« EdellinenJatka »
ing and exalted Redeemer, that it would soon as it were fetch Him down from his throne in heaven, to set up. His tabernacle with men on the earth, and dwell with them. I do not remember ever to have read of any remarkable outpouring of the Spirit, that continued any long time, but what was attendcd with an abounding in this duty. So we know it was with that great effusion of the Spirit that began at Jerusalem in the apostles' days: And so in the late remarkable revival of religion in Saxony, which began by the labors of the famous Professor Franck, and has now been carried on for above thirty years, and has spread its happy influences into many parts of the world; it was begun, and has been carried on, by a wonderful practice of this duty. And the remarkable blessing that God has given Mr. Whitefield, and the great success with which he has crowned him, may well be thought to be very much owing to his laying out himself so abundantly in charitable designs. And it is foretold, that God's people shall abound in this duty, in the time of the great outpouring of the Spirit that shall be in the latter days, Isa. xxxii. 5 and 8. “The vile person shall no more be called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. But the liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand.” To promote a reformation, with respect to all sorts of duties, among a professing people, one proper means, and that which is recommended by frequent scripture examples, is their solemn, public renewing their covenant with God. And doubtless it would greatly tend to promote this work in the hand, if the congregations of God’s people could generally be brought to this. If a draught of a covenant should be made by their ministers, wherein there should be an express mention of those particular duties, that the people of the respective congregations have been observed to be most prone to neglect, and those particular sins that they have heretofore especially fallen into, or that it may be apprehended they are especially in danger of, whereby they may prevent or resist the motions of God's Spirit, and the matter should be fully proposed and explained to the people, and they have sufficient opportunity given them for consideration, and then they should be led, all that are capable of understanding, particularly to subscribe the covenant, and also should all appear together, on a day of prayer and fasting, publicly to own it before God in his house, as their vow to the Lord ; hereby congregations of Christians would do that which would be beautiful, and would put honor upon God, and be very profitable to themselves. Such a thing as this, was attended with a very wonderful blessing in Scotland, and followed with a great increase of the blessed tokens of the presence of God, and remarkable outpourings of his Spirit; as the author of the fulfilling of the Scrifiture informs, p. 186, 5th edition. A people must be taken, when they are in a good mood, when considerable religious impressions are prevailing among them ; otherwise they will hardly be induced to this; but innumerable will be their objections and cavils against it. One thing more I would mention, which if God should still carry on this work, would tend much to promote it, and that is, that an history should be published once a month, or once a fortnight, of the progress of it, by one ef the ministers of Boston, who are near the press, and are most conveniently situated, to receive accounts from all parts. It has been found by experience, that the tidings of remarkable effects of the power and grace of God in any place, tend greatly to awaken and engage the minds of persons, in other places. It is a great pity therefore, but that some means should be used, for the most speedy, most extensive and certain giving information of such things, and that the country be not left, only to the slow, partial and doubtful information, and false representations of common report. Thus I have, (I hope, by the help of God) finished what I proposed. I have taken the more pains in it, because it appears to me, that now God is giving us the most happy season to attempt an universal reformation, that ever was given in Newengland. And it is a thousand pities, that we should fail of that which would be so glorious, for want of being sensible of our opportunity, or being aware of those things that tend to hinder it, or our taking improper courses to obtain it, or not being sensible in what way God expects we should seek it. If it should please God to bless any means for the convincing the country of His hand in this work, and bringing them fully and freely to acknowledge His glorious power and grace in it, and engage with one heart and soul, and by due methods, to endeavor to promote it, it would be a dispensation of divine providence, that would have a most glorious aspect, happily signifying the approach of great and glorious things to the church of God, and justly causing us to hope, that Christ would speedily come, to set up his kingdom of light, holiness, peace and joy on earth, as is foretold in his word.... Amen : Even so come Lord JEsus !