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ployment. In the mean while, if thou hast overcome Satan, sin, the world, and Death, thou shalt go and take possession of a greater and more lasting glory. He that bears upon his garments and thighs this inscription, “ The King of kings, and Lord of lords," hath given out this unchangeable promise, “ He that shall overcome, and hath kept my words until the end, I will give unto him the power over the nations, and he shall govern them with a rod of iron.”
Right honourable counsellors, that assist your prince with your sage advices, and you, inferior magistrates and judges, never forget what Jehoshaphat said to the judges of his kingdom, 2 Chron. xix. “Take heed what ye do, for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore, now, let the fear of the Lord be upon you, take heed and do it; for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts,” Ps. Ixxv. Whensoever ye go to take your place aniong the judges of the kingdom, remember that God sits there upon his throne; and every time that you give a charge, or pronounce a sens tence, consider that you are to follow God's directions, and that this great Creator takes notice of your actions, words, and of the motions of your heart, and that he understands your most secret thoughts. Judge with the same equity and jus: tice with which ye desire to be judged. If you be tempted to overthrow right, to conceal truth, or to commit any injustice, either by a base compliance, by an expectation of worldly advantage, or for filthy lucre, remember that it is the devil that tempts you; pray therefore to God, to deliver you from his power. And that you may be better able to command yourselves with an holy awe, mind that Death summons you to appear in person, nay, drags you before the universal Judge of mankind, to give up an account of all your actions, and of the sentences you have given. But if Death surpriseth you, when you are discharging your office with all the diligence
and integrity imaginable, stay not till it forces you, but cast off willingly the robes of judicature, to take the habit of a supplicant, and pray to God that he may not enter into judge ment with you, because no living creature shall be justified in his sight, Ps. cxliii.
Let not the thoughts of what shall happen after your decease, obstruct your Christian resolution. There are men enough in the world of a sufficient ability to supplyyour places; and God is able to raise up some that we dream not of, as when he created in one day threescore and ten judges in Israel, whom he endowed with sufficient abilities, and with the graces of his holy Spirit. He may produce some that will be as righteous and just as yourselves, and, it may be, more enlightened with discretion and prudence than you. Come off therefore willingly from these seats of judicature, so beset with thorns, upon which you should never rest without hor.. ror and dread, if you sincerely fear God;, and go with CODE fidence to the throne of grace, that you may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need, Heb. iv.
And as there may be as much regard to religion in the tents of David, as in the temple of Solomon ; and that the sword of Gideon agrees well with that of the Lord of Hosts; I may make my address to you, worthy generals, brave captains, and generous nobility, unto whom kings, princes, and commonwealths, commit the leading of their armies. I speak not to you, profane Atheists, who laugh at the sacred mysteries, and are of opinion, that all fear of God must be banished out of your troops and companies, and that the 'most wretched varlets are the best soldiers ; but I speak to you, christian and religious commanders, who forget not, by your promotion amongst men, that you are nevertheless the soldiers of Jesus Christ : and though you wear at your side a material sword, forget not to employ also the sword of the Spirit, the word
of God that dwells in your hearts. Neither do I intend to speak to you that manage war with an intent only to satisfy your revenge, your ambition, or your covetousness; but I speak to you, brave and worthy captains, who have purified your weapons in an heavenly fire, who undertake war only to procure a more lasting peace to the public, and fight only to serve your prince and country; you that are the great bulwarks of states and empires, by whose labours and vigilancy men sleep in security. Let the whole world see by experience in your persons, that there is nothing that agrees better with true generosity, than piety and the fear of God. Behave yourselves always as in the sight of your Maker, who is always present, and accompanies you in all your actions. Remember that he hath commanded to remove all filth from the camp of Israel, because of his holy and divine presence. If you will obtain his blessing upon your persons and designs, cast out of your armies the filth of vice, and punish, without mercy, rapes, burnings, impiety, and blasphemies. Cause your soldiers to put in practice St. John the Baptist's most excellent advice to the military men of his time, who enquired what they were to do to be saved ; “Do violence (said he) to no man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages.” Live as lambs, and fight as lions. Spare as much as you can the blood of your soldiers, and shed not that of your enemies but against your wills; for they are God's creatures, and bear his image. Never trust to your own valour and experience, but remember that it is God that gives courage, and strengthens your hands in the day of battle, who causeth fear and terror to fly where he listeth. Look always upon David's example: there never was a captain more courageous, nor more willing to venture his life ; and yet there never was a person more zealous in prayer to God, nor more submissive to his will, nor more careful to return unto him the praises of all his advantages. And if Death comes to put a stop to your victories, or to call you away in a time when your
prudence and courage are requisite, wonder not at it, consis der that God offers you by this means an occasion of a more glorious victory, and a more magnificent triumph: For the victory over thousands of mortal men, and the whole world, is nothing in comparison of the victory over Death and hell. Inquire not who shall succeed you in the conduct of your army, out of a distrust of God's providence ; for he who is able to raise up children unto Abraham out of stones, can raise up also from thence captains and soldiers. When he pleaseth to give a check to the enemies' pride, and to deliver his people from their tyranny, he can raise up Gideons, Jephthahs, Samsons, and such like extraordinary commanders. Who knows but that he will cause a general to succeed you, that shall have more courage and generosity, and, perhaps, shall be blessed with a greater happiness and more glorious successes? When Moses departed to his rest, Joshua commanded in his stead; and for that purpose, God endued him with a noble spirit of wisdom and courage. For one enemy that Moses overcame, Joshua destroyed thousands. Whercas Moses did but coast along the land of Canaan, and turn up and down in the wilderness; Joshua brought the people of Israel into that pleasant country, and into a peaceable possession of it. Since therefore it is God's pleasure, leave to others the care of temporal wars, and go ye, gather the pleasant and delicious fruits of an eternal peace, which hath been purchased unto you by the blood of the Son of God.
Likewise, you faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, remember to shew the example of a resignation to God's good pleasure, according to your doctrine. Let not Death cause you to draw back. Thou hast, brother, a will to glorify God on earth; well, but thou shalt glorify him better in heaven, with more zeal and less impediment. Whilst thou art fettered with this sinful flesh, thy ministry must needs be accompanied with nany imperfections. Thou imaginest, that if it please God
to prolong thy days, thou mayest be instrumental in the reformation of the world; but thou art mistaken, brother; for this world is accustomed to evil, and this age is hardened in iniquity : Preach as much as thou wilt to the inhabitants of this inferior world, it shall be as in the times of Noah, the herald of righteousness, when the patience of God waited for the conversion of sinners; for the whole earth is so corsupt, that all the thoughts and imaginations of the heart of man are evil continually. They are rebellious and sinful from the cradle; and if God doth not interpose his almighty hand, and implant in us the virtue of his holy Spirit, they will grow worse and worse, until they tumble into their graves. If thou afflict never so much thy just and innocent soul, and spend thyself in exhorting the greatest sinners to fly from the wrath to come, and the judgments of God that hang over their guilty heads; it may be thou shalt be mocked by thy nearest relations, as Lot was by his sons-in-law. Though thou shouldst thunderout the threatenings of God's law against the abominations of Israel, as zealously as the prophet Isaiah, thou shalt be forced at last to confess, “ I have laboured in vain, I have employed my strength for nought,” Isa. xlix. Jer. vi. Tho? thine eyes should be converted into a fresh spring of tears, and thou shouldst spend the days and the nights in calling upon the superstitious, the schismatics, and idolaters, to forsake their false worship, and their unchristian proceedings, thou shalt not be able to soften the hardness of their bearts, nor overcome their obstinacy: but they will be ready to speak to thee in the Jews' language to Jeremiah ; As for the word thou hast spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee; but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouths, to burn incense unto the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem ; for then we had plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no