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FOR HIS MOST SACRED MAJESTY.
The sermon of peace and charity which your majesty was pleased to call for about twelve weeks since, by which means it had the favour to become one of the earliest addresses made to your majesty after the recalling of those votes a, hath now taken the confidence to appear more public, that it may demonstrate and testify the reality of your majesty's inclinations to peace, (which alone could render this trifle considerable to you), and the sincere desire of your most private undisguised retirements, to make the way back to
[Both houses of parliament had re- bly for the morning service of the same solved (Jan. 3 and 15) that they would day, and perhaps Hammond did not receive no more messages from the arrive at Carisbrook in time to preach king, and that they would send no ad- them. Hammond had been reinoved dress to him for the future, and that if from his attendance on the king Dec. any other person should do so he should 27 of the previous year, and upon liis be considered guilty of high treason. expulsion from his canonry in March, This vote of non-addresses was repealed 1648, was with Sheldon kept in close August 3. The king probably sent for confinement, in Oxford, though most the sermon about the end of June, 16 18, of the other expelled members of the if we may judge from the expression University had been banished from “twelve weeks since," compared with Oxford. The reason of this no doubt the date of the dedication, Sept. 16. was to prevent their having access to Why it was not sent earlier than Au- the king, over whom it was feared that gust 3, it is not easy to say, but per- they might exert too much infuence. haps Hammond, who was at that tiine Their imprisonment was afterwards asunder confinement, had not access to signed as a reason why their attendhis papers. The sermon itself was ance could not be granted to his mapreached on St. Andiew's day, 16 +7, jesty at the treaty of Newport, Charles “ the third of Advent," but was proba. having requested their attendance in bly intended for the previous Sun- a letter dated August 28. It is to the day, the text being taken from the first refusal of the House of Commons that lesson for evening service. The last of he alludes in the concluding sentence these ten sermons was prepared proba- of the dedication.]
your throne by none but pacific means, even then when others thought it their duty by the sword to attempt it for you.
The other few sermons added to the volume have no errand but to attend this, that it may with a little more solemnity approach your sacred presence, and enjoy that liberty which is denied to
Your majesty's most obedient,
and most devoted subject and servant,
Sept. 16, 1648.
THE CHRISTIAN'S OBLIGATIONS TO PEACE AND CHARITY.
Isaiah ii. 4.
They shall beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears
into pruning-hooks. The day is the third of Advent, designed by the Church for the celebration of the closer and nearer approach of the Majesty of heaven to this lowly sinful earth of ours, that ευλογημένη έρχομένη βασιλεία, «blessed coming kingdom,” as it is styled, Mark xi. 10. And the text is a piece of an Advent chapter, the very contents bespeak it so, Isaiah prophesying the coming, i.e. Advent of Christ's kingdom. All the unhappiness of it is, that this part of the prophecy about transforming of swords seems not yet to be fulfilled in our ears, that after so many centuries, Christ is not yet so effectually and throughly born amongst us, as was here foretold, that those glorious effects of His incarnation are not yet come to their full date, i. e. in effect, that Christ is come to His birth, and with Him all the well-natured charitable qualities, all the unity and peace and bliss in the world, and through the contrivances of the enemy-power, there is not liberty or 'strength to bring forth,” all the precious issues of Chris- [Isa. tianity are resisted and obstructed and stified in the womb,
xxxvi.) the temper of the pretending world being so strangely distant from the temper of Christ, the prophecies of His coming having so little of the sword in them, and the practice of Christendom so nothing else. Blessed Lord, that we might once be able to reconcile these contrary paivóueva, that we might one day celebrate an Advent indeed, and that the completion of the prophecy of this text might be an ingredient
SERM. in the solemnity, that this of ours might be one of those I.
nations and people judged and rebuked, i. e. convinced and
converted by the incarnate Saviour, for then would these [ Isa. ii. 4.] words of the text be verified of us, “ They shall beat their
The words are the character or effect of Christ's kingdom, of the state and power of His gospel in men's hearts; and I shall view them, first, absolutely, in the several parts or branches of this character: and then relatively, as they are peculiarly verified of the state of the gospel, or as they are a character of that.
In the absolute view you have, 1. The swords and spears on one side. 2. The plough-shares and pruning-hooks on the other. 3. The passage or motion of one of these into the other, by way of beating.
In the relative view we shall, 1. have occasion to vindicate the truth of this prophecy against the contrary appearances. 2. To shew you how, and by what means Christianity undertakes to work this great work, to beat the swords, &c.
I begin with the absolute view, and in that, with the most formidable part of the prospect, the swords and spears. Sharp assaulting piercing weapons found out and forged by the passions and wits of men, to arm their rage, to satisfy their covetings and ambitions, to manage all the quarrels that the carnal or diabolical affections of men have commenced or inflamed through the world. These are the gross elements made use of by the prophet figuratively to express the instruments of our hostilities that lie more covertly in our hearts, these invisible swords and spears, animosities, uncharitable, unpeaceable humours, that Christ came to allay and temper, to transform and beat into other shapes. And to put off the figure, and give you plain words instead of it; three sorts there are of these quarrels or hostilities, which seem all to be comprehended in these words.
1. Though more improperly, our hostilities against God, our rebellions and resistances against His will, our contrary
walkings to Him, the throwing off that yoke of moral or Ps. ii. [3.] Christian duties, “ breaking those bands, casting off those
cords," and that either, 1. In an universal dislike of His (Luke xix. government, a direct nolumus hunc, that professed atheism