The Glories of the LORD of HOSTS, AND The Fortitude of the Religious Hero. A SERMON Preached to the ancient and honourable Artillery Company June 2. 1740. Being the Anniversary of their Election of Officers.

By MATHER BYLES, A. M. Pastor of a Church in Boston.

II King. ix. 4, 5, 6.
So the Young Man, even the young Man the Prophet, went.—And when he came, behold the Captains of the Host were sit­ting; and he said, I have an Errend to thee.—Thus saith the LORD GOD of Israel.

BOSTON Printed, and may be had at the Shops of Thomas Fleet and Joseph Edwards, in Cornhill. 1740.

[Page 5]

The Glories of the Lord of Hosts, AND The Fortitude of the Religious Hero.

I Sam. xvii. 45.‘—THOU comest to ME with a SWORD, and with a SPEAR—But I come to THEE in the NAME of the LORD of HOSTS, the GOD of the ARMIES of Israel.

IT is a hardy Enterprize, my Fellow Souldiers, to which you appoint us, in your annual Elections of us, to preach upon these Occasions. More than an Hundred Years, have called for as many Military Discourses from the Desk, to sanctify your Arms, and add the peculiar Glory of Religion to your Elections, and your Exer­cises. In order to gratify your Desires, and answer your Expectations, your Ministers have at these return­ing Seasons, chosen their various Subjects, suited to the Sons of Battle, and have in a Manner exhausted all that can be said, proper for you to hear, and for the [Page 6] Pulpit to speak. Some have led you up to the Origin of War in general, expostulating with the Apostle, From whence come Wars and Fightings, come they not from hence, even of your Lusts; at the same Time proving the Necessity to learn the Art of War, so long as these Lusts remain in Men to occasion it. Some have urged our own Danger as an exposed People in our defenceless, careless Posture, and far from Zidon. Others have treated on the Nature and Necessity of Weapons, and led you into a glittering Magazine of Armory. Some have represented the Lord as a Man of War, to reflect a Glory upon your burnished Arms, and inspire you with religious Fortitude. Some have lifted up JESUS as the Ensign to the Nations, and prest you to Battle under this Triumphant Banner. Some have transported you with the Examples of former Heroes, who by Faith subdued Kingdoms, and bore victorious through all the Conflict of human Life, that you might be animated by so great a Cloud of Martyrs. Some have instructed you in the Glories of the Captain of your Salvation; Gird thy Sword upon thy Thigh, and ride forth O most mighty. Others have drawn out his [...] Armies upon the March; The Armies of Heaven followed him. Some have exhorted you to be good Soldiers of JESUS CHRIST, others have called on you to put on the whole Armour of God, others have told the Soldiers what they should do, and described the Man expert in War, and others ex­plained and argued the Doctrine of Valour, only be thou strong and very couragious; while others have taught you to encounter the last Enemy, for there is no Discharge in that War. *

[Page 7] AFTER all the pertinent, and pious, and sublime Things, which so many of my Fathers and Brethren have advanced upon this Occasion, there seems to be nothing new for me to add; nor do I readily think of any one proper Topick which has not been touched upon by others before me. However, it has been sometimes observed that the Art of Writing, among us in these latter Days, consists not so much in starting new Matter, (for that were almost impossible after all the Authors and Volumes which have gone before us) as in setting old Thoughts in a newer, or stronger, or more agreeable, or at ieast in different Lights; and as every Author has something of his own, a Specifick Quality which distinguishes him from others, this must be my Excuse for yielding to your unanimous Desire, and irresistible Importunities, and appearing at your Head this Day.

[Page 8] AND if this be a just Apology for the Author, it is much more so for the Preacher: For it is a plain Direction to us, as wise Stewards to bring out of our Treasury Things new and old. You will therefore hear with Candor; and though I should deliver the same Things, to you they will not be grievous.

ATTEND then to the Voice of my Text. The Words are a gallant Speech of young David, rushing to encounter the tall Giant of Gath. Long had the huge Monster daily strode towards the Camp of Israel, and roared his Challenge over the Campaign, to the Ears of the frighted Army. An universal Panick run through the Ranks, chilled their Blood, and shook their Fabrick. Not a Man, not a Captain bold enough to issue from their Ports, and engage the brawny Champion: They all shrunk behind their En­trenchments, and retreated from the thundering Defi­ance. Then it was that David, by Accident in the Host, heard the Menaces of the godless Giant, and a generous Indignation fired his Breast. Away goes the blooming Hero to the intimidated Monarch, and de­mands the Combat with Goliah. The King is sur­prized at the daring Genius that glowed in a Heart so young, and undisciplined to the Dangers and Art of War, and hardly consents to the unequal Fight. "Thou art but a Youth, my Son, and he, a Man of War from his Youth." ‘Why, replied the Rosey War­riour, why may I not venture? These unpromising Arms of mine, tender as they seem to you, are not unused to rugged Encounters. I am the Stripling, that have wrested a Kid of my Flock from the Paw of a Bear, and from the rubid Jaws of a Lyon; and my God shall alike deliver this Philistine into my Hand.’ Astonished, Saul gives a faint Con­sent; and David with a Sling, and a few Pebbles, runs out to the glorious Expedition. Goliah saw; and in a [Page 9] Transport of Disdain, curst the little Adventurer by his Gods; "Come hither, Youth, and by Dagon, will I scatter thy Limbs a Prey to the Beasts of the Field, and to the Fowls of the Air." To this boast­ing Period, the Words of my Text are the ardent Reply; Thou comest to me with a Sword, and with a Spear, and with a Shield; but I come to thee in the Name of the LORD of Hosts, the God of the Armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

THERE'S a noble Bravery in th [...] Expression. The ardent young Champion takes no Notice of the Bulk and Terror of his Rival's Person, but seems rather to up­braid him with Cowardise. Tall and broad, and athletick as you are, says he, it seems you dare not trust yourself against your little Enemy, without abundant Arms and Armour. Thou comest to me with a Sword, and with a Spear, and with a Shield; but I come to thee in the Name of the LORD of Hosts, the God of the Armies of Israel.

MORE than this had been unbecoming the manly Genius of a Warriour. Actions and not Words must decide the Dispute. The mighty Philistine hasted on­ward, and David rushed to meet him with undaunted Eyes, while the Sling in his Hand whirled round, and away sung the Victor-Stone towards the broad Front of the Enemy. It strook, it crushed, it sunk, and down fell the proud Boaster thundring to the Plain.

THIS was the Courage, and this the Success of David; and Devotion and Religion was the Spring and the Basis of all. A Zeal for the GOD of Israel inspired his glowing Breast, and a firm Trust in Him animated him, undaunted in the Undertaking, com­pounded of Religion and Enterprize.

[Page 10] Two glorious Characters David here gives of his GOD; the Lord of Hosts, and the God of the Armies of Israel, and all our Fire while he marches on in this great and fearful Name, he faces every Danger interested and victorious. In the Name of GOD I will destroy them; in the Name of GOD I will destroy them.

And as in the glowing Sentence are comprized the Glories of GOD, and the Fortitude of a pious Man: So the Words lead us to discourse, First of the Lord of Hosts; Secondly, of the God of the Armies of Israel; and Thirdly, of the Nature of true, rational and religious Fortitude, as taking hence its Origin, a Regard to this glorious GOD.

I. I am to discourse a little of the Lord of Hosts, and consider the most high GOD under this Cha­racter.

THIS is one of the magnificent and favourite Titles which he wears; and it is about Sixty Times applied to him in the inspired Writings. The Lord of Hosts, he is the King of Glory: The Lord of Hosts is his Name. Take a View of his extended and potent Armies, and see him in his Glory at the Head of all.

THE Heavenly Hosts are his. So are the Angels in all their shining Forms and un-numbered Regi­ments: An immeasurable Front, and an endless Rear! No Army of so exact Discipline, such invincible Cou­rage and fatal Execution. Our painted Troops are a meer Mock-Show to these resistless Legions. Our Chariots and Horses make no Figure at all before these Chariots of Fire and Horses of Fire. The Chariots of God are Twenty Thousand, even Thousands of Angels, [Page 11] Psal. lxviii. 17. and he maketh his Angels Spirits▪ his Ministers a Flame of Fire. A whole Host of our [...] Warriours shall wither in a Night before one of them; and threw the pale Camp with an hundred and fourscore and five thousand Corpses. II King. xix. 35.

BELOW these, the Stars keep their Military Watch, the Out-Guards of the Caelestial Army. And what a glittering Host of them range themselves over the Blue Plains of Aether? List up now thine Eyes to Hea­ven, and tell the Stars if thou art able to number them▪ These, in all their immense Dominions, are under his absolute Command. He bringeth out their Host by Number, he calleth them all by their Names, Psa. cxlvii. 4. Isa. xl. 26. The Stars in their Courses fight against his Enemies. How mysterious and unknown are the Laws of those unnumber'd Squadrons; and how irresistible their Movements? Canst thou bind the sweet Influences of Pleiades, or loose the Bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his Season, or canst thou guide Arcturus with his Sons? But he, the great Monarch of all, commands with infinite Ease, and every rolling World submits with exact Obedience. Behold, even to the Moon and it shineth not; and the Stars are not pure in his Sight.—Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon! and thou Moon in the Valley of Ajalon! (Josh. x. 12.) Sun, go thou back!—and won­dering Nations shall gaze, and enquire the meaning of the astonishing Retreat. II King. xx. 8.—

BELOW these, and failing along our Atmosphere, the Clouds make their majestick Appearance: A flying Camp; or a moving Magazine of Divine Ar­tillery. Hast thou entered into the Treasures of Snow, or hast thou seen the Treasures of Hail; which I have [Page 12] reserved against the Time of Trouble, against the Day of Battle and War. Job xxxviii. 22, 23. There the Northern Tempests plant their impetuous Batteries; there the fierce Engines of the Sky play in various Forms of Destruction.

There like a Trumpet, loud and strong,
Thy Thunder shakes the Coast;
There the red Light'nings wave along,
The Banners of thine Host! *

HE is alike Lord of the Terrestial Hosts, while every Species of Creatures, and every Individual is under his exact Command. But who can call over the List of these extended Colours? Is there any Number of his Armies? The Earth is full of his Le­gions; so also is the great and wide Sea, with all the Tribes and Colonies there, from the fearless Leviathan in all his Terrors, to the minute, invisible Swarms and Shoals in every Drop, unnumber'd and unnam'd! So on the Surface of this our Earth the Lion leads up the Van among the Four-footed, and the fiercer Animals form the foremost Line: Among which the Horse "paws the Valley, and rejoices in his Strength, tosses the Thunder of his Neck, and shakes the Lightning of his Main. The Glory of his Nostrils is terrible; he goeth on to meet the armed Men. He mocketh at Fear, and is not affrighted, neither turneth he back from the Sword. The Quiver rattleth against him, the glittering Spear and the Shield. He swalloweth the Ground with Fierceness and Rage: Neither believeth he that it is the Sound of the Trum­pet. He saith among the Trumpets, Ha! ha! He smelleth the Battle afar off, the Thunder of the Cap­tains, and the Shouting."

[Page 13] BUT need we speak of the greater Animals to raise our Terror at the Hosts of GOD. Nay, the most sordid Remile, the most contemptible Insects can form a most triumphant Army, and proclaim them­selves God's huge Host. Never was an Allegory bet­ter work'd up, more forcibly and elegantly carried on, and finished, than the Description of the Plague of Locusts in the Second Chapter of Joel. One would imagine it a March of Nations, or a Muster of An­gels sent upon the Execution of Divine Vengeance. Turn to it, and read it: For it would affront the Di­vine Eloquence of the Original to describe it in any other Words.—So grand [...] the Lord of Hosts, before the most despicable of his Armies.

AND where's the Creature that he cannot com­mission, or that dares to mutiny against his Sovereign Edicts. He shall hiss for the Fly, Isa. vii. 18. and they shall crowd rushing round his lifted Standard. The very Lice shall overpower his proudest Enemy, and bend even the haughty Soul of a Pharaoh. His Air shall scatter Venom Plagues and Death over de­voted Nations. His Water shall rise from its silent Fountains beneath, and overwhelm a guilty World. His Fire shall rage through a frighted City with inexorable Violence, or drive down from Heaven in a Tempest of showering Flame. His Earthquakes shall hurl splintered Rocks from their Basis; and Mountains shall be cast into the midst of the Sea▪ The Earth itself shall be broken down and dissolved before it, "and wander like a blazing Star about the AEther," a Standard displayed to other Worlds de­nouncing almighty Vengeance.

On the contrary, the most voracious Animal, and lawless Element shall grow tame and placid at his Order, renounce its ravenous Nature, and protect in­stead of destroying. Hungry Ravens shall fly with [Page 14] Rapture, and drop the Prey from their Beak to reed the favourite Prophet. Foaming Waves shall roll fluid no longer, but open to the Right and Left, and rise in Heaps, to guard the Wings of his chosen Ar­mies, marching under his Conduct. Devouring Flames shall refuse to burn when he gives the Order, and shine round his distinguished Worthies a lambent Glory. Rapacious Sea-Monsters shall be a safe Con­voy to the Man whom he appoints to go upon his Embassy: And inhospitable Lions restrain their Appetites, gaze with Pleasure upon the welcome Stranger, couch at his Knees, and lick his Feet. Be­hold, what a Lord of Hosts is here, even the Wind and the Seas obey him. He rules

amidst the War of Elements
The Wrecks of Matter, and the Crush of Worlds.

EVEN the Devils are subject to him. He com­mands the unclean Spirits, and they obey him, through their warlike Regiments. Their Name is Legion, for they are many. But their very Wrath shall praise him, and the Remainder of it shall he restrain. Be­hold, I saw the Lord sitting upon his Throne, and all the Host of Heaven standing on his Right Hand and on his Left. II Chron. xviii. 8. And lo, a certain lying Spirit comes and asks Permission but to bring about, his high Designs.

'TIS no Addition to him then to add, he is the Lord of our Hosts, and not an Army gathers on this Earth without his Councils and Providence. The Lord of Hosts mustereth the Host to Battle. He unfurls his Ensigns, and calls for the March of Nations in universal Tumult, and ranges half the Globe on a Side, confederated to a decisive Battle. What amazing Numbers have pour'd together when he has unsheathed [Page 15] his Sword, and flung away the Scabbard? Armies uncounted!

Whose Reer lay hid in Night, whilst rising Dawn
Rous'd the broad Front, and call'd the Battle on. *

AND the Battle is the Lord's; and the Greatness, and the Power, and the Glory, and the Victory, and the Majesty. Isa. v. 26,—And he will lift up an En­sign to the Nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the End of the Earth: and behold they shall come with Speed quickly. None shall be weary nor stumble amongst them: none shall slumber nor sleep: neither shall the Girdle of their Loyns be loosed, nor the Latchet of their Shoes be broken. Whose Arrows are sharp, and all their Bows bent, their Horses Hoofs shall be counted like Flint, and their Wheels like a Whirlwind. Their roring shall be like a Lion, they shall rore like young Lions: yea, they shall rore and lay hold of the Prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it. And in that Day they shall rore against them, like the roring of the Sea: And if one look unto the Land, behold Dark­ness and Sorrow, and the Light is darkned in the Hea­vens thereof. He can strike an unaccountable Panick through the boldest Cohorts, defeat the most nu­merous and potent, by the glare of a few Lamps, the crash of a few Pitchers; and hurl down the proudest Bulwarks thundring to the Ground, with the Blast of a few Tempests.

I have hardly Time to apply this. Suffer me a Word or two.

[Page 16] 1. FROM what we have heard, how desperate their Hazard who are in a State of War with the Lord of Hosts! So are all who are in a State of Na­ture for we are born Children of Wrath. All Nature is armed against you to revenge the Quarrel of its Maker. Not an Element, not a Creature, but stands ready to destroy you; and with Vehemence urges, My Father, shall I smile them? shall I smite them?

HOW necessary is it for us to fling down our Wea­pons, and sue for Reconciliation in the Merits of JESUS; for this Man is THE Peace. Agree with thine Adversary quickly, while thou art in the Way with him, lest he anon tear thee in pieces, and there be none to deliver thee.

2. LET us pay an humble Submission and Obe­dience to the Lord of Hosts, in every Rank, and in every Post where he has placed us. To one he has committed the Sword of the Magistrate, and you, my Fathers, must by no Means bear his Sword in vain. Another he has posted at the Head of a Family, and we must acknowledge it to him, With my Feast I passed over this Jordan, and now am I become two Bands. Us has he constituted as Leaders to his Church, and it becomes us to endure Hardship as good Soldiers of JESUS CHRIST. And you, my Brethren, are called to the Glories of the Field; Be of good Courage, and play the Man for your People, and for the Cities of your GOD. Others are Brethren of low Degree, and but private Centinels in his Hosts: Murmur not; be contented upon Duty; and let every Man wherein he is called therein abide with GOD. You to the Sword and Spear; and we to the Service of the Temple.

[Page 17] THE Second Thing to be spoken to is,

II. THE Lord of Hosts, is in an eminent Sense, the God of the Armies of Israel.

HE stands in a peculiar Relation to his Favourite People. So he descended with his drawn Sword in his Hand, and made his Claim to Joshua, when the intrepid General saw him, and bravely demanded, Art thou for us, or for our Adversaries? Nay, replied the illustrious Vision, but as Captain of the Host of the LORD am I come. *—And the adoring Hero fell prostrate and kist the Ground. This seems to be litterally the Glory of our Lord JESUS CHRIST, the Messiah who was to come, and by a close atten­tion to the holy Scriptures will, I believe, be found appropriated to him. Compare Exod. xxiii. 20, 21. with Exod. xxxiii. 2, 3.

WHILE Israel was litterally a People, he was im­mediately their LORD. He chose them from among the Nations, led them through the Wilderness, and pitched his Shekinah among them, his Pavilion of Clouds and Fire. And what People was there so great, who had GOD so nigh to them? The Ark was a Symbal of his Presence; and by it he led them in their March, and by it they halted. Numb. x. 35, 36. And it came to pass when the Ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine Ene­mies be scattered; and let them that hate thee, flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many Thousands of Israel.

[Page 18] AND this favourite Nation was only a Type of the Church to the End of the World. GOD, in the Incarnate Son, is the Captain of their Salvation. He has chosen them out of the World, they are listed under his Banners, he marches before them conquer­ing and to conquer, and they follow, whithersoever he goeth, more than Conquerors through him who loveth them. The Armies of Heaven follow him. And who is she that looketh forth as the Morning, fair as the Moon, clear as the Sun, and terrible as an Army with Banners. And who is he at their Head, that cometh from Edom, in dy'd Garments from Bozrah, glorious in his Apparel, travelling in the greatness of his Strength; and why are his Garments red, but in the Blood of his Enemies. He proposes Rewards to the Souldier, and leads the Way through the Labour to the Triumph: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit down with me upon my Throne, even as I also overcame, and am sit down with my Father upon his Throne.

IN every Light he is their GOD. They are all chosen Men. He prest them into Service; and they are also Voluntiers in his Cause; bound by Military Oaths and Sacraments. He is thy Lord, and worship thou him.

A Theme this for noble Discourse and Entertain­ment; but I must with Regret leave it, with one or two Reflections.

1. WE learn hence the Immunities of the Church of JESUS CHRIST. No Monarch has any Authority to make new Laws for his Church, or to bind a Burthen on that Conscience over which he claims an undivided Empire. The Armies of Israel, in this Sense, own no other Lord. Stand fast therefore in the Liberty wherewith CHRIST hath made you free.

[Page 19] 2. How victorious shall the Host of GOD be under such a Leader? David in the Triumphs of my Context, was but a little Emblem of it. Though a Troop may overcome them, they shall overcome at last. He that hath clean Hands shall wax stronger and stronger; as did the House of David. They shall overcome in the Blood of the Lamb, and reign till all Things are put in Subjection under him. The last Enemy to be conquered is Death. But Thanks be to God who hath given us the Victory through our Lord JESUS CHRIST. The whole Church Mllitant shall so tri­umph. He that falleth on it shall be brokens but be upon whom it shall fall it shall grind him to Powder.—All the Fowls that fly in the midst of Heaven, come, and gather your selves together unto the Supper of the great God; that ye may eat the Flesh of Kings, and the Flesh of Captains, and the Flesh of mighty Men, and the Flesh of Horses, and of them that sit on them, and the Flesh of all Men, both free and bond, both small and great. *

THE last Thing now remains, viz.

III. To speak of the Doctrine of true Fortitude, as taking hence its Origin, a Regard to the glorious GOD, in every hardy Enterprize.

COURAGE is a Moral Virtue, and a Thing very different from a flush of Animal Spirits, or a firmness of Fibres in the Heart and Brain. It must have its Foundation in Reason, (and, shall I add, in Religion; which is the best Reason) or it subsides into Stupidity, or foams up in Frenzy. There are some Things in­deed observable in the Brutal World, which by way of Analogy we call by Names taken from Moral [Page 20] Virtues. But by no Means are they to be strictly under­stood. So we speak of the Courage of the Lyon and the War-Horse, and even the Charity and Piety of the Stork feeding its aged Parents. But if we understand litterally these Virtues, the pure Effects of Nature in Creatures incapable of Moral Government; methinks one had as good finish the Scheme at once, applaud the Patience of a Log, and compliment a Block for Passive Obedience and Non Resistance.

No; Courage is that Firmness of Mind which will enable a Man, from Principle, to abide by the Dictates of his Rational Nature against all Opposition. Some Men, indeed, have a natural Constitution that is a Mechanical Aid to this Virtue: Others, from the unhappier Fabrick of the Body, and the feebler Con­sistence of the Fluids are more liable to Temptations from the contrary Vices of Diffidence and Cowardise. But still the Virtues and Vices are distinct from these material Operations: Their Foundation is Principle▪ and their Subject is the Mind of a Moral Agent.

How many Actions have been applauded among Men as highly Heroick, which examined to the Bot­tom will be found really mean; I will venture to add, the pure Effects of a dastardly Spirit. Such I pro­nounce the SPIRIT OF A DUEL. I believe upon impartial Enquiry it will be found that a Duel has been seldom undertaken but from the ignominious Power of Fear. Reason, and Religion, and the Man's own Inclinations have all conspired to forbid the Fact, but the poor Paltroon has not had Presence of Mind, and Bravery of Resolution, to stand by the Dictates of his Understanding and Conscience, only for Fear of being laugh'd at. Call you this Courage, whose Ori­ginal and Spring is all paltry Fear? So many a Coward has kept the Field, purely by being afraid to [Page 21] run, or ashamed of the Hiss of his Companions. Valour indeed, that can't stand the Shock of a little Banter!

THE Fortitude of the true Hero disdains to ask any Questions, but,—What is the present Duty? But 'tis the true Character of a Coward to consult,—What Evil can I best bear? And if from a distracted Judg­ment, Death and Divine Vengeance at a distance, do not so much fright him as the present Contempt of Mankind, the Dastard chuses Damnation rather than Ridicule.

VALOUR's a noble Turn of Thought,
Whose pardon'd Guilt forbids her Fears;
Calmly she meets the deadly Shot,
Secure of Life above the Stars.
But FRENZY dares Eternal Fate,
And spur'd by Honour's airy Dreams,
Flies to attack th' Infernal Gate,
And force a Passage to the Flames. *

How soon shall all this Flesh desert the Man? The Day hastens, when the great Men, and the chief Captains, and the mighty Men shall fly to hid in the Dens and Rocks of the Mountains. Then rejoice ye Righteous, lift up your Heads with Joy, for your Re­demption draweth nigh.

IF Reason must be the Basis of true Courage, who can lay so fair a Claim to it as the Hero of Religion? No Reason like his who marches on in Obedience to his GOD, and vanquishes all the Reluctances within, nor will allow them so much as to parley. No tall [Page 22] Champion of the Field so terrible as to drive him from his Post, or cause him to desert his Colours. This is the little Stripling that shall issue out with a Sling against an armed, gigantick Warriour, without a Thought of Retreat. This the Man that shall bear up to the Battery of Cannon, and be the first to leap over the Trench, and rush into the Breach, sustaining with a steady Mind all the Tumult, and Havock, and Horrors of the Storm. Not so the Horse rusheth to the Battle. Not so the Lyon faces the Lybian Hunters. Not so the Leviathan raiseth up himself the Terror of the mighty; laughs at the shaking of the Spear, and the stubble of the Darts, and scatters the Weapons upon the Mire. But (in the Words of the correct, the delicate, the sublime Addison)

So when an Angel, by Divine Command,
With rising Tempests, shakes a guilty Land;
(Such as from Heaven o'er pale Britannia past)
Calm and serene be drives the furious Blast,
And pleas'd, th' Almighty's Orders to perform,
Rides in the Whirlwind and directs the Storm.

AFTER so grand a Set of Images, and such a Pomp of Eloquence, nothing can sound well but In­spiration itself. And David himself, the Hero of the Day, full of the Holy Ghost, has given us a most animated Description of religious Fortitude, in a Song for the Edge of Battle. Psal. lxvi. 1. God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in Trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the Earth be re­moved, and though the Mountains be thrown into the midst of the Sea; though the Waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the Mountains shake with the swelling thereof.—The Heathen raged, the Kingdoms were moved; be uttered his Voice, the Earth melted. The LORD of [Page 23] Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our Refuge. Happy stands this Man, while Heaven it self draws his Character. He shall deliver thee in six Troubles: yea, in seven there shall no Evil touch thee. In Famine he shall redeem thee from Death; and in War from the Power of the Sword. Thou shalt be hid from the Scourge of the Tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of Destruction when it cometh. At Destruction and Famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the Beasts of the Earth. For thou shalt be in League with the Stones of the Field: and the Beasts of the Field shall be at Peace with thee. *

THUS fearless may stand the Man secure of his Maker's Friendship. The greatest Mortal General needs to be supported by Numbers, animated by Trumpets and Shouts of Applause, inspir'd Examples of Bravery all round the Field, and hurried out of himself from a cool Survey of Death and Eternity. How many a Coward hath stood his Ground, sup­ported by such little Arts. But the Christian can go alone, calmly, insulted, to a burning Stake, that most indisputable Tryal of thorough Courage. Persons the most unlikely have been so inspired. The tenderest Age, and the softest Sex have in this way encountered and mocked the King of Terrors; and at her Feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down; at her Feet he bowed, he fell; where he bowed there he fell down vanquished Guilt and painful Fear came into the World together. Assoon as our Fore-Father fell, he cried out, I heard thy Voice in the Garden, and I was afraid. If there's a Conscience of Guilt removed, then the Love will cast out the Fear. So that Courage in this Light appears to be a Grace of the Spirit of GOD.

[Page 24] THUS, my Brethren of the Field, I have led you up to the Head-Spring of true, manly, and Christian Fortitude. In this, I have not deserted my Station, but acted as became a Minister of CHRIST, and agree­able to the Text I have chosen. Had I treated of Skill in Arms; of Facings, Advances and Retreats, of Evolutions, Counter-marches and Military Figures, I had descended from my Rank, and you could easily drive me back to my Line, keep the Field, and out­preach me. But every Man to his Post. Thou comest to me with a Sword, and with a Spear; but I come to thee in the Name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the Armies of Israel. While You are called to the glorious below, We appear in the Mount and lift up our Hands, and the Rod of GOD there. Or if need be, we will come down and share your Hazards, and animate you to the Battle in the Name of GOD. Deut. xx. 1, 2, 3, 4. When thou goest out to Battle against thine Enemies, and seest Horses and Chariots, and a People more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee—. And it shall be when ye are come nigh unto the Battle, that the Priest shall approach and speak unto the People, and shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, you approach this Day unto Bat­tle against your Enemies: let not your Hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them. For the Lord your God is he that goeth before you, to fight for you against your Enemies, to save you.

BUT I must hasten to a Close. And in the First Place you will allow me to preach to my self, and improve at least something by my own Discourse.

AND from what we have heard, How becoming is Courage to a Minister of CHRIST? None go forth more immediately in the Name of the Lord of Hosts than we. None are called to bolder Services, knowing [Page 25] we are set for the Defence of the Gospel. The Priests bearing the Ark of GOD must be the first to ford the Swell of Jordan, and upon the deepest Sands below must they take their gallant Stand till the meanest Israelite be passed over. What a poor Figure makes a cowardly Minister! Shall he be afraid of the Faces of Men, who comes upon Embasseys from the great GOD! Ezek. iii. 8, 9. Behold, I have made thy Face strong against their Faces; and thy Forehead strong against their Foreheads. As an Adamant, harder than a Flint, have I made thy Forehead: Fear them not, neither be dismayed at their Looks. This was the brave Cha­racter of the intrepid Priests that withstood the Mo­narch in his impious Invasion upon their sacred Office. II Chron. xxvi. 16,—20. But when he was strong, his Heart was lifted up to his Destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the Temple of the LORD, to burn Incense upon the Altar of Incense. And Azariah [...] Priest went in after him, and with him Fourscore Priests of the LORD, that were valiant Men: And they withstood Uzziah the King, and said unto him, It pertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn Incense unto the LORD, but to the Priests the Sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn Incense: go out of the Sanctuary, for thou hast trespassed, neither shall it be for thine Honour from the LORD God. Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a Censer in his Hand, to burn Incense: and while he was wroth with the Priests, the Leprosie even rose up in his Forehead before the Priests in the House of the LORD, from beside the Incense-Altar. And Azariah the chief Priest, and all the Priests looked upon him, and behold, he was leprous in his Forehead, and they thrust him out from thence, yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. And this was the Magnani­mity and Resolution of our Apostle, Act. xx. 22, 23, 24. I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the Things that shall befal me there: Save that the holy [Page 26] Ghost witnesseth in every City, saying, that Bonds and Afflictions abide me. But none of these Things move me, neither count I my Life dear unto my self, so that I might finish my Course with Joy, and the Ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the Grace of God. So sings he in inimitable Periods, and with more than mortal Eloquence, We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the Body the Dying of the Lord Jesus;—alway delivered unto Death for Jesus sake. * So JESUS himself led the Way; and on the Paschal Night when the Vengeance of Heaven was marching through the Land, and GOD had given Warning, None of you shall go out of the Door of his House until the Morning; then it was that our Lord went forth as from between the sprinkled Door-Posts, to encounter Divine Justice upon the March. This was his Work, and he has left us his own Example of Courage upon Duty. My Brethren, let the same Mind be in us. Fight the good Fight of Faith, lay hold on eternal Life. As we wrestle not against Flesh and Blood, but against Principalities and Powers, against the Rulers of the Darkness of this World, against wicked Spirits in high Places; so let the Weapons of our Warfare, which is not carnal but spiritual, be mighty through God to the pulling down of strong Holds. Anon, you shall put off the Harness, and glory, I have fought a good Fight, I have finished my Course, I have kept the Faith, I go to the Reward. The Kingdom of Heaven suffereth Violence, and the violent take it by Storm: And these shall, as Victors through a Breach, have an abundant Entrance into the Joy of their Lord. Here shall we receive immortal Lawrels. Not a withering Chaplet, or a fading Garland, the transient Crown, or an Olym­pick [Page 27] Victor; but the Crown of Life that fadeth not away.

IN the mean Time let our Examples and our Dis­courses inspire Courage into the Breasts of the Militant Hosts of GOD below: And while Israel encounters her Enemies let the Priests blow the Trumpets.

II. LET us all, from what we have heard, list our selves Volunteers in the Hosts of GOD. Let us make sure of our Maker's Friendship through JESUS CHRIST; and this be the Foundation of our Courage, I know whom I have believed. There's nothing irra­tional or enthusiastick in this. A Man may upon the most solid Principles be assured of the Truth of the Christian Religion: And he may be as rationally satisfied of his own being a true Christian. And these being ascertained,—The Lord is my Light and my Sal­vation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Strength of my Life, of whom shall I be afraid. Nor Life nor Death can hurt us; all Things shall conspire our Good. Watch ye, stand fast in the Faith, quit you like Men, be strong. Look with a disdainful Smile upon all your armed Enemies, you have more numerous and powerful Auxiliaries. There is more with us than with them. The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him; and lo! the Mountain crowded with Chariots and Horses of Fire.

III. From what you have heard, you infer, a Man may lawfully engage in War. He may go in the Name of the Lord of Hosts. This is a Subject that has been often handled upon these Occasions, and to out short the Matter, the Proof may take this direct Course. Is there any Man upon Earth, who does not own that a Criminal ought to be punished? But suppose this Criminal stands upon his own De­fence, [Page 28] and is resolved to attack every one that shall attempt to punish him: Suppose he engages a Number of others to stand by him, and to fight for him rather than deliver himself up; what shall be done in this Case? Shall the Officers of Justice let him alone, if they cannot perswade him to Chastisement by Dint of Eloquence? This were to let the most egregious Cri­minal go free, and correct only the more modest: The harden'd Villain would escape, and, in a Sense which Solomon never meant, The Rod would be only for the Fool's Back. It must then be lawful by Force, to make a Thief, for Instance, refund his unjust Gains, and by Punishment deter him from future Ravages. This is the Case of a Nation engaged in a lawful War. It has been pillaged by a Combination of Thieves: These unreasonable Banditti ought to make Restitution, and for many Reasons, submit to Discipline, but the refractory Men stand upon their Defence. There's no other Way left then but to march out in the Name of GOD, and overpower them by Force. And as the Laws of particular Kingdoms have appointed such and such particular Men, as the Ministers of GOD to ex [...]c [...]te Vengeance; the Law of Nations in general gives to every People Authority to protect themselves, and to punish those who injure them as far as they are able, as their own Executors. So that Fighting may be as necessary as Laws themselves; for what signify Laws without Sanctions.

BUT I have stood longer than I intended, and must now dismiss you.


You profess Skill in Arms, and would be ashamed of any thing like Cowardise. You are a Band of cho­sen Men, the Head and the Flower of all our Militia. [Page 29] To honour Arms, and add a Glory to your Order, I have set before you the great GOD as the Lord of Hosts. And at the same Time I have recommended to you the surest way to arrive at true Fortitude, that greatest Glory of a Souldier: A religious Regard to the great GOD the Basis of rational Courage; without which all Pretences to it are no better than the Stupi­dity of a Stock, or the Rage of a Brute. Be ambitious of this Title, THE CHRISTIAN HERO.

YOU may now bear on fearless of every Danger, should the GOD of Armies call you to immediate Service. How soon this may be GOD knows; for your Musters are now something more than pretty Amusements, while the Sword of an injur'd Nation is unsheathed, and Vengeance is thundred from the Mouth of her Cannon. Hark! to the Sound of the Trumpet and Alarm of War! Hear the rushing of Nations, that make a Noise like the Sea, a rushing, like the rushing of mighty Waters! Methinks I can there­fore address you with a better Grace, than when these things only appeared at a distance, and your Exercises looked less in earnest. Sure you will not make a Flourish in a Game, and when the Field gleams with hostile Terrors bear to be insulted with the keen Sarcasm Judg. ix. 38. Where is now thy Mouth, wherewith thou saidst, who is Abimelech—? Is not this the People that thou hast despised? Go out now and fight with them.

WE are certainly a most exposed People, and in our unfortified Posture seem to lye an easy Prey to the first Invader. 'Tis not for me to charge the Fault of this any where: Only to pray GOD that some happy Method may open for the Redress of this Grievance. Do good in thy good Pleasure unto Zion; build thou the Walls of thy Jerusalem. David himself, with [Page 30] all his Courage and Divine Commission, would not encounter his Enemy without some Arms; a Sling and a Stone at least, the Weapons which he knew best how to manage. To have gone in the Name of the Lord of Hosts without, had been an unwarrantable Presumption. While we have been sitting at Ease amidst the Ruins of our falling Batteries, without so much as a Sling-Stone to defend us: Or rather have seen our disjointed Fortifications dropping into seperate Stones of no use but for the Sling: Instead of Bul­warks a few loose Pebbles. My Brethren, these Things ought not so to be. However, the Name of the LORD is still our strong Tower, the Righteous fly to it and are saved. So our Place of Defence shall be the Munitions of Rocks.

BUT You, Gentlemen, will do what in you lies to diffuse Skill and Valour through your several Regi­ments and Companies; that at least we may keep our Country, should we be obliged to give up our Fron­tiers on the Sea. A small Number of disciplined Troops will over-match a Rout of Thousands. So a few Men uniting their Strength, shall be able with ease, to lift a Weight, which Ten times the Number trying seperately shall not be able to move. This is the Reason that all the military Movements and Fires should be exactly together, that the whole Battallion may act as one, with irrisistible Forces. The Drum and the Trumpet should be articulate to every Souldier, and he should know at the first Notes, the Charge, the Retreat, and the Parley. Every Man should be ac­quainted with his Duty, and be exact to the Word of Command. The whole Success of an Engagement, and the Fate of a Country, under GOD, depends upon this one Military Maxim.

[Page 31] AND with how much Calm of Mind may you at­tend to it, in the midst of the most hazardous Enter­prize, if you can but assure your selves you are ven­turing in the Name of the Lord of Hosts; and he is engaged for you. Then, to advance will not be ter­rible; to retreat will not be shameful; for all will be under the serene Conduct of Reason and Duty. You will not be meanly elated by the compleatest Victory; nor afraid to fall in the hottest Battle; but with an equal Mind hear the Shouts of Triumph and the Groans of Death. Thou shalt not be afraid for the Terror by Night, nor for the Arrow that flyeth by Day. A thousand shall fall at thy Side, and ten thousand at thy right Hand, and thou shalt not be moved. Thou shalt tread upon the Lyon and Adder; the young Lyon and the Dragon thou shalt trample under Feet.—Go up and prosper: The LORD is with thee, thou mighty Man of Valour.


THE Author having neither Leasure nor Inclination to transcribe his Notes for the Press, when the Gentlemen of the Artillery asked his Copy, it has occasioned many Errata. Some of the grosser the Reader is desired to correct as follows:

Page 8. Line 15. for their read the. l. 5. from Bottom, for rubid read rabid.

P. 11. l. 3. for menal read mortal.

P. 12. l. 13. for Colours read Cohorts.

P. 13. l. 3. for Remile read Reptile.

P. 16. l. 12. from Bottom, for Feast read Staff.

P. [...]1. l. 6. for What read Which l. 11. from Bottom, for Flesh read Flush.

P. 24 l. 9. for Line read Lines. l. 13. after glorious add Labours.

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