The Humble Salutation And Faithful Greeting Of the Widow Whitrowe To King William.
Oh King, Live for ever: That was the Slaalutation of Daniel to King Darius, as a reward of his Love to the Faithful, when he came to the Lyons Den, and cryed out with a lamentable Voice, and ſaid, Oh Daniel! the Servant of the living God, is not thy God whom thou always ſerveſt, able to deliver thee from the Lyons? Then ſaid Daniel, Oh King, live for ever, my God hath ſent his Angel, and hath ſhut the Lyons Mouths, that they have not hurt me, for my Juſtice was found out before him; and unto thee, Oh King, I have done no hurt. Then was the King exceeding glad, and commanded that they ſhould take Daniel out of the Den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, becauſe he believed in his God. Then ſaid King Darius, I make a Decree, that in all the Dominions of my Kingdom, men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for He is the living God, and remainethA -eth 2 A1v 2 eth for ever, His Kingdom ſhall not periſh, His Dominion ſhall be everlaſting; He reſcueth and delivereth, working Signs in the Heavens, and Wonders in the Earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the Lyons.
And now, Oh King, live thou for ever, ſeeing it hath pleaſed the Almihgghty to deliver thee from the power of all thy Enemies, and brought thee back ſafe to England again: He that is mighty hath done for thee great things, and holy is his Name; Holy, holy, holy is the Lord; there is no God like our God, for by Him the Bows of the Mighty are broken, and by Him the Weak have girded themſelves with ſtrength, Glory, glory, glory be unto Thee, Thou Omnipotent God; thou God that heareth Prayers, unto Thee ſhall all Fleſh come, Praiſes be unto Thee, my Soveraign Lord, who hath heard the humble Petition of thy Hand-maid, though unworthy, when I humbly ſupplicated before the Throne of thy Grace, ſaying, Lord, let King William live in Thy ſight, that he may be an Inſtrument of thy Glory: Lord, guide him in thy Counſel, be thou his King and Soveraign, and make him thy true and faithful subject, that the Angel of thy preſence, the Captain of the Lord’s Hoſt may go before him, as he went before Joſhua, to give him the Victory over all his Enemies, both within and without, then ſhalt Thou the Righteous God be exalted, whoſe Kingdom is an everlaſting Kingdom, and of Thy Dominion there ſhall be no end. And this know, Oh King, this Work is to be wrought in every perticular, before it can be in the general, of which I humbly beſeech the Almighty God, the King may be one of the firſt Witneſſes thereof, that his Throne may be eſtabliſhed in Righteouſneſs ; Holineſs all the dayes of his Life: For be it known to the King, that the time draws near, in which the Propheſy of Daniel and all the holy Prophets are to be fulfilled, That the Kingdoms of this World ſhall become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Chriſt, and He ſhall reign for evermore; in orderder 3 A2r 3 der thereunto God has begun to make War with the Nations, and they are all at War one with another, ſo that multitudes will fall by the Sword, and ſome by other Judgments; but this is not that which ſhall accompliſh this great Work, the Reign of Chriſt, as ſaid the Lord to the Prophet Hoſea, I will have Mercy upon my People, and will ſave them; but I will not deliver them through any Bow, Sword, Battel, Horſes, or Horſe-men. If ſo, then it muſt not be by Might, nor by Strength, But by my Spirit, ſaith the Lord. Believeſt thou this, Oh King? then thy Faith ſtands not in the Arm of Fleſh, but in the Power of the living God; and this is the Faith that ſhall give thee the Victory over all thy Enemies, through this living Faith, which is the Faith of the Son of God, by which all the Valients of Old obtained their victorious Triumphs; by this Faith Moſes went through the Red-Sea, where Pharaoh and the Hoſts of the Egyptians were drowned; by this Faith Gideon did as the Lord bid him, broke down the Altar of Baal which his Father had made, and cut down the Grove that was by it, and built an Altar unto the Lord, and offered the ſecond Bullock with the Wood of the Grove; by this Faith Gideon did as the Lord commanded him, to ſend away two and thirty Thouſand, all but three Hundred men; For, ſaid the Lord unto Gideon, The People that are with thee are too many for Me to give the Medianites into their Hands, leſt Iſrael make their vaunt againſt Me, and ſay, Mine Hand hath ſaved me.
For the Almighty knew it was in the Nature of Man to return Ingratitude, by aſſuming all Good to himſelf, and ſo to rob God of his Honour; for vain Man would be wiſe, although he be born as the wild Aſſes-Colt; but the only wife God in His time finds a Remedy for this Malady, for ſaith He, I will not give my Glory to another: But this living Faith gives the Victory over ſelf, and all ſelf-intereſt, and hath nothing in its Eye but the Glory of God, and the ConverſionA2 verſion 4 A2v 4 verſion of Souls; it triumphs over the World, with all its periſhing Glories, ſcorning the Pomps ; Effemenency thereof; for it knows that Pleaſure is only worth ſeeking, that laſts forever; by this Faith the Walls of Jerico fell, yet there was a treſpaſs in the excrement thing, which was the cauſe that Iſrael turned their Backs before their Enemies; and this cauſed a deep Humiliation upon Joſhua, the Servant of the Lord, who rent his Clothes, and fell to the Earth upon his Face, before the Lord, until the Evening, he and the Elders of Iſrael puting Duſt upon their Heads, and there lay till the Lord ſaid to Joſhua, Get thee up, wherefore lieſt thou upon thy Face, Iſrael hath ſinned?
Oh where are the Penitents in theſe days, ſuch broken and contrite-hearted Ones, that lie with their Mouthes in the Duſt before the Lord, crying for their own Sins, and the Sins of the People: Although wo and alas! how far doth the Sins of theſe times exceed theirs of that time? but Iſrael hath ſinned in the excrement thing, and therefore cannot ſtand before their Enemies; Neither will I be any more with you, ſaid the Lord, except you deſtroy the accurſed thing. Now underſtand, Oh King, that Iſrael of Old was but a Tipe or Figure of the Spiritual Iſrael, that is the ſtate of every true Chriſtian; their outward Travils, of the inward travil of the Soul; their outward Warfare a Tipe of the inward Warfare; as the Scripture ſaith, There was War in Heaven, Michael and his Angels againſt the Dragon and his Angels; or as the Apoſtle ſaith, The Weapons of our Warfare are not Carnal, but Spiritual, and mighty through God for the breaking down of the ſtrong Holds of the Man of Sin, and for the bringing in of every thought into the obedience of Chriſt. Here is work enough for Chriſtians to be imployed, if they had nothing elſe to do, beſides the Luſts of the Fleſh, the Luſts of the Eye, and the Pride of Life, which is not of the Father, but of the World, ſaith Christ Jeſus; yea a mans 5 A3r 5 mans own Will muſt be denyed, and the Will of God done in our Earth, as it is in Heaven; theſe are the Excrement things that muſt be ſtoned, and all that belongs to it burnt with Fire, before Chriſt can reign in the Soul.
Therefore, Oh King, be valient for the Truth upon Earth, and come thou forth to help the Lord againſt the Mighty, for his Controverſie is with the Man of Sin, and he will plead with all Fleſh; therefore fear not, Oh King, neither be thou faint-hearted, let but the Accurſed be taken away, which is all Self-intereſt; and let nothing be in thy Eye but the Glory of God, and the Exaltation of His ever bleſſed Name; And the King keeping in the humility of his Soul at the Feet of Chriſt Jeſus, then I’ll ſay to thee as Saul ſaid to David, when he went to fight with the Philiſtine, Go, and the Lord be with thee, to deſtroy Sin, and to root out Wickedneſs out of this Nation. For why ſhould the King be ſhorter in this his Work, for the Lord, than the Heathen Kings that knew not God were in theirs; for King Nebuchadnezar bowed himſelf to Daniel, and ſaid, I know of a truth, that your God is a God of Gods, and a Lord of Kings, and a Revealer of Secrets, ſeeing thou couldſt open this Secret. So the King made Daniel a great man, and gave him many and great Gifts; he made him Governour over the whole Province of Babel, and Chief of the Rulers, and above all the wiſe men of Babel. And King Darius did the ſame, as the King may read at his pleaſure more at large; and not only ſo, but made a Decree, That in all the Dominions of his Kingdom men Tremble and Fear before the God of Daniel. And the King of Nineveh at the preaching of Jonas, he aroſe from his Throne, and he laid his Robes from him, and covered him with Sackcloth, and ſate in Aſhes, and he proclaimed, and ſaid through Nineveh, by the counſel of the King and his Nobles, ſaying, Let neither Man nor Beaſt, Bullock nor Sheep taſte any thing, neither feed, nor drink Water, but let Man 6 A3v 6 Man and Beaſt put on Sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God; yea, let every Man turn from his Evil Way, and from the Wickedneſs that is in their Hands, who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce Wrath, that we periſh not. And God ſaw their Works that they turned from their Evil Ways, and God repented of the Evil that he ſaid He would do unto them, and He did it not. Oh what Repentance was here, a Repentance never to be repented of.
And mark Oh King, what influence this true Repentance had upon God, and how this true Humiliation pleaſed the Lord; God ſaw their Works that they turned from their Evil ways; this was more than Words, Oh King; theſe that were called Heathens out-ſtript the pretended Christians of our Age in their Service to God; they gave him Works, but theſe give Him Words: And this was the complaint of God to the Jews of Old, Ye have wearied Me with your Words: And it is the ſame now with theſe called Christians of our times; they multiply their Services, as the Jews did, Praying ; Preaching every day; they let go multitude of Words, but holds faſt their Iniquity, their abominable Pride, Arrogance, Deceit, Hatred, Malice, Lying, Slandering, Treachery, betraying one another; beſides Covetous, Earthly-mindedneſs, and all manner of vain and wicked Pleaſures, Gaming, Plays, Whoredom, Drunkenneſs, and prophane Swearing, its as if the Angel of the bottomleſs Pit were let looſe to reign in the Mouths of Men; and their is no hopes of a change, whilſt thoſe in Authority, that ſhould execute the King’s Command upon the Offender, is the very ſame with them in prophane Swearing, and the Debauchery, together with all manner of Injuſtice to the Widow and Fatherleſs; although the Lord hath ſaid, and commanded, Ye ſhall not trouble the Widow, nor Fatherleſs Child; for if thou vex or trouble ſuch, and ſo they call and cry unto Me, I will ſurely 7 A4r 7 ſurely hear their Cry, then ſhall my Wrath be kindled, and I will kill you with the Sword, and your Wives ſhall be Widows, and your Children Fatherleſs, Exod. 22.
Oh thou that art Holy and True, who art Juſt in all thy Ways, and Righteous in all thy Judgments, who Lord ſhall ſay unto thee, what doſt thou? thou long-ſuffering God, that hath ſuffered thy Majeſty to be diſ-throned from one Generation to another ſince the World began, yet how haſt Thou in Thy endleſs Mercy given Thy good Spirit to lead ; inſtruct them in the Way of everlaſting Happineſs; and not only ſo, but in every Generation ſent thy Servants and Meſſengers, to reveal Thy Holy Will and Pleaſure to them; but ungrateful Mankind, inſtead of returning Thee all holy Adoration, with humble Obedience, they have done deſpite to thy Spirit of Grace, by crucifying Thee afreſh, and puting Thee to an open ſhame; they have hated thy Meſſengers, bringing all manner of Reproachful terms, as Fools and Mad-men, ſaying, the Prophet’s a Fool, and he that is rich in the Spirit of the Lord, mad; ſaying, Chriſt had a Devil, ſaid they, Why hear ye him? And now they ſay, one is Mad, and the other any thing that the Angel of Darkneſs can invent; ſo great is their Malice to cover the Good with ſo great an Evil, to frighten People that the Truth may take no impreſſion upon them, to cauſe them to return from their Evil Ways, that ſo they might find acceptance with Thee the Righteous God, whoſe end is good in all Thy Viſitations to mankind: but if they hate all Thy Counſel, and will have none of Thy Reproof, Then art Thou clear when thou judgeſt, and juſtified when Thou condemneſt, and their Blood upon their own Heads; Thy Servants and Meſſengers being Thy Witneſſes, that thou haſt given Them an Hour, wherein they might have laboured in Thy Vineyard, and a Day wherein they might have wrought out their Salvation with Fear and Trembling; for Thou didſt command them to 8 A4v 8 to work whilſt it is Day, ſaying, The Night cometh when no Man can work: for Thy holy Spirit will not always ſtrive, and Thy long-ſuffering will have an end, and then the Breath ſhall ceaſe from before Thee, which Thou haſt made: And thus hath the holy and everlaſting God ſtrove with the Sons and Daughters of men, to recover them out of their fallen eſtate into Himſelf, the Fountain of all Goodneſs, both by His own good Spirit in them, to reprove the Evil, and juſtifie the Good, ; by His Servants the Prophets in all Ages, altho indeed ſome few good men their Feet ſlipt for not keeping in the pure Humility ; ſtrict Watchfulneſs; but did they continue therein? no, but have left upon Record their true Repentance for a Sea-mark, that none might ever fall therein, as David and Solomon, which ſaw the Vanity of all things under the Sun, and preſt all to a timely Life of Holineſs, ſaying, Remember thy Creator in the Days of thy Youth, before the Evil Days come, or the Years approach, wherein thou ſhalt ſay, I have no pleaſure in them: And ſo it goes on to the end, Eccleſ, 12. And in the 11th Chapter he hath them in deriſion, ſaying, Rejoyce, Oh Young Man, in thy Youth, and let thine Heart cheer thee in the days of thy Youth, and walk in the ways of thy Heart, and in the ſight of thine Eyes; but know thou, that for all theſe things God will bring thee to Judgment. Therefore take away Grief out of thy Heart, and cauſe Evil to depart from thy Fleſh: Signifying that Evil is the cauſe of Grief; For, ſaith he, Childhood and Youth are Vanity; which is ſome of the principal things moſt delight in: But, ſaith he, becauſe Judgment upon Evil Works is not executed ſpeedily, therefore the Hearts of the Children of Men are fully ſet in them to do Evil. This is ſad indeed, and moſt lamentable that Men ſhould make no better uſe of the long-ſuffering of the Lord, which ſhould lead to Repentance, and Amendment of Life: And this hath been the labour and travail of all the Souls of the Righteous , both for themſelves and 9 B1r 9 and others; for after the Lord had ſhed his Love in their Hearts, they could not be contented till others were partakers of the ſame, which hath cauſed the Heart of the Wiſe to be in the Houſe of Mourning, whilſt the Heart of Fools have been in the Houſe of Mirth; of which exerciſe the holy Prophet Jeremiah had a deep ſhare, when he cryed out, and ſaid, Oh that my Head were full of Water, and my Eyes a Fountain of Tears, that I might weep Day and Night, becauſe of the Deſtruction of my People: Oh that I had in the Wilderneſs a Cottage of wayfaring-men, that I might leave this People, and go from them; for they are all Adulterers, and an Aſſembly of Rebels, for they bend their Tongues like their Bows for Lyes; but they have no Courage for the Truth upon the Earth; for they proceed from evil to worſe, and they have not known me, ſaith the Lord: Therefore let every one take heed of his Neighbour, and truſt you not in any Brother; for every Brother will uſe deceit, and every Friend will deal deceitfully: One ſpeaketh peaceably to his Neighbour with his Mouth, but in his Heart he layeth wait for him. Oh King, this day is this Scripture fulfilled. And ſhall not I viſit them for theſe things, ſaith the Lord? Or ſhall not my Soul be avenged on ſuch a Nation as this? Yea, I will feed this people with Wormwood, and give them the Waters of Gall to drink: Then ſhall the High Looks of man be Humbled, and the Loftineſs of men Abaſed, and the Lord alone Exalted: For the Day of the Lord ſhall be upon all the Proud and Haughty, and upon all that is Exalted, and it ſhall be made low; Amen, Lord. So let it be, that all the Glory may be given thee, who art Lord of Lords, and King of Kings.
Therefore, Oh King, for the Glory of God, and for the Eſtabliſhing thy Kingdom in Righteouſneſs in this World, and for thy everlaſting Peace and Happineſs in that which is to come, when time ſhall be no more, be not negligent in this work, but put thy Hand to it with all thy Might, and B with 10 B1v 10 with all thy Strength; for Words will not ſerve the Lord, but he will have Works; it is not the outſide external Worſhips of men that will do the work of this Day, if that would have done the work of the Jews in their Day., they had been in favour of God ſtill, but he loathed them and their Services, and therefore caſt them out of his ſight, although his Spirit had ſtrove long with them, and ſent his Prophets early and late, ſaying, Bring no more your vain Oblations, your Inſence is abomination to me; I cannot ſuffer your Moons and Sabboths, nor ſolemn Days, nor your ſolemn Aſſemblies, they are a burden to me, I am weary to bear them; and when you ſhall ſtretch out your Hands I will hide mine Eyes from you; and though you make many Prayers, I will not hear you, ſaith the Lord.
Alas! would not theſe many Services do? no; why? becauſe they that offered them were poluted, and ſo were their Services; What then would pleaſe the Lord? Waſh ye, make ye Clean, put away the Evil of your Doings from before mine Eyes; ceaſe to do Evil, learn to do Well, ſeek Judgment, relieve the Oppreſſed, judge the Fatherleſs, defend the Widow, and then let us reaſon together, ſaith the Lord, though your Sins were as Crimſon, they ſhall be white as Snow: but if ye refuſe, and be Rebellious, ye ſhall be devoured with the Sword; the Mouth of the Lord hath ſpoken it: But ſaith He, Thy Princes are Rebellious, (that is as much as to ſay, them in Authority) and Companion of Thieves; every one loveth Gifts, and followeth after Rewards; they judge not the Fatherleſs, neither doth the Widows Cauſe come before them. This is thy ſtate, Oh England! and particularly London, I am a Witneſs; and therefore thus ſaith the Lord God of Hoſts, and the Mighty One of Iſrael; Ah, I will eaſe me of mine Adverſaries, and Avenge me of mine Enemies; and becauſe all theſe Sins, which the Jews were guilty of, are found in thy Skirts, for which I have caſt them out of My ſight, and the 11 B2r 11 the remainder of them left in Darkneſs; therefore now I will turn mine Hand upon thee, Oh England! and burn out thy Droſs till it be pure, and take away all thy Tin; and after this will I reſtore thy Judges as at the firſt, and thy Counſellor: as at the beginning: But before this ſhall be, an overflowing Scourge muſt paſs through thee, Oh England! which ſhall conſume thy Iniquities, and put an end to thy Tranſgreſſions. Oh England! what Lamentation ſhall I take up for thee, my Native Country, for which I have known Days of Sorrows, and Nights of Mourning, do I ſay Days of Sorrows; O God, thou knoweſt how many Years I have born the Iniquity of the one Sort on the one ſide, and the Iniquity of the other Sort on the other ſide, Of the Profeſſors and the Prophane. yet will not this eaſe thee, Oh England, of that which is ſwiftly coming upon thee, and upon thy Inhabitants of all Sorts. And now, Oh King, God hath brought thee into this Nation, for what end? that will appear by thy Works, and as thou acts for God, ſo ſhall thy Reward be; for He places all His Promiſes conditionally; Obey my Voice, and I will be your God. As Azariah ſaid, when he went out to Aſa, after a great Victory, which God had given him; then ſaid the Prophet, O Aſa, and all Judah, hear ye me, the Lord is with you while ye be with Him; and if ye ſeek Him, He will be found of you; but if ye forſake Him, He will forſake you, 2 Chron. 15. And in the 14th Chapter the King may be pleaſed to Read how King Aſa cryed to the Lord his God, and ſaid, Lord it is nothing with Thee to help with many, or with no Power: Help us, Oh Lord our God, for we reſt on Thee, and in thy Name a rewe come againſt this multitude: Oh Lord, thou art our God, let not man prevail againſt Thee. Thus the Etheopians Hoſt were overthrown, which were Ten Hundred Thouſand, and Three Hundred Chariots, without the Power or Policy of Men, neither B2 feared 12 B2v 12 feared they the ſtrength and ſubtilty of their Enemies, but truſted in the Arm of the Lord; and ſo they proſpered: And as may be read in the Chapter before, how wonderfully God appeared for Ahijah againſt Jeroboam, for time would fail to rehearſe for the Royal Acts of the Lord, and his great Power, what he did in Ages paſt for His great Name, and them that truſted in it; and He is the ſame God as ever, and His Power is the ſame, as ſhall appear in this His Day, for the renowning of His High and Mighty Name, and the laying all Fleſh in the Duſt before it.
Thus I have taken the boldneſs to incourage the King not to truſt in his own Wiſdom, Power, Policy, or Strength, but in the Arm of the Lord, which he ſhall ſee made bare before him. And this I humbly beg of the King, that he never take any Enterprize in hand, but that he firſt goes to the Lord for Counſel, for ſo did David in every thing, as may be read in Samuel, as when the Amaleks burnt Ziklag, and carried away all that belonged to David, and to his men, both Men, Women and Children, and ſlew not a Man, but carried them away Captive; then David and his People lift up their Voices, and wept until they could weep no more: And David, was in great Sorrow, for the People intended to Stone him, the Hearts of the People were ſo vexed for their Wives and Children: But David comforted himſelf in the Lord his God, and David asked Counſel of the Lord, ſaying, Shall I follow after this Company? ſhall I overtake them? And the Lord anſwered him, and ſaid, Follow, for thou ſhalt ſurely overtake them, and recover all. And when David had ſaved the Inhabitants of Keilah from the Philiſtians, and Saul intended to come thither, then David ſaid, O Lord God of Iſrael, thy Servant hath heard that Saul will come and deſtroy the City for my ſake; will the Lords of Keilah deliver 13 B3r 13 deliver me up? And will Saul come down, as thy Servant hath heard? Oh Lord God of Iſrael, I beſeech Thee, tell thy Servant. And the Lord ſaid, He will come down. Will the Lords of Keilah deliver me up, and the Men that are with me into the hand of Saul? And the Lord ſaid, They will deliver thee up. So the Lord ſhewed David what the Arm of Fleſh was, although he had ventured his Life to ſave theirs: but he that was David’s Teacher, was his Counſellor, and ſo his Preſerver, which was the cauſe he kept ſo cloſe to Him, and would do nothing without Him, always begging, ſaying, Teach me, O Lord; Guide me in thy Counſel: And great neceſſity there was for it; for all the Counſels of Men failed him in his greateſt Diſtreſs, as in Ahithophel, who was David’s Boſom-friend, whoſe Counſel to David was as the Counſel of God, yet this Man ſought David’s Life; but what was his end? God confounded his counſel, and brought him to ſhame. And this hath been often ſeen, that the greateſt Favourites have proved the most Treacherous, which was one cauſe the Lord ſpake ſo much by the Mouths of his Prophets, ſaying, Truſt ye not a Counſellor, put no confidence in a Guide. And ſaid Christ, A man’s Enemies are they of his own Houſe: As this may be read within, ſo it hath often proved without: So then its for the King’s ſafety not to believe every Spirit, but try the Spirits whether they be of God; for the King hath received a meaſure of the Spirit of God in himſelf, which is the Touch-ſtone by which he may try the good from the bad, the right from the wrong; and the Apoſtle bids, Try all things, and hold faſt that which is good. So the King keeping cloſe to the Spirit of God in himſelf, and giving diligent heed to the motions and dictates thereof, he ſhall have no need to go to any for Counſel, for the Inſpiration of the Almighty ſhall give him an Underſtanding, which is the Spirit of Truth, that ſhall lead him into all Truth, 14 B3v 14 Truth, and out of all Error. For this underſtand, Oh King, that in thy Office, or Call, thou ſtandeſt in the place of God to the People, to bring their Cauſes unto God, and to reveal the Will of God to them, and to ſhew them the Way wherein they muſt walk, and the Work that they muſt do, and to provide among all the People men of Courage, fearing God, men dealing truly, hating Covetouſneſs, and all manner of Evil, and appoint ſuch over them to be Rulers.
I humbly intreat the King, take this Counſel, though from a Woman; (the Lord is no reſpector of Perſons) which ſhall be for his own ſafety, and the the good of all the Nations, and which was the Counſel of Jethro to Moſes, though a Man of God, Exod. 18. And King David in his laſt Words, as is left upon Record, Sam. 23. ſaith he, The Spirit of the Lord ſpake by me, and his Word was in my Tongue; the God of Iſrael ſpake to me, the Strength of Iſrael ſaid, Thou ſhalt bear Rule over Men, being Juſt, and ruling in the Fear of God. And ſo he goes on Prophecying of the Kingdom of Chriſt, of which he was a Figure, and of the Deſtruction of the Kingdom of Antichriſt, which Prophecy is to be fulfilled in the laſt days. As ſaith the Prophet Micha, The Mountain of the Lord’s Houſe ſhall be Eſtabliſhed on the top of all the Mountains, and it ſhall be Exalted above all the Hills; Glory be to God for ever; and the People ſhall flow unto it; yea, the Nations ſhall come and ſay, Come, let us go to the Mountain of the Lord, and to the Houſe of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us his Ways, and we will walk in his Paths: for the Law ſhall go forth of Sion, and the Word of the Lord from Jeruſalem. Then it ſhall not go forth from them that that teach for Hire, and divine for Money; no, no, but from Jeruſalem, the holy City, the Temple of the Living God; and he ſhall Judge among the People, and Rebuke mighty Nations, and they ſhall break 15 B4r 15 break their Swords into Mathooks, and their Spears into Sithes, and Nation ſhall not lift up a Sword againſt Nation, neither ſhall they learn to Fight any more. But how muſt this Work be done? muſt it be by the Formal Chriſtian, whoſe Religion ſtands in the outward performance and duty of Chriſtianity, without having an inward Life and Power of Faith, and Love uniting them to Chriſt? no, no, but the Worſhippers within the Temple, and before the Altar, who do indeed worſhip God in Spirit and in Truth; For ſuch, ſaith Chriſt, the Father ſeeks to worſhip him, whoſe Souls are made his Temples, and he is honoured and adored in the moſt inward Thoughts of their Hearts, and they Sacrifice their Luſts and vile Affections; yea, and their own Wills too, as ſaid that worthy man Biſhop Uſher. And this know, and that from the Lord, except they forſake their Pride, Covetouſneſs, Self-Intereſts, Malice, Deceit, and Lyes, with their whole Life of ſinful Pleaſures and Vanities, all their Preaching, Praying and Hearing is all abomination to the Lord, and the Lord abhors it.
And you that will not be gathered in this the Day of God’s long-patience, you are the Wicked, that are as Bryars and Thorns that muſt be thruſt away, becauſe you cannot be touched with hands; that is to ſay, neither by Mercy nor Judgment: Therefore you muſt be burnt in the place where you ſtand, 2 Sam. 23. Therefore, O King, live forever in that Life which is Incorruptible, which fadeth not away, but indureth for ever; and therefore it is I preſs the King ſo much to a Pure and Holy Life: for as I ſaid before, as he acteth for the Lord here, ſo ſhall his Reward be hereafter: And my desire to God for the King is, that he may leave nothing undone of his Duty to God, whilſt he is on this ſide of the Grave; for their is but a certain limit of time appointed to thee, which if thou ſhalt not make uſe of, to calm 16 B4v 16 calm and alay the many Diſtempers of thy Soul, it will paſs away, and thou with it, and never more return. Therefore, O King, live for ever in that Life, which Chriſt our Lord was a Pattern; For ſaid God to Mosſes; Look thou, make all things like the. Pattern ſhewed thee in the Mount: which Pattern was Chriſt: They drank the Rock, and that Rock was Chriſt, ſaith the Apoſtle. So Chriſt is to be the Pattern of a Chriſtian, which he muſt ſquare his Life by in this World, his holy, humble and ſelf-denying Life; Learn of me, ſaith he, for I am Meek and Lowly, and you ſhall find Reſt to your Souls: Who humbled himſelf to the Death, even the Death of the Croſs, to ſave Sinners from their Sins; glory be to God for ever.
Therefore bluſh and be aſhamed, O Mankind, of what ſo1 letterillegible ſoever, for thy Ingratitude, that retains nothing but Rebellion, and Diſobedience to Him, that inſtead of this great love, might have conſumed thee, and all things elſe in a moment, and ſo ſent thee to the duſt from whence thou cameſt. And in the holy Spirit of inflamed Love Moſes offered to have his Name blotted out of the Book of Life, rather than God ſhould deſtroy his People, although the Lord proffered him ſuch a Gift, as to make him a great Nation: Here was Self-love baniſhed, which ſtopt the Anger of the Lord for that time. And David in the like caſe, when he had ſinned in numbering the People, in the deep humility of his Soul, when he was covered with Sackcloth, he and the Elders of Iſrael with him, falling with their Faces to the Earth before the Lord, whom he ſaw between the Earth and the Heavens, ſtand with his drawn Sword in his Hand, and ſtretcht out to Jeruſalem, then David cryed out to God, and ſaid, Is it not I that have ſinned? it is even I that have commited this Evil: O Lord my God! I beſeech thee, let thine Hand be upon me, and on my Father’s Houſe, and not on thy People for their deſtruction. Then the Lord com- 17 C1r 17 commanded Gad the Prophet to tell David what he ſhould do; ſo David and his Offering was accepted in this Spirit of deep Humiliation and Contrite-heartedneſs; for ſaid David, A broken and a contrite Heart, O God, thou wilt not deſpiſe: And ſaith the Lord, Rent your Hearts, and not your Garments, and turn to the Lord your God, for he is Merciful, ſlow to Anger, and of great kindneſs; yet not making the Guilty innocent. So the Lord give the King a Heart to conſider theſe things, what great need there is of a deep Humiliation, with rended and broken Hearts, and all Mouths in the Duſt before the Lord, crying mightily to Him to waſh us thoroughly from all our Iniquities, and cleanſe us of all Unrighteouſneſs; but not hholding down our Heads like a Bull-Ruſh for a day, and returning like the Dog to his Vomit: Oh, this is abomination to the Lord, and his Righteous Soul abhors it. And further, the Lord preſerve the King from that Treſpaſs that Jehoſaphat (though a good man) was guilty of, in joyning with Ahab: And the Lord commanded Jehu, who went out to meet the King, and ſaid to Jehoſaphat, Wouldſt thou help the Wicked, and love them that hate the Lord? Therefore for this thing the Wrath of the Lord is upon thee; nevertheleſs good things are found in thee, becauſe thou haſt taken away the Groves out of the Land and haſt prepared thine Heart to ſeek God. So King Jehoſaphat brought back again all Judea, and Jeruſalem, to ſerve the Lord; and he ſet Judges in all the Land, and ſaid to the Judges, Take heed what ye do, for ye execute not in the Judgments of Man, but of the Lord, and he will be with you in the Cauſe and Judgment. Wherefore now let the Fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed, do it, for there is no Iniquity with the Lord our God, neither reſpect of Perſons, nor receiving of Rewards. And he charged them, ſaying, Thus ſhall ye do in the Fear of the Lord faithfully, and with a perfect Heart, and of every Cauſe that ſhall come before you of your Brethren, that dwell in their Cities, between Blood and Blood, between Law and Precept, Statutes and Judgments, ye C ſhall 18 C1v 18 ſhall admoniſh them, that they Treſpaſs not againſt the Lord, that Wrath come not upon you and your Brethren; thus ſhall ye do, and treſpaſs not, therefore be of Courage, and do it, and the Lord ſhall be with the Good. 2 Cron. 19. And the next Chapter gives an account how wonderfully the Lord appeared for this good man, when Tidings came, that three Nations were come againſt him to Battel, he ſet himſelf to ſeek the Lord, and proclaims a Faſt throughout all Judea, and to aſk Counſel of the Lord what to do? he and all Judea ſtood before the Lord with their Wives and Children, and little Ones: Then ſaid the King, Oh our God! wilt not thou judge them? For their is no ſtrength in us to ſtand before this Multitude, neither do we know what to do, but our Eyes are upon thee. Here they appeared before the Lord in their Poverty, in their Littleneſs, their little Ones were before him; here they were in the ſence of their own nothingneſs; theſe were little in their own eyes, and nothing in their own ſight; but they had Him in their eye that was Great; Our Eyes are upon Thee: Then their Eye was not upon the Nations for help, they did not ſend down to Egypt for help; no, but they ſent their Cryes to God, and he helped them, who is the helper of the helpleſs, and all that truſt in Him; then came the Spirit of the Lord upon Jahaſiel in the midſt of the Congregation, and he ſaid, Hearken ye all Judea, and ye Inhabitants of Jeruſalem, and thou King Jehoſaphat, Thus ſaith the Lord unto you, Fear you not, neither be afraid of this great Multitude, for the Battel is not yours, but God’s: To morrow go ye down againſt them; behold they go up by the Cleft of Ziz, and ye ſhall find them at the end of the Brook; before the Wilderneſs of Jeruel; ye ſhall not need to fight in this Battel; ſtand ſtill, move not, and behold the Salvations of the Lord towards you, O Judea and Jeruſalem: fear ye not, neither be afraid; to morrow go out againſt them, and the Lord will be with you. Then Jehoſaphat bowed down with his Face to the Earth, and all the Congregation fell upon their Faces before the Lord, worſhipping Him, and whilſt they 19 C2r 19 they were worſhipping and praiſing the Lord, their Enemies were killing and deſtroying one another: ſo when they came to their Enemies, they were all dead men. And thus they were ſaved, who were little in their own eyes, and nothing in their own ſight: And ſo it will be with thee, Oh King, if thou follow the Lord fully, for thou haſt the ſame God to truſt in that all the Valiants of Old had. Now here the King may ſee in what they did Well, and in what they did Evil, which is ſet down for that end, the King and all his Followers may chuſe the Good, and refuſe the Evil; which if thou doſt, Oh King, God will make thee a Dread to the Nations, and the Fear of God ſhall be upon all the Kingdoms of the Earth, when they hear that the Lord is with thee; ſo thou ſhalt be a Terror to Evil-doers, but an everlaſting Praiſe to them that do Well, when the King ſ all bring back the People from following their Idolatrous ways, to ſerve the Lord in Holineſs and Righteouſneſs all the days of their Lives, as Jehoſaphat did, and that good King Joſiah, who did uprightly in the ſight of the Lord, and bowed neither to the right hand nor to the left, but begun betimes to deſtroy Superſtition and Idolatry, whoſe Heart melted when he heard of the Plagues and Judgments that were pronounced in the Book of the Law againſt the Tranſgreſſors thereof; Then ſaid the King, Go ye and inquire of the Lord for me. Then they went to Huldah the Propheteſs, who dwelt in Jeruſalem in the Colledge, and they communed with her, and ſhe anſwered them, Thus ſaith the Lord God of Iſrael, tell the Man that ſent you to me, Thus ſaith the Lord, I will bring Evil upon this place, and on the Inhabitants thereof, becauſe they have forſaken me, and provoked me to Anger, with all the Works of their Hands. Therefore my Wrath ſhall be kindled againſt this place, and it ſhall not be quenched: But to the King of Judah that ſent you to inquire of the Lord, ſo ſhall ye ſay unto him, Thus ſaith the Lord God, of Iſrael, The Words that thou haſt heard ſhall come to paſs; but becauſe 20 C2v 20 becauſe thine Heart did melt, and thou haſt humbled thy ſelf before the Lord, and rent thy Clothes, and wept before me, I have heard thee, ſaith thee Lord; therefore I will gather thee to thy Fathers, ; thou ſhalt be put in thy Grave in peace, 2 Chron. 34. And in the next Chapter may be read the ſtrong and holy Zeal of this good King, how he deſtroyed all the Abominations of the Land, and made a Covenant before the Lord, That they ſhould walk after the Lord, and keep his Commandments, his Teſtimonies and his Statutes, with all their Hearts, and with all their Souls: For like unto him (ſaid they) was there no King before him that turned to the Lord with all his Heart, and with all his Soul, and with all His Might. Yet this good King, becauſe he went out againſt the King of Ægypt, and did not ask Counſel of the Lord, he was therefore ſlain: Here we ſee what a dangerous thing it is for men to go upon ſuch deſigns in their own Wills, and not in the Counſel of the Lord. But David would do nothing without God, he leaves himſelf, he goes out of himſelf into God, and there hangs as a Child upon the Breaſt of its Mother, preſenting nothing to the Lord but his Poverty, his Nothingneſs, his Inſufficiency, and theſe in a rending Heart: David knew what would pleaſe the Lord, and wherein the Bleſſing was to be found: for ſaith Chriſt, Bleſſed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom: He did not ſay, Bleſſed are the Rich in Spirit, but the Poor. And in this Spirit of Poverty and Contrite heartedneſs before the Lord, go on, O King, in all thy Ways and Works, and the Lord ſhall be with thee, which is the fervent Deſire of thy Humble Hand-Maid, and the Lord’s Servant,
The 1690-11-055th of November, 1690. Putney-Park