Mr. Cotton's Election SERMON. MAY 30, 1753.


Wisdom, Knowledge, and the Fear of God recommended to Rulers & People.

A SERMON Preach'd in the Audience of His Honour SPENCER PHIPS, Esq Lieutenant-Governour and Commander in Chief, THE HONOURABLE His MAJESTY's COUNCIL, AND House of REPRESENTATIVES, Of the Province of the MASSACHUSETTS-BAY, IN NEW-ENGLAND. May 30th. 1753. Being the Day For the Election of His MAJESTY's COUNCIL for the PROVINCE.

By JOHN COTTON, A.M. Pastor of the Church in Newtown.

BOSTON: N.E. Printed by JOHN DRAPER, Printer to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governour and Council. 1753.


ORDERED, THAT Jacob Wendell and Samuel Watts, Esqrs give the Thanks of this Board to the Reverend Mr. John Cotton, for his Sermon preached Yester­day before the GENERAL COURT, being the Anniversary for the Election of COUNCELLORS, and desire a Copy thereof for the Press.

S. PHIPS. Copy examin'd, per THO. CLARKE, Dep.Secr.

[Page 1]


ISAIAH XXXIII.6.‘AND Wisdom and Knowledge shall be the Stability of thy Times, and Strength of Salvation: The Fear of the Lord is his Treasure.’

IN our Context we have an Account of the great Distress and Danger Judah and Jeru­salem should be brought into for their Im­piety and Injustice, Behold their valiant Ones shall cry without; thro' Grief and Fear be­cause of their invading Enemies;—and the Em­bassadors of Peace shall weep bitterly; probably, be­cause of their great Degeneracy and Backslidings from the holy Truths and Ways of God.

[Page 2]The holy Prophet also speaks of the great Con­sternation the Sinners of Zion should be bro't into, and how the Saints and Servants of the Lord should pray to God for them, in such a Day of Distress, in that Language, v. 2. O Lord be gracious to us, we have waited for thee, be thou their Arm every Morn­ing, our Salvation also in the Time of Trouble.

And then we have an Account of the holy Secu­rity, they should enjoy in the midst of this Trouble, v. 15th and 16th. He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, he that despiseth the Gain of Op­pressions, that shaketh his Hand from holding of Bribes, that stoppeth his Ears from hearing of Blood, and shutteth his Eyes from seeing Evil, he shall dwell on high, his Place of Defence shall be the Munition of Rocks.

The Prophet further speaks of the Destruction of their Enemies, and God's appearing on the Behalf of his People, in which he would be greatly glori­fied, v. 5th. The Lord is exalted, for he dwelleth on high; he hath filled Zion with Judgment and Righte­ousness; and v. 10th. Now will I rise, saith the Lord, now will I be exalted; and then speaks of the happy Settlement of Jerusalem, and the Jewish State upon this. Religion should revive, and their civil State flourish.

This is evidently intimated in the Words of my Text, together with the following Context.

Their pious King Hezekiah and his People were hereby encouraged with an Assurance, that the bles­sed God should be their Saviour and Refuge, in every Day of Trouble.

[Page 3]Here's

1st. A gracious Promise of God for them to stay themselves upon; Wisdom and Knowledge shall be the Stability of thy Times, and Strength of Salvation.

Here's a desireable End propos'd, says an Ex­positor * on this Place, and that is the Stability of the Times; that Things be not disturb'd and un­hing'd at Home; and the Strength of Salvation; Deliverance and Success against Enemies abroad.

And here's the Way and Means for obtaining this End; Wisdom and Knowledge; not only Piety, but Prudence.

And this it is which by the Blessing of God will be the Stability of our Times, and the Strength of Salvation; that Wisdom which is first pure, then peaceable, and which sacrificeth private Interest to the public Good. Such Prudence as this will esta­blish Truth and Peace, and fortify the Bulwarks in Defence of them.


2dly. A pious Maxim of State, for the King and his People to govern themselves by, The Fear of the Lord is his Treasure—God's Treasure in the World, from which he receives his Tribute, or rather, it is the Prince's Treasure. A good Prince accounts it so, that Wisdom is better than Gold, and he shall find it so.

And then observes, that true Religion is the best Treasure of any Prince, or People; it denominates them rich.

[Page 4]Be sure, those Places that have wise and good Rulers, able and faithful Ministers, serious and pious People, encreasing among them, are really rich, and it contributes to that which makes a Nation rich in this World. It is therefore most certainly the Interest of a People to encourage and support Reli­gion among them, and to take heed of every Thing that threatens to hinder it.

The Words I have read may be look'd upon as a remarkable gracious Prophecy, concerning the Peace and Prosperity of the Church and People of God, not only under the happy Reign and Government of this excellent King, but in future succeeding Ages, with respect both to their civil and religious Inte­rest: And if it might be fulfilled in the Age and Day in which we live, we shall certainly see better Times than we have done in the Times and Years wherein we have seen so much Evil, for which the Embassadors of Peace, and many faithful Servants of the Lord, have had cause to weep bitterly.

In speaking to these Words, I shall enquire,

I. What may be more particularly meant by the several Phrases, or Expressions, in the Text?

And then,

II. Shew of what Advantage it would be to the Church and People of God, to have these Words fulfilled in our Times.

And then make some Application of the Sub­ject.

[Page 5]I am,

1. To shew what may be more particularly meant or imply'd in the several Phrases or Ex­pressions in the Text.


First, What by Wisdom and Knowledge?

It may mean Knowledge and Wisdom both hu­mane and divine; and that comes from above, from the Father of Lights, the inexhaustible Foun­tain of Wisdom and Understanding, in whom are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge. That Wisdom that dwells with Prudence, and that shall be profitable to direct in all Matters of Importance, with respect to outward and tempo­ral, civil or ecclesiastical Affairs, in which the pub­lick Welfare is concern'd; and more especially with respect to that Knowledge and Wisdom that is divine and heavenly, which makes Men of all Orders, and in every Station, Wise for their spiri­tual and eternal Interests; so that they know God and Jesus Christ, whom to know is Life eternal.

Án infinitely wise and gracious God is pleas'd to accompany with his Blessing the Means of a reli­gious and learned Education, for the qualifying and accomplishing Men for the Service of God, and their Generation, in various Offices and Stati­ons, in which they may be instrumental of promo­ting the publick Good, in a greater or lesser Sphere, as God in his Providence shall call, incline, and dispose them to it.

And all these Talents, Advantages and Qualifi­cations shall be bro't under a solemn Consecration [Page 6] to the God of all their Powers, and sovereign Lord and Ruler of Heaven and Earth, who giveth Wis­dom to the Wise, and Knowledge to them that know Understanding.

I proceed to shew in the next Place, What may be meant by Wisdom and Knowledge being the Stability of the Times. And now; This may im­ply in it, a People's being distinguishingly favour'd of God, under the Reign of a King whose Throne shall be establish'd on the sure Foundations of Wisdom and Justice; and under the Administra­tion of wise and good Rulers, in subordinate Pla­ces of Authority, both in Church and State, who shall improve their Wisdom and Knowledge for the Advancement of the Honour and Glory of God, and the best Good of their People, that they may serve the Lord and their Generation, according to the Will of God in their several Places and Stations.

More particularly;

That Magistrates and Rulers are Men knowing in the Times; Men of Political Wisdom; Men of Knowledge and Prudence, able to discern Time and Judgment; wise Men and Understanding, and known among their Tribes, and Men of extensive Know­ledge, and capable of judging what may be most conducive to promote the publick Weal in all Res­pects; are Men of a Genius for Government, and able to judge what Laws may be best enacted for promoting the civil and religious Interests of their People, and for suppressing all Sin and Wickedness, that threatens the Ruin of a People in all their Inte­rests; are Men of Wisdom to search into Matters to be considered by them, that they may judge on [Page 7] which side Truth and Justice lies, and have a Dis­cretion and Aptness to apply the Knowledge they have to Ends of Government, and to the Na­ture and Circumstances of those Things that are brought under their Consideration.

And are Men of Courage and Resolution, not a­fraid of the Faces of Men; and are just and upright, impartially distributing Justice to others, and have a steady constant Care and Zeal to promote Justice and Righteousness among Men; and are a Terror to evil doers, and a Praise to such as do well, and exemplary for every Thing that is virtuous and Praise-worthy.

And are indeed truly pious and godly, which in­troduceth a divine Blessing on other Qualifications, and adds a Lustre and Beauty to them all; for the purest Politicks (as an able excellent Ruler and Divine of our own says) are but insipid Trash, unless they have this Seasoning. It is this that influences and actuates the Principles of moral Honesty and Justice. It is this that must strengthen the Hearts, and rouse the Courage of Rulers, against the most daring Transgressors. It was therefore excellent Counsel of Jethro to Moses, Thou shalt provide out of all the People able Men, such as fear God, and place such over them to be Rulers.

Such was godly King Hezekiah, and a singu­lar Pattern he was of a tender Concern for Religion, and the Ministers of it, to the Honour of whose Memory it is recorded, that he spake comfortably [Page 8] to all the Levites, that taught the good Knowledge of the Lord, and took effectual Care that the Por­tion of Maintenance assign'd them by the Law of God, should be rendered to them, that they might be encouraged in the Work of the Lord.

And those who follow his Example, will in their Day contribute to the Stability of the Times.


That the Ministers of the everlasting Gospel, are Men of Knowledge and Understanding; Pastors after God's own Heart; to whom God gives the Tongue of the learned, to know how to speak a Word in Season to them that are weary, are Scribes well in­structed in the Doctrines and Duties of pure and undefiled Religion, and wise to win Souls, are en­dow'd with proper Gifts and Qualifications for the Discharge of the great Trust reposed in them, and have brought them under a sacred Dedication to the Service of their Lord and Master, and are willing to spend and be spent in the Service of Christ and precious Souls, especially those committed to their more immediate Inspection and Charge, tho' the more abundantly they love them, the less they should be loved.

They will faithfully declare the whole Counsel of the Lord, whether Men will hear, or whether they will forbear; will cry aloud, and not spare, but lift up their Voice like a Trumpet, to shew to the People their Transgression, and the House of Jacob their Sins.

[Page 9]They will plainly shew to Men the Way of Salva­tion prescribed in the Gospel, and in Meekness in­struct those that oppose themselves, if God perad­venture will give them Repentance, to acknow­ledging of the Truth, and that they way recover themselves out of the Snare of the Devil, who have been taken Captive by him at his Will. They will give no just Cause of Offence in any Thing that the Ministry may not be blamed on their Account. And if they should be reviled, they will revile not again, if they should suffer, they will threaten not, but commit themselves to that God that judgeth righteoustly; and endure all Afflictions and Tryals as good Soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ, as know­ing that if they are faithful to the Death, they shall receive the Crown of Life.


That the common People are well instruted, and evidently under the good Impressions of a religious Education, and desirous of living quiet and peace­able Lives in all Godliness and Honesty; that they may obey the Laws of God, and the Laws of their Rulers, if not repugnant to the Laws of God.

That they are, in a Word, a reformed, righteous and godly People, steadfastly adhereing to the holy Truths and Ways of God, and are adding to their Faith, Virtue, to Virtue, Knowledge, to Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly-kind­ness and Charity. And being wise and endued with Knowledge, do shew out of a good Conversation their Works with Meekness of Wisdom; and do nothing thro' Strife or vain Glory, but every Thing in lowliness of Mind, esteeming others better than [Page 10] themselves, and will let their Moderation be known to all Men; and all Bitterness and Wrath, Anger, Clamour and Evil-speaking shall be put far away; and they will put on as becomes the Elect of God, Bowels of Mercies, Kindness, humbleness of Mind, Meekness, Long-suffering, Forbearance and For­giveness towards others; if they have a Quarrel a­gainst any, and follow after the Things that make for Love and Peace, and Things wherewith they may edify, strengthen and comfort one another, that they may live in Love and Peace. And tho' they may have a Diversity of Opinion and Judgment in Matters not essential and fundamental, are notwith­standing resolved, by the Help of God, to maintain the Unity of the Spirit in the Bonds of Peace, and to guard against all Alienations of Heart one from another, and be ever willing to do all kind and good Offices for one another, as they have Ability and Opportunity for it.

And having thus shewn what may be meant by Wisdom and Knowledge being the Stability of the Times; I pass to consider the next Expression, of Wisdom and Knowledge being the Strength of Salva­tion.

It may imply in it, That this will lay a happy Foundation for obtaining from an infinitely wise and gracious God, all that Mercy and Salvation we may stand in need of as a People.

That the Lord will ride upon the Heavens for our Help, and in his Excellency upon the Skies; That he will stir up his Strength and come and save us: that he will scatter all impending, dark and [Page 11] threatning Clouds, by the Light of his Countenance; that Salvation shall be nigh to us, and Glory yet dwell in the Land.

That he will pour out his Spirit on our Rulers, Ministers and Churches, and revive his Work in the midst of the Years, and in Wrath remember Mercy.

That our Times shall be Times of a more gene­ral, thoro' Repentance, and Reformation of all God-provoking Evils; and God will then save us from our Sins, and desolating Judgments, and yet delight to build and to plant us, and not to pluck us up, and pull us down.

That though he may give us the Bread of Ad­versity and the Water of Affliction, our Eyes shall yet see our Teachers, that they shall not be remo­ved into Corners, nor our Candlesticks be removed out of their Places, and we shall not be in vain wishing for the Days of the Son of Man.

It may imply in it, That the Name of the Lord is our strong Tower, and that we shall flee to it and be safe; that we may put our Trust in God, as the Hope of his Israel, and their Saviour and Strength in every Day of Trouble; and that we shall be hid under the Shadow of his Wings until these Calamities shall be over-past, and shall finally obtain Salvation with eternal Glory in the coming World.

I proceed to consider briefly, the other and last Expression, of the Fear of the Lord being his Treasure.

[Page 12]It may, in a Word, mean the Lord's giving to Kings and Rulers a Heart to fear him: And their chief Treasure and Delight, as an Expositor says on this Place, is, and shall be in promoting the Fear and Worship of God, which shall be a great Honour aud Safe-guard to themselves and People.

It may mean, That the Lord has wro't in their Hearts, a reverential holy Fear of Him, so that they set the Lord always before them, and stand in awe of him, as the supreme, almighty Ruler and Governor among the Nations, and as one con­tinually looking down from Heaven upon them, to see how they seek and serve him, and discharge the various Duties incumbent on them, in their several Places and Stations; and hence are sollici­tous to keep a Conscience void of Offence towards God and Men, in all their Administrations, and to have the Testimony of their Consciences for them, that in Simplicity and godly Sincerity they have their Conversation in the World.

And this is an inexpressible Support and Conso­lation to them, in their various Offices and Stations.

No worldly Treasure is so near and dear as this; they prefer their Interest in the Approbation and Favor of God, to all the Honors, Riches and Pleasures of this World.

They esteem it much better to get Wisdom than Gold, and to get Understanding, rather to be chosen than Silver. They love the Commandments of God above Gold; and make the Word of God the Man of their Counsel, a Light to their Feet, [Page 13] and a Lamp to their Paths. And all their Tem­pers and Behaviors in every Station and Condition of Life, are under the Government of this holy Principle, ruling in their Hearts.

And now I proceed to the second general Head of my Discourse.

II. To shew of what Advantage it would be to the Church and People of God, to see the Ac­complishment of this Prophecy in our Times?

It's certain nothing could conduce more to keep off wasting Judgments, and to promote the public Weal and Tranquility of a People, both in their civil and religious Interests, than to be endow'd with this Wisdom, Knowledge, and the Fear of God. This would bring on that Stability of the Times, and Strength of Salvation, we so much need at this Days.

And here I shall only say,

1. It would be a happy Means of averting threat­ned Judgments.


2. Of procuring all needed Mercies and Blessings.

1. It would be a happy Means of averting threat­ned Judgments.

It is the want of this Wisdom, Knowledge, and Fear of the Lord that provokes a holy and righteous God to send down his Judgments on us. So it was with his professing People of old, who [Page 14] were called on to hear the Word of the Lord, who had a Controversy with the Inhabitants of the Land, because there was no Truth, nor Mercy, nor Knowledge of God; but Swearing, and Lying, and Stealing, and committing Adultery, and other scandalous Iniquities abounding in the midst of them; and therefore the Prophet says, The Land shall mourn, and every One that dwelleth therein shall languish; and Destruction be bro't upon them for lack of Knowledge. Because they had rejected Knowledge, God wou'd also reject them. They had forgotten the Law of their God, and he wou'd also forget their Children: And because they sin­ned against him, as they were increased, therefore he wou'd change their Glory into Shame; punish them for their Ways, and reward them their Do­ings.

The Prophet Isaiah says concerning this Peo­ple, * None calleth for Justice, nor any pleadeth for Truth, they conceive Mischief, and bring forth Iniquity, and there is no Judgment in their Go­ings, they had made them crooked Paths, and by going therein should not know Peace; and there­fore Judgment would be far from them, neither should Justice overtake them; they waited for Light, but behold Obscurity, for Brightness, but they walked in Darkness: Though they looked for Judgment there was none, and for Salvation, but it was far from them.

And what now was the Cause of all this?—Their Transgressions were multiply'd, and their [Page 15] Iniquities testify'd against them, in transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from their God, speaking Oppression and Revolt, conceiving and uttering from the Heart, Words of Falshood; and Judgment was turned away back­ward, and Justice stood afar off; Truth was fal­len in the Street, and Equity could not enter; and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no Judgment, and so the Wrath of God came down upon them. God has expresly declar'd in his Word, that if his People will not be reformed, but walk contrary to him, he will walk contrary unto them, and punish them yet seven Times more for their Sins.

But what Encouragement have we to fear the Lord, and obey his Voice; and that upon our Re­pentance, and returning to the Lord, he will have Mercy on us, and not bring threatned distressing Calamities upon us; that we shall be deliver'd from Earthquakes and Wars, Famine and Pestilence, and every other desolating Judgment, and the Lord would repent him of what further Evil he had thought to do unto us.


2. It wou'd be a happy Means of procuring all needed Mercies and Blessings.

God has in his Word abundantly encourag'd the Bestowment of such Blessings, if we become a righteous and godly People.

We might then hope for God's gracious Pre­sence with his People; that his Eye would be on them for good continually; that he would appoint [Page 16] Salvation for Walls and Bulwarks, as he did about Zion; and command Deliverance and Salvation for them in Times of Fear and Danger, and blast the Attempts of their invading Enemies, by marvellous Interpositions of Providence, as in Times past.

And when their Ways please the Lord, will cause their Enemies to be at Peace with them, and their Peace should be as a River, and their Righ­teousness, as the Waves of the Sea.

And the Throne shall be established by Righ­teousness, and that Righteousness abound, that shall exalt his People; and we shall feel the happy In­fluence of it, in all Orders and Societies of Men.

Our Civil Rulers would be then Ministers of God for Good; Fearers of God, Men of Truth, and Haters of Covetousness; zealous in discountenan­cing all Immorality, Sin and Wickedness, and promoting Piety and Virtue, Peace and good Order.

We should have our Judges restored, as at the first, and our Counsellors as at the Beginning. We might then hope for a happy Union in their Coun­sels, for promoting the publick Tranquility; that Judgment should run down our Streets as Water, and Righteousness as a mighty Stream, have it's free Course and due Exercise among us; that our Officers should be Peace, and Exactors Righteous­ness; and the Cry of Unrighteousness, Oppression and Extortion be no longer heard in the Land.

And Things shou'd yet go well in the midst of us.

[Page 17]And we should be smiled on in our ecclesiastical and religious as well as civil Affairs; and the Land be always favour'd with a learned, ortho­dox, pious and faithful Ministry; and the Churches of our Lord Jesus Christ have Grace, Mercy and Peace multiply'd to them, and be flourishing under the Dews of Heaven; be as well-water'd Gardens and fruitful Fields, which the Lord has blessed; and be increased with the Increases of God; filled with true and genuine Converts, and Converts with Righteousness and Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.

And the Means of Education shou'd be remark­ably smiled on; Schools of Learning always duly promoted and encouraged, for the Instruction and Government of our Children and Youth; and the College continued a great and rich Blessing to the Land; a Fountain whose Streams shall re­joice and make glad the City and People of God; and from whence our Churches shall be supply'd with able and faithful Pastors, to feed them with Knowledge and Understanding, and to break the Bread of Life unto them.

In a Word, If Wisdom and Knowledge might be the Stability of our Times, and Strength of Salvation, and the Fear of the Lord our Treasure, we might hope that our Priviledges, religious and civil, should be continued, and transmitted as a valuable Inheritance to the latest Posterity.

And God, even our own God, would maintain our Cause, as the Matter might require; and raise up Friends and Benefactors for us; and disappoint the Devices and Designs of those that wish us ill.

[Page 18]And we should yet find Favour before the King and his Ministers, and the Agency for us be always under his gracious Conduct and Direction, and the Things which belong to our Peace not be hid from them who are intrusted with our Counsels.

Such Blessings both of the Providence and Grace of God, have we Reason to hope for, if the Pro­phecy in my Text should be fulfill'd, and we should become a wise, righteous and holy People. Such Righteousness wou'd soon exalt a People, we are assur'd from the Word of God, while Sin will be a Reproach to us, and bring down the Judgments of Heaven on us: So that we may now apprehend something of the Advantage, it would be to the Church and People of God, to see the Accomplish­ment of this Prophecy, as it would be a happy Means of averting threatned Judgments, and pro­curing many desirable needed Favours and Blessings from the Father of Mercies, and God of all Wis­dom and Grace.

I now come to the APPLICATION.


1. We may from what we have heard learn, the Reason why our Times have been, and are so melancholy at this Day.

It is because Wisdom and Knowledge have not been the Stability of the Times; the Fear of the Lord has not been our Treasure.

[Page 19]Multitudes have been and are destitute of the Wisdom that is from above, that is first Pure, then Peaceable, Gentle and easy to [...] intreated, and that is full of good Fruits, without Partiality, and with­out Hypocrisy. They may be wise in their own Eyes, and prudent in their own Sight, but not truly wise according to the Sense that has been given of the Wisdom and Knowledge spoken of in my Text.

They are poorly qualify'd for the Service of God, and their Generation, according to the Will of God, in every Station and Condition of Life.

How many are wise to do Evil, but to do Good have no Knowledge? There's no Fear of God in their Hearts, or before their Eyes; they cast off Fear, and restrain Prayer before the Lord, and will not stir up themselves to take hold of God; are awfully indolent, slothful and careless about en­gaging in the Fear and Service of God, and will not hear his Voice by his Word or Judgments.

And while it is thus with the Generality of God's Covenant professing People, we may not look for better Times; but may fear the Infliction of more distressing Judgments, if we remain an impenitent and incorrigible People, refusing to be reformed.

I pass to a second Use.

2. Let us be thankful for any Tokens we have of the Lord's gracious Presence with us.

[Page 20]Tho' it be still in many Respect a Day of Trouble and Distress, a Day of Darkness and Gloo­miness, a Day of Clouds and thick Darkness, yet, blessed be God, we are not without some comforta­ble Tokens that the Lord is yet among us, and has not utterly forsaken us.

We have our Priviledges, religious and civil, yet continued to us, and have Reason for Thank­fulness to God for the Smiles of his Providence on us, with respect to such as are now in Civil Rule over us. In a particular manner for lengthning out the Life of our gracious KING, after so many repeated sorrowful Breaches on his ROYAL FAMI­LY, and so far succeeding his Administrations for lengthening out the Peace and Tranquility of Europe.

And that we have yet among Us wise and good Rulers, such we trust who fear God, and espouse the Cause and Interest of his Kingdom and Glory among us; and are, according to their Abilities and Opportunities, laying themselves out for pro­moting the publick Weal and Tranquility of this People, in their most valuable Interests.

We have cause of Thankfulness also, that we are yet favour'd with a learned, useful and faith­ful Ministry, who have at Heart the Advancement of the Honour and Glory of God, and the Salva­tion of precious Souls, committed to their Charge, and not being ignorant of Satan's Devices are care­fully guarding against them; especially when he is by divine Permission transformed into an Angel of Light, and endeavouring to propagate a Spirit of Enthusiasm, Error and Delusion; are then doing [Page 21] their utmost to preserve their Churches from Errors in Judgment, and Disorders in Practice; and that pure and undefiled Religion may have a glorious Spread thro' the Land, without such corrupt Mix­tures.

And we shou'd be thankful, that there are yet a happy Number of Churches, walking in the Faith and Order of the Gospel, and many faithful Saints and Servants of the Lord, whose Hearts are esta­blish'd with the Grace of God, and not carried about with divers and strange Doctrines, and are walking before God in all his Commandments and Ordinances blameless; are meek, humble, sincere Disciples and Followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, adorning their holy Profession, by a sober, righte­ous and godly Life and Conversation; do indeed fear God, and honor the King, and render to Caes;ar the Things which are Caesar's; and to God, the Things which are God's; are Lovers of Peace and good Order, praying for Kings and all in Au­thority, and living quiet and peaceable Lives in all Godliness and Honesty.

These are Instances and Tokens of the Grace and Favour of God, which we should be humbly thank­ful for. And may we have further Cause to be so; and may God in his infinite Mercy, prevent the rising Generation from cherishing and encoura­ging an ignorant, unlearned and unqualify'd Mi­nistry, however it may be with respect to many of the present Generation risen up.

May all useful humane Learning be more encou­rag'd and promoted in the midst of us; for Religion, [Page 22] (as an excellent Divine, not long since, said, in a Sermon on such an Occasion as this) will soon De­cay without Learning, and even die, without a learned and faithful Ministry.

But I proceed to the third and last Use.

3. Let us all be exhorted to do our utmost, that Wisdom and Knowledge may be the Stability of our Times, and Strength of Salvation, and the Fear of the Lord our Treasure.

I would now bring this Exhortation to our Civil Rulers; to the Lord's Embassadors; and to the People; and so conclude.

And in the first Place,

1. With all due Deference and Respect to your HONOUR, who with the Honourable Board, have desir'd me, (however unworthy) to bring the Messages of God to You, and the Assembly, this Day.


We rejoice in the over-ruling Providence of God in your present Advancement to the chief Seat of Government among us; and we trust He has done it in Favour to this People; who, I am perswa­ded, are near and dear to you, and that you find a sincere Disposition and Inclination of Heart to pro­mote the most valuable Interests of this People, which you have now an Opportunity for; and will, we trust, by the Grace of God helping you, dili­gently and faithfully improve, to answer the great and good Ends of civil Rule and Government.

[Page 23]We therefore heartily wish and pray, That you may have given, and increased to you, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Coun­sel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord; and may have all that Wisdom and Grace that may be needful to Conduct the publick Affairs in such a manner, as shall yield peaceful Reflections to you in the close of your Administration; when having ruled with God as Hezekiah did, you may with him reflect and say, Remember now, O Lord, how I have walked before thee in Truth, and with a perfect Heart, and have done that which is good in thy Sight . And may humbly plead with God, as another pious Ruler did, Think upon me, my God for good, according to all that I have done for this People. *

Such a Consciousness of your Integrity, and ge­nerous diffusive Benevolence, will give you Peace and Comfort also, in an advanced Age, —in the Close of your Days, —and even everlasting Con­solation and Joy, beyond Death and the Grave.

Let me in the next Place Address this Exhor­tion,

2. To the Honorable his Majesty's COUNCIL, and honorable House of REPRESENTATIVES, now assembled in the House of God.

Hear my Words, O ye wise Men, and give Ear unto me, ye that have Knowledge.

[Page 24]Be now exhorted, my worthy Brethren, to do what in you lies, that Wisdom and Knowledge may be the Stability of the Times, and Strength of Salvation, and the Fear of the Lord our Trea­sure.

This has been, I trust, and will be your Prayer to the God of all Wisdom, from whom comes down every good and perfect Gift.

You know it was the Prayer of a wise and ex­cellent Ruler; Give me now Wisdom and Know­ledge; that I way go out and come in before this People: And God said unto him, Wisdom and Know­ledge is given unto thee *. And he prayed again , Give thy Servant an Understanding Heart, that I may discern between good and bad: And the Speech pleased the Lord; and God said unto him, because thou hast asked this Thing, I have given thee a wise and an understanding Heart.

And if you, our honoured Rulers, have such an Heart given to you, it will be evident to your own Satisfaction and Comfort, and others also, in your wise and faithful Improvement of the Priviledge granted you, by the Royal Charter, in the Elections of this Day.

You will have your Hearts and Pens employ'd in the Choice of those, whom you verily believe will be able and faithful Councellors; Men of Knowledge and Discerning, acquainted with the State and Interests of their Country, and heartily well­affected [Page 25] to it, as well as loyal to their KING. Men of Integrity, of known Virtue and Piety, Courage and Resolution, and steady Friends to our civil and religious Priviledges; and that will conduct in our political Affairs under the Government of a publick Spirit, and a generous disinterested View to the publick Good.

If Wisdom, Knowledge and the Fear of God, are so necessary to the Stability of the Times, and such Qualifications so requisite in civil Rulers; let the Consideration of it have a governing Influence on your Hearts, in the publick Transactions of this Day, that you may herein approve your selves to an omniscient GOD, who will accurately and criti­cally observe from what Principles, and with what Views you shall act in this important Affair.

You have been, I trust, looking out, for the most able, wise and understanding among our Tribes, and those especially who Fear the Lord: For it cannot be rationally tho't, (as an able Di­vine and Ruler once said in a Sermon on the like Occasion,) that such as have not the Fear of God ruling in their own Hearts, are qualify'd as they ought to be, for the weighty Charge of Govern­ment.

It is therefore greatly to be desir'd and endea­vour'd by such as have the Liberty and Favour of chusing such an Order of Men, that those who will not have God to rule in their own Hearts, shou'd have as little as may be to do, in the ruling of his People.

[Page 26]You have had, my honour'd Fathers and Bre­thren, many seasonable and faithful Counsels given you on such a Day as this, in the Name and Fear of the Lord, by his faithful Servants; and I trust you have had them so impress'd on your Minds, as that you will in the Fear of God proceed in the important Affair before you, which so nearly con­cerns the Peace, Prosperity and Happiness of the People of God among whom you live; and that we shall have abundant Cause of Rejoicing, in the Prospect, that Wisdom and Knowledge shall yet be the Stability of our Times, and Strength of Salvation, and the Fear of the Lord our Treasure, and so the Lord be exalted, and our Zion filled with Righteousness.

And if you do this Day faithfully discharge the Trust reposed in you, you will have the in­expressible Satisfaction and Comfort of contributing to it.

I shall finish my Address to our honoured Rulers, with an Extract of some [seasonable] Passages concerning the Qualifications of a good Senator, or Representative of his Country, described by an ex­cellent Writer, so early as in the Reign of King EDWARD the VIth, in a Discourse on the Accom­plished Senator *; and well worthy of a great At­tention and Regard, on such a Day as this.

The Qualifications are enumerated and described by him in the following Manner.

[Page 27]

Before the good Senator can be thoroughly accomplished, he must be well acquainted with the Customs of his own Country, and the Man­ners of his Country-men, their Tempers, Dispo­sition and general Behaviour, their Sentiments and Opinions concerning the present Posture of Affairs, and all the remarkable Occurrences and Passages of public Life.

He must thoro'ly understand the Laws of his own Country: He must be well acquainted with the true Nature of War and Peace; what Quar­rels and Enmities his People are engaged in, and what Leagues and Treaties are subsisting between them and their Neighbours; what Taxes are al­ready imposed on the Subject, or necessary to be demanded; what the Rights of the People are; and what the Proceedings of the Ministry; what Discipline is observed; or in what Manner the Laws are executed; what are the Dispositions of the Populace, and how at present they stand af­fected; what are their Discontents of Differences; and how they are to be allay'd and pacify'd; what is the present State of Morality; how the Youth of his Country are educated and employ'd; what Principles, Customs and Rules of Confor­mity are necessary to be introduc'd to moralize a People; and what is the present State of Religi­on, or the public Worship of God.

Nor must he be ignorant of the Genius, Laws, Manners, Interests, Rights and Demands of his Countries, Allies and Confederates.

[Page 28]He must be no Stranger to the Reasons and Ends of Government, nor to the Proceedings of all the Courts of Judicature, or public Assemblies.

He should know what daily occurs in the Ad­ministration; what are the Characters of those he is principally concerned with; and what are the Desires and Expectations of his Fellow-Subjects.

Thus ought he to abound with Wisdom, Know­ledge, and Experience.

His Resolution should be fixed in all Things to think and act aright.

He should scorn to be implicitly and servilely a Follower of the Opinions or Dictates of others.

He should never look upon any Thing as just and right, worthy of Praise and agreable to his Character, but what is dictated to him by Wis­dom and Virtue, by sound Reason, and the Laws of his Country.

A Senator should also know perfectly the Na­ture, Limitation, and Extent of the Kingly Autho­rity. Kings were made, not for their own, but their People's Sake, and should in all their Coun­sels and Undertakings prefer the common to any private or seperate Interest whatsoever.

The great Design of their Government is, that the Rights and Liberties of their People might be preserved.

[Page 29]The Senate have an Authority, and Dignity concurrent with the Regal; and to this Body they owe proper Deference and Regard, and should always be in readiness to protect and de­fend it.

The supreme Power of Kings was intended as a Security for the good and virtuous, and as a Terror to the Wicked. It was lodg'd in their Hands, as Avengers of the Wrongs and Injuries of their Subjects, Protectors of their Liberties, and Judges to decide between the Good and the Evil.

I will add but one Paragraph more.

A good and upright Judge is the Life and Soul of the Law, and the living Oracle of a Common-Wealth.

It is the proper Business of such a One to be the Minister of Justice, his first and greatest Ac­complishment to know and discern what is true and right. The Laws of his Country are his only Guide and Direction, to which he will strictly conform himself in all his Opinions, Proceedings and Sentences. From these he will never vary in the least Point whatsoever; but will give Judgment always as they direct, ac­cording to the well-known Principles of Justice and Equity. Anger and Passion, Hope, Love and Affection, Hatred and Malice, and every the least Shadow and Suspicion of these, will be banish'd far off, from every Tribunal and Court of Judicature where he presides, together with [Page 30] Bribery and Corruption, Fear and Terror, Adu­lation and Flattery, and whatsoever may obstruct or pervert the regular Course of Justice.

Most certain it is, That no Order of Subjects whatsoever, has contributed more to the promo­ting of Sedition, Strife and Oppression, than a Sett of Judges, who have been of a mercenary, corrupt and adulterous Disposition.

On the other hand, By a due and regular Course of Justice a Nation is preserv'd in Peace and Unity. Love & Good-will are every where promoted; Complaints and Grievances, Hatred and Animosities cease; and a People is raised to that Pitch of Happiness, as to fear no Evil, and to want nothing which is good for them.

Such useful, generous Sentiments as these, are diffused thro' that excellent Work of the noble Au­thor he refers to; and he adds, ‘They cannot be too universally known, too frequently inculcated, or too deeply-radicated in the Breasts of all those, who are Lovers of the publick Inte­rest, and heartily sollicitous for it's Preservation and Advancement.’

I shall now proceed to address my self,

3. To the authorized Embassadors of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Reverend and dear Brethren,

It shou'd, we well know, be in a particular, manner our great Concern and Endeavour to make [Page 31] the Times better; and if God will bless our faithful Labours, Wisdom and Knowledge shall be the Sta­bility of our Times, and Strength of Salvation, and the Fear of the Lord our Treasure.

Be we then exhorted to do our utmost, that this evangelical Prophecy in my Text may be ful­fill'd in our Day.

The great End and principal Design of our Ministry, is to teach Men Wisdom, Knowledge and the Fear of God.

The Priest's Lips should keep Knowledge, and the People should seek the Law at our Mouths, for we are the Messengers of the Lord of Hosts. .

And if we are destitute of the ministerial Gifts and Graces of the Spirit of God, how poorly qua­lify'd shall we be for this sacred Office, by which we are bro't so near to God!

Let us mourn for all the Provocations, We, or any of our Order of Men, have given to God, to deny his Blessing on the Ministry and Administra­tions of our Rulers, or our own; and by Faith re­pair to the great Sacrifice of Atonement for Mer­cy and Forgiveness; and humbly beg of God to give us that divine and heavenly Wisdom and Knowledge we so much need, to qualify us for the faithful Discharge of our Ministry; and that he would make us wise to win Souls; and that we may no longer have so much cause to weep bit­terly [Page 32] because of an unsuccessful Ministry; that we labour in vain, and spend our Strength for nought and in vain. But if we are faithful, our Judgment is with the Lord, and our Work with our God, and we shall be glorious in the Eyes of the Lord tho' Israel be not gathered, and many shou'd go on, to receive the Grace of God in vain, and even die without Wisdom, and Salvation be forever far from them.

But let us beg of God, my Brethren, that we may not be sent to make any blind Eyes blinder, and hard Hearts harder, that Men should not con­vert and be healed; but that the Hand of the Lord may be with us, and a great Number believe, and turn to the Lord, and become his willing and obe­dient People in the Day of his Power; that he would therefore give to his People every where hearing Ears and understanding Hearts, that they may know and increase in Wisdom, Knowledge and the Fear of God; and so the Seals of our Ministry be mul­tiply'd, who shall be our Joy and Crown of Re­joicing in the Day of the Lord, if we may find Mer­cy of the Lord in that Day; and after we have preached to others, not be ourselves Cast-aways.

May the repeated Instances of the Death of our Brethren in the Ministry, awaken our most sollicitous Endeavours to get ready for that awful Day; and the Death of that faithful Servant of the Lord, in a particular Manner, whom we lately followed to his Grave *; and who was the last Messenger of the Lord of Hosts, to our Civil Rulers on a like Occa­sion, [Page 33] and then faithfully declared the Counsel of the Lord unto them.

And may a gracious God, for the Lord's sake, cause his Face to shine again on that Sanctuary in this Town, in such an awful Manner made desolate by the Death of his worthy Colleague also, * but a few Months before him, and who was from one Year to another, the Mouth of the Assembly, to the God of all Wisdom and Grace, for Assistance and Direction in the weighty Affairs of Government.

Help Lord, for the godly Man ceaseth, for the Faithful fail from among the Children of Men!

I shall now close with a Word of Exhortation,

Fourthly, and lastly, To the Body of the People. Hearken O People, every one of you . Hear Coun­sel, and receive Instruction; be wise and refuse it not, as ever you desire to see better Times.

Be you now exhorted to seek for Wisdom, Know­ledge and the Fear of God, without which we shall never see that Stability of the Times, we are so of­ten wishing and praying for.

If our civil Rulers are endow'd with Wisdom and Knowledge, political and divine, and are every Way qualified for their exalted Stations, yet if the Gene­rality of the People are ignorant and destitute of the Fear of God, are careless and slothful in Religion, [Page 34] and will not forsake their evil Ways, and return to the Lord, and the crying Sins they have been so often warned of, and humbled for, are still abound­ing in the midst of them, this will be a sufficient Provocation to a holy God, to withold his Blessing from their wisest and best concerted Measures to pro­mote the Prosperity and Happiness of their People.

Whatever, says one, the Advantages are which Rulers have to promote the People's Good, and whatever Pains they take to improve them, yet Rulers themselves are but second Causes, and will fail in their Endeavours, and of their Aims, as God shall withold his Blessing; and that God oftentimes does, as a just Punishment of the People's Sins.

When any Detriment befalls the State, it is common for the Ministers of it to bear the Blame, when as they many Times least deserve it: For if there be an ungrateful, murmuring, proud Spirit, a mutinous, envious and rebellious Spirit an ir­religious Spirit prevailing among a People, it is not all the Counsels of the wisest, nor Understand­ing of the prudent, nor the Conduct of the most sufficient Men, that can keep off Ruin from them. Such a People may be miserable, do their Rulers what they can.

It was not King Josiah's's Piety or Prudence (however at present it laid some kind of Restraint upon them) that could divert the approaching lamentable Fate of that stubborn, sinful People he had the Rule of.

[Page 35] ‘There is much of the Success of Government depending upon the suitable becoming Behaviour of the People under it.’ If they continue im­penitent and unreformed, they may look for that awful Judgment, not to have strong Rods for Scepters to rule them. Their Sins deserve it; and the Lord has threatned thus to punish the Iniquity of his People. ‘When Israel had degenerated, and their Religion was become Formality, and their Devotion, Hypocrisy, the Lord faith, Isa. 29.14. The Wisdom of their wise Men shall perish, and the Understanding of their prudent Men shall be hid. Thus Samuel threatens the People, * But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consu­med, both ye and your King. When the Lord forsakes those that have the Rule of his People, no wonder if we here cause to complain as in Isa. 3.12. They which lead thee, cause thee to err. But the Rise of this Mischief is often in the Wickedness of the People. So when God left David to sin in numbering the People, it is said, It was because God's Anger was kindled against Israel. And so will the Sins of his prossesing People now, enkindle his Anger against them, and bring yet greater Darkness and Distress upon them.

When a People highly favour'd of God with a precious Day of Gospel-Grace and Advantages for getting of Wisdom, will not hear Counsel and re­ceive Instruction, but despise Reproof; and will not obey the Voice of their Teachers, yea, hate Know­ledge, and will not choose the Fear of the Lord; it may be look'd on as a Time of awful Deadness [Page 36] and Degeneracy indeed. And if it be so with us at this Day, yet we are now to hear the Voice and Call of Christ the Incarnate Wisdom of God, in such pungent, affectionate Language as that *; Doth not Wisdom cry, and Understanding put forth her Voice; she uttereth her Voice in the Streets; she crieth in the chief Place of Concourse; in the City she uttereth her Words, saying, unto you, O Men, I call, and my Voice is to the Sons of Men; O ye simple understand Wisdom; and ye Fools be of an understanding Heart. How long ye simple ones, will ye love Simplicity, and the Scorners delight in their Scorning, and Fools hate Knowledge? Turn you at my Reproof; behold I will pour out my Spirit unto you .

And what Encouragement have we to seek for Wisdom, Knowledge and the Fear of God: My Son, if thou wilt receive my Words, and hide my Commandments with thee, so that thou incline thine Heart unto Wisdom, and apply thine Heart to Understanding; yea, if thou wilt cry after Know­ledge, and lift up thy Voice for Understanding; if thou seekest her as Silver, and searchest for her as for hid Treasures, then shalt thou understand the Fear of the Lord, and find the Knowledge of God: For the Lord giveth Wisdom; out of his Mouth cometh Knowledge and Understanding. He layeth up found Wisdom for the Righteous; He is a Buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the Paths of Judgment, and preserveth the Way of his Saints. Then shalt thou understand Righteous­ness and Judgment and Equity, yea every good [Page 37] Path. When Wisdom entereth into thine Heart, and Knowledge is pleasant unto thy Soul, Discretion shall preserve thee, Understanding shall keep thee. And in the third Chapter, from the 13th Verse, Happy is the Man that sindeth Wisdom, and the Man that getteth Understanding; for the Merchan­dize of it is better than the Merchandize of Silver, and the Gain thereof than fine Gold. She is more precious than Rubies, and all the Things thou can't desire are not be compared to her. Length of Days is in her right Hand, and in her left Riches and Honour. Her Ways are Ways of Pleasantness, and all her Paths are Peace. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy is every one that retaineth her. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: She shall bring thee to Honour when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine Head an Ornament of Grace, a Crown of Glory shall she deliver to thee.

What greater Encouragement can we desire, my Brethren, to seek and plead for divine and hea­venly Wisdom and the Fear of God? But yet how many, tho' they have now a Price in their Hands for getting this Wisdom, have no Heart to it? And are practically saying to almighty God, depart from us, for we desire not the Knowledge of thy Ways.

And the Fear of the Lord, is so far from being their Treasure, that this World with it's Honours, Riches and Pleasures, is dearer to them, and more esteem'd and valued, than the Favour of God, or the Riches of an heavenly Inheritance.

[Page 38]Their Time and Tho'ts are swallow'd up in worldly Pursuit; in adding to their worldly Pos­sessions and Treasures; and they spend their Mo­ney for that which is not Bread, and their Labour for that which satisfys not. The Cares of the World and Deceitfulness of Riches choke the Seed sown in their Hearts, and so it becomes unfruitful: The Spirit of this World eats out the Vitals of Re­ligion. And tho' they may keep up a Form of Godliness, they are utter Strangers to the Power of it, governing their Hearts and Lives.

Have we not Reason to fear, that the Number of such has been awfully increased, and great Pro­vocation thereby given to God, to scatter Darkness in the Paths of our Rulers, and to bring us into perplexing Straits and Difficulties on many Ac­counts, out of which we are not extricated to this Day?

The lamentable Degeneracies and Backslidings of this People, have been the procuring Cause of all the Tokens of the divine Anger.

And if they shall persist in them, it will look awfully with respect to the Infliction, not only of more temporal Judgments, but of spiritual Plagues and Judgments too, which are more to be depreca­ted than any other; and we shall have reason to fear that the Lord has cast many away from his Pre­sence, and taken his holy Spirit from them, [...] let them alone in Sin, and given them up to their own Hearts Lusts, and to walk after their own Counsel, and will suffer them to live only to fill up the Measure of their Iniquities, and to treasure [Page 39] up Wrath against the Day of Wrath, and Revelation of the righteous Judgment of God.

But may God of his infinite Mercy be better to us than our Fears; and by gracious Influen­ces of his Spirit, revive his Work in the midst of the Years, and in Wrath remember Mercy for the whole Body of this People, in giving Wisdom, Knowledge and the Fear of God to them; that our Flesh may no longer tremble for fear of God, and have so much reason to be afraid of these Judg­ments being inflicted on us.

And we shall have reason to hope they are not as yet; if this People shall be generally stirring up themselves to engage in the Fear and Service of God, to get Wisdom, and with all their gettings to get Understanding.

And O that all the People of the Land were wise and understood this, and would consider their latter End! This is the affectionate Wish of the great God concerning this People; and so is that, O that there were such an Heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my Commandments always, that it might be well with them, and their Children forever!

To draw towards a Close.

Let all who have an Interest at the Throne of Grace, unite in our humble and servent Supplica­tions to that God by whom Kings reign, for our KING in supreme, and all in subordinate Places of Power and Trust:

[Page 40]That our rightful and lawful Sovereigh, King GEORGE the Second, may be wise as an Angel of God; that he may be long continued a nursing Father to his Church and People; both at home and abroad; and that the PROTESTANT SUCCES­SION in his illustrious House may abide before the Lord, and no Weapon formed against it ever pros­per.

And that there may be a Succession of PRINCES on the British Throne, who shall patronize the Cause of Liberty, and pure Religion, so long as the Sun and Moon shall endure.

That the KING may be always favour'd with wise and faithful Counsellors, and the Things which belong to the Nation's Peace not be hid from those who are entrusted with their Counsels; and that in their Peace we may have Peace.

That our PRIVILEDGES, civil and sacred, may be continued; that we may never come to know the Worth of them by the Want of them.

That Wisdom and Knowledge may be the Stabi­lity of our Times; that GOD would therefore vouchsafe his gracious Presence with our General Assembly this Day, in the important Affair before them, and in all the public Affairs relating to the Peace and Prosperity of the Province thro' the Year; that all may be over-rul'd to the Advance­ment of the Glory of God, And the best Good of this People; and that the providential Presence of God may still be as a Wall of Fire round about us, and that his spiritual Presence may be the Gory in [Page 41] the midst of us, and that on all our Glory, he would create a Defence.

To conclude,

Let us pray, That He who dwells between the Cherubims would shine forth, stir up his Strength and come and save his People, and graciously ap­pear in all our Mounts of Difficulty, and extricate us out of all those perplexing Difficulties, our Pro­vocations of a holy and righteous God have bro't us into; that his tender Mercies may speedily pre­vent us, now we are brought so low; that the God of our Salvation would help us; for the Glory of his Name, and deliver us, and purge away our Sins for his Name's Sake; and that he would make us glad according to the Days wherein he has afflic­ted us, and the Years wherein we have seen Evil.

That he would therefore pour out his Spirit, rain down Righteousness, and revive his Work in the Hearts of all Ranks, Orders, and Ages of Men, and so prepare this People for further Mer­cy and Salvation, even for the Fulfilment of the Words in my Text, And Wisdom and Knowledge shall be the Stability of thy Times, and Strength of Salvation; the Fear of the Lord is his Treasure: And those also of the same evangelical Prophet *, Then shall thy Light break forth as the Morning, and thine Health shall spring forth. speedily, and thy Righteousness shall go before thee; the Glory of the Lord shall be thy Rere-ward; Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.

[Page 42]NOW unto the Kind eternal, immortal and in­visible, the only wise God, our Saviour, be Glory and Majesty, Dominion and Power for ever and ever.


☞THE able and excellent Ruler and Divine, I have once and again had Reference to in the foregoing Sermon, was Governour SALTON­STALL, in his Election Sermon, preach'd in the Colony of Connecticut in the Year 1697.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.