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Thus doth the faithfull Watchman of Israel take heed to him selfand to his doctrine; to himself and to his flock, as the Shepberds to whom the Angel appeared, giving them notice of the birth of Chrit:They kept watch by night because of their flock:
Blessed is that servant, whom the Master when he cometh Shall finde so doing:
3. His patient expectation. I will set me upon the tower, and will watch to fee. - God doth not alwayes reveale himself and his will co his Minifter, he must tarry Gods leasure and wait his times. sii Sometimes God doch wichdraw his light from the Minister, for the punishment of the people, and will not let him fee a dan ger that is coming that he may chasten the sins of his people with the rods of men.
Sometime he doth shut up the door of utterance, and will not let chem give warning of the wrath to come to punish their sin.
Therefore Saint Paul willeth the Ephesians, Praying always, Eph 6,18, with all manner of supplication for all men, and for me that ntte. 19
rance may be given me.
Beloved; we watch for you, we pray for you, we preach to you; whilst we stand upon these towers to give you warning pray. you for us that God would be pleased to make us fufficient for
this holy service. 171. A&$15,40
When Paul and Silas went to preach, They were commended of the brethren to the grace of God; pray the Lord of the harvest, ut mittat operarios, that he would dend forch labourers. n.
We do not stand uponchefe Towers to keep watch for our felves only, but for you; and whenfoever we come into a Pulpit,
your thoughts must be ready to lay to us as Cornelius did to De AA.10.33.ter, Now therefore we are all here present before God, to bear all
things that are commanded thee of God.
feed my sheep, feed my lambs?' Heb. 13. : Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit your felves,
for they watch for your souls, as those that must give account.
Wonder not at our infirmities, and do not make the worst of our weaknesse; for we stand upon the Tower, and suffer many
a blast which cometh not neare you.
No fort of men lye to open to Satans force and fury as we do; he vexeth us with all his stormes.
When Joshua stood before the Angel of the Lord to receive his Commission, Saran stood at his right hand to resist him.
Zech.3. 1. He desired to winnow Peter.
God lent the angel of Satan co bufter Paul : When Christ lived a private life, liccle is said of him : but so soone as he was baptized, and entred into the execution of his ministry, he was tempeed of Satan in the wildernesse forty dayes together.
It was the policy of the King of Aram to bend all his forces Reg. 22. against the Captains of the Lords Army. We are not able of our selves to think any thing as of our felves,
2 Gor.3.5. all our (ufficiency is of God who bath made us able Mixisters.
6. Therefore whilft we attend the opening to us of the whole counsel of God, we have great need of your prayers, that we faint not in our expectation, that we shrink not in the execution of our duty For through God only we are mighty.
2 Cor.jo.4 I conclude this point in the Apostles words of exhortation, feeing we stand upon the Tower and keep watch, till God will put a word into our mouths;
You also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift be-Cor.I. ftowed upon tis, by the means of many persons; thanks may be given by many on our behalf
. The Apostle doch confeffe that our gifts are bestowed on us by the mcans of many persons, by the prayers and supplications of many of Gods good fervanes.
Therefore that we may stand it out in all weathers, that we be not idle and drowsie in our warch, that we may be full of the Strength of God to do the work of Evangelists, pray you to God without ceasing for us.
For we have many discouragements, and standing fo high up- i on the Tower, we have many eyes upon us; and Satan on our right hand ro refift us, and the world on the left hand to tempt us; and the great difficulty of our service and employment in the Church to dishearten us: yer andiam quid loquatur Deus,yet I will hear what God will say to me.
4, His holy care in his office, It is not to study what his own brains will suggest, but to hear what God will say to him : for this is
Dignus vindice nodus, a knot worth the loosing. Many observing the state of the Church, and seeing the best men on earth fufter moft, and posleffe least; and beholding the wicked and ungodly gather all, live in peace of ihe world, in fulnelle, heaping up riches, rising to honours , and having the monopoly of this ute present, have staggered in the faith of Gods providence.
Davids feet upon this slippery ground bad well-nigh Nipt,
and there were some that profelled it Mal.3. 14 It is in vaine to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept
his Ordinance ?
And now we call the proud happy, pea they that work wickednefe are see mp, yea they that tempt God are delivered.
Therefore it is high time for the Prophet to seek his information and light from God himself...
The light of humane reason cannot penetrate this chick cloud, David confeffech Yo much, the sweet singer of Ifrael could hoti hit upon this tune, for he law bow prosperoufly every thing fucceeded with the ungodly of the earth.
when I thought to know this, it was too painful for me, Pf.73.16. Until I went to the Sanktmary of God then understood I their end. Verl. 27
Which teachech uşin these great deeps of the wisdom of God, not to resolve any thing out of humane reason, but to consult God himself, and to hearken what he will say to the matter, to Speak after him, and follow bim.
Our experience telleth us that there hath been much oppolition, much injustice here in our land, that the Common-wealth groaned under the burthen thereof..
The wayes of God are not like our wayes; did not God sec this ? did not the cry of the poor and the oppresled go up to him, even to his ears? is he not come down to visit the crans grefforsand to take the matter into his own audience; even now in the cool of the day he is come at last to keep a Sessions, and Lo search Jerufalem with a candle and lanthorn; now his eye. Jids do begin co try the fons of men, and the joyful Church and Common-wealth cry to him, saying,
Gird thy Sword upon rhy thigh o moft mighry, wirbthy glory andıhy PC.45 3. majesty,
And in thy Majesty ride prosperously, because of truth and Verl. 4. meeknesse and righteousnesse, and the right hand shall teach thee?;" terrible things.
2. His instruction of others.
That is the use of our study and labour in our Ministry.
This second part of our daty the Prophet had now specialufe of; for che Church foreseeing the fearful judgements of God upon the Jews, did argue the matter with the Prophet, and all thofe former grievances they objected as arguments against Gods Government of his Church.
The Prophet holdeth the foundation, and feekech to inform himself, how he may be able to maintain the fame against opposition and strife of tongues. "?
Docemur, We are taught. In the Church of
God chere will be ever some that will argue Do&t. and dispute against God.
1. Becaure men are first taught by the wisedome of the world, Realis. and that is enmity with God.
This proceeds from our original pravity of nature, corrupe in the first derivance from our Parents, which albeit it bath the seasoning of the Law of God written in the heart, yet the law of the members, which is contrary to the law of God, doth prevaile against that law, and leadeth us captive unito sin.
2. Because as the Apostle faith,for wbohath known the mind of ihe Lord? Ignorance of the ways of God doth breed in ús many linie Real.2. fer opinions as we find in David in this very cafe for he confesfech
Rom, 11.34 that the prosperity of the Wicked troubled him, till he went into the house of God; there he learned the mind of God, and then he was well facisfied:
Even this Prophet knew nor how to answer them that would
argue with him against God, till he had called to account and
dispuced the matter with him. Reason 3. 3. Because the Apostle faith of the Ele&t, For we walk byfaith, 2 Cor.5.7 and not by fight.
Now in many of Gods chosen the light and sense is full, the faich is weak and imperfect, and when we come to hear of the equal Jultice of God in punishing sinners, and feel the smart of bis rod upon the Church, it is an hard matter to assure the heart by believing against that which is suffered in feeling.
Because Solomon saith, God hath made man upright, but they Eccl.7.29 have fought many inventions : for su rely, the equal and constant
ways of God, are luspected by the unequal and inconstant iavencions of men, who in favour of themselves, spare not to cast the afflictions of the Church rather upon the will of God, of which they are not able to give the reason, then upon the evil deservings
of their own (ins. Vse 1. I. The Minister must learn of the Prophet, to apply himself to
the remedy of chis inconvenience, to maintain the cause of God against all contradition and strife of tongues; for as we are the Peoples Oratours to plead their cause with God, fu are we Gods Oracours to defend him against the corrupt and perverse cedfures of men, by proclaiming his constant Justice, and Wisdome, and truth, and by teaching them; as the Psalmist faith, He will not suffer kis truth to faile.
We need not strain our selues much for this; for wisedome will be justified of her children, and he whom we defend against the calumniations of prophane, or against the distrustfulnelie of the ignorant and weak, will fill our mouths with arguments in
his own defence, Iob. 13: 7. 7ob faith to his friends, Will ye speak wickedly of God, and talk
deceitfully for him ? The Caule of God is an upright Causezwe shall not need to be put to our shifts, co defend him against the dispute and arguing of men.
Its enough that we rest in this principle of undeniable truth,S6 rely God is juft, there is no unrighteousnes with him;.as Abraham,
That be far from thee to do ufter this manner, to pay the righte: Gen, 18.
ous with the wicked, and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be farre from thee? mall not the judge of all the earth do righe