« VorigeDoorgaan »
become children of reviving liberty; and may reclaim, though they seem now choosing them a captain back for Egypt, to bethink themselves a little, and consider whither they are rushing; to exhort this torrent also of the people, not to be fo impetuous, but to keep their due channel ; and at length recovering and uniting their better refolutions, now that they see already how open and unbounded the infolence and rage is of our common enemies, to stay these ruinous proceedings, jufily and timely fearing to what a precipice of destruction the deluge of this epidemic madness would hurry us, through the general defection of a misguided and abused mulę titude.
luge of this as to what a precipice of delings, julily and
UPON A LATE
: Preached and since prublished,,
; And Chaplain to the late King. Wherein many notorious Wrestings of Scripture, and
other Falsities, are observed.
I Affirmed in the preface of a late discourse, intitled, 1. The ready Way to establish a Free Commonwealth, and the Dangers of readmitting Kingship in this Nation,” that the humour of returning to our old bondage was instilled of late by some deceivers; and to make good, that what I then affirmed was not without just ground, one of those deceivers I present here to the people: and if I prove him not such, refuse not to be fo accounted in his stead.
He begins in his epiftle to the general *, and moves cunningly for a licence to be admitted physician both to church and state; then sets out his practice in physical terms,“ a wholesome electuary to be taken every morning next our hearts;" tells of the opposition which he met with from the college of state physicians, then lays before you his drugs and ingredients; “ Strong purgatives in the pulpit, contempered of the myrrh of mortification, the aloes of confession and contrition, the rhu
barb of restitution and fatisfaction;" a pretty fantastic dose of divinity from a pulpit mountebank, not unlike the fox, that turning pedlar, opened his pack of ware before the kid; though he now would seem, “to perfonate the good Samaritan,” undertaking to “describe the rise and progress of our national malady, and to prescribe the only remedy;" which how he performs, we shall quickly fee.
First, he would fuborn St. Luke as his spokesman to the general, presuming, it seems, “ to have had as perfect understanding of things from the very first,” as the evangelift had of his gospel; that the general, who hath so eminently born his part in the whole action, “ might know the certainty of those things" better from him a partial fequeftered enemy; for fo he presently appears, though covertly, and like the tempter, commencing his address with an impudent calumny and affront to his excellence, that he would be pleased “ to carry on what he had so happily begun in the name and cause" not of God only, which we doubt not, but “ of his anointed," meaning the late king's fon; to charge him moft audacioully and falsely with the renouncing of his own public promises and declarations, both to the parliament and the army, and we trust his actions ere long will deter such infinuating llanderers from thus approaching him for the future. But the general may well excuse him; for the comforter himself scapes not his presumption, avouched as falsely, to have empowered to those designs“ him and him only," who hath folemnly declared the contrary. What fanatic, against whom he so often inveighs, could more presumptuously affirm whom the comforter hath empowered, than this anti-fanatic, as he would be thought?
The Text. | Prov. xxiv, 21, “My son, fear God and the king, and
meddle not with them that be seditious, or desirous of change,” &c.
Letting pass matters not in controversy, I come to the main drift of your sermon, the king; which word here
is either to signify any fupreme magistrate, or else your latter object of fear is not universal, belongs not at all to many parts of Christendom, that have no king; and in particular not to us. That we have no king since the putting down of kingship in this commonwealth, is manifeft by this last parliament, who, to the time of their diffolving, not only made no address at all to any king, but fummoned this next to come by the writ formerly appointed of a free commonwealth, without reftitution or the least mention of any kingly right or power ; which could not be, if there were at present any king of England. The main part therefore of your fermon, if it mean a king in the usual sense, is either impertinent and absurd, exhorting your auditory to fear that which is not; or if king here be, as it is understood, for any supreme magistrate, by your own exhortation they are in the first place not to meddle with you, as being yourself most of all the feditious meant here, and the “ desirous of change,” in stirring them up to “fear a king,” whom the present government takes no notice of.
You begin with a vain vision, “ God and the King at the first blush” (which will not be your last blush) “ seeming to stand in your text like those two cherubims on the mercy-feat, looking on each other.” By this fimilitude, your conceited fanctuary, worse than the altar of Ahaz, patterned from Damascus, degrades God to a cherub, and raises your king to be his collateral in place, notwithstanding the other differences you put; which well agrees with the court-letters, lately published, from this lord to the other lord, that cry him up for no less than angelical and celestial.
Your first observation, pag. 8, is, “ That God and the king are coupled in the text, and what the Holy Ghoft hath thus firmly combined, we may not, we must not dare to put asunder;" and yourself is the first man who puts them asunder by the first proof of your doctrine immediately following, Judg. vii, 20, which couples the sword of the Lord and Gideon, a man who not only was no king, but refused to be a king or monarch, when it was offered him, in the very next chapter, ver. 22, 23, “I will not rule over you, neither shall my VOL. III.
fon son rule over you ; the Lord shall rule over you.” Here we see, that this worthy heroic deliverer of his country thought it bett governed, if the Lord governed it in that form of a free commonwealth, which they then enjoyed without a fingle person. And thus is your first scripture abused, and most impertinently cited, nay, against yourself, to prove, that “ kings at their coronation have a sword given them,” which you interpret “ the militia, the power of life and death put into their hands," againft the declared judgment of our parliaments, nay, of all our laws, which reserve to themselves only the power of life and death, and render you in their just refeótment of this boldness another Dr. Manwaring. . Your next proof is as false and frivolous, “ The king," say you, “ is God's sword-bearer;" true, but not the king only: for Gideon, by wliom you seek to prore this, neither was, nor would be a king; and as you yourfelf confess, pag. 40, “There be divers forms of government." ~ He bears not the fword in vain," Rom. xili, 4: This also is as true of any lawful rulers, efpecially supreme; so that “ Rulers,” ver. 3, and therefore this present government, without whose authority you excite the people to a king, bear the sword as well as kings, and as little in vain. « They fight against God, who relift his ordinance, and go about to wrest the sword out of the bands of his anointed.” This is likewise granted: but who is his anointed ? Not every king, but they only who were anointed or made kings by his fpecial command; as Saul, David, and his race, which ended in the Mesialı, (from whom no kings at this day can derive their title) Jehu, Cyrus, and if any other were by name appointed by him to some particular service: as for the rest of kings, all other fupreme magistrates are as much the Lord's anointed as they; and our obedience commanded equally to them all; “ for there is no power but of God," Rom. xi, 1 : and we are exhorted in the gospel to obey kings, as other magistrates, not that they are called any where the Lord's anointed, but as they are the “ Ordinance of man," 1 Pet. ii, 13. You therefore and other such falfe doctors, preaching kings to your auditory, as the Lord's only anointed, to with