Mr. Heminway's SERMON

On Proverbs XVI. 7.
When a mans Ways please the LORD, He maketh even his Enemies to be at Peace with him.

THE Favour of GOD THE BEST SECURITY OF A PEOPLE AND A Concern to Please Him, Urged;

In a SERMON delivered before the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Colony of Connecticut, at Hartford, May the 8th, 1740.

Being the Day for Electing the Honourable the GOVERNOUR, the DEPUTY GOVERNOUR, and the Worshipful ASSISTANTS, there.

By Jacob Heminway, A. M. Pastor of the Church of CHRIST in East Haven.

Psal xci. 1.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

N LONDON. Printed and Sold by T. GREEN, Printer to the GOVERNOUR and COMPANY, 1740.


At a GENERAL ASSEMBLY holden at Hartford on the Second Thursday of May, Anno Domini, 1740.

Ordered by this Assembly,

THAT Joseph Whiting Esq; and Capt. Isaac Dickerman, Return the Thanks of this Assembly to the Reverend Mr Jacob Heminway, for his SERMON delivered before the Assembly on the Eighth Instant, and desire a Copy thereof that it may be Printed.

George Wyllys Secr.
[Page 1]

The Favour of GOD the best Security of a People.

PROVERBS XVI. 7.‘When a mans Ways please the LORD, He maketh even his Enemies to be at Peace with him.’

IT being the pleasure of the All-wise GOD to suffer War to happen in our Nation at this Day as in gives us all grounds to fear that our Ways have not been Pleasing un­to Him; so if we are sensible o [...] our Danger, it can scarcely be imagined, but that we should be thoughtful & inquisitive what we may best do to secure our selves from the invasions of our Enemies▪

And truly at this day, this has been the soli­citous tho't & Enquiry of many in this Govern­ment: And in a time of Danger it is but rea­sonable that every one should have a suitable Concern for his own & others Safety. But here lies the difficulty▪ fully to determine what is the b [...]st [...]e h [...]d & way that a Person or People can t [...]ke for their own Defence and Security from their Enemies. And some are for one way and [Page 2] some for another▪ And this being an Enquiry of such Importance, that it is needful it should be satisfyingly Answered, I have therefore tho't it best for us to seek for an Answer to this Enquiry from the Oracles of God▪ For as God is wiser than men, so his Counsels & Directions are the safest for us to follow And therefore I have tho't it might be season b [...]e & suitable at this time, to Entertain you from this Portion of [...]. Writ, even this wise Proverb of Solomon; who as he was one of the Wisest of meer men, so being a King he had the clearest insight into the affairs of Govern­ment, and well knew what would most of all conduce to the Peace, Security & Prosperity of a People. And whereas at some times and under some circumstances, it might appear a difficult & puzzling Question to some how to make their Enemies to become their Friends & to be at Peace with them, he h [...]th in these words resolved this Problem & wisely answer'd the Case in this sa [...]ng, When a many ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him▪ The words in themselves are p [...]ain & obvious, and need little or no Exp [...]ication. And by one who [...]e ways please the Lord, we may understand a godly Person, one who orders his Con­versation a [...]ght; One who is careful to obey God in all his ways, one that above all things is studi­ous of g [...]ning the friendship and favour of God. And when the case is so with any man or people, [Page 3] God will make even their Enemies to be at Peace with [...] Th [...]i [...], He will not onl [...] keep his Friends in peace with him but will also move and in­cline his very Enemies unto peace & friendship, so that they shall not in any wise [...] him▪ As if he h [...]d said, When [...]ce a man has [...] the favour & friendship of God, God will protect & secure him, and not only make hi [...] Friends [...] Friends; but will make [...] very [...] to be either at Peace or become his Friends. God will make his worst Enemies to be either so far at Peace with him as that they shall no ways hurt him, or be cordial Friends to him and do him good▪ And so in these few words, Solomon does very much com­mend Religion is the most likely way to Pro­tection & Security from all Adversaries.

But here seems to be one Objection lying in the way of this Truth which may need a little Solution, and it is this;

How often in all Ages has it been observed, That th [...]se that have been godly & whose ways did please the Lord, yet have had Enemies that were never at peace with them, but always endeavoured to do them mischief? And Christ tells his faithful Followers, That they should be hated of all men for his Name sake. And we read of some of the Primitive Saints of the first Magnitude, of whom the world was not worthy, Heb. 11. 36,—Who had trials of cruel Mockings & Scourgings; Yea, moreover of Bonds and Imprisonment. They were stoned, they were [Page 4] sawn asunder, werr [...]emoted and slain by the Sword; They wandred about in Sheep-skins & Goat-skins, be­ing destitute, afflicted, tormented: They wandred in Deserts and Mountains, in Dens and Caves of the Earth. So that to a carnal Eye, one would be ready to think this Aphorism of Solomon to be but a Paradox, and that the Truth lay in the Reverse; and that th [...]se had the fewell Enemies and most Peace whose ways displeased God: As it hath been often found in Experience, That the tabernacles of Robbers prosper, and that those that temp God are secure.

How then must we understand this saying of Solomon, That when a mans ways please the Lord, he will make even his Enemies to be at peace with him?

Now for an Answer to this Objection, we must remember, That God makes a mans Enemies to be at Peace with him in a two-fold sense.

1. When he makes them become his Friends: When those that were at Enmity with him and hated him, become Reconciled & cordial Friends to him, to love him & carry it friendly to him.

2. God makes a mans Enemies to be at Peace with him, when He protects & secures him from all harm from them: So that tho' their Enmity remains and they would destroy him if they could, yet God curbs & restrains their Power, so that their hands cannot perform their Enterprise: And so a man is as secure from all harm from his Enemies, as if they were at perfect Peace and Amity. In [Page 5] this sense we may understand that Text, Job 5. 23. Thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field, & the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee. That is, You shall be secure from harm by them. Now tho' it be true. That when a mans ways please the Lord, he doth not always make his Enemies become his Friends, and so at peace with him in that sense; yet He doth al­ways secure him from all harm from his Ene­mies, whether secret or open; and doth in his Providence so order the matter, That tho' the Enemies of the godly are somtimes permitted to make a spoil and a prey of their Estates, and to destroy their Children & Friends, yea, and somtimes also to take them Captives & keep them in Slavery, ye [...], and somtimes to destroy their Persons; yet nothing they do or can do to them, shall be for their hurt: And God per­mits them to take nothing from them, but what they may better want than have: For this stands & must stand as an everlasting truth, Rom. 8. 28 All things shall work together for good, to them that love God. So that in this sense, when a mans ways please the Lord, He doth always make his Enemies to be at peace with him: That is, So far as that they shall do him no hurt, but good, whatever their evil intentions may be.

And we may farther take notice, That So­lomon here speaks of man in particular, and not of man in general; because it might then be [Page 6] justly Objected, That such a thing never was, and probably never would be, that all men should conspire together to please God in their ways; And yet it is so spoken of man in parti­cular, that all men in general may be encou­raged to endeavour after it; and every one has reason to hope for the good of the Promise if his ways please God.

And we may farther observe, That Solomon here speaks of the Ways of a man pleasing the Lord, rather than of his Heart, because the ways of man are the best discovery of his heart; and it is but in vain for men to flatter them­selves that they please God in their hearts, when they displease him in their lives & ways.

And the words thus considered may afford us this

DOCTRINE, That the best way for men to be Secured from all their Enemies, is to Please GOD.

So much Solomon here teaches us in this Text, When a mans ways please the Lord, he ma­keth even his Enemies to be at Peace with him.

In speaking to this Doctrine, I shall offer these Two Propositions. [I.] That all men are more or less subject & lye exposed to Enemies. [II.] That the best way for them to be secured from all their Enemies is to please God.

PROP. I. That all men are more or less subject and lye exposed to Enemies,

[Page 7] There is no man on this side Heaven, can justly look upon himself as altogether free & out of danger from his Enemies. Now, as men are made up of two main constituent parts, Namely, their Souls and their Bodies; so there are two sorts of Enemies that all men are more or less exposed to, Namely, the Enemies of their Souls & the Enemies of their Bodies.

And under the first sort of Enemies may be comprised the Devil & his Angels; even all the powers of Hell & Darkness, even all those A­postate Angels that kept not their first State, but left their own Habitation; who are reser­ved in everlasting chains under darkness to the Judgment of the great Day; who being filled with rage & malice against God and all that belongs to Him. These envious spirits being grieved that any of the Sons of men shou'd fill up those empty Mansions in glory, which they by Sin have lost, are therefore continually doing their utmost to hinder men from happiness. And they are very subtil and cruel Enemies, and such as all men have need to watch against & beware of; as the Apostle exhorts us, 1 Pet, 5. 8 Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walks about, seeking whom he may devour. And under this head, may also be comprehended the Lusts of the Flesh, even all Sins which have a tendency to destroy the Souls of men, the wages of which is death. And there­fore [Page 8] the Apostle for this reason exhorts men to abstain from fleshly Lusts which war against the Soul, 1 Pet 2 11 Yea, and men themselves, so far as they by their Temptations, Perswa­sions & evil Examples, do draw us to Sin, are the Enemies of our Souls

And under the second sort of Enemies, even the Enemies of our Bodies, may be compre­hended whatever is Hurtful and Destructive to our Bodies and outward Estate; Even Men that are Enemies to us in a more secret or open way; and all things that tend to the hurt and destruction of our Bodies, even all Sickness & Casualties that we are exposed to in this world, which have a tendency to shorten our days & bring us to death. And truly, if there be so many things that may be counted Enemies, what man is there or can there be on Earth that is not subject to them? And truly, if we look upon ourselves & consider, our state, we shall see our selves more or less exposed to Enemies. If we look both within & without, before and behind, on the right hand and on the left, we shall see our selves lying open and exposed to Enemies. And this brings us to our

PROP. II. That the best way for men to be secured from all their Enemies, is to please God.

And to explain this Proposition, we shall consider two things.

  • [Page 9]1. How men are to please God. And
  • 2. Evidence that this is the best way for men to be secured from all their Enemies.

1. We shall consider, How men are to please God And truly this is a Question of very great importance. And it will be the Inquiry of every Soul truly sensible of Sin and of the dreadfulness of God's Wrath. Thus the Peo­ple of God of old, were very inquisitive how to please God: And were ready to offer him any kind of Service, even that which was im­possible, if they might but please him. Mic. 6. 6, 7 Wherewith shall I come before the Lord and how my self before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or ten thousands of rivers of oyl? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? But however, men are naturally at a loss about the way how to please God, yet He hath clearly Revealed it in his Word: As the Lord told his People, aforesaid, Mic. 6. 8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth the Lord thy God require of thee. And as Adam was to please God by keeping the Law of his Creation and performing the Covenant of Works, so now this power being lost by the Fall, and man rendered unable to please God by the works of the Law, we must now only endeavour to please God by direction from the [Page 10] Gospel. Therein the Lord hath shewed us what is good and what he doth require of us in order to please him. And particularly,

(1) If we would please God we must believe in his Son. This is the great Command of God in the Gospel, That we believe in the Name of his Only Begotten Son. And this is the summary Condition of the Gospel Covenant. And as the Covenant of Works required us, To do and live, so the Covenant of Grace requires us, To believe & be saved. And whosoever now pleases God, must please him in his Son: For it is in Him only that he is well pleased with sinners, Mat 3. 17. And all men out of Christ, are un­der the Anger of God; for He is angry with the wicked every day. Man being fallen and sinful, and God being infinitely holy, of purer Eyes than to behold evil and that cannot look upon iniquity, it is impossible for men to obtain the Favour of God without Faith in his Son, So the Apostle tells us, Heb 116. That without faith it is impossible to please God. This therefore is the only way which God hath found out & reveal'd in the Gospel for men to please him, even to believe in Christ: By which we shall obtain the forgiveness of our Sins and an Inheritance a­mong all them that are sanctified: And so soon as we are Justified by Faith, we have Peace with God thro' our Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. 5 1.

[Page 11] (2) The way for men to please God, is to Repent & turn from all their Sins. This is another great gospel Command, Act▪ 17. 30. He now commands all men every where to repent. This Repentance implies the work of God's grace in the thoro' Change of heart and life; which the Apostle calls. A turning from darkness unto light, & from the power of satan unto God, Act. 26. 18 And this the Gospel doth require of men, in order to the obtaining the Pardon of their Sins and the Favour of God, Act. 3. 19. Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. And in this way God does in his Word give men good assurance of their obtaining his Favour; See Isa. 1. 16, 17 Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do well, &c. Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. So Isa▪ 557. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the un­righteous man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. So Jer. 3 12. Go and proclaim these words towards the north, and say, Return thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord, and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and will not keep anger for ever. So Jer. 31. 20. Upon their Re­pentance God saith, Is Ephraim my dear son? is [Page 12] he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still; therefore my bowels are troubled for him, I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord God. And so in the Prodi­gal's return to his Father, Luk 15 20. While he was yet a great way off, his Father saw him and had compassion, and ran & fell on his neck & kissed him. Christ shews us how well pleased God is in the Return of Sinners to him.

(3) The way for men to please God, is to become Holy, and that [...]th in heart & life. If we would be pleasing unto God, we must be Converted, Renewed and Sanctified by the grace of God: For the Apostle tells us plainly Rom. 8 8 That they that are in the flesh cannot please God. That is, Those that are in a state of Sin and Uncon­verted. And as we must be Holy in heart, so also in life. If we would please God, we must lead a life of holiness and conformity to the Will of God, indeavouring always to keep a con­science void of offence both toward God and toward men. For altho' our best works being imper­fect, cannot Justify us before God, yet when we are in Christ by Faith, God is well pleased with our good works & does graciously accept them, & will for Christ's sake reward them. Thus we read, That God had a respect to Abel and to his offering, Gen. 4. 4. And so he hath to the Persons and Services of his People. Thus the Psalmist tells us, Psal 11. 7. That the righteous Lord loveth [Page 13] righteousness, and his countenance doth behold the up­right And God hath in all Ages of the world manifested his Favour & Love to those that have walked obediently before him. And the Lord promised his People of Israel (and always made good his Promise to them) That he would be with them while they are with him. And so the Apostle saith indeed concerning all others, Act. 10 34, 35 Of a truth, saith he, God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him. And truly it is but vain for men to flatter themselves that they please God, when they walk in a course of Sin & Rebellion against him. For he hates all the workers of iniquity, and is angry with the wicked every day, Psal 7 11. These are the ways which the Gospel directs us to in order to please God, and there is no possibility of pleasing Him in any other way. And thus much for the first particular.

2. The second thing for the clearing of this Proposition, is, To shew that thus to please God is the best way to be Secured from all Enemies.

And this appears,

(1) Because God is Almighty. And that he is so is fully declared in his Word and Works. Thus God was pleased to make himself known to the Fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by the Name of God Almighty, Exod. 6 3. And his Eternal Power & Godhead is seen in the things [Page 14] that he hath made, Rom. 1. 20. And God is said to be Almighty, because he can do all things simply in their own nature possible to be done, which do not contradict the Nature of God nor the Creature And being Almighty he is able to secure & defend us from all our Ene­mies, both of Soul & Body Be they never so Po [...]ent, yet they are not Omnipotent. And if we please Him he will m [...]st certainly do it. Thus when Job by his holy & upright walking pleased God, Satan said▪ of him, That God had made an hedge about him, and about all that he had on every side, Job 1. 10. Now it was the Power of God that made this Hedge, so that neither Men nor Devil could break over it to do Job any harm▪ until God gave them leave. And therefore Eliphaz advised Job, To acquaint him­self with God and be at Peace: And then tells him, That the Almighty would be his defence, Job 22. 25 And truly a better Defence it is not possible for a man to have And therefore Moses mentions this as the great Privilege and Security of the People of Israel, That the Eternal God was their Refuge, and underneath were his everlasting Arms: And that they were a People saved by the Lord, who was the shield [...]f their help and the sword of their excellency, Deut 33 27, 29.

(2) For men to please God is the best way for them to be secured from all their Enemies, Because he is the All-wise God, who is infinite in Wisdom, and knows [Page 15] all things which have been, are, or ever shall be. Known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world. He sees in the darkness, and the light dwells with him▪ And there is no darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves: And all things are naked and opened unto the Eyes of him with whom we have to do: And he searcheth the hearts & tries the reins of all the Children of men; and no thought can be withheld from him. And therefore he sees all the secret Plots & Designs of our Enemies against us, and can easily disco­ver and disappoint them, and turn their counsels into foolishness: And let them dig never so deep, they cannot hide their Counsels from the Lord, And therefore to please God & i [...]gage him on our side, is the best way to be secured from all our Enemies For he being infinite in Wisdom, can take the wise in their own cra [...]tiness, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise: And if we have the Almighty & All-wise God on our side, we need not fear what Men or Devils can do against us.

(3) For men to please God is the best way to be secured from all their Enemies, Because he is Omni-present. He is of Infinite Presence neither in­cluded in any Place, nor excluded from any Place▪ but is every where Present. And God being present every where, if we can but please him & get him on our side, He will be a present [Page 16] help in time of trouble. Many persons have been overcome by their Enemies, because their help hath been at a distance from them: But God is with us always, where ever we are: And we can never go from his Spirit, nor fly from his Presence. He is not only a God at hand, but a God afar off: And none can hide themselves in secret places that he should not see them. Go where we will, God is always with us▪ And so his Favour will be our best Security from all our Enemies.

(4) To please God is the best way to be secured from all our Enemies, Because he is the Everlasting God. He is the same Yesterday, to Day and for Ever. All other things that we can trust to or depend upon for Protection from our Enemies, are but mortal, fading & perishing things: And tho' they might be able to deliver us if they could continue with us, yet by reason of their Frailty, they leave us to shift for our selves; and it may be, when we have most need of them. But God is the true God, the living God, and the everlasting King. He is the Lord JEHOVAH, in whom is Everlasting Strength. And is the same in all Generations. As able to Protect us now, as he was our Fathers in the days of old; and is a strong habitation, where unto we may continually resort. And his Name is a strong Tower, to which we may [...] and be safe. And therefore the best way for us to be secured from all our Enemies [Page 17] is to please him; and so we shall get the Eternal God to be our Refuge, and his Everlasting Arms underneath us.

(5) To please God is the best way to be secured from all our Enemies, Because he is the Lord of Hosts, that hath the command & disposal o [...] all Creatures in Heaven & Earth, and always doth his Pleasure both in the Armies of Heaven & amongst the Inhabitants of the Earth; and none can stay his Hand: And even the worst of Men, n [...]y, the Devils them­selves are subject to his Universal Kingdom and are under his Command., Now as we are apt to look upon our selves very secure when we have the Favour & Friendship of some mighty King, that has many Subjects under his Domi­ons, so much more reason have we to look upon our selves very secure indeed, when the Lord of Hosts is with us, who hath all Angels, Men and Things under his Command. Therefore the Church doth rejoice & triumph in this, Psal▪ 46 7. That the Lord of hosts was with her, and the God of Jacob was her refuge.

(6) It will further appear to be the best way to be secured from all Enemies, even to please God, i [...] we consider that he is the Preserver of all things As he made, so he upholds all things by the word of his Power: And every thing is dependant on him for their continuance in being. And God need not put forth any act of Power to destroy the World, but the very suspension of his Pre­serving [Page 18] Power would be sufficient for that pur­pose. Hence he is called, The Preserver of man and beast. And in his hand is the Soul of every living thing, and the Breath of all mankind: And it is in him we live, move and have our being; and his Visitation preserves our spirits: And therefore none of our Enemies can take away our Lives from us, without his leave & permission. And neither our Life nor our Enemies, is in their hand, but in God's. And therefore the best way for us to be secured from all our Enemies, both of Soul & Body, is to please God and get him on our side. And we may then say with the A­postle, Rom. 8. 31. If God be for us, who can be against us?

(7) [...] It will further appear that to please God is the best way to be secured from all Enemies, if we compare God's Favour & Protection, with what­ever m [...]n do or possibly can put their Trust in for Safety, besides God And truly we shall find that whatever we do or can put our Trust in besides God▪ is but vain. If we trust to foreign Aids & Helps, they will commonly prove but as Egypt did to the Jews, Even like a broken Reed, on which if a man lean it will go into his hand & pierce him, Isa 366 Or if we trust to our own Numbers of men, the Psalmist tells us, It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man, Psal. 118. 8. Or if we should trust to our Military Prepara­tions, as Horses, Chariots, or the like, the Psal­mist [Page 19] tells us, That an horse is a vain thing for safety, neither can he deliver any by his great strength, Psal 33. 17. And the Church renounces trust in Chariots & Horses, and rather chuses to trust in God, Psal 20▪ 7. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God. And if we should make strong Walls & Bulwarks for our defence, they could not Protect us without God: For the Psalmist tells us, That Except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen waketh but in vain. And if we put our trust in Kings or Princes, however under God they may be a defence to us, Yet it is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in Princes, Psal. 118. 9. And therefore the Psalmist bids us not put our trust in princes, nor in the son of man in whom there is no help: His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish. But saith he, Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, Psal. 146. 3, 4, 5.

And thus I have finished what I designed for the Proof of the Doctrine, and proceed to the Improvement of it.


1. If it be then as we have heard, That it is the best way for a Person or People to be secured from their Enemies, even to please God; then hence we may see, on the other hand, That for a Person or People to Provoke and Displease God, is the most ready way [Page 20] to lay themselves Open & Exposed to their Enemies. And as, when God is for us none can be against us; so when He is against us none can be for us. And as when a People please God, his Favour is as an hedge and wall of Security round about them, to keep off all Adversaries & evil Occur­rent: So when a People displease God they break down this Hedge, and lay themselves open to all their Enemies. And this we may observe in the Experience of the People of God in all Ages. And as the Lord by Moses threatned them, Deut 32. 21,—25. That Because they pro­voked him to jealousie, therefore he would let in their Enemies upon them As we may see he did in after ages And while they pleased him he gave them Peace, and secured them from their Enemies but when they provoked him by their Sins, be sent the Sword upon them to avenge the quarrel of his Covenant▪ And the like we may expect, that God will still do with his Peo­ple in all after ages: For God is still the same, and with him is no respect of Persons▪ And there­fore it is a very dangerous thing for men to dis­please God; and they take the most ready way to bring ruin and destruction upon themselves. And truly, he knows not what the anger of God means, that cannot see all Woes, Plagues and Miseries in the bosom of it.

2. This Doctrine may inform such as are concerned in the Electing of Persons to any place of Civil Rule [Page 21] and Government among a People, how to direct their Choice. If the pleasing of God be the best Pro­tection and Security of a People, then make choice of such Men who are most conscientious in the pleasing of God in their ways; such as are true fearers of God and best friends to Re­ligion. It is true indeed, That Godliness alone is not sufficient to Qualifie men for places of Power and Trust in the Common Wealth. Every good man is not fit for a Ruler▪ There are other Qualifications tha [...] [...] eye must be had to in the Choice of Civil Rulers: For Wisdom & Knowlege are also necessary in a Ruler. The great God whom Rulers represent, and whom they ought to resemble, is a God of Knowlege, by whom Actions are weighed. And truly, Igno­rent & Imprudent men are as unfit to be pla­ced at the Helm of Government, as an Unskil­ful Pilot at the Helm of a Ship. And that the happy Ends of Government may be obtained, th [...]se that are intrusted with it should be like the men of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the Times, to know what Israel ought to do, 1 Chron 12 32. It was therefore a needful direction that Moses gave to Israel about the choice of Rulers, Deut. 1. 13 Take ye wise men and understanding and known among your tribes, & I will make them rulers over you. And it was a needful request of Solomon, Give me wisdom and knowlege, to go in & out before the people, 2 Chron. [Page 22] 1. 10. Justice and Faithfulness are also necessary Qualifications in a Ruler. This is plainly re­quired, 2 Sam. 13. 3. The God of Israel said, He that ruleth over men must be just. And if this be wan­ting in Rulers, the Ruled will have cause to la­ment it Prov. 29. 2. When the wicked bear rule the people mourn. And again, Courage & Resolu­tion is necessary. Rulers must be men of Cou­rage because of the many difficulties they will meet with in the faithful discharge of their Trust. And they should not fear the faces of men, Deut 1. 17 All such Qualifications are very desirable in Rulers: But Piety and the pleasing of God, is the prime Qualification, and that which will put a Lustre on all the rest. And there­fore as a People desire their own protection & security, they should choose such to be Rulers as please God themselves, and indeavour what they can to promote it in all those under their Government.

USE, II. OF EXHORTATION, Unto all, to indeavour in their respective places to promote the [...]le [...]sing of God, seeing the Protection & Security of a People doth so much depend upon it.

And particularly,

1. This Exhortation may be proposed to RU­LERS, Indeavour to promote the pleasing of God among this People And here, I hope I may take leave, in all humble submission, and in a deep [Page 23] sense of my own unworthiness, to propose this Exhortation to the Honourable the GOVER­NOUR, the DEPUTY-GOVERNOUR, and the Worshipful ASSISTANTS in Government, who are, or this Day may be Established, or Re-established Rulers over us, with the rest of the Gentlemen of the GENERAL ASSEM­BLY here present. Honourable, Worshipful and much Respected, You doubtless know that the Publick good is the end of Government, Rom. 1 [...]. 4. He is the minister of God to thee for good. Rulers are to design and indeavour the Publick good of those over whom Providence hath placed them. And this being the end of your Advancement, suffer me to remind you, That the most likely way to promote the Security & Pros­perity of a People, is to promote the Pleasing of God. And it cannot be reasonably expected, that a People can do well & be well, while they dis­please God and are a generation of his Wrath. Oh! Therefore do all that may be done by you to promote the pleasing of God. And,

(1) Be careful always to recommend the pleasing of God, by your own Example to those under your Rule, and be bright Examples in every good Work. And let all those under your Rule see that you make it your main study, not to please men but God that tries your hearts. Good Exam­ples are more influential than naked Precepts, and direct us better in the practise of Vertue, [Page 24] and have an incouraging influence. And it is on many accounts necessary that you shine as Stars in your exalted Stations by the light of an holy Conversation; that you be Exemplary in every good work. Rulers being Leaders, had need to be always careful that they don't go wrong, for they will be apt to Lead many after them: and then the Event is like to be very sad, Isa 9 16 The leaders of this people cause them to err, & those that are led of them are destroyed.

(2) You may do much towards the promoting Re­ligion & the pleasing of God, by putting such in Execu­tive Power, as are truly Religious and have the fear of God in their hearts, & are careful to please God. Tho' this Qualification be not of it self suffi­cient, yet it may not be ove [...]look'd And truly if regard be not had to this, both our Civil and Sacred in [...]e [...]est will be much indangered. Men of loose Principles and Practises, are not fit to fill up the Seats of Government. Those that can't rule themselves, are not fit to [...] others. And truly, to advance such to Place as are men of loose Conver [...]i [...]n, is the re [...]dy way to bring in [...]rophaneness like a flood P [...] 12 8 The wicked will walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.

(3) You may also do much towards the pleasing of God, by indeavouring [...], Prevent and Suppress every thing that is displeasing to God, even all Vice & Immorality. This must be done, or God cannot [Page 25] be pleased: For he hates all the workers of iniquity and is angry with the wicked every day. Sin is that abominable thing that God hates; and his wrath is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness & un­righteousness of men And therefore, Sirs, as you would please God, do what you can to suppress Sin, and improve your Power against it to the uttermost: and be like Phinehas of old, who was zealous for God and against Sin; and bear not the Sword in vain, but whet & brand sh [...]it against Sin; and indeavour in the use of all proper means the Reformation of every thing that is amiss among us. Let proper Laws be made against Sin, wherein they are wanted, and let the just and wholsome Laws already made, be faithfully Executed. And remember that you are God's Ministers avengers to execute wrath on them that do evil Rom. 13. 3 And if Sin be duly Pu­nished, it will be a good means to Suppress it. For this is the main design of humane punish­ments, to prevent Sin. Deut 1 [...]. 11. All Israel shall hear & fear, & do no mo [...] such wickedness. And tru­ly, if Sin can be prevented & suppress'd, we have reason to hope that God will be well pleased.

These, Sirs? [...]e things of Moment belonging to your Trust which I would humbly recom­mend to you. And for your Encouragement, I might remind you, That this will gain you Honour & Respect, both with God and men; and the remembrance hereof will be comforta­ble [Page 26] to you both in Life and Death; and then you will be able to say, as he did after great Services done for the Publick, Neh 5 19. Think upon me, O my God for good, according to all that I have done for this People.

2. This Exhortation may be proposed to my Reve­rend Fathers and Brethren in the MINISTRY. O Sirs, if the pleasing of God, be as we have heard, the best way to protect & secure a Peo­ple from all their Enemies then suffer me, my Brethren, tho' less than the least of all Saints, and the most unworthy of your Order, to re­mind my self and you, of the great Necessity lying upon us to indeavour the pleasing of God.

And particularly,

(1) Let us see to it that me please God our selves. Let us study to shew our selves approved unto God; and let us indeavour to please him in all our ways. Let us be sincere & upright in our walking with God▪ and let us indeavour to or­der our whole Conversation aright before him. We that are set to teach others, ought in the first place to teach our selves; and should learn & practise those lessons which we teach others. And we must be le [...]t Self-Condemned and Speechless in the Great Day, if we do it not. Surely, the love and regard of our own Souls should quicken us hereunto And tho' we have been teachers of others, yet if we neglect our selves, Christ will refuse us at the Last Day: [Page 27] as he hath told us, Mat. 7. 22, 23. Many will say unto me, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy Name? and in thy Name cast out devils? and in thy Name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me ye that work iniquity. And, Oh! How sad & dismal would our State be, if Christ should so say to any of us in the Last Day? We must then, when it is too late, eternally Mourn over our wretched Souls, and say, as it is in, Cant. 1. 6. They made me the keeper of the Vineyard, but mine own Vineyard have I not kept.

(2) As we should indeavour to please God our selves, so let us indeavour to promote it in Others. Let us do our Utmost that every one of our People may please God and become Religious. Let us zealously indeavour the Reformation of growing Evils. Let us Cry aloud and not spare, and lift up our voice like a Trumpet to shew our People their transgressions and sins. Let us faith­fully Warn the wicked of his way to turn from it. Let us indeavour to do all the Duties be­longing to our Ministry faithfully. Let us take heed to the Ministry which we have received of the Lord Jesus, that we fulfil it. And let us be in­stant in season, and out of season; Reprove, rebuke and Exhort with all long-suffering & doctrine. Let us not only take heed unto our selves, but to all the Flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made us Overseers, to feed the Church of God which he hath [Page 28] purchased with his own Blood. Let us teach trans­gressors God's ways, that sinners may be Con­verted unto him▪ And to all our indeavours, let us add our fervent Prayers to the God of all grace, for the down-pouring of his Spirit: And let us make that our constant Request, mention'd by the Prophet, Hab 3. 2. Revive thy work, O Lord, in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. And to quicken us to all faithfulness in the discharge of our Trust, let us remember the solemn Charge of God that is upon us, and the many Souls committed to our Care: Every one of which is of more Value than all the World; and for every one of which we must give an Ac­count unto God: And if any of them [...] in through our neglect, God will severely require their Blood at our hands.

3. This Exhortation may be proposed to PARENTS and HEADS of FAMILIES. Seeing the prea­sing of God is the best way for the security of a People from all their Enemies, [...]e Exhorted to do your utmost to please God, both in your Per­sons & Families. Good Family Government and Instruction, hath a wonderful tendency to promote Religion, And the savour of what sea­sons our Youth commonly abides till old Age, Prov. 22. 6. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. And we may observe all the world over, how [Page 29] tenacious men are of what is delivered to them by their Parents, be it good or bad. And the neglect of good Family Government and In­struction, is fatal & ruinous to Religion and to the Souls of men. And too many Parents, & some of those that are otherwise Religious, yet are guilty of too many Neglects herein, either thro' Carelesness, worldly Incumbrance, or fond Indulgence. And by this means many of the Off-spring of godly Parents, turn into degene­rate Plants and prove a generation that know not the God of their Fathers. And thus are many spoiled in the Bud, for want of good Family Care. And there are some other Pa­rents that are Rude & Ignorant, who perhaps have been Bred themselves much like the Beasts they converse with, and they breed up their Children without any thing of Religion in their Families. And there are others in the world, that breed up their Children as Pro­fanely, as the others do Sottishly; Teaching them, at least by their Example, the newest Oaths that were last formed in Hell; and to Revile & Scoff at all serious godliness and the Professors of it: And perhaps somtime smiling to hear with what Emphasis they can speak in the dialect of Devils, and how wittily they can deride & scoff at the godly. Such Families are but Nurseries for Hell: And though God may somtimes snatch one or two of them by Con­version, [Page 30] from among them, as Brands out of the Fire, yet generally they die as they live and go to the generation of their Fathers, where they shall never see light. Oh! Then of what vast Impor­tance is it for all Parents to see to it, that both they and their Houses do serve & please God.

And to quicken them here unto,

(1) Let all Parents Consider what a fearful thing it will be, for them to be the Instruments of Ruining for ever, those that received their Beings Instrumen­tally from them; and to seek whose Welfare they stood obliged by all the Laws of God & Nature. And in vain are all your Cares and Studies for their Bodies, whilest their Souls Perish for want of Knowlege. You, perhaps, Rejoiced at their Birth; but they will have cause to Curse the day they were Born of you. You were careful of their Bodies, but careless of their Souls; Ear­nest to see them Rich, but indifferent whether they were Gracious. You neglected to teach them the way of Salvation, but the Devil did not neglect to teach them the way of Sin. You will one day wish, You had never been Parents, when the doleful Cries of your damned Chil­dren shall ring such Notes as these in your ears, Oh! Cursed Father, Oh! Cruel and Merciless Mo­ther, whose Example hath drawn me after you into all this Misery. You had Time enough & Motives enough, to have Warned me of this place of Misery, while my heart was tender & my affections pliable. [Page 31] Had it not been as Easie for you to have Chastned me when I Sinned against God, as when I Provok'd you about a Trifle? One word spoken in season might have saved my Soul. And, Oh! Who can think without horror & amazement, of these & such like Cries & Curses of their Children, who have been cast away and eternally lost, by the very Instruments of their Being?

(2) Let all Parents Consider, That God hath In­trusted them with the Care of their Children; and doth require them to do, as Abraham did, even to command their Children & Houshold after them to keep the ways of the Lord: And will severely Punish them (and probably in their Children) if they prove Negligent herein. Think and tremble at what God threatned against good Eli for this, 1 Sam. 3. 13 For I have told him, That I will judge his house for ever, for the iniquity which he knoweth, because his sons made themselves vile and he restrained them not.

4. And lastly, This Exhortation may be proposed to the BODY OF THIS PEOPLE. And, Sirs, it being a time of War and Rumors of War, and there is a probability that God will join our Enemies together. Every considerate Person will be ready to Enquire, What will be our best Security from the Invasions of our Enemies? And, Sirs, in Answer to this Enquiry, I have this Mes­sage from God unto you, Oh! Endeavour to please God in all your ways, bec [...]me truly godly, and devote [Page 32] your selves to his Service; and endeavour always to have a Conscience void of Offence toward God and toward men, and so get God to be your Friend, and then you need not fear what man can do unto you. And, dear Sirs, I have little reason to believe that I shall ever stand again in this Desk, upon such a publick Occasion; for I am now grown into Years, and am going the way of all the Earth: And I would therefore leave it with you as my dying Counsel and solemn Charge, That as you desire to be safe here & happy for ever, you would now and hence forward set your selves to please God in all your Ways. This, Oh! This, Sirs, will be greatly for your Comfort while you live; this will be your Rejoicing, even the testi­mony of your Conscience, that in simplicity & godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God you have had your Conversation in the world. And this will also be for your unspeakable Rejoi­cing when you come to leave the world, if you are able to say, as good Hezekiah did upon his suppos'd Death-bed, Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which was right in thine eyes.

And in this way you may with good grounds expect, That God will still he with you, as he hath been with your Fathers, That He will not leave nor forsake you; but will still be a Wall of Fire round about you, and the Glory in [...]he midst of you; and that his Salvation shall still [...] for Walls & Bulwarks.


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