Nevv-England Freemen Warned and Warmed, To be Free indeed, having an Eye to God in their ELECTIONS:

In a Sermon Preached before the Court of ELECTION At Boston, on the last Day of May, 1671.

By J. O. Pastour of the first Church in Boston.

Published by Order of the General Court.

Printed in the Year. 1673.

Christian Reader,

I Was invited by the House of De­puties to Preach at the time and on the occasion mentioned in the Title page, and that work (though very mean) found that acceptance, that Captain Savage the Speaker with Captain Clark came in the name of that House to give me thanks: Since which the Deputies, with the concurrence of the Magistrates ordered the Printing of this poor piece; It was once in my thoughts here to have prefaced an Explication of some particulars, which it seems did not sound well in the ears of two or three persons whom I honour; but my second thoughts did contradict, telling me my Order was only for the Printing of the Sermon, and that the ex­p [...]ication and defence thereof (if a tincture of prejudice▪ did remain) might as well be mi­staken as the Sermon, and so occasion inconve­nient alteration; wherefore I forbear, being conscious to my self of no other scope nor mean­ing then what will be agreeable to all faithful [Page] Patriots and true lovers of this Country, with whom therefore I am willing to leave this Te­stimony before I dye; and that it may appear that I aim at what was in the heart of some long before me in time and worth; take some passages which have had unquestioned allow­ance in this Land:

Mr. Shepard in his first part of the Para­ble of the Virgins, page 166. Who seeth not (that observes the Lords dealing) that some sorrows are toward, unless the Lord a­waken, some suddain blasting blow. If any wind be st [...]ring; men on the tops of the moun­tains will feel it, and its folly to think to flee from the crosse unless we flee from Christ. 'Tis part of the portion he doth owe us here, if he love us.

I do fear there is at this day as deep mischief plotting against New-England as ever the Sun saw: Enemies will first deal subtilly be­fore cruelly, but subtilly that they may deal cruelly; When Pharaoh deals wisely, he meant to kill:

Being come hither for publick helps and means and all ordinances, Oh do not betray your liberties, but lose your blood before you lose them, and the Lord in them; [...] the Ark still on your shoulders that the Lord may dwell with you.

[Page] Idem 2d. part, page 16. If ever this Coun­try receive a blovv it vvill be by appearances, if eve [...] any shall come under an appearance of pie [...]y and promise of protection, safety, liberty, only your Government must be a little altered, slumber here and you shall sleep in your ene­mies arms.

Idem page 1 [...]6 An Objection is made, What power [...] Churches to keep out [...] that be Bapti [...]d?

The Answer The Ap [...]le is punctual to it, 2 Tim 3. [...]. speaking of the last dayes, ha­ving a form of godliness, turn away from such, he saith not, let them in and turn to them, and if they prove evil members cut them off and turn them from you, but turn avvay from them, he saith not if they be prophane or not baptized and cannot say [...] as humbled & novv I believe, but vvhich is [...] they have a form Ezek. 44.8, 9. you [...] keepe [...] of my charge in my Sanctuary [...] your selve [...] ▪ thus saith the Lord God, no stranger uncircumci­zed in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh shall enter into my Sanctuary, Heb. 12.15. looking diligently least any [...]oot of bitterness spring [...]ing up trouble you, he doth not say it is no matter vvhat roots you set in Christs Gar­den, only vvhen they spring up and begin to seed and i [...]fect others, then have a care of [...] [Page] The Lord that forbids me to suffer Weeds to grow forbids my carelessness in sowing what seed: I please.

Idem page 199. Paul may fear with a godly jealousie some of the Corinthi [...] Church, 2 Cor. 12. yet he calls them all Saints, and dares not min [...]e his speeches with such notions of probabillity; a morral certainty, a man may and should have of all Church-members, a certainty of faith conditional, but [...].

Idem page 200. Let all Gods people, Watchmen on Gods Walls, still be watchful and careful, there be temptations enough to make men fill and pester Gods House with Swine; one hath his Friend, and his affection l [...]d him; ano [...]her, he is a man of estate and his M [...]ney is in the mouth of his Sack; ano­ther thinks there [...] bad enough, but we shall do well enou [...] [...]ith them.

Hosea 8.4. They have set up Kings but not by me, they have made Princes and I knew it not.’

MEn, Fathers and Brethren, what­soever you expect or suspect of me, I would neither expect nor suspect of you the represen­tative body of a high professing People, that you should take up this solemn worship of God as a bare ceremony to attend the Granduer of the day, but would hope you come to look up to the great God, that he may give us some meat in this season. Psal. 145.15. But then look we to him with a single eye, for if we come resolved to him, & not to be resolved by him; we dissemble in our hearts, as they, Jer. 42.10. They ask coun­sel but take it not, Come not I pray you to enquire with an Idol in your heart, Ezek. 14.7. If there be here any of you with an Idol of prejudice, not to do what you hear; or a fixed purpose to do whatsoever you had a mind to before, be it right or wrong; let such an Idoll fall down before the Living [Page 2] God, but whatsoever ye will do, the Lord tells me what I must do, Ezek. 2.7. Thou shalt spe [...]k my words, whether they will h [...]ar or whether they will f [...]rbear, and the words he hath at this time put into my mouth are thes [...], They have set up Kengs:

Whose coherence is this in the first verse, the P [...]phet hath order from the Lord of [...] to sound an Alarm with the greatest earnestness, with a Trumpet from the roof of his mouth against secure Hypocrites, & so to signifie the aproach of a [...]wift and ravenous enemy, as an [...]agle against the ten Tribes; and this notwithstanding any pretence to their Church estate, or being a house of God, and professing themselves to own, know and acknowl [...]ge him: ver. 2. they will cry [...] God we kn [...]w thee, now the reason of Gods severe proceeding against them is, be­cause they have broke the substance of their Covenant with God in the main Articles of it, transgr [...]ssed my Covenant, and tres­passed a [...]ainst my Law, and cast off the thing [...], which is, that which the Co­v [...]n [...]nt and [...] require▪ and in this 4th. ver. [...] proof of their thus breaking with God in their civil and religious administration the former is our present concern; They have set [...]

[Page 3] Explic. They have set up Kings but not by me, the 70 [...] they have Kinged it to themselves and not to me, so the Syriack and vulgar Latine, but the Arabick varies a little, they have reigned of themselves and not from me, They h [...]ve made [...]rinces and I knew it not; the Greek Syriack, vulgar Latine, Arabick, they we [...]e Princes & told me not, but the Hebrew verbes in the Text being in hiphil, and so of transitive signification doth avouch our Translation, and so the Ch [...]lde paraphraseth they made to rule, and not from my minde and will; yet often the 70 as quoted in the N.T. enlargeth the next and express sense of the Hebrew, and so it may here be allo­wed and the matter will bear it well; For those civil Governours that are of a corrupt constitution are not likely to carry on a godly administration, what power is ill laid in, will be ill laid out, Mich. 1▪ 7. what is ga­thered of an Harlot will return [...] the hire of an harlot, what is from the fl [...]w will bring forth corruption, and so in case of the Text it proved, of all the Kings of the ten Tribes, we finde not one godly King: But for further concerning the sense of the Text I would speak to two Questions.

[Page 4]Quest. 1. How may we understand their set­ting up Kings and Princes and not by the Lord and his Knowledge?

Answ. They did it not by his direction and approbation, they did never enquire and prosecute the minde of God in that bu­siness, nor did the Lord know and approve their way and procedure as he doth the way of the righteous, Psal. 1. ult.

Quest. 2. How did they set up Kings and Princes without Gods approbation?

Answ. Not meerly (as I conceive) in setting up the Kingly Government, for that was revealed to be his will eventually, Deut. 17.14. but their sin in first taking to this Government was their lusting after it out of season and measure; this itching hu­mour in the Israelites was partly from their distrusting their God, and partly for Genti­lizing or conforming to the Gentiles, and it broke forth in Gideons time, Judg. 8.22, 23. they would have a Regal Hereditary Go­vernment, but Gideon suppresseth the mo­tion, and oppo [...]eth the making a King in other time and manner then God appoin­ted, to be a rejecting of Gods Govern­ment; they say, rule thou over us, thou, and thy Son, and thy Sons Son, and Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither [Page 5] shall my Son rule over you; but who then? the Lord shall rule over you: But this lust in that people did afterwards rise, [...]udg. 9. to­ward his Bastard Son Abime [...]e [...]h, who had not that honest spirit to check it as his Fa­ther did; the same lust was stirring in the Israe [...]ites demand of a King, 1 Sam. 8.5.7. and this the Lord counts the rejecting of his Government, by which formerly a fit in­strument was designed by the Lord in every extremity, and thus far the ten Tribes did act with the other, in setting up Kings without Gods approbation; afterward I finde this sinful proceeding to reign chiefly in the ten Tribes, for they knew the will of God, for the succession of David the Type of Christ, 2 Sam. 5.2 yet they first set up Ishbosheth, and afterward Absalom, and then inclined to Sheba, in all which they neither sought nor had the approbation of God, and by this lust were the ten Tribes acted in set­ting up Ieroboam; for though it was by Gods providence ordering all events, yet neither did the people, nor Ieroboam enquire of God about it, but the people in discontent rebelled against the house of Dav [...]d, & Ierob [...] ­am in his ambition did match at the offer of the seditious Israelites; thus did not David, for though he was anointed King, yet nei­ther [Page 6] in Sauls time would he put forth a hand to the Crown, nor after Sauls death had made the Throne vacant, would David step one foot towards possession of it, till he enquired after, and received Gods appro­bation, 2 Sam. 2.1. David enquired of the Lord, shall I go up to any of the Cities of Iu­dah? but Ieroboam did neither take nor wear the Crown according to Gods counsel and tearms; And so it was with the Kings that succeeded him, and for the people that set up their Kings at their own pleasure; so did they destroy them, Hos. 7.7. Being hot as an oven in their own passions and factions, they devour their Iudges, their Kings are fal­len, there is none that calls upon me, and pul­led down their Kings without Gods counsel or help, so that in two hundred years they had twenty Kings of ten several families; in the same time there were but eleven in Iu­dah, and all of Davids house: Now this their setting up Kings and Princes accord­ing to their own lusts was the more crimi­nal, because they in word owned God to be their God in Covenant, my God we know thee; and for them to order their Govern­ment without taking notice of God, was a great disloyalty. From the words so depend­ing and explained, I offer this Doctrine:

[Page 7] Doct. It is expected of a People professing themselves the people of God, that they should have regard to him in the consti­tution and administration of their Ma­gistracy.

This appears by,

1. God reproving of the Israelites, in the Text the Israelites are charged with an omission, not doing according to God in their Magistracy, which implies a rule and duty so to do, sins of omission import a duty omitted.

2. By Gods approving those that have this regard to him as well as h [...] reproving them that have it not, Hos. 11. ult. Ephraim compasseth me about with lyes, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Iudah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the Saints: the ten Tribes retaining some profession of God, but having no sincere respect to him in their civil or religious matters, do but keep a customary round of lyes and hypocrisie in their profession of God; but Iudah in their Government, keeping to the house of Da­vid according to Gods command, and hold­ing with their Godly Ancestors and their faithful remnant are approved by their God.

The Reasons to g [...]in the assent of your [Page 8] understandings, and so to fetch in the con­sent of your wills are these

Reas. 1. The eternal God doth expect of them that acknowledge him for their God, and themselves for his people, that they should be his universally and unchan­geably, and that his right to them should not be limited to any place or case, but should reach to their whole course, Pro [...]. 3.6 In all thy wayes acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths: Ye must acknowledge him in better and greater matters, as in other dayes so in this solemn day, if therein you expect he shall set you to rights, ye must not play fast and loose; sometimes retain to God, and other times to Mammon, Mat. 6.24. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon, for they are so far two Masters as never to be one, so that if ye hold to one ye will despise the other; If the interest of God and the publick interest in this Land call you to make one choice, and some worldly interest call you to another, if ye hold to the world­ly, ye despise God in this, however in other occasions ye pretend to retain to him, your choice will discover whose indeed you are; your choice of a calling, your choice of a companion, yours (especially in Marriage for your self or yours) and your choice of a [Page 9] Magistrates and others in Authority (when it is in your power) will shew whether ye are resolved to serve God in your Genera­tion or not; what say ye now ye Freemen of New-England? is the Lord your God or no? if he be, then as one man ye must say, Exod. 15.2. He is my God, I will pre­pare him an Habitation: I will endeavour such a frame of things as he may delight to dwell amongst us, He is my Fathers God and I will exalt him; he hath wonderfully owned and exalted you and your Fathers, therefore ye must own and exalt him; and believe it Brethren, if ye talk of God and his Covenant, and walk not in the main concerns of your publick or private stand­ing with a chief regard to him; ye go a­bout to mock him that will not be mocked.

Reas. 2. Magistracy and Government is mercifully ordered and maintained by God, and therefore as it falls into the hands of men, should be ordered according to him, what is of him, and through him should also be to him: that there should be Govern­ment among men, it is an order that God hath set, Rom. 13.1. The Powers that be, are ordained of God.

Government is not only by general pro­vidence ordered and governed by him (as [Page 10] are all Wars, Pestilence and Famine) but ordained, God gives out a command and a confinement (or bound) to it: All Na­tions by instinct of nature do desire a po­wer and authority for Rule, and commis­sion is given, as Gen. 7. God appointed a power among men for rev [...]nge of Murder, and this when all Nations were contracted into one Family, but God did more expresly enjoyn his own people to set up Magi­strates, Deut. 16.18. Iudges and Officers shalt thou make thee in all thy Gates which the Lord giveth thee; It is not arbitrary whether they will have Judges, Pharaoh calls Government [...] a sacred thing, and it is a mercy, and so made over to men through Christ, Prov. 8.15. By me Kings reign, Mat. 28.15. All power is given to me in Heaven and Earth, Christ dispen­seth it for carrying on the welfare of men, therefore the enjoyment of Government according to him is matter of praise, Psal. 122.4. Whether the Tribes go up to give thanks to the name of the Lord, for there are set Thrones of Iudgement: The setting up of Government is a mercy thankfully to be owned, as the want is a judgement and desolation, and the portion of bloody Esau, Isa. 34.12. They shall call the Nobles thereof [Page 11] to the Kingdome but none shall be there, and all her Princes shall be nothing, and this is sorely lamented, Hab. 1.14. and makest men as the fishes of the Sea, as creeping things that have no ruler over them; now God be­ing the merciful founder of Magistracy, it is meet in the manage thereof we should look to him, as Isai. 22.11. when they used skill and diligence in fortifying of [...]erusa­lem, there was one neglect that threatens the frustrating of all, that is, not having the principal eye and regard to the Lord that founded Jerusalem as the seat of the King­dome, and his most solemn worship: It may be as usually is objected against this reason, from 1 Pet. 2.13. Submit your selves to every Ordinance of man? Ans▪ It is for the Lords sake, who hath ordered there should be Government, and so it is of the Lord; but in this and that particular form, it is of man as to the Common-wealth, though in the Churches even the form we conceive is fixed by the Lord; Civil Government is also called Humane, because its end is the good of man, in outwards nextly and the matter it is conversant about, is (properly and immediately) humane not divine; In divine the Magistrate hath not power ac­cording to his minde to put or appoint any [Page 12] Worship upon God which never came into his minde, Jer. 9.5. Which I commanded not, no [...] speak it, neither came it into my minde, and what came not into Gods minde to ap­point, may not come into the Magistrates minde to enjoyn. It is the liberty and ho­nour of a Magistrate to protect and pro­mote what Christ hath appointed in his house, and in this the Christian Magistrate hath not more power, though more light to manage that power; the help of the Magi­strate is not of absolute necessity to the be­ing of Christs true Religion (for he did bring forth and maintain it when the edge of the Magistrate was sharp against it for 300 years the purer age) but this support is necessary for the false, Ier. 10.5. an [...]mage which is created by man, cannot subsist without his providence, the Idol must needs be borne it cannot go, and Babylon, whether East or West (the way of Arius, Maho­met or the Pope) must have a Beast to car­ry her, Rev. 17.7. [...] saith Meade but that this is the abuse or civil power will appear in the Doctrines third Reason.

Reas. 3. Magistr [...]cal Power makes a man Gods near and special Servant and De­puty in the World, therefore it is fit that in [Page 13] the giving and using this power, there should be a respect had to God, Ioh. 10.34, 35. I said ye are Gods, if he called them Gods to whom the Wo [...]d [...]f God [...]; Gods [...] and Commission putteth them in his ste [...]d, and by his i [...]presse upon th [...] M [...]gi­st [...]acy, and by [...] onely one man is ab [...] to rule so great numbers; when [...] Ma­gistrate or Deputy, ye put [...]uch a m [...]n upon God, and therefore should cons [...]der w [...]at will plea [...]e him, Rom. 13.4 the Magistrate is called Gods [...] & [...] his Deacon as we may say) his Minister, so 2 Chro [...]. 9 8. Blessed be the Lor [...] saith [...]he­bas Queen to S [...]lomon [...] wh [...]ch [...] in the [...] to set thee upon his Thr [...]ne, to be K [...]ng for the Lord God: It is the Lords [...], and for the Lord, and so inferiour Magi­strates, 2 Ch [...]o. 19.6. [...] judge for the L [...]d, Rev. 12.5. Constantine is said to be caught up to Gods Throne, now God useth men in Government not out of necessity but boun­ty, for Ps [...]l. 89.18. He [...]s the Shield of [...]is people, yet he hath the shields of h [...]s p [...]ople, P [...]l 47. ult. the Magistrate represents Christ the Judge of all the Ea [...]th, and we may not put upon him a man that mani [...]e [...]tly be [...]s the Image of the Devil, neither may any dare [Page 14] in Gods Livery to do the Devils work; nay who of you dares to take in any to Gods service, but to do Gods work, and not to serve your own particular turn.

Application. Let the Authority of this Doctrine fall and fix upon your hearts this day, remembring Psal. 81 2. that God stan­deth, which i [...] a posture of greater attention, and he attends in order to his judging of you, therefore have your eye upon God as his is upon you; Be in the fear of the Lord all this day, Prov. 23.17. So acknowledge God in giving and taking Magistracy, that he may approve your proceeding, and let every heart lift up a cry to the Lord almost in Moses words, Numb. 27.16. Let the Lord the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man and men over the Congregation, which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them, and which may bring them in, that the Congrega­tion of the Lord be not as sheep which have no Shepherd.

Motive. 1. It concerns us to be owned in the proceedings of this day, else the business of the day wil [...] not be for our safety, Ier. 5.10. Go ye up upon her Walls, and destroy and [...], for they are not [...]. I [...] our Magistrates set up for [Page 15] our Protection, be not owned by the Lord, they will not be any protection; any ene­my, heathen or called christian, hath a dor­mant Commission to come upon you and destroy you, though not with utter destru­ction.

Motive 2. Magistraticall Power is of great weight and worth, especially among Gods people; therefore with great conside­ration to be made over and managed by them that have it. Psal. 113.8. That he may set him with Princes, even with the Princes of his people. This very much heightens their honour; and so God tells David, 2 Sam. 7.8. I took thee from the sheep coate, to be Ruler over my people, over Israel. Pericles, being often chosen Pretor of Athens, every year when he put on his Robe, would bespeak himself; remember thou rulest over Free­men, thou rulest over Athenians, yet Christ bespeaks you that rule here, have a care what you do, for ye rule over my Children, Iob. 19 8. When Pilate heard that saying, viz. that Christ was the Son of God, he was the more afraid, he was the more awed, and they that are in Authority here had as much need as any where to hearken to that, Psal. 2.10. Serve the Lord with fear, rejoyce with trembling; It is spoken to Magistrates, ye [Page 16] may willingly and chearfully serve the Lord in that capacity of doing good to his peo­ple, but tremble lest ye miscarry; if ye do them any wrong ye are sure to hear of it, Isai 105. [...]4, 15. He suffered no man to do them wrong, yea, he reproved Kings for their sake, saying, to [...]ch not mine anointed, and do my Prophets no harm: If you touch his peo­ple harmful [...]y, or put power into the hands of such as will so touch them you touch the app [...]e of Gods eye, Z [...]ch. 2. he will not bear that wrong to them that he will upon another people, no not although it be [...]ly a [...]d by way of fraud, and not by way of op [...]n violence, for that was the cause of Midian, against whom the Lord gives that charge, Numb. 31.3. Let th [...]m go a­gainst the Midianite [...] and avenge the Lord of Midian.

Motive 3. All your Administrations must come ere long under judgement, ye that are Freemen must shortly be free a­mong the dead, and that then your work and secret d [...]s [...]gn whether go [...]d or bad must come to judgement, Eccl. 12. ult. and ye that shall be chose [...], Ps [...]l 82.6.7. Though you be all of ye [...]ildren of the m [...]st hi [...]h, or Angels as [...]yet ye m [...]st dye like A­dam. Socrates writes to Dyonisius, thou [Page 17] art yet clothed with a mortal skin, and if ye dye then follows the Judgement; act ye therefore so this day as ye may answer it boldly in that. It was the honour of Mar­cellus, that he went from the Tribunal to the Bar; and it is the Law of necessity upon you all, if not here yet else where, to give an account of your Administration; now if any of you upon these Motives are willing in your giving or taking Magistra­tical power, to do it according to Gods will, offer you some means so to do.

Means 1. Minde the reallizing of your profession of God, and take heed of Apo­stacy; in the two verses before the Text, we have Israels boasting and breaking of their Covenant with God, Israel shall cry unto me, my God we know thee, but this is no better then to compass God with lyes, Hos. 11. ult. For Israel hath cast off the thing that is good, the Enemy shall pursue him; If we do thus lye to God in N. E. we go a­gainst the interest of N. E. as hath been faithfully declared on such a day as this:Mr. Stoughton If you cast off good, you cannot so cast off evil; evil will fol­low you if you follow not that which is good, when your Religion is but a pretence, a lye, it will never last, a lye is never long-lived, [Page 18] howsoever you fawn upon God or his people, ye can never really love either by outward fleshly circumcision alone, when ye are only (as the same Messenger said) custome born, Deut. 30.6. theres need of the Lords own circumcizing your hearts and the hearts of your seed, as he is real [...]y your God in Covenant, that you may love him and his interest with [...]ll your heart: If ye have this heart circumcision, heart-ba­ptisme, then you will cleave to him and his people, whether ye be chusing or chosen into power, otherwise not, Prov. 24. ult. the upright is an abomination unto the wicked His natural Fore-skin, the enmity of his car­nal minde will upon any ripening tempta­tion break out; he that hath but the form, not the power of godliness, will not like to have godliness in power, they that are not indeed Freemen (though so called) are servants, 2 Pet. 2.19. to corruption, and must serve such purposes which was owned by some Philosophers, Cic. 5. Parad [...]x who laid down this Paradox (so that many would think it) all wise men are Freemen, and all fools are Servants; such then having a liberty to chuse, will in the use of it serve corrupt [...], and not the holy God, neither will [...], serve the Lord in [Page 19] the manner of that Authority they get, and therefore Job 17.8. The innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite, and God in­tending mercy to a people will help such opposition, Iob 34.30. That the Hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared; such will lay secret and subtile snares for the peo­ple whom God in pitty will deliver there­from.

As for you in N. E. to backslide and to fashion your selves to the flaunting mode of England in worship or walking, you under­take a vain thing, for you can but limp after them, and you will forget (as was told you the last year by that Reve­rend Elder) your errand of Planting this Wilderness,Mr Danforth. and if you have a minde to turn your Churches into Pari­shes, and your Ministers into Priests and Prelates, I cannot think the Lord will ever endure it, as Ezek 20.32. That which cometh into your minde shall not be a [...] all, that ye say, we will be as the Families of the Coun­tries: The Lord that hath so marvelously separated and distinguished this people for himself, will not so lose his propriety here, and know ye that your backsliding will not only be vanity but vexation, also for this ye will lose the good ye have had, Hos. 4.7. [Page 20] As th [...]y were increased so they sinned against me, therefore will I change their glory into shame. If ye grow more provoking as more populous; that which hath been the glory of N. E. (Magistracy and Ministry) will be its shame: If ye rebel and vex his holy Spirit, acting in them that anointing will be gone, Isai. 63.10, 11. Where is he that brought them up out of the Sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy spirit within them? Ye will have Magistrates and Ministers of a meaner alloy, yea happily, for your Hypocrisie and Apostacy, being false to Christ as was Iudas, you will have that plague, Psal. 109.6. A wicked man set over you, and an adversary shall stand at your right hand: Evil will certainly befal you, as Iosh. 6.26. Ioshua laid the builders of ac­cursed destroyed Iericho under a curse, so will our Jesus bring a Curse upon those that shall go about to build Iericho the City of the Moon (so it signifies) the Kingdome of the Beast, which being an earthly, worldly Re­ligion: Lunenburge is reckoned by the Moon, Rev. 11. But blessed are they that re­sist and crush the least beginnings and breed of Babylon, (be they will-worship, persecution or confusion:) Blessed I say are those that will dash their brats against the Rock, [Page 21] even Christ the sure and tried Stone.

Yea, in case ye backslide from the God of your Fathers, ye will be as it were out-lawed, and expo [...]ed as a free [...]poil to every enemy, Ier. 50.7 All that found them have devoured them, and their adversaries said, we offend not because they have sinned against the Lord the [...]abitation of justice, even the Lord the hope of their Fathers; and from such will ye be most likely to have your scourge from whom you have your apostacy; as Israel returning to the Idols of Mesopotamia, from whence their Ancestors Abraham and Ja­cob had sepa [...]ated, were first put into the hand of the King of Mesopotamia, Iudg. 3.8. and think not what I say is impertinent to the Doctrine or the day, for in the civil Government.

The first worthy Planters they professed to erect and administer according to God, and if you that su [...]ceed will so according to y [...]ur lust it will go ill with you: the gallant Gideon saith, Iud. 8.20. I will not rule over you neither shall my Son rule over you, but the Lor [...] shall rule over you: this did that wor­thy Father promise, but the Bastard Son will need [...] break to the ruine of himself and his partakers: if a degene [...]ate and spurious Generation will not stand by the intend­ments [Page 22] and engagements of their faithful An­cestors, but in their giving and exercising rule neglect the Lord, he will ruine them and their helpers.

M [...]ans 2. Minde faithfully and diligent­ly your liberties, that ye may be free to act for and according to God in the constitution and manage of your Magistracy: quit once your liberties and ye mu [...]t have such a Magi­stracy & manage of it as will please not God nor your selves, but other men will be your masters, for servants yea, slaves must you be to some body when ye have let go your li­berties, now to fix you in maintaining your liberties, I crave liberty to propound some Motives.

Motive 1. It is a trust and favour of God that ye have such liberties, Psa. 118.14. This is the day that the Lord hath made or exalted: This your day of free Election is preforable before all your own dayes if we marre it not & (for ought we know) there is no such day in other Colonies abroad, and we may say as follows, we will rejoyce and be glad in it, & the more we are engaged for such a day, be­cause we have not deserved it, but as Saul, after h [...]s wickedness to David, and Davids kindness to him in sparing him when he had advantage, 1 Sam. 24.19. This day thou hast [Page 23] made me as the Hebrew saith, your liberty then being the gift of such a hand, even of the Lord, let no hand be against it, but let every hand hold it, Gal. 5.1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not intangled again with the yoke of bondage. The Lord Jesus hath given you such a standing, keep your standing, whoso­ever shall push at you, let none doubt that even our outward liberties in spirituals and temporals are from our Redeemer; precious Cotton so, All Church priviledges and Com­mon wealth priviledges hath the Lord pur­chased by his blood: So a [...] faithful Brother a­mong us, on such a day as this, our liberties and priviledges are ran­somed mercies:Mr. St. Christ hath given a price, and by his power, and by his spirit acting in the prayers and pains of his Servants, hath gotten and kept them.

This liberty of chusing their own Magi­strates the Lord gave to his own people, Deut. 1.13.15. Give ye (so the Hebrew, and our Margent) wise men, and understanding, & known among your Tribes and I will make them Rulers over you: and such as ye people gave, Moses took, yea, this people of Israel were still free to chuse when scarce any were [Page 24] free to be chosen, Isa [...]. 3.6. A man shall take hold of his Brother, and of the hou [...]e of his Father, saying, thou hast clothing be thou a ruler: And all faithful ones are with A­braham, the proper heirs of the World ▪ Rom. 4.13. and th [...]t without wrong to just pro­priety, and it seems all shall (as [...]e) have the yoke broken because of the anointing, Isai. 10.27. Now shall not we hold the Lands and Liberties which our Go [...] hath given us, as Iudg. 11.24. that valliant Iephthe told the Arronite, and indeed for your just bounds it will be great weakness to shorten them, for a near Enemy is the worst, as Sparta found by the Athenians, seizing on Pysus a near and rejected Island.

Motive 2. Your trust by and for men be­speaks your care and vigilance about your Liberties. This Honourable Assembly con­sists of the Trustees of all the Freemen of the Land: If Freemen indeed, they chuse that they may so continue; we should have cause to complain of any that is c [...]osen if he should use this trust against our Liberties, as the Eagle in the Greek Epigram lamented that it was slain with an Arrow winged with its own Feathers: Ye are also trusted for men, for many, all Inhabitants have their Liberties, Women, Children, Servants, yea, [Page 25] and Strangers too, let me beseech this Ho­nourable Assembly, in the name of all the Freemen (who am also a Freemen) not to part with any of our Liberties by force or fraud, these are our Crowns and Iewels which we commit to your care and charge.

Motive. 3. Your expressing agreement binds you; no man can chuse or be chosen, but he hath taken the Oath for our Liberties, take heed you be not charged as those Hypo­critical Professors, Isai. 48.1. nominal Chri­stians, Swearing by the Lord, making men­tion of the God of Israel, but not in truth nor in righteousness, you have every one sweared by the Great Name of the Everliving God, truely to endeavour to maintain and preserve the liberties and priviledge of this Common­wealth and Government: and this is more then is sworn for the Laws, to which only a subjection is undertaken, now if ye truly endeavour to maintain all the liberties as ye promise by Oath, then ye should be willing to know and make them known: there should be as I conceive, a distinct know­ledge of them as there is a distinct obliga­tion to them; I have seen the Liberties writ­ten by the then Governour, and subscribed by him, and others, and there I saw the pre­face and the three last Liberties to be too so­lemn [Page 26] to be concealed, one is for the perpe­tual observation of the liberties, another is to give them the force of Laws, and then giving of relief to any that are abridged in them. Methinks men should know what they are sworn, for Ignorantia [...]uris, Igno­rance of the Law doth not excuse a breach of it, wherefore watch and be diligent in keeping your liberties, that they may not be insensibly lost, Prov. 12.24. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule, but the slothful shall be under tribute. If you be dull and sleepy, and keep not your hold when others are active and pull hard, you must needs let go, unless I mistake, the 60 liberty and the [...]4. are infringed by inadvertency, I would hope it were no worse; but if ye shall break down the hedge of your Churches and Common­wealth, you will lay the field open to such as watch to make spoile of you: are there any that back-slide or warpe among you, they will co-operate with workers of iniquity, Psal. 125.5. and ye will want no such Instru­ments, if ye admit of a carnal party into the priviledges due here to visible Saints, they will be likely to eat out the heart of li­berty and religion; as in a Syllogisme, the conclusion follows the worser part, and god­ly men have something in them that inclines [Page 27] them to that which is not good, and if such comply with a carnal interest, Prov. 25.26. A righteous man falling down before the wick [...]d, is as a troubled Fountain and cor­rupt spring, earthly, muddy, and not fit to be taken in as before; be ye therefore diligent and couragious, and not like Iss [...]char, Gen. 49.14. A strong Asse couching down be­twixt two burthens: your civil and your re­ligious liberties are so coupled here, that if one be lost the other cannot be kept; if be­ing free ye will put your selves into bands, ye will be as the slothful under tribute, you will be shorn, 2 King. 10.12. the shearing house is as the Hebrew there, and your Margent, the house of shepherds binding, when you are so sheepish to be bound, your fleece will be shorn, and may be your skin flayed and flesh will be devoured, and if any say, its good sleeping in a whole skin, I would tell such that sleeping is not the way to keep the skin whole; observe those Neuters, Iudg. 8.6, 7. who refused to owe any relief to their Bre­thren in a needful time, but (till they saw which would be the stronger side) would not meddle so they might sleep in a whole skin; those wary Princes of Succoth could not compass it, but the contrary was written on their skin by the thorns of the wilder­ness, [Page 28] and if this our wilderness breed any such luke-warm Polititians in a needful time, it is to be hoped that it will also bring forth thorns enough to teach them, you have beautiful and precious liberties beyond o­ther Colonies, but Prov. 11.20. as a jewel of gold in a Swines snout, so is a fair woman without discretion, or that departs from dis­cretion, or least no Judgement to put it to clean and honourable but dirty uses, if you so root in your present and particular profits and interests, as to neglect your golden li­berties, what will England? what will all the world say of you, that you are not new English, but no English men; therefore give me leave to beseech and intreat the aged to follow the aged Caleb that hearty man as he followed the Lord and fulfilled after him, Iosh. 14.8, 11, 13. Be ye now as hearty for your true and just liberties as ye were 40. year since, and so will your Ioshua, your Jesus bless you, and ye shall be able to prevail against the tallest opposers, even the Anakims.

Let me also bespeak the young men a­mongst you, that you would not be prodi­gal o [...] those liberties you never knew the getting of, use you not the fork since ye ne­ver knew the [...]ake.

Obj. 1. Doth any say that the Patent or [Page 29] Charter-right is questioned by some?

I Answer, Such men do not appear so good friends either to the Crown or Country, for the question cutteth off the true and [...]roper ligament between them, neither ma [...] [...] be reasonably said, that upon, or o­ther circumstantial failer the Pattent ceaseth; for on the great consideration, for the Graunt is paid and cannot be re-landed; for the lives and estates of many worthy men have been laid down here to plant and subdue this Land, and subdued it is.

Obj. 2. If it be said, there may be just reason to quit some of the Liberties?

I Answer, I grant so much on condition, ye will also grant that the same deliberation should be used in the getting any of them, as there was in constituting of them: The liberties were probationers for three years, and in all the General Courts for that time, they were passed by all the Freemen, and it seems equal that all the Freemen should have as sufficient time to consider of the change and abrogation of them, and sure it is not fit that any one General Court should have such an unlimited Arbit [...]ary, power that nothing should b [...] fixed and unmovea­ble, no property, use and estate should be secured, and I think y [...]u wil [...] grant, that in [Page 30] the year 1641. when those liberties were in such degree enacted and settled; there were men civil and ecclesiastical (who managed that matter) of such weight and worth as none of us now filling their place can, and if wise and humble will pretend to [...]gh them down, though experience may adde to [...] knowledge in particular cases.

Obj. 3. But if that many give up we can­not help it?

I Answer, Yes, for by your 75. liberty, you have power to enter your dissent and protestation, which will save your own souls from the guilt, and ye have encouragement to help your selves and the whole, because as yet the promise is made good to you Ier. 30.2 Your Nobles are of your selves, and your Go­vernour proceeds from the midst of you, so that none can be in power to hurt or hazard you, but it must be by your selves, and this being your glory ye may expect that the Lord will create a cloud when no visible help [...] appear, Isai. 4, 5. upon all the glory s [...]ll be a defence, and the same presence of [...] will be offensive to all unrighteous [...] or disturbers, Eccl. 10.8, 9. He [...] a pit shall fall into it, and whoso [...] hedge a Serpent shall bite him, [...] stones s [...]ll be hurt therewith, [Page 31] and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby: none that shall be removing your peculiar and distinguishing priviledges and ancient bounds, and for that end will be ma­king parties shall prosper; nay, take that encouraging word more, Ezra 6.11. Who­soever shall alter this word (of priviledges and provision for the Temple) let the Tim­ber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be destroyed thereon, and let his house be made a Dunghil, and the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all Kings and People that shall put to their hand to alter and destroy this House of God.

Means 3. Of your constituting and ad­ministring Magistracy according to God, is to give good heed to your Election, that it may proceed with clearness, so that there may be no fraud nor doubt in giving your votes against which your way may seem to some not so sure as elsewhere; and surely what is indirectly gotten, is of and for the evil one; ye should come to this solemn a­ction with a care, and not as Children to see the fashion and leave things at a venture, but as there is some care to be used for the manner of your Election, so much more for the Object whom you chuse [Page 32] or refuse, Exod. 18. Thou shalt provide, Chasuh is to look about, to be circumspect, ye must weigh and consider, Deut. 1.13. ye must pitch upon known men, excuse not, saying, thou knowest not whether men are fit or un­fit, Prov. 24.12. If thou sayest, behold we knew it not, doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it, and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it, and shall not he render to every man according to his works? The Lord knoweth what thou thinkest or knowest, and his Deputy Conscience knoweth; see therefore with thine own eye, implicit faith is indeed more easie but less safe, you do in your Conscience and experience make some judgement of men, whether friends to ci­vil or religious liberties▪ to justice piety and virtue, whether Enemies to Vice, Oppres­sion, Extortion, and biting Usury; and thus you do know whom to chuse, whom to re­fuse, whom you chuse you justifie as a man qualified according to Gods counsel, Prov. 24.24. He that [...]aith unto the wicked, thou art righteous, him shall the people curse, and the Nations shall abhor; take heed there­fore to your selves this day or any day of Election, least ye bare false witness for or a­gainst any whom ye chuse or refuse, give good heed to your choice that you may not miscarry in it.

[Page 33] Arg. 1. Because your choice will shew what respect you have to Christ; It is a high charge you have from the Lord, Isai. 65.12. They chose the things wherein I de­lighted not, your choice shews who is your Master, and whom you would please, this shews what is deepest in your soul; holy Bolton in his discourse of happiness, pag. 131 shews, that the Hypocrite hath quite other ends in his choice, (even himself) but a sin­cere Christians thoughts run and are exerci­sed about his faithfulness; If saith he, by my default, a false man be chosen, I shall be guilty before the high Judge of all, the mischiefs that follow thot unhappy choice: Nothing can un­do this Country but unwariness and un­faithfulness but the mis-making or mis-act­ing of Freemen; choice of men to power and trust gives the true picture or character of them that chuse; if Idols are set up in power and trust instead of men, really dis­charging their trust, Psal. 115.8. they that make them are like unto them.

Arg. 2. If you miss in your choice ye provide not well for your selves or neigh­bours whom ye chuse, Magistrates or De­puties you trust with your lives, liberties and estates; Plato saith, good Magistra [...]es are better then good Laws: If on by re­spects [Page 34] you set up such as will be scourges to your selves or Brethren, you deserve to be whipt, Iudg. 9. the Shechamites for selfish respects chose a Bramble (Abimelech) and by him are they scratched, and even ruined.

Arg. 3. When you miss in choice, you do not well for the chosen nor the place, Ec. 8 9. There is a time when one man ruleth over others to his hurt, for so he acteth more sin and gathers more wrath, Pro. 26.18. As he that bindeth a stone in a string, so is he that giveth honour to a fool, such a man is not in his proper place (as that stone, the stones proper place is the ground) neither can he well continue in it, and however it is better, where it is safe that men should not alway continue in it, but there should be a change of some where it is safe, as it is said, Eccl. 3.18. By Magistracy and power God doth manifest men; if after tryal of men you come free, according to the tryal to chuse or refuse, and so make some change, you will make men more modest & mindful in their place; howsoever by some safe change, you will try other men, and keep possession of your liberty to chuse, and none may take their place for an Inheritance to use it as they list.

Means 4. Of acting according to God [Page 35] in the making and manage of Magistracy, is to attend to Gods particular Rules in the matter, they are in Exod. 18.21. Thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness, here are Rules that make out the true ma­nage of Magistracy, and so give aim to the chusers, to provide those that may so ma­nage their place.

1. Able men, Chasil speaks, ability of e­state: Isai. 3.7. In my house is neither bread nor clothing, make me not a Ruler over the People; he should of his own have necessa­ry subsistance.

2. Ability of Wisdome, Psal. 2.10. Be wise O ye Kings, be instructed O ye Iudges of the Earth: they should themselves be wise, or at least guided by them that are so, the want of which is noted as a cause of all publick disorders, Psal. 8.2, 5. They know not them­selves, neither will they understand from o­thers, they walk on in darkness, the founda­tions of the Earth are out of course.

3. Ability of spirit or courage, else they will not be a terrour to evil-works, but bear the sword in vain, Rom. 13.4. and this Ability is especially to be minded, when Drunken­ness, Gaming, Unrighteousness & Unclean­ness grow bold; the Ruler had need be furni­shed [Page 36] with boldness to encounter and defeat them, and I would here in particular cast in a word against the first, Exo. 21.33. what pits you open or dig with your licence, ye had need to cover them to keep the tipling beast from falling therein, at least the tiplers of your own Towns.

2. God-fearing men; those that want the fear of God will not regard men justly and conscientiously, Luk. 18.2. The Judge that feared not God, neither regarded he men. This is N. Englands Crown that you have or may have in the Magistracy, such as fear God and hold fast, and use what you have that no man take your Crown, Rev. 3.11.

3. Men of Truth, sincere faithful men: (1) Encouraging the good. (2) Being just men. (3) And of publick spirits.

1. Encouraging and succouring them that are favoured of God, and study con­formity to him, this must be the aim of Ru­lers, who Pet. 1.2, 14. are sent forth for the praise of them that do well, and this will be their advantage, Zach. 12.5. The Gover­nours of Iudah shall say in their heart, the In­habitants of Ierusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of Hosts their God; those that have God to friend are surest friends to Ma­gistracy, therefore Magistracy should be [Page 37] friendly to such, and consider that God puts out his Children to them to nurse, Numb. 11.12. as a nursi [...]g Father bears the suck [...]ng childe: It is true, the Nurse may not suf­fer the childe to feed on poyson, and it is as true, that the Nurse must not starve and pinch the childe, nor be impatient toward it in a froward fit; some are severe to consci­entious people (being supposed pious, peaceable and useful) if they conform not to their apprehensions, and these eagerly drive on to a uniformity, and urge that some errors have dangerous and heretical consequences; for such as among us do in Conscience presse this, I dare not judge them in their perswasion, but would crave leave to remember what Chamier saith, in Answer to the Papists charging Protestants with grievous Heresies drawn from their o­pinion, Nemo fit Hereticus per consequen­tiam, and as for the uniformity so cruelly urged by Papists and Prelates, I would hope that only convincing light for the means and compassionate love for the manner will be taken up, and till this course prevail, I wish forbearance may be exercised to all sober people, so it be not against piety or peace; and if we here in the time of our peace and ease, use violence to pious people [Page 38] here with us, we may ere we are aware, help for [...]ward the affliction of those in other parts, Zach. 1.15. which is the way of the Heathen, very displeasing to God.

2. Being just men is a second part of the Rulers truth, he should be one that will seek and hasten justice: seek ju [...]tice, Iob 29.16. The cause which I knew not I searched out, this requires a diligent and wakeful atten­dance: It is absurd if at any time true, that they which judge in a cause should sleep at the hearing; he that in such a case is cast, may well (as he) appeal from sleeping to waking Phillip; more vigilance is required in a cause which may sometime be covered with many blinds, and the strong current of a party, in which case just men will not therefore bear down any in his cause, Iob 31.21. If I have lift up my ha [...]d against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the Gate: he should hasten justice, it is the honour of Christ in his Kingdome, Isai. 16.5. He shall sit upon his Throne in truth, judging and seek­ing Iudgement, and hasting righteousness.

Your second liberty is, that all have justice without partiality or delay, and they go well together, for warping in a cause makes de­lay, for a right line in the shortest; it is a great sin in the Magistrate and wrath on [...]he [Page 39] people, when Isai. 59.14. Iudgement is tur­ned away backward, and Iustice standeth afar off, for truth is fallen in the street (when upon motion) and equity cannot enter.

But when the current of Justice in the hand and heart of just men shall run too strong for all opposition, it is more pleasing to God then the best melody of instituted Worship, Amos 5.23, 24. Take thou a­way from me the noise of thy Songs, for I will not hear the melody of thy Viols, but let Iudgement roll down as waters, and Righte­ousness as a mighty stream; when you are upon the seat of Judgement Christ must be nearest a kin unto you, Prov. 7.4. Say unto Wisdome, that is unto Christ, thou art my Sister, and call understanding thy Kinswo­man, that they may keep thee from the strange woman.

The nearer the will and interest of Christ, the more strange will, all by-wayes of in­justice and partiality be to us; Kindred will be no Kindred: Zelucus when engaged to put out his Sons eyes for Adultery, would rather make a breach upon himself in the loss of one eye, then on the just Law to fa­vour him.

3. Such as are of a publick spirit to [Page 40] prosecute the general good are such men of truth as are fit for Magistracy; every Ma­gistrate should be as Nehemiah, A man come to seek the welfare of the Sons of Israel, Neh. 2.10. for he is of God set in that work and place for that end to every one, Rom. 13.4. he is a Minister of God to thee for good, Africanus had that wholsome counsel, ne­ver to rise from the Court till he had done good to one or other, now the publick good, the good of all may be promoted by the Ma­gistrate in point of defence, diligence, in­genuity and peace.

1. Defence, Hos. 4.18. Her shields are translated Rulers, whence in the East Sultan (which signifies a Shield) is the usual name of their Princes, upon which a learned Pro­testant wisheth that some were not rather Scutica then Scuta, a Scourge rather then a Shield.

2. Diligence, that the people may live industruously and not idly, for honesty of life is under the Magistrates care, 1 Tim. 2.2. Thus our Antient, holy ones Elton and Dod on the Commandments express this care of honest labour and calling to be the Magistrates duty, and this some wise Ru­lers have thought necessary for the publick quiet.

[Page 41]3. Ingenuity, for the drawing forth of this here in this Land, see the best Argument Psal. 122.9. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good, because the good and maintenance of so many Churches doth depend upon some wise consideration of the gifts of men here, and the commodities of the Land; therefore it is not enough on­ly to take up that good which is obvious, but search for that which is not, and well were it as seems to me, if we had a standing Committee to relieve and weigh such pro­positions tending to the better subsisting of the people. I finde in the fifth liberty an allowance of a Monopoly on the producing a commodity now in the Land, and I per­ceive Magistrates and Ministers, and most of the Husbandmen will finde the want of some stable commodity, which may com­mand supplies from abroad.

4. Peace is the last thi [...] I will name conducing to the publick good, which is proper for the Magistrate to promote, 1 Tim 2.2. we are to pray for, and therefore en­deavour that Magistrates may maintaine Peace, and the Rulers Office is under the notion of an Healer, or binder up. Isa. 3.7. Chebesh, he is a Chirurgion, to bind up the wounds of the Country, Isa. 1.6. There is [Page 42] closing and crushing out the corrupt matter, and then binding up for the uniting of the parts; and then there is mollifying or sup­pling, for the removing of the swelling and hardness. Now for this blessed work, the Magistrate needs an Eagles eye, and Lyons heart, and yet a Ladies soft and gentle hand.

Fathers and Brethren, ye are now to as­semble, being clothed with the chief Ma­gistratical power of this poor Country; let me beseech you in the Name of the Lord, to attend healing work, and to act as those that are united as one man for the common good, that the people may be so; meddle not with any thing that may divide you in so dubious a time, remember that Gen 13▪ 7. the strife between Abraham and Lot was very unreasonable, because the Cananite was then in the Land, and therefore Abra­ham to allay and end the strife, doth de­ny himself, [...] wave his right; ye know my Brethren, what new neighbour [...] we have their busie Locusts will know and improve al your strife & other snares for you are boasted of, therefore now is your season for self-denial: If you have any of you a thirst and longing to make any change in Church or Common-wealth, and may be you see your help in the gate, and have it in your power, [Page 43] yet let me entreat you in this joynt of time, not to follow but forbear your own desires, because they cannot be pursued without publick hazard; if any of you long for the waters of your Native land, yet forbear to drink them as David, 1 Chro. 11.17.

Pardon me I pray you, if from what ap­pears above-board I cannot see how men here can finde any occasion of division, if they do not on some secret cause unseason­ably seek it; what if some Brethren have departed from a particular Church, irregu­larly say some, regularly say others? but why should this make any noise, heat and breach in the Land, since it is not held out as an ordinary case; the like may not be seen in an age, neither is this I hope, to be a Pre­sident, nor is it upon any different Principles, though some differing application of Princi­ples, for it is expresly owned on all hands that the major part of a Church must issue their matters, where the rule doth not con­tradict, neither can I understand why the question about adult Children of the Church should make any estrangement, since all godly men have the same scope to fetch in to Christ the young Generation: Some by giving those priviledges which others deny to awaken them to look out for the true and [Page 44] inward foundation of priviledges.

If upon such grounds as these we admit of strife, it wil [...] ca [...]ker and sour our spirits, and wi [...]l take up so much of our heat and heart as to leave us faint and feeble for con­verting work.

The appearance of disagreement among the Elders, will hinder the order of Chur­ches, which we would assert, and hinder the conver [...]ion of Youth which we would pro­mote, and promote prophaness, supersti­tion and popery, which we would hinder, hinder did I say? nay, which we would with all our might hinder and watch against, for Satans great A [...]taque upon the Churches seems to ly that way, and may be Satan and his instruments will blow up either real di­vision amongst us, or the repute or report of it, that there may be a pretence of a necessi­ty to set up a Courtier for your Governour in the Common wealth, and a Prelate or something like it in the Churches; and when Taxes and Tythes, and all kinde of vexation are upon you in your labours, and heavy burdens upon your Consciences, then you will (may be cry and not be heard, beca [...]e of your wilful drawing such things upon your s [...]lves, 1 Sam. 8.18 then will you wish, [...] that we had hearkened to God and his ser­vants [Page 45] and had agreed, but were it not (my honoured Fathers and dear Brethren) better to work in hope for that agreement now, which we would wish for in vain.

Now therefore, let all New Englands friends for their comfort, and Enemies for their disappointment know, that (ba [...]ing some Exentricks) we are all general [...]y a­greed in the Principles of purity and power of the Churches, and the liberty and safety of this people against all that ly in wa [...] a­gainst us, whether nearer or further off.

Bear with me I beseech you, that I have been so large in a matter which lay upon my heart with [...]o great weight; I shall now hasten to a conclusion when I have only tou­ched upon:

4. Qualification of them that should be set up in Magistratical power, [...]a [...]ing Cove­teousness; this Coveteousness which doth incapacitate a man for Magistracy, is an earnest intentiveness upon wealth and in­crease of estate: A coveteous Magistrate, Deputy or Commissioner, will be so busie upon particular advantage, that for want of that he will think much of time and pains for publick good, and will be indulging to vice if he can gain by it, the Greek Orator could say [...] (love of wealth) [Page 46] is the rust of the soul, and that it is Sacriledge to get wealth from the publick, and gives even a divine rule that Magistracy is not [...] but [...] not a trading and merchandize but a Ministry, he that dispi­seth the gain of oppression, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, Isai. 33.14.15 shall hold up his head when all the world is on fire, and such a fire seems kindling now, and happy are they who will shake off such gain, as a spark of hell, or a viper lighting upon them, as Paul did Act. 28.5. But now it is time to conclude, least while I should help I should hinder the work of the day, and for conclusion I would adde two words.

1. If you have had and shall have respect to God, in constituting and administring of Magistracy, then we must be thankful to the Lord for such Magistrates that we have li­berty to chuse such, and that we have such to chuse: Else where their Magistrates and Officers, Governour and Maj [...]r General, their Secretary, yea, their Marshal is from abroad, and the Colony have no judgement of their fitness permitted to them; yea, we must be thankful, not only for, but to such Magistrates and Deputi [...]s that accept and so [...] their trust, f [...]r indeed we are behol­den [Page 47] to them for so mean a consideration [...] is allowed, that they will put their shoul­ders under so great a burthen in tottering and troublesome times, let all the Inhabi­tants incourage them in their work, for all your mirth and prosperity will cease when such Rulers do, Lam. 5.14. The Elders have ceased from the Gate, the Young men from their Musick.

If your choice and administration be not to the mind of God; exercise [...] for your unworthiness; your weakness in Faith, Prayer, Watching and Working, for God would have you work [...]ut all your salvations, Eccl. 10.18. By much slothfulness the building decayeth, and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through, Prov. 12.24. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule, but the slothful shall be under tribute, all the decayes of the fair building of Govern­ment here, all thralldome, and all your de­structions must needs be of your selves, and your own default especially the Freemen.

2. Exercise Faith, if ye seek the Lord, he will not cast you off, he hath expressed him­self so in promise, 1 Sam. 12.22. The Lord will not forsake his people for his great names sake, because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people, therefore howsoever matters [Page 48] go▪ [...] not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart, for the Lord will not forsake, and so hath the Lord expressed himself in performance to you hi­therto, Isa. 26.3. ye are born by him from the belly, and are carried from the wombe, and let this be our comfort▪ the Lord Jesus will put an end to all the disorders of Govern­ment, and the more disorders of that nature and the foundations are out of course, the more [...] forced to cry, Psal. 82.5, [...]. A­rise O Lord, judge the Earth, for thou shalt inherit all Nations: This may awaken our cries to the Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus▪ come quickly, even so, AMEN.


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