A SERMON, TENDING To set forth the Right Vse of the DISASTERS that befall our ARMIES.

PREACHED Before the Honourable Houses of Parliament, at a Fast specially set apart upon Occasion of that which befell the Army in the West.

In Margarets Westminster, Sept. 12. Anno 1644.

BY Matthew Newcomen, Minister of the Gospell at Dedham in Essex.

JUDG. 20.26.

Then all the children of Israel, and all the people went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sate there before the Lord, and fasted that day untill Even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.

1 SAM. 14.58.

And Saul said, Draw ye neere hither all the Chiefe of the peo­ple: and know and see wherein this sin hath been this day.

1 SAM. 26.19.

And David said unto the King, If the Lord have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be th [...]y before the Lord.

LONDON, Printed by George Miller for Christopher Meredith at the Signe of the Crane in Pauls Church-yard. 1644.

Die Veneris, 13. Septembr. 1644.

IT is this day ordered by the Commons assem­bled in Parliament, That Sir Thomas Cheeke doe returne the Thankes of this House unto Master Newcomen, for the great paines he tooke in his Sermon yesterday, being a particular day of Humiliation: and also Sir Robert Harley to doe the like to Master Coleman, and to desire them to print their Sermons, And it is ordered, That none shall presume to print their Sermons without leave under their hand writing.

H. Elsynge Cler. Parl. D. Com.

I doe appoint Christopher Meredith to print this Sermon,

MATTH. NEWCOMEN.

TO THE HONOVRABLE The Houses of PARLIAMENT.

THe publishing of this Sermon (what ever the preaching of it was) may seeme (Right Honourable) as unseasonable as that Con­solatory Embassy the Trojans sent to the Emperour Tiberius upon the death of his son Drusus, Sueton. in Tibe­rio. which came so extremely late, that the Emperour, to re­quite their kindnesse, tels them, That as they were sorry for the death of his son, so was he for the death of their Hector; implying that they were both equally forgot­ten. Possibly that sad Accident in the West, which first ministred occasion for the preaching of this Sermon, is so too, and then quorsum haec? if at all, why not soo­ner? if not sooner, why now? I might plead many things in mine own excuse, why not sooner? My avocations & employments since the preaching of this Sermon have been so many, that had I been most desirous of obeying your Command for the printing of it; I could scarce soo­ner have accomplished it, but I must confesse my desire was that this unworthy piece (the conception of so few houres) might never have out-lived the houre in which it was delivered, except (by the blessing of God) in the [Page] hearts of those that heard it. But then why now? why at all made publike? God is my Record, the only reason that extorts this from me at this time is, because we are still encompassed with the Evidences of that Displeasure, which in the West began to break out upon us, which makes me feare, that some of that heart-searching, sin-discovering, heart-humbling, Covenant-acting work which God then call'd us to, hath on some hand or other been neglected. We whom God hath made Seers to his people must not shut our eyes, Ez [...]k. 33. [...]3. &c. and refuse to see what God reveales, nor lay our hands upon our mouths, and fear to declare what we see. And certainly you have it from the mouth of more then one or two, or a few of those that preach before you, that God is very sore dis­pleased still. There are manifest signes of Gods displea­sure against a Nation, such as every eye that beholds them, may read wrath and indignation in them. And there are secret intimations of Gods displeasure, [...] ocu­li [...] ex [...]on [...] [...], ipa [...]s [...]amen quo [...]ram Dei indi [...]nt, cogno­scuntur. Ma [...]. loc. com. which though they be visible in themselves yet few know how to interpret them, and to collect the displeasure of God from them. The sword is a manifest signe of Gods wrath against the Nation. Iob 19.29. Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishment of the sword, that you may know there is a Iudgement. But besides this, there are Characters, though all cannot read them, of Gods indignation against his own people [Page] in this Kingdome, against those that have appeared & engaged themselves for him. ‘There is, that saith, When God is angry with a people,Less: de Perfe­ctionibus Divi­nis, li. 13. c. 10. and intends to dash them in pieces, he leaves them sine animo, sine concilio, &c. without heart, without Councill, without strength, with­out fit Commanders; so involved with difficulties for­reigne and domestick, they know not how possibly to ex­tricate themselves. If one give good counsell, presently another by captious arguments overthrowes it, & those that should judge of both, have not light enough to dis­cerne, which is for the publike safety and which destru­ctive. If any opportunity of Service be presented, either there is no notice takē of it, or to save a little charges, it is neglected, or none knowes how to improve it. Dangers imminent, are either not fore-seen, or slighted: Traitors creepe in, that discover their Councels to their enemies. There are jealousies & factions among their great men, in favour whereof, one studies to crosse the designes and successes of the other, though the Publike be undone by it. The Treasury is wasted in needlesse expences; the soul­diers mutine and are seditious, and when they have plundered a Country, must have as much given them to forbeare plundering as would maintain a war. Finally, while all seek their own profit, & no mans heart is upon the Publike good, all runs to ruine. On the contrary, the enemies whom God intends to punish that people by, [Page] though they be far more wicked and ungodly, yet they prosper, their courage, their strength increases; they take opportune counsels, they know how to improve & pur­sue advantages; there is great concord among their Lea­ders; no man seeks to undermine & overthrow another; no man blends his own private quarrels with the Pub­like Cause. In a word, all things succeed as if God favou­red their cause, & directed their counsels, when yet their cause is unjust, and their intentions wicked, and there is nothing further from their heart then God.’

But this Discourse you need not, much lesse any Appli­cation of it, who are apprehensive of this already, and have therefore set your selves very lately to seeke the Lord, and Attonement with him, by Fasting and Humi­liation, in such away as never Parliament did before you. That God who hath put it into your hearts thus to seeke him,In the East i [...] Linco [...]nes-Inne Chappell, kept Decemb. 18. grant that you and we may find such fruit & suc­cesse therof in your selves, Counsels, Armies, as this poore Church and Nation, after so many dayes of mourning, may once take up that song of praise, Isai. 12.1. O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, yet thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. This is the Prayer of

Your Honours most unworthy, yet faithfull and sincere Servant MATTH. NEWCOMEN.

A Sermon preached before both Houses of Parliament at their extra­ordinary solemne Fast, Sept. 12. 1644.

JOSHUA 7.10, 11.

And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?

Israel hath sinned, and hath also transgressed my Covenant which I commanded them.

The Intro­duction. HOw well this Text suites this Day, this Assembly, and the Occasion of it; I perswade my self there is none here but upon the first reading under­stands. The Lord grant that the handling of these words may be as profitable, as the Scripture it selfe is seasonable.

In the former verses of this Chapter you have a sad story, to which ours is this day paralell, I had almost said in too great a mea­sure; but I lay my hand upon my mouth, because thou Lord hast done it, who doth all things in measure;

But in the Story of this Chapter you may read our

  • Calamity, &
  • Dutie.

In the fifth verse you have a people, Gods people, Israel, smitten, scattered, troden downe; before their enemies, Gods enemies. That's our Calamitie.

In the sixth, seventh, and eighth verses you have Joshua and the [Page 2] Elders expressing a pious sense of this breach that God had made upon them. The Multitude possibly might miscarry under this hand of God; they might fall into their accustomed discontents, or sinke under discouragements, as it is said ver. 5. The hearts of the people melted, and became as water. But as for Joshua and the Elders, Men of more Noble and Religious spirits, their demeanour is gratious, and humble, and holy, And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face (he and the Elders of Israel with him, ver. 6.) and poures out his heart before the Lord in words expressing a sorrow too big for any words to expresse, ver. 8. Oh Lord what shall I say when Israel turneth their backes before their enemies? as if he had said: Lord, this is the saddest thing, the saddest Token of thy displeasure! The thoughts of it amaze, overwhelme me: I know not what to say: O Lord! what shall I say? O that we had such a grieved and burthened heart as Jo­shua had when he spake these words! Surely this is our Dutie, to have our hearts filled with the sence of that hand of God that is gone out against us: and in the sense thereof to abase our selves before the Lord. To the performance of this Duty we are met this day, the Lord help us in it; yet that's not all: there is a fur­ther Duty God cals for at our hands; and that the words of my Text lead us to:The sense of the words. And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up, wherefore liest thou upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, &c.

Our English expression, Get thee up, sounds more harsh then either the Originall or o­ther Transla­tions, [...]: Illud quid hoc tis prostratus jaces infaciem tuan? non est objurgantis, au [...] precandi Ritum illum reprehendentis: quo ritu Christus ipse usus est: sed jamdudum se paratum esse significantis ad opitulandum. Ma­ [...]us ad locum. Non est ignorantis, aut inquirentis, aut arguentis vox ista, sed insinuantis, quod nō sufficit supplicare, sed alio opus esse Remedio. Cajetan. ad locum. q. d. Surge: Noli te diutius af­fligere; Scio quid velis, faciam (que) ut scias quid facto sit opus ad cladem, à tuis acceptam resarciendam. Ego enim cor tuum contritum, & humiliatum, despicere nequeo, sed benignè aspicerè à meâ pietate quasi cogor. C. à Lapide ad locum.Which words are not words of Inquirie, God doth not de­mand of Joshua the reason why he lay at his feet in this sad posture; Joshua had given him an account of that already in his Prayer. And God knew it even before he prayed. Nor are they words of Re­buke and Increpation. But rather words of Advice and Directi­on; God doth here as it were with a hand of Grace and Mercy lift up Joshua from the earth where he lay groveling, and saith thus, Arise, Joshua, afflict thy selfe no longer, I know what thy Desire is, and I will let thee know what thy Dutie is, there is somewhat [Page 3] to be done which yet thou thinkest not on; Get thee up, Joshua, wherefore liest thou on thy face? Israel hath sinned.

In the words you may please to observe something that God tooke notice of in Joshua: The Division. and something that God gave notice of to Joshua.

The thing that God tooke notice of in Joshua was the Deepe sence he had of the hand of God against Israel in the late disaster that befell their Army: under which he lay confounded, astoni­shed at the feet of God. This in the first words. The Lord said unto Joshua, Arise, wherefore liest thou upon thy face?

The thing which God gave notice of to Joshua was the sinne that Israel had committed which was the Cause of this Disaster. Israel hath sinned, and hath also transgressed my Covenant which I commanded them.

Observ. 1 with The Proofe. From the first of these I commend this to your Observation. That when a Disaster befals the Armies of Israel, it well be­comes a generous Gratious heart to be deeply affected with it.

I say, when a Disaster befals the Armies of Israel, for this here it was not a Discomfiture, it was but a Disaster: a Party of about three thousand beaten, ver. 4. and about six and thirty men slaine in the fight, and in the Chase, ver. 5. What's that in an Army of six hundred thousand men of warre? That was Israels Num­ber at their last Muster. Numb. 26.51. Some Nimrod, some Cy­clops would have thought this an inconsiderable losse, a blow not worth the taking notice of. But Joshua, though as gallant and daring a spirit as any the Earth had, he thinkes not so: he thinks that this cals him and the rest of the Elders of Israel (what ever others doe) to rend their Clothes, and put dust upon their heads, and in the mournfullest plight that may be to poure out their Prayers and Teares before the Lord: O Lord! what shall I say?

So when the Children of Israel were smitten before Benja­min, though that was not such a discomfiture, but they were able to rally themselves againe, and renew the fight a second and third time, and at length got the victory by fine force; yet All the people went up and wept before the Lord. Judg. 20. Once and a second time, and the second time they wept and fasted untill E­ven, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings unto the Lord. ver. 26. This a Disaster will worke.

[Page 4]But a Rout, a Discomfiture? what an Impression that will make in a Gratious holy heart, see in that mournfull Story 1 Sam. 4. where you shall see how the Tidings of Israels discomfi­ture and slaughter broke the heart of Reverend and Honourable Eli. There comes a Messenger from the Army with very sad Ti­dings. ver. 17. Israel is fled before the Philistims, and there hath been also a great slaughter: and thy two sons Hophni and Phi­neas are slaine: and the Arke of God is taken. Every Incisum of this Message gives a stab, a wound to his gratious heart; and no sooner is the story ended, but his life is ended too. Israel is fled be­fore the Philistims; there's One wound. And there hath beene a great slaughter among the people; there's a second wound. And thy two sonnes Hophni and Phineas are slaine; there's a third wound. And the Arke of the Lord is taken; there's a fourth, a Deaths wound that dispatcheth him. He can now live no longer: It came to passe when he made mention of the Ark of God, he fell from off the seat backward. I could encline to think that thePramaereris ma­gnitudine obtene­bratus senior cecidit de sell iuxta Ja­nuā & contriū est dorsācius. Chrysos. Inquiri po est utrū Nuntius de captivi­tate Arcae fuit ad­aequata Causa mor­t [...] Eli. ita ut ill [...] audito repeni [...] in­ [...]riit, & postea ce­cidi [...], & cervices freg [...]ri [...], an potius, &c. [...]rior modus mihi non videtur imprebabilis Men­doza ad locum. [...]d [...]lile est ipsum sic voluisse mori. Ma [...]. Non crepta vita, [...] mori ei videtur. Cicero. fall of Israel had broke his heart, before the fall from his seat brake his Neck, and kill'd him as much or more then his owne fall. Good man unhappy in his Government, unhappy in his sons, hap­py only in this that he died with griefe for the Israel and Ark of God: so deeply was his tender gratious heart affected with the disaster of Israels Army.

Reasons. 1 First, some proportion of such like affection might well become every tender and gratious heart in such occasions. First, Because every gratious heart, (and indeed every generous heart, every man that hath not the heart of an Atheist in him) knowes, that when a disaster befals the Israel of God in their Armies, it is a signe that God is displeased with his people. Every disaster that befals their Armies, is a check, a frowne, a rebuke from God, a token of his displeasure, and therefore a gratious heart cannot stand under it: This is it perplexeth Joshua here. Alas the death of 36. men it had been nothing: The slaughter of 36000. it had been nothing, had their Army yet had the favour of God upon them. But God is angry; Joshuah's tender heart can feele it in this lighter stroake as well as if the blow had been heavier, God is angry, therefore Israel cannot stand before their enemie, there­fore Joshua cannot stand before the Lord, but falls at his feet say­ing, [Page 5] ô Lord what shall I say unto thee? And whom would not this become? whom would not this become? when God shewes himselfe angry with his people, to shew themselves deepely sen­sible of it, to cloath themselves with trembling and with mour­ning, whom would it not become? I am sure it would become us this day, the Lord helpe us so to doe.

2 Secondly, When any disaster befalls the Armies of Israel, it well becomes a generous gratious heart to be deeply affected with it; because disasters in the Armies of Israel are of very sad con­sequence. This Joshua had his eye upon, and this his heart was affected with, as you may see, ver. 9. For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the Land shall heare of it, and shall inviron us round, and cut off our name from the earth; and what wilt thou doe to thy great Name. There are two things mentioned as the sad consequence of this disaster. First, The increase of rage and courage against the Israel of God that this would occason to their enemies. The Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the Land shall heare of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from off the earth. One disaster will make those to whom Israel was before terrible, resume new courage, and enter into new confederacies, and nothing will now satisfie but utter extirpa­tion; cutting off the name of Israel from the earth. In this re­spect; it well becomes a generous gratious heart, as he tenders the good and wellfare of the Israel of God, to be deepely affected with such disasters.

3 Thirdly, And as such disasters increase the rage of the enemies a­gainst the Israel of God, so against the God of Israel himself: this is intimated in the last words of the ninth verse, and what wilt thou doe unto thy great Name? as if Joshua had said. Lord, though our name were cut off from the earth for ever it were no matter; But ô the reproach, the scorne that these uncircumcised ones will cast upon thy great and dreadfull Name! ô to heare the enemies insulting, where is your God that brought you up out of the Land of Egypt, where are all those mighty wonders which he wrought at the Red Sea and in the Land of Ham, &c. Joshuah knew that these would be the darings, this the language of the enemies, and his gratious heart cannot beare it: ô what wilt thou doe to thy great Name? If then in the disasters of an Army, we may see [Page 6] that God is provoked, and fore-see that the glory of God and the safety of his people is much endangered; we may conclude, It well becomes a generous gratious heart to be much affected with such disasters.

Application of it. The Application of this Truth is easie. It may let you see, Right Honourable and Beloved, how well this mourning praying posture into which you have cast your selves this day becomes you,For Informa­tion. 1 and how fit it is, that though the whole body of this people cannot upon so short a warning (and some it may be will not) yet that You who are to England as theSenes Israel intelligit Iudi­ces Magni Syne. drii quibus praecrat eo tem­pore Iosua. Deus. ad diffi­cil. Loca Iosuae. Elders were to Israel, the Go­vernours and Representers of the whole Nation, should for your selves and for the Nation whom you represent, in this solemne manner to testifie your humble and deepe sence of the hand of God upon his people in that disaster that hath befallen our Army in the West. God hath smitten our Army; shall not we smite our hearts? our Army is broken: will not a broken heart now be­come us? Our Forces are brought low; shall not we endeavour that our hearts may be so too? If her father had spit in her face (saith God to Moses concerning Miriam, Num. 12.15.) should she not be ashamed seven dayes? ô how many dayes would it become us to beare the shame of that rebuke that God hath given us. Thou hast cast off and put us to shame, and goest not forth with our Ar­mies: Thou makest us to turne our backe from the enemies, and they that hate us spoile for themselves, was the sorrowfull com­plaint of the Church of old, Psal. 44 9, 10. and may be ours this day. The Lord help us to beare this indignation in a right manner, and to mourne aright under it.

So farre as my poore observation enables me to judge, This is the saddest rebuke that God hath given us since the first beginning of this action: and therefore calls for as sad hearts this day as ever we brought with us into the presence of our God. Sure I am that what ever there was in this disaster which befell the Army of Israel, that might be matter of greefe and consternation to Joshua and Israels Elders, the same is in this disaster that hath befallen us, and calls for the like affection in men of Noble, generous, gra­cious spirits, such as you are.

1 1. Did Joshua plainly see the anger of the Lord in their dis­aster? we may (if we be not blind) see the same in ours much [Page 7] more. The wound, the breach that God hath made upon us by this disaster, is deeper, wider. Theirs was but the losse of 36. Men, Ours the dissipation of a Brave, Gallant, hopefull Army: An Army that was sent out with solemne fasting and prayer, and since they came to be in the streights wherein they unhappily mis-carried, were solemnely againe sought of God by fasting and prayer: And yet this Army lost; and lost in a weeke of fasting and prayer, that hath used to be a weeke of deliverances, victorys, mercies: Can you thinke of this, and not thinke God angry? even with our prayers as well as with our Armies; And can we thinke God angry, and not fall at his feet every one of us with Joshua, and cry ô Lord what shall I say unto thee?

2 2. Were there any circumstances accompanying this disaster, that might make it yet more grievous unto Joshua and the El­ders? and doe not the same circumstances accompany ours? It was indeedOmnia subita videntur majo­ra. Cicer. Praecogita­ti mali molli [...] ictus venit. Senec. an unexpected blow, a blow that Joshua did neither feare nor fore-see; this made it the heavyer. 1. Joshua knew the Cause he managed by the sword was good: God owned it and warranted him in the prosecution of it. 2. He had lately re­ceived a testimony of Gods favour towards it before the walls of Jericho. 3. And this was the first time that ever the Armies of Israel under the conduct of Joshua, turned their backs before their enemies. This makes him amazed, it is such a thing as ne­ver was before: ô Lord what shall I say (saith he) when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies? And that 4. A dispi­sed enemy, an enemy that upon good advice they thought not fit to engage their whole strength upon; but only send out a partie, ver. 3. Let not all the people goe up, but let about a two or three thousand men goe up and smite Ai, but let not all the people la­bour thither, for they are but few. Now for Israel to fall in such a Cause, at such a time, before such an enemy, all this concurres to make the measure of Joshuah's griefe and consternation the more full, ô Lord what shall I say when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies? And doe not all these circumstances meet in ours, to make our disaster equall unto theirs? ô that the senoe of it might be as equall! was not this a blow unexpected? Did not 1. The goodnesse of our Cause (wherein we have not only the witnesse of our own consciences, and the witnesse of Neigh­bour [Page 8] Churches, Scotland, Zea­land, Helvetia, &c. in their Letters to the Assembly of Divines. but the witnesse of God himself with us.) Did not 2. That [...]ccent and much to be remembred testimony of Gods favour towards us in it by that great and glorious victory given us before the walls of Yorke, make us hope for a good issue of this Expedition into the West. And 3. Is not this the first time that ever your Army under the Conduct of his Excellency turned their backs or became a spoile unto the Enemy? And was not the Enemy (I meane the adverse Army) despised in our eyes? It is not long since they did nothing but flitt and sculke; their whole strength being shrunke up into some Numbers of Horse, and now they had drawne together a Body of Foot: did we not looke upon them all as an inconsiderable Rabble rather then an Army? forced men, raw Souldiers, not worth the ingaging all your Powers upon: I feare it was our fault Politically, (I doe not say our sin Theologically) to undervalue the Powers of our Enemies so farre. But all this makes our disaster the sadder, and should make our sence of it the deeper, for such an Army, in such a Cause to be given up to such an Enemy, and at such a time as this is, when if God had blest us, in all probability, we might have seen a speedy and happy end of these calamitous wars, ô Lord what shall I say?

3 Thirdly, Were there any consequences that did fall in upon the thoughts of Joshua as aggravations of Israels disaster and his griefe. Consider if the same consequences doe not fall in here. Did Joshua feare not with a Pannick but with a rationall, pruden­tiall feare, a feare becomming a man of wisedome and resolution? Did Joshua thus feare, that the Nations (who not long before trembled at the thoughts of Israel, Josh. 5.1.) would now resume their courage and joyne their strengths together for the utter ex­tirpation of the Israel of God? And have not we cause to feare the like? It is not long since the out-stretched Arme of God at Yorke strucke a trembling into the hearts of our enemies, that they began to say as Exod. 13.25. Let us flee from the face of this people, for the Lord fighteth for them. And many of the malignant enemies of the Kingdome began to thinke of making their peace, and made at least feined submission. But now, you are wise enough to think what flocking together there will be of Papists and Malignants: what gathering together into bodies: what an Army, or rather [Page 9] how many armies you may quickly have against you of English, Irish, Popish, and others (if the over-ruling Providence of God prevent it not as here) whose Rage will be satisfied with nothing lesse then the Cutting off our Name from the earth. If not the Name of England, yet the Name of Parliament, the Name of Protestant Religion, &c.

Possibly some may say, What if they do strengthen themselves, and multiply their Armies: thankes be to God we have yet Ar­mies as many and as considerable as any they have: we have so many thousand in the North; and so many thousand yet in the West; and so many thousand advancing from the North into the West. And what then? might not Joshua have said as much as this? he had six hundred thousand fighting men in his Camp still; and what if all the Inhabitants of the land come against them? they are enough are they not to deale with them; yea, but Joshua saw that God was angry, he went not forth with their Armies: and Joshua knew that if his 600000 Men were 600000 Millions, if God continue still angry with them, they should all fall before their enemies: we talke of thousands, were our thousands multi­plyed into Millions, if God frowne still upon our Armies, as he now begins to doe, we are but bread for our enemies. Beleeve it, it is a signe of a carnall heart, that would shift off this stroke of God, and is loth to lie under the sence of it, to comfort it selfe, at such a time as this is, in our remaining Armies. If God will not with­draw his anger the proud helpers stoope under him. Job 9.13. If we will not beleeve this, God will make us feele it. Joshua had men of warre enough to have comforted himselfe in, but he could not, durst not doe it.

4 Fourthly, did Joshua feare that this Disaster would give oc­casion to the proud heathen to blaspheme the Name of the God of Israel? therefore he saith, What wilt thou doe to thy great Name? And may not wee feare the same upon this of our Army? Nay, doe we not know it? how have they heretofore? how often have they as with a sword pierced the hearts of Gods people,Witnesse Bri­stoll and Bol­ton, &c. while they say daily in their reproach, Where is now your God? Psal. 42.10. Where is now your God? your God to whom you have prayed? before whom you have wept & fasted? of whom you have made your boast, Where is now your God? Encline thine [Page 10] eare, O Lord, and heare. Open thine eyes, O Lord, and see; and heare all the words of thine enemies, whereby they reproach the living God. Isai. 37.13.

[...]But, O Brethren, shall not all this affect our hearts? shall not all this cause us to lie in the dust before the Lord, seriously and sincerely humbled under him and mourning before him? Oh that I could find this disposition in my selfe O that I could behold it in you, especially in you Parliament men! O that I could see your Eyes speaking the sense which your hearts have of this sad hand of God upon us, even in Teares. Beleeve it, Right Honourable, it would become you, nay, it is your duty. O that I might obtaine it from you, or obtaine it at the hand of God for you!

O Parliam [...]nt Teares are pretious Teares: would you drop but every man a Teare this day before the Lord for England, O what a Balme might it be for this bleeding Kingdome: I tell you, Bre­thren, it is more to that great God, before whom you stand, and whose face you desire to seek this day, to see you Parliament men, to see you unfeinedly judging your selves, sitting in the dust at his feet, giving him glorie in all his righteous dealings with you; Mourning under this frowne that he hath cast upon you, it is more to God to see you doing this, then to see some thousands of others in such a Posture. Are not you as all the Tribes of England? is not all England epitomized, contracted in you? If you be hum­bled, All England is humbled, virtually, eminently. If Joshua and the Elders be humbled, it is as if all Israel were humbled; if Rehoboam and the Princes of Judah be humbled, it is as if all Ju­dah had been humbled. God will grant some deliverance, and things shall goe well in Judah, 2 Chron. 12.6, 7, 12.

It hath often been the Prayer of some of your Remembrancers at the throne of Grace, upon our dayes of Humiliation: that whatever God doe with private Congregations: yet that in this place and upon your hearts there might be a mightie Presence and Effusion of the spirit of Humiliation; the same is my desire and prayer this day: O that God would humble us all, every soule of us: but if not all, if there be any of us whom God for our perso­nall sins will leave to the hardnesse and dedolency of our hearts this day; yet the Lord be mercifull unto you, and unto us all in you; That your hearts may be as Gideons fleece moystened with a [Page 11] dew from Heaven, though we round about you should be dry, (which yet to us would be exceeding sad.) But somewhat it would comfort us concerning England, would the Lord please to humble you. Now the Lord humble you: The Lord affect your hearts with his dealing: the Lord cast you downe at his feet with Joshua; that with a hand of mercy he may lift you up as he did Jo­shua, and say, Arise, wherefore liest thou upon thy face?

Thirdly, for Reproofe. But if there be any Man here (especially any Parliament man) to whom it were more fit to say as the Master of the ship did to Jonah. Ʋp sleeper, and call upon thy God, if so be that God will thinke on us, that we perish not: then as here God to Joshua; Arise, wherefore liest thou upon thy face? If there be any man here that upon such a Day and such an Occasion as this is, hath an unstir­red and unawakened heart within him. (And I feare there are too many such, I seldome come in a Fast into any Congregation where it is discernable by the face and garbe of the Assembly, that they are in a dutie of Fasting and Mourning. Our monethly Fasts are degenerated into most lothsome Formalities, into lesse then a for­mality, lesse then an outside, then an appearance of Fasting and Mourning. But) that Man that can be so this day hath a heart more Atheisticall then the very Heathens had.Inops Senatus auxilii humani ad Deos popu­lum & vota convertit, lussi cum conjugibus ac liberis sup­plicatum ire pacem (que) expos­cere [...]cûm: omnia delubra imp [...]ent, Stratae passim Matres crinib [...] Templa verrentes veni­am irarum coe­lestium expos­cunt. Liv. lib. 3. He that reads the Romane Story will finde how they upon such like occasions as is this day presented unto us, kept solemne dayes of Supplications, and with what throngs of men, women, and children their Tem­ples were filled! how sad and mournfull their demeanour was! how their Ladies and Matrons rowled themselves in the dust and swept the very pavements of their Idoll-Temples with the haire of their heads! ô how farre are many amongst us from any such affection, consternation? I cannot but feare that there is a great deale more Atheisme, and a great deale lesse sence Irarum Coele­stium, of the Anger of a God against us in the Calamities now ly­ing upon us, then was in those very Heathens. O that their Dayes of Supplication may never rise up in Judgement against ours to condemne them! The Lord humble every Soule of us that hath not yet been humbled: (Even this alone is sufficient Cause why we should now be humbled, because in all our Dayes of Humiliation we have been unhumbled hitherto many of us:) The Lord so humble every one of us by the mighty working of [Page 12] his owne blessed Spirit, that he may please to take notice of his own worke in us as he did here in Joshua, and say, Arise, where­fore liest thou upon thy face?

I have done with That which God tooke notice of in Joshua. But before I passe to That which God gave notice of to Joshua. Let me entreat you to take notice of something in God, from God; taking notice of something in Joshua, [...] and that is Gods tender and gratious regard to a humbled mourning heart.

No sooner doth Joshua here humble himselfe but God present­ly takes notice of him, speakes comfortably to him. Joshua, Get thee up, wherefore liest thou upon thy face? Lord what is man that thou art thus mindfull of him? that no sooner can a poore sinner in humblenesse of soule cast himselfe to the earth, but the great God reacheth his hand from Heaven to raise him up againe. Lord what is man that thou shouldest thus magnifie him, and set thine heart upon him? If the glorious Majestie of our God abase himselfe to behold the things that are done in Heaven. Psal. 113.6. ô then what a Condescension is it in our God to behold a Man, a worme abased upon earth. But Joshua was no ordinary man. Joshua was a Saint, a Friend, a Son of God. A man of such rare and matchlesse Piety as in all the thousands of Israel, nay, in all the world, there was scarce such another man. But One that we reade of (if One) in his Dayes that was to be compared to him. No wonder if when such a man be humbled God takes notice of him. But will God regard the Humiliations of other Men, Men that are not of such rare and extraordinary holinesse, when they are humbled will God take notice of them? I will give you but two instances more to consider of, for the proofe and illustration of this point, and judge by them.

My first Instance is of Rehoboam, who certainly was none of the best men: nay, as farre as we can take his Character by all that Scripture speakes of him first and last, he was a very bad man. For it is said of him in the 2 Chron. 12.1. that he forsooke the Law of the Lord, he and all Israel with him. And if you would know what was the degree and measure of their wickednesse, how farre he and his people had forsaken the Law of the Lord; looke in 1 Kings 14.22, 23, 24. and reade what their wickednesse was. And Judah did evill in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked [Page 13] him to jealousie with their sinnes which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves on every high hill, and under every greene tree. And there were also Sodomites in the land, and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord cast out before the Children of Israel. These sinnes within a very few yeares after Rehoboams comming to the Crowne had made them ripe for the judgement of the sword: for so 2 Chron. 12.2. In the fifth yeere of Rehoboam King of Ju­dah, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the Lord. The terrour of this in­vasion is such as Rehoboam and his Princes cannot but humble themselves, Whereupon the Princes of Israel, and the King hum­bled themselves, and they said, The Lord is righteous. ver. 6. Now doth the Lord despise their Humiliations, because they had been an idolatrous, uncleane, wretched people? No reade and wonder at the goodnesse of our God towards humbled sinners, ver. 7. And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves; (so then God tooke notice of this even in these) the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves, therefore I will not destroy them, but I will give them some deli­verance, and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem, by the hand of Shishak. And because God would have us take good notice of this his respect unto their Humiliations, the holy Ghost mentions it againe in the 12. verse. And when he humbled him­selfe, the wrath of the Lord turned away from him, that he would not destroy him altogether: and also in Judah things went well. God did not only deliver him out of his present danger, but pro­spered all the affaires of his Kingdome in his hand; and yet certain­ly he (even after this his Humiliation) none of the best men, as we may collect from that Censure which after this the Lord leaves of him. ver. 14. And he did evill, because he prepared not his heart to seeke the Lord.

My next Instance shall be of a Man who was so farre from ha­ving any thing of Piety at all in him, that he was a man of the most transcendent Impiety that ever any (almost) was. King Ahab is the man: Doe but remember what the holy Ghost saith of him. It is said 1 Kings 16.30. That Ahab did evill in the sight [Page 14] of the Lord, above all that were before him, and ver. 33. he did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger, then all the Kings of Israel that were before him. and in 1 Kings 21.25. But there was none like to Ahab, &c. None of all that went before him or came after him like to him in wickednesse. There were twen­ty Kings in Israel from the time that the ten Tribes revolted from the house of David, to the time that God removed them out of his sight. Of these twenty Kings there was onely One good, Jehu. And yet his Integritie may be doubted too. But the other nineteen were all wicked, and yet not One among them all to be compared to Ahab. But there was none like unto Ahab. An Oppressour he was, and a murtherer, and an idolater, and a persecuter of that holy Truth which God had plentifully revealed to him by his Prophets, and powerfully confirmed to him by miracles, and mer­cifully sought to endeare to him by many gratious deliverances. There were not such Prophets in Israel in any Kings dayes as were in his: Nor such miracles wrought as in his: Nor had any King more glorious Victories and Deliverances, and Providences mani­fested towards him then he had: and therefore in all likelihood he was an obstinate sinner, and as some thinke very neere the sin against the holy Ghost. This is that King Ahab against whom God by his servant Elijah thunders dreadfull things, 1 Kings 21.20, 21, 22, 23, 24. The very hearing whereof something breakes the pride of his heart, ver. 27. And it came to passe that when Ahab heard those words, he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. But will God regard it? cares God for Ahab? Truly we should have been ready to thinke, that if such a wretch as Ahab should not onely have rent his clothes, but have rent his flesh, his heart: should he not only have fasted, but have starved, not only have shed Teares, but Bloud; all this should never have prevailed with God to relent any thing at all towards him; or reverse one Tittle of the wrath denounced against him, we would have thought so; had not God left the contrary upon record in his holy word; to teach us, That his thoughts are not as our thoughts, nor his wayes as our wayes. Therefore the word of the Lord came to Elijah saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because Ahab humbleth himselfe before me, I will not bring the evill in [Page 15] his dayes. Let all the earth now keep silence before the Lord; and after so manifest a proofe of Gods regard to Humiliation, even in an Ahab, let sinfull dust and ashes never murmure more, nor dare to say, What profit is it that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? Mal. 3.14.

Application. Now what shall we say to this? Shall England that hath more Strugglings in her wombe then Rebekah had, say as she, If it be thus, why am I thus? If it be thus, as we have heard, that God doth vouchsafe so gratious a tender regard unto the Humiliati­ons of his people, Why am I thus? Why am I yet after so many Dayes of monethly, and other occasionall Humiliations, a Stage of warre, a Field of Bloud? Hath God forgotten to bee gratious? or hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Is his Mercie cleane gone, or doth his Promise faile for evermore? Hath not the Lord promised 2 Chron. 7.14. If my People, which is called by my Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seeke my face, and turne from their evill wayes, then will I heare from Heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and I will heale their Land. And againe Levit. 26.42, 43. &c. If they shall confesse their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fore-fathers, &c. and if then their uncircumcised heart be humbled, and they then accept the punishment of their iniquitie, then will I remember the land. Now what shall we say? hath God forgotten to be gratious? was God gratious not only to Joshua and the Elders when they hum­bled themselves; but to Rehoboam and his Princes when they humbled themselves: Nay, even to Ahab when he humbled him­selfe; and will not the Lord be gratious unto us? Hath God promised that if his people humble themselves, and pray, and seek his face, he will forgive, and heale, and doth his Promise now faile? God forbid we should thus thinke or speake! the failing is on our part, not on Gods: we faile in that which God hath made these Promises; and usually beares this Tender regard unto: We are not humbled, we are not humbled; we are not hum­bled. After two yeares of extraordinary judgements, and three yeares of extraordinary Meanes and Dayes of Humiliation, we remaine an unhumbled people: where can we finde the Eviden­ces of such a Humiliation as was here in Joshua? or such as was in Rehoboam? or such as was in Ahab? or such as was in Nineveh? [Page 16] Oh England, thou hast destroyed thy selfe, thou hast destroyed thy selfe, even with a double destruction: Thou hast destroyed thy selfe Once by thy sinnes, thy ancient idolatries and persecutions: Thy late Apostacies, Superstitions, Oppositions to the Power of godlinesse, hating to be reformed, &c. these have called the destroy­ing sword, upon thee. Thou hast destroyed thy selfe by these a first time. And a second time thou hast destroyed thy selfe by thy un­humblednesse and impenitencie under the present judgement; Thy sins began, thy not being humbled perfects thy destruction. I am as confident as confidence it selfe can make me (for I have Scrip­ture for it) that if England were humbled, England should be healed. God would say unto his sword that now devoures, Re­turne unto thy place, Rest and be still. Nay, though All England were not humbled, yet if King and Parliament were but hum­bled, the Breach between King and Parliament (yea betweene God and the King, between God and the Kingdome) should be healed. God would be reconciled to King, Parliament, and Kingdome, and God would reconcile King, Parliament and Kingdome one unto another, if King and Parliament were but humbled: and things should yet goe well in England. That Ex­ample of Rehoboam and the Princes of Judah induceth me thus to thinke: Nay, if the Parliament were but humbled, if you Lords and Gentlemen were but humbled, I durst promise that things should yet goe well in England. God would prosper your Counsels, your Armies, things should succeed in all according to your minde, if you were humbled according to the minde of God. This sad blow whereby God hath called you to his foot this day (even in your owne understandings) speakes thus much, that God would have you, even you be more humbled then yet you have been; The Lord sanctifie it, and blesse it, that it may pro­duce such and such a measure of Humiliation in you, and in us all, as that for time to come our gratious God be no more enforced to use such severe wayes to breake our hearts and humble us.

I come now to that which God gave notice of to Joshua, in these words, Israel hath sinned, and hath also transgressed my Covenant: wherein you may please to consider, first, the thing that God gives Joshua notice of. Secondly, the Manner, how God gives Joshua notice of it.

[Page 17]The thing that God gives Joshua notice of is Sinne: Haec Thesis Is­rael deliquit sic quasi per gra­dus amplifica­tur graviter deliquit Israel, nam quod nuper jusserānō obser­varant, fecerūt enim nonnullas reliquas res quas perdidisse oportuit, & quod gravius est non reliquat mo­do fecerunt, sed sibi usurparint, tum quod ma­jus est flagitiū surtine usurpa­runt ad haec mē ­daciis insuper [...]allere conati sunt. Deni (que) quod malorū est extremū obsir­marunt animū rebus subtractis in suum suppel­lectilem relatis. Mas. in loc. Israel had sinned. The Manner of Gods giving Joshua notice of it, is first by way of gradation. God first in the generall tels him, Israel hath sinned. Then secondly, descends a little neerer to the Nature of the sinne, And they have also transgressed my Covenant: And then thirdly instances the particular sinne, And they have taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolne. Then fourthly follow the aggravations of the sinne, And they have dissembled also, and they have put it even amongst their owne Stuffe.

Or, if you please, you may consider in the words: 1 Gods Charge against Israel: and 2 the Amplification of it. The Charge it selfe is this, Israel hath sinned. The Amplification is in severall particulars. First, their sinne was a breach of Covenant, They have also transgressed my Covenant. Secondly, this breach of Co­venant was in an accursed thing, For they have taken of the ac­cursed thing. Thirdly, this breach of Covenant in the accursed thing it was a Theft, And they have also stollen. Fourthly, they have added Lying to their Theft, They have also dissembled. Fifthly, they have so farre hardened themselves in their sinne that they thinke I will never call them to account for it; And they have put it even among their owne stuffe.

Severall Observations may these words afford us, as,

There is no sinne so secretly committed, nor so closely carryed, but God seeth and knowes it.

Not one eye among the hundred thousands of Israel had dis­covered Achans Theft, the conveyance was so close; yet the eye of God saw it. Observ. 3 No darknesse of Night, no shadow of Death: Psal. 139.1, 2, 3, 4. &c. ad v. 14. no depth of hell, or of the deceitfull heart of Man can cover any thing from the All-seeing eye of God. The darknesse and the light to him are both alike. Psal. 139.12. Hell and destruction are before the Lord: how much more then the hearts of the sonnes of men? [...]. Paten [...]ia, Beza. Prov. 15.11. There is not any Creature that is not manifest in his sight. Aperta. Vulg. Manifesta. Trē. Resupinata. Er. Per medium dissecta. Parçus. Per Anatomiā dissecta. Illy [...].But all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to doe. Heb. 4.13. The smoothest closest hypo­crite doth but dance in a Net; he may deceive himselfe, God he cannot deceive. Our secret sinnes are in the light of his counte­nance. Psal. 90.8.

Applic. 1 Now would we consider this, this day, how might it humble us? how would it fill every heart with trembling and every face with shame, to consider that the God with whom we have t is day to doe knowes all our sinnes, our secret sinnes, our dark­nesse sinnes, our midnight sinnes, our Closet sinnes, our Curtaine sinnes, our Bosome sinnes; All things are naked and open to this [...]od: would we seriously consider this, how would it helpe to humble us for sinnes past?

And would we remember this, how might it preserve us from sinning for time to come, could we when temptations are upon us, remember, That when we have sinned, we cannot hide it from the righteous God? how would it make us Stand in awe, and not sin? Could men find a vaile to cast before the Eyes of God, a Maske to blinde the All-seeing Eye of God, a Curtaine that might hide them from the sight of God; Then might they sinne without feare. But if we can be no where, nor doe nothing but before Gods All-seeing eye; then again, I say, Stand in awe, and sin not. The Heathen could say, Maxima debetur pueris reverentia siquid turpe paras. — The presence of a child should keepe a man from filthinesse. There are some sinnes which he that hath not put off Man and native modestie, would be loath the eye of a Childe of five yeares old should see him in them. Might not the sight and knowledge of the great God be a more powerfull meanes of Restraint, if men would remember it. That Man that can thinke thus, If I commit this sinne, The great God, The Righteous Judge of all the world will see and know it; and yet can dare to sin: That man is more impudent in sin­ning then was Absalom when he spread a Tent upon the Top of the house, and went in into his Fathers wives in the sight of all Israel and of the Sunne.

3 But especially what a Preservative would the remembrance of this Truth be from that detestable and too too common sin of Hypocrisie. O the thoughts of this, That there is no sinne so secret or close, but God can and will find it out! ô how would it make us in all Simplicity and Godly Sincerity, study to approve our selves unto God. Abhorring to doe Gods worke for our owne ends, as Jehu did. For God will find it out, though men can­not; [Page 19] and will charge it home, which is the next thing you may observe out of this part of the Text.

Observ. 4 That where God comes once to charge sin, Vo [...]ula [...] e­tiam quae sapi [...]s hoc loco itera­tur, auxeses continuas signi­ficat, ut Hebraeis quo (que) videtur. Masius. ad loc. Exaggerat causam quae po­terat levis vi­deri. Pellicanus. Cri [...]. en exagge­rat particula [...] quae toties repetitur. Calv. he will charge it home in all the degrees and aggravations of it. So here, Israel hath sinned, and which is worse, they have transgressed my Covenant: and yet worse, they have even taken of the accursed thing: and wor­ser yet, they have also stollen: and worse still, they have also dis­sembled, and they have put it even among the Stuffe. According to this forme God drawes up a Charge and Inditement against David, 2 Sam. 12.7, 8. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anoin­ted thee King over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul, And I gave thee thy Masters house, and thy Masters wives into thy bosome, and gave thee the house of Israel, and the house of Judah, and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the Commandement of the Lord, to doe evill in his sight? Thou hast killed Ʋriah the Hittite with the sword: and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slaine him with the sword of the children of Am­mon. How sorely doth God charge this sinne upon his Dearest Favourite, King David in the depth of its bloudy Horrour, twice telling him, Thou hast killed, Thou hast slain. In the Height of its Rebellion against God, Thou hast despised the Commandement of the Lord. In the fulnesse of that violence it offered to all the mercies of God. I anointed thee, and I delivered thee, and I gave thee; and wherefore hast thou despised, &c? It may be long ere God comes to make this charge; But when he doth he will do it to purpose, Psal. 50 21. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence: and thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thy selfe: but I will reprove thee, and set thy sinnes in order before thee.

Applic. I prosecute the proofe of this no further. In one word, let it teach us, if it be possible, to prevent Gods charging sinne upon us; which certainly if it be so full cannot but be very dreadfull. Now it is possible, There is a way whereby we may prevent it, and that is by charging our sinnes home upon our selves. For if we would judge our selves, we should not be judged of the Lord, 1 Cor. 11.32. So if we would accuse our selves, indite our selves, [Page 20] we should not be accused, indited, of the Lord; if we would charge sin upon our selves, God would not charge our sinnes upon us; if we would remember them, God would forget them; if we would set them this day before our faces, God would cast them this day behind his back: Therefore let us accuse, indite, charge, jud e our selves, that we may be cleared, acquitted, released, absol­ved of the Lord.

But to come to something that we may fix upon, Israel hath sinned, saith God: both rendring the Reason why Israel was smitten, and directing Joshua to what he would have done. Is­rael hath sinned. Whence observe,

Observ. 5 That God would have his People, in all the Disasters that befall their Armies, take notice of their owne sinnes.

Ʋp, Joshua, wherefore lyest thou upon thy face? What doest thou weeping and breaking thy heart? There is other worke for thee to doe: Israel hath sinned, goe find out that.

You know this was that which God instructed his people in long before: that nothing should ever cause their Armies to mis­carry but their owne sinnes, so Levit. 26.14, 17. If you will not hearken unto me, and will not doe all these Commandements, I will set my face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies: and ver. 36. upon them that are left alive of you, I will send a faintnesse into their hearts in the land of their enemies, and the sound of a shaken leafe shall chase them &c. so Deut. 28.15, 25. If thou wilt not hear­ken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to doe all that I command thee, the Lord will cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies, thou shalt goe out one way against them, and flee seven wayes before them. And in all experience the people of Israel found it so; They ne­ver were worsted in their battles, but when they had sinned against their God. Israel from the time of their comming up out of Egypt had been but once put to the worse before their enemies, till this Time: and the Story of that you have Numb. 14. ult. The Amalekites came downe, and the Canaanites which dwelt in the hill, and smote them and discomfited them even unto Hormah. But the reason of this you may collect from the for­mer verses, Israel had sinned. And all along the whole Story of the Bible you shall constantly find it thus, when Israel was [Page 21] faithfull with their God, they ruled with their God and prospe­red in their warres whithersoever they went. Nay, even Ba­laam himselfe could tell, that while Israel kept themselves from sin, God would keep them from mischiefe in their Army. The Divell himselfe should not hurt them. Numb. 23.21, 23. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, nor hath he seene perversnesse in Israel. Vide Drus. ad diff loc Numer. & Ainsworth ad locum, & Weems upon the Morall Law. part. 1. The true meaning of which Scripture (what ever sence the Antinomians would put upon it in favour of their opinion, That God seeth no sinne in his people) is this. That at this time when Balaak hired Balaam to curse Jacob and defie Israel, there was no Peccatum flagrans, no sin lying upon the Congre­gation flaming in the eye of God, or stinking in his Nostrils, that might provoke his wrath against them, or cause him to suf­fer any calamity to befall them: therefore ver. 23. saith he, Sure­ly there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any Divina­tion against Israel. No, it is in vaine for men and divels to plot mischiefe against the Armies of Gods people, when there is no sin among them to pull that mischiefe upon them. All our Disasters of this kind they are the fruits of our owne sinnes, and God would have us look upon them as so: God would have his people in the Disasters that befall their Armies to take notice of their owne sinnes. And that,

Reason 1 First, that they may hereby be preserved from Atheisme, and Apostacy from God: from thinking either that there is no God, or that the God whom they have commended their cause unto is a God that cannot, will not succour them; a thing that the Nature of man is very subject to; you may remember what is said of King Ahaz, 2 Chron. 28.23. Ahaz sacrificed to the Gods of Damascus which smote him, and said, because the Gods of the Kings of Syria help them, therefore I will sacrifice unto their Gods, that they may helpe me also. There is a Root of this Atheisme and Impiety in the heart of every man. And such as God doth not teach to reade the cause of their defeats in themselves, are ready to thinke the enemies cause, Religion, God to be the better. Now that his people may be preserved from this, God will have them know that their sinne is the cause of their Disasters.

And secondly, God will have them take notice of this, that [Page 22] they may with the more quietnesse submit to these dispensati­ons of God, and say, The Lord is righteous. That they may not murmure, repine, nor be too querulous at such a time as this: therefore the Lord saith to us, as it is Ier. 4.18. Thy way and thy doings have procured this unto thee, this is thy wickednesse: and as it is againe Ezek. 14.23. Ye shall know that I have not done without cause all this that I have done, saith the Lord. That our hearts and mouths may justifie God, God will have us know that our sins are the cause of our Disasters. It is not enough to Take notice of the stroke and Mourne for that: But we must Take notice of the sin, and mourne for that. Ʋp, Ioshua, wherefore lyest thou upon thy face? Israel hath sinned.

Application. In the first place, This may serve to fill our faces this day with shame before the Lord; would our God have us in all the Disasters that befall our Armies take notice of our owne sinnes? Ah Lord! when did we doe thus? Is this the first time that God hath frowned upon our Armies? No, no: who hath not heard of the disappointment at the Vises, where a glorious victory slipt out of our hands when we were almost possest of it. The losse of Bristoll, The raising of the Siege at Newarke. I know the mention of these things may expose us to the scorne of our enemies; And let them scorne us, so we may give glory to our God. But have we in these disasters taken notice of our sinnes as the Causes of them? Nothing lesse. Men that are not led by Principles of Judgement and Conscience, but by successe; that doe not owne the cause for it selfe, they upon such Providences as these are ready to desert it, and take over to the enemies. And others are ready to impute it to Cowardize or carelesnesse, or falshood or treachery, to something or other in those who are the instruments of managing the businesse, as if there were not those sinnes among us that might provoke the Lord to crosse the endeavours of the most able and faithfull Instruments, as if we could all say with that Romane Emperour,Antoninus Phi­losophus: ut re­fert [...]u [...]at. Gallic [...]n A [...] ­dro Gassio. Non sic Deos coluimus, aut sic vivimus, ut ille nos vinceret. We have not so ser­ved God, nor doe we so live as that such an enemie should over­come us. We still cry out of Treachery, Treachery, and accuse others. But O how few are the men that upon such occasi­ons [Page 23] as these enter into their Chambers, and there between God and their soules inquire and say, What have I done?

Ʋt nemo in sese tentat descendere, Nemo?
Pecl.

The Lord hearkened and heard, but no man spake aright. No man repented him of his evill deeds, saying, What have I done? There is indeed an opinion, That Beleevers, the Children of God ought not to thinke that their sinnes have any influence into the Judgements that are upon a people. A soule perver­ting, a Land destroying opinion it is: The Lord preserve us from it. I am sure David was not of this opinion: Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly, saith David, 2 Sam. 24. when Israel was consumed by the Pestilence, and the Spirit saith expressely 2 Chron. 32.25. That for the sinne of Hezekiah, and for the pride of his heart came wrath upon him and upon all Ierusalem▪ And yet David was a Beleever and a Child of God. Hezekiah was a Beleever and a Child of God. If Hezekiah to his former pride that brought wrath upon Jerusalem, had added this further pride to thinke that his sin had not at all provoked that wrath, because He was a Beleever, a justified Person, ô what a provoca­tion would that have beene; The Lord deliver all his people from such pride of heart: it is too bad out of a slightnesse and carelesnesse of spirit not to take notice of our sinnes in our Dis­asters: But when this proceeds from an opinion, from a fixed Principle of Judgement and Reason. This makes it much worse.

2 In the second place, Is it the will of God that his people should take notice of their sinnes in the disasters of their armies? Then I be­seech you, let us labour to doe this will of God: and as before I called you to take notice of the Blow, to be sensible of that, so let me now call you to take notice of the sin, and the Lord help us that we may be sensible of that.

The Lord speakes to us in this Disaster as he did here to Jo­shua: Israel hath sinned. But who shall give us a particular dis­covery of the sinne or sinnes that are the cause of this Disaster? we cannot goe and as Joshua did here, or as Saul did, 1 Sam. 14.38. cast the lot that we may know and see where this sinne hath been. Who is the prudent man that knoweth this, and who is he [Page 24] to whom the mouth of the Lord hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth? Jer. 9.12. Oh that we could discover it. It is a Discovery that might more advantage England then the Discovery of as much Treasure as is in both the Indies. It might be the saving of the rest of our Armies, of the Cause, and therein of All. What may we think the sinne, the cause of this Dis­aster to be? I will tell you what we may not thinke it to be. We may not, we must not thinke that there is sinne in the founda­tion of the Action. That the Ground and cause of the warre is unjust and sinfull, because of this Disaster: no more then Ioshua's here, or the Benjamites, Iudg. 20. no though God should frowne yet further upon us, and breake us with breach upon breach. We must yet say as the Church, Psal. 44.17, 18, 19. All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, nor dealt falsly in thy Covenant. Our heart is not turned back: neither have our steps de­clined from thy way. Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of Dragons, and covered us with the shadow of Death. Never repent that we have imbarqued our selves in the quarrell; for the sinne lies not in the cause it selfe. But where then? I professe sin­cerely I cannot tell you where: if I could I durst not be so un­faithfull to God, to your soules, to the Kingdome, as to con­ceale it: All that I can say is, That as God in this his Provi­dence hath frowned upon not onely our Armies, but the Parlia­ment, the City, and the whole well-affected Party both Ministers and People, so All have sinned: and possibly all our sinnes have an influence into this calamity that is now upon us. And there­fore let All of us, Parliament-men, Commanders, Souldiers, Citi­zens, Ministers, People, All of us, ô let us search our selves, and enquire in our severall Orbes and Activities what our wayes have been, that so, if possible, we may find out what and where this sinne is.

There is a spirit in man which is as the Candle of the Lord searching the innermost parts of the belly, Prov. 20.27. that consulted with will discover hidden things. Now therefore every one of you consult your owne spirits.

And first, you that are Members of the Honourable Houses of Parliament (for I must speake to you; God and your selves have [Page 25] called me hither this day, to what end if not to speake to you.) Oh how doe I feare least some sinnes of yours may have a great influence into this Disaster that is now upon us; This I am sure of, Parliament sinnes, and sinnes of Parliament men are great Provocations. Looke how much honour God hath put upon every One of you singly more then upon others of your Ranke that are not Members of this Honourable Body; and looke how much more honour God hath put upon you joyntly as a Parliament more then upon other Parliaments, so much the greater is your En­gagement unto God; and if you sinne it is so much the greater Provocation: ô that you would ever remember it, Was there ever Parliament that had so many Prayers, Deliverances, Wonders waiting upon it as you? Was there ever Parliament that had God so neere unto them in all things? ô such a Parliament should as (Caesar said sometimes of his wife) be free not only à culpâ, sed & à suspitione. In the Name of Iesus Christ, whose Minister I am, and to whom I must give account of the discharge of this dayes service, I beseech you (Right Honourable) let this hand of God, (under which you are met to humble your selves this day,) cause every one of you seriously and impartially to re­view your wayes (not as men but as Parliament-men) com­mune every one with your owne hearts and say, What have I done? How have I discharged the trust that God and man have committed to me? ô remember God and man have entrusted you with that which is dearest to them both. God hath en­trusted you with his Gospell, with his Glory, with the affaires of the Kingdome of his Sonne, with the welfare of that Church which he hath purchased with his owne Bloud. Men have entru­sted you with their Estates, Liberties, Lives: ô that these things were written upon the wals of the Houses where you daily sit: as over the gate of the Senate house in Rome was written, Ne quid Respublica detrimenti capiat. Let the Common-wealth receive no dammage. But your care must be not only for Common-wealth, but for the Church and Religion to; both are committed to your Trust. But ô that you would inquire this day how you have discharged this Trust. Every man re­flect upon himselfe and say, Am I the man that have been cold [Page 26] and lukewarme in matters of Religion, that have retarded busi­nesses of Reformation. That have said, It is not yet time to Build the Lords house. If we settle any thing in matters of Reli­gion, we shall be loosers by it? Am I the man that am afraid to heare of Government or Discipline, lest it should give checke to some lust or opinion of mine? Am I the man that have made use of the Power and Interest God hath given me in Parlia­ment, to turne aside the right of a man, to subvert a man in his cause; to oppresse the righteous cause of an enemie, or ad­vance the unrighteous cause of a friend: To obstruct or pervert that course of strict and impartiall Justice, which God and man call for the execution of? Am I the man that have driven my owne designes in publike service; that have made it my worke to seeke great things for my selfe, at such a time as this, when God seemes to be taking down what he had built up, and plucking up what he had planted, and shouldest thou seek great things for thy selfe? Jer. 45. Am I the man, &c? Pardon me, Beloved, if I men­tion these particulars: your very friends that Love you, Honour you, Pray for you, that have it in their hearts to live and to dye with you, cannot but mourn to see your proceedings in Religion and Iustice so fore-slowed, though where the fault is, we know not ô that you would enquire among your selves this day. Again and againe in the bowels of Iesus Christ, I humbly beseech you, Search, Search and try your wayes. ô if there should be any corrup­tion, any perversnesse, any rottennesse, any selfe-end, any ungodly designe in any of you, God will search it out, if you will not: your sin will find out you, if you will not find out it. I say unto you from God as Moses did to those of Israel. Numb. 32.23. Be sure your sin will find you out. And remember, I beseech you, what the Spirit of God saith, Eccles. 9.18. Wisedome is better then weapons of warre, but one sinner destroyeth much good. The Wise­dome of a Parliament is better then the weapons of an Army, and may doe much good; but one sinner may destroy it all, and may make the Counsels of a Parliament, and the weapons of warre in the hand of the gallantest Army in the world miscarry. Did not Achan the sonne of Zerah commit a trespasse in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the Congregation of Israel? and that man peri­shed [Page 27] not alone in his iniquitie. Josh. 22.20. ô Better thou hadst never knowne Parliament, then to sit in Parliament, and by thy sin destroy all the good that a Poore Bleeding Kingdome, that THREE Poore Bleeding Kingdomes might reape by it.

Were I to speake to our Souldiery this day, I would be as ear­nest with them that they would search themselves. I would turn them to that Scripture Deut. 23.9. When thine host goeth forth against thine enemy, then keepe thee from every wicked thing. For (ver. 14.) the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy Camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee: therefore shall thy camp be holy, that he see no uncleane thing in thee, and turne away from thee. I would aske our Souldiers how they have kept this Commandement of the Lord. I would say to them as the Prophet Oded did to the Army of Israel: 2 Chron. 28.10. Are there not with you even with you sinnes against the Lord your God. Nay, I would dare to say, There are. And therfore in the Name of Jesus Christ would charge them every one to consult their own Con­sciences, and say, What have I done? Is it my drunkennesse, or my blasphemy, my uncleannesse, my rapine, my violence, my oppressing the Godly and well-affected party, for whom I pre­tend to fight: (these Pests our Armies are too full of) is it my &c. that is the cause of this Displeasure, this disuster?

Yea, I would speake to our Commanders, and bid them say to their owne hearts, Is it my doing the worke of the Lord negli­gently, Jer. 48.10. is it my height of spirit, my ambition, my standing upon Punctilio's, my preferring my own interest and honour before the good of an Army, of a Kingdome, &c. ô that men of brave Heroicke spirits, Christians should not be able to deny themselves in point of honour or interest, [...]. Herodot. in Ʋran. or personall wrong or difference, for a Publike good, as much as heathens. How me­morable is that of Themistocles and Aristides, who forgetting old grudges and injuries could in a time of common danger joyne their Counsels and forces together against the common enemy. It is time now, saith Aristides, to lay by other contentions, and contend now who should do most good to his Native Country. But of all, the spirit of that Romane Fabius justly called Maxi­mus was most admirable, who being advanced to a place of [Page 28] highest dignitie and command, to be Dictator of the City of Rome, (an office of absolute and unlimited Power) met with the most unworthy and undeserved affronts and discourage­ments, and overcame them with the greatest constancy to his employments and counsels and faithfulnesse to his Cause and countrey that ever (almost) man did.Liv li. 2 [...]. c. 18. Minutius the master of the horse (the next man in command to himselfe,) first clancu­larly traducing him in the army for a heavy slothfull man, a man of no courage or activity, only because he was not so precipitate and rash to put all to a push as he would have him.Cap. 14. Then after daring publikely in the head of the Army to declaime against him, and make a speech tending to no other end but to put the army into a mutiny. In Rome the people are filled with preju­dice against him by letters and rumours from the Army. Metili­us one of the Tribunes of the people makes a bitter invective against him in a solemne and publike audience.Cap. 25. The Senate (the Parliament as it were) of Rome whereof himselfe was a mem­ber will scarce heare him with patience make his own defence. In conclusion things are brought to that passe, that the Dictator is tantùm non, put out of office. But contrary to all former Pre­sident they make a Law that Minutius shall have equall com­mand with him,Cap. 27. and the supreme command to be equally sha­red between them both. Accordingly the Legions are divi­ded, Fabius hath one halfe and Minutius the other horse and foot. Some man (nay, almost any man) would have flung downe his sword, abandoned the service, let such an indiscreet, such an in­grate people sinke or swimme. But saith the Historian, qua ani­mi gravitate criminantes se ad populum tulerat eadem & populi in se saevientis injuriam tulit. Nay, within a little while after when Minutius and the party under his command had like to have been all cut off by Hannibal, he (not listening to what Envy, or what Revenge might dictate to him) came in to their reliefe presently, and not only rescued them, but by that courtesie re­duced Minutius to his obedience again; the man is as willing to resigne his command as ever he was ambitious to take it up. Truly these glorious sparklings of something humano majus, even in heathens, of selfe-deniall, of faithfulnesse, of Zeale for a [Page 29] publike good, swallowing up all other interests of Factiō, Honour, Priority, Power. These things even in heathens, make me blush, wonder, tremble. Si faciunt hoc Ethnici ut fama sua nomen exten­dant, Dan. quid agendum est Christianis ut in coelesti sibi gloriâ sedes ac­quirant? If Heathens will doe thus much for a Bubble of vaine-glory upon Earth: what should Christians doe for a Crowne of Glory in Heaven?

Or were I to speake this day to the Ministry of England that are rightly affected to the glory of God and the Publike good: I would intreat them to consider with me, whether we may not feare that some of our former sins in the matter of Gods Day and Worship may at this time come in remembrance before the Lord (especially seeing we have been no more humbled for them?) and whether our present divisions and dissentions, and the undue managing of them may not have an influence into our present calamities? I remember in the beginning of the first Reformation there fell an unhappy difference between Lu­ther and Zuinglius, and their followers, which was managed with a great deale of bitternesse, and remaines to this day un­composed. And both parties smarted under the sword of the common enemy the longer, it is probable for their disagree­ment among themselves. The Lord grant it fall not out so to us. O that we could all of us both Ministers and people re­member that vehement obtestation of the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. 1.10. Now I beseech you brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speake the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same judgement. Oh that at least the advantage that redounds to our enemies and disadvantage to our selves from these our differences, might compose them for us. And that we would imitate Basil and Eusebius, who perceiving the common adversary the Arrians, to improve a difference which was be­tween them to the prejudice of the Orthodox Churches, were soon reconciled: and imployed their united strengths against those enemies. But I digresse too farre: to returne therefore to my present Auditory.

You that stand here before the Lord this day (Men and Bre­thren) [Page 30] I beseech you every one aske your owne Consciences, and say, What have I done? what sinne is it of mine that hath awakened this hand of God against us?

Is it my unsensiblenesse of the indignation of the Lord in this civill destructive warre? Is it my pride, my luxurie, my eating flesh, my drinking wine, my clothing my selfe with scarlet, my walking with an out-stretched neck at such a time as this, when the Lord cals to weeping, and mourning, and baldnesse, and girding with sackcloth every day? Beleeve it, brethren, it is a great provocation in the eyes of our God to behold so much bravery and joviality as he sees every day in this great Ci­tie at such a time as this, when he is making his sword drunke with the bloud of our slaine. There are three Texts of Scrip­ture, Oh that all the children of pride and vanity would but stu­die them, Ezek. 21.9.10. A sword, a sword it is sharpened, and also fourbished. It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is fourbished, that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? Isai. 22.12, 13. And in that day did the Lord God of hosts call to weeping and to mourning, and to baldnesse and to girding with sackcloth. And be­hold, joy and gladnesse, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and dinking wine. Isai. 3.16-25, 26. Moreover, the Lord saith, Be­cause the daughters of Zion are haughtie, and walke with stretched forth neckes, and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they goe, and making a tinkling with their feet. Therefore thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the warre. And her gates shall la­ment and mourne, and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground. Little doe our Ladies thinke that their Gallantry (which that third of Isaiah gives an Inventory of) may make our mighty men fall in the warre, and our strongest Cities sit upon the ground.

But, say againe: Is it my trusting to an arme of flesh, my putting confidence in the Gallantry of our Army (and ah Lord! in this thing, the Lord be mercifull to us, who almost can plead Not guilty) that hath made this Arme of flesh to wither? Is it my neglect of Prayer? Am I the man that when I heard our Army was in streights; nay, when his Excellencie sent to desire Prayers, my wretched heart would not lift up one Prayer: Nay, if it were to doe again, if One Prayer would save the Army, save [Page 31] the Kingdome, I could not doe it? Am I the man that have with those perverse Israelites despised the pleasant Land, the Land of desires, as it is Psal. 106.24. When Israel was in Egypt there was nothing they desired more then the Land of Canaan; when they were come out of Egypt, and were upon the borders of that Land, then they despised it, and wished themselves in Egypt againe. ô that it were not so with us: It is not long since a Parliament, an Assembly of Godly Divines, the Reformation of the Church in Doctrine, Worship, and Discipline was the desire of all the well-affected in the Nation. But now the Parliament—the Assembly of Divines despised. The Reformation (which we are now even upon the borders of) in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, despised. Men wish themselves in Egypt againe. And had ra­ther be under Prelaticall Bondage then under a Government most conforme to the Word, and to the Government of other Refor­med Churches. No Reformation of Religion now: now nothing will satisfie some but a Toleration of all Religions and all Opinions. Church Government, Discipline is to some a fiction, to others Ty­ranny and Persecution. Ah Brethren this is a Provocation, and will be a Provocation, for this God may turne us into the wilder­nesse againe.

It were an endlesse taske to enumerate the rest of the parti­cular sins that possibly the people of this City and this King­dome may be guilty of: and that God may have his Eye and Hand upon in this Rebuke that he hath given us. And therefore I must not prosecute this any further. Only againe, I beseech you all, Lords, Gentlemen, Souldiers, Ministers, Men, Women, E­very one of you say to your selves, Sure we have sinned. Israel hath sinned; and every one of you aske your owne Consciences, saying, What have I done? And let us all in the feare of God make it one part of this dayes Supplications, that God would please to shew us where this sinne is, and say with Job, Chap. 10.2. Shew us wherefore thou contendest with us.

And if you please to take but one view more of the Text, God may please to shew us something more then we yet see. Israel hath sinned, (saith the Lord) and they have also transgressed my Covenant; wherein the Lord lets Joshua understand, that as sin [Page 32] in generall, so in particular breach of Covenant was the cause of the disaster, Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my Covenant. Whence I commend this to your observation;

Obſerv. That the violation of the Covenant of God is such a sinne as will make Israel turne their back before their Enemies.

I doe not intend a large discourse about violation of Covenant, to set out the odious & provoking nature of that sin. I shall only briefly doe two things. First, I shall shew how a Covenant may be called the Covenant of God. Secondly, I shall proove that the breach of any Covenant that may be so called, is such a sinne as will make Israel turne their backs before their Enemies. For the first of these; How a Covenant may be called a Covenant of God. For of such a Covenant the Text speakes; They have trans­gressed My Covenant: and so the Doctrine, the violation of the Co­venant of God, &c. Now a Covenant may be said to be a Co­venant of God, two wayes. 1 Either per modum obligationis: or 2. Per modum attestationis.

First, per modum obligationis, when we do directly and im­mediately ingage and bind our selves unto God, when God is the Party covenanted with, as in our Sacramentall Covenants, and in all Covenants purely Religious both for matter and man­ner.

Or else a Covenant may be said to be the Covenant of God, per modum attestationis, when a Covenant (though made be­tweene two equall parties) is yet made in the Name of God, and in the Sight of God; God is called to be a witnesse to it, and an a­venger of the Breach of it. So in that Covenant that Laban made betweene himselfe and Iacob. Gen. 31.44. Come let us make a Covenant, I and thou, and marke what he saith after this Covenant, ver. 50. God is a witnesse betweene me and thee: Such a Covenant as this, wherein the Obligation is unto Man, made in the Name of God, God counts his owne, no lesse then a Covenant, the Obligation whereof is immediately to himselfe: so you find Ezek. 17. the Covenant which the King of Iudah had made with the King of Babylon, God calls his Oath and his Covenant, ver. 19. Mine Oath that he hath dispised, and my Covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his head. Now [Page 33] the Doctrine comprehends both these, and tels us that the vio­lation of the Covenant of God, (that is of a Covenant either made directly and immediately with God; or made with others in the name and in the sight of God) is such a sin, as will make Isra­el turne their back before their Enemies.

For the proofe of this (which is the second thing I have to doe) besides the Text before us, I shall onely bring a Text or two, looke in the 78. Psal. ver. 9, 10. you shall reade there, the children of Ephraim being harnessed, and carrying bowes, turned back in the day of battell: They kept not the Covenant of God. The Children of Ephraim were daring men, couragious men, mighty men of valour: for so we reade of them in Scripture. The children of Ephraim, being Armed, that is with defensive Armes: it may be as compleatly armed as that gyant of Gath, that had a hel­met of brasse, and a shield of brasse and greaves of brasse; Ar­med they were: and carrying bowes: furnished with offensive armes that could eminus ferire, reach their Enemies at the best advantage at distance. The children of Ephraim being thus armed and carrying bowes, turned back in the day of battle; what ayled thee ô Ephraim that thou wert affraid? what ayled thee ô Ephraim that thou fleddest backward? They kept not the Cove­nant of God. There, there's the reason, had they kept the Cove­nant of God, God would have kept them; but they kept not the Covenant of God, and therefore it was not their Bow nor Har­nesse that could keepe them: being armed, and carrying bowes they turned back in the day of Battle: They kept not the Covenant of God.

So Ezek. 17.11. Iehoiakim King of Iudah had made a Cove­nant with the King of Babylon to be his Tributary, afterwards repents him; breakes his Covenant with the King of Babylon, sends to Egypt for horses and much people, and a mighty Army. Now saith God, shall he prosper? shall he escape that doth these things? shall he breake Covenant and be delivered? vers. 15. No: Pharoah and all his mighty Army shall doe him no good: They shall all fall by the sword, and they that remaine of him shall be scattered towards all winds, ver. 21. His breach of Covenant shall breake his army, were it never so mighty, and make it be as [Page 34] dust before the winds, So Ier. 34. The Princes and people of Iudah had made a Covenant, (ver. 15.) that at the end of seven yeeres they would every man let his brother an Hebrew that had bin sould unto him go free, according to the law of God in that case, Exod. 21.2. Deut. 15.12. yet afterwards they violated this Covenant, and caused their servants whom they had set free, to returne againe to their service: therefore thus saith the Lord, ver. 18. I will give the men that have transgressed my Covenant, which have not performed the words of the Covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calfe in twaine, and passed betweene the parts thereof. I will even give them into the hand of their E­nemies, and into the hand of them that seeke their life. See the pro­per punishment of breach of Covenant, is giving up to the lust and will of blood-thirsty Enemies.

To these stories recorded in Sacred writ, I shall adde but one of latter times, the memorable story of the famous battle of Varna, [...]ales [...]lefi­or [...]. Chr [...]. Carton. Lib. 15. fought Nov. 10. 1444. between Amarath the sixt, Em­perour of the Turkes, and Ʋladislaus King of Hungarie, one of the gallantest Souldiers the Christiā world thē had: which Vladislaus having made a solemne League or Covenant of peace, with the Turke,Knolls his Tur­kish hast [...]y. was afterwards perswaded by Iulian the Popes Legate to violate that League, and make warre upon the borders of the Turkish Territories; whereupon the Turke rayseth a mighty Army, takes the field: they joyne battell, the first Skirmishes seeme to promise victory to the Christians; the Turkes were even almost put to flight: when Amurath plucks out of his bo­some the writing, wherein the late League was comprehen­ded, and holding it aloft in his hand, with eyes cast up to Heaven, saith thus; Behold thou crucified Christ, this is the League thy people in thy name made with mee, and now have viola­ted without cause: If thou be a God, as they say thou art, shew thy power, and powre out thy wrath upon this perjured people. Dictum, factum, God did justice upon the Appeale of an Enemy a Turke, who in his very appeale spake Blasphemy: yet God will doe him Iustice; presently the battel turnes, and it prooved a very bloody fatall day to the Christian Army; the King and many of their chiefe Commanders slaine, the whole army routed, a [Page 35] great part of that Country lost; nothing the cause of all this, more then breach of Covenant. The Violation of the Covenant of God is such a sinne as will bring disaster upon any Army under Heaven.

Now to apply this to our selves.

Applic. I am sure you have not forgotten, for it is not yet a full yeare since you did with your hands lifted up to the most high, even in this place, Sweare a SOLEMNE LEAGUE AND COVE­NANT, in a most solemne and religious manner. I may say to you, as Ioshua did unto the people, when they had renewed their Co­venant with God, Ioshua 24.27. Behold these stones are a witnesse unto you, that you have made a Solemne Covenant with God, as ever people made. Sure you have not forgotten it. I am sure God hath not; God remembreth it, God hath remembred it in mercy all this yeare hitherto: and now God seemes to begin to remember it in Iudgement. Me thinkes this stroake of God upon us so neere that time Twelve-moneth, wherein we tooke the Cove­nant, seemes to speake as if God intended once a yeare to re­quire an account of this Covenant at the hand of England. ô that we could call our selves to account this day. The Iewes have a proverbe, Non est paena super Israelem in qua non sit unci [...] vituli. There is no punishment upon Israel, in which there is not one ounce of the Golden Calfe, meaning thus; That was such a transgression, as it is in Gods remembrance, every time he plagues them, and hath some influence into every calamity that falls upon them. In like manner we may say, Non est poena su­per Angliam in qua non sit uncia Foederis. We fall under no punish­ment, but there is an ounce of our Covenant in it. I beseech you please to review a little, some of the chiefe Articles of that Covenant, and see how we have observed it.

In the first, we engage our selves sincerely, really and constantly to endeavour the Reformation of Religion in England and Ireland, in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government, according to the Word of God, and the Patterne of the best Reformed Churches. A blessed and glorious worke, which as it hath the first place in our Covenant, so challengeth and deserveth the first and chiefe in our hearts. But what hath been done in this great work since the [Page 36] Covenant was taken? It is that God and man enquire after: What hath the Assembly done? what hath the Parliament done in the Reformation of Religion? When will some Order be setled for the Worship of God? When will the Government of the Church be established according to the Word of God? I feare, God takes it very grievously, that since we have made a Covenāt for Reformation, we have spent now a year, & done so litle in it.

We have covenanted in like manner, without respect of Persons, to endeavour the Extirpation of Popery, Prelacy, Superstition, Schisme, Prophannesse, and what ever shall be found contrary to sound Doctrine and the Power of Godlinesse. And blessed be God for the extirpation of Popery, Prelacie and Superstition, much hath bin done. But (I know not by what unhappinesse it is, but) so it is that this last yeare since we all covenanted to en­deavour to our utmost (without respect of Persons) to en­deavour the extirpation of Heresie and Schisme; Heresie and Schisme have encreased upon us more then ever. We are grown beyond Arminianisme, Brownisme, Anabaptisme, we are come (I meane many among us) to down-right Libertinisme. There are two opinions, which if encouraged, (& they are encouraged, if connived at) will open a door to Turcisme, Iudaisme, Atheisme, Polytheisme, any monster of opinion. The one is, That every man is to be left to the Liberty of his own Religion, an opinion con­tended for by the bloudy tenets, John Baptist, Liberty of Cōscience, and the like Pamphlets:An opinion most pernicious and de­structive, as to the souls of men, so to the Common-weale of the Kingdome. Gerhard [...]. com. de Ma­gistratu. § 199. ‘Libertas illa quidlibet credendi (saith Gerhard) nihil aliud est quam libertas errandi, &c. That Liberty of beleeving what men will (or of holding what faith they please) is no other then a Liberty of erring, and of erring in a matter that concernes the Eternall Salvation of the Soule, wherein to erre cannot but be most dangerous and destructive; and therefore (saith he) as it cannot be safe for sheep to be left alone to wander in mountaines and deserts, and graze in what pastures they please: Lest they fall upon some un­wholesome herb, or become a prey to the Wolfe: And as it cannot be safe to leave a Ship to it selfe to be driven by the windes and waves without any guide or Steerage, lest it dash it selfe against [Page 37] the Rockes: So it cannot be safe for Magistrates to leave peo­ple to a Liberty of being of what Faith and what Religion they please; Lest being carried away from the true Faith and Religion, they become a prey to destruction. Nor is any thing almost more destructive to a State or Common-weale. Praecipuum Concor­diae vinculum est Religionis similitudo & de cultibus Divinis Con­sensio. Likenesse of Religion, and agreement in the Worship of God is the strongest Bond of Concord.Bucholc in Chronol. Nor is there any thing that doth more unite the Mindes of men then the same opinions of God, and Communion in sacred things. On the contrary, Diversity of Religi­on dis-joynts and distracts the minds of men, and is the Seminary of perpetuall hatreds, jealousies, seditions, warres, if any thing in the world be, and in a little time, either a Schisme in the State begets a Schisme in the Church, or a Schisme in the Church begets a Schisme in the State. That is, either Religion and the Church is prejudi­ced by Civill Contentions, or Church controversies and disputes about opinions breake out into cruell warres.Quod à nobis avertat Deus! Men will at last take up swords and speares in stead of Pens: and defend by Armes what they cannot doe by Arguments. Nor doe we want Examples that tell us, that Bella sacra are managed with more enraged mindes then common warres are.Gualth. in Luc. cap. 10. For (as another saith) Constat nulla esse atro­ciora odia, &c. It is apparent that no hatred is so cruell, no dissen­tion so bitter, as that which ariseth from difference in Religion. For such is the Power of Religion, that it possesseth the whole man, and if once it degenerate into superstition, doth so enflame mens minds against those of the contrary party, as they not only hate them, but are even mad against them, &c.’ And the more we have been sometimes united in Religion and the wayes of God, the greater will the mischiefe be that this Diversity, shall I say, or Ʋniversality of Religions and opinions pleaded for by some will lay us under.Philip. Cawer. in oper. sacris. cap. 92. For Odia acerbiora & immortalia inter eos existere solent qui in fide & Religione conjunctissimis animis fuere, &c. The bitterest and most immortall hatred is usually betweene those that have sometimes been of the most concordant mindes in Faith and Religion; and af­terwards begin to differ: for nothing doth more alienate the mindes of men quam similis vel dispar Religio.

Once for all, it is the Preservation and Reformation of Religion [Page 38] which you have covenanted to endeavour, and not a Liberty of opinion, that will consist with neither. It is the Extirpation of Heresie and Schisme that you have covenanted: which if to be connived at, why doth the Apostle Paul reprove the Corin­thians for their Schismes so much? and why doth our Lord Jesus commend the Angel of the Church of Ephesus for trying those which said they were Apostles, and were not? And why is the Angel of the Church of Thyatira reproved for suffering that woman Jezabel, who called her selfe a Prophetesse, to teach and seduce. If once we come to this that any man be suffered to teach what he pleaseth, to seduce whom he lists, to be of what Faith, or Religion seemes good in his owne eyes, farewell Covenant, farewell Reformed Re­ligion, farewell the Peace and Glory of England. If that day once come. But you (Right Honourable) I hope better things of you, though I thus speake. I hope while you live and sit in Parliament this shall never be.Greg. Tholo­z [...]de Repub. lib. 8. Fieri nec solet nec potest, ut quit Deum sincerè & ex toto corde diligat, qui diversas Religiones simul fovere desiderat: certissimum enim ost neutram credere qui contra­rias admittit. It is not usuall, nay, it is not possible that they which love God sincerely should desire to cherish differing Re­ligions: for it is most certain, he that admits contrary Religions beleeves neither of them.

There is a second dangerous opinion (give me leave in the name not only of all the Ministers of Christ in England, but of all the Ministers that Christ hath in the world to complaine of it, it is this) That there is no Jus Divinum upon the Calling of the Ministry. To this purpose there was a Pamphlet lately put forth, bearing the Name of the compassionate Samaritane, that under pretence of pouring Wine and Oyle upon the wounded Anabaptists, (as he fancies them) poures the venome of Dragons and the gall of Aspes not only upon the Assembly (who yet are to no other end an Assembly then that they may be serviceable to God and you in the things of Jesus Christ) nor onely upon the Ministry of the Church of England, for then I had held my peace at this time; but upon the whole Ministry of Christ through the world; and would make that Sacred and Tremend Function to be as meere an Imposture, as very a mystery of iniquity, [Page 39] as arrant a juggle as the Papacie it selfe. I shall not need tell you what Anvill this was forged upon, nor that the Prin­ciples of Anabaptisme are as destructive to the Magistracie as they are to the Ministery. All that I say is this, the Lord make you mindfull of your Covenant, and wise and able to apply apt and sea­sonable Remedies to these growing evils before they be incurable.

We have covenanted against Prophannesse too. But what hath beene done against? True it is you have made pious Ordinances for the strict Observation of the Lords Day, and dayes of solemne Humiliation. But for want of a strict course prescribed, for the bringing of such as shall yet dare to profane these dayes to severe and exemplary punishment, not onely in the Countrey, but here in the Citie, and before your eyes, Sab­baths and Fasts are as much contemned as ever. It would be worthy of your second thoughts, what further course to take for the better sanctifying of those Dayes. As also for the stopping of that Rage of all manner of prophannesse that in these loose and arbitrary times breakes in as a floud upon us: and no won­der; Perverse opinions, and perverse manners alwayes walke hand in hand together.Buchol. in Chronol. O [...]nibus seculis Doctrinae coelestis cor­ruptionem comitatur pu [...]u morum corruptela: quae tandem Regnis ultima fata attrahit. Common corruption of manners hath ever attended corruption of Doctrine; and this at length brings desolation upon a Kingdome. We live in a strange age for licentiousnesse of opinion, and as strange for licen­tiousnesse of living; There was a thing done not many dayes since, not farre from this place, I think the like was hardly ever done before in England, or in the Christian world, I meane that scandalous abominable—I know not what to call it, I doubt not but you know what I meane; how farre your wisdomes will thinke fit to take notice of it, and enquire after it, I know not. But certainly it was such an affront to the Justice of God, such a dare to the power of his wrath now burning against us; such a scorne to the whole Nobility, Gentry, and Parliament of England, as both your owne Honour and Gods call upon you to shew your just indignation against it: Had some young Gallants in Rome (while heathen) played such a Trick the Censo­res morum would have at least degraded them.

[Page 40] 3 We have Covenanted, to bring Incendiaries, Malignants and evill instruments to punishment. Since this Covenant, God hath delivered many of yours, and the Kingdomes chiefe Enemyes in­to your hands. I will not inquire what Iustice you have done upon them; That may upon some prudentiall considerations be deferred possibly. But whether it be right in the sight of God, that his and the Kingdomes Enemies, when God hath shut them up in your hand, should not onely have their Lives and their Ease, but their lusts, their sinnes indulged them, and (which is the common complaint) in your prisons Sweare, and Drinke, and Gluttonize, and be as joviall, and as filthy, as in their owne Garrisons: whither this be right or no, consider. Some possi­by are ready to say to you,Petr. Nicol. Gelstroup. as that poore smith in Thuring did to the Landt-grave of that Country (who was more mild then was for his peoples good) Duresce, Duresce, ô infoelix Landtgra­vie, &c. I know there ought to be in those, into whose hands God hath put the sword, a contemperature of Severity and cle­mency. The sword of Iustice must be fourbished with the Oyle of Mercy; yet there are cases in which severity ought to cast the scale. I know not what to thinke of that saying of Tully: Si clementes esse voluerimus, Cicero Epist. ad Brutum. nunquam [...]erunt Bella civilia: yet there is a great deale of reason in that which one speakes in con­firmation of it,Zevecotius in Observatis Po­liti [...]is. cap. 14. Paena Lenior majorem peccandi occasionem sug­gerit &c. a slight punishment doth but tempt men to wickednesse, while all men hope they may escape, and never be discovered: or if they be, they know before hand they shall goe away with it pretty cheape. Therefore saith the same writer, Laudo Venetos apud ques unicum publicae pecuniae denarium intervertisse, non infame solum est, sed & Capitale. Consilia & decreta patrum revelasse quempiam rarò auditum est, semper graviter punitum.

We have all Covenanted for our selves, and all that are under our power, both in Publike & in Private, in all duties we owe to God and man, to amend our Lives, and each to goe before other, in the example of a Reall Reformation: had we kept this Covenant, ô what Saints should we have bin: all our families would have bin as so many Churches: England would by this time have been the Holy Island: we had not now been fasting, and weeping, and mourning, but rejoycing, and singing, & praising. But, I beseech you [Page 41] Beloved, tell me, is there that Evidence of Personall and Family Reformation, that such a Covenant as this did seeme to promise? Look upon the Families of Lords, Gentlemen, Citizens, where is such a Reformation as this Covenant binds us to? Me thinks in all these particulars, It is too too evident that we have transgressed our Covenant. We have sinned, and transgressed our Covenant. The Lord help us to lay this sin to heart. There is indeed a double vio­lation of Covenants: the one through wilfulnesse, this I hope you are free from. The other through unmindfulnesse; This may be chargeable upon Gods owne Servants, They were not mindfull of his Covenant, saith the Psalmist. Now even this is cause of Humi­liation to us. I remember the Day wherein we tooke the Cove­nant together in this place, was like the Day of laying the foun­dation of the second Temple. A Day of shouting, & a Day of wee­ping. A Day of joy, and a Day of trembling. A Day of joy and shou­ting, to see Parliament, Ministers, People, so willingly offer to joyne themselves in Covenant to the Lord; 'twas such a Day as England never saw before: and yet withall a Day of Trembling & Weeping. The Lord knowes there was many a gracious heart trembled that day, for fear we should transgresse the Covenant we then made. And now, behold, your eyes see, even yours; we have done so in too great a measure. O what should our Weeping, and Trembling be before the Lord this Day. O let every one of us take up a Lamen­tation and cry with Ezra: O my God, I am ashamed, & confounded, and blush to lift up my face unto thee, ô my God. Behold, we are before thee in our sins and trespasses: and cannot stand before thee because of this. O let us be humbled for our Covenant breaches past, and if we would not have God go on to break and blast our Armies, let us not only renew our Covenants (which is a part of the worke of this day) but let us be mindfull of and faithfull to our Covenants; or never look to have God more with our Armies. The Lord tels Joshua plainly in the 12. verse of this Chap. Neither will I be with you any more, till you have destroyed the accursed thing frō among you. Breach of Covenant is an accursed thing. It is a polluting of the great and dreadfull Name of the Lord our God. The Lord our God is a jealous God. We cannot expect he should be any more with us, while such a provocation is among us.

FINIS.

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