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the people.” And Hos. ii. 23, “And I will sow her unto me in the earth.” So Jer. xxxi. 27. Another thing that gives great disgust to many, is the disposition that persons show, under great affections, to speak so much, and with such earnestness and vehemence, to be setting forth the greatness and wonderfulness and importance of divine and eternal things; and to be so passionately warning, inviting and entreating others. Concerning, which I would say, that I am far from thinking that such a disposition should be wholly without any limits or regulation (as I shall more vo particularly show afterwards); I believe some have erred, in setting no bounds, and indulging and encouraging SDOSltion W. nd of
"Festraint or direction : but yet. It S at such a disposition i oral, is aS cripture will justify. Those that are . at
such things, as o they were unreasonable, are not just : upon examination it will probably be found, that they have one rule of reasoning about temporal things, and another about spiritual things—They would not at all wonder, if a person on some very great and affecting occasion, of extraordinary danger or great joy, that eminently and immediately concerns him and others, is disposed to speak much, and with great earnestness, especially to those to whom he is united, in the bonds of dear affection, and great concern for their good. And therefore, if they were just, why would not they allow it in spiritual things? And much more in them, agreeably to the vastly greater importance, and more affecting nature of spiritual things, and the concern which true religion causes in men's minds for the good of others, and the disposition it gives and excites to speak God's praises, to show forth his infinite glory, and talk of all his glorious perfections and works 4 That a very great sense, of the right kind, of the importance of the things of religion, and the danger sinners are in, should sometimes cause an almost insuperable disposition to speak and warn others, is agreeable to Jer, vi. 10, 11: “To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. . Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in; I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of the young men together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days.” And that true Christians, when they come to be as it were waked out of sleep, and to be filled with a sweet and joyful sense of the excellent things of religion, by the preaching of the gospel, or by other means of grace, should be disposed to be much in speaking of divine . though before they were dumb, is agreeable to what Christ says to his church, Cant. vii. 9: “And the roof of thy mouth is like the best wine, for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.” The roof of the church’s mouth, is the officers in the church, that preach the gospel; their word is to Christ's beloved, like the best wine, that goes down o extraordinarily refreshing and enlivening the saints, causing them to speak, though before they were mute and asleep. It is said by some that the people that are the subjects of this work, when they get together, talking loudly and earnestly, in their pretended great joys, several in a room, talking at the same time, make a noise just like a company of drunken persons. On which I would observe, that it is foretold that God's people should do so, in that forementioned place, Zech. ix. 15, 16, 17, which I shall now take more particular notice of: the words are as follows: “The Lord of hosts shall defend them; and they shall Wol. III 44
devour and subdue with sling-stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise, as through wine, and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar: and the Lord their God shall save them in that day, as the flock of his people; for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up, as an ensign, upon his land: for how great is his goodness! And how great is his beauty : Corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.” The words are very ... here it is foretold, that at the time when Christ shall set up a universal kingdom upon earth (ver. 20), the children of Zion shall drink, until they are filled like the vessels of the sanctuary: and if we would know what they shall be thus filled with, the prophecy does, in effect, explain itself: they shall be filled, as the vessels of the sanctuary that contained the drink offering, which was wine; and yet the words imply, that it shall not literally be wine that they shall drink, and be filled with, because it is said, they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine, as if they had drank wine: which implies that they had not literally done it; and therefore we must understand the words, that they shall drink into that, and be filled with that, which the wine of the drink ...; represented, or was a type of, which is the Holy Spirit, as well as the blood of Christ, that new wine that is drunk in our heavenly Father's kingdom: they shall be filled with the Spirit, which the apostle sets in opposition to a being drunk with wine, Eph. v. 18. This is the new wine spoken of, ver. 17. It is the same with that best wine spoken of in Canticles, that goes down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. It is here foretold, that the children of Zion, in the latter days, should be filled with that which should make them cheerful, and cause them to make a noise as through wine, and by which these joyful happy persons that are thus filled, shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon God's land, bein made joyful, in the extraordinary manifestations of the beauty and love o Christ: as it follows, How great is his goodness / And how great is his beauty 2 And it is further remarkable that it is here foretold, that it should be thus especially amongst young people: Corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids. It would be ridiculous to understand this of literal bread and wine: without doubt, the same spiritual blessings are signified by bread and wine here, which were represented by Melchizedeck's bread and wine, and are signified by the bread and wine in the Lord's supper. One of the marginal readings is, shall make the young men to speak, which is agreeable to that in Canticles, of the best wine's causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. We ought not to be, in any measure, like the unbelieving Jews in Christ's time, who were disgusted both with crying out with distress, and with joyWhen the poor blind man cried out,"before all the multitude, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me, and continued instantly thus doing, the multitude rebuked him, and charged him that he should hold his tongue, Mark x. 46,47, 48, and Luke xviii. 38, 39. They looked upon it to be a very indecent noise that he made; a thing very ill becoming him to cause his voice to be heard, so much, and so loud, among the multitude. And when Christ made his solemn and triumphant entry into Jerusalem (which, I have before observed, was at of the glory and triumph of the latter days), the whole multitude of the disciples, of all sorts, especially young people, began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest ' The Pharisees said to Christ, Master, rebuke thy disciples. #. did not understand such great transports of joy; it seemed to them a very unsuitable
and indecent noise and clamor that they made, a confused uproar, many crying out together, as though they were out of their wits; they wondered that Christ
would tolerate it. But what says Christ .#######. #o. as much, as that there w i.e. enough to constrain those whose hearts were #####.
thing like that other expression, of causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
When many under great religious affections, are earnestly speaking together, of divine wonders, in various parts of a company, to those that are next to them; some attending to what one says, and others to another, there is something very beautiful in it, provided they do not speak so many as to drown each other's voices, that none can hear what any say; there is a greater and more affectin appearance of a joint engagedness of heart, in the love and praises of §. And I had rather see it, than to see one speaking alone, and all attending to what he says; it has more of the appearance of conversation. When a multitude meet on any occasion of temporal rejoicing, freely and cheerfully to converse together, they are not wont to observe the ceremony of but one speaking at a time, while all the rest, in a formal manner, set themselves to attend to what he says ; that would spoil all conversation, and turn it into the formality of set speeches, and the solemnity of preaching. It is better for lay persons, when they speak one to another of the things of God, when they meet together, to speak after the manner of Christian conversation, than to observe the formality of but one speaking at a time, the whole multitude silently and solemnly attending to what he says; which would carry in it too much of the air, of the authority and . of preaching. What the apostle says, 1 Cor. xiv. 29, 30, 31, “Let the prophets speak, two or three, and let the other judge: if any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace: for ye may all prophesy, one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.” I say, this does not reach this case; because what the apostle is speaking of is the solemnity of their religious exercises, in public worship, and persons speaking in the church, by immediate inspiration, and in the use of the gift of prophesy, or some gift of inspiration, in the exercise of which they acted as extraordinary ministers of Christ.
Another thing that some have found fault with, is abounding so much in singing, in religious meetings. Objecting against such a thing as this seems to arsofrom a suspicion already established of this work: they doubt of the pretended extraordinary love and joys that attend this work, and so find fault #######"...o.o.o. i8C âû extraordinary degree of divine love, and heavenly rejoicing in God
suppose they would not wonder at their having a disposition to be much i
praise. They will not object against the saints and angels in heaven singing praises and hallelujahs to God, without ceasing, day or night; and therefore doubtless will allow that the more the saints on earth are like them in their dispositions, the more they will be disposed to do like them.. They will readily own that the generality of Christians have great reason to be ashamed that they have so little thankfulness, and are no more in praising God, whom they have such infinite cause to praise. And why therefore should Christians be found fault with, for showing a disposition to be much in praising God, and manifesting a delight in that heavenly exercise? To complain of this, is to be too much like the Pharisees, who were disgusted when the multitude of the disciples began to rejoice, and, with loud voices to praise God, and cry Hosanna, j. Christ was entering into Jerusalem.
There are many things in Scripture that seem to intimate, that praising God, both in speeches and songs, will be what the church of God will very much abound in, in the approaching glorious day. So on the seventh day of compassing the walls of Jericho, when the priests blew with the trumpets, in an extraordinary manner, the people shouted with a great shout, and the wall of the city fell down flat. So the ark was brought back from its banishment, with extraordinary shouting and singing of the whole congregation of Israel. And the places in the prophecies of Scripture, that signify that the church of God, in that glorious jubilee that is foretold, shall greatly abound in singing and shouting forth the praises of God, are too many to be mentioned. And there will be cause enough for it: I believe it will be a time wherein both heaven and earth will be much more full of joy and praise, than ever they
were before. o found fault with in the singing that. is now practised, is making u lymns of human composure. And I am far from thinking that the USOKOTPslams should BEThrown by in our public wor
ship, but that it should always be used in the Christian church, to the end of the world: but I know of no obligation we are under to confine ourselves to it. I can find no command or rule of God's word, that does any more confine us to the words of the Scripture in our singing, than it does in our praying; we .."...o.o.o.o.o. to such particular forms of words, that we find in the Bible, in speaking to him by way of praise, in metre, and with music, thān when we speak to him in prose, by way of prayer and supplicatios. it-i needful that we should have some other songs besides the psalms of David: it is unreasonable to suppose that the Christian church, should forever, and even in times of her greatest light in her praises of God and the Lamb, be confined only to the words of the Old Testament, wherein all the greatest and most glorious things of the gospel, that are infinitely the greatest subjects of her praise, are spoken of under a vail, and not so much as the name of our glorious Redeemer, ever mentioned, but in some dark figure, or as hid under the name of some type. And as to our making use of the words of others, and not those that are conceived by ourselves, it is no more than we do in all our public prayers; the whole yo, assembly, excepting one only, makes use of the words, that are conceived by him that speaks for the rest. Another thing that many have disliked, is the religious meetings of children, to read and pray together, and perform religious exercises by themselves. What is objected is children's want of that knowledge and discretion, that is requisite, in order to a decent and profitable management of religious exercises. But it appears to me the objection is not sufficient: children, as they have the nature of men, are inclined to society; and those of them that are capable of society one with another, are j. of the influences of the Spirit of God, in its active fruits; and if they are inclined by a religious disposition, that they have from the Spirit of God, to improve their society one with another, in a religious manner, and to religious purposes, who should forbid them? If they have not discretion to observe method in their religious performances, or to speak sense in all that they say in prayer, they may notwithstanding have a good meaning, and God understands them, and it does not spoil or interrupt their devotion one for another. We that are grown persons, have defects in our prayers, that are a thousand times worse in the sight of God, and are a greater , confusion, and more absurd nonsense in his eyes, than their childish indiscretions. ere is not so much difference before God, between children and grown perons, as we are ready to imagine; we are all poor, ignorant, foolish babes, in
Showing what things are to be corrected or avoided, in promoting this Work, or in our behavior under it.
HAVING thus observed, in some instances, wherein the conduct of those that have appeared to be the subjects of this work, or have been zealous to promote it, has been objected against, or complained of, without or beyond just cause, I proceed now,
II. To show what things ought to be corrected or avoided.
Many that are zealous for this glorious work of God, are heartily sick of the great noise there is in the country, about imprudences and disorders: they have heard it so often from the mouths of opposers that they are prejudiced agai the sound; and they look upon it that that which is called a being prudent and regular, which is so much insisted on, is no other than being asleep, or cold and dead in religion, and that the great imprudence that is so much cried out of, is only a being alive, and engaged in the things of God: and they are therefore rather confirmed in any practice, than brought off from it, by the clamor they