THE Man of WAR.

A Sermon Preached to the Artillery Company at Boston, on June 5. 1699.

Being the Anniversary day for their ELECTION Of Officers.

By Samuel Willard, Teacher of a Church in Boston.

Psal. 18.34.

He teacheth my hands to War.

Pugnabo pro Sacris & legibus, pro aris & focis


Boston, Printed by B. Green, and J. Allen, for Benjamin Eliot, and are to be Sold at his Shop under the West End of the Town-House. 1699.

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The Man OF WAR

I Kings IX.22.

—These were Men of War.—

THE one half at least of the in­spired writings is Historical: not as if the Spirit of God had no farther aim therein, than to acquaint us with ancient Chronology, or to reserve for us the monuments of antiquity, and those renowned names, which [Page 4] else would have been lost in the rubbish of their Sepulchers: but as part of that Canon by which he furnisheth us with a perfect Rule of Faith, and Manners, whereby we are directed in the way to the glorifying of God, and obtain­ing of eternal blessedness: and to rest in any thing short of this improvement of it, is to lose the Principal design for which it is commended to us.

For a Gospel Minister, in the Execution of his Function, to accommodate any portion of Sa­cred Writ, meerly to establish points purely Ethical, Oeconomical, Civil or Military, would be to play the Philosopher, and not act the part of a Divine, who, as such, hath no farther to do with those things than as they are tributary to the Christian Religion.

As to the Histories of the Old Testament, be­sides that they are Exemplary and Written for our Admonition, there are many persons and things recorded in them, which are also Typical, referring to Christ, and to spiritual things; and though it would undermine the Authority of Holy Writ, to allow two distinct senses to one Text; yet there must be a compound one observed in those that are Typical: and things are to be distinctly considered, as they are ap­plicable [Page 5] to the Type, and as they refer to the Antitype

That Solomon, to whose History our Text be­longs, was a Type of Christ, is too manifest to need any digression for the proof of it: though all things written in his Life cannot with rea­son be reckoned Typical. That wherein God more peculiarly chose Solomon to represent Christ, was his Kingly Office: for which end he furnished him with Wealth, Honour, and Wis­dom surpassing all the Monarchs, which ever had been, or should be. And this Wisdom of his, though it grasped in its comprehension, a knowledge universal of things natural, civil and divine, yet is more eminently celebrated in the well-ordering and settling the Affairs of his Kingdom; in which, his first care was about the House of God, and his Instituted Worship, in which he exactly followed the Divine Prescript, and the Patterns left him by his Father Davd, which he receved from God by Immediate Re­velation: Nextly, and subordinately, for the well-ordering and setling of the Outward Af­fairs of his Kingdom in matters Civil and Mili­tary; and this last is the thing about which we are at present concerned.

Solomons peculiar Stile or Tide was, King of [Page 6] Israel; though all the circumjacent Nations were his Tributaries, or some way or other did him Homage. Thus is Christ more especi­ally King of his Church, though all Principality, Power, Might and Dominion are put under his feet for the Church, as Eph. 1.21, 22.

The Holy Land, which God gave for an In­heritance to his People of Israel the bounds whereof were assigned to them by God him­self, Numb. 34. was peopled, not only by the genuine Posterity of Jacob, but also by the remains of those Devoted Nations, who after long Hostility, were subdued and subjugated by David, and made Subjects of the Govern­ment, though in a more inferiour and servile estate than the Israelites [...]ere; which may semblably be applied to the Visible Church, in regard of the divers Subjects of it, according to, Rom. 9.5. all are not Israel, that are of Israel.

From verse 20, to 24. of this Chapter, we have an account of Solomons Prudence, in assign­ing unto these two sorts of men, the services most proper for them, and wherein they might most sutably serve for the good of the whole, they were both employed. Christ will make use of all within his visible Kingdom, some [Page 7] way or other for his Glory, whether they be willing or no. Of the former of these, we read, verse 22. that he Levied of them a tribute of Bond-Service: they were put to the drudgery work, and the more Servile Employments of the State; as most proper for them. Where­as in this verse 22. we are told, that he found out a more honourable Service for them that were true born Israelites; they were not excu­sed from business, but they were employed in such as was worthy of free Subjects. I shall not insist on the several Services that are here mentioned; it may suffice to observe that the thing is expressed, both negatively, he made no Bond men of them; and of this God himself had given an express prohibition, Lev. 25.39. And Affirmatively, where the first thing which is instanced in, is the subject that we have now under consideration; they were men of War, i. e. they were men Listed among the Souldi­ers, and Exercised or Trained in the Art Mili­tary. The word used for men, is not that no­ble word [Ish] which signifieth Vertue, and Valour, and is wont to be applied to persons of Renown; but that more contemptible word, Enosh, which signifyeth Sorrowful, Sickly and Mortal; not with any design to reproach the Calling, but possibly to put Souldiers in mind of their frailty, to humble them, who, [Page 8] when in their Plumes, are too apt to be lifted up over much in their minds: the word [War] comes of a root that signifieth to Eat or Devour; intimating the unhappy fruits of War; The Sword is therefore said to devour, 2 Sam. 2.26. giving us to understand that War is in its own nature an evil thing.

We may here, in the first place, take notice of these words, as they are put with the former distributively, and so they will afford us this

DOCTRINE. The Employment of a Souldier is very Honourable.

It is too good for a Canaanite to be admitted to, or for a Slave to have his name Enrolled in this Muster: but is only fit for a free-born Israelite. God hath therefore put Honour on this Calling, by assuming that as one of his Ti­tles, Exod. 15.3. The Lord is a Man of War, the Lord is his Name; but the word [Ish] is there used.

It is true, had man retained his primitive In­tegrity, there had been no occasion for the Art Military; because he would have had no Ene­my [Page 9] to Encounter; no Fortresses to be Built, and Garrisoned; no Instruments of War to be invented, no Tackticks to be learned. He was in a great Error, who asserted, That the State of Nature is a State of War, if he referred it to the Condition of the Creation, as it was at first disposed by God. But when once sin had de­praved Humane Nature, it filled man with jarring principles, and sowed in him the seeds of dissention; so that now he is no farther in safety, than as he puts himself in a posture of Defence against the assaults, and of Offence for the suppression of his molesting adversary; which, though it hath not taken away the evil nature of War in it self, yet it hath made it occasionally both good and necessary; and it must needs therefore be Honourable, when un­dertaken, not for its own sake, but for the secu­ring or recovering of the publick peace and tranquility: and though some are of the mind that there will be a time come, when that Pro­phesie shall have a compleat literal accomplish­ment, Isa. 2.4. they shall beat their Swords into Plow­shears, and their Spears into pruning hooks. Yet till this, will this Employment retain its digni­ty. These are they whom under God, we are beholden for our peace and liberty; who are not afraid to speak with the Enemy in the Gates; who secure our Religion and Civil Priviledges from [Page 10] forreign Usurpation; and through whom we Sit under our vine and fig-tree. As for the Invi­dious dispute about the precedency between the Gown and the Sword, I purposely wave it: only I may safely assert, that without both no people can be happy; nor can either Order be free from contempt, except furnished with men of Courage.


And is Chivalry a thing of such Re­nown? Let it bespeak all that profess it, to walk worthy of their Vocation. If our Calling hath put honour upon us, we ought to endeavour to be an honour unto it; otherwise, the more honourable it is, the greater reproach we shall be to it. There are none that shall need to be ashamed of this Employment, but such as are a shame to it. I confess it is but an old Rule, but how it will be Rectified, I see not; men will readily judge of things by the example of those that profess them. Is then a Souldier a name of Credit? Let all that bear this Name, study to gain the desert of being called, Good Souldiers.

We may in the next place observe, who they were whom Solomon put to this Service, to be [Page 11] Men of War; they were the men of Israel; the only people in the World, who at that day were owned by God for his people, and had the true Religion and Worship among them: Whence observe this

DOCTRINE. Christianity is no Enemy to Souldiery.

The Religion revealed by God to fallen man forbids it not to him, but approveth of it. Nor let it be supposed, that I use the word, Christi­anity, precariously; as if it were not applicable hither, or as if the people of God in former times, before Christ came in Flesh, might lawful­ly make War, and consequently study and pra­ctice Military Skill; but that Christ, upon his Coming, had brought in a new Law, which forbids it; and that because he thought it to be a great Christian Duty, to bear injuries, and not to revenge themselves; therefore War is now unlawful for them; and if so, to what purpose should they be Souldiers? Whereas Religion hath been the same in all the Essentials of it, ever since the Fall, and hath received no alteration but in Positives. The Gospel was Preached to our First Parents presently upon their Apostasy; there hath been but one way for the Salvation [Page 12] of Sinners, and that is by Christ, Acts 4.22. there is Salvation in no other. The Moral Law was renewed upon Mount Sinai, and given in the hand of a Mediator, to be a Rule of Obedsence to the Worlds End unchangeably: nor did Christ come to destroy it; nay, he hath assured us, that he will not suffer one jot or tittle of it to fail, Mat. 5.17, 18. If then the Moral Law doth not condemn War, but prescribe to it; and that Law be a Rule for Christians, as it certainly is, Christ did not prohibit it, though he forbad private re­venge for personal injuries: which yet was no addition to the Law of Nature, or Law Mo­ral, but only an interpretation of it, and a vin­dicating it from the false glosses of corrupt men.

Nor indeed can the Christian Religion be o­therwise defended or secured against the inva­ders and oppressors of it, who are unreasonable men, and can be no other way disputed, but at the Swords point, and Canons mouth; and if at any time War proves detrimental to the Interest of Christ, the fault is in the men, not in the Profession. When the Souldiers came to the Babtist for advice, he doth not cashier them, nor advise them to disband, but directs them how to manage their Calling becoming­ly, Luk. 3.14 Do violence to no man, neither ac­cuse any falsly, and be content with your Wages; [Page 13] and that Calling which the Word of God un­dertakes to regulate, must needs have its appro­bation. Nor would Christ have warned us in the Gospel of Wars to be expected, if he had not reckoned it our duty to prepare for them; nor have advised us rather to Sell our Coat than not to have a Sword, if he had thought it unlawful to use it when we have it; as he doth. Luk. 22.36. He that hath no Sword, let him Sell his gar­ment and buy one. This expense would be alto­together superfluous, if Christianity taught us to hold up our throats to every one that offers to cut them.

Self Preservation is a principle stamped on the nature of Second beings. Inanimates have it by an innate quality put into them; Sensitive Crea­tures have it by instinct, and their very natures are furnished for it: and that reason should not fortify this principle in men; or that Religion should contradict any maxime of the Law of na­ture is unintelligible. Certainly then, they who pretend to make it a sin in a Christian to use Arms, do it in policy, seeking to bind mens hands, or, which is as bad, their Consciences, that they may enslave or slay them without resistance. And we need to look no further for an instance to confirm this, than the German Anababtists at Munster.

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Let Souldiers then be advised to ap­prove themselves friends, and not enemies to Christianity. Let not the old Scandalous obser­vation be verified in men at arms, Nulla fides pie­tas que viris, qui castra sequuntur. Let us do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. Hath God given us leave to fight, let us not be fighters against God. Beware of embracing that cursed Matchiavellian principle, That too much of Religion will make a man Pusillanimous; as if there could be excess in the true Religion; or, as if Atheism, and Irreli­gion, were the best course to render a man truly valorous: whereas the holy Oracle hath taught us the quite contrary. Prov 28.1. The wicked fleeth when no man pursueth, but the righteous is bold as a Lyon. Cornelius was an honorable Com­mander in a noble Regiment; and yet how is he Commended for his Piety? Acts 10.1, 2. A de­vout man, and one that feared God, &c. And he sought to instil devotion, as well as the Rules, of Military Discipline into his Souldiers; whence that Character given of one of them. Verse 7. A devout Souldier of them that waited on him continually. And, though profaness and debauchery may possibly stupify mens Consciences, and so render them fool-hardy and desperate: yet, out of doubt, that [Page 15] man who dwells in peace with God, who enjoys the inward serenity of a good Conscience, and is always in his heart pressed for the Glory of God▪ is best armed against the fear of death, when called to run into the mouth of danger, and stand in the midst of Confused noises, and garments rolled in blood; when he seeth, a thousand fall at his fide, and ten thousand at his right hand.

But I proceed.

We may then in the third place remark the time in which Solomon appointed the Israelites to be men of War. Had it been in the days of Da­vid his Father, who was so often called into the Field; who was environed with enemies on all sides, and against whom he fought many a bloody Battel, it had not been so much; nay, it had been necessary. But that Solomon, whose very name importeth Peace, and who was, in his reign, to be a Type of Christ, who is called the Prince of Peace, Isa. 9.6. Of whose reign it was predicted, that the mountains should bring forth Peace to the People. Psal. 72.3. And that in his days there should be abundance of Peace. Vers. 7. And who could himself say in his Letter to Hiram. 1 King. 5.4. There is neither adversity, nor evil occurrent. That he should be so careful to have his Subjects train­ed up in arms, is a thing very remarkable, and it will instruct us in this,

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DOCTRINE. It is a great point of Prudence, in times of Peace, to make Provision for War.

Prudence is a natural foresight of future Con­tingencies, and providing our selves accordingly against the danger of them. Prov. 27.12. The Prudent fore seeth the evil, and hideth himself. Al­though the Providence of God Governeth, and infallibly determineth all Contingencies; yet they do not, for that, cease to be Contingencies, as to the order of Second causes; among which Peace and War have their Revolutions, though known to God, yet casual to us. Eccl. 3.8. A time of War, and a time of Peace. So that Peace is never so setled, but that War may on a sudden arise: and security, which is the mother of negligence, always exposeth a people unto dan­ger. It is an ill time, when the Trumpet of War is sounded, and Hannibal is at the gates, for a peo­ple then to have their Forts to build, their Arms, Ammunition and Provision to seek, and their Souldiers Untrained. Nor is it less hazardous, when once Peace is proclaimed, for men to let their Fortifications fall, hang up their Arms, and let them grow rusty and useless, and lay aside their Military exercises, as things superfluous. [Page 17] Arms, are for the maintaining of Peace, as well as the suppressing of War, for its preservation as well as recovery. Nor will any thing strike more of terrour into our ill willers, than to see us always ready for the worst: hence such an expression. Cant. 6.10. Terrible as an army with Banners. Whereas, if they who watch for an advantage, find us, Laish like secure, and no way provided, nor expecting evil, they will be ready to serve us, as the Tribe of Dan did them. Judg. 18.27. They came unto Laish, unto a People that were quiet and secure; and they smote them with the edge of the Sword, and burnt the City with fire. It was an argument used by Asa, that because all was quiet before them, and God had given them rest, it was their wisdom to take the Opportunity to build Cities, and make walls, and towers about them, as if they had expected an attack from enemies. 2 Chron. 14. 6, 7. He did not think it to be an evidence of a strong faith for men to neglect the means, on pretence of trusting in God. The best way to prevent the occasion of using the sword in earnest, is to keep it always bright and furbished.


Which Consideration might be impro­ved both for Rebuke & Caution. It hath doubt­less [Page 18] been a fault among us, that this Rule of Prudence hath been so poorly attended. Peace hath bred Security, and times of Trouble have found us unready; and the most of our Surpri­zes and Defeatments by the Enemies, have de­served to be imputed to this. I spare to enu­merate the many instances that are at hand; Of how many of our surprized Garrisons, in which our people have been miserably butcher­ed, may that of the Poet be asserted, ‘Invadunt urbem, somno— Sepultam.’

And there have been complaints made, that our very Trainings have been too often idle Complements, of at least, that there hath been in them too much neglect of, and too little pro­ficiency in the things that are properly designed by them.

And be we warned not to fall asleep, because the Sword of War is at present sheathed; re­membring that the Book of the Histories of the Wars of the Lord, is not yet compleated, nor will be till the great Battel of Armageddon is fought. Babylon is not yet fallen. The Church­es Adversaries are still in their strength. God will call out his Armies e're long; and then Cursed will he be who cometh not forth to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

[Page 19]Nor are we our selves secure: and though it is but a little that we can do for our own safe­ty; and if God be not on our side, we are an easy prey to any potent Devourer; yet the Faith that nourisheth negligence, is not indeed Faith, but Presumption.

There is yet one farther Improvement of this Text, which I would make, and it will comprize the whole Auditory under it, and give to every one their portion; and that is the Mystical aim of this Typical Scripture; in which I am satisfied, that I shall not go be­yond the mind of the Spirit of God in this part of the Scripture History. Israel, over whom Solomon Reigned, were the then Visible Church, of God; and although not a Type of the Gospel Church, in the strict sense of the word; yet Gods treating with them in the Ceremonial and Judicial Law, was in a more large, and true sense Typical; having under it a dark representation of Spiritual Things, which were more fully to be revealed after­wards: and so they have a more peculiar respect to the Church of Gods Chosen and Elected.

As Solomon was in a more peculiar respect the King of the Nation of Israel, he so re­presented [Page 20] Christ, as King of Gods true Israel: and we are here given to understand, what order he taketh about them, or what busi­ness he assigns for them, as they were the Subjects of this Kingdom. Here then Ob­serve this

DOCTRINE. Every true Israelite in the Kingdom of Grace, is a Man of War.

The true Christian is a Souldier. In the Vi­sible Gospel Kingdom there are two sorts of men, Israelites only in name, and Israelites in­deed. The former are in truth Canaanites, and Slaves, mancipated to Sin and Satan; but the latter are emancipated by Christ, and Enrolled in his Army.

There are two States of Christ's Spiritual Kingdom, which give it a double denominati­on; the one is called the Kingdom of Grace, the other the Kingdom of Glory: according to which States, the Church, which is the Subject of them, hath the Titles of Militant and Triumphant as­signed to it. To the former of these our Do­ctrine refers. The Church under the Kingdom of Grace is Militant; and every Regenerate [Page 21] one is born a man of Contention ▪ Jer. 15.10. but when once they pass over to the Church Tri­umphant, they shall be discharged. Jerusalem which is above is free.

Time forbids my gi [...]ing any more than a cursory view of this Affair; I shall therefore only offer a few rude [...] of a Christian, under the Character of a Souldier.

Angels and men were at first made Subjects of the Divine Government, and had Sworn Alle­giance to their Lord Creator: which had they retained, they had enjoyed perpetual, uninter­rupted peace; nor had they ever heard the sound of the Trumpet, or alarm of War. But there were many Legions of those Caelestial Inhabi­tants, who, not contented with their Post, con­trived and consented in a revolt from their So­veraign: and by a malicious wile, drew poor man into the Rebellion with them; whereupon they are proclaimed Rebels, and Gods Holiness, Justice, and Omnipotency are armed to take Vengeance on them. Thus were briars and thorns set in battel array against a consuming fire.

God resolving to have War for ever with these Apostate Spirits, did yet graciously offer a Treaty of Peace and Reconciliation to miserable [Page 22] man; which he hath maintained, where and as he sees meet, with some of the Race, ever since. So that, though Satan be the God of this World, and Sways the Scepter over all the Children of Disobedience; yet God hath set up a Kingdom of Grace in the midst of the other, and draws over Subjects from it to himself, whom he perswadeth to desert the Colours of Hell, and put themselves un­der the banners of Christ, the Captain of our Salvation. Of this number is every true Is­raelite, who by the Efficacious operation of the Spirit in him, is turned from darkness to light; and from the power of Satan to God; and now, though he is, by this great Change, made an Heir of Glory, and Enti­tuled to an Everlasting Crown; yet there is a Race to be run, in which he must Fight a good Fight, and keep the Faith, in despite of all that Would rob him of it. He must press through Armies of Aliens, who would stop up his way, and will make him to dispute for every inch of Ground that he gaineth. The Kingdom is his, but if he will possess it, he must take it by force. He hath furious adversaries, enraged with malice against him, and with united Conspiracy and Force attempt his ruine, if possible.

[Page 23]There is the Flesh within, burning with rage against his Grace, and ever lying en­trenched about, and beleaguaring of it, us the word translated, contrary. Gal 5.17. inti­mates; a Law in his Members, continually war­ring against the Law in his mind, and using all its Stratagems to make a Captive of him, Rom. 7.23. the lusts of the flesh, which we are assured, do ever Fight against the Soul, 1 Pet. 2.11.

There is Satan his sworn Adversary, whose ancient and inveterate enmity makes him al­ways furiously to attempt his destruction, and he is unweariedly going about seeking to devour, 1 Pet. 5.8. He no sooner forsook the Devils quarters, but Hell was Alarumed with it; and from that very moment, bends all its forces to do him all the mischief it can; the Devil is for that reason emphatically called The Enemy.

And there is the World, which therefore hates him, because he is not of it The Seed of the Serpent is full of enmity against the Seed of the Woman: and as it was of old, he that was born after the Flesh, persecuted him that born after the Spirit: so it is now.

[Page 24]If he will overcome these Enemies, he must resist them stedfastly in the Faith, 1 Pet. 5.9. we have the whole adverse party represented in their Colours, Eph. 6.12 we wrestle not against Flesh and Blood, i. e. not them singly, and alone; but against principalities against powers, against the [...] of the [...] world, against spiritual [...] places. These must all be vanq [...]hed, [...] we expect to Tri­umph, for the promise still runs, to him that overcometh Rev. 2. & 3. and though all our hope of success depends on our great General, Jesus Christ, who must bruise these enemies under our feet; yet he requires us to stand our ground, and to fight under him.

For this end he hath provided us with the whole armour of God, and requireth us to put it on, and exercise our selves in it, Eph. 6.13. There is the Helmet of Salvation, the Breast-plate of Righteousness, the Shield of Faith, the Sword of the Spirit, and the rest. There are the holy Tackticks, or the Rules given us in the Scriptures, by which we may be taught how to use these in the Holy War, that so we may strive lawfully, and receive the Prize. There are the Military Vertues which we are advised to inure our selves unto: Temperance and Vigilancy, 1 Pet. 5.8. be sober, be vigilant. Hardiness, 2 Tim 2.3. as a [Page 25] good Souldier of Christ, endure hardness. Circum­spection, Eph. 5.15 see that you walk circum­spect [...]y ▪ Fidelity, Rev. 2.10. be thou faithful unto death; Skill in all the enemies stratagems, 2 Cor. 2.11 ye are not ignorant of his devices. Courage and Constancy, Eph. 6.14. Stand; and there is the premium or prize hung up in the promise, to animate our resolution, and recruit our fainting spirits, when at any time we find them begin­ning to droop.


Let this serve to warn and caution such as pretend to be listed among God's Israel: such as covet to bear the stile & title of Christians. It is indeed worthy name, and no small honour to those that bear it, and carry themselves worthy of it; nor indeed can there be a greater dignity conferred on the Children of men. Christs Servants are his Free-men, yea his friends, yea they are priviledged to be the Children of God. Joh. 1.12. But he would have you to fit down and compute the cost. If you would be his Servants, you must be his Souldiers: and be not deceived in your expectations and reckon­ings, lest you repent when you see War, as there is hazard you should do if not prepared. Exod. 13.17. Lest when you meet with hardships [Page 26] and difficulties, you do as the mixed multitude in the Wilderness did. Numb. 11.4. Weep and fell on lusting. And as the Congregation of Israel did, when the Spies told them of Cities walled to heaven, and Giants to encounter. Chap. 14.4 They said one to another, let us make us a Captain, and let us return into Egypt. Dulce bellum inexpertis. Inconsiderate persons account it a fine thing to be a Souldier, whiles they look only upon the bravery, liberty, ease, and plunder which they promise themselves in it; and how readily do they list themselves for Volunteers? but when they come to meet with the hard Services of long Marches through thick and thin, short fare, difficult lodging, watchings and wardings, and cruel battels, these unexpected things affright them, and now they wish themselves at home again. Know it, if you will be of Christs Camp, you must put on your whole Armour, and put it off no more till death disbands you, but March in it, and Lodge in it: you must stand continually in your ward all day, and be set in your watch whole nights: you must fight with the most powerful and malicious adversaries; and that not at a distance, but in the closest battels. You must, after one fight is over, be prepared to engage in another, nor may you, in the greatest distress, ever cry quarter. If these con­ditions may content you, come and welcome.

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Let it invite all to come in to Christ, and give up their names to him, and be listed in the Muster-Roll of Saints. The fore-going warning was not designed to discourage any but white Livered and slothful persons: nor properly to discourage them from coming, but to in­struct all in the manner of the Kingdom.

In other Musters care is had, or ought so to be, that none but men, and those also able of body, be entred: but Christ in the Gospel giv­eth order to beat up for all that will, Men, Women, Children, Young and Old; none are exempted. Why then are you so backward? Why so small an appearance? Do you not know that whether you will or no, you must be Souldiers? There are two Camps in the World, Christs and the Devils; and to one of these you must: belong. There are no neuters in this War. Nay, till you do come over to Christ, you belong to some of Satans Regiments. We are all of us either fighting for God, or against Him. Now think which is best, to abide where you are, or to fly over unto Christ. You serve un­der a cruel Commander, who hateth you, and pursueth your destruction: whiles he flattereth [Page 28] you with fair promises, he will put you upon the hardest Services, and most desperate engag­ments, and will leave you there to fall, as Joab did Uriah. And the more daringly you have served him here, the more cruelly will he tor­ment you hereafter. You are engaged in a cursed cause, which will certainly fall at last, and all that have stood by it, will be sent, with their Leader, to be with him in blackness of dark­ness for ever. None ever resisted God, and prospered. But if you will give your selves up to Christ, he will treat you honorably; he will conduct you safely; He is a tender and compassionate General; He will be with you in every Battel, to protect you, and give you an assured Victory at the last. He will bind up the Wounds, which you receive in fight, and that with his own Robes, as Alexander once did by one of his Souldiers. You will be on the surest side; and if you should be worsted in any single fight, yet you shall be Conquerours in the Warfare. He will revive you if you faint, and commend you if you be faithful and resolute, and say to you, Well done. Yea, and he will provide for you a Triumphal Chariot, in which you shall ride gloriously into the great City; and there will he Erect for you Trophies and Arches for everlasting remembrance. This Honour have all His Saints.

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Let it be to excite all that belong to the Camp of Gods Israel to approve themselves good Souldiers of Jesus Christ. Whatsoever is among men justly accounted Commendable in a man of War, apply it Spiritually, and do likewise. Remember, your great General is called, Faithful and True; and be you like Him, following upon white Horses, and Clothed in fine Lin­nen, white and clean, as it is represented in, Rev. 18.12, 14. Study much the Holy Scriptures, by which you may be furnished with the whole Discipline in which Christs Militia is to be trained. Be much in the Exercise of all the Graces of the Spirit, which are your Panoply, and with which you must fight, if you hope ever to o­vercome. Entangle not your selves with the Af­fairs of this Life, least you thereby unfit your selves for the Service of him, who hath chosen you to be Souldiers, 2 Tim. 2.4. Get your hearts fortified with an heroick resolution never to flinch in your Service, to desert your Post, much less to fly from your Colours, nor to love your lives unto the death, so you may discharge the trust reposed in you. Be not discouraged if you get a foil, but reinforce the battel, calling aloud for aid from heaven: Nor be secure when you win the Field, but be always ready for a [Page 30] new onslaught. Remember, you must have no discharge in this War for age or infirmity: there are no Milites emeriti, or rude donati, in Christs Army, till the War ends. Remember, you have potent enemies, and very cruel, to cope withal, who are never wearied, but ever engaged to do you the greatest harm. Consider, you are not fighting for Counters and Goats hair; not for contemptible Crowns, and fading Laurels; but it is for your lives, and for your Souls, for an in­corruptible Crown, an eternal weight of Glory. Re­member, your Cause is good, and the issue is secured. Consider, That God, and Christ, and Angels look on, and the voice from Heaven is, Courage brave Souldiers; yet a few skirmishes, yet a battel or two more, and the War is at an end; and you shall rest from your labours, and your works shall follow you: You shall lodge your Co­lours, and hang up your Shields in Heavens Capitol; and exchange your purple and crimson Garments, for the white Robes of Glory. It is your faithful Leader who is thus animating of you; be thou faithful unto the death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life; and makes that Pro­clamation to you; To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my Throne; even as I also overcame, and am sat down with my Father on his Throne.



THERE is now ready for the Press, and may speedily be Published, a Treatise concerning Spiritual Desertions, from Psal. 30.7. By the Reverend Mr. Samuel Willard.

Printed for and Sold by Benjamin Eliot, at his Shop under the West End of the Town House. 1699.

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