A Thankefull REMEMBRANCE OF GODS MERCY To several Persons at Quabaug or BROOKFIELD:

Partly in a Collection of Providences about them, and Gracious Appearances for them: And partly in a Sermon Preached By Mr. EDWARD BƲLKLEY, Pastor of the Church of Christ at Concord, upon a day of Thanksgiving, kept by divers for their Wonder­full Deliverance there.

Published by Capt. THOMAS VVHEELER.

Psal. 107.8.

Oh that men would Praise the Lord for his Goodness, and his Wonderfull Works to the Children of men.

Psal. 111.2.

The Works of the LORD are great, sought out of all those that Love him.

CAMBRIDGE, Printed and Sold by Samuel Green 1676.

The Preface.

Christian Reader.

I Purposing to Publish this ensuing Narrative of Gods Pro­vidence towards Capt. Hutchinson & my felfe & others, & the Sermon preached on the occasion hereafter expres­sed: do Judge it expdient to give you a little further Ac­count of matrers, occasioning the going of Captain Hutchinson & my fels to Quabaug: and also of the Motives inducing me to the Publi­cation of both to the world:

Philip the Sachem of the Wampanôgs, lying about Mount-hope, having done some Acts of Hostility against Plimouth Colony by murdering men, burning Houses and killing Cattel: the said Colony was necessitated to wart with him in their own defence: The Mas­sachusets and Connecticot Colonies being Confederate with them, and discerning the Justness of the Warr on their part: divers were sent forth of each Colony both Troopers and foot Souldiers to help our Brethren of that Colony against the said Sachem. The Honoured Council of the Massachusets did also send Captain Hutchinson with a Guard to the Narroganset Suchems and Sagamores; who were not farr from the said Philip: to see whether they intended to con­tinue their peace with us, or to joyne with the Wampanôgs against us: They promised to continue their peace with us, which they gave further hopes that they would do by sending over more of their Sa­chems to our Council where they also promised to remain Faithful Friends to us. Our much Honoured Governour and Council, being desirous as farr as it might be to prevent shedding of blood, and the strengthening of the Enemy by others joyning with them, did also send Ephraim Curtis of Sudbury and others to several other [Page] Sachems in and about the Nipmuck Country to the same pur­pose, they also promised Faithful Friendship to the English, (though they afterwards proved wretchedly perfidious) and set a time wherein they would come to Boston further to engage them­selves for the Councils satisfaction, but they came not at the time appointed: The Council sent the said Ephraim Curtis again to know the Reason thereof. They again promised to come, but did not. The Honoured Council being willing to use all means to prevent a Wart with them if it might be, and their Assistance of Philip, and the rest then in Arms against us: sent Captain Hutchinson thither also to Treat with them in order to the Preservation of peace between us and them, they also appointed my self to Assist him with part of my Troop, which accordingly I did attend: We discerned by the Indians deserting the places of their Abode that they were afraid of us: and therefore the better to effect our business in a peaceable way, and prevent Hostility on either side before we marched all to them, we sent three English men, and oue Indian (all four, being men Familiarly acquainted with many of the Indians) to let them understand that we only desired a Treaty in Reference to the Preser­vation of Peace with them, and that we inrcnded no hurt at all to them: but the Issue thereof was as in the Narrative is expressed. Wherein the Providences of God towards us in his wares about us were so Remarkable, in our sore Exercises and gracious Deliverances that they ought never to be forgotten by us, but kept in Remembrance all our dayes: the Lord hath made his wonderful works to be remem­bred, saith the Psalmist, and he would have his People to tell them to their Children, that they might also declare them to their Children, And therefore for the help of our memories and the preventing of mistakes in Reports, and the Advantage of our own Relations and others better Acquaintance with the manner of Gods dealings with us, I have endeavoured the drawing up of this Following Declaration of what befell us in our March to, and at Brookfield, and our Returne homewards: I not at first intending that it should by my means be brought to publick view: but several persons having seen it, (though not altogether so large as now it is) they perswaded me, and urged it as a Duty Incumbent on me, (the Lord having taken away Captain Hutchinson, who might have performed it in a better [Page]manner) to put it forth in print, that many may thereby be provo­ked to give God the glory of his great works in our Salvation, and that others may make use of his dealings with us to learn to trust and Re­ly upon him in the sorest straits, and may be encouraged to wait pati­ently for Deliverance in the greatest danger that may befall them: for greater danger of Loss of Life cannot well be with an Escape, then that of ours. For from Monday about Ten of the Clock in the mor­ning till nine on Wednesday night, all hope that we should be saved (as Acts 27.20) was in the Eye of Reason taken away, and we were in continual Expectation of Death, but yet even then we were not without some hopes in the Lord our God to whom the Issues of Death-belong: who was pleased to know our Souls in Adversity, to hear our Cries, and to save us for his mercy sake, as in the Narra­tive more fully appears, which goodness of God that it may be the better remembred by us, and others incited the more to magnify God with us, (as David calls upon others to do for Gods mercy to him, Psal 34.3.) and also quickned to put their trust on God all their dayes: I have Adventured to publish this Narration, intreating your Candid Acceptance thereof, and over looking all the defects and weaknesses therein: As for the Sermon added thereto, the occasion thereof was this. When the Lord of his free and abundant mercy had sent Delive­rance to us by Honoured Majors Willards coming to us, and our Ene­mies departing thereupon, and we had rest from them, I in the morning called together my Company both the wounded and the Rest who were weary with their hard Service, and much watching, and propounded this to them; whether though God had taken away divers from us, & others of us were sore wounded, yet in regard so many of us had our Lives given us for a Prey, & also that God had made us Instrumental to save so many Souls alive of the Town dwellers, (who would probably have been all or most of them destroyed, had not God carried us thither:) whether I say God did not Call for a Solemn day of Thanksgiving from us, when we should have Opportunity: They Rejoycing at the motion very readily Assented to it, and promised that those of us whom God should be pleased to Carry home would attend it in due Season: and when some others with my self and Son, were in some good measure recovered of our wounds: I Requested Mr. Bulkely to help us in the work of the day intended to be kept by us. He being of a ready Spirit to the ut­most [Page]of his strength to forward any good duty that God calls for, he al­so Judging it to be of very great Concernment, althoughte he Country was in very great distress, our Deliverance being so Remarkable, he did joyne with us therein on October 21.75. and then preach­ed what is here published, which we finding so seasonable to the occasion and beneficial to our selves. I further Requested him that for the help of our memories, and our better Improvement of what was then delivered to us, also for the benefit and Edification of others, he would give me a Coppy of it, and suffer me to publish it: which though for a time he delayed to do, yet hath at length given given me a Coppy with power to do as I shall think best, therein per­mitting it to be added to the aforesaid Narrative. I hope it may be profitable to many of Gods people, to whose view it may come, & I know that there be many in this Country at this day for whome it may be very seasonable, who having with our selves received great mercies in Preservations and Deliverances in these Evil and Trouble­some Times, in the Naragansit Expedition, and at other times, and in other places where they have been in very great danger, and in hazard of the loss of Life, and all they had, as also having been healed of sore and dangerous wounds: been brought home safely to their dear Re­lations, or have had their Relations Returned to them, whom they fear­ed they should not have seen again, and have had their Habitations and Estates preserved when near to Ruine; and others not farr from them were consumed: All whom, with all others whom God hath vouchsaved any special mercy to in Recovery out of great sicknesses, or otherwise, it Concerns to do as we were then Exhorted to do, even seriously to observe what God hath done about them, and for them and Carefully to Return that Praise, Love and Obedience which he expects from them: I Crave your Prayers for the blessing of God to ac­company both his Works and his Word tous for our Everlasting good.

Tho. Wheeler.

A TRƲE NARRATIVE

Of the Lords Providences in various dispen­sations towards Captain Edward Hutchinson of Boston and my self, and those that went with us into the Nipmuck Country, and also to Quabaug, alias Brookfield: The said Cap­tain Hutchinson having a Commission from the Honoured Council of this Colony to Treat with several Sachems in those parts in order to the publick peace, and my self being also ordered by the said Council to accompany him with part of my Troop for Security from any dan­ger that might be from the Indians: and to Assist him in the Transaction of matters com­mitted to him.

THe said Captain Hutchinson, and my self with about twenty men or more marched from Cambridge to Sud­bury, July 28.75. and from thence into the Nipmuck Country, and finding that the Indians had deserted their Towns, and we having gone until we came within twenty miles of New Norwitch, on July 31. (only we saw two Indians ha­ving [Page 2]an Horse with them, whom we would have spoke with, but they fled from us and left their Horse, which we took) we then thought it not expedient to march any further that way, but set our march for Brookfield, whither we came on the Lords day about Noon. From thence the same day (being August 1.) we under­standing that the Indians were about Ten Miles Northwest from us, we sent out four men to acquaint the Indians that we were not come to harm them, but our business was only to deliver a Message from our Honoured Governour and Council to them, and to receive their Answer, we desiring to come to a Treaty of Peace with them, (though they had for several dayes fled from us) they having before profes­sed Friendship, and promised Fidelity to the English. When the Messengers came to them; they made an Alarm, and gathered to­gether about an hundred and Fifty fighting men as near as they could judge; The young men amongst them were stout in their Speeches, and surly in their Carriage; But at length three of the chief Sachems promised to meet us on the next morning about eight of the Clock upon a plain within three miles of Brookfield, with which Answer the Messengers returned to us. Whereupon though their Speeches and Carriage did much discourage divers of our Company, yet we conceived that we had a cleer Call to go to meet them at the place whither they had promised to come. Ac­cordingly we with our men accompanied with three of the Principal Inhabitants of that Town marched to the plain appointed; but the Treacherous Heathen intending mischief (if they could have op­portunity) came not to the said place, and so failed our hopes of speaking with them there. Whereupon the said Captain Hutchin­son and my self with the rest of our Company Considered what was best to be done, whether we should go any further towards them, or Return, divers of us apprehending much danger in Case we did pro­ceed, because the Indians kept not promise there with us: But the three men who belonged to Brookfield were so strongly perswaded of their Freedome from any ill Intentions towards us, (as upon other grounds, so especially because the greatest part of those Indians be­longed to David one of their chief Sachems, who was taken to be a great Friend to the English:) That the said Captain Hutchinson (who was principally Intrusted with the matter of Treaty with [Page 3]them) was thereby encouraged to proceed and march forward to­wards a Swampe where the Indians then were. When we came near the said Swampe, the way was so very bad that we could march only in a fingle File, there being a very Rocky Hill on the right hand, and a thick Swampe on the left. In which there were many of those cruel blood-thirsty Heathen, who there way-laid us, waiting an opportunity to cut us off; there being also much brush on the side of the said Hill, where they lay in Ambush to surprize us. When we had marched there about sixty or seventy Rods, the said perfidious Indians sent out their shot upon us as a showre of haile, they being (as was supposed) about two hundred men or more. We seeing our selves so beset, and not having room to fight, Endeavoured to fly for the safety of our lives. In which Flight we were in no small danger to be all Cut off, there being a very miry Swamp before us in­to which we could not enter with our horses to go forwards, and there being no safety in retreating the way we came, because many of our Enemies, who lay behind the Bushes, and had let us pass by them quietly; when others had shot, they came out, and stopt our way back: so that we were forced as we could to get up the steep and Rocky Hill: But the greater our danger was, the greater was Gods mercy in the preservation of so many of us from sudden destruction. My self being gone up part of the Hill without any hurt, and per­ceiving some of my men to be fallen by the Enemies shot: I wheeled about upon the Indians, not calling on my men who were left to Ac­company me, which they in all probability would have done had they known of my Return upon the Enemy. They firing violent­ly out of the Swamp, and from behind the bushes on the Hill side wounded me sorely, and shot my Horse under me, so that he faultring and Falling, I was forced to leave him, divers of the Indians being then but a few Rods distant from me, My Son Thomas Wheeler flying with the rest of the Company missed me amongst them, and fearing that I was either slain, or much endangered returned towards the Swampe again, though he had then received a dangerous wound in the Reins; where he saw me in the danger aforesaid: Whereup­on he endeavoured to Rescue me, shewing himself therein a loving and dutiful Son, he adventuring himself into great peril of his Life to help me in that distress, there being many of the Enemies about him. [Page 4]My Son set me on his own horse, and so escaped a while on Foot himself, until he Caught an Horse whose Rider was slain, on which he mounted, and so through Gods great mercy we both escaped: But in this Attempt for my deliverance he received another dangerous wound by their shot in his left Arm. There were then slain to out great grief eight men viz. Zechariah Philips of Boston, Timothy Farlow of Billericay, Edward Coleborn of Chelmsford, Samuel Smed­ly of Concord, Sydrach Hopgood of Sudbury, Serjeant Eyres, Serjeant Prichard, and Corporal Coy the Inhabitants of Brookfield aforesaid; It being the good pleasure of God, that they should all there fall by their hands, of whose good Intentions they were so Confident, and whom they so little mistrusted. There were also then five persons wounded, viz. Captain Hutchinson, my self, and my Son Thomas as aforesaid, Corporal French of Billericay, who having killed an Indi­an was (as he was taking up his gun) shot, and part of one of his Thumbs taken off; and also dangerously wounded through the Body near the Shoulder, the fifth was John Waldoe of Chelmsford, who was not so dangerously wounded as the rest; They also then killed five of our horses, and wounded some more, which soon died after they came to Brookfield Upon this sudden and unexpected blow gi­ven us (wherein we desire to look higher then man the Instrument) we returned to the Town as fast as the badness of the way, and the weakness of our wounded men would permit, we being then Ten Miles from it. All the while we were going we durst not stay to stanch the bleeding of our wounded men, for fear the Enemy should have surprized us again, which they attempted to do, and had in probability done, but that we perceiving which way they went, wheeled off to the other hand, and so by Gods good Providence to­wards us, they missed us, and we all came readily upon, and safely to the Town, though none of us knew the way to it, those of the place being slain as aforesaid, and we avoiding any thick woods and riding in open places to prevent danger by them. Being got to the Town we speedily betook our selves to one of the largest and strongest hou­ses therein, where we fortified our selves in the best manner we could in such straits of Time, and there resolved to keep Garrison, though we were but few, and meanly fitted to make Resistance against so many Enemies. The News of the Indians Treacherous dealing with [Page 5]us, and the loss of so many of our Company thereby, did so amaze the Inhabitants of the Town, that they being informed thereof by us presently left their houses, divers of them carrying very little away with them, they being afraid of the Indians sudden coming upon them: and so came to the house we were entred into, very meanly provided of Cloathing, or furnished with Provisions.

I perceiving my self to be disenabled for the discharge of the du­ties of my place by reason of the wound I had received, and appre­hending that the Euemy would soon come to spoyle the Town, and Assault us in the house, I appointed Simon Davis of Concord, James Richardson, and John Fiske of Chelmsford to manage Affairs for our Safety with those few men whom God hath left us, and were fit for any Service, and the Inhabitants of the said Town; who did well and Commendably perform the duties of the Trust committed to them with much Courage and Resolution through the Assistance of our gracious God who did not leave us in out low and distressed state, but did mercifully appear for us in our greatest need, as in the Sequel will clearly be manifested. Within two hours after our com­ing to the said house, or less, the said Captain Hutchinson and my self posted away Ephraim Curtis of Sudbury, and Henry Young of Concord to go to the Honoured Council at Boston to give them an Account of the Lords dealings with us, and our present Condition. When they came to the further end of the Town they saw the Ene­my Rifling of houses which the Inhabitants had forsaken. The Post fired upon them, and immediately returned to us again, they discern­ing no safety in going forward, and being desirous to inform us of the Enemies Actings, that we might the more prepare for a sudden Assault by them. Which indeed presently followed, for as soon as the said Post was come back to us, the Barbarous Heathen pressed upon us in the house with great violence, sending in their Shot amongst us like haile through the walls, and shouting as if they would have swallowed us up alive; but our good God wrought wonderful­ly for us, so that there was but one man wounded within the house, viz the said Henry Young who looking out at a garret window that Evening was mortally wounded by a Shot, of which wound he died within two dayes after. There was the same day another man slain, but not in the house, a Son of Serjeant Prichards adventuring out of [Page 6]the house wherein we were, to his Fathers house not far from it, to fetch more goods out of it, was Caught by those Cruel Enemies as they were coming towards us, who cut off his head, kicking it a­bout like a Foot-ball, and then putting it upon a Pole, they set it up before the door of his Fathers house in our sight.

The night following the said blow, they did roar against us like so many wild Bulls, sending in their Shot amongst us till towards the Moon rising, which was about three of the Clock; at which time they Attempted to fire our house by Hay and other Combustible matter which they brought to one Corner of the house, and set it on fire. Whereupon some of our Company were necessitated to expose themselves to very great danger to put it out: Simon Da­vis one of the three appointed by my self as Captain, to supply my place by Reason of my wounds as aforesaid, he being of a lively Spirit encouraged the Souldiers within the house to fire upon the In­dians; and also those that Adventured out to put out the Fire (which began to rage and kindle upon the house side) with these and the like words, That God is with us, and fights for us, and will deliver us out of the hands of these Heathen; which Expressions of his the In­dians hearing, they shouted and scoffed saying: now sce how your God delivers you, or will deliver you, sending in many shots whilst our men were putting out the Fire. But the Lord of Hosts wrought ve­ry graciously for us, in preserving our Bodies both within and without the house from their shot, and our house from being consumed by Fire, we had but two men wounded in that Attempt of theirs, but we ap­prehended that we killed divers of our Enemies. I being desirous to hasten Intelligence to the Honoured Council of our present great distress, we being so remote from any succour, (It being between sixty and seventy miles from us to Boston, where the Council useth to sit) and fearing our Ammunition would not last long to with­stand them, if they continued so to Assault us, I spak: to Ephraim Curtis to adventure forth again on that Service, and to Attempt it on Foot, as the way wherein there was most hope of getting away un­discovered; He readily Assented, and accordingly went out, but there were so many Indians every where thereabouts, that he could not pass, without apparent hazard of Life, so he came back again, yet towards morning the said Ephraim adventured forth the third [Page 7]time, and was fain to creep on his hands and knees for some space of ground, that he might not be discerned by the Enemy, who waited to prevent our sending if they could have hindred it. But through Gods mercy he escaped their hands, and got safely to Marlborough, though very much spent, and ready to saint by Reason of want of sleep before he went from us, and his sore travel night and day in that hot Season till he got thither, from whence he went to Boston. yet before the said Ephraim got to Marlborough, there was Intel­ligence brought thither of the burning of some houses, and killing some Cattel at Quahaug by some who were going to Connecticut, but they seeing what was done at the End of the Town, and hearing several guns shot off further within the Town, they durst proceed no further, but Immediately returned to Marlborough, though they then know not what had befallen Captain Hutchinson and my self, and Company, nor of our being there, but that timely Intelligence they gave before Ephraim Curtis his coming to Marlborough, occasion­ed the Honoured Major Willards turning his March towards Qua­haug for our Relief, who were in no small danger every hour of be­ing destroyed; the said Major being when he had that Intelligence upon his March another way as he was Ordered by the Honoured Council, as is afterwards more fully expressed.

The next day being August 3d. they continued shooting & shout­ing, & proceeded in their former wickedness blaspheming the Name of the Lord, and reproaching us his Afflicted Servants, scoffing at out prayers as they were sending in their shot upon all quarters of the house And many of them went to the Towns meeting house (which was within twenty Rods of the house in which we were) who mocked say­ing, Come and pray, & sing Pfalms, & in Contempt made an hideous noise somewhat resembling singing. But we to our power did endea­vour our own defence, sending our shot amongst them the Lord giving us Courage to resist them, & preserving us from the destruction they sought to bring upon us. On the Evening following we saw our Ene­mies Carrying several of their dead or wounded men on their Backs, who proceeded that night to send in their shot as they had done the night before, & also still shouted as if the day had been certainly theirs, and they should without fail, have prevailed against us which they might have the more hopes of in regard that we discerned the [Page 6] [...] [Page 7] [...] [Page 8]coming of new Companies to them to Assist and strengthen them, and the unlikelihood of any coming to our help. They also used several Stratagems to Fire us, namely by wild fire in Cotton and Linnen Rags with Brimstone in them, which Rags they tyed to the Piles of their Arrows sharp for the purpose, and shot them to the Roof of our house, after they had set them on Fire, which would have much endangered the burning thereof, had we not used means by cutting holes through the Roof, and otherwise, to beat the said Arrows down, and God being pleased to prosper our Indeavours therein. They carryed more Combustible matter as Flax and Hay to the sides of the house, & set it on fire, & then flocked apace towards the door of the house, either to prevent our going forth to quench the Fire, as we had done before, or to kill our men in their Attempt to go forth; or else to break into the house by the door; whereupon we were forced to break down the wall of the house against the Fire to put it out: They also shot a Ball of wild Fire into the garret of the house which fell a­mongst a great heap of Flax or Tow therein; which one of our Souldi­ers through Gods good Providence soon espyed, & having water ready presently quenched it; and so we were preserved by the keeper of Israel, both our Bodies from their shot, which they sent thick against us, and the house from being consumed to Ashes, although we were but weak to defend our selves, we being not above twenty and six men with those of that small Town, who were able for any Service, and our Enemies as I Judged them about (if not above) three hundred, I speak of the least, for many there present did guess them to be four or five hundred. It is the more to be observed that so little hurt should be done by the Enemies shot, it commonly piercing the walls of the house, and flying amongst the People, and there being in the house fifty women and Children besides the men before mentioned. But abroad in the yard one Thomas Wilson of that Town being sent to setch water for our help in further need, (that which we had be­ing spent in putting out the Fire) was shot by the Enemy in the upper Jaw, and in the neck, the anguish of which wound was such at the first that he cried out with a great noise, by Reason whereof the Indians hearing him rejoyced and triumphed at it; But his wound was healed in a short time, praised be God.

On Wednesday August the 4th. the Indians Fortifyed themselves [Page 9]at the meeting house, and the Barne belonging to our house, which they Fortified both at the great doors, and at both Ends with Posts, Rails, Boards, and Hay to save themselves from our shot. They also devised other Stratagems to fire our house on the night follow­ing, namely, they took a Cart, and filled it with Flax, Hay and Candlewood, and other Combustible matter, and set up Planks fasten­ed to the Cart to save themselves from the danger of our shot. Ano­ther Invention they had to make the more sure work in burning the house. They got many Poles of a Considerable length and bigness, and spliced them together at the Ends one of another, and made a Car­riage of them about fourteen Rods long, setting the Poles in two Rows with peils laid cross over them at the Front End, and dividing them said Poles about three foot asunder, and in the said Front of this their Carriage they set a Barrel, having made an hole through both Heads, and put an Axle. Tree through them, to which they fastened the said Poles, and under every joynt of the Poles where they were spliced, they set up a a pair of Truckle wheeles to bear up the said Car­riages, and they loaded the Front or fore-end thereof with matter fit for firing, as Hay, and Flaxe, and Chips, &c. Two of these Instru­ments they prepared, that they might Convey Fire to the house, with the more safety to themselves, they standing at such a distance from our shot, whilst they wheeled them to the house: great store of Arrows they had also prepared to shoot fire upon the house that night; which we found after they were gone, they having left them there. But the Lord who is a present help in Times of trouble, and is pleased to make his peoples Extremity his opportunity, did gracious­ly prevent them of Effecting what they hoped they should have done by the aforesaid devices, partly by sending a showre of Rain in season, whereby the matter prepared being wett would not so ea­sily take Fire as it otherwise would have done, and partly by Aide coming to our help. For our danger would have been very great that night, had not the only wise God (blessed for ever) been pleased to send to us about an hour within night the Worshipful Ma­jor Willard with Captain Parker of Groaton, and Forty six men more with five Indians to relieve us in the Low Estate into which we were brought; our Eyes were unto him the holy one of Israel; In him we desired to place our Trust, hoping that he would in the time of our [Page 10] great need appear for our deliverance, and Confound all their plots by which they thought themselves most sure to prevail against us; And God who comforteth the Afflicted, as he comforted the holy Apostle Paul by the coming of Titus to him, so he greatly comforted us his distressed Servants both Souldiers and Town Inhabitants by the coming of the said Honoured Major, and those with him. In whose so soon coming to us the good Providence of God did marveilously appear; For the help that came to us by the Honoured Councils order (after the tydings they received by our Post sent to them) came not to us till Saturday August 7. in the afternoon, nor sooner could it well come in regard of their distance from us, i. e. if we had not had help before that time, we see not how we could have held out, the number of the Indians so encreasing, and they making so many Assaults up­on us, that our Ammunition before that time would have been spent, and our selves disenabled for any Resistance, we being but sew, and alwaies fain to stand upon our defence; that we had little time for Refreshment of our selves either by Food or Sleep; The said Honour­ed Majors coming to us so soon was thus occasioned; He had a Commission from the Honoured Council (of which himself was one) to look after some Indians to the West-ward of Lancaster and Groa­ton, (where he himself lived) and to secure them, and was upon his march towards them on the foresaid wednesday in the morning, Au­gust 4th. When Tydings coming to Marlborough by those that re­turned thither as they were going to Connecticot, concerning what they saw at Brookfield as aforesaid, some of Marlborough knowing of the said Majors march from Lancaster that morning presently sent a Post to acquaint him with the Information they had received; The Major was gone before the Post came to Lancaster; but there was one speedily sent after him, who overtook him about five or six miles from the said Town; He being acquainted, that it was feared, that Brookfield (a small Town of about fifteen or sixteen Families) was either destroyed, or in great danger thereof, & conceiving it to require more speed to succont them (if they were not past help) then to proceed at present, as he before intended, and being also very desi­rous (if it were possible) to afford Relief to them, (he being then not above Thirty Miles from them) he Immediately altered his Course and marched with his Company towards us: and came to us [Page 11]about an hour after it was dark as abovesaid; though he knew not then, neither of our being there, nor of what had befallen us at the Swampe and in the house those two dayes before.

The merciful Providence of God also appeared in preventing the danger that the Honoured Major and his Company might have been in, when they came near to us, for those Beastly men our Ene­mies Skilful to destroy, Indeavoured to prevent any help from com­ing to our Relief, and therefore sent down Sentinels, (some nearer and some further off) the furthest about two miles from us, who if they saw any coming from the Bay they might give notice by an Alarm. And there were about an hundred of them who for the most part kept at an house some little distance from us, by which if any help came from the said Bay, they must pass, and so they in­tended (as we conceive) having notice by their Sentinels of their approach to way-lay them, and if they could, to cut them off before they came to the house where we kept.

But as we propably guess, they were so intent and buisy in prepa­ring their Instruments (as abovesaid) for our destruction by Fire, that they were not at the house where they used to keep for the pur­pose aforesaid, and that they heard not their Sentinels when they shot; and so the Majors way was clear from danger till he came to our house. And that it was their purpose so to have fallen upon him, or any other coming to us at that house, is the more propable in that (as we have since had Intelligence from some of the Indians themselves) there were a party of them at another place who let him past by them without the least hurt or Opposition, waiting for a blow to be given him at the said house, and then they themselves to fall upon them in the Reare, as they intended to have done with us at the Swamp, in Case we had fled back as is before expressed, The Major & Company were no sooner come to the house, and understood (though at first they knew not they were English who were in the house, but thought that they might be Indians, and therefore were ready to have shot at us, till we discerning they were English by the Majors speaking, I caused the Trumpet to be sounded) that the said Captain Hutchinson, my self, and Company with the Towns Inhabitants were there, but the Indians also discerned that there were some come to cur Assistance, whereupon they spared not their shot, but poured it [Page 12]out on them; but through the Lords goodness, though they stood not farr asunder one from another, they killed not one man, wounded on­ly two of his Company; and killed the Majors Sons horse; after that we within the house perceived the Indians shooting so at them, we hastened the Major and all his Company into the house as fast as we could, and their horses into a little yard before the house, where they wounded five other horses that night; After they were come into the house to us, the Enemies continued their shooting some Con­siderable time, so that we may well say, had not the Lord been on our side when these Cruel Heathens rose up against us, they had then swal­lowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us. But wherein they dealt proudly, the Lord was above them.

When they saw their divers designes unsuccessful, and their hopes therin disappointed, they then fired the houss & barne (wherein they had before kept to lye in wait to surprize any coming to us) that by the Light thereof they might the better direct their shot at us, but no hurt was done thereby praised be the Lord. And not long after they burnt the Meeting house wherein their Fortifications were, as al­so the Barne which belonged to our house, and so perceiving more strength come to our Assistance: they did as we suppose, despaîr of effecting any more mischief against us. And therefore the greatest part of them towards the breaking of the day August the fifth went away and left us, and we were quiet from any further molestations by them; and on that morning we went forth of the house without danger, and so daily afterward, only one man was wounded about two dayes after, as he went out to look after horses by some few of them sculking thereabouts. We cannot tell how many of them we killed in all that time, but one that afteewards was taken confessed that there were killed and wounded about eighty men or more: Bles­sed be the Lord God of our Salvation who kept us from being all a prey to their Teeth. But before they went away they burnt all the Town except the house we kept in, and another that was not then finished. They also made great spoyle of the Cattel belonging to the Inhabitants; and after our Entrance into the house, and during the time of our Confinement there, they either killed or drove away almost all the horses of our Company.

We Continued there both well and wounded towards a Fortnight, [Page 13]and August the thirteenth Captain Hutchinson and my self with the most of those that had escaped without hurt, and also some of the wounded came from thence; my Son Thomas and some other wound­ed men came not from thence, being not then able to endure Tra­vel so farr as we were from the next Town, till about a Fortnight af­ter. We came to Marlborough on August the Fourteenth, where Captain Hutchinson being not recovered of his wound before his coming from Brookfield, and overtyred with his long Journy by Rea­son of his weakness quickly after grew worse, and more dangerous­ly ill, and on the nineteenth day of the said moneth dyed, and was there the day after buried, the Lord being pleased to deny him a re­turn to his own habitation, and his near Relations at Boston, though he was come the greatest part of his Journy thitherward. The In­habitants of the Town also not long after, men, women, and Children, removed safely with what they had left to several places, either where they had lived before their planting or sitting down there; or where they had Relations to receive and entertain them. The Ho­noured Major Willard stayed at Brookfield some weeks after our coming away, there being several Companies of Souldiers sent up thither and to Hadly and the Towns thereabouts, which are about Thirty Miles from Brookfield, whither also the Major went for a time upon the Service of the Country in the present warr, and from whence there being need of his presence for the ordering of matters concerning his own Regiment and the safety of the Towns belong­ing to it, he through Gods goodness and mercy returned in safety and health to his house, and dear Relations at Groaton.

Thus I have Indeavoured to set down and declare both what the Lord did against us in the Loss of several persons Lifes, and the wounding of others, some of which wounds were very painful in dressing, and long ere they were healed, besides many dangers that we were in, and fears that we were exercised with; and also what great things he was pleased to do for us in frustrating their many At­tempts, and vouchsafing such a Deliverance to us. The Lord avenge the Blood that hath been shed by these Heathen who hate us without a Cause, though he be most Righteous in all that hath befallen there, and in all other parts of the Country; He help us to humble our selves before him, and with our whole hearts to return to him, and al­so [Page 10]to improve all his mercies which we still enioy, that so his anger may cease towards us and he may be pleased either to make our Ene­mies at peace with us, or more, destroy them before us I tarried at Marl­borough with Captain Hutchinson until his death, and came home to Concord August the 21. (though not throughly recovered of my wound) and so did others that went with me. But since I am Rea­sonable well, though I have not the use of my hand and Arm as be­fore: My Son Thomas though in great hazard of Life for some time after his return to Concord, yet is now very well Cured, and his strength well restored.! Oh that we could praise the Lord for his great goodness towards us. Praised be his Name, that though he took away some of us, yet was pleased to spare so many of us, and adde unto our dayes; He help us whose Souls he hath delivered from Death, and Eyes from Tears, and Feet from falling to walk before him in the Land of the Living till our great Change come, and to sanctifie his Name in all his wayes about us, that both our Afflictions, and our mercies may quicken us to live more to his glory all our dayes.

THE SERNON

Psal. 116.12.

What shall I Render unto the Lord for all his Benefits towards me.

THere is no Condition of men here below so good, but there is need of duty; There is none so bad, as to be past duty. In all Estates we must be doing: no Pro­vidence exempts from duty; yet several Conditions re­quire several duties; The Christian Conversation is like a wheel every Spoke taketh its Turn; God hath planted in man Affections for eve­ry Condition; grace for every Affection, and a duty for the Exer­cise of every grace, and a Season for every duty; in which it is most beautiful; In the day of Trouble and Affliction, the duty then is Prayer and Petition; In the time of Deliverance and Prosperity Thanksgiving; giving praise to the God of our Salvation; and it is wisdome to perform what is most seasonable, Jam. 5.13. Is any Af­flicted, let him pray? Aske mercy and deliverance from the evils at Gods hand. Is any merry by Reason of mercy received, let him sing Psalms of praise? exalting the Lord for his free goodness and bounty therein.

Accordingly the holy Prophet (very probably David) in this Psalm sets before us the Exercise of his grace in various Conditions which befell him: He tels us what he did in the time of great Af­fliction and Distress; he prayed, He called upon the Name of the Lord: ver. 3, 4. and being delivered and helped what he did, and was resolved to do: He loved the Lord, and would walk before him in the Land of the Living; He was thankful, and would express his gratitude in his Conversation; yea, is Inquisitive, what further to do [Page 2]therein; as in the Text, what shall I Render, &c.

The Psalm then is Eucharistical; or Gratulatory, wherein the Psalmist giveth praise to God for his favour and mercy in a great Deliverance from a deadly danger and distress; and so suitable to the present occasion of our meeting at this time; If David were the Penman thereof, the Deliverance may be that mentioned, Psal. 18. Title: His preservation from Sauls furious and malicious Persecuti­on, and the rage and violence of all his Adherents, and all others that sought his Ruine.

The words read contein a Pathetical Exclamation and Enquiry; what shall I render, &c. as if he should say; The Lord hath bestowed mercies, yea, many and great mercies upon me; He hath heard my prayer when the sorrows of death encompassed me, helped me when I was brought very low; something is to be returned to him, that even Reason suggests, yea, much is to be done; but what that is I am (as it were) at a Loss, I would do any thing to please and honour him, who hath done so much for me.

In the words there are two parts.

1. An Inquisition; wherein we may Consider: 1. The Subject or matter enquired after: what shall I render: 2dly. The Object or person concerning whom the Enquiry is made, and to whom the Return is to be made, and that is Jehovah; Not man but the Lord.

2dly, The Reason of the Inquisition, and that is the Consideration of all his Benefits; There was just occasion to be so sollicitous; Gods Benefits, set out, 1. By an Amplification All, All his Benefits.

2dly, By an Application, towards me; All his Benefits towards me.

In this verse we have the Question, In the verses following we have the Resolution; He will take the Cup of Salvation, &c. and He will pay the Vows which he had made in his Trouble and Distress.

For Explication of the Terms [Render] The word Imports a kind of Requital; It is attributed both to God and man, and that in Relation to a good thing done, and signifies to reward, and to an Evil, and signifies to Revenge: Here it is Attributed to man in Re­lation to God, but not as importing any possibility and satisfaction, [Page 3]but only a readiness and forwardness to do any thing that might be ac­ceptable to him.

[Benefits] The word in the Original is derived of that Verb which in the seventh verse is Translated [dealt bountifully] Gods Bounties: And these the Prophet stiles His Benefits, acknowledg­ing all the good he received to come from him.

The Verse then is a Description of the frame of heart of a faith­ful Thanksgiver.

1. In his Observation of Gods dispensation towards him, in the Benefits bestowed on him.

2dly, In his Sollicitousness what to do by way of Retribution, and his willingness to do whatsoever he knows may be acceptable to him and approved by him.

Hence this Doctrine may be raised.

Doct. A person or people in a right thankful frame upon the Obser­vation of Gods Benifits, and Bountiful favours towards them, are very Sollicitous what to return to God for them. Or such as are after Gods heart upon their Observation of mercies and deliverances bestow­ed on them are Sollicitous what Returns to make to God for them:

There be two parts in the Doctrine. 1. That a gracious Heart observes and takes notice of Gods goodness towards him. 2dly, He is thereupon Inquisitive what to Return to God.

1. The Prophet takes notice of Gods goodness; His Inquisition what to return, for it argues his Observation of it; If he enquires what to Render, It argues his taking notice of the Benefits; yea, of the variety and multitude of them, in what God had been doing for him. So David tels us Psal. 139.14. marveilous are thy works and that my Soul knoweth right well. So also in Psal. 103.1, to the sixth verse, Neh. 9.7, to 27th verse: They take notice of the great and manifold mercies which God had bestowed upon his people Israel in former as well as latter times. The Reasons hereof are.

Reason 1. From the worth of every one of Gods mercies. There is not one of All of Gods Benefits, and the blessings which we enjoy but it is worthy of notice, for it is the Lords work; the Operation of his hands, every mercy is Gods gift, and therefore to be Eyed and ob­served, Psal. 111.2. The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. As your deliverance from the great [Page 4]danger you were in at the Swampe, and afterwards in the House: It's worthy observing and remembring: how much more, All our mercies at all time and in all places. All comes from God, Jam. 1.17. Every good and perfect gift commeth, &c.

Reason 2. From the Thankfulness we owe to God for every mer­cy being unworthy of the least of them; as Gen. 32 10. Jacob hum­bly acknowledgeth. Now, how shall we be Thankful for them if we do not observe them. Hence the Prophet to Induce men to Thankfulness, and to bless God for his goodness and mercy adviseth men to take notice of his kindness towards them: Psal. 100.3, 4. And when the Lord upbraids his people for their great Ingratitude towards him, he gives this as one Cause of it, and so expresseth it, they did not know nor Consider, Isai. 1.3. and Hos: 2.8. she did not know that I gave, &c that is, she did not seriously Consider of it, that thereby she might have been stirred up to Thankfolness in obedience.

Reason 3. From the great difficulty of raising up our dull and slug­gish hearts to that great duty of praise and Thankfulness, especially, in a lively and spiritual frame; and therefore there is great need to observe not only some, but All his Benefits: Though one mercy should raise our Hearts to Heaven; yet the more to quicken and en­large them, we should take notice of All; the variety of them; as praise is a difficult duty, so it is difficult raising our hearts to the du­ty. We are dull and Listless to all duty, but especially to Thank­fulness; We are slow to go to God for mercy in our Troubles and Di­stresses, but more slow to Return praise after Deliverances vouchsa­fed. Hence that Expression in Psal. 107. Psal. 8.15 21, 31. Oh that men would praise the Lord; as if he should say: It's rather to be wished then expected, Luke 17.17, 18. There were Ten cried Lord have mercy upon us, but only one Returned to give Thanks to Jesus Christ when cured.

The second part of the Doctrine. Gracious and Humble Hearts observing Gods goodness towards them, are studious and Sollicitous what to Return to him. So the Prophet here, what shall I Render to the Lord, &c. so 2 Sam. 7.1. when God had brought him to Rest in his Kingdome after so many wandrings; he was studying how to advance the honour of God, who had done so great things for him; had so delivered him, so advanced him to honour and Renown, 1 Thes. [Page 5]3.9. what Thanks (saith the Apostle) can we Render. &c.

The Reasons hereof are,

Reason 1. From the Consideration of the Nature of the Benefits, Gods people enjoy; The Prophet here may well say, what shall I Render, &c. and so may every Child of God say; All that are in Covenant with him; what shall we Render for the Benefits we have received from our God.

1. They are great mercies; even very great; as the promises of good to be given are great Promises, 2 Pet. 1.4. so the good promi­sed and bestowed. They are great favours, especially in spiritual blessings. He gives great Deliverances; as Psal. 18.50. he doth great Things for his, as Psal. 71.19. and 86.13.

2dly, They are very many; There is an All of them, as in the Text; an All that is beyond Expression, Psal. 139.14. more in num­ber then the sand. There is a multitude of them: This was an Ag­gravation of Israels sin, that they remembred not the multitude of Gods mercies, Psal. 106.7.

3dly, They are Everlasting mercies, Psal. 136. In every verse thy mercy endures for ever; Gods people see and acknowledge Ever­lasting mercy, even in outward and temporal blessings; much more in spiritual and Eternal: Because though the mercies themselves do not Indure for ever, yet the Foundation of all to Gods people is Ever­lasting grace & mercy; And besides even these do in some degree tend to further their Everlasting blessedness; helping them on in their way to their Fathers house in heaven; therefore there is Reason to study and be Sollicitous what to render to God for them.

Reason 2. From the Consideration of the person from whom the Blessings and Deliverances come, and to whom the Return is to be made, and that is, the Lord, what shall I Render to the Lord for His Benefits.

1. All the good we enjoy is from the Lord: we are the Receivers, He the giver. They are his Benefits: yea, the gifts of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the great and mighty God, who Inhabits the Throne of glory. Oh that the God of glory should have any re­spect to us dust and Ashes, that he should do so great things for us [Page 6]worthless ones; Psal. 113.5, 6, 7. who is like unto the Lord our God who dwelleth on High; who humbleth himself, &c. He raiseth the poor out of the Dust, &c. A good look from a Prince or some other great and honourable person, is more then a greater thing from a meaner person.

2dly, Our Returns are to be made to the Lord, and therefore we had need be Careful what we present to him: This Reason God him­self gives why he Curseth the deceiver who hath a male in his Flock, and offereth to God a corrupt thing; because he is a great King: Mal. 1.14. and therefore he sharply reproves them for offering the halt and blind. vers. 8. Persons are usually Careful how they carry themselves towards a great man in returning Thanks to him for favours received from him; much more here ought there to be Care; The Return is to be made to God.

Solomon gives this Reason of the magnificence of the house he was to Build, It was for the Lord who is a great and glorious one: 2 Chr. 2.5. Any manner of house would not serve the turn, the best Tim­ber and stone must be provided, and it must be wrought in the best manner, and by the most Skilful persons that could be procured. This was Abels Commendation, that he brought of the Firstlings of his Flock and of the fat thereof, Gen. 4.4. and to him God had Re­spect and to his Offering.

Reason 3. From the Consideration of the person that is to make the Return to God; what shall I Return; I that am so unworthy of the least mercy: I that have had so many mercies, so great Deliverances, I that am notable to Render any thing beseeming his Majesty; I that am un­der so many Bonds and Obligations; I that am so priviledged by God; what shall I Render, &c.

Hence that Expression, 2 Sam. 17, 18, 19, 20. What can David say, &c. David the youngest of all my Fathers Sons, and yet was preferred before them; David that was a Shepard, and now advan­ced to Regal dignity; David that was so persecuted by potent and cruel Enemies, and hath been so graciously and wonderfully pre­served. This makes a thankful heart studious, especially, Conside­ring these three things therewith.

1. All that we can Return is but little to his mercies; but mites for Talents; words for wonders; All is as nothing.

[Page 7] 2dly, What we Return to God is (and by Reason of sin indwel­ling will be) mixt with many Imperfections; our best Services are but as torne Rags, menstruous Cloaths, Isai. 64.6. Even our Robes, our best Services need washing in the Blood of the Lord, Revel. 7.14.

3dly, All that we can give to God is His own; and is but little of his own; and therefore the Saints are sensible of their own Ina­bility to make any meet Requital to God. Mark holy Davids Expressions after his and the Princes offering towards the Building of the Temple, 1 Chron. 29.10, to 15. vers. a full place to prove all these three particulars before mentioned.

Use I. By way of Instruction or Information.

Instruct. 1. A Soul in a thankful frame, in a Tune of Thanksgiv­ing can never be sufficiently satisfied in thinking and speaking of Gods mercies and favours towards him. The Prophet had before in this Psalm spoken of Gods goodness towards him; acknowledged his Bounty, what God had done for him; yea, again and again, repea­ted it: and yet he is here still at the same work in the Text: What shall I Render, &c. yea, again, Psal. 16.17. How great hath Gods goodness been in hearing prayer, rescuing me from deadly dangers, helping me when I was in a low Estate, delivering mine Eyes from Tears, &c. bestowing so many Benefits, loosing my bonds, Ps. 136. In every verse, Thy mercy endureth for ever. Oh praise, give thanke for his mercy: and when he was concluding, he was ready to begin again: Oh give Thanks, ver. 26. Oh give Thanks to the God of Hea­ven, for, &c. A thankeful heart in a lively frame takes delight to speak of the goodness of God towards him, Is not soon tyred nor weary thereof. All Repetitions are not babling: and therefore let us beware of so judging them; sometimes out of the Aboundance of the Heart Christians go over and over the same thing in petition of good from God and in Thanksgiving for good received at his hands.

Instruct. 2. The Lord so dispenseth mercy to his people, as there­by he leads them unto special and solemn seasons of Thanksgiving: Though he do afflict them, visit them with Rods, yet in the midst of those Exercises, he so dispenseth favours that they have Cause and just occasion, not only of ordinary, but also Extraordinary praises. Their mercies come in a more then ordinary way, and so call for morethen ordinary praises.

Sometimes God giveth them mercies through many difficulties, as water out of the Rock: Deut. 32.13. which together with their ne­cessity made the water as bony and Oyle: God could give them a­nother way, he goes that way, that thereby he might provoke them to Thanksgiving: Divers Instances we have in Psal. 107. some he casts into Exile, and delivers them: others into Bonds and Imprison­ment, and releaseth them, others he makes sick and heals them, that they may praise him.

He brings them into great dangers, and Distresses at Sea and Land, that they may Render Praise in their Redemption, Thus hath been Gods dispensations towards you here met: you were in great distress, i.e. and he hath not left you without signal Providences, gracious discoveries of mercy: and so given you occasion of Solemn Thanksgiving. He brought you Low, and hath raised you, that you might praise him.

Instruct. 3. A Thankeful Spirit is a Resolute and Inquisitive Spi­rit, Inquisitive to know, and Resolute to do what it knoweth may please the Lord.

1. It is Inquisitive to know what it may, what it should do: This is the property of gratefulness either to God or man, as in David respecting the Posterity of his dear Jonathan. Is there any of the house of Saul, &c. 2 Sam. 9.1. so also in Elisha respecting the Shu­namite, who had shewed him so much kindness, 2 Kings 4.13.14. What is to be done for her? Grateful Children and Friends will de­sire to know what may please their Parents, Friends. And so it is with the Children and Friends of God: They desire to know the mind and will of God what he requires of them: and what may be an acceptable Sacrifice to him. Hence they pray for knowledge and understanding as David, Psal, 119.33, 34 Hence also they will search the word of God, that they may understand his will, and understand­ing it, do it, Rom. 12.2.

2dly. It is a Resolute Spirit resolved to do what ever may express the Thankfulness of his heart to God, according to his will. As he purposeth in his heart not to sin by doing the Least Evil, Dan. 1.8 so he purposeth and resolveth to do, (though not in his own strength) what is pleasing to God, Psal. 119.8. I will keep thy Precepts, and in the Text, what shall I Render, &c. I will stick at nothing, will do [Page 9]any thing; as when Joseph supplyed the Egyptians with Come, they yield to any Terms; Let us find grace in the sight of my Lord, and we will be Pharoahs Servants, Gen 47 25. And as David was ready to do what ever Barzilla should request of him, 2 Sam. 19.38. In testimony of his Thankfulness for his Loyalty and Bounty at such a time; so a gracious Soul much more towards God; It is re­solved to do any thing, to suffer any thing whereby God may be honoured. As Paul, Acts 21.14. How ungrateful then are they that will not do what they know to be pleasing to God, though it be clearly set before them, and strongly urged on them? young men are called upon to turn to God quickly; elder and younger ones to seek after him in all his holy Ordinances; to forsake their Lusts and vain Company; but they will not; they hold fast deceit and refuse to Return.

They know what is good, but will not do it. Many know their duties in their Relations towards Superiours and Inferiours, but will not yield to them. And though some for Carnal sinister Respects do many things; as Jebu, Herod, &c. yet at something they stick; some Dalilah they will keep, some Lust they will not part withal, some duty they will not perform. Especially how farr are such from Thankfulness that resolve not to do, what God sets before them: as they, Jer. 44.16, 17; The word that thou hast spoken to us in the Name of the Lord we will not do. Such are most Ingrateful ones for all the mercies they receive from him.

Instruct. 4th. To be truly thankful to God is an high, and ave­ry Spiritual Service; It is a Rendring and making Returns to God: what shall I Render to God, &c. For man to be sit to receive from God is a great matter, but it is much higher for us to Render to God, that man dust and Ashes should make a Requital to the great and glorious God. Therefore David so magnifies God that they should offer so liberally to him: 1 Chron. 29.10, &c. It is a great matter to be admired, that God should honour us, therefore saith the Pro­phet, what is man that thou art mindful of him, &c, Thou hast Crowned him with glory and honour; but for us to honour God is greater; It is an high duty for the Sons of men, which are but worms to rise so high as to honour God: praising of God is an ex­tolling or Exalting God, Exod. 15.2. He is higher then to be exalted [Page 10]by us, yet this we are said to do, in an Acknowledgement of his hand, giving him the glory of his wisdome, power, goodness, Faith­fulness and mercy in the operations of his hand about us. Think it not an easy thing to praise the Lord; It is not only a lip labour, an easy Service; It is a Rendring to God. To play on Musick is plea­sant, but it is hard to set the Instrument in Tune to play well; It is hard to get the heart in Tune, in a Spiritual lively, humble frame; Hence David so stirs up himself to it, Psal. 103.1, 2, and Deborab calls upon her self to awake, Judg. 5.12.

Instruct. 5th. Gods doings are the matter of the Saints Acknow­ledgements in their Thanksgivings and praises of him. The word Translated Praise signifies Confession and so often Rendred by Mr. Ainsworth. Confess the Lord, &c.

Now the Lords doings are the matter of their Confessions: [his Benefits] what he hath done for me, and others of his people, the works of his hands for mine and others deliverance and Salvation. When we praise the Lord, we do but sing over what he hath done, He acts it, and we acknowledge it; As in this Salvation vouchsafed to you from the Enemy, from their Attempts by Assaults, Fire, &c.

An Eccho is little else but a Reflecting Repetition of the first sound; so our praises are Repetitions, reflecting the work on God; He heard, he helped, he delivered and saved; This is the Lords doings. There is an Amen in Thanksgiving; our Amen to the Truth of Gods dis­pensations; we say Amen to them; so they are, and we acknow­ledge it. To give Thanks is to give God a Tribute in the Confession of his goodness; It is Retribution: This is to Crown the Lord, we owne him the Author of all our manifold Comforts, Deliverances, supplies in one kind or other. There is a distinction made between glory and glorification; glory is an Essential Attribute, though there were no Angel or man; but glorification is the acknowledgement of his power, goodness, mercy in his works by the Rational Creature.

What are you then to acknowledge this day? Even the Lords doings in your marpeilous preservation: If you would glorifie him this day then say: the Lord hath done great things for us. This is the Lords doing, and it is wonderful in our Eyes!

Instruct. 6th. One special particular mercy received from God, ought to raise up our Hearts to a Consideration of all other mercies [Page 11]formerly bestowed on us: And so it should be with you meet to praise the Lords glorious Name for that great Deliverance at the Swampe, and in the Garrison. The Prophet addes that general Particle All, to shew that from that present Benefit which God had Conferred on him in that great Deliverance mentioned vers. 2.3. his heart was extended to a Consideration of other favours which the Lord from time to time had shewed him.

Thus it will be with a grateful Heart: Not that we can think on every benefit, so as to leave out none, they being so Innumerable: but it is to be taken of the several kinds: as general, particular, publick, private, temporal and Spiritual, and of as many several and distinct branches of these as we can, Psal. 103.2. Forget not all, nor any of his Benefits, and Psal 105 2 Talk you of all his wondrous works. This is the means to enlarge the heart, and Inflame it with holy Zeal, in praising God, as more Fuel brought to the fire makes it greater. Here is a good help to this great duty this day, and at other times, observe all kinds of mercies, and call to mind what God hath done for you formerly, for your persons, Families, Relations, for the Churches to which you belong, for the Country.

Instruct. 7. The Consideration of mercies bestowed on our selves, and our Interest in the mercies bestowed on others is a great means to provoke to Thankfulness: so the Prophet here. For all his Benesits towards me. so Psal. 103.1, to 6. vers. Bless the Lord O my Soul, &c. who forgives all thine iniquities, and beals all thy Di­seases, &c.

We are most sensible of kindness done to our selves, the sweet where­of our own Souls tast, & according to the Sense and tast of any kind­ness, is the heart quickned and stirred up to Thankfulness. Oh take special notice of such mercies, as in particular concern thy self: For in the Case and buisiness of your present meeting: one may say, I was spared and not touched, when others were dangeroufly wounded: Another may say, I was only wounded, when others were killed: I am recovered, when others wounds proved mortal: God hath given me my Life, when others are taken away by Death: I am returned to my Relations, or my Relations are come home in safety, when others have not enjoyed such a mercy.

Consider withal, how you are Interested in the mercies of others, [Page 12]either particular persons, or in the Common and publick mercies of the Town and Country. You have an Interest in the mercies of your Yoke-fellow, Children. In the mercies of the Town, Church state: If the Town be spared (when others are consumed) It is mercy to eve­ty particular: If husband be returned home safe, It is a Benefit to me, may the wife say: If the Father be returned, It is a Benefit to me, may the Child say: so may the Father say in the Childs Return: The mercies in Magistracy, and Ministry are our mercies, They are Gods Benefits to us. self Interests are affecting Interests. Consider how thou art Interested in any mercy, Deliverance, Immediately or me­diately, and this will further our Thankfulness for it. As this is a way to affect the Heart with the Churches affliction, to Consider our Interest therein as members of the same Body, so also to affect our Hearts with Gods goodness to others, to Consider how we are con­cerned therein.

It may be some may say, I have more Cause to Fast and Pray in regard of Gods hand on me and mine rather then to Rejoyce and Feast: Do but Consider thy many personal mercies, thy Family mercies, and thy Interest in Common-wealth, and Church mer­cies, and thou mayest see aboundant Cause of Thankfulness. It is a Certain Truth, that a Child of God when he is in the worst Case he can be in here upon earth, hath more Cause of Gratulation then of Petition. His mercies are greater then his miseries: His Enjoyments more then his wants, besides his hopes of all good at last in an Un­changeable Estate.

Instruct. 8th. If Temporal mercies be carefully to be observed, and Return made to God for them, how much more for Spiritual and Eternal mercies If Deliverance from a temporal Death, how much more Deliverance from Everlasting Death.

Spiritual mercies are the great mercies. They are the Fathers gifts to his Children: other mercies he gives to them that are hated and abhorred by him. They have some Relation to God as his Creatures, Servants in his great Family: and therefore they shall have somewhat here, a portion they shall have in these common fa­vours, vile and ungodly men often escape deadly dangers as well as precious Saints, nay, they may be preserved, when others better then they are taken a way suddenly, and by a violent death. These [Page 13]Temporal Benefits will not evidence Gods special favour in Christ.

What Cause have you to whom God hath given those great be­nefits, of Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, and hopes of glory in Heaven, for to say with the Apostle Paul, Ephes. 1.3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual Blessings in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus. And with the Prophet in the Text: what shall I Render to the Lord, who hath done so great things for, to deliver my Soul from the Nethermost-Hell, and to call me to Eternal glory by Jesus Christ: say therefore with the Apostle Peter, To him be glory and Dominion for ever and ever, 1 Pet. 5.10, 11.

Use II. For Humiliation, Hence we have a ground of humbling and abasing our selves, in the Consideration of our great neglect of serious observation of Gods favours towards us, and also of our short returnes we have made to him for them; may not the Lord complain of us as of Israel; Do you thus requite the Lord, &c. Deut. 32.6. It may seem unsuitable and unseasonable to urge this at such a time, and on such a day, when met to praise the Lord for his great mercies; But they may well Consist; An heart sensible of its own Ingratitude, and scant Returns to God, with a bewailing of the same, and an heart desirous to praise him, and breaking forth in thankful Acknowledgements of his manifold Benefits, may stand to­gether. The Confideration of our former unthankfulness, and the greatness of our Evil therein, and Humiliation for it, may help for­ward our Thankfulness for present and future times.

Use III. By way of Exhorration. 1. To imitate this holy Pro­phet of God in taking notice of Gods mercies, and in special of mer­cies to our selves; Take notice of all.

Consider the times when mercies have been given out to you. All times. Mercies in your mothers womb, mercies in Childhood, mer­cies in single and married Condition; Common dayes mercies, Sab­bath dayes mercies; view the places where you have received mer­cies; In Old-England, on the Sea; In this Country; In one Town, Family and other, ship mercies and Shoar mercies, mercies at home, and mercies abroad, mercy at the Swamp, mercy in the house or Gar­rison.

Consider the kinds of mercy, spiritual, temporal, preventing, spar­ing [Page 14]supplying, affording succours in a time of great need; as in your late danger, healing wounds, restoring health and strength, forbear­ing, and giving further space and time of Repentance, those that have been taken away, if they were not prepared for their Change, have no time any more to work in for Eternity.

Consider the Interest in others mercies publick or more private; Every one of you may say, It was mercy to me, that the rest of the Company were then spared besides my self: If several others had been cut off besides those that fell, had not those that escaped been much more endangered, what unlikelihood of your preservation af­terward. It is mercy that God made you Instrumental for the pre­servation of so many persons as were then in that place, men, women, and little ones. Consider that it is the Lords doing that you are Re­turned, and hitherto preserved in your habitations. Behold the work of God, as in what he did against you, so in what he hath wrought for you.

Mot. 1. Consider it is a great Evil not to ponder on, and to Consider of the operation of his hands whether in afflictions, or in mercies, in Salvations, Psal. 28.4, 5.

2dly. If we be not observing Christians to discern and mark all Gods wayes about us, we cannot sanctifie Gods Name therein, as it is our duty to do, 1 Pet. 3.15. All Gods works are a part of his Name, he makes himself known in his wisdome, power, love, goodness and mercy therein. If we sanctifie not his Name, he will be sanctified upon us. Therefore, Behold and see, take notice of all his Provi­dences

3dly. If we do not observe them our selves, how shall we declare them to others? This is a duty incumbent on us, Numb. 22.31. Psal. 22.31. and Psal. 66.18. How can we tell to others what God hath done for us, if we take not good notice of it our selves?

2dly. Be studiously sollicitous what to Return to the God of your Salvation; as the Prophet here was, what shall I Render, &c.

I. There is something that God would not have returned to him; there is a return that in stead of finding acceptance with him is a provocation to him. It provokes him to wrath and Indignation.

1. God would not have sin returned to him; yet thus did many in Israel, Deut. 32.6. Israel Gods peculiar people, in Covenant [Page 15]with him, after great things done for them, did wretchedly and un­gratefully deal with him; they turned away from God, and walked after the imagination of their own evil hearts, they forsook the foun­tain of living waters, and changed their glory, for that which could not profit. To receive good from God and return sin to God is vile & abominable. It is a very foolish thing to give way to sin against God, when we have received mercies, even many and great mercies from him; and therefore it is called folly: Psal 85.8. that they return not again to folly. This God complains of in Israel, in Isai. 1.2, 3. I have brought up Children and they have rebelled against me.

Beware every one of you here this day that you give not the Lord Cause so to complain of you; I have brought up these persons, I have blessed them in themselves, and in their Relations, I have pre­served them in such deadly dangers, I have rebuked the destroyer, I have given them their lives for a prey, I have brought them in safe­ty to their habitations and Relations, I have healed their wounds, re­stored them to health and strength, and Behold they still rebel against me, they follow their Lusts, their revelling and vain Company still, they spend my Sabbaths loosly still, they are still unsavoury in their Commnnication; still proud, froward: The Lord takes special notice how persons carry it after signal mercies, Isai. 26.10.

In special take heed of wantonness of Spirit, and kicking against God in the enjoyment of his mercies, kicking against his word; against Reproofs, against his Ordinances in Magistracy and Ministry; against his Institutions in his house; as too many do in these dayes, Deut. 32.15. Jesurun waxed fat and kicked; Israel should have been Jesurun. i. e. righteous or upright before God, but were nothing less, when filled and fatted, then they kicked, like some young, when they have sucked, kick the Damms dugs. Though Parents be liberal to their Children, yet they would not have them wanton, and trample good meat under their feet, and yet such a Spi­rit there is in us; we are ready to turn the very grace of God reveal­ed in the Gospel into Lasciviousness as they did, Jude 4. and many now do. When Gods mercies make us wanton, this God takes ill; Take heed of sniffing and trampling mercies under feet: Be not wanton, secure, proud, scornful, after such a deliverance as this, say as Ezra. 9.13, 14. shall we after such a deliverance again break thy [Page 16]Commandments, &c. Let not sin the only object of Gods batred be the Return you make to God for his sparing, preserving mercy, &c.

Consider 1. This will be a great aggravation of all your other and former Evils, to sin after such mercies; as Israels murmurings and Rebellions in the wilderness after their deliverance at the red Sea, and mercies vouchsafed, Nehem. 9.10. with 16.17. verses.

2. This will bring worse and greater Evils, in one kind or other, John 5.14. sin no more, (saith Christ) least a worse thing come. You that escaped without the least hurt may come to be dan­gerously wounded; the Bullet may hit you as the Arrow did Ahab; you that were then only hurt, when others were slain: take heed that God cut you not down ere long for such evil requitals of him for his great goodness. Your late preservation may be but a reserva­tion to soarer Judgements.

2dly. Return not a lame and halt Requital; a body without a Soul, the lip without the Heart, a verbal without a real Sacrifice; external duties without the Spirit, Mal. 1.13, 14. you have brought the torn, &c. but cursed be the deceiver who hath a male in his flock, &c. 1 Chron. 29.14. David and the Princes not only offer liberally towards the Temples building; but he blesseth God that they should offer so willingly, so heartily, This is that he principally wondereth at, It is a greater mercy from God to give a man a willing heart to offer what he doth, then to give him that which he may offer to him.

2dly. Affirmatively, Render to God that which he calls for at our hands.

1. In general; Render to God that which is Gods, Math. 22.21. As that which is Caesars must be rendred to Caesar; so that which is Gods must be rendred to God: give God that which is his Owne: give God his due, as Psal. 29.1. give to the Lord the glory due to his Name. As that which we offer to God must be his owne; of his own Appointment and according to his own mind, so what is his own should be rendred to him.

2dly. More particularly. 1. Render your selves to God: so the Apostle exhorts us, Rom. 12.1. that we give up our bodies as a liv­ing, and holy, and acceptable Sacrifice, &c. what ever we are or have, it is from the Lord: you are the Lords by right of Creation, [...] by right of preservation, in the great perils you were [Page 17]lately in, &c. The Lord hath the most right to you. But many will not give God his right; They are and will be their own, Their Tongues are their own, as Psal. 12 4. Their Estates their own to dispose of as they see good, as Nabal, 1 Sam. 25.11. My Bread and my Flesh, &c. Their time is their own to spend as they please, they will not be ruled by God, nor by those whom God sets over them in Family, Church or Commen-wealth: Oh give up your selves Souls and bodies to be for God, 1 Cor. 6.19, 20. glorifie God in your Souls, &c. Thus did Paul Acts 27.23. whose I am, and whom I serve. He was Gods, and he gave himself to the Service of God in the work he set him about. As all that comes from God doth not satisfie a gracious heart with­out the Lord himself; no more is the Lord pleased with what cometh from us without our selves.

2dly. Return love to God, Psal. 116.1. I love the Lord because he hath heard, &c. This is a good Return. Have not we that have pray­ed to God in any distresses formerly or lately, or know what prayer means Cause to say, The Lord hath heard the voice of our Supplica­tions; Oh love the Lord greatly, intirely with all our hearts. Have you been in great streights, and you have prayed, and God hath sup­plyed you? Have you been in doubts, and God hath resolved you? Have you been in Terrours of Conscience, affliction of Spirit, full of fears of Gods Everlasting wrath, and you sought God and he an­swered you, scattered your fears, and caused the Sun of Righteous­ness to rise and shine upon you, and given you peace? Have you been in deadly dangers by sickness, by Enemies that have risen up against you, by wounds, and you have prayed for healing and delivering mer­cy? oh then Render Love to God for his goodness, mercy, and sal­vation.

Mot. 1. Consider, gratitude requireth it at our hands. All our good temporal and spiritual is from him; And all is freely bestowed; yea, his mercies bestowed on us are more then the hairs of our Head: His preventing, sparing, delivering, supplying mercies. He is there­fore worthy of our Love not only in respect of his Excellency in him­self, but also of his benignity and grace towards us, especially his rich mercy in Christ Jesus.

2dly. Love is the ground of all duties acceptably performed to God. All is nothing without Love to God and man, 1 Cor. 13 [...], 2. [Page 17]All the Commandments are comprized under it, Luk. 10.27. It is the fulsilling of the Law; Love to God is the fulfilling of the first Ta­ble, and love to man the fulfilling of the second; where Love abounds there will be much cheerfulness, willingness and readiness to do any thing to please him that is loved.

3dly. No love shall be lost that is cast upon the Lord; he knows who loves him in sincerity, and he approves them, and will love them again, and manifest his Love to them, and from his love to them do wonderful things for them. Their labour of Love shall not be in vain, Exod 20.7. Deut. 7.9,13. John. 14.21, 23. Oh love the Lord who hath redeemed you out of your distresses, and given you cause to re­joyce in his great goodness in Answer of your prayers; And let your Love to God appear in these things.

1. In hearing the voice of his Commands, and inclining your Ear to what he calls for from you; This is Equitable. If God hear us, let us hear him: shall Gods Ear be open to our Requests, and our Ears shut to his Command, yea, Intreaties and beseechings, when he beseecheth us to give up our selves more to him, to follow him and cleave more to him? may not the Lord say when we are dull, and slow to hear and hearken to his voice; Is this your love and kindness, do you thus requite me for answering your prayers in the day of your trouble?

2. In shunning all that may separate from God, and separate be­tween God and you; and that for this very cause, because they do cause a separation: And that is sin, Esai. 59.2. wants, persecutions cannot separate, but it is only sin, The true Love of God is a Love of Ʋnion, and therefore there must be a shunning that which caus­eth separation; Let us therefore hate all Evil in our selves and others, and manisest our hatred in seeking the Extirpation and destruction of it, Psal. 97.10. Rom. 12.9. Abhorre that which is Evil, thereby we depart from God, Heb. 3.12. The Servant that loved his master would not depart from him.

3. Shew your Love in Carefulness to please him in all things; Children that love their Parents will seek to please them; so it is with Gods Children, Christ loving his Father sought to please him in all things, Iohn 8.29. Walk as before the face of God, Psal. 116.9. And where there is a Care to please him, there will be a readiness to [Page 19]yield willing obedience to any Command given even in the most diffi­cult duties & Services, Iohn 15.10. 1 Iohn 5.3. unless love prevail in the Soul, some Command of God or other will be grievous. Love makes them easy, as to David, Psal. 119.97.127. All will say they love God, but little Care appears in many men and women to please God. Some will please themselves whither God be pleased or no.

4. Manifest your Love to God in your Love to the Church of God, Psal. 122.6.

  • 1. In loving Church Assemblies, Psal. 42.1, 2. and 26.8. and the Fellowship of all Saints, Psal. 16.3.
  • 2. In grieving in the Churches affliction, and rejoycing in its prosperity as Ietbro, Exod. 18.9. and Neh. 1.4.
  • 3. In seeking and promoting the Churches welsare in our mea­sure and according to our power and opportunity, so David promi­sed, Psal. 122.7, 8. so did Mordecai, Esther 10.3. so Paul, 2 Cor. 11.28.
  • 4. Manifest a sincere love of God in minding the things of God, whereby he may be honoured, his Name advanced, his Truths pro­pagated from generation to generation.

Love will stick at nothing whereby it may honour God, It is a Bountiful affection. Gods love to man did make him part with his only begotten Son, he spared not him but gave him to dye, &c. John 3.16. Abraham will part with his Isaack at Gods Command: nay, Love never knoweth when it hath done enough; It knows no such thing as too much, or too soon; The Soul thinks it cannot be too quick, too forward in any Service of God. It cannot have too much holiness, &c. nay, when one hath done his best, yet he is ashamed he hath done so little; and though he takes comfort in what he hath been enabled to do, yet he looks at all as nothing, as Paul, 2 Cor. 12.11. and prayes for sparing mercy, as Nehem. 13.22.

Thus return love to God: This is a good Return, whereby the Soul takes more Content in God, more delight in Fellowship with him, which is the nature of Love, Deut. 10.12. That mercy is made an affliction to us, that doth not engage our hearts to love God more; they should not take off our hearts from the love of God, but quick­en us to abound in more love, Psal: 31.23. And therefore you that have been delivered Consider, It is now some time since you were [Page 20]in that distress, and had such a remarkable deliverance, Is your love to God Increased by it, Care to please him, and to walk in obedi­ence to his holy Commandments, know it, this return God expects from you; and therefore see that you sail not his Expectation.

5. Return worship to God. so David promiseth to do upon the receipt of mercy from God, Psal. 5.7. In thy fear will I worship, &c. This we are exhorted to, 1 Chron. 16.29. worship the Lord in the beau­ty of holiness. Worship him in all his holy Institutions in his house. Let such of you as have neglected some Ordinances of his worship and preparation of your selves for them, take heed of neglecting still; God is a Jealous God, he accounts them haters of him that do not worship him in his own Institutions, when they have liberty and opportunity to enjoy them, Exod. 20.5. you that are not in full Church Communion, either you are prepared or unprepared with re­spect to your present state; If still unprepared, yet in a Carnal state, what would have become of you, if you had dyed at the Swampe, or in the Garrison, if you had then been taken away? If you be prepared having a true faith in Iesus Christ, and you neglect his Ordinances God may cut you down by some temporal Judgement, though you, be not damned for it: Consider that place, Numb 9.13. The man that is clean, and for beareth to keep the Passover, the same Soul shall be cut off from his people, because he brought not the offering of the Lord in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin As for you that do enjoy all Ordinances in Gods house be you exhorted to wor­ship God in the participation thereof, more spiritually and chearfully, serve him with more joy and delight, with more Reverence and Fer­vency of Spirit.

In special, Return prayer to God; which is such a principal part of worship, that it is sometimes put for the whole worship of God. Rom. 10.13.

Be much with God in prayer: Thus the prophet here, Psal. 116 2. and 13. verses, God having answered his prayer and given him so great a deliverance, he shall therefore call upon God as long as he lives. This will be one thing that he will Render to God so mercy received, he will be still calling upon God. Let us improve all the Answers we have received from God to encourage us to for ther prayer to him.

Mot. 1. Consider, we cannot weary the Lord with often going to him; It is sometimes an Argument of Encouragement in request­ing help or kindness from men: He is an old friend, a tryed friend, he hath helped me when I was in a great streight, and therefore I will go to him again: much more here; But, though men may be weary of our often coming to them, yet God will not; he taketh it as a good return, when we are much, yea, more in prayer with him.

Mot. 2. When we have prevailed with God for any special mer­cy, deliverance or help in a day of trouble, there is yet great need of prayer and Continuance thereof.

1. For a thankful heart to the giver of every good and perfect gift; the God of our Salvations.

2. For the Continuance of the mercy, that it may not be taken away from us; that the Evil removed may not again return.

3. For the Sanctification of the mercy and blessing to us, need to pray for an heart to use it in a right manner to the honour of Gods Name and others good.

That it may not be an occasion of sin to us, that it may not be abu­sed by us; That when God is good to us, we may not be the worse in our wayes towards him. There is great need of prayer to God in a time of prosperity, that we may improve it to glorifie him in our particular places wherein we are set by him.

4. we shall be yet needing more and renewed mercies daily, whilst we are here in this world, and therefore we must be Beggars till we get to Heaven: we need more grace, wisdome for our work and bu­siness in our stations; more mortification of our Corruptions, more power against our great Adversary Satan, &c. And therefore have we prayed, and obteined what you asked; pray still that you may receive still from the same bountiful hand gracious Answers of your Requests. As we are to go to the Throne rf grace in our wants; so also in our Receipts of mercies, that they may be Continued and Sanctified to us, and also improved by us according to his will.

4. Render to God the Ʋows that you have made to him in the time of your Trouble, in the day of your great distress; pay your Vows to the most high God; Thus the Prophet in this Psalm, 14.15. vers-whether your Ʋows have been more solemn, or only a bare Resolu­tion of your Heart. Have you vowed to forsake any sin, to leave [Page 22]any evil Custome; to walk more exactly with God, to be more Careful in Relative duties, to seek more after God in all his wayes, to be more Reverent in attending to Gods worship; Oh now be Careful to discharge what you have promised and resolved; now pay what you vowed, Ps. 56.12. There saith David, thy Ʋows are up­on me O God; the Vows which he had made to God in his danger, lay upon him, as a Bond which he must look to free himself from; he had fast bound himself to God, but he will loose himself by paying them.

Mot. 1. It is folly to Vow and not to pay; and God taketh no pleasure in Fools, Eccles 5.45, 6.

It is hateful folly; Better not have vowed, then vow and not pay.

2. It is a great Aggravation of sin, when it is against solemn Vows; and therefrre take heed to your wayes: If you did not vow in that time of danger, yet you have vowed in your. Baptisme; that you would be the Lords Servants, & keep his Commandment; But I doubt not, but that you had serious thoughts then on those two or three dayes while your Trouble chieflyl asted, that if God would return you in peace & Safety to your Habitations, to the Enjoyment of your Re­lations, you would walk more to the praise of his Name, and the ho­nour of the Gospel: That if the Lord would preserve you from vi­olent and ungodly men that sought your Ruine, you would be more faithful Servants to him: Oh take heed to your selves, that you forget not the promises wherein you have bound your Souls: After de­liverance had from God, Return not to folly, Psal. 85.8.

3. Consider, God hath the Bond, and it will be called for. Though we may forget and little regard our Ʋows and and the payment of them, yet God remembers all our Vows and Engagements; one time or other, we shall be put in mind of them. God put Ja­cob in mind of his Ʋow, when he went from his Fathers house, &c. Gen. 35.1. &c. God had told him of it once before, Chap. 31, 13. It may be, God was displeased with him for his slackness to go to Bethel and pay it; and therefore though he did not chide him, he being then in heaviness, yet takes the opportunity, and gently minds him what was his duty, and would be for his safety, when so full of fears of the Countries rising against him; by Reason of that act of his Sons against the Sechemites.

Did you then Vow, when in so great danger; It was a seasonable [Page 23]time of vowing; Take also the fittest season for payment. And that is Now, the present time, Psal. 116.14, 18. Now in the pra­sence of his people: Deferre not.

5. Return fear to God; That the Lord expects, that the more he discovers his grace and goodness, his mercy and Salvation to us, we should fear him the more, Psal. 130.4. There is for giveness with thee, that thou maiest be feared; This is also foretold of Israel; that at their Return out of Captivity, they shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter dayes, Hos. 3. ult, The more good you receive from God, the more do you abound in the fear of God; so shall it be with Gods ancient people when the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and shall turn ungodliness from Jacob, the fear of the Lord shall pre­vail mightily in their Hearts, more then ever, The greater Gods goodness, the more shall the fear of God be upon their hearts. All their joy in God and his goodness shall be mixed with a Reverential fear of God; They shall serve the Lord in fear and rejoyes with trem­bling, as Psal. 2.11. so let it be with you, Heb. 12.28. Serve the Lord with Reverence and godly fear; fear to offend so good a God who hath had such mercy on you, wrought such deliverances for you. And in all your rejoycings and praisings of God for his goodness, see that there be a mixture of fear; work out your Salvation with fear and Trembling, Phil. 2.12.

And manifest the fear of God in your hearts by your Care to de­part from all Evil, Prov. 16.6. And by your using the very Name and Attributes of God with great Reverence; by Reverencing Gods Sanctuary, by endeavouring to walk with a good Conscience towards all men: not oppressing any, Levit. 25.17. not avenging our selves though injured, Gen. 42.18. Being faithful in all Trusts committed to us, Neh. 7.2.

Be not high minded, but fear: not with a slavish fear, to fear him only for his wrath and Judgements, but also for his Compassion and goodness. And therefore let our fear of God be joyned with a love of God, to fear him in Love, and Love him in fear: Let not our fear drive us from God, as Cains did, but cause us to cleave closet to God, as God promiseth in Jer. 32.40.

6. Render true Sanctity to God. Be perfecting holiness in the fear of God, 2 Cor. 7.1. Math. 22.21. Render to God the things that are Gods: [Page 24]Thus Christ spake upon their shewing him the penny that had Caesars Image on it, that man might know that God requireth of man his own Image in man himself, in which he at first Created him, & with which he at first adorned & beautified him, & which was mans chief Excellen­ey & glory Caesar would have his Image upon his Coine: The Lord would see his Image in us: The Image of his grace and holiness. Let it be more shining: And let it more appear, and be manifested in our doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with the Lord our God. Be you holy, for the Lord your God is holy: yea, in all manner of Con­versation, 1 Pet. 1.15 16 Be you merciful as your Father is merci­ful, Luk. 6.36. As God is an universal good, doing good to all, so let us every one labour to be a publick good, doing good to as many as we have opportunity, Psal. 16.2, 3. my goodness extends not to thee, (saith David) but to the Saints, &c. Gal. 6.10 As we have oppor­tunity let us do good to all, espcially to those that are of the Houshold of Faith. Let us now labour to be like him in holiness, goodness, Righte­ousness, & we shall be like him hereafter in glory and Blessedness. Let us more & more approve our selves the Children of God in resem­bling him, following of him, walking after him, Ephes. 5.1.

7. Render to God the fruit that he calls for under his Husbandry, and the wayes he takes with us, that we might be fruitful in well do­ing. This he calls for and expects from a people for whom he hath done as for us in this wilderness: to whom he gives the Gospel of the Kingdome, who have Sanctuary Enjoyments, to whom he vouch­safeth protection from their Enemies, Math. 21.43. The Kingdom should be taken from the unfruitful Iews, and given to them which should bring forth fruit, render it in the season, Isai. 5.2.3, 5, 7. vers. God tells us again and again what he looked for; He looked for sweet grapes, good fruits.

These fruits are the good works required of us in our Conversati­on in duties of godliness Righteousness, Lovs, goodness and mercy, which God hath ordeined, that we should walk in them, Ephes. 2.10. This was the Apostles prayer for the Philippians, Chap. 1.11. that they might be filled with the fruits of Righteousness, &c. and for the Colossians, Chap. 1.10. that fruitful in every good work. The Lord takes great pains with us in his house: He is pruning of us by the Af­fictions he brings upon us, that we might be more fruitful, Ioh. 15.2

Bring forth the fruit of Ordinances, and Providences: the fruit of your dangers, troubles, fears, and also of your Deliverances and Experiences of Gods help in the time of distress; Live more to God, less to your selves, less to the world. Labour to abound in the work of God, doing good in all places to all with whom you. Converse. Do good in your Communication, Col. 4.6. by your Example; as the Thessolonians did, 1 Thes 1 7. and the Corinthians, 2 Cor 9 2. Their Zeal provoked very many. Be fruitful Trees in Gods Vine­yard, both in word and deed, doing good to all as you have occasi­on ministred to you, provoking them to love and good works by be­holding your forwardness in the wayes of Christ Jesus.

Mot. 1. Consider, it is an honour to the glorious and blessed God, when those that are his people are fruitful; when the Trees that he hath planted are laden with good fruit: when a vine is full of goodly Clusters. It is a Credit to the Ʋine dresser, when ground yields great Increase. It is not only the profit, but the honour of the Hus­bandman, when Ewes bear Twins, It is the Shepards honour; and so when Christians are fruitful; It is the honour and glory of God who is the Husbandman, John 15.1. their Shepard, Psal. 23.1. The Lord accounts himself honoured, John. 15.8. Herein is my Father honoured, &c. Hereby others are stirred up to praise God, Math. 5.16: 2 Cor. 9.12. Phil. 1.11. They are by Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God. Let this quicken us to Fruitfulness; For this is the great End of our Lives to bring glory to God, the God of our Life. This ought to be our highest End in all, 1 Cor. 10.31.

2. Fruitful Christians are the Lords delight: They are Hephzi­bab, his delight is in them; They walk worthy of the Lord to all well pleasing, Col. 1.10. The Lord promiseth to be as the Dew unto Is­rael; and then his beauty should be as the Olive Tree, and his smell as Lebanon, Hos. 14.5, 6. The beauty of the Olive Tree is to be full of Olives; such Christians are beautiful in Gods Eyes; Lebanon was full of sweet Trees and fragrant Flowers, and filled all the parts thereabouts with a sweet smel; and so should Israel be a sweet savour to God; when they brought forth good fruit to him. The Philip­pians fruitfulness in well doing communicating to Paul was an odour of a sweet smell, a Sacrifice acceptable and well pleasing to God, Phil. 4.18.

[Page 26] 3. Fruitless Professors are near unto a Curse, and in danger of being plucked up or cut down, Math, 21 19. Heb. 6.8. If we bring not forth fruits of mercies, deliverances, Ordinances, Afflictions, if bar­ren under all, the Curse may come, and God say never fruit grow on you more; yea, God may cut us down by the Axe of his Judge­ments which he hath brought upon us, Math. 3.10. Now God is lay­ing the Axe, if not to the Root, yet he is lopping off many branches: and therefore the more need to take heed of unfruitfulness. The Jews were a fruitless Vine Christ layed the Axe to the Root of the Tree, &c. Luk. 13.7. Cut it down, &c. would we not be cut down and cast into the Fire, let us be fruitful and that in due season.

4. The End of Fruitfulness in Gods wayes is Everlasting Life and Blessedness, Rom. 6, 32. The good we do in Family, Town, Church, being done in uprightness will turn to good Account in the great day of Christs appearance, Phil. 4.17. All good fruit which we here bring forth is as Seed sown, 2 Cor. 9.6. Prov. 11.30. It will yield great increase, 1 Tim. 6.18, 19. 2 Tim. 1.16, 17, 18. you would willingly have the Reward, then do the work; If you would have a good Crop in the Harvest day, now be sowing and that not sparingly; serve the Lord faithfully and diligently in duties of holiness, Righte. ousness, Love, kindness, Bounty and all goodness, 1 Cor. 15.8. know­ing your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Labour to be more and more fruitful, that your works may be more at the laft, then at the first; as Christ speaks of them, Rev. 2.19. yea, be fruitful in Age, honouring God, and adorning the Gospel in all things, Psal. 92.14.

8. Make this Return to God for all his Benefits, and the great de­liverances received, to make him your Trust and Confidence all your dayes. Trust upon the Lord, & live in dependance upon him for further mercy and Salvation. In Experience of what you have re­ceived from God, rest upon him, we need daily from God, and the Lord gives out daily unto us, let us act Faith daily upon God. Make this use of Gods gracious appearance for you, never to di­strust him what ever your dangers and streights, or distresses may be, so it was with holy Paul, 2 Cor. 1.10. who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver, in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us. Be not overmuch Careful or fearful in these evil and trou­blesomedayes. Be not sollicitous what you shall eat, or what you [Page 27]shall drink, or whire with you shall be clothed, or how you shall be pre­served; Trust on the Lord Jehovah in whom is Everlasting strength, Isai. 26.4. the Lord provided for his people daily in the wilderness, though they had no bread left in the Evening: yet they had it near their doors in in the morning: he was a shadow in the day time from the heat, &c. Isai. 4.5, 6. This was Davids Resolution having had such wonderful deliverances from all his Enemies, he would still trust in God, Psal. 18.2. And therefore in his greatest fears there shall be his Considence, that he will not fear what man can do to him, Psal. 56.3, 4. He is, and will be a Buckler to all those that trust in him, Psal. 18.30. It is a very ill Requital not to trust him by resting on his promises: not to rely upon his wisdome, power, faithfulness when we have had much Experience of his Care, Love, Compassion and won­derful works for our good. It is high Ingratitude. Hence the Lord was so angry with Asa for sending to Benhadad for his help, (though there were other evils in it) that he relyed not on God, when God had given him such a glorious victory over that mighty Host of the Ethiopians, 2 Chron. 16: 8, 9: Thereby he provoked God from that time to afflict him with Warrs. Learn to trust in God in the most deadly dangers: Let him be your Refuge in all Storms: He is able to keep that which is committed to him. To him belong the Issues from death, Psal 68.26:

9. Make this Return to God for all his Bounty and mercy to you, to make God your exceeding joy, as David did, Psal: 43: 4: and to re­joice in him the God of your Salvation: yea, the God of all Salva­tions Temporal, Spiritual, and Eternal: You cannot praise the Lord aright, nor walk worthy of him, except you rejoyce in him, Psal, 33.1. Rejoyce in the Lord you Righteous, for praise is comely for the upright. This duty is urged upon the Saints, Phil. 3.1. and 4.4. Rejoyce in the Lord alwayes, and again I say Rejoyce. We should not only rejoyce before the Lord in his blessings that he vouchsa­feth us; as Life, health, Corn, &c. Deut. 12.12.18. That God alloweth, yea, enjoyneth his people, but, Rejoyce in the Lord; Let not our joy be Carnal in our preservation from death, in the Lifes of our Relations, in Crops, houses, Lands, Children; but let our joy be Spiritual. Let not our chief joy be in Church Priviledges, and Ordinances; but on Christ Jesus. Such are the true Circumcision, [Page 26] [...] [Page 27] [...] [Page 28]who rejoyce in Christ Josus, and put no Confidence in the Flesh, Phil. 3.3. Psal. 97 12. Rejoyce not in sin, that is an ill Requital; the plea­sures of sin are but for a Season, and that joy will End in sorrow: but Rejoyce in the Lord, and that joy can no man take from you. And that we may the more rejoyce in him; Let us endeavour to be more clearing up our Interest in him, as our God in Christ Jesus. That we may be able to say, as Psal. 48.14. This God of Salvation is our God; well may they rejoyce in God that have him for their God, for then he will be their guide unto death, their God for ever & ever.

10. and Lastly: Render to God praise and Thanksgiving, so the Prophet promiseth in verse after the Text; I will take the Cup of Salvation; wherein he alludes to their solemn feasts, wherein they had Cups, and in the use of them they returned praise to God for the blessing they had received from him. Commemorate Gods mercies to our selves and others, and praise his great, his holy, and Reverend Name, this we are frequently exhorted to, Psal. 22.25. And 61.8 And 107:13, 14, 15: you were as prisoners shut up for a time, but God hath brought you out into a large place: Oh give Thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endureth for Ever.

Moi: 1. God hath given you your desires, and Answered your prayers, therefore do you Answer his Expectation, what Cause have you to bless the Name of the Lord, Psal. 66:19, 20: so David, veri­ly God hath heard me, he hath been Attentive to the voice of my prayer: Blessed be God which hath not turned away my prayer nor his mercy from me, as Hannah said to Eli, 1 Sam. 1:27. For this Child I prayed, &c: so may we say, for this mercy I prayed for this deliverance, for this Return to our Habitations, and Relati­ons, for this dayes liberty we sought the Lord, and he hath given us, our hearts desire; he might have made more breaches, continued our distresses longer, let therefore the Redeemed of the Lord say; The Lord is good and gracious for his mercy endures for ever.

2. This is the way to keep and hold Gods blessings still with us. It is via Conservandi; God will not take away his mercies from us, from the Country, if we Return praise to him; They giving God his Rent, the Tribute he expects, he will not turn them out of doors, not strip us of his Benefits, By giving praise we glorifie him, Psal. 50.23. He that offereth or sacrificeth praise glorifies me. He acknow­ledgeth [Page 29]his glorious Attributes, as in going to God by Petition, so in the Sacrifice of praise and gratulation.

1. In praising him we give him the glory of his goodness in the Com­munication of good to us, Psal. 119.68. Thou art good and dost good, &c. Bonum est sui diffusivum: It is the nature of goodness to be Communicative.

2. The glory of his mercy, in pittying us in our miscry, doing so much for us, who had plunged our selves into a Sea of misery. Con­fessing our own Indignity, we acknowledge all to be from mercy, Lam. 3.22. as the Church then, so may we say now; It is the Lords mercy we are not consumed.

3. The glory of his wisdome, in ordering all Events for his peo­ples good, and ruling all the world for his Churches benefit: All is theirs, 1 Cor. 3.21, 22.

4. The glory of his power, in Effecting all those things for us, which we our selves could not do, we cannot help our selves with any mercy; not make the Sun to rise, a drop of Rain to fall, nor Cause the Earth to bring forth, &c. All is the work of God, 1 Chron. 29.11, 12. Isai. 26.12.

5. The glory of his Truth in his Word; making good the same to us, and to his Church, Rev. 15.3. so in that Song after their Victory over the Beast; Just and true are thy wayes.

Mot. 3. This will open Gods heart and hand to give more; and so it is medium impretandi, a means to prevail for more mercies, 2 Chron. 20.22. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set Ambushments against the Children of Ammon, &c. a man puts in but a Bucket full of water into a Pump, but it return­eth more: The more praise we return, the more good shall we re­ceive. A thankful Christian is a blessed Christian; would you have future mercies be thankful for present mercies, say not: If I had such a mercy I could be thankful, and praise the Name of the Lord; praise him for what thou hast received, and thou maiest have more; God will showr down his blessings of grace and goodness upon thee

4thly. These praises of God rightly performed are very accep­table to God; They are delitiae Caeli, God delights in them, Heb. 13.15. Psal. 69.30, 31. And that should make us more delight in this du­ty, because it is so pleasing to God, Psal. 22.3. He Inhabits the [Page 28] [...] [Page 29] [...] [Page 30]praises of Israel; He loves to sit by them, and to hear them when their hearts are in Tune, when they sound forth his high praises.

5thly. It is a signe that the good things which we enjoy are gi­ven as blessings from the hand of a Fathers love, when they work this in us, to carry up our Affections to be much in blessing him for them; A man may abound in good things which are in themselves blessings, and yet be no blessing to him that hath them; but be turned into Curses: How may I know (will some say) that this and that gift, these deliverances are blessings to us? even hereby, when they work this disposition in us to bless and praise the Lord who hath so blessed us.

6thly. It is a most Heavenly duty, the very work of the Saints in Heaven; When all other work Ceaseth, this shall not Cease to all Eternity. The more you are in the Exercise of this Spiritual Ser­vice, the more there is of the Life of Heaven upon Earth.

This day you meet together to praise the Name of the Lord, who were together in such a danger, that you almost despaired of Life; as the Apostle saith, 2 Cor. 1.8. Look that your praises be such that God may be well pleased with them; and with you in the perfor­mance of this Service.

1. Let them be Cordial, with the heart, yea, with the whole heart, Psal. 9.1.

1. See that your hearts be taken up with an Admiration of Gods favour and Bounty towards you, as David, Psal. 139.14. Ad­mire the Lords sparing, delivering, and restoring mercy.

2. All our Service and worship of God must be with the heart and from the heart; God calls for the Heart in all, Prov. 23.26. He would have the Heart in prayer, praise, hearing the word, and all other performances; the Lord is n Spirit, and will be worshipped in Spirit and Truth, John 4.24.

2. Let them be Verbal, Psal. 34.1. and 51.15. Hos. 14.2. We will Render the Calves of our lips.

1. In singing Psalms, a duty in Gospel times: Col 3.16. And then most seasonable when God gives Cause of Rejoycing in his mer­cies, James 5.13. If any be merry let him sing Psalms, Psal. 126.1, 2. when the Lord turned the Captivity of Zion, &c. our mouth was filled with Laughter and our Tongues with singing.

[Page 31] 2. In declaring Gods goodness unto others; Extolling his Name, speaking of his loving kindness, Psal. 66.18. Come hither (saith the Prophet) all you that fear God, and I will tell what he hath done for my Soul. What Deliverances I have received, and Victories I have obtained, what Answers of prayer I have had. So Psal. 145.21. my mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, &c. In Luk. 8.38, 39. Christ Commands the man out of whom he had cast the De­vils to shew how great things God hath done for him.

3. Let them be real praises; praise him not only in our words, but in all our wayes; living to the honour of his Name, which is called upon us, and of the Gospel professed by us, Phil. 1.27. Only let your Conversation be at becomes the Gospel of Christ; That is a main thing to be attended to, Psal. 50.23. He that will offer praise aright, must also order his Conversation aright; Confession and Conversation must go together in a thankful man, Psal. 116.8, 9. I will walk before God in the Land of the living; Inward Affection must be manifested in our outward Conversation. Therefore look well to your wayes, Elder and younger; walk holily and Righte­ously; live soberly, Righteously and godly in this present world, else all your praises are vain; The Lord will not accept them.

Let our praises be Continual, Psal. 34.1. and Psal. 63.4. I will bless thee while I live; Rest not in the work of a day, but remember Gods mercies all your dayes; Be not like the Israelites, Psal. 106.12. They sang his praises, but soon forgot his works.

You that are young remember the Lord in your best dayes, and let us all both Elder and younger remember him all our dayes. Re­member him, to Love him, serve, honour and glorifie him. Remem­ber your Promises and Engagements to him. If we remember not his mercies to praise him, he will remember our Ingratitude against him therein, by Cutting us short of his blessings, and plaguing us with his Judgements.

5. Let all our Sacrifices of praise be offered up to God in the Name of Jesus Christ, that so they may be a sweet savour before him. God smelled a sweet savour in Noahs Sacrifice, after that wonderful preservation from the Floud of waters, Gen. 8.20. Noah looked to Christ, Heb. 13.15. Col. 3.17. In him God will be well pleased with you. And that Testimony you shall have one day from him, [Page 30] [...] [Page 31] [...] [Page 32]that you pleased him in your returns to him: Let us thus now Render to God whiles we are here on Earth, and we shall Reap the Fruit of all in the great day of Christs appearance, when God will Render to every one according to their works, Rom. 2.6, 7. Then those that have carefully observed all Gods dispensations about them, and been follicitous what to Render to him; giving up themselves to him. Loving, fearing, and obeying him, walking in holy Fellow­ship with him in his own Appointments, they shall be received by him into his Everlasting Kingdome, there to be with him, singing praises to him that sits on the Throne, and to the Lamb for Evermore.

FINIS.

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