Published according to Act of Congress.




ONE principal design of the present edition of this little book is, to preserve a Complete History of a BATTLE or FIGHT, which, though in itself but trif­ling, yet, in its issue or consequences, has been justly deemed of great importance; it is an interesting incident in the history of New-england. To attempt a march of upwards of an hundred miles, through a wilderness, into a forest, where not a friendly but or civilized inhabitant were to be met with, where Sav­ages and wolves were "lords of the soil!" where "dangers prest on every side!" this was a forlorn and desperate adventure, big with danger, reserved for the daring genius of an intrepid LOVELL. Who, though he fell in the contest, by this enterprize, opened a road into a wide extended country, rich in soil, in climate healthy; and pointed the way to the settlement and civilization of this (at that time desolate and uncultivated, but now) pleasant and populous country.

This enterprising adventure of Lovell was begun in April, and his Fight with the Indi­ans, was on the 8th of May, 1725. By the best information which could be obtained from [Page iv] Indians who were in the Fight, there were about Eighty of the Savages opposed to the brave Lovell with only thirty two men! who killed forty five of the Indians, with their Chief Captain, Paugus, and put the rest to flight. Never was a battle sustained with more fortitude and courage, than was this on the part of Captain Lovell and his men; they were engaged the whole day with nearly three times their own number of Savages, and ob­tained a victory over them!

There was not, at the time of this battle, a white inhabitant within fifty miles of the scene of action! Saco was the nearest settle­ment of white people! and the whole of this now civilized country, was then a wide ex­tended waste, clothed with Nature's rudest wild attire!

In the summer of 1763, Mr. Nathaniel Smith moved his family into Fryeburg; this was the first family of white people which erected a habitation in the country, vulgarly called Pigwacket. On the 20th Nov. of the same year, Messrs. Samuel Osgood, Moses Ames, John Evans, and Jedediah Spring, moved into Fryeburg, from Concord in New-hampshire, through a rough, hilly country, un­inhabited [Page v] for 50 or 70 miles; Mr. David Evans and Mr. Nathaniel Merrill, (then young men) accompanied them, as first settlers. These were they, who encountered the hard­ships, the fatigues, the sufferings, the losses, of the first settlement of this new country— These were they, who lived, like "a band of brothers," in friendship, who formed the first happy society, on this (till then) desolate plain—who established themselves in the bosom of an extensive wilderness, and constituted the First Civil Family of a howling forest. They laid the foundation for a large settlement, which all of them have had the pleasure to behold increasing to a populous and wealthy land. To them, and to those worthy Matrons who, with heroic courage and fortitude of soul, set hardship and danger at defi­ance, and rear'd with tender care a race of hardy sons—to their spirit of enterprize, we are indebted for the enjoyment of this flourishing country— May their days roll on in peace, may they ever en­joy ease, and plenty; and when in a good old age, they shall be called to the land of their fathers, may they depart with the good will and honors of all who participate in the Fruits of their First adven­ture.

The nearest White Neighbors which these first settlers had for a long time, were at Saco; and with those even they had no communication— [Page vi] their nearest place of resort to obtain those ar­ticles of necessity which they could not forego, was Sanford; nearly sixty miles distant!

With what pleasure can they look back to the infancy of the country which they first planted! and what a satisfaction must they enjoy, when they contrast their present scences of ease and plenty with those when the fatigues of hunting gave but the scanty meal! The recollection of those days, must give a zest to the enjoyments of the present, which none can realize but those who have seen villages grow up, the Arts and Sciences flourish, where themselves were the fellers of the forest!

In 1764, a few more families moved into Frye­burgh, and in 1765 the population began to increase with considerable rapidity.

In October 1774, the people of Fryeburg invited the Rev. WILLIAM FESSENDEN to settle with them; and in October 1775, he was ordained to the work of the Ministry—He has continued in a happy Union with his people—and has seen the number of families in Fryeburg increase from sixty to one hundred and eight.

In March 1791, twenty five of the inhabitants of the towns of Fryeburg Conway and Brownfield, assembled for the grand purpose of establishing a Grammar School—they agreed upon a mode; opened a subscription for the purpose, which was filled the very day it was opened—[Heaven smil'd upon their plan]—a building was erected and completed, [Page vii] an Instructor was engaged, and on the 15th day of November, 1791, a School commenced with Fifty scholars. In February 1792, it was incorporated with academic privileges, by the Government of this Commonwealth, with the liberal donation of twelve thousand acres of land, to which three thousand acres more were added in 1793.—The funds of this Institution (which are increasing) are sufficient for the support of a Preceptor, &c. and will continue so as long as value shall be attached to Land.

This country, whose inhabitants are now nu­merous, robust and hardy, was, before Lovell's ad­venture, nothing but a dreary, waste a howling wil­derness, the Land of Indians—But now, on the very plain where the fam'd Paugus, the Chief of those savage tribes, held his dreary reign, and danc'd in midnight pow-wows, there is erected an Acad­emy, (a Seat for the Muses,) where the Sons of Apollo may quaff the Pierian Stream—In this Academy, the Polite and Useful branches of Litera­ture are taught—Youth, and others, are instructed in Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Geography, His­tory, Astronomy, and the Languages, with distin­guished facility and propriety, by an able Master, whose works are his best eulogium: he shares the love and esteem of his pupils, and he has ever had the approbation of the authority of Colleges where se­veral of them have been admitted as acknowledged good scholars.

This academy affords an easy mean to all classes of people to give their children a good education; [Page viii] the whole expense for tuition is only dollar per quarter; and boarding, &c. for those who want, may be obtained on easy terms.

There has been also a Printing Office lately es­tablished in Fryeburg, and this History of Lovell's Fight is from a Press within two miles of the place where he fell—But, from the small Funds of the Proprietor, this establishment is not in so flourishing progress as could be wished—it is, however, hoped that it may not fail—The expense of establishing and carrying on this Business is great—and a general patronage alone will be sufficient to support it— A Press in Pigwacket, is deemed a novel adven­ture by those elder towns whose towering spires be­held it a remote wilderness but thirty years ago! Yet, they may rest assured that, if every Head of a Family in Pigwacket will say, This Press shall have my support, I will take the Newspaper, and now and then buy my children a "Friendly Moni­tor," a "Lovell's Fight," or some other little book; if every Man in Pigwacket only, would do thus, (and every one might, all are able, the expense in­dividually is a mere trifle) the Press in Pigwacket should not stop until the owner became blind, or [worse] turn'd Jacobin! But, as "without the Rain from Heaven, the Corn shall WITHER on its Stalk ▪" so also without the OIL of Public Aid, Printing Presses will Creek with RUST.— That this may never be; but, that the Wilderness may continue to "bud and blossom as the rose;" shall be our "Constant Prayer."


The Ancient PREFACE.

WHEN Joshua, with his brave soldi­ers, had discomfited Amalek, with the edge of the sword, (while Moses, with the rod of God in his uplifted hands, sup­ported by Aaron and Hur, made inter­cession to the God of Armies on the top of the hill) the Lord said to Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua, Exod. xvii. 14. For this would be an unspeakable encour­agement to that renowned general, in his wars with the aborigines of Canaan.

Now from this story we learn, not on­ly that Israel would prevail against their enemies, they should all, their magistrates and ministers especially, lift and keep up the hand of prayer;* But also, that the [Page x] remarkable preservation and success of soldiers in fighting the Lord's battles, are very proper to be commemorated, for the honor of God, and the encouragement of his servants, in future expeditions and military actions.

In consideration hereof, I have the more easily complied with the request of some of the hearers of the ensuing sermon, that it might be accompanied with a Narra­tive of the Memorable Occasion of it.

And though I at first proposed only to reprint the Relation of this Action, given us in the public newspapers; yet, having been favored with a more particular ac­count from the valorous Captain Wy­man, and some others of good credit, that were in the engagement, I hope it will not be unacceptable to any, and am sure it will be very grateful to some, to have the account published with some enlarge­ment; and particularly to make a public record of the names of those courageous Soldiers, who have so nobly play'd the man for their country; several of whom have been grievously wounded, and others have died in the field of battle, or of the [Page xi] wounds they received there—all of whose names I am persuaded the greatest part of the country will allow, deserve to be trans­mitted unenvied to posterity, with bright encomiums.

It is to be desired that all who have re­turned from Pigwacket to their own hous­es, will consider and show what great things God has done for them. And that they and all our brave soldiers, will still take for their Motto, when going forth to War, the inscription made by Moses on his altar of gratitude, after the defeat of Amalek JEHOVAH-Nissi, The Lord is my Banner.

I have related the story of the action at Pigwacket, in a style adapted to our com­mon way of telling it, and according to the best information I could obtain; and hope there are no material, I am sure there are no willing or careless, mistakes in it. And I have only to add:—That whoever considers the distance our people were at from any English settlement, in a howling wilderness, and very far in the enemy's country, who were at home, and more than double the number of our men;— [Page xii] their fighting from morning till night in a long, hot day—the number of killed and wounded, amongst whom were some who were persons of distinction on both sides; will doubtless grant that this action mer­its a place in the history of our Neweng­land wars. If any judge I have observed some circumstances of this action too mi­nutely, I have only to say, if some such persons, or their relations had been in the action, it is possible they would not have been of this opinion. However, those who I am firstly obliged to gratify, will not ea­sily come into their sentiment in this mat­ter. And I must beg of the others to for­give me this wrong, and that they would only consider, the different taste of readers, and consequently the extreme difficulty, if not impossibility, of pleasing every body, in a performance of this nature. And yet none would be more willing to do it, than the unworthy author, who is a hearty lover of his country, and of all good men of every denomination.



IT was about the 16th of April, 1725, that the brave and intrepid Captain JOHN LOVELL began the arduous and perilous undertaking, of marching from Dunstable to Pigwacket, with forty six men under his command.

They had travelled but a short distance before TOBY, an Indian, falling sick, was obliged to return, which he did with great reluctance.

When they had marched as far as Con­toocook, Mr. William Cummins, of Dun­stable, became so disabled by a wound that he had received from the enemy some time before, that the Captain dismissed him, together with a kinsman of his to accom­pany him back.

They proceeded on to Ossapy, and at this place Mr. Benjamin Kidder, of Nut­field, falling sick, the Captain made a halt, and tarried while they built a small forti­fication for a place of refuge to resort to if there should be occasion. Here he left his doctor, a serjeant and seven other men, to take care of Kidder. And they left at [Page 14] this place also, a considerable quantity of their provisions, to lighten the loads of the men and facilitate their march; and which they intended should serve as a re­cruit on their return.

With his company now reduced to on­ly thirty four men with himself, Captain Lovell, not at all disheartened by his mis­fortunes, proceeded on his march from his fortification at Ossapy for Pigwacket, about forty miles distant from said fort, through a rough wilderness.

The names of those who proceeded on from Ossapy, and who engaged PAUGUS, with his gang of about eighty Indians, are as follow, (except one who, like a coward, ran from them at the beginning of the engagement, and sneaked back to the fort, and whose name is unworthy of being transmitted to posterity)—These are the names of those brave fellows, who boldly and successfully contended with more than twice their number, viz.

  • Captain JOHN LOVELL,
  • Lieutenant JOSIAH FARWELL,
  • Lieutenant JONATHAN ROBBINS,
  • Ensign JOHN HARWOOD,
  • [Page 15]Serjeant Noah Johnson,
  • Robert Usher,
  • Samuel Whiting, all of Dunstable.
  • Ensign SETH WYMAN,
  • Corporal Thomas Richardson,
  • Tomothy Richardson,
  • Ichabod Johnson,
  • Josiah Johnson, all of Woburn.
  • Eleazer Davis,
  • Iosiah Davis,
  • Josiah Jones,
  • David Melvin,
  • Eleazer Melvin,
  • Jacob Farrah,
  • Joseph Farrah, all of Concord.
  • Chaplain JONATHAN FRYE, of Andover.
  • Serjeant Jacob Fullam, of Weston.
  • Corp. Edward Lingfield, of Nutfield.
  • Jonathan Kittridge,
  • Solomon Kies, of Bellerica,
  • John Jefts,
  • Daniel Woods,
  • Thomas Woods,
  • John Chamberlain,
  • Elias Barron,
  • Isaac Lakin,
  • Joseph Gilson, all of Groton.
  • [Page 16]Ebenezer Ayer,
  • Abiel Asten, of Haverhill.

From the Thursday before the battle, the company were apprehensive they were discovered and dodged by the enemy; and on Friday night, the watch heard the In­dians about the camp and alarmed the company, but it being very dark, they could make no further discovery.

On Saturday the eighth of May, while they were at prayers, very early in the morning, they heard a gun; and some lit­tle time after they espied an Indian on a point, that ran into Saco Pond.

They now concluded that the design of the gun, and the Indian's discovering him­self, was to draw them that way—They expected now without fail to be attacked, and it was proposed and consulted, wheth­er it would be prudent to venture an en­gagement with the enemy, (who they per­ceived were now sufficiently alarmed) or endeavor a speedy retreat. The men generally and boldly answered, "We came out to see the enemy; we have all along prayed God we might find them; and we had rather trust Providence with our lives, [Page 17] yea, die for our country, than try to re­turn without seeing them, if we might, and be called cowards for our pains."

The Captain readily complied to lead them on, though not without manifesting some apprehensions; and, supposing the enemy were ahead of them, (when, as it proved, they were in the rear) ordered the men to lay down their packs, and march with the greatest caution, and in the ut­most readiness.

When they had marched about a mile and a half, or two miles, Ensign WYMAN espied an Indian coming towards them, whereupon he gave a signal, and they all squatted, and let the Indian come on. In a short time, several guns were fired at him; upon which the Indian fired upon Captain LOVELL, with beaver-shot, and wounded him mortally, (as is supposed) though he made but little complaint, and was still able to travel, and at the same time wounded Mr. Samuel Whiting — Ensign Wyman immediately fired at and killed, the Indian, and Mr. Frye and ano­ther scalped him.

They then marched back towards their [Page 18] packs, (which the enemy had found in the mean time and seized) and about ten of the clock, when they came pretty near to where they had laid them, at the north east end of Saco Pond, on a plain place, where there were few trees and but little brush, the Indians rose up in front and rear, in two parties, and ran towards the English▪ three or four deep, with their guns presented: The English also instant­ly presented their guns, and rushed on to meet them. When they had advanced to within a few yards of each other, they fired on both sides, and the Indians fell in considerable numbers, but the English, most if not all of them, escaped the first shot, and drove the Indians several rods. Three or four rounds were fired on both sides; but the Indians being more than double in number to our men, and having already killed Captain Lovell, Mr. Ful­lam, (only son of Major Fullam of Wes­ton) Ensign Harwood, John Jests, Jona­than Kittridge, Daniel Woods, Ichabod Johnson, Thomas Woods, and Josiah Da­vis, and wounded Lieutenants Farwell and Robbins and Robert Usher, in the [Page 19] place where the fight begun, and striving to sur­round the rest, the word was given, to retreat to the pond, which was done with a great deal of good conduct, and proved a great service to the English, (the pond covering their rear) though the Indians got the ground where the dead of our party lay.

The Fight continued very furious and obsti­nate, till towards night—The Indians roaring and yelling and howling like wolves, barking like dogs, and making all sorts of hideous noises —The English frequently shouting and huzza­ing, as they did after the first round. At one time, Captain WYMAN is confident, the Indians were diverting themselves in powowing, by their striking upon the ground, and other odd mo­tions—but Wyman creeping up, and shooting the chief actor, broke up their meeting.

Some of the Indians, holding up ropes, asked the English if they would take quarter; but were briskly answered, that they would have no quarter but at the muzzles of their guns.

About the middle of the afternoon, the inge­nious Mr. Jonathan Frye, (only son of Captain James Frye, of Andover) a young gentleman of a liberal education, who took his degree at col­lege, 1723, and was chaplain to the company, and greatly beloved by them, for his excellent performances & good behavior, and who fought with undaunted courage, till that time of day, was mortally wounded. But when he could [Page 20] fight no longer, he prayed audibly several times for the preservation and success of the residue of the company.

Some time after sunset, the enemy drew off and left the field to our men. It was supposed and believed, that not more than twenty of the enemy went off well. About midnight, the En­glish assembled themselves, and upon examining into their situation, they found Jacob Farrar just expiring by the pond, and Lieutenant Rob­bins and Robert Usher unable to travel.

Lieutenant Robbins desired his companions to charge his gun and leave it with him, which they did; he declaring that, As the Indians will come in the morning to scalp me, I will kill one more of them if I can.

There were eleven more [...] the English, who were badly wounded, viz. Lieutenant Farwell, Mr. Frye, Serjeant Johnson, Timothy Rich­ardson, Josiah Johnson, Samuel Whiting, Elias Barron, John Chamberlain, Isaac Lakin, Elea­zer Davis and Josiah Jones; but they however marched off the ground, with the nine others who received no considerable wounds, viz. Ensign Wyman, Edward Lingfield, Thomas Richardson, the two Melvins, Ebenezer Ayer, Abiel Asten, Joseph Farrah and Joseph Gilson. These all proceeded on their return for the fort, and did not perceive they were way-laid or pursued by the enemy, though they knew our men had no provision, and must therefore be very saint.

[Page 21]Four of the wounded men, viz. Farwell, Frye, Davis and Jones, after they had travelled about [...] mile and a half, found themselves unable to go any further, and with their free consent, the rest kept on their march, hoping to find a recruit at the sort, and to return with fresh hands to relieve them.

As they proceeded on, they divided into three companies one morning, as they were passing a thick wood, for fear of making a track by which the enemy might follow them. One of the com­panies came upon three Indians, who pursued them some time; meanwhile Elias Barron, one of this party, strayed from the others, and got over Ossapy river, by the side of which his gun case was found, and he was not heard of after­wards. Eleven, in another party, reached the fort at Ossapy; but to their great surprize, found it deserted. The coward who fled in the be­ginning of the battle, ran directly to the fort, and gave the men posted there, such a frightful ac­count of what had happened, that they all fled from the fort, and made the best of their way home.

Solomon Kies also came to the fort. When he had fought in the battle till he received three wound, and had become so weak by the loss of blood that he could not stand, he crawled up to Ensign Wyman, in the heat of the battle, and told him, he was a dead man; but, (said he) if it be possible, I will get out of the way of the [Page 22] Indians, that they may not get my scalp. Kies then crept off by the side of the pond to where he providentially found a canoe, when he rolled himself into it, and was driven by the wind seve­ral miles toward the fort; he gained strength fast, and reached the fort as soon as the eleven before mentioned; and they all arrived at Dun­stable on the 13th of May, at night.

On the 15th of May, Ensign Wyman, and three others, arrived at Dunstable. They suf­fered greatly for want of provisions. They in­formed, that they were wholly destitute of all kinds of food, from a, Saturday morning till the Wednesday following; when they caught two mouse-squirrels, which they roasted whole, and found to be a sweet morsel. They afterwards killed some patridges and other game, and were comfortably supplied till they got home.

Eleazer Davis arrived at Berwick, and re­ported; that he and the other three who were left with him, waited some days for the return of the men from the fort, and at length, despairing of their return, though their wounds were putre­fied and stank, and they were almost dead with famine, yet they all travelled on several miles to­gether, till Mr. Frye desired Davis and Farwell not to hinder themselves any longer on his ac­count, for he found himself dying, and he laid himself down, telling them He should never rise more, and charged Davis, if it should please God to bring him home, to go to his father, and tell [Page 23] him, that he expected in a few hours to be in eternity, and that he was not afraid to die.— They left him, and this amiable and promising young gentleman, who had the journal of the march in his pocket, was not heard of again.

Lieutenant Farwell, who was greatly and no doubt deservedly applauded and lamented, was also left by Davis within a few miles of the fort, and was not afterwards heard of. But Davis, getting to the fort, and finding provision there, tarried and refreshed himself, and recovered strength to travel to Berwick.

Josiah Jones, another of the four wounded who were left the day after the Fight but a short distance from the scene of action, traversed Saco river, and after a fatiguing ramble, arrived at Saco, (now Biddeford) ematiated, and almost dead from the loss of blood, the putrefaction of his wounds and the want of food. He had sub­sisted upon the spontaneous vegetables of the forest, and cramberries, &c. which he had eaten, came out at a wound he had received in his body. He was kindly treated by the people at Saco, and recovered of his wounds.

Several of the Indians, particularly Paugus their Chief, were well known to LOVELL's men, and frequently conversed with each other during the Engagement. In the course of the Battle, Paugus and John Chamberlain discoursed fa­miliarly with each other; their guns had become foul, from frequent firing; they washed their [Page 24] guns at the pond, and the latter assured Paugus that he should kill him; Paugus also menaced him, and bid defiance to his insinuations: when they had prepared their guns they loaded and discharged them, and Paugus fell.

A son of Paugus, after it had become a time of peace, went to Dunstable, to revenge his fa­ther's death, with the death of Chamberlain— He did not go directly to Chamberlain's, but to the house of a neighbor, where he tarried several days, upon some pretended business, that his de­sign might not be discovered; his errand was however suspected, and a hint given to Cham­berlain—who cut a port-hole above his door, through which he very early one morning dis­covered an Indian behind his wood pile, lying with his gun pointing directly to the door; and it was supposed that the same musket which had conveyed the mean of death to the bosom of the great Paugus, also proved fatal to his son, as he was not afterwards heard of

It is also reported of this Chamberlain, (who was a stout and a courageous man, and who used to say that he was not to be killed by an Indian) that he was once fired at by an Indian, as he was at work in a saw mill, at night; he was in a stoop­ing position, and did not discover the Indian till he fired, who was so near him that he immedi­ately knocked him down with a crowbar, with which he was setting his log.

After the return of the English from their [Page 25] fight, Col. TYNG, with a company, went to the place of action, where he found and buried the following men, viz. Captain John Lovell, En­sign Jonathan Woods, Ensign John Harwood, & Robert Usher, of Dunstable; Jacob Fullam, of Weston; Jacob Farrar, and Josiah Davis, of Concord; Thomas Woods, Daniel Woods, and John Jefts, of Groton; Ichabod Johnson, of Woburn; Jonathan Kittridge, of Billerica.

Lieutenant Josiah Farwell, of Dunstable, Mr. Chaplain Frye, of Andover, and Elias Barron, of Groton, were wounded, and died by the way in attempting to return home.

Col. Tyng found where the Indians had bur­ied three of their men, which were dug up, and one of them was known to be the bold Paugus, who had been a great scourge to Dunstable.

Ensign Wyman was rewarded with a Cap­tain's Commission after his return; and every man was crowned with the grateful thanks of their countrymen, for this heavy blow given to a plundering savage foe, the common enemy of their country.

S. Wyman, E. Ayer, and A. Astin, attested to the General Truths of this History.


Mr. Symmes's Sermon.

II. Sam. I. 27.

How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

THE book before us is entitled the second of Samuel, not that it was written by the fa­mous prophet of that name; for it contains a history of what came to pass after his death; of which we have an account in the 25th chapt. of the former book; but the latter part of the for­mer, with the whole of this book, are supposed to be written by Nathan or Gad, or by Heze­kiah or Ezra. And probably it is called the Second of Samuel, by the Hebrews, because it is a continuation of the history began by him; and so, being a supplement to the history of Sam­uel, it goes under his name; as is usual in such cases now a days.

In the chapter before us, we have a very cel­ebrated elegy; of which our text is the conclu­sion. And here we may observe,

1st, Who was the author of this elegy, or fu­neral poem namely, David; agreeably it is in our psalmbook termed David's Elegy. The Sweet Psalmist of Israel was a Poet, as well as musician; and has given us a noble specimen of his admirable poetic genius, in the mournful po­em before us. But we are to consider him here not only as a finished poet, but as an eminent servant of God, even the man after God's own [Page 27] heart; who duly considering the works of the Lord, and regarding the operations of his hands, has set us a very bright example, how to behave upon, and what improvement to make of, the death of useful men; especially of such as not only have jeoparded their lives unto death, but nobly laid down their lives in the high places of the field, in the service of their king and country —David lamented with this lamentation.

2dly, Observe the subject and occasion of this elegy, viz. the death of Saul and Jonathan, who with many of their army fell down slain on Mount Gilboa, 1 Sam. 31.1, 2, 3. Tidings of this slaughter being brought unto David, he was greatly affected therewith, and (as was customa­ry amongst the Hebrews on such sorrowful occa­sions) David took hold on his clothes and rent them, and likewise all the men that were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until even, for Saul and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel, because they were fallen by the sword. Context 11 and 12 ver. And having done jus­tice on the young Amalekite that brought the news, who by his own confession had stretched forth his hand to slay the Lord's anointed, he further gave vent to his grief, in the elegant composition before us.

3dly, Observe the matter and substance of this elegy: or, what David said on this great oc­casion. And first he utters this mournful as­sertion, [Page 28] The Beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places! ver. 19. Expert soldiers are no inconsiderable part of the beauty of Israel. Then follows a very pathetical exclamation, which is thrice repeated, v. 19, 25, 27, and is the burthen of the song, How are the mighty fallen! We have then his wish, with the reason of it, that the tragical news might not be published, v. 20. Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon: lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. The Imperative mood is used in the beginning of the verse for the Optative, after the manner of passionate mourners, who often wish for things impossible. And by this form of speech David rather expresses his detestation of what was done, than sorbids the doing of it: q. d. O that this doleful story had never been told in Gath! for so it surely was, 1 Sam. 31.8, 9, 10. We have next David's imprecation, on the place of the defeat, with the reason of it, v. 21. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, nei­ther let there be rain upon you, nor fields of of­ferings; for there the shield of the mighty is vilely slung away. Some think this only a fig­urative speech, supposing the very heavens and earth had a kind of sense and feeling of this ca­lamity; others think it a prophetical curse, that took effect accordingly, even as our Saviour's, denounced on the barren fig tree. But this has been confuted by Brochard and others, who have [Page 29] been upon the place. We may therefore look upon it, as only an hyperbolical imprecation.

David then goes on to commend Saul and Jo­nathan, for their wonderful success at arms v. 22. From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.— They were won to be victorious over their stout­est enemies. And that it is otherwise now, and that these valiant men are fallen, argues that God is angry; which should awaken his people to re­pentance. He further celebrates (as, their af­fection to one another and union in death, v. 23. so,) their agility and courage. They were swifter than eagles, they were bolder than lions. They were swift and nimble to pursue their ene­mies, and to avoid danger; and strong and val­iant to resist and overcome such as dared to op­pose them. Briefly, he commends Saul for his royal bounty to the daughters of Israel, whom he calls upon to lament him, v. 24. Even the daughters of Israel had been wont to bear their part in Saul's triumphs, and now it became them to mourn his fall. As all share in common ca­lamities, so all should be suitably affected there­with. Finally, David particularly laments over Jonathan, professing his deep distress for him, the dear affection between them, and the pleasure he took in his conversation, v. 25, 26

4th, Observe some of the properties of this elegy. And first, it is extremely elegant, the [Page 30] ideas are very bright, and well adapted; the phrases are very expressive and emphatical, and hence the whole [...] very moving and pa­thetical. And particularly, where he speaks of his friend Jonathan, nothing can be more soft and tender, and expressed with a greater pathos. And what more passionate than his repeated ex­clamation, How are the mighty fallen! Those valiant and renowned commanders, Saul and Jonathan, with their brave and undaunted sol­diers, that fell with them. So that the Weapons of War are perished, i. e. those who wielded them are dead. And what will weapons do, without men of skill and courage to handle them, for their country's preservation and defence, and the suppression and extirpation of their en­emies?

Again. The whole Poem is sufficiently brave and manly. David shows himself a man of a great soul, now that Saul's day was come to die, and God had delivered him out of his hands; and Saul could now no longer persecute and hunt him as a partridge on the mountains, as he had a long while done; (for as in the grave the weary servants of God are at rest, so, blessed be God, when the wicked are lodged there, they cease from troubling) I say, though David was now delivered, he scorns to trample with insult­ing feet on the monument of the dead, and boast over a breathless corpse; but buries all the faults [Page 31] of Saul in perpetual oblivion, in the land of for­getfulness, lays aside all spleen, and heartily mourns his country's reproach and loss, though the very means of his own deliverance and ad­vancement, (a noble instance of public spirited­ness) and commemorates what was commenda­ble, even in Saul. For, de mortuis, nil nisi bo­num. None that are men after God's own heart, will unnecessarily rip up the faults of others; and speak evil of those that cannot speak for themselves. Those that are not thus tender of the reputation of others, may justly fear that others will be as free with them, when they are silent in the grave.

But then it is also a martial poem: it is writ­ten with a martial air. The subject is entirely military. He laments his heroes, considered in their military character. He celebrates their military accomplishments and atchievements. And he dedicates it to the militia of Judah, as in the parenthesis in the preface, 18th v also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow. Whence it is evident, That David in the midst of his mourning, is not unmindful of what was necessary for the good of the commonwealth: Teaching us, not to be so overcome with grief, on such sorrowful occasions, as to forget our du­ty, and neglect means for our own or our coun­try's safety.

Furthermore, This Elegy is very ancient. It [Page 32] was written about eight and twenty hundred years ago. And according to some chronologies, be­fore the famous Iliads of Homer, who was the very father of all the Heathen Poets, and said to be born in the reign of Solomon the son of Da­vid. It is then one of the first born of elegies, and venerable for its antiquity. It is said to be recorded in the book of Jashe [...], i. e. the Just or Upright. We read of it Josh. 10 13. It is sup­posed this book was continued from [...] to age, as a collection of State Poems, (say some) or of the memorable acts of God's worthies; and tho' laid up at length in the temple (as Josephus re­ports) yet being not canonical, is now lost.

Finally, To remark no more characters of this poem, it is a scripture elegy: for though we do not suppose it at first written by inspiration; yet being agreeable to the will of God, was adopted (if I may so express it) by the Holy Spirit, who inspired those that inserted it in the sacred pages, so that it is now a part of Canonical Scripture, And thus it is probable the penman of the chron­icles collected many things out of the book of Jasher, being guided therein by the unerring spirit of God. And though the name of God is not to be found in this elegy, yet it is consonant to religion, and approved by God; and hence we learn, that what is spoken or written by the servants of God, may be very agreeable to the will of God, and for his glory, though the name [Page 33] of God or Christ is not to be found therein — Thus the book of Esther wherein are no less than ten chapters, has not the name of God in it.

5th, Observe the main scope and design of this elegy. And there are two things more es­pecially that David had in view, after the glory of God, his ultimate end. First, To perpetuate the memory of Saul, and his dearly beloved Jo­nathan, his bosom friend. "Great indeed was the love between Damon and Pythias; for when Dionysius the tyrant, had on some occasion sig­nified his resolution that one of them should die, and permitted Damon to go home and settle his affairs before his death, provided he could find one to be surety for his return; Pythias forth­with offered voluntarily, and put himself in the tyrant's power. Damon coming back precisely at the time appointed, Dionysius did so much admire their mutual fidelity, that he pardoned both, and prayed that he might be admitted the third into their friendship." But the love of David and Jonathan was more divine and excel­lent, than that of these brave heathen philoso­phers. We have the account of its commence­ment, 1 Sam. 18. begin. And it came to pass when he [David] had made an end of speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would let him go no more home to his father's [Page 34] house. Then Jonathan and David made a cov­enant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stript himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his gar­ments, even to his sword and his bow, and to his girdle. For such a friend, one would even dare to die. To be sure, David would have the mem­ory of this just man blessed. He would have him had in everlasting remembrance. And be here does his part, that it might be so, and the event was agreeable to his pious desire, for wherever the Bible is enjoyed, this elegy is still to be found on record for a memorial of him.

But then David had a further reach than bare­ly to embalm the name of his friend, and per­petuate the remembrance of Saul, for his rela­tion to Jonathan and to his country; For, by this elegy, or funeral song, David designed to fire the ambition of his contemporaries and succes­sors, to seek to excel in chivalry; and to fire them also with zeal to prosecute the war against the barbarous Philistines, and to avenge the death of their sovereign, and several of the royal family, and many other gallant soldiers; and to defend themselves, against their insults and de­predations. Agreeably in the [...]enthesis be­fore mentioned, v. 18. He bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow. The best interpretation of which passage (says Junius) is, that it expresses the design of David, that this [Page 35] song, being put into the hands of Judah, it might serve to excite and provoke them to addict them­selves to martial exercises, and to acquire skill in the use of the bow, which is here put for as warlike weapons then in fashion. And may the same use be made of the discourse, you are now reading, to provoke all among us, of a military character, to inure themselves to the use of the Gun, and all such exercises as may accomplish them for service in the doleful war, we're un­happily involved in.

Having, observed these things in General in this elegy, I come now to remark from the con­clusion of it.

That the fall of brave and successful warriors in the field of battle, is very much to be lament­ed by the people of God, in whose immediate service they lost their lives. We should lament over them with this lamentation, How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished! First, It is sometimes the lot of the bravest war­riors, and of such as have been very successful, to fall at last, or be slain in the field of battle. Saul had been a brave warrior, and did worthily in the beginning of his reign. The history of his deliverance of Jabesh Gilead when Na [...]ash the Ammonite came up and encamped against it, is very noble and brave, 1 Sam. 11. begin. He discovered both great courage and conduct, in that whole action: at the 11th. we read, Saul [Page 36] put the people in three companies, and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites, until the heat of the day; and it came to pass that they which remain­ed were scattered, so that two of them were not left together. Thus he effectually rased the siege of poor Jabesh-Gilead, and delivered the city. And when some hot-headed people pro­posed to Samuel that the malecontents should be put to death, who had said, Shall Saul reign over us? Saul very generously suppressed the motion, and snubbed those that too officiously proposed it; saying. There shall not a man be put to death this day! And as he was once re­turning from the slaughter of the Philistines the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul with tabrets, with joy and with instruments of music; and the women answered one to another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands. We read also of Jonathan, that he smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, 1 Sam. 13.3. And in the beginning of the 14th chapter we are informed how Jonathan and his armourbear­er, did miraculously smite the Philistines. And in the context, ver. 22. David gives them this encomium, From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Janathan turn­ed not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. And he calls them, the mighty, and the [Page 37] flower or beauty of Israel. Now these brave, successful soldiers were slain in bat­tle at last, upon mount Gilboa.

And, not to mention any other instance, thus "Gustavus Adolphus, stiled the great King of Sweden, who took for his motto, If God be for us, who can be against us? And who was an incomparable warrior, venturous sometimes even without neces­sity; and especially in war, would neglect his life and perform rather the duty of a soldier than of a general; and to excuse himself would say, The armies slight the danger they share in with their king; and that if Generals do not act in person, they can never atchieve a glittering reputation; and that such as shun death, meet it oftner than they that seek it; that Julius Cesar was never wounded in battle, though he ever fought in the foremost ranks of his troops; and that Alexander the Great marked out the way with his own blood, that led him to the empire of the East; and that to be as famous as these great men, he ought to be no more timorous than they: this great man, after he had obtained divers victories over the Danes [Page 38] and Poles and Muscovites, and received thirteen wounds before those of which he died, was at length slain in a battle with the Germans, having first almost got the victory, which his army completed after his death. And thus the Great Gustavus died, in the 38th year of his age, 1632, whilst victory (as one expresses it) lay bleeding by his side.

Secondly, The fall of brave and success­ful soldiers is very much to be lamented by the people of God. There is a time to weep, as well as a time to laugh. And every thing is beautiful in its season. Now when brave and successful soldiers are slain in the field of battle, who have been im­proved by Providence as Instruments of checking the pride and insolence, and wea­kening the force, and thinning the num­ber, and discouraging the hearts of the enemies of God's people, and of preserv­ing the lives, liberties and properties of the Israel of God; and might if God had spar­ed them been a further scourge to the en­emy, and defence to the people of God, by contending with the enemy in battle; it is very proper and highly reasonable such [Page 39] especially in whose immediate service they have courageously ventured, and undaunt­edly laid down their lives should lament their death. And the contrary is, how in­decent? how sottish? how stupid and un­reasonable? Now whatsoever things are lovely, decorous and of good report, chris­tians should love and practise these things, Phil. 4.8. The civilized heathen will rise up in judgment against Christians; yea, and the barbarians also, if they do not do such deserving persons the honor of la­menting their untimely death. It is hu­mane and manly to do so: but the contra­ry is, indeed, inhumane, and worse than heathenish.

Secondly, It is just and equal, for the people of God to lament the death of brave and successful soldiers slain by their ene­mies, and in their service. Tears and prop­er lamentations are a debt we owe them. They have dearly merited this piece of re­spect from their people. It is but just, to shed tears for them, that have shed their hearts blood for us. And surely, if they deserved the applause and commendation of all while they lived; they ought to be [Page 40] honored with the lamentations of all when they are slain in the high places of the field. And the law of equity calls for it. Surely it is to do as we would be done by; or as we should desire any of our dear relatives should be treated, in like circum­stances. If it had been the lot of any very nearly related to us (and it has been so) to be slain in battle, or sea-fight, play­ing the man for their GOD; surely a due notice taken of their death, by the people of God, would be what we should expect and be pleased with. Now whatsoever we would that men should do to us, we should do the same to them; or, we trans­gress a golden rule. But if this rule be out of fashion with any; yet

Thirdly, Agreeable lamentations for ex­pert and successful soldiers slain in war, are very useful and advantageous. It is a comfort to their bereaved relatives, when they observe that the people of God do greatly bewail the death of their friends, and heartily sympathize with them, though their loss may possibly be in some respects irreparable; yet this should and will con­tribute not a little, to alleviate their sor­row, [Page 41] ease their distressed minds, and dry up their tears.

And then, it is a spur to Virtue. When surviving soldiers (and particularly such as have been eye-witnesses of the fall of their brethren, and sought with uncommon bravery, and were either wounded, or e­qually exposed in the same battle, with those that are slain) take notice that the death of their officers or fellow soldiers is deeply resented by the people of God, that they still speak of them with great honor in their lamentations; this will animate them, we hope, to do worthily, and rather die with honor, if called to battle, than live with disgrace; & for their cowardice, have the offer of a wooden sword, and be branded with the infamous character of cowards, even by the weaker sex.

Whereas, on the other hand, it is a great aggravation of the affliction of distressed mourners, when they observe that the gen­erality only give the news of their friends death the hearing, but seem as stoical and unconcerned about it, as if their lives were of no value.—Such inhu­manity is very exercising to ingenuous [Page 42] minds and such as have any sense of hon­or. Besides such a sordid insensibleness is very discouraging to our brave soldiers. Who could be willing to venture their lives for such ungrateful people!

Finally, It is pious and scriptural to be­wail the death of such brave and success­ful soldiers, whose lot it is to be slain at last in the field of battle, God expects we should lay to heart the death of all our fel­low creatures: that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to his heart, Eccl. 7.2. And particularly, we are obliged to lament the death of eminently useful men, though they die quietly in their beds, and come to their graves in a good old age, like as a shock of corn comes in, in it's sea­son. How much more should we mourn their loss, when slain in battle, in the midst of their days, or in the very flower of their age, while their breasts were full of milk, and their bones were moistened with marrow. It is a sore judgment when God suffers such to fall by, and into the hand of the enemy, and does not cover their heads in the day of battle. This is an awful frown, and argues the great dis­pleasure [Page 43] of God. Hence he threatened the men of Anathoth, that said to the prophet Jeremy, prophesy not in the name of the Lord, that their young men should die by the sword, Jer. 11.21, 22. and alike threat­ning he denounced against Moab, Jer. 48 15.—His chosen young men are gone down to the slau'ter, saith the King, whose name is the Lord of Hosts. And when the wrath of the Lord was risen against Israel, for their measure-filling sin, in mocking the Lord's messengers, despising his words and misusing his Prophets, it is said, 2 Chron. 36.17. Therefore he brought up­on them, the King of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword. Now what greater cause of mourning and lamentation than the manifestations of God's displeasure? If the Lion roar, who will not tremble? but alas, who can stand when God is angry! and he highly resents it, when his people are insensible under the tokens of his holy anger: if they cry not, when he corrects them. He says to such, why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more, Isa. 1.5. and [Page 44] again, they are not humbled unto this day, Jer. 44.10.

Besides, we have many scripture pre­cepts and examples that teach us to la­ment on the occasion under consideration. When God threatened Israel, by the weep­ing prophet, that a people should come from the North Country, that should lay hold on bow and spear, being cruel, and having no mercy: Jer. 6.22, 23. It is added, ver. 26. O Daughter of my peo­ple, gird thee with sackcloth, and wal­low thyself in ashes: make thee mourn­ing as for an Only Son, most bitter lamen­tation;—Surely then, there should be a proportionable lamentation, when several chosen young men, and some very promi­sing and hopeful, are actually flain by men of the Chaldean Character. Another in­stance we have, Jer. 9.17.—Consider ye, and call for the mourning women.—Let them make haste—that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eye-lids gush out with waters—and teach your daugh­ters wailing and every one her neighbour lamentation. For death is come up,—to cut off the young men from the streets. [Page 45] And even the carcases of men shall fall as dung upon the open field—and none shall gather, or, bury them. This evinces, that God calls to mourning when young men fall by the sword, and the mighty in the battle. And then to mention no other Scriptures, our text and context is a full and direct proof of our doctrine. For, as was observed before, this mournful song was David's lamentation over those that were slain by the Philistines on mount Gil­boa.

But I proceed to the Application. And,

First, If it is sometimes the lot of the most valiant and successful soldiers, to be slain at last in battle; then they that gird on the harness should not boast as they that put it off. This was well observed by Ahab to Benhadad King of Syria, 1. Kings 20.11. All such preposterous boasting is evil; very foolish and ominous, and commonly followed with fatal consequents. Boasting Benhadad had cause and leisure in his inner chamber to think of this ar­my miserably broken a first time, and slain with a great slaughter, by a company of striplings, under the command of Ahab [Page 46] their King: and a second time totally rout­ed; an hundred thousand footmen being slain in one day by the Israelites; and twenty seven thousand more by the falling of a wall upon them; and he reduced to such abject circumstances, as to beg quar­ter by his ambassadors with sackcloth on their loins and ropes on their heads. How was the scene now changed, and his tune turned, 1. Kings 20. And thus we find the swaggering Goliah, who defied the armies of the living God, one minute curs­ing David by his Gods, and disdainfully saying, Come to me and I will give thy flesh to the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field; and the next minute tumbling head­long with his face upon the earth: and the beauty of Israel cutting off his Head with his own sword, 1 Sam. 17.1,—51.

God allows us indeed, in our spiritual warfare, (and in extraordinary cases, as, in David's, answering the challenge of the Giant, in a carnal warfare also) to triumph before the battle and to say, thanks be un­to God, that giveth us the Victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ. For in all these things we are more than conquerors thro' [Page 47] the Captain of our Salvation, whose is the Victory, and who hath loved us, and will give it to us!

But without particular Revelation, not now to be expected, none can tell, wheth­er the many, or the few; the strong or the weak; the righteous or the wicked; the friend or enemy will get the day in the field of battle. Boasting then, upon the going forth of armies, is to be condemned; both in such as go forth to war, and in such as tarry at home, on their account.

Secondly, The most skilful, dexterous, courageous and successful soldiers, had need to be truly religious and well pre­pared for death; seeing they are not invul­nerable, but as liable to die as others. An Indian bullet will kill a hero, a champion, as easily as a faint hearted coward: a Cap­tain, or Chaplain, as soon as a bringer up of the front half files; or the most inferi­or private soldier. There must indeed be the swiftness of the eagle, the subtilty of the fox, the strength and boldness of the lion, as well as the grace of the christian, to constitute a brave soldier; and every devout christian, that is fit for heaven, is [Page 48] not most fit to go forth to war. But, though such as are destitute of grace may possibly be stout soldiers and noble commanders, and de­serve well of their prince and country; and in answer to the prayers of God's people, in whose cause they are employed, they might fight val­iantly, and play the man for their people, and tread down the enemy; yet if they are slain, they cannot groundedly expect salvation. Seeing then our soldiers carry their lives in their hands, when they go forth to war, and are still liable to be ambushed, wherever they travel in the vast howling wilderness, and, killed unexpectedly, as well as slain in a pitched battle, they had need be always ready not only to fight, but to die, and make their appearance before God. And in or­der thereto, they should now believe in Christ, and repent of all their sins, and so get into, and keep in good terms with God, who can easily preserve them, though a thousand fall at their side, and ten thousand at their right hand; and can cause one of them to chase a thousand, and two of them to put ten thousand to flight.

The wretched Jesuites or friars, are wont (it is said) to absolve their deluded Proselytes, the bar­barous Indians, when they come forth to war against us: and flatter them with the promise of an immediate passage to Paradise, without any stop at purgatory, if they fall in battle: and these delusive hopes may possibly animate them, to [Page 49] fight with great fury in their engagements with us. And many private soldiers and inferior Of­ficers in the campaigns in Christendom, meerly from the prospect of applause, promotion, or fil­thy lucre; or for thirst after revenge, and a vain opinion that fighting in a good cause, and on the right side they shall surely be happy in the next world, if they are killed in battle, have possibly been led on to fight with undaunted resolution, and the utmost intrepidity. Surely then the mo­tives of pure Religion, such as serving God and their Country; having God to go before them, and fight for them, and either to cover their heads, or, receive their departing souls to the blessed mansions above, where there is no adversary nor evil occurrent, where they shall rest from their labours, and their works shall follow them, must needs be sufficient, by the influence of the holy Spirit that dwelleth in all real Christians, to cause to wax valiant in fight, and to raise them above the fear of what Earth or Hell can do unto them.

So then, a well grounded persuasion of a part in Christ, and an Interest in the favour of God, is what all that go forth to war, would do wisely to give all diligence to obtain.

Thirdly, Since the best of soldiers are liable to be overcome and slain in war, it ill becomes the people of God to put their trust in man. Tho' it is their duty and wisdom to employ and encour­age expert soldiers; yet it is their sin and folly [Page 48] to trust in them. As it is idolatry for soldiers to trust in their arms, or in their dexterity and cour­age to handle them; or in one another; so it is idolatry for the people of God, in whose service they go forth, to trust in them. For, alas! what is man, whose breath is it his nostrils, and wherein is he to be accounted of? His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his dust; in that ve­ry day, all his projections and resolutions, and accomplishments for war, perish.

Surely then, it is the greatest folly for a people to trust in their forces, how well soever qualifi­ed, spirited and equipped, and how successful soever they have been. For, every creature is that to us that God makes it to be; and unless God give help, vain is the help of man, Jer. [...] 23. Truly in vain is salvation hoped for [...] the hills, and from the multitude of mountains; truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Is­rael. And we know who has said, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm—But blessed is the man, that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is, Jer. 17.5, 7. Agreeably we find the People of God, resolving, in the name of our God we will set up our banners. And whilst some trust in Chariots and some in horses, we will remember the name of the Lord our God, Psal. 20 5, —7. And a­gain, through thee we will push down our Ene­mies: through thy name we will tread them un­der [Page 51] that rise up against us, Psal. 40.5. and Psal. 60.12. through God we shall do valiantly, for he it is, that shall tread down our Enemies.

Men may fail us, be overcome, and utterly frustrate our expectations: but, if we trust in God, we may pray with Asa, when Zerab the Ethiopi­an came against him, with an host of a Thousand Thousand, and three hundred Chariots; Lord, (said he) it is nothing with thee to help whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us O Lord our God, for we rest on thee, & in thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord thou art our God, let not man prevail against thee. The Lord of hosts is immortal, and in­vincible; he has all Creatures at his Command, and can cause the Stars in their courses to fight against the Enemies of his people; and sell Sise­ra into the hand of a woman. In a word, what­soever the Lord pleaseth that he doth; it is there­fore better to trust in him, than to put confidence in man, Psal. 118.8.

Fourthly, Are the bravest and most successful soldiers, liable to fall in battle, such then as are preserved in military expeditions and engage­ments and safely returned to their families and friends, ought to study what they shall render to the Lord, and take heed, they dont forget his benefits, but that all their days they perform their vows. It is the Lord that has covered their heads in the battle; it is the Lord that re­deemed [Page 52] their lives from destruction, when those, no more exposed than they, are fallen, and gone down to the Grave and shall come up no more, and return to their houses no more. O that all such as have experienced the distinguishing favor of heaven, would praise him for his goodness, and not content themselves to desire thanks to be returned for them in the public assemblies of God's people, though that is commendable, but that they would endeavour to live the praises of God. It is very displeasing to God, when his people do not render to him according to his ben­efits, 2 Chron. 32.25. David celebrates the praises of God, for preservation and success in war, Psal. 18. & Psal. 144 begin.

Fifthly, Hence the people of God ought to ascribe to him the Glory of all their success in war. His is the victory & he gives it to whom­soever he will. He furnishes men with military skill & courage, teaches their hands to war and their fingers to fight. He finds out the Enemy for his people, and gives a presence of mind to their forces; and if they are not swallowed up quick, when men, vastly superior in number, and other advantages rise up against them, it is be­cause the Lord is on their side, Psal· 124. Again, we find Deborah and Barak giving Glory to God, for avenging his people in the defeat of Sisera & his host, Judg. 5. and how often is David the famous warrior of Israel, harping on this string as we noted before.

[Page 53]God highly resents it, when his people sacri­fice to their own drag: when they ascribe that to instruments that is due to God alone. This no doubt often provokes God, to deprive a people of their chosen soldiers. For he is a very Jeal­ous God, and will not give his Glory to another. And as the former pastor of this Church would say of Ministers, we may say of soldiers, people kill them two ways: either by ascribing too much, or too little to them: idolizing of them.

Finally, Let us all religiously lament the fall of the Brave LOVELL, and several of his Gallant Company, that offered themselves willingly a­mong the people. Let us take up this lamenta­tion over them, how are the mighty fallen! and if we would herein approve ourselves to God, let us consider that these brave men (though I hope, we have many left as capable of serving their Country) yet they were no considerable part of the beauty and strength of New-England. In­deed, being wholly a stranger to most of them, I cannot pretend to give their character; yet it is evident to the Country, they were men formed and raised up by Providence to serve us in pursu­ing an Enemy, of whom we may say as of the wild ass, the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their Children, Job 24.5.

These our worthy friends could endure hard­ship as good soldiers: and were well [...] to en­counter the fatigues of long march, [...] in [Page 54] winter and summer. Some of them were well acquainted with the woods, & with the customs and lurking places of the Enemy, & were might­ily spirited to pursue them, & God did gra­ciously preserve & prosper them this last winter in two expeditions, first, delivered two Indians into their hands, & then ten stout fellows as you all remember, whom they killed, without receiv­ing any harm from them. This was the Lord's doings and marvelous in our eyes! and in this last engagement, they were inspired with a great deal of bravery and good conduct, & their com­pany crowned with wonderful success. Now to lose such experienced soldiers, and men so res­pected in the Country, is a great loss.

Again, Let us consider, that this is the finger of God. Let not any say prophanely and athe­istically, it is the fortune of war: or, as a good man said on a bad occasion, the sword devoureth one as well as another, 2 Sam. 11.25. For tho it is true the battle is not to the strong, and time and chance happen to all men, yet the hand of the Lord, is herein gone out against us, there are tokens of his dsipleasure to be seen in this affair. That this brave company, should be so weakned by leaving so great a number with one that fell ill, and that at so great a distance from them. That one of the Company should so unhappily leave [...] in the beginning of the fight, & bring such we [...] those left behind, that occasioned [Page 55] their immediate return; when their continuance there, might have been such an unspeakable ad­vantage to those that survived the battle. And indeed, it appears a frown, that they should ven­ture so far with so small a number at that season of the Year, when the Enemy are capable of bet­ter subsisting in bodies, than in the winter sea­son. I say, the hand of the Lord appears in all this, that so many brave men should descend in­to battle and perish.

But then we are also to consider. Why the Lord's anger against us is not turned away; but his hand stretched out still. Have not our sins as really slain our magnanimous soldiers, as ever, David slew Uriah the Hittite by the sword of the children of Ammon? and should we not hear the rod, and him that hath appointed it: and consider in this day of adversity, what we have done; and humble ourselves and pray and seek God's face? thus did David and his men, as in the context. And the men of Jabesh Gilead, 1 Sam. ult.

Should we not endeavour to find out and put away the accursed thing from the midst of us? & turn to him that smites us? should we not be a­wakened by such providences to get our peace made with God, and engage and secure his gra­cious presence with us, under our present dark views?

How many calls have New-England [...] [Page 56] the Pulpit, and by the Press also, from Year to Year; to remember whence we are fallen and repent & do our first works! how many Election Sermons have been published amongst us, filled with solemn warnings, most earnest exhortations and ample testimonies for God, and against the provoking evils of the land! but alas, how ma­ny are still acting the part of the deaf Adder, or as the Prophet expresses it, they refuse to hearken, they pull away the shoulder and stop the ear that they should not hear, Zech. 7.11. How many hate to be reformed? yea hate to be told by those that have good right, full power, & law­ful authority to do it, wherein we should be, & what is to be done that we may be a reformed People. How sad is it, if all the notice taken by the generality of people, of the solemn messages sent to them from the Lord God of their fathers, is only to give them the hearing and either humm or hiss the Preacher and his performance, pretty much as they stand affected to him; and it may be with some considerable formality, give him thanks for his sermon (and then he comes off mighty well!) however if they carry the matter so far as to Print the sermon, yet perhaps they do not put it in practice! but now dont they de­ceive themselves that hear, & read God's word, but do it not? or, what meaneth that saying, Jam. 1.22.

Furthermore, by the sore judgement of war, [Page 57] and particularly by the fall of our brethren, we are now weeping over, God is loudly calling upon us, to amend our ways and doings. And God expects we should all in our places endeav­or a reformation, that we should do our part in this work: and if we do so, whatever be the e­vent, God will set a mark upon us, and our labor shall not be in vain in the Lord. Let not any then be discouraged, because some proper essays and noble efforts have miscaried and proved abortive. Necessity is laid upon us: New-Eng­land must reform, or without a spirit of prophecy any one that observes the signs of the times, may I think, evidently foresee, that in one twenty Years more the glory of New-England as New-England, will be much more than hitherto, if not totally Eclipsed. God in his infinite, sove­reign mercy, prevent it!

But then, our soldiers that are fit to go forth to war, and may probably be called forth, you my brethren in an especial manner are obliged to take the alarm given you by the late Intelli­gence. Be prevailed with if you have not yet done so, to cast away the weapons of your rebel­lion against Heaven, (for there is no making peace sword in hand) and come as with ropes about your necks, and lie in the dust, if there may be hope; and there is hope in Israel con­cerning you. Now is your time to make ready for Death. You will have other work to do, [Page 58] when engaged in battle. And besides, every battle of the Warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood: hearing the hide­ous yellings and ejaculations of the Enemy, and the groanings of deadly wounded men, & seeing them lie all bathed in their gore, may awaken you to cry to God and make your vows: but a­las, that is no time for consideration, and confes­sion, and deliberate resolution to forsake sin and return to God. This should be done now! & then as you should be excited by this awakning providence to yield yourselves to the Lord; to make hast and not delay to believe in Christ, & secure an interest in him: so, you should be pre­vailed with to see that you have good arms and kept in good order, with good store of ammuni­tion, & inure yourselves to military exercises, especially to the art of shooting, & be always ready, that you may issue out at an hour's warn­ing.

Many and great are the transgressions of the people of our land; as a people, great has been and is our backsliding from the ways of God's testimonies; we have revolted from our God more and more; these things are for a lamentation, and call for an amendment of our evil doings—To conclude, when the sword of the enemy is reeking with the blood of our brave countrymen, the survivors should cleave wholly [Page 59] to the Lord, that so his anger may be turned away from us, and the sword of the enemy be no more the scourge of our land; O may God hasten the time when the alarm of war shall no more be heard in our land; but that the people thereof may fit in safety every one un­der his own vine and figtree, without dis­quietude from any quarter.


SERMON. American Publication. PROPOSAL OF JOHN M'MILLEN & VERE ROYSE, Of FRYEBURGH in the District of [...], Printing, by Subscription, a NEW YORK, entitled, A SYSTEM OF PRACTICAL ARITHMETIC, & NEW METHOD OF SURVEY­ING;—IN TWO PARTS.

The First Part being an EASY and CONCISE ARITHMETIC, containing the Fundamental Rules necessary for Business; together with Se­veral Curious Rules never before published, a­mong which is a New, Short and Exact Rule for Casting Interest, agreeably to the Solar System, without losing a fraction; the whole arranged up­on a New Plan, more Plain and Easy than any other—Designed for the Use of Schools, and those who wish to acquire an Accurate Knowl­edge of Figures without an Instructor.

The Second Part containing a NEW METH­OD of Surveying, different from any the Author has ever seen, by which the Exact Contents of a piece of Land are ascertained, without the trou­ble of Planning, being performed entirely by Calculation, with the assistance of Tables annex­ed. BY VERE ROYSE, MATHEMATICIAN.

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