« PrécédentContinuer »
upon me, because of the wicked that forsake thy. Law." And y: 136. 46 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy Law.” And that of the prophet Jeremiah; Jer. iv: 19.' " My bow els! My bowels! I am pained at my very heart! My heart maketh a noise in me! I cannot hold my peaco! Because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war!” And so chap. ix: 1, and xiii: 17, and xiv:17, and Isa, xxii: 4. We read of Mordecai, when he saw his people in danger of being destroyed with a temporal destruction; Esth. iv: 1. “That he rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the inidst of the city, and cried with a loud and bitter cry.” And why then should persons be thought to be distracted, when they cannot forbear crying out, at the consideration of the misery of those that are going to eternal destruction?
3. Another thing that some make their rule to judge of this work by, instead of the Holy Scriptures, is history, or former observation. Herein they err two ways; First, If there'be any thing uew and extraordinary in the circumstances of this work, that was not observed in former times, that is a rule with them to reject this work as not the work of God. Herein they make that their rule, that God has not given them for their rule; and limit God, where he has not limited himself. And this is especially unreasonable in this case. For whosoever has well weighed the wonderful and mysterious methods of divine wisdom, in carrying on the work of the new creation, or in the progress of the work of redemption, from the first promise of the seed of the woman to this time, may easily observe that it has all along been God's manner to open new scènes, and to bring forth to view things new and wonderful, such as eye had not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man or angels, to the astonishment of heaven and earth, not oply in the revelations he makes of his mind and will, but also in the works of his hands. As the old creation was .carried on through six days, and appeared all complete, settled in a state of rest on the seventh; so the new cre
ation, which is immensely the greatest and most glorious work, is carried on in a gradual progress, from the fall of man; to the consummation of all things, at the end of the world. And as in the progress of the old creation,. there were still new things accomplished; new wonders appeared every day in the sight of the angels, the spectators of that work; while those morning stars sang together, new scenes were opened or things that they had not seen before, till the whole was finished; so it is in, the progress of the new creation.
So that that promise, Isa. Ixiv: 4. “For since the beginning of the world, men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, besides thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.'' Though it had a glorious fulfilment in the days of Christ and the apostles, as the words are applied; 1 Cor. ii: 9. Yet it always remains to be fulfilled, in things that are yet behind, until the new creation is finished, at Christ's delivering up the kingdom to the Father. And we live in those latter days, wherein we may be especially warranted to expect that things will be accomplished, concerning which it will be said, "Who hath. heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things?
And besides, those things in this work that have been chiefly complained of as new, are not so new as has been generally imagined. Though they have been much more frequent lately, in proportion to the uncommon degree, extent and swiftness, and other extraordinary circumstances of the work, yet they are not new in their kind; but are things of the same nature as have been found and well approved of in the church ot God before, from time to time.
We have a remarkable instance in Mr. Bolton, that noted minister of the church of England, who, being awakened by the preaching of the famous Mr. Perkins, minister of Christ in the Uinversity of Cambridge, was subject to such terrors as threw him to the ground, and caused him to roar with anguish; and the pangs
of the birth in him were such, that he lay pale and without sense, like one dead; as we have an account in the
fulfilling of the Scripture, the 5th edition, p. 103, 104. We have an acconnt in the same page, of another, whose comforts under the sunshine of God's presence were so «great, that he could not forbear crying out in a transport, and expressing in exclamations, the great sense he had of forgiving mercy and his assurance of God's love. And we have a remarkable instance in the life of Mr. George Trosse, written by himself (who, of a notoriously vicious, profligate liver, became an eminent saint and minister of the gospel) of terrors occasioned by awakenings of conscience, so overpowering the body, as to deprive, for some time, of the use of reason.
Yea, such extraordinary external effects of inward. impressions have not only been to be found in here and there a single person, but there have also before now been times wherein many have been thus affected, in some particular parts of the church of God; and such effects have appeared in congregations, in many at once. So it was in the year 1625, in the west of Scotland, in a time of great outpouring of the Spirit of God. It was then a frequent thing for many to be so extraordinarily seized with terror in the hearing of the word, by the Spirit of God convincing them of sin, that they fell down, and were carried out of the church, who afterwards proved most solid and lively Christians; as the author of the Fulfilling of the Scripture informs us, p. 185. The same author in the preceding page, informs of many in France that were so wonderfully affected with the preaching of the gospel, in the time of those famous divines, Farel and Viret, that for a time, they could not follow their secular business.
And p. 186,
of many in Ireland, in a time of great outpouring of the Spirit there, in the year 1628, that were so filled with divine comforts, and a sense of God, that they made but little use of either meat, drink or sleep, and professed that they did not feel the need thereof. The same author gives an account of very much such things in Mrs. Catherine Brettergh of Lancashire in England, (p. 391, 392) as have complained of, here amongst us, as wild and distracted. How that after great distress, which very
much affected her body, the sweat sometimes bursting cut upon her, God did so break in upon her mind with light and discoveries of himself, that she was forced to burst out, crying, “O the Joys, the Joys, the Joys, that I feel in my soul! O they be wonderful, they be wonderful! The place where I now am is sweet and pleasant! How comfortable is the sweetness I feel, that delights my soul! The taste is precious; do you not feel it? Oh 80 sweet as it is!” And at other times, O Saviour, shall I be one with thee, as thou art one with the Father? And lost thou so love me that am but dust, to make me partaker of glory with Christ? O how wonderful is thy love! And oh that my tongue and heart were able to sound forth thy praises as I ought.” At another time she burst forth thus; “Yea Lord, I feel thy mercy, and I am assured of thy love! And so certain am I thereof, as thou art that God of truth. Even so certainly do I know anyself to be thine, O Lord my God; and this my soul knoweth right well!" Which last words she again doubled. To å grave minister, one Mr. Harrison, then with her, she said, “My soul hath been compassed with the terrors of death, the sorrows. of hell were upon me, and a wilderness of woe was in me; but blessed, blessed, blessed be the Lord my God! He hath brought me to a place of rest, even to the sweet running waters of Life. The way
now go in is a sweet and easy way, strewed with fowers; he hath brought me into a place more sweet than the garden of Edeu. Oh the joy, the joy, the delights and joy that I feel! O how wondertul!"
Great outcries under awakenings were more frequently heard of in former times in the country than they have been of late, as some aged persons now living do testify. Particularly I think fit here to insert a testimony of my honored father, of what he remembers formerly to have heard.
“I well remember that one Mr. Alexander Allyn, a Scots gentleman of good credit, that dwelt formerly in this town, shewed me a letter that came froin Scotland, that gave an account of a sermon preached in the city
of Edinburgh (as I remember) in the time of the sitting of the general assembly of divines in that kingdom, that so affected the people, that there was a great and loud cry made throughout the assembly. I have also been credibly informed, and how often I cannot now say, that it was a common thing, when the famous Mr. John Rogers of Dedham in England was preaching, for some of his hearers to cry out; and by what I have heard, I conclude that it was usual for many that heard that very awakening and rousing preacher of God's word, to make a great cry in the congregation.”
TIMOTHY EDWARDS. WINDSOR, MAY 5, 1742.
Mr. Flavel gives a remarkable instance of a man that he knew, that was so wonderfully overcome with divine comforts; which it is supposed he knew, as the apostle Paul knew the man that was caught up to the third hea
He relates, That “. As the person was travelling alone, with his thoughts closely fixed on the great and astonishing things of another world, his thoughts began to swell higher and higher, like the water in Ezekiel's visions, until at last they became an overflowing flood. Such was the intenseness of his mind, such the ravishing tastes of heavenly joys, - and such his full assurance of his interest therein, that he utterly lost all sight and sense of this world, and the concernments thereof; and for soine hours, knew not where he was, nor what he was about, But having lost a great quantity of blood at the nose, he found himself so faint, that it brought him a little more to himself. And after he had washed himself at a spring, and drank of the water for his refreshment, he continued to the end of his journey, which was thirty miles; and all this while was scarce sensible. And says he had several trances of considerable continuance. The same blessed frame was preserved all that night, and in a lower degree, great part of the next day. The night passed without one wink of sleep; and yet he declares he bever had a sweeter night's rest in all his life. Still,