Robert Peel Wakeman.

Wakeman genealogy, 1630-1899 : being a history of the descendants of Samuel Wakeman, of Hartford, Conn., and of John Wakeman, treasurer of New Haven colony, with a few collaterals included online

. (page 10 of 32)
Online LibraryRobert Peel WakemanWakeman genealogy, 1630-1899 : being a history of the descendants of Samuel Wakeman, of Hartford, Conn., and of John Wakeman, treasurer of New Haven colony, with a few collaterals included → online text (page 10 of 32)
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labours of our hands by blasting, mildews, catterpillars, worms,
tares, floods aud droughts ? And truly not only for all this his
anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still ;
but in all this God seems to be making a way for his anger, that
he may pour forth all his wrath. Observable is the way and
manner of God's dealing with his People of old, and the method
of his gradual proceeding against them, till at last he utterly re-
jected and destroyed them. 'Tis said, 2 King 13, 23, God would
not destroy them, neither cast them from his presence as yet.
He had not yet done it, neither would he yet do it, but how even
then he was making way for it: you may see, 2 King 12,32, He
began to cut them short. And 2 Chron. 28, 19, He brought thetn
low; and hath God begun to cut us short ? and doth he not go on
to cut us shorter and shorter ? Hath he not brought us low ?
And is he not still bringing us lower and lower ? How many
wayes hath God been, and still is short cutting, and low-bringing
of us ? He hath cut us short of our members, brought us low by
taking away many, and many Righteous Ones from us ; hath he
not (of late years especially) bereft us of many Magistrates,
Ministers, and other useful Persons, and added that late fore
breach, and causefully bitterly lamented loss to the rest ? And
hath he not cut us short in our comforts, brought us low by de-
priving us by one means and other of so much of the fruits of the
earth ? We have sown much and brought in little ; sowen Wheat,
Barley, good feed, but reaped Tares, Cockle, and such like trash ;
The ancient curse for sin is revived, and heightened upon us.
Under the rain that hath come oft upon us, and all the husbandry
God hath been at with us, we have not brought forth fruit meet
for him, by whom we have been dressed, and what measure we
have meeted: it hath been measured to us again: under such
means, and a promising, flourishing profession, little real fruit
hath been biought forth to God; and how like to this have we
found in that little good grain under goodly appearances, and a
great burden that the earth hath brought forth to us ? And doth
not the hand of God upon this account grow very awful toward
us ? is not the meat cut off before our eyes ? do we not see men's
crops fail them (at least in many places) year after year, and
every year more than other ? Should God go on to do by us a
few years more as he hath done for some years past, it would look
apace toward cleanness of teeth. And hath God not cut us short
of our credit and estimation ? brought us low upon that account also
New-England' s name hath been much set by, much more than
now New- England' s credit and repute is brought many pegs


lower than sometimes; when we were precious in God's sight, we
were honourable ; but when he makes no such account of a Peo-
ple, they soon go out of credit ; God hath made us to know the
truth of that, 1 Sam. 2, 30 (the subject that was insisted upon by
that eminently holy man of God this time three years) them that
honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall
be lightly esteemed; we have found the truth of that, that
them that honour God he will honour, and now God is verifying
the truth of that also, that those that despise him shall be lightly
esteemed: Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a re-
proach to any People, Prov. 14, 24. And New- England' s for-
mer and latter experiences may feel to both parts of the truth of
that Text. Under all these short cutting, lowering, afflicting dis-
pensations, may we not say in this day, as 'twas said, Israel
should do in that, when many evils and troubles should befall
them ? Dent. 31, 17. Are not these evils come upon us because
our God is not amongst us ? is not with us as he hath been, nor
favours us as he hath done. But I must pursue these things no
further which I have been drawn forth to follow thus far, if possi-
ble to make you sensible, both from the consideration of our
wayes towards God and his wayes toward us, that according to
the present frame and posture of things with us, it looks very ex-
ceeding threateningly upon us, least God leave us and lay us

3. Consider, Hotv sad would it be, should it come to this : it
is evident from the considerations mentioned, that it may be so,
and also that it looks exceeding threatningly, lest it be so ; but
what a dismal thing would it be, should it be so indeed ! to lose
God's love, his favour, his good will; to have his soul depart from
us, what a dreadful thing would it be ! How emphatically doth
God shut up sundry sore threatnings with this as the most miser-
able complement of ! Yea, wo also unto them when I depart
from them, PIos. 9, 12, that burden, Jer. 23, 33 (so it is there
called) I will even forsake you, saith the Lord : it is the most
intolerable, crushing, back-breaking Burden that was ever laid
upon any people for God to disaffect, reject, forsake a people, it
is the most formidable thing that can bef al them : In his favour
is life, his loving-kindness is better than Life : it is the founda-
tion, fountain and well-head of all our good ; all that good is, is
originally, virtually and eminently contained in it, founded upon
and flowing from it; but to be rejected of God, cast out of his af-
fections, it is in itself the sorest judgment; it hath in it all that
evil is, and it is the source of all that doth, or may, or can fall out


sadly or unhappily to us: if we have God's heart we cannot want
his hand: if he be with us, if he be for us, who or what shall be
against us? If he cause his face to shine upon us, we shall be
saved: but if he take off his heart, forsake, hide his face from us,
we shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befal us,
all kinds of calamities will crowd in ; mischiefs will be heaped
upon us if God take his presence (and consequently his peace)
from us, even loving-kindness and mercies : what will follow but
that he will vex us with all adversity ; our wife-men will be infat-
uated, our men of courage and activity dispirited, our peaceable
and guidable men froward and headlong, nothing will prosper
with us, but all things will conspire and work together ruineward ;
counsel, strength, protection, sustenance, all will fail us: Sword,
Sickness, Famine, evils of all sorts grow in upon, pursue and
cleave unto us till they have consumed us. And further, let me
here add that consideration, that should it come to this with us,
God should take off his heart from us, turn his hand against us, it
will certainly fall exceeding aggravatedly heavy up07i us. It
will so eminently, in a two fold respect.

i. // will be a sad and sorrowful thing indeed, when as it
threatened, Josh. 24, 20, God shall turn and do us hurt, and
consume us after that he hath done us good : Miser um est

There is no greater misery than to have been happy ; it is more
to be brought than to be born low, to be degraded than never to
have been exalted: worse is so much the worse by how much we
have known better: Thoic hast lifted me up and cast me down,
saith the Psalmist, aggravating his affliction, Psal. 10, 2, 10.
How art thou fallen from Heaven, Lucifer, Son of the
Morning ? was the cutting question to the King of Babylon, in
the day of his ruine, Isai. 14, 12. And it was the deapth of feru-
salem's wo, that she came down wonderfully, Sam. 1, 9. Know,
if you lose God you will be miserable many, many, that never
knew what it was to enjoy him as you have done: When you
have lost God, his love, his favour, and lost your all in that loss,
then to look back and bemoan yourselves, that we were as in
months past, when the Almighty was yet with us : then to re-
member in the days of your affliction and misery all the pleasant
things that you had in the days of old, then to lament that you
once had a God, what a bitter, bitter and heart-breaking thing-
will it be.

2. When God turns to do a people hurt after he hath done
them good, they may expect he will do them hurt according as
he hath done them good, Deut. 28, 63.


And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over yon
to do yoti good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over
you to destroy you, and to bring you to naught : of whom God
saith, you only have I known ; God hath an evil, an only evil for
them, Ezek. 7, 5, For whom God hath done, that which he hath
not done, against them will God do that which he hath not done,
and whereunto he will not do any more the like, Ezek. 5, 9.
The punishment of the inigtiity of the Daughter of my People
is greater than the punishment of Sodom, Sam. 4, 6. Under
the %vhole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon
Jerusalem, Dan. 9, 12. There was no sorrow like that of Sion,
wherewith the Lord afflicted her in the day of his fierce anger,
Sam. 1, 12. Wo unto us when God (turning to do us hurt shall,
come to measure us by the same Rule that he hath done us good
by: Will not New-England then be made one of the blackest
spots of earth under the heavens of God ?

4. Consider, It may yet be prevented; and what mercy it is
that it may so be in that things come not to this woful pass ? will
we yet be perswaded to hearken to the counsel in the Text ? will
we yet be instructed, bethink ourselves, repent, amend, convert,
turn to God, he will not leave us, ae will not cause his anger to
fall upon us: and wherein he hath so done, we returning unto
him he will return with us : Doubtless God is spirited and acted
toward us by the same Rule that himself gives us. Prov. 27, 10,
Thine own friend and thy father s friend forsake not: God
hath been our friend, and our father's friend, we have had (as I
may say) his favour by inheritance ; because he loved our fathers,
he hath chosen their seed after them, and loth he is both for our
own and their sakes (his grace and mercy having descended thus
upon us) to disinherit us, nor will he do it, if after all we yet
prove not utterly uncounselable and incorrigible. The love and
kindness of Neiu- En gland 's first times stick by him; all our
back-slidings, unworthy carriages, evil requitals have not so
wholly razed out the remembrance of it, but that God hath sensi-
bly manifested even in the way of his judgment, many relentings
of heart toward us, and would we yet be perswaded to recede our
pursuit of vain things that cannot profit nor deliver, for they are
vain, and unsaintly, and with our whole heart return to him, how
would his bowels be moved for us ? his passions stirred up to meet
us at our coming, and his heart knit unto us ? And think also what
an act of grace it is that God will thus accept of, and re-entertain
repenting and returning sinners ; it is a great act of grace for God
totake any to be his People ; but it is a much greater to fall in


again with those that have deeply revolted from him: O me-
thinks such peerless, unpattern'd, unparrall'd mercy, as such it is
proposed in the third chapter of this prophesie, vers, i, should
melt, overcome, win upon the hearts of poor sinners ; thougJi we
have played the harlot with many lovers will God yet receive
us. O will he methinks, as persons overcome of mercy, our very
souls should say, behold we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord
our God.

5. And lastly Consider, That if we be not instructed, continue
incorrigible, irreclaimable, God will certainly leave us, his
soul will depart from us, and he will make us desolate. We
may natter ourselves in our own way until our iniquity be found
to be hateful; bless ourselves in our hearts while God's anger
smokes against us ; cry peace, peace, until remediless ruine come
upon us, and there be no escaping ; but assuredly what God
threatens, unless Repentance intervene, he will accomplish: Me-
thinks it fares between God and New-England People, as be-
tween a tender hearted Parent and an untoward, stuborn child;
the poor afflicted Father, with many yearning bowels bespeaks ;
yea, begs, beseeches him. O my son be instructed, be perswad-
ed, bethink thyself, hearken to counsel ; and in the issue begins
to tell him, well son, look to it, if thou goest on thus, and nothing
will do with thee, thou wilt lose thy Father's heart at last, as
well as I have loved thee, my affections will be wholly weened off
from thee, I will disown, disinherit, turn thee out of doors; and
shall it come to this between God and us, if we continue unin-
structed it will come to this. We shall lose God's love, leave our-
selves no more room in his affections, utterly harden his heart
against us, work it to that issue, that God will thoroughly disaf-
fect us, and what then ? Why, when God thoroughly disaffects a
People, then as in Chap. 15 of this prophesie, vers. 1, 2, though
Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind eould not be to-
ward this People, cast them out of my sight, and let them go
forth ; such as are for death to death and such as are for
the sword to the sword, a?id such as for famine to famine,
and such as are for captivity to captivity ; as if God should
say, I cannot abide them, they have quite lost my heart, I
I can no more affect them ; let who will intercede for them, away
with them, let them dy, be slain, famished, captivated, no matter
how many wayes, so they be any ways destroyed. This, even
this will be the fatal upshot that our sins and rebellions will bring
it to between God and us if we be not instructed. And now I be-
seech you reflect upon what hath been said, lay together the


considerations that have been laid before you, and think whether it
be not high time to hearken to that awful, yet compassionate ad-
monition of the Text, Be thou instructed O New-England, lest
God's soul depart from thee, lest he make thee desolate, a land
not inhabited: Methinks we should find ourselves concerned, and
that all sorts of persons, as those that came to John Baptist,
should be, asking what shall we do ? and what shall we do ; Mag-
istrates, Ministers and Masters of Families, men of all ranks and
conditions, should be earnestly enquiring what shall we do, and
what shall we do as to the retaining and regaining the good will
of God. and keeping his gracious presence with us ? And possi-
bly it is expected (according to the ordinary use upon these occa-
sions) that by way of answer I should apply myself to these and
those, but the time takes me off. Much Honoured ; I know much
lyes upon you (and although my haste be great) , let me call at
your door with that of the Psalmist, Psal. 2, 10, 12, Be instruct-
ed ye Judges of the Earth, kiss the Son; professedly and actu-
ally own Jesus Christ, signalize your love and affection, your
homage and subjection to him, even in such a day as this; what
difficulties or hazards this may cast you upon, or what disfavour it
may work you, or with whom it is my business to say, and I hope
will be besides yours to consider, suffice it me to say, and you to
think, that this is the way to the heart of God ; the way to get and
keep in with him, which is the thing we are upon: O shew your
love to Jesus Christ, your zeal for him, his cause, interest, wayes,
People, all his concerns, and set yourselves against whatsoever is
contrary thereunto, suppress sin, promote holiness to your utmost
power. And let me only in general say, both to you, Right Hon-
ourable, and to the Honourable Deputies with you, that make up
the grand counsel of this poor colony (I know you have not been
without deep thoughts of heart upon the account) if there be any-
thing yet do-able as to these things, either by Law making, or
Law executing, that may conduce to keep God with us, let it be
diligently done.

Nextly, I should have applyed myself to you, my dear and rev-
erend Brethren in the Ministry you are set for the instruction of
others, but it is not too much to be said to you (however it may
seem too much for me to say it) be you also instructed. O look
about you, it eminently concerns you, think what is yours to do,
that it may not come to the parting pull between God and this
People. I doubt not Brethren, could I lay my hand so near your
hearts, I could find them in old Ely s posture trembling for the
Ark of God, the God of the Ark, God and his Ark, his taking his


presence from us, and the signal tokens of the same ; but what is
ours to do that it may not be so, I know myself (though too little)
too well to take upon me to direct you ; let me only say as the
eyes of that Cripple, of whom you read, Acts 3, were upon Peter
and John, the poor man looked wishfully upon them, hoping to
receive somewhat from them, so my eyes, and the eyes of this
poor People are (under God) upon you earuestly, expecting that
you should do something for us, as the poor man in the Gospel,
Mark 9, once solicited your great Lord and Master in his day
upon earth for his woful sin ; let me bemoan to you the lament-
able condition of this miserable people, thus and thus it is with
us, and these and those means have been used with, and improved
for us, but to no purpose, if you can do anything have compas-
sion on us, and help us ; I know you are not in God's stead, but
as I was saying, under God our eyes are upon you ; and I be-
seech you remember that they are so.

Again, give me leave in passing to drop a word to the Free-
men ; be you also instructed as to the work of this day, as you
would not have God depart from us, disregard us, do not disre-
gard him in these grand motions, do not leave him out in your
Elections : surely it is not the ingraciating way with God to give
him cause to complain, as, Hos. 8, 4, They have set up Kings
but not by me, and have made Princes and I know it not: have
a respect to God in your Elections in having a respect to godli-
ness: not that every godly man is fit to make a Magistrate, or
every one that hath grace is fit to govern you may read, Exod.
18, 21, That they must be able men, as well as fearing God, not
only good, honest, well-minded, well-meaning men, but such as
sit chief (that you sit in that place) had need to be able to chuse
out the way of a People for the?n, Job 29, 25. Yea, and then
when it comes to a Day of Difficulty, it is not only integrity of
heart but skilfulness of hands that is required to the well man-
agement of the reins of government, Psal . 78, ult. Yet surely
Godliness is an essential qualification. Nor can you disregard it
without disregarding God in your Elections, would you have
God's heart with you ? chuse men of David's character, Acts
13, 22. Men after God's own heart ; it may be in such a day as
this there are many and great thoughts of heart, such a man is in
favor, and such a man is so and so ; I have nothing to say against
all prudential considerations (provided they always be pious)
upon these accounts, if policy were unlawful Christ would never
have bidden his Disciples to be wise as Serpents, Mar. 10, 16.
Policy and Piety, the Serpent and the Dove, do as well together


as they do ill asunder ; but what I have to say, and what the Doc-
trine under hand leads me to say, is chuse Men in favour with Lhe
King of Kings, who hath King's hearts in his hand to turn as he
will, and can if men's wayes please him, make even their enemies
be at peace with them.

Heads of Families would have been next spoken to ; there is
more than a little for them to do upon the great account we are

I would also address myself to God's own dear ones amongst
us (those few names comparatively that are yet left us) that are
great and gracious with him, that they would have improved their
outmost interest for us, who can do great things with God ; that
they would desire mercies of the God of Heaven, I would have
begg'd the very sinners of the times, that at last they would not
thrust away God from us; but the time bids me have done.

I shall conclude all with two or three words of Instruction and

1. Let us make work into a thorough confession unto God;
surely the want of this is our great wound, the core and root of
all our maladies ; our next complying with the calls of his grace
to a thorough, entire, irreserved closure with himself, hence have
grown those estrangements between God and us, that now
begin to look threateningly as to an utter parting ; and it is a
thorough conversion unto God that must lay the foundation of our
cure. I must confes the sense of this hath been so much with me,
since the call to this daye's work was undoubtedly laid upon me,
that I have had many thoughts to say neither of this nor of that
but to turn the whole stream of my Discourse into this channel:
O that you were to be prevailed with as to this, our work were
done at once ; and is there no perswading you ? though not only
God's gracious presence with you in this world, but your everlast-
ing enjoyment of him in glory in that other world lies upon it:
What shall I say to you sirs? I beseech you shew yourselves
men, act but the part of reasonable creatures (which looks like a
reasonable request), set but your understandings and thoughts
seriously to work, and I profess to you, it is beyond my conceiv-
ing (so doing) that you can be other than thorow, down-right
Christians: a thinking man can not be but a serious man; 'tis the
want of this that ruines men, Israel doth not know, my people
doth not consider, Isai. 1, 3, in consideration is the undoing of men
under means of knowledge ; men know enough, would they but con-
sider what they know, to make them in good earnest about matters
of greatest moment. I have a great request (to the unconverted I


especially intend it, knowing some will do much more than I say) to
make to this great congregation, and every person, I am under the
present opportunity of speaking to, which I am never like to be in
this world ; I have a great request to you, indeed, as to the thing
desired, it is but a small matter, but my heart is much in it ; and
I shall verily hope that this poor Sermon will not be utterly lost,
if you will but grant it; I beseech you deny me not, and 'tis this
that you would take some time to bethink yourselves of your
greatest concernments ; and I would fain beg some time every
day, but I will bring my request very low that I may not be
denied ; shall I obtain of you that you will constantly set apart
one half hour in a week ; be it on the Saturday night, or some-
time, and getting alone, set yourselves to this with utmost serious-
ness about the matters of your soul and your future and eternal
states; would persons be perswaded thus to do, I do think it
would be impossible for them to stand before their own thoughts:
I doubt not but if men would give themselves leave to think
what it would be to be in Heaven or Hell, for ever, it would
bring them to themselves : And, O were we thorough here as to
the work of Conversion, were the as yet utterly unconverted, but
converted ; were the half converted, the almost perswaded, but
altogether, but thoroughly converted, were the slight and for-
mal, and such as have a name to live, the professionally convert-
ed, but sincerely converted, were the converted, but so back-
slidden, fallen, that they stand in need of renewed conversions,
but reconverted: this would lay a foundation for the return and
still continuance of God's giacious presence with us.

2. Let us mightily stir tip ourselves to lay hold upon a de-
parting God: It is a very lamentable complaint the Prophet
makes, Jsa. 64, 7, that at such a time when God hid his face from
them, and consumed them because of their iniquities ; yet there
was none that called upon his Name that stirred up themselves
to take hold of him. Shall God go, and we be silent ? Shall we
see him going, and shall nothing be said to invite him back
again ? Methinks our hearts should be at our mouthes, our very
souls should sit upon our trembling lips, and we should even
disolve into sighs and supplications. O that we may humble our-
selves, greatly mourning over all the provoking causes of Divine
displeasure: We may bemoan ourselves, sensibly lamenting
after the Loid under all the hidings of his Face, and the
estrangements of himself from us ; we may awaken ourselves ex-
ceedingly, call up all our powers, put to our utmost strength,
plead with God ; yet thou Lord are in the midst of us, and we



are called by thy Name, leave us not ; wrestle it out with God,
and resolve we will not let him go; thus do, and though you have

Online LibraryRobert Peel WakemanWakeman genealogy, 1630-1899 : being a history of the descendants of Samuel Wakeman, of Hartford, Conn., and of John Wakeman, treasurer of New Haven colony, with a few collaterals included → online text (page 10 of 32)