THE Character and Duty of SOLDIERS ILLUSTRATED, IN A SERMON Preached May 25, 1755, IN The REV. MR. NOYES's Meeting-House, In NEW-HAVEN AT The Desire of Col. NATHAN WHITING, TO The Military Company under his Command in the present Expedition, for the Defence of the BRITISH Dominions in AMERICA.


Published at the Request of said Colonel, and the other Officers of said Company.

Who will lead me into Edom? Wilt not thou, O GOD! go forth with our Hosts? DAVID.

So Joshua Ascended from Gilgal, he and all the People of War with him, and all the mighty Men of Valour: And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear not; for I have delivered them into thine Hand!—There shall not a Man of them stand before thee!


NEW-HAVEN: Printed and [...] by James Parker, at the Post-Office, MDCCLV.


TO NATHAN WHITING, Esq LIEUT. COLONEL OF The SECOND REGIMENT OF FOOT, RAISED In the COLONY of CONNECTICUT; For the Defence and Protection Of His Majesty's Territories In AMERICA, AND For Removing the Encroachments Of the French, At CROWN-POINT, and upon the Lake Iroquois or Champlain; THIS SERMON IS HUMBLY INSCRIBED, BY His Devoted Servant, ISAAC STILES.


The Character and Duty of Soldiers: A SERMON:

II. SAMUEL, X. 12.

Be of good Courage, and let us play the Men for our People, and for the Cities of our GOD; and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.

WAR is one of the bitter Fruits and deplorable Effects of the Apostacy and Degeneracy of the human Species: It originates or takes its Rise from the Lusts of Men, from Pride, Selfishness, Malevolence, Envy, Avarice, &c. as appears from those Words of Inspiration, James iv. 5. From whence come Wars and Fightings? &c. and 'tis one of the sore Judgments and Rebukes wherewith the Holy GOD corrects Man for his Iniquity. Altho' the Kingdom of Christ is a Kingdom of Peace, and his Gospel breathes Nothing but universal Love and Benevolence; insomuch that had all Men Faith, and were actuated and govern'd by the noble Principles [Page 2]and Maxims of moral Truth and Duty, reveal'd and establish'd in the Gospel, every Man might fit under his own Vine and Fig-Tree, and there would be none to terrify or molest him: Ephraim would not envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim: Men might then beat up their Swords into Plowshares, and learn War no more; for in Consequence of this, Wars would cease to the Ends of the Earth. Yet ever since the ancient Enmity was put be­tween the Seed of the Serpent and the Woman, Peace has been taken from the Earth, and Nation has been rising up against Nation: The Serpent has been casting out of his Mouth Water as a Flood after the Woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the Flood: The Dragon has all along been wroth with the Woman, viz. the Church of God in the World, and been making War with the Remnant of her Seed, which keep the Commandments of God, and have the Testimony of JESUS CHRIST. * Cain, who mortally hated, and embrued his Hands in the Blood of righteous Abel, his Brother, has left behind him Numbers in his cursed Image, pos­sess'd of those diabolical Distempers of Pride, Malice, Envy, and such like, who have hated God's Zion, and been attempting to rase it to the Foundation thereof. We have a very remarkable Specimen of this Cainine Temper and hostile Spirit, in the unreasonable, insulting and tyran­nical Demands and Expectations of those recorded 1 Kings xx. Men there have been, from Age to Age, and now are, who are Lovers of their own selves, covetous, proud, Truce-breakers, false Accusers, and these make the Times perillous: For to the Wills [Page 3]and Lusts of such Haters of Zion, the People of God must yield up their Lives, Properties, Li­berties, Consciences, and all that is near and dear to 'em here in this World; or else in an hostile Way be compelled to it, if this be in the Enemy's Power: Monopoly, perfect Slavery and Vassalage is what they ultimately have in View; our Per­sons, and all our dearest Enjoyments, must be submitted to their entire Ordering and Disposal: They will not be satisfied with the Enslaving of our Bodies, but our Souls too must be brought into Bondage, and kept under their heavy and galling Yoke.—As we must enjoy none of the Comforts of Life, but by their Sufferance and Permission; so we must needs be of their Reli­gion, except we be given up to believe a Lie, that we all may be damned; except we become their Proselytes, espouse their destructive Heresies, and bow down and pay divine Honours to graven Images and dumb Idols, which they have set up, and sing Te Deum, we must expect to sacrifice our Lives, and burn at the Stake. And since 'tis so, and the Adversary will hearken to no Rule or Reason, and are entirely addicted to Violence and Oppression; the Law and Light of Nature and of GOD, will allow, yea, it requires repelling of Force by Force. In this Case, 'tis evidently the Mind and Will of God, that his People make military Preparations; labour to furnish them­selves with Skill in the Art military; whet and surbish their Swords; file off the Rust of their Firelocks, that exquisitely-contriv'd Engine of Terror, and tremendous Instrument of Death; and as Volunteers go forth to the Help of the [Page 4]LORD, against the Mighty; jeopard their Lives in the high Places of the Field; endure Hardness as good Soldiers; be bold in their GOD, and play the Men for their People, and for the Cities of their GOD. When Men rise up against us; are hemming of us in; stretching beyond their Line; making the most glaringly unjust Encroachments on our Territories; invading our just Rights, and threatning to swallow us up; for us now to to depend upon God to save us from Ruin, by the miraculous Interposition of his Providence, in a Neglect of the proper and appointed Means of our own Security and Preservation, would be inexcusable Presumption;—this would be not to trust, but to tempt the Lord; the very Thing which the Devil would have persuaded our Saviour to; Mat. iv. 6. Cast thy self down; for it is written, He shall give his Angels charge, &c. 'Tis true, we should likewise beware of the other Extream, and not symbolize with them, who in a Way of Distrust of GOD, went down to AEgypt for Help, and stay'd on Horses, and trusted in Chariots, because they were many, and in Horsemen, because they were strong; but look'd not to the Holy One of Israel, neither sought the LORD: But with a due Depen­dance on the Power that made us, and is the great Preserver of Men; when Things are come to this Crisis, we ought to put ourselves into a Posture of Defence, prepare for War, be clad in our Regimentals, every Man of the Valiant of Israel having his Sword upon his Thigh, bran­dishing the glittering Spear, the Dart, and the Habergeon, and laying at the Enemy, attempting [Page 5]hereby to humble their Pride, tame their Madness, and oblige them to yield or die! Now it behoves the Officers and Infantry, like General Joab, and his Battallions, to be of good Courage, and play the Men for this People, and for the Cities of their GOD.

That there may be just Occasion for a People professing Godliness to arm themselves, and en­gage in a defensive War against their Enemies, can't be denied, without offering Violence to Reason, and wresting the Scriptures. The Affronts and Abuses offer'd to King David and his Men, by the Children of [...], related in our Context, were intolerable; and hence we find Joab the General, charging his armed Bands to be of good Courage, and play the Men, &c. And if any will not own that Joab was a good Man; yet they must grant, that he here speaks as became one of a noble and martial Spirit, and an experienced valiant Leader of the Armies of Israel; yea, and as became a pious General too; for he adds, and the LORD do that which seemeth him good: q. d. ‘Let us do our Parts, and quietly refer ourselves and the Event to God's good Pleasure, which we have no Reason to distrust; the War on our Part being just, and not vainly undertaken to enlarge our Empire, or aggran­dize ourselves, but for our own just and necessary Defence: 'Tis for our People, and for the Cities of our GOD, that we are now called to sight; for the Preservation of them from that Ruin which our Enemies design for us; the Cities which are devoted to his Worship and Service; and therefore we may hope for GOD's Presence, Blessing and Assistance in it; that he will plead [Page 6]their Cause, and be on our Side.’ 'Twas un­doubtedly their Duty to do as they did; and why not equally ours, when in similar Circum­stances? — it being plainly and infinitely impos­sible for that ever to cease being a Duty, which is founded in and results from the eternal unal­terable Nature, Reason and moral Fitness of Things. The Example of Laish is written for our Admonition; Judges xviii. 27, 28. And they took the Things which Micah had made, and the Priest which be had, and came unto Laish, unto a People that were at quiet, and secure; and they smote them with the Edge of the Sword, and burnt the City with Fire: And there was no Deliverer, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no Business with any Man. St. Paul assures us, that all Scripture given by Divine Inspiration is profitable for Instruction; and that what soever was written afore-time, was written for our Learning.

I shall therefore take Occasion from the Words of my Text, first, to characterize or describe, and secondly, to excite the good Soldier.

I am then, in the first Place, to describe, or give a brief Sketch of the Character of the good Soldier. And in general, he is One that is of good Courage, and when call'd hereto, plays the Man for his People, and for the Cities of his GOD. And if we come to Particulars, these following Things, I conceive, go to make up, and compleat the Character of a good Soldier.

1. He must be of a martial Genius, of a bold and heroick Spirit, and well furnished with military Knowledge or Skill in the Art of War. [Page 7]If Courage or Conduct be wanting, whether it be in the Officers or Soldiers, what Prospect can there be of their copying the Example of Joab, or his Warriors? of their being a Safeguard and Defence to their Country, and thence answering the principal End and Design of their Institution and Calling? 'Tis required in Soldiers, especially in their Leaders and chief Officers, that they be well acquainted with what belongs to the Art-Military; that so they may be able, in the best Manner, to attack and oppose, battle, and rout, and vanquish the Enemy. One that is a Soldier ought to understand the Words of Command; the several Beats of that great warlike Instrument the Drum, together with the Language of the shrill high-sounding Trumpet, that noble, reviv­ing and animating Sound: Soldiers ought to understand how to march regularly; keep their Ranks and Files; what are the proper Facings; how to make good the Ground; when to advance or stand, or turn the Sway of Battle; when to open or close the grim Ridges of War, and how to make a regular, advantageous and safe Retreat, as there may be occasion: They ought to be acquainted with the wisest and best Methods of Encamping, of Entrenchment or Circumvalla­tion, of Fortification, of erecting Batteries, Forts, Garrisens or Castles, of battering down or scaling Walls and Ramparts, and thence forcing the Enemy to surrender, and submit themselves. Joel ii. 7, 8, 9. They shall run like mighty Men; they shall climb the Wall like Men of War, and they shall march every one on his Ways, and they shall not break their Ranks, neither shall one thrust another; [Page 8]they shall run to and fro in the City; they shall run upon the Wall; they shall climb up upon the Houses; they shall enter in at the Windows. Knowledge and Understanding in these Things, will inspire Courage; whereas the Want of it tends to inti­midate, disanimate, and render Men pusillanimous and cowardly; and Cowardice evermore cuts the Nerves and Sinews of adventurous Attempts.

2. Furthermore, 'tis required in Soldiers, that they be not only Men of Courage and Conduct, of martial Accomplishments, of Activity, and an enterprizing Genius; but that they be loyal to their King, and Lovers of their Country: Of this we have Joab, and his valiant Soldiers, for an Example.

3. A Soldier should be a Man of Religion, a Christian Temper of Mind and Conduct, a pure Conscience, an upright self-approving Mind, Faith, and a good Life: This also contributes towards making them of good Courage, and prompting them to play the Men for their People, and for the Cities of their GOD. A strict Regard to Discipline and good Order, Temperance, Sobriety, Mortification and Self-Denial, and good Decorum, is no small Embellishment to the Character of them that are in the Militia, and wear the honorary Title of Soldiers, and tends to make them, under GOD, our Decus ac Tutamen, our Glory and our Defence. Faith and Religion in an Army, must needs have a great Tendency to engage the Divine Presence with them, without which they can expect little Success. This makes them strong and very couragious, bolder than Lions, swifter than Eagles; now they wax valiant in Fight, [Page 9]and put to Flight the Armies of the Aliens: Like David, run thro' a Troop, and leap over a Wall; pursue their Enemies, and overtake them; beat them small as the Dust, and tread them down as Mire in the Streets: Now One chases a Thousand, and Ten put ten Thousand to Flight. A strict and sacred Regard to Truth and Honesty, Justice and Equity, in a Soldier, has a mighty Tendency to fill his Heart with Courage and Valour. A Soldier that is a Man of Religion, a devout Man, a Man of Prayer, a just Man, one that can rule his own Spirit, bridle and govern his Tongue, keep under his Body, and bring it into Subjection, and is sober, chaste and temperate in all Things, will not be asham'd or afraid; but will speak with the Enemies in the Gate; will not fear to look his Enemy in the Face, to stand Foot to Foot, and measure Arms with him; for he doth not fear Death with any Amazement.

That the true Knowledge of God, and Trust in him, is one needful Qualification of a Soldier, is plain from Dan. xi. 32. The People that do know their GOD, shall be strong, and do Exploits: The Opposite to these are such as do wickedly against the Covenant, and may be corrupted by Flattery or Bribery, to serve the Worst of Interests, to engage with the Vilest of Men, to promote their wicked Designs, to join with Antichrist in per­petrating the greatest Barbarities and Cruelties, under Pretences of Religion, thinking they are doing God Service, while they are killing his Children.

Since it is evident, that the Calling and Business of Soldiers is what Christianity allows, and gives [Page 10]Countenance to; since to be a Soldier, and fight the LORD's Battles, is not inconsistent with the Character and Life of a Christian, every Soldier ought to be a Christian, and in Behaviour as becometh Holiness. He that, under the Light of Revelation, lacketh these Things, hath denied the Faith, and is worse than an Infidel. The Holy Ghost directs all, and consequently Soldiers, to take to 'em the whole Armour of God, to stand having their Loins girt about with Truth, and having on the Breast-plate of Righteousness, and their Feet shod with the Preparation of the Gospel, taking the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the World of God; praying always with all Prayer and Supplication, in the Spirit; and in the Exercise of these military Virtues, faithfully to employ themselves fighting against not only Flesh and Blood, but Principalities and Powers, and the Rulers of the Darkness of this World, and spiritual Wickednesses in high Places, till they have overcome thro' the Blood of the Lamb; are Conquerors, and more than Conquerors, thro' him that hath loved us. And to instruct us, that Soldiers ought to be Men of Piety and Virtue, must needs be the Design of the Spirit of Truth, in transmitting down to us, in the sacred Records, the Examples of so many famous and renowned Warriors, who feared God and kept his Precepts, who thro' Faith subdued Kingdoms, quenched the Violence of Fire, escaped the Edge of the Sword, out of Weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in Fight, &c. The Example of Abraham, for Instance, the Friend of God, whose Victory, and triumphant Return from the Slaughter of the four Kings, [Page 11]accompanied with his small but brave and gallant Train-band, is recorded to his immortal Honour; —the Example of David, the Man after God's own Heart, who made God his Trust from his Youth, and was also a Man of War from his Youth, who through God did valiantly, and trod down his Enemies; —the Example of that pious young Hero King Josiah, who for the Sake of his People, and the Cities of his God, jeopardiz'd his Life, and even sacrificed it in a Battle of the Warriors, attended with confused Noise, and Garments rolled in Blood.— And what shall I more say? for the Time would sail me, to tell of Joshua, of Gideon, of Barak, of Sampson, and of Jephthe, and many others, whose signal Courage and wife Conduct, and remarkable Successes, were undoubtedly in no smail Measure, owing to their Faith and Hope in GOD, and to their being under the governing Influence of Religion, fearing God, and keeping his Ways. And whoever considers the Directions given to the Soldiers by John the Baptist, must be sensible, that this is one Thing requisite to finish the Cha­racter of one that will be likely to play the Man, and act the Part of a good Soldier.

4. As Soldiers would be what they ought to be, and act in Character, they must be disposed to obey their Leaders and commanding Officers. Murmurings and Mutinies among Soldiers, and Rebellion, which is as the Sin of Witchcraft, must needs be an ill Omen, and have a dark, threatning and disasterous Aspect upon the Success of the Campaign. If Soldiers desert their Post, or fly from their Colours, or despise to obey their Commanders; Defeat and Loss of Victory, must [Page 12]needs ensue: Nor is the Rebel safe; but is awfully expos'd to an untimely Death; to be like Absalom suddenly chased out of the World, and driven into Darkness: He has just Ground to fear, that Vengeance will not suffer him to live; — that he shall be devoured with the Sword, or by some other Means be forced to descend to Hell, with all his Weapons of War; and that his Sins will lye down with him in the Dust; that how fearful a Thing soever it be to fall into the Hands of the Living GOD, who will cast upon him, and not spare; this must be his Lot, that everlasting Terrors will take hold on him; that he must be destroyed, and that without Remedy, and suffer the Vengeance of eternal Fire. Is not that written for our Admonition, Judges v. 15, 16, 17. For the Divisions of Reuben there were great Thought; of Heart: Why abodest thou among the Sheep-folds, to bear the Bleatings of the Flocks? Why did Dan abide in the Ships? Asher continued on the Sea-shore, &c.—This their not joining their Brethren in the Expedition, had a Tendency to discourage their Hearts, and wea­ken their Hands, and prevent the Success of their Enterprize; and therefore was a Thing highly criminal: And again, v. 23, Curse ye Meroz, (said the Angel of the Lord,) curse ye bitterly, the Inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the Help of the Lord, to the Help of the Lord against the Mighty. A Rebel in an Army is no better. 2 Tim. ii. 4. No Man that warreth entangleth himself with the Affairs of this Life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a Soldier.

[Page 13] Thus I have given a brief Sketch of the Character of a good Soldier, and shewn what Qualifications they must have, in order to their playing the Men for their People, and for the Cities of their GOD.

The next Thing proposed, was to excite the Soldier thus furnished to his Work, to a due Discharge of his Duty;—which I now heartily do; tho' it was with much Reluctance I undertook this Work, conscious to my self how unequal I was to the Task, and that I am, of all my Bre­thren of the ministerial Order, perhaps the most unskillful in military Matters.

And it may now be expected, that I do this in a particular Address to the military Company, at the Request of whose honourable COLONEL I stand in this Place.

GENTLEMEN, We rejoice to see such a Number who make so good a Figure, and such a hand­some Appearance, who have willingly offered yourselves, and are inlisted into the Service of your KING and COUNTRY, and expect e'er long to go upon the intended Expedition, for the Defence of his Majesty's Rights and Dominions in this our NORTH-AMERICA: My Heart is towards you, my Brethren and Friends, and I wish you a Blessing out of the House of the LORD: GOD Almighty bless you, protect and prosper you; teach your Hands to war, and your Fingers to fight; give you Courage and Conduct, and make you the Terror of your Enemies, the Beauty of our Israel, our Safety and Defence: God by your Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in [Page 14]Trouble; the Lord of Hosts be with you; the God of Jacob be your Refuge: Selah.

And now, what an Honour will it be to you, and to us, if it shall appear that you have proved your Armour, and that each of you is like the Son of a King, like the Princes of Issachar, for martial Skill, Valour and Prowess? If you prove expert in War, wax valiant in Fight, and put to Flight the Armies of them who are the Aggressors, and are seeking a Quarrel against us; how will this heighten the Glory of your Company, and tend to endear and eternize your Memories? And what I say unto you, I say unto all of your Order and Profession. Our Lives and Properties, our Religion and Liberty of Conscience, lie at Stake, and we may expect e'er long to be deprived of 'em, by those unreasonable and wicked Men, that froward and perverse Generation of Children, in whom there is no Faith, except Men of your Character and Improvement, except our Militia, our Men in Armour, are instrumental in the Hand of Providence, to prevent the impending and important Evil, and deliver us out of the Hands of them that would fain spoil us.

With such Views, we would hope you have put on your Harness, and we trust you will be ambitious to merit the Encomium given of those heroick and celebrated Warriors, 2 Sam. i. 22. From the Blood of the Slain, from the Fat of the Mighty, the Bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the Sword of Saul returned not empty. The MOST HIGH has stiled himself a MAN OF WAR, to denote the Divine Agency in the Victories and Triumphs of his People over their Enemies: [Page 15]And 'tis noted, that when the Children of Reuben made War with the Hagarites, they were helped against them, because the War was of GOD: The Cause you are call'd to engage in, is no doubt the Cause of GOD; and methinks you may hear the GOD of the Armies of Israel, the Lord of Hosts, saying to you, ‘This Matter belongs to you, arise and do it, and I will be with you.’ Since the Race is not always to the Swift, nor the Battle to the Strong; we hope you will all be greatly concerned to secure an Interest in the Favour of God, and engage the Divine Presence with you: All of you have Reason to say as Moses, LORD if thy Presence go not with us, carry us not up hence; and to repeat the Prayer of the Psalmist, Wilt not thou, O GOD, go forth with our Armies! Give us Help from Trouble; for vain is the Help of Man.

If GOD be with you, and on your Side, you may comfort yourselves and one another, with these Words: Numb. xxiii. 8. How can they curse, whom God hath not cursed? Isa xli. 10. Fear thou not; for I am with thee; I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee, &c. In this Case, you may say, as that renowned Warrior, and Glory of his Time and Day; Tho' an Host should encamp against me, my Heart shall not fear; tho' War should arise against me, in this will I be confident; the Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear what Man shall do unto me; yea, tho' I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no Evil; for thou art with me, &c. Now you may humbly expect, that the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in Battle, will break the Arrows of [Page 16]the Bow, the Shield and the Sword of your Enemies, and crown you with Victory. Now you may hope for Protection, that God will deliver you from the hurtful Sword, and rid you from the Hand of strange Children, whose Mouth speaketh Vanity, and their Right-Hand is a Right-Hand of Falshood: That if Need be, he will make the Stars in their Courses to fight for you; that he will ride upon the Heavens in your Help; fly upon the Wings of the Wind; scatter Hailstones, and kindle Coals of Fire; send forth Lightnings and Thunder, with a great Thunder, and discomfit the Enemy; deliver you from your strong Enemy, and from the violent Man; gird you with Strength unto Battle; make your Feet like Hind's Feet; teach your Hands to war, so that a Bow of Steel shall be broken by your Arms; give you the Necks of your Enemies, that you might destroy them that hate you, avenge you, and subdue the People under you, and set you upon your high Places.

You will permit me, my Fellow-Soldiers, to be your Monitor. Unto you is that spoken; Deut. xxiii. 9. When the Host goeth forth against their Enemies, then keep thee from every wicked Thing; and v. 13. For the LORD thy God walketh in the Midst of thy Camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine Enemies before thee; therefore shall thy Camp be holy, that be see no unclean Thing in thee, and turn away from thee. The Armies of Israel you know, tho' led by Joshua, a General of undaunted Courage, and full of the Spirit of Wisdom, could not stand before their Enemies, but turned their Backs, because they sinn'd, and transgress'd God's Covenant: The Children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying Bows, turned back in the Day of [Page 17]Battle, for the same Cause. Infidelity, Profaness, Iniquity, Sensuality, Intemperance, Luxury and Debauchery, Lying, Stealing, profane Swearing, horrid Imprecations, hellish Execrations, and Cursings, (but too common in Camps) these tend to make the Camp a Curse, and to trouble it: Joshua vii. 11, 22. This must needs provoke the holy sin-hating GOD to stand afar, and remove from the Camp. If those that stand in the Front, face the Artillery of Heaven, defy and dare Almighty Vengeance, and challenge divine Thunderbolts, by suffering their Tongue to be set on Fire of Hell, by setting their Mouths against the Heavens, belching out great swelling Words of Blasphemy, and discharging frightful Vollies of Curses, one after another, enough to astonish and make the Pillars of Heaven and Earth to tremble; and those in the Rear are in this Way pouring forth the Poison of Dragons, and the cruel venom of Asps; what can be expected, but that when they come to face Danger, and look Death in the Face in an Encounter,—their Hearts will meditate Terror, melt like Wax in the Midst of their Bowels! having just Ground to ex­pect, that God will now pour out upon 'em the Fury of his Anger, and the Strength of Battle; that the Sword will cut 'em off, and cat 'em up like the Canker-Worm; that God will visit for these Things, and that his Soul will be avenged on such an Army as this! It can't be expected but that Fear and a Share will come upon 'em; that their Hearts will faint, and their Hands hang down, and not be able to perform their Enterprize.

By considering the doleful Consequences of a [Page 18]Defeat, how you will injure the Publick as well as yourselves, in case you should fail of Success thro' your own Default, and chosen Wickedness; you will be excited to put away all these, and let no corrupt Communication proceed out of your Mouths, nor delight in any of these Abominations: You will, we hope, beware of Sin, and arm yourselves against all Temptations to it: Do Violence to no Man, neither accuse any falsly, and be content with your Wages; swear not at all; abstain from fleshly Lusts, and be temperate in all Things: My Son, if Sinners entice thee, consent thou not: Learn not their Way, avoid it, turn from it, and pass away.

From the Example of Ac [...]n, it appears, that one Man may sin in such a Manner, as to bring Wrath upon the whole Camp; and woe to that Man whoever he be!

You will permit me further to excite you, to behave as becomes Christian Soldiers, by remind­ing you of the good Tendency and Consequence of a right Conduct, in Men that go forth to War. One Thing required of a Soldier, is, that he be a Man of Prayer; and you are not ignorant of the Efficacy and Advantage of this. We read the [...] were helped against the Hagarites; for they cried to God in the Battle, and be was intreated of them: We read also, that in Answer to Prayer, the LORD in a very wonderful Manner, helped the Israelitish Army, discomfiting the Philistines; and that the Prayer of Asa prevailed against the huge Host of the Ethiopians and the Lubims. 2 Chron. xiv. David's Successes and Victories were in Answer to his Prayers; Psal. xviii. 6; and to shew the Suc­cess and great Benefit of Prayer in this Case, I [Page 19]desire you to peruse 2 Chron. chap. xx. Surely then you will not hazard the Success of the Enterprize, by casting off Fear, and restraining Prayer before GOD. You will do well to read and ponder Psal. xviii. throughout.

But its Time to hasten to a Close: And left I should trespass upon your Patience, let me only add, that in Case you approve yourselves good Soldiers, be of good Courage, and play the Men for your People, and for the Cities of your GOD; 'tis hopeful, that you will be accessary to the humbling the Pride of France, the punishing the stout Heart of their antichristian, perfidious and Truce-breaking Monarch, and the Glory of his high Locks; scourging Canada; yea, avenging of our Israel, and preventing the Romish Faith its taking Footing and gaining Ground in this Protestant Country. You are, I trust, in high Spirits; full of the Fury of the Lord, and resolved to do all that in you lies, in the Defence of your dear Country; sensible what Numbers of blood-thirsty Enemies are round about us on our Borders, who hunt for the precious Life, and whose tender Mercies are Cruelty; and whose savage Minds are conti­nually whetted and exasperated against us by popish Incendiaries, upon that Maxim of their Religion, that "he who killeth us doth GOD good Service;" sensible that the French, our inveterate and dan­gerous Enemies, nearly border upon, yea, in some Sense, compass us round about, whose Interest, and the Prejudices of their Religion, prompt them mortally to hate us, and seek our Overthrow. Seeing in Reference to them, we [Page 20]may go into the Language of John, with a little Variation, What Peace! so long as that [...] Jezebel, the Whore of Babylon, and her Witch­crafts are so many? Its doubtless high Time, if not more than Time, to gird on our Armour, whet our Swords, and prepare the Instruments of Death, and go out against them; that in the Name of the Lord we may cut 'em off, or bring 'em to a better Mind, and to honourable and lasting Terms of Peace. Wherefore, my Friends, strengthen yourselves in the Almighty; and in this thy Might go forth. O thou worthy Man! thou mighty Man of Valour! and do worthily in CROWN-POINT, and be famous in CANADA: Go forth in the Faith and Spirit of David, when he said, they compassed me about like Bees; but in the Name of the Lord I will destroy them. Be of good Courage, my Countrymen, and play the Men for your People, and for the Cities of your GOD, and the LORD do that which seemeth him good. Quit yourselves like Men; be strong, stand fast, set yourselves in Battle-Array, that assoon as your Enemies hear of you, they may obey you; may fade away, and be afraid, out of their close Places; or otherwise pursue them, and turn not again, till they are consumed; wound them, that they may not be able to rise; make them to fall under your Feet; lay at them, and spare not, * till their Power is gone, and there is none shut up or left.

If you, my Friends, on whom we depend, under GOD, to be our Life-Guard, and as Guardian-Angels to us, are not stout-hearted, strong and very couragious, if Faintness seize [Page 21]upon your Spirits; your Hearts melt, and there remain not any more Courage in any Man if our Men of Might find not their Hands, forbear to fight, be affrightned and become as Woman; or if Wisdom and Counsel be not with you (for without these, Weapons of War avail little,) without Counsel, Purposes are disappointed: Prov. xv. 22. most pro­bably, e'er long, we shall roar all like Bears, and mourn sore like Doves; like God's People of old, when by the Rivers of Babylon they sat down and wept, remembering Zion, hanging their Harps upon the Willows.

May we not depend upon it, that you will vigorously exert yourselves, and act the Part of valiant, noble and generous Warriors in the Cause of Heaven, and for the Lengthning out of our Tranquillity?—that you will entertain no Thought of Flight, none of Retreat; but with Boldness and Intrepidity of Mind, rush into the Battle, press on for Victory, play off your Artillery, storm the Castle, break in Pieces the Gates of Brass, and cut in sunder the Bars of Iron, and being violent, take it by Force? How can you endure to see the Evil that seems to be coming on your People, or how can you endure to see the Destruction of your Kindred? Surely then, you will put your Life in your Hand, if haply you may prevent it.

My Brethren and Kinsmen, according to the Flesh, let me persuade myself, that you will be of good Courage, and play the Men for your People, and the Cities of our GOD;—lest our Cities be wasted without an Inhabitant, our Inheritance turned to Strangers, and our Houses to Aliens, we [Page 22] become Orphans and Fatherless, and our Mothers Widows, and our Necks brought under Persecution;— lest the Cities sit solitary that are now full of People, and the Provinces, and whole Land become tribu­tary, or go into Captivity and great Servitude, and dwell among the Heathen;—lest our Ad­versaries are the Chief, and our Enemies prosper, and from this Daughter of Zion all her Beauty depart, and the Adversary spread out his Hands upon all her pleasant Things;—lest we see the Heathen enter into our Sanctuaries, and our holy and beautiful Houses, wherein our Fathers and we have praised God, burnt up with Fire;— lest the solemn Feasts and Sabbaths be forgotten in our Zion;—lest the Women in our Zion be ravished, and the Maids in the Cities of our Judah; our Princes be hanged up by their Hands, and the Faces of the Elders not honoured, and we trodden as in a Wine-Press. Our Enemies how numerous and potent are they? how deep their Policy? how indefatigable their Pains, that they may enslave or destroy us? and you have certainly more of the Spirit of Englishmen, than to be willing that the Enemy should vaunt himself, and say, Aha, so we would have it.

Finally, Brethren, Farewel; be and behave as becomes Christian Soldiers, and fear not; you will be strong and do Exploits: Such Combatants are fierce as young Lions; with undaunted Cou­rage they wave their flaming Faulchions, which make frightful Circles in the Air; and the shat­ter'd Arms, bleeding Sculls, and cloven Trunks of the Slain, together with the dolorous Groans and Bellowing of the Wounded, witness that they were not Wooden Swords, but made of triple [Page 23]Steel. No pale Horror or Dismay seizes them, when fronting the Enemy, appearing in terrible Array, in thick embattled Squadrons, and bla­zing Armour; in whom Revenge and Fury, mix'd with proud, obdurate Scorn and Hatred, lives for a While on every Brow, denouncing Wrath and sudden Fate to all less than immortal: The Angels of Gabriel, (the good Soldiers of Jesus Christ I mean) while standing before the cloudy Van, on the rough Edge of War, e'er it join; and when they hear the Shout of Battle begun, and the rushing Sound of Onset, and see Arms reflecting Blaze on Blaze; remain undis­may'd:—A strong Desire, and a Christian-like Hope and Expectation of coming off victorious, breeds Wings, and on they fly, as a swift Eagle hasteth to her Prey; their angry Eye turns fiery red, denouncing and portending sudden Destruc­tion to the rebel Host, beginning now to despair of Success; observing their Competitor and Antagonists, how their Right-hand grasps hard a glittering Sword, as it were, temper'd by divine Wrath, whose Edge is arm'd with hideous Terror, Slaughter, Dread and Pain, and Desolation hang­ing near their Points, dealing round wild Havock, Amazement and Ruin, wherever they alight: These accompanied with animating Musick, the Beat of Drums and Sound of the Trumpets, as they move on, to inspire or wake heroic Ardor in each Breast; Voices that inspire to lofty and noblest Deeds, persuade to highest Acts, to Fame and Triumphs, worthy to be own'd in Heaven, when they return victorious, the Foe, not without Glory to the Victor's Arms, being destroy'd. [Page 24]The Captain of the Host, with Words enflaming all who hear the Sound with Thirst of Battle, thus excites to Arms his God-like Legions; ‘See them draw nigh (says he) who will give our Swords new Triumphs! no Fear of meeting Shame from you proud Infidels, whose Cou­rage and Prowess will hardly hold out so long, as to give these Power, these our military Forces their Right and Fill of Glory.’ These Words enflaming each Breast with Valour, panting now to grasp their Weapons of War, and asking instant Battle; some instantly draw and brandish their furbish'd Swords, marking the Clouds with Light, as they wave round in Golden Circles; robbing the Day of half its Glory; prompted to adventurous Deeds and sacred Fame; inspir'd with a Love of Praise, wrought in the Cause of Heaven: A sudden Blaze, illuminating wide the ample Sky, shoots from their Crests and Shields and brightned Arms, flashing with fearful Light, seen by their Foes with dire Amazement, Dread and Pain; ill prepar'd to lift their Swords in Battle; having a Foe within, a guilty Conscience, that takes from every Arm its Courage; weakned with their own Despair, that shakes at every Danger: Conscience now whetting keen her Shafts, and arming herself with Stings and Poi­sons, and twice ten Thousand Terrors working Regret in each Soul, making his Strength Weak­ness: The good Soldiers of Jesus Christ all the While shine with all the Beauty and Lustre, that inward Sanctity and outward Charms lend to the Hero's Lock; and fierce as a Whirlwind, down they drive the faithful Edge of their Swords, [Page 25]tearing asunder the Crest and Helmet, and the yielding Arms of the Foe, unable to endure its Force; confounded with the stunning Blow, back he reels, distress'd between the sad Extreams of Fear and Shame; one prompting him to Flight, the other to second Combat; but inward Pain, Shame, and the dread of Hell, drains his Arm of all Courage and Strength; and total Rout and Ruin on the Part of the faithless and godless Host ensues; Joshua x. 7, 8. So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he and all the People of War with him, and all the mighty Men of Valour. And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear them not; for I have delivered them into thine Hand; there shall not a Man of them stand before thee. When the HOLY ONE appeared to Joshua, with his Sword drawn in his Hand, declaring, that he was come as Captain of the Host of the Lord, what new Life did this put into him? And now, behold the Wall of Jericho could not stand before him, but fell down flat, so that they took the City, and gained a compleat Victory.

And suppose any of you should fall amongst the Slain, and your Shields be vilely cast away, (even as it happen'd to that pious and heroic Youth, Prince Josiah,) you will die in a good Cause, die in the Bed of Honour; you will not die unlamented; but your Exit will be deplor'd in such like honorary Accents as these, (descriptive of the Excellency and Glory of valiant Soldiers) ‘The Beauty of Israel is slain; how are the Mighty fallen! they were stronger than Lions; they were swifter than Eagles: The Breath of our Nostrils, the Anointed of the Lord was [Page 26]taken in their Pits.’ Your Memory will be blessed; your Names will not rot; but be had in everlasting Remembrance; be enrolled in the Book of Fame, as some of the Guardians of our Land, and Defenders of our Faith; and, which is more, your Death will be a happy Transit (happy for you, and perhaps a quick and easy one too) from a World that hate Peace, and are for War, to a peaceful Region, a quiet Resting-place, a World where War and Strife are eternal Strangers; where neither Injury nor Resentment are ever known or practis'd, (those bitter and Fatal Springs of Revenge and Bloodshed!) but universal Benevolence runs thro' the whole King­dom, and all are made perfect in Love. See Rom. viii. 35, 39. Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ? Shall Peril or Sword? As it is written, for thy Sake are we killed, &c, Nay, in all these Things we are more than Conquerors through him that loved us; for I am persuaded, that neither Death, nor any other Creature, shall be able to separate us from the Love of GOD, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. For you to die will be Gain; your End will be Peace, and the best Part of your Composition, your precious and immortal Souls, will be ga­thered to the Spirits of just Men made perfect; to the Multitude of the heavenly Host, that are before the Throne of GOD, and of the Lamb; and GOD shall wipe away all Tears from your Eyes; adorn your Brows with heavenly Garlands, with the ever-green Laurels that grow in the Paradise of GOD, fast by the Tree of Life, and crown you with Glory and Honour.

[Page 27] Your Warfare being accomplished, and your faithful Service accepted; the righteous Judge, in the Distribution of the Rewards of the next Life, will not forget your Work and Labour of Love, in generously playing the Men for your People, and the Cities of your GOD; will see that distinguishing Honours be done you; will set a Crown of pure celestial Gold upon your Head, and to you will be grant, to sit down with him in his Throne. Rev. iii. 21. And in a short Time, your dead Bodies will be raised, and when this Corrup­tible shall have put on Incorruption, and this Mortal shall have put on Immortality; then shall be brought to pass the Saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in Victory: Amen. — O our GOD! wilt thou not judge them? — Our Eyes are upon thee. Then upon Jahaziel came the Spirit of the Lord; and he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye Inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou King Jehosaphat; thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid, nor dismayed, by reason of this great Multitude; for the Battle is not yours, but GOD's:—The Lord will be with you; 2 Chron. xx. 12, 14, 15, 17.

I conclude with that apposite Benediction of Moses, with which he took his final Leave and Farewel of the Host of Israel, encamped in the Wilderness: Deut. xxxii. 26,—29. ‘There is none like the GOD of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the Heavens in thy Help, and in his Excellency, on the Sky. The eternal GOD is thy Refuge; and underneath are the ever­lasting Arms; and he shall thrust out the [Page 28]Enemy from before thee; and shall say, destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in Safety [...], the Fountain of Jacob shall be upon Land of Corn and Wine; also his Heavers shall drop down Dew. Happy art thou, O Israel! who is like unto thee! O People, saved by the Lord, the Shield of thy Help, who is the Sword of thy Excellency! and thine Enemies shall be found Liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high Places.’ Amen and Amen.

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