THE Alsufficient Physician Tendering to Heal the Political and Spiritual Wounds & Sicknesses OF A Distressed PROVINCE.

As it was Discoursed in a SERMON Preached before His Excellency the GOVERNOUR, the Honourable COUNCIL and Representatives of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, on May 30. 1711.

Which was the Day for Election of Her Majesties Council for that Province.

By PETER THACHER, A. M. And Pastor of the Church in Milton.

Hos. 6.1, 2. Come and let us return unto the Lord▪ for he hath torn, and he will heal us, &c.
Jer. 17.14. Heal me, O LORD, & I shall be healed: save me, and I shall be saved.
Exod. 15.26. I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Boston: Printed by B Green, for Eleazer Phillips, at his Shop on the South side of the Town-house 1711.


PRinted at the des;ire of the House of Repre­sentatives.

John Burrell Speaker.

Soveraign Divine Healing.

ISAIAH. LVII.18.‘I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore Comforts unto him, and to his Mourners.’

IT was a sad and awful Expostulation ut­tered by the holy Prophet, in Jer. 14.19 Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy Soul loathed Zion? Why hast thou smitten us and there is no healing for us? We looked for Peace and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble; Hence the same Prophet gives vent to his pent up grief, by saying, When I would comfort my self against sorrow, my heart is faint in me; the Harvest is past, the Summer is end­ed, and we are not healed; for the hurt of the Daugh­ter of my People, I am hurt, I am black, Astonisment hath taken hold upon me: Is there no Balm in Gilead? Is there no Physician there? Jer. 8.18, 20, 21, 22. Our Text presents a rich and royal Cordial that may revive the drooping Spirits of God's Children when his backslidden People among whom they live, are by their own Sins, & God's judgments [Page 2] sunk into the greatest depth of distress; in that it gives us God's Free and Soveraign Ingage­ment in way of Prerogative Mercy, To be a Healer to this Sin-sick and Self-destroying Peo­ple: Wherein the great God presents himself under the Notion of an Alsufficient Physician,

1. Graciously Visiting this Sick Patient, [I have seen] I who am the High and Lofty One, that inhabiteth Eternity, the holy One of Israel his Saviour and Physician, I am come, not as a Judge, to punish, but as a compassionate Physician, to visit and take notice of the Malady; in order to the Application of a suitable rememy.

2. This most Excellent and Skilful Physician hath a perfect knowledge of the Nature and Ma­lignity of the Disease; I have seen his ways, o [...] I do see his way, so some render it, i. e. his com­plicated distress, his chronical disease, the ways of the heart, lip, and life of the Jews my Pro­fessing People; I have seen the Iniquity of his Covetousness, I have seen him go on frowardly in the way of his heart: in the 17. vers. of this Chapter. The disease has had many remedies applyed without Success; many Means and Me­thods of healing have been improved; and when Means have been used to Cure the disease that was most visible; some other disease has ap­peared, whose Symptoms were more awfully threatening, and obstructive to the Cure: so that this complicated distemper has sadly and signally advanced upon the languishing Patient, [Page 3] in so much that it is now deeply rooted and is grown Malignant and Immedicable, yea altoge­ther incurable, by any Physician, but the Al­mighty Physician himself who can heal & help in an incontroulable way. Vidi quo abierit, (saith Musculus) quo tandem miser ac calamitosus perve­nerit, quem finem viaram suarum sorytitus sit, quibus sese plagis involverit ac confecerit: quare mis [...]ricordia motus sanabo eum, curabo illius vulnera. I have seen how far he hath gone away (saith Musculus) whether at length this Miserable & Calamitous Patient hath' rambled, what is like to be the Mi­serable end of his sinful ways, by how many Plagues he has intangled and destroyed himself; wherefore being moved with Mercy, I will Heal him and I will cure his Wounds.

3. Now in this Article of Extremity in this Juncture of Distress, the Bowels of this Good and Great Physician are troubled for this perish­ing Patient, I will surely have Mercy upon him, faith the Lord: Jer. 31.20, I will Heal him. Vul nera illius curabo ac lig [...]bo, I will bind up and cure his ulcerated Wounds, nisi enim hoc ag [...]m, prersus, in­tereat necesse est; for unless I do this, he must at length inevitably perish; therefore this his Ex­tremity shall be my Opportunity to display my Soveraign Mercy & Divine Clemency towards him, I now say to him as I said to my People of old, I am the LORD that bealeth thee, Exod. 15.26. Insanabiles autem sunt morbi nostri, nisi nos [...]ser; cordia sua Dominus praeveniat. Calvin, [Page 4] Our Diseases are Immedicable and altogether Incurable (saith Calvin) unless Sovereign Mer­cy speedily step in for our help.

I will lead him also] Reduxi eum ab exilio, in patriam: I have returned him from Captivity into his Native Country; so some render it: re­quiescere faciam eum, (saith Musculus) a lab [...]ribus videlicet, molest is & aerumnis Babylonicae servitue is. I will make him to rest, (saith Musculus) from his labour, viz. from the troubles & distresses of his Babylonical servitude. This leading (say others) respects their weakness by sin; God will lead them and cause them to go. Isa. 48.I7. I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to Profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldst go. There is a (Manutenentiu Dei) an invisible Hand-holding of God, by which the whole visi­ble Creation is Supported and Conducted; with­out which no Creature could hold on in the way of Nature; much more is there an invisible Hand-holding of God, by which the Spiritual creation is Supported & Conducted; and with­out which the new Creature cannot hold on in the ways of Grace. 'Tis the hold which Christ the Physician has of this Patient; and the rooting which he has in Christ, by which he is confir­med and led.

4. The Effect of it, is comfort to him and to his Mourners. It implys the removal of the anguish and sorrow following Sin; and the con­ferring comfort and consolation upon them and [Page 5] their Mourners; that is, such as Mourn over the sin, rebellion and obstinacy of this froward People, and sympathize with them in their deep distress. God has some Mourners in the worst of times, that are faithful with God, Ezek. 9.4, 6. These God will take care of in time of general judgment, to comfort these Mourners; to ap­point unto them that Mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oyl of Joy for Mour­ning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness the Plan­ting of the Lord, that he may be glorifyed, Isai. 61.2, 3.

The DOCTRINE from the words is this.

DOCT. When God has a design of Love to a Person or Province, He will Observe their Wayes in order to their healing, He will lead them also, and restore Comforts to them and to their Mourners.

When there is a Patient dangerously Sick, un­der a purpose of Gods Love, God Himself will be his Physician. Thus it was with Israel in Je­remiah's time, when God said to her why cryest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incura­ble, for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee. I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, faith the Lord, because they call thee an out-cast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after▪ As if God [Page 6] had said, true indeed your case is in it self de­sperate, but for this cause I will undertake thy Cure, I have a remedy for the worst of thy Ma­ladies; Here we have God's Cure of Zion, when incurably Wounded; Now God will apply a Sanative Cataplasm, a Healing Plaister: This is Repentance, and Restitution, Jer. 30.15, 17. [Thus Excellent Mr. Norton discants upon these words in his Election Sermon.] So, Isai. 43.25. I even I am he that bloteth out thy transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember thy sins. To whom is this promise made? See 22, 23. verses. They were such as had either neglected or cor­rupted the Service of God and Divine Worship, and were refractory in it; yet God brings in this promise, I that am thus slighted, thus pro­voked, Will blot out your iniquities, Isai. 30.17, 18.

For the clearing up of the Doctrine, take two Propositions.

PROP. I. GOD sees and observes the ways of his professing Declining People to whom He has a design of Love.

Take two Positions here.

Pos. 1. The wayes of a People are either Internal or External. The Internal ways of a People are the ways of their heart, as in our Context, Isa. 57.I7, He went on frowardly in the way of his heart. And these ways of the heart, their inward ways, are, their Thoughts, what they imagine and con­ceive: Their Affections, what they love, and [Page 7] what they hate, what they rejoyce in, and what they Mourn for, declare the way of their heart. The ways of their heart are their purposes, reso­lutions, and intentions what to do. Yea, the ways of their heart are their designs or aims, what they drive at, or propose as their end in all that they do. These Internal ways of a People are seen & observed by God: Joh. 2.25. He needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man. And God sees and observes the Ex­ternal ways of a People. Yea if we take the ways of a People as differenced in their kinds, as they are either good or evil; the Eyes of the Lord are upon both. They are (saith Solomon Prov. 15.3.) in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Hence what ever is done in the World, falls under the notice and cognizance of God, He that looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven, cannot but take notice of all that is done, or comes to pass all the world over, Job 28.24. The Lord beholds all things distinctly; not in gross only or in a lump; He beholds the least as well as the greatest; He looks upon every parcel, and opens the whole pack and bundle of humane affairs; Personal, Domestick, Civil, Sacred, Military. He beholds every thing, and Person, People and Province perfectly, fully, quite through; He that is All Eye seeth all at once, all as one. Acts 15.18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. He is Omniscient, and Omnipresent, Psal. 139. [Page 8] 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, I0, 11, 12. This Thought should repress all tumultuatings of Spirit in Gods Children in the greatest Worldly tumults and vicissitudes, Psal 46.10. Be still and know that I am God. Men are not GOD, they cannot see what to do; nor do what they see. But I who am GOD can see under the whole heaven what is doing, and what to do; and I can do whatsoever I see needful to be done. Therefore be still, be not ye hurried either with discontents at what is do­ing, nor with fear of what may be done; for, know I am GOD, I look to the ends of the earth, and what I say must be done; and what is just for all men, and best for you who are my Peo­ple, shall be done. Here's the true ground of courage, and of quietness: Psal. 46.1, 2 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trou­ble, therefore will not we fear, though the earth be moved, &c, They that fear God, have no reason either to be afraid, or to be discontended. He, that looks to the ends of the earth and sees their wayes, and the ways of all the Children of men; is their Friend and their Father; therefore he will look to them, and see that all shall go well with them, or end well for them.

Pos 2. Here God's seeing and observing the Ways this Prosessing declining People to whom he has a de­sign of love; implyes the perfect knowledge which this Alsufficient Physician has of the Nature and Ma­lignity of the Distemper, which Threatens ruine to the Sick Patient

[Page 9]Here then we are to consider the Disease, which is two-fold.

1. The first Disease is Covetousness. Isa 57.17. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him. Alii Cupid [...]tatis, alii Avaritiae vertunt. For the iniquity of his Concupiscence, or Co­vetousness, I was wroth and smote him. It is a Synecdoche of the Species for the G [...]nus, we may understand it (saith Calvin) for all Concupi­scence, because the Jews at this time were guilty of many and various Vices, therefore God was wroth and smote them, He inflicted great and grievous punishments upon them. This Disease was Epidemical, Hoc morbo eximie labo [...]arunt, as we may see. Jer. 6.13. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is gi­ven to Covetousness: Jer.8.10. Isa. 56.11. Yea they are greedy dogs which can never have enough; they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Indeed, Covetousness knows no bounds. As it hath been said of Envy, so we may say of Covetousness, Covetousnes, whether wilt thou? whether wilt thou lead, or rather hurry and force worldly men? Covetousness carries those who are under the power of it, no man knows whether: who can tell where he shall stop or stay when he is once under the power of the Spirit of Covetous­ness? A Covetous man is an unsatiable gulf, he always dreams of dearths, and suspects the earth will be barren: with these fears he pines, yea [Page 10] Martyrs himself, and is not at all enriched with all his riches. There is no Sin so hainous, none so base, and for did, but Covetousness may be both the Mother and Nurse of it. When the Spirit of a Man is once embased by Covetous­ness, he is ready to do any base thing. Hence the Apostle concludes (1 Tim. 6.10) That the love of Money (which is Covetousness) is the root of all evil; that is, any evil of Sin may grow up from that root; It will, as occasion serves, lead forth to all wickedness; To Idolatry, Heresy, Witchcraft, 2 Pet. 2.14, This will move men to rob God in tithes, and offerings; Profane Gods Name, Pollute Gods Sanctuary, break his Sab­bath's, dishonour Father and Mother, Steal, Kill, commit Filthyness bear false Witness, break the whole Law, and Violate the Gospel; Sell and Betray, as Judas did, their very Saviour, and dearest Interest, for the World: Oh how full is the Womb of this Sin, of all Abomination? Covetousness is Idolatry, and the Covetous man is an Idolater, Eph. 5.5, 6. Origen, faith well, when he says, Thou Christian must not only circumcise thy heart from Worshipping Idols, as thou didst at first; but farther you must be circumcised from Covetousness, which is a more Subtile kind of Idolatry. Indeed, Covetous­ness carries in it a double Idolatry.

(1) In respect of the Object of Worship appoin­ted in the first Commandment: It sets up Mam­mon before Jehovah, 1 Joh. 2.15. If any man love the World the love of the Father is not in him. The [Page 11] Covetous man doth make gold his hope, he faith to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence, Job 31.24. His wealth is his strong City, Prov. 10.15.

(2) Covetousness carries in it Idolatry in respect of the Means of Worship injoyned in the second Commandment, which requires that we should Worship God in Means of his own Ap­pointment; but the Covetous account gain Godliness, 1 Tim. 6.5. Job 21.15. What is the Al­mighty, that we should Serve Him? And what profit should we have if we Pray unto him? So, Mal. 3.14. Ye have said, it is in vain to Serve God: and what profit is it, that we have kept his Ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts? Indeed it is a most dangerous Sin; i [...] pierceth the Soul thro' with many Sorrows now, and drowns men in perdition and destruction here­after, 1 Tim. 6.9, 10. Yea the more men get by it here, the more torment shall they indure here­after, Jam. 5. 1, 2, 3. It is a Sin that walks in a cloke, works in a mystery, and sometimes Ship­wracks the Soul, before it feels either Wind, or Sands, or Rocks; in a Moment he goes down to the pit, and so in the end finds himself to be a very fool, Jer. 17.1. Luk. 12.20. Now,

How far this disease has prevail'd in New-England, is matter of solemn Inquiry, and de­serves a serious Thought; whether the Spirit of Worldliness has not? doth not grow exceeding high and strong? And the Spirit of Religion grow low and weak? Whether the Spirit of the [Page 12] World be not the reigning, governing spirit, and like to carry all before it; unless Soveraign Grace prevent? Call for a Solemn thought.

2. Disease. He went on frowardly in the way of his heart, Isa 57.17. Ostendit Judaeos desperatos esse, quod extrema remedia illos non reduxerint in viam. A Disease sometimes is so desperate, no Physician will undertake its cure; the Patient so froward and unruly, that none will meddle with him: The state of this Patient is such that resists all the applications of God for his heal­ing, he is the worse rather than the better for all: He goes on frowardly, so that it is a Patient that refuseth to return; they were impenitent in Sin; now impenitency in any Sin, makes it de­sperate: as the Prophet Jeremiah sets this forth in a bright Example, Jer. 8.5. Why is this People of Jerusalem slidden back, by a perpetual back sliding; they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return: Here are three phrases noting this one thing. (1) They hold fast deceit: (2) They refuse to return: (3) Their's was a perpetual back sliding; or as some read it, an eternal rebellion, an obstinate re­bellion, a strong and mighty rebellion; the Se­venty call it, an impudent shameless rebellion: all these are proper Epithets of that obstinacy, and setledness of resolution, which is in the heart of man by Nature, to continue in Sin; yet there is a farther rendering of the words, which as the Original will bear, so it hath an elegancy in it; [Page 13] Why is this People of Jerusalem slidden back by a conquering, or prevailing back sliding? Their distemper conquered and prevailed, against all ordinary Medicines & Methods of cure. Now, How many sad Symptoms of this distemper are to be found upon New-England at this day, is ground of Soul-search. Whether we do not go on frowardly in the way of our own heart Notwithstanding all ordinary Means and Medi­cines used for our recovery? Whether New-Englands Spiritual and Political Wounds & Sick­nesses are not grown so immedical and incura­ble, that they are past ordinary hope of healing? And whether this People are not in Extream danger of perishing in their own Sins, and under Gods Judgments, Temporal and Spiritual? Un­less God in rich Mercy become our Healer and Physician. Which leads me to the Second Pro­position.

PROP. II. Now at this Critical juncture when the Disease is so near it's Crisis, this Alsufficient Physician undertakes the Cure, and Resolves to Heal by the bright display of Sovereign Grace, He will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his Mourners.

In hoc populo etiam humani generis imaginem habe­mus, ut intelligamus quae sit nostra in Deum pervica­cia, totumque proprium Dei opus esse, ut pergamus in recto cursu: Saith a Learned Commentator upon this Text. Amplificat gratiam suam, quod isti po­pulo tametsi obstinato, contumaci & indomito, sit pro­pitius: Saith the same Author.

[Page 14]When there is nothing to be found amongst this miserable People but that which might pro­voke God to bring speedy and inevitable Deso­lation, Then this most compassionate Physici­an can and doth find an Argument in himself to move him to heal and help at this Juncture, 1 Sam. 12.22, 23, 24, 25. The LORD will not for­sake his People, for his great Name sake; because it hath plaesed the Lord to make you His People. Not for your sakes do I this saith the Lord, O house of Israel, but for mine holy Name sake, Ezek. 36.22, 32.

Here take three Positions, for the clearing up of this Proposition.

1. Position is, That now at this Critical juncture when the disease is so near it's Crisis, This Alsufficient Physician undertakes the Cure, and Resolves to Heal by the bright display of Soveraign Grace and Rich Mercy.

1. Be the disease what it will, whether a distemper upon the Soul, or upon the body, up­on a Person or Province; This Physician can make an agreeable application to them for their Healing: 1 King. 8.37, 38, 39. If there be in the Land Famine, if there be Pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpillar, if their enemy besiege them in the Land of their Cities, whatsoever Plague, whatsoever Sickness there be: The Expression is Ex­ceeding full and comprehensive, so that no Per­son nor People have room left to say, there is no mention of my case, condition or misery; God comprehends them all in this expression, (What­ever Plague or Sickness it is) whether more Imme­diately [Page 15] from Gods hand, or more mediately by Second causes, inward or outward Sickness, this Physician can work a thorow cure Our dear Lord Christ when here, healed all manner of Sick­ness, & all manner of disease among the People, Mat. 4.23 & 9.35. And he is now as able and willing to heal and help, as when he was here up­on Earth. Hence it is neither the Greatness of the Sickness and Sin, nor the want of a Remedy, or a Skilful Compassionate Physician, that kills the Patient: but it is his not Accepting of Healing Medicine; His not stooping to the Remedy, his non-compliance with this Physician in the me­thod he prescribes to him for his cure.

2. He Heals by the bright display of Sove­raign Grace and Rich Mercy. This Grace of God is God able and willing freely to dispose of Spiritual good unto his Creature, tho' un­worthy and deserving ill from him. And this Mercy of God, is God Able and Willing to Suc­cour the Creature in Misery. Now this Grace and Mercy may be considered either as it is in God, and so respects his Divine Sufficiency: Or, as it flows from God, and so respects his Divine Efficiency: Hence it may be considered either in the Degree and Purpose to give Grace and shew Mercy, which is Increated Grace & Mercy: Or in the actual accomplishment and execution of that decree by Providence; which is created Grace and Mercy, and is the actual Accomplish­ment of his purpose by his Providence.

[Page 16]Now as Misery is the Object of Mercy, so Un­worthiness is the Object of Grace; Hence this Miserable and Unworthy Patient is an Agreea­ble Object for the Great God to display his So­veraign Grace & rich Mercy upon, and toward in healing of him then when the case seems to be desperate: He needs common and special Mercy to be extended to him in his deep mise­ry; Common Mercy manifests it self, either in Creation or Providence: Common Mercy ma­naged by Divine Efficiency displaying it self in Providence, is Gods Actual communication of Mercy unto, and providing suitable Mercy for his Creatures according to their various necessi­ties: And this shews it self in Conservation, and Gubernation; and this miserable Patient needs Mercy in each of these respects. Discimus hinc, salutis nostrae initium esse misericordiam Dei, faith a good Divine. Yea he needs special Mercy to shew it self in the great works of Redemption, and the Application of Redemption unto him, whereby he may be fitted for full and compleat Glorification.

Hence the Effectual Application of Redemp­tion in Saving Conversion is stiled an act of Mercy and Divine Commiseration. 1 Pet. 2.9, 10. Ye are a chosen Generation, a royal Priest-hood, an holy Nation, a peculiar People; that ye should shew forth the Praises of him, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: which in time past were not a People, but are now the People of God: which had [Page 17] not obtained Mercy, but now have obtained Mercy. The Elect are called (and by Effectual Calling so made) vessels of Mercy, Rom. 9.2. So Justi­fication, Adoption, Sanctification, and in the end Glo­rification, are fruits and effects of special Mercy. And this Patient stands in need of all this Mercy.

Moreover, This Unworthy Patient stands in need of the bright and shining display of Sove­raign Grace, not only to bring him into, but to continue him in the favour of God. Our Divines truly say, That God in the work of Regenera­tion has instamped upon the Regenerate the work of his Grace which indureth for ever; ac­cording to what is written in, 1 Joh. 3.9. Whoso­ever is born of God, doth not commit sin; for his Seed remaineth in him. 1 Pet. 1.23. Being born again not of corruptible Seed but of Incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever: Yet notwithstanding this Principle of Grace, if God withdraw his Assistance, it would all come to nothing; and therefore there is need of this Grace of God; according as it is graciously pro­mised in Jer. 32.40. I will make an everlasting Co­venant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

Yea he needs the Grace of God to continue him under the Actual influences of the favour of God: Gods own Children may be Children under Wrath, tho' not Children of Wrath; it must [Page 18] be the Grace of God that can keep them in the Actual favour of God.

In a word, he needs the Grace of God to re­cover him from his falls, and to keep him from falling, Jer. 31.18, 19. As it is the Lord that giveth Repentance at the first, so it is God that must give Repentance afterward. Acts 5.31. Him hath God exalted with his Right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give Repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of Sins.

3. This Almighty Physician undertakes the Cure Now at this Critical juncture, when the Disease is so near its Crisis, That He may make the more bright and shining display of his own Glory. The glory of the Physician, and the more of his skill appears when the Case is thus desperate; His Wisdom, His Grace, His Mercy Appears the more signal in his looking after such an one, as had no will to look after Him; Al­tho' he was gasping for life, and must inevitably Dy unless this compassionate Physician speedily steps in to his help. And truly, when we are cast in Common Law, what have we to hope in but Prerogative Mercy? When good men in all Orders find all attempts to recover a Backslid­den People awfully to be frustrated, needs must they sink in despondency, and lose their Faith and Hope, did they not encourage them by this consideration, that as God can, so He frequently doth, take such an Opportunity to make him­self known; and so have the whole Glory of [Page 19] such a Peoples Salvation ascribed to him. Psal. 106.8. Nevertheless, He Saved them for his Name sake: that he might make his mighty Power to be known.

Yea this Almighty Physician undertakes the Cure Now at this Critical juncture, when the Disease is so desperate, to humble the Patient. O how will this humble the Patient and magni­fy the Physician, when he must acknowledge his Distemper to be so immedical that it had not been cured, had not God done it; He it was that brought me up out of an horrible put, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my going, Psal. 40.2. He must own that it is of the Lords Mercy that he is not consumed, it is be­cause his compassions fail not, They are new every Morning: great is his faithfulness, Lam. 3.22, 23.

4. I proceed to show the way of Gods Cure of this sick Patient, be it Person or Province; and the usual Method which God takes for his Healing (tho' we may not limit him who is the Absolute Soveraign of Heaven and Earth, and Heals when he pleaseth, whom He pleaseth, and in what way He pleaseth) yet Gods Ordinary way of working lyes here.

(1.) God discovers to them the evil of their own wayes; He makes them feel the smart, and be sensible of the danger of their own sickness, I King. 8.38. They see and know the Plague of their own heart. God discovers to them the [Page 20] Malignity and Danger of their Disease; it is a Plague and that in the heart; and will prove most deadly, if not prevented and healed. Rom. 6 23. The wages of sin is death. God will make them to see themselves perishing, and dying Eternally, except the LORD under­take for them. God makes them true Evange­lical Mourners, he breaks their hearts for, and effectually off from sin, Isa. 57.15, 16.

(2.) God makes them to see their own ina­bility to heal themselves, and that no created Physician can cure them. This disease blinds the Understanding, makes the Will rebellious, wounds the Conscience, disorders the Affecti­ons, distempers the whole man; so that they have no power to help themselves; They are bed-rid Creatures, not able to stir or look out for a Cure; They know not the way of Peace; They have dexterity to destroy themselves, not to help themselves; They can neither find out a remedy, nor Apply the remedy when it is found out, Prov. 30.2.

(3.) In order to the healing of this Patient (be it Person or Province) God discovers the excellency of the remedy which He has provi­ded for their recovery. He has laid help upon One that is Mighty, Psal. 89.19. He has so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life, Joh. 3.16. There is no want of Skill or Will in this good and great Physician. [Page 21] Heb. 7.25. He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. He is able to Save un­to the utmost [...] the phrase may de­note three things, The perpetuity, the perfection of the Salvation which he worketh, or else the perfection of his influence or causality in the working of it. It may signify, [1] The perpe­tuity and indeficiency of that Salvation which he worketh: He is able to Save unto the utter­most of Time, for evermore. He is not a Tem­poral but an Eternal Saviour, He is able to Save unto all Eternity. [2] It may import the Ab­solute perfection and fulness of the Salvation which he worketh. He is able to Save unto the utter most Degree of Salvation; He doth not Save to halves, but fully & perfectly from every degree of evil, whether of Sin or Suffering, 2 Tim. 1.12. Phil. 1.6. [3] This form of Speech may de­note (think some) the perfection of Christs in­fluence in the Effecting of our Salvation: He is Able to Save unto the uttermost, That is, All manner of ways: As a Moral, and as a Physical cause of Salvation.

Here consider two things,

1. That there is no want of Skill in this good and great Physician : He is cloathed with a Di­vine Ability and Mediatorial Sufficiency to work a thorow Care upon those that by Faith repair to Him for healing: He is the true Immanuel, the Word made flesh, the Man Gods Fellow, a [Page 22] Royal Priest, a Priestly Prophet, and a Prophe­tical King all in One.

(1) That there is no want or Skill in this good and great Physician appears, in that He is true God and true Man in One Person. He is very God, not a Metaphorical, but the True God, 1 Job. 5.20. Not a God by Office, but a God by Nature, Jer. 23 6. This is his Name where­by he shall be called, JEHOVAH tsidkenu, The LORD our Righteousness. Tho' not Son of Him­self [...] as to his Substance, yet God of Him­self [...] as to his Essence: Gods Name is in him, Exod 23 21. The Great Letters of that Name are, the Divine Attributes: Now who is Sufficient to work a perfect cure, if the CRE­ATOR be not? Certainly his Omnipatency is the best Salve for the Creatures Impotency; His All for our nothingness.

Yea that there is no want of skill in this Phy­sician appears, in that He is so nearly joyned un­to us; He that is able and sufficient to work Salvation for us must be a Person conjunct with us, and so was Christ; He was our Goel, our next Kinsman by his Incarnation, and our Re­deemer by his Passion; He assumed our Nature into Himself, that he might Redeem us. Job. 1.14. The WORD was made Flesh. All other Creations are (as it were) extra Deum, but here was a Creation in the very Person of God. The glo­rious Son of God Espoused flesh and bloud, and the Bride chamber (as a Learned Divine faith) [Page 23] where the knot was tyed, was the Virgins Womb: There was He made of a Woman, Con­substantial with us, as to his Humanity; who was Consubstantial with the Father, as to his Divinity.

(2) That there is no want of skill in this good and great Physician appears, in that he has in Himself a fulness of All Increated and Created Wisdom and Skill. Col. 1.19. It pleased the Fa­ther that in him all fulness should dwell. God is only Wise and Skilful, because all Wisdom and Skill is from Him, as He hath Wisdom and Skill of and from Himself, so all others have Wisdom and Skill from Him, it is, but a drop from this Ocean: Wisdom and Skill is either Created or Increated; Created Wisdom and Skill is from God whether it be Theological, Civil or Phy­sical. Dan. 2.21. God giveth Wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding. Hence Christ our Physician hath skill enough to cure and heal the greatest Maladies, the most incurable Diseases; whether they be Soul­distempers or bodily distresses; whether they be Political or Ecclesiastical Wounds and Sick­nesses.

2. Consider, That there is no want of Will in this good & great Physician to Heal all those given to Him by the Father, in the Covenant of Redemption: Hence,

(1) Christ did not only cloath Himself with Humanity, but became their Sponsor or Surety, [Page 24] and so in Law One Person with them, whom the Father had given to Him in the Covenant of Redemption, That He might be their Healer and Physician. He doth not only plead their cause, but pay their Debts: Christ entred into Bond for them, and took all their Debts and Duties whatsoever they owe to God, upon him­self, to see all performed; that they might go free and be accepted, Heb. 7.22. Hence Christ did undertake as in their Nature, so in their Name, and did restipulate with God on their behalf, That whatsoever was owing to his Justice and Holiness by them, either as a penalty for past defaults, or a duty to present Commands, should all be satisfyed and performed by him­self, i'le lay down my life, I'le pour out my Soul, (saith Christ) let all the wrath due to them be squeezed into one Cup, and I'le drink it up to the bottom: Let the fire of Gods anger drop down from Heaven, and I'le be the Paschal Lamb roasted in it; Thus willing was this great and gracious Physician to Heal this Perishing Patient, That He Dy's that the Patient might live: Thus our Lord Christ this Compassionate Phy­sician was so Willing to Heal and Help the Pa­tient, That He becomes his Surety and was One with Him in Nature, that He might be One with Him in Law too.

Yea his Willingness to heal and help, is Evi­denced by what He has done and suffered, to purchase and procure their healing; He has [Page 25] by his Obedience unto Death satisfyed Divine Justice to the full; His Obedience was a fair Commentary on the whole Law, written in glorious Characters of Holiness and Righte­ousness all his life long, and at his Death Sealed up and Clasped with his precious blood. He was (saith a Worthy Divine) as it were in pangs of forward Obedience to be Baptized in his own blood, and posted on towards an Agony of Wrath in an Agony of Love: and when he Arrived at his extreamest Sufferings, His Signal Willingness turned his Suffering into Doing, and his Cross into a Tri­umphant Chariot; He Triumphed in it, saith the Apostle, Col. 2.15. Even there his Obedi­ence and Love rod in Triumph; Triumphant Obedience spread out his hands upon the Cross, and Triumphant love Opened his naked heart to the wrath of God.

(4.) Now that He may Apply this rich Remedy for the thorow Cure of this distrest Patient, He puts his Spirit into him whereby he causeth him to live, Ezek. 37.14. And indeed the great Work of the Spirit which he hath to do for the Cure of this Patient, It is to apply Redemption to him in the whole compass of it; and so to cause him to walk in Gods Statutes, and keep his Judgments, and do them, which he cannot possibly do without the Spirit. The whole work of Application in the whole life of a Christian, in Grace and Glory, is from the Spirit; It is the work of the Spirit to convince a Person [Page 26] or People of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment. The Preparatory as well as the Saving work is wrought by the Spirit; He works both to will and to do, Phil. 2.13. Yea he works All the good pleasure of Gods will in a Person or Peo­ple, and the work of faith with Power, 2 Thes. 1.11. It is the work of the Spirit to form Christ in the Soul, and to create it in Christ unto love and good works: Eph. 2:10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. God hath made a Promise unto Christ and unto Us in Christ of his Spirit, which must be fulfilled, Isai. 59.20, 21. The Spirit must be put within his People in order to their Saving Conversion thro' Reformation, and future ete­rnal Salvation; and for this he ordained the Mi­nistry of the New Testament to be a Means to convey the Spirit, 2 Cor. 3.6. Yea one of the greatest blessings promised in the Covenant of Grace, is, That the Lord will pour his Spirit upon the Children and Posterity of his Servants, Isai. 44.3. Oh then! Let this move All true Christians to engage their very Souls in Prayer to God for his Spirit, That may heal all our Spiritual dis­eases, our Political and Ecclesiastical Sicknesses: if there be any strength for wrestling with God left, improve all the Interest you have with God, and with his Son, that you may prevail for this Blessing, viz. That God would please to put his Spirit into us and cause us to live.

[Page 27]I proceed to the Second Position, which I must but name,

2. Position. This Great and Gracious Physician will lead this weak and feeble Patient. He is indeed so weak by reason of his long-languishing-Sick­ness, That he cannot go nor stand alone; But this Physician lends him his helping hand, by causing him according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the Inner-man, Eph. 3.16. Yea he causeth his Grace in him, and his Grace with him to be sufficient for him, 2 Cor. 12.9. Hence when he is weak in himself, then is he strong in Christ his Physician, 2 Cor. 12.10.

The Third Position should have been.

3. Position. The Lord will restore Comforts to him, and to his Mourners.

But I must pretermit this and pass to the Im­provement of the Doctrine.

I now proceed to the Improvement of this Doctrine, [I.] By way of Inference. [II.] By way of Exhertatian.

1. Inference. See hence then the inconceivable Malignity of the Deadly Disease of Sin. Sin it is an Infinite evil, Objectively Infinite; 'tis a fighting against an Infinite Majesty, a striving against [Page 28] Infinite Soveraignty; an Enmity to Infinite Holiness, a provocation to Infinite Justice, a Deicidium, a striking at the very Life and Being of GOD Himself; God hath no other opposite but Sin Sin is such a Mortal Contagion as has infected the whole race of Man-kind proceeding from Adam by Natural Generation; This has open'd the Door to All Sorrow and Suffering, Temporal, Spiritual and Eternal; that Persons, Families, Churches, Provinces, Kingdoms; yea, the whole world have been, and at this Day are Entertained with: It is a disease that none but God can cure; It is good to be Sick of Sin; but to be Sick by it, is most Mortal, except this Phy­sician undertake the cure: Nothing can cure this Sickness, but Unsearchable riches of Divine Grace. As the wrong and offence is, such must the Compensation be: the former is infinite, therefore the latter must not be finite. Hence there is only in Christ a Divine Ability and Me­diatorial Sufficiency to work Salvation: Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be Saved, Acts 4.12.

2. Inference. See hence then what cause New-England, and this Province in particular has to ly in the dust before the Lord this Day, under the Soul­bumbling sense of our many Sicknesses, and loathsome Diseases. What Political and Ecclesiastical Sick­nesses are there amongst us? The good Lord [Page 29] grant that New-England may never have that bitter complaint entred against it; which the great God once drew up against Judah and Je­rusalem, Saying, Why should ye be stricken any more, ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is Sick and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollifyed with Oyntment, Isa. 1.5, 6. How do our Sicknesses grow upon us? How are we wounding our selves, and like to undoe our selves, if Infi­nite Mercy prevent not? How does Prophane­ness and Immorality increase amongst us? What Prophanity of many; In their neglect of the Publick Worship and Covenant of God, and Prophanation of the LORDS-DAY? What Excessive Tipling and Drinking, which like a Flood even drowns much of Christianity in se­veral Places? Especially on Training-day-Evenings, which things ought not to be. What is the Unrighteous Treatment which those in a Pub­lick Station often Suffer from the People? What Prophane Cursing and Swearing, and taking the Name of God in Vain? for which the Land Mourns. Is there not an Unclean Spirit let loose amongst us, where-with too many have been Possessed, Encouraging Incentives to Lewd­ness? Is not gross Dishonesty and Oppression too much Practised in New-England?

[Page 30]What Church-Wounds & Sicknesses are there to be Observed and Lamented by the Churches? How many faithful Ambassadors removed? Yea has not God renewed our Wounds this last Year by making breaches up­on our Civil and Sacred Pol­ity? Col. Foster Esq the Rd. Mr. Allen, and the Rd. Mr. Russel Has not Death the King of Terrors broke into our Council-Chamber, as well as into our Pulpits? May not God say to his New­English Churches, as He said to the Church of Ephesus, Rev. 2.5. Remember from whence thou art failen and repent, and do the first works. And as He said to the Church of Sardis, Rev. 3.2. Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to Dy: for I have not found thy works perfect before God? Churches, that are Evan­gelical in their Primitive Constitution, but de­caying and dying in their Religion; should be watchful and strengthen the things which re­main, that are ready to Dy. How is Church discipline dying of a Mortal Sickness? How many Spiritual diseases are to be found among Professors? What Unbelief? What Impeni­tency? What hardenss of Heart, what stubbor­ness of Will? What blindness of Mind? What Unprofitableness under the Means of Grace? What growth of Sin & Irreligion is to be found in New-England?

How many Sicknesses and Wounds are to be found in and upon many Families in New-England? [Page 31] How much is Family-Religion neg­lected, and Family-Worship shamefully Omitted? Altho' the great God has awfully Threatened to pour forth his Fury upon the Families that Call not upon his Name, Jer. 10.25. How is Family-Government sunk into, and Languishing under a deep consumption? Is not the Mini­sters Maintenance by many lookd upon as an act of Charity, and not of Justice? contrary to Mal. 3.8, 9, 10. which I believe is highly provoking to that God whose Ambassadors they are.

What Wounds are made upon particular Per­sons? What Wounds in Conscience, and by Pro­vidence? Isai. 1.2, 3.

How many Persons (like prophane Esau) despise their birth-right, and Sell it for a mess of Pottage? How many neglect the Great Salva­tion, and refuse to be Healed by this Physician, who comes of his own accord and tenders to make this Patient whole, tho' he never sent for him; Others that are Sick are calling and sending for the Physician but this Sin-sick Soul inquires not after this Physician, but rejects means of healing: Other Physicians are ho­nourably entertained; but Christ the best Phy­sician is repulsed, tho' he tenders to heal this Pa­tient of free cost.

We have indeed cause with Thankfulness to God to Commemorate that Solemn and Serious, that Full and Faithful DECLARATION, against Prophaneness and Immoralities Published by [Page 32] His Excellency the GOVERNOUR, Council and Assembly (then being) of this Province, who did more than Seven years ago, rightly ‘judge it absolutely necessary for them, the Ru­lers and Representatives of this People, then to Publish unto this Province, the sorrows and disires of their hearts, as a Testimony before Heaven and Earth, that the desired REFOR­MATION might be vigoroussly prosecuted.’ Has this Province hearkened to the Call of God by the Call of those our Pious Rulers? Are those Vices and Immoralities (then Testifyed against) Lamented and Reformed by this People? O that there had been, yea now were such a Heart in this People; Then had our Peace been as a river, and our Righteousness as the waves of the Sea, Isai. 48.18. But alas! Wherein are we Reformed? Tho' we have been by the former Prophets as well as by the Surviving Ministry, Pathetically and Affectionately excited there-unto. Oh that this People had hearkened unto the Lord, and had walked in his ways! He would soon have subdued their enemies, and turned his hand a­gainst their adversaries, Psal. 81.13. May it now please the Divine Majesty who has seen all our ways of Sin and Provocation, to say to New-England, and this Province, as in our Text, I have seen thy ways and I will heal thee! Oh that New-England, and this Province in particular would now say as we have it, in Jer. 17.14. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall [Page 33] be Saved: for thou art my Praise: And as Gods People of old said, Hos. 6.1, 2. Come and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

3. Inference. See hence then, that there is room for our Hope of the most desperate Patient, be it Per­son or People. How ever many or great his Sins and Sicknesses may be, yet this Physician can cure him; Indeed if you consider the Patient and his Ability, or what help there is in any other Physician: It may be said, as Jer. 30.22, 13. Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing Medicines. But if you look upon this Physician and the excellent remedy He has provided, it is a Soveraign Catho­licon for every Disease, of every Person and Pro­vince, that by faith repair to Him for Healing; for the remedy is the most Soveraign Balsome of the Blood and Spirit of Christ; and the Physician to apply this remedy is the Lord that dwelleth in Zion,; the Quality of the remedy is most Emi­nent, it is a rich Balsome, a never failing Bal­some: 1 Joh. 1.7. The bloud of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all Sin. Never any fail'd of a Cure to whom it was applyed, 1 Cor. 69, 10, 11 It cures Diseases before Conversion: Thus it cured Ma­nasseh, 2 Chron. 33.2, 12, 13. This cured the Thief upon the Cross; this Healed Paul a Per­secutor. This remedy when applyed Cures [Page 34] Diseases after Conversion; their usual name is back-slidings, when they fall back again, as Eli to the breaking of their Necks; did not Sove­raign Grace undertake their Cure. Hos. 14.4. I will heal their back sliding, I will love them freely, Jer. 3.22. Hos. 11.8, 9.

The Physician that undertakes the cure, is most Excellent; It is our dear Lord CHRIST, who has cured all manner of Sicknesses, and all manner of Diseases, Mat. 4.23, 24. Luk. 6.17, 18, 19. His Grace toward the Diseased (that come to Him for Healing) is so transcendent, that it triumphs over all the Unworthiness of the Patient (be it Person or Province) and will Heal him, tho' many stops ly in the way; Psal. 106.7, 8. They understood not his works, they remembred not the multitude of his Mercies; they re­belled at the Sea, even at the red Sea. Every one of these were as a stop in the way of Healing, yet Mercy got over them all; Nevertheless he Saved them. Now as the Grace of this Compas­sionate Physician triumphs over the Unworthy­ness of this distrest Patient that applies to Him for a Cure; so Mercy triumphs over all the Im­probabilities and Impossibilities that seem to ly in the way of this Physician, to hinder him from working a thorow cure.

II. USE is of EXHORTATION in divers Branches.

[Page 35]And in the first Place I take leave humbly to propose this Exhortation to Your EXCEL­LENCY, and unto those who are, or may be of the Honourable COUNCIL: Together with those Worthy Gentlemen that Represent the People of this Province in a General Assembly, who have ordered me (tho' most unworthy) into this awful Desk at this time.

Suffer your Selves to be Intreated, in the Name of the Lord, and by this word of the Lord, to be Encouraged; to go on in your Excellent and Distinguishing Prudence and Integrity, to Write after this Divine Copy, in doing your Utmost, in your respective Posts, for the Healing of the Wounds and Sick­nesses of this Distrest & Distemper'd Province. Be intreated to undertake and carry on your whole Healing work, in all your Prudent and Skilful Applications of proper Medicines for the Cure of this People and Province, in the Admi­nistration of Government, both by Legislation and Execution; and in the management of all the Great Affairs of the Publick Weal of this People of God, which you are by Him betrusted with the Cure of, by a very powerful Exercise of faith, in this Alsufficient Physician, for the thorow Cure of this People, That GOD may be intreated to say to New-England, and this Province in particular, as in our Text, I have seen his ways and I will heal him.

[Page 36]True indeed, it is Gods Prerogative royal to Heal & Cure our incurable Wounds & Sicknesses by the bright and shining display of his Soveraign Grace and rich Mercy; yet it has pleased His Divine Majesty to commit this Healing Work into your hands, as you are our Excellent and Honourable Rulers.

The Wounds of the Body Politick need a Healer, as much as those of the Body Natural. Rulers are State-Physicians: Hence the word rendred to Govern, hath a three-fold significa­tion in Scripture. First, and most properly, to bind up. Secondly, by a Metaphor, to Heal; because there is so great a use of binding in Healing; the skilful Ligature of a Wound, or of a broken Limb, is of so much consequence in Chyrurgery, or the Art of Healing, that binding alone is put for Healing: That which is well bound, is in a fair way to Healing. We find both these acts put together in that great Pro­mise of the Churches Glory under the Gospel, Isai. 30.26. Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be seven fold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his People, and healeth the stroke of their wound And Isai. 3.7. Third­ly, the word signifies Tropically, to Rule or Go­vern, and the reason ariseth clearly from the proper signification of it; Because He that is a Ruler, is also a binder and a healer. This then [Page 37] (Worthy Patriots) may give direction to such whose Province it is this Day to Choose and Appoint the Persons that are to bear Rule over this People; whatsoever other Rules discretion may point to be observed in this affair; yet this may not be neglected by the Electors, That they choose such Persons as they really Judge duely Qualifyed, who do give grounded Hopes that they will Approve themselves State-Physici­ans, Rightly skill'd, and agreeably will'd, to do their utmost to Bind and Heal the Wounds and Sicknesses of this diseased People, by their Dis­countenancing of Vice and Immorality, and by their Encouraging of Piety and Equity.

Rulers bind the People that are under them, to Order: They bind them by their Laws: Laws are bonds, they have a binding Power, they bind either to Obedience or to Punish­ment: And therefore Rulers are binders, they bind the Unruly and disobedient; They bind with the Rule of the Law, and with the Penal­ties of the Law: When any break the Rule of the Law, then they fall under the Penalties of the Law; so that every way a Ruler is a Binder; and as He is a Binder, so a Healer: The Laws of Government by which People are bound, are for their healing: for the healing of their manners and corruptions; As also, for the healing of those whom they have oppressed or wounded by their Evil Manners and Corruptions, LAWS are the Security of a Peo­ple, pie, [Page 38] the Security of their Persons, of their Estates, of their Credit, and of their Liberties Civil, and Religious, and of their Lives. Some have well compared Laws to Physick, which doth both prevent and remove those Diseases which are incident to the whole body of a Na­tion or Province. Now as Magistracy consists in an Authority to make and constitute Laws: so in an Authority to apply, actuate or execute them in all particular Cases and Emergencies. A Law Unexecuted (saith a good Divine) is like a Sealed Book, or like a Sword lock'd up in the Scab­bard.

May it then please Your EXCELLENCY and our Honourable and Worthy Senators in your great Prudence to Consider, whether there be nothing farther to be done either by Legisla­tion or Execution, for the Healing of this Sick­Province? And for the Maintaining Justice to­ward men, and Piety toward God? Whether there be no step farther to be taken to quicken under Officers, as Tything-men, Constables and Grand-jurors, to a more vigorous accomplish­ment of those Promissory Oaths that Annually they take for the Suppressing of Intemperance, and Disorders, that are so growing among us? Whether there be no step farther to be taken for to prevent that Land desolating Sin, of the Pro­phanation of the LORDS-DAY? And whe­ther that Law which refers to the breach of the Sabbath, and the Penalty Annexed there-unto, [Page 39] may not be reviewed, and the Sanctification of the Sabbath farther secured, and more strongly guarded?

If there be nothing farther to be done either by Legislation or Execution, for the Healing of our Wounds and Sicknesses? Yet suffer me to say, There is encouragement to Address the Compassionate and Alsufficient Physician by the Prayer of Faith, for Healing. This was the Method good King Jehoshaphat took for the heal­ing of his People, when he knew not what to do for their Cure; He by the Prayer of faith repaired to this most skilful Physician for a ne­ver-failing remedy, and in this way obtained it, 2 Chron. 20 12, 17, 20. The Effectual-servent Prayers of Pious Rulers for their Sick and Disea­sed People, are a precious Means of a Peoples Healing. That is one good way of Seeking their Recovery, to set God on work by Prayer, and engage Him to be their Healer. When He­z kiah and Isaiah do both Cry and Pray to Hea­ven, there is good hopes it shall go well with that People, and that God will appear for them, as he did. 2 Chron 32.20, 21, 22. How oft did the Prayer of Moses and Aaron for Israel in the Wilderness, slip in between them & destruction? Numb. 14.12, 13, 14 19, 20, 21, 22, 45. It was an Exemplary passage of that Worthy Prince of Orange, who when he had but one breath to draw, spent half of it on the People in Prayer [Page 40] for them, Crying (as he fell down slain) Oh my God take pity of my Soul, and of this poor People!

Second Branch of EXHORTATION is to my Reverend Fathers and Brethren in the Ministry.

Oh be intreated in the bowels of Christ to go on vigorously in your constant painful, faithful Ministerial Indeavours to heal the Wounds and Sicknesses of this diseased People. You are (Reverend Sirs) Spiritual Physicians by that So­lemn and Sacred Office you sustain; and you are betrusted and awfully Charged with the Mi­nisterial and Pastoral Care and Cure of Souls. Paul had the care of all the Churches lying up­on him, 2 Cor. 11.28. And we must give ac­count of all those Souls, that are committed by Christ (the Physician of Souls) unto our Offi­cial care and charge, Heb. 13.17. Oh! what need then have we to do our Utmost for the Healing and Curing of the Heart-Plagues, and Spiritual Maladies of our Sick Churches and Con­gregations, That so no Precious and Immortal SOUL may finally be lost thro' our default; but that we may be free from the guilt of the bloud of Souls, Ezek. 3.17, 18, 19, 20, 21. It is therefore our duty to Inculcate upon them their Malady, and to discover to them the Remedy. Oh! what need have we to take heed to our selves, and to the respective Flocks committed to us by the Holy Ghost, to feed them, and to give [Page 41] them their Food and Physick in due season, to Preach the Word, to be instant in season and out of season, to rebuke, reprove, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine; and to be an Example of Be­lievers in Word, in Conversation, in Charity, in Spirit, in Faith, in Purity. Now if we would thus be skilful, faithful and successful Soul Physicians, we must indeavour to be filled with the Spirit, Eph. 5 18. All Christians must labour after this, but especially Ministers: There will be no dis­charge of our work as Christians, or as Ministers without the Inhabitation, and Saving operation of the Spirit: We should therefore Earnestly Pray, that we may be so filled with the Spirit, as that we may have so much of the Grace and gracious operation of the Spirit in us, as to inable us from an inward abiding Principle; To be­lieve all Mysteries Revealed, Imbrace all Pro­mises, Dispence all Ordinances, Obey all Com­mands, Improve with humble Submission to Gods disposing, all Providences to their end▪ Yea we should Pray that we may be filled in the highest measure with the Spirit, to the measure of the fulness of the statute of Christ, Eph. 4.13. So filled, as to furnish us here to all Gospel-obe­dience; and hereafter, to all Gospel Glory.

Third Branch of EXHORTATION, it is to all that Hear the Word of God at this Time.

[Page 42]Let us All be Moved and Encouraged to re­pair to this Alsufficient Physician for Healing to be granted to our Souls, to our Persons, to our Families, to our Churches, to our Courts, to our Province, and to New-England. There is none of us in such perfect Health, as to stand in no need of this Physician: We have All of us our Particular, Personal Soul-sicknesses; Our Fami­lies have their Spiritual distempers: There are also Ecclesiastical and Political Wounds that need a Cure: Let us then be moved to Apply to this Good and Great Physician for Healing. Tho' our Diseases may seem [...]o be incurable and our Wounds immedicable; yet this Day, God opens to us a door of hope in this greatest depth, of our Distress. There is always hope in Israel in the most desperate case: Ezra 10.2. Yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. This Physician has seen all our Ways & Wounds, our Sins and Sicknesses, and He can say to us as in our Text, I have seen thy Ways and I will Heal thee: He can say to New-England, as He said Zech. 3.9. I will remove the Iniquity of the Land in one day. God can remove the Iniquity of our Persons and People in one day: And we must obtain healing from this Physician, or dy of our Sicknesses. Now it is very proper for the Sick to choose their own Physician; and that is the work of this Sick-Province this Day, to choose [Page 43] Provincial Healers, that may under the Con­duct of the Alsufficient Physician, do their Ut­most for our Healing (the God of Wisdom in His Infinite Mercy Direct the Electors, and the Elections:) But give me leave to say this one Word to all that are present before the Lord at this Time, that are sensible of the Plague of their own Hearts, You are Sick and need a Physician, and are now put upon your Choice of your Physician! Will you now Chuse GOD in CHRIST to be your Physician? He comes in his own Ordinance This Day, and tenders to undertake the Cure of all your Di­stempers; Be they Soul-Maladies, Family-Di­seases, Political or Ecclesiastical Wounds and Sicknesses, He saith to each such Person, and to this Province, Wilt thou not be Healed and Cured, when shall it once be? As He said to Jerusalem, Wilt thou not be made Clean? When shall it once be? Jer. 13.27. This Compassionate Physician comes to the Door of your Hearts and of this Province, and offers to come in, and Apply Healing Me­dicines; and to make a thorough Cure, as he tendred to Heal the Church of Laodicea, Rev. 3.20. Oh! That it may now be the Day of Christs Power upon each of your Souls, and this Pro­vince; that the Language of your Souls and of this Province may be, Lift up your Heads, O ye Gates; and be ye lift up ye Everlasting Doors, that the King of Glory, this Gracious Physician may come in, [Page 44] Psal. 24.6, 7. Then may we say (with which words I close) as we have it, Isa. 33.22, 24. The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Law­giver, the Lord is our King, He will Save us. And the Inhabitant shall not say I am Sick: The People that dwell therein shall be forgiven their Iniquity. AMEN, So let it be: Oh! That this Good and Gracious PHYSICIAN would say, AMEN, So it shall be.


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