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These are the works, to which our text especially refers. When John saw the seven angels, having the seven vials of plagues, which were last to be poured on the earth, before the commencement of the glorious state of the church, then he heard the saints, who had gotten the victory over their enemies, singing this song-Just and true are thy ways-great and marvellous are thy works, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy. All nations shall worship before thee; for thy judgements are made manifest.

The church has, in all ages, been the object of God's peculiar care. Amidst all the revolutions, and all the corruptions, which have been in the world, this has been supported, and in it the knowledge of the true religion has been preserved.

When all flesh had corrupted God's way on the earth, Noah was found righteous; and he, with his household, was saved in that general deluge, which destroyed the rest of the human race.

Afterward, when idolatry had almost overspread the world, Abraham was called forth from among his kindred, that in his family the worship of the true God might be maintained. His posterity, when they were exposed to extinction by a famine, were miraculously preserved by a call to settle in Egypt. Here, for several generations, they were kept a distinct people, and then delivered by a mighty hand, and formed into a national and ecclesiastical state in the land of Canaan.

With a view to the maintenance of religion, God, for several hundreds of years, supported and defended this people, to whom he had committed his oracles; while other nations were destroyed, and the remembrance of them blotted cut from under heaven.

When their iniquities were grown so great, that God gave them up to the power of the king of Baby.

lon, still they were the objects of his providential care. While other captivated nations were lost among their conquering enemies, the Jews remained distinct; and, after a captivity of seventy years, were restored to their country, and reinstated in their privileges.

To make way for their return, a surprising revolution takes place in Babylon. This monarchy, which had long been the scourge and terror of other nations, becomes subject to the Persian power; and Cyrus, a just and benevolent prince, being exalted to the throne, proclaims liberty to the Jews, and encourages and assists them in rebuilding their ancient city and temple. Amidst all the changes of the great empires of the world, this small people were strangely preserved. And though they were always hated, and often conquered, they were never totally destroyed.

No reason can be assigned, why they were thus distinguished, but because God would not blot out the knowledge of the true religion from the world, nor take from them his kingdom, until the time was come, when it should be given to other nations.

No less remarkable have been the dealings of Providence toward the Christian church.

The religion of Jesus was first preached by a small number of Apostles, who had nothing to recommend them, but the simplicity of their manners, the reasonableness of their doctrines, and the evidence of their miracles; while they were every where opposed by all the prejudices and powers of the world. But yet, under their ministry, the word of God mightily grew and prevailed. In a few years it spread over a great part of the then known world. Christian churches were planted in almost every province of the Roman empire: Yea, in the city of Rome itself, the seat of the empire,

there was a church of Christ; and there were saints even in Cesar's household.

The Christian church, without worldly wealth, or secular power, lived and gained strength through ten violent persecutions, which under the heathen Roman empire, continued, with some intermissions, for the space of two hundred and forty years.

In the time of Constantine the Great, these bloody persecutions ceased, and the church enjoyed security and peace. It now mightily flourished and prospered. But its prosperity was only for a season. In a few years, gross corruptions of doctrine and discipline crept into it; and even idolatry itself began to rear its head. When idolatry appeared, the spirit of persecution returned with all its former virulence and malignity. They who preserved the primitive purity of religion, were now persecuted by antichristian Rome, as Christianity itself had before been persecuted by pagan Rome. But still there was a number of brave and pious souls, who, in contempt of worldly dangers and sufferings, invariably adhered to the true reli gion of Christ.

When vice, superstition and ignorance, had widely spread, and nearly established their gloomy dominion in the Christian world, God, by a wonderful providence, raised up some extraordinary men, who, animated with primitive fortitude and zeal, stood forth in the cause of truth, opposed the errors and corruptions of the age, braved the thunders of the Roman pontiff, and the terrors of the civil power, and in a few years carried their reformation to such a surprising extent, that even princes and potentates embraced it, and lent their aid in its support and defence.

Had half the power, which has been employed to subvert the Christian church, been directed against any other people, it would soon have swalVOL. I. Q

lowed them up, or worn them out. The greatest and most formidable empires of the world have been overturned from their basis, and utterly demolished. Where is now the Assyrian empire, once so terrible to other nations? Where is the Persian empire, which extended from India to Ethiopia ?-Where is the Grecian empire, which boasted the conquest of the world? Where is the Roman empire, which succeeded, and was the mightiest of them all?—They have all lost their ancient figure and importance. The three former have scarcely a name : The last but little more. But amidst all the convulsions of kingdoms, and changes of empire, the church still lives. It has sometimes been brought low, but never has it wholly ceased. God remembers his ancient promise.Though I make a full end of all nations, I will not make a full end of thee-Though I correct thee, it shall be in measure. He has often punished her for her declensions, but has not utterly forsaken her. He has removed her. from place to place, but has never removed her from the earth. Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

How manifest is it to observation, that there is a holy, just and wise Providence, which governs the world?

How evident is the divine original of the sacred scriptures, whose predictions and prophecies are continually fulfilling before our eyes, as in other instances, so very remarkably in the preservation of the church.

How conspicuous is God's care for his church in all ages!-And how dangerous must it be to oppose her interest, corrupt her purity, and disturb her peace! He who toucheth thee, says her God, touch eth the apple of mine eye.

How deplorable must be the state of a people, who, having enjoyed the dispensation of the gospel, suffer it to be lost in their hands!

How carefully should a people, professing the gospel, guard against declensions in religion? Remember from whence thou art fallen, says Christ to his churches in Asia, and repent and do the first works. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain. Remember how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast and repent. If thou shalt not watch, I will come quickly, and remove thy candlestick out of its place.

From the gracious promises of scripture, and from the marvellous works of Providence, we may be assured, that the King of saints will maintain his kingdom in the world, as long as the sun and moon shall endure. But of its continuance with us we can no longer be assured, than while we submit to its laws, and attend on its institutions. And if it should be continued, we can on no other conditions obtain a personal share in its eternal blessings. We are warned, that many of the children of the kingdom will be cast into utter darkness, because they have been workers of iniquity; while other subjects from unknown nations, and from all quarters of the globe, shall come and sit down in the kingdom of God.

With what joyful assurance may we look forward to the happy period foretold in scripture, when the kingdoms of this world shall submit to the government of Jesus Christ, the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in, and all Israel shall be saved?

The great and marvellous works of God, in behalf of his church, are sure pledges and earnests of the accomplishment of those promises, which respect her glory and extent in the latter days..

The present condition of the Jewish nation, is a striking evidence both of the truth of the gospel,

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