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Full text of "Gods promise to his plantations.."

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lOTlS . 



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Gods Promise 

To His 


2 Sam. 7. 10. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people 
Israeli, and I will plant them, that they may dwell i?i a place 
of their ozone, and move no more. 




and Preacher of Gods word in Boston. 

Psalme 22. 27. 30. 31. All the ends of the zvorld shall remember 
a fid turfie unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the Nations 
shall worship before thee. 

A seede shall serve him, it shall be accoimted to the Lord for a gen- 

They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness ?mto a people 
that shall be borne, that he hath done this. 



are to be sold at the three Golden Lyons by the 
Roy all Exchange. 1 630 

To THE Christian Reader. 

Although no good Christian^ or indeede mgenuous nian. can 
doe anything less, than approove of such endeavors, as aime at the 
glory of God, and a Common good, especially when they are mannaged 
by a cleare warrent from Gods word. Yet for aymes and ends 
that men put to their actions being hidden hi their hearts, there is 
no way to declare them, but by an honest profession of them, which is 
sufficient where we are entertained but with that conunon charity 
one man is boimd to yeeld another ; But for the grounds afid rule 
an action is wrought by, and the praise of it in that respect, there is 
aftother judgement than that of charity to guide us by, namely, by 
proving it by the touch-stone of Gods word. 

Now because many may either not know, or doe not consider upon 
how full a ground and warrant out of the word of God that 
U7idertaki?ig {which was the occasion of this Sermon) hath hitherto 
proceeded, I thought good {Courteous Reader) leave being -cvith 
some difftcultie obtained of the Reverend Author) to present unfa thy 
view and co?tsideratio?i that which may in part give thee satisfac- 
tio7i in th^s particular. 

Ere long {if God will) thou shalt see a larger declaration of the 
first rise and ends of this enterprise, and so cleare and full a justifi- 
cation of this designe, both in respect of that warrant it hath from 
Gods ivord, dj^ also i?t 7-espect of any other ground and circum- 
stance of weight, that is considerable in the zuarrant of such a 
worke, as (/ hope) there will easily be ?'emoved any scruple of 
7?tome?tt, which hitherto hath bee7ie 7noved about it. 

If thou hast any doubts yet unresolved, rather be i7itreated to 
understa7id fro77i us, what may be the a7iswer of them, tha7i to 
discourage a7iy ma7i by them : so shalt thou be a helper a7id a 
frie7id, whereas otherwise {it may be against thy will) thou 77iaist 
be an e7iemie to. a worke {for ought thou yet knowest) God is the 
Authour of. 

It is hoped; there is 7ione but willfijtde cause to approve of the 
worke, and of the77t that i7igage themselves i7i it ; But espe^ally 
they who any way, at least by sile7ice {a seemi7ig applause) cipproved 
the Plantations of Virginia, St, Christophers. Bermudas, this 
havi7ig e7ids i7iferiour to no7ie^pf the7n, a?id men {not to compare 
but to give due honour to all e7?iployed in such noble e7iterprises) 
pro7nisi7ig as much by their usefullnesse, indust7'ie, love to their 
Countrie, piety, a7id other qualificatio7is as those did. It is enough 
they adve7itu7'e, that hazard their perso7is, fa77iilies a7id estates, for 


that worke, which it i7iay appeare to thee ere long thou art bound 
as zvell as they to further. 

Now it were mjurious, if not impious, not onely to denie the 
right and benefit of thy prayers to such, but also to loade theni with 
causelesse aspersions {though but in thy thoughts) for that, for 
which thou hast great cause to praise God for thefn, who hath 
stirred up their spirits to that which hath beene a maine meane 
of peopling the world, and is likely to be of propagating the 
Go spell. For the furtherance of which worke in the hands of 
those that sificerely intend it, let as fervent prayers passe from thee 
to the throne of grace for them, as I am confident, {thy occasions 
being inade knowne unto them) would be put up from them in thy 
behalf e. Thine I. H. 

2 Sam. 7. 10. 

Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israeli^ and I 
will plant the?n, that they may dwell in a place of their owne, afid 
move no more. 

In the beginning of this chapter we reade of Davids purpose 
to baild God an house, who thereupon consulted with Nathan 
about it, one Prophet standing in neede of anothers help in 
such waightie matters. Natha7i incourageth the Kins; unto 
this worke, verse 3. God the same night meetes Nathan and 
tells him a contrary purpose of his : Wherein God refuseth 
Davids offer, with some kind of earnest and vehement dislike, 
verse 4, 5 : Secondly, he refuseth the reason of Davids ofifer, 
from his long silence. For foure hundred yeares together he 
spake of no such thing, unto any of the Tribes of Israel saying, 
Why build you not mc an house I in 6. 7. verses. 

Now lest David should be discouraged with this answer, the 
Lord bids Nathan to shut up his speech with words of encour- 
agement, and so he remoues his discouragement two wayes 

First, by recounting his former favours dispensed unto David. 
Secondly, by promising the continuance of the like or greater : 
and the rather, because of this purpose of his. And five bless- 
ings God promiseth unto David, and his, for his sake. 

The first is in the 10. verse: I will appoint a place for my 
people Israeli. 

Secondly, seeing it was in his heart to build him an house, 
God would therefore, build him an house renowned forever. 
verse 11. 

Thirdly, that he would accept of an house from Solomon, 
verse 12. 

Fourthly, hee will be a Father to his sonne, vers. 14. 15. 

Fifthly, that he will establish the throne of his house for ever. 

In this 10 verse is a double blessing promised : 

First, the designment of a place for his people. 

Secondly, a plantation of them in that place, from whence is 
promised a threefold blessing. 

First, they shall dwell there like Free-holders in a place of 
their owne. 

Secondly, hee promiseth them firme and durable possession, 
they shall move no more. 

Thirdly, they shall have peaceable and quiet resting there, 
The sonnes of wickedness shall afflict them no more : which is 
amplified by their former troubles, as before time. 

From the appointment of a place for them, which is the first 
blessing, you may observe this note. 

The placing of a people in this or that Coimtrey is from the ap- 
pointme7it of the Lord. 

This is evident in the Text, and the Apostle speakes of it as 
grounded in nature. Acts 17. 26. God hath determi?ied the ti7nes 
before appointed, and the bounds of our habitation. Dut. 2 chap. 
5. g. God would not have the Israelites meddle with the Edom- 
ites, or the Moabites, because he had given them their land for a 
possession. Go.d assigned out such a land for such a posterity, 
and for such a time. 

Quest. Wherein doth this worke of God stand in appointing 
a place for a people ? 

Answ. First, when God espies or discovers a land for a 
people, as in Ezek. 20. 6. he brought them into a land that he 
had espied for them : And that is, when either he gives them 
to discover it themselves, or heare of it discovered by others, 
and fitting them. 

Secondly, after he hath espied it, when he carrieth them 
along to it, so that they plainly see a providence of God lead- 
ing them from one Country to another : As in Exod. 19. 4. You 
have seene how I have borne you as on Eagles wings, and brought 
you unto my selfe. So that though they met with many difficul- 
ties, yet hee carried them high above them all, like an eagle, 
flying over seas and rockes, and all hindrances. 

Thirdly, when he makes roome for a people to dwell there, 
as in Psal. 80. 9. Thou preparedst roome for them. When 
Isaac sojourned among the Philistines, he digged one well, and 
the Fhilistines strove for it, and he called it Esek. and he 
digged another well, and for that they strove also, therefore 
he called it Sitnah : and he removed thence, and digged an 
other well, and for that they strove not, and he called it Ro- 
hoboth, and said. For 7iow the Lord hath made roomee for us, and 
we shall be fruitfnll in the La7id. Now no Esek, no Sit?iah, no 
quarrel or contention, but now he sits downe in Rohoboth in a 
peaceable roome. 

Now God makes room for a people 3 wayes : 

First, when he casts out the enemies of a people before them 
by lawfull warre with the inhabitants, which God cals them 
unto: as in Ps. 44. 2. Thou didst driue out the heathen before 
them. But this course of warring against others, & driving 

them out without provocation, depends upon special! Commis- 
sion from God, or else it is not imitable. 

Secondly, when he gives a forreigne people favour in the 
eyes of any native people to come and sit downe with them 
either by way of purchase, as Abraham did obtaine the field of 
Machpelah ; or else when they give it in courtesie, as Pharaoh 
did the land of Goshen unto the sons of Jacob. 

Thirdly, when h-ee makes a Countrey though not altogether 
void of inhabitants, yet voyd in that place where they reside. 
Where there is a vacant place, there is liberty for the sonne of 
Adam or Noah to come and inhabite, though they neither buy 
it, nor aske their leaves. Abraham and Isaac^ when they * so- 
journed amongst the Philistines, they did not buy that land to 
feede their cattle, because they said There is roome enough. 
And so d^\A Jacob pitch his Tent by Sechem, Gen. 34. 21. There 
was r 001716 enough as If amor said, Let them sit down amongst us. 
And in this case if the people who were former inhabitants 
did disturbe them in their possessions, they complained to the 
King, as of wrong done unto them : As Abraham did because 
they took away his well, in Gen. 21, 25 For his right whereto 
he pleaded not his immediate calling from God, (for that 
would have seemed frivolous amongst the Heathen) but his 
owne industry and culture in digging the well, verse 30. Nor 
doth the King reject his plea, with what had he to doe to digge 
wells in their soyle? but admitteth it as a Principle in Nature, 
That in a vacant soyle, hee that taketh possession of it, and 
bestoweth culture and husbandry upon it, his Right it is. And 
the ground of this is from the grand Charter given to Adam 
and his posterhy in Paradise, Gen. i. 28. Multiply, and re- 
plenish the earth., and subdue it. If therefore any sonne of 
Adam come and finde a place empty, he hath liberty to come, 
and fill, and subdue the earth there. This Charter was re- 
newed to Noah, Gen. 9. i. Fulfill the earth and multiply : So 
that it is free from that comon Grant for any to take possession 
of vacant Countries. Indeed no Nation is to drive out another 
without speciall Commission from heaven, such as the Israel- 
ites had, unless the Natives do unjustly wrong them, and will 
not recompence the wrongs done in peaceable fort, & then 
they may right themselves by lawfull war, and subdue the 
Countrey unto themselves. 

*-This sojourning was a constant residence there, as in a possession of their owne; 
although it be called sojourning or dwelling as strangers, because they neither had the sov- 
eraigne government of the wjiole Countrey in their owne hand, nor yet did incorporate them- 
selves into the Commonwealth of the Natives, to submit themselves unto their government. 

This placeing of people in this or that Countrey, is from Gods 
soveraignty over all the earth, and the inhabitants thereof : as 
in Psal. 24. I The earth is the Lords, and the fuhiesse thereof. 
And in ler. 10. 7. God is there called, The King of Nations : 
and in Deut. 10. 14. Therefore it is meete he should provide 
a place for all Nations to inhabite, and haue all the earth 
replenished. Onely in the Text here is meant some more 
speciail appointment, because God tells them it by his owne 
mouth ; he doth not so with other people, he doth not tell the 
children of Sier, that hee hath appointed a place for them : 
that is, He gives them the land by promise ; others take the 
land by his providence, but Gods people take the land by 
promise : And therefore the land of Canaan is called a land 
of promise. Which they discerne, first, by discerning them- 
selves to be in Christ, in whom all the promises are yea, and 

Secondly, by finding his holy presence with them, to wit, 
when he plants them in the holy Mountaine of his Inheritance : 
Exodus. 15. 17. And that is when he giveth them the liberty 
and purity of his Ordinances. It is a land of promise, where 
they have provision for soule as well as for body. Ruth dwelt 
well for outward respects while shee dwelt in Moab, but when 
shee Cometh to dwell in Israel, shee is said to come under the 
wings of God: Ruth 2. 12. When God wrappes us in with his 
Ordinances, and warmes us with the life and power of them as 
with wings, there is a land of promise. 

This may teach us all where we doe now dwell, or where 
after wee may dwell, be sure you looke at every place ap- 
pointed to you, from the hand of God : wee may not rush mto 
any place, and never say to God, By your leave ; but we must 
discerne how God appoints us this place. There is poore com- 
fort in sitting down in any place, that you cannot sa}^, This 
place is appointed me of God. Canst thou say that God spied 
out this place for thee, and there hath setled thee above all 
hinderances ? didst thou finde that God made roome for thee 
either by lawfuU descent, or purchase, or gift, or other warrant- 
able right? Why then this is the place God hath appointed 
thee ; here hee hath made roome for thee, he hath placed thee 
in Rehoboth, in a peaceable place : This we must discerne, or 
els we are but intruders upon God. And when wee doe with- 
all discerne, that God giveth us these outward blessings from 
his love in Christ, and maketh comfortable provision as well 
for our soule as for our bodies, by the meanes of grace, then 
doe we enjoy our present possession as well by gracious prom- 


ise, as by the common,- and just, and bountifull providence of 
the Lord. Or if a man doe remove, he must see that God 
hath espied out such a Countrey for him. 

Secondly, though there be many difficulties yet he hath given 
us hearts to overlook them all, as if we were carried upon 
eagles wings. 

And thirdly, see God making roome for us by some lawfuU 

Quest. But how shall I know whether God hath appointed 
me such a place, if I be well where I am, what may warrant my 
removeall 1 

Answ. There be foure or five good things, for procurement 
of any of which I may remove. Secondly, there be some evill 
things, for avoiding of any of which wee may transplant our 
selves. Thirdly, if withall we find some speciall providence of 
God concurring in either of both concerning our selves, and 
applying general grounds of removall to our personall estate. 

First, wee may remove for the gaining of knowledge. Our 
Saviour commends it in the Queene of the south, that she 
came from the utmost parts of the earth to heare the wisdom of 
Solomon: Matth. 12. 42. And surely with him she might have 
continued for the same end, if her personall calling had not 
recalled her home. 

Secondly, some remove and travaile for merchandize and 
gaine-sake ; Daily bread may be sought from farre, Frov. 31. 14. 
Yea our Saviour approveth travaile for Merchants, Matth. 13. 
45, 46. when hee compareth a Christian to a Merchantman seek- 
ing pearles : For he never fetcheth a comparison from any 
unlawfuU thing to illustrate a thing lawfull. The comparison 
from the unjust Steward, and from the Theefe in the night, is 
not taken from the injustice of the one, or the theft of the 
other ; but from the wisdome of the one, and the sodainnesse 
of the other ; which in themselves are not unlawfull. 

Thirdly, to plant a Colony, that is, a company that agree 
together to remove out of their owne Country, and settle a 
Citty or commonwealth elsewhere. Of such a Colony wee 
reade in Acts 16. 12. which God blessed and prospered exceed- 
ingly, and made it a glorious Church. Nature teacheth Bees to 
doe so, when as the hive is too full, they seeke abroad for new 
dwellings : So when the hive of the Common wealth is so full, 
that Tradesmen cannot live one by another, but eate up one 
another, in this case it is lawfull to remove. 

Fourthly, God alloweth a man to remove, when he may 
employ his Talents and gift better elsewhere, especially when 

where he is, he is not bound by any speciall engagement. 
Thus God sent Joseph before to preserve the Church : Josephs 
wisedome and spirit was not tit for a shepheard, but for a 
Counsellour of State, and therefore God sent him into Egypt. 
To whom fmich is given of him God will require the more : Luk 
12. 48. 

Fifthly, for the liberty of the Ordinances. 2 Chro?i. 11. 13, 
14, 15. When Jeroboam made a desertion from Judah, and set 
up golden Calves to worship, all that were well affected, both 
Priests and people, sold their possessions, and came to Jerusa- 
lem for the Ordinances sake. This case was of seasonable use 
to our fathers in the dayes of Queene Mary ; who removed to 
France and Germatiy in the beginning of her Reign, upon 
Proclamation of alteration of religion, before any persecution 

Secondly, there be evills to be avoyded that may warrant 
removeall. First, when some grievous sinnes overspread a 
Country that threaten desolation. Mic. 2. 6 to 11 verse : When 
the people say to them that prophecie, Prophecie not; then 
verse 10. Arise thefi, this is not your rest. Which words 
though they be a threatning, not a commandement j yet as in 
a threatning a wise man foreseeth the plague, so in the threat- 
ning he seeih a commandement, to hide himselfe from it. This 
case might have been of seasonable use unto them of the 
Palatinate, when they saw their Orthodox Ministers banished, 
although themselues might for a while enjoy libertie of con- 

Secondly, if men be overburdened with debts and miseries, 
as Davids followers were ; they may then retire out of the way 
(as they retired to David for safety) not to defraud their cred- 
itors (for God is an avenger of such things, i Thess. 4. 6.) but to 
gaine further opportunity to discharge their debts, and to sat- 
islie their Creditors, i Sam. 22. i, 2. 

Thirdly, in case of persecution, so did the Apostle in Acts 

13- 46, 47- 

Thirdly, as these generall cases, where any of them doe fall 
out, doe warrant removeall in generall : so there be some 
speciall providences or particular cases which may give war- 
rant unto such or such a person to transplant himselfe, and 
which apply the former generall grounds to particular persons. 

First, if soveraigne Authority command and encourage such 
Plantations by giving way to subjects to transplant themselves, 
and set up a new Commonwealth. This is a lawfull and ex- 
pedient case for such particular persons as be designed and 


sent : Matth. 8. 9. and for such as they who are sent, have 
power to command. 

Secondly, when some speciall providence of God leades a 
man unto such a course. This may also single out particulars. 
Psal. 32. 8. / will mstrnct, an I guide thee with mine eye. As 
the childe knowes the pleasure of his father in his eye, so doth 
the child of God see Gods pleasure in the eye of his heavenly 
Fathers providence. And this is done three wayes. 

First, if God give a man an inclination to this or that course, 
for that is the spirit of man; and God is the father of spirits : 
Rom. I. II, 12. I Cor. 16. 12. Paul discerned his calling to 
goe to Rom, by his ro TrpoOvixov, his ready inclination to that 
voyage ; and Apollos his loathing to goe to Corinth, Paul ac- 
cepted as a just reason of his refusall of a calling to goe thither. 
And this holdeth, when in a mans inclination to travaile, his 
heart is set on no by-respects, as to see fashions, to deceive his 
Credijtours, to fight Duels, or to live idly, these are vaine inclina- 
tions ; but if his heart be inclined upon right judgement to ad- 
vance the Gospell, to maintaine his family, to use his Talents 
fruitfully, or the like good end, this inclination is from God. 
As the beames of the Moone darting into the Sea leades it to 
and fro, so doth a secret inclination darted by God into our 
hearts leade and bowe (as a byas) our whole course. 

Secondly, when God gives other men hearts to call us as the 
men of Mecedo?i did Paul, Come to us into Macedonia, a7id helpe us. 
When wee are invited by others who have a good calling to 
reside there, we may goe with them, unlesse we be detained by 
waightier occasions. One member hath interest in another, to 
call to it for helpe, when it is not diuerted by greater employment. 

Thirdly, there is another providence of God concurring in 
both these, that is, when a mans calling and person is free, 
and not tyed by parents, or Magistrates, or other people that 
have interest in him. Or when abroad hee may doe himselfe 
and others more good than he can doe at home. Here is then 
an eye of God that opens a doore there, and sets him loose 
here, inclines his heart that way, and outlookes all difficulties. 
When God makes roome for us, no binding here, and an open 
way there, in such a case God tells them, he will appoint a 
place for them. 

Vse. 2. Secondly, this may teach us in every place where 
God appoints us to sit downe, to acknowledge him as our 
Landlord. The earth is the Lords and the fullnesse thereof ; 
his are our Countries, our Townes, our houses ; and therefore 
let us acknowledge him in them all. The Apostle makes this 



use of it amongst the Atheiiia?is, Acts 17. 26, 27. He hath ap- 
pointed the times a?id places of our habitation ; that we might seeke 
and grope after the Lord. There is a threefold use thaat we are 
to make of it, as it appeareth there ; Let us seek after the 
Lord, why? Because if thou commest into an house thou wilt 
aske for the owner of it: And so if thou commest into a 
forreigne land, and there findest an house and land provided 
for thee, wilt thou not enquire, where is the Landlord ? where 
is that God that gave me this house and land? He is missing, 
and therefore seek after him. 

Secondly, thou must feele after him, grope after him by such 
sensible things, strive to attaine the favour of your Landlord, 
and labour to be obedient to him that hath given you such a 

Thirdly, you must labour to finde him in his Ordinances, in 
prayer and in Christian communion. These things I owe him 
as my Landlord, and by these I find and enjoy him. This use 
the very Pagans were to make of their severall Plantations : 
And if you knew him before, seeke him yet more, and feele 
after him till you find him in his Ordinances, and in your con- 

Vse T^. Thirdly, when you have found God making way and 
roome for you, and carrying you by his providence into any 
place, learne to walke thankfully before him, defraud him not 
of his rent, but offer yourselves unto his service : Serve that 
God, and teach your children to serve him, that hath appointed 
you and them the place of your habitation. 

2 Observation. A people of Gods phmiatio7i shall e?iJoy their 
owne place with safety and peace. 

This is manifest in the Text: I will plant them and what 
foUowes from thence ? They shall dwell in their owne place ; 
But how ? Peaceably, they shall not be moved any more. 
Then they shall dwell safely, then they shall live in peace. 
The like promise you reade of in Psal. 89. 21, 22. The enemie 
shall not exact upon them any more. And in Psal. 92. 13. Those 
that be planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in the Courts 
of our God. Gods plantation is a florishing plantation, Amos 

9' 15- 

Quest. What is it for God to plant a people ? 

Answr. It is a Metaphor taken from young Impes ; I will 
plant them, that is, I will make them to take roote there ;'and 
that is, where they and their soyle agree well together, when 
they are well and sufficiently provided for, as a plant suckes 
nourishment from the soyle that fitteth it. 


Secondly, When hee causeth them to grow as plants doe, in 
Psal. 80. 8, 9, 10, II. When a man growes like a tree in tall- 
nesse and strength, to more firmnesse and eminency, then hee 
may be said to be planted. 

Thirdly, When God causeth them iofrndifie. Psal. i. 5 

Fourthly, When he establisheth them there, then he plants, 
and rootes not up. 

But here is something more especiall in this planting ; for 
they were planted before in this land, and yet he promiseth 
here againe, that he will plant them in their owne land ; which 
doth imply, first. That whatever former good estate they had 
already, he would prosper it, and increase it. 

Secondly, God is said to plant a people more especially, 
when they become Trees of righkous?tesse, Isay 61. 3 : That 
they may be called trees of righteousnesse, the planting of the 
Lord. So that there is implyed not onely a continuance of 
their former good estate, but that hee would make them a good 
people, a choice generation : which he did, first, by planting 
the Ordinances of God amongst them in a more glorious man- 
ner, as he did in Saloinons time. 

2. He would give his people a naile, and a place in his Taber- 
nable, Isay 56. 5. And that is to give us part in Christ; for 
so the Temple typified. So then hee plants us when hee gives 
us roote in Christ, 

Thirdly, When he giveth us to grow up in him as Calves ift 
the stall. Mai. 4. 2, 3. 

Fourthly, & to bring forth much fruit., Joh, 15. i, 2. 

Fifthly, and to continue and abide in the state of grace. 
This is to plant us in his holy Sanctuary, he not rooting us up. 

Reasons. This is taken from the kinde acceptance of Davids 
purpose to build God an house, because he saw it was done in 
the honesty of his heart, therefore he promiseth to give his 
people a place wherein they should abide forever as in a house 
of rest. 

Secondly, it is taken from the ofBce God takes upon him, 
when he is our planter, hee becomes our husbandman ; and 
if he pla?it us, who shall plucke us up? Isay. 27. i, 2. Job. 34. 29. 
When he giveth quiet, who can make trouble ? If God be the 
Gardiner, who shall plucke up what he sets down ? Every 
plantation that he hath not planted shall be plucked up, and 
what he hath planted shall surely be established. 

Thirdly, from the nature of the blessing hee conferres upon 
us : When he promiseth to plant a people, their dayes shall 
be as the dayes of a Tree, Isay 65. 22 : As the Oake is said 


to be an hundred yeares in growing, and an hundred yeares in 
full strength, and an hundred yeares in decaying. 

Quest: But it may be demanded, how was this promise 
fulfilled by the people, seeing after this time they met with 
many persecutions, at home, and abroad, many sources of 
wickednesse afflicted them ; leroboam was a sonne of wicked- 
nesse, and so was Ahab, and Ahaz, and divers others. 

Answ. Because after Davids time they had more setled- 
nesse than before. 

Secondly, to the godly these promises were fulfilled in Christ. 

Thirdly, though this promise was made that others should 
not wrong them, yet it follow^es not but that they might wrong 
themselves by trespassing against God, and so expose them- 
selves to affliction. Whilst they continued Gods plantation, 
they were a noble Vine, a right seede, but if Israel will destroy 
themselves, the fault is in themselves. And yet even in their 
captivity the good amongst them God graciously provided for : 
The Basket of good figges God sent into the land of Caldea 
for their good : Jer. 24. 5. But if you rebell against God, the 
same God that planted you will also roote you out againe, for 
all the evill which you shall doe against your selves : y^r. n. 
17. When the Israelites liked not the soile, grew weary of the 
Ordinances, and forsooke the worship of God, and said. What 
part have we in David 1 after this they never got so good a 
King, nor any settled rest in the good land wherein God had 
planted them. As they waxed weary of God, so hee waxed 
wearie of them, and cast them out of his sight. 

Vse I. To exhort all that are planted at home, or intend to 
plant abroad, to looke w^ell to your plantation, as you desire 
that the sonnes of wickedness may not afflict you at home, nor 
enemies abroad, looke that you be right planted, and then you 
need not to feare, you are safe enough : God hath spoken it, 
I will plant them, and they shallnot be moved, neither shall 
the sonnes of wickedness afflict them any more. 

Quest. What course would you have us take ? 

Answ. Have speciall care that you ever have the Ordi- 
nances planted amongst you, or else never looke for security. 
As soone as Gods Ordinances cease, your security ceaseth like- 
wise; but if God plant his Ordinances among you, feare not, he 
will mainetaine them. Isay 4. 5, 6. Vpon all their glory there 
shall be a defence ; that is, upon all Gods Ordinances : for so 
was the Arke called the Glory of Israel, i Sam. 4. 22. 

Secondly, have a care to be implanted into the Ordinances, 
that the word may be ingrafted into you, and you into it : If 

you take rooting in the ordinances, grow up thereby, bring 
forth much fruite, continue and abide therein, then you are 
vineyard of red wine, and the Lord will keepe you, Isay 27. 
2. 3. that no sonnes of violence shall destroy you. Looke into 
all the stories whether divine or humane, and you shall never 
finde that God ever rooted out a people that had the Ordi- 
nances planted amongst them, and themselves planted into the 
Ordinances: never did God suffer such plants to be plucked 
up ; on all their glory shall be a defence. 

Thirdly, be not unmindful! of our Jerusalem at home, whether 
you leave us, or stay at home with us. Oh pray for the peace of 
lenisalem^ they shall prosper that love her. Psal. 122. 6. They 
shall all he confounded and turned backe that hate Sion, Psal, 
129. 5. As God conlinueth his presence with us (blessed be 
his name) so be ye present in spirit with us, though absent in 
body: Forget not the wombe that bare you and the brest that 
gave you sucke. Even ducklings hatched under an henne, 
though they take the water, yet will still have recourse to the 
wing that hatched them : how much more should chickens of 
the same feather, and yolke? In the amity and unity of breth- 
ren, the Lord hath not onely promised, but commanded a 
blessing, even life forevermore : Psal. 133. i, 2. 

Fourthly, goe forth, every man that goeth, with a publick 
spirit, looking not on your owne things onely, but also on the 
things of others: Phil. 2. 4. This care of universall helpfuU- 
nesse was the prosperity of the first Plantation of the Primitive 
Church, Acts 4. 32. 

Fifthly, have a tender care that you looke well to the plants 
that spring from you, that is, to your children, that they doe not 
degenerate as the Israelites did ; after which they were vexed 
with afflictions on every hand. How came this to passe 1 ler. 
2. 21. I planted them a 7ioble Vine, holy, a 7'ight seede, how then 
art thou degenerate into a strange Vine before mee / Your Ances- 
tours were of a noble divine spirit, but if they suffer their chil- 
dren to degenerate, to take loose courses, then God will surely 
plucke you up: Otherwise if men have a care to propagate the 
Ordinances and Religion to their children after them, God will 
plant them and not roote them up. For want of this, the seede 
of the repenting Ni7iivites was rooted out. 

Sixthly, and lastly, offend not the poore Natives, but as you 
partake m their land, so make them partakers of your precious 
faith : as you reape their temporalis, so feede them with your 
spiritualls : winne them to the love of Christ, for whom Christ 
died. They never yet refused the Gospell, and therefore more 


hope they will now receive it. Who knoweth whether God have 
reared this whole Plantation for such an end : 

Vse 2. Secondly, for consolation to them that are planted by 
God in any place, that finde rooting and establishing from God, 
this is a cause of much encouragement unto you, that what hee 
hath planted he will maintaine, every plaatation his right hand 
hath not planted shalbe rooted up, but his owne plantation shall 
prosper, & flourish. When he promiseth peace and safety, what 
enemies shalstbe able to make the promise of God of none 
effect? Neglect not walls, and bulwarkes, and fortifications for 
your owne defence; but 

ever let the name of the Lord be your strong 
Tower; and the word of his Promise the 
Rocke of your refuge. His word 
that made heaven and earth 
will not faile, till hea- 
ven and earth be 
no more 


Cotton's sermon on Goif s Frotnise to his Plantation, here reprinted, 
holds the same place in relation to the Massachusetts colony which Robin- 
son's famous sermon at Delfthaven holds in relation to the Plymouth 
colony. It was the farewell sermon to Winthrop's company, as Robmson's 
sermon was the farewell to the Pilgrim Fathers. Yet the great historical 
significance of this sermon has been strangely overlooked. The fact of 
its delivery is hardly mentioned in any of the well-known histories ; and 
one of Cotton's later biographers (McClure) even assigns it to a date 
after Cotton had taken up his residence in New England. The reading of 
the sermon itself should have prevented such a mistake, as its character 
is apparent. Explicit information concerning it we have in Scottow's 
Narrative of the Planting of the Massachusetts Colony, 1694 (reprinted in 
the Mass. Hist. Soc. Collections, fourth series, vol. iv., 1858). " Some of 
their choice friends," says Scottow, speaking of the departure of t,he 
Massachusetts company, " as the Reverend Mr. Cotton and others, went 
along with them from Boston in Lincolnshire to Southampton, where they 
parted and he preacht his farewell sermon." "Not long after this, Mr. 
Cotton's farewell sermon (above mentioned) was printed at London, and 
since reprinted at Boston, entituled, GoiVs Promise to his Plantation, 
wherein he exhorted them to rememlDer England, their mother, and that 
they should not be like those ingrateful birds, who when they had swum 
over a stream or river, forgot the wing that had hatcht them," The first 
London edition of the sermon was printed in 1630. There is a copy of 


this in the library of the Mass. Hist. Soc. Another edition was printed in 
London in 1634; and this was "Reprinted at Boston in New England, by 
Samuell Green; and are to be sold by John Usher. Anno. 1686." The 
address "To the Christian Reader," signed by J. H., which prefixes the 
sermon, was probably written. Prince says, by John Humphrey. The 
sermon has an added historical value in being the first printed work by 
Cotton of which we have any record. (See Charles Deane, in N.E. Hist. 
and Geft. Register, ii. 151, 318.) 

John Cotton was born in Derb}^, Eng., in'i5S5. He studied at Cam- 
bridge, where he gained a high reputation for learning, and where he im- 
bibed Puritan opinions. He became vicar of St. Botolph's Church at 
Boston, in Lincolnshire,, about 1612, remaining there for twenty years, and 
becoming known as one of the leading preachers in England. He came to 
New England in 1633, was immediately chosen teacher of the First Church 
in Boston, and retained his connection with this church till his death, in 
1652. He took a leading part in the controversies with Anne Hutchinson 
and Roger Williams. He was a voluminous writer, being the author of 
nearly fifty books, all of which were sent to London for publication. His 
Way of the Churches of Christ in New Engla?td is one of the ablest exposi- 
tions of Congregationalism. His Keys of the Kingdo?n of Heaven expounds 
his theocratic ideas of government. His Bloody Tenent IVashed and made 
IVhite in the Blood of the Lamb is his principal work in opposition to Roger 
Williams. His Milk for Babes, drawn out of the Breasts of both Testaments, 
chiefly for the Spiritual Nourishment of Boston Babes in either England, 
but ?nay be of use for any children, was a famous catechism in its day, and 
was translated for the Indians. 

The Life of Cotton, by his friend, Rev. Samuel Whiting, of Lynn, is 
included in Young's Chronicles of Massachusetts, together with several 
important letters by Cotton, one giving the reasons for his removal to New 
England. Both Cotton Mather and John Norton wrote lives of Cotton, 
drawing largely upon Whiting. See the valuable article on "John Cotton 
in Church and State," by Rev. George E. Ellis, in the International Review, 
October, 18S0.