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through your oppression. 8. Lastly, I beg this of you, for the honor of sovereignty, and the nation's peace. A prince of a holy people is most honorable. The interest of holiness is Christ's own. Happy is that prince that espouseth this, and subjecteth all his own unto it. (See Psalm i. 1, 2, and ci., and xv. 4.) It is the conscionable, prudent, godly people of the land, that must be the glory and strength of their lawful sovereign. Their prayers will serve him better than the hideous oaths and curses of the profane. Wo to the rulers that set themselves against the interest of Christ and holiness! (Read Psalm ii.;) or that make snares for their consciences, that they may persecute them as disobedients, who are desirous to obey their rulers in subordination to the Lord. (See Dan. iii., and vi. 5, 10, 13.) I have dealt plainly with you, and told you the very truth. If God have now a blessing for you and us, you will obey it, but if you refuse, then look to yourselves, and answer it if
I am sure, in spite of earth and hell, it shall go well with them that live by faith.
NATURE AND ORDER
RATIONAL AND WARRANTABLE JOY;
DISCOVERED IN A
SERMON PREACHED AT ST. PAUL'S
LORD MAYOR AND ALDERMEN,
AND THE SEVERAL COMPANIES OF THE CITY OF LONDON.
On May 10th, 1660,
APPOINTED BY BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT TO BE A DAY OF SOLEMN
THANKSGIVING FOR GOD'S RAISING UP AND SUCCEEDING HIS
EXCELLENCY, AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS,
IN ORDER TO
HIS MAJESTY'S RESTORATION,
AND THE SETTLEMENT OF THESE NATIONS.
RIGHT HONORABLE THOMAS ALLEYNE,
LORD MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LONDON,
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL ALDERMEN,
As, in obedience to your favorable invitation, this Sermon was first preached; and the Author, conscious of his great unworthiness, employed in so honorable a work; so it is your pleasure, against which my judgment must not here contest, that hath thus exposed it to the public view; which yet I must confess doth not engage you in the patronage of any of the crudities and imperfections of this hasty work, it being the matter, which is of God, that so far prevailed for your acceptance as to procure your pardon of the manner, which is too much my own. Rejoicing is so highly valued, even by nature, that I thought it a matter of great necessity to help to rectify and elevate your joys. The corruption of a thing so excellent must needs be very bad ; and it being the great and durable good that must feed all great and durable joy; and seeing these little transitory things can cause but little and transitory delight, I thought it my duty to insist most on the greatest on which, in your meditations, you must most insist; which I repent not of, especially now you have given my doctrine a more loud and lasting voice, because it is only our heavenly interest that may be the matter of universal continued delight: and so the subject may make the sermon to be of the more universal and continued use, when a subject of less excellency and duration than heaven would have depressed and limited the discourse, as to its usefulness. And also I was forced in this, as in all these sublunary things to estimate the mercy in which we did all so solemnly rejoice but as a means, which is so far to be valued as it conduceth to its end ; and is something or nothing as it relateth to eternity Since I placed my hopes above, and learned to live a life of faith, I never desire to know any mercy in any other form or name, nor value it on any other account, as not affecting to make such reckonings which I daily see obliterated in grief and shame by those that make them; and remembering who said, that if we had known Christ himself after the flesh, henceforth we know him so no more.
As it was my compassion to the frantic merry world, and also to the self-troubling melancholy Christian, and my desire methodically to help you in your rejoicings about the great occasions of the day, which formed this exhortation to what you heard, and chose the subject which, to some, might seem less suitable to the day; so, if the publication may print so great and necessary a point on the hearts of any that had not the opportunity to hear, as God shall have the praise, and they the joy, so you shall have, under God, the thanks, and I the attainment of my end, which is my reward : I rest, Your servant in the work of Christ,