Mr. Eliot's SERMON ON Giving CESAR his Due.


At a General Assembly holden at Hartford, May 11th. 1738.

ORDERED by this Assembly, That Samuel Lynde. Esq and Capt. David B [...], return the Thanks of this Assembly, to the Reverend Mr. Jared Eliot, for his SERMON deliver'd before this Assembly on the 11th, Instant, and desire a Copy thereof that it may be Printed.

George Wyllys Secr.

Give CESAR his Due. OR, THE Obligation THAT SUBJECTS are under TO THEIR Civil Rulers,

As was shew'd in a SERMON Preach'd before the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut at Hartford, May the 11th, 1738. The Day for the ELECTION of the Honourable the GOVERNOUR, the DEPUTY-Governour, and the Wor­shipful ASSISTANTS.

By Jared Eliot, A. M. Pastor of the first Church in Killingworth

Prov. xxiv. 21.

My son, Fear thou the LORD and the King: and meddle not with them that are given to change.

N.LONDON, Printed & Sold by T. GREEN, Printer to the GOV. and COMPANY, 1738.


Give CESAR his Due.

MATTHEW XXII. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22.

Tell us therefore, What thinkest Thou? Is it lawful to give Tribute unto Cesar, or not?

But JESƲS perceived their wickedness, and said. Why tempt ye Me, ye Hypocrites?

Shew me the Tribute Money. And they brought unto Him a Peny.

And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

They say unto Him, Cesars. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cesar, the things which are Cesars: and unto GOD, the things that are GOD's.

When they had heard these words, they mar­velled, and left him, and went their way.

That clause of the 21st Ver. Render there­fore unto Cesar, the things which are Cesars.

THE Jewish Nation were very happy for a considerable time, under the Government of the Asnomaean Family, [Page 2] commonly called the Maccabees. There was [...] and Peace as home, Victors and Success abroad. There were feared & regard'd by all round about them: They were in a [...] Alli­ance with the Romans, & treated by them with great Respect.

Afterwards, growing weak by [...] Di­visions, they became a kind of Tributary King­dom to the Romans, under the [...] Family; and continued to sink till they became a Roman Province, under Procurators and Governours, such as Florus, Festus, Felix and others.

And having helped to fill up the measure of their Iniquities by Crucifying the Lord of Life & Glory, their Division being still greatly in­flamed, they were involved in a Sea of troubles, till it terminated in their utter desolation, both of Church and State.

This should be a Warning to all Governments, especially those who are under the jealous Eye of such who are ready to observe, and improve every part of their ill Conduct: It should be a Motive to keep' as the Apostle saith) the [...] of the spirit in the bond of peace, Eph. 4.3.

At the time of our Saviours Publick appear­ance and ministry, the Jews were crumbled and broken into many Parties & Factions: The Con­troversies were maintained with eagerness and carried on with great best and animosity. But how wide soever they were in their Opinions, how distant soever in their Affections, Views & [Page 3] Designs, Yet the Rulers (tho' divided) could [...] counsel together against the Lord, [...] An­ointed, Psal 2.2 Like Herod & Pilate, who tho' their lines of Affection & Interest, were wide & distant, Yet at length they could unite in this single point of Malice; they could agree in their Opposition to Christ & his glorious Gospel.

Three of the principal contending Parties appear before Christ, tempting him, pursuant to a determination they had come to, after a deep consultation among themselves, Luk 20 20. And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words; that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governour. Feign themselves Just men, Men truly Reli­gious, who came to him with cases of Consci­ence: And to gain his confidence, they begin with Propositions most true in themselves, but as design'd by them, the vilest Tie chery & the grossest Flattery; and for this Reason our Sa­viour charges them with Hypocrisie Mat 22.16 We know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God is truth, and carest not for any man; for thou regardest not the person of man. Ver. 18. Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? —

The Three Parties were the Herodians, the Sadduces, and the Lawyers; which last were of the Scribes and Pharisees.

We shall take a short view of these Three Parties, and begin with the last first; and so go [Page 4] back to the first, which will bring us to our Text; it being a particular Answer to the Question proposed by the Herodians.

The term Lawyer is not to be understood as in the present use and acceptation of the word. In the present use of the term, we understand those that Study and Practice the Common Law, the Civil or Common Law. These were so called as being Expositors of the Law of God given by Mo­ses They rendred the Law void by those In­terpretations they put upon it: They preten­ded to great Zeal for the Law, and for the Rights of the People; Asserting that they were of the seed of Abraham and were free; nor ought they to be in Subjection to the Romans. Job 8 33 Infusing those Doctrines into the People, was the occasion of sundry Insurrections & Tumults, led on by Thudas & Judas of Galilee: Of which we have an account, Act. 5.36, 37.

From these sprang those, afterwards called the Zealots, who did so much mischief to their own Nation, and brought on ruine upon them. They pretended to great Zeal for Religion and Concern for the Publick Good. A great Writer observes, That when a Religious & Civil Controversie comes to be twisted and blended toge­ther, it makes a strong Ferment.

These propound a Question, Which was the chief, or the greatest Commandment? Designing [Page 5] to intangle him in the Controversie that was subsisting among them, Whether the Command about Sacrifices, or the Moral Law were the great­est? These according to our Modern way of speaking, we may call the Country Party.

2. The other Party were the Sadducees, who denied the Resurrection We may observe that each Party drew Arguments from their respective Principles, Each taking an Arrow out of their own Quiver. The Lawyer came with a Question about the Law; the Sadducees about the Resurrection; and the Herodians con­cerning Tribute. They say, Ver. 24 Master, Moses said if a man die having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. In order to perplex the case the more, and render the Question unanswerable, They suppose a case of Seven Brethren having successively Married One Woman; the case would have been the same if but Two had Married her. They ask, Whose wife shall she be, for all had her? Ver. 29. Jesus answered & said, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. Ver. 30. In the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels of God. That is, they are immortal, and therefore there is no need of Marriage to continue the Species Not that raised Bodies shall be like Angels in every respect; but in [Page 6] this is the likeness designed, and that is suffi­cient. Our Saviour proceeds to a Proof of the Doctrine of the Resurrection and future State, from one of the Books of Moses, because the Sadducees disown'd at the Scripture, ex­cept those Five Books And doubtless they tho't themselves safe enough: they did not expect any Argument to prove this Point could be drawn from the Books of Moses: but they found themselves much mistaken. His Proof is, That God had said, as in ver. 32 I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob: He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. This was an irresistable Argument to the Jews; Luk. 20.39 The Scribes reply'd, Master, thou hast well said. That is, It is a good Proof, of a sufficient Argument And the Sadducees with a [...] their Craft and Confidence were put to silence

It is true, that the force of this Reasoning is not Equally plain to us as it was to the Jews; but lies [...] a little. The Jews well understood that when God promised to be a God to any, that he would be a Covenant God to them; that He would be a Father to them and they should be his Sons. Deut 14.1. Ye are the children of the Lord your God. Say unto Pharaoh, Let my son go, Hos 11 1 Rev 21 7. This Sonship imports the Redemption of the Body from corruption The Apostle who well knew the ancient Doctrine and Faith of [Page 7] the Jews, makes this one part of the privilege of Adoption, Rom 8 33. We wait, saith he, for the adoption, that is for the redemption of the body. God's being a God to any, not only contains in it an assurance of the Redemption or Resurrection of the Body, but it also contains a Pro­mise of everlasting Rest & Glory. Heb 11.16. Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city. That is he will so fully answer all his Covenant Engagements, in raising them from the Dead and making them Happy, that he will not need to be asha­med as those are who are not so good as heir word As the Sadducees deny'd the Resur­rection of the Body and a Future State, this Argument confuted both their Errors.

To set before you he full force of our Sa­viour's Argument, requires more time than this occasion will allow. I am not insensible that being so very long upon it as I have may be [...] a Digression, but as it serves to Evi­dence the Justice of the Remark [...] first hearers made. That never man spake like him; I hope it will be pardoned These Sadducees were of loose & libertine Principles Act. 23 8. For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, nei­ther angel nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess hath. So that we may call this Party, in our Modern way of speaking the Free-thinkers of that age.

3. In the last place we are to take a view of the Herodians. Some of the ancient Fathers, [Page 8] Jerom, Tertullian, and others, suppose that this Party were so called by the Jews, from Herod the Great, whom they believ'd was the Messias, because of his Wealth Power & Magnificence. He appeared, as they tho't the Messias should do: But this seems to be without foundation. For tho' Herod did many actions to gain the peoples Favour; As melting down his own Plate to buy Corn for the People in a time of Famine. He Rebuilt the Temple with great Expence. Yet the Nation had so settled an Aversion to him and his Government that it was not possible for him, by any acts of gene­rosity, to remove it. And farther to shew the ungroundedness of this Opinion, we are to consider, That the Messiah was to spring from the House of David; but this Herod was not of the Stock of Israel, nor of the Tribe of Judah or House of David, but an Idumean or Edomite; and moreover before this time he was dead and his Party before this time must have been dead too.

As Herod was Supported by the Romans, and made his Court to them, acknowledged their Authority; and did not so much as make or alter his last Will without their consent. These persons or this Party called Herodians, were such who adhered to the Romans, supported Herod's Cause, and owned the propriety and justice of paying Tribute to Cesar: Being thus in Herod's Interest, they were called Herodians.

[Page 9] These were State Officers, Souldiers, Collectors, call'd Publicans; and on that account so very odious to the Jews, that they ranned Publicans and Sinners together: When they would Expose our Saviour to the rage and contempt of the People, they say, He is a friend of Publicans and Sinners.

When the Herodians proposed this Question, is was not because of any Scruple they had of the lawfulness of paying Tribute; but it was with design to insnare him. If he should an­swer on the Affirmative, He would be exposed to the Rage of the fiery Zealots: If on the Negative, He would be exposed to the Militia and Officers of State. As the Sadducees, we called Free-thinkers; the Scribes and Pharisees, the Country Party; these Herodians may be stiled the Court Party.

When the Question was asked, Whether it was lawful to pay Tribute or not? He saith, Shew me the Tribute Money, Whose Image or Superscrip­tion is this? They say, Cesars. Render therefore,—That is, for this Reason because You are his Subjects, this Tribute Money bearing his Image, is a full Proof of it. Our Saviour from the Reason of the thing, and from a Maxim received among other Nations, and by the Jews themselves, That to strike a Coin, set its Value, give it a Currency, and if any do Adulterate, Diminish or Counterfeit this Coin, become guilty of the Crime, Laesae Majestatis, and are exposed to [Page 10] Punishment accordingly. It is an Argument of Sovereignty in the one, and Subjection in the other; That Authority that doth this is the higher Power It seems therefore very Extra­ordinary, that so Exact a Reasoner as the Learned Grotius should say, That our Saviour never Resolved that Question, whether it was lawful to pay Tribute to Cesar.

There are few that need to be told, that by Cesar is meant the Roman Emperor; who took it from Julius Cesar, who first Reduced the Common Wealth into a Monarchy, & assumd the Government: His Name became a [...] to succeeding Emperors. It may be consider'd as comprehending any Form of Government and all Subordinate Rulers 1 Pet 2 13, 14 Sub­mit your selves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake; Or unto governours as unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well. The Psalmist saith, Go round about Zion, view her towers, mark her bulwarks.

Having considered our Text and Context, viewed the strength our Saviours Reason­ing, the clearness of his Proofs, and the force and consequence of his Arguments, which are b [...]ond [...]ll Example: [...] those that heard him were astonished at his Doctrine.

Having this cl [...]a [...]d the way, the Doctrine or Proposition from the Words may be this, [Page 11] DOCT. That it is our duty to Render to Cesar the things which are Cesars Or, That we be very careful to answer the Obligations we are under to our Civil Rulers.

Under this Doctrine we may Consider,

  • I. What these Obligations are, that we are under to Civil Rulers.
  • II. Offer some Reasons of the Doctrine.
  • III. Make some Application, or draw some In­ferences from the whole.

I. What those Obligations are which we are under to our Civil Rulers? We may see in part, Rom. 13 7. In g [...]n Render to all their Dues.

1. Tribute is one of those things to be paid to whom it is due.

Tribute taken in the strict and proper sense, is that Payment which a Conquered or Subju­gated People are required to Advance, by those Powers to whom they are in Subjection. When once a People are thus Reduced, it amounts to much the same thing, whether it be by Con­quer, or by Covenant, or Contract either Im­plicit or Explicit, it becomes a Legal Govern­ment. This seems to be the case of the Roman Government Exercised over the Jews. And hence it is that the Apostle makes the paying Tribute incumbent upon them; and considers [Page 12] them Obliged to it in point of Conscience: Herein they were to Obey, not for Wrath, but Conscience. That is, Not meerly from a prin­ciple of Fear, but from a principle of Obedience. Rom. 13 6. For this cause (i e, For Conscience sake) pay you tribute also: For they are God's mi­nisters, attending continually upon this very thing. We may therefore consider Tribute in the large sense, as the Apostle doth, as a Tax raised for the Support of Government.

2. Another of those Obligations we are under to our Civil Rulers; is the paying of Custom to whom Custom is due.

A wife Government sometimes gives Boun­ties for the Encouragement of this or that Ma­nufacture that may be for the good of the whole, tho' a People may ignorantly find fault with it. So they may lay Duties upon certain Branches of Trade; such as Impost and Excise. These Duties are laid, Either upon that which is Superfluous or not necessary to Life, or upon that which by its great Increase may become hurtful to the Common Wealth; not designed for a private gain but a common good. This is what the Apostle lets us know we are bound to Pay, as good Subjects to JESƲS CHRIST, and as good Subjects to King GEORGE. And therefore it seems wonderfully stranger that many who would be thought honest Men and good Christians, will cheat the Publick of this Due, and glory in this their shame, Not only [Page 13] do this Evil themselves, but have pleasure in those that do the same. When the Apostle hath said in express terms, Custom to whom custom is due.

3. Another of those Obligations we are under to our Civil Rulers is Fear. Fear to whom fear, saith the Apostle.

The word Fear, as it is used in the Scripture is of a very Extentive improvement. As it is used with relation to GOD, it is put for the whole of Religion. Hence he that fears the Lord & a goad man are the same. As it is used with relation to men in Authority, it is used for Obe­dience. Mal. 1.6. If I be a master, where is my fear? We may therefore consider Fear as used & ap­plied is this place to comprehend & to intend, that Obedience that is due from Subjects to the Government under which they live. 1 Pet. 2 13. Submit your selves to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake. The command is Extensive & Universal: Yet all this our Obedience must be in the Lord. If the whole Head should be sick and by that means Ordinances and Law should be made inconsistent with or contrary to the Laws of God, or such as sap the Foundations of the Common-Wealth, & subvert the Government; which is an abuse of Power & contrary to the appointment of God, who has set up the Ruler to be a Minister to us for good: In such a case we have of right a judgment of Discretion; and easily conclude as the Apostles did, when they received a command to Preach no more in the [Page 14] Name of Jesus, They say, Whether we shall Obey God or man, judge ye.

This Obeying every Ordinance of man, is to some an hard saying! They seek to Relieve themselves two or three ways.

(1) They pretend to find out the true spirit and meaning of the Law, and take care to give a sense agreeable to their Private Interest; and this they will have so, tho' they make the Law speak Nonesense: They bend & distort the Law, con­trary to the plain genuine sense & meaning of it, & contrary to what they themselves would do in that or in any other case, if it agreed with their particular interest. One man gives it one meaning, & another a contrary; so that it must have contrary meanings, or which is the same, no meaning at all. These persons, like the Scribes and Pharisees of old, make void the Law by their Exposition.

(2) Another way by which men Excuse themselves from a consciencious Obedience, is to represent the Laws as inconvenient & inexpedient. When they have painted it with these colours, they look upon themselves as free from all Obligations. It is a fundamental principle in Government, That Sovereign Authority must lodge somewhere. The Community have placed this in the Legislature. Therefore particular persons have nothing to do to judge of the Expediency of the Laws. It is out of our Province. Another Maxim of Government is, That where there is absolute Li­berty, [Page 15] there is no Government. Statutes are a Re­straint laid upon the Exercise of Natural Li­berty by Sovereign Civil Authority. Not that good Government is destructive of any such Li­berty as is good for the whole, but abundantly supports, secures & defends it: For that which is good for the whole Body, is for the good of each particular Member. The Law is so far from being inconsistent with Civil Liberty, that it is the very Basis & Foundation of it. Altho' the Laws of Christ lay us under many Re­straints for our good, Yet, Jam. 1.25 is called, The perfect law of Liberty. It is no Reflection upon Civil Government, that it restrains our natural Liberty in some things, when it so well secures us in the whole. It is rather an Argu­ment of its Excellency and Perfection.

4. Another of those Obligations that we are un­der to our Civil Rulers, is to pay them due Honour. Honour to whom honour is due. The term Honour in this place, is not to be considered in so com­prehensive a sense, as in the Fifth Commandment the whole of that Duty we owe to the Magi­strate and to our Natural Parents. All that we are to render unto Cesar, it seems to contain in it,

(1) That Honour and Esteem we are to have for their Persons and personal Abilities. This Debt can never be more justly challeng'd as due from any more than from Us; For our Magistrates are not Imposed upon us, or introduced by Bri­bery or Corruption; buy fairly & legally Cho­sen [Page 16] to such Offices as they sustain. If we are wanting, in our Respect & Esteem, we condemn our owe Choice & censure our own Conduct.

(2) We are to honour them not only for their per­sonal Merit; but also for their Office sake. They are Instruments in the hand of Providence, by whom the World is Governed: They are God's Vice gerents, and therefore called Gods. Psal. 82.6. I have said, Ye are gods, and all of you a children of the most high. If we are to pay Honour to whom honour is due, then those who fill the Seats of Government, as being God's Re­presentatives, may justly challenge it of us.

(3) We honour them when we think well of their Administrations in Government. We are always to make allowance for unforeseen Accidents, for Crooked things that cannot be made straits, for Casualties & unavoidable Calamities; But when men civil at every thing, censure & find fault with the Administration in all that is done or left undone; make themselves & others [...], This is the very Reverse of that temper here called for. Charity thinketh no evil, it [...] all things, believeth all things. Men think to raise themselves a Reputation, by finding fault with their [...]et [...]ers. The dullest heads of all Israel, were such State-dabblers; That they thought they could see that the Publick Affairs were not [...], and so Murmured against Moses & [...] & paid dear for it in the End. Those that render honour to whom honour is due, will en­tertain [Page 17] a good Opinion of the Publick Manage­ment; will Consider that if any Defects are found, Rulers are not Angels, but Men.

(4) We honour them not only in thinking well, but also in speaking well of them too We are to give them their just Commendation, support their Character & their Conduct, Speak to them and of them with Decency & Respect. But instead of this, are there not those who neither fear God nor regard man who speak evil of Dignities; who are sensul, not having the Spirit? They cast arrows fire-brands & death; and it is sport to them to do mischief. As this is very wide from our duty, so it is dangerous too, and Exposeth to the Re­sentment of God and man. Curse not the king, no not in they thought; curse not the rich in thy bed­chamber, for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter, Eccl. 10.20. The Apostle having met with ill usage & illegal treatment before the Sanhedrim, called the chief Priest whited Wall; when he came to understand his Character, he corrects himself, saying, I wist not that it was the high-priest; for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people, Act 23.5 If under such Treatment speaking Evil of Rulers is unwarrantable, what are we to think of Murmurings and Revilings uttered against a gentle, just and mild Admini­stration?

[Page 18]5. And lastly. Another of those Obligations we are under to our Civil Rulers is, that we should Pray for them, and Bless God for them. This is one of the most plain, necessary & useful parts of our duty. 1 Tim. 2.1, 2. I exhort, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men: for kings, and for all that are in au­thority, that we may lead a quiet & peaceable life in all godliness and honesty: For this is good and accep­table in the sight of God our Saviour. We are to observe the Apostle's order, For Kings, and for all, &c. It is therefore our bounden duty, to Pray for our Lawful and Rightful Sovereign Lord King GEORGE, that His Crown may long flourish on His Head, that He may conti­nue a Rich Blessing to His People; That under Him our Peace may be Established as a River, and our Righteousness as the waves of the Sea. That GOD would Bless the PRINCE and PRINCESS of Wales, the DUKE, and the rest of the ROYAL FAMILY; and all that are in Places of Trust both at Home and Abroad: That GOD would Bless This and the Neigh­bouring Governments and Governours; That Our Liberties and Priviledges, of every Kind, may be Secured, & Continued so long as the Sun and the Moon shall Endure. That our Councils may be Directed; that GOD would Influence, Assist and Direct our Rulers, that so we may under them lead Peaceable Lives in all Godliness and Honesty.

[Page 19]We may see how our Interest and Duty are interwoven and joined together; While we are answering this Obligation in Praying for our Rulers, we are at the same time in the most Effectual and Successful manner pro­moting our own Interest: Which serves (by the way) to shew the Excellency of our most Holy Religion. As for Instance, If we have a a spirit of Forgiveness, and do forgive them that Offend us, we may with the greater assu­rance hope for the Forgiveness of our own Sins, though they are many in Number and heinous in Nature So, If we have bowels of Compassion for the Indigent & Needy, and with a Liberal hand supply their Wants, we thereby lay up to our selves Treasures in heaven, and make to our selves friends of the Mammon of Ʋnrighteousness, and so when we fail, they may receive us into everlasting Habitations. So, When we Pray for our Enemy, and do other acts of Kindness for him, if all be lost on him, Yet it shall not be lost to us; but it shall return into our own bosom. When we are Praying for our Rulers, we are Praying down Blessings up­on our selves. We should consider the Im­portance and Advantage of this Duty.

There are sundry things we ought more specially to Pray for, as Qualifications in Civil Rulers, as may make them a Publick Blessing to us, that we under them may lead peace­able lives in all godliness & honesty. As particularly,

[Page 20](1) We should Pray that they may be men of Piety and Vertue. For altho' they good man is not fit for Rule and Government, Yet they that Rule, should be such as fear God, men of truth, and hating covetousness, Exod. 18.21. When Abraham went to Sojourn with Abimelech, if it had been as he supposed, That the fear of God was not in that place, his Conclusion was very just; and he had a great deal of Reason to fear the Effects of Violence & Injustice from them. Where the Rulers are wicked, Tyranny may be Expected as the natural Consequence of it, Gen. 20.11. The unjust Judge is represented as one that neither feared God, nor regarded man.

(2) Wisdom is another of those Governing Qua­lifications we should Pray for, for our Rulers.

Wisdom may be considered as Divine, Na­tural, or Political Divine Wisdom is, when a man is wise for his own Soul; and is fur­nished with that wisdom which is from above, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle easie to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits. Natural Wisdom is that strength of Parts those Powers and Abilities that men are furnished with. political Wisdom is that turn of mind that renders men apt and fit to Conduct the Publick Affairs. This is a Wisdom profitable to direct both as to time and judgment. We should Pray that our Rulers may be furnished with such Wisdom as Solomon Prayed for, Wis­dom to govern well, the thing pleas'd the Lord. King. 3.10,—

[Page 21](3) Courage and a good Resolution is another of those Qualifications, we should Pray that our Rulers may be furnished with. Joshua was often exhor­ted to be of good Courage in the discharge of his Trust, not only as Captain General, but also as Chief Magistrate. It is as needful for the high Seat of Justice, as for the high Places of the Field The best Scheme of Government, the best contrived Design is by the People many times, miss-understood, and the wise & good Intention of the Ruler is mis-construed. So that to Enact and to Execute good Laws, requires Courage and good Resolution. But besides the difficulties that arise in the common course of Affairs, there are certain Seasons that do especially bespeak Courage & requires good Resolution; when thin [...]s look with a Threatning Aspect, when dark Clouds are drawn over us; when neither Sun, Moon nor Stars are seen for many days, and no small Tempest is upon us; When God's way is in the Whirlwind, and Clouds are the dust of his feet: For he com­mandeth and raiseth the stormy Wind, and lifteth up the Waves thereof; they mount up to heaven, they go down again to the depths, their soul is melted be­cause of trouble; they reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits andThis is the state of the Cowardly, Fearful and Unbelieving, in a time of State Convulsions. In a Stormy time, Skill and Courage are needful Qualifications for those that fit at Helm.

[Page 22](4) Prudence is another Qualification, we should Pray that our Rulers may be furnished with. Pru­dence is a Vertue both hard to describe and to acquire, or if destitute of it, to perform well in any considerable Station of life. We may take a short view of it in its Effects and happy Fruits It is what helps to discover our advantage and our danger when it is at a dis­tance, and so to improve the best Means to ob­tain the one and avoid the other. The prudent man foreseeth the evil & hideth himself, Prov. 22.3 Prudence teacheth when to speak, and when to keep silence. The prudent shall keep silence, for it is an evil time, Amos 5.13. It not only teach­eth when to speak and when to keep silence, but also how and in what manner to speak: For, Words fitly spoken, are as apples of gold in pictures of silver, Prov 25.11. Prudence directs when to use Corrosives, and when Lenitives; when to Reprove sharply, and when to give smooth Words: For, as the north wind driveth away rain, so doth an angry countenance a back-biting tongue, Prov. 25.23. A soft word is breaketh the bone. Rehoboams Old prudent Counsellors, in a time of Popular Discontent, advis'd him to give the People good Words; but he followed the advice of Rash, Fair-brain'd and Unexperienc'd Coun­sellors, who neither understood men nor things and spake Roughly to them; and thus by Impru­dence lost Ten Tribes, the bigger part of his Do­minions. When the Mob was risen at Ephesus [Page 23] and in the greatest Fury imaginable, so that no­thing but noise & nonsence could be heard for two Hours together, and altho' the raging of the Sea and the madness of the People, are compared to each other, yet the Town Clerk, a prudent person, with a few soft words turn'd away wrath and made all Quiet. Again, As it teacheth when to speak & how to speak, so it has as great an influence upon our Actions. We are instructed by it what to do, and what to leave undone. All things are lawful, but all things are not expedient. It suggests to us when to go fast and when to go slow. There is a time to Plant, and a time to Pluck up; a time to Embrace, and a time to refrain from Embracing. Doubtless by this the Wise man designs to in­struct us in the prudent Timing things, which is attended with great Success. Prudence not only directs to the fit timing our Actions, but prescribes the use of the most proper and fit Means for the compassing our designs. Great Ships are turned about with a very small Helm. And our most important Affairs are Effected many times by small Means In Prudence are a great many nameless Excellencies. That which is a farther Evidence of its worth and usefulness is this, That if a man have not great Parts nor great Learning, yet if he be Prudent and Diligent, he shall stand before Princes, and not before mean Men. Say of a man, That he is very Pru­dent, you at once give him an Exalted Cha­racter [Page 24] Great Learning without Prudence is Pedantly: He is but as sounding Brass and a tink­ling Cymbal. If a man hath great Parts and strong Powers, but at the same time is Impru­dent, it renders his Folly but the more con­spicious. Dead flies cause the ointment of the A­pothecary to send forth a stinking savour; so doth a little folly in him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour, Eccl 10 1. If a man have great Cou­rage and Strength, yet if he has no Prudence, he is like Sampson, strong and bold, but blind. In a word, Prudence among Governing Qua­lifications, is like Charity among Spiritual Gifts, of which the Apostle speaks thus, And though I have the gift of prophesie and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing, 1 Cor. 13.2. What is Knowledge, what is Courage and Parts with­out Prudence? It is therefore much to be de­sired. And as a means for the increase of this valuable Qualification, there must be an ac­quintance with Humane Nature, its various Passions, Affections, Views, Interests & Designs. We must also consider Things as well as Men, and the great variety of Events that happen.

Having thus considered some of the princi­pal Obligations we are under to our Civil Ruler.

M. We come to the Second Particular under the Doctrine, and that is the Reasons or Foundation of this Obligation.

[Page 25]1. Because it is of God's Ordination & Appoint­ment that it should be so. God hath established Order and Government, and has Required our Subjection, and Commanded us to Render unto Cesar the things which are Cesars. The Apostle saith, Rom. 13 1, 2. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordi­nance of God; and they that resist, shall receive to themselves damnation. As God hath a right of Dominion over us, and is a most Just and Righ­teous Governour, His Ordination & Appoint­ment is a sufficient Reason. When it may be truly said, That the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it, that is a sure Foundation for us to build on. Tho' Government be of God's Ordination, yet he hath not prescrib'd the particular Forms of Government. For, as of Marriage it may be said, It is God's Institution, yet the sorting the particular Pairs or respective Help-meets, is left to Choice, to Prudence, to the guidance of Judgment, Affections and Friends. So though God hath appointed Government in general, yet hath appointed Government in general, yet hath he left to us the erecting of such Forms as are most agreeable to Laws of Nature, So­ciety, & the differing Circumstances of People.

2. We should render to Cesar the things which are Cesars, or answer our Obligations to our Civil Ru­lers, because it is not only our Duty, but it is our In­terest too. And this will appear if we consider [Page 26] the Usefulness, nay the Necessity of Govern­ment for the support of Communities. It is as needful to the Body Politick, for its Subsistence and Comfort, as Breath is to the Nostrils of the Natural Body. Without this the weak would become a Prey to the strong, the ignorant & in­advertent wou'd fall into the snare of the crafty. A girl might be sold for wine, & the poor for a pair of shoes. Men would become as the Fishes of the Sea, the less would be devoured by the greater. It is owing to good Government, that Liberty & Property are secured. It is by this means that a mans House is his Castle, & not by the strength of the Walls. It is by this that every one sit­teth under his Vine and his Fig-tree, and there is none to make him afraid. From hence we may see how much those are mistaken, who in­stead of being sensible of the benefit of Govern­ment & being thankful for it, have ill-thoughts of it. They think it is only the contrivance of artful and designing Men, who would make themselves great at the Expence of their poor Neighbours; who would oppress the Poor, and grind the face of the Needy. Whereas Go­vernment is design'd to prevent Fraud, Violence & Injustice; and in the hand of Divine Provi­dence, is the Instrument of our Security; is de­sign'd for a Terror to evil-doers, & a Praise to them that do well.

That we may see how much it is our Inte­rest to support Government, and answer the [Page 27] Obligations we are under to our Civil Rulers, we may enter into a more distinct Considera­tion of the Nature of Government We may therefore consider Man, (1) As in a state of Nature, or being without any Government at all. (2) We may consider him as under Patriarchal Government, or under the Rule of such as were Heads of some great Families, Tribe or Clan. (3) We may consider him as under Civil Government.

(I) We are in the first place to consider man as in a state of Nature. Some have tho't that none of mankind were ever in that State, because History furnisheth us with no Instances. But as a great * Writer well observes that affords no Argument; because Government is before Hystory & Records, & therefore Governments are ignorant of their own Original, & can give no Account of themselves, when in a state of Nature, or were without Government. Man in a state of Nature may be consider'd as acting by himself, and for himself; as doing whatever he may best do for his own Preservation or Ad­vantage, As getting what he can Seise, & keep­ing what he has got; as being under no Sta­tutes or Social Laws. An exact account of such an one we have (that is Ishmael) in Gen. 16.12. [Page 28] He is described as being a wild man his hand being [...] every man, and every mans hand against [...] but then he is described having left that wretched state of Life and entred into a Social Life, and dwelling among his Brethren. Which agrees well enough with the short way of Wri­ting used by Moses, laying things near in the Text which was far distant in Time. We have an account of a Clan of Thieves who lived in the state of Nature, Job 33.3, 4, 5, 6. For want & famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilder­ness in former time desolate and wast. Who cut up mallows by the bushes, & juniper-roots for their meat. They were driven forth from among men, they cried after them as after a chief; to dwell in clefts of the vallies, in caves of the earth & in the rocks. Among the bushes they brayed, under the nettles they were gathered together. They were children of fools, yea children of base men; they were viler than the earth. The next Instance I shall give, is that of Nebu­chadnezzar, who having abused his Power, was driven out from among men, like an out-law. Dan. 4.33. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar, and he was driven from men, & did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles feathers, and his nails like birds claws. As this is a state of life none can live so securely or comfortably in, nor any that knows the ad­vantage of Government or Regulated Society, can be contented with, the very Representation [Page 29] of this case of state of life, may be an Argu­ment with us to answer our Obligations we are under to our Rulers.

(2) We are to consider man as under Patriarchal Government. This was the earliest & first kind of Government; which arose from the natural right that Parents had over their Children and Dependants. The Head of the Family had the Legislative and Executive Power in his hands. He had the Military Power vested in him; As we may see by Abraham, who Armed of his Trained Souldiers Three Hundred & Eighteen for a sudden Expedition. The Head of the Tribe or Patriarch was also Priest to the Fa­mily: As we may see by Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, who built Altars and offered, Burnt-sacrifice for themselves and People. The same Order was observed among the Heathen, while under the same kind of Government Of which many Instances might be given. This kind of Go­vernment, in ordinary fell to the Eldest Son. It seems very probable, That that part of Esau's Birth-right, as Chief Sacrificer, was what Jacob was so desirous to Purchase, and Esau was so free to Sell. He seemed to be a carnal & care­less person, and so had no value for the Eccle­siastical Dignity that was to fall to him, and therefore Sold it for a mess of Pottage. This Birth-right was not the Covenant Blessing; for [Page 30] Jacob obtained that by Deceit afterwards. It is [...] [...]firmation of this Opinion, That when the Apostle speaks of it, he calls Esau Prophane on that account, Heb. 12.16. If it had been the Estate of Inheritance and had he Sold it in that manner, he might be called Foolish, but not Pro­phane. Those Patriarchs had in their hands the Power of Life & Death, which continued for a long time, & for some time after Civil Govern­ment was Erected. Numa the Roman Law­giver, after he had set up Civil Government, was not able to wrest this branch of Power out of the hands of Heads of Families. In most Civil Governments, the Eldest Son has had assigned to him, Either the Estate of Inheri­tancce, or a considerable part of it, or at least a double Share to any of the Younger descen­dants; and no good Reason having been as yet rendred for this Preference of Primo geniture, and Children being by nature Equally near and dear, it is probable, That it is by Custom im­memorial, derived from the times of Patriar­chal Government. But to return from this di­gression. Tho' mankind received great Ad­vantages from this Government, yet as the Pa­triarchal Government was Despotical, and the Governour, by Interest, Affection & Prejudice, less fit to make a just Judgment, Civil Govern­ment is very much to be preferred before it: And Consequently, As Civil Government has Obtained and Gained ground, Patriarchal [Page 31] has sunk, and by degrees dwindled away, to what we now call Family Government, which is much limited & restrained by the Civil. We see this by what we find, Deut 21 18. Where a Rebellious Son was to be brought by his Parents to the Elders that is to the Magistrates of the City, who were to Punish him. Yet Family Govern­ment, as it is limited by the Civil Government, is of mighty Advantage to mankind. This is the Nursery from whence Plants are removed into the Common Wealth: If they are Unpruned, Uncultivated, Crooked, Stunted, Knotty, Crab­bed, As the Tree is, so will be the Fruit. Tram up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it, Prov. 22 6.

(3) Man may be considered as under Civil Go­vernment. Civil Government is set up by Force, Fraud, or by Compact; which is the most Or­dinary and the most Regular Government. When particular Persons or Families, are so multiplied, that Divisions and Contests arise, they must separate, as Abraham & Lot did on the like occasion; Or came into one Body, under some Regulation or Form of Govern­ment, or live in a state of Hostility, destructive and ruinous. When they thus Unite, this is what constitutes what we call Civil Government. Whether this Union be from a principle of Fear or Love of Society, or from both, has been a matter of Dispute. But that some kind [Page 32] of Civil Government is for the good of man­kind, beyond all Dispute For a bad Govern­ment is better than no Government; and Ty­ranny is better than Anarchy. If so, What a Blessing is it to be favoured with a Legal well-Constituted Government, such as that of the British Dominions? We should be Thankful for it, Pray for its Continuance, and chearfully Submit to it. If it be so Constituted, and of such an happy Mixture, That as one observes There is not the like in the known World. It is a Limited Mo­narchy, where the King is Vested with Royalty, Power, Majesty & Prerogatives, and yet with­out Tyranny. There is the Nobility having great Weight, much Power, Grandure, Dignity, and very Illustrious, and yet according to the Constitution, without Oppression. There are the People, or Commons, having a large share in the Legislative Power, and yet without Anarchy or Confusion. Each Branch or Con­stitutive Part of the Government, having full Power to do good, and all the good that can possibly come within their compass; and are a Check and Restraint upon Each other, where Prejudice, Error or corrupt Desire might divert them from what is for the Pubick Good. Now such Restraint is so far from Reflecting any Dishonour on the Government, that it is its Glory and Perfection. For in truth, all Power [Page 33] but the [...] Good is Ʋseless, Burthensome & Dangerous. [...] Draught of this happy Constitution into Britain by the Saxons & Angles, into France by the Franks, into Spain & Italy by the Goths, Vandals and other Northern Nations: And it has been Refining, Polishing, Reforming and acquiting Strength, for many Generations. While other Na­tions, who were Equally Blessed with this Form of Government, by their supine Neg­ligence, and the Power & cunning Craftiness of them that ly in wait to Deceive, they have suffer'd these Priviledges to be lost. Indeed, There is still subsisting the Dyets in Germany, the Cortes in Spain and the Parliaments in France, which are but faint Shadows of that once glo­rious Substance they have lost & we by God's Mercy still Enjoy. Notwithstanding our Ad­vantages are so many, and our National Pri­viledges are so great, yet there are those who have such depraved Appetites, that their Soul loatheth this Manna; who long for the Garlick, the Leeks, the Onions, and Bondage of Egypt. As the Israelites, after they had been told the manner of a King, yet said, Nay, but let us have a King: So these discontented ones say, Nay, but let us have a Pretender! tho' Bondage and Slavery be the certain Consequence of it. I know nothing will cure this Infatuation, un­less they had their wish, and so become In­structed like the men of Succoth, with the briers & thorns of the wilderness.

[Page 34]To shew the Obligations we are under to [...] Cesar has Due, by an Argument taken from the Nature of Government in general, & British Government in particular, to shew therefore the Force of this Argument, as a proper Contract, we may take a short view of Arbituary Despotick Power. All descrip­tion falls short of that just and elegant Repre­sentation of it, given by that wise & inspired Prophet Samuel, 1 Sam. 8.11 — This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you, He will take your sons & appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen, and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him cap­tains over thoussands, and captains over fifties, and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his har­vest, and to make his instruments of war, and in­strument of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, & your vineyards, & your olive-yards even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, & give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your men-servants, and your maid-servants, & your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day, because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

[Page 35]It may [...] truly said, That God gave them a [...] in his wrath, and took him away in his anger, Hos. 13.11. We may see how things went under David's Administration; David being in want receives a seasonable Supply at the hand of Ziba, Mephibosheth's Treacherous Steward: he comes with a Ly in his Mouth, and a Gift in his Hand. The Gift blinds David's Eyes, and the Slander cankers his Heart, without Proof, and without Examination he makes an hasty Decree, gives Ziba his Master's whole Estate, and at one blow Disinherits a poor Cripple, only Son to his dear Deceased Friend, and a most Loyal Subject, that either he, or perhaps any King even had, and all in Favour so a Sly and Faithless Servant Mephibosheth had been in a state of Mourning from the time of Da­vid's Flight till his Return; whose Fidelity could procure no more than a setting aside of this former Judgment, which was too fla­grant a piece of Injustice to be suffered: A new Order is issued out, That the Land should be divided between the Master and the man.

This is not mentioned to derogate from this holy Man, or depreciate his Character; but to shew, the most able Head, the most pure Heart, the most steady Hand of all Man­kind, is not to be Trusted with Arbitraiy Despotick Power. If this be the Fruit of the good Tree, what may we Expect from the Evil? Arbitrary Government is like Jotham's Bramble, [Page 36] that undertook to Reign over the Tree More [...] than Defend those that have Recourse to it for Shelter [...],

But Blessed be GOD, this is not our case. We live under a Legal Government; Our Lines are drawn for us in a pleasant Place, & we have a goodly Heritage It is a Corner-Stone in our Political Building, That no mans Life, Limb, Name or Estate, shall be taken away but by his Peers and by the known Laws of the Land.

The Respective Governments in the British Plantations, are but as little Models of that [Page 37] Excellent & great Form at Home. We enjoy the same Liberties, and Additional hereto We have liberty to choose from among our selves, of our Fathers and Brethren, to Rule over us; and these to be Continued but just so long as we think fit. We have neither Strangers or Chil­dren to Rule over us. We have our Judges as at the first & our Rulers as at the beginning. Ha­ving received strength from God, we continue in the Enjoyment of our Charter Priviledges unto this Day. Are not these Advantages great as Humane Prudence could contrive, and even Extensive to the utmost bounds of a Rational wishes The Psalmist * observes concerning the building of the Temple, That men were famous as they had lifted up Axes on the thick trees. They stand Recorded to the latest Posterity.

Should not then the Names of those Patriots who were Instruments to procure our Charter for us, to be had in Everlasting Remembrance? The Psalmist fixeth a Brand or mark of Infamy on those who beat down the Carved works, with Axes & Hammers. Then surely those that seek to break down this Political Structure, can stand in no very advantagious Light. If there be any that from a principle of Ignorance, from a desire of Novelty, from Ambition, from any or from all of these; or from somthing that is worse shall seek th Overturning of our Con­stitution, we may say as Jacob did of the Trea­chery [Page 38] & Cruelty of his Sons, O my [...], Come not thou in [...] Secret, unto their [...] be not thou united: Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath for it was cruel. But we would hope for better things, and for those things that make for Peace. For surely under such Advantages, we ought to be an Obedient Thankful People, ready to render to Cesar the things that are Cesars, & to GOD the things which are GOD's.

III. We now come in the third & last place, to make some Application & Improvement of the whole.

1. In the first place I shall Address my self to the whole Honourable Legislature. Honourable, Wor­shipful, and much Esteemed; What need soever there may be of it, I shall make no Apology for my self, For having receiv'd his Honour's Or­der to stand here this Day, I deem it as an In­dication of the Divine Will, which is my War­rant, and the Divine Assistance I depend upon as my Strength & Hope. If any thing be insisted on which has Formerly been better handled by others on the like Occasion, I do but stir up your pure minds by way of Remembrance. Let the best Good & the true Interest of the Government be Consulted, and constantly be Pursued Be pleased to consider, That Rulers are made for the People, and not the People for the Magistrate. The Divine Precepts about this matter, have much more in view the good of the Subject, than the grandure of the Ruler; who is to be a Mi­nister to us for good, a Terror to Evil-doers, and a Praise to them that do well.

[Page 39](1) Let such Laws be Enacted as may be for the Advantage of the whole, & a due Execution of those already made. An Unexecuted Law, how ex­cellent soever it may be in the Contrivance, how great & good soever it be in the End & Design of it, It is like the Sword of Goliah behind the Ephod. It may be compared to that curious Imagery the Psalmist speaks of, Psal 115.5. Eyes have they, but they see not, Ears have they, but they hear not, Hands have they, but they handle not. Un­executed Laws have Ears, but yet deaf to every Complaint; Eyes have they, but blind to every Fault; Hands have they, but handle not, they have no hands to rectify what is amiss, to de­fend the Poor, or crush the proud Oppressor. If Laws are too big or too little for Execution, Your Wisdom will direct, whether it be not most for the Honour of Government if they were Repealed. Let such as may be improved in the Executive part of Government, be strong Rods for Government; they are so call'd, Ezek. 19.11, 14. & that with a great deal of Propriety. The Rod is the Instrument of Correction and Government. Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will fetch it out: The rod is for the fools back. The Roman Magistrates had Axes & Rods carried before them, as a sig­nificative Badge of their Office. You have heard the duty of the Subject, To Render to Cesar the things that are Cesars. All relative duties are mu­tual & reciprocal. You will suffer us, nay, incourage [Page 40] us, to expect your Protection under good Laws, and that you will Exert your whole Power for the Publick Emolument.

(2) The present sunken & fluctuating state of the Medium, deserves your Consideration. It is not my business or design to consider this matter Poli­tically, it being both out of my Province & be­yond my Capacity. It is now offer'd to View only as it affects our Morals. It tends to destroy the natural notions of Right & Wrong, to deface the lines of Justice & break down the bounda­ries fix'd between Good & Evil Denomination & Value are confounded; tho' widely different in themselves, are represented & treated as one and the same thing. Let a mans demand for any Service be never so Exorbitant, he has a Plea very handly for him, It is charg'd to the Dis­count. Another is paid without any regard to the Discount, & if he complains he is told for his Edification, very Mathematically, That a Shilling is a Shilling Which Justice is like that Mercy, the Apostle speaks of, consisting only in empty wishes & cheap good will, who say to the Naked & Hungry, Be ye fed & be ye cloathed If things go on at this Rate Extortion & Justice, Mercy & Cruelty, will live among men in Name only, how wide soever they are in their Real Differences.

(3) Let the College be the Subject of your Care, that it may be a Fountain whose Streams may make glad the City of our God. Under your kind In­fluence, let the Churches have Rest & be Edified. [Page 41] Let its Ministers in their depressed Circumstan­ces be remembred. Let the Schools both English and Indian, be the Subject of your constant Re­gard; That Fund already laid, is of such a Na­ture & Extent, which if it be as wisely improv'd as it has been kindly granted, will have those Effects, for which after Generations will rise up & call you Blessed. In a word, Consider all Orders & Degrees of men Let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream, Amos. 5.24.

2. In the next place I shall apply my self to my Reverend Brethren in the Ministry. We have heard of the Obligations of Subjects to Civil Rulers. As we disclaim the Popish Doctrine, Of Ecclesi­astical persons being Exempt from Civil Jurisdiction, Let us be Examples of Obedience, and Teach it others. Let us render to Cesar the things that are Cesars, and inculcate this on our Hearers We have receiv'd special Commision to do so. The Apostle saith, Tit. 3.1. Put them in mind to be sub­ject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates; to be ready to every good works. Let us endeavour to bring them into Subjection to CHRIST, which will contribute to their being good Sub­jects to the Government. They that will not have this Man to Rule over them, will not Submit to Humane Authority. As the weapons of our Warfare are mighty for the pulling down the strong balds of Sin and Satan, diligently apply them, that Dagon may fall before the Ark; if his Adhe­rents raise him up again, let our Endeavours be [Page 42] such that he may fall, be broken in pieces; that no­thing [...] remain. Let us Teach men, that denying all ungodliness and worldly lusts, they may live Righteously, soberly & godly in this present world. The more Converts we make to Righ­teousness, and the more there are who are Sa­vingly brought home to Christ, and bro't into Conformity to Him & Obedient to His Govern­ment, so many we have that we may depend on who will Obey the Civil Magistrate, not for wrath but for Conscience sake. If we so do, and serve the best Interests of this world, by promoting Peace, Order, & good Government, and the best Interest of a Coming World, in bringing many Sons to Glory, this we may rely on, That When the Chief Shep­hered shall appear, we shall receive a Crown of Glory that fadeth not away.

3. In the last place, I apply myself to the Body of the People. Is it our duty to render to Cesar the things that are Cesars? Be perswaded to answer this obligation.

(1) That you may endeavour after a strict Ʋnion among your selves. Preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Division & Dis-union among a People renders them more untractable, more difficult to govern, less able & willing to answer their Obligations to the Civil Rulers. A great firmness of mind and unanimity is particularly needful at this time, that the Hand of the Go­vernment may be strengthned; That Opposers seeing your steadfastness & Order, may be dis­couraged. But if one be for Paul, & another for Cephas, are ye not carnal, & walk as men? A men unacquainted with your Duty and Interest, We may be each of us [Page 43] useful to the Government. For, the head cannot say to the feet, I have [...] of you. But if we are dis-jointed, divided among our serves, dissolution, [...] weak­ness ensues upon it as a natural Consequence: For a Kingdom or House divided against it self cannot stand. Let us be as Jerusalem, that is compact & close united, and stand fast in the Liberty in which we are free.

(2) That we may answer these Obligations that we are under to our Civil Rulers, let us be Frugal, & Moderate in our Expences. Let us not live beyond our selves, not live above our Quality, or Ability. The Apostle saith, Phil. 2.3 Let each esteem Other better than himself. But being partial to ourselves, we Over rate our own Me­rit & weigh our Quality by a false Standard, & there­fore make a wrong Judgment of our selves. This Rule therefore is not so serviceable to us. But one would think we should not be mistakens as to our Ability. A very small portion of skill in Arithmetick being suf­ficient to determine that matter. But here again we are liable to mistake. We know indeed our present Abi­lity, but we depend greatly on what we think may be Hereafter Thus many run into Debt without measure, and without end, hoping they shall be able to Pay next Year, when they have no visible means for a ground of their hope; and thus go on till their Creditor & their Poverty come upon them like an armed man, And thine adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily, I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing, Mat, 5.25, 26 This fills our Streets & our Courts with complaints. The gates of Hell do not afford a more destructive Engine for the ruine and destruction of men Soul & Body, than this false & ungrounded hope of what may be done Here­after. That we have over lived the Extravagant Ex­pence of Strong Liquor; and our multiplied Debts, are flagrant Proofs & Evidences of this sad Truth: This is an hindrance to our answering the Obligations we are under to our Civil Rulers. For,

[1] It renders us less Able. What can be spar'd for the [Page 44] [...] of Government, when men have [...] their Sub­stance in a course of Idleness Riotous Living? Where nothing [...] had the King [...] his Right.

[2] As it Renders menless able, so they are more Un­willing & less Disposed to answer their Obligations to the Civil Rulers. Persons deeply Involved and greatly in Debt, Especially those who have been under flourishing Circumstances, on whose Tabernacle the Candle of the Lord has shin'd in times past, these are prone to grow uneasie & disaffected to the Government As the Children of Israel when at any time it went hard with them, and this from their own fault, yet they wou'd vent all upon their Rulers. They murmur'd against Moses & Aaron. Men of broken fortunes, men who have made shipwreck of a good Estate & a good Conscience, they are fit for any rash adventure. Being full of discontenct & despair, adhere to any Party, & fall in which any Interest, tho' it be never so contrary to the true interest of the Government. Of such as these was David's ragged Regiment composed The text faith, Every one that was in distress, every one that was in debt, & every one that was discontented Such as these despise dominion, & speak evil of dignities, Jude 8.

(3) Be faithful & painful in your Respective Callings. Idleness renders us both unable & indisposed to answer our obligations to our Rulers, & therefore unable to hold up our faces with comfort & confidence But, seek thou a man diligent in his business, he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men, Pr. 22.29. To Conclude, Let us be a humble & a thankful People. And since thro' the tender mercy of a gracious God, we have this An­niversary Solemnity renew'd upon us, let us improve it in the best manner. Be excited to Fear GOD & Honour the King. Discharge all duties, both Personal & Relative, in such manner,& persevere in an holy & religious course to the end, As that when we come to the end of our life, we may enjoy the end of our hope, even the salva­tion of our Souls, That our great Lord & Master may pronounce & say to every one of us, Well done, good & faithful servant, Enter into the Joy of your Lord.


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