« AnteriorContinuar »
With a Preface wherein there is an Address to the Brethren of the Associate Presbytery, anent their late Act for a public Faft.
Written by James ROBE, A. M. Minister of the
Gospel at Kilsyth.
Numb. xii. 23. -According to this time it fall be faid of Jacob, and times were inflicted upon many of them, and might further.
of Israel, What hath God wrought! Luke xvii. 1, 2. —It is impossible but that offences will come: but wo
unto him through whom they come. It were better for him that a milftone were banged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these littlcones.
Things being come to this extremity, it was the Lord's opportunity to glorify his name in a way surprising to us, and peculiar to himself.
We were going on towardly in the way of our heart, notwithstanding a variety of fmiting judgments and alluring mercies; he, in his sovereign mercy and goodness, hath begun to see our ways and heal them, when nothing else could help and prevent our ruin, and we were proof against all other dispensations, he hath visited us with such a difpenfation of his Spirit, as is sufficient to do it, and which we pray that it may, and hope that it shall be general unto the whole church and land. This extraordinary out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, whereby great numbers of secure finners are awakened, and many of these converted, and filled with faith, and more than ordinary peace and joy in believing, appeared first upon the 18th of February last, and continues at Cambuslang a little parish within four miles, South-East of Glafgow. A well attested Narrative of this hath been published.
Blefled be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Chrift, that this fenfible presence and power of the Holy Ghost, hath not been confined to that highly favoured parish: but began to visit us upon the last Sabbath of April laft, being the 25th day of that month, as it did allo soon after in several other congregations lying to the North, North-East and NorthWest of Glasgow. This work fo extraordinary upon the souls of many in these congregations is the same with that at Cambuslang. The method of the Spirit's operation is alike in all these congregations; and the effects of it upon the bodies of the awakened, which have not been so common at other times, are also much the same.
The bodies of some of the awakened are seized
with trembling, fainting, histerisms in fome few
women, and with convulfive-motions in fome others, į arising from that apprehension and fear of the wrath
of God, they are convinced they are under, and liable to because of their fins. They have a quick apprehension of the greatness and dreadfulness of this wrath before they are affected.
These effects upon the bodies of some of the awakened have been objected against this work, by many. And some have not been afraid to ascribe it to the devil, and to traduce the whole as delusion.
As there were the very fame appearances accompanying such an effufion of the Holy Spirit in some of our American colonies; so the fame objections were made against them, which have been made against this appearance of God among us. This hath occafioned the reverend and judicious Mr. Edwards, minifter of the gospel at Northampton in New-England to preach, and publish a fermon upon the diftinguishing marks of a work of the Spirit of God, wherein he satisfyingly answers and takes off the foresaid objections. It would be superfluous and unneceffary to answer apart after him, seeing this fermon hath been oftener than once reprinted in North Bri
tain, and is and will be in as many hands, as any | Other answer probably can, with this advantage, that
by the surprising direction of providence it comes from one in a foreign country, who preached and published it long before this appearance of the Lord in his glory and majesty amongst us.
I cannot however forbear to observe and offer the following remarks to the reader.
First, That there are soine who do not cry out in the congregation, neither have any of the aforesaid bodily seizures, who have been under a law-work for some months, and are, as far as we can know the state of another, favingly converted: and there are others who have been under the severest bodily distress, in whom the work of conviction and conversion, as to the main strokes of them, answer to the former as face to face in a glass. Is it poffible then that any thinking person will conclude that all is delusion with the latter, merely because their bodies were ftrangely disordered, when they were at firft awakened to feel themselves in a state of fin and wrath, seeing there are the very fame inconteftible evidences of the conversion of the laft, as there are of the first.
Secondly, There are few observing persons who have not seen sudden fears, and great
upon worldly grounds, cause faintings, histerick-fits, convulsions, bodily agonies and strugglings. The apostle faith, Wordly forrow worketh death What reason can be assigned, why legal terrors and fears, a strong apprehension of the wrath of God in persons who know not but the sentence of condemnation may be executed upon them immediately, should not have he like effects upon their bodies? especially confidering that the cause and reasons of their fears are incomparably juster and greater. Several of us ministers have long ere now seen persons distracted as Heman was with the terror of God.
Thirdly, There is much reason to conclude that the work of God in converting many in several parishes in the shire of Ayr, and other places of the West from 1625 to 1630 was attended with much the same apperances as this now. It was called the Stewarton sickness by the malignants because of the bodily distress which accompanied it. I shall transcribe the short account which the Author of the falfilling of the scriptures gives of it, page 264. “I must here instance a very folemn, and extraordinary outletting of the Spirit, which about the year 1625 and thereafter was in the West of Scotland, whilst the persecution of the church there, was hot froni the Prelatick party; this by the profane rabble og
that time, was called the Stewarton fickness, for in
that parish first, but after through much of the coun-tible
try, particularly at Irvine, under the ministry of the
famous Mr. Dickson, was most remarkable, where it - bo
can be faid (which divers ministers and christians yet alive can witness) that for a confiderable time,
few fabbaths did pass without some eminently confibie verted, and some convincing proof of the power of
God accompanying his word, yea that many were so choaked and taken
by the heart, that through terror, who the Spirit in such a measure convincing them of fin, upas in hearing of the word, they have been made to fali
over, and thus carried out of the church, who afterpot: ward proved most solid and lively christians; and as Tezfce it was known some of the most gross who used to Itrong mock at religion, being engaged upon the fame that
who went abroad of such things, to go to some of these may be parts where the gospel was then most lively, have t here been effectually reached before their return, with a
visble change following the same; and truly, this ars a great spring-tide which I may so call of the gospel,
was not of a short time, but for some years continuéteda ance, yea, thus like a spreading moor-burn, the power
of godliness did advance from one place to another, de to which put a marvellous lustre on these parts of the Tal country, the favour whereof brought many from other of parts of the land to see the truth of the same.” The muc fimilitude and likeness of this work amongst us unto led to that referred to, seems evident; and can these bodily = of the effects mentioned be just grounds of objection against
now, and not also against the other? Fourthly, It is not to be forgotten, that in New. England where hundreds were affected in their bodies, the same way severals with us are, the most part of these who were thought to be convicted, have continued now for some years to profess serious religion, and to practise it without returning to their former follies. And shall we not hope the fame of
the te f.
ding ar 10