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cute the designs he had formed against our civil i and religious liberties. It was high time there· fore to appeal once more to the decision of the fword, which as it was justly, drawn by us, fo can it scarce safely be fheathed, till the thumbs and great toes of Adonibezek be cut off ; Judg. : j. 6 I mean, till the power of the reat troubler of our peace be so far pared and reduced, as that we may be under no apprehenfions of it for the future.
Nor have the means, which we have made use of to attain this great and good end, been any ways unsuitable to it. A just and righteous war may be prosecuted after a very unjust and unrighteous manner; by perfidious breaches of our word, by such treacherous practices as the law of
arms itself (loose as it is) condemns; by inhuman - cruelties, by aflaffinations ; by tyrannical methods of forcing money into our coffers, and men into our service. These are the dishonourable ways, which he, who formerly profefled to fight for his glory, hath'not of late disdained to make use of. Thanks be to God, that, as we have had no need, so neither doth it
inclination to try them! In every step of this long and Hoody dispute, we have ihewed ourfelyes fair, nay, good-natured and generous adversaries i and have carried on even our hostilities with all the humanity and mercy of which they are capable. We have spilt no blood but in the heat of the battle, or the chace; and have made captivity itself as easy to the unfortunate as was pola fible. We have been firm and faithful to our ailies, without declining any difficulties or dangers,
any expence of blood or treasure, to which we had engaged ourselves; and we have even exceeded our engagements. We have not made use of rapine, and oppression at ho ne, to fupport the burden of the war abroad, but have carried it on by the free gifts of a willing people; nor can it be said, that the public service hath been robbed of any part of those supplies which were intended for it. We have not pillaged those rich neighbouring provinces which we rescued: Victory itself hath not made us insolent masters or friends; nor have we taken advantage from thence to enlarge either our territories or our pretensions, 'or to gain any thing to ourselves beyond the honour of restoring quiet to the world, and every one's rights to their just owners. And thus far there. fore we have reason to look upon our successes, as the blessings of God upon the good methods we have taken to support a good cause, and as declarations of Heaven in our favour. However, they cannot be entirely depended on as such, till we have further considered, whether our piety and virtue have borne a due proportion to our fucceffes, and laid the foundation for them : for, unless this be the cafe, tho' God hath bleffed a righteous cause, yet he hath not blessed it for the fake of those who are concerned in it; and the blessings which are not imparted to us for our own sake, can be no evidences of the divine favour towards us.
Let us then lay our hands upon our hearts and impartially enquire, What good qualities we had to recommend ourselves to the favour of God,
at our entrance on this long war, how we have behaved ourselves throughout the course of it.
No sooner was our deliverance from the illegal attempts of a late reign completed, but we forgat our danger and our duty; for look the God that had preserved us, and lightly este med the rock of ou: Jalvation, Deut. xxxii 15. That spirit of religion and seriousness, by which we had just before diftinguished ourselves, vanished all at once; and a fpirit of levity and libertinism, of infidelity and profaneness started up in the room of it: Our churches, that a little while before had been croud. cd, were now in great measure deserted ; our sacraments, which had been frequented with so much zeal, were approached more sparingly. ; the dispensers of holy things, who, for their work's sake, had been so highly regarded and reverenced, were made a by-word and a reproach as the filth of the world, and the off-figuring of all th ngs, 1 Cor. iv.
13. Nor could their immortal labours against popery, by which they had contributed to the common security, as much at least as any other order of men in the kingdon, screen them from that contempt, whichwas then fo liberally poured upon them In proportion as our zeal for religion decayed, our corruptions and vices increased; an universal diffolution of manners began to prevail, a profeffed disregard to all fixed principles, whether in matters divine, or human.
At the same time we were crumbled into various factions and parties; all aiming at by-interests, without any sincere regard for the public good; odious names of distinction, which had slept, while the dread of popery hung over us, were revived ;
and our private quarrels were carried on against cach other with as great bitterness and malice, as if we had now nò common enemy to unite and employ us.
With this temper of mind we entered into the war; were we altered any way for the better, during the course of it? Did the viciffitudes of good and bad fortune, which we then experinced, affect us with due degrees of humility or thank fulness? Could God prevail with us, by all the forts of experiments which he tryed, to forsake our sins and our follies ? Could he awe us by his rod, or melt us by his goodness into repentance ? Alas ! instead of that, we waxed worse and worse cvery day, both as to religion and morals; till we left off even to study the outward appearances of piety and virtue; and were not contented merea ly to be, but affected even to be thought loose and lawless. Edicts against immorality and profaneness issued, laws against oaths and execrations were framed; and we trampled both upon the one and the other, with contempt and impunity. Whilft a foreign war devoured our strength, and drained our treasures, still luxury and the expences of life increased at home; nor were they checked even by our disgraces and misfortunes. Our national humiliations were ridiculed by impious mock feasts ; wherein the execrable murther of our martyred sovereign was annually commemorated with circumstances of so much indignity and • fcorn, as cannot be spoken of with decency, or reflected on without horror. When we wept, on this occafion, and chaftened our fouls with fasting, that was to our reproach : They sat in the gatę
(some even of the men of greatness, and business, and gravity) Jike agai ft us, and we were the fong of the drunkard, Pfal. Ixix. 10, 12. of vain, idle, diffolute companions. The house of God itself hath been profaned by riots; abominable impurities, not to be mentioned, have been open: ly and daringly practised: We have declared our fin, as Sodom, and have not bid it, Isaiah iii. 9. We have talked much of reforming men's manners pray God, we meant it! If any step of that kind hath been taken, it is only what the zeal of some private persons suggested; the execution of that glorious design hath not been put into the hands of those, who should be best inclined, as they are most concerned, to promote it.
The fundamental articles of our faith have been oppugned from the profs; myfteries have been derided ; the immortality of the soul hath been denied; Christian priesthood set at naught and yilified, and even the High priest of our profesion, the blessed Jesus himself, treated by a blasphemous pen* with as much scorn and malice, as when he appeared before the bar of Pilate. Huth a nae tion 10 used their Gods, which are yet no Gods? Jer. ij. 11. or so vilified the persons that belonged to their worship and fervice ?
Since these are some of the methods, by which we qualified ourselves for our fuccefles, these fome of the returns which we made to God, after obtaining them ; can we reasonably presume, that we are in the favour of God on the account
See a Passage in the Ax laid to the root of Christianity cited from a bouk, cotitled, The Hiftory of the Growtb of Defn.