« AnteriorContinuar »
son to make him the instrument of that extraordinary work at Cambusang, Kilsyth and other places, but to ascribe it, 'under God, to the ministry of their own · worthy pastors, whom God made instrumental both to begin and carry on that work a good time before Mr Whitefield came to preach at any of these places. But feeing God had honoured Mr Whitefield's ministry in other nations and countries (though ordained a minifter of the church of England) and also had opened his eyes so far, as to become Calvinist and found in the doctrine of grace, and to witness against several cor. ruptions of the English church, for which he was persecuted and under process, and seeing he had conform. ed to us in doctrine and worship, profeffed to lye open to instruction as to our constitution and government, and was come at length to affert openly “ Christ to be the King and Head of his church, and that the church of Scotland was the best constitute national church in the world;" and also had wrote and faid some other things that gave ground to hope that his eyes might soon be opened to see the evil of Prelacy; and in the mean time he was most indefatigable in preaching Christ to finners, and remarkably owned of God in his ministry: To have refused a kind reception to a stran. ger and perfecuted man, in such circumstances, when he came among us, had neither been charitable nor gene, rous. Now, for the brethren to make this reception such a fin, that none can be admitted to baptism or the Lord's fupper without condemņing it by a folemn oath, is most surprising ; especially considering they were the first themselves who recommended him to the people of Scotland, and that in very strong terms ! Surely it becomes us to be filent, and adore the sovereignty of the great God, in employing whom he will to promote his interest and kingdom in the world. If God think fit to make use of Mr Whitefield or other Methodifts, to turn finners from their evil ways, to feek after à Saviour, and God through him, we thould not oppofe it, but let them alone, left haply we be found fighting again God We must not limit an Agent, that is infinitely wise and fovereign, in his glory from what churches and
focieties he pleases, and sometimes glorifies his free grace the more by bringing them from those airths it could have been least expected. And frequently God doth honour and employ fome to awaken, convince, convert and reclaim finners from their evil ways, who yet remain unenlightned all their days a3 to several points of truth themselves : witness Luther and many of our reformers. To confine an infinitely sovereign Lord to our ways and means of working in advancing his kingdom, is a sin most grieving and provoking unto God. He makes it one of his greatest quarrels with his professing people in the wilderness, that “ they tempted God, and limited the holy One of Israel," Pfal. lxxviii. 41. It is fit then that we lay our hands upon our mouths, and adore him that, “ doth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth : And none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what dost thou ?” Dan. iv. 35.
I doubt not but some may quarrel me and this Teftis mony, for making too free with the Associate Brethren: but they may see I have been as plain and free with others, and even with the established church, relating to things I judge wrong; and this seemed to be necera sary to render the Testimony the more impartial. But, after all, when I look inward, and view the sins of my own heart, and the sad corruption of my nature, besides outward defects ; I have reason to blush and be alhamed to take notice of the sins and failings of oo thers; and even to ly in the dust, and cry, Unclean, un. clean; and with much felf abhorence to look to towards the blood of Jesus, that cleansech us from all fin. May the holy Spirit åpply it to me and the whole land!
I shall now conclude with niy earnest wishes and prayers, that the Lord may excite a praying remnant, to wrestle and be importunate with him for sparing mercy to these guilty nations ; and that he would revive a covenanted work of reformation through Britain and Ireland, and thę dominions thereto belonging, from which these lands have wofully departed; and uphold and en. courage all who breathe after reformation, and the com. ing of Christ's kingdom in the world, and even counte. 2 S2
nance more and more those instruments who, according to the light given them, labour with earneftness to awaken perilhing finners from their loft natural estate, to flee to a crucified Jesus for safety from fin and wrath ; and, wherein any of them remain unenlightned, that the Lord would send out his light and truth, to lead them, and graciously deliver them from all mistakes, er. rors and corruptions whatsoever : That what they fee not, the Father of lights may teach them, that so they may be honoured more and more to bring multitudes from following sinful courses, to the ways of true religion and gospel holiness; and from resting on their own righteousness, or a form of godliness, to come and embrace him who is the Lord our righteousness, and fol. low him whithersoever he goeth.” .
And particularly, “ That the Lord would come and revive his work in Scotland, that once was famous through all the churches, and esteemed one of the most bright and shining Candlesticks of Christ in the world, but now under a lamentable decay of zeal for pure religion and reformation, and that he would caufe us remember with godly sorrow from whence we have fallen, repent, and do our first works. That he would pity those who, Gallio-like, are indifferent and unconcerned about our defections, and the grounds of the Lord's controversy which he is pleading with the land, and awaken those who are at ease in Zion, in such a time, and would fain fit down, Isachar-like, and couch under the burden. That he would come suddenly to his · temple, even in a national way, and Git as a Refiner and
Purifier of silver, and purify the sons of Levi, and cast out buyers and sellers cut of his house. That he would in mercy shut that door whereby a corrupt ministry enters into the church, and raise up a faithful, zealous and reforming ministry through the land, and make all ranks among us concerned to attain to the reforming spirits and difpofitions of our fathers. Oh!, when ihall we come their length in reformation !
“ That the Lord would help us to bless him for his astonishing kindness to this land, in such a backsliding, withering and decaying time, in vouchsafing to water
evard here hat he wore whole
several spots of his vineyard here and there with the refreshing rain of his fpirit: And that he would continue, increase, and spread the shower, until the whole gar. den be watered ; that so our dry ground may become a green pasture, and our wilderness blossom as the rose. That in his free mercy he would forgive our great ingratitude for former kindness, preserve us from the errors, power and cruelty of Papists, and avert these black clouds of wrath which now threaten us; and that, instead of pouring out the vials of indignation on us which we deserve, he would pour out a spirit of repen. tance and reformation upon all degrees of men, from the highest to the lowest. That amidst the reelings, shakings, backslidings and divisions of these times, he would preserve pure religion, and support all those who who desire to cleave to the Lord Jesus, love him in line cerity, and witness for his truths and ways. That he would encourage them under all their discouragements, and keep them from being carried down the stream of defection with others. That he would unite the hearts and minds of all that defire honestly to witness against the evils of the day, and help them to temper their zeal with knowledge, wisdom, and meekness; and graciously forgive all those who fail in this respect, rectify their mistakes, and honour them to be instruments of his glory in the land." This is and shall be the earnest .prayer of
Jo. WILLISON. July 9th, 1744.
This Adherence to this Testimony was signed at Hefpielhaw in Teviotdale, on the 26th of July 1747, by
. Tho. HARDIE, Elder.
END OF THE ACT AND TESTIMONT,