The Glorious Name of God, the Lord of HostsJeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646) - A Popular Independent Puritan Preacher and a Member of the Westminster Assembly.
Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.
“The holiness of God is the height of God’s excellency.”
The glorious name of God, The Lord of Hosts opened in two sermons, at Michaels Cornhill, London, vindicating the Commission from this Lord of Hosts, to subjects, in some case, to take up arms : with a post-script, briefly answering a late treatise by Henry Ferne, D.D.
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646.
The glorious Name of God, The Lord of Hosts.
Opened in two SERMONS, At MICHAELS Cornhill, LONDON.
Vindicating the Commission from this Lord of Hosts, to Subjects, in some case, to take up Arms.
WITH A POST-SCRIPT, Briefly Answering A LATE TREATISE BY HENRY FERNE, D. D.
BY JER. BURROUGHES.
PSAL. 48. 8. As we have heard, so have we seen, in the City of the Lord of Hosts.
LONDON, Printed for R. Dawlman. 1643.
To his Excellencie, ROBERT, Earle of Essex, Viscount Hereford, Baron Ferrars of Chartley, Lord Bourchier and Lovaine, one of His Majesties most Honourable Privie Counsel, and General of the Army raised by the Parliament in defence of the true Protestant Religion, His Majesties Person, the Laws and Liberties of the Kingdom, and the priviledges of Parliament.
THere is no man this day upon the face of the earth whom it more concernes to have this name of God The Lord of Hosts presented to him in the due lustre & glory of it, then your Excellencie, whom the Lord hath not onely honoured to stand up even in the fore front to maintain his cause, and the cause of his people, but he hath even put upon you this his owne name, he hath made you the Lord of his Hosts. It is that which every Souldier may justly glory in, that God himselfe seems to affect the glory of Arms, when he causeth himselfe to be as it were sir-named THE LORD OF HOSTS. The beams of this glorious name puts some lustre upon the meanest in an Army; What a lustre then doth it put upon your Excellencie, who stand so neare it? Happy the time that ever you were borne to be made use of by God and his people in so noble and honourable a service as this. We reade ZECH. 3. 3. of Joshua, that great instrument of Reformation, in the returne of JUDAH from her Captivity, that he stood in filthy garments, but the Angel spake to those who stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him: and unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to passe from thee, and I wil cloathe thee with change of rayment. Those who stand up most eminent and forward in the cause of God and his people, shal ever have some who wil seek to stain their glory by slanders and reproachfull names, to put them into vile garments: what viler garment can there be then the garment of Treason and Rebellion? But the Angel stands by to take off these vile garments, and to clense his servants even from this nominall iniquity: he will put change of rayment upon them, he will one day make it appeare that there were none so faithfull to God, their King and Countrey, as they: The Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, saith the Text, ver. 2. wil rebuke them who thus stand up against his servants. The Lord who hath set his heart to bring mercie to Jerusalem, to his Church, will certainly rebuke such as stand to resist the great instruments thereof. Wherefore that which the Angel of the Lord protested to JOSHUA, v. 6. I may in the name of the Lord with a little change protest unto your Excellencie, Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, if you will walke in my wayes, and if you will keepe my charge, then you shall have an eminencie in my house, and I will give you places among these that stand by. That is, among the blessed Angels in the heavens. If a cup of cold water shall not go without a reward, surely then the venturing estate, liberty, limbes, honour, bloud, life for the cause of Christ, shall not goe without its reward.
Wherefore most noble Lord of our Hosts, yea of the Hosts of God, Goe on with true Heroicke magnanimity, and prosper, in the name of this glorious Lord of hosts. The prayers of the Churches are for you, the blessings of the Saints are upon you. I beleeve never any Generall upon the earth hath been mentioned more in heaven then your Excellencie hath been, and yet is in this cause.
That which is storyed of the Crosse appearing to CONSTANTINE, with these words, HOC VINCES, I may with far more confidence apply to this name of God, The Lord of hosts. This I present unto your Excellence, with this Motto, Hoc vinces: The name is in it selfe a box of sweet ointment, give me leave to open it before your Excellencie, that it may be fragrant indeed, and adde quickning and strength. To that true noble heroick spirit fit for great actions, that God hath honoured you withall, I here humbly present it opened and poured forth. The blessing of it be upon you, and those great things undertaken by you, which is and shal be the prayer of
Your Excellencies in all humble service and duty, Jer. Burroughes.
To the Reader.
The necessity of the time put me to preach upon this subject, the City being in great feare of a great Army comming against it in the name of the King, and the necessity of the subject for this time made me not unwilling to yeeld to the making my meditations upon this subject, yet more publike. Something I have enlarged, especially in the argument of justifying the present taking up armes so much cryed down, as if it were against the King, to be by commission from the Lord of Hosts, which is discussed page 27. and so on: the satisfation of the consciences of men in this thing is of so great consequence in this time, that every man is bound to afford what help hereunto he is able. I should have had guilt lye grating upon mine own conscience if I had stifled what I might afford to the helping towards the satisfaction of others; although therefore I am not ignorant, but sensible enough that it is an argument wherein a man runs hazard enough; yet whatsoever I suffer in it, may I be usefull, I have enough. This I can say, if I ever did, or am like to publish any thing in the uprightnes of my heart, aiming at the glory of God, and thy good, I blesse God I have comfort in this; and in this (whatsoever the issue be) I shal rejoyce. Certainly things had never come to that passe they are at, if mens consciences had bin rightly informed in the liberties God hath given them. The infusing contrary principles, and making men beleeve that the subject must and would suffer any thing rather then rise up to maintaine his own right hath beene the cause of the bold adventures of many amongst us.
What I have said is breife, comming to you as a Sermon, it could not admit of larger discourse, but if there be need it would not be very difficult to enlarge these things in another way. Read for thy profit, and I have my end.
Yours to serve for Christ, Jer: Burroughes.
IT is ordered this first day of December, 1642. by the Committee of the House of Commons in Parliament, concerning Printing, That this Book entituled [The glorious Name of God, The Lord of Hosts] be printed by Robert Dawlman, appointed thereunto by M. Ieremy Burroughes, the Author thereof.
The glorious Name of God, The Lord of Hosts.
ESAY 47. 4.
The Lord of Hosts is his Name.
IN this Chapter wee have Gods mercie to his Church, threatning the destruction of Babylon. When Babylon is used as Gods rod, it is then cast into the fire.
If Israel when God was about to deliver from Babylonish Captivity should aske the Question that Moses thought would be asked upon his sending to be their Deliverer from the Egyptian bondage, What is his Name? Exod. 13. 3. The Prophet answers here, The Lord of Hosts is his Name. There, his Name was I am; Here it is, The Lord of Hosts. And if they should say, But how can this deliverance be here? Can Babylon bee destroyed? Babylon is strong, who shall bring downe her power? Yes, there is one can doe it, The Lord our Redeemer, The Lord of Hosts is his Name.
Here then we have this glorious title of the Lord, for the comfort of his people in their distresse, and the terrour of their enemies in their pride, The Lord of Hosts, The Lord of Armies. The English word Hosts is from the Latine Hostis, because an Army is either for defence, or offence against enemies.
*The Redeemer of Gods people is the Lord of Hosts.
The work then I have to do in this Sermon, is to teach you how to sanctifie the Name of the Lord in this his glorious title, The Lord of Hosts. It is the duty of the Saints to observe what the way of God is in the times of their generation; To see what name of God is most conspicuous in his administration, & accordingly to sanctifie that Name of his.
We may say of this Name of God, The Lord of Hosts, as God himselfe sayes of his Name Jehovah, Exod. 6. 3. By my Name Jehovah was I not known to them: So by this name, The Lord of Hosts, God hath scarce been known to us here in England; but now he appears to us by this name in a glorious way: And we shall not know how to sanctifie it, except wee search into it, to see how much of Gods glory there is in it, which we shall find much more then at first view seems to be, then most of us have ever thought; All Gods titles are full of excellencie. The excellencie of this I shall open unto you, that this Name of God may not be taken in vain by you, but be sanctified as it is worthy.
It is a title that God hath heretofore delighted much, yea gloryed much in; we find it not lesse then two hundred times in the Old Testament, and most
frequently in the Prophecie of Zechariah, Chap. 1. ver. 3. we have it three times in one verse, and in one short Chapter, Zech. 8. we have it there eighteene times.
But why is it used so frequently in that Prophecie more then others? *
Because the scope of that Prophecie was to encourage * the people of God in building up Ierusalem and the Temple, in which work they had many enemies, and therefore they had need of a spirit of magnanimity and fortitude in it. Hence it was the Lord revealed himselfe to them so much by the name of The Lord of Hosts.
Times of Reformation, Temple-work, usually meets with much, with strong opposition. We had need therefore to have this name of God in our eye, and sanctifie it in our hearts, in such times, while such work is on foot.
It is true, God did this work without bloud-shed, it was done not by power or by might, but by the Spirit of the Lord, as we have it Zech. 4. 6. but because the work was such, as in regard of second causes, needed an Army to effect it; although God did it himselfe, yet his Name was to be sanctified in it, as the Lord of Hosts. In the New Testament we seldome find this title; it is but twice that I remember in all the New Testament, and in one of those two places it is quoted out of the Old Testament, Rom. 9. 29. There the Hebrew word is retained, The Lord of Sabbaoth, not of *Sabbath, as many take it. There is a great difference between these two, The Lord of Sabbath, and The Lord of Sabbaoth: The one is the Lord of rest, the other is the Lord of Hosts: those words come from a different root
in the Hebrew. The second place is James 5. 4. and there you have not the English word Hosts, but the Hebrew word Sabbaoth likewise. In the New Testament we have Gods Titles fuller of sweetnesse and grace, as The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, The God of all consolation, The Father of mercies, The God of peace, &c. The more cause have we to be humbled, who live in the times of the Gospel, and yet are come to such times wherein God hath changed as it were his name, and even in the times of the Gospel appears to us in this dreadfull name of his, The Lord of Hosts.
This Title is in it selfe a very fearfull one, and yet before we have done with it we shall find it like that name of Christ, Cant. 1. 3. Thy name is as an ointment poured forth, a sweet refreshing pleasant ointment. In the 2. of Sam. Chap. 6. ver. 2. the Lord speaks of this name of his set between the Cherubims, Whose name is called by the name of the Lord of Hosts that dwelleth between the Cherubims. Now you know the Mercy-seat was between the Cherubims, and that which I shall endeavour this day is, To shew you this name of the Lord of Hosts written upon the mercy-seat between the Cherubims. Although it be dreadfull in it selfe, yet all Gods Saints shall have it this day presented to them from the mercie-seat: A name as full of goodnesse and mercy, as our hearts can desire. We have already seen in this Kingdom the Lord of Hosts upon his Mercy-seat, making this his dreadfull title to be amiable and lovely to us, from thence dispensing grace and abundance of mercy in the manifestation of this his glorious title. It is comfortable to behold the Lord of Hosts sitting upon his Mercy-seat: and
thus am I to present him this day unto you.
Now God is called The Lord of Hosts in two respects *:
First, because all creatures in heaven and in earth are his armies. He is the absolute great Lord over [ 1] them all; The Angels, Sunne, Moon, Stars, the Dragons, the Deeps, the Fire, Haile, Snow, Wind, the Mountains, Trees, Cedars, the Beasts, and all creeping things, the flying Fowles, the Kings of the earth, and all people are the Hosts of the Lord. Psal. 148. ver. 2. &c.
Secondly, in regard of that speciall providence of God in the great affaires of wars and battels in the [ 2] world. It is true, the providence of God is over the least things in the world, but God challengeth a more speciall and peculiar ackowledgment of his work of Providence about War-like affaires, in regard whereof he takes this title to himselfe, The Lord of Hosts.
If I should speak of the first, the time would soon be gone, for there is much in it, it is more generall: therefore I will confine my selfe to the second, the more speciall, and now most seasonable.
God is the God of Armies. That he might expresse himselfe the more clearly, and fully interested in War-like affaires, Exod. 15. 3. he styles himselfe A man of War. God seemes to glory much in his workings about War-like affaires. Hence Psal. 24. 8. Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong, mighty, the Lord mighty in battell. The Providence of God is great in all wars, but especially in those wars that concerne his people, whether in a way of chastising them, or defensive to save them, or offensive in avenging
himselfe upon their enemies.
I doe not know any one thing wherein the Providence * of God is more fully set out in Scripture, then in the workings of it about Wars, as in these many particulars will be fully presented to you:
First, God works in the raising of Warres, when and how he pleaseth. He is the great Generall, and [ 1] all battels are appointed by him. He calls for them before they come; and when he calls, they certainly come upon a people. Jer. 25. 29. Behold I begin to bring evill upon the City which is called by my name, &c. for I will call for a sword. God doth not onely call for a sword upon the heathen, but upon the Cities called by his name. Certainly there is as much of God in this City, as in any City this day in the World; yet God may call for a sword upon you, be not you secure; Yea doe you not heare God now calling for it upon you? Esay 5. 26. God will hisse for the Nations from the ends of the earth, and behold they shall come with speede swiftly. And Esay 7. 18. And it shall come to passe in that day, that the Lord shall hisse for the Fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the Bee that is in the Land of Assyria, and they shall come. Let God but give a hisse, the least intimation of his mind, and they shall come. It was a proud speech of Pompey, when * one of his Officers told him they wanted men, Let me (sayes he) but stampe with my foote upon the ground of Italy, and I shall have men enough, Footmen and Horsemen come from every corner. Although it was a proud speech in him, and when it came to he was disappointed, yet it is alwayes true of this Lord of Hosts, let him but speak the least word, doe the least thing to gather Armies, they presently
come together, to fight his battels: when he pleaseth he can stir up the hearts of the Kings of the earth to hate the whore, to make war with her, Rev. 17. 16. The ten Kings shall hate the whore, and make her desolate and naked; they shall eate her flesh, and burne her with fire. It is a wonder that they stay all this while, that they rise not with a spirit of indignation against her, considering what base bondage they are in under her. It is such a bondage, wherein both soule, and body, and estate is in such a servile subjection to her, as one would think the spirit of a man could not beare it, much lesse the spirit of a King. But when Gods time is come, the spirits of the Kings of the earth shall be suddenly raised to war against her.
It is an observation of Abulensis upon 1 Chro. 14. 8. that Gods providence was very observable towards David, that he should have no wars raised against him by the Philistims those seven yeers he was in Hebron, which time he was but weak, being King onely over the house of Judah; but when all Israel came to him, and he was established King over them all, then came the Philistims against him: So doe wee not see the mighty providence of God towards us, that he did not call for the sword against us all this time till now, untill we had a Parliament, and that made indissoluble but by their owne consent, untill our Militia in the Kingdome was well-nigh setled, until we had an Army to resist? If God had called for the sword before these things, what had become of us? Oh the mercifull providence of God towards England in this thing! God is much seen in the provocations to wars, consultations about them, enclining mens hearts to them, taking them off from
peace, &c. It was from the Lord that Pharaohs heart was so hardned against the people of Israel, to goe forth to battel against them, because God had a purpose to destroy him. It was of God that Rehoboam was so set to hearken to the counsel of young Cavalliers, and to harden his heart against his wise Counsellors, that God might rend ten Tribes from him. It was of God that Ahab should be so set to goe to war against Ramoth Gilead, that he might be destroyed.
Secondly, the Lord sets up his Standard in Warre: Thus he expresseth himselfe, Esay 5. 26. He will lift [ 2] up an Ensigne to the Nations. Whosoever is the Standard-bearer, it is God himselfe that sets up the Standard.
Thirdly, it is God that musters up the Army, Esay 13. 4. The Lord of Hosts mustereth the Host of the battel [ 3] , The Lord of Hosts is himselfe the Muster-master in Armies. He thus condescends in his expressions, that he might the more particularly, and so the more fully shew the workings of his Providence in Military affaires.
Fourthly, the Lord brings forth weapons out of his Armory, Jer. 50. 25. The Lord hath opened his Armory, [ 4] and brought forth the weapons of his indignation, for this is the work of the Lord of Hosts. God hath his Magazine, his Armory that he opens in times of Warre: From whencesoever Armes come, from beyond Sea or else where, not one Peece can come but out of Gods Magazine. If God did not open his Armory, neither we nor our enemies could have Arms.
There was a time when God shut up his Armory from Israel, and then there was neither sword nor speare found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul
and Jonathan, onely with Saul and Jonathan there was found. 1 Sam. 13. 22.
Fiftly, It is the Lord that gives his people their [ 5] Banners to display, Psal. 60. 4. Thou hast given a Banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. There are a generation of men that fight against the truth, they would take away the Gospel from them, and because of this thou hast given them Banners that they may be dispayed, because of this truth; God would have us contend for the truth, Jude 1. 3. Yea earnestly contend, fight for it, if that comes in question, * if we be in danger to lose that, God gives us our Banners, not to be folden up, but to be displayed because of the truth.
Sixtly, God himselfe comes into the field with his people, he tels them often that he is with them there. [ 6] Deut. 20. 4. The Lord your God is he that goeth with you to fight. When God sayes, I am with you, you may write down what you will to make up this promise a compleat one for your safety and comfort; As thus, I am with you to assist you, I am with you to direct you, I am with you to encourage you, to blesse, to save you, to comfort you, to reward you, &c. I am with you, saies God. This is as it were a piece of a line that our faith must make up; If we once have this promise got into our hearts, whatsoever we want, we may adde to it, and then our peace and joy may be full.
We reade, Judges 4. 8. Barak would not goe into the field, except Deborah would goe with him. It is ill going into the field, except God goe with you; but if you have this promise in your hearts, you cannot but have strength in your hands. Zac. 10. 5. They shall be as mighty men which tread downe their enemies
as mire in the streets, in the battell, and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.
- God is not onely with his people in their [ 7] fight, but he goes before them, as their Captain to lead them. That one place will suffice for all, Josh. 5. 13. Joshua saw a man with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him, and said, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay, but a Captaine of the host of the Lord am I now come. It is apparent this was Christ, for Joshua fell on his face, and worshipped, and said, What saith my Lord unto his servant? And the Captaine of the Lords Host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place where thou standest is holy.
- God condescends lower, even to be the [ 8] Trumpeter in the wars of his people. It is accounted too mean a work for a Generall to blow the Trumpet to his Armie; but this great Generall, The Lord of Hosts, that he might encourage his people the more in his battels, he blows the Trumpet himselfe to them, Zach. 9. 14. And the Lord shall blow the trumpet, and shall goe with the whirle-winds of the South. Why of the South? Those winds are hottest, and therefore swiftest. If ye see the South-wind, ye say it will be hot, (sayes Christ) and so it commeth to passe, Luk. 12. 54, 55. If we think our General follows too slowly, this great General, The Lord of Hosts, follows swiftly enough. In the words before, The arrowes of the Lord are said to goe forth like lightning. Swiftnesse in an Army is of great consequence, it hath been a special advantage to our adversaries. We doe little, except in this we equall them.
- God is the Rereward of his people in times of Battail. Isa. 52. 12. Ye shall not go out with haste, nor by slight: [ 9] for the Lord will goe before you: and the God of Israel will be your Rereward. Not the Reward, but Rereward, the guard & defence behind. When an Army is strong in the Rereward as wel as in the Front, it is safe, God is both before and behind in the Armies of his people.
- Gods providence in Wars works in the continuance of them. How long they shall abide in a [ 10] Land, and when they shall cease, is wholly from the appointment of the Lord of Hosts. He workes in the upholding parties, bringing in supplyes, breaking asunder treaties, &c. We are ready presently to cry out, How long shall the sword devour? but when God gives Commission to the sword, it must stay; it must goe on devouring till the Commission be out. Jer. 47. 6, 7. Oh thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be quiet? put up thy self into the scabbard, rest and be still. The answer is there, How can it be quiet, seeing the Lord hath given it a charge against Askelon, & against the sea shore? there hath he appointed it. Hos. 11. 6. The sword shall abide on his cities, and consume his branches, and shall devour them, because of their own counsels. We are troubled at the sword comming neare our Cities; but how sore would the misery be, if it should come into our Cities? but if abide in our Cities, what miserable spoile and ruine would there be? If wee would be delivered from so great an evill, let us take heed of our own counsels: If God leaves Parliament or City to their own counsels, the sword will abide amongst us longer time then we for the present imagine, even until it hath devoured. God usually is a long time before he draws his sword; he is whetting,
preparing, delaying it; but when it is once drawn, he many times will not put it up again, untill it bee bathed, filled, fatted, satiated, drunke with blood. All these expressions we finde in Scripture. Esay 34. 5, 6. My sword shall be bathed in heaven, it shall come downe upon Idumea, upon the people of my curse. When Gods sword hath to deale with the people of his curse, then it shall be bathed indeede; And surely God hath a people of his curse amongst us this day; who they are, is easie to know: You may know them to bee cursed of God by the horrid blasphemies, and hideous, unheard-of curses that come out of their mouthes. The earth was never stained with such dreadfull execrations and blasphemies since man lived upon the face of it, as now it is by these men. Surely the brand of Gods curse is upon them, feare them not. Ver. 6. it is said, The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatnesse: and Jer. 46. 10. The sword shall devoure, it shall be satiate and drunke with their blood.
And when God is pleased to give the word, hee * makes wars to cease. Psal. 49. 9. He makes wars to cease unto the end of the earth, he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the speare in sunder, he burneth the chariot in fire.
Of Gods worke in stilling wars, we have a most admirable example, 1 Kings 12. 21. we have not the like in all the Booke of God, neither was there ever the like before or since in the world. King Rehoboam was incensed against the ten Tribes falling off from him, he was in as great a heat and rage against them as we can imagine a man could be put into. This fire of his rage was blowne up to the height by those young daring Cavaliers that were about him, he had
got an Army together, strong enough, an hundred and fourescore thousand men, a mighty force, and it was but to bring the Kingdome to the house of David: Well, their power was great, their rage was fierce, their cause they questioned not, they were going forth with a high hand, with cruel and bloody intentions. How was all stilled now? You shall find, that The word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the Prophet, saying, Speak to Rehoboam,—Thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not goe up to fight against your brethren, returne every man to his house. The Text sayes, They hearkned to the word of the Lord, and returned to depart, according to the word of the Lord. What a mighty work of God was this? what power hath God over the spirits of men, yea of the greatest, who think it an unsufferable dishonor to be controlled in any thing they have set their hearts upon?
Rehoboam, a wicked man, in the heighth of his pride and wrath, thus strong, apprehending himselfe exceedingly wronged, so much of his Kingdome rent from him, and there comes onely a poore Prophet and speakes to him in the name of This Lord of Hosts, that hee should not fight against his brethren, and all is stayed, he returnes back again, and sits down quiet.
Oh that now some Prophet of the Lord might have accesse to His Majesty, and tell him that hee must not goe this way he doth, that he is drawn aside by evill men about him, that there is a misunderstanding betweene him and his people, that nothing is done by us but according to the minde of God, that we doe not endeavour to deprive him of any lawfull power he hath given him by God or
man, but onely to preserve our lawfull liberties as truly ours as he is born unto the Crown, and that we might with peace enjoy the Gospell, and serve the Lord and His Majesty in our own Land.
- The providence of God in war is great, in [ 11] removing it from one place to another: The Lord of Hosts gives the sword commission to ride circuite from one Land to another Countrey, and from one part of a Kingdome unto another. Ezech. 14. 17. Or if I bring a sword upon that Land, and say, Sword goe through the Land, so that I cut off man and beast in it: The sword hath beene in many parts of our Land already, even in the utmost parts, Northumberland and Cornwall, the two extremities of the Land, as Dan and Bersheba in the Land of Canaan. Just were it with God to give it commission to goe up and downe in the midst of it, yea, in great part hee hath done it already, and how is it devouring, even almost round about us? the guilt of the misery our brethren have suffered, the guilt of their blood is upon the whole Kingdome, in as much as the whole Kingdome hath not risen even as one man to prevent it, but wee suffer our brethren in severall places to bee devoured one after another: one countrey hopes it will not come there, and another countrey hopes it shall escape, and in the meane time wee suffer our brethren to bee spoyled.
Jer. 12. 12. The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wildernesse. (They are come from the Countrey to the City, the Countrey is to them but as a wildernesse in comparison of the City) For the Sword shall devoure from the one end of the Land to the other, no flesh shall have peace, Jer. 25. 15. The
Lord bade the Prophet take the cup of the wine of his fury, and cause all the Nations to whom I send thee to drink it: God hath given other Nations this cup of his fury, France, Holland, Germany, have beene drinking these 24. yeeres, Spain, Italy have had it, a little of the top of it Scotland had; we were afraid of it then here, and they and we cryed to God, If it be possible let this cup of blood passe from us, and God in his great mercie caused it to passe from us, but it went to our brethren in Ireland, they have drunke deepe of it, and still are drinking, and whether God intends that wee shall drinke the dregs of it we know not, wee had neede doe as Christ did in his Agonie, Luk. 22. 44. yet *pray more earnestly, the second and third time, If it be possible, let this cup of bloud passe from us. If an Agony cause Christs spirit to rise in Prayer, it should then do ours; it is a sad thing to have our spirits heavy, dull and strait in such a time as this.
- The work of this Lord of Hosts in Warre is to give wisdome and counsell for the managing of [ 12] the affaires of it, and hee takes away wisdome and counsell when he pleaseth. 2 Sam. 22. 35. Thou teachest my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. The same wee have, Psal. 144. 1. Other Generals have their Councell of War to help them, that they may not miscarry in it; but this Lord of Hosts gives all the counsell and wisdome from himselfe to all under him: And in this there is much of Gods glory. Esay 28. 24, 25, 26, 27. The Lord accounts it his glory that hee teacheth the Plowman to plow his ground, to sow his seede, to thresh his corne, his God doth instruct him to discretion, the Text sayes; much more then is the glory of God in giving wisdome to order
and to leade Armies. And when the Lord pleaseth, he takes away counsail, he besots men in their counsails, & mingles a perverse spirit amongst them, & befools them; he turns their counsails upside downward, and insnares them in the work of their own hands: This made David pray against the counsaile of Achitophel, 2 Sam. 15. 31. O Lord turne the counsail of Achitophel into foolishnesse; what counsail that was you may finde 2 Sam. 17. 2. Fall upon him while he is weary and weake. This war was raised up against David for his sin, and yet God heares Davids prayer against Achitophel: The same counsell was given against our Army of late by a great Achitophel, when the question was, whether they should come to the City or fall upon the Army, the counsail cast it upon the Army, because they were weary and weake, not being together, and how hath God turned that counsail into folly? it hath bin our safety and preservation, but their shame. There God wrought for David in that Achitophels counsail was not followed, although it was a more politique counsail, it had more warlike wisdome in it then Hushaies had, but for us God wrought, in that Achitophels counsail was followed. Thus Isai. 19. 11. Surely the Princes of Zoan are fooles, the counsails of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh are become brutish, where are they? where are the wise men? and again, The Princes of Zoan are become fooles.
Why are the Princes of Zoan so much mentioned there? *
Because Zoan was the Metropolis of Egypt, where * the great counsail of Egypt was, and verse 14. The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to erre in every worke thereof,
as a drunkenman staggereth in his vomit. Jerom upon the * place adds this to expresse the meaning, Non solum ebrii, sed & vomentes furorē draconū & furorē aspidum insanabilem: not onely drunken, but vomiting the fury of Dragons, the incurable fury of Aspes. And is not this the vomit of our adversaries at this day, who are drunke with malice and rage against us, yea, against Christ himselfe and his Saints?
- The spirit of valour and courage is also from this Lord of Hosts. When the Spirit of the Lord [ 13] came upon Sampson, Gideon, and others of the Worthies of the Lord, what great things did they? Heb. 11. 33, 34. Who through faith subdued Kingdomes, stopped the mouthes of Lyons, out of weaknesse were made strong, waxed valiant in sight, turned to slight the Armies of the Aliens. It was through faith they were enabled to doe all this, faith fetcht valour and courage from this Lord of Hosts. Hag. 1. 14. The Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel and the spirit of Joshua, and the spirit of all the Remnant of the people, and they came and did worke in the house of the Lord of Hosts their God. It was a warlike spirit to resist their enemies, to encounter with dangers.
God hath stirred up a spirit in many of our Nobles, in our Worthies of Parliament, in some of our people; if a spirit were now stirred up in the remnant of our people, our worke would soone bee at an end. It were the unworthiest, yea, the most horrible thing that ever was in this world, that now people should forsake Nobility, those they have chosen in Parliament, and Ministers who have had a spirit to stand up for God and their liberties. Oh that a spirit of indignation would arise in the whole
Kingdome, that they may not suffer themselves to be baffled out of their Religion, their Liberties, their estates, by a generation of vile men that are risen up amongst us.
Zac. 10. 3, 5. The Lord of Hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battel. They shall be as mighty men which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battel. It seems they presumed to come into their towns and Cities, therefore sayes the Text, They shall tread them down us mire in the streets. They are vile, and therefore to be trodden down as mire in the streets. The spirits of those that seem to be the greatest terror amongst us, are mean and base: What worthy thing have they ever done? have they ever stood before those that opposed them? All their valour is in going up and down to Countrey houses in a poore unworthy manner, pillaging and pilfring: A spirit in people raised by God, would scorne to be brought under by men of such spirits as these. Further, as God gives a spirit of courage, so he takes it away when he pleases, Is. 19. 16. And in that day shall Egypt be like unto women, and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the Lord of Hosts, which he shaketh over it; and the land of Judah shalbe a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shalbe afraid in himself, because of the counsell of the Lord of Hosts. It may be they will not confesse that they are afraid, but may make their boast as if they had got the better: but marke the words, every one shall be afraid in himself: If we could look into their bosoms, we should see blacknes, tremblings, the terror of the Lord upon them. Ps. 76. 5 The stout hearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep, & none of the men of
might have found their hands, at thy rebuke, O Lord, the horse & chariot are cast into a dead sleep: and v. 12. He shal*cut off the spirit of Princes, he is terrible to the Kings of the earth, he shall wipe them off as a man will doe a flower between his fingers, or as easily as a bunch of grapes is cut off from the vine.
- The Lord of Hosts hath the absolute power [ 14] over all weapons in battel, to let them prosper or not prosper as he pleaseth: This is beyond all the Generals in the world. Isay 54. 17. No weapons formed against thee shall prosper. If any shal say, This is a speciall promise to them at that time; mark what follows, This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord: This (that is, this promise of the Lord) is the inheritance of his servants. Now we of late have had the benefit of this our inheritance, the last Lords day fortnight we did inherit this promise, when there were 17. Canons discharged from the Adversary, and not one man slain by them. How was this made good, that no weapon formed against thee shall prosper? The adversary was enraged at this, they said, they thought the devil was in the powder: No, it was God that was there, fulfilling this promise of his to his servants.
- All the successe in battels is from the Lord of [ 15] Hosts. It is not in men, nor ammunition, nor in advantages. Eccles. 9. 11. The battel is not to the strong. A horse is but a vaine thing for safety, Psal. 33. 17. Behold, is it not of the Lord of Hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? Hab. 2. 13.
Yea lastly, the whole battel is the Lords, when it [ 16] is a just cause. 1 Sam. 17. 47. The battel is the Lords.
Now you see what the Scripture saith about Gods providence in battel. You have the summe presented here together, in which is a full and strong encouragement to those who fight the battels of the Lord.
Now if the Question be asked, Why doth the * Lord thus work in Armies?
The Answer is, 1. Because the lives of men are * precious to him. In them multitudes of creatures * are cast for their eternall estates. If not a sparrow, not a haire from the head falls to the ground without providence, much lesse the life of a creature [ 1] appointed for eternity.
- Because of the great things of consequence that depend upon War: the mighty turnes of Nations, [ 2] and changes of Kingdoms depend upon them.
But how comes it to passe, seeing God is thus The Lord of Hosts, that yet the adversaries of Gods * people doe often prevaile in battel?
- It is for the chastisement of his people. Ashur* is made sometimes the rod of Gods anger. Jer. 12. 7. *I have given the dearly beloved of my soule into the hands of her enemies. She is the dearly beloved of Gods soule, yet she is given into the hands of her enemies. We must not judge by the present prevailing, that God loves those who have the day, and hath rejected those who seeme to have the worst. God sometimes for chastisement, brings the worst of men upon them. Ezek. 7. 24. I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possesse their houses. The Lord hath raised up against us many that are the worst, the vilest upon the face of the earth, and they have possessed the houses of many of his Saints, the dearly
beloved of Gods soule. We use to take the vilest, the worst of men to be Hangmen; the worst rags and clouts to scoure withall. It is an argument that we are very foule, that God hath chosen such wisps and clots to scoure us with.
Secondly, God suffers this, because his people are not humbled throughly. The want of through [ 2] humiliation before God, cost the lives of forty thousand men, Iudges 20. although in that battel they had a good cause. A good cause is not enough for safety in time of battel; there must be humiliation before this great God.
Thirdly, the adversary may prevaile, because the Saints doe not awaken the Lord of Hosts by [ 3] Prayer. Psal. 59. 9. Thou therefore O Lord God of Hosts the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen, be not mercifull to wicked transgressors. Esay 51. 9. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arme of the Lord, awake as in the ancient dayes, as in the generations of old. Art not thou he that hast cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? We have here in one verse three times crying to God to awake. God hath strength enough to help his people. There is an Arme of the Lord, but yet this Arme of the Lord may be for a time as it were asleep, therefore the Church cryes, Awake O Arme of the Lord: And that shee may be sure the Lord should heare, she cries again and again, Awake, awake, O arme of the Lord, put on strength. We are now to look back to former times, to see how God hath manifested himself The Lord of Hosts, and to cry to him, that now in our dayes hee would shew forth the glory of this glorious title of his, as he hath done in the generations of old.
Lastly, God hath many secret passages of his providence
to be brought about, which in after times we come to see clearely, but for a time are hidden, and therefore the adversary is suffered to prevaile. The 46. Psalme speakes much about the fury of the adversary, and of this Title of the Lord; and the Title of that Psalme is, A song upon Alamoth, which word signifies secrets, because of the hidden counsailes of * God in wars.
Thus you have had the doctrinall part of one branch of this glorious title of the Lord presented to you: The application neerely concernes us in these times.
First, it beseemes then those who are in Armies, to be godly, because their great Generall is The Lord of Hosts; and this Lord of Hosts is likewise The holy one of Israel. Even in this verse, holinesse is joyned to his warlike greatnesse. And Exod. 15. he is magnified as a man of war overthrowing the enemy: and ver. 11. hee is said to bee glorious in holinesse: and Esay 6. 3. where the Cherubims and Seraphims are magnifying his glory, they cry out, Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Hosts. It is very observable, that Gods holinesse is joyned with this title of his The Lord of Hosts; surely then holinesse and valour in us are not onely consistent one with another, but subservient one to another. It it is an abominable maxime of Machiavil, that Religion makes men cowards; the most valorous souldiers in the world have beene the most eminent in Religion. Souldiers use to endeavour to be like their Generall in any thing, yea, in their naevis: Alexanders Souldiers accounted it a gracefull posture to hold their heads aside, because Alexander their
Generall did so; surely then to be like the Lord of Hosts in that which is his excellencie and glory, must needs put a lustre upon those who are his souldiers. Plutarch reports of a Theban Band of souldiers which they called the Holy band, in which there was more considence put then in any, because they prospered above others.
The Lord of Hosts, who is holy, will delight to be amongst them that are godly, to blesse them in their way. Deut. 23. 9. When the Host goeth forth against the enemy, then keep thee from every wicked thing, yea they must keep from outward bodily uncleannesse, they must carry a paddle with them to cover it, ver. 14. the reason is there given, For the Lord thy God walketh in the middest of thy Campe, therefore shall thy Campe be holy, that he see no uncleane thing in thee, and turne away from thee. It is true, God lookes more at the cause then at the instrument; yet he rejoyceth most to use instruments that are fitted to give him the praise of his worke.
One day the Lord will convince the world, that the strength of Nations and Kingdomes consist in the interest that the godly have in this Lord of Hosts. Zach. 12. 5. And the Governours of Judah shall say in their hearts, Our strength is in the inhabitants of Jerusalem, in the Lord of Hosts their God: Oh that this prophesie were fulfilled! it begins to be more now then ever in our dayes or our forefathers; Even those who have beene accounted hypocrites, factious heretofore, yet now even the Governours of Judah begin to see their strength is in them. Who hath the burden of the great worke in this State layne upon but the Religious party? hath it not beene published in your
City by chiefe men in the Army, that the great things in the Army were done by those that are called Round-heads? We hope our Governours will every day be more and more convinced that their strength is in these. Revel. 17. 14. Hee is the Lord of Hosts, the King of Kings, and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithfull, and therefore it is said the Lamb shall overcome: They are not such as are called faithfull, but such as are called and faithfull: There was one in our Army whose name was Faithfull that turned head against us, but these that are with the Lamb are called and faithfull. It is a blessed thing for a Kingdome when their Army may be said to be as it was said of that Army, Luke 2. 13. a heavenly Host. This great Lord of Hosts, who is the God of Heaven will certainly doe great things by such an Host.
Secondly, If God be the Lord of Hosts, if this be [ 2] one of Gods glorious titles, then the worke of a * souldier is an honourable imployment. As the estate of marriage is much honoured in that Christ is pleased to expresse (the great mystery of the Gospel) the blessed union betweene him and his Church by it; which is a great engagement to those in such a condition, that they walke so as their lives may put in minde of the excellencie of Christs Communion with his Church: So the calling of a Souldier is much honoured in this, that God himselfe will set forth his glory by this title, The Lord of Hosts; or, The Lord of Armies. Psalm 24. 10. The Lord of Hosts is the King of glory; surely some beame of this glory must needes shine upon souldiers that serve under him. The Romans honoured a Souldier much: The Latine
expresses a souldier and a Knight by the same word, Miles. The serving under this or that Captaine, they expressed by this phrase, Mereri sub hoc vel illo duce. Hence, miles emeritus, for an old souldier that was to take his ease. In any lawfull service, you serve under The Lord of Hosts; but the more the service concerns his glory and the good of his Saints, the more will God own it. The very Chronicles or Records of the wars of the Church, the Lord is pleased to have styled, The Booke of the wars of the Lord, Numbers 21. 14. The Name of the Lord is exceedingly much interessed in these wars. You young ones, who are willing to offer and venture your selves in this service, you honour your selves betimes; yea, God and his people doe and will honour you; God will remember the kindnesse of your youth. You tenderhearted mothers, bee not unwilling to give up your children, the fruit of your wombes to this service, but blesse God that ever ye bare any in your wombes to be of that use, to stand up for God and his people, as your children have an opportunity now to doe: If (as you heard) when God hissed for the fly and for the bee they came, much more doe you come when God calls, and that aloud, to come and help him against the mighty.
And when you are in the service, seeing it is so * honourable, take heed you stain it not as others have done, of whom it may be said as it was of the children of Ephraim, Psal. 78. 9. The children of Ephraim being armed turned back in the day of battel, They kept not the covenant of God. The covenant of a souldier is the Covenant of God. Hence the oath that a souldier took when he came to his Captain, the Romans
called Sacramentum. A brand of dishonour was upon Ephraim, Judges 12. 4. Yee fugitives of Ephraim. Let not such a Brand be upon any of you, ye Fugitives of such a county, of such a town; your General the Lord of Hosts is worthy of all you can possibly do for him. Plutarch tells of Scipio Africanus, shewing a friend of his three hundred of his souldiers exercising their Armes neare the Sea where there was a high tower, There is never a one of all these, said he, but if I bid him climbe up that steepe tower, and from the top of it cast himself down into the sea, but he will readily do it. What, will not you be ready to shew more respect to your General this Lord of Hosts, then any heathen shall do to a Heathen General? be willing to venture your lives for him; this is your glory, for he accounts it his.
If in this cause you should turn your backes upon your enemies, with what face could you ever after look upon your friends? Psal. 69. 6. Let not them that waite for thee O Lord of Hosts, be ashamed for my sake. Take this Text with you into the Army, and pray to God, O Lord grant that I may so behave my selfe in this great businesse I have undertaken, that none of those that waite on the Lord, that have prayed for, and now wayte for the salvation of God, may be ashamed for my sake.
I have read of one Abaga a Tartarian, that had this device to make cowards valiant, he caused them that ran away from the battell ever after to weare womens clothes; I do not say that there should be this brand of dishonour, but one brand or other it is fit should be upon such as basely forsake such an honourable worke, such an honourable cause as this is.
Thirdly, If God be the Lord of Hosts, hence there is no war to be undertaken but for God and according *
to Gods will, it must bee by commission from this great General. To goe into the field without him is dangerous, but to go against him is desperate. Ps. 20. 5. In the Name of the Lord will we set up our banners.
But if any shall say, We are afraid we goe not by * the Commission of The Lord of Hosts, because we goe against the King: Doth God give Commission for Subjects to fight against the King?
For answer, The sound of these words in the eares * of men, oh what an efficacie have they! But when they are examined and applyed to this businesse, the truth is, there is nothing at all in them to any man that will be rationall.
For first, It is not against the King, it is defensive onely, to defend our lawfull liberties, our estates, which we inherit as truly as the King inherits any thing he hath. It is to defend our Religion, which is our chiefe inheritance. The law of Nature and Scripture teacheth us to defend our selves from violence and wrong.
God hath not put man, and whole Kingdoms into a worse condition then brute creatures, and yet they by an instinct of nature defend themselves against man that vvould hurt them: and yet they vvere made for man; but Kingdoms vvere not made for Kings, but Kings rather for Kingdoms.
And the Scripture warrants this, you know David* gathered 600. souldiers together to defend himselfe against any injury Saul intended and indeavoured against him. And when the children of Benjamin and Judah came to him to the hold, 1 Chron. 12. 16, 17, 18. The spirit came upon Amasai, and he said, Peace be to thee, and peace be unto thy helpers, for thy God helpeth
thee. What David did in this kind was no other but what God helped him in.
- It is not against the King, but for the King; it is for the preservation of true Regall power in the King and his posteritie; it is to rescue him out of the hands of evil men, who are his greatest enemies. The Scripture bids, that the wicked should be taken from the throne of the King; Who should take them away? if he had a mind to doe it himselfe, he need not suffer them to come to his throne; but when he does suffer them to come there and abide there, yet they must be taken away; if a Representative kingdome hath not power to take them away, who hath?
- That which is done is not done against the power of the King; His power is that which the lawes of the land invests him withall. The Scripture bids us be subject to the higher powers, Rom. 13. 1. It doth not bid us to be subject to the wills of those who are in highest place. If we be either actively or passively subject to the Lawes of that country wherein we live, we fulfill the very letter of that Scripture that commands us to be subject to the highest powers. Wherefore that which is now done, is not against the King; though it be against the personal command of the King, yet it is not against the Legall power of the King; when we speak of a King, we mean such a man invested with a Regal power by the lawes & constitutions of that country he is the King of. Now if nothing be done against this power that the laws and constitutions of our country invests him with, then nothing can be said to be done against the King. People are much mistaken who do not distinguish between a man in authority and the authority of that man. A
man in authority may command what authority does not command.
But may we go against the command of the King? *
It is not against his authorative command. Many, * if not most men mistake in this, they think the authorative commands of the King chiefly consist in his personall verbal commands, but the truth is, his authority is in his commands by his officers Seals, and Courts of Justice; we may appeale from his personal verball command, to his command in his Courts of Justice, & whatsoever is his command in one Court of Justice, may be appealed from to a superior Court, and so to the highest, and there we must rest.
But the King sayes, That this which is done, is * done against Law.
If when the most inferior Court of Justice determines * any thing to be Law, it is not the Kings personall dissent, and saying it is not Law that disanuls it, but the judgement of some superior Court; then if the highest Court in the Land, which is the Parliament, shall judge a thing to be Law, surely the personall dissent of the King, and saying it is not Law, cannot disanul it.
But although the Parliament tels us that what * they doe is Law, yet they doe not shew where that Law is; where shall we finde it extant?
We are to know that our Common-wealth is governed * not onely by Statute Law, but by the Common Law; now this Common Law is nothing else but recta ratio, right reason, so adjudged by Judges appointed thereunto by Law, and this is various according as cases doe occur; so that although some presidents, some generall maximes of this
Law be extant, yet if new cases arise, then there must bee determination according to the nature of such a new case, which determination by such as are appointed Judges is now Law, although it were no where written before. And certainly we have now such things faln out, as no former time can shew presidents of: As, That a King should goe from his Parliament, so as ours doth: That a King should take up Arms, as now he doth; with many other things of consequence, of a high nature, which our Houses of Parl. in their Declarations publish, which our eares tingle to hear of, and our hearts tremble at the mention of. These things were never heard of since England was a Kingdom, therefore we can expect no presidents of what determinations there can be in these cases; and some determinations of necessity we must have, or else wee shall run to confusion.
The determination then of the highest Court of Justice in the Kingdome, wee must account Law in this case. This is the way of determining Cases that fall out in the Common Law.
First, the determination must not be against any Statute Law, and so is the determination of Parliament now, there is no Statute Law against it.
Secondly, it must be according to some generall Maximes of that Law. Now this is one great maxime of it, Salus populi suprema Lex, The safety of the people is the supreame Law: and according to this their determination is.
Thirdly, when any inferior Judge makes this determination against any party that thinks himselfe wronged, he makes his Appeale to the Kings Bench: If at the Kings Bench that be judged Law against a
man, which he thinks is not right, then he hath a Writ of Appeale ad proximum Parliamentum, to the next Parliament; so that it is apparent by the frame of Government in our Kingdom, that the Parliament is supreame Judge of what is Recta ratio, Right reason in cases of difficulty and controversie; and this not being against any former Statute Law, & agreeable to the received Maximes of Common Law, it is to be accounted Law, although we finde not that Case, or that Determination written in any Book before.
This is needefull for the satisfying mens consciences, that things are carried according to the constitution of the Government of our Kingdom, & therefore in this we do not sin against Authority. If mens consciences be not satisfied in these things, what shal they do? Now therefore because that which is urged upon mens consciences is the authority of man, that we must obey, we can never satisfie our consciences untill we know what this authority of man is; & that we cannot know but by the Law of the Kingdom. It is necessary therefore that men understand what kind of government they live under, that they may know when they offend against Authority, and when not; that they may not be deluded, and brought into snares, and things of dangerous consequence, meerly by the name of Authority.
But yet it may further be said, Grant the Parliament to be the Judge, how can it judge without the * King? For the Parliament consists of three Estates, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the King: How can that then be said to be the determination of the Parliament, which is not the determination of the King?
It is true, for the making any Statute, the passing * any thing by way of Bill, all the three Estates of the Kingdome are required to joyne: but for the determination of what is Law, that may be done by both the Houses, in the absence of, or without the knowledge of the King, as usually it is: In cases that are brought before them in the punishment of Delinquents, they doe not send to the King for his assent to joyne with them in their determinations, but in those proceed as a Court of Justice themselves.
But what if authority be abused, may we resist? Is * not passive obedience required, if active cannot be given?
There is a great deale of difference between the * commands that are from abused authority, and the commands that are from the wils of men in authority, but not from the authority of those men. That is abused authority, when those to whom power of making Laws belongs, shall make evill Laws; in this case there is no help, but passive obedience, or flying, untill some way may be taken for rectifying that Authority that is abused. But when men that are in authority command any thing out of their owne wils, which is no Law, it is not Authority that doth command it; in this case there is no resisting of Authority at all, although the thing be denyed that is commanded; in such a case if we neither yeeld active nor passive obedience, we cannot be said therefore to resist authority: For as Samson said in another case, If you doe thus and thus unto me, I shall be but as another man: so if these men who are in place of authority, do such things as the Laws and Government of the Countrey will not bear them out in, they are but as other
men; yet some reverence ought to be shewed to their persons, both in words and actions, in regard of their place.
What say you to the Kings of Judah? Many of * them did otherwise then they ought, and yet we doe not reade they were resisted, but obeyed.
- In a defensive way they were resisted, as appears by what was said before in the case of David, gathering * up 600. men to defend himselfe against Saul.
- Yea when Saul would have killed Jonathan, the people resisted him, and would not suffer him.
- We reade, 2 King. 6. 32. when the King of Israel sent a messenger to kill the Prophet, the Prophet being amongst the Elders of the people, calls the King the son of a murtherer, and bade that they should shut the door against the messenger, and hold him fast at the door. The former Translation hath it, Handle him roughly, though sent by the King: Yea the King himself was following, yet his messenger comming with his command must be handled roughly. The Hebrew word is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉You shall oppresse him, so Arias Montanus translates it, opprimet is, you shall use great rigour to him. It is a vaine conceit in people to think that the command of the King is enough to bear out an Officer in illegall and unjust acts, as if every one were bound to obey, if he comes by the command of the King: there is no such thing: if any man doth any thing illegal, although the King bids him, he must answer for it as if it were his own act: therefore it is that the Acts of Authority that come from the King, they come by Officers, because the Subject may have some to call to account in case of injury, not being fit to molest the Kings own Person for every dammage the Subject suffers.
These three examples are out of question justifiable: And if we would goe to bare example, we shall finde that ten Tribes brake off from Rehoboam, because he would follow the counsel of his young Cavaliers, to make their yoaks heavie, to make his little finger heavier then his fathers loynes: yea and God sayes it was of him vvhat was done.
But further, this is no certain rule, that just what power the Kings of Judah had, that and no more should all Kings have; If in some things they may have more, then it cannot follow, because they had this or that power, therefore all Kings must have the same. If their examples be the rule for all Kings power, then their examples must as well be to limit the power of Kings, as enlarge it: but Kings would think it much to be limited by their power, therefore they must not urge the enlargement from their power too hard.
I will instance in one thing, wherein the Kings of England vvould not vvillingly be limited by their example, namely, The confining of their succession to the heire male. The daughters of the Kings of Judah did not inherit, onely the males; but the daughters of our Kings do. If this Question be asked, Why in some countreyes onely the Male inherits, as in France; in others, the females likewise, as in England; why in some Countries the King is elective, as in Denmark and others; in others it is hereditary, as with us: The Answer will be given, This is from the diversity of the Laws of Kingdoms. So then it follows not, because some Kings in Scripture were thus and thus, therefore all Kings must needs be so; but according to the diversity of the Laws of Kingdoms,
so is the diversity of the power of Kings. Every Countrey in the first constitution of the Government, hath power to divide the Government, so much to the King, so much to the Nobles, so much to the Commons, as they shall see best sutable to the condition of their Countrey: so that we are not to goe by such a rule, what power such and such Kings have had, but what power every King hath in the Countrey where he is King. Civil Government * is left to the wisdome and justice of every Country, in the constitution of it: They may confer power upon severall Magistrates by severall portions, as shal be most for the good of that Countrey. That there should be Civil Government, God hath appointed; but that it should be thus or thus, all in one, or divided into many, that is left to humane prudence, going according to rules of Justice, for the publique good. If the kinds of Civil government were of Divine institution, it must be all the same in every compleat Common-wealth, which no man that I know wil affirm. Ecclesiastical Government, because it is spirituall, and hath a spirituall efficacie in it, must therefore of necessity be of Divine institution, & so the same in all places in the world where Churches are cōpleat. *
But what shal wee say to the example of the Christians in the Primitive times, who suffered so much wrong under Tyrants, and would never resist?
The Civil Government under which they lived was such, as it gave power to those Emperors to doe * such things as they did; the laws of those Countries being against them, they could not help themselves, but it is not so with us: The Laws of our Countrey are for us, and we seek nothing but to maintain those
liberties we have by Law; We have legall wayes to help our selves, which they had not.
But above all Objections this sticks most with us, Doth not the Scripture straitly charge us not to * touch Gods Anointed?
First, This doth nothing concerne this raising of Armes, for it is for defence of our selves, not offence * against Gods Anointed.
But further, that I may satisfie fully, I wil say three things to this Objection: First, we will examine the Scripture out of which this Objection is raised, and see whether there be any such sense in it as is ordinarily taken for granted: Secondly, I shall shew that Anointing is not proper to Kings, but belongs to others as well as Kings: Thirdly, I will shew the difference betweene that anointing that Kings had in time of the Law, from that they have now.
For the first, This Scripture is 1 Chron. 26. 22. and Psal. 105. 15. it is the same in both places. 1. They both speak of times before ever there had been any Kings of Israel. 2. The Anointing here is apparently meant of the people of God, of the Church, of the Saints; God gives here a charge, that none, no not Kings should touch them to doe them any hurt. It is not here meant that people should not touch Kings that are anointed, but that Kings should not touch people that are Gods Anointed. The Church of God being separated from the world to God, being consecrated to God, Gods sanctified ones are here called Gods anointed: and that it is meant of people, it is plain if you consider this Scripture, from the 12. ver. to this 15. ver. When they were but few in number, and strangers in the Land, when they went from one Nation to another,
from one Kingdom to another people, he suffered no man to doe them wrong, yea, he reproved Kings for their sakes, saying, Touch not mine Anointed: To whom did he say it? he said it even to Kings: Whom should they not touch? Not them that were few in number, that went from one countrey to another; them for whose sakes Kings were reproved, he said that these anointed ones must not be touched: though the Kings and people of the world thought them to be but ordinary ones, yet God accounts them his anointed ones, and will not have them touched; but if Kings shall meddle with them to doe them any hurt, he will reprove thē for their sakes. You may see how God reproved that King Nebuchadnezar, for their sakes, Jer. 50. 17. This Nebuchadnezar hath broken their bones; observe the expression, This Nebuchadnezar: he makes but a [This] of Nebuchadnezar a great King, when he comes to reprove him for the sake of his anointed ones: and mark further how the reproofe is, when their inheritance is but touched, Jer. 12. 17. Thus saith the Lord against all the evill neighbours that touch the inheritance, &c. Behold I will pluck them out of the Land; If they do but touch my peoples inheritance, I will pluck them out of the Land. And Isa. 10. 27. all this care of God over his people is laid upon their anointment, The burden shall be taken off their shoulder, and the yoake from their neck, and the yoake shall be destroyed because of the anointing. I suppose now every one that lookes into this Scripture, Touch not mine anointed, will see that it hath been grosly abused, and made to speak rather the conceits of men then the meaning of the Holy Ghost.
But for futher satisfaction, consider, it is not peculiar
to Kings to be anointed; It is true, they were anointed in the time of the Law; but as they were anointed, so Priests were anointed, Prophets were anointed, yea other Magistrates and Captaines of Gods people are called the anointed ones.
First, for Priests, Numb. 3. 3. These are the names of the sons of Aaron the Priest that were anointed. And you know the Prophet Elijah anointed Elisha. And Zac. 4. 14. speaking of Zerubbabel and Joshua, the text saies, these are the anointed of the Lord: now then if this meaning could be put upon the words, that those which are Gods anointed must not be touched, whatsoever they do, then Priests and Prophets whatsoever they do, must not be touched, for they are as truely Gods anointed, as Kings are: yea Captaines and inferior Magistrates must not be touched, because they are Gods anointed also.
The third thing is the difference between Kings anointing then, as David, and Solomon, and others were, and Kings anointing now. Then God chose such himselfe by revealing from Heaven that they should be Kings; it was the immediate choice of God; and then they were upon this, submitted to by the people: but now the people first agree that such a one shall be King, the Kingly power shall be in such a family successively, and then God establisheth this choise or agreement. There is a great difference between these two; First, Gods chusing, and then the peoples establishing; and this, the peoples chusing, and then Gods establishing. There the Kingly power was not conferred by way of compact or covenant, but with us it was, and so is with others.
But what if the Kingdom be got by Conquest, & the * right come in that way?
Those who plead thus for Kings, know not what they do in making this plea: For if there were no * other right, neither precedent nor consequent, but meerly because such a one was the stronger and got it, and so holds it now, then whosoever is the strongest at any time he hath right, if a stronger then he comes he shall have the right. This is no good Divinity nor Polity to plead thus; that which subjects my conscience to such a one, is the submission upon some compact, covenant or agreement.
This may be when Kings are elective, but what * will you say concerning Kings that are hereditary?
Kings that inherit, inherit no more then their fathers * had, and their fathers no more then those before them, so that you must come at length to the root, to the first who had this Kingly power invested upon him; and by whom was he invested with this, but by the people? and what subjected the consciences of people to acknowledge this man or this family, more then another man, or another family, but only the agreement that passed between this people, and such a man or family?
But there is yet one Objection more out of Scripture; * We reade that Davids heart smote him, but for cutting off the lap of Sauls garment, because Saul was Gods Anointed.
The consequence that follows from hence is cleerly this, That no private man in his own cause, (for so was David then) by his own power may seize upon the person of a King in an offensive way, especially such a King which had his call immediatly from heaven: what further consequence that concerns our busines in hand, let any shew from this place that can.
But is not this a Popish tenet, that in case of Religion * Subjects may rise up against their King?
Papists hold and practice against this, and for this, * and beyond this; as they see they may serve their own turns: in their practises especially of late they have laboured to infuse into people, yea, and into Princes an opinion of their absolute power, as conceiving it for the present most conducing to their ends, who have preached up that all is the Kings, that his wil is our Law, that whatsoever he cōmands must be obeyed, either by doing or suffering. Prelates and prelatical men have infused this doctrine, so that to question this was dangerous enough, yea not to bee zealous in it was enough to have the brand of an Antimonarchical Puritan. And the reason why the Popish party labours so much to cry up absolute and arbitrary Government in Kings, is, because their being but few, they hope to gain some of them at least to them, and then this absolute power shall be made use of for the extirpation of the truth, and upholding Popery: In gaining one King they gaine almost the whole Kingdome, if this King may rule by his absolute power; if once he be a Papist, then this absolute power is the Popes absolute power, it is the Prelates absolute power, for if he useth it not as they please, they can excommunicate him, they can free their Subjects from their allegiance: yea, being by them excommunicated. Marke what follows, it is one of the Canons of Pope Urbans, We take them not*in any wise to be man slayers, who in a certaine heate of Zeale towards the Catholique Church their mother, shall happen to kill an excommunicated person. This they teach and practice, if they doe not gaine them to
be full Papists, yet if they can by popish matches, or by any popish party in the Kingdom gain them to be inclinable any way to them, or remisse in the profession of the truth, they get a great advantage by this absolute power of the King; the Prelats have upheld their tyrannicall power by infusing this principle of the absolute power of Kings into their eares and the cares of the people; but if the Papist sees he hath no hope to gaine the King, or advantage by him, then he turnes his tenets another way, and sayes that for the promoting of the Catholique cause, yea, although Kings do governe by the Laws of their Kingdom, yet because they are against the Catholique Religion, Subjects may rise up against their King and kill him. This doctrine of theirs we abhor, wee say, that if power be given to Kings by Law, yea, or to other Magistrates, though it be against Religion, we have no help but suffering or flying until we can be helped by a legall way; but if when we have Laws for our Religion and liberty, the King out of his own will, or seduced by others, shall in an illegal way seeke to deprive us of them, now we may defend our selves, and in this we resist not the Kingly authority, but the wil of such a man.
And yet further, if it be possible that we may give satisfaction in this thing, the mistake whereof is so exceeding dangerous: consider, if the taking up Arms to defend Religion and liberties that we have by Law be treason or rebellion, then all the reformed Churches are traytors and Rebels: Have not the reformed Churches in Holland, in France, in Germany done this? Did not Queene Elizabeth take the Holanders taking up Armes to defend their Religion
and liberty against their King into her protection, and assist them with money, men, Ammunition? King James in his answer to Perron defends the Protestants in France for what they did: He sayes, Their civill wars was not taking up Arms against their King, it was but standing upon their guard. And did not our King Charles send aid to the Protestants in France, defending their Religion and liberty against their King at the Isle of Ree? and is not the Prince of Aurania, whom we usually call the Prince of Orange, the General to the Army of the States, defending themselves against the K. of Spain, whose Countries those once were? Yea, and hath not our King acknowledged our brethren the Scots his loyal Subjects, and yet they did as much as we, yea, a great deale more? they were indeed at first called Traitors and Rebels, in the prayers the Prelates sent about and commanded to bee read in Churches, but upon due consideration they were found and so styled loving and loyal Subjects, and so in time we hope we shall.
But if we shall thus plead and stand for our liberties, how can we expect the King should ever look * upon us with any respect, or confide in us? wil it not set the Kings heart against us?
God forbid we should do any thing justly meriting the losse of His Majesties favour, and his heart confiding * in us: The happines of a Kingdom is in Princes ruling as fathers, and Subjects obeying out of love rather then meer necessity. K. James so renowned for learning and deep understanding was fully of that minde, that his brother the K. of France had no better Subjects in his Kingdome then the Protestants, which yet stood up to defend their liberties by force
of Armes. His words in answer to Perron are these: I dare promise to my selfe that my most honoured brother the King of France will beare in mind the great and faithfull service of those who in matter of Religion dissent from His Majesty, as of the onely men that have preserved and saved the Crown for the King his Father, of most glorious memory. I am perswaded my brother of France will beleeve, that his liege people pretended by the Lord Cardinall to be hereticks, are nor half so bad as my Roman Catholike subjects, who by secret practices undermine my life, serve a forraigne Soveraigne, are bound (by the Maximes and rules published and maintained in favour of the Pope, before this full and famous assembly of the Estates of Paris) to hold me for no lawfull King, are by his Lordship there taught and instructed, that Pauls commandment concerning subjection to the higher powers, adverse to their professed Religion, is onely a provisionall precept, framed to the times, and watching for opportunity to shake off the yoke. Surely then it is impossible but that His Majesties heart must needs confide in us, (although seeking to maintain our lawfull liberties) rather then in any Papists whatsoever. Yea yet further, heare what K. James his thoughts were of the Protestants in France, towards the latter end of his former Answer to Cardinall Perron he hath these words, During the minority of K. Francis the second, the Protestants of France were only a refuge & succour to the Princes of bloud, when they were kept from the Kings presence; and by the over-powring power of their enemies, were no better then plain driven and chased from the Court. I meane the Grandfather of the King now raigning, and the Grandfather of the Prince of Conde, when they had no place of safe retreat besides in the whole Kingdome. In regard of which worthy and honourable service, it may seeme
the French King hath reason to hold the Protestants in the princely Ark of his gracious remembrance. (Shall Protestants be kept in the Princely Ark of the gracious remembrance of a Popish King, and shall Protestants be cast out of the heart of a Protestant King, and that onely for defending their lawfull liberties in a just way? God forbid.) Yet further, heare the fidelity of Protestants to their Prince. In all the heat of revolts and rebellions raised in the greatest part of the Kingdome by the Pope, and the more part of the Clergie, they stood to their King to beare up the Crown when tottering and ready to fall.
And at this day the King of France hath in pay betweene three and forescore thousand Protestant Souldiers for the defence of himselfe and his Dominions, he maintains so many yeerly, his chief Commanders being Protestants, as confiding especially in Protestants for their fidelity; and certainly so may our King doe, he should finde none more faithfull to him, and ready to venture their estates and lives in defence of him and his Legall power, then the Parliament, and those who adhere to them, and this no question even those about His Majesty doe beleeve in their hearts, whatsoever they say; they otherwise would never venture to put His Majesty upon such wayes as might exasperate them so as they doe. Was it ever knowne when Parliaments have been Papists, and the Kingdome Papists, that ever any dared venture to put Kings upon such things as might provoke such a Parliament, and the people that then would adhere to them? Certainly other manner of effects would have followed the provocation of them at such times. Why was it that the Laws against Papists have been so remissely followed, and not onely Law,
but Will against the Puritans have beene so hotly pursued, but this, they were afraid of papists that they would doe some mischiefe, but for Puritans, they were confident they would not stir, they would doe no hurt but beare, and therefore they might doe what they list with them, they needed not feare exasperating them, they were taught obedience to Governors out of conscience, and so they had them sure enough; but the principles of the others would not bear too hard usage, therefore they must be more fairely dealt withall. I am confident, if wee could have seene into many of their bosomes, we should have found these reasonings in them, It is true, Puritans have beene taught obedience to Authority out of conscience, and howsoever Princes may bee exasperated against Puritanicall Preachers, as they call them, yet they are as much beholding to them as to any people in their Kingdomes for bringing people out of conscience to obey Authority; whereas others obey only upon necessities, & so serve Princes as they may serve themselves by them, but in their teaching obedience to Authority they never taught obedience out of conscience to any mens bare wils. How far obedience is due I have shewne before.
Wherefore although honest men are still bitterly inveighed against by the name of Brownists and Sectaries, and Papists seldome or never mentioned, yet we cannot thinke but they in their consciences are perswaded that they are not the dangerous men for resisting authority. How is it possible for any man to thinke that a Brownist, who onely differs from us in manner of Church discipline, but agrees with us in Doctrine and Civil-Government, yet that he may not
be suffered to live in a Kingdom, when a Papist may be embraced in a Bosome? Surely the consciences of the meanest are as dear to them as the consciences of the greatest.
But it is said that a great part of the Army of the * Parliaments are Anabaptists.
There is no great feare they can do much hurt, if * there be 40. Papists to oppose one Anabaptist; But surely it is an unhappy mistake to say that there is any one Anabaptist in the Army, but a mistake, like many others. For it is one of the tenets that Anabaptists stifly maintain, that it is unlawfull to take up Armes upon any occasion: and therefore they are never found to weare sword, nor in their Ships to carry Canons for their own defence.
But doth not the King professe that he will maintain the Protestant Religion, and governe onely * by the Laws? What need we trouble our selves then any farther?
The Answer to the Kings Professions and Protestations * the Parliament hath already given; it is far more fit for them to answer, then that any particular should: Onely this thing let me say, I put it to every mans conscience to judge, whether he can think that it is more likely for the King with those Cavaliers that are now about him, and the aid of Papists comming in, and called in unto him, to maintain the Protestant Religion, and Government by the Laws, then the King, together with his Parl. to maintaine the Protestant Religion, and governe by the Laws. Surely we must unreason our selves before we can think so.
But yet further, perhaps some may say, We doe * not take that which is done to be done by both
Houses of Parliament, many of them are gone, but few remaining.
- Some are gone, but compare those who are * gone with those that abide, and you may easily see which way the stream of things would goe, if those that stay, and the Kingdome with them, had not hearts to appeare for the maintaining what God and Nature, and the Laws of the Kingdome have made their owne.
- There are not so many gone as are pretended; [ 2] if they were the greater part that disliked the others proceedings, they might come and out-vote them, and carry what they would against them.
- When I heare of such and such men going [ 3] from the Parliament, who ought to stay, it puts me in mind of what I have read of Aeneas Sylvius, before he was Pope himselfe, he was of that judgement that a generall Counsel was above the Pope, and some yet wondring why so many forsook the Counsel, and would cleave to the Pope, he gave this reason, The Pope had Bishopricks, and Deanaries, and Prebendaries, & fat Benefices to bestow, but the Counsel had no such things; They saw which way preferment went, and which way it was like to goe; They have not seen Offices and great places of preferment bestowed by the Parliament.
- Suppose more were gone then yet are, yet the Kingdome hath a Parliament in being, untill both [ 4] Houses have agreed to dissolve it; and if so, then either those that are gone, or those that remain, are the Parliament; those who are gone, dare not challenge it to themselves, nor none for them. They remember that the Prelats were too bold in nullifying
what was done in Parliament, because they were absent. Those that stay then are the Houses of Parl. and if their determinations must not be valid, because some of their Members be gone, then we may cal into question all determinations of Parl. that ever have been before us; for vvho knows hovv many vvere present or absent vvhen it vvas resolved upon the Question?
- If a Country should choose a Representative [ 5] Body to elect a King over them, and the choice being made by that Representative Body, aftervvards the Country should refuse obedience upon that scruple, that many vvere not present at that time the choice vvas made, some did dislike it; vvould not the King for all that account it Rebellion in such, vvho upon such scruples should cast off their obedience?
But even in the Houses, are not things carryed on * in a Faction? are they not led by a fevv?
- If there be this liberty to object against the * highest Court of Judicature in a Kingdome, vvhen can vve rest in any determinations that can be in any Civil Polity?
- What is this but to charge the vvhole Kingdome [ 2] vvith folly, to choose some unfaithfull; and the Houses of Parliament simple, that will be led by those that are unfaithfull?
- If any thing for the Kings prerogative were [ 3] propounded by some, and followed by others, dare any accuse the proceedings to be factious? Why then, when any thing is propounded by some for the good of the Kingdome, and followed by others, should it come under such a censure?
- There was more danger of faction in the Prelates [ 4]
Convocations, where the most of the Members were Bishops and their creatures, in servile subjection to them. There is no such danger in either Houses, there is no such distance between the Members amongst themselves; there is no such dependance of one upon the other.
- Faction cannot bee the act of a body that depends not upon another; but in particular members [ 5] of a body, dividing themselves from it unwarrantably, and turbulently seeking to get others to joyne against the body. Heretofore the not submitting unto the illegall Canons and Decrees, Injunctions, Orders of every Prelat, yea every paltry Commissaries court was accounted schisme and faction; but who is the Schismatike, who are the factious men now? Now although there be Ordinances from the highest Court of Judicature in a Kingdom, these men forget what arguments they were wont to use to poore Country men in their Courts to be obedient to Authority, and and what are you wiser then the Governours of the Church, who presume to shew themselves wiser then their Governours now.
If any shall say, howsoever those who yeeld not to ordinances of Parl. cannot be accounted Schismatiques, because that is a rending from the Church.
The House of Parl. may as truly have the denomination of the Church as the Prelats, their Chancellors, * Commissaries & Officials; will they not acknowledge the House of parl. to have as much power to govern the Church as they have? surely they dare not speak out. Yea, the Houses of Parl. are as truly Gods Clergie, although there be never a Prelat there, as the Bishops or Ministers are; it is a proud arrogation
of theirs to make themselves Gods Clergie, that is, Gods lot or Heritage, thereby distinguishing themselves from the people, when as the Scripture makes the people Gods Clergie by way of distinction from the Ministers; but never the Ministers Gods Clergie by way of distinction from the people, as 1. Pet. 5. 3. Neither as being Lords over Gods heritage; hee speakes to Ministers, that they may not Lord over the Clergie;〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, so the words are: let any shew me now where Ministers in distinction from people are called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, from whence their word Clergie comes, but thus in matters of Church government, as well as in Civill, have people been deluded.
But are not many, if not most of the House of Commons men of meane quality in comparison, and * what must the great affaires of King and Kingdome be ordered by them?
- Would you know why so many of the Gentry * in most Counties throughout the Kingdome are so malignant? surely it lies in great part in this objection; they look with an envious eye at the Parliament, because they think themselves as good men, yea, and far better then many of them there, and why should not they have been chosen in as well as those that are? this pride and envie of theirs makes them swel at every thing the House of Cōmons doth; it makes them forget that the liberties of themselves and posterities, together with the whole Commons of the Kingdom are maintained in such a way of choise of the Members of that House, howsoever for the present it hath not falne upon themselves; besides many of thē had rather inslave themselves & their posterities to those above them, then not to have their wils
upon those that are under them: they would faine bring it to be with us as it is in France, that the Gentry should be under the Nobility and Courtiers, and all the country people, the pesants, bee under them as slaves, they live in miserable bondage under the Gentrey there, who generally are Cavalliers.
There is no Countrey in the world, where countrey men, such as we call the yeomandry, yea, and their Farmers and workmen under them, doe live in that fashion and freedome as they doe in England, in all other places they are slaves in comparison, their lives are so miserable as they are not worth the enjoying, they have no influence at all into the government they are under, nothing to doe in the making of Laws, or any way consenting to them, but must receive them from others, according to their pleasure; but in England every Free-holder hath an influence into the making and consenting every Law he is under, and enjoyes his owne with as true a title as the Nobleman enjoyes whatsoever is his. This freedome many of the proud Gentry are vexed at, and hence it is their hearts rise so against those that are chosen by them, and against their Ordinances. But the Commons begin to discerne this more then they have done, and to be so wise as to hold their own faster then formerly they have.
- Whatsoever quality any man is of before he be invested with power, should be no prejudice to his [ 2] power when once he is invested with it. If a Prince should be chosen out of a meane condition, as many have been, must not he be obeyed as a Prince, notwithstanding that, as Saul, Agathocles, and others? would it not be accounted an high offence, yea Treason
for any to refuse obedience to a Prince upon this ground, that when he and that Family was chosen, perhaps neither he nor his family was the fittest and ablest that might have been had? No, we are to rest in the choice being made. Is not the reason the same in this, although the degree inferiour? The one is the supreme man in authority, the other a Member of the supreme Court of Judicature, and regulating all authority.
- Yet further, the honour of the Members of the [ 3] House of Commons consists much in this; although personally some of them are not of very high quality, yet they are representative of whole Shires, Counties, Cities; whereas the Noble-men themselves are not thus representative; every one is there for himself, and for the good of the Kingdom, because in regard of his estate and honour that he is born to, hee hath a deeper share then other men in the good of the kingdome.
- Such is the constitution of the Government of [ 4] this Kingdom, that the Commons of the Land choosing so many to represent them, have that power that they may so moderate the Government by Nobility & Monarchie, that neither of them may grow into a Tyrannie, but govern by Statute Law made by the three Estates and the Common Law, judged by Courts of Judicature that Law hath enabled thereunto. And this power, seeing they have it by the constitution of the Government of this kingdome, & that sutable to the very law of Nature, both His Majesty and the Nobles do beleeve, so far as the Law of God and Nature will give leave, they will maintain with all their might.
But what would the Lords or Commons have? * hath not the King graciously yeelded to them, almost in all things they can desire? why doe they now stand out so as they doe?
True, we acknowledge with all humble thankfulnesse to God and his Majestie for what he hath done *; & what is for the good of the Kingdom, surely is for the good of his Majestie too; and if it be so worthy an Act of the King to yeeld his royall assent to those things that are so beneficiall for his Majesty and the kingdome, then surely the Act of Commons & Lords must have their due praise in preparing such good things first, in voting them and presenting them to his Majesty, for his Royall assent to them.
But then you say, What would they have more? * what doe they stand for more?
They desire that, and stand for that now, without * which all is done is nothing, all that they shall doe will be nothing, yea, they themselves wil be nothing: No marvail therefore, although they and the Kingdome with them stand for that.
But what is that? *
It is that the defence of the King, Kingdome, and * Parliament, from the danger of the plots & attempts of Papists, and all Malignants, may be put into the hands of those that they may confide in. To what purpose are good Laws made? To what purpose is a Parl fitting, if Papists, Prelats, Popish and Prelatical men, Atheists, Delinquents so infinitely discontent, whom we had cause enough to fear that they would endeavour to get power that they might disanul all, and according to those fears wee see what is come to passe; if wee may not have the Militia of the Kingdome,
that is the onely positive Legall way next to that we have from the Law of Nature, to resist such power as would endeavour to undoe all. If a man should be bound to pay me such a debt, and withall to joyn with me to provide safe means of conveying both my self and money to such a place, if this man at the day appointed should pay the debt duly to a farthing, but when I tell him of great danger by the way, many lye in wait to surprise me and my money, and I require of him to joyne with me to afford me such aid as I may goe safely, for go I must, if he refuseth, and will onely consent to such aid as I not without good grounds have cause to suspect to be as dangerous even as those that lie in wait for me, yea, it may be I can prove that even some principal ones of those he would have for my aid & safety, are confederate and of the same company with those that lye in wait for me. Now I demand what advantage is it to me that the debt is paid me, supposing I must go & have no other way to help my self but that which he denies to me? is it not all one to me as if he had refused to pay the debt? Doe you think that good words would be enough to you in such a case, if hee should say, Ile warrant you, you may be safe, when I know certainly these men are of the company with those who lie in wait for me, & I have other men by, whom I know will be faithfull, and can be no prejudice to the other party, and I desire him that hee would suffer those to goe along with me for my safety, and he refuseth it?
But howsoever were it not better to harken to peace,* if possibly there may be wayes of Accommodation?
Peace is indeed a most lovely and desirable thing *;
we desire with our soules to live in peace. God himselfe knows, there is nothing that would be more acceptable to us, then to serve God & the King in waies of peace; God forbid but that we should in all our waies shew our selves the children of peace. We could make large orations in commendation of peace, as well as others; yea in the midst of all the clatterings of our Arms, and sounds of war-like instruments, yet peace is in our eyes and hearts: As faithfull Ministers in all the terrible threats they denounce in the name of God against impenitent sinners, seeke the true peace of their souls: so the true souldier who is faithfull to God and his Countrey, although he hath the sword in one hand, and fire in the other, yet it is with this Motto, Sic quaerimus pacem.
For a full Answer to this Objection, I shal first answer meerly as a Divine out of the Scripture, and then we may consider what may be said in true wisdome of Politic.
For the first. The Scripture tels us, James 3. 17. The wisdome that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable. Such an expression, did it not come from an Apostle, would be scorned by many profane Atheisticall spirits amongst us; yea they would accuse James himselfe, if they dared, for a Puritan, for speaking thus. The Scripture frequently joynes Peace* and truth, peace and holinesse, peace and righteousnesse, grace and peace together: We must be sure so to seek peace, as we must seek the God of peace, the Gospel of peace: That were a fearfull peace that should make war between the God of peace and us, or deprive us of the Gospel of peace. Let us not dis-joyn or disorder the Angels Doxologie, Glory be to God on
high, peace on earth, good will towards men: So peace on earth, as glory may be to God on high, and the good will, the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of this our God towards us. Placet ista distributio, sayes Bernard, this distribution pleaseth me wel, that God should have glory, & we have peace. Oh that this Angelical distribution of glory & peace might please us all! The truth is, peace is sweet, and those which are thought enemies to it, pray a hundred times more to the God of peace, for peace, then those who plead so much for it. Peace is to be purchased at any rate, but with the losse of Truth; if this be the price of it, we buy it too deare. We use to say, We may buy gold too deare; It would be a hard bargaine if the glory of God, if the liberty of his Ordinances, that now we have an opportunity to enjoy, if the most religious party in the Kingdome should be now sacrificed for a supposed peace, which upon such terms certainly will not hold long: This would make God our enemie, not only because his glory, truth, & Saints are dear unto him, but because those who are most religious, have stuck most to the Parliament; they have ventured their estates, their lives, their children, their servants for the safety of King, Kingdome and Parl. Never was Parl. so engaged to any party in England, as they are engaged to these now: Therefore it were the most horrible injustice that ever was in the world, if the Parl. should leave them, yea sacrifice them to their adversaries, only to provide for a false uncertain, dishonourable peace for themselves and others. It cannot be imagined that such a thought could enter into them; God would never suffer such injustice as this to passe this world, without the ex¦pressions of his high indignation against it.
And in way of true wisdome of civill polity these foure things must be considered of.
- How far treaties may be advantagious to the adversaries. We read Dan. 8. 25. that through peace many should be destroyed. Under the name of peace, there may be fomented the most bloody, cruell war that ever England hath knowne: Many people when they hear of the word Peace, they are so pleased that they run away with that, not knowing what bloody cruel designes may lye under it, and be promoted by it, and they think that if some follow not the treaty presently, though upon never so great disadvantage, it is because they are bloody and love war; whereas in truth it is that they might prevent cruel bloodshed, and the outragiousnesse of war as much as in them lies, which they see in all probability may follow upon giving the aversary that advantage he desires, though the standers by see not the cunning of it.
- Great care must be had in the propositions of, & conditions about peace. We reade 1 Sam. 11. 2. when the men of Jabesh Gilead would make a covenant with Nahash, he told thē that upon this condition he would make a covenant with them, that he might thrust out all their right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel.
- You must be sure you make such a peace as you may confide in it, so as you may not be afterwards at the mercie of your adversaries, whether they will keep the conditions yea or no: you must take heede of disinabling your selves, to maintain what your conditions of agreement bind to, especially if you have to deale with Papists, whose principle is, that no faith is to be kept with Heretiques, and for the Catholique cause leagues may be broke; if your peace
hinder your strength to maintain your right, what security can you have in your peace one moneth?
- As things now stand great care had neede bee taken that the hearts of people who have shewne themselves forward, venturing their lives, exhausting their estates, may not be discouraged, lest if Parliamennts ever neede the people again, they never finde them appeare for them, stick to them; and cases may fall out that there may be neede of the peoples standing by them hereafter as well as now, or else their priviledges may soone vanish, and their power be over-powred, and so come to nothing. Wee know how soon authority is contemned, where power is not joyned with authority.
But do not our adversaries grow stronger then we? * if so, it is in vain for us to oppose.
It is impossible to conceive they should, except * the Kingdome be so besotted, as never yet any Kingdome was upon the face of the earth. For
- How can men of understanding, who have estates in the Kingdome, and have posteritie to live here, imagine that the Kingdome should be better governed by the King, with those Cavalliers about him, then by the King with his Parliament?
- If the Parliament should now be over-powred and spoiled because they have gone according to their consciences for the good of the Kingdom, must not all Parliaments hereafter lye at mercie?
- If these men prevaile, is there not danger lest things should be carried as they please? if they get power into their hands, who knows but that they wil presume to give Laws to us, that things shal be done according to their minds rather then the Kings? doth
not the King forbid plunderings now, & yet do they not plunder as they please? if then they get power into their hands fully, what will not they do then?
These things being so obvious to every mans thoughts, that one can hardly bee a man to understand any thing, but he must needes think of those things; how then is it possible that the Kingdome should not generally rise with a spirit of indignation against these men, who are thus risen up to make such spoile and waste in the Kingdome? Although they doe not yet stir in many places, hoping there may be some help of these things some other way; but if they see there be no other help, it cannot be conceived but this spirit of indignation must rise through out the Kingdome; men will never suffer themselves to be baffled out of their Religion, their liberties, their estates on this fashion; They will never so unworthily desert those whom they have chosen, and betrusted with their estates, liberties and lives, those who have been so faithfull to them, spending their strength in their indefatigable labours night and day, wasting their estates, and hazarding their lives for them; wherefore it cannot be imagined that the adversaries should ever gather more strength then we.
- Suppose they could be more in number; yet considering how vile and wicked, what notorious blasphemers and cursers they are, they are not much to be feared. Plutarch reports of one Cyneas,* discoursing of the opinions of the Epicurians, that they thought the gods tooke no care of, had no regard of mens doings, and that the onely happinesse was to live in pleasure, for so the gods themselves did: Fabritius hearing this, cryed aloud, and said, The
gods grant that Pyrrus and the Samnites were of such opinions, as long as they have wars against us: Supposing that if they were thus, and had such vile opinions of the gods, they could never prosper to doe any great matter. We dare not say thus of our adversaries, God grant that they continue thus vile and blasphemous as they are: No, we pray if it be possible that they may see how they fight against God, that their hearts may be changed; but yet we are of this beliefe, that Fabritius was of, that whilest they are so wicked, and speak so vilely of God, and blaspheme his name so as they doe, that they are not much to be feared, they wil never be able to doe any great matters, the wrath of the Almighty will pursue them.
- And lastly, if they should get more in number, yet if our cause be Christs, (which is cleare to us, for our consciences tell us we desire not, we endeavour not the wrong of any man living, much lesse of our King) we then have Christ with us; And as Antigonus once said to his souldiers, when they said that their enemies were more in number, Why how many doe you reckon me for? So I may say in this case, How many doe you reckon Jesus Christ for? If he be not with us, let us lay down all presently.
Wel, but we are sure for the present there is a wofull disturbance in the Kingdom, and mens estates are consumed in the extreme charge of these Wars, and * what shall we think will become of things at last?
It is true, when a bone is out of joynt, there is much pain; but if the care be not of setting it right, the very * setting will breed much more pain: There is much disturbance, but it is onely the breaking out of what hath layn in the plots and secret workings of our adversaries
a long time. It was once the speech of Lysonder, that if the Lyons skin will not serve, we must * help it with the Foxes; Contrary now it is with our adversaries; The Foxes would not doe the deed, and therefore now they put on the Lyons. It is well for us that things break out, when there may be help to resist; our condition was as dangerous, though not so troublesome before; now our disturbance is but the noyse of resisting, a deluge of evil that was flowing in upon us: That man certainly is not a wise man that is not willing the flouds comming in upon him should not bee stopped, because the stopping of them will make a noise.
- But consider wisely who have bin the cause of this disturbance; Puritanicall Preachers are cryed out of: So Elijah was said to be the troubler of Israel: Amos was said * to speak such words, as the Land could not bear: Paul was accounted a pestilent fellow, a mover of sedition: They cryed out of the Apostles, that they turned the world upside down. Luther in his time was called Tuba Rebellionis, the very trumpet of rebellion. But if men wil not shut their eyes, and stop their ears, they cannot but know the cause of our disturbance hath been the pride and cruelty of Prelates, forcing illegall things both upon our brethren in Scotland, and upon us; Is it not as clear as the Sun, that the disturbance began with their imposition of their own Service-book upon them? Have not they & their Preachers sought to infuse such principles into Kings, that all is theirs, to dispose on as they please, That they are bound to no Laws? A doctrine condemned by the Heathens. We reade of Trajan the Emperour, when he ordained any Pretor, giving him the sword, he would bid him use the sword against
his enemies, in just causes; and if he himselfe did otherwise then Justice, to use then his power against him also.
And as Ministers, so people that have been most conscientious, they have been cryed out of as disturbers: Thus it was in the Primitive times, if there were any evils upon the Countries where the Christians dwelt, they cryed out of them as the cause of all, the voice presently was, Christianos ad Leones, bring forth the Christians to the Lyons: so now, the Roundheads the cause of all. Men that will examine things, and are not mad with malice, wonder how such an apprehension can arise; They suffer the wrong, and yet they are accused for the trouble of the Kingdom; by reason of their sufferings they are more in the view of people then other men; and therefore when men are in a rage, they fall upon them that are next hand. They indeed will not yeeld to such illegall things as others will; they think themselves bound what lies in them to keep the Kingdome and their posterities from slavery; and for this good service, although it cost them deare, they must be accounted the cause of all the evill in the Kingdome. Did they ever plot any Treason, as Papists have done from time to time? Did they even in times of Popery ever seek to blow up Parliament houses, as Papists have done? There is a great deale of stir about these men, but what have they done? the very foundations of this our Land are out of course; but what have the righteous done? So far as they can they yeeld active obedience to what Law requires of them, & in what they cannot yeeld active, they yeeld passive, and what can man require more of them? Onely they wil not
yeeld to mens wils and lusts beyond that authority they have over them, and who wil that hath the spirit of a man in him?
But these are not friends to the King.
Surely those who obey so far, cannot without extreme malice be accounted enemies to the King; They pray more for the King, then any people doe: yea they do more for him and his, in a right way then any people doe. Who have ventured so much of their estates to reduce Ireland to the obedience of the King, as those that are thus called Round-heads? Will it not be found that some few of these in the City of London have disbursed more of their estates for the Kings service in this thing, to keepe this his lawfull inheritance in his possession, and for his posterity, then all those thousands that are now with the King in his Army? And heretofore, who were the men that were most free with their estates to assist the Parl and to have recovered the Palatinate, but these kinde of men? Howsoever now God sees, and the world sees they are ill requited at this day.
No, no, God, and we hope in time, Man also will find our other troublers of the Kingdom rather then these. The Lord judge between us and our adversaries in this thing.
As for the great cost & charge the Kingdom is at,
- We must know those who have done least in this kind, complaine most; those upon whom the weight and burden of the work hath layn, you heare not to make such complaints of the charge.
- Better venture halfe then lose all. In this thing that saying is true, Dimidium plus toto: If we be too sparing now, it is the onely way to lose all:
it is better to have but a piece sure, then by venturing to keep all, to lose all. If we will keep all, we may soon lose all, as many have done; they have kept their estates for the spoilers. Yea we were better to have lesse, as our own with freedom, then more with bondage at the wils of others.
Times of extreme danger are no times of complaining of charges; If a mans house be on fire, were it not absurd for him to cry out against breaking of the tiles, because it wil put him to charges? There is a story of a man who in discontent hanged himself, & his servant comming into the room at that instant, seeing his master hanging, he presently cuts down the rope, & so saves his life: afterward this man being extreamly covetous, wrangles with his servant because he would rather cut the rope then untye it, & so put him to more charges: Doth not all lie at the stake? is not the very life of the Kingdom in danger? is it not time for us now to have our hearts raised above these things? Let us take heed our covetousnesse be not our undoing; and if our enemies find treasure with us, then how justly may they mock and jeere us?
When Constantinople was taken, in the yeer 1453. it appears by the Turkish History that it was lost through the Citizens covetousnesse; The Citizens were full of gold and silver when it was taken, but would not pay the souldiers that should have defended them, and so their enemies made merry with their riches. The like is reported of Heydelburgh, taken by their enemies not many yeers since, upon the like ground.
God hath been beforehand with us in many mercies, and he hath yet more rich and glorious mercies for us, that surely will pay for all at last over and over
again. We are unworthy of our liberties, unworthy of the Gospell, if we prize them at so low a rate, as if they were not transcendently above all the costs we have been at, or are like to be at.
We think these charges much, but there is not one yeare wherein our neighbours in the Low Countries are not at far more charge then we have been at this chargeable yeare; all our extraordinary charges are below their ordinary.
But although there is nothing can be said, but God * allows of these wars, yet were it not better in prudence that I be not seen in them? for if I be, if the other party prevailes I am undone; if I be not, yea, although I should do something for that party, yet the Parliament will never do me any great hurt.
It is true, the lenity of the Parliament on the one side, and the cruelty of the other party on the other * side, hath been a great prejudice to the one, and advantage to the other: How many delinquents that have been complained of, and brought up with great charge to the countrey, yet have gone away insulting? but whosoever comes under the power of the other, either must yeeld, or is undone; yea, it may bee undone, though then hee yeeldes. What blood hath beene of late shed by them, even in coole blood? But how unreasonable is this so to reason, The Parliament is more just and gentle, the other more cruell and mischievous, therefore I will leave the Parliament to sink for any help it shall have from me, and joyne my selfe with the other party. God will judge these evill thoughts of yours, and yet you may be mistaken, in this your device to save your estate, you may prove false to the Parliament, and yet
your estates not so safe as you thinke; it may befall you as it hath done others, that when these plunderers come to you, if you tell them you are for the King, you are no Round-head, then they reason thus with you, If you be indeed for the King, you will be willing to have your estates goe to be helpefull to him, and so they may reason you out of all you have, and so you may be deceived of what you aimed at, by discovering your selves not to be Round-heads. Whatsoever you be, yet if they prevaile your goods will be found to be Round-heads. They are a little faire mannered now and then as yet, because they have not the day; but if once the day be theirs, and they have power in their hands; then they will call your goods by what name they please. Platina tels us, that when the citizens of Papia in Italy were at dissention by reason of the faction betweene the Guelphes and the Gibellines: The Gibellines procured a favourer of theirs called Facinus Cajus to assist them, covenanting that hee should have the goods of the Guelphes for his labour; but he being once come into the Citie and prevailing, he spared the goods of neither of them: whereupon the Gibellines complained, saying, that their goods also were spoiled; he answered them that they themselves were Gibellines, but their goods were Guelphes. You may perhaps be Royalists, but your goods will be Round-heads.
Job 27. 8. What hope hath an hypocrite though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soule? If men by hypocriticall devises should gaine as they desire, yet when God takes away their souls, what good have they then? But how miserable then will it be for them, when God curses them for the present, and when their soules are taken away at last? what hope can they have
then? It is just that the curse of God should pursue them, who will be of any side for their own advantage.
Ro. Hoved. fo. 438. reports of Brabantes called Rutters, that they would serve on any side for wages; therefore they are called by Hoveden, Nefando gens, and he saies they were accursed in the Lateran Councell.
Whereupon the conclusion from all is, There is nothing required of you in this service by both Houses of Parliament, but what you may with a good conscience undertake, by Commission from this great Generall The Lord of Hosts. Be not therefore daunted with such words as those, What? will you fight against the King? If you fight against the King, who doe you fight for? surely it must be for his enemies? and who are they? You know, and all the world may know you fight for none but the Parliament and the Kingdome; what shall the Parliament and the Kingdome be accounted enemies to the King? how can they be under his protection if they be his enemies? and if the King should put them out of his protection, what doe you thinke would follow upon this? No certainly, when things come to be examined, you see there is no such matter: No, this businesse is for no hurt to the King. Those men who goe up and downe pillaging and plundring, and doing mischiefe to all extremity wheresoever they come, who make a spoile of this Kingdome, and that of Ireland, and all under the name of the King: These are the men who wrong the King, rendring him to the Subject as if he were another Maxentius, who reduced the City of Rome into such a condition, as there was no forrest of theeves wherein the lives of Citizens were not more safe then in their houses. In his Orations he made to
his souldiers, no words were more frequent then these, Fruimini, dissipate, prodigite, Enjoy, riot, spend. These men doe what lyes in them to put men upon examining, Whether the relation between King and people may not possibly be broke? Whether Kingly power be such an indelible character upon any person, as nothing can ever possibly put it out? Whether that which is by compact and covenant, do not bind mutually? Are not they then like to perjudice the King more then any? If there be any possibity of such thoughts risen in people, what can occasion them sooner then the doing such open violence, and committing such outrages aganst the Subjects in all places, and that with boldnesse and confidence in the name of the King? If it were as they say, if people did beleeve these men, it might cause strange thoughts of heart in them, even such thoughts, as these, How can we bee in a worse condition under any? What, hath God tyed us, if once a supreame Governor be acknowledged, that he must ever be acknowledged, Whatsoever he doth against us, even to destroy us? Where doth the Scripture say so? It need be a very cleare Scripture that shall tye us to this, to lie down under such intollerable burdens as these are, to see our ruine, & the ruine of our wives & chileren before our faces. We must not resist those who have high power. True, so long as they goe according to their power given them, or as long as they have it, but may they not possibly be discharged of it? Resisting the Priests is condemned in Scripture; what? can nothing therfore discharge the Priest of his priestly office, and my acknowledging of his priestly power? What, did our forefathers so
far give all power out of their hands, as they have not left us so much as the benefit of the Law of Nature to help our selves withall? What hath God made such difference between man and man, as that one should spoile, and destroy, and do what he list, and whole Kingdomes should lie downe under him and say nothing, and doe nothing to helpe themselves? Hath God made all the world to bee under the lusts of twenty or thirty men? Nature hath not made such a difference betweene one man and another, wee see them to bee of the same mould wee are of; God hath not revealed from heaven by his Prophets, that this or that family must be so much above others, rather then other families. That then that now makes the difference between man and man, is from men setting up this family rather then another, or this person rather then another; but is it possible to conceive that any Common-wealth should set up any to their owne ruine? Were it that men kept in due order, or that when the most abominable injustice and violence that is offered, men did not presume so audaciously to make use of the name of the King, these reasonings would never bee occasioned in mens hearts: woe therefore to them by whom such dangerous offences come. The Lord deliver us, and the Lord deliver His Majesty from these men, and such fearefull scandals as they cast upon him. How dangerous a temptation is this to Princes, to have such an apprehension infused into them, whatsoever they doe, whatsoever spoile of Kingdomes they make, and violence they offer, they shall still enjoy what they had, and be acknowledged as they were? That Land is in a sad condition where these thoughts are applyable to the Prince thereof,
and lie boiling in the hearts of the people. For our parts we desire as long as ever we are able, to charge onelie even in our very hearts the actors of all the violence and spoile amongst us, and our brethren in Ireland, as the Authors of it: and therefore we judge it is the best service we can doe for the King, to deliver him from these mischievous men, that his throne being established in righteousnesse, his Crown may slourish upon him and his posterity.
These things I have spoken out of conscience of my duty to God, and to the Kingdome, knowing that if some do not open these things as they are able, to satisfie the ignorant, and doubting, and erroneous consciences of many, they will he found guilty of betraying themselves, their brethren, their posterities, their religion and liberties.
Now having endeavoured to cleare, that what wee doe, we doe by commission from the Lord of Hosts, the * way is cleare to fetch soul-staying, supporting, satisfying comfort from this glorious Name of God. It is not more glorious then comfortable to the Church of God. Surely we need not feare wars, strength of enemies, roaring of Canons, clattering of weapons, beating of drums, neighing of horses, so long as God, our God is the Lord of Hosts.
Now I come to what I promised, to shew you this name of God written upon the Mercy-seat. Xerxes used to pitch his tent on high, and stand looking upon his Army, when they were in fight, to encourage them. This our great Generall stands on high, looking upon his people in their battels, let them looke up to him, and there is encouragement enough to fill any heart in the world. This Title is an
exceeding vast treasurie of comfort and encouragement, Deut. 30. 3, 4. Heare O Israel, you approach this day to battell against your enemies, let not your hearts faint, feare not, do not tremble, neither be terrified. Observe the variety of expressions, Faint not, Feare not, Tremble not, Be not terrified; Why? For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you to fight for you. If so much encouragement meerly from Gods going with us to fight for us, what is there from all those severall workings of God in battels, which this Lord of Hosts is pleased to declare himselfe in? Psal. 46. 7. The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge: and ver. 10. Be still, and know that I am God, I will be exalted: and again, I will be exalted. Quiet your hearts in this. If any distracting, sinking, discouraging thoughts arise in your hearts, still them all with this. And therefore ver. 11. in the next words he repeats that againe, The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Luther was wont in sad tumultuous times to say to those about him, Come, let us sing the 46. Psal. It is a Psalm most sutable for these times to be sung often. Isa 51. 12. Who art thou that thou shouldest be afraid of a man? Surely thou doest not know what thy priviledge is, thou knowest not what interest thou hast in the Lord of Hosts, that thou art afraid of a man that must die; wherefore it follows, v. 15. I am the Lord thy God that divided the sea, The Lord of Hosts is his Name.
But you will say, Ah! if we knew indeed that the Lord of Hosts were ours, that he were with us, then we might well comfort our selves in these times of wars, but that is all the question to us, for want of the assurance of that our hearts are troubled.
First, Though you doe not know certainly that
you have any speciall interest in him, yet it is a great comfort to know that all things in wars are carryed on by him, yea, though he were a meere stranger to you, and you to him: as suppose you were sure there should be nothing done in all these stirs about wars but by the will of the most wise, the most holy, and most mercifull man in the world, that hath all the holinesse, all the wisdome, all the mercy that all the men in the world ever had, although this man were a stranger to you, you never saw his face in your life, yet would it not be a stay and comfort to your hearts to heare that all things were committed to the dispose of this man, and not a stroke struck, nor any hurt should come to any, but as this man gave out his commissions? certainly it would quiet our hearts much: but that all is at the dispose of this Lord of Hosts is far better, whose holinesse, wisdome, and justice is infinite; although yet we do not know any further of him, wee cannot say we have any speciall interest in him.
Secondly, Although you doe not know your interest in this Lord of Hosts, yet your hearts may be stayed, yea, comforted in this, that the cause hath a deep interest in the very heart of this Lord of Hosts, and therefore that shall prosper howsoever. The satisfafaction the soul takes in this is a speciall argument of interest in this God.
Thirdly, Yet further I will tell you how you shall know whether you have any speciall interest in this Lord of Hosts or not, from that Scripture, Psal. 84. 3. O Lord of Hosts my King and my God. Here are these two, Lord of Hosts, and my God. Now all the question is about the Copula, that which joynes these two together: there you have it my King, that is set
betweene them; if then you can say, O Lord of Hosts my King, you neede not staie there, but may confidentlie goe further to the other, my God: If you can out of the uprightnesse of your hearts say, O Lord thou knowest the desires of our Soules are that thou mayest rule over us, O when shall we heare that blessed voice, The Kingdomes of the earth are the Lords & his Christs, and he shall reigne for evermore! O that thy Kingdome might come more powerfully in our hearts, and that it might be more conspicuous in Church and State! The speciall reason (thou knowest) why we are willing to venture our selves as we do, to endure any hardship, to part with our estates, is that Antichrist may never rule amongst us againe, but that we and our posterity may be under the Kingdome of Jesus Christ. Surelie this is the voice of those who have the Lord of Hosts to be their God. That is an everlasting rule, If he be thy King, he is thy God.
Now then for the full comfort and encouragement the Church of God may take from this glorious name, Consider the Relation that the Church hath to this Lord of Hosts, and the Relation this Lord of Hosts hath to the Church.
For the first. 1. The Church is the City of the [ 1] Lord of Hosts, it is not onelie Gods Citie, but his Citie, under this Title, Psal. 48. 8. As we have heard, so have we seen in the City of the Lord of Hosts; Wee may comfortablie say, This Citie of London is the City of the Lord of Hosts. God hath precious Saints here, abundance of them, and it hath done worthilie for the honour of the Lord of Hosts of late, and therefore surely the Lord of Hosts will defend it. If there bee any Citie under heaven that may be called The Citie of the Lord of Hosts, then I am confident the Citie of
London may. But we are to take here the City in a spirituall sense for the Church of God, as it is usuall in Scripture. Now we know when an Army hath to do with a City that is in the inheritance of the Generall, then if there be any power in Generall or Army, it will bee all put forth to the utmost, either for the defence, or gaining that City: As the City of Breda in the Low-Countries, when that was besieged, it was soon won by the Army of the Prince of Orange, because that City was the Princes own City, his proper inheritance; he had a speciall eye and care over that City. Surely the eye and care of this Lord of Hosts, though it be over Towns and Countries, and walled Cities, yet it is most over his Church; if he hath any power in all the Armies in heaven and earth, it shal be put forth for the defence of, and supplying good unto this City. Hence that passage in the prayer of Solomon, 1 King. 8 44. If thy people go to battell, and shall pray to the Lord toward the City which thou hast chosen, then heare in heaven. Jerusalem was the City God then chose, which was but a type of every Church in the time of the Gospel.
- The Church is the Vineyard of the Lord of Hosts. Esay [ 2] 5. 7. For the Vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the House of Israel. Certainly God will not suffer the wild beasts and boares of the field to devoure and lay waste his Vineyard. A Generall will be very carefull in keeping enemies out of fruitfull Countries, but especially our of his own Vineyard. We reade 1 Kin. 21. 2, 3. how loth Naboth was to part with his Vineyard, though King Ahab was sick for it, yet God forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. Gods Vineyard is beloved of him and deer to him. Esa. 27. 3. I the Lord keep it, I will water it every moment, lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.
- It is the Mountain of the Lord of Hosts. Zac. 8. 3. [ 3] in which regard God professeth himself very jealous for it: Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, I was jealous for Sion with great jealousie, I was jealous for her with great fury, He gives the reason in the latter end of the 3. ver. Jerusalem shall be called the City of truth, and the Mountain of the Lord of Hosts, the holy Mountain. As if the Lord should say, What? are they come to hurt my Mountaine, my holy Mountaine, my Church? Fury riseth up in the face of God presently. Yea, Esa. 31. 4. When the Lord comes to fight for mount Sion, he comes forth as the young Lion roaring on his prey, so shall the Lord of Hosts come downe to fight for Mount Sion. God will leave heaven to fight for his Church; will not you leave your shops and your houses?
4 The Church is the house of the Lord of Hosts. Hag. 1. 14. The Text sayes, They did worke in the [ 4] house of the Lord of Hosts. which typified Gods Church. A Generall will fight to maintain his own house, it were a signe the enemy had prevailed indeed, if hee should come and plunder the Generals own house. In regard of this that is said of the Church to bee Gods House, vve have that expression, Psal. 24. 9, 10. Lift up your heads O ye Gates, even lift them up ye everlasting doores, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord of Hosts he is the King of glory. You know when a Prince comes to his own house, the great gates are set open; when other men come thither, they come in at the wicket, at some lesse doore; but when he comes himselfe, then all is set wide open.
- The Church is the place of the name of the Lord of Hosts, Isay 18. 7. To the place of the name of the [ 5] Lord of Hosts, Mount Sion; now Gods name is deare
and precious to him. It is a great priviledge God grants to his Church, that it is the place he chooseth to set his name there, Exod. 20. 24. Nehem. 1. 9. As God would have us highly to esteem that place, to seeke after that place, as Deut. 12. 5. Unto the place where God shall choose to put his name, there shall ye seeke, and thither shalt thou come, & thither shall you bring your burnt Offerings and Sacrifices, &c.—So surely God himself puts a high price upon that place, and he will preserve it.
- The Church is the place of the glorious reign of [ 6] the Lord of Hosts, Isa. 24. 23. The Moon shall be confounded, and the Sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shal reign in Mount Sion and in Jerusalem before his Elders gloriously. God hath yet a further and more glorious Kingdome to be set up in his Church then ever hath been, at which all the glory of the world shall be darkned by reason of the brightnesse of this glory, & it is the Lord of Hosts that shall thus reigne. Surely then all the Hosts shall have their strength put forth in defence of, and providing for this place of this glorious reigne of their great Generall.
- The Church is the people of the Lord of Hosts, Zep. 2. 10, 11. This shall they have for their pride, because [ 7] they have reproached & magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of Hosts. The Lord will be terrible unto them. They in their pride lift up themselves, and magnifie themselves against the Saints, as if they were a company of silly weak men, they doe not know that they are the people of the Lord of Hosts, therefore God threatens there that he will be terrible unto them.
And thus you have the Relation of the Church to God, revealing himselfe in this name, The Lord of Hosts, yet marke further, the Relation that God hath to them in this his name: As
- The Lord of Hosts is the portion of his Church, Jer. 10. 16. The portion of Jacob is not like them, hee is the former of all things, The Lord of Hosts is his name. Wherefore if there be any thing in The Lord of Hosts, that can doe them good, they may challenge it, for God The Lord of Hosts, is their portion, they may make use of all that is in him for their good.
- Hs is their Redeemer: That you have in the Text, Our Redeemer, The Lord of Hosts is his name. The [ 2] Lord undertakes the redeeming of his people under this title of his, on purpose that the multitude, the greatnesse, the fury of their enemies might not daunt them. Your Redeemer is not one that cannot save, he is The Lord of Hosts, and one you may certainly confide in, for he is The holy One of Israel.
- He is the pleader, yea the through pleader of the cause of his people. Jer. 50. 34. Their Redeemer is [ 3] strong, the Lord of Hosts is his name, he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon. God hath begun to plead the cause of his people already, and hee hath shewne himselfe The Lord of Hosts in it, but hee hath not yet throughly pleaded their cause as he meanes to doe; when he shall doe that, he will then give rest to the Land, and disquiet the Inhabitants of Babylon. This work will cost the inhabitants of Babylon deare; they were never so disquieted amongst us as they are at this day. They have troubled the Saints, and God now troubles them, but will yet disquiet them more; although they thinke to defend themselves by gathering Armies, yet the Lord of Hosts shall disquiet them, and give rest to his people: There remaines yet a rest for the people of God, even in this world.
- The Lord of Hosts is the Husband of his [ 4] Church, and this is the most neare and sweet relation of all. Esa. 54. 4, 5, 6. Feare not, &c. For thy Maker is thy Husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name. The Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken, grieved in spirit, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. Alas, saith the Church, I am a poore desolate widow, a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, every one neglects me, I am rejected of all. Well, sayes God, I took thee when thou wert thus forsaken to be my Spouse, I have marryed thee to my selfe, therefore now feare not, I am the Lord of Hosts, the God of the whole earth. Surely a Generall if he hath the heart of a man in him, he will fight for his Spouse, he will not suffer his Spouse to be ravished before his eyes. What sayes Ahasuerus concerning Haman, Will he force the Queen before my face? Vile men are risen up, and they seeke to ravish the Church, the Spouse of the Lord of Hosts, and do you think he will suffer this before his face? Shall not all the Armies in heaven and earth rather come together, and fight for her deliverance?
Now then if all these things be thus, we have cause then to quiet our hearts in the midst of all our fears and distractions, to stand still, and see the salvation of God, the salvation that this Lord of Hosts is working for us. This is the businesse that I have been endeavouring, to enlarge before you the object of your faith, and to lessen the object of your feare. Surely if the Lord of Hosts hath such a relation to his Church, and the Church such a relation to him, he cannot but be exceedingly provoked against any that shall meddle with his Church to doe it hurt. I will give you one notable expression of his anger against such, Esa. 3. 15. What mean ye that
ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poore? saith the Lord of Hosts. God here speaks angerly, What am I the Lord of Hosts, and will you offer this? What mean you? As when we flie upon a man in anger, (whom we see doth things to our prejudice, or the prejudice of any neer to us, in an absurd maner) we say, What doe you mean to do thus? what are you mad▪ Doe you know what you doe? Doe you know who they are you thus abuse?
From all these gracious expressions of this Lord of Hosts to the comfort and encouragement of his people, the result is that in the 8. of Esay 12, 13. Say not, A confederacy to them that say, A confederacy; oh! many of their forces are joyned together; feare not their feare, but sanctifie the Lord of Hosts himselfe, and let him be your feare, and let him be your dread. The Name of God is a strong Antidote to drive feare out of the hearts of the weakest. Upon what we have seene in this title of God, we may well say to the fearful in heart, be strong, feare not, as we have it Isa. 35. 4. Let women and all such as are naturally feareful, take heed of sinfull feare. The fearfulnesse of women hanging about their Husbands, and children, and friends, crying out when they should goe forth in this service, and going up and down wringing their hands, and making dolefull outcries, may do abundance of hurt, exceedingly hinder the work that the Lord hath now in hand. Let women take heed they be not hindrances, but let them learne to exercise faith and take spirit to themselves, that they may further their Husbands, children, and friends in this work of the Lord of Hosts. Marke that Scripture, 1 Pet. 3. 6. Yee are the daughters of Sarah so long as you do well, and be not afraid with any amazement.
Yee would all willingly be accounted the daughters of Sarah. Observe how the holy Ghost puts it upon this, that you be not afraid with any amazement: it may be nature may cause some feare, but grace must keepe it that it be not with any amazement.
Why is it thus put upon this?
As Abraham is most commended for his faith, and so by beleeving wee are the children of Abraham, so it seemes Sarah his wife in those difficulties that Abrabam went through, she was no hinderance but a furtherance to him, she did not cry out to him, Why will you leave your fathers house, and all your kindred, and go up and downe in a strange country in the middest of dangers and many straits? no, but shee rather was a helpe to him, and an encourager of him: so saies Peter, who speaking to Christians who lived in troublesome and dangerous times, You shall shew your selves the daughters of Sarah, if you have such a spirit as Sarah had, not to be afraid with any amazement, not through your inordinate feare, either hinder your selves, your husbands, or any other in the service of the Lord. If God call you or them to suffer, you must not through feare pull backe, but go on with courage undauntedly, then you are indeed the daughters of Sarah.
And that a spirit may be put even into women in these times that call for all to be above sinfull feares, let them consider these three things.
First, The first time that ever any speaking to God [ 1] called him by this name the Lord of Hosts, it was a woman, and that was Hannah, 1 Sam. 1. 11. Shee vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of Hosts if thou wilt indeed looke on the affliction of thine handmaid, &c.
Secondly, One of the principallest Psalms wherin this [ 2]
title of the Lord of Hosts is most magnified, is a Psalme tuned to that Musical instrument that virgins and women use to play on, from whence the Psalme hath its title, A Song upon Alamoth, Ps. 46. Which is as much as A song upon the Virginals: for the Hebrew word comes of a root that signifies to hide, and so we formerly made use of it: but from thence because Virgins used to be covered and hidden, hence Gnalamoth signifies Virgins, and here used for the musical instrument of Virgins. Virgins and Women it seems had wont to sing this Psal. and play to it upon the instrument. Now it is supposed that their hearts should be some way sutable to what they sung & played, & here they rejoycingly sing, The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge, ver. 7: And again, The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge, ver. 11. besides other passages, yea almost all the same tending this way.
- The most brave expression of a strong, valiant spirit, triumphing over enemies in time of battel, is [ 3] from a woman, Jud. 5. 21. it is the speech of Deborah, O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength. As if she should have said, They come with a great deale of strength, that they think to prevail with, but to me all their strength is but as the dirt in the streets, my soul is above it; though my body be weak, yet O my soul, thou hast troden down strength. Where have we a braver expression of a more raised spirit either in Scripture amongst any of the Lords valiant ones, or in humane story amongst any of the great Captaines and Conquerours that ever were? I cannot but repeat it again, O my soule, thou hast trodden down strength. Let not women then so complain of their weaknes, as thereby to
think to excuse their sinfull feares. I will give you a notable speech comming neer this from another woman that Ecclesiasticall story records of, one Julitta; there are many famous things recorded of her, but this speech of hers to other women of her acquaintance is most remarkable, Cease to accuse (sayes she) the fragility of the Foeminine sexe, What? are not we made of the same matter that men are? Yea after Gods Image are we made as wel as they. God did not use flesh to make women of, in token of infirmity: We are bone of his bone, in token we must be strong in the living God. If the spirit of The Lord of Hosts were with you, even you may daunt your enemies. You may make such preparations for your own defence, as not to let your lives go at a cheap rate, but that the losse of every one of yours may cost the life of one of them at least. Even you may cast shame upon them. If there were such a spirit in you, they would fly before women, for their spirits are base and vile.
If God be the Lord of Hosts, if he hath such wonderfull workings of his providence in wars and battels *, hence in all war and battels there is some speciall thing of God to be looked at. Surely this great Lord of Hosts doth not use to raise War, to go into the field for nothing; there is some great thing aimed at, especially where he appears in more then an ordinary way; as certainly he doth in these wars of ours.
We should not hearken after or speake of Warres onely as matter of news, but observe what the way of God is in them, what his aim looks to in ordering of them, what his intentions work at, how he brings his own ends to passe, & furthers his glory by them. Whosoever lives to see the issue of these great stirs and warlike commotions amongst us, shall see that
God had a hand in them to bring great things to passe, that the mercy he intended for us was worth all the trouble these have brought upon us, yea all the bloud, the most precious bloud that hath been shed amongst us. God hath many promises to his Churches to accomplish, many Prophecies to fulfil, many glorious things to declare, many mercies for his Saints to bestow, & these stirs amongst us wil make way for all.
We have had much mercy from God on free-cost; that mercie that is to come, it may be is of an higher nature; therefore God intends it shall be more costly to us, it may cost many of our lives; but we or our posteritie shall see that when it comes it wil pay for all. That this Lord of Hosts had great thoughts of heart for the good of England when he raised these Civil wars amongst us, though it be the sorest judgement, yet it may make way to the greatest mercy. It is our duty diligently to observe how God works in his Providence to the attaining such ends of his.
- God is The Lord of Hosts. Hence know from whence it is that we have enjoyed so much peace as [ 6] we have, with the comfortable fruits of it; it is from The Lord of Hosts, who hath all power in his hands, to keep off or bring war as he pleaseth. It it is he alone that hath kept off from us those hideous things others have suffered; it is from him that we have not all this while wallowed, not sweltred in our bloud; that our garments have not been rowled in bloud, as our brethrens have; but we have enjoyed our houses, beds, tables, wives, children; we have had all comforts for soule and body about us. Micah 4. 4. They shall sit every man under his vine, and under his figtree, and none shall make them afraid. From whence is
this? The words following wil tell you, The mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken it. The Vines and Figtrees we have sate under, have not beene empty Vines, nor barren Fig-trees to us; we have not onely had refreshment from the shadow of them, but much comfort from the fruit of them. It was this Lord that promised to Israel that he would cause their enemies not to desire their land, when they went up to Jerusalem to worship. What a mercy is it for us to be as Gedeons sleece, dry, when all about us have been wet, not with dew, but with blood? These beginnings of wars tell many Countries and Shires in England, what a blessing peace vvas, vvhich they never understood before. Peace is sweet and good, but let us take heede we buy not our peace too deare.
- This name of God shews us how neerly it concerns all people in times of wars, to seeke to make up [ 7] their peace with this God. When we goe forth to war against our enemies, vve had need take heed that God be not our enemy too; If hee be, all our Armies and power we can raise are to little purpose to help us. Let us deale vvisely for our selves, to make sure that he fights not against us. If this be not done, against whomsoever else vve fight, vve fight with infinite disadvantage. Now we must seek to make our peace with him, by our unfained-humiliations before him, and our sincere reformations in turning to him. For the first, we are loth to humble our selves before our enemies; this we think is our shame. Let us humble our selves before this God, this is our glory. You make Fortifications, and in that you doe well; but except you adde thereunto humiliations, it will be to little purpose. Esay 22. 11, 12, &c. Ye made a ditch also
betweene the two walls for the water of the old poole, but ye have not looked to the maker thereof. It follows, And in that day did the Lord God of Hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and behold, joy, gladnesse, killing oxen, drinking wine. This was revealed in mine eares by the Lord of Hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged till you dye, saith the Lord of Hosts. Mark, three times in that verse is mention made of The Lord of Hosts. He takes special notice of this. And the rather should wee get our hearts afflicted and humbled under the mighty hand of this God, because our adversaries are so proud, because of that high hand of pride and blasphemie that they goe forth withall against God. There is no such stratagem of war like this to get the advantage of our adversaries, in this very thing. Doe we heare of their pride and blasphemies? let our hearts be the more humble before the Lord; let us labour so much the more to sanctifie the Name of this holy God, whose name the Angels celebrate, as Holy, holy, holy, the Lord of Hosts, Esay 6. 3.
With our Humiliations, let Reformation, turning to this God be added. It must needs be a dangerous thing in times of wars, to carry with us, or harbour amongst us any Traitors against this Lord of Hosts, as the truth is all sins that we retaine are. What acceptance can we then expect from him, or successe by him? You know what trouble the accursed thing of Achan caused in the Camp; it made the Children of Israel fly before the men of Ai. If any accursed thing (though secret) be such a disturbance in the Camp, much more accursed Officers.
Hos. 12. 5, 6. Even the Lord God of Hosts, the Lord is his memoriall, therefore turne thou to thy God.
Zach. 1. 3. Say to them, Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Turne ye unto me, saith the Lord of Hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts. Here we have also this name of God three times, as a provocation to us to returne unto him. Let us all know, and especially those who are in service in the Army, the great General, the Lord of Hosts cals to us, he cals to you to returne to him, and promises to returne to us, to return to you. As if he should say, You have been very vile and wicked, your consciences cannot but tell you so, and I know it; yet returne now to me, and I professe my selfe notwithstanding all that you have done, I am here ready and willing to returne to you, all shall be forgiven, as if it had never been committed. Surely there is no such valour, as in a spirit cleared from the guilt and filth of sin.
- This name of God shews us our duty to seek him much by Prayer in times of war, and to depend upon him wholly for successe in it, for he is the Lord of Hosts.
For the first. Where should we seek for light, but in the Sun? where for water, but in the rivers? where for heat, but in the fire? where for valour & victory, but in the Lord of Hosts? The Heathens were wont to offer their Sacrifices to God in times of War. Hence a Sacrifice hath the name Hostia, because when they went against enemies, they offered it. Saul thought it a very hard thing to goe forth to War, not having offered Sacrifice before. 1 Sam. 13. 12. Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced my selfe therefore and offered a burnt offering. When Jehosaphat heard of an Army comming out against him, before he would goe out to battail, he set himselfe to
seek the Lord, 2 Chron. 20. 3. He gave his whole selfe, so * the words are.
Moses his hands lift up in Prayer, and Joshuahs stretched forth in the battel, makes a victorious army: Our Prayers are our Guns, saith Luther. Prayer hath done mighty things in battels. The praying Christians * in Marcus Aurelius his Army, were called The thundring Legion. Sozomen and Nicephorus tel us that Theodosius by Prayer made the weapons of enemies turne upon themselves. I am sure it hath done as great things. One of the strangest victories that ever was heard of, was that we have recorded Numb. 31. 8. They slew five Kings of Midian, they slew all the males, and all the women that had known man, and burnt all their Cities, and took booty six hundred thousand, and seventy and five thousand sheep, and threescore and twelve thousand beeves, and threescore and one thousand Asses, and thirty and two thousand women that had not known man, ver. 32, 33, 34, 35. Now here was the wonder of this battel, that in all this great victory the Children of Israel lost not one man, for so saies the Text plainly, ver. 49. Thy servants have taken the summe of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us. And mark what was done when they went forth to this battel, ver. 6. The holy instruments and the trumpets sounded in the hands of Eleazar the Priest. It was an ordinance of God amongst them, that the Priests should sound with the silver trumpets, when they wentforth to battail, Numb. 10. 9. Which was observed here, and see what a victory was obtained. An Army of prayers is as strong as any Army of men whatsoever; yea one man praying may do more then many men fighting. Elisha hath his sword to slay, as
well as Jehu and Hazael. 1 King. 19. 15, 16, 17. when Elijah thought there was no help, Yes, saith God, Goe and anoint Hazael, and Jehu, and Elisha. As if hee should say, I have Armies in the field, he that escapes the sword of Hazael, shall Jehu slay; he that escapes the sword of Jehu, shall Elisha slay. How should Elisha slay, but by his prayers? they will reach and cut down a great way off. That Scripture is very observable, Psal. 76. 2, 3. In Salem also is his Tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Sion, there brake he the arrows of the how, the shield and the sword and the battel. Where brake he them? there in Salem, in Sion, where his Tabernacle was, in the congregation of Saints praying, there the arrow of the bow, the shield and the speare is broken. It is reported of the King of Sweden, that as soone as he set foot in Germany, he fell down to prayer to this Lord of Hosts, and what great things did he in a little time? In this Gods servants have the advantage of their adversaries, they can pray to the Lord of Hosts, the other cannot: They can blaspheme, but pray they cannot. In this they have alwayes the advantage of the hill, and the winde of their enemies, and this is a great encouragement in battaile. It puts heart mightily into Souldiers that know any thing of God, to thinke that they go forth with the blessing of prayers with them, and that they have prayers continually sent up to heaven for them. At that great fight neere Banbury, October 23. when many ranaway, those that were left fell on with courage, and gave a mighty shout, Now for the fruit of prayer, Now for the fruit of prayer, and so their spirits were raised to more then an ordinary height, and they prevailed mightily, slaying neer ten to one.
Wherefore then let us be encouraged to pray; let us strive with God in Prayer, while our brethren are striving with the enemie in battel. They venture their lives for us, and endure great hardship; shall not wee pray? Yea let us put on now with more earnestnesse, not content our selves in our ordinary way. Great workings there are of God in the world, great things depend upon the successe of these wars. He is an unworthy member of Church or Common-wealth, who hath not an heart to pray now. Now we have need of praying Christians indeed. Every foole can sin, and provoke Gods wrath; but men and women of choice spirits onely can pray, such as have interest in this Lord of Hosts. It is observable in Solomons Prayer, 1 King. 8. three or foure times he prays against enemies, and yet he was in peace; his time was a time of peace. If then, much more now, when vve have such raging enemies in our own bowels.
And as we must pray, so we must trust; we must relye upon this Lord of hosts in all our War-like undertakings. Psal. 20. 7. Some trust in horses, some in Chariots, but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God; He is our strength, our fortitude, our shield, our buckler: Cursed be the man that makes flesh his arme. Our adversaries come out to us with Sword and Canon; but (though means are to be used, yet) let us goe forth against them in the name of the Lord of Hosts. 1 Chron. 5. 18. We reade of the sonnes of Reuben, the Gadites, halfe tribe of Manasses, that they were valiant men, skilfull in War, and that there went out of them forty foure thousand seven hundred and sixty: here a compleat Army of skilfull Warriors, yet they rusted not to their strength or skill, but ver. 20. They
cryed unto the Lord, and he was intreated of them because they trusted in him. There must be depending upon God added to crying unto God; wee must so cry to God as to make account here is good to be done, here is our strength and helpe when all is done. It was a notable speech that Josephus reports Herod made to his Souldiers, it came from the mouth of a Herod, but it well beseeme the mouth of the most godly Christian Captain, Some may say, sayes he, our cause is just, but we are few and weak; where truth and justice is, there is God, and where God is, there wants neither multitude nor fortitude. It was an observation of Origen, that others since have observed, that God in all the victories he gave his people to possesse them of Canaan, he never used the help of horses. The adversary had horses and chariots, both the Egyptian and the Canaanites; but Gods people had none. Wel, if our enemies should exceed in horses, (which yet we hope they shall not) but of that they boast; yet let us look higher: we may have Canaan, though we should want horses. After all our endeavours, then must all be referred to this Lord of Hosts. It was a most brave expression of a valiant Commander of Joab, 2 Sam. 10. 12. Be of good courage, let us play the men for our people & for the Cityes of our God, and the Lord do what seemeth him good.
From this glorious name of God, we learne how infinitely * fit it is that those who have a speciall interest in this God, who have him to be their God, their Father, that they should have spirits full of courage, and fortitude; such a spirit as beseems the servants, much more children of such a God whose they are, whom they serve. God loves to see the impression of his spirit
upon these who are his. He is a God of wisdom, he loves to see the shine of his wisdom upon the spirits of his Saints; he is an infinite holy God, he delights to see the lustre of his Holinesse glorious upon them. He is the Lord of Hosts, he loves to see a spirit of valour, a spirit of magnanimity in them. What Captain, what Souldier of renown, but delights to see his children and alliance, those who challenge any interest in him to be valiant? It is reported of Manlius Torquatus his son, that having by a spirit of valour overthrown the enemies of the Romans, and killed with his own hands a man of note in single combat, being full of joy, hee seeks out his father who was the General of the Army, bearing in his hands the spoiles of his enemies, and saying aloud: Father behold the cause why I may be esteemed your son. If we have a spirit of courage sutable to our Father, we may with more comfort and better acceptance come to this Lord of Hosts to be acknowledged for his children; but otherwise we shall be a dishonour to him.
We read of Alexander the Great, who having a Souldier in his Army of his name that was a coward, he comes to him & bad him either change his name or be valiant: If Alexander thought it a dishonour to him to have one of his name to be a coward, he would have thought the dishonour much more if he had had one of his blood, his own childe a coward. What an unworthy thing were it for the son of such a brave warrior as the K. of Sweden was to be of a low, mean poor, cowardly spirit? hee would be a reproach to his Father, and the very mention of his Father would be a reproach to him. Christians, do not you professe God to be your Father? do you not know your Father
is the Lord of Hosts? where are your spirits of magnanimity and fortitude, of courage and valour, beseeming the children of such a glorious Father the Lord of Hosts? If you be of the right breed, you must needes be generous; it is impossible but you should have something of his spirit in you; if you be of low, unworthy, sensuall, cowardly spirits, you are not begotten of him; God hath no children but they have some beam of every excellencie of his that such creatures are capable of.
Now this is the question, what have you of the spirit of this great God? The spirit of the Devil, although it be a proud spirit, yet it is a base cowardly spirit. If you resist the Devill he will fly from you. The truth is, all the men in the world have vile spirits, Gods children are men of another spirit.
God breeds up all his children to bee Souldiers, there are none in heaven but were bred Souldiers, & as they grew up were brought up in military discipline. Many Nations bring up their children to be Soldiers, from their tēder yeers they discipline them this way: The Parthians bring up their children in teaching * them the use of the bow, the Scythians in the use of the dart, the Germans in the use of the speare. All Gods children are here members of the Church militant, it is fit for them to be skilful, not onely in the use of the spirituall Armour, but of bodily also. Who so fit to be used in the battels of the Lord, as they who have most interest in the Lord? who so fit to venture his body to the sword in time of war, as he that can give his body to the fire in time of peace?
Isay 13. 3. Souldiers whom God chooseth for his battails are called his sanctified ones, an honourable
title given to souldiers, Gods sanctified ones, and who so fit to be Gods sanctified ones, set apart for such services, as those who are sanctified by his Spirit, set apart for himself eternally? The valour of that people, the Gaules, was admired by the Romans; it proceeded from that instruction they had from their Druides, of the immortality of the soul. Those are fittest to venture their lives in fight, who are able to see beyond life, to see what is on the other side of the shore of this mortality, even eternall life and glory: All the Saints, especially in these days, should be ful of spirit, strong in the might of the Lord, because Jesus Christ is about to pul down that great enemy of his, That man of sin, and in his conquest, he is said to come with his garments dipt in blood, Apoc. 19.
Now that true spirit that beseemes one who hath this Lord of Hosts to be his Father, is
- A spirit that scornes to be base, he wil not be a [ 1] slave to the Devill, or any lust of his own or other mens, he thinks himself too good for sin. If you set one that has the spirit of a Soldier in him to drudgery, he scornes it; he thinks himself above any such imployment; he has the true spirit of a Souldier, that has got the victory over himself. In this every souldier of this Lord of Hosts, hath a spirit above the great renowned Souldiers of the World, Alexander, Pompey, Themistocles, &c. they were all vassals to their lusts.
And although he be willing to serve men under God, yet he will never be a slave to their lusts, but will maintain the liberty of a man and a Christian to himself and posterity.
Philo Judaeus reports of a Heathenish people, who
in their wars, used onely this expression to put spirit into their Souldiers, Estote viri, libertas agitur, be men, your liberty is in question.
But what is this bondage, that the spirit of a Christian * will not, should not beare?
There is a naturall slavery, that as a man, he should * not, he wil not be subject to, that is in these 3. things.
- To give up his own propriety in what he hath, so as whatsoever God and Nature hath given him should not be his own, but wholly at the will of another.
- Subjection to that government, that he no way either by himselfe or others hath ever yeelded consent unto, neither is bound to by the Law of God in his word, nor by the Law of Nature.
- To be in such a condition as that whatsoever service he doth, he shall receive nothing for it by way of justice, but meerly out of favour, this is slavery which an ingenuous spirit cannot beare.
And as a Christian, he will not subject his conscience to any, but reserves that to doe his homage unto God by it.
A spirit of the right breed though it foresees dangers [ 2] in the cause of God, yet it can and doth resolutely encounter with them. That speech of Esther was a speech that came from a brave spirit, though a woman, If I perish, I perish; but it was a fruit of fasting and prayer. Ay, that is the way to get a spirit of courage indeed.
The like we have of the three Children in Daniel, Chap. 3. 16. O Nebuchadnezar, we are not carefull to answer thee in this matter; Behold, our God whom we serve, is able to deliver us out of thine hand, O King: But if not,
be it known unto thee, O King, that we wil not serve thy gods, nor worship thy golden image which thou hast set up. That famous expression of Paul hath the like true Christian valour sparkling in it, when it was prophesyed that he should be bound at Jerusalem, at which many * of the Saints with him fel on weeping, Why do you weep and break my heart? sayes Paul: I am not onely ready to be bound at Jerusalem, but to dye for the name of Christ. That expression that is recorded of Ignatius is famous likewise in this kind; it is in an Epistle of his to the congregation of Trallis, Let the fire, the gallows, the devouring of wild beasts, the breaking of bones, the pulling asunder of my members, the bruising or pressing of my whole body, and the torments of the devill or hell it self come upon me, so that I may win Christ Jesus. Here was one that had the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts in him. The like had Luther, when he said, If all the tyles of the houses of the City of Wormes were devils, he would go thither, knowing he was called by God to witnesse to the truth there.
This resolutenesse of spirit manifests it self in dangerous times, in a readinesse to joyne with our brethren in difficult services, wherein there is much hazard and trouble. A man of a true raised spirit, that hath true courage in it, will not see his brethren in hot services, and let them alone in them to shift out as well as they can; for his part he is loth to meddle or stir, he may bring himselfe into trouble when he needs not, no, he will not, you cannot bring him to it: To such men it may well be said as Moses to the children of Gad, and the children of Reuben, Numb. 32. 6. Shall your brethren goe to war, and shall ye sit here? Why shall they encounter with dangers, and suffer hard things, and you sit still and have your ease? you
may have shifts and pretences for this, but to you I say this day as Moses to them, ver. 23. If ye will not joyne with your brethren, behold ye have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.
- A spirit of valour. Such a one as is indeed the spirit of a souldier of this Lord of Hosts; when hardnesse, when troubles come, it is able to endure them. 2 Tim. 2. 3. As a good souldier of Jesus Christ, endure hardnes. Many seem to be resolute before troubles come, but when they come, they cannot bear them. Romanū est fortia pati, a speech of Mutius Scaevola: More true, Christianum est fortia pati; if part of a Romane to suffer great things, much more of a Christian. If you be dainty, and cannot suffer, you are not fit to be a Christian; Nimis delicatus es, saith Tertullian, you are too delicate.
The Eagle shews the generousnesse of her spirit, that though she suffers hunger, she will not make a noise, as other fowls do when they want meat; it is not for a souldier to complain of cold, of want of a meale or two, of hard lodging, &c.
From this ability of his spirit to endure hardnesse, 1. He doth not repent of his engagements of what he hath undertaken or done, when he meets with troubles, and many sore afflictions in his way, as the base spirit of a coward will do. That Scripture Exo. 13. 17. is very observable for this; God sayes there, that he would not lead the people of Israel through the land of the Philistims, although that was neare; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent them when they see war, and return into Egypt. God saw they were of a low, mean spirit, though they groaned under the bondage of Egypt, and cryed for deliverance, & God had delivered them with a mighty hand, yet when they
met with any danger, they would begin to repent that ever they came out of Egypt, and wish themselves there again. And indeed we find in the History of their being in the Wildernesse, that upon every strait they were in, they began to murmur, and often said, Oh that we were in Egypt again: But what would they have done then if they had presently met with wars, when the Spies told them of the children of Anak, that they must fight with? When they were even at the borders of Canaan, they were disouraged, & were about making themselves a Captain to return to Egypt: These were men of a poore vile spirit, hence God sware against them, that none of them should ever come into Canaan, onely Caleb and Joshua, who were men of another spirit, as the holy Ghost testifies of them, they should go in & possesse the land. Thus it is this day with us, how did we not long agoe groan under our bondage? our liberties, our religion, our estates were almost gone, we scarce knew what was our own; our Ministers were banished, every man that departed from evill made himself a prey, superstition, oppression, cruelty prevailed throughout the Land. The whole Kingdome was filled with complaints, and sighs, and groans, by reason of their cruel bondage. Vile men were exalted, and men of precious spirits were cast out as filth. Now when wee knew no means of help, but lay down under our burdens, and were as a Kingdome devoted to misery, then did the Lord appeare in a glorious manner, when he saw there was no man that would stand up and help. Nay such was the malady, as it seemed even to be past help. The Lords owne arme hath brought salvation; never did God more wonderfully
appeare for a nation, then he hath done for us; strange have the workings of the Lord bin, and behold how great a deliverance hath he wrought, and he hath given an opportunity to this Kingdom to deliver it self fully: if we have hearts, the thing is soon done. But now because some troubles arise, because we see war in our gates, how vile & unworthy are the spirits of many? they begin to wish themselves to be as formerly, they would rather return into Egypt again, we were better be as we were, we were not wont to hear the beatings of the Drum, the noise of the Cannon, the ratling of warlike instruments amongst us.
- This strength of spirit doth so support him under the heaviest, sorest afflictions, that he will never seek to deliver himself out of them, by forsaking the cause of God, or using any shifting indirect means, but as Paul told those officers that were sent from the Magistrates of Philippi to fetch him out of prison, Acts 16. 35, 36, 37. They have cast us into prison, let them come themselves and fetch us out: in this Paul shewed what a spirit he had, he stood upon an honourable way of deliverance; the same doth every true souldier of Christ stand upon, God himself hath brought me into affliction, now temptation shewes some back door to get out of it slily, Nay, saies a spirit of courage, certainly I will never go out that way, let the Lord come himself and fetch me out.
Fourthly, A spirit beseeming the childe of this great Captain, aims at doing great things for God, [ 4] and enjoying great things from God, although with hazard of great troubles and afflictions, rather then will sit down with small things that are to be done or enjoyed with ease and safety; sometimes God
hath high things of great consequence to bring to passe, rich glorious mercies for his Churches, but great difficulties must be passed through to reach these: Men of low and meane spirits look upon them as things above them, and so they mind them not much; they had rather satisfie themselves in lower, meaner things, so they may have ease, and not hazard present comforts. It is otherwise with a true raised spirit that hath courage and magnanimity in it, such an one rejoyceth in Gods highnes, as we have the expression, Isay 13. 3. I have commanded my sanctfied ones, I have also called my mighty ones, even them that rejoyce in my highnesse. If God hath high things to accomplish, these Sanctified ones, mighty ones, will rejoyce in this highnesse of God, contrary to that spirit of Issachar, of whom Gen. 49. 14, 15. Issachar is a strong Asse couching down betweene two burthens, and he saw that rest was good, and the Land that it was pleasant, and bowed his shoulder to beare, and became a servant to tribute: He was loath to hazard his peace, hee had good farms, a fat soile, he had rather live in the Countrey, bring up his cattell and be quiet, though he payes great taxes, and be brought to be very servile, yet that he may not be troubled, his spirit can beare that servility; let who will minde great things, he loves to be quiet: This was a low, poore spirit, and his posterity were for the generall very unworthy and vile: For you shall finde in the division of the Land of Canaan that Issachars lot fell in Galile, Josh. 19. from the 18. ver. to the 23. The description of their lot there from the cities, as Jesreel the first, and the out-goings of their border were at Jordan, shews Galile was their place. Now you know what was 〈1 page missing〉
said of that place, Doth any good come out of Galile? usually it is so, the posterity of men of servile spirits, are vile, and lewd.
- Difficulties are so far from disheartning men of courage, that they raise their spirits; They love a busines [ 5] the better when they hear some difficulty is to bee passed through, as Alexander said when he met with a great danger, here is periculum par animo Alexandri, Here is a danger fit for the spirit of an Alexander.
The example of David in this case is very remarkable in 1 Sam. 18. When Sauls servants told David that he might be the Kings sonne in law, David was troubled at it, and did not seeme to entertain the motion, ver. 22, 23. but when they after told him of the termes upon which he should have this honour put upon him, that it was to bring an hundred of the foreskins of the Philistims, ver. 25. which was a work of difficulty and hazard, for on Sauls part it was propounded on purpose to be a snare to him, for so sayes the Text, Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistims; now marke, ver. 26. when Sauls servants told David these things, it pleased David well to be the Kings sonne in law: that which he seemed to be troubled at, when it was propounded absolutely, that he is well pleased with, when it is propounded with such a condition as had some difficulty in it, wherby he had an opportunity to shew forth the excellencie of his spirit: A base low spirit would have beene better pleased with it to have had such a thing without any such condition. It is reported of the Lyon, that such is his spirit, as if he meetes with a prey that another hath killed before, he will not meddle with it, but he will seeke for one
to kil himselfe; if it be done to his hand, as wee say, he cares not for it, but he will have one that shall be his own, that he must doe something himselfe for it, or else it pleaseth him not.
- A spirit of courage and true valour is not onely [ 6] able to suffer, willing to suffer, raised by sufferings, but can rejoyce, triumph, glory in sufferings, account sufferings in a good cause great riches. When we sit at home by our fire sides, and have our tables furnished with varietie of dishes, and goe to our soft beds, and have the curtains drawne close, we pitty poore souldiers that now lye abroad in the stormes, upon cold earth, who drinke water, and often want bread, yea many that might have fulnesse enough at home: but that warlike spirit of theirs is above these things; they can rejoyce in their hardships, as much as you in all your abundance. They think their lives more comfortable then yours, because they are in service for the publique; they have opportunity to doe worthily in their generations; and you, what do you doe? you sit at home, and have your ease, and pamper your selves, and doe nothing; they would not by any meanes live your lives. A true souldier like spirit is in his true element when he is in the midst of all the hardships of warres, he loves to live and dye in such a condition. Thus the Apostle, a true souldier of Christ, Rom. 5. 2. We glory in tribulations. Moses accounted the reproach of Christ greater riches then all the treasures of Egypt, Heb. 11. 27. Ignatius hath this expression, He had rather be a Martyr then a Monarch: When he heard his bones crash between the wilde beasts teeth, Now, sayes he, I begin to be a Christian, Cruaelitas vestra est gloria nostra, sayes Tertullian to
the persecutors, Your cruelty is our glory. Many of the Martyrs prepared themselves for their sufferings, as Brides use to prepare themselves for their Bridegroomes, with joy and gladnesse of heart. The wounds they receive in the cause of Christ have more glory issue forth from them then blood; they are an ornament to them, they put a beauty upon them. They account it far better to lose for God, then to enjoy for themselves; that part of their estates they part with in a good cause, they account the best part of their estates; they account themselves more rich in that, then in what they still retaine. Heb. 10. 34. They take joyfully the spoiling of their goods. The reason of all is, because their spirits are raised above creature-comforts, their happinesse consists not in them, they are not beholding to them for their peace and joy, they can finde matter of joy in the parting with them, as well as in the having them, through that divine principle of holinesse that God hath put into them.
- A spirit of true courage hath all its fears swallowed up in the fear of God; it hath learned to feare [ 8] nothing but God; and in order to God, it sets the fear of God against all other fears. One man fears poverty, but I fear the God of heaven; another fears reproach, but I fear the God of heaven; another imprisonment, but I fear the God of heaven; another death, but I the God of heaven: It sanctifies this Lord of Hosts, and makes him to be the fear and the dread of it onely. Cornelius the Souldier, the Centurion of the Italian band, is commended for his feare of God, Act. 10. 2. a strange commendation of a souldier to be commended for feare, yes, for the feare of God: This
drives out all base fears; by this he comes to fear nothing else, but to be feared by his enemies.
- He reserves all his valour for this Lord of Hosts, [ 9] he hath no valour at all for sin, there he is very fearfull, his heart shakes at the very temptation to it, and at the first risings of it: there he seems to a worldling to be a very coward. Other men have spirit & valour enough for sin, (if we may call it valour) but none for God. This mans valour is all for God; in his owne cause he is very flexible, he manifests little spirit; but when the cause is Gods, then his heart rises, there you may try him; many people have passionate gunpowder spirits, soon on fire in their own cause: If they be crossed in their wils, oh how resolute are they! They will, and they will; they care not, they care not what becomes of them, as if there were no such men and women of resolution like them; but in Gods cause they have no such spirit, they are far enough from resolutenesse and courage there, they are not valiant for the truth, as Jer. speaks, Chap. 9. 3. But it is our wisdome, if we have any metall in us, any spirit of courage, not to lavish it out in mean and unworthy things, in our own causes, but to reserve it for God, God may call us to such things as we may find need of all the metal and courage we have in our hearts, though it were much more then it is. When soldiers have but a little powder, and feare an enemie, they will not spend that they have vainly, but keep it till they have use of it; they know not what they may need. Be not you so presently on fire; if you be crossed, keep the activity, the vigour of your spirits for God, for the maintenance of his truth and cause.
Lastly, hee had rather dye honourable, then live
basely. Viri fortis est aut pulchrè vivere, aut fortiter mori: It is the part of a valiant man either to live honourably, or to dye valiantly. It was a speech of Cyrus, and it was a true one, One of the two he will have, the world cannot hinder him: And as things are now, if we venture our estates and lives to preserve Religion, Liberties to our selves and our posterity, God may, and we hope he will give us our lives, Religion and Liberties, and so we may enjoy them with comfort and honour: Of if our estates and lives should be lost, suppose the worst, they wil be lost honourably: The losse of them wil be better then that enjoyment we shall have of them (if I may at all call it an enjoyment) that wee are like to have of them, if nothing now be ventured; What will our estates or lives be worth, if our Religion be gone, faithful Ministers be gone, the Saints be fled, imprisoned or massacred? When our Liberties are gone, our Lives then wil hardly be worth the account of the lives of Men, much lesse of Christians. He must needs be very greedy of a life, that desires it upon such terms. Wee reade of Anchises, Aeneas his father, when Aeneas would have saved his life in such a way as he judged not to be honourable, he makes this answer to him, Absit ut excisa possim supervivere Troja, God forbid that I should out-live Troy. If it be spoiled, what is my life worth? Wil our lives be worth the taking up in the streets, if we out-live our Religion and Liberties? Put all these together, and here is a spirit indeed beseeming our relation to this Lord of Hosts: Had wee such spirits, how comfortably may we passe this our pilgrimage? we might goe through all difficulties and oppositions, conquering and to conquer. The
world and devil would have little heart to meddle with us, we should free our selves from many temptations, we should honour our profession, we should do God abundance of service, & at last have an abundant entrance into the everlasting Kingdome of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. An Army of such soldiers would be the most glorioos sight in the world. We reade of the Suns standing stil once, and it was to behold the prowesse of Joshua, that brave soldier, and to enlighten his conquests: If ever it stand stil againe, it is like it wil be to admire such a glorious sight.
Let the cosideration of the glory of our God in this his Name, teach us to give glory to him, for all * the good we enjoy by Armies, it is all from him. He hath of late been exceeding gracious to our Army; he shewed himselfe indeed The Lord of Hosts in that batel at Keynton. This was the acknowledgment both of General, Captains and Souldiers: Never lesse of man in such a businesse, never more of God. The Lord was seen in the Mount; He shewed us that it should not be by a multitude that hee would helpe us, it was by his spirit comming mightily upon a handful that were left in comparison of the adversaries. When the adversary thought, yea cryed out the day was theirs, God turned it suddenly by a mighty hand. O how free is the grace of the Lord to us in this! That Scripture Jer. 51. 5. is fully made good to us, Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of Hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy one of Israel. The fulnesse of sin in us hath not abated the fulnesse of grace in God towards us. The Lord is God, the Lord is God, he is the Lord of Hosts, holy and reverent is his Nause.
There have been times wherein the Lord hath dealt in another manner, even with his own people: & that I may set forth unto you the fulnesse and freenesse of Gods goodnesse to us in our preservation, from being delivered up to the rage of vile men: I will shew you what the severity of God in this kinde hath been towards his own people who were as worthy of mercy as we. We must not think that every particular is to be applyable to us onely in the generall; thus far the consideration of the grievous afflictions of the Church formerly, sets out Gods goodnes to us in preventing such evils amongst us: So that it cannot be said it is with us as it was with them. Not long after God had delivered his people out of their Captivity, therein fulfilling many gracious promises to them, and they being returned, built the Temple and the wals of Jerusalem, there was a glorious reformation, the work of the Lord went on prosperously, through many and great difficulties. Yet after a little time, when Antiochus rose up against them, God suffered him to prevaile exceedingly in all his Warlike affaires against them. Dan. 8. 9. There came a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, not onely towards the South, and towards the East, but towards the pleasant Land, that is, towards the Land of Judea, for indeede it was a pleasant Land. The word signifies Decus, gloria, ornamentum, towards the glory and ornament of the whole world. So was that Countrey especially in regard the worship of God had beene newly set up againe in that Countrey: Yet Antiochus comes against it, and waxeth great for a while, although at first he was but a little horne, for he was a younger brother, and had beene a prisoner not long
before in Rome, but now having got liberty and some command, he rageth especially against the people of God, ver. 10. He waxed great even to the Host of heaven. Here the Church is called The Host of heaven; howsoever despised by the world, yet this Lord of Hosts accounts his Church The Host of heaven, and yet Antiochus waxeth great against this. We have many through Gods mercy in our Host, godly and faithfull, but we presume not to give it this title that God gives his people, The Host of heaven, and yet God suffers the enemie to prevaile against that Host, and is pleased to magnifie his mercy to ours, to give them so great a deliverance, yea so to prevaile against that, as to cast down some of the Host, and of the starres down to the ground, and to stamp upon them. He prevailes as if now he had power over the heavens, to pull down the starres, and to stamp upon them. The more eminent any are, the more is he enraged; if they be starres in this heaven, if he can get to them, he puls them down and stamps upon them. Oh the rage of our adversaries against the most eminent Ministers of our Kingdome! They stamp for anger that they have them not, and if they had them, how would they stamp then? That which one Antiochus did there, many Atheists and Papists would gladly doe amongst us if they had power; but this Lord of Hosts delivers us in mercie from them: yea, ver. 11. He magnifies himselfe even to the Prince of the Host, to this Lord of hosts, he sets himselfe against him. Oh! what rage even against God himselfe? what horrid blasphemies are there against this Prince of the Host of his people? but although he doth magnifie himselfe and blaspheme, surely he can never
prevaile against the Prince of this Host: yes, he is suffered for the present to take away the daily Sacrifice, and to cast down the place of his Sanctuary, and ver. 12. An Host was given him against the daily Sacrifice by reason of transgression, and cast it down the truth to the ground, and it practised, and prospered, upon which the people of God were exceedingly troubled, ver. 13. One Saint speakes to another Saint asking this question, (with hearts full of sorrow enough, God knowes) How long shall the vision be concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the Sanctuary and the Host to be troden under foote?
Here you see that for any to set himselfe against Gods worship, is to set himselfe against God himselfe, proud malicious adversaries, especially aime at this, and God here suffered the adversary to prevaile even against this; God proceedes against his people for their transgression, an Host comes upon them; yea, the Text sayes, if we observe it, that an Host was given him against the daily Sacrifice, by reason of transgression: Antiochus had never been able to raise such an Host, had it not beene for the transgressions of Gods people; yea so far was God provoked with the transgression of his people, as that hee suffered this Host raised against them, to cast downe the truth to the ground, to practise and to prosper. We have cause to lay our hands upon our hearts, to acknowledge our transgressions as great as any they were charged with; and yet although God hath thus far chastised us as to raise an Host against us, yea such a one (so many of them being Papists, and such horrid blasphemers) as we have cause enough to feare they would take away the daily Sacrifice, and cast down
so much of the Sanctuary as is built up already, and even cast down the truth to the ground, but oh the riches of the infinite goodnesse of our gracious God! he hath not suffered them, he hath turned the rage of man to his praise, hee hath wrought gloriously for us, he hath delivered us out of their power, (although many of our brethren suffer hard things) we may yet have the daily Sacrifice and the Sanctuary, that is, the true worship of God amongst us if we will, yet the truth is preached in our Congregations, it is held forth in the beauty and excellencie of it, it is not cast down to the ground, they indeed have practised, but through Gods mercy to us they have not prospered, this is of the Lord of Hosts, let this glorious name of his bee magnified by us for ever.
Yea, yet further, for the setting out mercie to us, that glory may be given to this Lord of Hosts, Consider what the Holy Ghost sayes, ver. 23, 24, 25. of this 8. Chap. concerning Gods taking advantage against his people for their sins, which hee hath not done against us, as it appeares this day. When the*transgressors are come to the full, a King of fierce countenance, one of an extream bold daring spirit, a Prince that will venture upon such desperate things, as few Princes in the world would dare to venture upon the like; if any of his Nobles or others come before him and speake any thing to him not agreeable to his designes, he lookes with a fierce countenance upon them, his countenance shewing the extreame fiercenesse of his spirit: Hence it was that his name was changed from Epiphanes to Epimanes, for his fierce cruelty: but beside his fiercenesse, he shall carry things subtilly too, he shall be one that understands dark sentences; by his wit and subtilty, and
by the help of those about him he shall make such expositions of darke things, as a man would wonder at it, no man could have thought that such things could have beene pickt out of passages as he shall pick up, and by this he shall bee able to put such a colour upon the foulest things, as they shall appeare very specious to many.
And his power likewise shall be mighty, God will suffer him to grow to a great strength, but not by his own power, so sayes the Text, although you could not see how he could raise any such power of his own, yet he shall have a great power, he shall have money, Ammunition, strength, from forreigne Princes, or as some would have it, God himselfe shall give power to him, beyond what he hath of his own. Surely if the power against the Church be Gods rather then the adversaries own, then the power for deliverance of the Church must be acknowledged to bee Gods rather then our own, but I rather take the former sense to be the intent of the Holy Ghost in that place. It follows, he shall prosper and practise, he shall not be alwayes consulting, demurring, delaying, but he shall bee doing, and thereby he shall prosper: The word is faciet, he shall doe something, The prosperous successe of * war depends much upon action.
Alexander was asked, How he did so great things in so little a time? He answered, By neglecting no advantage. I have read of Charles, the sonne of Charles Duke of Anjou, who was King of Sicily and Jerusalem, he was called Carolus Cunctator, that is, Charles the Delayer, but not in that sense that Fabius, who was the Shield of Rome in his time, he was called likewise Cunctator, but that was because he used to stay till
opportunity came, but the other used to stay till opportunity was lost, Antiochus was no such Cunctator, stayer till opportunity was lost, he practised and so prospered; and because he prospered, therefore he stil further practised. But when he saw delaying, and gaining time might advantage him, then hee would seek to put off, and spin out time as much as he could. There is a famous story of Pompilius, being sent by the Senate of Rome to this Antiochus, to declare to him the pleasure of the Senate, that he must not goe to Egypt; Antiochus now requires time to deliberate, but Pompilius makes a circle about him with the staffe he had in his hand, and told him he must not goe out of that circle, til he had given his absolute answer, I or No: But Antiochus would faine have put him off with a complement, but Pompilius rejects his complement, and bids him answer speedily, otherwise he knew what to doe. These speedy resolutions are of mighty advantage in many of the great affaires of the world, esecially when we have to deale with cunning adversaries, who lye to catch advantages. The Text farther sayes, He shall destroy wonderfully, he shall make such spoile of faire plentifull countries, make such waste where he comes, leave all so poore and miserable, as will be a wonder for any to see it, who knew the Countrey in the plenty and riches of it, but a few weeks before he came into it, Yea he shall destroy the mighty and the holy people, men of brave spirits, even gracious, godly men, and stout, valiant men, yet they shall fall before him: And ver. 25. Through his policie also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand: If there be any devices, shifts, cunning underminings, any false wayes in the world, he will make
use of them, and he shall get advantage by them, and he shall magnifie himselfe in his heart. When he hath got an advantage any way, by falsifying promises, protestations, or by what means soever, it shall please him at the heart, he shall magnifie himself in his very heart, and others about him shall puffe him up, and seek to magnifie him, and by peace he shall destroy many: That is,
- By promising peace, by treatles of peace, they shall think all is well, now there will be peace, and so being secure, he shall come upon them unawares, and destroy many.
Or 2. by peace, that is, by his prosperity that he shal enjoy, all shal account him happy, & thereby be ready to joyn with him; they shal promise to themselves to be delivered from many troubles by comming in to him, Surely he will have the better of it, it is best for our safety (if we would hold our lands and estates) to come in & joyne with him, and thus by his peace he shall destroy many.
Or 3. In pace, in peace, Calvin interprets thus: In a silent quiet way he shall withdraw himselfe and his Forces; there shall not be much noise of him, but hee shall weary the Forces of the other and their party, and gaine time and advantages of them. When he seems to be quiet, and comes not against them in a hostile way, even then shall he destroy many, yea hee shall stand up against the Prince of Princes. He shall not acknowledge the Majesty, the power of God, he shal set himself against those waies of Providence that are apparently against him, howsoever he will not see it; but then sayes the Text, he shall be broken without hand. God himself in some wonderfull way that you know not of shall break him, when all means faile, and all people shall be afraid that all will come
to ruine and misery, then shall he be broken without hand.
VVe complaine much of sad things that we suffer, but we suffer not such things as the people of God, so deare unto him, suffered in those times. Our sins cry as loud as theirs for the like miseries; but God is free in his grace. It is from the Lord of Hosts that we are preserved from such fearful evils as these.
It may be some may say, Why, are we in any danger of such miseries as the Jews suffered under Antiochus?
If bloody Papists, and cursing and blaspheming Cavaliers might have their wils on us, our miseries would soon parallel theirs, if not rise above them, seeing so many of them are got together, and they are growne to such a height in their rage, it is onely from this great Lord of Hosts that they break not in upon us as a deluge of the most hideous woes, and dreadful miseries that ever befel any Christian Nation upon the face of the earth: but blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Let the Crown of all our mercies, and more especially of that great mercy in the late battel be set upon the head of this glorious Lord of Hosts. We reade 2 Sam. 12. 27, 28. when Joab fought against Rabbah, when the work was almost done, he sent to David to come and take the City, that he might have the glory of it, that the Kings Crowne which was of gold and precious stones might be, set upon Davids head. Although God hath made use of instruments in this great work, and due honour is to be given to them, yet let the crown of the work be set upon the head of the Lord of Hosts.
I find in a Treatise of Plutarchs about the evill of * taking honour to ones selfe, a notable relation of one Pytho, who having slaine a great enemie of the countrey, whose name was Cotys, whilst the officers of the * people were striving who should doe him most honour, he speaks thus unto them: These things some of the gods have done; as for us we have but lent our hands to this work. It is true, the General and many of our Captains and Souldiers have done worthily, but it is as true that they have onely lent their hands to this work. The Lord of hosts hath done this great thing both for them and us; If we would expresse our respects to the General, and honour him as he hath deserved, in this thing especially, we should doe it to speake well of him before this Lord of Hosts, and to pray much for him.
It was a custome among the Romans, when a victory was got, to use solemne Processions for many dayes together, offering Prayers and Sacrifices to their gods in behalfe of their Generall. The manner was, after the victory to send to the Senate Letters dight with Laurel, wherein was required that they would decernere Supplicationes, appoint such solemne Supplications for the Generall. The conclusion of all is, the glory of this great work must stick no where, but passe through all, to this our strong redeemer the Lord of hosts. Let that Doxologie of the Angels, Esay 6. 3. be ours this day, Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Hosts. The whole earth is full of thy glory. Let our streets, our congregations, our families, our hearts be now full of the glory of this Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Hosts.
And thus you have had one part of the glory of this great name of God opened and applyed.
If you will give me but a little time more, I will give you some little glimpse of the other part of this glorious name, and wind up all suddenly.
God is the Lord of Hosts in respect of that absolute command he hath over all creatures, he hath all creatures in heaven and earth under him, as a Generall hath his Souldiers: The Angels they are his Hosts. Psal. 68. 17. The Charyots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of Angels, The Lord is among them as in Sinai. In the Hebrew, the word is in the singular number the Charet, to note the joynt-service of all the Angels, they are but as one Charet, although they be many thousands, yea Myriads of thousands as we have it here, there never is any mutiny amongst these Souldiers, their harmony is most blessed, their union firm, indissoluble. That which your English turns, Twenty thousand, even thousands, is Myriades thousands, and the word translated Angels is not elsewhere found in Scripture in that signification, it comes of Shanah to second, as being second or next to God, the chiefe Princes, the Nobles of Gods Court, as Dan. 10. 13. Michael one of the chiefe Princes: The Seventy translates the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, The chearfull ones, who serve this Lord of Hosts readily, and freely, and joyfully in his wars, they derive it from the Hebrew, Shaan, which signifies to bee in tranquility and joy, as in Sinai, that is, as God was in Sinai with ten thousand of his holy ones when hee gave the Law, Deut. 33. 2. so he is in Sion likewise, the Angels Gods Hosts, makes Sion as dreadfull to all her enemies, as those Angels as appeared to God on Mount
Sinai, made it dreadfull to the people. Thus Dan. 10. 20. The Angel tels Daniel, That he was to returne to fight with the King of Persia; God hath his Angels to stand out against the great Princes of the earth, they go forth to fight with them; they often meete with terrible strokes from Angels when they little thinke of them.
The stars in Heaven they are the Hosts of God, Judges 5. 20. They sought from heaven, the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. The waters are Gods Host, they drowned Pharoah in the red sea, and here, ver. 21. The River Kishon swept away the mighty Host of Sisera: The windes are the Hosts of God, Psal. 148. together with the haile, and snow, there reckoned up with many others, fire, and vapour, beasts, and creeping things. Livy reports of the windes in Cannensi pugna, raising dust in the eyes of the Romans while they went in fight that they could not see: The locusts are Gods Hosts, Joel. 2. 25. What an Host did God muster up against Pharaoh? frogs and flies, lice and caterpillers; They were all the Armies of God against him. God gave commission to the fire and it burnt up Sodome; he gave commission to the earth, and it swallowed up Corah, Dathan and Abiram.
But the chiefe thing I intend in this is to shew you the glory of God in this title of his, from this consideration.
- God is glorious in this that he hath an exceeding great Army: The greatnesse of an Army is the [ 1] glory of a Generall, now Gods Army onely of his Angels that are about him, is very great, Dan. 7. 10. Thousand thousands ministred unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. His Army of Locusts
is called a great Army, Joel 2. 25. this then of the Angels is much more to be esteemed a great Army.
- His Army is exceeding strong and powerfull, [ 2] and in this likewise the glory of a General consists much; God did but send one of his Captains he hath with him in heaven, and in one night he slew one hundred fourscore and foure thousand of the Host of Senacherib, 2 Kings 19. 35.
- He hath multitudes of Armies, it is the glory [ 3] of a great Prince to have many Armies in the field at once, one in one place, another in another place, and so compassing round about his adversaries with his Armies: The Lord of Hosts hath Armies in the heavens, Armies in the aire, armies in the seas, Armies on the earth dispersed in every Countrey, all the whole world is filled with the multitudes of the Armies of the Lord.
- All these Armies of the Lord are always in a readinesse, they are prepared Armies, it is but giving [ 4] out the word and they fall on; they are in battel array, evermore ready armed to doe the pleasure of their Generall: No Prince, no Commander hath thus his Armies always in readinesse; many times when they have use of them, much time is lost in getting Companies together, and in getting their Arms.
- Gods Armies alwaies accomplish what God intends by them, they alwayes prosper in their fight, [ 5] they are never conquered, but effect what God sends them for. Psal. 140. 8. Fire, haile, snow, vapour, stormy wind, fulfilling his word: Many of you Mariners wil not fulfil Gods word, but God when he hath you at Sea he sends stormie winds, and they fulfill Gods
word upon you. Psal. 103. 21. Blesse ye the Lord, yee his Angels that excell in strength; that doe his Commandements, hearkning unto the voice of his word.
How many men, who think themselves great, demeane themselves as if they thought themselves above Gods Commandments? but the Angels that excel in strength, they doe his Commandments, they hearken to the voice of his word: They stand listening to heare what it is that God hath to command them, and are ready to obey. And that which is said of the Angels, is true of all Gods Hosts, for so it followes, ver. 21. Blesse ye the Lord all ye his Hosts, ye ministers of his that do his pleasure: Blesse ye the Lord all his works, in all places of his dominion. God sayes to one, Doe this and hee doth it; to another, Come, and he commeth: yea Gods Armies are ready to destroy themselves in the service of their Lord. The command of a Generall in an Armie is powerfull; he may keep his Armie from spoile if he please. Plutarch in the life of Pompey tels of him, that hearing of his soldiers offering violence in an unjust way, he caused all their swords to be sealed up, so as no man dared break open the seale without leave. He did more then bid them, yea more then command them that they should not spoile. [ 6]
- Yea God forceth his enemies to fight for him, * and can turn their weapons against themselves, which is a high power beyond all other Captains and Generals in the world. Sozomen and Nicephorus tell us of a great work of God in the defence of that good Emperour Theodosius, by a mighty wind the arrows of his enemies were turned upon them, which Claudian likewise mentions, Oh thou beloved so exceeding much of God, for whom the skies and the wind fight, &c.
There are no other creatures but devils and men but doe readily and faithfully fight for God, and even these God forces to fight for him whether they will or no, even then when they seeme to fight most against him. As many men who say they defie the devil, yet even then are the slaves of the devil, and doe his will; so many whose hearts and wayes are opposite to God, yet even then God useth them to fight for him, and to accomplish his own purposes.
- The glory of Gods infinite wisdom appeares [ 7] in all his Armies, in putting of them into most comely order, guiding, keeping them constantly in their severall ranks; which order and shining wisdom in it were we able to see, it would amaze us with the lustre of it. Joel 2. 7. it is said of the Locusts, They shall march every one in his wayes, and they shall not breake their ranks, neither shall one thrust another, they shall walk every one in his path. To order and guide in ranks such infinite multitudes of Armies, is infinitely beyond the skil of any Commander upon the earth. When David Psal. 104. was meditating upon the glory of God in his works, ver. 24. In the midst of his meditation he could not hold, but breakes forth with admiring expressions at Gods wisdome in them all, O Lord how manifold are thy works! in wisdome hast thou made them all, the earth is full of thy riches. Let our hearts be raised in our meditations of the riches of Gods wisdome, appearing in marshalling all his Armies. Certainly if wee did look into this, and cause our thoughts to dwel upon it, it would cure us of our Atheistical thoughts. How is it possible but a God must needs be acknowledged, where such admirable art and skil appeares, even in the works of nature, which
they know nothing of themselves? Is it possible for any man that should see a mighty Army marching along all in comely order, and yet think that all these men fell into this order meerly by accident, as they came running together? must he not needs be convinced that here surely hath been the military art of some skilfull Commanders working? The same conviction of a God, of his wisdome must there needs be, if we saw in what order all creatures are put.
- All these Armies God maintains every day at [ 8] his own charge, and so hath done since the beginning of the world. They live wholly upon him, and yet are not at all burdensome unto him. He is yet as rich as ever he was, as able to maintain them all as ever; yea and many thousands more if he pleased. This surely is a great God.
- God is able to put as much power as he pleaseth [ 9] into the least creature, to raise it above the nature of it, so as though it be never so poore and weak in it selfe, he can make it irresistible. Hence it is that God by contemptible means hath so often brought down the power, the rage, the pride of the great ones of the earth: how terrible was he to Pharaoh in the very flyes? that is observable; whereas upon the judgement of the Haile, he did but promise that he would let Israel goe, Exod. 9. 28. but upon Gods Army of flies he bids them goe, Chap. 10. 8. But that place Joel 2. is most remarkable for this; observe what high expressions God hath of a mighty Army of his, and the truth is, it was but an Army of Locusts and Caterpillers. Ver. 2. he calls the day of their comming, A day of darknesse, of gloominesse, a day of thick darknesse: hee cals them a great people and a strong, there hath not been
ever the like, ver. 3. A fire devovreth before them, and behind them a flame burneth; the Land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wildernesse, yea and nothing can escape them: And ver. 4. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses, and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leape, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battel array. I know some interpret it of the Babylonians thus described; but if the Text be looked into, wee shall cleerely see it meant of the Locusts and Caterpillars, therefore the expressions are metaphorical all along: As horses, as a strong people in battel array: And ver. 6. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blacknesse, even those who had impudent, brazen foreheads in wayes of wickednesse, & would not feare the mighty God, even these stout hearts shall tremble before the Locusts. God will put so much terror into these poore creatures, that all faces shall gather blacknesse, they shall look swarte for feare of them. Ver. 7. They shall run like mighty men, they shall climbe the wall like men of war: And ver. 8. When they shall fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the City, they shall climb up upon the houses and enter in at the windows. Ver. 10. The earth shall quake before them, the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moone shall be darke, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. They shall bring so much terror with them, as even to affect the very heavens, it shall be like as if the sun and moone had lost all their light, as if there were earth-quakes in every place where they come. Ver. 11. And the Lord shall utter his voice before his Armie. As Commanders speak with a voice
of majestie before their Armies, so the Lord shall utter his voice before this his Army, he shall even glory to be the Leader of such an Armie as this; for saith the Text, His camp is very great, and strong that executeth his word: the day of the Lord is great, and very terrible, and who can abide it? All this still is the army of Locusts and Worms, for so it is ver. 25. I will restore to you the years that the Locusts have eaten, the canker-worm, and the cater-piller, and the palmer-worm, my great Army which I sent among you. Now if God can raise to this height Locusts and Worms to be such a dreadful Army, how dreadfull then is the Lord able to make all his other great Hosts? Surely a glorious Lord of Hosts is this God.
- This great Generall is himselfe the strength [ 10] of all his Armies, and he hath infinite strength in himselfe alone, beyond what all his Armies in heaven and earth have, the power of his Hosts is but a little of his power given to them; amongst men it is otherwise, the strength of a Captain a Generall, is in the strength of the Soldiers of the Army, not the strength of the Army in their Captain or Generall; their wisdome and courage indeede helpes much, but their strength lyes in the Army; if the Souldiers leave them, if they faile, what can the General doe? but it is otherwise here, God gives all the strength, he supports it, he draws stout, he blesseth it, it is onely in the power of his might that any of them is able to doe any thing; and if all their force were united in one, God hath infinitely more in himselfe without them, and can doe infinitely more by his word alone in an instant, then they can doe as long as the world stands. Oh how great is this God, this Lord of Hosts!
To apply it in a few words.
- Who would not feare this God then? Job 13. 11. Shall not his excellencie make you afraid? Behold here a great part of the excellencie of his name; let it strike a reverentiall feare into our hearts. Psal. 76. 4. Thou art more glorious and excellent then the mountains of prey. The stout-hearted are spoiled: At thy rebuke O God of Jacob, the chariot and the horse are cast into a dead sleep. Then the inference, ver. 7. Thou, even thou art to be feared, and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?
- Surely then it is good being on Gods side, to [ 2] be of his party, this is the strongest side, this certainly will have the victory. It is safest to joyn with the Lord, and it is most honourable. You know what Christ said to his Disciples to strengthen them against feare, I could pray to my Father, and he would send me twelve Legions of Angels. David, Psal. 27. though alone, yet he thinks himselfe safe enough with the Lord of Hosts, ver. 3. Though an Host shall encampe against me, my heart should not feare; Though Warre should rise against me, in this will I be confident: In what? ver. 1. That the Lord is his light, his salvation, and the strength of his life. If we be with the Lord, we may be sure that we shall ever have with us more then against us. 2 Chron. 32. 7, 8. Be strong and couragious, be not afraid nor dismayed for the King of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be moe with us then with him. With him is an arme of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us, and to fight our battels. And the people, sayes the Text, rested upon the words of Hezekiah. Here is a full object for our faith to rest upon. If we look upon God onely in this latter consideration
of him as The Lord of Hosts, we need never feare want of Souldiers, seeing all creatures in heaven and earth are his armed trained Souldiers, and he himselfe is infinite in himself. Oh how happy should we be, if we could in all our straits exercise faith in this Lord of Hosts, looking upon him in this consideration!
You will say, It is true, this Lord of Hosts is indeed a full object of faith, were it not that we have sorely provoked him to come out against us; yea we are afraid he is now appearing in wrath against us.
I will give you one Text of Scripture in such a case as this is, when your provocations of him lye heavy upon you, and it is as sweet, and full, and encouraging a Scripture as any I know, Zach. 1. 17. The Lord had professed in the beginning of the Chapter, that he had been sore displeased with their Fathers, ver. 2. yea and it appeares by the 3. and 4. ver. that they were no better then their Fathers, and ver. 12. it is said, The Lord of Hosts had had indignation against Jerusalem these threescore and ten yeeres; so that even at that present when the Prophet spake to them, it seemes God was in such a way towards them, as his indignation appeared against them: but that their hearts might break, and their faith be raised; marke what a gracious promise comes in to them even now, in this 17. ver. Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, My cities through prosperity (or through good, so the word is in the Hebrew) shall yet be spread abroad, and the Lord shall yet comfort Sion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. Mark, here are foure yets in this ver. and they are very gracious ones, Cry yet, shall yet be spread, shall yet comfort, and shall yet choose Jerusalem, and all these
from the Lord of Hosts, yea and from the Lord of Hosts sorely dispeased, yea although he was provoked to indignation. We have sinned,—cry yet. We have provoked wrath,—shall yet be spread. We are miserable wretched creatures,—shall yet comfort. We are unworthy,—shall yet choose. O the free grace of our God to his people! Thou troubled, distressed soule, look up to him, as making himselfe knowne by this glorious name, cry to him by this name, Lord thou commandest Angels, heavens, earth, seas, now let thy power worke for the good of my soule; give commandement from heaven to this distemperd heart of mine, to yeeld to submit to thee, to these lusts that rise against thee, that they may be subdued, yea destroyed. Lord, in any difficulties we finde our selves brought into, let us not be discouraged, We cannot see how Antichrist should be brought downe: But Revel. 18. 8. Her plagues shall come in one day, he shall utterly be burnt with sire, for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
And further, it is most honourable to joyne with, to be under this Generall. Souldiers boast much of the power, greatnesse, magnificence of their Generall; they account themselves honoured by it. The people of God have infinite cause to make their boast of this Lord of Hosts, under whose banners they fight, he is their praise and their glory. Psal. 148. God is gloriously set forth with his Hosts about him. The conclusion, ver. 14. is this, He is the praise of all his Saints: Not onely Objectively, because the Saints are exercised in his praises; but Relatively, he is a praise and honour to his Saints; his Saints glory in this, that they serve under such a Commander. There are two Captains in the world, under whose command
all the world serve, this Lord of hosts, and the Devil, for he also hath his Armies fighting for him, the Dragon and his Angels; all wicked men are under him, and fight for him: his great Lieutenant is Antichrist. It is no dishonour to run from these Commanders, to get under the Banners of the Lord of Hosts.
- Let us honour this Lord of hosts by being willing to be put into what rank he shall please, to be ordered in what place he shall appoint, and there to keep out ranks. If God wil put us in the fore-front, where there is hottest service, let us not murmur; the hotter the service is, the greater will the reward be. We must not choose our own places. All other creatures, except the Angels, are onely passive to the work of their Lord in ordering them. We should be active in yeelding our selves freely to his ordering, and be well pleased with it, and keep our ranks. It is an easie matter to keep rank whilst we march along; but when we come to fight, we shall not find it so.
Lastly, how dreadfull must this glorious name of God needs be to all ungodly ones, who walk on in wayes of enmity against such a God? Esay 45. 9. Woe to him that striveth with his Maker: let the potsheard strive with the potsheards of the earth. With what infinite indignation must God needs look upon such vile wormes, who dare resist such a glorious Majesty as he is? God can but speak to any humour of thy body, and it shall make thee lye roaring out in anguish, and grievous torture; thy life shall be more bitter then death unto thee. This God may give commission to the next crumbe of bread, and it shall choak thee, and send thee down to hell.
God himselfe is against thee, he walks contrary to thee in all his Attributes. The swords point of his infinite Justice is at thine heart. All the creatures of God stand ready armed against thee, and would fly upon thee, if God did but give out the word. The Angels stand prepared, Lord shall but one of us goe and cut off that wretch who dares presume to blaspheme thy name, to lift up himselfe against thee? As Abishai said to David, 2 Sam. 16. 9. Why should this dead dog curse my Lord the King? let me goe and take off his head. The Ayre cryes, Lord shall I conveigh infection into his body, and poyson him? The Water, Shall I stop his breath? The Fire, shall I seize on him, and burne him? The earth, Shall I open, and swallow him up? The beasts of the field, Shall we run upon him, and tear him? Thy meat, thy drink, Shall we choak him, or be bane to him? Thou art in the midst of Gods Hosts, compassed about on every side. 1 Chron. 13. 14. When Judah looked back, behold the battel was before and behind, and they cryed unto the Lord. Look about thee oh distressed soule, and see the Hosts of the Lord before thee and behind thee, and cry to the Lord. Certainly there is no creature neere thee, but thou hast cause to looke upon it with a shaking heart: thou knowest not but that it may be thy ruine, sent of God to cut thee off, that thou mightest go to thine owne place. Certainly it cannot be but ere long some creature or other will break in upon thee, and be an executioner of Gods wrath upon thee, if not prevented by thy repentance. When God awakens a guilty conscience, every creature is terrible to it, the wrath of God is seene in the face of every creature. Cain cryes out, Every one that meets me, will kill me. Why? Who was
there in the world then to kill him? not many besides his father and mother, and yet every one will kill him: especially if it be some extraordinary work of God in the heavens, or seas, or elsewhere, as in extreame thunder, stormes and tempests, or the like: how terrible is that to such a conscience, as to Caligula and others? The Prophet Elisha prayed to God to open the eyes of his servant to see Gods Hosts about him, to deliver him from feare: my prayer is, that God would open thine eyes, that thou mayst see Gods Hosts about thee, that thou mayst feare: if thy eyes were open, it would be with thee as it was with those who came there against Elisha, when their eyes were * opened they saw themselves in the midst of Samaria, in the midst of their enemies. Certainly so long as God is thine enemy, all creatures in heaven & earth are thine enemies. Wherefore consider how unable thou art to stand out against this glorious God; lay down thy weapons of enmity, cry out bitterly of thy desperate folly, make it thy great work above all things in the world, to make up thy peace with him. God yet offers mercy to thee, as Alexander did those he warred against, while the Lamp burned: If they staid untill it was out, there was nothing but bloud expected. The Lamp of thy life is stil burning; come in that thy soule may live. There is no standing out against this God, he will have glory from thee in spight of thy heart.
A briefe Answer to Doctor Fernes Booke, tending to resolve Conscience, about the Subjects taking up of Arms.
By JER. BURROUGHES.
THere came to my hand a Book of D. Fern, tending to resolve Conscience in the case of the Subjects taking up Armes. I find it carryed on without giving any ill termes, but in saw expressions, sutable to a Treatise that concernes Conscience, and the more likely to prevail with it. Onely now and then some bitternes breakes forth; I shall very briefly, yet faithfully give you the strength of it: Where he speakes right, I will acknowledge it; and where he mistakes, I will fairly discusse and shew you whence the mistakes arise. I confesse he hath great advantage in the subject, because it is for the King: 1. Because it is safer to plead for the King, though a man mistakes; but if there be a mistake in lessening the Kings right, a man endangers his utter undoing. 2. Truth about this argument, hath alwayes been tenderly handled; those who have pleaded for the King, have with courage vented themselves to the utmost; but others have been forced to be silent, or else but even to whisper and speak halfe out, lest they presently meet with (not arguments, but) things of another nature to answer them. In which regard the power of Kings hath been raised to the height, and men have drunk in such opinions of absolute power in them, as they have heard confidently affirmed, practised, and seen in Books, and feeled by many taxations and censures; but whatsoever might informe them hath layne in the darke, not daring to appeare: Therefore well might the D. call what now people begin to heare, and enquire after, a new doctrine; it is an old truth, but newly discovering it self. The name of King hath taken such impression in the hearts of people, that for a while they will be prejudiced against whatsoever may but sound of limiting his power, or maintaining our right against it.
What there is in the Epistle that may prejudice any mans conscience, will be answered in what follows.
Preamble to SECT. I.
SO many good people that are come to a sense of Religion and godlinesse, are miserably carryed away by a strange implicite saith, to beleeve whatsoever is said or done in the name of the Parliament, &c. to be infallibly true and just.
It seems those who have not a sense of Religion, do not so easily beleeve the truth and justice of what is done in the name of the Parliament. This is most * certaine, who are hardest to beleeve what the Parliament sayes, but Papists, and notorious blasphemers, and prophane livers? I condemne not all, but compare the generality of the one side, and of the other; you shall finde an apparent difference in the lives of the one, from the lives of the other: Yea, so it is now that if a man as heretofore were not prophane, or loose at least, or zealous for ceremonies, he was accounted a Puritan; so now a Round-head, that is, in their ordinary interpretation, one for the Parliament.
If it be said, This is because Religion is pretended on the Parliaments side: So it is on the other, with as loud a cry as the Parliaments. In such things where I must have regard to humane testimony, to what part I see the most that have the sense of Religion to adhere, that side I will be on, except I see better grounds
then yet the D. brings to draw me from it. Prov. 2. 20. That thou mayst walk in the way of good men, and keepe the paths of the righteous.
IN this Sect. these special things are considerable: 1. What he grants 2. what we grant. 3. What he sayes we grant. He grants we may deny obedience to the King, not onely in things unlawfull by the Law of God, but by the established Laws of the Land. It is well this is granted; Heretofore we know this was the generall Tenet, whatsoever was commanded by the King, yea by any men in authority, if but by a Prelate, except it were against Gods Law, we were bound to obey it; any thing that was not sinne, must be yeelded to and that for conscience sake. The D. in this is ingenuous; he confesseth that not onely Gods Law, but mans Law limits Kings power: This is a great case to many mens consciences to know so much.
And further, if this be true, that all those Scriptures that urge obedience to Kings and men in authority, must be understood with this limitation, that is, if they command according to the Laws of God, and according to the Laws of the countrey over which they are.
- He sayes, In point of resistance we grant it must be in such a case where there are Omnes ordines regni consentientes, an unanimous consent of the two Houses.
There is no determination that the greater part present of either House agrees upon, but is as truly valid and legal, as if there were an unanimous consent * of them both. It is so in all bodies where things are carried by vote.
- He sayes, We yeeld it must be a meere defensive resistance.
If the King should send any to mischiefe us, to say, we must onely defend our¦selves, so as not to offend them, is a contradiction; as for the Kings person, is it * not the profession of the Parl. to defend it? therefore we neede not dispute now, about defending our selves against it.
- He sayes, this likewise is granted that the Prince must first be bent to overthrow Religion, Liberties, and Laws, and will not discharge his trust, before there must be resistance.
By this he would insinuate that our Arms taken up are unlawfull, because the King hath not declared himselfe thus. *
What need we be put to meddle with any thing but this in the case in hand? That a Kingdom seeing it self in imminent danger of enemies to infringe the liberties of it, may stand-up to defend it selfe; yea although they come forth against it in the name of the King: This is our case, and if the D. disputes against any thing but this, he sights with his own shadow.
If this be case as certainly it is, then a great part of the Doctors book is impertinent to the businesse of the Parliaments raising forces: For forces may bee raised upon other grounds then the Kings being bent to overthrow Religion.
THe strength of this Section, and almost all the book, is in that place of Rom. 13. and in this place I beleeve the D. will see, or if he doth not, others will, that he is utterly mistaken in the sense of that place.
The Apostle sayes expresly, Whosoever resists, shall receive damnation.
But he doth not say expresly, whosoever resists the highest men shall receive damnation, but whosoever shall resist the power: Let every one be subject not * to the wills of the highest men, but to the higher power: there is a great deale
of difference betweene these two: The higher power, that is, that authority that God, & man hath put upon such a man, it is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that must be subjected to, & not resisted. We professe against resisting power, authority, though abused: If those who have power to make Laws, shall make sinfull Laws, and so give authority to any to force obedience; we say here there must either be flying or passive obedience; but if one that is in authority command out of his own will, and not by Law, I resist no power, no authority at all, if I neither actively nor passively obey, no I do not so much as resist abused authority. This may seeme strange at the first; but if you thinke of it, you will beleeve it. The D. thinkes the answer to this place is onely from the limitation of the person, or the cause of resisting, as if we held that no particular men upon any cause, but States may resist upon such and such causes; whereas we doe not answer so, but we distinguish betweene the man that hath the power, and the power of that man, and say, although the power must not be resisted according to the letter, and the sense of the Text, yet the illegall will and wayes of the man may be resisted, without the least offending against the Text. But we shall meete with this Scripture again and again, and shall fellow it with answers accordingly.
He comes to examples, as first, the peoples rescuing of Jonathan from Saul. He sayes,*the people were in Arms already, and did but use a loving violence.
This example is onely brought to prove that Subjects may withstand illegal commands of Kings, and no further, and that it plainly proves; onely, he sayes, it is a lo¦ving*violence. Well then, it is a violence; they resolve that the Kings command shall not be fulfilled, yea though hee adds an oath to it. It was indeede a loving violence to Jonathan; so is all the violence that the Parliament offers, a loving violence to the Kingdome, yea and there is true love to the King too in it. The King hath not yet sworn that he will have such things as the Parl. will not suffer, so as to come to our cognisince; but Saul swore that he would have such a thing done, and yet the people would not suffer it to be done, and yet you dare not blame them for this, nay you commend them for it.
The second example is, David resisting Saul, the D. sayes, It was to save his person from Cut-throats.*
And is not our Army to save Parl & people from Cut-throats?
- He sayes, David did no act of hostility, but only defended himselfe.
David had no authority over any that followed Saul, for he was then a private man; but our Parl. hath authority over Delinquents that follow the King. *
- David was loath indeede to venture upon a pitcht battail, or to exasperate Saul or his Subjects, because his strength was weake, 600. to a King, therefore he flies up and downe and takes not every advantage, that if it were possible he might gaine fa•our in the eyes of Saul and his Subjects: but if they had falne upon him, and his power had beene equall to theirs, who knowes what he would have done? but we are sure as it is, it is defensive, and that is all it is to prove that Subjects may take up Arms •o defend themselves against the injustice of their Kings.
For that example of David at Keilah, all the answer to that is, that it is an uncer¦tain*supposition.
But examine the place, you shall finde it as certain as a supposition can be; It appeares plainly that David had some expectation that the men of Keilah would have * stood to him and kept oft Saul comming against him, and if they would, it is apparent by the Text, that David would have stood to it though Saul had come against him. In the Text it is as plain, as this: Suppose the King were neere Hull going aagainst
Sir J. Hotham, and Sir J. Hotham should seek to make sure of the men of Hul, and enquire whether they would deliver him or not if the King came, and he should come to know that certainly they would, and upon that very ground slies away, is this now an uncertaine supposition that Sir John Hotham would willingly have the Town stand to him, and if they would stand to him he would stay there and defend himselfe against the Kings forces?
Hi, last answer to Davids example is, that his example was extraordinary because he was anointed to be King after Saul.
But yet for the present he was a private man, although God had bestowed somthing * extraordinary upon him more then upon other men; but it follows not therefore that in this case he had an extraordinary power to resist the Prince: Prince Charls hath no more power to resist his Father then the Parliament hath.
For the example of Elisha using the Kings messenger rough’y, that came to take away his head, he sayes it sayes little to the question in hand.
Yet he grants as much as it is brought for, that defence is lawful against sudden and * illegall assaults of Messengers sent by the King; if against sudden, why not against deliberate and plotted? for, they are worse: This is one end of the raising of the Army, to prevent such assaults: If it be lawful to be done by violence by 2. or 3. when the messenger is but one, then it may be done by 2. or 3000. when the messengers are 1000.
For the example of the Priests thrusting out the leprous King.
* That which this is brought to prove, is thus much, That there may be such uncleannesse * in a King, that may cause Subjects lawfully to resist him, when he would doe a wicked act.
The Doctor sayes, First Gods hand was upon him.
So when God shall leave a King to some horrible way of evil, certainly Gods hand is upon him then.
* He answers, But he hasted to goe out himselfe.
But the Scripture tels us, the Priests likewise thrust him out; they would not suffer * him to be in the Temple.
The next thing in the Sect. is, a similitude from the naturall body: Though a member may defend it selfe against outward violence, yet no member must be set against the head, for that tends to the dissolution of the whole.
If the similitude may be followed, we say, that some members are as necessary to the life of the head, as the head is necessary to the life of those members.
- * A Kingdome may sometimes have one head, sometimes another, but so cannot a naturall body.
Further, he grants, Personall defence doth not strike at the order and power that is over us, but generall resistance by Arms (he saith) doth.
No, it may maintain and regulate order, and there may be as little injustice on the one side as the other.
*But the case is not as Elishaes, for the King professeth he will use no violence, and we cannot know his heart.
But that example of Elisha is brought to prove the lawfulnes of using force against Kings in using violence: and what violence hath been already used, the world knows.
*Page 10. He comes to Scriptures, denying resistance: let us see what full Scriptures these are.
* The first is, Num. 16. 1. &c. The conspiracie of Corah and his company against Moses and Aaron.
It is strange that this example must be paralleld with our Parl. taking up Arms: Was *
it not a most unjust and vile conspiracie, meerly out of the pride of malicious spirits? Can the D. or any man think, that in justifying Arms in some case, we justifie all villanous conspiracies and out-rages?
Besides, this place condemns rising up against the Priest, as well as the King. Yea certainly, if they had risen against the meanest officer that God had appointed in Church or Common-wealth, as here they did against Moses & Aaron, it would have bin a very hainous offence; Yea if Moses himself should have thus risen against any Officer appointed by God, it had bin a vile sin in him; therefore this proves no more against subjects resisting Princes, then Princes resisting subjects, or one subject resisting another.
Further, we do not rise against His Majesty, as they rose up against Moses & Aaron; we desire not that he should have lesse power then God & the Laws have given him, but we would preserve this in him, and keep off the stroke of any further power, so that we need not for this thing so much as examine the cause upon which they rose, whether it were supposed or not, for the case is far differing in the end of the rising.
But Corah and his company supposed the cause sufficient.
Supposed causes for any thing is not enough; now we are not examining the truth of the cause of taking up Arms, but whether they may not be taken up by the Subject * against the mind of the King for any cause.
Wel, our consciences need not be much scrupled from this Scripture: Let us examine the rest he brings.
The second is, 1 Sam. 8. 11, 18. where the oppression of the King is mentioned, and no means of help mentioned but crying to the Lord.
Is the bare relation of the oppression of a King without mention in that place of any means of help, but crying to God, a sufficient proof that though Kings oppresse never * so much, yet there is no help? Suppose I bring a place of Scripture, where there is a relation of Subjects rising up in a wicked way against their Prince, & in that place there is no other help mentioned, but only the Prince committed this to God, & God revenged it, can there be drawn from thence an argument, that when Subjects rise against Princes that they have no other help against them, but committing the cause to God? We need not go far for a Scripture in this kind, the very place the D. brought before wil do it; Num. 15. when Corah and his company rose against Moses, we there read of no other help that Moses used, but he committed the thing to God, & God revenged it.
But you wil say, yet there are other places that shew that Princes may make use of other help.
So there is for Subjects to make use of other helps against the oppression of their Princes, many Scriptures have been mentioned formerly and cleered. *
Further, besides this, we answer, that the power of all Kings is not alike, it is no argument because one King hath such and such power, therefore all must needs have. The power of Kings is limited or enlarged by the severall Laws of severall Countries.
Let us see what the third Scripture sayes, for yet our consciences are not scrupled, it is Numb. 10. That the people might not go to war but by order from him that had the power of the Trumpet.
Because there was a positive order there that Moses must make trumpets and thus use them; Doth it follow that this must be so every where? you may by as true a consequence * urge the necessity of silver trumpets, and that the Priests should blow them, as well as the former: The consequence would be full as good. No King can use Trumpets in war but by the blowing of the Priests, for it is commanded there, as that no people can go to war till the Magistrates use the Trumpets, because it is so ordered there; we know the Law is judiciall, and for those judiciall Laws the equity binds no
further then according to rules of prudence and justice, every countrey shall see behoofefull for their conditions. Besides if this did binde, then it were a sinne for an Act to passe to put the Militia for any time into any other hands, for certainly it might not then be done, no, not with Moses and Aarons consent.
The next Scripture is, 1 Sam. 26. 9. who can stretch out his hand against the Lords Anointed and be guiltlesse?
Why doth the D. speake of stretching forth the hand against the Lords Anointed? * who endeavours it? doth not the Parliament professe the defence of the Kings Persons 2. Doctor willet upon this place gives you this Answer, That indeed it is not lawfull for a private man to lay hands, no not upon a tyrant; for it is not lawfull for a private man to kill a thiefe of a murderer, much lesse a Magistrate, a Prince. But secondly, he tels us of some that have laid hands upon a King, and yet have been guiltlesse, as Ehud upon Eglon King of Moab: therefore from that Scripture there cannot be a generall Proposition drawn, that no man in any case may stretch forth his hand against a King. Yea Doctor willet answers in the third place, that yet Tyrants and wicked Governours may be removed by the whole State. He indeed limits this, and sayes, it must be understood of such Kingdomes as goe by election, as in Polonia, and gives this reason, From whom Kings receive their authority, by them may they be constrained to keep within bounds. This it seems was good Divinity in those dayes. This distinction he used, to deliver the opinion from opposition in England; but if the distinction be examined, there will appeare little strength in it: We doe not find that D. willet was ever reproved, or his writings censured for this thing.
Concerning that restriction of his to Kingdomes by election, we shall, when wee come to shew from whence all Kings have their power, see, that if it proves true of them, it will prove true of others; for the foundation of all power that such and such men have over others, will be found either from election or covenant, which will come to all one.
- Ferne proceeds thus, If the King had come into the battel, his person might have been hurt as well as any.
This had been but accidentally; If a father should voluntarily goe into the Army of the common enemy, against whom the childe is in service, and the child in discharging * upon the enemy should slay his father being there, especially he being desired & beseeched by any meanes not to be there, but to withdraw himselfe; doth the child contract guilt in such a case?
His next Argument from Scripture is, That the Prophet reprechending the Kings of Israel and Judah for Idolatry and oppression, none ever called upon the people for this duty of resistance.
First, There is much difference betweene Kings now, and those Kings: The people then did neither give them their power, nor limit their power; They doe both now when * first they are set up.
Secondly, if this be a good argument, that because when Kings oppressed, the prophet did not cal upon people for resistance, therefore all resistance in any case is unlawful; then, if when people have resisted, & cast oft the Government of their King, & the Prophets have not reproved them for it; then it is lawfull for people in some case to resist. He that will harken to his own reason, must acknowledge there is par ratio. If the Prophets exhorted not to resistance, then there may be no resistance, sayes the Doctor? Then if when there is resistance, the Prophets rebuke not that resistance, then there may with as good reason be resistance, say I.
When the ten Tribes cast off the Government of Rehoboam for his oppression, and
hearkning to his young Cavalliers about him, rather then to his ancient grave counsel; the Prophets did not rebuke the ten Tribes for what they did, but rather seemed to take their parts. 1 Kings 12. 24. •eturn every man to his house, for this thing is from mee.
Now the D. comes to his great place again, Rom. 13. which he sayes be will free from all exceptions.
Nay, bare me an Ace of that. The truth is, he vever so much as mentions, nor thinks of the great exception, which duly considered, will clear the Text to be nothing * to his purpose.
First he supposes that the King is the supream, as Peter calls him, or the higher power, as here.
- It is true, Peter cals the King Supreame, but in the same place he is made an ordinance of man, and therefore to be limited by man. He may be the chiefe man in authority, * and yet limited in that authority; he is supreame, but not absolute; We grant that the Houses of Parliament, and we all, are his Subjects, but not Subjects to his will, but to that power of his that Law gives him.
- He takes for granted the King is the higher power. Here observe his mistake. Let it be granted that the King hath the highest power, yet what propriety of speech is it to say that he is the highest power? It is proper to God to say that he is Power in the abstract.
Well, The King hath the highest power, and we must be subject to this power of his, and not resist it. Who denies all this? When all this is granted, the D. hath got nothing at all; for if we resist not that power which Law hath given him, we do not resist the higher power, although we do not do nor suffer what hee would have us to do or suffer.
Then he reasons from the person, whosoever, every soule. There was then sayes he, the Senate, &c.
But what power the Senate had for the present upon agreement, or how much of their power was now given up to the Emperour by agreement, he shews not; and if he * shews not this, he sayes nothing.
Then he tels us of the cause Christians had to resist, because their Emperours were enemies to Religion, and had over thrown Laws and liberties.
To the first we acknowledge we must not resist for Religion; if the Laws of the Land be against it, we must either suffer, or seek to enjoy our Religion in the uttermost *•arts of the earth, rather then resist.
For the Emperors subverting Laws and Liberties, he must prove that the people & •enate had not given absolute power to them for the present, for the preventing further wils they feared, or else it reacheth not our case, for we know our people and Senate •ave not given any such absolute power. We must not be put to prove, they had, for it 〈◊〉 his argument; therefore if he wil make it good, he must prove they had not. And yet •ppose they had not, if we should gratifie the D. in that thing, yet the Argument would •e but weak: for the Apostle requires them not to resist their power, their 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: hee •oth not charge them not to resist their tyrannie. Certainly they could have no power at that which was given them by some agreement; if they challenged further, it was no •uthority at all: such kind of tyrannie as they would assume to themselves, the Apostle ••rbids not the resistance of in that place.
As for that he sayes, that some affirm that prohibition was temporary, let them main••in it that affirm it: I am ful of the D. mind in that, this prohibition is a standing rule.
As for that distinction which he sayes, some make that they resist not the power, but •e abuse of the power.
We answer, it is not resisting abused power, for it is resisting no power at all. Abused
power is the ill use of what is given to men; but the ill use of what was never given to them more then to any other, is abuse of their wils, but not abuse of their power. By Power I do not mean Strength, but Authority.
Further, he sayes, These Emperours ruled absolutely, therefore upon that ground men might resist, if for any thing.
- Although the Emperors might use some force to bring themselves to an absolute * power, yet whether the people were not brought to consent to prevent farther danger, that must be disproved, when our case ever fals, so as we shall be brought to consent to an absolute power, although it be out of feare (which God forbid) then this argument will concerne us, but not before.
- What they got and held meerly by force, without any consent and agreement, was no power, no authority at all but might be resisted, no withstanding that prohibition.
The last thing in that Sect. is, whereas we say that our Religion is established by Law, theirs was not: He answers 2. things. 1. Shall the prohibition be good against Christians under Emperors persecuting Religion, & not against Subjects enjoying their Religion?
If those who have power to make Laws should prove so wicked as to make wicked * Laws against Religion, yet I am rather bound to passive obedience in that case, then if men never so good should command according to their own will, and not according to Law; for there is an authority in the one, though abused, but none at all in the other.
His second answer is, This prohibition did not concern Christians only, but all people under the Emperour.
As before, 1. we know not but these people had given up their right. 2. If they had not that prohibition doth not reach them in those things wherein they had not.
* Thus his Scriptures are answered, and I professe I have not answered from a humour of seeking to overcome in a dispute, to put glosses upon the one side, or to seek evasions from the strength of the other, but as in the presence of God to find out truth and to satisfie Conscience that hath to doe with God in a speciall manner.
THe first Sect. is spent about the original of the power of Kings.
He first contends that the power is from God, and that he needs not contend for we grant that the power not only of Kings, but of all lawfull authority is Gods Ordi¦nance, but that such and such men should have this power, and how much of this power should be put upon this man, and how much upon that, that is from man. Hence it is ve¦ry observable when the Apostle speaks of the power, Rom. 13. he sayes, it is of God; bu• when Peter speaks of the men upon whom that power is put, whether Kings or tho•• sent by him, he sayes, that is a humnne ordinance, 1 Pet. 2. 13. yea, a humane creation,〈◊〉 the words are, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Rea the D. grants this, that though the power be from God, yet the designing the person to bear that power, yea, and the qualification and l•¦mitation is from men by the Laws made with consent.
The supreme Magistrate is called the Minister of God, Rom. 13.
We acknowledg him so, he is also said in the same place, to minister for thy good.
I have said, Ye are Gods.
* This is true of inferiour Magistrates as well as superiour, and yet none will say, b• inferiors may be resisted.
His conclusion is in this Sect. that though the power be of God, yet the person d•¦signed, and the qualification of power in several forms of government, & limitation, this, is by the laws of men: This is as much as we desire. Many go no further then th• designation of the person to be from man, but the D. is more fair, he sayes the qualifica¦tion is from man also. If so, mark what follows, then no man can have any of this ruli•• power, but according as he is designed to it, qualified for it, limited in it by men, what¦sover the name be by which you call him, Emperor, King, Prince, Duke, Lord, &c.
THis Sect. is about the power of people to re-assume what power they have conferred upon Magistrates, although Gods power, yet conferred by them. He argues thus, If the power be Gods, then people cannot re-assume.
If the King gives power to an inferior Magistrate, the power that this Magistrate * hath is likewise from God, for so the Scripture sayes, Rom. 13. All power is from God: may not this power be re-assumed therefore? Let none put this off, with saying, But people are not above Kings, as Kings are above inferior Magistrates, for that is nothing to the argument. The argument that he makes is this, If the power be of God, it cannot be re-assumed: Now the answer is, That the power of inferiour Magistrates is of God, and yet it may be re-assumed, therefore his consequence is not good.
Further, a servant by stipulation makes a man his Master, who was not before: Now the power of the Master is Gods, may he therefore never be deprived of that power? Servants must serve Christ in serving their Masters, as truely as Subjects must obey God in obeying their Prince. Pastors and Teachers have a ruling and a ministeriall power, and this power is Gods, may it therefore never be taken away from them.
His second Argument is, We cannot recall what is once given, as in things devoted.
- That can never be proved, that a thing devoted to a religious use, can never lawfully be imployed to no other. This is a groundlesse conceit, because he brings no proofs for it, Eadem facilitate rejicitur, qua asseritur. But this that we speake of is a civill thing. And for Kings, that the power they have may not be taken away, he gives that reason, Because the Lords hand and his oyle is upon them.
So the Lords hand and oyle is upon Captains and other Magistrates. Ioshua and *Zerubbabel are called The anointed ones. Prophets, Priests have Gods hand and oyle upon them, and cannot the power for no cause be taken from these? And yet how confidently doth the man conclude, This will not a true informed conscience dare to doe. Certainly notwithstanding all the information in this argument, he may doe it.
But he proceeds. How can conscience be satisfied, that this their argument grounded upon election and derivation of power can have place in this Kingdome, when as the Crown descends by inheritance, and hath often been setled by Conquest.
- There is no body here that yet hath attempted to take any power away from * the King that Law hath given him.
- Howsoever, the point of inheritance or conquest cannot hinder; For first, none inherits but that which his Progenitors had, & his Progenitors had no more originally then by consent was given them: therefore the difference between Kings by inheritance, and Kings by election, in this case is not much. And for Conquest, that onely settles former right, or makes way to some farther agreement, to adde to, what was former. The right comes not from power to conquer, or act of conquering, but from some agreement, precedent, or consequent.
He further argues, It is probable indeed that Kings were at first by choice here, as elsewhere; but can Conscience rest upon such remote probabilities for resistance, or think that first election will give power against Princes that do not claime by it?
- Is it but a remote probabilitie that Kings were here first by election? I demand, what first invested such a Family with Regall power, more then another? * It must be either God from heaven designing it, as David, or men appointing it,
or taken by force: there is no quartum. It was not the first, and to say the third is the right, is an extream wrong to the King If meer force can give right, then whosoever is most forcible hath right; it must therefore be something else: what can that be but the consent of people to such a family? which is in effect all one with elect on. You may give it what name you will, it is not therefore a remote probalilitie, but a neere certainty, that even here Kings were at first either by choice, or by that which in effect is all one.
The Doctor sayes, that Kings of England doe not claime their right by election.
It may be they use not that word; but if the Doctor shall presume to dispute * their claime for them, and think to get a better and surer claime then the agreement of people, that the Regall power shall be in such a family, surely he will have no thanks for his labour. Let him take heed of this. Although he is pleased to call Election a slender plea, yet I beleeve he cannot bring a stronger.
He is at his place in Rom. 13. againe, with the absolute Monarchy of Romane Emperours.
This hath been answered againe and againe.
The next thing he discusses is the covenant the King enters into, and the oath he takes. And here he tels us our Kings are Kings before they enter into the Covenant, or take this Oath.
Although they be Kings before they personally do covenant or sweare, yet their * right comes in by their Progenitors, who had their right conferred upon them by some agreement or other: so that they have covenanted in them.
But this clause in the covenant or oath is not expressed, that in case he will not discharge his trust, it shall be law full to resist.
We doe not stand so much upon the oath that every King takes, as upon the originall agreement between people and King, whereby this power was conferred first upon such a family, and for that wee say that no more power was conferred then was done by vertue of that agreement; and why there should not be the same reason in the Covenant between a Countrey and a Family in matters of so high a nature, as there is in other Covenants amongst men, let the Doctor shew, or any for him.
The Doctor confesseth, Page 16. line 21. That Lawes are for the restraint of the power of Princes.
But at length after the discussion of the businesse, he tels you that to argue any forfeiture of power by breaking his covenant, is an inconsequent argument. You must beleeve him, because he sayes so: If his bare word will not satisfie you, you are like to have nothing else.
Yet we would have him and all know, that we do not think that every breach of promise, and not performance of covenant in every thing, makes a forfeiture: this indeed were a dangerous consequent. But the question is, Whether no breach of Covenant may possibly in any case make a forfeiture? We confesse our selves not willing to dispute this too farre.
He presently seemes to grant that there may be some force in the argument in States elective and pactionall, but not in this Kingdome.
If the ground of all power that one man hath over another in Civill Government, be some kinde of election, explicite or implicite, or some kind of agreement * at the first, let the Doctor shew how this Kingdome is freed.
But what if the King will not keepe to his agreement, may the Subject doe nothing? The Dr. 〈◊〉, Yes, they may use faire means by Petitions, and they may •ery him Subsidies and ayds.
To what purpose are Subsidies and ayds denyed, if the King hath power to take * our estates when he pleaseth, and there must be no resistance?
Though this he sayes may seeme unreasonable to people, and very impolitique to the States-man, yet plain Scripture and reason forbids it.
But this Scripture and reason lies hid from us as yet, we have examined them as they have come, and we have found plain mistakes in the alledging them.
THis Section is spent in the argument of meanes of safety to a Kingdome in case the King should tyrannize; if they might not resist, it seemes God hath left them destitute of all helpe, they must needs perish.
To this he first answers, That is the same argument that is used for the Popes curbing of, or deposing Princes in case of Heresie, otherwise the Church hath no meanes to preserve it selfe.
The good of a Church is spirituall, and God hath given it spirituall means enough to preserve its spirituall good, although there be no such power of the Pope over * Princes, and we know the Church was preserved and flourished in spirituall beautie when there was neither Pope nor Prince to preserve it.
But the good of a Kingdom is civill and naturall, therefore it must have civill and naturall meanes to preserve it selfe by in case of danger. Hence then although it be no argument that Popes may by power of Armes curb Kings, and because else the good of the Church cannot be preserved, yet it may be a good argument the people may in some case take up Arms to defend themselves against violence, although the King gives not his consent, because otherwise the civill and naturall good of men in a Kingdome cannot be preserved.
The second thing he sayes is, What meanes of safety had the Christians in and after the Apostles times?
God called them then to suffer; for they were not the State; though many particular men that are not a State, may easily be brought into such a condition as they have no meanes for safety, but they must needs suffer; and so many States, when the externall violence is too strong for them; but when God and nature gives them meanes of deliverance, there is no necessitie they should perish. When the Doctor disproves resistance better, wee will either fly or suffer.
As for the Christians why they could not resist, the Dr. speakes of a reason that he seemes to be satisfied in, because things were so enacted by Law, therefore they could not resist: therefore he leaves their example, as invalid in our case, and so it were well that every one else would leave off urging, that we may never heare of the example of the Christians in the primitive times applyed to our case more: For though it seems to be something at first view, yet it is nothing when it is examined.
But then he sayes, The Edicts that concerned others were Arbitrary.
To this the Answer hath been already, either the people then gave up their whole right to their Emperours, which we have not done to our Kings, or otherwise they * were not bound to their Arbitrary government, but might have resisted for their own preservations.
But if Parliaments should degenerate and grow tyrannicall, what meanes of safety could there be for a State?
I confesse the condition of such a State would be very dangerous and like to come to confusion; particular men could not help themselves, and the whole State ought * to suffer much before it should helpe it selfe by any wayes of resisting: but if you can
suppose a Parliament so far to degenerate, as they should all conspire together with the King to destroy the Kingdome, and to possesse the lands and riches of the Kingdome themselves, in this case whether a Law of Nature would not allow of standing up to defend our selves, yea to re-assume the power given to them, to discharge them of that power they had, and set up some other, I leave to the light of nature to judge.
You will say, this cannot be, because the higher powers must not be resisted by any.
This is not properly to resist the power, but to discharge the power, to set the * power elsewhere. The servant doth not resist the power of his master, when he upon just grounds leaves him, and goes to another, if he be such a master, as is his master by his owne choice, for such and such ends and purposes, and had his power limited by agreement.
I know this will be cryed out of as of dangerous consequence, wherefore God deliver us (as I hope he will) for ever making use of such a principle.
It is hard to conceive it possible that a Parliament can so degenerate, as to make our condition more grievous by unjust acts, then it would be if the power in a Kingdom should returne to the law of nature, from whence at first it rose.
Divers lines together ofter the objection from want of safety in case of degenerating of Parliament he spends in commending the temper of our government in the three Estates, with complaints of some distemper for the present.
In the one I joyn with him: but for the other, I undertake not to satisfie all his * apprehensions of distractions in the Parliament. The man I beleeve lives at a distance from Parliament, and so looks at it through multitudes of reports which usually (and especially in these times) are exceeding false mediums to looke through: Straight things will seeme crooked, when the object is seen through water that is too thick a medium: Reports doe so gather soile before they come to him, that when they come, they are an exceeding thick medium to see Parliament proceedings by.
Whereas it is said, that many see more then one, and there is more safety in the judgement of many then one: He answers, Why should an hundred in the House of Commons see more then three hundred? and twenty in the Lords House see more then sixty that are of a contrary judgement?
If there were so many of a contrarie judgement more then the others, why do they * not come and out-vote them in what things are amisse?
- This addes much validitie in common reason to what they determine, that they are alwaies a competent number, allowable by Law to be Houses of Parliament, and they debate and determine things in such an Assembly that is open for so many, which all the Countreys and Cities in the Kingdom have chosen, to come to debate or contradict as they think fit. Such determinations, although I do not say they should be accounted infallible, yet they carry with them more likely reason, then those who are carried by a few in some secret way.
Further, why should such an Objection be made against the Houses of Parliament, that no Court of Iustice, no Societie that carries things by Vote, will admit, if it be once set? that in such Assemblies there shall be so many at the least, there may be three times more, yet so many makes up the Assembly, so as to enable it to such and such purposes. How can this Obiection, without wrangling, be admitted? Oh but many were of another mind, or some belonging to the Assembly were not present.
After this the Doctor proceeds to the commending of Monarchy above Aristocrasie, and the Kings Negative voice.
This is nothing to our businesse. What though Monarchie be the best? and what though the King should have power of a negative voice in the passing all Bils? this is * granted.
Then he comes again to his 13. to the Rom.
The argument from this place is worn exceeding bare by this time.
If it were lawfull to resist power abused, it would open a way to people to overthrew*powers duely administred.
- We do not say that power abused should be resisted; but Will, where there is no Power, may be resisted. *
- True, there is danger in the peoples abusing their liberties, and danger in Magistrates abusing their power.
He sayes he intends not to lay the least blemish upon the Parliament.
Yet in the Page before he sayes, The Temper of the Parliament is dissolved: and upon that saies, the distractions in the Common-wealth, shew the distempers, and * the danger of dissolution, and what is the cause of it. It would fill much paper to gather together the blemishes that this man casts upon the Parliament, especially in his last page. But that is not my work, I would gladly have consciences resolved.
He proceeds to shew the difference between the Low-Countreys and us, which no question is something, but not so as can make what they have done lawfull, and yet the Doctors tents right, nor what we have done unlawfull.
He farther enlarges himself in discourse about the evils that accompany resisting of power.
Still we say power should not be resisted, and where it is resisted sinfully, yea where * men in power are resisted, any way, there are like to follow sad consequences of affliction. But what is all this for the satisfaction to conscience about the Lawfulnesse or unlawfulnesse of resisting men that have power in any case?
Then be comes to the oath of Supremacy and the Protestation.
The Answer to this depends upon what hath been said, we swear onely to the Legall power, we protest no further then the maintenance of that. *
He saies, conscience will look at that power he hath as the ordinance of God.
True, what power he hath, that is, what the Laws give him, we say is an ordinance of God. *
But his abuse of power is a iudgement of God, that we must cry to God against, and a true informed conscience in that case will rather suffer then resist.
He still takes abuse of his power to be the doing whatsoever he please: we denie that to be abuse of his power. We say in that he doth not exercise his authorative power at all, therefore he doth not abuse it. If indeed some uniust Law should give him any power to do wrong, the execution of this would be the abuse of his power, and therein it is granted a true informed conscience would rather suffer then resist. But in the other case, when he doth what Law inables not to do, all the arguments of the Doctor cannot so inform our consciences, as to beleeve the State must rather suffer then resist.
Now the Doctor casts up his reckoning, and thinks he finds it comes to thus much, that he hath found Scripture and reason, speak plainly against resisting.
He cries victorie to himself, he tels himself what the issue of his own thoughts come to; but he reckons without his Host, his conquest is too hastie, we are not of his mind.
I will onely observe one thing more in the conclusion of his Section.
If any shall be carried away with the name of a Parliament, as Papists are with the name of the Church, &c.
If the Church could do as much in matters of Religion, as the Parliament can do in matters of the State, the Papists were not so much to be blamed for being taken *
so much with the name of the Church, as we are not for being taken so much with the name of the Parliament.
For 1. The Church cannot make new Articles of Faith, or nullifie the old; but the Parliament can make new Maximes to be accounted Law, that were not before, and undo what were before.
- The Church hath not a iudiciall power of interpreting the Law of God, but the Parliament hath a iudiciall power of interpreting the Law of the State, so as that is to be accounted Law, which they interpret to be so. I do not say that we are bound to beleeve, that whatsoever interpretation they make was the scope and intention of that Law when it was first made: But this I say, that their interpretation must be accounted as much binding to us for obedience, as the scope and intention of that Parliament that first made that Law.
Thus I have done with his Scriptures, and the rationall part of his Book; and I hope others will have done with it too.
If mens consciences be satisfied in the lawfulnesse of the thing it self, Subiects taking up Arms against the will of the King: His other part, every one who understands how things are with us, that is willing to be satisfied, will be soon able to satisfie himself. The substance of all that follows is, suppose that Subiects may take up Arms? yet whether there be sufficient cause for us to do it.
Toward the conclusion of the book the Dr. begins to be hot, and somewhat bitter, but I shall not here follow him in particulars, but in the generall thus
What the condition of our Kingdom is, whether in danger or not? What the condition of our Houses of Parliament, whether they be safe or not? whether their priviledges be broke or not? Iudge you whether Doctor Ferne or all the Remonstrances and Declarations we have had from both Houses be able best to certifie us: we have received information enough, and seen and felt enough to make us beleeve that our Kingdom is in great danger: but it may be the Doctor sits in his study like another Archimedis drawing his lines, and the Swords must be about his eares before he will see or beleeve any danger to wards us.
The Doctor puts the case thus, whether the conscience can be so perswaded, that the King is such and so minded, as that there may be sufficient cause to take up Arms * against him; in this he is as miserably mistaken, as in all his other grounds from Scripture, and his reasons, if he thinks this be the controversie.
For 1. we take up no Arms against the King,
- Whatsoever the Kings mind be, there is sufficient cause to take up Arms to defend our selves against others that seek our ruins We know of the plots of bringing the Armies in the North upon Parliament and City: We know of the great preparations of Arms in forreign parts to send over hither, and time hath discovered their further attempts, although it hath indeed withall discovered they could not bring their attempts to their desired issue. We know of many Delinquents that are fled from the Iustice of the Parliament, which cannot be attached without force; and if they may so scape as they do, to what purpose doth a Parliament sit? it will soon be made ridiculous in the eyes of the world. We know what is done in the execution of the Commission of Array, and that by force of Arms, and all these things by those who are under the authority of the Houses of Parliament: wherefore if they cannot prevent these evils imminent, nor rectifie these disorders extant, but by power added to their authoritie, although there be no such horrible things as the Doctor speaks of, namely, the Kings intentions to subvert Religion, and our Laws and liberties, if the King do but denie to assist in the delivering us from those dangers, not upon groundlesse
jealousies feared, but upon certain proofs we know we are in, and in the delivering up of such delinquents as justice must not, our safety cannot suffer to escape, there is cause enough to satisfie our consciences in the lawfulnesse of our taking up Arms. Yea, our protestation and duty, though we had never so protested, binds us to maintain by all our strength the Parliament in this; and in maintaining them, we do not at all prejudice the King in any lawfull power of his.
This generall is enough to satisfie in what is said in the two last Sections: As for particulars mentioned there, many of them are answered alreadie in the former discourse; others being matters of fact, it is more easie for any one to answer that hath a mind to examine what passages have falne out. To go through them particularly I shall leave to some who have more time to spare then I, they are far more easie to answer then what was before, but not so profitable, and yet the answer would exasperate more, they are Subjects more suteable for Lawyers and Statists to treat about then for Divines.
Wherefore where as in the conclusion of all, the Doctor defires those who will run the Hazard of this resistance; first to set their consciences before the tribunall of God, and confider whether they will excuse them there when they have shed blood, to say, we supposed our Prince would change Religion, overthrow liberties.
No Doctor, We can comfortably, and will freely and really set our conscience before Gods tribunall in this case, but we will not make that our plea, but we will stand thus before the Lord.
Lord thou who art the searcher of our hearts, and our Iudge, thou knowest we aimed at no hurt to our King, we desired to live in peace, we according to our solemne vow and Protestation, have only endeavoured to deliver our Kingdom & Parliament from the rage of ungodly, and violent bloody men, to bring forth the wicked unto justice, to preserve what thy Maiestie, what the law of nature, and the Law of the Land hath made our own. If thou wilt please to call us to suffer for thy Name, we hope we shall be readie; but because thou tellest us that it is not the part of a Christian but of an Infidell, not to provide for his family, therefore we have not submitted our selves, wives and children to the rage of these bloody men: for the substance of what we have done, it hath been in thy Name, that we may be faithfull to the King, Kingdom, Parliament, and to posteritie. What failings thou hast seen in the managing of it, Lord pardon to us for Christ his sake.
Thus we are willing to meet the Doctor at Gods Tribunall, but he shall not lay our plea for us, we fear he will have enough to do to answer for himself, yea to answer for that Book he hath put forth in such a time as this.
For a Conclusion of all.
LEt none think that though we thus iustifie taking up Arms, that therfore we are of those that delight in War; God forbid. Our souls desire after peace, we pray for peace, we would gladly lay down our lives (if we know our own hearts) for peace.
Lately my name was injuriously added to a printed paper, wherein there was a Petition against Accommodations: It sayes I went along with it, whereas I knew nothing at all of it, untill neere a week after it was delivered to the House: Thus are we at the mercy of every malignant spirit, if he can get a Printer to assist him, to be rendred to the world as odious as he pleaseth. As great an injury I suffered before, though in another nature, when a few pieces of a Sermon I preached to young men were gathered together, and patched up with a deale of non-sense, and additions of their owne as they pleased, and then put out as mine. Although we live amongst men set on fire, yet God forbid but we should follow peace: but it must be the peace of Jerusalem, not the peace of Babylon.
And the truth is, had the people knowne their liberties before, it is very probable these warres would have been prevented. This I am confident hath been the great encouraging, fomenting argument for these warres, If we goe in the name of the King, none will dare to stir against us; What will they take up Arms to resist their King? Had they seen the weaknesse of this their Argument, as it is applyed to this businesse in hand, that bloud that hath been shed would have been prevented; And if the people of the Land knew the Liberty that God, and Nature, and Law gives them, there would soone be an end of these Warres; but a few such Doctors as this is, may helpe to prolong them, by dividing the people, and putting them into a maze, comming in so plausible a way to informe Conscience; whereas in truth he gives no bottome for Conscience to rest on, but rather puts it to a stand, or rather into a labyrinth.
There is a necessitie that in these times peoples Consciences should be further satisfied in their liberties in this case then formerly, because the time is (we hope) at hand for the pulling down of Antichrist, and we find by Scripture this work at first will be by the people: Revel. 18. 2. The Angel came down from heaven and cried mightily with a strong voice, Babylon the great is falne, is falne: And vers. 4. I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her my people: ver. 6. Reward you her as she hath rewarded you: and so to the 9. ver. her destruction is threatned. Now ver. 9. the Text sayes, The Kings of the earth who have committed fornication, and lived deliciously with her, shall bewaile her, and lament for her, saying, Alas, alas. Ver. 11. And the Merchants of those things which were made rich by her, shall stand weeping and wailing, ver. 15. All her Proctors, and Commissaries, and Chancellors that grew rich by her, they shall lament. No marvaile then though so many Proctors get together to seek for peace upon any terms.
Here you see Babylon must down, and yet the Kings lament her fall: Who then must pull her down but the people? Not that the people can raise a War meerly for Religion, but God will so order things, that the Papists shall by their malice be put upon such plots and enterprises, that they shall make themselves lyable to the justice of the Law, so that Kings shall have no legall power to rescue them from it, but inferiour Magistrates, assisted by the people, shall in a just way fall upon them, even then when the Kings of the earth and their Merchants shall lament them. Hence Revel. 19. 6. the Hallelujah that is begun upon the Lord God omnipotents raigning, is begun by the people, I heard the voice as of many waters, saying, Hallelujah. Now the Scripture frequently sets forth the people by waters, as Revel. 17. 15. The waters which thou sawest, were peoples. We reade Cant. 5. 11. where the glory of Christ is set forth, it begins at the head; but Cant. 7. 1. where the glory of the Church is set forth, it begins at the feet, How beautifull are thy feet? Surely the right knowledge of these liberties God hath given people, will much help forward the great things God hath to doe in this latter age.
This makes me willing to publish what help I can in this thing, although I know full well I run the hazard of suffering much in it. Let Babylon fall, let the Church prosper, it is enough, our lives are not much worth.
And now I have shewne the Commission of the Lord of Hosts for warres; I shall not yet cease to pray for peace; such a peace as may have as good a Commission from the Prince of Peace, as the present wars of the Kingdom have from the Lord of Hosts.
That which I have done is but as the taking of my pen to write a Letter to a friend; but a little strength is enough to oppose a little strength.
Back to Top
Powered by DLXS
To comment or inquire about content, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To report errors, contact DLPS Help