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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Word to England

By Nathaniel Ward (1578–1652)

[From The Simple Cobbler of Aggawam. 1647.]

GO on brave Englishmen, in the Name of God, go on prosperously, because of truth and righteousness. Ye that have the cause of Religion, the life of your Kingdom and of all the good that is in it in your hands: Go on undauntedly. As you are called and chosen, so be faithful. Ye fight the battles of the Lord, be neither desidiose nor perfidious. You serve the King of Kings, who styles you his heavenly Regiments, consider well, what impregnable fighting it is in heaven, where the Lord of Hosts is your General, his Angels your Colonels, the Stars your Fellow-soldiers, his Saints your Orators, his Promises your Victuallers, his Truth your Trenches; where Drums are Harps, Trumpets, joyful sounds; your Ensigns Christ’s Banners; where your weapons and armor are spiritual, therefore irresistible, therefore impierceable; where Sun and Wind cannot disadvantage you, you are above them; where Hell itself cannot hurt you, where your Swords are furbished and sharpened by him that made their Metal, where your wounds are bound up with the oil of a good Cause, where your blood runs into the Veins of Christ, where sudden death is present Martyrdom and Life; your Funerals Resurrections, your honor Glory; where your widows and babes are received into perpetual Pensions; your Names listed among David’s Worthies; where your greatest losses are greatest gains; and where you leave the troubles of War, to lie down in beds of eternal rest.

What good will it do you, dear Countrymen, to live without lives, to enjoy England without the God of England, your Kingdom without a Parliament, your Parliament without power, your Liberties without stability, your Laws without justice, your honors without virtue, your Beings without well-being, your Wives without honesty, your Children without morality, your Servants without civility, your Lands without propriety, your Goods without immunity, the Gospel without salvation, your Churches without ministry, your Ministers without piety, and all you have or can have, with more tears and bitterness of heart, than all you have and shall have will sweeten or wipe away?

Go on therefore renowned Gentlemen, fall on resolvedly, till your hands cleave to your swords, your swords to your enemies’ hearts, your hearts to victory, your victories to triumph, your triumphs to the everlasting Praise of him that hath given you Spirits to offer yourselves willingly, and to jeopard your lives in high perils, for his Name and Service sake.

And we your brethren, though we necessarily abide beyond Jordan, and remain on the American Sea-coasts, will send up armies of prayers to the Throne of Grace, that the God of Power and Goodness, would encourage your hearts, cover your heads, strengthen your arms, pardon your sins, save your souls, and bless your families, in the day of Battle. We will also pray that the same Lord of Hosts would discover the counsels, defeat the enterprises, deride the hopes, disdain the insolencies, and wound the hairy scalps of your obstinate enemies, and yet pardon all that are unwillingly misled. We will likewise help you believe that God will be seen on the Mount, that it is all one with him to save by many or few, and that He doth but humble and try you for the present, that He may do you good at the latter end.