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TO THE REV. MR. HUNTINGTON.
THE request we are going to make, we trust, is under an impression from Him who has left it on record, that when he was upon earth, he prayed to his heavenly Father, not for his disciples then with him alone, but for those also who should in future believe on him through their word; taking into his view, and expressing the love of his heart for, all that his Father had given to him, which were afterwards to appear in the world, down to the last hoof, which is not to be left behind, or the last stone that shall be laid in the building of mercy. We have heard the word this night from your mouth, not as the word of the man who delivered it, but as of God, who, we are well convinced, gave it to you. And, as we know it concerns not us only, but the elect of God at large, and the rising generation that are to succeed us, we wish it to be spread in the present day, and handed down to those whom it may concern when time with us is no more. With this view, having reason to bless our gracious God for condescending so eminently to enlighten, teach, and instruct you, so as to cause you to go not only before us, but before any we have heard or known of, either in the present day or for ages past, we wish you to be at
the trouble to write down, as nearly as you can, the Sermon this evening delivered, and to permit us four to be at the expense of printing and publishing the same; in doing which we believe you will not only oblige and serve us, but thousands besides in the present day, and also unknown numbers of God's children yet unborn. Remembering that light is sown for the righteous, let us not spare some pains and expense to communicate and hand down to others a little of what it pleases God to shew you. We remain,
DISCOVERIES AND CAUTIONS
STREETS OF ZION.
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life; but I will confess his name before my Father, and be fore his angels,"
THE church of Sardis certainly was a type or figure of the church of God in the present day; which appears from the next mentioned church, called that of Philadelphia, having an open door set before the angel of it, which no man can shut, and which shews the universal spread of the gospel, till the earth be filled with the knowledge and glory of God as the waters cover the sea; and when that glorious time shall be over, the last church of the seven will appear, and which will end with the world; for what is said to that church exactly agrees with the account of the wise and foolish virgins in Matt. xxv. when the bridegroom will come, and find professors slumber
ing and sleeping, which is there called, lukewarm in their souls; when he will shut the door, and spew all careless and lifeless professors out of his mouth, they having no abiding place in the bowels of his mercy. Hence he tells the last church of the seven, that he stands at the door and knocks; and, in his account of the last days, he blesses that servant who, when he cometh and knocketh, shall open to him immediately. Moreover when he writes to the Laodiceans he styles himself the Amen, to shew that he then comes to give the finishing stroke both, to the church and to the world. Hence it appears that these seven churches were typical, which seems to be the reason why these seven churches in Asia are written to, and no others; no, not so much as the church at Jerusalem, which was the metropolitan church, and the mother of all the rest; and which in all things had the pre-eminence, by being the mother of Christ, for he was born there, and of her, according to the flesh; and it was she that first trusted in him, and from whom the word and the law came forth to all nations: and yet even she is not named in these epistles, though no doubt but she is included in one of the types; no, nor any church in Africa, nor any in Europe; which shews plainly that they were types of churches which should afterwards appear in the world. And, as Philadelphia prefigures the next glorious appearing of the church, and the universal spread of the gospel in the world, and that of Laodicea agrees with
the Lord's account of his coming to judgment, so the church of Sardis represents the church in our day; and every thing that is said to this church exactly agrees with it in its present state.
In addressing this church Christ styles himself "He that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars." By the seven spirits of God is not meant angels; for it can hardly be thought that angels are joined with God the Father, and with the Lord Jesus Christ, in sending these epistles to the churches, as in chap. i. ver. 4, 5; but the Holy Ghost, with all the fulness of his gifts and graces, is meant; and by the seven stars the seven ministers of the churches, which, like stars, have a little light in them, and which is reflected from Christ; and their being in Christ's hand shews their weakness, and the need of his power to support, protect, and keep them.
"I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." The works that Christ requires are the works of faith, the labours of love, and the patience of hope, performed in his strength, by persons interested in him, and who abide in him, who enforce and defend his truth, who embrace it, hold it fast, and abide by it. All works short of these are dead works, performed by persons dead in trespasses and sins, and under the curse of the law, and the sentence of their own conscience; and, what is most dreadful of all, they are damned by the gospel; it is a savour