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the dear and sweet promises of salvation the entices and woos; by all the threatenings and thunders of the law, and rejected gospel, she charges, and adjures : this is all her armory, her munition, her artillery; then she awaits with long-sufferance, and yet ardent zeal. In brief, there is no act in all the errand of God's ministers to mankind, wherein passes more loverlike contestation between Christ and the foul of a regenerate man lapsing, than before, and in, and after the sentence of excommunication. As for the fogging proctorage of money, with such an eye'as struck Gehazi with leprosy, and Simon Magus with a' curfe; fo does she look, and so threaten her fiery whip against that banking den of thieves that dare thus bame, and buy and fell the awful and majeftic wrinkles of her brow. He that is rightly and apoftolically sped with her invisible arrow, if he can be at peace in his soul, and not smell within him the brimstone of Hell, may have fair leave to tell all his bags over undiminished of the least farthing, may eat his dainties, drink his wine, use his delights, enjoy his lands and liberties, not the least skin 'raifed, 110t the least hair misplaced, for all that excommunication has done : much more may a king enjoy his rights and prerogatives undeflowered, untouched, and be as abfolute and complete a king, as all his royalties and revenues can make him. And therefore little did Theodosius fear a plot upon his empire, when he stood excommunicate by Saint Ambrose, though it were done either with much haughty pride, or ignorant zeal. But let us father look upon the reformed churches beyond
the feas, the Grizons, the Swiffes, the Hollanders, the Fretch, that have a fupremacy to live under as well as we; where do the churches in all these places strive for supremacy? Where do they clash and juftle fupremacies with the civil magiftrate? In France, a more severe monarchy'than ours, the protestants under this church
government, carry the name of the beft subjects the king (has; and yet presbytery, if it must be so called, does "there all'that it defires to do: how easy were it, if there
Þe such great suspicion, to give no more scope to it in England? But let us not; for fear of a scarecrow, or 16919 19", pia
else through hatred to be reformed, stand hankering and politizing, when God with spread hands testifies to us, and points us out the way to our peace, ; .
Let us not be fo overcredulous, unless God hath blinded us, as to trust our dear souls into the hands of men that beg so devoutly for the pride and gluttony of their own backs and bellies, that sue and follicit so eagerly, not for the saving of fouls, the consideration of which can have here no place at all, but for their bishoprics, deaneries, prebends, and canonries: how can these men not be corrupt, whose very cause is the bribe of their own pleading, whose mouths cannot open without the strong breath and loud stench of avarice, simony, and sacrilege, embezzling the treasury of the church on painted and gilded walls of temples, wherein God hath testified to have no delight, warming their palace kitchens, and from thence their unctuous and epicurean paunches, with the alms of the blind, the lame, the impotent, the aged, the orphan, the widow ? for with these the treafury of Christ ought to be, here must be his jewels beftowed, 'his rich cabinet must be emptied here; as the constant martyr Saint Lawrence taught the Roman prætor. Sir, would you know what the remonftrance of these men would have, what their petition implies? They intreat us that we would not be weary of those insupportable grievances that our shoulders have hitherto cracked under, they beseech us that we would think them fit to be our justices of peace, our lords, our highest officers of ftate, though they come furnished with no more experience than they learnt between the cook and the manciplé, or more profoundly at the college audit, or the regent house, or to come to their deepest insight, at their patron's table; they would request us to endure still the rustling of their filken caffocs, and that we would burst our midriffs, rather than laugh to see them under sail in all their lawn and farcenet, their Ihrouds and tackle, with a geometrical rhomboides, upon their heads : they would bear us in hand that we must of duty ftill appear before them once a year in Jerusalem, like good circumcised males and females, to be taxed by the poll, to be (conced our headmoney, our twopences in their chand
lerly shopbook of Easter. They pray, us that it would please us
us to let them still hale us, and worry us with their bandogs and pursuivants ;-, and that it would please the parliament that they may yet have the whipping, fleecing, and flaying of us in their diabolical courts, to tear the flesh from our bones, and into our wide wounds instead of balm, to pour in the oil of tartar, vitriol, and mercury : surely a right reasonable, innocent, and softhearted petition. O the relenting bowels of the fathers ! Can this be granted them, unless God have smitten us with frenzy from above, and with a dazzling giddiness at noonday? Should not those men rather be heard that come to plead against their own preferments, their worldly advantages, their own abundance ; for honour and obedience to God's word, the conversion of souls, the christian peace of the land, and union of the reformed catholic church, the unappropriating and unmonopolizing the rewards of learning and industry, from the greasy clutch of ignorance and high feeding. We have tried already, and miserably felt what ambition, worldly glory, and immoderate wealth, can do ; what the boisterous and contradictional hand of a temporal, earthly, and corporeal spirituality can avail to the edifying of Christ's holy church; were it such a desperate hazard to put to the venture the universal votes of Christ's congregation, and fellowly and friendly yoke of a teaching and laborious ministry, the pastorlike and apoftolic imitation of meek and unlordly discipline, the gentle and benevolent mediocrity of church-maintenance, without the ignoble hucksterage of piddling tithes ? Were it such an incurable mischief
to make a little trial, what all this would do to the flourishing and growing up of Christ's mystical body, as rather to use every poor shift, and if that serve not, to threaten uproar and combustion, and shake the brand of civil discord ?
O, fir, I do now feel myself inwrapped on the sudden into those mazes and labyrinths of dreadful and hideous thoughts, that which way to get out, or which way to end, I know not, unless I turn mine eyes, and with
your help lift up my hands to that eternal and propitious Throne, where nothing is readier than grace and refuge
to the distresses of mortal fuppliants: and it were a shame to leave these serious thoughts less piously than the heathen were wont to conclude their
graver discourses. Thou, therefore, that sittest in light and glory unapproachable, Parent of angels and men ! next, thee I implore, omnipotent King, Redeemer of that loft remnant whofe nature thou didft affume, ineffable and everlasting Love! And thou, the third subsistence of divine infinitude, illumining Spirit, the joy and solace of created things ! one Tripersonal godhead! look upon this thy poor and almost spent and expiring church, leave her not thus a prey to these importunate wolves, that wait and think long till they devour thy tender flock; these wild boars that have broke into thy vineyard, and left the print of their polluting hoofs on the fouls of thy fervants. O let them not bring about their damned designs, that stand now at the entrance of the bottomless pit, expecting the watchword to open and let out those dreadful locufts and scorpions, to reinvolve us in that pitchy cloud of infernal darkness, where we shall never more see the sun of thy truth again, never hope for the cheerful dawn, never more hear the bird of morning fing Be moved with pity at the afflicted state of this our fhaken monarchy, that now lies labouring under her throes, and struggling against the grudges of more dreaded calamities.
O thou, that, after the impetuous rage of five bloody inundations, and the succeeding sword of intestine war, soaking the land in her own gore, didft pity the sad and ceaseless revolution of our swift and thick-coming forrows; when we were quite breathless of thy free grace didst motion peace, and terms of covenant with us; and having first wellnigh freed us from antichristian thraldom, didst build up this Britannic empire to a glorious and enviable height, with all her daughter-islands about her; stay us in this felicity, let not the obftinacy of our half-obedience and will-worship bring forth that viper of sedition, that for these fourfcore years hath been breeding to eat through the entrails of our peace; but let her cast her abortive fpawn without the danger of this travailing and throbbing, kingdom: that we may still
remember in our folemn thanksgivings, how for us, the northern ocean even to the frozen Thule was scattered with the proud shipwrecks of the Spanish armada, and the very maw of Hell ransacked, and made to give up her concealed destruction, ere she could vent it in that horrible and damned blast.
O how much more glorious will those former deliverances appear, when we shall know them not only to have saved us from greatest miseries paft, but to have re. ferved us for greatest happiness to come? Hitherto thou hast but freed us, and that not fully, from the unjust and tyrannous claim of thy foes, now unite us entirely, and appropriate us to thyself, tie us everlastingly in willing homage to the prerogative of thy eternal throne.
And now we know, O thou our most certain hope and defence, that thine enemies have been consulting all the forceries of the great whore, and have joined their plots with that fad intelligencing tyrant that mischiefs the world with his mines of Ophir, and lies thirsting to revenge his naval ruins that have larded our feas : but let them all take counsel together, and let it come to nought; let them decree, and do thou cancel it; let them gather themselves, and be scattered ; let them embattle themselves, and be broken ; let them embattle, and be broken, for thou art with us.
Then, amidst the hymns and hallelujahs of saints, fome one may perhaps be heard offering at high strains in new and lofty measures, to sing and celebrate thy divine mercies and marvellous judgments in this land throughout all ages; whereby this great and warlike nation, instructed and inured to the fervent and continual practice of truth and righteousness, and casting far from her the rags of her old vices, may press on hard to that high and happy emulation to be found the fobereft, wisest, and most Christian people at that day, when thou, the eternal and shortly-expected King, fhalt open the clouds to judge the several kingdoms of the world, and distributing national honours and rewards to religious and just commonwealths, shall put an end to all earthly tyrannies, proclaiming thy universal and mild monarchy through heaven and carth; where they undoubtedly, that by their