Imatges de pÓgina

have any mortal man deciared head in all cafes, not only civil but eclefiaftical? This was an ufurpation upon the crown of Chrift under fome former reigns, which I am afraid is never yet cleanly abrogated or abolished to this day.

4thly, Thefe potentates, who take upon them to tolerate any doctrines or any worship inconfiftent with the doctrine, worship, or government Chrift hath established in his kingdom.

5thly, Thefe profeffed Prefbyterians, who under that dif guife exercife a lordly prelacy and dominion over the church of Christ, in thrufting in men upon congregations without, and contrary to, the free choice their King has allowed them. I fear there fhall be a fad reckoning ere all be done, for the violent rapes which are committed, upon the fpoufe of Chrift up and down the land. Chrift myftical is wounded in the houfe of his profeffed friends; and it will be a wonder if there be not wounds for wounds, before the scene be ended. For,


7. If the government be upon Chrift's fhoulder, then hence I infer, that all odds will be even, and that Chrift will render tribulation, to thofe that trouble, vex, and harafs his poor people, in their fpiritual rights and privileges. He will arife for the fighing of the poor, and the cries of the needy; and O when he doth arife, the vengeance of his temple will fall heavy upon the heads of those who spoil it.

I conclude with an use of Confolation to the poor people of God; particularly to thofe that are fpoiled of their liberties and privileges as Chriftians; for though they be forsaken of them whofe bufinefs it is to take the greatest care of them, yet they are not forfaken of their God; and our commiffion leads us particularly "to preach the gofpel to the poor, to comfort them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for afhes, and the oil of joy for mourning." We are to "ftrengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees." There are these few grounds of confolation I offer you in your prefent circumftances. As,

1. Your God does not ftand as an unconcerned fpectator of the injuries that are done you at this day; no, he is obfer ving, and resents the fpoil that is commited upon you. You may read for this a challenge, and an awful challenge given on their behalf, If. iii. 12-15. "As for my people, children are their oppreffors, and women rule over them: O my people, they which lead thee, caufe thee to err, and defroy the way of thy paths. The Lord ftandeth up to plead, and ftandeth to judge the people. The Lord will enter into judgement with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for


ye have eaten up the vineyard; the fpoil of the poor is in your houses. What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? faith the Lord God of hofts."


2. Know for your comfort, that God hath founded Zion. This is a topic of confolation, which is particularly presented unto the poor of his people, and accordingly to be told by the meffengers of the nations, If. xiv. 32. "What fhall one then answer the messengers of the nation ?" (viz. when they are inquiring about the ftate and circumstances of God's Ifrael, in a dark and drumbly day like this). The anfwer is," That the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people fhall truft in it;" i. e. Let it be proclaimed to the world, that he who laid the foundation of Zion, will build her up; and when he doth fo, he will appear in his glory, and his poor prople, however at under, fhall truft in it as an unfhaken truth, that he who founded Zion, will take care of her, and of those who espouse her cause,

3. Know that he who hath the government upon his fhoulder, rules in the midst of his enemies, and has so much of the art of government, that he both can and will bring good out of evil, advantage to his poor people out of things tending to their hurt and prejudice. Jacob's fons confpire against the life of their brother, they fell him into the hands of the Ifhmaelitish merchants; they in all this had no other view but to fatisfy their luft of revenge; however God meant it for good, as was proved by the event.


4. Know that the most dark and cloudy-like difpenfations towards the church and people of God, are in the event found to have been pregnant with love and mercy; he who hath the government upon his fhoulders turns them fo about, as they are made to understand his loving-kindness in all these things.



5. Know for your comfort, that he on whofe fhoulders the government is laid, hath power to provide you with honeft minifters, notwithstanding of all the bars that lie in the way of your being comfortably provided; yea, his power is caft into a promife, that you may act faith upon it, If. xxx. 20. 21. "And though the Lord give you the bread of adverfity, and the wa ter of affliction, yet fhall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes fhall fee thy teachers: and thine ears fhall hear a word behind thee, faying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.", Jer. iii. 15. "I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which fhall feed you with knowledge and understanding." Our great Governor hath the stars in his

right hand, and he calls them forth by name: and therefore "be not afraid, only believe."

But now, to shut up this difcourfe, I fhall, 1. Tell you some of the fecrets of Chrift's government. 2. Offer a few advices to the Lord's people.

First, A few fecrets of Chrift's government with refpect to his people in this world. As,

1. That his public management in providence feems many times to interfere with his promife; as in the cafe of Abraham his being commanded to facrifice his fon, the promise made of the kingdom to David, &c.

2. His acts of government have a light as well as a dark fide. "No affliction for the prefent is joyous, but grievous; but afterwards it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness."

3. There is a pleasant regularity in all his government, however perplexed it may appear unto us; and when the work is done, beauty will arife out of it, as out of the chaos arose a beautiful world.

4. In his adminiftrations he hath long fetches, which we are not able to discover, or fee to the end of at first instance; it is only fome links, and not the full chain of providence, that lies open to us. God must have his own time to finish his work.

5. His adminiftrations many times take very furprising turns; as when Ifrael was brought to the borders of Canaan; and they expecting immediately to enter upon the poffeffion of the promifed land, and yet are fent back to measure the hills of the wildernefs for the fpace of forty years. When the defigns of his adminiftration feem to be brought to the birth, fome new occurrence may caft up, which to our view feems to render all abortive.

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* 6. These acts of his government, which feem to us to portend utter ruin to the church and his kingdom in the world, are found to be the very means for their deliverance and outgate. No fep of providence fo much haftened Jofeph's preferment, as that of his being caft into prifon, and laid under fetters of iron. Ifrael's pinch at the Red fea was the time of the Lord's appearing for their delivery, and the ruin of Pharaoh and his hoft.


Secondly, I conclude with a few advices to the fubjects of Zion, efpecially in this day of trouble, and treading down.




1. Keep the eyes of faith fixed on him who holds the helm; and believe, with an affured faith, that "the Lord doth reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations."He that reigns is" Immanuel, God with us;" not

a God against us, but "with us" or "upon our fide :" Pfal. xlvi. "The Lord of hofts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge; therefore will not we be afraid, though the earth be removed," &c.

2. Keep the promise made to the church in your view, in the midst of the darkest difpenfations; and do not pore fo much upon what is before you in the courfe of providence, as upon the promife; for no man can know God's love or hatred, by what is before him; but the promife is the very picture and immediate product of his infinite mind. David, by poring upon the external conduct of providence, is almost carried down the ftream, to Atheism and irreligion, Pfal. Ixxiii. 13. till he went to the fanctuary, and confulted the oracles of the word.

3. Wait on the Lord, and do not make hafte: "for the Lord is a God of judgement; and bleffed are all they that wait for him; they shall not be ashamed."

4. Laftly, Commit your way to the Lord; even when you walk in the midst of darknefs, truft in the name of the Lord, and stay yourselves upon your God; and fo ye fhall be kept in perfect peace, and integrity and uprightness fhall preserve you. Keep yourselves in the love and fear of God, looking for that bleffed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jefus Chrift, when all the feeming crooks of his government fhall be made even.







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EXOD. XX. 2. 3.—I am the Lord thy God.-Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

SOLOMON fays, "Where the word of a king is, there is power;" what power then must there be, where the word of God is, who is the King of kings, and Lord of lords! Pray, Sirs, notice and confider what is faid, ver. 1. "God fpake all thefe words." This is enough to make heaven and earth to liften with the most profound filence and adoration. If. i. 2. "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath fpoken. The mighty God the Lord hath spoken." And when he fpeaks, he calls the earth from the rising of the fun to the going down thereof" to liften, and therefore, "O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord. God fpake all these words." This is like the founding of a trumpet before the king's proclamation. God fpake all the words of this Bible in a mediate way, by the mouths of his holy prophets and apostles; but here God himself is the immediate fpeaker: furely it must be fome matter of vaft moment, and of the highest importance, when God himself is the preacher. Well, what are the words God fpake in fuch an immediate manner; Anfw. All these words from the 2d verfe of this chapter to the close of ver. 17. And, Sirs, I would have you to remember, that all these words are spoken as directly to you, and to every foul hearing me, as ever they were unto Ifrael; and you and I are to reckon ourfelves no lefs concerned now to hear and regard them, than if

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