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and prophecies of the Old Testament relating to go fpe! times, and compare them with the New; and efpecially thofe which foretel the unchurching of the Jewish nation, and the ingrafting of the Gentile nations into their room: and that thereupon the national church-ftate and privileges of the Jews were to be transferred to Chriftian nations, and particularly this of being nationally in covenant with God. Which prophecies are to have their special and full accomplishment at Babylon's downtal. For illuftrating thefe points, and applying the fcriptur texts relative thereto, I might expatiate in -feveral the ts of paper, if it were proper here. I fhall only at this time cire fome of the texts that may be well improven to the forefaid purpofes; which the reader may turn to and confider at his leifure, fuch as Ifa. xix. 18, 21, 23, 24, 25. chap. xlv. 23. Jer. 1. 4, 5. the lx. Ixi. and Ixii. chapters of Ifaiah throughout. Ifa. lv. 3, 4, 5. Micah iv. 1, 2. Zech. viii. 21, 22, 23. Rev. ii. 15. Rom. xi. 17, 19. chap. x. 12, 19. Mat. ii. 5, 6. Acts viii. 6, 12. 2 Cor. viii. 5. Mat. xxi. 43. Rom. ix. 24, 25, 26. compared with lof. i. 9, 10, 11. chap. ii. 23. Likewife might cite feveral prophecies with refpect to the iflands, and utmoft ends of the carth, which were peopied by Japhet, that have a very particular and favourable afpect to this covenanted land.

Befides all which, it is evident, from the first and great command of the Law, which is directed to Ifrael as a nation, and is obligatory under the New Teftament as well as the Old; that it is a moral duty, univerfally and perpetually binding upon nations and focieties, as well as fingle perfons, to chufe, acknowledge, and avouch the Lord to be their God, to walk in his ways, and keep his ftatutes. This is required in the firft commandment according to the expofition of our Larger Catechifm; and is there conarmed by thefe texts, that warrant and xemplify the practce of national covenanting, fuch as Deut. xxvi. 19, 17. Joth. xxiv. 22. In fuch a national way dia our fathers of old acknowledge and avouch the Lord to be their God, and devote themfelves and their pofterity to the Lord. And, bleffed be the Lord our God, who did many ways declare himfelf to be well pleafed

pleafed with the bargain, and efpecially by filling the temple with his glory.

As the prophets and godly Jews were at great pains to convey to pofterity hiftorical accounts of the wonderderful deliverances God wrought for Ifrael at the Redfea, and in rescuing them from Egypt, Babylon, and other enemies; fo it would be useful to fortify our reformation, if we were careful to hand down to the rifing generation a sense of God's diftinguishing mercy to this land, in delivering us from fpiritual Babylon, and refcuing us from time to time from thefe captains that have fought to lead us back thither. Many a time hath he delivered us, when we have been brought very low.

By many inftances it hath appeared, that the glorious JEHOVAH hath not been afhamed to own his covenant relation to this finful and unworthy land. God forbid that we of this age fhould be afhamed to own our covenant-relation to him. This hath been both our glory and our fafety; and I hope, there will ftill be found a remnant to own it, and plead it with God in the time of danger. Surely, it is not time now to difclaim it, when the enemies of our Zion are combining together, and feeking to raze her to the foundation. Let all her lovers cry mightily to her covenanted Lord in her behalf, in thefe Thaking times: let them join to put up that prayer of the Pfalmift, lxxviii. 28. "Strengthen, O God, that which thou haft wrought for us;" and that of Habakkuk, Hab. iii. 2. "O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years."

MAY 27. 1797.

N. B. The forefaid digreffion, in the preface to the first edition, was occafioned by the broaching of fome Sectarian notions, which introduced great reelings and fhakings in this corner, and other parts of this church; fince which time, alas! he hath enjoyed little peace within her walls, or profperity within her palaces; but, instead thereof, the hath been tofled with tempefts and troubles of various kinds, whereby the children of Zion have been brought, and ftill ly, under great diftrefs and affliction.

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The first impreffion of this book being difpofed of, and a second called for, I have the more readily confented to it, at this time of general calamity and diftrefs, feeing the book is intended as a Directory to Chriftians under affliction, whatever fort it be. It cannot but be obvious to every serious obferver, that the Lord's judg ments are in the earth at this day, and that the inhabitants of this land are generally visited with calamities of divers kinds, both fpiritual and temporal; which makes a Directory how to manage and carry under them the more feasonable and neceffary.

Ah! the Lord's hand is visibly lifted up against us at this day, and hath been for fome years paft, in fhutting up the churches womb, blafting gofpel ordinances, and withdrawing his Spirit from the affemblies of his people, and from our judicatories. The flood-gate is opened for error, infidelity, and loofenefs, to overfpread the land; fo that the gofpel of Chrift, the holy Scriptures, and all revealed religion, are condemned and ridiculed by many. "The anger of the Lord hath divided us both in church and ftate, and hath mingled a perverfe fpirit in the midst of us ;" yea, hath made fuch woful breaches among godly minifters and Chriftians, who are aiming at the fame things, that no balm can be found for healing them. There is a way opened for a carnal felf-feeking minister to get into the vineyard, when faithful la bourers are thrust out, and godly preachers and students are difcouraged from entering in. Not a few Chriftian congregations, who lately were harmonious and unite in partaking of gofpel-ordinances, are now fo miferable, rent and scattered, through mournful intrufions and dividing courses, that they cannot worship God together; and many of them are wandering like theep having no fhepherd, exposed to beasts of prey, and liable to perish in a state of ignorance or negligence.

Likewise, the Lord's hand is remarkably lifted up gainst us, in the variety of temporal judgments and calamities brought upon us within a very thort time bypaft. Sometimes the Lord fends forth his ftormy winds with extraordinary violence, fo as to carry terror and destruction along with them both by fea and land, and even threaten to bury us in the ruin of our


houfes. Sometimes he fends fuch long continued rains in harveft, as threaten to deftroy the whole crop before our eyes. Sometimes fuch extraordinary ftorms of froft and fnow, as to bind up the waters and mills, that food cannot be prepared for us, and we are ready to perish in midit of plenty. Sometimes he fends fuch deftructive storms of lightning and thunder from heaven, and kindles such violent fires on earth, that whole cities, with their inhabitants, are like to be confumed therewith. Upon our neighbouring countries dreadful inundations have been fent of late, for deftroying the inhabitants with their cattle and effects. Again, God hath vifited us with long continued drought, cold and unnatural forms in the fpring, and fometimes with froft in midst of fummer, which have brought on extraordinary scarcity and dearth of victual, fo that there are great diforders committed in the land by riots and tumults for want of food, and multitudes of families are diffolved, and forced to wander begging their bread; and the cattle also are famished for want of grafs and food to sustain them. In the mean time we are engaged in war with cruel enemies, who feize our fhips, carry our countrymen captives, throw them into dungeons and naufeous prifons, where they use them barbaroufly; yea, much of their blood is fhed, and many valuable lives are loft in our defence. And, befides our other calamities, we fuffer greatly through decay of trade and merchandise, and penury of money; in many places, merchants, tradefmen, and artificers, want bufinefs; there is no work nor hire for labourers, and for those who would ufe honeft industry for bread, whether men or women: fo that want is "come upon us as one that travaileth, and poverty like an armed man,” and many are reduced to extreme mifery, and starving circumftances, for lack of bread.

By all which proceedings it appears that God hath a peculiar controverfy with Scotland, and threatens to punifh her remarkably for her heinous fins and provoca tions. The Lord's hand hath been long lifted up against us, and now it is higher lifted up than ever: and, the higher it is lifted, the blow is like to be the feverer when given. He hath fent many leffer ftrokes and judgments upon us, as forerunners and warnings of greater, which VOL. I.



he hath ftill bis referve for us, if we repent not; for his magazine is far from being exhaufted. As there are many causes for thefe calamities of ours, fo I think there is a principal one mentioned, Mat. xxiv. 12, " Iniquity doth abound, and the love of many is waxen cold." Infidelity, immorality, and contempt of the gospel, are come to a prodigious height; our hearts are become cold and frozen to Chrift and his intereft, to his people and holy laws for which caufe, God is provoked to fend fuch judicial cold and frofts upon our land, and the fruits of the earth, fo as to mar and diminish our crops, and reduce both men and beafts to the greatest ftraits. And yet fo great is our impenitence and perverfeness, that we will not fee the Lord's hand, nor be reformed by all thefe judgments.

It might well be expected, when the Lord's judg ments are so visible in the earth, that not only his people by profeffion, but even the inhabitants of the world, would learn righteousness, according to Ifa. xxvii. 9. But, alas! So perverfe are we to walk with God, that neither the inhabitants of the world, nor those who profefs to be feparated from the world, will alter their courfe, nor learn righteoufnefs; nay, inftead of that, many are learning still more wickedness, "Shall I not vifit for these things? faith the Lord and fhall not my foul be avenged on fuch a nation as this?" Alas! hath he not been provoked to fay concerning us, as he did concerning his ancient people, Lev. xxvi. 23, 24. "If ye will not be reformed by all these things, but will walk contrary unto me: then will I alfo walk contrary unto you, and will bring seven times more plagues upon you, according to your fins." And likewife to fay unto us, as unto them, " When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; and when ye faft and make many prayers, I will not hear: but I will confume you with the fword, with the famine, and with the peftilence," as in Ifa. i. 15. Jer. xiv. 12.

The fword, famine, and peftilence, are God's three mortal arrows, which he commonly threatens to fhoot against impenitent and incorrigible offenders. Two of these are already fhot against us: the fword is drawn, and much of our countrymen's blood is already fhed;


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