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these converted amongst us, seeing also they have continued for several months or weeks, fince they appeared to be converted, in a desirable way? especially when some parts of the most refined and uncommon morality have been practised by them, of which some instances may be given in the following Narrative.
I forbear to give instances from the holy fcriptures, of things exactly fimiliar to these bodily diftreffes in our case, seeing I have already referred to Mr. Edwards fermons. Only it is surprising, that some reafon, as if they had never read the history in the ad of the Acts, or the Jaylor, or Felix trembling, and of the conversion of the holy apostle Paul; and as if they found in their Bibles positive declarations, that the Lord would never to the end of the world, suffer sinners to cry out, tremble, faint, or fall down aftonished, under a work of conviction, and apprehension of his just and dreadful wrath.
Lastly, I seriously beg of any who are prejudiced against this dispensation of God's extraordinary grace, and look upon it as delusion, that they will shew themselves so charitable and good, as direct me and other ministers what we shall answer distressed perfons of all ages, who come to us, crying bitterly that they are lost and undone, because of unbelief and their other sins. What shall we do to be saved? and as a young girl about twelve, who had been in distress for some time, called for me to a separate place in a house where I was, and asked me, with great sedateness, what shall I do to get Christ? Shall we tell them they are not christless and unconverted, when we evidently fee many of them to be such? Shall we tell them that their fears of the wrath of God is all but. delusion, and that it is no such dreadful thing as they need to be so much afraid of it? Shall we tell persons lamenting their cursing, swearing, fabbath-breaking, and other immoralities, that it is the devil who makes
them now see these evils to be offensive to God, and destructive to their souls? Shall we tell them, who under the greatest uneasiness, enquire at us, what they shall do to get an interest and faith in Jesus Christ, that Satan is deluding them, when they have or thew any concern this way? In fine, fhall we pray and recommend it to them, to pray to deliver them from such deluGons. It would be worse than devilish, to treat the Lord's fighing and groaning prisoners at
And yet such treatment is a natural confequence of reckoning this the work of the devil, and a delusion.
There are only two other objeclions I shall endeavour to take off because they are popular, and have reached even unto us.
The first is taken from the notoriety and observableness of this work. They object that it cannot be the work of the Holy Ghost, and any real true conversion which is so open to public notice, and makes so much noise; for our Lord faith, Luke xvii. 20. The kingdom of God cometh not with observation.
It is matter of wonder, that this objection should have its rise from them, who fhould be able, and careful to look beyond the translation to the original, and if they have, its not consistent with honcfty, to make such an objection, seeing they cannot but know, that the Greek word refers to such earthly pomp, grandeur of equipage, and attendance wherewith earthly kings used to make their public appearances, or as our translators give the word otherwise upon the margin, with outward pow. Beza’s note upon this fcripture, is both fhort and good, and therefore I give the meaning of it rather in his words than my
"The kingdom of God cometh not with obferva'tion, that is, With any outward pomp and shew of 'majesty to be known by: for there were otherwise many plain and evident tokens, whereby men might have understood, that Christ was the Meffias, whose • kingdom was so long looked for: but he speaketh in this place of these signs which the Pharisees • dreamed of, who looked for an earthly kingdom of r the Messias.' Our Lord doth not in the least insinuate that the coming of the kingdom of God in the conversion of Jews and Gentiles was to be filently set up without noise and unobferved, for this would have been contrary to fact. Did not the Spirit's work of conversion at Samaria quickly reach the ears of the church at Jerusalem? Were not the conversions from Paganism to Christianity with observation? Is any notoriously profane and wicked person in any congregation convicted, and his life reformed without obfervation? The remark of the Rev. Mr. Cooper in his preface to Mr. Edwards sermon formerly quoted, is very juft: after mentioning the uncommon appearances accompanying this work: he says, “If it were (not thus the work of the Lord would not be so much * regarded and spoken of; and so God would not have • so much of the glory of it: nor would the work itfelf • be like to speed so fast; for God hath evidently • made use of example and discourse in carrying it
on. May a sovereignly gracious God make his work foon appear to his servants through the whole land, and his glory unto their children. May the heavenly influence, like lightning, fly from congre. gation to congregation, alarming every unconverted finner, and filling their hearts and lips with importunate inquires, . What shall we do to be saved."
The second objection is taken from these called Camizars a part of the barbarously persecuted and oppressed Protestants in France after the revocation of the edict of Nantes. They appeared in the Cevennes, a barren and desert country (it is to be observed that the Associate Presbytery have been so fond of mustering up different kinds of enthusiasts, that in their late act they have instanced the Camizars and Cevennes as different, though they were the same, and called Cevennes from the country where they mostly ap
peared,) there were a number among them who pretended to inspiration, and if the accounts we have of them be genuine, by that inspiration they gave exhortations to repentance, and foretold several things which the event hath proven false. Other things are reported of them that there is reason to believe were fi&ious. Many of them came over to London about and after the year 1702. The history of whom was given in English by one Lacy, which hath been handed about here by some enemies to this work of God. They were under frequent bodily agitations, convul. fons and extraordinary motions, and it is pretended that their case is the same with ours, and seeing they were under delusion, this must be a delusion also.
To satisfy such who have been practised upon: I would have them to observe first, that as those bodily agitations are no evidence of persons being under any operations of the Spirit of God, elfe all the persons under convulsions, cramps, histerisms, &c. would be such: so upon the other hand they are no evidence that these thus affected are under a spirit of delusion; for several of the prophets of old had sometimes extraordinary motions upon their bodies; and many have them in the way of bodily diseases, which phyficians say proceed from natural causes. So that the bodily agitations considered in themselves are no symptoms of persons being under the influence either of a good or bad spirit.
There is the greatest disparity and unlikeness be*tween the case of the Camizars and these affected among us. The Camizars had their bodily agitations from a fupernatural power, as they declare in the foresaid book of Lacy's. The distresses upon the bodies of our people proceed in a natural way, from the great fear of God's wrath, wherewith their minds are seized, because of a state of unbelief they are deeply convinced of. The Camizars pretended inspiration, and if what they declared of themselves be true, they
understood not sometimes what they uttered, neither did they remember it afterwards. were moved and used in speaking, by some supernatural power, without their own will and influence of their natural powers. None of our people ever pretended in the least to inspiration, they give a rational account of themselves, know and remember what they say and do. The Camizars continued many years under their bodily agitations whenever their pretended inspirations seized them, and these did not proceed from any apprehension of the wrath of God due to them because of their fins. Our people are delivered from these bodily diftreffes, which do not return upon them again, when they are delivered from their fears. Among the Camizars their pretended inspired teachers were only affected, and that while they were uttering their revelations. Amongst us only fome of our hearers, who through the power of the Holy Spirit, are by the word convinced of their fin and danger. The exhortations of the Camizars to repentance and amendment of life, were without any mixture of the gospel concerning Jesus Chrift, and the principles, means, and motives to repentance revealed therein. In ours a work of conviction is distinctly carried on to a work of saving conversion in many, according to the doctrine of the gospel, and by the influence thereof.
After this fair stating of the difference between the Camizars and the spiritually diftrefled amongst us, I leave it to the impartial reader to judge whether there is the least shadow of reason to compare this work to the delusion of the Camizars. And if it be not the most unfair dealing to do so in a general way to the stumbling of weak people, while they themselves cannot but know if they looked at all into the history of these people, that there is no such likeness between their case and that of ours as to warrand the objec, tion. There are now, bleffed be the Lord, many