A CRY FOR A Right Improvement OF All our MERCIES, and all those VVORKS of wonder that God hath wrought among us: VVith some Cautions touching the Ele­ction of the (Expected) New Representative.

Humbly presented by a friend to the Publique.

Psal. 98.1. O sing unto the Lord a new song, for he hath done marvellous things. His right hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the Victory.
Psal. 47.5. God is gone up with triumph, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Psal. 68.4. Sing unto God, Sing prayses to his name, Extol him that rideth upon the heavens, by his Name Jah, Allelujah.

LONDON, Printed for Tho. Brewster, and Greg: Moule, and are to be sold at the three Bibles in Pauls Church-yard, at the West-end thereof. MDCLII.

A Cry for a right Improvement Of all our MERCIES.
Allelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent is taking unto him his great power, and raigneth.

HOW evidently, how eminently hath he reigned in the Field, in England, Scotland, and Ireland! How great is his Name, how dreadful, and yet how gratious is his presence! Yea, how glori­ous in power is his right hand there, where he dashed in pieces the enemy, where he brake the Arrows of the Bow, the Shield, the Sword, and the Battle, and none of the men of might have found their hands: when the Lord arose to judgement for the meek of the earth, and made his judgement to be heard from heaven, through the world; O ye, All ye Ser­vants and saved ones of the Lord, be ye greatly ingaged, and abun­dantly inlarged in real praises. Vow vows, and pay them unto the Lord our God, who shall, who hath cut off the spirit of Princes, and is terrible to the Kings of the earth; who will be exalted among the heathen, who will be exalted in the earth, who is more glorious and excellent then the Mountains of Prey.

Who not only in our first, and our second war, but also in this our third most difficult and dangerous contest, wherein the Enemy and old Deceiver plaid his Master-piece, contending for the old inte­rest [Page 3]of the Dragon, the Beast, and the false Prophet, under the most specious pretences of all that is sacred; to dazle and deceive, and draw into the confederacy so many of our poor brethren, and to deceive (even totally) if it were possible, the very elect.

Who I say not only in those former, but in these latter also, hath not despised the prayer of the humble, but hath given in such a graci­ous return unto the prayers of his poor people (so much despised by their now subdued brethren) As again a third time to restore England into a real (and Scotland and Ireland into a very hopeful) capacity to lead a peaceable and quiet life, in all godliness and ho­nesty. That the Lamb may lie down in peace with the Wolfe, and the Leopard, the Beer, and the Lion; that the hand of violence may cease in all the Mountain of his holiness; and that none that fear him in truth, or are sound in Fundamentals in Religion, may be destroyed or hurt in all his holy Mountain.

Now let all that are real And as for all for­mal, false hearted Hypocrites, his hand will find them out. servants unto the God of our salvati­on, (that guideth us with strength, and crowneth us with his saving health) let them be joyful in glory, let them sing unto the Lord, and bless his name, and declare his salvation from day to day. Let the redeemed of the Lord say, and do so, even fear the Lord, and serve him in truth, and with all the heart: for consider how great things he hath done for us. And what the Lord our God doth now require of us; even to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.

Now O dear Sirs, the Lord help us, he hath loaden us with mer­cies, and how doth that charge us with Duty! God hath now put us upon the tryal, and trusted us with a vast charge, who is sufficient to answer it? what a price is in our hands? a blessed price: how much may it be improved (through his grace) towards the pro­moting of that great design of heaven, in ruining the man of sin, furthering of Reformation, and advancing the Scepter of Jesus Christ in the Church, and in the Kingdoms of this world, which shal become our Lords. O that it may be, O let it be so: so shall we have joy, and gladness indeed; and our brethren of Scotland that worship God in truth, and any Scots or Irish that hereafter shall do so, shall bless God heartily that ever they were beaten by us, as some honest quondam Cavaliers have done, and do.

Let now the worst and more incorrigible be made exemplary, [Page 4]by feeling the hand of Justice. But let all that are capable of mercy, see our earning bowels towards them, in the concernments both of body and soul.

O that they may have cause to bless God for his mercy in sub­jecting them unto us! Let's study to exalt God in the eys of men and Angels, and especially in the eys and hearts of these poor de­luded souls; upon whose ruins he hath exalted or established us: Is not Gods ends in smiting, and depressing, that he may boar mens ears to receive Instruction, and cause them to turn from their Enterprises, that he may cause their life to see the light? O that we may do like God! let such be our ends, and the travel of our souls.

God hath made us our Scottish Brethrens Masters, (notwith­standing all difficulties, discouragements, and earnest and con­stant prayers, with Fastings and appeals of their Friends to Heaven) He might have made them Ours; and we know the duty of Ma­sters, and the manner of Good ones, the Lord make us such.

Indeed, their deserts are very ill, but so were the deserts of Josephs Brethren; and we know our Saviours Rule, viz. To love enemies, do good to them that hate us; and we must be like our Fa­ther which is in Heaven, in mercy.

Indeed, they have forfeited all their Interest in our Solemn League and Covenant, for Ʋnity and Amity, and endevor to promote their wealth, and can now challenge nothing of us: But God hath not forfeited his interest in us nor in them, nor dis­engaged us from seeking, even in all self denying ways, to promote his interest in them.

His Ayms in all his ways, are purely to sanctifie Gods Name, to advance the Scepter of Holiness and Righteousness in the hand of Jesus Christ, and the accomplishment of that holy and righteous will of his; from which, if we turn aside unto carnal Interests, we lose our selves, and our Interest in our God: The Lord help us to serve the Interest of his Name and Scepter, and to do his will, with all our might, and in the simplicity of our hearts.

God hath great things to do in the world in these later dayes; and he seems to have layd the foundation of the great things of our Age among us in these Nations; and if we fall in, and com­ply with him; how happy, how happy are we: But if we shall [Page 5]either by injustice, oppression, or want of bowels of mercy, or by prophanness, or accursed self-seeking, or slothfulness, and non­prosecution of his ends, make frustrate his Ayms in these begin­nings, how dreadful will our account be? Hath any Nation under the whole Heaven such a price, such a tallent in their hands?

God by furnishing us with such Instruments, as the better spirit­ed of our Souldiery, and many others like to them in single-heart­edness to the best Interest, and single-ey'd-cleer sightedness, and most heroick resolution; together with the fame of Gods doings gone forth into all the world; and by his mighty encouragements to our faith and confidence, by the eminent evidences of his presence with us, and of his purposes to go through stitch with his work; and by removing the great externall impediments out of the way, hath put into our hands the greatest tallent that is in the hand of any Nation under Heaven: And if we improve it at home and abroad, for real advantage to the interest of the Giver, then blessed are we; but if not, then how much the more shall we be accursed, Heb. 6.7, 8. And take the unprofitable servant, and bind him, &c. Cast him into outer darkness.

God hath once more subdued under us, all that rise up against us, and hath suppressed the Suppressor. Take we now warning by former harms, procured by Principles of division and suppression. Let all that fear God and love his Name, be now of one heart, and maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace; not setting up Ʋniformity against unity of spirit; not Circumstantials against Essentials. Let's allow Jesus Christ to be the apportioner of the measures, or proportioner of his own gifts, unto persons and So­cieties; and let us own all that are his, and all that is his in them, and not disown, as not persons, so not Communities, because not of our length and breadth (whether below us, or above us:) let us rejoyce that Gods name is sanctified, and Christs kingdom advanced in any measure, in any Societies or Assemblies, though not of our own way; and let us desire & pray that it may be so; and that in all the dwelling places of Mount Zion, and in all the Assem­blies thereof, he will create a cloud and smoak by day, and the bright shining of a flaming fire by night, and prosper his own work.

And in case of offences, let's apply to Christs direction and Authority, and not to the Dragons power or means; and let the [Page 6]help of Caesars sword in matters religious, be craved only against such as are inconsistent with true Christianity, and only when the Church hath done all it can, and the delinquent is become as a heathen man, Mat. 18. But let swords be beaten into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks, and let none hurt or destroy in all the Mountain of his holiness.

And take heed of any more breaches; shut the Devil out of doors; Remember, a Kingdom divided cannot stand, hath not stood; two of them have been through division utterly demol­lished amongst us in these last ten years; true, their Ruins hath been, or is, advantage to the interest of God, in the promoting his designs, and in the present peace and security to his little ones; but that's no thank to those that gave the occasion, nor may we do evil that good may come thereof; therefore, let's have peace amongst our selves.

God hath promised his special presence (as the God of love and peace) among his people united, and not otherwise: Let us now therefore with mutual imbraces, in peace and love, sit down under this shadow (even the shadow of his saving health stretched over us in him who is his saving Arm, and our Lord and SAVIOƲR) with great delight, and let his fruit be sweet unto us, and let the high praises of God be in our mouths.

And as breaches and division should be avoided under greatest peril, among the sound principled (as for others, there's no peace to the wicked, and we must separate the precious from the vile, the whole from the infectious, sick and unsound.)

So also must such a spirit of malitious prejudice, and sensorious­ness, which causes Ridged, and Crabbed severity towards brethren Conscientiously discenting, and differing in Judgement, & practices (yet sound in fundamentals, and eminently pious) by all means be avoyded; Seeing Conscience, pure Conscience, being Gods Vice-King, may not be forced, nor ridgedly dealt with, when it really eyes God, (though erroneous, if not in fundamentals, and things directly destructive.) God accepts no forced, none but vo­luntary service from this creature wherein he hath placed this Vice-King, whom he will have guided by no Rule, but by the light of his own truth, Iradiating the understanding, and by or through it, directing and regulating the Conscience. And the Conscience that purely keeps to this Rule, is a tender thing; and is certainly one of those little ones, which our heavenly father will not have to be offended.

Also take we heed of Pride, and base self-seeking. That the hearts of none be proudly lifted up above their brethren; and that we seek not great things for our selves.

Remember we what was evidently the cause of that division, bringing that totall ruine that is come▪ both upon that Monarchi­cal Kingdom in the house of the Stuarts; And also upon that other power, which after Resided in the hands of Lords and Commons, united with the Scots, and was eminently reputed Presbyterian; and this latter of the Scots alone, being but a branch of the other.

Was it not clearly pride causing contention; and self-seeking to Monopolize the great things of the earth, that they might Rule as Lords alone? And that malitious, ridged, crabbed spirit of severity towards discenting brethren? In one word; was it not their balking the Interest of heaven, (which looks with an indifferent eye upon all that are servants to it, so far as they are servants to it) and setting up the Carnal interest of a party, in prejudice thereunto: let the Conscience of the unbyassed Spectator speak.

Take we heed therefore of clashing with the Interest of heaven, but be we sure we advance it with all our might, and with all our soul.

For, all Revolutions, and Changes whatsoever, but especially in the habitations of the Church, (and more especially in these last dayes, wherein he is causing those eminent Allelujahs to be said and sung unto his Name.) Are for the perfecting of his glorious work and praises for, and in the Church or Churches of Christ: And if any person or people impowred for this end, will not bow and buckle hereunto; he will break them in pieces, or lay them by, and take up others.

And in expression of our gratitude, why should not annual days be assigned in thankful remembrance, with command that Psalms of prayse be sung unto our God, and the people stirred up to a thankful remembrance of all those never to be forgotten works of wonder, from 1639. hitherto?

And how becoming were it, for the Governors of a people so wonderfully saved, owned and blessed, to appoint some to draw up a full, but very brief Representation of the most remarkable mercies towards us, with effectual Arguments and Excitations to thankfulness in heart and tongue, but especially in life and con­versation; [Page 8]and in going one before another in the example of a real Reformation, according to the vows of God that are upon us. And that we often revive and renew all our holy Vows and En­gagements to our God, in the time of our distress.

And whiles that on the one hand, we take heed to avoyd the strained and corrupt (that I say not Jesuited) constructions of our Covenants or Engagements, that would be obtruded upon us (as that any Persons, Family, Society, or Constitution should by the Covenant be exempt from Justice, and so should have commission to serve the Devil, as much as they would or could; or that any thing should be the Rule of our Refomation, Civil or Religious; but the Word of God and moral Righteousness:) So on the other hand, to take special heed that none of our plain, clear, and unquestionable Covenants and Engagements to walk with God, and with our brethren in ways of Holiness and Moral justice, and love and mer­cy, in our several places and callings, be forgotten by us, under greatest peril.

And being so drawn up and approved, then to set it forth by the Authority, and with the Countenance of the Parliament of England: And the rather, that the world may take notice, That whatsoever may be prophanely insinuated by him that affirms the Covenant (without distinction) to be an old Almanack out of date, (which only some part thereof, referring to that which is not, is) or falsly suggested by such as endevour to impose their lewd constructions upon us: yet that in truth the Parliament and Com­monwealth of England are not unmindful of any Covenants or Engagements that really and indeed lie upon us.

And one thing may here be moved, being not so meet to be moved by, or not so well taken from that publike hand, viz. That sure our mercies carry this Obligation (to us) in the very face of them; like those to Israel by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

That we ought in gratitude and obedience to God our Savi­our, to lead a peaceable and quiet life, in all godliness and honesty un­der that Government, and those Governors, by, or through, and under which, and whom God hath by such a mighty hand, and out stretched arm, working wonders for us, in all these Lands, put us into such a happy posture, wherein we now stand, and for which and wherein, he is so greatly to be feared, served, and had in honour. [Page 9]And I humbly crave leave to offer the ensuing cautions, viz. That if that self-denying resolution, for a New Representative (at this time so dangerous) take place, what care and exact caution must be had, and given in the qualification both of the choosers and of the chosen, so as may prevent the utter frustration of all Gods ends (as to mans eye) intended, in all that his wonder-working hand hath wrought; and that his wisdom and mercy hath intrusted us with: which, if care be wanting, may be indangered.

And yet also, that those that are made uncapable either in the one or the other, may be cleerly given to understand, that it is not out of any malice towards them, (though deserved by them) but of meer duty and faithfulness, which should be notoriously violated, and Gods anger provoked, if when God by his Almighty arm and Coun­cel, hath suppressed and disappointed their principles and purposes, so contradictory to his promises and purposes, of latter days accom­plishments, we should now put it to vote with them, whether Gods purposes or theirs shall stand? and be further let to know, that when time and good instructions through grace shall wear off the an­tipathy from off their spirits, they shall then most gladly enjoy the same priviledges which any do.

It might seem weak to propound expedients in a business of such vast concernment, and about which men of so great wisdom are engaged; and not to do it full and effectually. Therefore I do not say I propound expedients (it being a work fit for those of great­est wisdom, and for a small volume alone.) But in few words, and very imperfectly to give a hint or two of what is in present thoughts, As to say, That none should be eligible unto the New Representative, that hath acted in opposition to the Parliament, either when consisting of Lords & Commons, or in opposition to the Parliament and Com­monwealth of England as it now consists. And that only such should be eligible, that are in Church Fellowship with some one or other Congregation, sound in fundamentals of Religion, (such as shall be named) and holy and regular in their practices; according to such general marks as shall be expressed.

And also that did evidently appear in purse and person (in arms, or in Councels and voluntary Contributions) engaged against the late in­vading Scots. And that every Person Elected shall within—dayes after such Election (or before received in Parliament) present a cer­tificate of this latter, under the hands of the chief officers of the Coun­ty [Page 10]or Hundred, City or Ward; & a Certificate of his soundness in fun­damentals, and Godly and regular conversation, in Fellowship with a Congregation sound, &c. the said Congregation owning and being owned by 7. 10. 15 — Congregations, so and so consisting, & com­ing up to such marks as shall be expressed in the act; I say a Certifi­cate under the hands of the Elders or chief Officers of so many of those Congregations as shall be named. Which yet, together with the most carefully composed oath to be taken by the Representees: nor yet any other expedient can secure us, without the special help of heaven. Therefore solemn seeking the face of God upon the choosing day, and place or places, cannot be blamed.

And further, That if there shall be any resolution to make voyd and null the Laws and Customs, requiring the payment of Tythes in the form and manner as is now used, and to make provision for Ministers maintenance in some other way: That then all care may be taken, that no disservice may be unto the work which Tythes ought to maintain; nor unto the Commonwealth, by the dis­charge of Tythes for less then the full value thereof: the Tythes being as due to that publike Interest unto which by Laws or Cu­stoms they have been reserved, upon the setling at the Conquest and ever since, (and how long before it matters not) as the Land is unto the present several Possessors thereof; who, or else their Ancestors, whether Normans, Saxons or Brittains, some time since the Conquest, or at the Conquest, became possessed or repossessed of them, either by the gift of Kings of England since, or of the Conqueror then, (for some considerations or other) or by pur­chase with money: and all and every way, as to all Lands, Tythable, I say, they became possest or repossest of them, with that charge, duty, or (if we may so call it) Encombrance upon them, viz. The Tythes, payable, as by Law or Custom was due and payable: So that if we should remit them for less them the value, we shall then cleer­ly give away from the Interest which they are designed unto, unto the Land-holders of the Land; which how pious or equal it is, judge.

And the same is to be said in the case of wardships and wardlands (but as reserved to the use of another Interest.) Its true, its not e­qual that a small peece of Wardland should make all other Lands liable, nor that Orphans should be inthraled as Wards were used to be inthralled. But most equal it is, that that Land, which was received, either by gift or by purchase, As Ward land, viz. with that charge or [Page 11]incombrance upon it, viz. as liable to bring in such advantage to the Crown or whom the Crown would give it unto, in such and such cases, it being but as the reserve of a Fine or Heriot unto the Lord of the Man­nor; most equal it is, that if it shall be discharged of those incombran­ces, they should then purchase the said discharge at a valuable Rate, giving a valuable consideration to the State.

And further, I humbly crave leave to offer, That though it be cer­tainly the duty of all Ministers, when the state of things shall so re­quire, by their own hand labour, or industry (as they are able) to administer unto the necessicies of their own, and of others also; And the duty of every Christian of every Profession, Trade, and practice, in his place and station, according to his abilities, and the call of op­portunity and necessity, to hold forth the word of life, and for the in­lightning of the world, to let his light shine before men; and causing that light to shine forth which hath shined into his heart, to give the light of the knowledge &c Yet it being also certainly a duty upon us to make provision according as the Lord hath ordained, That he that preaches the Gospel, should live of the Gospel. That therefore provision should be made for a comfortable Maintenance, for so many pub­lique, standing, or constant preachers, as are necessary in every part of this Common-wealth.

And seeing we that have received so many eminent and signal mer­cies, must therefore do something eminent and Signal; That there­fore we not only do what remains to be done, for the propagation of religion, to the batten parts of great Brittain; But also appoint a Committee to consider of something to be done towards the ad­vancing of Gods Gospel work in other Lands.

And I humbly crave leave yet further to offer to consideration; whether it might not be an acceptable service to God, and much for the spiritual interest of his people, if some way were thought on, to provoke Church societies, sound in fundamentals, and well savoring of holiness, to shew all fair respect each to other, though of different strains in Religion; and to watch over each other, and over all Church Members in their neighbourhood, to what congregations soever they belong: and upon any offence, not reformed, upon admonition or reproof, to acquaint the Congregation whereof the party is. And also some way to provoke all Christians to joyn themselves unto some one society, well savouring of holiness, and sound in fundamentals, and practising accordingly.

And that to incourage & provoke thereunto; that some priviledges may be intayled upon it: as, that the being in Church-fellowship with a Society, sound in such fundamentals, as shall be named, and practi­sing accordingly, being free from scandals, according to such rules as shall be set forth; & consisting of 7. 10. 15. 20. Families at least (as shall be Judged meet) and the said society or Congregation owning and being owned by 7. 10. 15. Congregations so and so qualified; I say, that such Fellowships should make men capable of such offices and places of trust in the Commonwealth (unto such a limitation as shall be named) which others shall not be capable of; And this would also something the better secure the Commonwealth in the choice of men to places of trust.

And to provoke all Ministers and Congregational Churches, with all care and faithfulness, to read and expound holy Scriptures con­stantly: and to Chatechise in the grounds of Christian Religion, in their respective Congregations.

And might it not be reasonable, as to prevent uncleaness, that it should be penal for any to be in company of a woman in a suspitious way: not having such reasons to shew, as shall be satisfactory to a Jurye and might not the Law, that suffers the starving of poor debtors in pri­son, that have nothing to pay whiles their Families starve for want of them▪ and men of estates to lye in Prison and cheat their Creditors, be reformed? And might not the Law for the execution of thieves, ex­cept notorious ones, be abrogated, and some other course thoughton, that would be worse in their thoughts then death; but more agreeable unto Gods Law to Israel?

And if not in these things, Then wherein shall we express our real thankfulness for all that we have received? What shall we render unto God for all his benefits towards us? Wherein shall we express our resolved readiness to pay our vows unto God? and that we are really and in truth, servants unto him, who hath saved our souls from death, our eyes from tears, our feet from falling; and hath put new songs of praise into our mouths. Let the more able Party and cleer sighted shew; let the wisdom of the wise find out wherein, that it may be done; That the actions of our hands may bear witness of the reality of our hearts, in singing ALLELƲJAH.

Psal. 47.6, 7. Sing praises to our God, sing praises: sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the Earth, &c.

Ps. 47.3. He shal subdue the people under us, & the nations under our feet. Rev. 17.14. For he is LORD of LORDS and KING of KINGS, and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.


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