A SERMON UPON THE 5th OF NOVEMBER, 1G22, BEING THE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF OUR DELIVERANCE FROM THE POWDER TREASON,
INTENDED FOR PAUL'S CROSS, BUT, BY REASON OF THE WEATHER. PREACHED IN THE CHURCH.
Lamentations iv. 20. The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was taken in their pits.
The Phayer Before The Sermon.
O Lord open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise; for thou, O Lord, didst make haste to help us, Thou, O Lord, didst make speed to save us. Thou that sittest in heaven, didst not only look down, to see what was done upon the earth, but what was done in the earth; and when the bowels of the earth were, with a key of fire, ready to open and swallow us, the bowels of thy compassion were, with a key of love, opened to succour us; this is the day, and these are the hours, wherein that should have been acted: in this our day, and in these hours, we praise thee, 0 God, we acknowledge thee, to be the Lord; all
our earth doth worship thee; the holy church throughout all this land, doth acknowledge thee, with commemorations of that great mercy, now in these hours. Now, in these hours, it is thus commemorated, in the king's house, where the head and members praise thee; thus, in that place, where it should have been perpetrated, where the reverend judges of the land do now praise thee; thus, in the universities, where the tender youth of this land, is brought up to praise thee, in a detestation of their doctrines, that plotted this; thus it is commemorated in many several societies, in many several parishes, and thus, here, in this mother church, in this great congregation of thy children, where, all, of all sorts, from the lieutenant of thy lieutenant, to the meanest son of thy son, in this assembly, come with hearts, and lips, full of thanksgiving: thou Lord, openest their lips, that their mouth may show forth thy praise, for thou, O Lord, didst make haste to help them, thou didst make speed to save them. Accept, O Lord, this sacrifice, to which thy Spirit giveth fire; this of praise, for thy great mercies already afforded to us, and this of prayer, for the continuance and enlargement of them, upon the Catholic church, by them, who pretend themselves the only sons thereof; dishonoured this day; upon these churches of England, Scotland, and Ireland, shaked and threatened dangerously this day; upon thy servant, our sovereign, for his defence of the true faith, designed to ruin this day; upon the prince, and others derived from the same root, some but infants, some not yet infants, enwrapped in dust, and annihilation, this day; upon all the deliberations of the counsel, that in all their consultations, they may have before their eyes, the record and registers of this day; upon all the clergy, that all their preaching, and their government, may preclude, in their several jurisdictions, all re-entrances of that religion, which, by the confession of the actors themselves, was the only ground of the treason of this day; upon the whole nobility, and commons, all involved in one common destruction, this day; upon both our universities, which though they lack no arguments out of thy word, against the enemies of thy truth, shall never leave out this argument oat of thy works, the history of this day; and upon all those, who are any ways afflicted, that our afflictions be not multiplied upon us, by seeing them multiplied amongst us, who would have diminished thee, and annihilated us, this day; and lastly, upon this auditory assembled here, that till they turn to ashes in the grave, they may remember, that thou tookest them, as fire-brands out of the fire, this day.
Hear us, O Lord, and hearken to us, receive our prayers, and return them with effect, for his sake, in whose name and words, we make them:
Our Father which art, &c.
Of the author of this book, I think there was never doubt made; but yet, that is scarce safely done, which the Council of Trent doth, in that canon, which numbers the books of canonical Scriptures, to leave out this book of Lamentations. For, though I make no doubt, but that they had a purpose to comprehend, and involve it, in the name of Jeremy, yet that was not enough; for so they might have comprehended and involved, Genesis, and Deuteronomy, and all between those two, in one name of Moses; and so they might have comprehended, and involved, the Apocalypse, and some epistles in the name of Johu, and have left out the book itself in the number. But one of their own Jesuits1, though some, (whom in that canon they seem to follow) make this book of Lamentations, but an appendix to the prophecy of Jeremy, determines, for all that canon, that it is a distinct book. Indeed, if it were not, the first chapter would have been called, the fiftythird of Jeremy, and not the first of the Lamentations. But that which gives most assuredness, is, that in divers Hebrew Bibles, it is placed otherwise, than we place it, and not presently, and immediately after the prophecy of Jeremy, but discontinued from him, though he were never doubted to be the author thereof.
The book is certainly the prophet Jeremy's, and certainly a distinct book; but whether the book be a history, or a prophecy, whether Jeremy lament that which he had seen, or that which
he foresees, calamities past, or future calamities, things done, or things to be done, is a question which hath exercised, and busied divers expositors. But, as we say of the parable of Dives, and Lazarus, that it is a historical parable, and a parabolical history, some such persons there were, and some such things were really done, but some other things were figuratively, symbolically, parabolically added: so we say of Jeremy's Lamentations. It is a prophetical history, and a historical prophecy; some of the sad occasions of these lamentations were passed, when he writ, and some were to come after: for, we may not despise the testimony of the Chaldee paraphrasts, who were the first that illustrated the Bible, in that nation, nor of St. Hierome, who was much conversant with the Bible, and with that nation, nor of Josephus, who had justly so much estimation in that nation, nor of those later rabbins, who were the learnedest of that nation; who are all of opinion, that Jeremy writ these Lamentations, after he saw some declinations in that state, in the death of Josiah, and so the book is historical, but when he only foresaw their transportation into Babylon, before that calamity fell upon them, and so it is prophetical. Or, if we take the expositions of the others, that the whole book was written after their transportation into Babylon, and to be, in all parts, historical, yet it is prophetical still; for the prophet laments a greater desolation than that, in the utter ruin, and devastation of the city, and nation, which was to fall upon them, after the death of Christ Jesus. Neither is any piece of this book, the less fit to be our text, this day, because it is both historical, and prophetical, for, they, from whom, God, in his mercy, gave us a deliverance, this day, are our historical enemies, and our prophetical enemies; historically we know, they have attempted our ruin heretofore, and prophetically we may be sure, they will do so again, whensoever any new occasion provokes them, or sufficient power enables them.
The text then is as the book presented to Ezekiel; in it are written lamentations, and mournings, and woe'; and all they are written within, and without, says the text there; within, as they concern the Jews, without, as they are appliable to us: and they concern the Jews, historically (attempts upon that state Jeremy
8 Ezek. ii. 20.
had certainly seen,) and they concern them prophetically, for farther attempts Jeremy did certainly foresee. They are appliable to us both ways too: historically, because we have seen, what they would have done, and prophetically, because we foresee what they would do. So that here is but a difference of the computation; here is stilo veteri, and stilo novo; here is the Jew's calendar, and the papist's calendar; in the Jew's calendar, one Babylon wrought upon the people of God, and in the papist's calendar, another Babylon: stilo veteri, in the Jew's calendar, seven hundred years before Christ came, there were pits made, and the breath of their nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was taken in their pits: stilo novo, in the papist's calendar, sixteen hundred years after Christ came in all fulness, in all clearness, there were pits made again, and the breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was almost taken in those pits.
It is then Jeremy's, and it is a distinct book; it concerns the Jews, and it concerns us too; and it concerns us both, both ways, historically, and prophetically. But whether Jeremy lament here the death of a good king, of Josiah, (for so St. Hierome, and many of the ancients, and many of the Jews themselves take it, and think that those words in the Chronicles3, have relation to these Lamentations, And Jeremy lamented for Josiah, and all the people speak of him, in their lamentations,) or whether he lament the transportation and the misery of an ill king, of Zedekiah, (as is more ordinarily, and more probably held by the expositors) we argue not, we dispute not now; we embrace that which arises from both, that both good kings, and bad kings, Josiah, and Zedekiah, are the anointed of the Lord, and the breath of the nostrils, that is, the life of the people; and therefore both to be lamented, when they fall into dangers, and consequently both to be preserved by all means, by prayer from them who are private persons, by counsel from them, who have that great honour and that great charge, to be near them in that kind, and by support and supply, from all, of all sorts, from falling into such dangers.
These considerations will, I think, have the better impression in you, if wc proceed in the handling of them thus: first, the main cause of the lamentation was the ruin, or the dangerous
3 2 Chron. xxxv. 25,
declination of the kingdom of that great and glorious state, the kingdom; but then they did not seditiously sever the king, and the kingdom, as though the kingdom could do well, and the king ill, that safe, and he in danger, for they see cause to lament, because misery was fallen upon the person of the king; perchance upon Josiah, a good, a religious king; perchance but upon Zedekiah, a worse king; yet, whichsover it bo, they acknowledge him to bo Unctus Domini, the anointed of the Lord, and to bo Spiritus narium, The breath of their nostrils: when this person therefore, was fallen into the pits of the enemy, the subject laments; but this lamenting because he was fallen, implies a "deliverance, a restitution, he was fallen, but he did not lie there: so the text, which is as yet but of lamentation, will grow an hour hence to be of congratulation; and then we shall see, that whosoever, in rectified affections, hath lamented a danger, and then congratulated a deliveranco, he will provide against a relapse, a falling again into that or any other danger, by all means of sustaining the kingdom and the king, in safety and in honour.
Our first step then in this royal progress, is, that the cause of this lamentation, was, the declination, the diminution of the kingdom. If the centre of the world should be moved but one inch out of the place, it cannot be reckoned how many miles, this island, or any buildipg in it, would be thrown out of their places; a declination in the kingdom of the Jews, in the body of the kingdom, in the soul of the state, in the form of government, was such an earthquake, as could leave nothing standing. Of all things that are, there was an idea in God; there was a model, a platform, an exemplar of everything, which God produced and created in time, in the mind and purpose of God before: of all things God had an idea, a preconception; but of monarchy, of kingdom, God, who is but one, is the idea; God himself, in his unity, is the model, he is the type of monarchy. He made but one world; for, this, and the next, are not two worlds; this is but the morning, and that the everlasting noon, of one and the same day, which shall have no night: they are not two houses; this is the gallery, and that the bedchamber of one, and the same palace, which shall feel no ruin. He made this one world, but one eye, the sun; the moon is not another eye, but a glass, upon which, the sun reflects. He made this one world, but one ear, the church; he tells not us, that he hears by a left ear, by saints, but by that right ear, the church he doth. There is one God, one faith, one baptism, and these lead us to the love of one sovereign, of monarchy, of kingdom. In that name, God hath conveyed to us the state of grace, and the state of glory too; and he hath promised both, in enjoining that petition, Adveniat regnum, Thy kingdom come, thy kingdom of grace here, thy kingdom of glory hereafter. All forms of government have one and the same soul, that is, sovereignty; that resides somewhere in every form; and this sovereignty is in them all, from one and the same root, from the Lord of lords, from God himself, for all power is of God: but yet this form of a monarchy, of a kingdom, is a more lively, and a more masculine organ, and instrument of this soul of sovereignty, than the other forms are: we are sure women have souls as well as men, but yet it is not so expressed, that God breathed a soul into woman, as he did into man; all forms of government have this soul, but yet God infuseth it more manifestly, and more effectually, in that form, in a kingdom: all places are alike near to heaven, yet Christ would take a hill, for his ascension; all governments may justly represent God to me, who is the God of order, and fountain of all government, but yet I am more eased, and more accustomed to the contemplation of heaven, in that notion, as heaven is a kingdom, by having been born, and bred in a monarchy: God is a type of that, and that is a type of heaven.
This form then, in nature the noblest, in use the profitablest of all others, God always intended to his best beloved people, God always meant that the Jews should have a king, though he prepared them in other forms before; as he meant them peace at last, though he exercised them in war, and meant them the land of promise, though he led them through the wilderness; so he meant them a king, though he prepared them by judges. God intended it in himself, and he declared it to them, four hundred years before he gave them a king, he instructed them, what kind of king they should set over them4, when they came to that kind of government: and long before that he made
4 Deut. xvii. 14.
a promise, by Jacob to Judah of a kingdom, and that the sceptre should not depart from him, till Shiloh came*. And when God came near the time, in which he intended to them that government, in the time of Samuel, who was the immediate predecessor to their first king, Saul, God made way for a monarchy, for Samuel had a much more absolute authority, in that state, than any of the judges had; Samuel judged them, and in their petition for a king, they ask but that, Make us a king to judge us6; Samuel was little less than a king; and Saul's reign, and his, are reckoned both in one number, and made as the reign of one man; when it is said in the Acts, that Saul reigned forty years7, Samuel's time is included in that number, for all the years, from the death of Eli, to the beginning of David, are but forty years. God meant them a kingdom in himself, promised them a kingdom in Judah, made laws for their kingdom in Deuteronomy, made way for the kingdom in Samuel, and why then was God displeased with their petition for a kingdom?
It was a greater fault in them, than it could have been in any other people, to ask a king; not that it was not the most desirable form of government, but that God governed them, so immediately, so presentially himself, as that it was an ingrateful intemperance in them, to turn upon any other means; God had ever performed that which he promised them, in that which comprehended all, Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me, above all people"; and therefore Josephus hath expressed it well; all other people are under the form of democraty, or aristocraty, or such other forms, composed of men; Sed noster legislator, theocratiam instituit, The Jews were only under a theocraty, an immediate government of God, he judged them himself, and he himself fought their battles: and therefore God says to Samuel, They have not rejected thee, thou wast not king, but they have rejected Me, I was. To be weary of God, is it enough to call it a levity? But if they did only compare form with form, and not God himself with any form, if they did only think monarchy best, and believe that God intended a monarchy to them, yet to limit God his time, and to make God perform his promise before his day,
9 Gen. XLix. 10. 8 1 Sam. viii. 5.
7 Acts xiii. 21. "Exod. xix. 5.
VOL. V. P
was a fault, and inexcusable. Daniel saw, that the Messiah should come within seventy week: Daniel did not say, Lord, let it be within fifty weeks, or let it be this week: the martyrs under the altar, cry Usquequo Domine, How long Lord, but then, they leave it there, even as long as pleaseth theetheir petition should have been, Adveniat regnum tuum, Let us have that kingdom, which because thou knowest it is good for us, thou hast promised to us; but yet Fiat voluntas tua, Let us have it then, when thy wisdom sees it best for us: you said to me (says Samuel, by way of reproof and increpation) you said, Nay, but a king shall reign over uso; now, that was not their fault; but that which follows, the unseasonableness and inconsideration of their clamorous petition, You said a king shall reign over us, when the Lord your God was your king; they would not trust God's means, there was their first fault: and then, though they desired a thing good in itself, and a good intended to them, yet they fixed God his time, and they would not stay his leisure; and either of these, to ask other things than God would give, or at other times, than God would give them, is displeasing to him: use his means, and stay his leisure.
But yet, though God were displeased with them, he executed his own purpose; he was angry with their manner of asking a king, but yet he gave them a king: howsoever God be displeased with them, who prevaricate in his cause, who should sustain it, and do not, God's cause shall be sustained, though they do it not. We may distinguish the period of the Jewish state well enough, thus, that they had infantiam, or pueritiam, their infancy, their minority, in Adam, and the first patriarchs till the flood: that they had adolescentiam, a growing time, from Noah, through the other patriarchs, till Moses: and that they had juventutem, a youth and strength from Moses, through the judges, to Saul: but then they had virilitatem, virilem wtatem, their established vigour, under their kings; and after them, they fell in senectutem, into a wretched and miserable decay of old age, and decrepitness: their kingdom was their best state; and so much, God in the prophet, intimates pregnantly, when refreshing to their memories, in a particular inventory, and catalogue, all his former benefits to
0 1 Sam. xii. 12.
them, how he clothed Jerusalem, how he fed her, how he adorned her, he summed up all, in this one, Et profecisti in regnum, I have advanced thee, to be a kingdom": there was the tropic, there was the solstice, farther than that, in this world, we know not how God could go; a kingdom was really the best state upon earth, and symbolically, the best figure, and type of heaven. And therefore, when the prophet Jeremy, historically beheld the declination of this kingdom, in the death of Josiah, and prophetically foresaw the ruins thereof, in the transportation of Zedekiah, or, if he had seen that historically too, yet prophetically he foresaw the utter devastation, and depopulation, and extermination, which scattered that nation, soon after Christ, to this day, (and God and no man knows, for how long,) when they, who were a kingdom, are now nowhere a village, and they who had such kings, have now nowhere a constable of their own, historically, prophetically, Jeremy had just cause of lamentation for the danger of that kingdom.
We had so also, for this our kingdom, this day; God hath given us a kingdom, not as other kingdoms, made up of divers cities, but of divers kingdoms, and all those kingdoms were destined to desolation, in one minute. It was not only the destruction of the persons present, but of the kingdom, for to submit the kingdom to the government of a foreign prelate, was to destroy the monarchy, to annihilate the supremacy, to ruin the very form of a kingdom; a kingdom under another head, besides the king, is not a kingdom, as ours is. The oath that the emperor takes to the pope, is by their authors called Jurarnentum Fidelitatis, an Oath of Allegiance; and if they had brought our kings, to take an oath of allegiance so, this were no kingdom. Pope Nicholas the Second, went about to create two kingdoms, that of Tuscany, and that of Lombardy; his successors have gone about to destroy more; for to make it depend upon him, were to destroy our kingdom. That they have attempted historically; and as long as these axioms, and aphorisms remain in their authors, that one shall say, that de jure, by right all Christian kingdoms do hold of the pope, and de facto, are forfeited to the pope, and another shall say, that Christendom would
11 Ezek. xvi. 3.
be better governed if the pope would take the forfeiture, and so bring all these royal farms, into his own demesne, we see also, their prophetical desire, their prophetical intention, against this kingdom, what they would do: in their actions we have their history, in their axioms we have their prophecy.
Jeremy lamented the desolation of the kingdom, but that, expressed in the death, and destruction of the king. He did not divide the king and the kingdom, as if the kingdom could do well, and the king in distress: Omnipotentia Dei, asylum hwreticorum; It is well said, by more than one of the ancients, that the omnipotence of God, is the sanctuary of heretics: when they would establish any heresy, they fly to God's almightiness, God can do all, therefore he can do this. So, in the Roman church, they establish their heresy of transubstantiation; and so, their deliverance of souls not from purgatory only, but from hell itself. They think to stop all mouths with that, God can do it, no man dares deny that; when as, if that were granted, (which, in such things, as naturally imply contradiction in themselves, or contradiction to God's word, cannot be granted, for God cannot do that, God cannot lie,) yet though God can do it, concludes not tbat God will do it, or hath done it: Omnipotentia Dei asylum hwreticorum, The omnipotency of God, is the sanctuary of heretics, and so, salus regni, is asylum proditorum, greater treasons, and seditions, and rebellions have never been set on foot, than upon colour, and pretence, of a care of the state, and of the good of the kingdom. Everywhere, the king is sponsus regni, the husband of the kingdom; and to make love to the king's wife, and undervalue him, must necessarily make any king jealous: the king is anima regni, the soul of the kingdom; and to provide for the health of the body, with the detriment of the soul, is perverse physic; the king is caput regni, the head of the kingdom; and to cure a member, by cutting off the head, is ill surgery: man and wife, soul and body, head and members, God hath joined, and those whom God hath joined, let no man sever. Salus regni, asylum proditorum, To pretend to uphold the kingdom, and overthrow the king, hath ever been the temptation before, and the excuse after, in the greatest treasons. In that action of the Jews, which we insisted upon before, in their pressing for a king, The elders of Israel were gathered together", and so far they were in their way, for this was no popular, no seditious assembly of light and turbulent men, but the elders; and then, they came to Samuel, and so far they were in their right way too, for they held no councils apart, but came to the right place, for redress of grievances, to their then highest governor, to Samuel: when they were thus lawfully met, they forbear not to lay open unto him, the injustice of his greatest officers, though it concerned the very sons of Samuel; and thus far they kept within their convenient limits; but when they would press Samuel to a new way of remedy, to an inconvenient way, to a present way, to their own way, and refer nothing to him, what care soever they pretended of the good of the state, it is evident, that they had no good opinion of Samuel himself, and even that displeased God, that they were ill affected to that person, whom he had set over them. To sever the king, and the kingdom, and pretend the weal of the one, without the other, is to shake and discompose God's building.
Historically this was the Jews' case, when Jeremy lamented here, if he lamented the declination of the state, in the death of the king Josiah, and if he lamented the transportation of Zedekiah, and that that cross were not yet come upon them; or if he lamented the future devastation of that nation, occasioned by the death of the King of kings Christ Jesus, when he came into the world, this was their case prophetically: either way, historically, or prophetically, Jeremy looks upon the kingdom, but yet through that glass, through the king.
The duty of the day, and the order of the text, invites us to an application of this branch too. Our adversaries did not come to say to themselves, Nolumus regnum hoc1*, We will not have this kingdom stand, the material kingdom, the plenty of the land, they would have been content to have, but the formal kingdom, that is, this form of government, by a sovereign king, that depends upon none but God, they would not have. So that they came implicitly to Nolumus regnum hoc, We will not have this kingdom governed thus, and they came explicitly to a Nolumus regent- hunc (as the Jews were resolved of Christ), We will not
11 1 Sam. viii. 4. 18 Luke xiv. 14.
have this king to govern at all. Non hunc? Will you not have him? You were at your nolumus hanc long before; her, whom God had set over you, before him, you would not have. Your, not anniversary, but hebdomadary treasons, cast upon her a necessity of drawing blood often, and so your nolumus hanc, your desire that she were gone, might have some kind of ground, or colour: but for your nolumus hunc, for this king who had made no inquisition for blood, who had forborne your very pecuniary penalties, who had (as himself witnesses of himself) made you partakers with his subjects of his own religion, in matters of grace, and in real benefits, and in titles of honour, Quare fremuerunt, Why did these men rage, and imagine a vain thing13? What they did historically, we know; they made that house, which is the hive of the kingdom, from whence all her honey comes; that house where Justice herself is conceived, in their preparing of laws, and inanimated, and quickened and borne by the royal assent, there given; they made that whole house one murdering piece, and charged that piece with peers, with people, with princes, with the king, and meant to discharge it upward at the face of heaven, to shoot God at the face of God, him, of whom God hath said, Dii estis, You are gods, at the face of God, that had said so, as though they would have reproached the God of heaven, and not have been beholden to him for such a king, but shoot him up to him, and bid him take his king again, with a nolumus hunc regnare, we will not have this king to reign over us. This was our case historically, and what it is prophetically, as long as that remains to be their doctrine, which he, against whom that attempt was principally made, found by their examination, to be their doctrine, that they, and no sect in the world, but they, did make treason an article of religion, that their religion bound them to those attempts, so long they are never at an end; till they disavow those doctrines, that conduce to that, prophetically they wish, prophetically they hope for better success in as ill attempts.
It is then the kingdom that Jeremy laments; but his nearest object is the king; he laments him. First, let it be, (as with St. Hierome, many of the ancients, and with them, many of the
13 Psalm ii. 1,
latter rabbins will have it) for Josiah, for a good king, in whoso death, the honour, and the strength of the kingdom took that deadly wound, to become tributary to a foreign prince: for, to this lamentation they refer those words of the prophet, which describe a great sorrow, In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon, in the valley of Megiddon"; which was the place, where Josiah was slain; there shall be such a lamentation (says the prophet, in this interpretation) as was for the death of Josiah. This then was for him; for a good king. Wherein have we his goodness expressed? Abundantly. He did that which was right in God^s sight"; (And whose eye need he fear, that is right in the eye of God I) But how long did he so? To the end; for, Nero, who had his quinquennium, and was a good emperor for his first nve years, was one of the worst of all: he that is ill all the way, is but a tyrant, he that is good at first, and after ill, an angel's face, and a serpent's tail make him a monster; Josiah began well, and persevered so, He turned not aside to the right hand, nor to the left; that is, (if we apply it to the Josiah of our times) neither to the fugitive, that leaves our church, and goes to the Roman, nor to the separatist, that leaves our church, and goes to none. In the eighteenth year of his reign, Josiah undertook the reparation of God's house; if we apply this to the Josiah of our times, I think, in that year of his reign, he visited this church, and these walls, and meditated, and persuaded the reparation thereof. In one word, Like unto Josiah, there was no king before, nor after". And therefore there was just cause of lamentation for this king, for Josiah; historically for the very loss of his person, prophetically for the misery of the state, after his death.
Our errand is to-day, to apply all these branches to the day; those men who intended us, this cause of lamentation this day, in the destruction of our Josiah, spared him not, because he was so, because he was a Josiah, because he was good; no, not because he was good to them, his benefits to them, had not mollified them, towards him: for that is not their way; both the French Henrys were their own, and good to them; but did that rescue either of them from the knife? And was not that
Zech. xii. 11,
15 2 Kings xxii. 2.
"2 Kings xxiii. 25.
emperor whom they poisoned in the sacrament, their own, and good to them? and yet was that, any antidote against their poison? To so reprobate a sense hath God given them over herein, as that, though in their books, they lie heaviest upon princes of our religion, yet truly they have destroyed more of their own, than of ours. Thus it is historically in their proceedings past: and prophetically it can be but thus, since no king is good, in their sense, if he agree not to all points of doctrine with them: and when that is done, not good yet, except he agree in all points of jurisdiction too; and that, no king can do, that will not be their farmer of his kingdom. Their authors have disputed auferibilitatem papw, whether the church of Grod might not be without a pope, they have made a problematical, a disputable matter, and«some of their authors have diverted towards an affirmation of it; but auferibilitas potestatis, to imagine a king without kingly sovereignty, never came into problem, into disputation. We all lamented, and bitterly, and justly, the loss of our Deborah, though then we saw a Josiah succeeding: but if they had removed our Josiah, and his royal children, and so, this form of government, where, or who, or what had been an object of consolation to us?
The cause of lamentation in the loss of a good king, is certainly great, and so it was, if Jeremy lamented Josiah; but if it were but for Zedekiah, an ill king, (as the greater part of expositors take it) yet the lamentation you see, is the same. How ill a king was Zedekiah? As ill, as Josiah was good, that is his measure. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done'1; here is his sin, sin by precedent; and what had Jehoiakim done? He had done evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had doneTM. It is a great, and dangerous wickedness, which is done upon pretext of antiquity; the religion of our fathers, the church of our fathers, the worship of our fathers, is a pretext that colours a great deal of superstition. He did evil- as his fathers; there was his comparative evil: and his positive evil, (I mean, his particular sin) was, That he humbled not himself to God^s prophetsTM, to Jeremy speaking from the mouth of the Lord; there was irreligiousness;
17 2 Kings xxiv. 10. 18 2 Kings xxv. ult. 19 2 Chrou. xxxvi. 12.
and then, He broke the oath which he had sworn by God, there was perfidiousness, faithlessness; and lastly, Ho stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart, from turning to the Lord of Israel, there was impenitibleness: thus evil was Zedekiah, irreligious to God, treacherous to man, impenitible to himself, and yet the state, and men truly religious in the state, the prophet lamented him; not his spiritual defections, by sin; for, they did not make themselves judges of that; but they lamented the calamities of the kingdom, in the loss even of an evil king.
That man must have a large comprehension, that shall adventure to say of any king, He is an ill king; he must know his office well, and his actions well, and the actions of other princes too, who have correspondence with him, before he can say so. When Christ says, Let your communication be yea, yea, and nay, nay, for whatsoever is more than thisTM, (that is, when it comes to swearing) that cometh of evil, St. Augustine does not understand that, of the evil disposition of that man that swears, but of them, who will not believe him, without swearing; many times a prince departs from the exact rule of his duty, not out of his own indisposition to truth, and clearness, but to countermine underminers. That which David says in the eighteenth Psalm81, David speaks, not of man, but of God himself: Cum perverso perverteris, With the froward, thou wilt show thyself froward; God, who is of no froward nature, may be made froward; with crafty neighbours, a prince will be crafty, and perchance false with the false. Alas, (to look into no other profession but our own) how often do we excuse dispensations, and pluralities, and non-residences, with an omnes faciunt, I do, but as other men of my profession, do! Allow a king but that, that he does but as other kings do, nay, but this, he does but as other kings put him to a necessity to do, and you will not hastily call a king an ill king. When God gives his people for old shoes, and sells them for nothing, and, at the same time, gives his and their enemies abundance, when God commands Abraham, to sacrifice his own and only son, and his enemies have children at their pleasure, as David speaks, to give yourselves the liberty of human affection, you would think God an ill God; but yet, for all this, his children are to him, a royal
80 Matt. v. 37- £1 Verse 20.
priesthood, and a holy nation; and all their tears are in his bottles, and registered in his book, for all this. When princes pretermit in some things, the present benefit of their subjects, and confer favours upon others, give yourselves the liberty to judge of princes' actions, with the affections of private men, and you may think a king an ill king: but yet, we are to him, as David says, His brethren, his bone, his fleshTM, and so reputed by him. God himself cannot stand upright in a natural man's interpretation, nor any king in a private man's. But then, how soon our adversaries come to call kings, ill kings, we see historically, when they boast of having deposed kings, quia minus utiles, because some other hath seemed to them, fitter for the government; and we see it prophetically, by their allowing those indictments, and attainders of kings, which stand in their books de syndicatu, that that king which neglects the duties of his place (and they must prescribe the duty, and judge the negligence too) that king, that exercises his prerogative, without just cause (and they must prescribe the prerogative, and judge the cause,) that that king that vexes his subjects, that that king that gives himself to intemperate hunting (for in that very particular they instance) that in such cases, (and they multiply these cases infinitely) kings are in their mercy, and subject to their censures, and corrections. We proceed not so, in censuring the actions of kings; we say, with St. Cyril, Impium est dicere regi, inique agis; It is an impious thing, (in him, who is only a private man, and hath no other obligations upon him) to say to the king, or of the king, He governs not as a king is bound to do: we remit the judgment of those their actions, which are secret to God; and when they are evident, and bad, yet we must endeavour to preserve their persons; for there is a danger in the loss, and a lamentation due to the loss, even of Zedekiah, for even such are uncti Domini, The anointed of the Lord, and the breath of our nostrils.
First, (as it lies in our text) the king is spiritus narium, the breath of our nostrils. First, spiritus, is a name, most peculiarly belonging to that blessed Person of the glorious Trinity, whose office it is to convey, to insinuate, to apply to us the mercies of
!* 2 Sam. xix. 12.
the Father, and the merits of the Son: he is called by this namo, by the word of this text, Ruach, even in the beginning of the creation, God had created heaven and earth, and then The Spirit of God, sufflabat, saith Pagnin's translation, (and so saith the Chaldee paraphrase too) it breathed upon the waters, and so induced, or deduced particular forms. So God hath made us, a little world of our own, this island; he hath given us heaven and earth, the truth of his Gospel, which is our earnest of heaven, and the abundance of the earth, a fruitful land; but then he, who is the Spirit of the Lord, he who is the breath of our nostrils, incubat aquis, (as it is said there in the creation) he moves upon the waters, by his royal and warlike navy at sea, (in which he hath expressed a special and particular care) and by the breath and influence of his providence throughout the land, he preserves, he applies, he makes useful those blessings unto us.
If this breath, that is, this power, be at any time soured in the passage, and contract an ill savour by the pipes that convey it, so, as that his good intentions are ill executed by inferior ministers, this must not be imputed to him; that breath that comes from the East, the bed and the garden of spices, when it is breathed out there, is a perfume, but by passing over the beds of serpents and putrefied lakes, it may be a breath of poison in the West: princes purpose some things for ease to the people, (and as such, they are sometimes presented to them) and if they prove grievances, they took their putrefaction in the way, that is, their corruption, from corrupt executors of good and wholesome intentions; the thing was good in the root, and the ill cannot be removed in an instant.
But then, we carry not this word Ruach, Spirit, so high; though since God hath said that kings are gods, the attribute of the Holy Ghost and his office, which is, to apply to man the goodness of God, belongs to kings also; for, God gives, but they apply all blessings to us. But here, we take the word literally, as it is in the text; ruaeh, spirit, is the breath that we breathe, the life that we live; the king is that breath, that life, and therefore that belongs to him. First our breath, that is, sermo, our speech belongs to him; Befaithful unto him, and speak good of his name, is commanded by David of God. To God's anointed, we are not faithful, if we do not speak good of his name. First, there is an internal speech in the heart, and God looks to that; The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God; though he say it but in his heart, yet he is a fool: for, as wise as a politician would think him, for saying it in his heart, and coming no further, yet even that is an overt act with God, for God seeth the heart. It is the fool that saith in his heart, There is no God, and it is the fool that saith in his heart, I would there were no king. That enormous, that infamous tragedy of the Levite's concubine, and her murder, of which it is said there, There was no such thing seen, nor done before", (and many things are done, which are never seen) with that emphatical addition, Consider of it, advise, and say your mind, hath this addition too, In those days there was no king in Israel; if there had been any king, but a Zedekiah, it could not have been so: Curse not the king, not in thy thoughts**: for, they are sins that tread upon the heels of one another, and that induce one another to conceive ill of God's lieutenant, and of God himself; for so the prophet joineth them, They shall fret themselves, and curse their king, and their God": he that beginneth with the one, will proceed to the other.
Thus then he is our breath; our breath is his; our speech must be contained, not expressed in his dishonour; not in misinterpretations of his actions; jealousies have often made women ill; incredulity, suspiciousness, jealousy in the subject, hath wrought ill effects upon princes, otherwise not ill. We must, not speak ill; but our duty is not accomplished in that abstinence, we must speak well: and in those things, which will not admit a good interpretation, we must be apt to remove the perverseness and obliquity of the act from him, who is the first mover to those who are inferior instruments. In these divers opinions which are ventilated in the school, how God concurreth to the working of second and subordinate causes, that opinion is I think, the most ancient, that denies that God works in the second cause, but hath only communicated to it, a power of working, and rest, himself. This is not true; God does work in every organ, and in every particular action; but yet though
S3 Judges xix. 30. 24 Ecoles. x. 20. 'i Isaiah viii- 21.
he do -work in all, yet he is no cause of the obliquity, of the perverseness of any action. Now. earthly princes are not equal to God; they do not so much as work in particular actions of instruments; many times, they communicate power to others, and rest wholly themselves; and then, the power is from them, but the perverseness of the action is not. God does work in ill actions, and yet is not guilty, but princes do not so much as work therein, and so may be excusable; at least, for any co-operation in the evil of the action, though not for countenancing, and authorizing an evil instrument; but that is another case.
They are our breath then; our breath is theirs, in good interpretations of their actions; and it is theirs especially, in our prayers to Almighty God, for them. The apostle exhorts us to pray; for whom? First, for all men in general; but in the first particular, that he descends to, for kings8'. And both Theodoret, and Theophylact, make that the only reason, why the apostle did not name kings first, Ut non mdeatur adulari, Lest he should seem to flatter kings: whether mankind itself, or kings, by whom mankind is happy here, be to be preferred in prayer, you see both Theodoret, and Theophylact, make it a problem. And those prayers, there enjoined, were for infidel kings, and for persecuting kings; for even such kings, were the breath of their nostrils; their breath, their speech, their prayers were due to them. But then, beloved, a man may convey a satire into a prayer; a man may make a prayer a libel; if the intention of the prayer be not so much, to incline God to give those graces to the king, as to tell the world, that the king wants those graces, it is a libel. We say sometimes in scorn to a man, God help you, and God send you wit; and therein, though it have the sound of a prayer, we call him fool. So we have seen of late, some in obscure conventicles, institute certain prayers, That God would keep the king, and the prince in the true religion; the prayer is always good, always useful; but when that prayer is accompanied with circumstances, as though the king and the prince were declining from that religion, then even the prayer itself is libellous, and seditious; St. Paul, in that former place, apparels a subject's prayer well, when he says, Let prayers be given with
80 I Tim. ii. 1.
thanks ; let our prayers be for continuance of the blessings, which we have, and let our acknowledgment of present blessings, be an inducement for future: pray, and praise together; pray thankfully, pray not suspiciously: for, beloved in the bowels of Christ Jesus, before whose face I stand now, and before whose face I shall not be able to stand amongst the righteous, at the last day, if I lie now, and make this pulpit my shop, to vent sophisticate wares, in the presence of you, a holy part, I hope, of the militant church, of which I am, in the presence of the whole triumphant church, of which, by him, by whom I am that I am, I hope to be, in the presence of the Head of the whole church, who is all in all, I, (and I think I have the Spirit of God'21) (I am sure, I have not resisted it in this point) I, (and I may be allowed to know something in civil affairs, (I am sure I have not been stupified in this point) do deliver that, which upon the truth of a moral man, and a Christian man, and a church man, believe to be true, that he, who is the breath of our nostrils, is in his heart, as far from submitting us to that idolatry, and superstition, which did heretofore oppress us, as his immediate predecessor, whose memory is justly precious to you, was: their ways may be divers, and yet their end the same, that is, the glory of God; and to a higher comparison, than to her, I know not how to carry it.
As then the breath of our nostrils, our breath, is his, that is, our speech, first, in containing it, not to speak in his diminution; then in uttering it amongst men; to interpret fairly, and loyally, his proceedings; and then in uttering it to God, in such prayers for the continuing thereof, as imply a thankful acknowledgment of the present blessings, spiritual and temporal, which we enjoy now by him; so far, breath is speech; but breath is life too, and so our life is his. How willingly his subjects would give their lives for him, I make no doubt, but he doubts not. This is argument enough for their propenseness and readiness, to give their lives, for his honour, or for the possessions of his children; that though not contra voluntatem, not against his will, yet prwter voluntatem, without any declaration of his will, or pleasure, by any command, they have been as ready voluntarily, as if a press had commanded them. But these ways, which his wisdom hath
87 1 Cor. vii. 44.
chosen for the procuring of peace, have kept off much occasion of trial, of that, how willingly his subjects would have given their lives for him. Yet, their lives are his, who is the breath of their nostrils: and therefore, though they do not leave them for him, let them lead them for him; though they be not called to die for him, let them live so, as that may be for him; to live peaceably, to live honestly, to live industriously, is to live for him; for, the sins of the people endanger the prince, as much as his own. When that shall be required at your hand, then die for him; in the mean time, live for him; live so, as your living do not kindle God's anger against him, and that is a good confession, and acknowledgment, that he is the breath of your nostrils, that your life is his.
As then the breath of our nostrils is expressed by this word in this text, ruach, spiritus, speech, and life, so it is his. When the breath of life was first breathed into man, there it is called by another word, neshamah'*, and that is the soul, the immortal soul: And is the king the breath of that life? Is he the soul of his subjects so, as that their souls are his; so, as that they must sin towards men, in doing unjust actions, or sin towards God, in forsaking, and dishonouring him, if the king will have them? If I had the honour to ask this question, in his royal presence, I know he would be the first man, that would say, No, no; your souls are not mine, so. And, as he is a most perfect text-man, in the book of God, (and by the way, I should not easily fear his being a papist, that is a good text-man) I know he would cite Daniel, saying, Though our God do not deliver us, yet know, O king, that we will not worship thy gods; and I know he would cite St. Peter, We ought to obey God rather than menTM; and be would cite Christ himself, Fear not then, (for the soul) that cannot hurt the soul. He claims not your souls so: It is ruach here, it is not neshamah; your life is his, your soul is not his, in that sense. But yet, beloved, these two words are promiscuously used in the Scriptures; ruach is often the soul; neshamah is often the temporal life; and thus far, the one, as well as the other, is the king's, that he must answer for your souls; so they are his; for he is not a king of bodies, but a king of men, bodies and souls;
«" Gen. ii. 7.. 89 Acts v. 29.
nor a king of men only, but of Christian men; so your religion, so your souls are his; his, that is, appertaining to his care, and his account. And therefore, though you owe no obedience to any power under heaven, so as to decline you from the true God, or the true worship of that God, and the fundamental things thereof, yet in those things, which are, in their nature but circumstantial, and may therefore, according to times, and places, and persons, admit alterations, in those things, though they be things appertaining to religion, submit yourselves to his directions; for here, the two words meet, ruach, and neshamah, your lives are his, and your souls are his too; his end being to advance God's truth, he is to be trusted much, in matters of indifferent nature, by the way.
He is the word of our text, Spiritus, as Spiritus is the Holy Ghost, so far, by accommodation, as that he is God's instrument to convey blessings upon us; and as spiritus is our breath, or speech, and as it is our life, and as it is our soul too, so far, as that in those temporal things which concern spiritual, (as times of meeting, and much of the manner of proceeding when we are met) we are to receive directions from him: so he is the breath of our nostrils, our speech, our lives, our souls, in that limited sense, are his.
But then, did those subjects of his (and I charge none but his subjects, with this plot, for I judge not them who are without) from whom God delivered us this day, did they think so of him, that he was the breath of our nostrils? If the breath be sour, if it be tainted and corrupt, (as they would needs think, in this case) is it good physic for an ill breath, to cut off the head, or to suffocate it, to smother, to strangle, to murder that man? He is the breath of their nostrils; they owe him their speech, their thanks, their prayers, and how have these children of fools made him their song, and their by-word30? How have these drunkards (men drunk with the Babylonian cup) made libels against him? How have those seminatores verborum31, word-scatterers, defamed him, even with contrary defamations. Heretofore, that he persecuted their religion, when he did not; now, that he hath left his own religion. He is their breath, they owe him their tongues, and how foully do they speak; and they owe him their lives, and
30 Job xxx. 1. 31 Acts xvii. 18.
how prodigally do they give away their lives to others, that they might take away his! He is their breath, (as breath is the soul) that is, accomptant for their souls, and how have they raised themselves out of his audit, and withdrawn themselves from his allegiance! This they have done historically, and to say prophetically, what they would do, first, their extenuation of this fact, when they call it an enterprise of a few unfortunate gentlemen. And then their exaltation of this fact, when they make the principal person in it, a martyr, this is prophecy enough, that since they are not ashamed of the original, they will not be afraid to copy it often, and pursue the same practices, to the same end.
Let it be Josiah then, let it be Zedekiah, he was the breath, the life of his subjects, (and that was the first attribute) and he was the anointed of the Lord, which is the other. Unction itself always separated that which was anointed from profane, and secular use; unction was a religious distinction. It had that signification in practise, before any law was given for it; when Jacob had had that vision upon the stone, which made him see, that that place was the house of God, and the gate of heaven3", then he took up that stone which he had slept upon, and set it up for a pillar, and anointed it. This was the practice in nature; and then the precept in the Law, was, as for the altar itself, so for many other things, belonging to the service of God in the Temple, Thou shalt anoint them, to sanctify them33. Thus it was for things; and then, if we consider persons, we see the dignity that anointing gave: for it was given but to three sorts of persons, to kings, to priests, and to prophets: kings, and priests had it, to testify their ordinary, and permanent, and indelible jurisdiction, their power is laid on in oil; and prophets had it, because they were extraordinarily raised to denounce, and to execute God's judgments, upon persons that were anointed, upon priests, and upon kings too, in those cases, for which, they were then particularly employed. Thus then it is, anointed things could not be touched, but by anointed persons, and then anointed persons could not be touched, but by persons anointed; the priest not directed but by the king; the king, as king, not corrected, but by the prophet: and this was the state, that they lamented so compas
38 Gen. xxviii. 18. 83 Exod. xxix. 36.
VOL. v. Q
sionately, that their king, thus anointed, thus exempted, was taken prisoner, saw his sons slain in his presenoe, and then had his own eyes pulled out, was bound in chains, and carried to Babel.
And less than this, in himself, and in his Son, and in all, was not intended this day, against our, not Zedekiah, but Josiah: for death (speaking in nature) hath all particular miseries in it. An anointed king (and many kings anointed there are not) and he that is anointed prw consortibus suis, above his fellow kings, (for, I think, no other king of his religion, is anointed) the anointed of the Lord, who in this text hath both those great names, Meshiach Jehovah, Christus Domini, as though he had been but the bramble anointed for king of the trees24, and so made the fitter fuel for their fire, as though (as David's lamentation is for Saul) He had not been anointed with cil35, this eye of God, he by whom God looks upon us, this hand of God, he by whom God protects us, this foot of God, he by whom, in his due time, (and Usquequo Domine, How long, O Lord, before that time come V) God shall tread down, his own, and our enemies, was swallowed and devoured by them, in their confidence of their own plot, and their infallible assurance of his perishing. So it was historically; and how it stands prophetically, that is, what such as they were, would do for the future; as long as they write, (not in libels clandestinely and surreptitiously stolen out, but avowed by public authority36) That our priests are no priests, but the priests of Baal, for so they write, That the conspiracy of this day, being against him, who oppressed religion, was as just, as that against Caesar, who did but oppress the state, and that they write, That those who were the actors herein, are therefore saved, because at their execution, they submitted all to the Roman church, and were content, if the church condemned it, then to repent the fact, for so they write also, That the religion of our present king, is no better, than the religion of Jeroboam, or of Numa Pompilius, for so they write too, That the last queen, though an heretic, yet because she was anointed, did cure that disease, the king's evil, but because, in scorn thereof, the king refused to be anointed at his coronation, therefore he cannot cure that disease, and so non dicendus unctus Domini, he is not to be called the anointed
Judges ix. 8. 35 2 Sam. i. 21. 36 Coquaeus, fol. 18.
of the Lord, says that author, (for all these are the words of one man, and one, who had no other provocation to say all this but only the king's apology for the oath of allegiance) by retaining in their avowed books, and by relying upon such authors, and authorities as these, which remain for their future instruction, we see their dispositions for the future, and judge of them prophetically, as well as historically.
Now the misery which is here lamented, the declination of the kingdom, in the person of the king, is thus expressed, he was taken in their pits; taken, and taken in pits, and taken in their pits, are so many stairs, so many descents, so many gradations (rather degradations) in this calamity. Let it be Josiah, let it be Zedekiah; they were taken; taken, and never returned; let it be our Josiah, and will it hold in that application? Was he taken? He was plotted for, but was he taken? When he himself takes public knowledge, that both at home and abroad, those of the Roman persuasion assured themselves of some special work, for the advancement of their cause, at that time, when they had taken that assurance, he was so taken, taken in that their assurance, infallibly taken in their opinion; so, as this kingdom was taken in their opinion, who thought their navy invincible; so this king was taken in their assurance, who thought this plot infallible.
He was taken, and in fovea, in a pit, says the text; if our first translation would serve, the sorrow were the less, for there it is, he was taken in their net; now, a man that flattereth, spreadeth a net, and a prince that discerns not a flatterer, from a counsellor, is taken in a net; but that is not so desperate, as in a pit: in Josiah's case, it was a pit, a grave; in Zedekiah's case, it was a pit, a prison: in our Josiah's case, it was fully, as it is in the text, not in fovea, but in foveis, plurally, in their pits, in their divers pits; death in the mine where they began, death in the cellar where they pursued their mischief.
And then it was in foveis illorum, in their pits, says the text; but the text does not tell us, in whose; in the verse before, it is said, our persecutors did this, and this, then it follows, he was taken in their pits; in the persecutors' pits certainly; but yet, who are they I If it were Josiah that was taken, the persecutor was Necho, king of Egypt, for from his army, Josiah received his death's wound37: if it were Zedekiah, the persecutor was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, for he carried Zedekiah into captivity. Certainly the Holy Ghost knew well enough, and could have spoken plain, whose these pits were, but it pleased him to forbear names. Certainly our Josiah knows well enough, whose, those pits, which were digged for him, were; but, according to his natural sweetness, to decline the drawing of more blood, than necessarily he must, or the laying of imputations and aspersions upon more, than necessarily he must, ho hath forborne names. The Holy Ghost knows better than all the expositors, in all our libraries, who digged those pits, our Josiah knows, better than all we, who come but to celebrate, and solemnize the deliverance, whose hands, and whose counsels were in the digging of these pits too. He was taken, says our text: /nit, he was. Fix that in Josiah, who was taken, and never taken back: fix it in Zedekiah, who was taken, and never taken back; they both perished; in both them, there is just cause, of perpetual, and permanent lamentation, and no room left, for the exercise of any other affection. But transfer it to our Josiah, and then, he was taken, is, he was but taken; God did not suffer his holy one to see corruption*, nor God did not suffer his anointed, to perish in this taking; and so the lamentation is become (as we said at first) a congratulation, so our vw is an euge, our exclamation turned to acclamation; and so our de profundis, is a gloria in excelsis, the pit, the vault is become a hill, from whence we may behold the power of our great God; this Sepher Kinoth, the Book of Lamentations, is become Sepher Tehillim, the Book of Psalms, and Thanksgivings; and David's Bonus es omnibus, Lord thou art good to all, is come to Moses' Non taliter, Lord thou hast not done so well, with any nation, as with us; for when we might have feared a dereliquisti, that God had forsaken us, we had St. Augustine, appropinquavi et nesciebam, we camo nearer and nearer to God, and knew it not, we knew not our danger, and therefore knew not his special protection. It was one particular degree of his mercy, to proceed so: as it is an ease to a man, not to hear of his friend's sickness, till he hear it, by hearing of his
»» 2 Chron. xxxv. 23. * Folio edition, « correction."
recovery, so God did not shake us, with the knowledge of the danger, till he established us, with the deliverance: and by making his servant, and our sovereign, the blessed means of that discovery, and that deliverance, he hath directed us, in all apprehensions of dangers, to rely upon that wisdom, in civil affairs, affairs of state, and upon that zeal, in causes of religion, which he hath imprinted in that soul. Historically, God hath done great things for us, by him; prophetically, God hath great things to do for us, and all the Christian world, and will make him, his instrument to do them.
Now, we reserved at first, for the last gasp, and for the knot to tie up all, this consideration: that he that was truly affected in the sad sense of such a danger, and the pious sense of such a deliverance, would also use all means in his power, to secure the future, that that kingdom, in that king, might always be safe, from the like dangers. No doubt, our Josiah doth that, in that which appertaineth unto him; and all, that is, the care of all, appertaineth unto him. If God had made him his rod, to scourge others with wars and armies, we might be afraid, that when God had done his work by him, he would cast the rod in the fire; God doth not always bless those instruments, who love blood, though they pretend his glory. But since God hath made him his dove, to fly over the world, with the olive-branch, with endeavours of peace, in all places, as the dove did, so he shall ever bring his olive-branch to the ark, that is, endeavour only such peace, as may advance the church of God, and establish peace of conscience in himself.
That care, on his part, shall preserve him: and for his preservation, and ours in him, these things are to be done on our part: first, let us return to God, so, as God may look upon us, clothed in the righteousness of Christ; who will not be put on, as a fair gown, to cover coarse clothes; but first put off your sins, and then put on him; sins of the time, sins of your age, sins of your sex, sins of your complexion, sins of your profession; put off all; for your time, your age, your sex, your complexion, your profession, shall not be damned; but you, you yourselves shall. Do not think that your Sunday's zeal once a-week, can burn out all your extortions, and oppressions, and usury, and butchery, and simony, and chambering and wantonness practised from Monday to Saturday. Do not think it to be so with the spiritual man, as with the natural: in a natural body, a great proportion of choler will rectify a cold, or old, or phlegmatic man j he is the better, for having so much choler; but a vehement zeal on Sunday, doth not rectify the six days' sinner: to cry out then, I am starved for want of an afternoon sermon, and to fast all the week long, so as never to taste how sweet the Lord is, in thy cleansing thy heart, and withdrawing thy hand from sin, this is no good diet; not only upon your allegiance to God, but upon your allegiance to the king, be good: no prince can have a better guard, than subjects truly religious. Quantus murus patriae est vir justus, is St. Ambrose's holy exclamation, What a wall to a city, what a sea, what a navy to an island, is a holy man! The sins of former times, the sins and provocations of Manasseh, lay heavy upon Josiah38, as well as God loved him. The sins of our days, our sins, may open any prince to God's anger. This is the first way of preserving our Josiah, to turn away the wrath of God, by our abstinence from future sins, after our repentance of former.
A second is, to uphold his honour and estimation with other men; especially amongst strangers that live with us, who for the most part, value princes so, as they find their subjects to value them. Ambassadors have ever been sacred persons, and partakers of great privileges. A prince, that lives as ours, in the eye of many ambassadors, is not as the children of Israel, in the midst of Canaanites, and Jebusites, and Ammonites, who all watched the destruction of Israel; but he is in the midst of tutelar angels, national angels, who study (by God's grace, and as it becomes us to hope) the peace and welfare of the Christian state. But then all strangers in the land, are not noble, and candid, and ingenuous ambassadors; and even ambassadors themselves may be misled to an undervalue of the prince, by rumours, and by disloyal, and by negligent speeches, from the subject; we have not yet felt Solomon's whips; but our whinings and repinings, and discontents may bring us to Rehoboam's scorpions39. This way hath a part, in the king's safety, and in our safety, to
33 2 Kings xxiii. 26. 38 1 Kings xii. 11.
hold in ourselves, and to convey to strangers, a good estimation of that happy government, which is truly good in itself.
And then a third, and very important way towards his preservation, is, a cheerful disposition, to supply, and to support and to assist him, with such things as are necessary for his outward dignity. When God himself was the immediate King of the Israelites, and governed them, by himself, he took it ill, that they would depart from him, who needed nothing of theirs, for there could be no other king, but must necessarily be supplied by them: and yet, consider, beloved, what God, who needed nothing, took: the sacrifices of the Jews, were such, as would have kept divers royal houses: take a bill of them, but in one passover, that Josiah kept4", and compare that and other the like, with the smallness of the land, that they possessed, and you will see, that that they gave, was a very great proportion. Now, it is the service of God, to contribute to the king, as well as to the priest: he that gives to a prophet, shall have a prophet's reward; he that gives to the king, shall have a king's reward, a crown: in those cases, where to give to your king, is to give to God, that is, where the peace of the state, and the glory of God in his Gospel depends much, upon the sustentation of the estimation, and outward honour and splendour of the king: preserve him so, and he shall the less be subject to these dangers, of such falling into their pits.
But lastly, and especially, let us preserve him, by preserving God amongst us, in the true, and sincere profession of our religion. Let not a mis-grounded, and disloyal imagination of coolness in him, cool you, in your own families. Omnis Spiritus, qui solvit Jemm*1, says the apostle, in the Vulgate, Every spirit that dissolves Jesus, that embraces not Jesus entirely, all Jesus, and all his, all his truth, and all that suffer for that truth, is not of God. Do not say, I will hold as much of Jesus, as shall be necessary, so much as Bhall distinguish me from a Turk, or a Jew, but if I may be the better, for parting with some of the rest, why should I not? Do not say, I will hold all, myself, but let my wife, or my son, .or one of my sons, go the other way, as though Protestant, and Papist were two several callings; and, as you would make one son a lawyer, another a merchant, you will
40 2 Chron. xxxv. 41 1 John iv. 3.
make one son a Papist, another a Protestant. Excuse not your own levity, with so high a dishonour to the prince; when have you heard, that ever he thanked any man, for becoming a papist? Leave his doors to himself; the doors into his kingdom, the ports, and the doors in his kingdom, the prisons; let him open and shut his doors, as God shall put into his mind: look thou seriously to thine own doors, to thine own family, and keep all right there. A thief that is let out of Newgate is not therefore let into thy house; a priest that is let out of rprison, is not therefore let into thy house neither: still it may be felony, to harbour him, though there were mercy in letting him out. Cities are built of families, and so are churches too; every man keeps his own family, and then every pastor shall keep his flock, and so the church shall be free from schism, and the state from sedition, and our Josiah preserved, prophetically for ever, as ho was historically this day, from them, in whose pits, the breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was taken. Amen.