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upon the advice and apprehensions of the best of peor. ple as to what may be lin or duty in matters that be. long not to their station; for the promise of the Spirit's teaching belongs not to them as to what may be the duty of the minister's station; therefor,
2. It is safer to desire the help of their prayers, that God may according to his promise clear us, or discover to us what is duty, than to learn them to ftep out of their ftations, and advise in things that belong not to them.
3. In consulting with others for light, regard would be had to the different talents of men, and most regard should be had in matters of soul exercise, to those whom the Lord has fitted with endowments that way; In matters of government, most regard should be had to those whom the Lord has fitted that way.
4. In judging if such are likliest to know the Lord's mind, who walk the most clony, we would consider, when we judge of the clofsness of walk, not only what mens walk is, but what their temptations are ; for one's walk may be much influenc'd that way, and grace may be more in one in whom it appears not so much, than in others who appear to have more, when the one's grace is continually tried with floods of temptations plunging on it, and the other's is free. ::
Observe, Ministers for most part are more shaken about the truths of religion, and the foundations, than about their own state ; people more about their state than about the truths of religion. Ministers are helped to clear people, as to what they are straitned about and people are, or may be helpful to ministers in what they are in the dark about. Thus they mutually ex. cell, and are excelled ; to bumble both, and keep both in their stations.
To find Duty in Doubtfull Cafés.
I was much refreshed with somewhat that oceur'd clearing up a doubt to me, when at a stand which way to chose.
1. There is ever a byass to one way or other.
2. Seek to get that remov'd, and cry that God may bring your heart to an equal willingness to take cither, or neither way.
3. When this is attainid to, than use reason, and take the most feasible way; and,
4. Cry to him that he may put 2 stop, if ye be out of the road.'
5. If the Lord afford light in any other particular way, use it ; but mind to seek light soberly, use it tenderly, and be wary in the application of it.
Of legal Preaching..., ' I faw the evil of legal preaching, which lies in one of two things or in both; 1. In laying too much Stress upon the works of the law, our duties and strength : Or, 2. In pressing evangelical doctrines without an eye to that which is the spring of the church's edification, the spirit of the Lord, Some press to duties, so that they seem to think, that their reasonings are able to enforce a compliance ; or at least, they do not take care to keep up upon themselves and hearers, both a constant sense of the contrary, in order to engage in eagerness in dependance upon the spirit of the Lord; This is legal preaching: 0 Lord, thou knows how much of it is in this poor church The gospel's glory is, that it is the ministration of the spirit : The great privilege of believers is, that the Lord manifests himfelf to them, as he does not to the
world. When he manifests his authority in the com; i mand, 'tis then powerful : When he manifests his ..
goodness and truth in the promise, 'tis full of sweete ness : When he manifests his wrath in the threatning, it awes the foul : When he manifests his glory in the face of Christ, 'tis ravishing, reforming, atfracting
Atheism the root of Sin., Two things I shall note, i. The Lord gave me a
sweet discovery this day in lecture, of the atheilm of the hearts of men in rejecting the word (notwithstanding there are moe, and more evident prints of God on it, than on all his other works of creation) because they cannot get through some difficulties in it; whereas there are many moe difficulties in the works of God: The light whereby this was set home and illustrated in particular instances, was sweet. 2. Some days ago, reading Exod. ix. and x. chapters, and finding this, that ye may know that I am God, frequently repeated, and else where in places in. numerable, as the end of God's manifefting himself in bis word and works; I observe from it, that ache. ifra is deeply rooted even in the Lord's people, seeing they need.to be taught this so much.
That it is a high attainment in reli. . Deut. iv. 35. gion to win to know that God is the Lord;
and to believe that all fin is resolvable in darkness and unbelief as to this one point, that God is the Lord, and consequently, that all fin is re. ducible to atheism.
That the great difficulty which the whole of the divine revelation grapples with, is Atheism ; and that its struggle is to recover man to his first impresfions of a God: This one point comprehends the whole of man's recovery; as Atheism the whole of man's apostacy.
· The Lord saw mcet to bring him through many fharp trials, and to keep him under much soul exer
cife in the vicissitudes of discouraging damps, and refreshing revivals upon his own fpirit; that in his ministerial station he might from his own experience be the more capable of dealing suitably with others, according to their various cases and conditions : H¢ also studied much a closs acquaintance with his own ftate and frame, and was observant of the Lord's gracious dealings with him, as may be gathered from the following short hints.
July 20, 1702; The Lord, about this time, giving some what of a revival from a long deadness I think myself concern'd to notice the means by which i obtain'd this benefit ; and, : 1. It was signally promoted by converse with lively Christians : As iron Sharpreth iron, To a man Tharpneth the countenance of his friend, Prov xxvii,
2: By some heavy strokes laid on me, the Lord did challen me, and, in some measure, teach me out of his law."
3: By terrible providences with respect unto the publick, the Lord did awaken me. in some measure Awake sleeper, call on the name of thy God. Jonah. i. 6.
4. The Lord providentially brought unto my hands fome papers, containing the exercise of some poted Christians wherein I saw how far short I was of others, and also not a few of the causes of my fadly wither'd and decayed case : For this shall every godly one pray unto thee in a time when thou mayeft be found, Plalm xxxii. 6. . ..
5. By some discovery of the vanity of my sweetest enjoyments : Therefor. I will go and return unto my first husoand; for then it was better with me than now, Hof. ii, 7. i
6. By leading me to some subjects which I choosid for others, wherein my own case was also remarkabiy touch'd, the Lord did in some measure awaken me":
Thus while with David, I heard only a parable at first, I was quickly told in the end, that I was the man.
March 11, 1705, This day I preached on my or. dinary, I was far out of order ; Lord fity and mine on me : At night I was somewhat refreshed in family worship, In meditation on my case, I saw unbelief to be the root of all my misery, and was broken on account of it; I cry'd to the Lord for relief against it, and that he inight manifest himself to my soul: Lord hear. I was much griev'd with this, that in a time when so many strange evils abound, there would be such a strange stupidity on my spirit, that I could not mourn for the dishonour done to God; I cry'd for a fpirit of supplication and repentance.
April 7th, 1 7055 I was niuch disorder'd in body this day, and in little case for any work through in. disposition, till towards seven at night, and then I was a little relieved, as to bodily disorder, and began to think of preparing for the sabbath; and bowing my knees to prayer, I was full of perplexity, the Lord hid himself, my spirit was like to sink, I complained, and my Spirit was overwhelm’d. I got no relief till after I had made some preparation for the work of the fabbath, and then my spirit was refreshed with that scripture, Heb. x. 19, 20. Having therefor, ! brethren, boldnefs to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he hath con. fecrated for us through the vail, that is to say, his fejh ; which I a little explain’d in my fermon : Hereby I found my mind compos'd ; but, О that it were with me as in months past! . .
His Case for Jome Time.
1 body, till towards night, then I began to muse :: on the state of matters betwixt God and ny foul, and