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the dear and sweet promises of falvation fhe entices and woos; by all the threatenings and thunders of the law, and rejected gofpel, fhe charges, and adjures: this is all her armory, her munition, her artillery; then she awaits with long-fufferance, and yet ardent zeal. In brief, there is no act in all the errand of God's minifters to mankind, wherein paffes more loverlike conteftation between Chrift and the foul of a regenerate man lapfing, than before, and in, and after the fentence of excommunication. As for the fogging proctorage of money, with fuch an eye as ftruck Gehazi with leprofy, and Simon Magus with a curfe; fo does the look, and fo threaten her fiery whip against that banking den of thieves that dare thus. baffle, and buy and fell the awful and majestic wrinkles of her brow. He that is rightly and apoftolically fped with her invisible arrow, if he can be at peace in his foul, and not fmell within him the brimstone of Hell, may have fair leave to tell all his bags over undiminished of the leaft farthing, may eat his dainties, drink his wine, use his delights, enjoy his lands and liberties, not the least fkin railed, not the leaft hair mifplaced, 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 Theodofius fear a plot upon his empire, when he stood excommunicate by Saint Ambrofe, though it were done either with much haughty pride, or ignorant zeal. But let us rather look upon the reformed churches beyond the feas, the Grizons, the Swiffes, the Hollanders, the French, that have a fupremacy to live under as well as we; where do the churches in all these places ftrive for fupremacy? Where do they clash and justle fupremacies with the civil magiftrate? In France, a more severe monarchy than ours, the proteftants under this churchgovernment, carry the name of the best subjects the king has; and yet prefbytery, if it must be fo called, does there all that it defires to do: how eafy were it, if there be fuch great fufpicion, to give no more scope to it in England? But let us not, for fear of a scarecrow, or


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elfe through hatred to be reformed, ftand hankering and politizing, when God with fpread hands teftifies to us, and points us out the way to our peace,

Let us not be fo overcredulous, unlefs God hath blinded us, as to truft our dear fouls into the hands of men that beg fo devoutly for the pride and gluttony of their own backs and bellies, that fue and follicit fo eagerly, not for the faving of fouls, the confideration of which can have here no place at all, but for their bishoprics, deaneries, prebends, and canonries: how can these men not be corrupt, whofe very caufe is the bribe of their own pleading, whofe mouths cannot open without the strong breath and loud ftench of avarice, fimony, and facrilege, embezzling the treasury of the church on painted and gilded walls of temples, wherein God hath teftified 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 Chrift ought to be, here must be his jewels bcftowed, his rich cabinet must be emptied here; as the conftant 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 thofe infupportable grievances that our fhoulders have hitherto cracked under, they befeech us that we would think them fit to be our juftices 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 manciple, or more profoundly at the college audit, or the regent houfe, or to come to their deepeft infight, at their patron's table; they would requeft us to endure ftill the ruftling of their filken caffocs, and that we would burst our midriffs, rather than laugh to fee them under fail in all their lawn and farcenet, their fhrouds and tackle, with a geometrical rhomboides upon their heads: they would bear us in hand that we must of duty still appear before them once a year in Jerufalem, like good circumcifed males and females, to be taxed by the poll, to be fconced our headmoney, our twopences in their chandE 4


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lerly fhopbook of Eafter. They pray us that it would please us to let them ftill hale us, and worry us with their bandogs and purfuivants; 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 furely a right reasonable, innocent, and fofthearted petition. O the relenting bowels of the fathers! Can this be granted them, unless God have fmitten us with frenzy from above, and with a dazzling giddiness at noonday? Should not thofe 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 converfion of fouls, the chriftian peace of the land, and union of the reformed catholic church, the unappropriating and unmonopolizing the rewards of learning and induftry, from the greafy clutch of ignorance and high feeding. We have tried already, and miferably felt what ambition, worldly glory, and immoderate wealth, can do; what the boisterous and contradictional hand of a temporal, earthly, and corporeal fpirituality can avail to the edifying of Chrift's holy church; were it fuch a defperate hazard to put to the venture the universal votes of Christ's congregation, and fellowly and friendly yoke of a teaching and laborious miniftry, the paftorlike and apoftolic imitation of meek and unlordly difcipline, 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 Chrift's myftical body? as rather to ufe every poor fhift, and if that ferve not, to threaten uproar and combuftion, and fhake the brand of civil difcord?

O, fir, I do now feel myself inwrapped on the fudden into thofe 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 diftreffes of mortal fuppliants: and it were a shame to leave these serious thoughts les pioufly than the heathen were wont to conclude their graver difcourfes.

Thou, therefore, that fitteft in light and glory unapproachable, Parent of angels and men! next, thee I implore, omnipotent King, Redeemer of that loft remnant whose nature thou didft affume, ineffable and everlafting Love! And thou, the third fubfiftence of divine infinitude, illumining Spirit, the joy and folace of created things! one Triperfonal godhead! look upon this thy poor and almoft fpent and expiring church, leave her not thus a prey to thefe 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 defigns, that ftand now at the entrance of the bottomlefs pit, expecting the watchword to open and let out thofe dreadful locufts and fcorpions, to reinvolve us that pitchy cloud of infernal darknefs, where we fhall never more fee the fun 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 ftate of this our fhaken monarchy, that now lies labouring under her throes, and ftruggling againft the grudges of more dreaded calamities,

O thou, that, after the impetuous rage of five bloody inundations, and the fucceeding fword of inteftine war, foaking the land in her own gore, didft pity the fad and ccafelefs revolution of our fwift and thick-coming forrows; when we were quite breathlefs of thy free grace didft motion peace, and terms of covenant with us; and having first wellnigh freed us from antichriftian thraldom, didft build up this Britannic empire to a glorious. and enviable height, with all her daughter-iflands about her; ftay us in this felicity, let not the obftinacy of our half-obedience and will-worship bring forth that viper of fedition, that for thefe fourfcore years hath been breeding to eat through the entrails of our peace; but let her caft her abortive fpawn without the danger of this travailing and throbbing kingdom: that we may ftill


remember in our folemn thanksgivings, how for us, the northern ocean even to the frozen Thule was fcattered with the proud fhipwrecks of the Spanish armada, and the very maw of Hell ranfacked, and made to give up her concealed deftruction, ere fhe could vent it in that horrible and damned blast.

O how much more glorious will those former deliverances appear, when we fhall know them not only to have faved us from greatest miferies paft, but to have referved us for greatest happiness to come? Hitherto thou haft but freed us, and that not fully, from the unjust and tyrannous claim of thy foes, now unite us entirely, and appropriate us to thyfelf, 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 confulting 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 thirfting 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 fcattered; let them embattle themfelves, and be broken; let them embattle, and be broken, for thou art with us.

Then, amidst the hymns and hallelujahs of faints, fome one may perhaps be heard offering at high ftrains in new and lofty measures, to fing and celebrate thy divine mercies and marvellous judgments in this land throughout all ages; whereby this great and warlike nation, inftructed and inured to the fervent and continual practice of truth and righteousness, and cafting far from her the rags of her old vices, may prefs on hard to that high and happy emulation to be found the fobereft, wisest, and moft Chriftian people at that day, when thou, the eternal and fhortly-expected King, fhalt open the clouds to judge the feveral kingdoms of the world, and diftributing national honours and rewards to religious and just commonwealths, fhall put an end to all earthly tyrannies, proclaiming thy univerfal and mild monarchy through heaven and earth; where they undoubtedly, that by their labours,

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