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In the ensuing treatise, I condemn ministers assuming, or taking too much upon them, and appearing as though they supposed that they were the persons,
to whom it especially belonged ol. ; but perhaps shall o: to be very guilty of it myself: and some, when they read this
treatise, may be ready to say that I condemn this in others, that I may have Y - eel
the monopoly of it. I confess that I have t
to express my thoughts, concerning almost everything appertaining to the wonderful-w rod, that has of Tate been carried on in the land, and to declare what has appeared to me to be the mind of God concerning the duty and obligations of all sorts of persons, and even those that are my superiors and fathers, ministers of the gospel, and civil rulers. But yet I o: liberty I have taken is not greater than can be justified. In this
ion, such liberty of the press wed, that every author takes leave, , ,
ou é, freely to speak his opinion concerning the management of ‘ public affairs, and the duty of the legislature, and those that are at the head of the mistration; astly his superiors. As now at this day, private subj Offer their sentiments to the public, from the press, con
cerning the management of the war with Spain; freely declaring what they É. to be the duty of the Parliament, and the principal ministers of state, &c. We in New England are at this day engaged in a more important war: and I am sure, if we consider the sad jangling and con
usion that has attended it, we shall confess that it is highly requisite that somebody should speak his mind, concerning the wa ; ; it ought tö be managed; and that not only a few of the many particulars, that are the matter of strife in the land, should be debated, on the one side and the other, in pamphlets (as has of late been done with heat and fierceness enough); which does not tend to bring the contention in general to an end, but rather to inflame it, and increase the uproar. But that something should be published, to bring the affair in general, and the many things that attend it, that are the subjects of debate, under a particular consideration. And certainly it is high time that this was done. If private persons may speak
their minds without arrogance; much more may a minister of the kingdom so "A o
cern the interest of the kingdom of his Lord and master, at so important "
of Christ speak freely about things of this nature, which do so nearly con
a juncture. If some elder minister had ‘indertaken this, I acknowledge it would have been more proper; but I have heard of no such thing a doing, or like to be done. I hope therefore I shall be excused for undertaking such a piece of work. I think nothing that I have said can justly be interpreted, as though I would impose my thoughts upon any, or did not suppose that others have equal right to think for themselves, with myself. We are not accountable one to another for our thoughts; but we must all give an
account to him who searches our hearts, and has doubtless his eye especially
upon us at such an extraordinary season as this. If I have well confirmed my
opinion concerning this work, and the way in which it should be acknowledged and promoted, with Scripture and reason, I hope others that read it o. it, as a manifestation of the mind and will of God. If others would hold forth further light to me in any of these particulars, I hope I should thankfully receive it. I think I have been made in some measure sensible, and much more of late than formerly, of my need of more wisdom
...than I have. I make it my rule to lay hold of light and embrace it, wherever I see it, forth by a child or an enemy. If I have assumed
too much in the following discourse, and have spoken in a manner that savors
of a spirit of pride, no wonder that others can better discern it than I myself.
If it be so I ask pardon, and beg the prayers of every Christian reader, that I
may have more light, humility and zeal; and that I may be favored with such
measures of the divine Spirit, as a minister of the gospel stands in need of, at such an extraordinary season.
REVIVAL OF RELIGION
NEW E N G L AND.
- P A RT I. ŠHowing THAT THE EXTRAORDINARY WORK THAT HAs of LATE BEEN GOING ON IN THIS LAND, Is A GLORIOUS WoRk of God. * "THE error of those who have had ill thoughts of the great religious operations on the minds of men, that have been carried on of late in New England (sôTar as the ground of such an error has been in the understanding, and not in the to seems fundamentally to lie in three things: Eirst. In judging of this work a priori Secondly. In not taking the holy Scriptures as a whole rule whereby to judge bf such operations. irdly. In not iustly separating and distinguishing the good from the bad. Ldo; have greatly # in the way in which they have gone about to try this work, whether it be a work of the Spirit of God or no, viz., in judging of it to priori; from the way that it began, the instruments that have been employed, the means that have been made use of, and the methods that have been taken and succeeded, in carrying it on. Whereas, if we duly consider the .
matter, it will evidently appear that *...*.*.*.*.*.*.*::::::::/ but a posteriori : we are to observe the effect wrought; and if, upon examina-o tion of it. It be found to be ###########". .######". and shall be like to be rebuked of our ######: so to do till God shall explain to us how he has brought this effect to pass, or why he has made use of such and such means in doing of it. Those texts are enough to cause us with trembling to forbear such away of proceeding in judging of a work of God's Spirit:*ś “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel ? And who instructed him, and who taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding 7" John iii. 8, “The wind bloweth where it listeth; and thou hearest the sound thereof; but cânst not tell whence it cometh, and whith
er it goeth.” We hear the sound, we perceive the from thence we judge that the wi inde ; without waiting, before we pass this judgment, first to be satisfied what should be the cause of the wind's blowing
from such a part of the heavens, and how it should come to pass that it should blow in such a manner, at such a time. To judge a priori, is a wrong way of judging of any of the works of God. We are not to resolve that we will first be satisfied how God brought this or the other effect to pass, and why he hath
made it thus, or why it has pleased him to take such a course, and to use such 2nd such means, before we will ge his w ive him the of it. This is too much for the clay to take upon it with respect to the Poito. God gives not account of his matters: his judgments are a great deep; he hath his way in the sea, and his path in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known; and who shall teach God knowledge, or enjoin him his way, or say unto him, what doestthou? We know not what is the way of the Spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so we know not the works of God, who maketh all. No wonder, therefore, if those that go this forbidden way to work, in judging of the present wonderful operation, are perplexed and confounded. We ought to take heed that we do not expose ourselves to the calamity of those who pried into the ark of God, when God mercifully returned it to Israel, after it had departed from them. ndeed God has not taken that course, nor made use of those means, to us great work, which men in their wisdöm, wo ave
ut it appea rought like himself, in the manner
of his carrying on this work; so as very much to : and exalt
his own sovereignty, power, and all-sufficiency, and pour contemption all that TSTrust, and to glory III; ant- , rebuke, and c Fide and Other corruptions Osmen; in a fü fit of that, Isa. ii.
the TOTimes of man shals be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shain. made low, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.” God doth thus, in
ntermingling in his providence so many stumbling-blocks with this wors; in suffering so much of human weakness and infirmity to appear; and in ordering so
many things that are mysterious to men's wisdom: in pouring out his Spirit o and bestowing his greatestand highestfavors upon them, admitting them nearer to himselfthan the great, the honorable, therich, and the learned, agreeable to that prophecy, Zech. xii. 7, "The Lord also shals save
The sents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David, and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, do not magnify themselves against Judah.” Those ...that dwelt in the tents of Judah were the common people, that dwelt in the country, and were of inferior rank. The inhabitants of Jerusalem were their citizens, their men of wealth and figure: and Jerusalem also was the chief place of the habitation or resort of their priests, and Levites, and their officers and judges; there sat the great Sanhedrim. The house of David were the highest rank of all, the royal family, and the great men that were round about the king. It is evident by the context that this prophecy has respect to something further than the saving the people out of the Babylonish captivity. God in this work has begun at the lower end, and he has mad o: -- hat ave been chiefly improved, some of them have been mere babes in age and standing, and some of them, such as have not been soligh IITsputation among their fellows as many others; and God has suffered their infirmities to appearin the sight of others, so as much to displease them; and at the same time it has pleased God to improve them, and greatly to succeed them, while he has not so succeeded others that are generally reputed vastly their superiors. Yea, there is reason to think that it has pleased God to make use of the infirmities and sins of some that he has improved and succeeded; as particularly their imprudent and rash zeal, and censorious spirit, to chastise the deadness, negligence, earthly mindedness, and vanity, that have been found amongministers, in the o:
times of general declension and deadness, wherein wise virgins and foolish, ministers and people have sunk into such a deep sleep. These things in ministers of the gospel, that go forth as the ambassadors of Christ, and have the care of immortal souls, are extremely abominable to God; vastly more hateful in his ño. and intemperate heats, wildness, and distraction (as some call it) of these zealous preachers. A supiñécarelessness, and a vain, carnat: spirit, in a ministér of the gosposis the worst madness and distraction in the sight of God. God may also make use at this day, of the unchristian censoriousness of some preachers, the more to humble and purify some of his own children and true servants, that have been wrongfully censured, to fit” th r more eminent service, and future honor that he designs them for. ILAnother foundation error of those that do not acknowledge the divinity is work, is taking the Holy Scripture as a whole, and in itself a sufficient rule to judge of such things by. They that have one certain consistent rule to judge by, are like to come to some clear determination; but they that have half a dozen different rules to make the thing they would judge of agree to, no wonder that instead of justly and clearly determining, they do but perplex and darken themselves and others. They that would learn the true measure of anything, and will have many different measures to try it by, and find in it a conformity to, have a task that they will not accomplish. Those that I am speaking of will indeed make some use of Scripture, so far as they think it serves their turn; but do not make use of it alone as a rule sufficient by itself, but make as much, and a great deal more use of other things, diverse and wide from it, to judge of this work by. As particularly, 1. Some make philosophy, instead of the Holy Scriptures, their rule of vo judging of this work; particularly the philosophical notions they entertain of the nature of the soul, its faculties and affections. Some are ready to say, “There is but little sober, solid religion in this work: it is little else but flash. and Höß-Religion now-a-days alsruns out into transports and high flights of the passions and affections.” In their philosophy, the affections of the soul are something diverse from the will, and not appertaining to the nobless part of the , but #. Inganest principles that it has, that belong to man, as partaking of animal nature, and what he has in common with the brute creation, rather than *: thin is conformed to angels and pure spirits. And though ey acknowledge that a good use may be made of the affections in o . they suppose that the substantial part of religion does not consist in th that they are rather to be looked upon as somethi entitious and But I cannot but think that these gentlemen labor under great mistakes, both in their philosophy and divinity. It is true, distinction must be made in affections or passions. There is a great deal of difference in high and raised
affections, which must be disti ill of the observer. Some are nuch moreso th here are many exercises of the affections that are
very flashy, and little to be depended-on; and oftentimes there is a great deal that appertains to them, or rather that is the effect of them, o has its seat in apimal-nature, and is very much owing to the constitution and fome of the boy; and that which sometimes more especially obtains the name of passion, is nothing solid or substantial. But it is false philosophy to suppose this to be the case with all exercises of affectioni - igh affections; and
false divini *substance and essence of Christianity: on the contrary, it seems to me that the very life and soul of all true religion consists in them. V. - - , no o,' \\