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Mr. Ballantine's SERMON To a Military Company just before their March against the Enemy.

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The Importance of God's Presence with an Army, going against the Enemy; and the Grounds on which it may be expected. REPRESENTED IN A SERMON Preached at a LECTURE in Westfield, ON Wednesday June 2, 1756. Just before Captain John Mosely, and His Company, began their March towards Crown-Point.

By John Ballantine, M. A. Pastor of the Church of Christ in Westfield.

Made publick at the Desire of the Hearers.

Be strong and courageous, be not afraid, nor dismayed, for the King of Assyria, nor for all the Multitude that is with him: For there be more with us, than with him.

HEZEKIAH.

BOSTON: Printed and Sold by EDES and GILL, next to the Prison, in Queen-Street, 1756.

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The Importance of God's Presence with an Army: And the Grounds on which it may be hoped for.

EXODUS XXXIII. 14, 15.

And he said, My Presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee Rest.

And He said unto Him, If Thy Presence go not with we, carry us not up hence.

ISRAEL were upon their March to the promised Land; and notwithstanding the wonderful Displays of divine Power, they had been Witnesses of, both in Egypt, and in the Wilderness; and notwithstand­ing the Success of their important En­terprize depended intirely on the Blessing of God; yet they fell into the Sin of Idolatry, than which nothing could have been more hateful. God was justly incens'd against them, and testified his Displeasure by the Death of three Thousand of them in one Day, as the forego­ing Chapter informs us.

But tho' they were unmindful of their Duty to God, God was not unmindful of his Promise. In the three first Verses of the Context, we have an Account of his saying to [Page 6] Moses; Depart and go up hence, thou and the People, which thou hast brought up out of the Land of Egypt, unto the Land, which I swear unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy Seed will I give it; and I will send an Angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: unto a Land flowing with Milk and Honey.

Tho' God determin'd to give them the Land He had promised; yet He would bring about the Event by the Interposition of an Angel, lest, if there should be any extraordinary Tokens of His Presence, their Sins, being aggravated by the Favour and Honour done them, should provoke Him to cut them off.

The People having humbled themselves for the Tokens of God's Displeasure; putting off their Orna­ments—rising up and worshipping, every Man at his Tent Door, when they saw the cloudy Pillar standing at the Tabernacle Door: And Moses, having got near to God, even to His Seat, thus pleads with Him, 12 and 13 of the Context, Thou sayest unto me, bring up this People: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by Name, thou hast also found Grace in my Sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found Grace in thy Sight, shew me now thy Way, that I may know thee, that I may find Grace in thy Sight: and consider that this Nation is thy People.

God said, in Answer to this Request of Moses: My Presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee Rest.

Then we have Moses's Reply to God: If thy Pre­sence go not with me, carry us not up hence.—Which Expression of Moses shews, that he was sensible of the vast Importance of having the Presence of God with them in their War against the Canaanites. Oh, that every Commander of an Army, and all other Officers, and all [Page 7] that belong to Armies; yea that all, were as sensible of the Importance of the divine Presence, as Moses was, and did as earnestly seek it!

In speaking from the Words, I shall first endeavour to shew what it is to have the Presence of God with us, in the Sense of the Text.

2. Shew the Importance of an Army's having the Presence of God with them, in their Enterprizes against their Enemies.

3. Shew, when we may on good Grounds hope for the Presence of God with us, in our Enterprizes against our Enemies. Then make Application relative to the Occasion of our present Meeting.

First, What is it to have the Presence of God with us, in the Sense of the Text? And He said, My Presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee Rest. And He said unto Him, If thy Presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.

1. We must not understand by the Phrase in the Text, that God is not essentially present every where. He fills Heaven and Earth with his Presence. There is no fleeing from His Presence. Let us be where we will, in what State soever, or doing what we will, God is present. How could we exist; how could we be; if God were not present to uphold us? Reason and Scripture teach us the Omnipresence of God.

Nor,

2dly. Must we understand by the Phrase in the Text, God's being present with a People to ruin and destroy them. As we read in the 5th Verse of the Context, I will come up in the midst of thee in a Moment, and consume thee. When there are extraordinary Displays of divine Power for the Ruin of a People, God may be said to be present, as well as when there are ex­traordinary Displays of Power for their Benefit. We read of Destruction from His Presence.—

[Page 8]But God's Presence going with His People is a Bles­sing, promised as such: God's giving Rest is coupled with his Presence going with them. Moses prays, that God would not carry them from thence, if He did not go with them. The Presence of God for their Destruction would not have been desirable. That is the most terrible Destruction, that is from the immedi­ate Hand of God.

3dly. By God's Presence with us, in the Sense of the Text, is meant his favourable assisting Presence. God's being present with a Person or People, in any Affair they are engag'd in, notes his Concurrence, Di­rection, and Blessing in that Affair—as has been already observed: God's Presence going with them is promis'd as a Blessing; giving them Rest is coupled with it.— It is promised to Moses, because he had found Grace in God's Sight, 17th Verse of the Context—and Moses, in pleading with God, says in the 16th Verse. For wherein shall it be known here, that I and thy People have found Grace in thy Sight? Is it not that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy Peo­ple, from all the People that are upon the Face of the Earth.

Moses here seems to represent the Presence of God going with them, as a Characteristick, or distinguishing Mark of God's People: indeed it is the most demon­strative one to Pagan Nations.

Wishing God to be with a Person, or People, was a very usual Form of Blessing among the Jews: It was the same, as wishing them well, wishing them Success, and Pros­perity. Thus Saul blessed David, when he had inti­mated his Mind to attack Goliah. Go and the Lord be with you, i. e. succeed, and bless you, in your Attempt. 1 Sam. 17.37. It was a frequent apostolic Benediction. 2 Thess. 3.16. The Lord so with you all.

[Page 9]It was not uncommon to encourage to great Under­takings with this Consideration, that God was with them. Thus God encourages Joshua to go against Canaan, by telling him, He would be with him, there­fore he might be of good Courage, he should bring the Children of Israel there, Deut. 31.6, 7, 8, 23. Josh. 1.5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Thus God incourages Gideon to go against the Midianites. I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one Man. Judges 6.12.16. And thus the Priests were to encourage the People of the Jews, when they were going to Battle. Deut. 20.1, 2, 3, 4. When thou goest out to Battle against thine Enemies, and seest Horses and Chariots, and a People more than thou, be not afraid of them, for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the Battle, that the Priest shall approach and speak unto the People, and shall say unto them; hear, O Israel, you approach this Day unto Battle against your Enemies: let not your Heart faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them. For the Lord your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your Enemies.

And wherever we read of God's being with a Per­son or People, we read of their Prosperity and Success. It is said of Hezekiah, 2 Chron. 18.7. And the Lord was with him, and he prosper'd whithersoever he went forth: and he rebell'd against (or shook off the Yoke of) the King of Assyria, and served him not. And smote the Philistines even unto Gaza, and the Borders there­of, from the Tower of the Watchmen to the fenced City. From these Things it is evident, that by the Presence of God going with us in any important Enterprizes, in the Sense of the Text, is meant his Direction, Concur­rence and Blessing. But according to the propos'd Method, I am,

[Page 10] Secondly, To represent the Importance of having the Presence of God with an Army, in Enterprizes against their Enemies.

Moses, sensible of the Importance of it, deprecates the want of it. If thy Presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.

To have God with us, is the same as to have God for us; if God be for us, if God is on our Side, we need not care who is against us. Let them be ever so many or mighty, there is more with us, than with them. Thus Hezekiah incourages his People against their Ene­mies, from the Confidence he had, that the Lord was them, 2 Chron. 32.7, 8. Verses. Be strong and coura­geous, be not afraid for the King of Assyria, nor for all the Multitude that is with him: for there be more with us, than with him; with him is an Arm of Flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our Battles. Though an Army be ever so numerous and strong, their Power is limited, and finite, whereas God's Power is unbounded and infinite. So that an Army, tho' small, that has the Presence of God with them, is more formidable, and dreadful than the hugest Host, that ever was rais'd, that has not the Presence of God with them. God is the Lord of all the Hosts in Hea­ven and Earth. He has all Things at his Command. Our most avowed Enemies can do nothing against us, but what God permits, and allows them; and we have no Reason to fear, if God's Presence is with us, that He will permit them to do much against us; but rather have Reason to hope that He will be against our Ene­mies, an Adversary to our Adversaries; that our Af­fairs will be under the best Direction; that there will be a Concurrence of favourable Circumstances on our Behalf.

God's Presence with an Army going against their Enemies will be a Remedy against Fear. We are not [Page 11] made without Fear: and the confused Noise of the Warrior, and Garments roll'd in Blood, will be apt to excite Fear. Fear, as it were, binds Mens Hands, is a Bar to noble, and heroic Actions. But a Persuasion, that God is with them, is a good Antidote against Fear. God often uses this Argument to conquer the Fear of his People, in Cases of Difficulty and Danger, Thus He did with Joshua. Deut. 31.6.8. Josh. 1.9.

The King of Syria sent an Army large enough to compass a City, only to seize the Prophet Elisha: his Servant, when he saw it, feared, and was ready to think it was a gone Case. Elisha told him not to fear, for they that be with us, are more than they that be with them. He prayed that God would open his Eyes, and when his Eyes were opened, his Fears vanished. Elisha, by the Help of God, took that whole Army Captive, and led them into Samaria. 2 Kings 6.14—20.

If we knew we had greater Strength, greater Wis­dom, greater Advantages on all Accounts than our Ene­mies, would not Fear be unreasonable: if an Hun­dred Men were going against one Man, would not their fearing be an Argument of a base low Spirit. One Man's Strength and Wisdom bears some Proportion to the Power and Wisdom of an Hundred; but the Power, and Policy of the greatest Army bears no Proportion to the Power and Wisdom of God, which is infinite. If God therefore be with us, we need not fear. David, in an Address to God, says, Psalm. 23. Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death (which a hot Engagement has some Resemblance of) I will fear no Evil, for thou art with me, thy Rod and thy Staff shall comfort me.

The Presence of God with an Army, inspires with Courage. It not only expels Fear, but fills with Cou­rage. As our Fears will encourage our Enemies, so Courage will dishearten them. Courage gives Life to [Page 12] Strength, which would be in a Manner useless, if we durst not exert and put it forth. Courage assisted by Strength, and directed by Wisdom, is often the Spring of glorious Atchievements— And what has a greater Ten­dency to inspire with Courage, than to be perswaded on good Grounds, that God is with us. This is an Argu­ment which God uses to excite Courage, Deut. 31, 6, 7, 23, Ver. Josh. 1.6, 9, Ver. What more suitable Ar­gument can there be, when we think of the Perfections of God?

When it is apparent that God is present with an Ar­my, their Enemies will be filled with Fear. Let us flee (said the Egyptians) from the Face of Israel, for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians, Exod. 14.25.— When the Philistines understood that the Ark of God was come into the Camp, they were afraid, for they said, God is come into the Camp. And they said, Wo unto us; for there hath not been such a Thing here­tofore. Wo unto us, Who shall deliver us out of the Hands of these mighty Gods? These are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with Plagues in the Wilderness, 1 Sam. 4.6, 7, 8, Ver. The Presence of God is a Pillar of Fire to direct and guide his People; and a Pillar of the Cloud to confound his Enemies.

If God is with an Army in an Enterprize, they have Reason to expect Success. We have Joshua saying, Chap. 14.12. Thou heardest in that Day how the Ana­kims were there, and that their Cities were great and fenced; if so be the Lord be with me, I shall be able to drive them out. And they may say to those that attack them, as in 2 Chron. 35.21. Forbear from meddling with God, who is with me, that He destroy you not. And thus may they bid Defiance to their Enemies, as in Isa. 8.9, 10. Ver. Associate your selves, O ye People, and ye shall be broken in Pieces; and give Ear, all ye of far Countries: Gird your selves, and ye shall be broken [Page 13] in Pieces; gird your selves, and ye shall be broken in Pieces. Take Counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the Word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us. See what Assurance an Army, that hath the Presence of God going with them, hath of Success. Zech. 10.5. And they shall be as mighty Men, which tread down their Enemies, in the Mire of the Street in the Battle, and they shall fight because the Lord is with them.— Numb. 14.9. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the People of the Land; for they are Bread for us: Their Defence is departed from them; the Lord is with us, fear them not.

If God be with us, it will dispose others to an Agree­ment with us. It made Abimeleck, tho' a King, seek the Alliance and Friendship of Abraham and Isaac, Gen. 21.28. and 26.28. Ver. We read 2 Chron. 15.9. That they fell to Asa, King of Judah, in Abundance, out of Israel, the revolted Tribes, when they saw that God was with him.— And Zech. 8.23. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, In those Days it shall come to pass, that ten Men shall take hold out of all Languages of the Nations, even shall take hold of the Skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you. Once more,

If God be with us, we may on good Grounds, expect a Freedom from a great Variety of Evils. See Ezekiel 34.30. The Prophet having enumerated a Variety of Evils they should be freed from, and a Variety of Bles­sings they should be the Subjects of, says, Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the House of Israel, are my People, saith the Lord God.

But if we have not an Exemption from Evils, we shall be carried safely thro' them. Isa. 43.2. When thou passest thro' the Waters, I will be with thee; and thro' the Rivers, they shall not overflow thee: When [Page 14] thou walkest through the Fire, thou shalt not be burnt; neither shall the Flames kindle upon thee.

These Things are sufficient to show the Importance of having God with us. It is of more Importance, than to have the greatest Number of the wisest and most pow­erful Men. I dye, said Joseph, but the Lord will be with you, which is of more Importance to you, tho' he had born great Sway at the Egyptian Court, and God had made him an Instrument of great Good to them.— Men are ready to think, that in War, their Safety depends on Numbers. We trust too much to an Arm of Flesh. Nothing is of equal Importance to having the Presence of God with us. We read, Deut. 32.30. How should one chase a Thousand, and two put Ten Thousand to Flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up?

But on the other Hand, If God is not with us, we have Reason to fear a Series of most dismal Events. As God's Presence with us, is a very signal Blessing, so God's not being with us, or forsaking us, is a most terrible Evil, deprecated by those, who, with Moses, knew the Impor­tance of having God's Presence with them. If God is not with a People, they are exposed to become a Prey to their Enemies, See 2 Kings 21.14. Judges 6.13. Jer. 12.7.23.39, 40. How sensible Saul was of his Calamity, in being without the Presence of God, appears from that Lamentation, 1 Sam. 28.15. I am sore dis­tressed, the Philistines make War on me, and God is de­parted from me.—Having shown the Importance of hav­ing the Presence of God with us in Enterprizes against our Enemies; I proceed,

Thirdly, To show the Way to have God's Presence go with us— To know the Importance of having the Pre­sence of God with us, will be of no Service to us, if we never knew how to obtain it: but since there is a Way to obtain it, which may be known; to know of what Im­portance it is, may engage us to seek it.

[Page 15]People may conclude He is with them, when He is not, on Account of some religious Privileges they are distinguished by, 2 Chron. 13.12. And may conclude God is not with them, when He is, on Account of some adverse Providences, Judges 6.13.

We may on good Grounds hope for the Presence of God with us.—If we are contrite or patient; if we see our Sins; are so griev'd for them as to turn from them to God. God dwells with the Contrite.

2. We may on good Grounds hope for the Presence of God with us, when we be with Him. 2 Chron. 15.2. Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah, and Benjamin, the Lord is with you, while ye be with him. You see that it is here promised to Asa, That if he would be with God, God would be with him. No Scripture is of private Interpretation. If we are with God, we may be incou­raged to hope that God will be with us, from this Pro­mise, tho' it was particularly applyed to Asa, and his Subjects: It was recorded and handed down for our Direction and Encouragement. But now our Inquiry may be, What it is to be with God? This is a Phrase that is used sometimes to express the Happiness of the Saints, in the future World. So shall we be ever with the Lord, 1 Thess. 4. ult. But this is not the Idea that is convey'd by the Phrase, in the Passage under Consi­deration.

But the being with God, to which God's being with us is promised, implies in it.

1. A Reconciliation with God through Christ. How can two walk together, except they be agreed? In Or­der to be with God, there must therefore be a laying down the Weapons of our Rebellion, and returning to Him, on the Act of Grace which He has issued, wherein He has promised Pardon to those that believe and repent and return to Him—We were Enemies to God [Page 16] by wicked Works: When we come to be with God, the Enmity is slain by the Blood of Christ, and from Enemies we come to be Friends.

2. Being with God, to which God's being with us is promised, is a being for God, on the Side of God. If we are at War with a People, when we say—such are with us—We mean, they are on our Side; This Idea is conveyed 2 Chron. 32.7.8. There be more with us, than with them, i. e. there are more on our Side, than on theirs.

There is a War between God and Sin: To be with God, is to be against Sin in ourselves and others. As a People seek the utter Ruin and Destruction of those they are at War with; so those, that are with God, seek the utter Ruin and Destruction of Sin, mortify it, and crucify it. They that are Christ's, crucify the Affec­tions and Lusts. They that are with God, reprove Sin in others, use their Influence to suppress it, exert them­selves in their respective Spheres against it, implore the Help of God against it.

3. The Being with God, to which God's being with us is promised, means a promoting His Cause, and ad­vancing His Glory. Those that are heartily with God, against Sin in themselves and others, will be with God in promoting a Conformity to His Mind and Will in themselves and others. That which influences us to exert ourselves for the Suppression of Sin, will influ­ence us to exert ourselves for promoting a Conformity to God. If the End of our Actions is right, our Zeal in promoting a Conformity to God, will be in Propor­tion to our Zeal against Sin. If we are with God in this Respect, see what Encouragement we have to hope that God will be with us, 2 Kings 18.4, 5, 6, 7. He removed the High Places, and brake the Images, and cut down the Groves, and brake in Pieces the brazen Serpent, that Moses had made; for unto those Days the [Page 17] Children of Israel did burn Incense unto it—He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him, was none like him, among all the Kings of Judah, nor any that were before him; for He clave to the Lord, and de­parted not from following him, but kept his Command­ments, which the Lord commanded Moses, and the Lord was with him, &c. See Amos 5.14. Seek Good and not Evil, that ye may live; and so the Lord, the God of Hosts will be with you.

4. Being with God may mean, a being much with Him in Prayer.

Lastly, Being with God may mean acting as in His Presence. As being with a great Personage would re­strain us from what might displease, and dispose us to honour him. So realizing God's Presence would be a great Restraint to Sin, and incentive to Duty.

APPLICATION.

1. Doth God ever vouchsafe His Presence with a People, in their Enterprizes? Learn his Grace and Con­descension. What an infinite Distance is there between God and Man? That such a Being should direct and guide them in their Enterprizes, argues the Condescen­sion and Grace of God. We not only read of God's Presence with his People, in his Word, but we in this Land have experienced his Presence with us, in former important Enterprizes, we have been engag'd in. What Obligations did those wonderful Favours, lay us under to love and serve Him? but how doth our Ingratitude and ill-requiting the Lord call for our Humiliation and Abasement? But we like Hezekiah have not rendered again according to the Benefit done unto us, therefore there is now Wrath upon us. 2 Chron. 32.25.

2. Doth God ever vouchsafe His Presence with a People in their Enterprizes? Learn the Wisdom of seek­ing [Page 18] it, and the Folly of the contrary. It is the highest Wisdom to seek the Presence of God with us in our Enterprizes. We think it Wisdom, and justly too, to have wise and faithful Persons, and Persons of Strength and Courage, engaged in our warlike Enterprizes. How much more so is it to have the Presence of God, who is infinitely wise, true and powerful? If the Phi­listines were imbolden'd to defy the Armies of the living God, because they had the Presence of the tall Giant of Gath; certainly, we may defy the Armies of the uncircumcis'd, if we have the Presence of Almighty God with us. As it is a great and invaluable Blessing to have the Presence of God with us, so it is an un­speakable Misery to have God forsake us; the greater the Blessing in having God with us, the greater the Misery in being depriv'd of it As it is great Wisdom to seek the Presence of God; so it is great Folly to do any Thing to provoke God to forsake us.

I shall now particularly apply myself to those of our Brethren, and Friends, who are engag'd in the Ex­pedition on Foot, and are about to take their Leave of us.

Dear Friends, Our meeting together in God's House this Day, is occasioned by you.

I hope enough has been said to show the Impor­tance of having the Presence of God going with you, and to excite your Desires after it.

The Cause, you are engaged in, is undoubtedly good. Our Rights have been unjustly invaded. Lands ceded to us in the most solemn Treaties have been incroach'd on. We have Reason to fear, that if our Enemies meet with no Check, we shall not only be dispossest, but inslav'd Body and Soul— The Blood of our Friends hath been most cruelly spilt in Times of profound Peace.—We have been hindred extending our Settlements on Lands, our Enemies don't pretend to [Page 19] dispute our Right to—Settlements have been broken up, People have been driven from their Farms, by which Multitudes of Families have been impoverished. —If a Community may punish such Things, in its own Members, (as undoubtedly it may) I don't see why they may not exert themselves for the Punishment of another Community, which commits such Hostilities against them. We are to set a greater Value on our Liberties and Priviledges, than tamely to suffer our selves to be depriv'd of them.

The People, you are going against, are a Limb of that MOTHER OF HARLOTS, whom God has devoted to utter Destruction, whose Destruction is plainly fore­told in the Word of God—The French Nation, in God's Account, stands chargeable with the Blood of many Saints and Martyrs, which, like the Blood of Abel, cries aloud for Vengeance against them. How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our Blood on them that dwell on the Earth. Rev. 6.9, 10.

God has of late been pouring out the Vials of His Wrath on the Antichristian States. He has been testi­fying His Displeasure against them by tremendous Earthquakes, which we also have felt in a Degree sufficient to awaken us. But, blessed be God, they have not been destructive, as they have been else­where.

You will have the Prayers of God's People for you. With this Moses encourages Joshua. Exod. 17 9.— What Encouragement will these Things be, if over, and above you are concern'd to be with God.?— Therefore let me beg of you to put away every Thing that may separate between God and you. It is Sin that separates between God and a People. It is Sin which hides God's Face. Let me beg of you to give up yourselves to God, thro' Christ, to be for him for­ever.—This [Page 20] is the best Ground to hope for Suc­cess—this will assure you of the Presence of God with you—this will give you Confidence to look to God in Times of greatest Danger—this will animate and en­courage you. The Righteous are as bold as a Lion. God says, Exod. 23.20, 21, 22. Behold I send an Angel before thee to keep thee in the Way, and to bring thee into the Place, which I have pre­pared. Beware of Him, and obey his Voice, provoke Him not: for He will not pardon your Transgressions; for my Name is in Him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his Voice, and do all that I speak, then I will be an Enemy to thine Enemies, and an Adversary to thine Adversaries. Says God to Joshua, Chap. 1—7, 8. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the Law, which Moses, my Servant, commanded thee: turn not from it to the right Hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whi­thersoever thou goest. This Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy Mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein Day and Night, that thou mayst observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy Way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good Success.

Be concerned, to go to War with Men, at Peace with God: Then whatever may be the Fate of the Army, you are Members of, it will be well with you in particular. Let it be your Concern to be in a State of Favour with God. Your Calling is a dan­gerous Calling, you will be in Deaths oft, as the Apostle Paul speaks. Which upon a late awful Occasion I have applyed to you. *

[Page 21]You will, I make no doubt, be sensible of the Im­portance of having God's Presence with you, before you return. Many, who never cryed to God in their Lives, will undoubtedly, in the Progress of this Affair, have such Apprehensions, as will put them on crying to God for Help. The Issue, you know, is uncertain; let me intreat you, to set not only your Houses, but your Souls in Order.

I will leave with you a few Cautions and Directions.

1. Do Violence to no Man. This is what the Bap­tist said to the Soldiers, who ask'd him what they must do. You may possibly think, this is a strange Piece of Advice to be given to Soldiers, who are to effect their Designs by Force and Arms. But this, without Dis­pute, you may gather from it, that you should offer no Violence in the Towns of your Friends and Country­men, through which you are to march. Soldiers often take Liberties, at a Distance from Home, which they would not do at Home. Those you are going to de­fend, should not be insulted by you: Some I have seen march along, have needed this Caution—Or, this Passage of John may be a Prohibition of fighting with your Fellow-Soldiers—This Passage of the Baptist may be a Caution against depriving your Country-men, or Fellow-Soldiers, of their Property, violently, or un­justly.—

2. Beware of Drunkenness. Some may be in Dan­ger of falling into this Vice: This is a beastly Vice; it transforms a Man into a Beast—it exposes a Man to do, and suffer all Manner of Evils in this World, and to inexpressible Misery in the next World.— It is a Vice that renders very unfit for the Business of a Soldier. It is a Vice that infeebles and dispirits a Man— Hosea 4.11. Whoredom and Wine take away the Heart. He that strives for the Mastery, should be temperate in all Things.

[Page 22]3. Beware of profane Swearing. This is a Vice, I apprehend, you will be much expos'd to fall into. Jo­seph in Egypt, learnt to Swear by the Life of Pharaoh. In such a Concourse of Men, there will be doubtless many, who will be addicted to this Vice. Men are apt to follow bad Examples—This Vice gratifys no sensual Appetite—It is highly provoking to God. I would have you remember your Success depends on God: Can you, on good Grounds, hope for Success, when you thus dishonour Him?

4. Beware of a mutinous Spirit and Disposition. The Safety of the Army, under God, depends much on their Harmony and good Agreement. If it should be di­vided against itself, it can't stand. The Enemy would have an easy Conquest—you would do your Enemies Work for them in a great Measure. Therefore let none of you foment Divisions, nor try to make any uneasy, and discontented; but try to promote Concord and Unity: You will have Enemies enough without the Camp: You need not make any in it.

5. Neglect not your Duty in an Engagement, tho' attended with Difficulty and Danger. Don't think it will do to leave the Work to others, while you are sneaking in some Hole. By such Conduct you will be unfaithful to your Trust—you will defraud the Country of what you receive of them—you will betray your Fellow-Soldiers; if any of them fall through your wilful Neglect of Duty, I don't see but their Blood must be required at your Hands.— You will weaken the Army, and expose it to be overthrown.—

6. Be much in Prayer. Though you may not have much Opportunity to retire for Prayer, yet be much in ejaculatory Prayer. Let these Places have Weight with you, Jam. 4.2. Ye Fight and War, yet ye have not, because you ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it on your Lusts. And Psal. 91.15. [Page 23] He shall call upon me, and I will answer him, I will be with him in Trouble, I will deliver him, and honour him.

7. Attend on the publick religious Exercises of the Army, as often as you have Opportunity; you will be taken off from this often; but let not Sloth or Indispo­sition to it, hinder you.—

I commend you to God. I pray God to be with you in all the Ways you shall go—to hold you in the Hollow of his Hand—to preserve you amidst all the Dangers you will be exposed to—to fit you for the great Work, you are called to do—to make you Instru­ments of reducing your, and your Countries Enemies— to return you with Songs of Praise in your Mouths; and that we and you may rejoice in the happy Issue of this Expedition.—Above all, That God would make you Overcomers in your spiritual Warfare, and intitle you to the Rewards of such.

You are going from us, dear Friends: Whether we shall all see each other in this World, God only knows. The Lord grant we may meet in Heaven.

Farewell! I wish you well here, and for ever.

I would say a Word to those, who are about to part with Consorts, Children, Brethren, or other near Friends— It is, no doubt, a Day of Trouble with you—you call to mind, no doubt, our dear Friends, and Neighbours, that lost their Lives the last Campaign— * But remem­ber God's Providence is not confined to this Place, or that Place: He can keep safe in Places of greatest Dangers, as well as elsewhere— Commit them to God, put your Trust in God. Psal. 112.7. He shall not be afraid of evil Tidings, his Heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.— Be much in Prayer to God for them, that [Page 24] they may have the Presence of God with them, then they will do well. I pray God, you may from Time to Time, have comfortable Accounts from them. Tho' now you part in Tears, may you meet in Joy— The Lord fit you for his Will.

And may this whole Assembly look on themselves interested in the Event of this Expedition. Our Friends that are going from us, not only expose themselves in Defence of their own Liberty and Property, but in De­fence of ours. They are entitled to our Prayers. Let us be much in Prayer for their Prosperity and Success, that God's Presence would go with them, and that He would give them and us Rest, from the Calamities we have long groan'd under. When the Host goeth against the Enemy, let us keep from every wicked Thing, Deut. 23.9.—I shall leave with you a gracious Word of God, and have done, Psal. 81.13, 14, 15. O that my People had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my Ways. I should soon have subdued their Enemies, and turned my Hand against their Adversaries. The Haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves to Him; but their Time should have endured for ever.

The END.

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