Breach of Covenant, A RVINATING SINNE. As it was preached at Clare in Suff. Novemb. 3. And now published for the good of adjoyning parts, especi­ally those of Hinkford Hundred in Essex. By a Country Minister.


Edmond Calamy,

London Printed by Tho. Paine, for Edward Blackmore. in Pauls Church Yard, at the signe of the Angell. 1648.

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BREACH OF COVENANT, A Ruinating Sinne.

Hosea 10. chap. 4. ver. 7

They have spoken words, swearing falsly in making a Covenant: Thus Judgment springeth up as Hemlock in the furrows of the feild.

THe Lord discovering his purpose to smite the people of Israel, and to ruinate them, doth, for the clearing of his justice, by the Prophet discover their sinnes, which provoak't him to do this thing: this, through the whole former part of this prophecy.

In the beginning of this chapter, the Prophet from the Lord gives in charge against them divers sinnes.

1 Ingratitude towards God, manifested in their self-seeking, and self-confidence, ver. 1. Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit to himself. The people are nothing for God, nothing for goodnesse, Gods worship, his waies and will, they are all for themselves, their own fancies, vanities, &c. or else, Though the Lord goe about to strip this people bare, yet they think by their Idolatries to secure themselves.

2. Division, heart-division. ver. 2. Their heart is divided, divided from God, from goodnesse, yea amongst themselves one from ano­ther through pride, peevishnesse, envie, malice, coveteousnesse, one for this way, another for that way, &c. One heart with God, for God, in God is a great blessing, and that which God imparts only in a day of [Page 2] love; but a divided heart, a double heart is a great curse.

3 Abuse of pollicy, of Magistracy, of lawfull government, verse 3. (For now they shall say) we have no King, &c. This they did two wayes.

First, In an overvaluing way, looking too much to their King, trusting in him, and setting him up in the room of God. Oh a King shall save, a King shall help, &c. thus as the words are here translated, God will break this their staffe, and bring down their high lookes in this regard; Now they shall say we have no King, &c. the time hastens wherein the Lord will overthrow their government, take their King away, make them slaves to strangers, and then they shall be forced to confesse, that because they feared not the Lord, their King could doe nothing for them to secure them, to settle them.

Secondly, in an undervaluing way slighting government, and con­temning it, setting light by their Kings; thus, as the words are tran­slated in the present tense. For now they say, we have no King: for wee feare not God, what then hath a King to doe with us? Having cast off the feare of God, they did cast off all feare of Government; they would not have their Kings command them, they would command their Kings; they claimed a lawlesse liberty every man resolving to do what he pleases, and would no further regard their Governours nor their laws then as they suited with their lusts. This is evident in the history of those times.

4. The fourth sinne given in charge against them is mentioned in the text; wherein we have two parts.

First, the sinne it self, plainly expressed, this is perjury, breach of Covenant. They have spoken words, swearing falsly in making a Covenant.

Secondly, the fruit of this sinne wrapped up under Metaphors. Thus iudgement springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field. This fruit is two fold according to the divers interpretation of this latter part of the verse.

First it brought down judgement from God, awakened wrath in him, and caused him to set himself against them, and to follow them with his plagues; it caused God to bring downe judgement upon them.

1. Certain and sudden judgement. Thus iudgement springs up, Gods judgements come in upon them when they think not of them, they increase insensibly, Gods hand is out against them day and night, their judgment slumbers not, slacks not.

2. Banefull, and bitter judgement. Iudgement springs up as Hem­lock, a banefull weed; as Wormewood, a bitter herbe: Gods hand, that is out against them, and his judgements that are upon them, poyson their comforts, imbitter their sweets, cause them to wast and con­sume, bring them to deaths doore.

3. Generall judgement; Iudgement springs up in the furrows of the field, in all parts, in all places; Gods hand out against them in the City, and Gods hand out against them in the Country, the wrath of God followes them in every place, and spreads over the whole land, though the people are insensible of it. This is one fruit of their per­jury, and Breach of Covenant.

Secondly, It corrupted judgement among men (for this also is the Iudgement here meant) it overthrew Iustice, and righteousnesse, and faithfull dealing, and bred injustice, cruelty, oppression, and this in all the furrowes; in all parts of the Land, in all Courts of Iustice, in all places of Iudgement; the poore oppressed people sought for help, and men in place seemed to hold forth an helping hand; but the remedy was worse than the disease, the Iustice administred was banefull, the Iudgement pronounced was bitter. These were the fruits of Israel's breach of Covenant; the face of Heaven was clouded upon them, Gods wrath abode on them there was nothing but confusion and dis­order in the State, till the Assyrian, Gods scourge, came and swept them wholly away. All this is evident in the history of the King­dom of Jsrael in it's old age; me [...]ti [...]g times, the times that immediat­ly did praecede the removall of this people out of the Land of pro­mise. Thus have you the state of these words; the matter of them being a discovery of those Iudgements that did hasten Jsraels ruine, and a principall sinne that did cause those Iudgements. I have at pre­sent but one lessen to hold forth from them, namly this.

Doct Breach of Covenant, swearing falsly in making a Cove­nant, is a very ruinating sinne.

Jn the handling of this J shall shew you. 1. What breach of Co­venant brings ruine. 2. How breach of Covenant brings ruine up­on a people, or a person, that are guilty of it. 3. Why this is a ruinating sinne. The two former serve for explication, The latter for confir­mation of the point.

1. What breach of Covenant brings ruine; That ye may the bet­ter understand this, know there is a twofold Covenant, a twofold [Page 4] Oath made and sworn by men, in a promissory way.

1. Jllicitum, impium, an unlawfull Covenant, a wicked and hellish Oath,Not of an un­lawfull Oath. when men covenant and sweare to doe that which is in it self utterly unlawfull, opposing directly Gods glory, humane society, our own or our Neighbours good.1. Sam. 25.22. ver. 32.3. Such was Davids Oath, which he made in his passion, of cutting off all that belonged to Nabal's familie: The good man when he comes to himselfe, blessed God for his pre­venting grace in sending Abigail to be an instrument of hindring him from acting such horrid crueltie.Mar. 6.22, 23. Such was Herods Oath in swearing to doe any thing (though never so unjust) for the dancing Dam­zell. Such was the vow of those Assassinats that out of blind zeale, covenanted to murther Paul. Or when men covenant to neglect to doe that which the Law of God and of Nature calls for:Acts 23.12.13. Such was that Covenant and Ʋow which the Seribes and Pharises taught their Disciples to make conscience of, therein making void Gods com­mand and maitaining their own traditions, mentioned by our Saviour, Mat. 15.5, 6. The breach of such a Covenant, such an Oath as this, is not ruinating; yea the keeping of it hastens ruine, while men herein add wickednes to wickednes. Such covenants, such oathes are to be repented of, are not to be performed.

But of a law­full Oath,2. Licitum, pium, A lawfull Covenant, an honest, a lawfull oath, when men solemnly engage themselves either to God, or man for the performing of such things as are agreeable to the revealed will of God, conduce to the advancement of Gods glory, the furtherance of humane society, and our own or our Neighbours good; or for the avoiding, and laying aside of such things as fight against any of these. This is binding whether it be absolute or conditionall, whether it be voluntary, or coacted, and the breach of such a Covenant, the falsi­fying of such an oath, is the sinne that the Prophet gives in charge a­gainst this people of Jsraell in this place.Men guilty of breach of Co­ [...]enant. This is that sinne that brings ruine upon all those that abide under the guilt of it. Now the guilt of this sinne is contracted.

VVhen they Covenant [...]shlyFirst, when men covenant rashly, sweare unadvisedly, engaging themselves solemnly, for the doing of that, and the avoiding of that which they are wholly ignorant of, and have no wayes in their pow­er; when men make covenanting and swearing a matter of forme, a thing of no weight. Thus in the text, They have spoken words, (saith the Prophet) they let oathes, and covenants passe as freely from them [Page 5] yea they make no more of solemn covenanting either with God, or man then of letting fall so many words, which are but wind. The Lords rule concerning swearing is plaine, and full, Jer. 4.2. Thou shalt swear the Lord liveth in truth, in Judgement, and in Righteousnes. Our oaths must be squared by the lines of verity, discretion, and Charity. He that sweares rashly incurrs guilt as well as he that sweares a lye or an unjust thing, for doth not he also take Gods name in vaine? Thence it is that the Lord makes that law concerning him that sweares rashly, inconsideratly, he shall be guilty, and being convinced of sinne, he shall confesse it before the whole congregation, and he shall bring his trespasse offering that the Priest may make an atonement. Leviticus 5.4, 5, 6.

Secondly, when men sweare fasly in making a Covenant,When men sweare falsly. as Israel here, the Prophet gives in Charge against them that they were false in the covenant that they made, either with God or their own King, or the King of Assyria, that had invaded their Land, and made them tributary. Now men are guilty of this severall waies.

1. Men sweare falsly, when they sweare with a false heart,With a false heart. having no purpose to performe their ingagements either to God or man; when men covenant Reformation, but have no heart to reform, when men covenant righteousnes, righteous dealing, but intend to be unjust still. Thus did Israell when they made a Covenant with God in Horeb, they promised God very faire, All that the Lord shall speak we will heare it and doe it, but the heart searching God was well acquaint­ed with their falshood, therefore saith he. They have well said, all that they have spoken. Oh that there were such an heart in them. &c. Deut. 5.27, 28, 29. Thus did the Iewes in Iosiahs dayes, they all covenanted with God for reformation, but they sware falsly, Ier. 5.2. Thus these Israelites to the King of Assyria, they embraced all opportunities of Re­bellion. Thus Zedekiah 2, Chron: 36.13. Memorable was that of our Edward the fourth, who ingaged himself in a solemn oath to the Citizens of Yorke to be true to King Henry, when he was resolved a­fore to recover his Kingly dignity,

2. Men sweare falsly, when they sweare with a false purpose, for a false end, with an intention to deceive, making Oaths and Covenants their stalking horse that they may come neere their prey, a meane to fetch over plain hearted men, and a cover for their own wickednesse, and weaknesse. This hath been the course of wily Atheists, seekers [Page 6] of themselves, and slaves to their own base lusts, that they might the more easily compasse their own ends, and make way for the satisfy­ing of their own cursed lusts. Some their lusts of coveteousnesse, such were Hamor and his Sonne Shechem, who used this plea to bring the men of their City to embrace the Covenant of circumci­sion,Gen 21, 22 22.23. shall not their Cattell, and their substance, and every Beast of theirs be ours? Some their lusts of cruelty and unlawfull revenge; thus Ja­cobs Sonnes will contract a solemn league with the Shechemites, Albert Duke of Franconia having slaine. the Brother of the Emperour Lewes the fourth, and fearing the Emperours displeasure betook himself into the strong castle of Bamberg. The Emperour thirsting after revenge sought for divers yeares together to take the place, but in vain, at length Hatto Arch Bishop of Ments promises to deliver Albert into the Emperours hand. Going therfore to seek him, & pretending friendship, he perswads him to make his peace, and solemnly swears that if he would goe with him to the Emperour, he would bring him back in safety into his castle. Al­bert by this cursed wile going out of his Castle is brought into the power of Lewis, who cuts off his head, and bestowes his castle and goods upon periured Hatto. The Emperour approving periury sa­tisfied his lust of revenge, and the false Bishop, acting it, his lust of coveteousnes; But they both went not long unpunished. that they may the better circumvent them, and avenge themselves on them, for the wrong that was done to their Sister Dinah. Gen. 32.13, &c.

Some their lusts of Ambition, Zedekiah King of Judah being in feare of the Caldeans, who were Masters of the feild, and fought a­gainst the City, makes a Covenant with all the people which were at Hie­rusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them. He brings the Princes and Peo­ple to covenant no more to oppresse their Brethren, no more to make them slaves. At present all act accordingly, they let their Hebrew Servants goe free, but upon the removall of the Caldeans they caused them to return, and brought them into subiection againe. What was the designe? Beloved, Zedekiah and his Princes being in danger seeke to secure themselves, to sit last in their seats, by increasing a party, for this end liberty (a most taking thing with an oppressed people) is so­lemnly purposed. That this was the maine designe is evident; for no sooner is the danger removed, but the Covenant is forgotten and laid aside as out of date. Jt was the brand of Philip Father of Alexander the great, that he despised an oath, and never made conscience of any League or Covenant, yet he made often use of them, for the car­rying on of his owne Ambitious Ends, in the fetching over of sim­ple people,

Some their lusts of pride and envy. Thus Saul adjures the people under a curse not to eate any thing untill the Evening; 1 Sam. 14 24. his pretence is zeale against the enemies, that the pursuit of them may not be hindred, but his designe was to take the glory of the day to himself, being grieved at the heart that any should act gloriously when himselfe had plaid the Coward. Cursed hypocrite! in this he hindred much of that dayes glory. Some of uncleannesse, yea what villany almost can reck­on up, which Atheisticall wretches have not made use of an oath to bring about?

Neither is it any marveile that this hath been so common among wicked men, it being the most ready way to deceive. The Apostle tell us that an oath for confirmation is to men an end of al strife. Heb. 6.16. He that wil not take his word, may be taken by his Neighbours oath. It was the usuall saying of Dionysius the Tyrant. Sicut pueritalis, itae juramentis homines decipiendi; Children must be fetcht over with cock­alls, and men with oaths. And this was the constant practise of Lewes the eleventh of France, and therefore he would have his Sonne learne that latin, though, no more. Qui nescit dissimulare, nescit reguare. It was a saying of one of the French Kings (J remember not at present his name) that he got more by his pen, than the English did by his sword; his meaning was, he got more by false Treaties, than the o­ther did by fair Wars. Such as these are hellish Covenanters; The good Lord keep them out of England, or discover them and bring them to shame if there be any such. The Turkes have had a custome in making Leagues, when they intended falshood, they caused the Articles to be written in a forraign language, and these, though sworn to, they made no conscience of; when they intended Truth▪ they caused them to be written in their own tongue, and these being sworn to by the grand Seignour, were held sacred and inviolable. Jf men will be false, let them weare out-landish stuffes, and not cover themselves with English cloath.

It is a peece of the Character of a man fit to inioy communion with God in his Ordinances here: and rest with God in heaven here­after, that he is one that hath not sworn deceitfully. Psal. 24.4. Deceit­full swearers are worthy to be cast out of the Church, and shall cer­tainly (if they abide such) be kept out of heaven.

3. Men swear falsely,When they break their In­gagements. when having sworn they break their In­gagements, making no conscience of performing those things that [Page 8] they have covenanted for, and sworn unto. And this:

First, Jn a way of Omission, according to the variety of their in­gagement, either to God, or man. When men neglect to doe what they have covenanted for, and sworn unto, when men let that lye in the dust, and be laid aside, or come behind, which they covenanted to advance, and in the first place to regard; when men let that live, and connive at that which they have by an oath doomd to death, and sworne to extirpate. Thus did Israel, they kept not the Covenant of God. Psal. 78.10. They Covenanted to embrace all that God should injoyne them, but they refused to walke in his law: They Cove­nanted to serve God with the best, and to their utmost to advance his worship and service, but a small matter must serve Gods turne, and what they can spare must content him. But Cursed be the decei­ver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing. Mal. 1.14. They covenanted to lay aside all Superstition, all will-Worships. But they Provoked God to anger with their high places, Psal. 78.58. This brings to remembrance those pas­sages we have concerning Asa. 2 Chron. 15. He and his people cove­nanted to seek God, that is to serve, to worship God only, and this in strength of zeale and integrity: yea they covenanted to bring to condign-punishment any person that shall act otherwise, and that impartially. ver. 12, 13. This very Covenant at that juncture of time was very ta­king, for all Iudah reioyced at the Oath. But marke (I pray) what fol­lowes, Maacoh his mother is marked indeed for her Idolatry, deposed from her reigning, but not condignly punished according to the Co­venant. Yea the high places were not taken away. ver. 16.17. So soon, so easily can men grow cold in performing that which they have most solemnly sworn.

Secondly, in a way of Commission, when men Act contraty to their ingagements, doing that which they have covenanted against; when men swearing to advance holinesse, live prophanely covenanting for Truth, countenance Error, when men sweare to endeavour Union, and nourish Division, professe zeale, and act formality, when men co­venant righteousnes, and to give all men their iust dues, but live upon spoile, and practise deceipt and robbery. Thus did Jsrael here, they acted contrary to their Covenant both with God, and man. Thus did Achan in taking of the accursed thing, sacriligiously embezilling that, and impropriating it to his private use, which was by solemn cove­nant [Page 9] devoted to the advancement of Gods worship and service. See Josh. 7, 11. &c. And was not Saul a periur'd person who sweare that David should not be slaine (1. Sam 19, 6.) and yet ceased not af­terwards to hunt for his life?

The Iewes after their return from captivity, covenanted to respect their poore Brethren and not to opresse them, yea, they Covenanted against strange Wives, yet acted the contrary, as ye may see. Mal. &c.

Jt was the great comfort of the godly in very sad times, that they were true to their ingagements, and stood to their covenant. Al this is come upon us (say they speaking of those sad times, and sore troubles they met withal) yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsly in thy Covenant Psal. 44.17. It will be bitternesse in the end to him that having sworne to be true to God, to Man, proves false to both. Thus of the first thing, the discovery of this Sinne. Now of the second.

How breach of Covenant brings ruine upon a people,How breach of Covenant brings ruine. It let's in rui­nating things. or a person that are guilty of it. It doth these 2. wayes

First, by letting in ruinating things, opening a wide breach for them to enter in at. The overflowing scourge of all sorts of Plagues followes this Sinne of Periury, of Breach of Cove­venant. For,

1. It lets in Gods curse,Gods curse. the curse of that God that is a consuming fire. This we see Zech. 5. The Prophet sees a flying roll, the Angell tells him it is the curse. &c. ver. 3. Its entrance is into the House of the Thiefe, and into the house of him that sweareth falsly, it remains there to consume it, with the Timber thereof, and the stones thereof ver. 4. Belo­ved, in the Lords favour there is life. Jt is God that iustifies, who shall con­demne? If God blesse none can curse; it is not in the power of Devils, or any of their cursed instruments to doe any harme, their curses, their charmes, their inchantments are in vaine. This Balaam is for­ced to confesse. How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? Or how shall I defie, whom the Lord hath not defied? Num. 23.8. and ther­fore he gives councell to them to draw them to breach of Covenant. If God curse, none can blesse; all indeavours to save, to repaire the breaches are in vaine, till the sentence be reversed. It is a dangerous thing justly to procure the curse of an earthly parent, seldome have such curses prooved vaine;Gen. 9.25. Ham in his posterity felt the smart of [Page 10] Noahs curse. Oh then how sad a thing is it how dangerous to incurre the curse of the great God. Cursed be the deceiver for I am a great King, saith the Lord of Hosts. Mal. 1.14.

Gods Iudge­ment.Jt lets in Gods iudgements, and these are very wasting, when the windows from on high are open, the foundations of the earth doe shake. The earth is utterly broken down. When Gods judgements come pouring down upon the earth like a deluge, they carry all be­fore them, there is no avoiding of them. Feare, and the pit, and the snare are upon thee O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to passe, that he who flieth from the noise of the feare, shall fall into the pit, and he that commeth out of the middest of the pit, shall be taken in the snare, See Jsa. 24.17.18, 19. No sinne doth more open the Windows of heaven for the letting down a deluge of Iudgments, than this of perjury, of breaking covenant. This lets in swift judgement. J will come neerer to you in iudgement, and J will be a swift witnesse against the sorcerors, and a­gainst the Adulterers, and against the false swearers saith the Lord of hostes. Mal. 3:5. the roll of the Curse that enters the House of him that sweares falsly, and remains there to consume it, is a flying roll. Iudge­ment though seemingly club-footed, hath wings to hasten its pace. Though mans judgement sometimes cannot overtake a faithlesse person,See Eccles. 8.11.12, 13. conferred with ver. 2. Raro antece­dentem scele­stum De seruit pede paena claudo. yet Gods iudgement alwayes followes him at the heeles. You shal seldome find a generation past over wherein faithlesse men have not bin marked, either in own persons or in their posterity. A­chan by this sinne troubles Israel, and God by his judgements soone troubles Achan. Saul to curry favour with the People breakes the Oath of God, made with the Gibeonites, and causlesly slaies them: But God followes them with his iudgements, and, though we find not himselfe marked for this sinne,Lewis the ele­venth of France betrayes all that trust in him, and is himself so followed by furies before he dyes, that he dares trust no man. His sonne Charles the eight by perjury, and breach of covenant gets the heire of Britaine to wife, but soon after in the floure of his years, is suddenly cut off, and leaves his crown and bed to be possessed by his enemy. A certain periured person, hearing a Preacher condemne per­iury, and laying open Gods judgements attending it, presently out of the Atheisme of his heart said; J doe not see the arme with which I forswore my self shorter then the other, but presently the hand of God overtook him, for that very hand with which he had forsworn, was suddenly so inflamed, that not being able to indure the torment of it, he was forced to have it cut off. And thus he soon saw one arme shorter than the other. yet his posterity in a short time after smart for it 2 Sam, 21.

Bloudy and deceitfull men shall not live one half their dayes, but J will trust in thee O God. Psal. 55.23. This lets in the bitterest the sadest [Page 11] judgement. Judgement springs up as Hemlock. God spends the re­served Arrowes out of his Quiver of vengeance upon perjur'd persons.

God sends his evill Arrowet of famine upon Jsraell for Sauls breach of covenant, which they at present did approve of.Ezek. 5.16. 2 Sam. 21.1. God threatens to send a sword to avenge the quarrell of his Covenant. Warre with its Attendants, plague and famine. Levit. 26.25.26▪ Who can suffi­ciently depaint the ill shape of the beast-warre? Beloved,Bellum dicitur quia minime bellum. if there be any iudgement more bitter than other, it is the portion of these false men. See how the Lord threatens those scornfull men that did rule Hie­rusalem, who thought to secure themselves against Gods iudgements, by making lies their refuge, and hiding themselves under falshood. The Lord wil bring judgment to the line, he threatens to follow them with proportio­nable, constant overflowing and continuall Iudgements, so far that it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. And this notwith­standing all their defences. See Isai. 28.14 15.17, 18, 19.20. Ther­fore is this termed Gods strange worke. ver. 21. namely, wonderfull and terrible, seeming not to agree with the mildnesse of a Father to­ward his children, but rather with the fury of an enemy against a stranger. The Roman Censors marked any vice that brought detriment to the common wealth, but none more than periury. The Egiptians had a law to behead periur'd persons as being guilty of a twofold wickednesse, ut qui & pietatem in deos violarent, & fidem inter homines tollerent, maximum vinculum societatis humanae. When the faithfull faile from among the children of men, and false men thinke to secure themselves, and carry all before them, by flattery and fals, hood, at the sighing of the needy God will arise. Psal. 12.

This lets in sutable iudgement. This sinne usually meets with the execution of the Law of Like for Like. The wicked hath conceived mis­chief, and brought forth falshood. A bad conception & a worse birth. But marke what followes. He made a pit and digged it, and it fallen into the ditch which he made. Psal. 7.14, 15. Zedekiah and his Princes, and the People covenant to let their Hebrew Servants goe free. They breake this Covenant, and God threatens to proclaim a liberty for them to variety of iudgements, and slavery, J will make you to be removed in­to all the Kingdoms of the earth▪ See Jer. 34.18. Those that against covenant oppresse their Brethren shall fall into the hands of those that shall oppresse them. Memorable is that sentence that comes out a­gainst [Page 12] the Assyrian. Jsa. 33.1. Wo to thee that spoylest, and thou were not spoyled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee: When thou shalt cease to spoyle, thou shalt be spoyled; and when thou shalt make an end to deale treacherously, they shall deale treacherously with thee. The maine sin provoking this sentence was breach of Covenant. ver. 8. The Assyrian had by oath contracted a League with Hezekiah, & contrary to his covenant invaded his land. This was fully executed. Treacherous Sennacherib was slain by his treacherous sonnes as he was worshipping in the house of his God. 2 Kings 19.37 And the trea­cherous Assyrians were supplanted by the as treacherous Babilonians. It was once good sport to the people of Athens (as I remember) that a very Knave was driven into exile by a verier Knave then himself. Our Edward the fourth by periury recovered his Crown, and his sons by the cruilty and periury of their false Uncle soon lost it. God made the imprecation of the Duke of Burbon true by the execution of it, which he falsified in his continued oppression of the Milanois. The Lord is known by the iudgement which he executeth: Rodulph Duke of Suenia by the instigation of the Pope and his Ministers, rebells against the Emperor Henry the fourth. After divers conflicts, at length Rodulph is mortally wounded, loosing his right hand: being nigh to death, his right hand being brought unto him, he presently out of remorse of conscience cries out. This is that right hand with which I swore featly to the Emperor. Haec violatae a me fidei argumentum est. In this God speaks plainly that he is an avenger of breach of covenant. the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Psal. 9.16.

3. Jt lets in all sorts of sin and disorder, sin ruines more than wise­dom reares. One sinner, an eminent sinner swarving from the rules of wisedom and justice, destroyeth much good. Eccles. 9.18. This over throwes holinesse and honesty. See Jer. 5.1, 2. It lets in Atheisme, and prophannesse, and impiety, and all sorts of oppression. When men are treacherous, and lyars, there is no safe living among them, no trusting of them, it is best for a man to get a lodge in the wildernesse, to leave such a people and goe from them. See Ier. 9.2, 3, 4, 5, 6. This sin is the high way to a seared conscience, it is followed usually with the plague of the heart, the greatest plague that can befall any people, any person, being commonly Gods concluding stroke. This sin makes men wise to doe evill,Theodorick had a Courtier (a Deacon say some) that was in favour with him, (upon hope of preferment) became an Arrian, Theodorick therefore slew him with his own hands (or as others, caused him soon to be beheaded) saying, that he would never be true to his King, that was false to his God. and overthrowes all order among men. Jt was the saying of Theodorick King of Jtaly. That he which kept not his faith with God, could never be faithfull to a mortall man.

And it is the saying of the Holy Ghost, that he that loves not his bro­ther whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen. 1 Iohn 4.10. They can­not keep faith with God, that care not to keep faith with men.

Thus of the first way, wherein Breach of Covenant lets in Ruine, now of the second.

Secondly, By making a breach upon preserving things;It makes a breach preser­ving things. This overthrowes the Defences of a People or Person, and makes naked.

This drives God away, who is the hope of Jsraell, and the Saviour thereof in time of trouble. Ier: 14:8. God professes he will be with Is­raell no more, unlesse they remove this sinne of breach of covenant. See Josh. 7.12. If God be with us, who shall be against us? But if God be gone all is gone. Except the Lord keep the City, the Watchman waketh but in vaine. Ps. 127.1. Gods favour is the best cover,Psal. 5.12. Psal. 32.10. Gods mercy is the best circumvallation. Jf Gods heart cannot be towards a people or person nothing can secure them. See Jer. 15.1. This ob­structs and infatuates councels, the Nerves of State, and preservatives of a flourishing condition. Jn the multitude of Councellours there is safty, saith the wise man. Prov. 11.14. Rehoboam (the foolish Sonne of a wise Father) follows this dictate, he consults with many Counsellors, he consults with the old men that stood before Solomon his Father, he consults with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him, but all to further a rent, while being wilfull he for­sooke the councell of the old men, and embraced the councell of the young, thereby adding fuell to that fire of discontent which was al­ready kindled in the hearts of the people. 1. Kings. 12. Will you know the reason of this? The cause was from the Lord, that he might perform his saying, which the Lord spake by Ahiiah the Shilonite, unto Iero­boam the Sonne of Nebat Ver. 15. This saying was, that God would rent the Kingdom out of the hand of Solomon (of his son) and give ten Tribes to Jeroboam. 1 King. 11.31. The cause of this follows, because Solomon (be­ing too uxorious) tollerated Idolatry in his wives, which was a mani­fest breach of Jsrael's covenant with their God ver, 33. The Ro­man Senators when they first entred the Senate-house ingaged them­selves in a solemn oath (according to their then sacred rights) to lay aside self, and all by and private respects, and in all their consultations to attend and intend the publique good. While they made conscience of this & acted accordingly; they, and with them, the common wealth [Page 14] were in safty and flourished; but when giving way to lusts and passions they broke this their oath, they were first weakened with civil wars, and shortly after became slaves to the lusts of cruell Tyrants. When a people are outwardly formall in their ingagements to heaven, and inwardly false, God will proceed to doe a merveilous work amongst them: For the wisedom of their wise men shall perish, and the understand­ing of their prudent men shall be hid. Isa. 29, 13, 14.

This ruines force: God is the Lord of Hosts, he commands them, he inables them, God can save by miracle, but God will ordinarily save by meanes. Ioshua must chuse out men, and go out, and fight with Amaleck, while Moses is praying and acting faith on God, Exod. 17.9. But breach of Covenant will ruine Armies, be they never so suc­cessefull, and valourous, and make the Militia of a Nation nothing worth. Jsrael hath sinned (saith the Lord) and they have also transgressed my Covenant. Therefore the children of Jsrael could not stand before their enemies, The Roman Armies while Fides Legionum, and Fides Exercituum was currant coine, and the Publique Faith both in councells & camps was as good at any private mans bond, carried al before them & made almost al the nations of the then known world to stoop unto their yoke, but when afterwards they betrayed their trust, & contrary to the military oath took too much upon them, praescribing their Masters & commanders, raising & deposing whom they pleased, loosening the golden reins of discipline, & inuring themselves to masterfull licentiousnesse, they became by degrees the spoyle of almost all barbarous Nations. This insolency and perfidiousnesse of the Janizaries, hath caused the Turkish Moon to be at the full, if not in the wane, every day threatning the ruine of that mighty Empire. The Hungarians re­ceived a fatall overthrow at the battell of Varna, in reward of their periury whereunto they were perswaded by Iulian the Popes Legate. but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were ac­cursed. Iosh. 7.11, 12.

This obstructs Iustice and Iudgement the nerves of Policy, and Bulwarkes of a State Righteousnesse (Iustice) exalteth a Nation. See Isay 33.5.6. Prov. 14.34. This turnes Iudgement into hemlock.

This makes a breach upon the best means of safety and deliverance even spirituall meanes, fasting and prayer, and hinders them. Get thee up (saith the Lord to Ioshua. Ios. 7.10, 11.) wherfore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and transgressed my Covenant. Fasting is to no purpose, and prayer will not availe till this sin of breach of Cove­nant be repented of.

Yea this makes a people or a person forfeit all their excellencies. Thus saith the Lord God, J will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast dispised the Oath, in breaking the Covenant. Thou hast cast of me, and I will cast off thee.Ezek. 16.59. Thou hadst avouched me to be thy God, and I [Page 15] had avouched thee to be my peculiar people. Deut. 26.17.18. But thou hast cast off all feare of me, and I will throw thee out of my favour. Shall man bee loose, and God be bound? With the upright man, God will shew him­self upright, and with the froward God will shew himself froward. Psalm. 18.25, 26.

Thus much of the second thing. How breach of Covenant brings Ruine upon a people or person that are guilty of it. Now of the third,

3. Why breach of Covenant is a ruinating sinne.

1. Reas. Because this is a most hanious sinne.This a ruina­ting sin▪ because most hainous. Every sinne hath its weight, the guilt of it enough to cause the poor creature to sink under it; but al sins are not alike weighty. There are degrees of punishment, & therfore degrees of sinning. The more hanious the sin, the more dread­ful the vengeance. God proportionates his measure of punishing to out manner and measure of sinning. See Lu. 12 47, 48. God will bring iudgement to the line Jsa. 28.17 Make man's punishments aequall with their faults. Now this is a most hanious sinne, a sinne of the largest size and weight, for: First, this is a sinne wherein men doe most af­front Heaven, and rise up most daringly against the Divine Majesty.A sin wherein most affront heaven.

He that sweares by Gods name falsly, prophanes the Name of God. Lev. 19:12. God gives it in charge against the false sinner, whose tongue frames deceipt, that ownes no relations, no ingagements if they crosse his lusts. Thou thoughtest J was altogether such an one as thy self. Ps. 50.19:20:21. Periur'd persons plucke from God his wisdom, not thinking that all things are present before him; or else argue him of iniustice, as if by connivency he did beare with the malice and faults of the wicked. But God will reprove such. David concludes that the wicked hath no feare of God before his eyes, because the words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit, Psal. 36.1, 3. If one man sin against ano­ther, the Judge shall iudge him; but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? 1 Sam. 2.25. God will avenge the wrong that one man does to another, and shall he not avenge himself on those that manifestly rise up against his own greatnesse and glory? Secondly, This is a sin wherein men appear most false among men. It was the agravation of Zedekiahs rebellion,A sin wherein men appeare most false a­mong men. that he rebelled against Nebuchad­nezzar, who had made him swear by God. 2 Chron. 36.13. Men love the Treason but hate the Traitor. The Punicks faith was a by-word among the Romans. The Persians imposed everlasting silence on him that was thrice convicted of lying, and made him uncapable of any [Page 16] office,Selymus the second caused Keretzen that betrayed Giula, to be rolled to death in an Hogshead full of sharp nailes, with this inscription. Here receive the reward of thy treachery, &c. If thou wert not true to Maximilian thy Lord, neither wilt thou be to me. or honor. Scarce any nation so barbarous, that have not look­ed on periured persons as the vilest among the children of men.

Because most unreasonable unexcusable.2. Reas. Because this is a most unreasonable, a most unexcusable sin. Our Saviour shewes the danger of the Iewish nation to be very great, because by reason of his comming, and speaking to them, they had no cloak for their sin, no excuse for their unbeliefe. John 15.22. The more light men sin against, the more inexcusable are they in their sin­ning. In this men sin against the Law of God, his expresse word, and against the Light of nature. It is a sad thing to consider how easily men gull themselves in a thing of so great concernment, with what poor patches they seek to cover this their wickednesse. Some not be­ing able to deny their breach of faith pretend force, they covenanted out of feare, or by reason of feare, dare not stand to their covenant. Miserable men, slavish spirits, that feare a man that shall dye, and for­get the Lord their maker; that out of the feare of a mortall man, pro­fessedly lay aside the feare of the everliving God?Isay 51.12.13. Might not Shimei have pleaded this? But Salomon was wise in executing deserved Iu­stice upon that perjur'd wretch. See 2 Kings 2.42.43. Some pretend fraud, they were overreached, drawn to covenant that which they were not well informed in. Jt is a shame that men should be so silly; but this will no way iustifie perjury, when things ingaged for are ne­cessary, yea indifferent. Ioshua and the Elders of Israel are by a wile, brought to enter a League with the Gibeonites, to sweare to let them live. Afterwards this fraud is detected, the Congregations of Jsrael desire their death, yea murmur against the Princes, because they re­solve to spare them, the people petition their death, but the Princes dare not but let them live, and their reason is strong, Lest (say they) Wrath be upon us, because of the Oath which we sweare unto them. Iosh. 9.18, 19.20. Saul almost foure hundred yeares after breakes this Oath, and Israel and his posterity smart for it. Some pretend prae-in­gagements, or crosse ingagements. This no question might in part have been pleaded by Salomon, but was no way sufficient to iustifie his breach of Covenant with God, or to sence off deserved wrath. Salo­mon loved many strange women, he cleave unto these in love. It is probable he contracted with them to allow liberty of conscience, it [Page 17] is evident that out of his uxoriousnesse he connived at, and tolerated their Idolatry. In this he broke Gods convenant, and made a breach upon his own house. 1 Kings 11.1, 2. &c. Shall we in paying our vowes to men, infringe our vowes to God? Or to keep faith with men break faith with God?

It is a sad thing to consider how men withdraw their oaths, or chip and pare them that they may suit with their lusts. Some will straine a little, in it they shall pleasure a friend. Men appearing for themselves [...] [...]side naturall affection. Men appearing for God, plead natures, relations, to crosse divine ingagements. And is this aequall? Pericles requested by a friend to do an unlawfull act, replyed, Oportet me com­modare amitis, sed usque ad aras. Shall not this heathen rise up in judg­ment against many of us? He that loveth father or mother more than me, (saith Christ) is not worthy of me. Mat. 10.37. Some pretend conscience of their ingagements, but say it is not yet seasonable as the Iewes. Hag. 1.2. This people say, the time is not come, the time that the Lords house should be built. But marke what followes. Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie wast? Must we first attend our profits,Verse 4. our pleasures, our liberties, our priviledges, and then Gods honour?

I speak nothing of those wretches that covenant to curry favour, or to cover themselves, or to surprise others, their own hearts condemn them. Peter makes Ananias see himself left without excuse in his ly­ing to the Holy Ghost, his breaking his vow. Acts 5.1, 2, 3, 4. A pat­tern for all those to take heed by, that pretending to advance Religi­on, and Gods worship and service, only seek themselves, their owne honour and glory. The Lord will have open infringers of his cove­nant die without mercy, as being without all excuse. See Deut. 17.2, 3, 4, 5. It was the iudgement of an heathen, that Faith given,Numa. either in respect of the publique, or the private, should be held, and kept, being the honest bond of humane society, and the foundation of all right and aequity.

3. Reas. Because this is a leading sin, a master, a mother sin.Because a lead­ing sinne. The more leading sins are, the more do they speed, and increase ruin. God will have leading sinners punished, and that without partiallity, be they never so seemingly eminent, be they never so neare, so deare to us, yea though they be many in number. See Deut. 13. throughout the whole chapter. Ieroboams sin was a most ruining sin because a leading sinne, and this is the brand that is upon record upon him, Iereboam the son of Nebat which caused Israel to sin.

Now, this is a most leading sin, for, First it hath a strong influence on others. The heart (in its naturall estate) is deceitfull above all things. Jer. 17.9, and therfore prove to be infected by deceit. Mens hearts naturally are prepared tinder on which the sparks of falshood alight­ting doe most readily take.Mak Duffe fleeing the ty­ranny of Mak­beth, came into England to Malcolme Cam­more and fought to per­swade him be­ing right heire to the Crown of Scotland to seek to recover his right, and therein to free his country from a tyrant. Malcolme sus­pecting deceit, pretends in­sufficiency by reason of hor­rid vices reign­ing in him, as first immode­rate lust and lechery. To this Mak-Duffe replyes, that though this were an horrid vice, yet he would take a course to co­ver it. Secondly Malcholme tels him that he was the most avaratious creature on the earth. To this Mak-Duffe replies, that though this were a worse vice than the other, yet if he would take the crown upon him, there were riches enough in Scotland to satisfie this greedy desire. But when lastly, Melcholme tels him that he was in­clined to dissimulation, and breach of faith, so that he reioyced in nothing so much as in betraying those that should trust him, Mak duffe replies, this yet is the worst of all, and there I leave thee; and so bemoaning his own, and his countries misery break out into teares. One perjured person is fit to make many such. It is an easie matter for a son to imitate a false Father, faithlesse Cain hath a faithlesse posterity. Aetas parentum peior avis, Tulit nos nequiores. God alone can set bounds to this prevailing wic­kednesse, and in exercising his free grace this way appears most migh­ty, as well as most mercifull. The aire is infected where such [...] breath at liberty. The Indians infected the Spaniards with the f [...]disease, and the Spaniards infected the Indians with their unfaithfull­nesse. Secondly, it hath a strong influence upon the party that is guil­ty of it. This is a most infatuating, a most intoxicating sin. He sticks at nothing that can easily swallow periury. Mak-Duffe when Mal­colme dissembles with him can find a remedy for other vices, as cove­teousnesse, whoredom, but none for this of perjury, hee lookes upon such a one as desperate, as past all cure. He that lives in this sin without repentance, hath Atheisme lording it in his heart, and cannot but more or lesse have impiety, and dishonesty appearing in his life and con­versation. See how lively the Lord laies open the vilenesse of such persons. Isay 59.3. &c. Your lips have spoken lyes, your tongue hath mut­tered perversenesse. None calleth for iustice, nor any pleadeth for truth; they trust in vanitie, and speak lyes. Here is the Character of these men, their fruits follow. They conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch Cockatrice eggs, and weave the Spiders web, &c. ver. 4, 5.6. &c.

They brood and bring forth al manner of mischief, horrid, hurtfull, poysonous, &c. They are strangers to all good, all honesty, all righte­ousnesse, &c. and therfore no marvell though these times were so dark and dismall. We may well apply that to these men which the Lord speakes. Deut. 32.32. Their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter. Their nature is very wicked, their works are worse.

4. Reas. Because this is a sinne that God will by no meanes passe by, or leave unpunished. Exod. 20.7. The Lord will not hold him guilt­lesse that taketh his name in vaine. This awakens vengeance in the Lord, and that easily, One Achan by his periury troubles all Jsraell, God that is truth, and a God of truth, and cannot but soone resent, and readily punish falshood.

Thus much of the explication and confirmation of this truth, the Uses briefly follow.

1 Ʋse. Let us make inquiry after this. Have we not spoken words swearing falsly in making a Covenant? Is not this the troubler of our Is­raell? Is not this the worme that lies gnawing at the root of that gourd that hath heretofore overshadowed England? We are a tu­multuous Nation, the foundations of the earth tremble, all things are out of course, we looked for peace and behold trouble. And is there not a cause? can that building long stand, the foundations whereof are dayly undermined? Get thee up Joshua (saith the Lord) leave off wondering, Israell hath sinned and transgressed my covenant. This was then hidden, is England's so? I would it might not be said, that En­gland's breach of Covenant is written in such capitall letters that he that runnes may reade it. Jeremie in charity hopes the falshood and rebellion of the Jewes had passed no further then the common People; but he finds to his griefe that the great men also, who had more know­ledge, or pretended to more knowledge had altogether broken the yoake, and burst the bonds Ier: 5.4, 5. J have nothing here to doe to speak of that horrid rash common, customary swearing which, though the law of the Land markes, yet passeth unmarked in most parts of the Land; I speake only to our more solemne ingagements and the breach of them. Have we not sworn with false hearts? Are there none that have made lies their refuge, and hid themselves under falshood? have we bin true in performing our ingagements to God, to man? have we in the zeale of God according to our Covenant in our severall places, and callings laboured to advance what we have sworn to ad­vance, and to ruine what wee have sworn to ruine? I sigh to speak it; how soone is that which God hath upon record in heaven almost forgotten by us? we ingaged our selves for Union, and behold Divisi­on. Whatsoever is contrary to sound Doctrine hath gotten dayly strength even since we covenanted its extirpation. Never more pro­phanesse and whatsoever is contrary to the power of godlynesse, and never lesse means among us here in the country to curb it. The time [Page 20] permit to speake of particulars. Men declare their sinne as Sodom, they hide it not. Our first love is grown cold, we can see truth ly trodden under foote, darknesse praeferred before light, the blood of precious soules drawn forth, and our hearts bleed not for it. Many of us are for­ced sometimes to heare cursing and swearing and blasphemy under our roofes, and out of feare we say nothing to it. Where are the hum­bled Covenanters? wher are the reformed ones? wher are they that out of conscience of their ingagements endeavour to their utmost to give God, and man their due? Have not all sorts corrupted themselves? where is almost the free Family? where is the free Congregation? have not private persons, have not publick sworn falsly? Are there no false Ministers amongst us? have these done their duty? have these stood in the gap now in these times wherein God hath sought for a man? Are there no false Magistrates? there were such in Ezra's dayes, in Nehe­miah's dayes, Princes and Priests that with the first subscribed the Co­venant, and were soone Leaders in the breach of it. See Ezra 10. A Covenant made, broken Nehe: 6:17, 18, 19. so, Nehe: 9.38. and 10. A Covenant made and subscribed by the Princes, Priests, &c. soone after broken as we see chap. 13. J would there were none such in England. Beloved the sinne is manifest, and hath not God closely fol­lowed with his vengeance? hath not iudgement broke in swiftly, sad­ly, sutably? Is there not made a breach upon all our excellencies? doth not our nakednesse appeare to our shame? The whole head is [sick▪ and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot, e­ven unto the head, Allus to Iohn 8.7. there is no soundnesse, but wounds, and bruises, and putirfy­ing sores; Isa: 1.5, 6. We are ready all to say bring forth the Troubler, let him be stoned to death, but who shall throw the first Stone at him.

2. Ʋse. Let us justifie the Lord in al his proceedings hitherto, and ad­mire his patience. The Lord is righteous in all his wayes, and holy in all his workes, Ps. 145.17. Proud Pharoah whose heart was hardened, is forced by the divers iudgements of God, and his differencing in them,Exod. 9.27. to confesse that God is righteous, but himself and his people wicked. And shall we be more hard hearted than he? Beloved, we have had unnatural showers of blood, unseasonable showers of raine; the Lord hath seemed to threaten us in these parts to withdraw the appointed weekes in Harvest, and to deprive us of the seed time: we have had strange diseases, and the hand of God is upon many of our Cattell: Our poore in some parts have bin ready to [Page 21] perish for want of bread, and our selves want either hand or hearts to relieve them. Strangers have been ready to devoure our store, and we lie under many burthens. We roare al like Beares, we murmur, yea in our impatiency we raile; but, beloved, we forget our duty,Isa. 59.11▪ Jt is of the Lords mercies we are not utterly consumed, his compassions faile not. Lam: 3.22. Have wee bin true to our God? have we been faithfull in our dealings one with an other? have we bin carefull, according to our solemn ingagement to re­form our selves, our families, to advance truth, to further peace? My Son, my soule, give glory to the Lord God,Hosea 14 1. for thou hast fallen by thine own ini­quity. Why will ye dye O house of Israell? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dyeth, saith the Lord God. Ezek: 18.31, 32. But shall he escape that doth such things? or shall he breake the Covenant and be delivered? Ezek. 17.15. God hath not dealt with us after our sinnes: nor rewarded us after our ini­quities. Psal. 103 10.

3. Ʋse. Let us labour to ruine this Ruiner, let us repent of this great e­vill, and cast away from us this transgression whereby we have transgressed against the Lord. That ye may be moved hereunto, consider,

1. The folly of this thing. Falsnes this way cannot be hid from God, All things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to doe. Heb: 4.13. Achan is solitary in his acting periury, in regard of man, but the eye of God is upon him. The falsnes of our hearts cannot be hid from him who is the searcher of the heart, and trieth the reines, Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him, saith the Lord? doe not I fill Heaven and Earth saith the Lord? Ier. 32.24. Shall wee doe well to commit that in the presence of the All-seeing and immortall God,Iosh. 7.18 20. which we are ashamed to own in the presence of a mortall man? Falsnesse this way shall not be long hid from men, the Lot of God shall light upon thee, and the alreaching hand of God shall so overtake thee that thou thy self shalt be thine owne betray­er, God will reprove thee, The Devill and thine own lusts shall be let loose to discover thee. The Lord shall lead thee forth with the VVorkers of iniquity. Psal. 125.5. Evill men and Seducers shall waxe worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Tim. 3.13.

2. The basenesse of it. It is that which the very light of nature is asham­ed of, yee shall hardly find any so base as willingly to own it. The basest language you can give to any is to give him the lie; this is enough amongst men to iustifie a duell, to deserve a stab: Now this is the basest manner of Lying. A Thiefe steales sometimes out of necessity, and we will have him hangd, but false men live, and the greater Theeves lead the lesser to the gallowes. This makes unfit for any society, any relation, any imploy­ment. [Page 22] It was the glory of our Ancestors that in their enterprizes they were plain and faithfull, being willing rather to be deceived, than to de­ceive: Jt will be our shame if we be found contrary minded, The time hath bin when among strangers in the way of comerce and trade, an Eng­lish man's word hath been as good as another man's bond, but who will trust us, if, proving false to God, we betray one another. I blush to think, if we goe on in breach of Covenant, what a by-word we shall be among all neighbour nations, having proposed our selves as a leading pattern to them to enter into the same, or like association or Covenant. This will blemish all other excellencies, what is it to be learned, wise, valiant, if false. The Duke of Burbou's credit being crackt by breach of faith, could never by any of his other excellencies be repaired.

3. The danger of it. But of this at large already, only know, that this▪ (as some other vices) in the guilt of it runs on in a blood: if grace prevent not, it ruines families be they never so numerous, never so high and emi­nent, I might give many instances. Pro. 14.11.

4. The good of the contrary. Truth and faithfulnesse commends to the good of truth. This commends to all men, even our very enemies, and even false men have somewhat within them bearing witnesse to men of truth▪ Saul that makes no conscience of an oath himself, yet will have David sweare he dares trust him. See 1 Sam. 24.13. This will fence thy heart, and keep thy conscience unwounded, The faithfull shall find the counselling, comforting,See Isay 26.2. [...]sa. 59.15. protecting, delivering presence of a faithful God, and although in this wicked world, when truth faileth, he that refraineth from this evill of falshood maketh himself a prey, yet, Marke the perfect man, and behold the up­right, for the end of that man is peace. Psal. 37.37.

1. Now that we may remove this great and dangerous evill.

1. Let us remember our ingagements, and let those vowes of thine that are upon record in heaven, be deeply riveted into thine own heart.

2. Let us be humbled for our by-past failings Mourn over thy self, smite upon thy thigh, accuse thy self this day, Mourn over the falsnesse of thy heart, and sicknesse of thy heart, the feeblenesse of thy heart, that through feare or flattery hath been brought to deale falsly in the Covenant of thy God. Mourn over others, who by their falshood indanger all.

3. Let us stand fast to the Covenant, resolve to pay our vowes, arme our selves with re­solution this way, casting up our accounts before hand. In a faithfull course in all losses we shall be gainers, In an unfaithfull, our greatest gaines will be our greatest losse.

4. Let us pray to God▪ 1. for our selves. For pardoning mercy in regard of former failings, for purging mercy for the present. Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psal. 51. For preventing and assisting grace for the future, Keep thy servant from presumptuous sins, let them not have dominion over me. Psal. 19.15. 2. For Magistrates those that sit at the stearne, that they being faithfull may promote faithfulnesse, and take some speedy course that this ruining sin may be solemnly repented of. And lastly, for all, that God would heale our backsliding out of his free love.


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