The ancient spelling, capitalization, italics, and bolding are retained in this transcription from the original, except that that s's which look simular to f's were all changed to s's. Also, the style of the first page is simulated here. Hopefully I have not introduced any typographical errors of my own.
The Necessity and Usefullness of Laws
and the Excellency of our Own.
B E F O R E
Mr Justice Powell
A N D
Mr. Baron Lovel
A T   T H E
Assizes held there July the 13th 1708.
By HENRY DOWNES M.A. Rector of Brington and
Siwell in Northamptonshire, and Chaplain to the Right Ho-
Publish'd at the Request of the High-Sheriff and
the Gentlemen of the Grand-Jury.
O X F O R D ,
Printed at the
Theater for Anth. Peisley, and are to be sold
by Dan. Midwinter at the three Crowns in St Paul's Church-
yard London, 1708.
A R.   C H A R L E T T
July 30, 1708.
THE RIGHT WORSHIPFULL
ELMES SPINKES Esq;
Of the County of
N O R T H A M P T O N:
Gentlemen of the Grand-Jury.
Sir Robert Hesilrige Bar.
Sir Erasmus Norwich Bar.
Sir John Humbles Bar.
Sir James Robinson Bar.
Toby Chauncey Esq;
Charles Howe Esq;
John Parkhurst Esq;
Gerard Gore Esq;
William Ward Esq;
Elmes Steward Esq;
Richard Kynnesman Esq;
George Lynn Esq;
Joseph Ashley Esq;
Thomas Jennings Esq;
Mr Edward Cuthbert
Mr Samuel Taylor
Mr Peter Whaley
Mr Christopher Rigby.
Mr John Beauchamp,
I Am perswaded it was your Love to the Subject, that disposed you to think so favourably of this discourse, as to desire the Publication of it; and if it may happily contribute any thing
towards the establishing a due regard to the laws of God and Men, and a just value for our excellent Constitution both in Church and State, it will thereby best answer the end of your Request, and the design proposed by
Your most Oblig'd
A S S I Z E - S E R M O N
N O R T H A M P T O N.
I Tim. I. 8.
The Law is Good, if a Man use it lawfully.
THE Apostle St Paul having constituted Timothy Bishop of Ephefus, begins this his first Epistle to him with a declaration of the Authority by which he acted, and first opens his Commission, [Vers. 1.] before he proceeds to those Injunctions which were the proper execution of: After this, as a Spiritual Father, commending Timothy to the grace of God, [vers. 2.] whom he stiles his own Son in the Faith, because he had been the happy Instrument of his Conversion, he goes on to instruct him in the discharge of his high Office, [vers. 3.] and particularly cautions him (as he before had done) against a set of Men, [vers. 4.] (whether Gnosticks or others) who it seems were attempting to graft upon Christianity such Fables and endless Genealogies as could have no better effect, than to minister questions, rather than Godly edifying which is in Faith: In opposition therefore to these, the Apostle declares what is the true end and design of the Evangelical Commandment, [vers. 5.] namely Charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good Conscience, and Faith unfeigned, from which, faith he, [vers. 6.] some having swerv'd, have turn'd aside unto vain jangling, intimating that when once men depart from these substantial dutys, and let goe Faith and Charity, purity of Heart and a good Conscience, they commonly take up with meer shadows, and busy themselves in endless disputations about things that profit not. However these men (probably to make themselves the more popular) affected to appear great Zealots for the Law, (that is, the Moral Law, as is evident from those Instances of the breaches of it in the verses immediately following my Text) tho' they were perfect strangers to its meaning, and yet more so [vers. 7.] to its power, desiring to be teachers of the Law, understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
Whereupon the Apostle does not here, or any where else, goe about to make void the Moral Law, but insinuates, that they were the truest Friends to the Law who best observ'd the precepts of it, allowing as in the Text that the the Law is Good, if a man use it lawfully. In which words there is
First a Truth asserted, the Law is Good.
Secondly a Condition annext, If a man use it lawfully.
In discoursing upon the form, I shall at this time and on this occasion consider
First the Necessity and usefulness of the Laws of God.
Secondly the Necessity and Usefulness of the Laws of Men.
Thirdly the Excellency of our own Laws, or the Happiness of our national Establishment and Constitution: with reference to which I shall proceed
Fourthly to consider the Condition annext; and
Lastly draw some Inferences from the whole, and so conclude.