their Na­tional Crying Sins. And the same Ac­count is given by a great Divine, as well as a most wise Prince, King Solomon, That when the Providence of God permits such strange Revolutions, and suffers Kingdoms to degenerate into Commonwealths; 'tis for the Transgression of a Land many are the Princes thereof. Our repeating the Old ex­tream Provocations (since God is a Righte­ous Judge, Strong and Patient, and God is provoak'd every Day) may bring upon us new Judgments, such as we cannot fore­see, and such as we should not be able to [Page 29] endure the sight of. Correct us, O Lord, but in thy Judgment, not in thy Fury, least thou bring us to nothing. And God in his mer­cy, if it be his blessed Will, punish us any way, rather than that his Judgments should ever again be any thing such as the last were, that they should touch the Lord's Anointed; or that God should suffer men to ride over our Heads, as the Psalmist speaks; or that the Lord should cover the Daughter of Sion (the Church) with a Cloud in his An­ger, and cast down from Heaven unto Earth the Beauty of Israel. Lamentable things to be reflected upon! But that nothing like them may ever return upon us, it lyes up­on us all to pursue, with a vigorous Chri­stian Resolution, the Apostles Precept and Injunction upon all those, that were any way concern'd in the matter of my Text; Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your Sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord. Which presence we may be con­fident the Blessed Martyr of this day, was on this day so long ago as he became a Mar­tyr, admitted to enjoy: There to live and [Page 30] reign for ever with the Lord, in whose pre­sence is the fulness of joy, and at [...]se right hand there is pleasure for ever more. To which, &c.


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