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a very few have abused the awakening preaching that has lately been, to so sad an effect as to be the cause of their own temporal death; yet it may be to one such instance, there have been hundreds, yea thousands, that have been saved, by this means, from eternal death.

What has more especially given offence to many, and raised a loud cry against some preachers, as though their conduct were intolerable, is their frighting poor innocent children, with talk of bell fire, and eternal damnation. But if those that complain so loudly of this, really believe, what is the general profession of the country, viz., that all are by nature the children of wrath, and heirs of hell; and that every one that has not been born again, whether he be young or old, is exposed, every momer.t, to eternal destruction, under the wrath of Almighty God; I say, if they really believe this, then such a complaint and cry as this, bewrays a great deal of weakness and inconsideration. As innocent as children seem to be to us, yet, if they are out of Christ, they are not so in God's sight, but are young vipers, and are infinitely more hateful than vipers, and are in a most miserable condition, as well as grown persons; and they are naturally very senseless and stupid, being born as the wild ass's colt, and need much to awaken them. Why should we conceal the truth from them? Will those children that have been dealt tenderly with, in this respect, and lived and died insensible of their misery, until they come to feel it in hell, ever thank parents, and others, for their tenderness, in not letting them know what they were in danger of ? If parents' love towards their children was not blind, it would affect them much more to see their children every day exposed to eternal burnings, and yet senseless, than to see them suffer the distress of that awakening, that is necessary in order to their escape from them, and that tends to their being eternally happy, as the children of God. A child that has a dangerous wound, may need the painful lance, as well as grown persons; and that would be a foolish pity, in such a case, that should hold back the lance, and throw away the life. I have seen the happy effects of dealing plainly, and thoroughly with children, in the concerns of their souls, without sparing them at all, in many instances, and never knew any ill consequences of it in any one instanee.

Another thing, that a great deal has been said against, is having so frequent religious meetings, and spending

so much time in religion. And indeed, there are none of the externals of religion, but what are capable of excess: and I believe it is true, that there has not been a due proportion observed in religion of late. We have placed religion too much in external duties of the first table; we have abounded in religious meetings, and in praying, reading, hearing, singing, and religious conference; and there has not been a proportionable increase of zeal for deeds of charity, and other duties of the second table; though it must be acknowledged that they are also much increased. But yet it appears to me, that this objection of persons spending too much time in religion, has been in the general groundless. Though worldly business must be done, and persons ought not to neglect the business of their particular callings, yet it is to the honor of God, that a people should be so much in outward acts of religion, as to carry in it, a visible, public appearance, of a great engagedness of mind in it, as the main business of life: and especially is it fit, that at such an extraordinary time, when God appears unusually present with a people, in wonderful works of power and mercy, that they should spend more time than usual in religious exercises, to put honor upon that God that is then extraordinarily present, and to seek his face; as it was with the Christian church in Jerusalem, on occasion of that extraordinary pouring out of the Spirit, soon after Christ's ascension, Acts ii. 46: “And they continued daily with one accord, in the temple,


and breaking bread, from house to house.” And so it was at Ephesus, at a time of great outpouring of the Spirit there; the Christians there attended public religious exercises, every day, for two years together, Acts xix. 8, 9, 10: “And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God : but when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way, before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus; and this continued, by the space of iwo years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia, heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.” And as to the grand objection, of six days shalt thou labor, all that can be understood by it, and all that the very objectors themselves understand by it, is that we may follow our secular labors in those six days, that are not the Sabbath, and ought to be diligent in them : not but that sometimes, we may turn from them, even within those six days, to keep a day of fasting, or thanksgiving, or to attend a lecture; and that more frequently or rarely, as God's providence and the state of things shall call us, according to the best judgment of our discretion.

Though secular business, as I said before, ought not to be neglected, yet I cannot see how it can be maintained, that religion ought not to be attended, so as in the least to injure our temporal affairs, on any other principles than those of infidelity. None objects against injuring one temporal affair for the sake of another temporal affair of much greater importance; and therefore, if eternal things are as real as temporal things, and are indeed of infinitely greater imporfance, then why may we not voluntarily suffer, in some measure, in our temporal concerns, while we are seeking eternal riches, and immortal glory? It is looked upon no way improper for a whole nation, to spend considerable time, and much of their outward substance, on some extraordinary temporal occasions, for the sake only of the ceremonies of a public rejoicing; and it would be thought dishonorable to be very exact, about what we spend, or careful lest we injure our estates, on such an occasion: and why should we be exact only with Almighty God, so that it should be a crime to be otherwise than scrupulously careful, lest we injure ourselves in our teniporal interests, or put honor upon him, and seek our own eternal happiness? We should take heed that none of us be in any wise like Judas, who greatly complained of needless expense, and waste of outward substance, to put honor upon Christ, when Mary broke her box, and poured the precious ointment on his head : he had indignation within himself on that account, and cries out, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. Mark xiv. 3, 4, 5, &c., and John xii. 4, 5, &c.

And besides, if the matter be justly considered and examined, I believe it will be found, that the country has lost no time from their temporal affairs, by the late revival of religion, but have rather gained time; and that more time has been saved from frolicking and tavern haunting, idleness, unprofitable visits, vain talk, fruitless pastimes, and needless diversions, than has lately been spent in extraordinary religion ; and probably five times as much has been sayed in persons' estates, at the tavern, and in their apparel, as has been spent by religious meetings.

The great complaint that is made against so much time spent in religion, cannot be in general from a real concern that God may be honored, and his will done, and the best good of men promoted; as is very manifest from this, that now there is a much more earnest and zealous outcry made in the country, against

this extraordinary religion, than was before, against so much time spent in tavern haunting, vain company keeping, night walking, and other things, which wasted both our time and substance, and injured our moral virtue.

The frequent preaching that has lately been, has in a particular manner been objected against as unprofitable and prejudicial. It is objected that when sermons are heard so very often, one sermon tends to thrust out another; so that persons lose the benefit of all: they say two or three sermons in a week is as much as they can remember and digest

. Sucke objections against frequent preaching, if they are not from an enmity against religion, are for want or duty considering the way that sermons usually profit an auditory. The main benefit that is obtained by preaching, is by impression-made upon the mind in the time of it, and not by any effect that arises afterwards by a remembrance of what was delivered. And though an after remembrance of what was heard in a sermon is oftentimes

very profitable; yet, for the most part, that remernbrance is from an impression the words made on the heart in the time of its and the memory profits, as it renews and increases that impression; and a frequent inculcating the more important things of religion in preaching, has no tendency to rase out such impressions, but to increase them, and fix them deeper and deeper in the mind, as is found by experience. It never used to be objected against, that persons, upon the Sabbath, after they have heard two sermons that day, should go home and spend the remaining part of the Sabbath in reading the Scriptures, and printed sermons; which, in proportion as it has a tendency to affect the mind at all, has as much of a tendency to drive out what they have heard, as if they heard another sermon preached. It seems to have been. the practice of the apostles to preach every day in places where they went; yea, though sometimes they continued long in one place, Acts i. 42, and 46, Acts xix. 8, 9, 10. They did not avoid preaching one day, for fear they should thrust out of the minds of their hearers what they had delivered the day before; nor did Christians avoid going every day to hear, for fear of any such bad effect, as is evident by Acts ii. 42, 46.

There are some things in Scripture that seem to signify as much, as that there should be preaching in an extraordinary frequency, at the time when God should be about to introduce that flourishing state of religion that should be in the latter days; as that in Isa. Ixii. at the beginning : "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, for Jerusalem's sake, I will not rest; until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof, as a lamp that burneth : and the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory.” And ver. 5, 6, "For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace, day nor night.” The destruction of the city of Jericho, is evidently, in all its circumstances, intended by God, as a great type of the overthrow of Satan's kingdom; the priests blowing with trumpets at that time, represents ministers preaching the gospel ; the people compassed the city seren days, the priests blowing the trumpets; but when the day was come that the walls of the city were to fall, the priests were more frequent and abundant in blowing their trumpets; there was as much done in one day then, as had been done in seven days before ; they compassed the city seven times that day, blowing their trumpets, until at length it come to one long and perpetual blast, and then the walls of the city fell down flat. The extraordinary preaching that shall be at the beginning of that glorious jubilee of the church, is represented by the extraordinary sounding of trumpets, throughout the land of Canaan, at

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the beginning of the year of jubilee; and by the reading of the law, before all Israel, in the year of release, at the feast of tabernacles. And the crowing of the cock, at break of day, which brought Peter to repentance, seems to me to be intended to signify, the awakening of God's church out of their lethargy, wherein they had denied their Lord, by the extraordinary preaching of the gospel, that shall be at the dawning of the day of the church's light and glory. And there seems at this day to be an uncommon hand of divine Providence, in animating, enabling, and upholding some ministers in such abundant labors.

Another thing wherein I think some ministers have been injured, is in being very much blamed for making so much of outcries, faintings, and other bodily effects ; speaking of them as tokens of the presence of God, and arguments of the success of preaching; seeming to strive to their utmost to bring a congregation to that pass, and seeming to rejoce in it, yea, even blessing God for it, when they see these effects.

Concerning this I would observe, in the first place, that there are many things, with respect to cryings out, falling down, &c., that are charged on ministers, that they are not guilty of. Some would have it, that they speak of these things as certain evidences of a work of the Spirit of God on the hearts of their hearers, or that they esteem these bodily effects themselves to be the work of God, as though the Spirit of God took hold of, and agitated the bodies of men ; and some are charged with making these things essential, and supposing that persons cannot be converted without them ; whereas I never yet could see the person that held either of these things.

But for speaking of such effects as probable tokens of God's presence, and arguments of the success of preaching, it seems to me they are not to be blamed; because I think they are so indeed: and therefore when I see them excited by preaching the important truths of God's word, urged and enforced by proper arguments and motives, or are consequent on other means that are good, I do not scruple to speak of them, and to rejoice in them, and bless God for them as such; and that for this (as I think) good reason, viz., that from time to time, upon proper inquiry and examination, and observation of the consequence and rruits, I have found that these are alt evidences that persons in whom these effects appear, are under the influences of God's Spirit, in such cases. Cryings out, in such a manner, and with such circumstances, as I have seen them from time to time, is as much an evidence to me, of the general cause it proceeds from, as language : I have learned the meaning of it, the same way that persons learn the meaning of language, viz., by use and experience. I confess that when I see a great crying out in a congregation, in the manner that I have seen it, when those things are held forth to them that are worthy of their being greatly affected by, Igrejoice in it, much more than merely in an appearance of solemn attention, and a show of affection by weeping; and that because when there have been those outcries, I have found from time to time, a much greater and more excellent effect. To rejoice that the work of God is carried on calmly, without much ado, is in effect to rejoice that it is carried on with less power, or that there is not so much of the influence of God's Spirit: for though the degree of the influence of the Spirit of God, on particular persons, is by no means to be judged df by the degree of external appearances, because of the different constitution, tempers, and circumstances of men; yet if there be a very powerful influence of the Spirit of God on a mixed multitude, it will cause some way or other, a great visible commotion.

And as to ministers aiming at such effects, and striving by all means to bring a congregation to that pass, that there should be such an uproar among

them; I suppose none aim at it any otherwise, than as they strive to raise the affections of their hearers to such a height, as very often appears in these effects; and if it be so, that those affections are commonly good, and it be found by experience that such a degree of them commonly has a good effect, I think they are to be justified in so doing.

Again, some ministers have been blamed for keeping persons together, that have been under great affections, which have appeared in such extraordinary outward manifestations. Many think this promotes confusion, that persons in such circumstances do but discompose each other's minds, and disturb the minds of others; and that therefore it is best they should be dispersed, and that when any in a congregation are strongly seized, so that they cannot forbear outward manifestations of it, they shculd be removed that others' rninds may not be diverted.

But I cannot but think that those that thus object go upon quite wrong notions of things: for though persons ought to take heed that they do not make an ado without necessity; for this will be the way in time, to have such appearSances lose all their effect; yet the unavoidable manifestations of strong religious affections tend to a happy influence on the minds of bystanders, and are found by experience to have an excellent and durable effect; and so to contrive and order things, that others may have opportunity and advantage to observe them, has been found to be blessed, as a great means to promote the work of God; and to prevent their being in the way of observation, is to prevent the effect of that, which God makes use of, as a principal means of carrying on his work, at such an extraordinary time, viz., example; which is often spoken of in Scripture, as one of the chief means by which God would carry on his work, in the time of the prosperity of religion in the latter days: I have mentioned some texts already to this purpose, in what I published before, of the marks of a work of the true Spirit ; but would here mention some others. In Zech. ix. 15, 16, those that in the latter days should be filled in an extraordinary manner, with the Holy Spirit, so as to appear in outward manifestations, and making a noise, are spoken of as those that God, in these uncommon circumstances, will set up to the view of others, as a prize or ensign, by their example and the excellency of their attainments, to animate and draw others, as men gather about an ensign, and run for a prize, a crown and precious jewels, set up in their view. The words are: 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 croun, lifted up as an ensign upon his land. (But I shall have occasion to say something more of this Scripture afterwards.) Those that make the objection I am upon, instead of suffering this prize or ensign to-be in public view, are for having it removed, and hid in some corner. To the like purpose is that, Isa. lxii

. 3, " Thou shalt be a crown of glory in the band of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” Here it is observable, that it is not said, thou shalt be a crown upon the head, but in the hand of the Lord; i. e., held forth, in thy beauty and excellency, as a prize, to be bestowed upon others that shall behold thee, and be animated by the brightness and lustre which God shall endow thee with. The great influence of the example of God's people, in their bright and excellent attainments, to propagate religion, in those days, is further signified, in Isa. lx. 3, “ And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” With ver. 22, “A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation.” And Zech. x. 8, 9, “And they shall increase as they have increased ; and I will sow them among

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