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your consciences from dead works, and discharge yourselves of all those pollutions of the flesh and spirit which do so naturally disarm your courage, and overspread your minds with baseness and pusillanimity; and to exercise yourselves in all that piety and devotion towards God, loyalty and obedience towards your prince, justice and charity towards one another, temperance and sobriety towards yourselves, to which religion and right reason, the frame of your natures, and your circumstances and relations oblige you. By the constant practice of which, you will acquire such a noble and useful courage, as will render you a lifeguard to your prince, a wall and bulwark to your country, and make your famous artilleryground a sanctuary to your city: for the courage which springs out of righteousness is such as verifies your own motto, Arma pacis fulcra, as props up the temple of

preserves it from being violated and profaned by the sacrilegious rudeness of those that are given to change: for it consists not in an unruly warmth, or headstrong violence of temper, in an unbridled fierceness, or factious impatience of government; but is calm, and well managed, and easily commanded; so gentle, that it neither throws nor runs away with its rider; and yet so well mettled too, that it never tires under him. For if you be courageous from a principle of righteousness, you will honour the king as well as fear God, and obey his ordinances for God's sake: you will never conduct a rebellious design, under the sacred banner of religion, nor pretend loyalty to God, to colour your disloyalty to his vicegerent; you will never press the scriptures to fight against the king, nor arm his political against his personal capacity, nor assume his authority to cut

peace, and

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off his head: nor, on the other hand, will you ever allow him to be unkinged by the sentence of a domineering prelate, and plead that for your warrant to depose and murder him; you will never yield, that a papal bull hath right to countermand the twelfth of the Romans, and dispense with a subject's allegiance to his prince, in despite of, Let every soul be subject to the higher powers : in a word, you will never confront those loyal admonitions of St. Peter and St. Paul with the treasonous canons of the councils of the ungodly; nor levy arms against your prince upon that counterfeit commission of his being pronounced a heretic by a congregation of impostors.

No, no; if you sincerely study and practise the rules of righteousness, you will be too wise and too honest to be choused and imposed upon by the transparent sophistries of those hypocrites, of whatsoever denomination, who would fain fetch pretences for their treasons and rebellions from the most loyal and peaceable religion that ever was.

And being thus animated with the courage of righteous men,

if ever your king and country should need your assistance against foreign or domestic enemies, which God forbid! you will be bravely qualified to be their champions; and in being so, may promise yourselves honour and victory here, and an everlasting triumph hereafter: which God of his infinite mercy grant. To whom be honour, and glory, and power, &c.

SERMON IV.

PREACHED BEFORE

THE RIGHT HON. THE LORD MAYOR AND COURT OF

ALDERMEN AT GUILDIALL-CHAPEL, DEC. 16, 1683.

Prov. xxiv. 21.

And meddle not with those that are given to change. I SHALL not trouble you with the various acceptations of the Hebrew word schonim, which the Chaldee render, fools, or, as we say, changelings ; and which our translators, more suitably to what goes before, render, those that are given to change ; for in the former part of the text, he advises his son to fear the Lord and honour the king; that is, to reverence and obey the supreme Lord and Governor of the world, and, in reverence to him, to be dutiful and obedient to the king, who is his immediate vicegerent and representative upon earth, and upon that account ought to be honoured and obeyed: and therefore, “ My son,” says he, “ as thou wouldest be “ secured from all disloyalty and disobedience to thy

king, in contemning whose authority thou openly “ affrontest the supreme Lord of the world, whose “ invisible majesty he personates, meddle not with those that are given to change ; i. e. who either “ out of a swelling ambition of being uppermost, or “ a private revenge against their superiors, or a rest“ less peevishness and impatience of rule, or affecta“ tion of novelty, or design to repair their broken

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“ fortunes out of the public ruins, are for introducing

changes and alterations in the government: with “ such as these do not mingle thyself, not so much

as to listen to their insinuations, or to credit or

propagate their reports, or to support and counte“ nance their cause, either with thy tongue or pen, “ or money or suffrage, or to be any other way aid

ing or assisting to their factious and seditious designs."

In the prosecution of this argument I shall endeavour, first, to represent to you the great folly and danger of engaging with such as are given to change; that is, with parties and factions against the government. And, secondly, to give you the proper marks and characters of such parties and factions, by which all well-minded men may know them, and avoid intermeddling with them.

First, I shall endeavour to represent the great folly and danger of engaging with factions against the government; of which I shall give you these five instances :

First, It exposes our understanding to the most erroneous prejudices and misrepresentations of things.

Secondly, It exposes our will to the blackest and most diabolical affections.

Thirdly, It tempts us to an high neglect of, and indifferency in, the greatest and most necessary things of religion.

Fourthly, It involves us in the most indirect courses, and then trains us on from bad to worse.

Fifthly, It ordinarily snares and entangles us in the greatest temporal mischiefs and calamities.

First, Our engaging with factions against the government exposes our understanding to the most erroneous prejudice: for it is the constant method of factions, to prejudice the minds of the people with false and spiteful glosses upon the actions of their superiors, with scandalous forgeries, or foul misconstructions of their fairest meanings and most honourable designs; without which base arts it would be impossible for them to disaffect the vulgar to any tolerable government, or to alarm their passions, and fears, and jealousies, which are the usual train by which they give fire to all public disorder and confusion. When therefore a man engages in a faction, he doth in effect prostitute his understanding to all the cheats and delusions that busy and contriving knaves can impose on it. For having once wedded his affections to the interest of the faction, they will quickly bribe his understanding into a belief of every thing that favours it: and let the opinion or the story be never so improbable, it will find an easy access to such minds as are already fed by their affections to entertain it; and provided it be but serviceable to the party he is engaged in, that will prevail with his understanding against a thousand good reasons to the contrary. Let him but hear his prince reproached with never such wild and improbable stories, he shakes his head, and swallows all for gospel. Tell him, that the king is deeply engaged in a plot against his own life, and crown, and dignity ; alas ! what a dismal story is this, that a man should thus fall out with himself, and dote upon his own ruin! But though his faith thus glibly swallows camels on one side, yet it is strange to see how it will strain at a gnat on the other. For tell him, on the other side, with never so much evidence and demonstration, that the traitorous design he talks of is hatching under the wings

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