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as Israel did. Alas ! how many unbelievers are there under the drop of the gospel ? How few have really received Chrift, and lifted up the everlasting doors of their hearts unto him? Many indeed profefs to believe in him, but evidence the quite contrary by their daily walk and conversation. A lying, itealing, drinking, whoring, swearing believer, is a contradiction; for we must prove and evidence the reality of our faith by our works : “ Shew me thy faith by thy works : Faith without work is dead :" a barren faith is no faith at all; for "faith worketh by love,” by repentance, by obedience, by holiness, and tenderness in all manner of conversation : it sets folk a.work to “cleanse their hands, and purify their hearts,” to commence a war against all known fin, to avoid the appearance of evil, and “ to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather to reprove them.” And Oh how few such believers have we among us? Sirs, for the Lord's sake, be aware of deluding yourselves with a mere lha. dow for the solidity of faith. You see that folks faith will be tried by their works at the day of accounts, Matth. xxv. at the close.
3. Ifrael provoked the Lord by their perjury and treachery, and breach of solemn covenant. God had separated that people from among all the nations of the earth, and taken them for his covenanted people, and they had avouched the Lord for their God, and promised, under the solemnity of the oath of God, that they would do his commandments, and obserre his Itatutes and testimonies; but “ they quickly turned aside like a deceitful bow;" on which account God says, that he would send a sword among them, to avenge the quarrel of his covenant. Now, let us apply this to ourselves in the days of our reformation. These lands, and particularly this, entered into solemn leagues and covenants, for preserving and carrying on a work of reformation, in opposition to Papists, Prelatiits, Erastians, Sectarians, and all malignants, or enemies of the work of reformation under whatever denomination, and to adhere to the doctrine, discipline, worship, and government of the church of Christ ; but alas! how treacherously have we and our fathers dealt with the great God, with respect to these covenant-engagements? How shamefully was the obligation of them refcinded by act of parliament; and not only so, but disgracefully and ignominiously burnt at the public cross of the capital city of the nation, and that by the countenance of authority? And, as if that had not been enough in op.
position to the royai a'ithority of the Son of God, our co. · venanted Head and King, the prerogatives of his crown, by act of parliament, were taken from him, and a linful mortal vested with one of the jewels of his mediatory crown, and declared head in all causes, civil and ecclesiastic. And how many finful compliances (with these usurpations) have there been both before and fince the revolution, contrary to these solemn covenant-engagements? We have reason to fear that God is at this day 'upon his march to avenge the quarrel of his holy name, that was folemnly interposed in these covenants by all ranks. Ezek. xvii. from ver. 12. and downward, we read there of an oath taken from the king of Judah by the king of Babylon, that he and all the land thould be tributaries unto him : Well, though the oath was extorted, although it was made to a Heathen ; yet because the name of God was inter. posed, God avenges the quarrel of his name upon Zedekiah for the breach of it, as you see, ver. 16-19. &c. How much more will not God avenge the breach of that oath, that was made to himself as the immediate party by king, nobles, gentry, commons, and all ranks in the land, especially when in, terposed for no other end but to maintain the doctrine, wor. ship, discipline, and government of his house, according to his word? How little regard has been or is had to these so. lemn covenants? How little personal, fainily, church, or ftate reformation doth appear among us, when all manner of blasphemy, error, profanity, and wickedness of all forts, is abounding without any check ? yea, when écclefiaftic judica. tories themselves have been, and still are, acting the very re. verse of these covenants, in violating the rights and liberties of the Lord's people? Oh Sirs ! wrath from the Lord is hovering over our heads for the profanation of that great and dreadful name of the Lord, in the matter of folemn oaths and cove. nants, both of a more public and of a more private kind. The children of Israel were separated from the rest of the nations, and God declares them to be “a royal priesthood, a peculiar people, an holy nation, and discharged them from making any league, or entering into any affinity with these abominations; and yet they went a-whoring after the idols and abominations of the nations round about them, worshipped their gods, and learned their sinful customs, which made the Lord to abhor them, and to write their fin upon their punishment, by scattering them among the nations. And is not this the case with us? By folemn covenant we were engaged never to join with malignants, or any enemies of the reformation, and to improve our endeavours for the reformation of Britain and Ireland; but how are these things observed, when, contrary unto these engagements, the public consent is given, that abjured Prelacy and superstition thall continue in England;
and when the open enemies of the covenanted reformation are not only admitted into places civil and military, but taken in. to the bosom of the church, and vested with the sacred rights and privileges thereof? There is a great pother and noise when one disaffected to the civil government begins to mingle in with our civil elections of magiftrates; and there is good reason to exclude them: but some men who make a mighty noise about this, make little or no account of admitting this set of people, disaffected to the government of King Jesus, to mingle in themselves, in electing the rulers and governors of the house of God. Which, to me, makes it plain, that the government of an earthly prince is dearer to them, than the government of the “Prince of the kings of the earth, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.”
4. Persecution and bloodshed was one of the sins of Israel, whereby they provoked the Angel of the covenant to anger. They could not endure the faithful messengers and servants of God, who told them of their backslidings. We read, that in the days of Manaffeh the persecution was carried that length against God's people, who adhered to the true worship of God, in opposition to the idolatry that was settled under that reign, that the very streets of Jerusalem were made to run with blood; and this was one of the fins that provoked God to bring them unto utter desolation, as you read, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 15–17. &c. And Christ, in the days of his Acth, he puts them in mind of it, Matth. xxiij. at the close, “ O Jeru. salem, Jerusalem, thou that killeft the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee,” &c. And has not the Angel of the covenant been provoked after the same manner in this land ? How was this land defiled with the blood of the faithful ministers and martyrs of Christ, under some late reigns before the revolution? What heading, hanging, and quarter. ing? what fining, confining, and banishments, was carried on by a malignant party, who were then in power and authority against all that owned a covenanted work of reformation, or adventured to worship God after the manner which they called heresy, insomuch that fields and scaffolds were made to reek with the blood of the dear saints of God? And it is to be feared that the cry of that blood is going up from under the altar to this day against this whole land. There has been no due methods taken since the revolution, either by civil or ecclesiastic authority, to purge the land of that innocent blood : the cause for which the saints and servants of God suffered in these days has not been fairly espoused ; yca, men whose hands were dipt in the defections, bloodthed, and persecution, of these days, taken into judicatories both civil and ecclefiastic, which appeared rather to be a tacit approbation of their ling than a condemning of it. And while I am upon this subject, I judge it not amiss to put you in this city in remembrance of the barbarous and inhuman treatment that that worthy fervant of Christ, Mr James Guthrie, once a shining light from this pulpit, met with from some barbarians in it. I wish that no drops of his blood be yet sticking to any families or corporations in the place.
5. Idolatry and superstition was another of the fins of Israel, whereby the Angel of the covenant was provoked to anger ; they forsook the true worship of God appointed in the law of Moses, and fell in with the idols of the nations round about them, worshipping the host of heaven, stocks and stones, the calves of Dan and Bethel, for which God reproved them by one prophet after another, until (for their following the idols of the Heathens) God was provoked to send them unto bond. age in the land of the Heathens for the space of seventy years. We in these lands are solemnly engaged by covenant and solemn league, to cleave to the true worship of God appointed in his word, in opposition to all Popish idolatry and supersti, tion : and yet how much is the idolatrous mass connived at both in England and Scotland ? Popish missionaries and Jesuits, we hear, are swarming, and making profelytes to their idolatrous worship, without any check from those who have the execution of the laws against popery in their hand ; which gives ground to fear, that'some general massacre of Protellants, like that in Ireland, may be on foot. We had need to be upon our guard against men, whose avowed principle is, That there is no faith to be kept with Protestants. And as for fuperftitious worship, or ceremonies of mcn's invention in the worship of God, it is well known how, contrary to solemn covenants, it is practised under the protection of law, and the fucceffors to the crown obliged by law to follow and practise it, and this law homologate by all sorts of persons almost, and that with the solemnity of the oath of God. How unlike those things look to our reformation laws and covenant, is easy to judge. It is much to be feared the Angel of the coveDant is saying at this day, “ How shall I pardon you for thefe things ?""
ó. Israel provoked the Angel of the covenant by luxury and intemperance, which was followed with revellings and whoredoms. We are told that they did “ eat and drink, and rose up to play; and they were like fed horses, every one neighing after his neighbour's wife. Jeshurun," when God fed him with the finĉit of the wheat, he “waxed fat, and kicked; and forgot God that made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock
of his faivation.” Sirs, God has for many years together opened his granary, and given us plenty of bread, made the heavens to hear the earth, the earth to hear the corn, wine, and oil ; but how are these mercies of God abused by many ? especially by these that have them in the greatest plenty? Are they not used to serve and satisfy mens lufts, and as weapons whereby they fight against God, instead of binding and engaging them to his service? Witness the public balls and effeminate afsemblies that are so frequent, where there is nothing but eat. ing and drinking, dancing and revelling, which are commonly attended with whoredom of all forts. By such excessive use of the good creatures of God, men act rather as beasts than reasonable creatures, and therefore no wonder God give them over unto all manner of beastly lusts, and then do with them as men do with beasts, feed them in a large place, until the day of flaughter. And indeed it looks as if the day of Daughter were fast approaching, when men, through intempem. rate drinking and night-revelling, are beginning to sheath their swords in one another's bowels. A melancholy and recent instance of which we have had this week bygone, upon the occasion of the solemnity. I shall not take upon me to speak of the parties that have got up among us, nor determine who were in the right or wrong in that night's squabble ; only I may say thus far, unseasonable and excessive drinking and caballing, and night revellings, has been the occasion of it. Had folk gone home seasonably to worship God in their families, and parted decently in due time, the confusion that has been in the city had been happily prevented. What a fore matter is it, that Stirling, through their unnatural heats and contentions, is become the obloquy and reproach of the whole nation? men come that length in their debates and contentions, as to embrue their hands in one another's blood, yea; nearest relations thirsting after one another's blood. " Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Alkelon," that such things are done in the midst of us. I conclude this head by reading you two fcriptures; the first of them has been fulfilled this last week, and the other I fear shall be accomplished, if men hold on the course they are in. The first scripture, which I say has been fulfilled literally, is that, Prov. xxiii. 29. 30. “Who hath wo? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions ? who hath babling? who hath wounds without cause ? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine, they that go to seek mixt wine." And therefore take the caveae and advice that follows in the two next verses, ver. 31. 32. “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red,”. &c. Ano. ther scripture, which is yet to be accomplished as to the mina. Vould