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The work is also exceeding glorious in the high attainments of Christians, in the extraordinary degrees of light, love, and spiritual joy, that God has bestowed upon great multitudes. In this respect also, the land in all parts has abounded with such instances, any one of which if they had happened formerly, would have been thought worthy to be taken notice of by God's people, throughout the British dominions. The New Jerusalem in this respect has begun to come down from heaven, and perhaps never were more of the prelibations of heaven's glory given upon earth.
There being a great many errors and sinful irregularities mixed with this work of God, arising from our weakness, darkness and corruption, does not hinder this work of God's power and grace from being very glori
Our follies and sins that we mix, do in some respects manifest the glory of it. The glory of divine power
is set off with the greater lustre, by what appears at the same time of the weakness of the earthe vessel. It is God's pleasure that there should be something remarkably to manifest the weakness and unworthiness of the subject, at the same time that he displays the excellency of his power and riches of his grace. And I doubt not but some of those things that make some of us here on earth to be out of humor, and to look on this work with a sour, displeased countenance, do heighten the songs of the angels, when they praise God and the Lamb for what they see of the glory of God's allsufficiency, and the efficacy of Christ's redemption. And how unreasonable is it that we should be backward to acknowledge the glory of what God has done, because withal, the devil, and we in hearkening to him, have done a great deal of mischief.
Shewing the Obligations that all are under to acknowledge, rejoice in, and promote this Work, and the great Dan. ger of the contrary.
There are many things in the word of God, that shew that when God remarkably appears in any great work for his church, and against his enemies, it is a most dangerous thing, and highly provoking to God, to be slow and backward to acknowledge and honor Him in the work, and to lie still and not to put to an helping hand. Christ's people are in scripture represented as his army; he is the Lord of Hosts or armies. He is the captain of the host of the Lord, as he called himself when he appeared to Joshua, with a sword drawn in his hand; Joshua v: 13, 14, 15. He is the captain of his people's salvation; and therefore it may well be highly resented if they do not resort to him when he orders his banners to be displayed; or if they refuse to follow him when he blows the trumpet, and gloriously appears going forth against his enemies. God expects that every living soul should have his attention roused on such an occasion, and should most cheerfully yield to the call, and heedfully and diligently obey it; Isa. xviii: 3. "All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, sez ye when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth the trumpet, hear ye.” Especially should all Israel be gathered after their captain, as we read they were after Ehud, when he blew the trumpet in mount Ephraim, when he had slain Eglon king of Moab; Judg. iii: 27, 28. How severe is the martial law in such a case, when any of an army refuses to obey the sound of the trumpet, and follow his general to the battle? God at such a time appears in peculiar manifestations of his glory, and therefore not to be affected and animated, and to lie still, and refuse to follow him will be resented an high contempt of him. If a subject should stand by,
and be a spectator of the solemnity, of his prince's coronation, and should appear silent and sullen, when all the multitude were testifying their loyalty and joy, with loud acclamations; how greatly would he expose himself to be treated as a rebel, and quickly to perish by the authority of the prince that he refuses to honor?
At a time when God manifests himself in such a great work for his church, there is no such thing as being neuters; there is a necessity of being either for or against the king that then gloriously appears. As when a king is crowned, and there are public manifestations of joy on that occasion, there is no such thing as standing by as an indifferent spectator; all must appear as loyal subjects, and express their joy on that occasion, or be accounted enemies. So it always is when God, in any great dispensation of his providence, does remarkably set his king on his holy bill of Zion, and Christ in an extraordinary manner comes down from heaven to the earth, and appears in his visible church in a great work of salvation for his people. So it was when Christ came down from heaven in his incarnation, and appeared on earth in his human presence; there was no such thing as being neuters, neither on his side nor against him.Those that sat still and said nothing, and did not declare for him, and come and join with hin, after he, by his word and works, had given sufficient evidence who he was, were justly looked upon as his enemies; as Christ says,
Matth. xii: 30. “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad. So it is in a time when Christ is remarkably spiritually present, as well as when he is bodily present; and when he comes to carry on the work of redemption in the application of it, as well as in the revelation and . purchase. If a king should come into one of his prov- • inces, that had been oppressed by its foes, where some of his subjects had fallen off to the enemy, and joined with them against their lawful sovereign and his loyal subjects; I say, if the lawful sovereign himself should come into the province, and should ride forth there against his enemies, and should call upon all that were
on his side to come and gather themselves to him; there would be no such thing, in such a case, as standing neuter. They that laid still and staid at a distance would undoubtedly be looked upon and treated as rebels. So in the day of battle, when two armies join, there is no such thing for any present as being of neither party, all must be on one side or the other; and they that are not found with the conqueror in such a case, must expect to have his weapons turned against them, and to fall with the rest of his enemies.
· When God manifests himself with such glorious pow.. er in a work of this nature, he appears especially determined to put honor upon his son, and to fulfil his oath that he has sworn to him, that he would make every knee to bow, and every tongue to confess to him. God hath had it much on his heart, from all eternity, to glorify his dear and only begotten Son; and there are some special seasons that he appoints to that end, wherein he comes forth with omniponent power to fulfil his promise and oath to him. And these times are times of remarkable pouring out of his Spirit, to advance his kingdom; such a day is a day of his power, wherein his people shall be maile willing, and he shall rule in the midst of his enemies; these especially are the times wherein God declares his firm degree that his Son shall reign on his holy hill of Zion; and therefore those that at such a time do not kiss the Son, as lie then manifests himself, and appears in the glory of his majesty and grace, expose themselves to perish from the way, and to be dashed in pieces with a rod of iron.
As such a time is a time wherein God eminently sets his king on his holy hill of Zion, so it is a time wherein he remarkably fulfils that in Isa. xxviii: 16. « Therefore thus saith the Lord God, behold I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation." Which the two Apostles Peter and Paul, (1 Pet. ii: 6, 7, 8, and Rom. ix: 33) join with that prophecy, Isa. viii: 14, 15. “And he shall be for a sånctuary; but for a stode of stumbling, and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Isr:vel, for a-gin
and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble and fall, and be broken, and be snared and taken." As signifying that both are fulfilled together. Yea, both are joined together by the prophet Isaiah himself; as you may see in the context of that forementioned, Isa. xxviii: 16. In ver. 13, preceding, it is said, “ But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little, that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and spared and taken.” And accordingly it always is. so, that when Christ is in a peculiar and eminent man, ner manifested and magnified, by a glorious work of God in his church, as a foundation and a sanctuary for some, he is remarkably a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, a gin and a snare to others. They that continue long to stumble, and be offended and ensrared in their minds, at such a great and glorious work of Christ, in God's account, stumble at Christ, and are offended in him; for the work is that by which he makes Christ manifest, anıl shows his glory, and by which he makes the stone that the builders refused, to become the head of the corner. This shows how dangerous it is to continue always stumbling al such a work, forever doubting of it, and forbearing fully to acknowledge it, and give God the glory of it. Such persons are in danger to go, and fill backward, and be broken, and snared and taken, and to have Christ a stone of stumbling to ihem, that shall be an occasion of their ruin; while he is to others a sanctuQoy, and a sure foundation.
The prophet Isaiah, Isa. xxix: 14, speaks of God's proceeding to do a marvellous work and a wonder, which should stumble and confound the wisdom of the wise and prudent; which the apostle in Acts. xții. 41, applies to the glorious work of salvation wrought in those days by the redemption of Christ, and that glorious outpouring of the Spirit to apply it that followed; the prophet in the context of that place in Isa. xxix: speaking of the same thing, and of the prophets and rulers and seers, those wise and prudent, whose eyes God had closed,