Grace and Peace.
Humble Thankſgiving to the Lord
of Hoſts, the King of Eternal Glory, the God
of all our Mercies, unto whom be Glory,
Glory, and Praiſe for the King’s ſafe Return
Printed: And Sold by moſt Book-ſellers in London and
To King William and Queen Mary.
Grace, Mercy and Peace from God the Father, and His beloved Son our bleſſed Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt, who hath been a Tower of Salvation to the King and Queen; Glory be to Him forever, unto Him who hath Delivered the King from many Deaths, praiſes forever. Give Thanks unto the Lord with me, and let us Exalt his Name together, who doth wonderful things; for His Mercy endureth forever: O Lord, who ſhall declare thy mighty Acts! neither can the Heaven of Heavens ſelebrate Thy Praiſe: how much leſs we poor Mortals that are but Duſt before Thee; before Thee the Eternal One, who art infinitly Better and boundleſs beyond all thankſgiving and praiſe; yet of Thy Holy clemency and unſpeakable goodneſs hath vouchſafed Sinners to Approach unto Thee.
Therefore, Oh come let us fall down before the Lord our Creator, the Mighty God, and worſhip Him at His foot-ſtool with Rended Souls, with broken and contrite Hearts, that our Cries may pierce the Heavens to the Throne of His Grace, to move His Glorious Majeſty, to ſend forth his Light and Truth, that may break through the thick clouds of Ignorance and groſs Darkneſs, that hath covered the Hearts of the People of theſe Nations, together with his invincible Power to break down, root up, and deſtroy with an utter Deſtruction that Spirit of Atheiſm which hath Corrupted both Prieſts and People of theſe Nations: O God! Race it, Race it, I beſeech Thee, to the Foundation thereof, together with that Accurſed thing, the Spirit of Covetouſneſs, Hypocriſie, Malice and Deceit; that Thy Throne may be Eſtabliſhed to a thouſand Generations. Thou Creator of all things from Everlaſting to Everlaſting, take Thy Dominion, and Rule by Thy Eternal Power, till Thou haſt made All Thy Enemies Thy foot-ſtool: for why Lord ſhould they Rob Thee of thy Right, and Give Thy praiſe to their Idols, their horrible Luſts and curſed Pleaſures. O God Ariſe! O God Ariſe! that Thy Enemies may be ſcattered, that all that hate Thee may fly before Thee; which way Thou pleaſeſt Lord: But if it be for Thy Glory, ſave the Creature, and deſtroy the Iniquity, that there may be no End of Thy Praiſe.
For what Great things hath the Lord done for us, who hath A2 delivered 4 A2v 4 delivered poor Afflicted diſtreſſed Ireland from the hurtful Sword, and thrice brought the King ſafe to England again. And preſerved this Nation in ſafety in the King’s Abſence, Glory be to God on high, and on the Earth peace and good-will to Men, in Thee Oh England
Oh England! England! that thou didſt know in this thy Day the things that belong to thy Everlaſting Peace, but they are hid from thy Eyes: yet for the ſake of ſome in Thee am I thus concerned. And ſeeing the Lord hath done ſuch Great things, what remains on the King and Queen’s part, and of thy Inhabitants, Oh Land? But to walk in Holineſs and Righteouſneſs before His Holy Divine Majesty, all the days of your Lives: for ſo his Holiness commands, ſaying, Be ye Holy, for I the Lord your God am Holy.
Therefore, Hear Oh Kings! and Give Ear ye Judges of the Earth; Serve the Lord with Fear, and Rejoyce before Him, the Lord of Hoſts the Mighty God with trembling: and not as the Atheiſtical Heathen Chriſtians do, who rejoyce not as the Angels of Light, but as the Angels of Darkneſs or of the bottomleſs Pit, For whom is the blackneſs of darkneſs Reſerved: A Juſt Recompence of Reward for ſuch prophane Rejoycing, who were as if they would tear His Majeſty out of His Throne, to come in Flames of Fire as He did in Sodom, to Execute Vengeance on ſuch Offences, on ſuch horrible Offenders: Oh the Helliſh Noiſes! the Outragious Cries, Prophane Swearing, Curſing, Drunkenneſs and Whoredom, Fighting, and threatning to Murder one another, Deſtroying the good Creatures, conſuming them upon their Luſts, whilſt their Neighbours want Bread: and theſe are the Swearers by the Blood of the Immaculate Lamb of God that takes away the Sins of the World, who cries Rot and Damn them; whoſe Damnation is Juſt, ſeeing nothing leſs will ſerve their turns: Theſe are ſome of the crying Sins of this Nation, which will bring ſwift Deſtruction, and Provoke the High God to turn the fruitful Land into a barren Wilderneſs, for the Sins of them that live therein.
For be it known to the King, the Night before he came to London, which was --10-18October 18. I being in my Bed in the dear injoyment of God’s heavenly Life and Divine love; and in this ſweet heavenly Repoſe, falling aſleep, a dreadful Apparition appeared, Horrible and fearful, Aſtoniſhing and Amazing; inſomuch that my Heart failed, Fearfulneſs took hold on me; for the Night of my pleaſure had He turned into Mourning, Sorrows took hold on me, yea, 5A3r 5 yea, the Sorrows of a travailing Woman; but crying vehemently to the Lord, I was delivered: The Viſion I muſt not declare till the Appointed time. But thus far I have liberty to call all to prepare to meet the Lord, whoſe Day is come, wherein He will Appear in Flames of Fire to Execute Vengeance on the Wicked and Ungodly, to Give them the Reward of their wicked and ungodly Works. But Oh! that the King and Queen might live forever in that Life which the Judgment is not to. For, Said the Lord to the Angel that was clothed in Linnen, who had the Writers Inkhorn by his ſide, Go through the midſt of the City, even through Jeruſalem, and ſet a Mark upon the Foreheads of them that Mourn and Cry for all the Abominations that be done in the midſt thereof. And ſaid He to the other Angels, Go ye after him through the City, and ſmite; let your Eye ſpare none, neither have pity, Deſtroy utterly the Old and Young, the Maids, Women and Children; But touch none upon whom is the Mark; and begin at my Sanctuary. Then they began at the Antient Men that were before the Houſe. And ſo goes on, Ezek.9.
Now you may ſee, if your Eyes were opened; who they are that ſhall be hid in the Day of the Lord’s Wrath; not the Wiſe and Prudent of this World, although they may have a whole Library of the Serpent’s Wiſdom, nor the Antient in a profeſſion of any Religion whatſoever: for the older they are in a Profeſſion of any Worſhip and do not live the Life of what they know, the greater is their Iniquity; and then the greater muſt their Judgment be.
Therefore, to you, O ye Judges, Juſtices, and Officers of all ſorts, that do not fulfill the Will of God, nor Execute the Queen’s pious Commands, which is to ſuppreſs Swearing, Drunkenneſs and Whoredom, with all the reſt of the Abominations with which the Land ſwarms: Horribly and ſpeedily will He come upon you, and give you the Reward of your Evil works, who mind your Earthly Honours, your Profits and Pleaſures, with all the reſt of your Self- intereſts, and ſo takes up your Reſt in theſe enjoyments; but neglects your Duty in the weighty matters of the Law, to Execute Juſtice and Judgment.
Is this the Thanks you return to the Lord for all His wonderful Mercies, for the deliverance of the Nations, and the giving you your Lives and Liberties, to turn his gracious Goodneſs into wantonneſs, conſuming his Excellent Creatures which he of his bountifulneſs hath beſtowed on you, for that end, for you to ſerve Him and his Creation in all holy Reverance and humble Thanks-giving; to his 6A3v 6 his Divine Majestie; And not, to ſpend them waſtfully upon your vain pleaſurs, and ſinful delights.
How many poor deſtreſſed Families both in City and Country would be glad and rejoyce to have that Firing to warm and refreſh them and theirs in cold and bitter Weather; that was ſpent in waſte when the King came home to gratifie the humors of an ungodly Crew, who one day cries Hoſana, Hoſana; and the next day with a louder Vote, Crucifie, Crucifie; ſo unſtable as waters is this Viperous Generation, as hath been evedently ſeen upon all occaſions as there Intereſt ſerves; therefore what Truſt or Confidence can be put in the Arm of Fleſh; But in the Living God, who alone can carry on His Work without the help of Mortals, or make choice of whom He pleaſes, even the meaneſt and moſt contemptable in the eyes of Fleſh to carry on His great Work, His Wonderful Work; for the deſtruction of Babilon and all the graven Images of Her Gods will He throw to the Ground; yea, into the bottomleſs Pit for Ever, where ſhe ſhall never riſe more, Amen; Halalujahs to the Lord our God for Ever.
Then will the Lord Return to the People a pure Language; Holineſs to the Lord; yea, upon every door of the Lord’s Houſe ſhall be writ Holineſs, and upon all the Veſſels therein; for the Knowledg of His Virtuous Life and Heavenly Power ſhall cover the Earth as the Waters cover the Sea; Glory be to our God and to the Lamb for Ever. And to the King and Queen Grace and Peace be multiplied, the Eternal God be there Refuge, that under His Arms they may be preſerved forever, that by loving the Lord their God, by obeying His Voice, and by cleaving unto Him, there days may be prolonged in the Land which the Lord their God hath given them: For, what great things hath the Lord done for you? Oh! That the Greatneſs of His Love may draw you forth into a holy admiration of His goodneſs! For, who is like unto Thee, O Lord! May the King and Queen ſay, among the Gods who is like unto Thee, Glorious in Holineſs, fearful in Praiſes, doing Wonders; the Lord is a man of War, Jehovah is His Name: the right Hand of the Lord hath done valiantly: the Right Hand of the Lord is Glorious in Power, which hath ſubdued the Nations, and Brought the King home in Peace. [Oh: admirable Goodneſs.] the Archers have ſhot ſore at him, and hated him on every ſide; but his Bow hath been maid ſtrong through the Hand of the Mighty God. The right Hand 7A4r 7 Hand of the Lord hath done Valiently; the right Hand of the Lord is Glorious in Power, who hath bound up the King’s Life in the bundle of Life with the Lord, that the Everlaſting God may be feared, loved, obeyed and Exalted above all forever; and the King and Queen humbled at His Feet; caſting there Crowns at the Feet of the Lamb: for wherewithal elſe ſhould they come before the Lord, and bow themſelves before the High God, but with broken and contrite Hearts, Worſhipping and Adoring Him in the innermoſt part of their Souls, and there Sacrificing their Pleaſures and Honours, withal the Intreſts of a periſhing World, and deſiring nothing but that the Will of God may be done in your Earth, as it is in Heaven; And that you may be the Inſtruments to bring it forth in the World; that as God hath honoured you, and done great things for you, and for the Nations; ſo you may make it your whole ſtudy and buſineſs to Exalt the Name of God in the Earth, by your holy, humble, and ſelf-denying Lives. And that you the Magiſtrates of the Highest may not bear the Sword of the Lord in vain, but make uſe of your Power which God hath given you, who are His Vice-Gerents here on Earth, to Execute Juſtice on ſuch as rebel againſt His divine Majesty, Begining at your own Court firſt, and there to ſuppreſs every appearance of Evil; and this is but your reaſonable ſervice (and no more then what your Greatneſs requires, that your Subjects yield Obedience to you in all things) And whatſoever is leſs then this, is to offer the Blind, the Lame, and the Sick; And offer this to thy Prince, ſaith the Lord, and ſee if he will be content with Thee, or Except thy perſon? Malachi 1.8. And in vain is all your Praying, Praiſing, Preaching and Hearing, if this Work be not done: Search the Scriptures, I beſeech you, and ſee if you can find that ever any thing was Acceptable to God but a Holy and Righteous Life; and there you may find plentifully that God rejects all their outward dutys, both of Jews, Phariſees and Chriſtians; although He Himself inſtituted them, and throws them quite away, ſaying, Bring no more your vain Oblations: And ſo goes on; But waſh you (ſaith He) make you Clean, &c. Then to the Phariſees, Ye Hypocrites, make clean the inſide firſt. To the Chriſtians; Thou haſt a Name that thou liveſt, but thou art dead Rev 3. So that its not the Name of any ſort whatſoever, but the Life. Therefore, O King and Queen, for the Glory of God and honour of His Moſt Holy and Glorious Name, And your proſperity in this World; 8 A4v 8 World; And your Everlaſting Happineſs in that which is to come. Be not negligent in this Great Work, which all your Happineſs and the Nations depends upon.
Therefore, O King, be Valiant for the Truth upon Earth, and come Thou forth to help the Lord againſt the Mighty, for His contorroverſie is with the man of ſin, and He will plead with all Fleſh. It is written, Curſe ye Meroz, Curſe him bitterly, becauſe he came not forth to help the Lord againſt the Mighty. But that the King may be Bleſt with an everlaſting Bleſſing; let Him joyn with the Lord in this great Work, with all His ſtrength, and with all His might to deſtroy Sin and Iniquity in his Dominions, and to bring in and ſet up Everlaſting Righteousſneſs to Reign: And in this Work he ſhall be more then a Conquerer, through the Power of Christ, which ſhall certainly be with Him, if He ſets about it Coragiouſly and Manfully, not fearing man, nor truſting in the Arm of Fleſh: And this will bring more Glory to God and Honour to the King then if he conquered Nations by the Sword: For that deſtroys, but this ſaves mens Lives, and deſtroys the Iniquity: And in this Work he ſhall be Greater then William the Conquerer or all the Monarchs of the World: and his Fame ſhall go to the furthermoſt parts of the Earth: And in this Work ſhall the moſt High rejoyce, And all His Heavenly Hoſt: for ſaith Christ There is more Joy in Heaven for one ſinner that repents and turns from the Evil of his wayes, then in Ninety and Nine Juſt perſons that needs no Repentance.
And if the King is faithful to God in this Work, he ſhall conquer and overcome all his Enemies; for if their Sins be overcome, then they are overcome, becauſe it is their Sins that cauſes them to Rebel; For from whence comes Wars, ſaith the Apoſtle, come they not from your Luſts? Then it ſeems take away the luſts, and Wars will ceaſe: ſo heres great neceſity for the King to be fervently fixed in this Work to take away the Cauſe, that the Diſeaſe may ceaſe: And this let the King know, that whomſoever he is made an inſtrument to in this Work, to overcome their Vices, their hearts ſhall be knit to Him as Jonathan’s was to David, who loved him as his own Soul: And that bleſſed Propheſie of Daniel ſhall be fulfilled on the King, which ſaith, Bleſſed are thoſe that turns many to Righteouſneſs, for they ſhall ſhine as the Stars in the Firmament of God’s Power forever.
And here the King ſhall be a Nurſing-Father and the Queen a then 9 B1r 9 a Nurſing-Mother; ; then more ſhall be the Children of the deſolate, then of the married Wife; And God will bring their Sons from far and their Daughters from the furthermoſt parts of the Earth; yea, many People, Kingdoms and Nations ſhall ſay, Come, let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, and He will ſhew us His Ways, and we will walk in His Paths: Then Endleſs Praiſes and Everlaſting Halalujahs ſhall be to God on High, and on the Earth Peace and Good-will to men: But if this Work be not Done, there is no Peace to the Wicked, ſaith the Lord: But we muſt expect Wars and Rumours of Wars, as Christ ſaid; and the End not to be yet, till the Cauſe is removed; nor can it be Expected that the King ſhould conquer and overcome his Enemies Abroad, whilſt his ſtrong and moſt Potent Enemies Reign at Home. And indeed it is unreaſonable that the King ſhould Require that of his Lord and Soveraign, the Lord of all Maejesty, to fight his Battels abroad, when the King doth not Execute the Power God hath put into his hand at home, for the Suppreſſing That which His Righteous Soul abhors.
And further, the Command of God is; When thou goeſt out to War with thine Enemies, then take heed, ſaith the Lord, that there be no wicked thing in Thee: Mark that, O King! no wicked thing: that is, not only, no Wickedneſs in the Cauſe, nor no Self-intreſt, nor Self-honour: But no perſonal Impieties, in the Perſons that carries it on; not only groſs Impieties, as Drunkenneſs, Whoredom, Swearing, and the like: But all manner of vain and fooliſh Talking, Joaking and Jeſting, are things not allowed to Chriſtians; for if Chriſtians are not allowed to think their own Thoughts; how much leſs Vain Words? But, Let your Words be few, ſaith Christ, ſeaſoned with Salt, that they may adminiſter Grace to the Hearers. And David ſaith, Set a watch before my Mouth, and be Thou Lord the Door-keeper of my Lips. And ſaith he, I ſaid, I will look to my Ways, that I offend not with my Tongue: Oh! how intent was he! ſaying, O God my Heart is fixed, I will ſing, &c. His mind was ſtaid upon the Lord: here was no room for vain words, light, airy and frothy diſcourſes; he abhorred all ſuch Impieties, his mind was ſet on divine things, his Affections were ſet on things Above, and not on Earthly things: His converſe was with God, and his communion with the Holy One: and here he was a man after God’s own Heart: He enjoyed Heaven whilſt he was here on Earth; for where the preſence of the Lord is, there is Heaven: he loved the Lord dearly, and therefore took delight to do His B Will 10 B1v 10 Will, and keep His Commandments: And by doing this, ſaid he, Thou haſt made me wiſer then all my Teachers; yea, ſaith he, I have more Wiſdom then the Ancients. And why was it ſo? becauſe God was his Teacher: O God; ſaith he, Thou haſt taught me from my Youth even until now, therefore will I tell of all thy Wonderous Works. And becauſe of David’s love and faithfulneſs to God, the Lord made a Covenant with him and with his Seed for ever: That is, with the Faithful that loves the Lord, and walks in His Ways, as David, Abraham, Iſaac, and Jacob did. And theſe Holy Ones made a Covenant with the Lord, to ſerve Him all the days of their Lives: They did not make a Covenant with Death and Hell, as this Generation doth, to ſerve their horrible Luſts and vain wicked Pleaſures: No, no; but quite contrary: O how I love thy Law, ſaith David, its my Meditation all the day: I will wait continually and will praiſe Thee more and more; my Mouth ſhall daily rehearſe Thy Righteouſneſs and Thy Salvation, for I know not the ſum of them. (No, for they were beyond number.) Be Thou my ſtrong Rock, whereunto I may always, reſort: Thou haſt given Commandment to ſave me, for Thou art my Rock and my Fortreſts; (Take notice of that, O King, and of what follows) viz. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hands of the Wicked; out of the hands of Evil and Cruel men: for Thou art my Hope, O Lord, even my Truſt from my Youth; upon Thee have I been ſtaid from the Womb, my Praiſe ſhall be always of Thee; And Thy Righteouſneſs, O God, will I Exalt; for Thou haſt done great things, who is like unto Thee, Thou wilt increaſe mine Honour, therefore will I praiſe Thee for Thy faithfulneſs: Upon the Vial unto Thee will I ſing, O Holy One of Iſrael, for my Soul haſt Thou delivered, &c. Oh! how David was filled with the living ſence of the Goodneſs of God and the Almighty Exalted in his Soul! But, What hath the Wicked to do to take My Name into their Mouths, ſaith God, ſeeing they hate My Holy Spirit to inform them: They hated all my Counſel, and would have none of my Reproof. Yet the Atheiſtical Chriſtians, in their unclean Lives and Idolatrous ways, ſings to the Vial, and invents to themſelves Inſtruments of Muſik like David, although they hate and abhor his Holy, Suffering and Self- denying Life, by which he obtained the Victory over all his Enemies both within and without.
And further, I affirm in the Name of the Lord, that whoſoever follows this Way which I [by the Spirit of God] have directed to (having the holy Scriptures, the Life of Chriſt, His Prophets and Apoſtles, bearing me Record thereunto) whoſoever puts 11 B2r 11 puts this Way into Practice, ſhall quickly be without care, and ſhall have no need to got to the beſt of men for Teaching or Counſel, much leſs to the worſt.
But this I humbly Adviſe the King and Queen, as my own Soul, to keep down all Self, all your own Knowledge, Wiſdom and Parts; and come before the Lord as a little Child, as Chriſt ſaid: This is the ſtate you muſt come to, before you can enter the Kingdom of God; and this is the ſtate Adam was in before his Fall, before he Eat of this forbidden Tree, the tree of Knowledge which was never given for Food; for ſaith God, In the day thou eats thereof thou ſhalt Surely dye. But had he ſtood in the Will of God where he was placed, and not have Entred into his own Will and Imaginations, there had been no need for the Flaming Sword to have been placed to keep the way of the Tree of Life: The Flaming Sword that turns every way to ſeperate you from your Lovers, and all your Delights, before you can Eat of the Tree of Life which is in the midſt of the Paradiſe of God. And this flaming Sword is the Croſs of Chriſt, and the holy Croſs of Chriſt is the Power of God, which muſt crucifie you to the world, and the world to you: And when all this is done, you muſt be in the profoundeſt Humility that ever man or woman was in, turning your ſelves into the very Duſt from whence you came, and there to be nothing for ever: For if You are any thing, then God the Eternal Beeing cannot be All, who is the Alpha and Omega, the firſt and laſt, bleſſed for ever, Amen: Yet in this Bleſſed ſtate, are you a drop of that Ocean from whence Endleſs Bleſſings flow: for ſaith our Lord and Bleſſed Savior; Bleſſed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God. And if you continue loving the Lord with all Your Hearts, and with all Your Souls, with all Your ſtrength ; with all Your might. But, take notice I beſeech you, He muſt have All; All your Love and Affection; for if any thing elſe whatſoever hath it beſides the Lord, you rob God of his Right, and this is that which will ſtop the Springs from flowing from this Endleſs Fountain of Life and Love. Therefore I humbly Beſeech You in the Bowels of the Love of God, that Above all things, and at all times, with all the ſtrength of Your Souls, in all Your Thoughts, Words and Works, that you purely love and intend for the Honour and Glory of God, who is the Eternal Happineſs and Bleſſedneſs of all men, and your own portion for ever. And that you may this the better do, you muſt moſt ſtrictly Obſerve your ſelves within; Keep thy Heart (ſaith the Prophet) with all diligence, for B2 out 12 B2v 12 out of it comes the Iſſues of Life: Therefore ſink you down into the innermoſt parts of your Souls, and there ſtop all the out-goings of your minds to any thing, but to God alone: And in ſilence, hear what the Lord ſaith within you, and with Jesus, depart from the multitude, avoiding all Imployments and multiplicity of Buſineſs as much as is poſſible, you ſhall reſt with God in unity, ſhutting up all your Sences in quietneſs, continually Praying, and calling upon God, your Eye being fixed on Him, (as David’s was) in all your actions, you ſhall enjoy His preſence in every Place, Time and Thing, admitting nothing within your ſelves but God continually, that you may continually receive the Heavenly Influence of His divine love into your Souls.
And as I have the Life and Doctrine of Chriſt my Lord, and all his Holy Ones in former Ages to bear Witneſs to this my true and faithful Teſtimony of a holy ; retired Life; ſo I ſhall inſtance one of late years, Abraham Cowley, who as its reported, was a man of ſweet and ſingular Wit, great Learning, and an even Judgment, that had known by large experience what Cities, Univerſities and Courts afford; and that not only at home, but in divers Nations abroad; wearied with the World, he broke through all the intanglements of it, and which was hardeſt, innumerous Friendſhip and a perpetual Praiſe, and retired to a ſolatory Cottage, near Barn-Elms, whence he gives us this following Doctrine of Retirement, and may ſerve for an account how well he was pleaſed in his Change. The firſt Work (ſaith he) that a man muſt do, make himſelf capable of the good of Solitude, is the very Eradication of all Luſts: for how is it poſſible for a man to enjoy himſeilf, whilſt his Affections are tyed to things without himſelf? The firſt Miniſter of State hath not ſo much buſineſs in publick, as a Wiſe man hath in private: If the one hath little leaſure to be Alone, the other hath leſs leaſure to be in Company: The one hath but part of the Affairs of One Nation, the other all the Works of God and Nature under his conſideration.
The next I ſhall inſtant, is Marcus Aurilius Antoninus, a good and famous Emperor; he firſt treats, how he ought to behave himſelf in his Empire: And after that (ſaith he) As for God and ſuch Suggeſtions, Helps and Inſpirations, as might be expected, nothing did hinder me but that I might have begun long before to live according to Nature, or that even now that I am not yet pertaker and in preſent poſſeſſion of that Life. And he gives the Reaſon why, In that (ſaith he) I did not obſerve thoſe inward Motions 13 B3r 13 Motions and Suggeſtions, yea, and almoſt plain apparent Inſtructions and Admonitions of God, was the only cauſe of it. And ſo he goes on moſt Excellently. I that underſtood the Nature of that which is good (ſaid he) that it is to be deſired; and of that which is bad, that it is odious and ſhameful. And further ſaith, They are idle in their Actions who toil and labour in this Life, and have no certain ſcope which to direct all their Motions and Deſires to. And then treating of ſome that buſied themſelves in diving into things of Philoſophy. Yet (ſaith he) of this is not ſenſible that it is ſufficient for a man to apply himſelf wholly, and confine all his Thoughts and Cares to the tendence of that Spirit which is within him, ; truly ; really to ſerve him. (For ſaith this worthy Prince) Philoſophy doth conſiſt in this, for a man to preſerve that Spirit which is within him from all manner of Contumelies ; Injuries and the ſacred Myſteries of Virtue which iſſue from it, carefully, ſolidly, and ſhall not intermix any other buſineſs, but ſhalt ſtudy this to preſerve thy Spirit unpoluted and pure; and as one that were even now ready to give up the Ghoſt, ſhall cleave unto Him; and fromt his there’s no man can hinder thee. And further this Excellent man, Without relation to God (ſaith he) thou ſhalt never perform aright any thing humane, nor on the other ſide, any thing Divine, at what time ſoever thou wilt, it is in thy power to retire into thy ſelf, and to be at Reſt: For a man cannot retire any whither for to be more at reſt and freer from all buſinneſs, then to his own Soul. Afford then thy ſelf this Retiring continually, and thereby refreſh and renew thy ſelf. O Noble Prince, worthy of Double honour. And then Exhorting, That whatſoever they did, might be Juſt and Holy: Neither (ſaith he) muſt he uſe himſelf to cut off Actions only, but Thoughts and Imaginations alſo, that are unneceſſary; for ſo will unneceſſary conſequent Actions the better be prevented and cut off. He is poor that ſtands in need of another, and hath not in himſelf all things needful for this Life. Conſider well whether Magnanimity rather, and true Liberty, and true Simplicity, Equanimity and Holineſs, whether theſe be not moſt kind and natural? And farther this bleſſed Prince, Let thy God, that is in thee to rule over thee, find by thee that he hath to do with an Aged man, a Sociable man, a Roman, a Prince, one that hath ordered his Life, as one that expecteth as it were nothing but the ſound of the Trumpet, ſounding a retreat to depart out of this Life with all readineſs. What is it (ſaith he) thou doſt ſtay for an Extinction, or a Tranſlation, for either of them with a propitious and contented mind: but till that time comes, what will content thee? What elſe but to 14 B3v 14 to Worſhip and Praiſe God, and to do good unto men?
Here is a Preſident for Kings, Queens and Potentates of the Earth to ſquare their Lives by. This worthy Prince was more Philoſopher than Emperor, his Dominions were greater within then without, and by his Holy Life and Vertuous Principles was fit to govern the whole World.
Solon, a noble Philoſopher and Law-giver to the Athenians, was ſo humble, that he refuſed to be Prince of that People: And being asked by Creſus, King of Lydia, (when ſeated on his Throne, Richly clothed and magnificently attended). If he had ever ſeen any thing more Glorious? He anſwered, Cocks, Peacocks and Pheaſants, by how much their Beauty is Natural. Fly Pleaſures, (ſaith he) for they bring Sorrow: Converſe not with wicked Perſons, but meditate on ſerious things: That it was the perfection of a man to fore-ſee and prevent Miſchief. That they that would govern a State well, muſt govern their Families well. That we ought not to flatter Great men, leſt we exalt them above their merits and ſtation. A Prince (ſaith he) muſt not take up his time about tranſitory and mortal things; Eternal and Immortal are fitteſt for him.
O noble Prince and Princess, I humbly beg of you Obſerve theſe Heavenly Maxims.
Periander, Prince and Philoſopher, would ſay, That Pleaſures are Mortal, but Vertues Immortal. Puniſh the guilty (ſaith he) and reſtrain men from Sin. That Common wealth is beſt ordered (ſaith he) where the Wicked have no command.
Therefore moſt Honoured and moſt endeared Prince and Princess, for ſo you are in my Heart, becauſe of the Greatneſs of God’s Love, which I have received and delivered to you above all before you in my time; and ſhall be ſo, if you receive the Love of God adminiſtred, and put into Practice theſe His Commands and Precepts; firſt in your own Example, and then Executing the Power God hath given you, which may eaſily be done, by turning out thoſe that will not Obey your juſt and lawful Commands, and put in ſuch in their room that will; That the King and Queen may not be guilty of that Iniquity as Saul was guilty of, to ſave alive that which God commanded to kill, which was the Cauſe that the Kingdom was rent from him, and given to one more worthy, that is, which did the will of God, And is the very cauſe why your Predeceſſors were turned out before you, and you brought in their room, to try whether you will do His Will, and perform all His good Pleaſure; which if you do, God will make you the Glory of Nations. For this know, O King ; Queen, and that from the Lord, the day is come, that God will have His Will 15 B4r 15 Will done in Earth, as it is in Heaven; and that which ſtands in oppoſition to it, will He overturn, and throw the Earth upſide-down: And all the Monarchs in it will he break to pieces as a Potters-Veſſel; for the bringing in of His Dominion, which is an Everlaſting dominion; and He ſhall Reign for evermore; Amen.
And this I humbly Supplicate to the Lord, if it may be for the Glory of His Holy Name, That the King and Queen may be the worthy Inſtruments thereof; and that they may not be guilty of Saul’s Tranſgreſſion, who feared the People, and ſo cauſed him to break the Commandment of the Lord, which proved to his deſtruction: So he paid dear for his fearing the People, and the People paid dear for his Rebellion againſt the Command of God; for it coſt him his Life, and thouſands more of theirs. For here lay the caſe; the command was to ſlay All, but the People counſelled him to ſave the beſt of the Oxen and Sheep, and the chiefeſt of the things,which ſhould have been deſtroyed, to offer to the Lord thy God, as Saul confeſſed to Samuel, ſaying, I have ſinned; for I have tranſgreſſed the Commandment of the Lord, and thy Words, becauſe I feared the People and obeyed their Voice.
The writing of this Confeſſion, makes my Heart melt, and breaks me into Tears, the conſideration thereof, how dangerous a thing it is for any to tranſgreſs [much more Princes,] the Commands of the Lord in ever ſo little a thing. And Saul’s repeating over again the reaſon why they ſaved them alive that ſhould have been deſtroyed, was, To offer a Sacrifice to the Lord. But alas! all Coverings will be to ſhort, but that which is covered with the Spirit of the Lord, in the Day of Account, when the Iniquity is brought before the Judgment-ſeat, which muſt there ſtand the Tryal, to be Arragiigned and Condemned by the Judge of all the Earth: No pretence will ſerve them, be it never ſo ſpecious by the art and cunning of men: for indeed what higher could be, then pretence of Worſhipping God, to offer Sacrifice to the Lord? But what was the Lord’s anſwer? Hath the Lord more delight in Sacrifice and Offering, then in Obeying the Voice of the Lord? To Obey is better than Sacrifice, and to hearken to the Voice of the Lord then the Fat of Rams: For Rebellion is as the Sin of Witchcraft, and Tranſgreſſion is Wickedneſs and Idolatry: Becauſe thou haſt caſt away the Word of the Lord, therefore hath He caſt away thee from being King. A heavy ſentence, and worſe recompence of reward, for his Life went for theirs. Here we may ſee, we need not go to Rome for Idolatry; for whoſoever tranſgreſſeth the command of the Lord may find it at home.But 16 B4v 16
But Saul, inſtead of deep Humiliation and thorow Reformation, in broken and contrite heartedneſs as David did, and deſtroying what he had ſaved alive, he falls to Worſhipping to pacifie his concerns that way. There are many Saul’s now adays that ſalves up their evil Conſciences that way, and goes on making ſuch a noiſe with their Worſhipping, that the cries of the oppreſſed in them cannot be heard; and ſo goes on crucifying the Lord of Life afreſh, by their ofen quenching the motions of His Holy Spirit in them till at laſt His Holy Witneſs lies ſlain in their Sodomite hearts, and then they triumph and make merry over it, and ſend Gifts one to another, and drink Iniquity as an Ox drinks Water, without reproof, when the Witneſs is ſlain. But alas, all this will but ſerve whilſt their time is out; for this Sore thus healed will break out again: for the Spirit of Life from God ſhall enter the Witneſs, and then ſhall the Book be opened, wherein is written Lamentations and Woes. Therefore the Prophet Samuel knowing all theſe things, refuſed to go with Saul to worſhip the Lord, although he ſo earneſtly begged and intreated him, for he knew the worſhipping in that rebellious Spirit was Abomination to the Lord, not withſtanding his confeſſion, that he had ſinned: And beſides all this Samuel knew there was ſomething elſe to do before worſhipping, to appeaſe the Wrath of God. Bring me hither (ſaid he) Agag, the King of the Amalakites. Then ſaid Samuel As thy Sword hath made Women childleſs, ſo ſhall thy Mother be Childleſs among Women. And Samuel hewed Ageg to pieces before the Lord. Let none miſtake me in this Similitude; I do not mean that the Lives of any ſhould be taken away; no, no, for I would not do thse leaſt hurt to the greateſt of all my Enemies; for that was not the Work of Chriſt my Lord, who came not to deſstroy mens Lives, but to ſave them, and to deſtroy their Iniquities; and for this I am offered up in Body, Soul and Spirit, which is the higheſt Sacrifice I can pay, and happy ſhould I be to be counted worthy to be an Inſtrument in that bleſſed Work to others in this my Day and Generation, to hew Ageg to pieces before the Lord, the Prince of the Power of Darkneſs which rules in the Children of Diſobedience. And this is it that I have laboured ſo much for, and made ſo many humble Addreſſes to the King and Queen, that they may not neglect this great Salvation. but that they may be the happy Inſtruments in this bleſſed work of Reformation, that the Will of God may be done in them, and throughout their Dominions, to the Glory of God and the Exaltation of His ever Bleſſed Name, and the happy eſtabliſhing them in Holineſs and Righteouſneſs all the days of their Lives, which is the humble Prayers of the Lord’s Servant, and your true ; faithful Subject according to the will of God.
From one that is of no Sect or gathered People, yet have I ſought the Lord from my Childhood until this day: And having found the only good, which is God, to be my Teacher, and the Almighty to be my Counſeller, who is my Sabboth of Reſt: And in His Holy, Pure, unſpotted Life, I have unity and fellowſhip with all that are in this throughout the Univerſe,
Putney, 1692-01-01New-years Day, 16921.
This following was writ by another, who deſired to have it incerted here.
If any one (though intending well) ſhould be ſo inticed as to ſtrengthen that deceiveable, murmuring, diſcontented Spirit, that would ſtir up Strife and Diviſion amongſt the Heads of the Nation, they may expect trouble upon trouble, until they forbear, Repent, and give Glory to Him, who ſearcheth the Heart and tryeth the Reigns, againſt whom it is in vain to ſtrive.