THE Knowledge of GOD, Securing from Flattery, AND Strengthening to the most Noble Exploits. Delivered in a SERMON, Preached to the Honourable Artillery Company in Boston, On the Day of their Election of OFFICERS, June 4th. 1705.

By Mr. Thomas Bridge, Pastor of the First Church in Boston.

BOSTON: Printed by B. Green, for Samuel Phillips at the Brick Shop. 1705.

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THE Knowledge of GOD, Securing from Flattery, AND Strengthening to the most Noble EXPLOITS.

Daniel XI. 32.

And such as do wickedly against the Covenant, shall he corrupt by flatte­ries: but the People that do know their God, shall be strong, and do exploits.

I Am sensible of many disadvanta­ges I am under for such Service as this; but it being providenti­ally cast upon me, I shall improve this opportunity to express my [Page 2] concern for those who have called me to this Service, with freedom and plain­ness. I know that Persons of Military Disposition, are for engaging in the most Noble, and honourable atchievements; but I must let them know that such may be corrupted by Flattery, to serve the worst of interests; those who are best furnished with Arms, and skill to use them, if corrupted by Flattery, will en­gage with the vilest of men to promote their wicked designs: It is the know­ledge of God that will secure from the guile, fraud, deceit, and flattery of de­signing men; and fortify the mind to the most noble exploits. It is obvious in our context, that one man by Flattery did prevail to overthrow the Religion, and liberty of the only professing Peo­ple of God that day on the earth; but those that know their God, (and continu­ed stedfast in his Covenant) stopped the carreer of the enemy, and by noble exploits prevailed to recover both; an account of which we have in the books of the Maccabees.

In the 20. verse of this Chapter, it is foretold that after the Death of Antiochus [Page 3] the great, there should stand up in his e­state a raiser of Taxes, viz. his Son Seleucus Philopater, who calling Money his best friend, stuck at nothing though never so wicked if thereby he might fill his Cof­fers; amongst other methods he sent He­liodorus to rob the Temple at Jerusalem; but his best friend could not secure him from the Vengeance of Heaven, being in a little time (as some write) poysoned by that very He­liodorus, whom he had used as a tool to serve his interests.

After his decease his brother Antiochus Epiphanes, did by flattery obtain the Kingdom out of the hands of Demetrius his brothers Son; and is stiled, v. 21. a vile person; by some called Epimanes, a mad man.

This Antiochus finding the methods of guile, flattery, and deceit so successful, endeavoured by the like artifices, to add Egypt to his Territories, and in time of peace he entered into their Provinces, and obtained a vast treasure, which he distributed among his confidents to se­cure them to himself, and then made further attempts by open force, as ex­pressed, v. 24, 25.

[Page 4]At length meeting with disappoint­ments, he returns to his own Land; and vents his malice against the Jews the Covenant People of God; being en­couraged in his malicious designs by Jason, and others who were Apostates, and betrayers of their brethren, and the true Worship of God; these (it seems by that expression, v. 31. Arms shall stand on his part) were ready to assist him by force of Arms, to joyn with him to pro­secute his intentions when he should give them opportunity.

In the Words of our Text, (1.) We have an account of the method he took to obtain his end with least hazard, and that was his old, approved way of Flat­tery; viz. colouring over his wicked designes by specious pretences; and pro­posing to them many advantages, if they would joyn with him.

(2.) We have the character of those on whom he practiced this his method, viz. Such as dealt wickedly against the Cove­nant; prophane, debauched professors, like those described, Psal. 50.17.18, 19. Such as hated Instruction, and cast the words of God behind them; when they saw a thief consent­ed [Page 5] with him, and were partaker with Adul­terers, who gave their mouth to evil, and their tongue framed deceit, they sat and spake against their brother, they slandered their own mothers son.

(3.) The success he had herein, such wicked ones (who appeared to be the Many, v. 34.) did he corrupt by flattery: it seems that some leading men, (such as Jason before mentioned) had a great in­fluence to gain over many to their party.

(4.) But then we have in our Text the character of another sort of persons among the Jews, whom he could nei­ther gain by flattery, nor overcome by force; viz. such as knew their God; who being the opposites to those that dealt wickedly against the Covenant, we may thus describe; they were such, who having the knowledge of God as their God in Covenant, chose him for their portion, trusted in him for their defence, and cleaved to him with full purpose of heart, notwithstanding the distresses they were exposed unto, for being stedfast in his Covenant.

(5.) Of these it is said, they should be strong, and do exploits; h. e. should be so [Page 6] far from yielding to the Flattery of the Enemy, that being strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, should withstand the fury of the Enemy, in the most hazardous seasons, and at length prevail to do great Service for God, in purging his Temple which had been de­filed; and recovering (in a great mea­sure) the liberties, and priviledges they had been deprived of. An account of these exploits we have in the books of the Maccabees.

The Doctrine to be insisted on from the Words, is, ‘The True Knowledge of God will secure from Flattery, and influence to most noble ex­ploits, while prophane Professors are corrup­ted to serve the worst of interests.’

It is agreed by Expositors that this An­tiochus was a Type of Antichrist, and the latter part of the Chapter doth manifest it; now we know from 2 Thes. 2.9, 10. That his coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, signes, and lying won­ders: and with all deceivableness of unrighte­ousness in them that perish: because they re­ceived [Page 7] not the love of the Truth that they might be Saved: And for this cause God shall send them strong Delusions that they should be­lieve a Lye: that they all might be Damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteoasness.

Antichrist hath obtained his vast Em­pire by Deceit, Guile, Hypocrisy, and Dissimulation; & hath in several Ages, Corrupted by Flatteries multitudes of pro­phane Professors, who have believed his Lyes; and joyned with him, and his sup­porters in perpretating the greatest Bar­barities, and Cruelties under pretences of Religion; thinking they did God ser­vice when they killed his Children.

During this Reign of Antichrist, those who knew their God have either Overcome, by the blood of the Lamb, & the word of their Testimony, not loving their lives to the death, Rev. 12.11. Or, when many have fallen by the Sword, and by Flame, by Captivity, & by Spoil many dayes, they have been h [...]lpen with a little help; Dan. 11.33, 34. i. e. They have been strong and done Exploits, to the stopping of the fury of the Enemy, yea often to their Overthrow, and Con­fusion.

[Page 8]And the time is coming (hasten it, O my God) when the Command shall be given, Rev. 18.6. Reward her as she re­warded you, and double to her double accord­ing to her works, in the Cup she hath filled, fill to her double; Then, O Then! shall we more fully understand the expression in our Text, They that know their God, shall be strong, and do Exploits.

The Doctrine may be Cleared, and Proved by the following Propositions.

PROP. I. That the malice of wicked men, is in especial manner set against the Holy Covenant of God. It is said of Antiochus, ver. 28. his heart shall be against the Holy Covenant; and ver. 30. he shall have Indig­nation against the Holy Covenant; which Expressions import Malice propense, at last breaking forth with rage and fury. With this rage of Antiochus, we may compare, Rev. 11.17. where it is said of the Anti­christian interest, (as under the influ­ence of the Dragon) that he was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her Seed, which keep the Com­mandments of God, and have the Testimony of Jesus Christ.

The Holy Covenant mentioned in [Page 9] our Text, and Context comprehends,

1. All the Holy Ordinances, and Insti­tutions of Divine worship which God re­quired of his Saints who had made Co­venant with him by Sacrifice, Psal. 50.5. This is evident from ver. 31. And they shall pollute the Sanctuary of strength, & shall take away the daily Sacrifice: And the rea­son of their malice is intimated in the last clause of the verse; And they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate: That is, they polluted the Temple, and took away the daily Sacrifice; that they might advance their own Idolatrous Worship in the room thereof.

So under the New Testament admi­nistration, the malice of the Antichristian interest is against those that keep the Com­mandments of God, and have the Testimony of Jesus Christ; on account of their ad­hering to his holy Institutions according to the Scripture of Truth; that so they may advance their own Superstition and Idolatry.

2. The persons of those that are sted­fast in the Holy Covenant, comprehen­ding withall, their Liberties, Priviledges, Estates, & whatever else is dear to them [Page 10] in this world, as far as they come with­in their reach. Ver. 33. They shall fall by the Sword, and by Flame, by Captivity, and by Spoil many dayes. So as to Antichrist, Rev. 13.7. he shall make war with the Saints, and overcome them. And, ver. 17. shall cause that no man might buy or sell, save he that hath the Mark, or the Name of the Beast, or the Number of his Name. These both are comprehended, in Dan. 7.25. And he shall speak great words against the most high, & shall wear out the Saints of the most high, & think to change Times, & Laws; & they shall be given into his hand, until a Time, & Times, & the dividing of Time: that is, Twelve Hundred and Sixty Years.

PROP. II. That wicked men, in order to accomplish their designs against the Worship, and People of God, usually make use of Guile, Fraud, Deceit, and Flattery.

For the proving of this Proposition, I shall offer the following reasons to Con­sideration.

1. Satan who hath in all ages had his influence on all the designs of wicked men, against the Worship and People of God, puts them on the use of this me­thod, Rev. 12.9. The great Dragon, the old [Page 11] Serpent called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. He is a Mur­therer from the beginning; he is a Liar, and the Father of it, he obtained his first Victory over mankind by Guile: 2 Cor. 11.3. He beguiled Eve, flattering her with hopes of bettering her condition, Gen. 3.4, 5. And the Serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely dye; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your Eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing Good and Evil. And we know from 2 Thes. 2.9, 10. That Antichrists coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, & signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, Rev. 13.13, 14. He doth great wonders &c. & deceiveth them that dwell on the earth.

2. As Flattery is an old, approved, and successful method, so it is apt to produce the desired effects, especially on the un­wary multitude: We read of some Rom. 16.18. Who by good words, and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple, who as Solo­mon observed, Believe every word, Prov. 14.15.

The aptness of Flattery thus to gain on the hearts of men, appears, (1.) In that [Page 12] there is in Flattery a shew of Love, friend­ship, and good will, which is very en­gaging and obliging. Thus Absalom, 2 Sam. 15.2, 3, 4, 5, 6. By his kissing of the People, & pretending to do them Justice stole the hearts of the people from his Father David, to serve his own abmitious de­signes. (2.) This method takes persons from their Watch, their guard, and lulls them into a security: Where can we sleep more secure, than in the embraces of those, that promise to nourish, cherish, and protect us? (3.) This method hath least of hazard to those that use it; An­tiochus found it a great deal easier to ob­tain the Kingdom by flatteries, than by Swords and Spears: when tis known that men design mischief, those that see their danger, are awakened to oppose force, with force: and though tis often that the weakest go by the Walls, yet there is a hazard; but good words, fair spee­ches, titles of honour, and now & then a small gift to encourage hopes, when the designes are accomplished, these are a cheap Barter, when houses, lands, thrones, crowns and scepters are in view. Men of ill designs, have guilty Consciences, [Page 13] and faint, cowardly hearts, till Flattery hath given the major part; then they threaten and are full of rage, and fury. It was much easier for Joab to kill Ab­ner and Amasa under pretence of Friend­ship, than by an open defiance.

PROP. III. Loose carnal professors, are usually an easy prey to Flatterers, 2 Sam. 15.13. It was told David the hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom; It seems, he had stolen the hearts of Coun­sellers, and Captains, with the multitude from David. We find, Neh. 6. That ma­ny of the Nobles, Prophets, and Prophetesses were corrupted by Tobiah, and Sanballet, to obstruct that great man in the Service of his God. So it appears by our Text, Context, and the books of Maccabees, that many of all ranks of men were thus cor­rupted by Flatteries.

That prophane Professors are an easy prey to Flatterers, may appear by the following Reasons.

1. They taking up Religion on trust, without a personal, experimental know­ledge of the sweetness, pleasure, Soul satisfying delight it affords, find the du­ties of Religion Burthensome; and say, [Page 14] What a Weariness is it? Therefore are ready to hearken to proposals of riches, pleasures, and honours, as suitable to their inclinations, and desires. It is said of those that perish by the Antichristian delusions, that they received not the love of the truth, 2 Thes. 2.10. But had plea­sure in Unrighteousness; no wonder if such are ready to comply with the Mother of harlots, and Abominations of the earth; es­pecially seeing her Merchants are the great men of the earth, and her Merchandise is of Gold, Silver, precious Stones, &c. Rev. 18.12.

2. Sin being still predominant in them, (only under some restraint by their pro­fession) they on the proffers made by Flatterers, overcome the impediment, and run with more violence to all manner of excess, & riot, and their last State is worse than the first; as those who have been long kept in, from the gratifying their sensual appetites; when once the bridle is taken away, they are as the swift Dro­medary traversing her way in the wilderness, and hate to be controuled.

3. The Holy One in a way of Justice (for the contempt of his Grace,) doth [Page 15] give them up to their own hearts lusts. 2 Thes. 2.11. For this cause (not receiv­ing the love of the Truth) God shall send them strong delusions that they should believe a lye; So becomes a prey to every lyer, deceiver, or flatterer. O what multi­tudes are there caught in the toyles, nets, gins, snares of subtil flatterers that lye in wait to deceive: Rev. 17.8. They that dwell on the earth shall wonder (whose names were not written in the book of Life from the foun­dation of the World) when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

PROP. IV. Prophane professors cor­rupted by Flatteries are used as tools to carry on the most wicked designs: What wickedness will they stick at, whose consciences are debauched, under the conduct of those that Flatter them? v. 31. Arms shall stand on his part; viz an Army of those who dealt wickedly against the Covenant, whom he corrupted by Flat­teries, and then it follows, the Sanctuary is polluted, the daily Sacrifice tak [...]n away, the abomination, th [...]t maketh d [...]late set up; and many of the best of men fall by the Sword, & by Flame, & by Captivity, & by Spoil. O thus hath Antichrist prevailed, [Page 16] by indulging of sensual lusts; whole Nations have been debauched, and then fit tools to carry on designs to overthrow the Protestant Religion, and bring in Popery, and Slavery.

The Reasons are obvious.

1. Satan by their compliance hath an advantage over them to press them for­ward to further ungodliness; Conscience is awakened, and they are terrifyed; de­struction from God is a terrour to them, as knowing they have broken their Co­venant, and so are liable to the Judge­ments Written; they know they have forfeited their Reputation with those they have deserted; and now are pres­sed on to a desperate rage, to reject all motions to return: and to say as Jer. 2.25. There is no hope, we have loved Strang­ers, and after them we will go.

2. Those who Flattered them have ad­vantage also against them, (which they know how to improve,) to egg them on to do the worst of their Drudgery; now they let them know more of their minds. We may conceive them thus speaking to them; ‘Did you not promise to be [Page 17] true to our interest? Did you not accept such a Gift? And did you not protest to such & such, that you would be ready on all occasions, to do us ser­vice? And do you now decline? If you do, we will take from you all that we gave; we expect satisfaction for the wrong you have done us, and you must now expect nothing but wrath, we will lay you open to all the mis­chiefs you can conceive. In short, we must have none that halt between two; you have given cause to mistrust you, if you would gain your Credit with us, and have all the good things we tendred, there is no way but one, and that is by doing one piece of service whereby we may know, you are true Men; Come, take an Oath against such a man; whereby we may get such a part of his interest; betray such an one into our hands; or take up Arms, & fight against your Prince, and Countrey­men.’ And, O to what a dreadful pass are they then brought! Do they not then say? Our hope is perished from the Lord; our Brethren hate us; and if these forsake us we shall be Vagabonds [Page 18] in the Earth, and every one that meeteth us will kill us; therefore we will do — what? — Sir, what you will.

PROP. V. The Knowledge of God Forti­fieth against Flattery, & disposeth, fitteth & enableth to do the most Noble Exploits.

This Proposition must be considered with a limitation: It is said, ver. 35. and some of them of understanding, (that is, some who know their God,) shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white. It pleaseth the Holy One, sometimes to suffer his own Children to Yeild, Comply, & Fall by the influence of Guile, Deceit, Dissimulation and Flat­tery. Peter, and those Jews who were with him dissembled, they walked not uprightly; and Barnabas was led away with the Dissimulation.

We must therefore consider, that Flat­terers in the managing their designs, have different methods, and measures; so there are divers degrees of Corruption, or influences of this Flattery. If some are no further under the influence of Flattery than to hold their Peace, to be si­lent; [...]ot to oppose the designs of the Crafty, this is it may be all they desire, [Page 19] or expect from them; at least for the present; they have other tools to fit to do the drudgery. But how often is it that Good men are so far Corrupted, they do not appear in the proper time, and season to prevent, till at last it is beyond their power to help, and possibly are the first that suffer when the designs are fit for Ex­ecution. It is frequently remarked, that Honest, Upright, Well-meaning men, who abhor the designs of Tyrants, and Oppressors; yet by inadvertence, silence, sloth, and timerousness give the greatest advantage to Flatterers to accomplish their Devices. Yet notwithstanding, we shall Evidence that the Knowledge of God doth preserve from the influence of Flat­tery, and fit for most Noble Exploits. In order to prove it shall answer the fol­lowing Questions.

Quest. I. What Knowledge of God secures from Flattery?

Quest. II. How doth it secure from Flattery?

Quest. III. How doth it influence to do Exploits?

Quest. I. What Knowledge of God secures from Flattery?

[Page 20] Answ. Gen. That there is a Knowledge of God which will not secure, is Evident, for those who were Corrupted were, (as to their profession) in Covenant with God; had the same means of instruction that others had; we may say of them as the Apostle Paul of the Jews, Rom. 2.20. They had the form of Knowledge, and the truth of the Law; but they received not the truth in Love; but held it in Unrigh­teousness; but of the others we may say as the Apostle of the Ephesians, Ye have not so Learned Christ; but have heard him, and been taught by him as the truth is in Jesus, Eph 4.20, 21. They hold the Mystery of the Faith in a pure Conscience.

This Knowledge may be Explained by the following Particulars.

1. It is such a Knowledge of God as their God in Covenant; it implyes their seeking all happiness in and from him: They say as, Psal. 73.25. I have none in Hea­ven but thee, and there is none upon Earth that I desire besides thee. He hath made with me an Everlasting Covenant ordered in all things, and sure, this is all my Sal­vation, and all my Desire, 2 Sam. 23.5. This is Life Eternal to know thee the only [Page 21] true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, Joh. 17.3. And we know that the Son of God is come, & hath given us an Ʋnderstanding that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and Eternal Life. They that thus Know God will keep them­selves from Idols. They will not forsake the Fountain of Living Waters, for broken Cist­erns that can hold no Water.

2. It implys an Experimential knowledge of God, or a Communion, and fellowship with him in his holy Ordinances, and Appointments; they have tasted that the Lord is gracious, which hath satisfyed their Souls, as with marrow, and fatness; which causeth them to say, How amiable are thy Tabernacles O Lord of Hosts! my soul longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cryeth out for the Living God: A day in thy courts is better than a thousand; I had rather be a door keep­er in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness, Psal. 84.1.2, 10. They that thus know their God, will cleave to him with purpose of heart.

3. It implyes a knowledge of God as the Supream Lord, and Lawgiver, who hath the right to dispose of them; they [Page 22] say, H [...] is our Lord, and we will Worship him! Psal. 45.11. The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Law-giver, the Lord is our King, Isa. 33.22. O Lord our God, other Lords besides thee have had dominion over us: but by the will we make mention of thy name! They that thus know their God, will be ready to say to any that would seduce them from their Obedience, De­part from me ye evil doers, I will keep the commandments of my God, Psal. 119.115.

4 It implyes the knowledge of him as Supreme Ruler and Governour, whose Kingdom ruleth over all: He is the Most high who liveth for ever whose dominion is an everlasting domini­on, and his Kingdom is from generation to genera­tion: And all the inhabitants of the earth are re­puted as nothing: and he doth according to his Will in the army of heaven, and among the inha­bitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him: What doest thou? Dan. 4.34, 35. He doeth whatsoever he pleaseth in the heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places, Psal. 135.6. This encourageth them to refer themselves, and all their circumstances unto him; saying, Here we are, let the Lord do what seemeth him good. Those who thus know their God, will be ready to answer those who would seduce them; Our God whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery Furnace, & he will deliver us; but if not we will not serve thy gods, [Page 23] nor worship thy golden image, which thou hast set up, Dan. 2.18. They commit the keeping of their Souls to him, in well doing as into the hands of a faithful creator, 1 Pet. 4.19.

Quest. II. How doth this knowledge of God se­cure from being corrupted by Flattery?

Answ. Gen. In the Holy Scriptures God hath declared, and manifested the Glory of His Na­ture, and Attributes, and he hath therein shew­ed to us the nature, state, condition, and pro­perties of Man: the more then we see & know of God according to the Scriptures, the more cause shall we find to fix our Trust, and de­pendance on him; and the more we see, and know of Man (in Scripture light,) the more cause shall we find to withdraw our depen­dance from him. We shall see the highest reason to trust in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is Everlasting strength, he will keep them in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on him, Isa. 26.3, 4. But as to Man, we shall say to our Souls, Trust not in Princes, nor the son of Man in whom there is no help; his breath goeth forth, he returneth to his Earth; in that very day his thoughts perish, Psal. 146.3.4. We shall cease from Man whose breath is in his nostrils, for where­in is he to be accounted of?

More Particularly.

1. The Glorious God whose name is, I AM, he only doth necessarily Exist: He hath his being of himself, from Everlasting, to Ever­lasting he is God; with him is no variableness [Page 24] nor shadow of turning, Jam. 1.17. But vain Man wherein is he to be accounted of! Every man walketh in a vain shew; verily every man at his best estate is altogether vanity, Psal. 39.5, 6. Oh! therefore it is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in Man. It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in Princes, Psal. 118.8, 9. Surely men of low degree are vani­ty, & men of high degree are a lye; to be laid in the the balance they are altogether lighter than vanity; wherefore O my Soul, wait thou only upon God, He only is my Rock, and my Salvation, he is my Defence, I shall not be moved, Psal. 62.7, 9.

2. The Lord our God is Glorious in Holiness, of Purer Eyes than to behold Evil, and cannot look on Iniquity, Hab. 1.13. Sin is that abomi­nable thing he hates; He is a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he: Deut. 32.4. He is that God who cannnot lie; Tit. 1.2. He is a God keeping Covenant, and remem­bering his Mercy for ever. But wherein is man to be accounted of? He is altogether be­come filthy, there is none righteous, no, not one, Rom. 3.10. His heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, Jer. 17.9. A source, a fountain of Evil; the imagination of the thoughts of his heart is only evil continually, from his youth up, Gen. 6.5. & 8.21.

Let Man be considered in his Carriage to­wards God, and we find innumerable instances of those who forsake their own mercies, and em­brace lying vanities. God complains that they [Page 25] draw near with their Lips, but their Hearts are far from him; they compass him about with lyes, and deceit, Hos. 11.12. Thus Psal. 78.36. they flatter him with their mouth, and they lye unto him with their tongues. And will he that Flatters God with Vows, and Promises of Re­formation when he means not so, be true to Ʋs? Will he that forsakes the Covenant of his God, be true to his promises to Man? But they that know the Name of God will put their trust in him, for he forsaketh not them that seek him, Psal. 9.10. He is my Rock, there is no Ʋnrighteousness in him, Psal. 92.15.

Let man be considered with respect to his own Interest, and do we not find that he often Condemns himself in the things he al­lows? He sees, and approves the things which are more excellent, and yet follows that which is hurtful, and pernicious; some of his Lusts as unsatiable as the Daughters of the Horse­leach, Crying, Give, Give, and grudge if they are not satisfied: Others of them, profuse & lavish; sometimes he seems sorry for his E­vils, and promiseth amendment, and in a lit­tle time he turns like the Dog to his vomit, & the Sow that was washed, to the wallowing in the mire; sometimes he vows to God, of the best will I give thee, but when he comes to per­form, he offers the halt, the lame, the blind, tho' he hath a Male in his flock. And will he that is so uncertain, unconstant, and false to Himself, be true to Ʋs? Shall we suffer [Page 26] our selves to be flattered, and imposed on by such as these?

Let man be considered in his carriage to­wards his Neighbours; his character is given, Psal. 12.1, 2. The faithful fail from among the Children of men, they speak vanity every one with his Neighbour; with flattering lips, and a double heart do they speak.

Look into Families, and we often see the Son at variance against his Father, the Daugh­ter against her Mother, and the Daughter in Law against her Mother in Law; a mans foes are those of his own Houshold, Mat. 10.36.

Look into Religious Societies, and we there often see some with good words, and fair Speeches deceiving the hearts of the simple; Wolves in Sheeps clothing, the Ministers of Satan, transformed into the Ministers of Righte­ousness; do we not often see Dissentions, Divisions, Schisms, Swellings, Tumults, Per­sons biting and devouring one another;

Look into Civil Societies, and how often are Kingdoms obtained by Flatteries? How often are whole Nations Flattered out of their Li­berties & Priviledges by fair Promises? And how often is it that designing men plot, and contrive to overthrow those who are set over them?

Look into Nations, and how often is it that Kings meet & speak lyes at one Table? Dan. 11.27. After leagues made with one another they work deceitfully, Dan. 11.23. Now an Ever­verlasting [Page 27] Peace proclaimed, and in a little time a bloody War breaks out.

Besides all this, how full is the Holy Scrip­ture of Warnings, and Cautions against re­lying, depending on men, Mat. 10.17. Beware of men. Jer. 9.4, 5, 6. Take ye heed every one of his Neighbour; and trust you not in any Brother; for every Brother will utterly supplant; and every Neighbour will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his Neighbour, & will not speak truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity: thine habitation is in the midst of deceit.

Now who is there that reads the Character given of men in the Scripture; and ob­serves how this is manifest to their view, and in their own experiences, but will look well to his steps, and take heed, and beware of men. But he who Knows from the Scripture, and his Experience, that God will never leave, nor forsake those that put their trust in him; with what boldness, and confidence, will they rely on his Word, and trust in him for ever?

2. The Knowledge of God secures from the influences of Flattery, by furnishing with Answers to the Arguments Flatterers common­ly use to gain over to their side.

1. Do they proffer Riches? An Answer is ready; ‘The moth and rust do Corrupt, and thieves break thro' and Steal: These things will not ransom us from the power of the Grave; that we should still live for ever, & [Page 28] not see Corruption: They will not satisfy Divine Justice; nor purchase an interest in his favour: we know these things and what is better; for wisdom is better than Rubies, and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it, (Prov 8 11.) The excee­ding great, and precious promises of the e­verlasting Covenant are better to us than thousands of Gold and Silver.’

2. Do they proffer Honours; an answer is ready: ‘God himself hath determined the way to honour. He hath said, They that honour me. I will honour, and they that des­pise me shall be lightly esteemed; God puts away the wicked of the earth like dross; he pours contempt upon them though advan­ced to the highest dignities; as Antiochus is called Dan. 11.21. A vile person: whereas God lifts his poor from the dust, his needy from the dunghill, & makes them kings and priests unto God; though poor, and despised in the world, yet rich in faith, and heirs of a Kingdom▪ an inheritance uncorruptible, un­defiled, & that fadeth not away which is re­served in heaven for them.’

3. Do they proffer Pleasures; an answer is rea­dy; ‘The pleasures of sin are mixed, they are but for a season; we have proved them, for we sometimes were foolish, and disobedient, serving divers lusts & pleasures; and we found them gall, and bitterness: tho' wick­edness be sweet in the mouth, tho' it be plea­sant [Page 29] to a depraved appetite, it is as the gall of the Asps within, (Job 19.12, 14.) But since we have tasted that the Lord is Graci­ous, our Souls are satisfied as with marrow, and fatness; we have found his Word, and eaten it, and it is sweeter than honey from the honey comb; besides we have a prospect of everlasting Joys; and of being for ever with the Lord; in whose Presence is fulness of Joy, and at his Right hand are pleasures for evermore; (Psal. 16.11.) Tho' I must first lye down, in the Dust, and sleep in the Grave: As for me, I shall behold his face in righte­ousness, when I awake I shall be satisfied with his likeness; (Psal. 17.15.)’

Quest. III. How doth this Knowledge of God strengthen and influence, to do Exploits; or most noble Atchievements?

Answ. Gen. The Knowledge of God frees men from those base, low, mean designs they were pursuing in their state of blindness and er­rour; and elevates the Soul to the most no­ble Designs that humane Nature is capable of, viz. that whether they live, they live to God, whether they die they die to him, that living or dying they may be the Lords, Rom. 14.7 8. A Soul thus Enabled will scorn what is wicked, base, and unworthy; and will study to please him who hath called him to be a Souldier; will say, ‘Let us subdue our own Spirits, morti­fy our Members which are upon the Earth, yea Crucify the old Man with his affections, [Page 30] and lusts. Let us overcome the World, and and live as Crucified to it; Let us put on the whole Armour of God, and prepare to wrestle with Principalities and Powers; that being strong in the Lord, and the power of his might, we may overcome, and receive the Crown of Life.’


1. The knowledge of God influenceth to the most Noble Exploits, by regula­ting their Choice of the Cause in which they engage: those who have the true knowledge of God say, with one con­sent, as 2 Cor. 13.8. We can do nothing a­gainst the Truth, but for the Truth.

(1.) The cause they will choose, is, the cause wherein the Glory, and Honour of God is concerned; that they may in his Name lift up their banners, Psal. 20.5. A Banner to be displayed because of the truth. Psal. 60.40. Under which they may Pray, Let God arise, his Enemies be scatter­ed, and they that hate him flee before him, Psal. 68.1. Or as the Psalmist, Psal. 74.22. Arise, plead thine own cause, remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee dayly. And what Courage doth it give to the mind [Page 31] when a person is satisfyed he is engaged in Gods Cause? The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a Lion, Prov. 28.1.

(2.) The Cause in which those who know their God will Engage in, is such as wherein being injured by Men, they may appeal to God, as the Holy Righte­ous Judge of the whole World, who will do right: As Psal. 17.1, 2. Hear the right O Lord! Let my sentence come forth from thy presence: let thine Eyes behold the things that are equal. If I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; if I have rewarded evil to him that was at peace with me, let the Enemy persecute my Soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my Life upon the Earth, and lay mine Honour in the Dust, Psal. 7.4, 5. Judge me O Lord, according to my Righteousness, and according to my Integrity that is in me, ver. 8. They will appeal to Heaven as Jephtah, Judg. 11.27. I have not sinned against thee, but thou dost me wrong to War against me; the Lord the Judge, be Judge this day between the Children of Israel, and the Children of Am­mon. And this also greatly strengthens, and invigorates the Mind; Enabling [Page 32] them to say, Our help is in the Name of the Lord; in the Lord do I put my trust; and will not be afraid, what man can do unto me, Psal. 56.11.

2. The Knowledge of God strengthens, and influenceth to the most Noble Ex­ploits, in that those who know their God will labour to be satisfyed in their being called by him to such Service; as David enquired of the Lord saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? We read sometimes of the chosen men of Israel; It is said of the Souldiers of the Lamb, that they that are with him are called and chosen, and faith­ful, Rev. 17.14. Every one is not fitted to be a Sou [...]dier, nor called to it; it must needs daunt the courage, and en­feeble the Spirit of a Man to doubt a­bout his Call, when he should be engag­ed in Action; He will then say, ‘How can I expect the divine Assistance, and and protection if I am out of my place? Will God cover my head in the day of battel? Will he give his Angels charge concerning me to pre­serve my Life, though thousands fall [Page 33] on my right hand, and ten thousand on my left, if I run before I am sent? surely no; he will say, What dost thou here?’ at it was said to Elijah, 1 King. 19.13. Indeed in some cases the matter is plain and obvious; and every one is called to be a Souldier; but ordinarily chosen men, men Trained up for such Service are those that will do Exploits: Men that are satisfyed their cause is good, and their call clear, will be Lion like men, 2 Sam. 23.20. Men of undaun­ted courage, By their God will they run through a Troop, and leap over a wall, Psal. 18.29.

3. True Knowledge of God influenceth to do Exploits, in that such as know their God will Offer themselves willingly to his Service. It was a Law in Israel, Deut. 20.5. to 9. That those who were fearful, or faint hearted should return, and not go to battel: So also those who had such Worldly affairs and business as might render them indisposed, or listless; as having lately Married a Wife: this Law shews that they are most fit for Service, most like to do Exploits, who are most free, & willing. In the Song [Page 34] of Deborah and Barak, Judg. 5.2.9. It is taken notice of as that which did faci­litate the Victory, The People willingly offered themselves; and the Governours of Israel offerred themselves willingly among the People: Those whom love to God, to his cause, and interest; love to Justice; love to their Country constraineth; these are men to do Exploits; men that are constrained by others against their in­clinations, and wills, are often (when it comes to Service) but the Shaddow of men, men that have no heart; as it was said of Ephraim, Hos. 7.11. He was like a silly dove without an heart, ready to yield the cause without stricking a stroke: But when the Princes, or, (as it may be read) the Voluntary of the People are ga­thered to the People of the God of Abraham, Psal. 47.9. When God makes them wil­ling, and their Spirit stirs them up, then may we expect to hear of Noble Exploits.

4. The more they have of the Knowledge of God the more fixed will their Trust and Dependance be; Psal. 9.10. They that know thy Name, will put their trust in thee; for thou forsakest not them [Page 35] that seek thee. They that know their God will say, Some trust in Chariots, and some in Horses; but we will remember the Name of the Lord, our God, and in the Name of our God we will set up our Ban­ners, Psal. 20.5, 7. And what Exploits will they not do who by Faith trust in the Name of the Lord? All things are possible to him that Believeth; This, this is that will cause to wax valiant in Fight, out of Weakness will make Strong; it will subdue Kingdoms, and turn to Flight the Armies of the Aliens, Heb. 11.33, 34 This, will make One Chase a Thousand, and Two to put Ten Thousand to Flight, Deut. 32.30. O what a Noble Exploit was that of Jonathan, and his Armour-bearer? 1 Sam. 14.1. It was Faith in­fluenced to that Exploit, ver. 6. Come let us go over to the Garrison of these Un­circumcised, it may be the Lord will work for us; for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many, or by few. Few in­deed, for those Two were the occasion of the Overthrow of all the Army of the Philistines; and who can tell, how many Thousands it consisted of? Sure the Army was very great; for when [Page 36] they trembled, the Earth did quake▪ for it was a very great Trembling, ver. 15. There is nothing hath been done in the world equal to what hath been done by Faith: The time would fail, to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephta, of David also, and Samuel, who thro' Faith subdued Kingdoms, Heb. 11.32.

5. The more Knowledge of God as their God in Covenant, the less of anxious solicitude about the Event. They cast their Care on God, who careth for them; are careful for nothing: God hath said concerning the Righteous, It shall be well with him; and they know it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him, Eccl. 8.12. All things work together for good to them that love God, Rom. 8.28. It doth greatly dispirit, and unfit for Action, when the mind is doubt­fully divided, with a concern about the Event; but when a person can say, Here I am, let him do what seemeth him good, he goes on with Courage. The Lord is their Rock, Fortress, and high Tower. To him they commit their Fa­milies, and Interests; their Times are in [Page 37] his Hand; and they know, till their hour is come, none shall hurt them; they commit the keeping of their Souls to him in well doing, as into the Hands of a Faithful Creator, 1 Pet. 4.19. They look on Death as a Conquered Enemy; and in the midst of Swords, and Spears, and Guns can say, O Death, where is thy Sting? O Grave, where is thy Victory? Those that can look beyond Death to an Inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away; to a Crown, an Eternal weight of Glory; These, these are the men prepared, fit to do Exploits; will say, Thro' God we shall do Valiantly; for he it is that shall tread down out Enemies, Psal. 60.12.

6. The Knowledge of God influenceth to do Exploits, in that it furnisheth with Answers against whatever may arise to discourage them. Those who would do Exploits meet with many Objections; Possibly they hear the Enemies insulting and saying, Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hands of the King of Assyria, Isa. 37.10. The answer [Page 38] is ready; Of a truth they have cast the gods of the Nations into the Fire: for they were no gods, but the works of mens hands, Wood and Stone, therefore they have de­stroyed them, Isa. 37.19. But our God is in the Heavens, the living, and true God, the everlasting King. The Enemies some­times insult and boast in their Numbers; their Courage, Wisdom, Conduct, and Riches: But the answer is ready, It is all [...] with the Lord to save by many, or by few; there is no Wisdom nor Counsel a­gainst the Lord, he catcheth the wise in their own Craftiness; they are ensnared in the works of their own hands. Do they boast of their Strength and Wisdom, as Isa. 10.13. By the strength of my hand have I done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; and I have removed the bounds of the People, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants as a valiant man, and my hand hath found as a Nest the Riches of the people; and as one gathereth Eggs that are left, have I gathered all the Earth, and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. Suppose the French Monarch should thus insult: The answer is ready; ‘Shall the Axe [Page 39] boast it self against him that heweth therewith? Or shall the Sawe magni­fie it self against him that shaketh it, as if the Rod should shake it self a­gainst him that lifteth it up; or as if the Staff should lift up it self, as if it were no wood. Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of Hosts send among his Fat ones leanness, and under his Glory he shall kindle a burning of Fire; and the light of Israel shall be for a Fire, and his Holy One for a Flame: and it shall burn and devour his Thorns, and Briars in one day; and shall consume the Glory of his Forrest, and of his fruitful Field, both Soul, and Body, and they shall be as when a Standard beareth fainteth, Isa. 10.18.’ They, they that Know their God, and have thus in readiness to answer the in­sults of the Enemy, are fit to do Ex­ploits. And I hope when God hath performed his whole Work, by the Rod of his Anger; this Prophecy will be fulfilled again, on the Blasphemous, Proud, and Haughty Monarch of France.

[Page 40]We come now to Apply the DO­CTRINE. And hence we Infer:

I. Are Prophane Professors easily Corrupted by Flattery, then how lit­tle are such to be relyed on? A sub­til Flatterer, whose words are smoother than Butter, and softer than Oyl, may gain over thousands to his side; especially when he hath opportunity and advantage to propose and pro­mise Riches, Honours and the De­lights of the Children of men, what dependance can there be on those who profess to know God, but in works deny him, being abominable, and to every good work Reprobate. They are li­able on every Temptation to desert the Cause of God, and to run over to the Camp of Antichrist: As the Apostle John (1 Joh. 2.19.) saith of some, They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued [Page 41] with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. Persons are apt to boast of their Numbers, but in our compu­tation we should reckon those that are True men; Persons that are of a double Heart, and double Tongues, Persons that do wickedly against the Covenant (wherein they have lain themselves under highest engagements to God,) will prove Deserters, when there is a prospect of more advantage by joyning with the Enemy: It is in this case as it was in the Camp of Gi­deon, Judg. 7.3. there were but ten thousand left, of thirty two thousand. So in the case to which our Text re­fers, there were but very Few that remained Faithful. It is said, Dan. 11.34. They shall be holpen with a little help: which refers to Mattathias, and his Sons, and what they did; the many, the multitude, were Corrupted by Flat­teries; therefore it is no wonder to see persons who are Prophane Swear­ers, [Page 42] Sabbath-breakers, Contemners of the Ordinances of God, Drunkards, Unclean persons, the Ambitious, and Covetous complying with those who propose the full gratification of their Lusts.

II. The Second USE is by way of Caution, and that more Generally, and Particularly.

I. Caution. Let all take heed, and beware of Flattery; and that;

1. Take heed of Self-flattery; we read, Prov. 28.26. He that trusteth his own Heart is a Fool. And of some who were evidently wicked, (for their transgressions declared there was no fear of God before their Eyes;) yet they flattered themselves in their own Eyes; they pleased themselves with ungrounded hopes that their state and condition was good; tho they went on in a course of Sin; it refers to [Page 43] prophane Professors, such as heard the Word but did it not. I know the Text refers to being flattered by others; yet this Caution is suitable to our Sub­ject, for he that hath the clearest view of the unsearchable depth of deceit, and wickedness of his own Heart; who main­tains a jealousy over his own Spirit; will be most cautious lest he be im­posed on by others; those who after frequent Self-Examination, comparing themselves with the Scriptures of truth, have good hopes through Grace that their Hearts are upright with God, will be Praying that they may not be led into Temptation; that integrity, and up­rightness may preserve them; and with the upright God will shew himself upright, Psal. 18.25. Let this then be our care, that there be Truth in the inward parts, that in the hidden part God hath made us to know wisdom, Psal. 51.6.

2. Let us take heed we are not cor­rupted by Others. It is the advice of Solomon, Prov. 20.19. Meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips; as also, Chap. 26.25. When he speaketh fair, believe [Page 44] him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart. This might be improved to Caution against those who would thro' subtilty Corrupt our minds from the simpli­city of the Gospel, 2 Cor. 11.3. There are multitudes of deceivers this day in the World who would corrupt the Doctrines of the Gospel; & who would mingle their own Inventions with the pure Institu­tions of CHRIST; many Cautions are given in the holy Scriptures against this sort of men; and we had need to be­ware; a Little yielding in such matters makes way for further corruption: But our Caution respects such flattery as tends to corrupt, deprave, and at length to gain over to serve a Wicked Interest, either in Church or State: The Religi­on, and Priviledges of the Jews were overthrown by those who deserted the Covenant of God, and clave to Antiochus by Flatteries. We had need to beware, if we consider the evil of the present day; Iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxeth cold. Is there not cause to Pray, as Psal. 12.1, 2. Help Lord! for the Godly man ceaseth, for the faithful fail from among the Children of men: [Page 45] They speak vanity every one with his Neigh­bour with flattering lips, and a double heart do they speak, or as it expressed, Mic. 7.2. The good man is perished out of the earth, v. 5, 6, 7. Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide, &c. O what sad reason is there to renew the old com­plaints, Job 6.15. My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away: Or that Psal. 55.12, 13. It was not an enemy that reproach­ed me, but it was thou a man, mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance; we took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. If we look unto particular persons, how many Tears may we see; how many sighs, groanes, and sad complaints may we hear? ‘Such and such pretended friendship, promi­sed relief, support, and comfort, till they got me into their snares, nets, and gins, and then they made a prey of me; and now are grown rich by the spoils they got from me.’ If we look into the World, and consider the exor­bitant power, and greatness of France; what Kingdoms, Provinces, and Princi­palities have been added to his domini­ons; [Page 46] and enquire, whence all this Glory? must it not be answered, he hath obtain­ed them, and maintained them by Flat­tery; how many hath he corrupted there­by? Many of the great, and mighty in the Courts of his Neighbours who have been of more Service then his Arms. In particular, could he have rooted out so many hundred thousands of his own Protestant Subjects; had he not first Flattered them with Oaths, Covenants, and Promises whereby their Religion, and Liberty (as they thought) were se­cured to them, and so were lulled asleep neglecting the use of means for their preservation? till they have seen their Temples polluted, and destroyed; many thousands driven to the remote parts of the earth; many hundreds of thousands dragooned into a compliance with Po­pish Idolatry; vast multitudes destroy­ed; and their Children trained up in Popery.

If we consider, what our Indian Neighbours (under the influence of Popish Priests have done to us;) Did they not Flatter us with Promises, of a con­tinual Peace; a Peace to continue as [Page 47] long as Sun & Moon endure, & then before many Changes of the Moon treacherously, and barbarously fall on our Neighbours, killing many, and carrying others into a miserable Captivity; and there allu­ring, and flattering many over to their Superstition and Idolatry: and who knows what tools some such may be of mischief, if God do not mercifully prevent? Surely upon the whole, we have reason to take heed we be not flattered.

The Second, and more Particular Branch of the Caution respects those who are disposed to Military Exer­cises, who by skill in the Art of War, propose a being fitted for service, that when they are called to it, they may not be at a loss how to use their Weapons, but may employ them to the best advantage. To press this Caution, I shall offer to their Con­sideration; That persons of mis­chievous designs look on them as the most likely to oppose, and with­stand their proceedings: Or on the [Page 48] other hand, (if they can gain them) to serve their turns. Now (as be­fore we observed,) Flattery is the method they commonly use, as ha­ving less hazard than to provoke them to meet them, with their Swords drawn; if by Flattery they can keep their Swords in their Scab­bards, when they should be in their Hands; or if they can by Flattery, (and a Gift to blind their Eyes) perswade them to use their weapons to serve their turns; they have con­quered them. How many Leaders, and Commanders in Fleets, and Ar­mies have thus been Corrupted to a Neutrality; or gained to serve the E­nemy? Besides Flatterers are Politick; consider with whom they have to do; they know those who are disposed to learn the Military Art, are commonly men of great spirits, who aim high; & therefore they propose Honours, & Preferments to them; thus suiting the bait to their inclinations, often pre­vail [Page 49] upon them; therefore they had need to keep a strict Guard over their own spirits.

The Third USE is, by way of Exhortation, and Advice in especial to the GENTLEMEN in ARMS.

Much Honoured Gentlemen,

IT hath pleased the Glorious GOD to favour you with his Holy Ordi­nances; You have had the means of Instruction; and I hope there are ma­ny of you who having the Saving Knowledge of God in Christ Jesus as your God in Covenant; have Devoted your selves to his Service; to Serve his Will in your Generation; and that tho' you would do injury to none; Yet if it pleaseth the Holy One, the Lord of Hosts to call you to jeopard your Lives in the High Places of the Field; You would be among those who Offer your selves [Page 50] willingly, to serve the interest of God, and your Countrey against Unjust in­vaders. The Advice then I would give is, that you would increase more, and more in the Knowledge of God; that being strong in the Lord, and in the Power of his Might, you may be prepared, and ready for Service, that you may be strong, and do Exploits.

The Consideration of the state of things in Europe, calls upon us both to be Expert for War, and to be Ready for Service: You all know that our Nation, is Engaged in a Just War a­gainst a Proud, Haughty, Blasphemer, Persecutor, and Distuurber of the Common Peace: And tho' we have cause to be very Thankful for the Victories obtained by the Confede­rates, and our Nation in particular; Yet who can tell when the Sword will be put into the Scabbard; and what Service we may be called unto?

And the state of things in this Land also calls for being alwayes ready; [Page 51] You all know the hazard our Outward Plantations are continually in, of being assaulted by our Treacherous, and Bloody Enemies: We must indeed acknowledge the Favour of God in granting such Conduct to His Excel­lency our GOVERNOUR, that hath prevented unspeakable Mischief; and done much Good; Yet how many are still in Danger? Even as much as Flocks of Sheep are of Ravening Wolves; therefore should every one be ready. Besides, you know how much this Town in particular is Ex­posed to the Attacques of the Enemy by Sea. The last Alarm shews, that if an Enemy have the advantage of Wind & Tyde, how soon they may be upon us; therefore we should be alwayes ready.

But inasmuch, it is the Knowledge of GOD, that influence [...] readi­ness to do the most Noble Exploits; we shall Conclude with some Ad­vice with respect thereto.

[Page 52] Much Honoured;

Would you be ready to do Ex­ploits?

First; Study CHRIST and him Cru­cified; and let the Knowledge of him Engage you to mortifie your Mem­bers that are upon the Earth, to Cru­cify the Old man, with its affections, & lusts: The Scripture saith, He that is slow to anger, is better than the migh­ty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city, Prov. 16.3, 21. Oh! Learn of him, he is Meek, and Lowly; such Graces will preserve you from misapplying your skill; from giving unjust provocation to o­thers; and yet will Engage you to follow him whithersoever he goeth; and to do what service he requires of you.

Secondly; Study CHRIST, and him Exalted. He is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; Angels, Autho­rities, [Page 53] and Powers are made subject to him; He Reigns till all his Ene­mies become his Footstool; He is given to be a Leader, and Commander to his People, Isa. 55.4. Therefore let Israel rejoyce in him that made them, and the Children of Zion be joyful in their King, Psal. 149.2. Therefore be looking to JESUS, the Author and Finisher of our Faith; whose Grace is sufficient for you, who will fit you for the service to which he calleth you; and remember he that is the Faithful and True Witness hath en­couraged all his with that Gracious Promise; Be thou Faithful unto Death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life, Rev. 2.10.

Thirdly; Study the Scripture Pro­phecies. Tho there are Depths there­in we cannot find out; must leave to the Holy One who hath reserved the times, and seasons in his own Power; Yet as far is he hath Re­vealed, we should Read, and Pray [Page 54] that we may so understand the times, as to know what we ought to do. It seems as if the time to Execute the Judgments written on Antichrist were at hand; the time when the Kings of the Earth shall hate the Whole, and burn her Flesh as it were with fire; when the Lamb shall Overcome; and they that are with him are Called, & Chosen, & Faithful ▪ Rev. 17.14. Who knows what the present Commo­tions may issue in? I would hope that if the Year of Recompences for the Controversy of Zion be not come, it is near at hand, when the Command shall be given, Reward her as she hath rewarded you. Therefore you that know your GOD, encourage your selves [...] [...]hat you may be strong and [...] Exploits

F [...]hly; Study much of the Glory of th [...] [...]uture State. You all know, [...] King of Terrours must be [...]untred by every individual: It is the Knowledge of God in Christ as [Page 55] our God, that will enable us to tri­umph over that King of Terrours; and how fit are they to do Exploits, to whom Death is a Conquered E­nemy? When we have a view of Christ who was dead, but is alive; and hath said, Because I live, you shall live also: When we view him as on his Throne, saying, To him that Over­cometh, I will give to set down with me on my Throne; and that the Crown he has to give, is an Eternal weight of Glory; this will influence to Con­temn all the Flatteries of this world; and strengthen us to do Exploits.


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