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sought them to offer up their souls and bodies a living sacrifice to God, be beseecheth them not to esteem more highly of themselves, than they ought; but that they would be humble, and sober-minded, and not stretch themselves beyond their line, but they would have a cafe to those, that had received gifts to the uses there mentioned. I speak not, it is far from my heart, for a ministry, deriving itself through the papacy, and pretending to that, which is so much insisted upon to be succession: The true succession is through the spirit, given in that measure that the spirit is given; and that is a right succession. But I need not discourse of these things to you ; I am persuaded you are taught of God in a greater measure than myself, in these things ; indeed I have but one word more to say, and that is (though in that, perhaps, I shall shew my weakness) it is by way of encouragement to you to go on in this work.
And give me leave to begin thus. I confess I never looked to see such a day as this, it may be nor you, when Jesus Christ shall be owned, as he is this day, and in this world. Jesus Christ is owned this day by you all, and you own bim by your willingness in appearing here; and you manifest this (as far as poor creatures can) to be a day of the power of Christ by your willingness. I know you remember that scripture in Psalm cx. 3. The people shall be willing in the day of thy power; God doth manifest it to be a day of the power of Jesus Christ.
Having through so much blood, and so many trials as have been upon these nations, made this to be one of the great issues thereof, to have a people called to the supreme authority upon such an avowed account, God hath owned his Son by this; and you, by your willingness, do own Jesus Christ; and therefore, for my part, I confess I did never look to
I see such a sight. Perhaps, you are not known by face one to another; but we must tell you this, that indeed we have not allowed ourselves in the choice of one person, in whom we had not this good hope, that there was faith in Jesus Christ, and love unto all his saints and people. And, thus God hath owned you in the face and eyes of the world; and thus, by your coming hither, have you owned him; as it is in Isaiah xliii. 21, It is an high expression, and look to your own hearts, whether now or hereafter God shall apply it to you. This people (saith he) I bave formed for myself, that they might shew forth my praise. It is a memorable place, and, I hope, not unfitly applied; God apply it to each of your hearts. I shall not descant upon the words, they are plain, you are as like the forming of God as ever people were.
If any man should ask you one by one, and should tender a book to you, you would dare 10 swear, that neither directly nor indirectly did you seek to come hither. You have been passive in coming hither, in being called hither, and that is an active word, “This people I have formed. Consider the circum. stances by which you are called together; through what difficulties, through what strivings, through what blood, you are come hither. Neither you nor I, nor no man living, three months ago, had a thought to have seen such a company, taking upon them, or rather being called to the supreme authority, and therefore know now your call.
Indeed, I think, as it may be truly said, that never was a supreme authority, consisting of so numerous a body as you are, which 'I believe, are above one-hundred and forty, were ever in the supreme authority
under such a notion, in such a way of owning God, and being owned by him; and therefore I say also, never a people formed for such a purpose (so called: if it were time to compare your standing with those that have been called by the suffrages of the people. Who can tell how soon God may fit the people for such a thing, and who would desire any thing more in the world, but that it might be so? I would all the Lords people were prophets, I would they were fit to be called, and fit to call; and it is the longing of our hearts, to see them once own the interest of Jesus Christ. And give me leave to say, if I know any thing in the world, what is there more like to win the people to the interest and love of God? Nay, what a duty will lie upon you, to have your conversation such, as that they may love you, that they may see you lay out your time and spirits for them? Is not this the most likely way to bring them to their liberties? And do you not, by this, put it upon God to find the time and the season for it, by pouring forth his spirit; at least by convincing them, that, as men fearing God have fought them out of their thraldom and bondage, under the royal power; so men fearing God rule them in the fear of God, and take care to administer good unto them. But this is some digression. I say, own your call, for indeed it is marvellous, and it is of God, and it hath been unprojected, unthought of by you and us; and that hath been the way God hath dealt with us all along, to keep things from our eyes, that wbat
ve have acted, we have seen nothing before us, which alse) is a witness, in some mcasure, to our integrity. I say, you are called with a high call. And why should we be afraid to say, or think, that this way may be the door to usher in things that God hath promised and prophesied of, and to set the hearts of his people to wait for, and expect? We know who they are that shall war with the Lamb against his enemies. They shall be a people called, chosen, and faithful; and bath in the military way (we must speak it without fattery) I believe you know it, he hath acted with them, and for them, and now in the civil power and authority, and these are not ill prognostications for that good we wait for. Indeed, I do think something is at the door, we are at the threshold, and therefore it becomes us to litt up our beads, and to encourage ourselves in the Lord, and we have some of us thought it our duty to endeavour this way, not vainly looking on that prophecy in Daniel, “And the kingdom shall not be delivered to another people. Truly, God hath brought it into your hands, by his owning, and blessing, and calling out a military power; God hath persuaded their hearts to be instrumental in calling you, and this bath been set upon our bearts, and upon all the faithful in the land; it may be that it is not our duty to deliver it over to any other people, and that scripture may be fulfilling now to us. But I may be beyond my line.
But, I thank God, I have my hopes exercised in these things, and so I am persuaded are yours. Truly, seeing that these things are so, that you are at the edge of the promises and prophecies, at least if there were neither promise for this nor prophecy, you are covering the best things, endeavouring after the best things; and, as I have said elsewhere, if I were to chuse the meanest officer in the army, or commonwealth, I would chuse a godly man that bath principles, especially
where trust is to be committed, because I know where to have a man that hath principles. I believe if any man of you should chuse a servant, you would do so; and I would all our magistrates were so chosen, that may be some offects of this. It is our duty to chuse men that fear the Lord, to praise the Lord, yea, such as the Lord forms for himself, and he expects not praises from others. This, being so, puts me in mind of another scripture, Psal. Isviii. which indeed is a glorious prophecy, and I am persuaded of the gospel, or it may be of the Jews; also there it is prophesied, “He will bring his people again out of the depths of the sea, as once he led Israel through the Red Sea;' and it may be, some do think God is bringing the Jews home to their station from the isles of the sea. Surely, when God sets up the glory of the gospel-church, it shall be gathering people out of deep waters, out of of the multitude of waters; such are his people, drawn out of the multitudes of the nations, and people of the world. And that Psalm will be very glorious in many other parts of it, : When he gave the word, great was the company of them that published it; Kings of the armies did fly apace, and she that tarried at bonne divided the spoil; and, although ye have lain
be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.' indeed, the triumph of that Psalm is exceeding high and great, and God is accomplishing it; and the close of it, that closeth with my heart, and I am persuaded will with
also. That Gud shakes bills and mountains, and they recl; and God hath a hill too, and his hill is as the bill of Bashan, and the chariots of God are twenty-thousand of angels, and God will dwell upon this hill for ever. Truly, I am sorry that I have troubled you, in such a place of heat as this is, so long; all that I have to say in mine own name, and in the names of my tellowofficers, who have joined with me in this work, is, that we shall commend you to the grace of God, and to the guidance of his spirit; having thus far served you, or rather our Lord Jesus Christ in it, we are, as we hope, and shall be, ready in our stations, according as the providence of God shall lead us, to be subservient to the work of God, and the authority, which we reckon, God hath set over us. Aud although we have no formal thing to present you with, to which the hands and outward visible expressions of the hearts of the officers of the three nations are set; yet we may say for them, and we may say also with confidence for our brethren at sea, with whom neither in Scotland, nor Ireland, nor at sea, hath any artifice been used, to persuade their approbations to this work; yet we can say, that their consent and affections hath Aowed in to us from all parts beyond our expectations; and we are confident we may say with all confidence, that we have had their approbations, and full consent, unsought indeed to the other work, so that you have their hearts and affections in this; and not only they, but we have very many papers from the churches of God, throughout the nation, wonderfully both approving what hath been done in removing obstacles, and approving what we have done in this very thing. And, having said this, I shall trouble you no more; but if you will be pleased that this instrument may be read, which I have signed by the advice of the couucil of officers, we shall then leave you to your own thoughts, and to the guidance of God, to order and dispose of yourselves for further meetings as you shall see cause.
THE OLD PHARISEE,
THE NEW PHYLACTERIES OF PRESBYTERY.
Quarto, containing twenty-six pages.
To his excellency the Lord General Cromwell, chancellor of the fa
mous university of Oxford, &c. Right honourable, I have adventured upon a stormy ocean, in the discovery of a strange people, who have a storm in their countenance, and a tempest in their tongue, with boiling billows in their breast, against all that will not sail by their compass, and take that dog-star, the directory, for the pole-star of their direction; whereas, indeed, whosoever follows them, can scarce escape conscience-shipwreck. We may as well believe, with Andradius, that Ethica virtus was enough to save the ancient philosophers, as that their discipline is the way of our salvation. In this, the foul face of vice puts on the fair vizard of virtue; and whilst the presbyterian useth the cloke of a counsellor, he is not without the poison of a killer; as I have fully declared in this little tract, which comes in all humility to kiss your lordship’s hand. And as the black statue of Memnon is said to deliver an audible voice, whensoever the mouth thereof was touched with the beams of the sun; so this monument, erected to dead presbytery, will speak freely in the ears of the people, if the beams of your gracious favour do but reflect upon it. Your excellency's favour, like the vertical sun, will abate all shadows, both of envy, and detraction. Be pleased, therefore, to let this weak testimony of my service, in the church of Christ, take life from your noble acceptation, and receive this tribute from his hand, who is ambitious of nothing, but leave to wear your cognisance, and to write your renowned name in the front of his labours. Which afforded goodness will the more strongly prompt my devotion, to send up continual sup. plications to the throne of grace, for all blessings internal, external, sternal, upon you and yours; that you may rejoice, like Zebulun, in
your going out; and like Issachar, in your tents; and that the Lord may be the shield of your help, and the sword of your excellency. So shall the city of our God be made glad, and therein shall my heart rejoice; who esteem it no less than a triumph, to deserve the title of, Your excellency's most humbly devoted servant,
To the impartial reader. As the poets feign, that the fair nymphs brought forth ill-favoured satyrs; and as Lodovicus Cælius writes of an ewe that conceived, and brought forth a lion; so the fair nymph of truth, in this little tract, will, I am confident, bring forth the foul satyrs of envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness against me; the ewe of my innocence will bring forth lions, roaring with the loudest reproaches. So that I may say, as Leah, at the birth of Gad, venit turma, a troop commeth, which will shoot out their arrows, even bitter words, at this white and spotless mark. But, for my part, nil moror, the lion of the tribe of Judah is my defence; and altho' the kirk-crocodiles would devour me alive, yet will I fear no evil, for the Lord I trust is with me, and the blast of their fury shall be as a storm against the wall. For God is my witness, 1 honour pure religion, and undefiled, wheresoever I find it; and as for well meaning, though somewhat seduced, Christians, I rather pity and pray for them with tears, than in the least degree vilify them with taunts; hoping, that they will one day know Christ by experience, and not by tradition; own him as sitting on the throne of glorious mysteries, and not lying in the manger of human inventions. When once their eyes are anointed, with the eye-salve of the spirit, they will cast away those spectacles with contempt, which they so much adore with reverence. They will cast anchor on the rock, Jesus Christ, and not upon the quick-sands of giddy brains. They will then go boldly to Christ, that door opened in heaven, without so much seeking for false keys on earth, whether they be popes, or presbyters. Against the errors of both, auspice Christo, will I fight, but, for their conversion, I will ever pray; and herein, though their malice should at any time fail me, yet I should be more than conqueror. Altho’ I may be like Abraham's ram, in a thicket of thorns, pricked on every side, and at length sacrificed; yet I will forget myself, and, as it were, forget my soul, in a fiery zeal, with Moses and Paul, for my brethren's sake. For whose better information, I have written these few lines; where, if any be oblique, I desire they should be made right, by a candid interpretation. I know, as a man, I may err; but, if once convinced, I am so nuch a scholar in Christ's school, as to acknowledge and amend. If I should seem planetary in this revolution, as I hope I shall not, to the best judgmenis, yet I am fixed in this resolution, even to be led by any star that points the way to Christ; in whom I rest
Thy friend, to serve thee,