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Mr. Beckwith's Election-SERMON, May 13th. 1756.

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That PEOPLE A safe, and happy People, who have GOD for, and among them.

Shewed in a SERMON Preached before the General Assembly OF THE Colony OF CONNECTICUT, May 13th, 1756.

Being the Day of the ANNIVERSARY ELECTION there. By George Beckwith, M. A. Pastor of a Church of CHRIST in Lyme.

Numb 14 14. — That thou LORD art among this People.—
Deut. 33.29. Happy art thou O Israel: Who is like unto thee, O People Saved of the LORD, the shield of thy Help,& who is the Sword of thy Excellency! and thy Enemies shall be found Lyars unto thee,& thou shall tread upon their high Places.
Psal. 60 11.12. Give us help from Trouble; for vain is the help of Man. Thro' GOD we shall do Valiantly: For He it is that shall tread down our Enemies.

New London, Printed & Sold by T. GREEN, Printer to the GOV. & COMP, 1756:

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Ordered. That Ebenezer Silliman Esq; and Mr. John Griswold Re­turn the Thanks of this Assembly to the Reverend GEORGE BECKWITH, for his Sermon delivered before the Assembly, on the I3th Instant, and desire a Copy thereof that it may be Printed.

George Wyllys, Secr.
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The Presence, & Favour of GOD; the Defence, and Happiness of His People.

ROMANS, viii, 31. What shall we then say to these Things? If GOD before us, who can be againsus?’

AS the all-wise GOD hath made, and up­holds the World, by his Pow­er; so he over-rules, directs, and orders universal Nature, by his Providence. The Dispensations of which have been very extraordinary of late, in the terrible Earthquakes, that have been in one Country, and another, and in the dire Ef­fects they have produced; some of which have been amazingly Awful; and; vastly exceeding, in their Extent thro' many King­doms, and Countries, and in the Destruction [Page 6] of many Cities, Towns, Villages, and Places, any thing of the like Kind that ever has been known in any one Year of the World.a Nation is rising against Nation, and Kingdom against Kingdom; rumours of Wars ready to break out, are spread among the Nations: And our own Nation is obliged to have re­course to Arms for the defence, and security of her just Rights; and our own Land is actually engaged in a dangerous WAR. Which with the Invasions that hath been made on our Frontiers, the Blood that hath been already spilt, and the vigilant Prepara­tions each side are making for a more vi­gorous carrying on the War; together with other remarkable Dispensations of Divine Providence, seem all plainly to forebode some great Overtures, and Events in the womb of divine. Providence ready to break forth. What shall we then say to these Things? The frowns of Heaven, and the Dangers that surround us; does not the same excite [Page 7] in every thinking Man, good Christian, and loyal Subject, serious, and enquiring Tho'ts what these Dispensations calls us to; what we have to do, and what may best be done, to secure ourselves against those threatning Dangers, and Invasions of our Enemies; which seems to put every Thing that is dear to us at stake; not only the Property of the Country, and our Enjoyments in it; but also our Liberties, Privileges, and the holy Religion we are blessed with; and when this is the general Concern and Enquiry in such a critical Day, where can we better go for Direction than to the sacred Oracles of GOD, which offer the best Directions in all Cases, and Light in the darkest Times. And if we enquire at the Divine Oracles we shall find ourselves directed to look to GOD, and seek his Face, and Favour, Presence, and Blessing, as the best, and only sure Way for Deliverance from Dangers & Troubles, & for Protection, and Safety at all Times. For if GOD be for a Kingdom, a Government, or a People, who can be against them to their real Harm, much less to their Ruin: As St. Paul triumphantly speaks in our Text,—What shall we then say to these Things? TO GOD's abundant Grace towards Christians; his mysterious Love to them in Jesus Christ, his kind, and gracious Intentions towards his [Page 8] People, and the wonderful special Care he takes of them; who keeps them as the Ap­ple of his Eye, who is Afflicted, in all their Afflictions, and ready to their help in every time of Need, to relieve and succour them, to protect and save them in all Times of their Trouble, and Danger; on their humbly looking to and trusting in him for the same.

What shall we then say to these Things? Why this we may surely say, and ought believingly and thankfully to say, That if God be for us who can be against us so as to prevail to the ruin of GOD's People? Sure­ly none at all! GOD is for his People, as he is in Covenant with them, & so engaged to them and for them, as he condescends to dwell among them, and take them under his spe­cial Care, and Protection, and is ready to bestow every needed Blessing of Grace, and Providence on them, on their seeking to, and trusting in him for the same. So that GOD's being for us implies Preservation, and Guidance, Counsel, and Conduct, in all our Ways: Protection, Preservation, and Help in every time of Need, together with the bestowment of all the Blessings of Grace, and Providence, so far as shall be for GOD's Glory, and our best Good; Yea, GOD is for his People, and bringing about their Good and Salvation, [...]emporal, and [Page 9] spiritual when he seems to be against them. And since it is so. If God be thus for us who can be against us, so as to prevail to the ruin of GOD's Church and People, be their Ene­mies never so many, never so strong and potent, never so malicious, politic, and de­signing. Yet GOD is above them to con­troul all their Measures, confound their Counsels, and overthrow their evil Machi­nations against his People. What then can they do while GOD is for his People, and with them, to Protect, Defend, and Pre­serve them, and Fight for them.

The DOCTRINE which seems to offer it self to our Consideration is this, (viz.)

That GOD's Favour for, and Presence with his Covenant People, is their Happiness, best Security, and Safety always; especially in Times of Trouble, and Danger.

Their being GOD'S Covenant People, and as such near to him, and interested in his divine Favour, does not exempt them from Enemies, Troubles, and Dangers in this sinful World. No their being so, often raiseth them up Enemies, and exasperates ungodly Men against them, and exposes them to their Rage, and Persecution, who would gladly ra [...]e Zion even to the Foun­dations [Page 10] thereof. But GOD has such a Fa­vour for them for his Covenants Sake, and for CHRIST's Sake, the Head of the Covenant; and because there are many up­right Ones, and elect Vessels in the collective Body) as he has not for the rest of the World. For what Nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them as the Lord our God is in all things that we call up [...]n Him for. This is their Happiness, in this is their best Security, and Safety: For if God be for us, who can be against us.

Two Things here offer for clearing the Doctrine (viz.) To Consider,

I. What is implied in God's being for, & with his People.

II. To shew, that this is their Happiness, best Security, and Safety always, specially in Times of Trouble, and Danger.

I am then to consider first PROP. I.What is implied in God's being for, and with his People. For his being for them, certainty implies his Presence with them, And here, 1. More is intended in it, than that of GOD's being Providentially for, and, Essenti­ally with them; for so GOD is for, and with [Page 11] the whole Creation: His Presence fills Heaven, and Earth, and all Space. If I ascend into Heaven, thou art there. If I make my Bed in Hell, behold thou art there. b He is essentially present with all Creation, upholding all Things by his Power, and governing universal Nature by his Provi­dence. He is not far from all, good, and bad, for in him we Live, and Move, and have our Being: And he is for all Cre­ation, as he upholds all Things in being, & order by the Word of his Power: Pre­serves, governs,& provides for all his Crea­tures. He is providentially good, & kind unto All,& supplies the wants of every living Thing: All Eyes wait upon God, and he gives to every one their Meat in due season.—His tender Mercies are over all his Works. He is especially present with Mankind, in­specting, and over-ruling the affairs of King­doms, States, and Governments, to over­turn, pluck down, or build up as pleaseth him; to deliver, and save the Oppressed, and humble the proud Oppressor. He is present with all Individuals, Observing all our Thoughts, Words, and Actions, and re­cording the same in his Book of Remem­brance, in order to bring every Work into [Page 12] Judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be Good, or whether it be Evil. Thus GOD is present with the whole Creation, & is for all his Creatures, as he is their Creator, universal LORD, Preserver, and Benefactor.

But then,

2 GOD is for, and with his own Church and People, in a more eminent, and peculiar Way, and Manner. He has chosen them out from the rest of Mankind, and taken them into Covenant, to be a peculiar People to himself, a chosen Generation, a royal Priest­hood, an holy Nation, a peculiar People. He hath brought them near to himself. c Hence there is none like them in the account of the Blessed GOD; none near to him in Favour as they be: For what one Nation in the Earth is like thy People, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a People to Himself. d Hence GOD condescends to stand in a peculiar Relation unto them, as their Covenant GOD, and Friend. For thou hast confirmed to thyself, thy People Israel to be a People unto thee forever; and thou Lord art become their God, e in a peculiar, and appropriate Sense. Hence they are Stiled his Chosen, his Saints, his Portion, and the Lot of his Inheritance. For the Lord's Por­tion [Page 13] is his People, Jacob is the Lot of his Inheritance. f Therefore the LORD takes them under his peculiar Care, and keeps them as the Apple of his Eye: He interest's him­self in all their Interest; and is afflicted in all their Afflictions, as the Prophet speaks: In all their afflictions, he was Afflicted, the Angel of his Presence Saved them, in his Love, and in his Pity he Redeemed them, and he bare them, and carried them all the Days of Old. g So that GOD's being for us, or for his Covenant People, implies his Fa­vour for them, Presence with them, Care of them, Guidance, Protection, help in Trouble, Deliverance, and Salvation.

Hence,

(1) It implies special Favour, such as GOD has not for the rest of Mankind. He is their Father, and they are the Sons, and Daughters of the Living GOD. For thou art an holy People unto the Lord thy God, the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special People unto himself; above all People that are upon the Face of the Earth: And he hath avouched thee this Day to be his peculi­ar People. h

(2) Care and watchfulness for their Pro­tection & Safety. 'Tis his Vineyard over [Page 14] which he does watch Night & Day. I the Lord do keep it, I will Water it every Mo­ment; left any hurt it, I will keep it Night, and Day. i Because he is for them, his Eye is ever towards them for Good, watch­ing over them, to preserve, p ot &, and Defend them, as a sheperd does his Flock. For the Eyes of the Lord run to, and fro in the whole Earth, to shew himself Strong, in behalf of them, whom he favours.k The Lord is thy keeper, the Lord is th shade up­on thy right Hand: And be that keepeth Israel, shall neither Slumber, nor Sleep. Therefore, Fear not, O my Servant Jacob, faith the Lord, neither be dismayed, O Israel, for so I will save thee from a far, for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee.

And he is thus ready to help, and save them, as having a peculiar Favour for them, even when he Corrects them, and seems to be against them: Hence the Prophet re­proves Israel for distrusting GOD's Favour for them, and Care of them, even in the very darkest Times. Why sayest thou O Jacob, and speakest O Israel, my Way is hid from the Lord, and my Judgment is passed over from my God? 'T was what they had no Ground to say of GOD; for he was al­ways [Page 15] both ready and able to Help, and Save them. He giveth power to the Faint, and to them that have no Might, be increa­seth strength.

(3) Divine Guidance, and Conduct: GOD is for them; therefore will he Guide them by his prudent Counsel: As he taught Ephraim to go, taking him by the Arms:l So he led, and conducted Israel all the Days of Old. He led him about, he instruct­ed him, he kept him as the Apple of his Eye. So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. m In like manner GOD assures his People, they shall not want his divine Guidance, Counsel, and Conduct. For he that hath Mercy on them, shall lead them, even to Springs of Water, shall he Guide them—I will lead him also, and restore Comforts to him, and to his Mourners. n To this end hath he given us his sacred Oracles to be a Lamp unto our Feet, and a Light unto our Paths; to teach and point out to us the Way of Duty, and Safety, and be our Guide to Happiness.

Again, He Guides his People by the in­fluences, and unerring Counsels of his blessed Spirit; making them to hear a Voice behind [Page 16] them saying, This is the Way, walk ye in it; when they turn to the right Hand. & when they turn to the Left. He Guides them also by his Providences and the special hints, and intimations of the same. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the Way that thou shalt go, I will Guide thee with mine Eye;o [...] by the secret intimations of his Will in the hints, and turns of Providence, which he enables his People to understand, and take Direction from, as a Man makes his Ser­vant know his Mind by the wink of his Eye Moreover, He guides, and conducts them by wise Rulers, and faithful Teachers, which his Providence sets over them, to this very end: Thou leadest thy People like a Flock by the Hand of Moses, and Aaron. p GOD indeed Led them by the Pillar of Cloud by Day, and of Fire by Night. But more especially by the Agency, & Conduct of Moses, and Aaron, whom he appointed over them in their respective Orders to lead, and guide his People, in the ways of Duty and Safety. How great a Blessing this! and what safety to the State! Such are good Rulers, and faithful Teachers to every State, and Church, great Blessings, her Safety, Strength, and Ornament. The [Page 17] Chariots of Israel, and the Hors-men thereof. To which end, GOD is with the Rulers of his People; Counselling their Cousellors, and Teaching their Senators Wisdom. He di­rects them by Wisdom from on High, in the great Affairs of State, and leads them into right Councils in critical, & dangerous Times, that he may save his People by their Hands. How much then should we praise? and how Thankful to GOD should we be, for the Blessing of good Rulers? And how ready should we be to Obey them? By whom GOD Leads, and Guide us for our Safety, and Benefit. Let us prize, and im­prove the Blessing as becomes the Character of Christians.

(4) It implies Help in Times of Danger, and Trouble, and sure Deliverance, in GOD's Time, which is the best Time. So the Prophet throws the Gauntlet, and bids Defi­ance in the Name of the Lord, to all the Enemies of his People. Associate yourselves, O ye People, and ye shall be broken in Pieces; and give ear, all ye of far Countries; gird yourselves for War; and ye shall be Broken in pieces; Gird yourselves, 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, q to Fight for us, Save, and Deliver us.

[Page 18]GOD indeed may seem to be against his People, suffering WARS, and various Evils to break in upon them, for their Sins, A­postacies, and unworthy Carriage toward Him. But he is for them still, and with them in their Troubles, and Adversities. When thou passest thro' the Waters I will be with thee; and thro' the Rivers they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest thro' the Fire thou shall not be burnt, neither shall the Flame kindle upon thee.—For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy one of Israel, thy Salvation. r And GOD's People at last, shall see their Desire upon their Enemies, and shall Tri­umph over them. Faithful is he that hath Promised, he will Perform it. How Safe then must that People be even in the midst of Dangers, that have the most High for them, and with them.

(5) Finally here, GOD's being for us in­cludes in it all Happiness. For his Favour is Life, and his Smiles give all Prosperity. Happy is that People that is in such a Case; yea, Happy is that People whose God is the Lord. ſ GOD can make those things that seem to be most against us, and most hurt­ful and dangerous to Church & State; yet to work together for our Good, Interest, Safety, [Page 19] and Happiness; their Enemies when he pleases shall serve them to these Ends. They shall bow down their Faces towards the Earth, and lick up the Dust of thy Feet. s Thus all who wait for GOD, and trust in Him, and are resigned to his Will, shall find sure Deliverance at last; and not be disap­pointed in their Hope. For I will (says GOD) contend with them, that contend with thee, and will Save thy Children. And will feed them that Oppress thee, with their own Flesh, and they shall be drunken with their own Blood, as with sweet Wine; and all Flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour, and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. t Thus GOD is for his People.

I am in the next, and last Place to shew,

PROP. II. That in this consists our Hap­piness, best Security, and Safety at all Times, especially in Times of Trouble, and Danger.

'Tis GOD's Presence with his People that makes them Great, and Honourable, Safe, and Happy; and is their best Security in Times of threatning Danger; for where GOD is present, sure Help is nigh, and Sal­vation at hand. He is a present Help in time of Trouble; God is in the midst of her, [Page 20] she shall not be moved; God shall Help her (his Church) and that right early:u Or as the Apostle triumphantly expresseth it, If God be for us, who can be against us? Who can harm a People, or ruin them who have GOD among them, and for them? to Guide, Protect, and Save them: Who have his Favour as an Hedge, and Wall of Secu­rity round about them; to keep off all E­nemies, and every evil Occurrent. That this is their Happiness always, and Safety, spe­cially in evil Times, and amidst Dangers, will fully appear, if we consider,

[1] The almighty Power of GOD, enga­ged to, and for his own Covenant People. Having an Interest in GOD as his Covenant People, they have an Interest in all his Divine Perfections, Power, Widom, Goodness, Un­changeableness &c. according to that, Son thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. v They that are with GOD in Covenant, have Interest in all that GOD is, and all that he has. Hence we have his Al­mighty Power to Shield, and Protect us; in which there must be infinite Safety, and Security. He is the Almighty GOD, who can, and will do all his Pleasure. Whatever pleaseth him, that he doth, in Heaven above, and in the Earth beneath, none can stay his [Page 21] Hand, or hinder the execution of his Counsels. Universal Nature is under the controul of his Almighty Power. He looketh on the Earth, & it trembleth, he toucheth the Hills, and they Smoke, the Mountains flow down at his Presence.— And the Nations shall not be able to abide his Indignation. And when it is needful for the Salvation of his People; he will say to the Sun, Stand thou still in Gibeon, and thou Moon in the Valley of Aja­lon; as in the Days of Joshua. He will check the violence of Fire, and command it not to hurt his People, when in the midst of it: As he did for the three Children in the midst of the fiery Furnace. He, will make the Waters of the Sea, and of Jordan divide to give them Passage and to stand congealed into a Wall on either Hand, for their Defence, while they pass, safely on: So all Nature shall protect his People, and at the same Time destroy their Enemies; the Flood shall return upon them to their Destruction; the Stars in their courses shall fight for the Lord's People, and destroy their Enemies. They fought from Heaven, the Stars in their courses Fought against Sisera. w He will shut the mouths of Lions that they cannot hurt his People, and will re­buke [Page 22] Kings for their sake, with a charge to do them no Harm. GOD's Angels also, those blessed Ministers of his Power, incamp round about his People, and delivers them, and annoy and destroy their Enemies at his Command, as they did the Assyrian Host, besieging Jerusalem. How safe then must GOD's People be under the Protection of his infinite Power, engaged for them? While all Providences, all creatures, all Na­ture at his Command, becomes engaged for their Defence, and Protection; and under­neath are the everlasting Arms. —This Pow­er of GOD engaged for his People, is an infinite, unlimited, and everlassting Power:

And therefore,

(1.)Infinitely exceeds any Power that [...] be engag'd against them. What is the power of mighty Princes, or potent Nations combin'd, to the almighty Power of GOD? how easily can he check, and controul them, & turn all their devices head long; and con­found them in every Enterprise. All the inhabitants of the Earth are reputed as no­thing; they are as a drop of a Bucket, and are accounted as the small dust of the Ballance. x The Lord shall laugh at them; and has their vain Attemps against them in Derision.

[Page 23](2.) GOD's Power has fast hold of the Hearts of all Men; that he can controul all the Counsels of his People's Enemies; curb their Pride, and Passions, and bring them to be at Peace with his People, when he will; or can confound them in all their Counsels taken against his People, and turn them in­to foolishness. For he leadeth Counsellors a­way spoiled, and maketh the Judges Fools. y The Wisdom of their wise Men shall perish; and the Understanding of their prudent Men shall be hid. z Or he can take away their Hearts, intimidate their Minds, that their Hands cannot perform their Enterprises: He can so weaken their Strength, and Cou­rage, That one Man shall chase a Thousand, and ten put ten Thousand to flight.

(3.) The mighty Power of GOD can Save his People in the greatest Dangers, and bring about their Salvation, in ways, and by means (to us) the least likely, and probable. How unlikely was it to humane Probability that Pharaoh should be brought to let GOD's People go from under his tyrannical Yoke in manner as he did, laden with Jewels, and rich Spoils of the Egyptians, and that when pursued by the strength of Egypt, the Sea should open a safe, and dry Passage to GOD's [Page 24] People: But drown all their Enemies! How improbable was it to humane appear­ance that Gideon with his three Hundred Men, Arm'd only with Pitchers, Lamps, & Trumpets,should discomfit, and destroy, that vast Army of Midianites, who with their Allies were like Grass-hoppers for Multitude? Also that Deborah, and Barak with a few ill-arm'd, & undisciplined Men, should defeat, and destroy Sisera, and his vast Army, strengthned with a Thousand Chariots of Iron?

Moreover, in the days of the Judges, & afterwards under pious Kings: How often did the Lord make an handful of his People Victorious over vast Armies of their Ene­mies? When to humane probability Vict­ory must have turned to the other side.—But 'tis equally easy to infinite Power to Save by many, or by few. And he saved his People because they called upon and trusted in Him.

This Observation might be brought down to latter Times, & nearer to ourselves. Who more unlikely than King Henry VIII. to bring on that glorious Reformation, began in our Nation, in his Reign, and effected by wonderful Means! Or than King James II. to open the Way to that glorious Revolu­tion, and that by Arbitrary proceedings & [Page 25] jesuitical Counsels; Means indirect enough to so glorious an Event; yet by these were the Eyes of the Nation opened, and the Way paved to that great Salvation.

Again, How often did our Predecessors, the first Planters of this Country, experience glorious Salvations wrought for them, a­gainst their numerous, surrounding Enemies when their Numbers, and Strength, was as nothing compared to that of their Enemies.

In like manner the Success granted our small Army in the last War against that strong Fortress of Cape-Breton; was cer­tainly a Salvation beyond a rational Pro­bability. And when thereupon a strong Fleet, was sent from France, to attempt the recovery of that Place, or make Reprizals on us. How totally was it frustrated, and broken by the immediate Hand of Heaven?i How great a Mercy to this Land? How glorious a Salvation this!

[Page 26]Nor indeed is the Hand of GOD to be less seen and acknowleged in the signal disap­poinment & overthrow of the French Fleet, persidiously sent against Halifax, and Nova­Scotia last Summer, to fall upon, seise, and destroy the same, under the cover of Peace.—Also in the Success, and glorious Victory granted to our Forces at Lake-George; when the Enemy apprehended the Advan­tage to ly so on their Side, that they came on to Battle with raised expectaions of Suc­cess, and Victory. But the greater was their Disappoinments, and Defeat. Thus does the Almighty GOD sometimes bring about the Salvation of his People, and do great Things for them, in Ways, and by Means, least likely to human Probability. Well, if God be for us, who then can be against us: Let us obey his Laws, seek his Favour, and Trust in Him, then we shall be safe amidst all the threatning Dangers that any Time surround us.

2 The Truth under consideration will further appear if we consder the infinite Wisdom of GOD. He is Wise in Heart as [Page 27] well as mighty in Power, can therefore save his People in every State, and Con­dition, be their Dangers never so eminent, their Enemies never so crafty, malicious, and powerful, nothing can escape his No­tice who is omnipresent; nor can infinite Wisdom ever be over­reached, or ever be at a loss what to do in any Case. How vain then must all the attempts of the Enemy be against GOD; or against those he will pro­tect? For there is no Wisdom, nor Counsel against the Lord. And as his Wisdom ex­tends to a perfect Knowledge of all Things in all Worlds; seeing at one single View all the purposes in the Hearts of Men, all their Counsels, Actions, and Designs: So he knows how to take the Wise in their own Craftiness, and save his People from every Plot, hatched, or hatching against them, by their Enemies; and this he sometimes does,

(1.) By directing them into salutary, & right Counsels for their own Safety, and Defence. They know not (it may be) their own Danger but GOD does, and by his di­vine Wisdom directs them into right Mea­sures for their own Defence, and Safety. He influences, and enlarges their Minds, giving to them such a Spirit of Wisdom, Counsel, and Forecast, as to over-match the Counsels of their Enemies; supplant them [Page 28] in their evil Designs, and guard themselves against all their attempts upon them: They have Prudence given them to fore-see the Evil, and hide themselves, they are directed from on High to proper Expedients, and wise Precautions, for their own Safety, and Defence: Even as the British Court in the Summer past, were directed into a Foresight of, and into right Counsels & Measures for, disappointing and defeating, the secret and persidious Designs of the French Court on Nova Scotia, and other English Settlements on this Continent.

And as the Officers of the Army at Lake­George were directed into a right Conduct on the critical Day of Battle there; by which Means GOD saved his People; the greater Part of them, from the cruel Designs of that Blood-thirsty Army of French, and Indians, and gave us a Signal Victory over them, on that Memorable EIGHT OF SEPTEMBER last: Very conspicuous were the intermedi­ate Steps of divine Providence, leading on, and opening the Way to that great Salvati­on:t And a great Smile of Providence was it on these Churches: May the same [Page 29] never be forgotten; and all the Praise be ascribe there, where 'tis all Due.—

(2.) Sometimes by seasonable provi­dential Warnings, discovering, and pointing out their Danger: Sometimes in an ordi­nary, and sometimes in an extraordinary Way. So GOD warned the King of Israel by his Prophet of the designed Invasion of the King of Syria upon him. By which means he was enabled to Defeat the same, and Save himself, not once, nor twice. Of the same kind was the Discovery that divine Providence made of the secret, and dread­ful Gun-Powder-Plot, in our own Nation; a Mercy of Heaven never to be for­gotten. So the cruel Plots of the Churches Enemies laid against them, are disappointed, and broken by a seasonable Discovery made of them by divine Providence.

(3.) Sometimes by providing for them an Azylum, a City of Refuge, or Place of defence, and safety from impending Dan­gers, and Ruin. As GOD provided an Ark for Noah, and his Family: A Zoar for Lot and His—And the City of Pella for the first Christians, to which they fled, and were Saved, when Jerusalem was Destroyed. And so the Earth helped the Woman, and the Wilderness was made her safe Retreat, from the Rage of the Dragon. Even as this [Page 30] wilderness Land was made of GOD a safe Retreat to our Fathers, when they fled from the Persecutions at Home.

(4.) Sometimes by controuling, and overruling the Enemies Counsels, for His People's Deliverance.

GOD rules supreme in the Courts of Princes, and over all the Children of Pride; turning their Hearts, and overruling their Counsels at His Pleasure. The Kings Heart is in the Hand of the LORD: As the Rivers of Water He turneth it whethersover He will. * Sometimes he leaves, or gives them up to a Spirit of Infatuation; that they are insnared in their own Ways, and confounded in their own Counsels; they are guided by a Spirit of Folly to their own Ruin. When a People are left to weak, and foolish, and to uncertain, and wicked Counsels: Not having Wisdom to project right Means; nor steadiness, nor courage to pursue pro­per Measures, what then is like to follow but their own Disappointment and Ruin, to the Deliverance, and Salvation of GOD'S own People? Thus was the haughty King of Syria confounded in his own Counsels at the Siege of Samaria; when relying on the superior Numbers and Strength of his [Page 31] Army, he despised Ahab, and his handful of Men coming out to raise the Siege; and gave those foolish, and haughty Orders, Whether they be come out for Peace take them alive, or whether they be come out for War take them alive. On which followed his immediate Defeat, with a great slaughter of his Army, to the Deliverance of GOD's People. And it may teach all Generals that a despised Enemy often proves a for­midable one; as those two experienced Generals with their old veteran Soldiers from Europe found it to be last Summer, when they despised the raw, and unexperi­enced Soldiery of this Country to their own Defeat and Ruin.

(5.) Sometimes by dividing their Counsels so that they shall weaken the Hands of one another, and so cannot perform their Enter­prize. Scarce any thing is more dangerous to a State, or Army, than divided Counsels, or want of Unity in them: And when this is found prevailing, 'tis an Omen of the approaching Ruin of that State, or Army. And thus GOD sometimes divides the Coun­sels [Page 32] of His Churches Enemies, by which He defeats their malicious Designs, and saves His People. So that vast consederate Army which came up against Jehoshaphat, and his Kingdom were utterly Destroyed by divided Counsels, and Mutiny among themselves. Ammon, and Moab stood up against the Inhabitants of Mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them. And that being done every one helped to destroy another. And thus GOD's People had Deliverance from that formidable Invasion.—How dan­gerous, and destructive a Thing is Mutiny in an Army! and how carefully should every leading step to it be avoided, and unity of Counsels be maintained as they would hope to prosper, and be successful.

But to proceed

(6) GOD can take off the Enemies of his People from their malicious Designs against them, by cutting them out other Work to do. Thus he defeated the designs of Sennacherib when he came with a powerful Army to sack, and destroy Jerusalem, and delivered His People from that eminent Danger by causing him to hear a Rumour * of an Invasion coming on his own King­dom, on which he raised the Siege, and [Page 33] hastened Home for the Defence of his own Territories. So GOD causeth evil Men to make Work for one another, and thus secures the Peace, and Safety of His own People. Such Work may possibly be cut­ting out for the Kingdom of Spain, to employ them on this critical Day, by the Jesuits usurped Kingdom in Paraguay, and the progress he is making down the River Plate to enlarge his new Kingdom. This may be a means of hindring the junction of the Spanish Arms with the French against us, or at least of dividing, and weakning down their Power,—Or Again,

(7.) When GOD's People are to all ap­pearance on the brink of Ruin He can raise them up some mighty Deliverer, and so save them from all the Danger as he did for Israel many a Time. A Moses, a Joshua, a Sampson, a Jephtha, a David. And for our own Nation a WILLIAM, when it was on the brink of Ruin.—And may I not add a GEORGE too, whence we enjoy the present happy Establishment? Yea GOD can make the Beast help the Woman, the Papists, the Protestants, as he has many a Time done.—Or further,

(8.) He can help and save his People by giving them a Superiority of Wisdom, Strenght, and Courage, to overmatch their [Page 34] Enemies: As he gave to the Jews in the Time of Esther on the Day of their intend­ded Assassination, When no Man could with­stand them but the Fear of them fell on all People:t And their Enemies were so in­timidated that they could not find their Hands,—Or again,

(9.) GOD will by his own immediate Hand break the Power of the Enemy; and open the way for the Deliverance, and Sal­vation of his People. As he did for Israel when he opened a Passage thro' the red Sea, for their Deliverance, from the Power of the pursuing Egyptians. Or as in the Days of Joshua, and Deborah, when the Stars in their Courses, Sun, and Moon, Fought a­gainst the Enemies of GOD's People; and GOD Rained from Heaven, Hail-stones, Fire, and Tempest, on their Heads to their utter Destruction, and Overthrow before his People; So let all thine Enemies Perish, O Lord.—Or,

(10.) Finally, By removing particular Persons out of this World, in the very crisis of his Churches Danger: As in the Case of Queen Ann, & Lewis XIV. So his Church had Deliverance, and Salvation. Thus in­finite Wisdom is never at a loss to find out [Page 35] ways, and means by which to Save his Peo­ple be their Streights, and Dangers what they will. He will make the Wrath of Man to Praise him, and the remainder there­of he will restrain: Surely they are safe, & happy then, who have GOD for and with them; a present and all-sufficient Help in every Time of Need.

3 The Truth before us will further appear if we consider the infinite Goodness of GOD engaged for his People's Safety: GOD be­ing for his People, his Goodness, and Mer­cy is engaged for them, and to them. So when Moses was under fearful Apprehensi­ons whether Israels Sin in making the mol­ten Calf, and their frequent Murmurings would not wholly throw them out of the divine Favour, and Protection: GOD to Satisfy him was pleased to say, I will make all my Goodness to pass before thee;h lead­ing my People, and will be merciful to my People, and spare them as a Father does his Son: That their Follies, and Failings shall not cast them out of my Protection.—Here lies the Difficulty, when we find so much a­miss with ourselves; and looking abroad find so much Sin in Church, and State; I­niquity abounding, and the Love of many [Page 36] waxing Cold; so much degeneracy from the pious Paths our Fathers walked in, &c. Our Hearts are ready to misgive and say, Can GOD be for such a degenerate, sinful, & backsliding People? Will he save a People walking so unworthy the Grace, and Privi­leges indulged them? Now under such dark Apprehensions, GOD's boundless, and co­venanted Mercy, is our only Support, and it is a proper, and sufficient Foundation for Faith, Hope, and Trust in GOD: If his Churches will consider and turn to him, at the call of his Word, and rebukes of his Providences (and not Tempt GOD by trust­ing in him to deliver, and save them, while yet they refuse to put away those Sins for which he is Correcting them) for this is the intendment of all his corrective, Dispensati­ons, not to destroy his People; no, but a­mend them, and teach them Righteousness, and stir us up to seek his Face, and Favour that he may appear for, deliver, and save us. God is slow to Anger, but swift to show Mercy, and to save his People. He is sovereign in his Goodness, boundless in his Grace; the Reasons of which are from, and within himself: He therefore hath Mercy on whom he will have Mercy; and so because he will. And thou' when his People Sin, and grow corrupt he will withdraw his wonted [Page 37] Protection, and Favour, and return to his Place, 'till they acknowledge their Offences, and seek his Face: Yet he remembers them as his Covenant People still, and waits to shew Mercy, is ready to be Intreated of them, Appear for, and Save them, when e­ver they acknowledge their Offences, and seek his Face, o and Protection.—His turning away from his People, is not his disowning, and casting them off: No, but he remembers them as his Covenant People still, and has a Favour for them, for the sake of the Covenant into which he has taken them, and for Christ's sake the Head of the Covenant, and Stiles himself a Cove­nant-keeping GOD which he is never un­mindful of, But remembers his Covenant for­ever, the Word which he Commanded to a thousand Generations, m 'Tis not therefore (blessed be GOD's Goodness) every change in us, that will throw us out of his Cove­nant, Favour, and protecting Goodness: No, for saith the Most High, I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye Sons of Jacob are not consumed, a in your own Changes.—Supernatural Grace, contending with Sinfulness of Men.—Milton s

[Page 38]Further, GOD's infinite Goodness, and Mercy towards his Covenant People, ap­pears in his readiness to hear any Intercessions made in their behalf, any Prayers put up for them, that he may Spare, Save, and have Mercy on them; And he saw that there was no Man, and be wondred that there was no Intercessor:g He looked for some to plead, and pray for his People, as being rea­dy to hear any Intercessions in their behalf, And he wondered, that there was no Interces­sor, none to speak a good Word, to put up a few earnest Prayers for his People, as be­ing ready and desirous to be intreated on their behalf, that he might Spare and have Mercy on them, and save them out of their Troubles, notwithstanding their Provocati­ons: How rich is GOD in Mercy, & Good­ness towards his People? How willing to have his Hand stayed, and his Wrath turn­ed away, when they have provoked him to Anger by their many Provocations? Yea, after long waiting, and continued incorri­gibleness in his People, yet how loth is di­vine Goodness to give them up to Ruin. How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? How shall I set thee as Zeboim? [Page 39] mine Heart is turned within me, my repent­ings are kindled together: I will not execute the fierceness of mine Anger: I will not return to destroy Ephraim; for I am God, and not Man, the holy One in the midst of thee,r So the tender Father reasons with himself, How can I cast off my untoward Son? For he is my Son, tho' he be untoward. So they are my People still tho' they be a sinful Peo­ple; these are my Churches, How shall I give them up to be Destroyed? I remem­ber my Covenant with them; mine Elect among them; and shall not I Save, & Spare them for these Elect's Sake, and for my covenant Mercies Sake? For, He will ever be mindful of his Covenant; many a Time did he Deliver them, but they provoked him with their Counsels; and were brought low for their Iniquity. Nevertheless he regarded their Afflictions when he heard their Cry, and be remembred for them his Covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his Mercies. e So I humbly hope, and trust he will do for these Churches, and not give them up to be Destroyed by their an­tichristian Enemies.

But tis Time that I hasten to the IM­PROVEMENT, which shall be in two Uses only, (viz.)

[Page 40]USE I. We may learn from what has been offered, that the People of GOD should Trust in him, and not be Dismayed in dark and threatning Times: But Improve awful, and threatning Providences to their own amendment, and turning to GOD. They should Call upon him, commit, their Case to him, and so doing, Trust in him without Dismay. And they, have sufficient Reason, and Encouragement so to do; being as his Covenant People interested in all his blessed Perfections for their Security, and having his divide Promise for it, that if we turn to him, he will turn to us, Turn Ye unto me, saith the Lord of Hosts, & I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts;(e) GOD is for his People, a present Help in Time of Trouble and Danger, to all that Call upon, and trust in him, and he is able to Deliver, and Save them, when all other Help seems to fail; yea, that is GOD's usual Time to Help.—And 'tis much for the Honour of GOD, and what his Perfections demand at our Hands; that turning to him when he Rebukes us, we Trust in him without Dismay, and that in the most difficult, and threatning Times 'Tis no great matter to trust when there is little, or no apparent Danger; but when [Page 41] Danger is eminent, and Creature supports, and dependances, seem to fail, when we have little, or nothing else to trust to, but the immediate Hand, Providence, and Grace of GOD: Then to Trust in him without dismaying Fear, this is Faith, and becoming Christians, and greatly Honours GOD, and such Faith, and Trust GOD will not disap­point: But has ever appeared for, and saved his People, when they have thus turned to, and trusted in him: So GOD was with He­zekiah, and prospered him in all his Wars, and whithersoever he went forth, because he trusted in the Lord God of Israel. And so the Church witnesseth to the Honour of GOD, They trusted, and thou didst Deliver them, they cryed unto thee and were Delive­red, they trusted in thee, and were not Con­founded. n He is a Buckler to all that trust in him; Therefore, Whosoever trusteth in him shall be safe; Judgment is before him, therefore trust in him; for none that trust in him shall be desolate: 'Tis therefore better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in Men, it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in Princes. Let the Church, let GOD's People therefore, by Faith, and Prayer run into the Name of the Lord as [Page 42] into their strong Tower, and there let them trust, and not be afraid, with any dismaying Fear; whatever commotions, storms, and troubles there may be in the Earth; for the Lord is good, a strong Hold in the Day of Trouble, and he knoweth them that Trust in him, to protect, deliver, and save them; Therefore, he that trusteth in him, Mercy shall compass him round; thou wilt keep him in perfect Peace, whose mind is stayed in thee; because he trusteth in thee,—therefore Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord JEHO­VAH is everlasting Strength. s Thus the Lord abundantly excites, and encourageth his People to come to him, seek his Face, and Favour, & to put their Trust in him, & not be dismayed when the World threatens, and Satan tempts; nor terrified in the Day of evil Tidings, He shall not be afraid of evil Tidings, his Heart is fixed trusting in the Lord. And so GOD directed the Chaplain' of the Army, to exhort, and excite the People to Trust in him, in the Day of Battle, and so doing they should be Victo­rious, And it shall be when ye come nigh unto the Battle, that the Priest shall approach, and speak unto the People, and shall say unto them, Hear O Israel, ye approach this Day [Page 43] unto the Battle against your Enemies; let not your Hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them, for the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you, against your Enemies, and to save you: c Therefore look to him, call on him, and trust in him, so shall you be Victorious. And have not these Churches abundant Reason, and great Encourage­ment, at this threatning Day, thus to turn to, and trust in GOD; for where the Grace of GOD hath planted true Churches, and keeps them in the profession, and practice of the true Religion, and Fear of GOD; his Providence ever does, and will Protect them: Therefore vain in the end shall be the attempt of their Enemies against them.

True it is Success does not always attend the just [...] in particular Conflicts, and GOD sometimes makes his People's Enemies a [...] to correct the Sins, and Wantonness of his own People, yet GOD does not, will not, forsake his own People looking to, and trusting in him, in their Troubles & Dangers; but he is for them, when he seems to be against them, & will Save them, & make them Vict­orious in the End, Call upon me, in the day of Trouble, I will Deliver thee; and thou [Page 44] shalt Glorify Me;x So GOD will Save all that trust in him, but the Foes of Christ, and his Interest shall be made his Footstool; let them rage, and threaten as they will, they imagine a vain Thing, GOD has their Spite, and Counsels in derision: He will break them with a rod of Iron, he will dash them in Pieces like a Potters Vessel. The Kingdom that Christ hath let up, must stand, and grow, & shall never be destroyed; so GOD speaks by his Prophet, The God of Heaven shall set up a Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the Kingdom shall not be left to another People; but it shall break in pieces, and consume all those King­doms, and it shall stand forever:c This Kingdom is the true Gospel Church which antichrist shall not be able to Destroy, while keeping in GOD's Way, they Fear, and Trust in Him. And many of our Godly Ancestors Died in this Faith, that GOD would not leave, or give up these Churches of his own Planting in this Land, to be overcome by their heathen, and idolatrous Enemies, inhabiting round about them, tho' they might at times be made a great Scourge to them, when they departed from GOD.—Why then should we be dismayed in this Day of Threatning, and Rebuke? Let us [Page 45] diligently, let us fervently Seek GOD, and turn to him from all our sinful Ways, call upon, and trust him, so he will surely be for us, Deliver, and Save us.

USE II. This Subject further Teaches us, That it is Wisdom, and Interest, as well as Duty of GOD's People, to live in his holy Fear, and do every thing whereby they may engage his gracious Presence with them, & for them; for this is their Honour, Happi­ness, & Safety always: If GOD be for & with us, vain shall be the attempts of our Enemies upon us and all Things shall go well in Church, and State; his Presence gives all Prosperity: Happy, thrice Happy the Peo­ple that have GOD for them, and present among them: And were, it not for the a­bounding Sins among us, this might always be our happy Case; Sin is our worst, and most dangerous Enemy, it troubles both Church, and State, it forfeits GOD's pro­tecting Presence, and Blessing; 'tis the Achan that troubles our Camps, and discomfeits the Hosts; 'tis the worm at the root of every Enjoyment, and Blessing, and opens the flood-gate of GOD's righteous Judgments to flow in upon us.—And were it not for the Sins found in our Skirts, we should have nothing to fear from other Enemies. So long, as Israel Feared GOD, and walked in [Page 46] his Statutes, their Enemies could never stand before them: And when a People's Ways please the Lord, he will make even their Ene­mies to be at Peace with them. c Is it not then our Duty, Wisdom, and Interest, in the Fear of GOD, to humble ourselves be­fore him under the many just Rebukes of his Providence; and putting away our Sins, turn to him, and learn Righteousness.—And every one in our respective Places, and Capacities should set ourselves to do all we can to promote and bring forward a gene­ral Reformation; and thus seek the divine Favour, & engage the divine Presence with us,& with our Forces gone, & going into the War; is not this a general Concern, and of vast Importance? And should not every one take a Share in it, and exert ourselves according to the Influence each one may have in our several Places, and Capacities.

Here,

[1] Those whom GOD hath exalted to rule over his People, to lead, guide, and conduct them, have fair opportunity, and advantage to contribute much to this great, and good End, & that both in the State, & Army: They have a great ascendant over, and influence on the Community, and may [Page 47] do much to reform, what is amiss, and to bring GOD's People back again unto him, and to influence, & promote that Reformati­on which may be a means to ingage GOD's gracious Presence with, and for us: This they may do several Ways; as by a lead­ing Example in every Thing that is Re­ligious, Virtuous, and Good: Example is a powerful Thing; 'tis more easily per­ceived, and does more powerfully incline to Practice than bare Precepts; it insinuates it­self into the minds of Men, and leaves very strong Impressions there: What an Ascend­ant then have civil Rulers over the Body of the People by their great, and observable Examples; and how much Good may they do by them? when their Lives are Patterns of Religion, Virtue, and Trust in GOD. — Again, by discountenancing, & bearing down all Vice, Fraud, Oppression, and Immorality, Prophaness, and contempt of Religion; and by using all proper means, and methods to reform every Thing amiss among us, — By Enacting good Laws, well attempered to the good of the State, and seeing them duly, and well Executed, and not trampled upon as some Laws relating to Religious Matters have too much been, which tends to enervate the force, and obligation of all Law in general. Sat Verbum Sapientibus:

[Page 48]Once more, By filling every place of subor­dinate Power, & Trust for inspecting, and executing the Laws, with Men of Religion, approved Fidelity, and Virtue: How much Good may be done to Church, and State this Way? Also by taking due Care that all Sabbath Profanation be restrained, or duly punished; a growing Sin this in the Land! and very offensive to GOD, and destructive of Religion; for which we may expect GOD will Visit, if there be not a Reformation — Finally, by promoting, and encouraging Religion by all proper Ways.— The awful decay of Religion, neglect of GOD'S House, Worship, and Ordinances, together with the growth of Error, and corrupt Principles, and Profaneness, appear to me, to have a very dark Aspect in them, on the Country, and Churches. Here the Honour of GOD is immediately concerned. He is jealous for the purity of Religion, and his own Worship, and will not endure to have the Truth perverted, and despised; his Ordi­nances slighted, neglected, and trampled on: We shall find it at our Peril if we do so: And yet how growing are sinful Practices of this kind in this Land of great Light? How are the public Worship, and Ordi­nances of GOD neglected? and Religion growing more, and more into disesteem.— [Page 49] And is there no way left to remedy this dan­gerous Evil? Is there nothing that may be done by our honourable Legislature to remedy the same, and to promote a more due, and becoming Sanctification of the holy Sabbath? and to oblige all to a more steady, and orderly attendance on the public Wor­ship of GOD, in his House; in some Way agreeable to their Profession, & Consciences? For surely none are so singular in their O­pinion, but that they can join with some Denomination of Christians, or other, unless their Religion be to have no Religion at all, or to be contrary to all Men.

[2] Ministers of the Gospel are under high Obligations to do all they can to promote Reformation, and what ever tends to ingage GOD's Favor for, & Presence with his People: 'Tis the very end of their sacred Office, to Walk with GOD themselves, and use all In­deavours proper that his People may do so too, They are to teach Jacob God's Judg­ments, and Israel his Laws; to the End his People may Walk therein, and Please him, that he may delight to dwell among them, and bless them, with all Blessings of Grace, and Providence, and Salvation. They are to keep their own Vineyard, and the Foun­tain whence flows their Teaching, and Prac­tice, clear from Error, corrupt Principles, &c [Page 50] Sin; and thus doing to teach the Truth to others, and by good Reasonings, and wise Motives, urge, and press, the Practice of it upon the People of GOD, and so endeavour the Reformation of every growing Evil, whether in Principle, Doctrine, or Practice. They are also as Watchmen to observe the Times, and Providences of GOD, and to give notice, and warn the People when his Hand is lifted up, and Judgments threaten; then to humble themselves, and reform, rise up, and call upon GOD, and prepare to meet the LORD with their Humiliations, Reformati­ons, and earnest Prayers for Mercy, Pardon, Deliverance, and Salvation. — And surely the Times, and Providences of GOD call up­on us to be in earnest, to be vigilant, to cry aloud, and not spare to warn the People of our respective Charges faithfully, & endea­vour zealously by all proper means, and methods, to promote a general Reformation, so necessary at this threatning Day. — Let us then consult the Duties of our Office, & consider what GOD calls us unto, in this Day of his awful Visitation, and righteous Rebukes; & conforming to his Will; let us endeavour faithfully to discharge the Duty of the Mi­nistry we have received of the Lord Jesus. Let us keep fresh in our Minds a sense of the great Account we must shortly give of [Page 51] Ourselves, & Ministry to CHRIST the Judge of all; and to all Endeavours add fervent, & constant Prayers to the GOD of all Grace, that he will graciously pour out his Spirit on the Land; bless the means of Grace; and sanctify awful Providences, to the real A­wakening, and Reformation of his People; and that he will spare his People, and be merciful to his Churches, to this Land, and to the whole Kingdom, Let the Priests, the Ministers of the Lord, Weep between the Porch and the Altar, and let them say, Spare thy People O Lord, and give not thine Heritage to reproach; that the Heathen should Rule over them; wherefore should they say among the People, where is their God? Then will the Lord be jealous for his Land, and pity his People. b

[3] Parents, & heads of Families may do much to promote a Reformation, revive Reli­gion, &c so engage the divine Favour, & Pre­sence with his People; and ought to use their best Endeavours to this End: You have the rising Generation committed of GOD to your Care, to instruct, and train up in his Fear, & holy Ways, that when grown up, they maybe useful Blessings in Church, & State. This is a great Betrustment! On the [Page 52] well improvement of which, much depends the future Prosperity of the Country, both in Church, and State. — And can we ever ex­pect a happy general Reformation to ob­tain, unless it begin in Families, and so be carried on thro' out the whole Community? If heads of Families would happily unite in this, like Godly Abraham, To command their Children, and House-holds after them, to keep the Ways of the Lord to do Justice, & Judg­ment; what great Things might in this way be effected for our general Good, and Hap­piness.— Let Parents, and heads of Families then consider their Duty, and the Voice of GOD in the Judgments of his Providence, and be excited to use all proper care, and pains, to restrain the Vanity, Pride, and Li­centiousness of Youth; and to impress their Minds with an early sense of their Duty to GOD, the worth of their own precious, and immortal Souls, & with Reverence for GOD's sacred Word, holy Sabbaths, Worship, and Ordinances, and the inestimable Worth of true, & early Religion. And let them have your own good, & pious Examples, going be­fore, to excite, lead, & encourage them; and add your daily, fervent Prayers to GOD, that he will vouchsafe his Blessing to succeed the Pains you take, & that our Children might be all Taught of GOD; then great will be their [Page 53] Peace, and Happiness; and Glory yet dwell in our Land.

[4] and finally, Let every one be excited to consider his own Ways, repent of, and put away all Sin, for which GOD is conten­ding with us, and diligently seek his Face & Favour, and gracious Presence with his Peo­ple. This highly concerns the whole Com­munity, and every Member of it; as we have all a common Interest in it, which binds us to be concerned for the Welfare and Pros­perity of the same. And as we would not tempt GOD by trusting in him, or pretend­ing so to do, while yet we refuse to put a­way our Sins, and turn to him.

The Times we are cast into, and Provi­dences of GOD, surely call us every one to search and try our Ways, and turn unto the LORD, that he may turn unto us in ways of Mercy, and save us from the Hand and Will of our Enemies; and from all the Evils we feel and fear: revive His own Work in the midst of us, Bless, and Build us up, and not Pluck us down.

Let us therefore put away from the midst of us all the Things that offend GOD, pro­cure His Frowns on us, and cause the re­moval of His gracious protecting Presence from us—Let Injustice, Pride, Wantonness, & Profaneness, Intemperance, and Uncleanness [Page 54] no more be found among us; let these things be Abhorred by us which GOD's Soul Hates. Let Strife, & Uncharitableness be put away, together with all sinful Exactions, Oppression, and Covetousness.—Let us unite in a due, and more serious Sanctification of GOD's Holy Sabbath, and prize, and attend the Worship of His House. Let us love, and obey His just Laws, and live in the constant Practice of that Holy Religion we are Blessed with: For so to do is our Glory, Honour, & Happiness. So Moses exhorts Israel, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify unto you this day.— For it is not a vain thing for you, because it is your life; and thrô this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land. Thus doing GOD will be with you, and His Presence shall Save, Prosper, and Protect you.—Let us carefully avoid all sinful Mur­murings under the corrective Hand of GOD in His Providential Dispensations towards this Government, and Land; which calls for so many of our brave Officers, and goodly young Men, to jeopard their Lives in the high Places of the Field, and brings so heavy Charges on the Government. Has not our Sins, and Departings from GOD procured us this? And shall we not accept the Punish­ment [Page 55] of our Iniquities, with a submissive humble Temper of Mind, and improve all to our future Amendment? Besides has not GOD a right to discipline His own People, and to call us, and our Sons to what Service he pleaseth? Instead therefore of complain­ing that we are called to offer up our Isaac's to this Service of the LORD; let us in humble Submission say; 'Tis the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good. * And let our Hearts be towards them that offer themselves wil­lingly among the People to this help of the Lord, against the Mighty.

And as for our Substance it is what GOD hath given us, 'Tis all his own. c And shall we Murmur, when He calls for any part of it? especially when it is to defend and secure, every Thing that is Sacred and Dear to us? Our Country & Estates, Wives, Children, Liberties and Privileges, and above all the sacred Religion we are Blessed with; yea, and our own Lives too.—And when GOD thus calls for it, how unreasonable would it be in us, and how offensive to the Most High? should we Murmur at our civil Rulers under whose wise and just Direc­tion, and Administration the whole Affair [Page 56] is conducted: As tho' they brought this Charge upon us, or took our Substance from us: Or should we grudge those their just Wages, who bravely venture their Lives in our Defence, and in the Defence of their Country. Had we rather give up all, and be enslaved to arbitrary Power, Idolatry, And Tyranny, than to improve a Part, to save, and defend the Whole? Let us not thus offend GOD. How often did Israel, by their sinful Murmurings, bring down the heavy Judgments of GOD on their own Heads.—But on the other Hand, let us adore and bless GOD, who has graciously Blessed and Increased us from the first settlement of the Country, unto this Day: And that thro' the blessing of His divine Providence, we have a sufficiency for our own Support at Home, and for the Supply of our Forces Abroad, without any Importation of Provi­sions from any other Country.

And what adoring Thanks do we owe to GOD, for His Mercy in putting it into the Heart of Our Most Gracious Sovereign, and the British Court, and Parliament, to take such a seasonable and tender Care of us, for our Protection and Defence, in this day of our Danger; and for the seasonable Supplies granted us for our further Assistance, Help, [Page 57] and Protection. Also that our choice Pri­vileges civil, and sacred are still continued to us; that on this Day of the Gladness of our Hearts, we have reasons to say, Precious are thy Thots unto us O God; how great is the sum of them? No one Government under Hea­ven enjoys greater, or better Privileges than we do, it we may have Wisdom to know, and use them well. And that of our being Governed by Men chosen from among our­selves, is not of the least of them.

They have a common Interest with us, & a natural Concern for the good of Church; and State; and administer Justice Wis­dom, and Fidelity: That no People can boast of being under a more just, or happier Administration, or better Government, than we can. If therefore we are disquiet, con­tentious [Page 58] or murmuring, unthankful to GOD, or undutiful to Government; how inexcu­sable shall we be? and how Just would it be in GOD, to deprive us, of these invaluable Blessings.—Well then, let us not forfeit our choice Privileges by abusing them, but let us prize them; and esteem, & honor our Rulers, praying daily to GOD for them; that under their wise, & good Government we may lead quiet and peaceable Lives, in all Godliness & Honesty.—Let us submit to their [...] legal Authority, not for Wrath, but Consci­ence sake, because they are God's Ministers to us for Good, attending continually on this very Thing. And let us all seek Peace, and ensue it, that while we have Wars abroad, we may have Peace, and an happy Union, among ourselves at home; which is the Glo­ry, Strength & Beauty, of Church & State.

Thus turning to GOD, and seeking His Face & Favour, Pardon and protecting Pre­sence with us; and so trusting in Him and committing our righteous Cause unto Him, who Judgeth rightly; let us chearfully and willingly exert ourselves in every proper Way, for the defence of the Government and Country, against the invading Enemy. Is not GOD for us? is not the Cause His? are not our Enemies His Enemies? which have from Generation to Generation, shed the [Page 59] Blood of His Saints and People, and still re­tain the same persecuting Spirit, and are im­placable haters of the truth & interest of our Lord Jesus Christ; and will not GOD give them Blood to drink, for they are worthy? The Cause we are engaged in is most Just on our side; these Governments never de­sired, or attempted to cross the Line dividing the Claims between the two Kingdoms in North-America, to invade or molest them, but they have been constantly Encroaching on His Majesties Claims, ceeded and acknow­leged, to belong to the Crown of Great Britain by several Solemn Treaties, and in Violation of them. And in times of Peace between the two Crowns they have been always stir­ring up, furnishing out, and sending the In­dians in Alliance with them, upon our Fron­tiers, to Kill, Murder, and Scalp, Men, Wo­men and Children, and do purchase the Scalps taken on their return; and have built, and garrisoned many Forts within the English Claim, with the View and Intent, to gain the Sovereignty of this Country, to our Op­pression and Ruin. And now openly make War upon us, and therein avow their Design. Don't all this make the War most Just and Necessary on our side? And in so just a Cause, may we not hope and expect that GOD will be for us, and [Page 60] on our side, and then we need not fear those perfidious Enemies.

Again, both former, and latter Experien­ces; of GOD's appearing for, and granting success to our Forces, against these perfidious, Enemies, may excite, and encourage, our re­solution in prosecuting the present necessary, and unavoidable War. Here the Time would fail me, to speak of the many Succes­ses granted to our Fathers in former Times. Of those granted at Cape-Breton, to our For­ces last War.—Of the Disappointment, & Destruction, of the French Chebucto Fleet.—And Disappointment of that sent against Ha­lifax, & Nova-Scotia, last Summer.—Of the Success of our Army sent to the Eastward.—And signal Victory granted at Lake George, to our Army sent against Crown-Point.—Concerning which would to GOD, the Govern­ments could unite in thankful Hearts to GOD, for that, so great a Salvation, and Mer­cy and not sully the Glory of it, and Offend GOD, by murmuring Complaints, that the Army went no further.—In all these Suc­cesses how has GOD appear'd for us, & shall not the consideration of it, excite, and engage us in prosecuting the present War, in our own just, and necessary Defence.

And is it not a further exciting Encourage­ment thus not only the Conduct of our Sol­diery [Page 61] in the above mentioned Expedition and Action, at Lake-George (in Conjunction with the Forces of the other Governments) but also, that noble Ardour and Resolution which appear'd thrô this Government on hearing the Army was in Distress at the Lake; when all slew to Arms, & Thousands immediately began their March, to relieve and join the Army against the Enemy. An Account of which being by his Honour our Governor, transmitted Home, found such a Gracious Acceptance and Approbation with His Ma­jesty as is expressed in His Most Gracious Princely & Fatherly Letters, written on that Occasion to his Honour, and this Honourable Assembly. What a smile of divine, Provi­dence this! and how exciting & encourag­ing such princely Notice and Favour. And may the same noble Spirit and Ardour still appear in all the Members of this Community, to promote the War, and exert themselves in like manner for the defence of their Country, upon any like future Occasion that may hap­pen, and do nothing to forfeit the Reputa­tion gained by the former.—

Suffer me only to add, that as we know the Time is drawing on, for the utter Destructi­on of Antichrist; so who knows, but our E­nemies may be moved, by divine Providence, to make a push for the Sovereignty of this [Page 62] Country, much sooner than good Policy would have dictated it; to the very End, that they may be over-thrown, and subdued, be­fore they shall be too strongly Settled to be Dislodged; and that to open the Way for the true Religion of Jesus Christ, to spread all o­ver the Land, even to the remotest Heathen; & who would not exert himself to the utmost, to be instrumental in promoting so glorious a Work. And as the awful Earthquakes that have been, have had their most dreadful, de­structive, & destroying Effects, upon popish, &mahometan Countries, & upon some of their chief Cities, and Places, and to vast Desolations in them; but nothing so in any Protestant Country: Who knows but this may be in di­vine [Page 63] Providence, a prelude to heavier Judg­ments, to follow on those idolatrous, & hea­then Countries, to the overthrow of their Pow­er, and false Religion, or opening the Way to their Conviction, & so to the spreading of the Truth, where Satans seat now is. Which may be further encouraging to Protestants.

Thus in a Word, as we have not only ne­cessity to urge us, but also many encouraging Motives to excite us, to exert ourselves, in the Defence of our Country, Liberties, & holy Re­ligion; let us go on Vigorously, contributing freely what ever is necessary to promote the same, and to encourage, & assist our Brethren called to jeopard their Lives in the high Places of the Field, for our Defence, & the Defence of our dear Country, And when the Host goeth forth against thine Enemies, then keep thee from every wicked Thing: For their Sake, & our own: And let our Camps be careful so to do likewise, For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of the Camp, to deliver thee, & to give up thine Enemies before thee, therefore shall thy Camp be holy, that he see no unclean thing in thee to turn away from thee. And let them not want [Page 64] our hearty good Wishes, and constant Pray­ers to GOD, for his protecting Presence, and Blessing to be with, & accompany our Forces, and prosper them; in all their Ways, and in every, Enterprize: For if GOD be with them, who can be against them? Let us awake to Prayer, and Repentance, and Reformation, in this Day of Threatning, & Rebuke so we may contribute to the success of our Arms abroad, and obtain GOD's Blessing at home. Who knows how short his Time may be, & what awful Providences may be approaching us? let us therefore improve a day of Grace, and the means of Grace well, while those Bles­sings are indulged us and turn to the LORD at His Rebukes, & [...] Righteousness by all His Judgments that are [...] in the Earth. So may we hope and expect, [...] GOD, even our own GOD, will be for us, and with us; as he hath been with our Fathers. That He will not leave nor forsake us, nor suffer our Enemies to triumph over us; but will subdue them before us; and be still a Wall of Fire round about us; and the Glory in the midst of us; and that His Salvation shall still be for Walls, and Bulwarks.

AMEN.

ERRATA

PAg 6 lin. 2. (in the margin) for being, read began. Pa. 10 lin, 9 read prize. Pa. 18 lin. 12 for Sal­vation. read Saviour. Pag. 23 lin. 17 for ten rea [...] two

FINIS.

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