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not noticed this? 2. The Lord leaves not himself without a witness, ev'n in the bosom of his enemies, whereby he makes them feign submission; he gives the word such power as makes them feel that it is his, which tends to enhanse their guilt.
2. All who were thus convinc'd, did declare, that any awakenings ever they had, were either under the preachers in the field, or since the revolution. This, whatever may become of the ministers, is a testi- mony to their way, and says, that they are called of God.
3. The most judicious and ingrain'd malignants, did most frankly declare to me, that till the revolu- * tion, they were never touch'd with the word, there was never one that said he was touch'd by the curates but on the contrary, all declared otherwise, and the most zealous that way, were inost frank in making undesired confessions by the plain evidence of truth.
; . . 4. There has not been one presbyterian minister in the parish since the revolution, whom the Lord has not honoured to awaken many ; besides their being helped to beget some through the gospel to a new and lively hope, I conversed with some of whom I have reason to hope good things, even things that accompany salvation, that seem to have been brought in by all the presbyterian ministers, who were there thele fifty years bygone.
5. I observe, for which I bless the Lord, that befides not a few, whom the Lord has awakened under my ministry, some there are who seem to promise more than flowers even fruit. And further a general acknowlegement from moit, that the word comes near them daily. Which 1. Makes me alham'd of my own negligence• 2. Adore God's goodness that blesses my weak labours notwithstanding. 3. Encourages me to think that whatever may be amiss, yet I have not run undent.
6. I observe, that it is very hard to judge of the competency of knowlege, in order to admiflion. And,
7. That knowing people,estrang!d from the power of religion, are in the most deplorable condition imaginable ; for I found it almost impossible to get such brought to any sense of their case.
His ministerial concern was not confined to his parish of Ceres, but did extend itself to the whole church : And the consideration of abounding errors and profaneness of the time, did fill his heart with heavy and perplexing thoughts ; as may be observed fron the following hints.
Queft. What is the duty that's in a special manner called for from this church in this day?
Anfw. 1. Mourning; 'tis a day of abominations.
2. A serious endeavour to be rooted, and establish. ed in the truths of religion ; for there is an aim to deItroy the foundations; and temptations to final and total apostacy abound. ; . 3. A hining gospel walk as a testimony against the horrid profanity of the time. • Herein 0 ! That I might get my soul continually, exercised. Blessed shall he be at this day who, when the Lord comes, shall be found so employed. A fad neglect of those, gives ground to fear terrible Things, : One reason, why the gospel is so unsuccessful at this day is, because the simplicity of preaching is neg. lected, a due application of feripture is best preaching, for confirming which it is remarkable, that though God may make use of the words of man in letting into the meaning of it, yet 'tis the very scripture word, whereby he ordinarly conveys the comfort or advantage of whatever fort, 'tis this tool of God's own fram. ing that works the effect. " ..
At another time he faith, having considered the growth of error, my heart is affected and filled with
many heavy and perplexing thoughts : I saw, and daily see more and more the growth of Arminian, Pelagian and Socinian errors ; this with the growth of Profanity that's visible, gives me a sad prospect of what may be a coming. This observation that follows was strangely fix'd upon my thought.
1. The gospel truth when fisit published, was pure without the mixture of errors, Yet,
2. When it spread a little, errors quickly were vented to discredit it.
3. Errors in process of time grew; and the further off from the first times of the gospel, the further off from the simplicity and purity.
4. When christianity obtain'd external establishment in the world, then there was a remarkable increase of error.
5. Superstition and error at length overspread, and the Lord must both punish and purge.
6. The way he took to do both, was to give up in the 6th century to a general apostacy, under Muhomet in the east, and the Pope in the west: Thus all these errors, as it were, run into one, or run together : That thus the churches were sufficiently punished by thele two dreadful plagues ; and that there was a purgation by them is plain, in that after the reformation, truth broke out with a beaming lustre and much purity : Since that time error has had a second growth; whether the Lord may not take the same method of purging us again by casting all into the furnace, we cannot tell ; we must leave it to himself.
Some of the followers of Mrs Bourignion having come into his parish, and endeavouring to propogate their opinions under the plausible pretext of singular piety and devotion; he thought fit to guard his people against that infection; a short account whereof he gives in the following words. April 201., 1707, This day the Lord directed to
Atraike strike at the root of prevailing delusions: In oppofition to which I taught.
1. That true holinels will not admit of leaving out of some duties, and that the devotees, while they withdrew from the world, omitted, 1. A testimony to the usefulness of the Lord's institutions of worship., 2. Usefulness among men. 3 Diligence in their particular calling.
2. That hotiness consists not in a strict obfervance of fulf devised rules, such as many of theirs are,
3. That when men pretend to holiness in their walk, and neglect the institutions of worship; then none can conclude, that in any thing they are influenced by the authority of the Lord Jesus ; for that same authority binds to the one as well as the other.
4. That the most effectual inducement to obedience, is a constant improvement of the blood of Christ by faith, and a sense of forgiveness kept upon the soul, Lord bear home truth,
CH A P. IV.
pecially with respect unto his own exercise and
Concerning times of Trial.
Oncerning fears of falling in times of trial, I
was much assaulted, and was quieted with the following remarks,
1. These fears of this which disquiet are a part of that thoughtfulness for futurity which is forbid. den.
2. These fears are bottom'd on many wild suppofitions, as that I fould have strength proportioned) to trials before they come, unto trials that may ne
se fears are bat have strengtis that may her
ver come: That 'they that live upon the promises have not a sure botrom, etc.
3. That in 2 Cor. i. ). We have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we may not trust in ourselves, was quieting. But, i
4. My great relief was that which has been my life that promise, i Cor.x. 13. There hath no temp• tation taken you, but such as is common to man: ! But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be , tempted above that ye are able; but will with the • temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may ! be able to bear it;' 'Tis no what I have that makes me promise or expect throw-bearance, but what is in Christ and in the promises.
Of Eternity and Immortality. T Had some strugglings about the belief of eternity 1 and immortality ; but was very much quicted, I. By a clear view that eternity was wrapt up and imply'd in every truth of religion. 2. Especially by much light accompanying that scripture, Wherefor hast thou made all men in vain ? Psalm. lxxxix. 47. If there be not eternity, man answers no valuable purpole with respect to God, or with respect to himself; and so is indeed made in vain : This did more establish my soul than ever it had been in this truth, which let me see how soon God can make un belief give back, and give peace in believing,
Of Ministers consulting People in Ministerial Duties. V Hile I had occasion to speak and hear of some
V minifters, their being swayed much by the advice of good people, in dark steps of their ministeri. ·al work, I was fatisfied in the evident clearness of
the following rules, '!, That it is very dangerous to lay too much stress