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Which occafions him in the beginning of the Pfalm to exprefs his grateful Resentments in such Words as these : Blessed be the Lord my Strength, who teacherh my Hands to war, and my Fingers to fight : My Goodness and my Fortress, my high Tomer and my Deliverer, my Shield and He in whom I trust; who subdueth my People under me. 9.
d. I disclaim all glorying in my own Prudence and Conduct, and desire to give the entire Praise of my Succefs and Victory to hiin that hath girded me with Strength unto Battel: who has caused those to bow under me that rose up pfal.18.39. against me. The Counfels of mine Enemies have been baffled by the Wifdom of God, and their Armies scatter'd by Him who is the Lord of Hosts,
God has eminently been my Deliverer, for he hath saved me from thofe whose Mouth Speakech Ver. 8. Vanity, and whose right Hand is a right Hand of Falfhood. lq which Defcription of his Enemies he plainly intimates they were such as paid no deference to Truth or Justice, to Honour or Religion: It refers to the Custom of the Jews, who when they swore lifted up their right Hand towards Heaven; and when they enter'd into a Covenant with Men, to fignify their Consent, they gave one another the fame Hand: Their right Hund is a right Hand of Falfhood; they are Men that can break in upon their own Covenants, and violate their Oaths to God; Trea. chery and Cruelty compose their Character.
And how jastly this fame Description may be affixt to our Enemies, I need not say; since we all understand the Language of a Despotick and Arbitrary Power, which in the late Reign made great Advances against our Civil Rights, and a
gainst our Religion too: And as for Lewis the 14th of France, the Ashes of the Protestants de molished Temples, the Blood of their slaughtered Innocents, both in France and in the Vallies of Piedmont, are enough to make his Name for ever to be condemn’d in History, as being one of the most barbarous Sons of Violence and Blood. Now a Deliverance from such Enemies as these, did so awaken the Gratitude of David, that he cries out, I will fing a new Song unto thee, O God: as if he had said, I will not alienate from my great Deliverer that Tribute of Praise that is his rightful Due. Then followeth the Text, It is He that giveth Salvation unto Kings; who delivereth David his Servant from the burtful Sword.
Which Words will furnish us with these two general Heads of Discourse :
I. That the Salvation and Victory that good
Kings obtain, is given them of God.
that righteous Kings (and consequently
Plots of evil Men. I say righteous Kings, because my Text faith, David thy Servant; and I add these words, from the mischievous Designs and Plots of evil Men, because my Text says, from the hurtful Sword; i. e. from the design’d Mischiefs of the hurtful Sword, which was to take away the Life of the Innocent,
I begin with the first of these, namely;
That the Salvation or Vi&ory that Good Kings obtain, is given them of God.
All that I shall say to this Observation shall be only to prove it, that I may make the better way to the second, which I design (God willing), principally to speak to.
For the Proof of this first Observation, see the 9 Ecclef. 11. I return'd and saw under the Sun, that the Race is not to the Swift, nor the Battel to the Strong, &c. A swift Runner may tire in a Race, and come last to the Goal ; and a strong Army miss of Victory, for Success in War does not always ensue upon vast Preparations, and a mighty Force.
So that sometimes the most unlikely Undertakings succeed well, when the most probable and best-laid Designs are defeated and broken. And how is this brought about, but by the Finger of God? Who as he hath made, so he also governs the World, and gives Success and Victory to whom he pleases; to whom we may say, as King Afa in his Prayer, 2 Chron. 14. 11. Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with Many, or with them that have no Power.
God hath-sometimes given a Defeat to a numerous Army by visible Miracles. Need I in ftance in that amazing Check that the proud King of Asyria met with in the Overthrow and Ruine of his Army by an Angel, who l!ew an hundred fourscore and five thousand in one Night? Or need I tell you of the Wonders God wrought in Egypt for his Peopie ; or what a Deliverance he gave them at the Red-Sea ?
This Doctrine that I am now upon was fo well understood by David, thạt he frequently
renounced any Dependance upon an external Pfal. 33. 16. Force: There is no King (says he) saved by the
Multitude of an Hoft: A mighty Man is not deliver'd by inuch Strength. And in the 44th Pfal. 6. I will not trust to my Bow, neither Mall my Sword fave me.
And this is yet further confirm'd by Solomon, Prov. 21.31. The Horfe is prepar'd against the Day of Battel : but Victory is of the Lord.
To whom but to God could the Victory of Gideon over a very numerous Army be afcribed, when the Clattering of Pitchers, the Sound of
Trumpets, the Light of Lamps, and the united Judg. 7. 2. Cry of 300 Men, [The Sword of the Lord and of
Gideon] discomfited a Mighty Hoft, and caufed every Man's Sword to be against his Fellow? But what need I run fo many Ages back, when there have been fo many Instances within our Memory, to confirm my Observation ?
Particularly the late Glorious Revolution by the Undertaking of the then Prince of Orange, the prefent King of these Realms. How did ali things concur to bring aboat oor Deliverance from Popery and Arbitrary Power?
When we faw no way of escaping, how did God difpirit the Army of the late King, which on a sudden was ftruck with such a Pannick Fear, that those that went not over to our Deliverer were scattered in the greatest Diforder, like Men under the visible Effects of the highest Confternation and Fear?
So that our Deliverance advanc'd towards us with incredible Swiftness, and was, beyond all Expectation, obtain'd with little or no expence of Blood.
We were not exalted to our Happiness upon the Graves of our Friends, or the Ashes of our Dwellings. And are not all these the indelible Characters of the Divine Hand ? To close this Head: To whom, but God, shall we attribute his Majesty's Success in the Reduction of Ireland; and since, in several Conquests and Victories, both by Sea and Land, and particularly the Succefs of the last Campaigo ? But I have said enough to this first Obfervation.
Obferv. 2. That it is by a special Providence of God, that righteous Kings and their People, are deliver'd from the mischievous Designs and Plots of evil Men. In discourfing on this Argument, I fhall attempt thefe three things.
1. To tell you when we may look upon a Deliverance, from a Plot against a good King and his people, to be by a special Providence of God.
1). Allign some Reasons, why God Almighty, by his special Providence, does at fome times deliver a righteous King and his People, from the mischievous Designs and Plots of evil Men.
III. Make some Use suitable to the Solemnity of this Day, and that Deliverance for which we are assembled to praise God.
1. I am to tell you, when we may look upon a Deliverance from a Plot against a King and his people, to be a special Providence of God.