Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

bas received the true religion of the old continent; the church of ancient times
tras deel there, and Christ is from thence: but that there may be an equality,
and inasmuch as that continent has crucified Christ, they shall not have the
honor of communicating religion in its most glorious state to us, but we to.
them.
The old continent has been the source and original of mankind, in several

23 respects. The first parents of mankind dwelt there; and there dwelt Noah and his sons; and there the second Adam was born, and was crucified and rose again : and it is probable that, in some measure to balance these things, the most glorious renovation of the world shall originate from the new continent, and the church of God in that repect be from hence. And so it is probable that that will come to pass in spirituals, that has in temporals, with respect to America; that whereas till of late, the world was supplied with its silver and gold and earthly treasures from the old continent, now it is supplied chiefly from the new, so the course of things in spiritual respects will be in like manner turned.

And it is worthy to be noted that America was discovered about the time of the reformation, or but little before: which reformation was the first thing that God did towards the glorious renovation of the world, after it had sunk into the depths of darkness and ruin, under the great antichristian apostasy. So that as soon as this new world is (as it were) created, and stands forth in view, God presently goes about doing some great thing to make way for the introduction of the church's latter day glory, that is to have its first seat in, and is to take its rise from that new world.

It is agreeable to God's manner of working, when he accomplishes any glorious work in the world, to introduce a new and more excellent state of his church, to begin his work where his church had not been till then, and where was no foundation already laid, that the power of God might be the more conspicuous; that the work might appear to be entirely God's, and be more manifestly a creation out of nothing; agreeably to Hos. i. 10 : “ And it shall come to pass that in the place where it was said unto them, ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, ye are the sons of the living God." When God is about to turn the earth into a Paradise, he does not begin his work where There is some good growth already, but in a wilderness, where nothing grows, and nothing is to be seen but dry sand and barren rocks; that the light may shine out of darkness, and the world be replenished from emptiness, and the earth watered by springs from a droughty desert ; agreeably to many prophecies of Scripture, as Isa. xxxii. 15: "Until the Spirit be poured from on high, and the wilderness become a fruitful field.” And chap. xli. 18," I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water: I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle and oil tree: I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together;" and chap. xliü. 20, “ I will give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.” And many other parallel Scriptures might be mentioned.

I observed before, that when God is about to do some great work for his church his manner is to begin at the lower end; so when he is about to renew the whole habitable earth, it is probable that he will begin in this utmost, meanest, youngest and weakest part of it, where the church of God has been planted last of all, and so the first shall be last, and the last first; and that will be fulfilled in an eminent manner in Isa. xxiv. 16, “ From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous.”

[graphic]

There are several things that seem to me to argue, that when the Sun af Righteousness, the sun of the new heavens and new earth, comes to rise, and comes forth as the bridegroom of his church, rejoicing as a strong man to run his race, having his going forth from the end of heaven, and his circuit to the end of it, that nothing may be hid from the light and heat of it,* that the sun shall rise in the west, contrary to the course of this world, or the course of things in the old heavens and eartă. The course of God's providence shall in that day be so wonderfully altered in many respects, that God will as it were change the course of nature, in answer to the prayers of his church; as God changed the course of nature, and caused the sun to go from the West to the East, when Hezekiah was healed, and God promised to do such great things for his church, to deliver it out of the hand of the king of Assyria, by that mighty slaughter by the angel ; which is often used by the prophet Isaiah, as a type of the glorious deliverance of the church from her enemics in the latter days: the resurrection of Hezekiah, the king and captain of the church (as he is called 2 Kings xx. 5), as it were from the dead, is given as an earnest of the church's resurrection and salvation, Isa. xxxviii. 6, and is a type of the resurrection of Christ. At the same time there is a resurrection of the sun, or coming back and rising again from the west, whither it had gone down; which is also a type of the Sun of Righteousness. The sun was brought back ten degrees ; which probably brought it to the meridian. The Sun of Righteousness has long been going down from east to west; and probably when the time comes of the church's deliverance from her enemies, so often typified by the Assyrians, the light will rise in the west, until it shines through the world, like the sun in its meridian brightness.

The same seems also to be represented by the course of the waters of the sanctuary, Ezek. xlvii., which was from west to east; which waters undoubtedly represent the Holy Spirit, in the progress of his saving influences, in the latter ages of the world: for it is manifest that the whole of those last chapters of Ezekiel, are concerning the glorious state of the church that shall then be.

And if we may suppose that this glorious work of God shall begin in any pert of America, I think if we consider the circumstances of the settlement or New England, it must needs appear the most likely of all American colonies to be the place whence this work shall principally take its rise.

And if these things are so, it gives more abundant reason to hope that what is now seen in America, and especially in New England, may prove the dawn of that glorious day: and the very uncommon and wonderful circumstances and events of this work, seem to me strongly to argue that God intends it as the beginning or forerunner of something vastly great.

I have thus long insisted on this point, because if these things are so, it greatly manifests how much it behooves us to encourage and promote this work, and how dangerous it will be to forbear so to do.

It is very dangerous for God's professing people to lie still, and not to come to the help of the Lord, whenever he remarkably pours out his Spirit, to carry on the work of redemption in the application of it; but above all when he comes forth in that last and greatest outpouring of his Spirit, to introduce that happy day of God's power and salvation, so often spoken of. That is especially the appointed season of the application of the redemption of Christ: it is

[graphic]

* It is evident that the Holy Spirit, in those expressions in Psal. xix. 4, 5, and 6 verses, has respecto to something else besides the natural sun; and that an eye is had to the Sun of Righteonsness, that by his light converts the soul, makes wise the simple, enlightens the eyes, and rejoices the heart; and by his preached gospel enlightens and warms the world of mankind. By the Psalmist's own application verse 7, and the apostle's application of verse 4, in Rom. x. 18.

[graphic]

ously built

boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and to rejoice before the Lord Their God: which represents the flourishing, beautiful, pleasant state the church shall be in, rejoicing in God's grace and love, triumphing over all her enemies, at the time typified by this feast

. The tabernacle of God was first set up among the children of Israel, at the time of the feast of tabernacles; but in that glorious time of the Christian church, God will above all cther times set up bis tabernacle amongst men. Rev. xxi. 3, " And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” The world is supposed to have been created about the time of the year wherein the feast of tabernacles was appointed; so in that glorious time, God will create a new heaven and a new earth. The temple of Solomon was dedicated at the time of the feast of tabernacles, when God descended in a pillar of cloud, and dwelt in the temple; so at this happy time the temple of God shall be glori

up in the world, and God shall in a wonderful manner come down from heaven to dwell with his church. Christ is supposed to have been bom at the feast of tabernacles; so at the commencement of that glorious day, Christ shall be born; then above all other times shall the Woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, that is in travail, and pained to be delivered, bring forth her son to rule all nations, Rev. xii. at the beginning. The feast of tabernacles was the last feast that Israel had in the whole year, before the face of the earth was destroyed by the winter; presently after the rejoicings of that feast were past, a tempestuous season began. Acts xxvii. 9, “ Šailing was now dangerous because the feast was now already past.” So this great feast of the Christian church will be the last feast she shall have on earth: soon after it is past this lower world will be destroyed. At the feast of tabernacles, Israel left their houses to dwell in booths or green tents, which signifies the great weanedness of God's people from the world, as pilgrims and strangers on the earth, and their great joy therein. Israel were prepared for the feast of tabernacles, by the feast of trumpets, and the day of atonement both on the same month; so way shall be made for the joy of the church of God, in its glorious state on earth, by the extraordinary preaching of the gospel, and deep repentance and humiliation for past sins, and the great and long continued deadness and carnality of the visible church. Christ at the great feast of tabernacles, stood in Jerusalem, and cried, saying, If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink : he that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters : signifying the extraordinary freedom and riches of divine grace towards sinners, at that day, and the extraordinary measures of the Holy Spirit that shall be then given; agreeable to Rev. xxi. 6, and xxii. 17.

It is threatened here in this 14th chapter of Zech. that those who at that time shall not come to keep this feast; i. e., that shall not acknowledge God's glorious works, and praise his name, and rejoice with his people, but should stand at a distance, as unbelieving and disaffected; upon them shall be no rain ; and that this shall be the plague wherewith they shall all be smitten ; that is, they shall have no share in that shower of divine blessing that shall then descend on the earth, that spiritual rain spoken of, Isa. lxiv. 3. But God would give them over to hardness of heart and blindness of mind.

The curse is yet in a more awful manner denounced against such as shall appear as opposers at that time, ver. 12: “And this shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord shall smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem, their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in

their mouth.” Here also in all probability it is a spiritual judgment, or a plague and curse from God upon the soul, rather than upon the body, that is intended; that such persons, who at that time shall oppose God's people in his work, shall in an extraordinary manner be given over to a state of spiritual death and ruin, that they shall remarkably appear dead while alive, and shall be as walking rotten corpses, while they go about amongst men.

The great danger of not joining with God's people at that glorious day is also represented, Isa. Ix. 12: "For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.”

Most of the great temporal deliverances that were wrought for Israel of old, as divines and expositors observe, were typical of the great spiritual works of God for the salvation of men's souls, and the deliverance and prosperity of his church, in the days of the gospel; and especially did they represent that greatest of all deliverances of God's church, and chief of God's works, of actual salvation, that shall be in the latter days; which as has been observed is above all others, the appointed time, and proper season of actual redemption of men's souls. But it may be observed that if any appeared to oppose God's work in those great temporal deliverances; or if there were any of his professing people, that on such occasions lay still, and stood at a distance, and did not arise and acknowledge God in his work, and appear to promote it ; it was what in a remarkable manner incensed God's anger, and brought his curse upon such persons.

So when God wrought that great work of bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt (which was a type of God's delivering his church out of the spiritual Egypt, at the time of the fall of Antichrist, as is evident by Rev. xi. 8, and xv. 3). How highly did God resent it, when the Amalekites appeared as opposers in that affair! And how dreadfully did he curse them for it! Exod. xvii. 14, 15, 16, “ And the Lord said unto Moses, write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua ; for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah Nissi; for he said, because the Lord will have war with Amalek, from generation to generation.” And accordingly we find that God remembered it a long time after, 1 Sam. xv. 3. And how highly did God resent it in the Moabites and Ammonites, that they did not lend a helping hand, and encourage and promote the affair ! Deut. xxiii. 3, 4, “ An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation, shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord forever; because they met you not with bread and with water, in the way when ye came forth out of Egypt." And how were the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh threatened if they did not and help their brethren in their wars against the Canaanites, Deut. xxxii. 20, 21, 22, 23: “ And Moses said unto them, if ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the Lord to war, and will go all of you armed over Jordan, before the Lord, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, and the land be subdued before the Lord, then afterward ye shall return and be guiltless before the Lord, and before Israel, and this land shall be your possession before the Lord: but if ye will not do so, behold ye have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.”

That was a glorious work of God that he wrought for Israel, when he delivered them from the Canaanites, by the hand of Deborah and Barak: almost every thing about it showed a remarkable hand of God. It was a prophetess, one immediately inspired by God, that called the people to the battle, and con

« FöregåendeFortsätt »