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them, and against the instruments of it, the Apostle tells us in the next words, y 11. Now all these things hapo pened unto them for ensamples, or types : and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Let us not tempt Christ, who is now beginning the glorious deliverance of his church from the tyranny of antichrist. To draw now towards a conclusion: I will
compre• hend my advice to you upon the whole matter, in as few words as I can.
Let us use this great deliverance which God hath given us, fach a deliverance as this, from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us ; not by using them as they would have done us, had we fallen under their power, with great infolence, and rage, and cruelty; but with great moderation and clemency, making as few examples of severity as will be consistent with our future security from the like attempts upon our religion and laws. And even in the execution of justice upon the greatest offenders, let us not give so much countenance to the ill examples which have been set of extravagant fines and punishments, as to imitate those patterns, which with so much reason we abhor; no; not ia the punishment of the authors of them.
And let us endeavour, for once, to be so wisc, as not to forfeit the fruits of this deliverance, and to hinder ourselves of the benefit and advantage of it, by breaches and divisions among ourselves. As we have no reason to desire it, so I think we can hardly ever hope to understand Popery better, and the cruel defigns of it, than we do already ; both from the long trial and experience which we have had of it in this nation, and likewise from that dismal and horrid view, which hath of fate been given us of the true spirit and temper of it, in one of our neighbour nations, which hath long pretended to the profession of the most refined and moderate Popery in the world; but hath now at last fhewed itself in its true colours, and in the perfection of a persecuting spirit ; and bath therein given us a most fad and deplorable instance of a religion corrupted and degenerated into that which, if it be possible, is worse than none.
And since, by the undeserved mercy of God to us,
we have upon such easy terms, in comparison, escaped their rage and fury; let us now,at length resolve, never to join in affinity with the people of these abominations ;, since our alliances with them by marriage have had so fatal an influence, both upon the publick peace and tranquillity of the nation, and upon the welfare also of private families. I have known many instances of this kind; but hardly ever yet saw one that proved happy ; but a great many, that have been pernicious and ruinous to those Protestant families in which such uncqual, and, as I think, unlawful matches have been made : not that such marriages are void in themselves; but yet for all that sinful ; because of the apparent danger and temptation to which those of our church and religion that enter into them, do evidently expose themselves, of being seduced from their religion; not by the good arguments which the other can offer to that purpose, but by the ill arts which they have the confidence and the conscience to make use of, in the making of proselytes.
And let us pay our most hearty and thankful acknowledgments, chiefly, and in the first place, to alınighty God, the blessed author of this deliverance; and, under him, to that happy instrument whom God hath been pleased, in great pity to this sinful and unworthy nation, to raise up on purpose for it, his Highness the Prince of Orange; and, to that end, did in his all-wise providence lay the foundation of our then future deliverance, in that auspicious match, which was concluded here in England about eleven years ago, between this renowned Prince and our excellent Princess.
This is that most illustrious house of Nassau and Orange, which God hath so highly honoured above all the families of the earth, to give a check to the two great aspiring monarchies of the West, and bold attempters upon the liberties of Europe; to the one in the last age, and to the other in the present: as if the Princes of this valiant and victorious line had been of the race of Hercules, born to rescue mankind from oppression, and to quell monsters.
** And, lastly, let us beseech almighty God, all whose ways and works are perfect, that he would establish
thas that which he hath wrought, and still carry it on to fare ther and greater perfection. Which, after such an earnest of his favour and good will to us, we have no reason to doubt, but that he is ready to do for us. If by our own fickleness and inconstancy, disgusting the deliverance now it is come, which we so earnestly desired before it came ; if by our ungrateful murmurings and discontents, by our own foolih heats and animosities, kindled and carried on by the ill designs of some, working upon the tenderness and fcruples of others, under the specious pretences of conscience and loyalty : I say, if by some or all these ways we do not refuse the blessing which God now offers, and defeat and frustrate the merciful design of this wonderful revolution, God will still rejoice over us, to do us good, and think thoughts of peace towards us, thoughts of good, and not of evil, to give us an expected end of our long troubles and confusions.
But, if we will not know in this bar day the things which belong to our peace, our destruction will hen be of ourselves; and there will be no need that God should be angry with us; for we shall be undone by our own differences and quarrels about the way and means of our being faved, and so be angry with one another till we be consumed. Which God, of his infinite goodness, give us all the grace and wisdom to prevent, for his mercies fake in Jesus Christ. To whom, with thee, O Father, and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, thanksgiving and praise, both now and ever. Amen.
S E R M ON
Of forgiveness of injuries, and against re
Preached before the Queen, at Whitehall, March 8. 1688-9.
MAITH. V. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that
curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you.
HE gospel hath promised forgiveness of fins to us, upon two conditions : That we sincerely re
pent of the fins which we have committed against God; and, That we heartily. forgive to men the injuries and offences which they have been guilty of towards us.
I shall at this time, by God's assistance, treat of the latter of these, from the words which I have recited to you; which are part of our Saviour's excellent sermon upon the mount : in which, he doth not only explain, but enlarge and perfect the moral and natural law, by adding to it precepts and prohibitions of greater perfection, than either the law of Moses, or the natural law, in their largest extent, did contain.
He forbids polygamy, and divorce, except only in the case of adultery, and likewise revenge ; none of which were forbidden, either by the law of nature, or by the law which was given by Moses.
And to these prohibitions our blessed Saviour adds fee veral new precepts, of greater perfection than any laws that were extant before. But I say unto you, Love your enemies. The Jewish law commanded them to love their neighbours, meaning their brethren, and those of their own nation : but our Saviour, by commanding us to love our enemies, hath, in the most emphatical manner that can be, commanded us to love all men. For, if any were to be excluded from our charity, none so likely to be so as our enemies. So that, after a command to love our enemies, it was needless to name any others, because men are naturally apt to love those that love them.
I say unto you, Love your enemies : here the inward affection is required. Bless them that curse you : here outward civility and affability are required, in opposition to rude and uncivil language ; for so blefing and curfing do in scripture frequently signify. Do good to them that haie you : here real acts of kindness are commanded to be done by us to our bitterest and most malicious enemies. Pray for them that despitefully use you, and perfecute you : these are the highest expressions of enmity that can be, calumny and cruelty; and yet we are commanded to pray for those that touch us in these two tenderest points of all other, our reputation and our life. And to secure the sincerity of our charity towards our enemies, we are required to express it by our hearty prayers to God for them : to God, I say, before whom it is both impious and dangerous to difsemble ; and from whom we can expect no mercy for ourselves, if with feigned lips we beg it of him for others.
You see what is the duty here required; That we bear a sincere affection to our most malicious and implacable enemies, and be ready upon occasion to give real testimony of it.
And, because this may seem a hard duty, and not so easy to be reconciled either to our inclination or our reason, I shall endeavour to shew, that this law is not only reasonable, but much more perfect and excellent, and the practice of it more easy and delightful, and upon all accounts much more for our benefit and advantage, than the contrary: and that upon four considerations; which I shall endeavour to represent with their just advantage, and so, as may, I hope, not only convince our judgments of the reasonableness of this precept, but likewise bend and fway our wills to the obedience and practice of it.