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The Glory of Goodness. THE Goodness of GOD, Celebrated; In Remarkable Instances and Improve­ments thereof: And more particularly in the REDEMPTION Remarkably obtained for the English Captives, Which have been Languishing under the Tragical, and the Terrible, and the most Barbarous Cruelties of BARBARY.

Psal. CII 18, 19, 20.
This shall be written for the Generation to come; —
— From Heaven did the Lord behold the Earth.
To hear the Groaning of the Prisoner, to loose those that are appointed to Death.

Boston, in N. E. Printed by T. Green, for Benjamin Eliot. 1703.

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PREFACE.

THE late REDEMPTION of be­tween Two and Three Hundred English-Prisoners, that were lan­guishing in Barbary under the Bloody Tyran­nies of the Emperour of Morocco, is a Thing that furnishes us with wonderful occasion to Celebrate the Goodness & Glory of our Great LORD-REDEEMER. And none have herein had more plentiful Occasion, to Glorify the LORD, than that most con­siderable proportion of the English Pri­soners, which are now returned unto NEW-ENGLAND, the Countrey to which they belonged; and the People of God in this place, whose Prayers to God, for these their Brethren, were so fervent, so constant, so remarkably prosperous.

A Time for solemn Thanksgiving with & for these our Brethren, was kept by a Num­ber of Christians at Boston; on 15. d. 1. m. 1703▪

And it was that Thanksgiving, that produced the ensuing Meditations ▪ (where­of indeed a part was also delivered Three Days after, at the more Publick Lecture;) Now Published for a more lasting MONUMENT of Gratitude, for the Good­ness of our Saviou [...] 'Twas not fit that so Re­markable a work of Heaven, should pa [...] without yielding some Revenues of Praise to the Name which is Exalted [...] above al [...] Blessing and Praise!

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A Monument of Divine & Glorious GOODNESS· WITH An HISTORY of what the Goodness of GOD has done for our Captives, lately Redeemed out of Barbary.

Rom. II.4.

The Goodness of God leads thee to Repentance.

WHat the Psalmist once made the Beginning of [...] Dis­course, we are now to make the Beginning of Ours; Truly God is Good. All the Nati­ons in the world, that acknowled [...] GOD And what Nations do not? [...] make as Universal an Acknowledgement of His [...]. Whatever Disputes about the othe [...] Perfections of God, have been a­mong the Children of men, His Goodness [Page 4] never could be well disputed among them. The Greatness of God is no where discovered in Heaven or on Earth, but the Discoveries of His Goodness do ac­company it. Yea, the Goodness of God, is in His Divine Oracles, called, His God-head it self. The Notion of Goodness is inse­perable from the Notion of a GOD. We cannot have any Notion of a GOD, if we have a Notion of any thing Better than Him. The Expe [...]ience of all mankind, glo­riously confirms this Notion of the Deity. There is no man, who cannot from his own Experience, bring in a Testimony to the G [...] [...]

But it is an Enquiry of general Con­cernment; What Improvement a man should make of th [...]s Experience? And that Enqui­ry is answered in what is now before us.

The Apostle is fortifying the Church of Rome, against that very Error, which the Apostate Church of Rome, is now fallen into; The Error of, Justification by our own Good works. That Error he Refutes, by Demonstrating, That We a [...]e all under Sin, and indeed have no Good works at all to boast of. One might now Cavi [...]; What? We have Law-givers, who Judge o­thers for their Sin; certainly, you will except these at least, from the deep Charge of being [Page 5] under Si [...]. To this the Apostle replies; Tis [...]rue, There were some who punished S [...]n in others, but they every one committed it themselves; & these, if any in the world, might assure themselves, That the wrath of God would overtake them. Our Apostle [...] addressing these persons, mentions one signal Exaggeration of all their wick­edness; that is, The Experience which they had of the Divine Goodness unto them; very particularly in their Advancements, their Preferments, their easy Circumstan­ces. They did not Know, or Think, the Obligations to Repentance, which the Good­ness of God laid upon them.

We find our selves now Led unto this DOCTRINE.

Men should be Led unto REPENTANCE of all Sin, by the wonderful GOODNESS of that GOD, who is affronted and offend­ed by their Sin.

Behold, the Truths to be now Assert­ed:

The First PROPOSITION.

[...]ere is a REPENTANCE of all Sin, in­ [...]umbent on, required of, all that have sin­ned. We are advised Act. 17.30. God commandeth all men every where to Repent. [Page 6] But as the Conscience of every man Preaches Repentance to him, It is now a great CASE of Conscience, What is Repentance? Let us bestow some clear Thoughts upon it.

REPENTANCE, largely taken, does intend and include, the whole Con [...]ersion of a sinner, from Sin to God in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole Experience & Behaviour of a sinner under the Regenera­ting Impressions of the Holy Spirit. But REPENTANCE taken strictly, is thus defined in the Word of God; 2 Cor. 7.10. A Godly sorrow, wo [...]k [...]ng a change of mind, not to be sorrowed fo [...]. It is an A­mendment of a sinners Heart & Life, wrought with Godly sorrow for Sin; a Sorrow issuing in a Joyful Amendment. Or, It is a Grace▪ whereby a sinner affected with, and af­flicted for, all Sin, Turns from it unto God with a Reformed Heart and Life.

We are to be Led, [Oh! Holy Spirit lead us!] first unto a Seeing of Sin. W [...] must have a sight of it, that we are Charg [...]eable with the unparallel'd Sin of our Firs [...] Father, with the Big-bellied Sin of our [...] Nature, and with Actual Sins Innume [...]ble. And we must have a Sight of it, [...] every sin wherewith we are Chargeabl [...] is an Odious, a Dangerous, a Damnab [...] Evil; an Abominable Thing. Our sight a [...] [Page 7] [...]ense must be that, 2 Sam. 24.10. I have [...]inned, I have done very foolishly.

We are to be Led herewithal unto a Mourning for Sin. Our Spirit must be a Contrite spirit because it has been a Faulty one. Our Hearts must be Pierc'd, & Rent, & Broke, and fill'd with Grief at the view of our Foolishness. With Self-loathing Souls, we must be able to say, as he, Psal. 38.17, 18. My sorrow is continually before me, I will be sorry for my sin.

We are to be Led hereupon, unto an Owning of Sin. We must confess before God, that we have Done what He has For­bidden, and left Ʋndone what He has Com­manded in His Holy, & Just, & Good Laws; and confess, that He not only is Righte­ous in all the Miseries that have come up­on us, but would be so, if we should be made infinitely more miserable. And where Men have been Injured by, or Wit­nesses of our Transgression, Men should al­so Hear our Confession. We must be like him, whose Note was; Psal. 51.3. I ac­knowledge my Transgression.

Finally, We are to be Led from Sin; to be [...]ed into a Divorce, a Distance, an E­verlasting Seperation from Sin ▪ We must Forsake our Sin; Abhor every Sin of Infir­mity▪ Allow no Sin of Presumption; Pur­sue [Page 8] the Death of Sin, and value it above our very Life; and Embrace God, & Christ, and Holines [...], as much as we have done Sin heretofore; and Consent unto the Cove­nant of Grace, wherein we engage to be forever for the Lord, and not for another. The perfection of Repentance, is that; Isa. 55 7. Le [...] the W [...]cked forsake his way, and the Ʋnrighteous man his thoughts, & let him return unto the Lord.

The Second PROPOSITION.

Wonderful, Wonderful is the GOOD­NESS of that GOD, against whom the Evil of Sin is committed.. Indeed the Evil & Venome of Sin lies, in its b [...]ing against so Good a GOD. In the Titles of our God, Optimus appears as bright and soon unto us, as Maximus; He is Good as well as Great, and Great in being so very Good.

But let us Enquire; First; What is the Goodness of God?

I will answer; Tis GOD in Hi [...] Bounty; Or, His Inclination to deal Bountifully with His Creatures. It is intimated in that passage, Psal. 119.63. Thou art Good, and thou doest Good. He is Essentially Good; & He is Relatively Good. God Wills, tha [...] there should be something Besides Himself; but that it should be All for Himsel [...] ▪ And then He Delights in these His Works; & is Bountiful and Beneficial unto them. This [Page 9] is the Goodness of God! Indeed, the Good­ness of God, in some sort comprehends all His Attributes. It was said, Exod. 33.19. I w [...]ll make all my Goodness pass before thee. What was this Goodness, but the whole Train of the lovely Perfections, and Ex­cellencies in our God? When Goodness does Contrive our Happiness, then it is W [...]sdom; When Goodness does Effect our Happiness, then it is Power; When Good­ness does Bestow our Happiness, without Merit, then it is Grace; When against Me­rit, then it is Mercy; When according to Promise, then it is Truth; When with a Respect unto the Price paid for it, then it is Justice. Indeed, we are told by our Good Lord, Mar. 10.18. There is none Good but One, and that is God: Originally Good, Essentially Good, Infinitely Good: Oh, None so Good as He! Goodness is the very Essence of God. It was not amiss in the Plato­nists, to call Him, [...] The ve­ry Good, that is Goodness it self, & of it self.

Let us Enquire, Secondly What are the mo [...]e special Displayes, that God hath given of His Goodness?

I will Answer; They are Numberless. But more particularly, Let there be ful­fill'd this Day among us, that word, Psal. 145.7, 9. Lord, They shall abundantly utter [Page 10] the the memory of thy great Goodness; The Lord is Good to all.

First The works of Creation, proclaim the Goodness of the God, who has Created all things, and for whose pleasure they are & were Created. In the close of the Creati­on, we find, Gen. 1.31. God saw every thing that He had made, and behold it was very Good. It is most certain then, That He who made all must be very Good. Even an Hea­then could say, When God first s [...]t upon the Creation of the world, He tranform'd Him­self into Goodness. The whole World is a Map of Goodness. As 'tis said of God, He is Good to all; so it may be said, He is Good in all. Every Creature is an Herald o [...] the Transcendent Goodness, that gave Be­ing unto it. The Goodness of God, gave a Being to every Creature; and hath put every Creature into that Order & Station, wherein it Best serves the Good End for which it was Created. By the Goodnes [...] of God, everv Creature is well provided for, and furnished with all that Good, that may help it in the comfortable service of its Creator. But there is no Creature that hath more cause to Celebrate the Good­ness of God, than Man; Man, that has Do­minion over so many other Things; Man that is Beautified with such faculties and [Page 11] Endowments; Man, that is made Lord of a World, wherein so many Servants attend him, surround him, & befriend him▪ Oh! Let not Man forget the Praises of his Ma­kers Goodness? Man! Unworthy the Name of a Man, if thou art silent, when the whole world about thee conspires to Praise that matchless Goodness.

Secondly. The works of Redemption, pro­clame the Goodness of the God, of whom the Redeemed of the Lord must say, He is Good, and His Mercy endureth for ever. In the Redemption of the world, the Sum of the matter is that; Luk. 2.14. Good will to­wards men. But what a Good God must He be, that has manifested this Good Will! We read of, The Gospel of the Blessed God. How should we Bless GOD, & His Good­ness, for the Good Things that are brought unto us in His Gospel? Oh! The peerless Goodness of God, in giving His only Bego [...] ­ten Son, that whosoever believes on Him, sh [...]uld not Perish, but have Everlasting Life! It is Goodness in God the Father, to choose us unto Everlasting Blessedness; It is Good­ness in God the Son, to Buy us unto that Blessedness: It is Goodness in God the Spi­rit, to bring us unto that Blessedness. Oh, Look upon the sinful, woful, horrible Con­dition, whereinto we were plunged by our [Page 12] Fall: and say, whether any thing but un­parallellable Goodness could rescue us out of this Condition? Pass [...]on to contem­plate the whole Covenant of Grace, intro­duced by our Lord Jesus Christ; Con­template the Things engaged in it; They are Grace, & Glory, & every good Thing: Contemplate the Terms on which they are engaged; They are Good Things wh [...]ch the Lord our God has required of us. He [...]e is Goodness, Goodness enough sure, to to dazzle the Eyes of the Good A [...]gels themselves!

Thirdly. The works of Providence pro­clame the Goodness of the God, the K [...]g­dome of whose Providence ruleth over all. When the operations and performances of Providence, were going to be Declared, there is this most agreeable Introducti­on to the Declaration; Psal. 107.1. O give Thanks unto the Lord, for He is Good. There is that care taken for the welfare of all things in the Providence of God, that it may be said, They are filled with Good. The Crying Ravens, the Hungry L [...]ons, the Lowest Worms, are preserved by the Good­ness of God, as well as the Loftiest Che­rubims: O Lord, Thou preserve [...] Man & Beast! There does not a Year pass us, but as the Psalmist speaks, Tis Crowned with [Page 13] Goodnes [...] Who's, but our Gods [...] The Earth is full of Ill men; Traitors and Rebels a­gainst the God of Heaven, fill the Earth. Yet we are truly told, The Earth is [...]u [...]l of the Goodness of the Lord. The Children of Men, have peculiar cause to take no [...]ice of this Goodness. There are inn [...]erable Blessings wherewith every man is favour­ed; God favours us with Blessings in our Spirits; Blessings in our Bodies; Blessings in our Education; Blessings in our Em [...]loy­ments; Blessings in our Families, Rela [...]ives, and Fr [...]ends; Blessings in the Provision made for our Necessities; Blessings in our Protect [...]on from Dangers on every side of us: What are these Blessings? They are as the Scripture calls them, The Blessings of Goodness. And the Ministry of the Good Angel [...], used in the Providence of God, (Great Wheels, as one may say, in the Clock of Providence,) for our Good, surely this is a singular Article of His goodness! What? Shall Glori [...]us Angels look after Sorry Man? Mighty Angel look after Fee­ble Man? Holy Angels look after Filthy Man? Be astonished, O Man, be over­whelmed, with the vast loads of this Good­ness.

Fourthly, Behold the Lord JESUS CHRIST, and see the Goodness of God! [Page 14] We cannot apprehend God [...]nto good purpose, but as He has Exhibited Him­self, in our Lord JESUS CHRIST. Our Lord JESUS CHRIST, is, The Face of God: That is a Name often used for Him, in the Old Testament: Why? Because God is to be most of all seen in Him. We read, 2 Cor. 4.6. We have the light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God, in the Face of Jesus Christ. Would we see the Goodnes [...] of God? Let us behold, the Good­ness of our Lord JESUS CHRIST. The Name of our Lord JESUS CHRIST, is that, 1 Pet. 3.13. The Good One. And no doubt, our Lord JESUS CHRIST was meant, in many passages of the Old Testa­ment, where we read about, The Good Thing, and, The Goodness of the Lord. Our Lord JESUS CHRIST was Full of all Goodness. He was not miscalled, when He was called▪ Good Master. All He said, was Good; All He did, was Good; His goodness communicated it self in Acts of Kindness to all that were about Him. It is Reported of Him, He went about doing of Good. And He has Charged every one Else, To Do Good, even unto the worst of men. He has Damned them for none of His Disciples, who do it not. This Good­ness of our Lord JESUS CHRIST was a [Page 15] Beaming forth of that Goodness which is in GOD Himself; Our Lord JESUS CHRIST, is, God manifest in Flesh: and [...]e goodness of that Lord, who was but a Mass of Incarnate Goodness, express'd unto us in lively Colours, the goodness of God.

The Third PROPOSITION.

The wonderful Goodness of God, should be a wonderful M [...]t [...]ve unto us, to RE­PENT of all our Sinning against Him. This is the Voice of all the Divine Good­ness unto us; This is the Vse we should make of it: Oh! Repent of Sinning against so good a G [...]d!

But let us hear this Language, a little more distinctly uttered.

First, The Goodness of God, Leads us to expect the Pardon of our sin, if we do Return to Him from all our sin. If a man have no Expectation or Encouragement for a Pardon, he will never come unto Repentance. That which Encourages a sinner, is, an Hope that God will Pa [...]don him, if he do Repent. Impenitence will be the certain Consequence of Desperation. From his Despair, the Arabians call the Devil by the Name of Ibliso, or, The Des­perate [Page 16] One. Despair will turn a Sinner in­to a Devil. Well, but This is one great Point, wherein the goodness of God showe [...] it self. Dissolve into Tears of Repentance▪ O Hearts of Stone, when you hear of this Marvellous Goodness! Exod. 34.6.7. The Lord God is merciful, and gracious, and a­bundant in goodness, forgiving Iniquity, Transgression, & Sin: And, Mic. 7.18. Who is a God like unto thee, that Pardoneth Iniquity, because He delights in Mercy! Tis true, From the meer Goodness of God one could not gather a Pardon for the Repent­ing Sinner. For, the Justice of God re­quires a Satisfaction for sin; and Repentance is no Satisfact [...]on. But since we know, that through the Tender Mercy of our God, the Day-spring from on High has vi­sited us, and that our Lord Jesus Christ has come to make Satisfactio [...], and Expi­ation for our sin, we may now conclude it; O ye Chief of Sinners, make that Joy­ful Conclusion; Certainly, If I Return to so Good a God, after all the Evil that I have committed against Him, He will Pardon me, He will Accept me, He will Adopt me. Never shall I Repent of my Repentance: I that am the blackest Sinner in the world, shall by the goodness of God▪ be washed in the Bloud of His Dear Son, and He will make me one of [Page 17] His Children, and I shall stand before Him, as if I had never Sinned against Him, upon my Re [...] unto Him. How, How can I go on in Sinning against such Ʋnmatcheable goodness! Truly, the Natural Inference to be drawn from this admirable Goodness of God, is That: Isa. 55.7. Let the wick­ed Return unto the Lord, & He will have Mercy on him, & unto our God, for He will abundantly Pardon. One would think, This were enough to break the Heart of the most obdurate and obstinate Sinner in the World. What? After all thy hor­rible Sinfulness, O man, will the Goodness of God, receive thy Returning Soul into its Embraces? And bestow Everlasting Righteousness and Blessedness upon thee? Surely, An Heart well-steeped in the Oyl of such goodness will be no longer able to Resist the Calls unto Repentance! When we are assured, Lam. 3.25. The Lord is good unto the Soul that seeks Him; it na­turally Leads us to Resolve, O my God, I will seek thee, I will seek thee, & no longer Sin against thee!

Secondly, The Goodness of God Leads us to reckon Sin, the most unreasonable and abominable Evil. Since God is Good­ness it self, what must that be, that is con­trary [Page 18] to God? Certainly, Sin must be very Evil, because it is contrary to Good­ness it self. Tis with good Reason, that Sin is called, Joh. 17 15. The Evil. But the Goodness of God then pronounces it an unreasonable Thing to Sin against God; and loudly calls upon us, To abhor that which is Evil: And such Abhor­rence implyes Repenta [...]ce. When we are Tempted unto any sin, how deaf are we to the most powerful Charms that ever were heard, if we do not now hear the Goodness of God thus Charming of us, Oh! Do not this abominable Thing, which is hateful to the Soul of God, & of Goodness!

It was of old said, Ye that Love the Lord, Hate Evil. Oh! Sin, Sin, what an Evil, and an Hateful Thing wilt thou appear unto us, when we have the Lovely Good­ness of God before our Eyes! Yea, Inas­much as God is good, we must believe, That His Commandment is always Holy & Righteous, & Good. If the Command­ment be good, Say, O Reasonable Soul, whether it be not an Evil Thing to Transgress the Commandment? It is Re­pentance to count it so. The more Good we see that GOD is, the more Vile we [...]hall see that SIN is. The goodness of [Page 19] God, Le [...]ds us to loath and leave such a loathsome Vileness; and to say with him, Gen. 39.9. Oh, How shall I do this Wicked­ness, and Sin against God? Such, even such are the Resentments, wherewith Sin is to be considerd. The Good God is of purer Eyes than to behold Sin: with what Eyes then shall I behold Sin, which is a Contrad [...]ct­ion to the purity of God! Why should I by Sin, renounce my Dependance on God as my Creator and my Governer, & a pitiful Worm, go to controul the Authority of the God, who has Millions of bright Angels to wait upon Him? Why should I by Sn, violate the Laws of the only Wise GOD, & find fault with that Will of Heaven, which is nothing but a transcript of the most Exquisite Wisdom? Why should I flout Omniscience, & slight Omnipo­tence, & by my bold Sin, dare Thund [...]rbolts, & send a Defiance to the Almighty? Sin, 'Tis a Monster, whose mouth is always full of the most nefandous Blasphemies. Oh! Why does not the Goodness of God, stop the mouth of the Monster, and im­pose upon the Blasphemer an Eternal si­lence!

Thirdly, The Goodness of God Leads us to Detest Sin, under the Character of the Highest Ingratitude unto the most High [Page 20] God. There is nothing more Detesta­ble than Ingratitude: The Unthankful are the Evil; None so Evil as they! Now every sin, 'tis no less than a Denying of God, and a Defying of God, and a Re­proaching of God. It is said of the Sin­ner, Numb. 15.30. He Reproaches the Lord. All the wrong that can possibly be done to the Blessed God, SIN does it. It is not possible to offer any Contempt or Mischief unto the Almighty, but what is offered by Sin continually. Yea, Sin strikes at the very Life of God Himself: It fetches an impotent stroke at the very Heart of the Everliving God; The Aim of Sin is to Ʋngod the Great God! Horri­ble to be spoken! And here lies the Ag­gravation of the Baseness of Sin: Tis a­gainst a GOD, of such marvellous Good­ness. Here, here is the right strain of a Genuine, and Evangelical Repentance; O my God, I am Troubled, I am Troubled, that I have Sinned against a God of such in­finite Goodness: And how can I find in my Heart any more to Sin against so Good a God! The Goodness of God, has made us partakers of many and mighty Fa­vours. Very Good Things, and Great ones, have been done for us, by the go [...]d­ness of God. If we go on in Sin, tis a [Page 21] base Requital of Goodness. The good­ness of God▪ Expostulates with us, Deut. 32.6. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O fool­ish People & unwise? It made the Heart of Saul to relent, when he saw the Good­ness of David, in sparing him; Then said Saul, I have Sinned, Return, for I will do thee no more Harm, because my Soul was precious in thine Eyes; behold, I have played the Fool, & have Err'd exceeding­ly! Every sin of ours endeavours an Harm to the Good God; Yea, but, Oh man, when thou seest the Goodness of God, sparing thee, saving thee, feed­ing thee, and helping thee; methinks it should lead thee, with a Repenting Soul to say; Lord, I have Sinned; but I will Return unto thee; I will do no more Harm; the welfare of my Soul, & all my other & lesser Interests has been precious in thine Eyes; I have played the Fool, & Erred ex­ceedingly, in Sinning against thy Goodness; I have done iniquity, but, Oh, let me do so no more!

Fourthly, The Goodness of God, Leads us to study, how we may Thankfully Serve Him, and not Wickedly S [...]n against Him. The Benefits done for us, by the Goodness of God, our glorious Benefact­or, [Page 22] put us upon Enquiring, like him, Psal. 116.12. What shall I render to the Lord, for all His Benefits? And now, what shall we Render, but our very Selves, and all that we are, and all that we have? To Render our selves unto the Lord, is to Repent of our sins against the Lord. Our Consecration of our selves unto God, is the Consummation of Repentance. The Goodness of God has produced us from Nothing into our present Existence; and has preserved us in this Existence, from thousands of mischiefs that would have assaulted us. It is the Goodness of God that supplies all our wants; Tis Gods Air we breathe, 'tis Gods Ground we tread, it is Gods Cloathes that cover us. It is the Goodness of God which defends us from a Million of Deaths, and affords multitudes of convenient Circumstances for our Inward and our Outward man. What is the Call of all this goodness? But, Oh! Live unto that good God, from whom, and on whom, it is, that thou lived at all. We are told, One would even dare to Dy for a good Man. And shall any One be loth to Live unto a Good God? Oh! Let there not be one such among You, my Hearers! After all the Goodness & Mercy that has followed us all our days, [Page 23] what is the Return that we are to make [...]nto our good God? We are so directed; Deut. 10.12. And, now, what does the Lord [...]y God require of thee? But to fear the [...]ord thy God, and to walk in His wayes, [...]d to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy [...]od, with all thy Heart and with all thy [...]ul. Until we abandon our sins, we are [...]erpetually Fighting against God; Yea, most horrid! And with weapons of His own! As David said of Nabal, In vain have I kept, all that this Fellow has! Thus [...]ay the good God, say of the Sinner; All the Effects of my Goodness upon this wretch, are utterly thrown away; he makes me no suitable Return at all, for my Bene­fits. No; The Goodness of God should Lead us to such Devotion, as that; Rom. 12.1. For the Mercies of GOD, present your Bodies a living Sacrifice, Holy, Accepta­ble unto GOD, which is your Reasonable Ser­vice.

Fifthly, and Finally, The Goodness of God Leads us to an Imitation of such goodness What is Repentance? Tis by the Prophet thus described, A ceasing to do Evil, and a learning to do Good. Well, when we see the Goodness of God, al­wayes [Page 24] wayes do good, we have an Invitation to an Imitation of it. It is pressed▪ Mat. 5.45. Do Good to them that Hath you, that you may be the Children of your Father which is in Heaven, for He doth so. — And again, Luk. 6.35 D [...] Good, and you shall be the Children of the Highest; for He doth so. Sirs, when we see the adorable goodness of God, Oh why does it not inspire us with a Dis­position, like what we see in our good Father? Why does it not mightily dis­pose us, to do good unto all that are about us, to do all the good that eve [...] we can? Yea, to overcome evil with good? A good Heart, and an Heart unspeakably set upon the doing of good, is a mighty symptom and effort of a most Real Repentance. Repentance will make a man, become a good man. O Man, If the goodness of God will not, what can Lead thee unto it?

APPLICATION

I. Tis fit that the Application of these things begin with an Expostulation ad­dressed unto all that persist Ʋnrepenta [...] in Ungodliness.

[Page 25] O Man, Despisest thou the Riches of the Goodness of God, while thou art not by that Goodness, Effectually Led unto Repen­tance? Yes, Thou verily dost so. But, Behold, O Despiser, and wonder at thy own madness, and Repent, that so thou mayest not Perish wonderfully! It was the Ex­postula [...]ion of old; Isa. 1.2. Hear, O Heavens and give Ear, O Earth; for the Lord hath spoken; I have nourished & brought up Children, and they have Rebelled against me. And not unlike to this, may be our Expostulation with Ungodly men; Hear, O Heavens, and give Ear, O Earth; The Goodness of God unto these persons has been infinitely beyond the goodness of any Father in the world; and yet they live in daily Rebel­lion against Him. Ah, Sinners, Are you not afraid, that the Lord of Hosts will at last employ all the Armies both in the Heavens, and on the Earth, to Execute His Revenges upon such Unrepenting Wretches and Rebels?

To carry on this Expostulation, We will propose to Consideration.

First. That the Goodness of God hath plenteously and wondrously look'd upon you, O my Hearers, This is most un­questionable. It was truly said, Psal 68.10. Thou, O God, hast prepared of thy good­ness [Page 26] for the Poor. Oh, There are none of you so Poor, so Low, so Mean, but the Riches of the Goodness of the most High God has reached you. There is none of you all, though never so Small, but the Good­ness of God has done Thousands of Great Thing [...] for that person. There has not one day rolled over you, wherein the Goodness of God, hath not shone upon you with Rayes far more than those of the Sun in the Firmament. GOODNESS, GOODNESS, is written every where in Capitals round about us. There is no speech where its Voice is not heard; and yet, Oh! That the Voice were duly heard! In short, O man, Art thou not yet out of Hell? This, This is from the most undeserved Goodness of God!

Secondly; If now, after all this Good­ness, your Sin be not Repented of, tis be­yond Question, there is a monstrous D [...]s­ingenuity, in your sinful Impenitency. Alas, what has been Your Carriage hitherto, but Theirs? Neh. 9.35. Lord, They have not served thee in thy great Goodness, which thou gavest them, neither have they turned from their wicked works. Oh! Disingenuous Men; You have not only Forgotten the Things that have been done for you, by the Goodness of God, but you have been [Page 27] the Worse for that Goodness. As it was said of them; According to the goodness of their Land, they made goodly Images: Thus it may be said of you; According to the goodness of the Lord, you have been the more Assisted, and Improved, and Em­boldened in your sinful Idolatries. Those daily Refreshments, with which the Good­ness of God, Strengthens you to Honour Him, don't you Abuse them to bring but the more Dishonour to God, and so Turn H [...]s Grace into Wantonness. That Abun­dance of Enjoyments, with which the Goodness of God is Enriching of you, are you not the more Proud, and Vain, and Carnal, and Sensual, and Senseless for it? Man, If there be one spark of Reason left in thy Soul, now let it revive, and shine forth, and speak out, and say; Can any thing be so unreasonably Disingenuous?

Lastly; Consider, In the Fear of God, Consider, What will be the End of This? Oh! That you were so wise as to Consider the Latter End! It is the Thunder, that fol­lows upon the Lightning, which has all this while Entertained us; Not knowing that the Goodness of God leads thee to Repen­tance; It follows; After thy Hardness & Impenitent Heart, thou treasurest up unto thy self Wrath against the day of Wrath. It [Page 28] has been said of old, Lae [...]a Pa [...]ientia Ver­titur in Furo [...]em: [And why not, Laesa Bonitas] Abused Patience will become Ex­alted Fury. Will Abused Goodness End a­ny better? It was a dreadful word: Josh. 24.20. If ye forsake the Lord, the Lord will turn, and w [...]ll do you Hurt, & Consume you, af [...]er that He hath done you Good. That, That will be the End, of Ungodliness un­der the Goodness of God: Man, Thou shalt not sin always upon Free-cost. We are told, Let Favour be shown to the Wick­ed, he will not learn Righteousness: But we are also told, The Fire belonging to the Ene­mies of God shall devour them. Sirs, By going on in Sin under the Goodness of God, you take a course to be deprived of all those Good Things which the Goodness of God is doing for you: Oh! You horri­bly Forfeit them all! It was said, Hos. [...] 8, 9. She did not know, that I gave her Corn, and Wine, Therefore will I take away my Corn and Wine. Thus, when the En­joyments that are granted us by the Goodness of God, will not oblige us to forbear sinning against the God, who gives us All things richly to enjoy, He comes to say, I'll take away these my misplaced Fa­vours! But Oh! What Calamities, Oh! What Confusions, will ensue upon such [Page 29] a Confiscation? Yea, Instead of those things, which the Goodness of God has done for Ungodly men, the Vengeance of God has terrible things to do on them throughout Eternal Ages. The Impeni­tent Sinner, under and against the Goodness of God, is that Ʋnprofitable Servant, of whom we find that Order given, Mat. 25 30. Cast the Ʋnprofitable Se [...]vant into outer Darkness; there shall be Weeping and gnashing of Teeth. Unhappy man, If thou fall into that Condemnation, thy Fate will be that of the Rich man in the Parable, to whom in the place of Torment, it was said, Remember, that in thy Life-t [...]me thou didst Receive thy Good Things; but [...]ow thou art Tormented. One of the greatest men in the world, Profess'd, That he often thought on those words, but he always Trem­bled as often as he thought on them.

Come then, My Hearers; Let us Be­think our selves. Are we not at length determined, what Improvement we shall make of all that Goodness, wherein our God has been passing before us? A fa­mous Writer speaks of a profane Sinner, whom nothing would reclaim from his miscarriages, untill the Goodness of God heaped many Blessings upon him; and then he Cried out. V [...]c [...]ti, B [...]gnissime [Page 30] Domine, inde [...]atig [...]i B [...]n [...]tate; ‘Oh! My most good God, Thy Good [...]ess has at last Conquered this Evil Heart of mine; my Conquered Soul resigns it self unto thee, and I will be thy Ser­vant forever!’ Even so; Will you now Revolve the Benefits with which the Goodness of God has been daily Loading of y [...]u? And will you Resolve; How shall I Sin any mo [...]e aga [...]nst such a Father? Father, I have si [...]ned against Heaven, and befo [...]e thee; but I w [...]ll do so no more! Now, I have purposed, that I will no more Tra [...]s­gress; but the God who has Blessed me, shall be my own God for evermore.

[The HISTORY of what the Goodness of God, has done for the CAPTIVES, lately delivered out of Barbary.]

II. HAving been thus far carried a­long wi [...]h a [...]ream of more Ge­neral Reflections upon the Goodness of God, we are now arrived unto the Falls of our Discourse, and are easily and pleasantly carried over, into a more particular Con­templation of the Divine Goodness to­wards [Page 31] our Friends, with whom we are now Uniting our THANKSGIVINGS unto our Lord-Redeemer.

We have been so called upon, Psal. 107.1, 2. O give Thanks unto the Lord, for He is Good; for His Mercy endureth for ever. Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath Redeemed from the Hand of the Enemy. Behold, some that have been remarkably the Redeemed of the Lord, are at this Day to Say so; and we are in­vited now to joyn with them when they Say so.

These our Brethren, are delivered through the Goodness of God, from the most horrible Captivity in the world; and, we may observe several Remarkables in their Deliverance: 'Twill be an agree­able and an acceptable Revenue of Glo­ry unto our Lord-Redeemer, for us to ob­serve such Remarkables.

I. It is a Remarkable Goodness of God That the Lives of these our Friend, have b [...]en prolonged and preserved under a bit [...]e [...] Servituae, that was enough to have made them, even wea [...]y of their [...]aves.

Their Way of Living, (or, shall I not rather say, their way of Dying) 'twas full of astoni [...]hing Hardships. Many, ma­ny [Page 32] Dyed under the Hardships: But these are this Day declaring, Having obtained Help from God, we continue to this Day.

Their Condition cannot perhaps, be more livelily in a few words painted out, than in the words, of the Brief, which their late Majesties, K. WILLIAM and Q. MARY, granted on their behalf.

‘A Great Number of Our Good Sub­jects peaceably following their Employ­ments at Sea, have been taken by the Turkish Pirates of Algiers, Salley, Bar­bary, and other places on the Coast of A [...]rica, nnd now remain Slaves, in Cru­el and Inhumane Bondage, without any Dayes of Rest, either on the Turkish Sab­bath or Ours, except Four Dayes in a Year; being kept to Extream Labour; from which, some endeavouring a little Rest, several of them were barbarously Murdered. Neither is their Diet any more tolerable than their Lab [...]ur; Great Numbers being allow'd no other Food, than decay'd Barley, which stinketh so, that the Beasts refuse to eat it. And often they are not permitted to go from their Labour, to fetch Water, which is their only Drink; and sometimes driven a­bout by Black-a-moors, who are set over them as Task-masters; and some of [Page 33] them have been so severely Whipp'd, that they have dropp'd down Dead.’

One that was a Sufferer, has given us this further Account, of the Barbarian Cruelty undergone by his Fellow-sufferers.

‘The poor Christian Captives, that are taken by any of those Hellish Py­rates, belonging to the Emperour of Morocco, are brought up to Macqueness; being kept at Hard work, from Day-light in the Morning till Night: carry­ing Earth on their Heads in great Bask­ets, driven to and fro, with barbarous Negroes by the Emperours Order; and when they are drove home by the Ne­groes at Night, to their Lodging, which is on the cold Ground, in a Vault or hollow place in the Earth, laid over with great Beams athwart, and Iron Bars o­ver them; they are told in there, like Sheep, and out in the Morning; and if any be wanting, he quickly secures the Negroes, and sends out a parcel of his Guard, to look for them. Their Food is Bread, made of old rotten Barley; and their Drink, Water, when they can get it: Many times, when they are hur­ried unto their work in a Morning, not knowing, whether they shall be able to [Page 34] undergo their Afflictions till Night and when they are drove Home, expect­ing Rest, the Tyrant sends some of his Negroes, to hurry them again to work, either to hale down Walls, cut Gates, or the like; keeping them both Day and Night, many times without either Bread or Water, which is all their Sust­enance. When they have done That, the Negroes dare not drive them home, before he gives Order, lest they be kill'd for their so doing. When they have his Order, they drive them home, tell them over, and so lock them up until Day-light in the Morning. There are Three Hundred and Forty Englishmen (sayes he) in this sore Captivity.’

This is the Captivity, that has been Out-lived, and now Escap'd, by these our Brethren.

It is much, that their horrid Labour did not Kill them, in a Climate, so hot at some Times, and so wet at others. One would have said, Their Strength must have been the Strength of Stones, & their Flesh of Brass. Or their Life could not have been pro­longed under such prodigious Fatigues.

It is much, that their forlorn Diet should not rather Kill them, than Feed them. So small, and so vile their Al­ [...]owance [Page 35] of Bread, that it is plain, They [...]ved not by Bread alone, but by the Word of God.

It is much, that they have Out-lived the Sorrows, the Deadly Sorrows, that must sieze upon their Spirits, when the [...]ierce Robbers had siez'd upon them. By the Sorrows of their Hearts, why were [...]ot their Spirits broken, and Killed, when [...]hey saw themselves dragg'd away from [...]ll the Comforts of Life, and felt them­ [...]elves fearfully broken in the place of Dra­ [...]ons, and were Hopeless of ever being [...]ecovered out of their doleful Circum­ [...]ances? Methinks, I see them Crying [...]rom the Belly of Hell, Lord, The Waters [...]ompass me about, even to the Soul, the Depth closes me round about; the Weeds are [...]rapt about my Head; the Earth, with her [...]ars, is about me forever. Oh! My Chil­ [...]ren, How did you do Live, in the midst [...]f these Agonies? Truly, The Lord has [...]t last Loosed the Prisoners: 'twas He, who [...]aised up, those that were thus bowed [...]wn: Some of them for a whole Pren­ [...]ice-ship of Years, and One here even [...] Nineteen Years together. This pre­ [...]ervation of our Friends, has been yet [...]ore signalized, where any of them, en­ [...]eavoured a Flight out of the Hands of [Page 36] their Enemies, but were unhappily Re­taken by those bloody Hands. For it was the manner of the Tygre, whom they call the Emperour, when such Retake [...] Prisoners were brought before him▪ im­mediately to run a Lance through the Hearts of them. We have some with us at this Hour, who once expected the stroke of the Lance, and can ascribe it unto nothing, but this, T [...]at the Heart of the King was in the Hand of the Lord.

Oh! That men would Praise the Lord, for His Goodness, and for these His won­derful Works unto the Children of men.

II. It is a Remarkable Goodness of God, That these our Friends enjoyed so many Supports, which Heaven and Earth afford­ed unto them, under their Insupportable Calamities.

How, One would wonder How, were their minds kept from Fainting under the Grievous Things▪ that continually befel them, while, for many Years together, their Lives hung in doubt before them, an [...] they were in fear day and night, and bad m [...] Assurance of their Life; In the Morning the [...] said, Would God it were Evening, and a [...] Evening they said, Would God it were Morn­ing! Doubtless, the Good Spirit of God [Page 37] often i [...] radiated their minds, with such Considerations, as were their Consolati­ons.

Behold, A Support from the Goodness of God!

If they cannot say, The Barbarous people show'd us no little Kindness, yet some hap­py Things fell out now & then, to shelter them from some Ʋnkindnesses as would else have been offered.

Behold, A Support from the Goodness of God!

It was a mighty Relief unto them▪ that the English Captives there formed them­selves into a SOCIETY, and in their Sla­very enjoyed the Lib [...]y to meet on the Lords Day Evening, every Week & annual­ly chuse a Master and Assistents, and form a Body of Laws, to prevent and suppress D [...]sorders among themselves. The Good Orders of their Society, were a great Re­putation, and Preservation unto them. And it afforded them no small Comforts to de­light them, in the multitude of the Griefs up­on them, that at their Meetings they still had one or other, who by his Prayers, and other Exercises of Religion among them, greatly Edified them.

Behold, A Support from the Goodness of God!

[Page 38]And God Supported them, with Rai­sing up such as were concerned more ways than one, to supply them in their deplorable Necessities. There were some (as a Carver) among themselves, that were able to advise & assist the rest, and others (as a Balam) at home, were full of Charitable endeavours to send them Comfortable Assistences. And, a, Past­oral Letter or two, Published, and Scat­tered among them, was blessed of God, for their unspeakable Advantage, and perhaps, had no little Influence, to pre­pare them for the Salvations which they have now received.

Oh, That men would Praise the Lord, for His Goodness, and for His wonderful Works unto the Children of men!

III. It is a Remarkable Goodness of God, That none of these our Friends proved Apostates, from our Holy Religion, when they were under so many Temptations to Apostasy.

There was now and then a wretched Christian, who Renounced Christianity & Em [...]raced Mahometism. If These our Friends had been left unto themselves, under their amazing Trials, They, They would have done so too! Sirs▪ I hope [Page 39] you readily own, That you did not keep your selves from Falling! Wherefore unto Him that kept you from Falling, be Glory and Majesty, Dominion and Power, both now and forever. Oh: Let us admire Sovereign Grace, and shout, Grace! Grace! upon it, that though these our Friends, were covered with the shadow of Death, yet they did not Forget the Name of our God, into which they had been Baptised, nor deal falsely in their Baptismal Covenant; nor stretch out their Hands unto the Im­postor Mahomet, and his accursed Alco­ran!

Our Glorious Lord JESUS CHRIST has now and then had a Martyr, of late, in the Torrid zone of Africa.

One Story (related by Brooks,) may not unprofitably be now repeated.

‘An English-man and a French-man were taken, endeavouring an Escape▪ The next Day, the English-man and the French-man were carred up to Mac­queness in Irons, before the Emperour, who by the Moors was informed, what was done. The Emperour, upon Ex­amination, told them, if they did not immediately turn Moors, he would kill them. The French-man yielded; the Emperour then threatned the English-man, [Page 40] if he did not turn, he would quick­ly kill him. He made Answer, Gods Power was greater than the Devils, & let him do what he would, he should not make him turn Moor. The Em­perour called for his Sword, and imme­diately fell to cutting him, threatning him still, to turn▪ He said, He was brought up in the Faith of Jesus Christ, & he would not forsake it. Then this inhu­mane Wretch in great spleen, Cut him till he fell down, and hack'd & hew'd him, as if had been butchering an Oxe, and caused the Negro-boyes to run his Body full of Holes, with Knives, till his Body was as full of Holes as possible it could be. When he had so done, Bring, said he in his own Language, Four Eng­lish Dogs to fetch that Dog away. And as they carried his Body away, the Ne­gro-boyes stoned them, saying, That should be the end of them, if they did not turn Moors: But they were glad to go quietly without answering again; if they had made any Reply, they had cer­tainly been fallen upon by the Negro-boyes. So their greatest satisfaction was, his Dying in the Christian Faith, and his counting that more precious than his own Life, holding the same stedfast [Page 41] before that Cruel Tyrant, while he had Breath in his Body. Then they carried him to the place, where they lodged under ground; so took off his Irons, and kept there all Night; and the next Morning carried him where he was to be buried, the Negroes still stoning of them as they went along. As soon as they had laid his Body in the ground, they were hurried by the Ne­groes to work again after their usual manner.’

These our Friends, have not thus Re­sisted unto Blood. But yet they have not been without Bloody Temptations. And, O my Hearers, Will you not now Glori­fy the Faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ, who would not suffer these our Friends to be Tempted above what they were able, but made even their Temptations to be their Preservations! One would have thought, that if any thing should have made them turn Infidels, it would have been their Adversity, and the Hope of getting thereby some Relaxation of their Adversity. No; It was remark'd, That the Renegado's for the most part, were those who suffered the least share of Ad­versity. The Fellows who enjoy'd more Prosperity ▪ & lived in Gentlemens Houses, [Page 42] with much of Idleness, and Luxury, and Liberty, THESE for the most part were they that fell into the Snare of the Wicked; when those who were toiling about Castles or [...]rickil [...]s, continued stedfast in the Faith of our Lord JESUS CHRIST. It was also a notable thing; That few did ever come to cast off the Faith of our Lord JESUS CHRIST, until they were first grown very Vicious in their Morals, and fallen into Vices and Scandals, which made 'em asham'd of appearing before their better disposed Countre [...]-men; THEN 'twas that they grew desperate, and they departed from the Lord with such a total and final Backsliding, that the Soul of God had no pleasure in them. How Forlorn, how Undone, how Damned for both Worlds had you been, if you had been given over to become such vile De­serters? You saw the strange Hand of God, upon Them: You saw them Hated, Loathed, Scorned, both by the Baptised and the Circumcised: You saw they got nothing, but were Temporally more abject than they were before, & Eternally siezed by Chains of Darkness impossible ever to be taken off. You are Glad, that you have been saved from your Apostasy. Did you save your-selves? No; We hear [Page 43] you humbly saying this Day before the Lord and His People; Not unto us, Not unto us, O Lord, but unto thy Name give Glory! And, Lord, Thou art He who has delivered my Soul from Death, my Eyes from Tears, and my Feet from Falling.

Wherefore yet once again;

Oh! That men would Praise the Lord for His Goodness, and for His wonderful Works to the Children of Men.

IV. It is a Remarkable Goodness of God, That now the Deliverance of these our Friends is accomplished, and in a signal Answer to Prayer accomplished, and this not without great Obstrctuions to the Accomplishment.

Such was the known Treachery and Perfidy of the False Tyrant, who held these our Friends in Bondage, that every one despaired of their Deliverance.

For instance;

In the Year, 1680. the English Cap­tives, which were under this fierce Ty­rant, sent over a Petition to the King of England, that something might be done for them. An English Captain being sent over, came to an Agreement with him, for their Deliverance, and the Cap­tives were actually put into his Hands. [Page 44] The Shack of the Jews, who had order to build a Town for this Faithless Mo­narch, came to him, telling him that if he would let him have the Christians, to build the Jews-Town, he would give him as much Money as the English Captain had agreed with him for. The next Morning, this African Monster sent out his Negroes, to drive back the Christi­ans, which were hurried again to their old Slavery, in the Cruellest manner ima­ginable: And there was an end of the matter! Though the Vengeance of God quickly pursued that Jew, who not with­out the Connivance of the Emperour, had his Brains horribly trod out, by one who purposely Rode over him.

The Time, the sett Time for Favour, was not then come. Now 'tis; and this with a Touch from Heaven upon the Heart of a Devil Incarnate compelling him to deal more truly than he use to do.

The Difficulty of Gathering the Ran­some was at last got over; every other Impediment was removed: And, who art thou, O Mountain, that shall sta [...]d in the way, when Gods Time is come? Who is the Po [...]sherd of the Earth, that shall pro­pose to Command the Lord concerning His Children?

[Page 45]To what a sweet Change of their Con­dition, are these our Friends now arrived! Instead of Hellish Moors at their pleasure Kicking and Scourging and Plaguing of them, they are in the Arms of their most agreeable Relatives, and others whom they daily behold with mutual Delight. Instead of being driven to Servile, Tedi­ous, Vexing Employments, they are now Employ'd Easily, and as they would be. Instead of the Sabbaths which they saw without any Rest in them, they have now as many Opportunities for the Ser­vice of God and their Souls, as they wish for.

What has brought all this about? Oh! 'Tis PRAYER, 'Tis PRAYER, that has done it all. Give me leave to speak it with all due Humility; This Delive­rance never began thoroughly to operate, until God began to awaken a Spirit of Prayer in the Churches of poor NEW-ENGLAND for it. When the Sons of New-England, and of some very Praying people here, fell into so dire a Capti­vity, presently a Cry of PRAYER made a Noise that reach'd up to Heaven. We did not Sin by ceasing to Pray for them· Thus was the A [...]m of the Lord awakened for the Deliverance of these our Sons; [Page 46] and, thou, O Mully Ishmael, with all thy Diabolical Fury, art no longer able t [...] with-hold from us, the Friends, abou [...] whom God gave thee an Efficacious Or­der, To let them go.

But, For what, O my Sons, For wha [...] are you thus let go from your Servitude bu [...] that being Delivered out of the Hand [...] of your Enemies, you may serve the Lord without Fear, in Holiness and Righteousnes [...] before Him, all the dayes of your Lives? Your Friends, are with Raptures of Lov [...] and Joy, beholding your Deliveranc [...] from your Captivity. When we see your Captivity turned, we are like them wh [...] dream; and with astonished Souls, we make that Acclamation, The Lord hath done Great Things for them! Now, as a most proper Expression of the Affection, wherewith we bid you Welcome unto us we cannot but set before you, the De­sire of our Souls after the Improvement and Perfection of your Deliverance. If nothing else, yet the Prayers that we have Day and Night been putting up to Heaven for you, in your Troubles, may be­speak for us the Freedome of tendring you the Counsels, which you may do wel to take, now you have received the An­swer, and the Harvest of those Prayers i [...] [Page 47] [...]he Period of your Troubles. Indeed our [...]rayers are not answered, until our Coun­ [...]ls be followed; and the greatest ser­ [...]ice now to be done for you, is freely & [...]lainly to tell you, What those Points [...]re, for which our Prayers are therefore [...]ontinued.

We do in the first place, Pray to the God of all Grace, that you may have the Grace to be very sensible of the match­ [...]ess Favours that God hath bestowed up­on you. Look, Oh! Look back, upon your doleful and woful Circumstances in the Hands of a Bitter and Hasty Nation. Read the Book of Lamentations, as one of the Ancients tells us, he did use to do, when he felt Vanity growing upon his mind; and from thence Revive to your own mind, the Remembrance of your own Lamentable Miseries. But herewith­ [...]l Remember, how much you would once have given, to be brought out of those miserable Confusions. And ac­knowledge that you have Deserved all your Sufferings, from the Hands of a Righteous God, before whom you must [...]ndeed say, Lord, Thou hast punished us [...]ar less than our Iniquities have deserved. [Page 48] It is a Surprizing Mercy of God, that has rescued you from the Horrible Pit, into which you were fallen; But that which makes it the more Surprizing, is, that it is a Singular Mercy. In former Years, the Lions Den, in that part of Barba [...], where you have been cast, had this un­happy Character upon it, Few or none Re­turned. That we now see a Return of so many, who have been a Prey to those Ter­rible one [...], truly, 'tis a New, a Strange, & a Great Sight. We may say upon it▪ This is the Lords Doing, and it is [...]arvello [...] in our Eyes!

What will you now do, but Sing the High Praises of your Almighty Redeem­er? Don't so regard Second Causes, as to neglect the First and Chief Cause of all or account Him any other than the Firs [...] and Chief of all. Methinks, The Hun­dred and Sixteenth Psalm, the Hundred & Forty Sixth Psalm, the Second Paragraph of the Hundred and Seventh Psalm, the Be­ginning of the Hundred and Third Psalm the Conclusion of the Fifty Sixth, and Fifty Seventh, and Sixty Sixth Psalms, will afford some good strokes of Thanksgiving for you, when you come to Sing the Praise [Page 49] of God. On all fit occasions also, why should you not make a Thank [...]ul mention of what you have received! Yea, Mention it not only in Speaking, but also in Writing thereof, & keep a Record, of, How Great Things the Lord hath done for you.

But what signifies a Thanksgiving, with­out Thanksliving? Sirs, You are under infinite Obligations, to keep the Command­ [...]andments of that Good God, who hath brought you out of the Land of Barbary, & [...] of the House of Bondage. It is the most Reasonable, and the most Advise­ [...]ble thing imaginable▪ That you [...]ou should seriously Consider with your selves, and ask Divines and other Christi­ans, to Assist you in Considering, What Lessons you should learn, by the Changes that have passed over you? And apply your Cares, to learn those Lessons, and Live as you have been Less [...]'d. But in a very particular manner, it becomes you, to get from under your Slavery unto Satan, and unto Sin, which is worse than Satan: For that is a Slaver [...], a Million times worse, than what you have seen at Mac­queness. Every Unrenewed man▪ is a S [...]ave to those Destroyers; and You will be so, [Page 50] till you have heartily Resigned up your selves unto the Conduct of the Lord JE­SUS CHRIST with a lively Faith in Him, to be made Righteous and Holy: But, When He shall make you Free, you will be F [...]ee indeed. Be perswaded now to enter into Covenant with God, and become the Bound Servants of the Lord JESUS CHRIST, who hath brought you out of your dismal Servitude. Hereupon often think with your selves; What shall I render [...] [...]he Lord for all His Benefits? And, What special thing shall I do for the Honour of Him, to whom I owe my All? God hath Returned you to the Blessings of His Day, and of His House, whereof you were deprived, when the Filthy Di­sciples of Mahomet were Lording it over you: You should now make a better use of Them than ever you did, and bring forth more of that Fruit, by which your Blessed Redeemer may be Glorified. Oh! Let the Goodness of God lead you to this Repentance. Truly, There should now be seen in you, a Remarkable Difference from other Men, that never were so Re­markably Delivered as You have been; and from what Y [...]u your selves were be­for [...] you were thus Remarkably Deliver­ed. [Page 51] There is one awful Scripture, which 'tis pitty, but you should have your Eyes more than a Thousand Times up­on: Even That; Ezr. 9.13, 14. After all that is come upon us, for our Evil Deeds, and thou hast given us such Deliverance as This; if we should a­gain break thy Commandments, would­est thou not be Angry with us, till thou hast Consumed us?

Finally, Brethren; You see by your own [...]appy Experience, what Prayer can do: Oh! Let it make you in Love with Prayer. If this One Point may be gain'd, All will be gain'd; Prayer, Fer­vent Prayer, Constant Prayer, Daily Prayer: Oh, Pray without ceasing, and with every sort of Prayer; and very particularly, for a Good Effect of all the Divine Dispensations towards you. Re­solve with him; Psal. 116.2. Because the Lord hath inclined His Ear unto me, there­fore will I call upon Him as long as I live.

FINIS.

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