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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 sword, which as it was justly drawn by us, fo can it scarce fafely be fheathed, till the thumbs · and great toes of Adonibezek be cut of; Judg.
j. 6. I mean, till the power of the great troubler of our peace be so far pared and reduced, as that we may be under no apprehensions 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 un. righteous manner; by perfidious breaches of our word, by such treacherous practices as the law of arms itself (loose as it is) condemns; by inhuman - crueltics, by afaffinations; by tyrannical methods of forcing money into our coffers, and men into our service. These are the dishonourable ways, which he, who formerly profetled to fight for his glory, hath 'not of late dildained to make use of. Thanks be to God, that, as we have had no need, so neither doch it appear that we had any inclination to try them! In every ftep of this long and Floody dispute, we have thewed ourfelves fair, nay, good-natured and gencious adversaries ; 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 support 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 infolent 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 successes, and laid the foundation for them: for, unless this be the case, tho' God hath blessed 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 fake, 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: salvation, Deut. xxxii 15. That spirit of reli. gion and seriousness, by which we had just before distinguished 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. ed, were now in great measure deserted ; our sacraments, which had been frequented with so much zeal, were approached more fparingly. ; the dispensers of holy things, who, for their work's fake, 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 kingdom, screen them from that contempt, whichwas then so liberally poured upon them. In proportion as our zeal for religion decayed, our corruptions and vices increafed; an universal diffolution of manners began to prevail, a professed 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 fincere 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 no 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 vicissitudes 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 sorts of experiments which he tryed, to forsake our fins 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. every 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 mere. 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 ftill 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 occasion, and chaftened our fouls with fasting, that was to our reproach: Tbey fat in the gate
(fome even of the men of greatness, and business, and gravity) Spike agai st'us, and we were the fong of the drunkards, 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. y. 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 prefs; mysteries 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 Jefus himself, treated by a blasphemous pen * with as much fcorn and malice, as when he appeared before the bar of Pilate. Hath a nas tion jo used their Gods, which are yet no Gods? Jer. ii. 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 successes,' these some 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
• Sce a Passage in the Ax laid to the Root of Christianity cited from a book, entitled, The Hiftory of the Growth of Deison.