A Prospect of the CITY OF Jerusalem, IN IT's SPIRITUAL Building, Beauty and Glory.

SHEWED IN A SERMON Preach'd at Hartford in His Majesty's Colony of Connecticut, May 13th, 1742, Being the Anniversary Day for Electing the Honoura­ble the GOVERNOUR, the DEPUTY-GOVERNOUR and the Worshipful ASSISTANTS there.

By Isaac Stiles, A. M. Pastor of the Church of CHRIST in North Haven.

Psal. cxxxvii. 5, 6.
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right Hand forget her Cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my Tongue cleave to the roof of my Mouth: if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief Joy.

N. LONDON; Printed & Sold by T. GREEN, Printer to the GOVERNOUR & COMPANY, 1742


Ordered by this Assembly, THAT Joseph Whiting Esq; and Capt. Jonathan Allen, return the Thanks of the Assembly to the Reverend Mr. Isaac Stiles, for his Sermon delivered before this Assembly on the Thirteenth Instant; and desire a Copy thereof that it may be printed.

George Wyllys Secr.
PSALM CXLVII. 2.The LORD doth Build up Jerusalem,’

AS every house is builded by some man; so he that built all things is God. The Heavens and the Earth, the upper & lower Sto­ries of the vast and stupendous [...]rame and goodly Structure of the Universe, [...] glorious piece of divine Architecture: And [...]o are all the Hosts of them; the Angels of Light, those morning Stars, those first-born and eldest Sons of time, those bright Intelli­gences of the superior World; Thousands and Ten Thousand times Ten Thousands of whom People the Empyrean Heavens, inhabiting those blissful Abodes where they do always behold the face of their Father which is in Heaven; and are continually feasled with the Joys of Beatisick Vision: Together with Man­kind, who dwell in houses of Clay, whose foundation is in the Dust: And all the other vari­ous Kinds and Species, Ranks and Orders of [...]nferior Creatures, whether Animate or In­animate, belonging to this visible Creation [Page 2] He whose Name alone is Jehovah, who was be­fore & is above all Worlds, a Being Super-in­tellectual, Self-existent, Independant, Self-suffi­cient & alsufficient; this alwise Artificer by his mighty Fiat, call'd up & caus'd this stately Fa­brick to start forth out of nothing: That high vaulted Roof, that spacious & glittering Canopy spread over our heads (imbellish'd & bespan­gled with numerous bright Luminaries; the Sky which is strong and as a molten Looking­glass, enamel'd, bedeck'd & emboss'd with in­numerable worlds of Light, of various Mag­nitudes Immensity more orient & glistering than the most sparkling Diamond or Pearl, than the Gold of Ophir, the precious Onyx or the Sapphire) this is the work of his Fingers; the wondrous Work of Him which is perfect in Knowlege. 'Tis he who by his Wisdom hath thus garnished the Heavens, who hath there pitched a Tabernacle for the Sun, and ap­pointed the Ordinances of Heaven; who hath made and guides Arcturus with his sons Orion and Plei [...]des and the Chambers of the South, those influential & useful Constellations.

Tis the same alwise & alpowerful Being who hath also laid the beams of his chambers in the Waters, and fix'd the Groundfills & Foun­dations of this Earth, or rather hangeth the same upon nothing: For his huge, ponderous te [...]q [...]ous Globe has no Atlas to support it [Page 3] No, there's nothing underneath save everlast­ing Arms; an incontestible proof of a Divine Being, an eternal Power and Godhead, Job 26.7. He stretcheth out the North over the empty place, and hangeth the Earth upon nothing.

Terra pilae similis nullo fulcimine nixa, aere sublato, tam grave pendet onus.

How wonderful! to see an Orb of such vast Bulk, hang equally poiz'd with its own weight and swimming about in the liquid AEther. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the Earth, and the Heavens are the work of thy hands, Psal. 102.25. The Earth (no less than the Heavens) with all its Appurtenances; its useful Atmost­phere and all its beautiful Apparatus and rich Furniture; the winged Choristers which sing among the Branches, and what time they life up themselves on high scorn the House and his Rider; every Beast of the Forrest and the Cattle upon a thousand Hills; the Finny Na­tions and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the Seas, these all loudly proclaim the Wisdom, the Power and the Goodness of their Munificent Creator. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the Earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide Sea, &c. Psal. 104.24, 25.

And as all things were made by him, so by him all things consist: His Omnipotent Ma­nutenency [Page 4] upholds and keeps them from re­lapsing into their primordial Abyss of Non­entity, their original Nothing. As He spake and it was done, so be commanded and it stood fast. For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in Heaven, in or among the heavenly Bodies, which by virtue of that Word of God's Power by which they were made, do constantly continue the same in their Substance and Order and Courses, which, by virtue of the fix'd and establish'd Laws whereby they are govern'd, are conti­nually fulfilling their Annual and Diurnal Re­volutions, and shedding down their benign Influences of Light & Heat upon this Earth: And it follows, Thou hast establish'd the Earth & it abideth: They, viz the Heavens & the Earth continue this day according to thine Ordinances, Psal. 119.89, 91.

As for Mankind they are his peculiar Work­manship: His hands have made & fashioned them, and that in wondrous wise; the Inspi­ration of the Almighty hath given them Un­derstanding, whereby they are capable of supe­rior pleasure & felicity in the Contemplation of, and an Assimulation to, and Communion with the Ever-being and Ever-blessed Jeho­vah, in whose presence there is fulness of Joy; and the fruition of whom, and nothing else, yields consummate Beatitude to an intelligent Mind.

[Page 5] The Lord is good unto all, and leaves not him­self without Witness among the Heathen, in that he gives them Rain and fruitful Seasons, filling their hearts with food & gladness,—But his Divine Philantrophy, his Love & good-will to his own dear chosen People (together with all the other Excellencies & Perfections belonging to his thrice glorious Essence, which have time immemorial been Employ'd for their welfare and Happiness; particularly his amazing Con­trivance and Transaction for their recovery from the ruins of their Apostasie) merits our special Notice and challenges our most devout Resentment and grateful Acknowledgments.

This is what the Psalmist takes special No­tice of and summarily mentions in the Text, as an Argument whereby he would stir up himself & others to celebrate the high Praises of God.

Who was the inspired Author and Penman of this Psalm is uncertain, whether David or some Prophet who liv'd after the Jews resto­ration from the Babylonish Captivity and the Rebuilding of their City and Temple in Jeru­salem: But undoubtedly the Text has a pri­mary reference to that great, notable and wonderful Event. Hence the following words are,—He gathereth together the Outcasts of Israel. And yet it may be consider'd not only as a brief and bright Meditation and compendious [Page 6] Narration of what God had done and was then doing; but likewise as a Prophetick indigita­tion of what God has ever since been, is still doing, and will do in behalt of his Church & chosen People even to the end of the World. For Jerusalem not only in David and Solo­mon's days and during the time that the first Temple was standing, but after the Rebuild­ing of it, was the chosen Place of the stated and solemn Worship of the true God: For the Lord had chosen Zion, he desired it for his habita­tion; and loved the gates of that Mountain more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Thither King David had brought up the Ark of the Covenant and had there fix'd its resting Place; even in this City of David, in whose Palaces God was Known for a Refuge: The house of God was there, and thither the Tribes went up, the Tribes of the Lord unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the Name of the Lord. And there also were set Thrones of Judgement, the Thrones which appertain'd to the house of David. It was now the Sent of God's Publick Wor­ship & Ordinances, and so an eminent Type and Figure of his universal Church for ever­more. It was a City that was compact together, and so a lively and lovely Emblem of the Churches Unity & Happiness, and the flou­rishing State of Religion in all after times; pointing us to that Jerusalem which is above, [Page 7] or rather from above, is free and is the Mother of us all: By which is meant the Gospel Church, somtimes [...] the heavenly Jerusalem, and the new Jerusalem coming down from God out of hea­ven as a Bride adorned for her Husband.—As the Literal Jerusalem was a Type of the Spi­ritual, so the Rebuilding of the former was a Type of the Reviving and Edification of the latter.

And if we run over the Annals of the Church and observe the several Periods wherein God has remembred it in, and rais'd it up from, its low Estate; we shall find that it bears no little Resemblance to Jerusalem in the fall and rise thereof, which our Text nextly refers to.

Now then, by the Lord's Building up Jerusa­lem, we may understand in general, no only his Rearing up the Church of Israel and making them the Subjects of many peculiar and distin­guishing Priviledges & Immunities; Blessings both of a Spiritual and Temporal nature and reference, but likewise all that he has done, is now doing and may do hereafter in Building up the Christian Church; all that any way contributes to the furtherance of the Welfare and Happiness of his People in Gospel Days.

Here a large field of Discourse opens to our view; but I may not enter far into it, lest I exceed the narrow limits of Time allotred me. Would the time permit me, I might mention [Page 8] the loving Kindnesses of the Lord and the great Goodness toward the house of Israel which he hath bestowed on them, according to his Mercies, and according to the multitude of his loving Kindnesses: And likewise the loving Kindnesses of the Lord according to all that the Lord hath be­stowed on Us and Others of the Gentile Church through the several Periods and successive A­ges thereof: As also those glorious things which are spoken concerning the City of God, in those Scripture Predictions and Promises which have not as yet had their plenary accomplish­ment. For according to his promise, we are looking for new Heavens and a new Earth where­in dwelleth Righteousness. We are waiting in hope and praying for the great Deliverer to come to Zion & turn away Ungodliness from Jacob. We are wishing for the dawn of that happy day, when He who is the Light of the Gentiles, shall be likewise the Glory of his People Israel,—When the Lord shall bring back his ancient People from all the Lands whither his anger hath scattered them, and release them from their Bands of thick Darkness, whom Satan hath bound, lo, this Seventeen Hundred Years.

The ancient method of Preaching in Old Testament times, consisted very much in an historical Narration or Recital of memorable Mercies relating to God's Church and People; See Psal. 78. 1—7. Holy men of God as they were [Page 9] moved by the Holy Ghost, have taken in hand to set in order a Declaration of many remarkable things respecting the Birth, Infancy and Growth of the Church, both Jewish & Christian. A most valuable Church History this! Than which there is none Extant more Instructive, Delight­ful, Entertaining and Profitable; nor indeed is there any that is Equally so.

Here then let me briefly mention a few things relating to the Upbuilding,

1. Of the Jewish Church, more especially du­ring the Fourteen Generations from Abraham to David. The God of glory appeared unto Abra­ham when he was in Mesopotamia, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy Country and from thy Kin­dred, &c. And by Faith when he was so call'd to go out into a place which he, viz. in his Seed, should afterward receive for an Inheritance, be obey'd, and by faith sojourned in the land of Promise; and from him sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the Stars of the sky in mul­titude, and as the Sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. Abraham (thence called the Fa­ther of the Faithful) was the first lively Stone that was laid in that spiritual Building. Isa. 51.1, 2. Look unto the Rock whence ye are hewn, &c. i. e. Look unto Abraham your Father and unto Sa­rah that bare you; for I called him alone & blessed him and increased him.

[Page 10] When Israel was a Child then the Lord loved him, and called his Son out of Egypt; he taught them also to go, taking them by their Arms: He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of his Eye: The Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. What mar­vellous things did he in the sight of their Fathers in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan? And du­ring their Forty Years Travel through the Wilderness of Sinai, how often did he appear Riding on the Heavens for their help, and in his Excellency upon the Skies? When Means failed and they could not help themselves; when they knew not what to do no which way to turn and could only stand still and see the Salva­tion of God. Witness his dividing the Sea and [...] the Ransomed of the Lord to pass over: His raining down Manna upon them to Eat, giving of them the Corn of Heaven, so that Man did eat Angels food: His raining Flesh also upon them as Dust, and feathered Fowl like as the sand of the Sea, Moreover his cleaving the Rocks in the Wilderness, and giving them Drink as out of the great Depths, bringing Streams out of the flinty Rock, and cau­sing Waters to run down thence like Rivers.

In what an elegant and exalted Style strong and lively Metaphors, are the signal Favours of Heaven towards that People recognized and recorded in that Swan-like Song of Moses? Deut. 32 8, [...]14, And so by the Prophet Ha­bakkuk, [Page 11] Chap. 3. 3.—16. And elsewhere in the Sacred Pages. The Wisdom, Goodness, Justice, Holiness, Faithfulness and Power of God were Conspicuous & eminently display'd in the Methods of his guiding, governing, pro­tecting and building up his Church & People at that Day; in setting up and establishing Religion among them, giving them his A­doption, his Covenant, his Law and Promises; setting up his Tabernacle, giving them Or­dinances & Institutions, & appointing Priests and Levites to teach Jacob his Law and Israel his Statutes, and administer those Ordinances according to that Mosaic Paedagogy. This is remark'd in our Context as a signal Instance of divine Favour and the distinguishing Mercy of God towards them, Ver. 19, & 20. The Gospel was Preach'd to them at sundry times & in divers manners; particularly in the brazen Serpent, and the Rock that folowed them, which Rock (the Apostle assures us) was Christ, 1 Cor. 10. 4. Moreover, in setting up Civil Government among them, sending Moses his Servant, as well as Aaron whom he had chosen. While they were & remain'd under a Theocratical form of Go­vernment, God himself as their great Legisla­tor, delivered them all their Civil Statutes as well as Sacred Canons; all their Laws, Mo­ral, Ceremonial, Judicial and Military; and raised up, qualified & improved such as were [Page 12] Utriusque tabulae Custodes, who were happily In­strumental towards their Upbuilding both in Church and Commonwealth; towards secu­ring to them whatsoever was Valuable per­taining either to Religion or Property: Men famous and had in reputation for Wisdom, In­tegrity, Ability & Faithfulness; able Men and such as feared God, men of Truth and hating Covetousness; wise men and understanding & known, i. e. approved among their Tribes. Such should all Civil Rulers be. See Numb. 11.16, 17, 25.

Thus God led them through the Wilder­ness by the right hand of Moses & Aaron, with his own glorious Arm, going before them; affording them all that Light and Direction which their darkness and difficulties, streights and perplexities called for; teaching them in the way which they should go, and guiding them with his Eye: Supporting them under and extricating them out of their distresses & dangers. In the Mount of their difficulties he was seen, working deliverance & salvation for them; and brought them at length to the border of his Sanctuary, even to the Mountain which his right Hand had purchased. He drave out the Heathen before them, made room for them and did plant them in the land flowing with Milk and Honey: for they got not the Land in possession by their own [Page 13] Sword, neither did their own Bow save'em, but his right hand and his holy arm and the light of his Countenance, because he had a favour unto them.

Thus happy was Israel, so that no People was like unto them, a People saved by the Lord, the Shield of their Help, and who was the Sword of their Excellency; whose Wisdom, Power and Goodness were singularly Con­cerned and Employed for them: And this notwithstanding their base and black ingrati­tude, frowardness, multiplied Prevarications & manifold Heaven-daring Rebellions against him.

And (to pretermit many things) how did the Lord appear in his glory, by the Building up of Zion? How did his Wonder-working Providence, even literally Build up Jerusalem, in the Reign of David and Solomon? And so after it had been Demolish'd, laid in Ashes and turn'd into a ruinous heap by the Chaldeans, that bloody and hasty Nation.

But I may not further Enlarge here, but must hasten,

2. To take Notice of some few things relating to the Lord's Building up his New Jerusalem the Gospel Church. God willing to shew his Wrath and make his Power known, endured with much Long-suffering the vessels of Wrath fitted to Destruction; and that he might make known [Page 14] the riches of his Glory on the vessels of Mer­cy which he had afore prepared unto glory, even Us whom he hath called under the New Testament dispensation, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. He now calls us His People which were not his People, and us Beloved which were not Beloved. In how surprizing a manner was the Arm of the Lord Revealed, during the Apostolick Age, when also to the Gentiles be granted Repentance unto Life; when Thousands were added to the Church, even such as should be Saved, and that in one Day, and by the preaching of one Sermon? when in great Numbers and with great Speed they came flocking into the Christian Church, ful­filling that which was spoken by the Prophet Isaiah, Chap. 66.8. when the Earth was made to bring forth in one Day, when a Nation was born at once. And Chap. 60.8. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as Doves to their windows? How many golden Candlesticks were Erected, even where Satan's seat and synagogue had been; in those dark places of the Earth which had been full of the habitations of Cruelty? Thus was the glory of the Lord revealed, and all Flesh saw it together. And Gods way has ever since been & is still in the Sanctuary. Who is so great a God as our God? But I must dismiss this tho't, & pro­ceed now to offer two or three brief hints, from whence it may further appear that the words [Page 15] of our text are words fitly spoken, like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Words taken in their allusive & metaphorical or figurative Sense, very signi­ficant & expressive of divers things relating to the Church of God respecting both the Esse & the Bene Esse of it; which are to be attributed and ascribed to none but Him who worketh all things according to the Counsel of his own will.

And here,

First, That the Church is fitly flyl'd Jeru­salem, appears in that,

(1) Jerusalem (which was built up as a City that is Compact together) was a lively Emblem or Picture of the Church's Unity and Peace. The Name signifies Peace: Which Name was given it after David took the Fort of Zion from the Jebusites. For before that it was called Jebus; a Noun of a quite contrary sig­nification: Which being interpreted, is, The Fire of God. Agreeable to which mystical Name, the Inhabitants (who were a People hated & accursed by God, against whom he had had indignation a long time, and that fire kindled in his anger burnt to the lowest Hell) perhaps were suffered (as a just Judgment of heaven upon them) to live in the fire of Contention, Variance & Strife, in Malice and Envy, Hate­ful and Hating one another.)

It was not now distinct and opposite, but united and uniform both in its Government [Page 16] and Religion. In a resembling manner there is (at least there ought to be) Unity, Unifor­mity, Peace and Harmony maintained & cul­tivated among Christians. That they all may be one, agreeable to our Saviour's Prayer, and to the inspired Apostle's description of the Church, Fpb 4.1,—6 & 12,—16. Peace and Love and Unity is the great and distinguish­ing Law and Character of the Christian Pro­fession. A divided Church is (in a very ill sense) terrible as an Army with Banner; and as the Company of Two Armies, — Indeed the phrase (in strictness of speech) is a Solaecism, and a Contradiction in terms.

(2) Jerusalem was a very pleasant & beautiful City. Beautiful for Situation and for its good­ly Buildings; particularly the Temple, which was the most magnifical, curious & splendid Edifice that ever human Art contriv'd, Hands Erected or mortal Eyes beheld. On account of which, men call'd that City, the perfection of Beauty, the Joy of the whole Earth. In like manner, the Church is exceeding Beautiful; especially in the Eyes of him who seeth not as ruin seeth, but looketh on the heart. Psal. 45.13. The Kings Daughter is all glorious within, her Cloathing also is of wrought Gold. Ezek. 16.13.— Thou wast exceeding beautiful: Thy beauty was perfect through my Comliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God. See also Rev. 9.8,— [Page 17] With what lively & significant flowers of di­vine Rhetorick does the heavenly Bridegroom set forth the excelling Beauties of his Spouse, the Church, in that Song of Songs which is Solo­mon's? Thou art beautiful, O my Love as Tirza, comly as Jerusalem. Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me. Thou hast ravish'd my heart, my sister, my spouse, with one of thine Eyes, &c. Who is she that looketh forth as the Morning, fair as the Moon, and clear as the Sun? How fair and how pleasant art thou, O Love, for Delights? Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple. Thy neck is as a tower of Ivory. How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O princes Daughter! Thy stature is like to a palm-tree. Behold thou art fair my love, behold thou art fair: Thou art all fair my love, there is no spot in thee,

Thus do all true Believers (who are the constituent parts of this Building of God, this Temple in which the Holy Ghost dwells) shine with a distinguishing Lustre, and reflect a Divine, God-like Beauty; insomuch that Je­rusalem, yea even Solomon's Temple in all its glory was not adorn'd & beautify'd like one of these.

Tis true, the Visible Church (collectively taken) somtimes resembles one that has lain among the Pots; and may say as in Cart. 1. 5, 6. I am black as the tents of Kedar. Look not upon me, &c. But then again there are times when [Page 18] it resembles a dove whose wings are covered over with Silver, and her feathers with yellow Gold. The Daughter of Zion was cover'd with a dark Cloud, the beauty of Israel was greatly marr'd; her gold was become dim, her most fine gold was changed, when those miseries & calamities spoken of in Daniel were brought upon the Jews, by the remainder of the Grecian Empire, and afterwards by the Roman Em­pire, about the time of our Saviour's Nativity, especially at the time of the Destruction brought upon the City and Temple & Nation by Titus.

But yet when the bright and morning Star ap­peared, and the Sun of Righteousness arose with healing in his wings, how beautiful and glorious did the Kingdom of the Messiah soon appear? Fulfilling what was spoken by the Prophet Isaiah, when he beheld his glory and spake of him. Isa. 4.2. In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the Earth shall be excellent amp; comly. And (blessed be God) we hope er'e long to see a more ample Fulfilment of these and such like glo­rious Prophecies and Promises, Isa. 60.1, 3. A­rise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and Kings to the brightness of thy rising. Chap. 52.1. Awake, awake, put on strength, O Zion, put on thy beautiful garments, O [Page 19] Jerusalem; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean, &c. Chap. 54.11, 12. Behold I will lay thy stones with fair Colours, and lay thy foundations with Sapphires; and I will make thy windows of Agates, and thy gates of Carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant Stones, &c.

The good Lord hasten the time when there shall be even upon the Bells of the Horses, Ho­liness unto the Lord, and when every Pot in Jerusalem and in Judah, shall be Holiness unto the Lord; when every common thing, such as Bells, and Bridles, and the Utensils of private Houses, Pots and Pitchers, &c. shall be dedi­cated to God, i. e. used in his Service and as Instruments to his Glory.

(3) As the Mountains were round about Jeru­salem, by which it was in some measure Screen'd both from stormy Winds and Tempests, and from the assaults of the Enemy: So the Lord is round about his People from henceforth even for ever. — We have a strong City, Salvation will God appoint for Walls & Bulwarks, &c. Isa. 26.1-4.

But I must hasten,

Secondly, To shew with what Propriety of speech the Lord is said to Build up Jerusalem.


(1) The Lord hath laid the Foundation of his Church. Other Foundation hath no man laid than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. [Page 20] 3, 11. The Church is built on the Founda­tion of the Apostles & Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief Corner-stone. This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our Eyes. Isa. 28.16. 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, &c. As the Temple (that illustrious Type of the Christian Church) was founded on a Rock, viz. Mount-Moriah; so on this Rock of Ages the Church is built, whence it is that the gates of Hell cannot prevail against it. This Foundation of God standeth sure: Tis an everlasting Foundation. Hence the Superstructure, viz the Church Built thereon, is more stable, durable & permanent, than all the Monuments, Statues and triumphal Ar­ches Erected to perpetuate the Memory of Princes, than Mountains of Brass. than Pyra­mids of Gold or Pillars of Marble, — Upon this living Stone has the God of Heaven set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed; a Kingdom spiritual & heavenly in the Laws and Administration of it: Not bounded by any Limits, as worldly Empires are; but truly Universal, which is the true Catholick Church. And this lead me to say,

(2) The Material, wherewith this spiritual House is built, are of his providing, and by his Hands form'd, fashion'd, sitted and laid therein. See [Page 21] 1 Pet. 2.5. Eph. 2.10. Believers are there call'd lively Stones. Men (before Faith) are as dead as Stones in regard of spiritual Life. Now its God alone who can of Stones raise up Children unto Abraham, i, e. Can quicken and make spiritually Alive such as are dead in tres­passes and sins.

Men (who before Conversion are like Stones or Timber in their native Roughness or Crookedness before they are hew'd & squar'd) by Renewing grace become like Corner stones, polish'd after the similitude of a Palace; fit Mate­rials to build withal an House for the Lord, a Habitation for the Mighty God of Jacob. Is the Church Edified? Are Sinners Converted? Are Saints built up in spiritual Knowlege, Faith, Holiness and divine Comfort? This is all owing to the Convincing, Enlightning, Humbling, Regenerating, Sanctifying In­fluences of the Holy Spirit of Grace, Light & Truth. — Which brings me to say,

(3) The Means and lnstruments made use of & improved in carrying on this Work, are all under the Divine Management, Direction and Influence; are actuated, guided, govern'd and rendred Effi­cacious and Successful by a Virtue and Power derived from him.

[1] The Gospel and all the Sacred Institutions & Ordinances of it, are rendred Effectual only in the Hand of the Blessed Spirit. Faith indeed comes [Page 22] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But yet, alas! how many that hear the same, be­lieve not the Report; to whom the Arm of the Lord is not Revealed. By grace are we saved through faith, and that not of our selves, it is the gift of God. We all (faith the Apostle) with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same Image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. The production of one thing out of another which hath no fitness or aptitude to receive such a form, require [...] the Exertion of an Al­mighty Power: As when God made the Light to shine out of Darkness. Now thus much is done in Conversion. There's as great a con­trariety between Nature and Grace, as there is between Darkness and Light. And hence Conversion (which is a Moral and not a Phy­sical Change wrought in the Soul) is called a turning of it from darkness to light. Which is done by God's shining into our hearts, and giving of us the light of the Knowlege of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. If in Judgment to a person or people, the influences of the Spirit are deny'd, the dews of divine Grace suspended and withheld, they prove like the barren Earth which drinketh in the Rain that falls ost upon it, and yet bringeth forth nothing but Briars and Thorns, is nigh unto Cursing, whose End is to be burned. The long continued Un­fruitfulness [Page 23] of a People or particular Person's under the Means of Grace, may provoke God to abandon and give them up to their own hearts Lusts: The sad Consequence of which is, they walk in their own Counsels, and go a whoring after their own Inventions; practising those things both in Common Conversation and Religious Worship, which are agreeable not to the di­vine Commands or Counsels, but to their own Fancies & depraved Inclinations, Psal. 81.11, 12. So 2 Thes. 2.10, 11. Because they received not the love of the Truth that they might be Saved, for this cause God shall send them strong Delusions. — And now they will not endure sound Doctrine, but after their own Lusts heap to themselves Teach­ers, having itching Ears, they now turn away their Ears from the Truth, and are turned unto Fables: Come not to the Law and to the Testi­mony, and thence neither speak nor act accord­ing to this Word: Whence 'tis Evident that (how much so ever New Light they may have) they have no true Light in them And if the Light that is in them be Darkness, alas! how great is that Darkness? Now they are easily led aside by the Ignis Fatuns of their own heated Imagina­tion & deluded giddy Fancies, or by the cunning Craftiness of them that lie in wait to Deceive; and are hurried on by a blind and furious Zeal, a Zeal falsely so called. Now they withdraw from and forsake those burning & shining Lights, [Page 24] in whose Light they were willing to Rejoice for a Season, and follow wandring Stars: Or if I may borrow a Simile from a celebrated Author , They leave the Pole-star to follow Jack with a Lanthorn.

The pale Moon beams, the glimmering Twi­light, the feeble, inconstant, unsteady Resem­blance or faint Appearance of Light in a vari­able Glow-worm, does now more dazzle their Eyes, and is thought to afford them more Light than the direct Rays of the Sun shining in its meridian Lustre and Brightness. The Spirit speaketh expresly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the Faith, giving heed to Seducing spirits, and Doctrines of Devils, speaking Lies in Hypocrisie, 1 Tim. 4.1, 2. An awful Judgment this! Ezek. 47.11. But the miry places thereof, & the marishes thereof, shall not be healed, they shall be given to Salt.

[2] When any prove able Ministers of the New Testament, and are Successful in their Work, 'tis God who makes them so. Paul Planteth, & Apollo Watereth, but God giveth the Increase. We have this Treasure in Earthen Vessels: So that whatsoever powerful Effects are wrought by our Ministry, who knoweth not in all these, thy the Hand of the Lord hath wrought this? He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord: For the ex­cellency [Page 25] of the Power is of God and not of man, Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but Ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? So then, neither is he that Planteth any thing, neither be that Watereth: but God giveth the Increase, 1 Cor. 3.5, 7. So that if any poor, diseased Souls are cured of their spiritual Mala­dies; or if many such are healed by the Wa­ters of the Sanctuary, by the Preaching of the Gospel, insomuch that the People are Won­dring; and perhaps are in danger of having those mens persons in too much Admiration by whom it is preached, like the men of Lystra when they cry'd out, The Gods are come down to us in the likeness of men: And were scarce Re­strain'd that they had not done Sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas, Act. 14.11, 18. It highly becomes such Ministers to go into the Apostle's Language, Act. 3.12. Ye men of Israel, Why mar­vel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by own Power or Holiness, we had done this? Ministers may all say as Jacob in another case, Am I in God's stead? Can we say, Ephphatha unto them that were even born Blind, and open those Eyes that Sin hath shut? Or unstop the Ears of them who are like the deaf Adder that stoppeth her Ear and refuseth to hearken to the voice of Charmers, Charming never so wisely? Can we shew wonders to the Dead? No! No! When we Prophesie over dry Bones, [Page 26] when we call upon any Dead Lazarus to come forth out of the grave of Sin, we must all say as the Prophet, Whether they shall Live, O Lord God, thou knowest.

Thus then it appears that except the Lord build this House, they labour in vain that build it. I have laboured in vain, &c. saith the faithful but unsuccessful Prophet: And a greater than he (One that spake as never man spake) makes the same Complaint, in Isaiah his Type, Isa. 49.4.

And as true it is,

[3] That except the Lord keep this City, the Watchmen (the Civil Ruler I mean) waketh but in vain. Civil Government is a choice and valuable Blessing, of very high Importance to the Weal of a Republick. Good Rulers con­tribute much towards the building up of Jeru­salem. Hence they are styl'd, Gods, Nursing­fathers, Benefactors, Shields of the Earth, Strong Rods, Pillars, Corner-stones, &c. This denotes and plainly intimates the necessity of them and their great usefulness, — Even as the whole Building depends upon the Pillars or Corner­stones, which bear it up, — They are in many respects their Peoples Decus ac Tutamen, both their Glory and their Defence; their Instru­mental Saviour's, their Tutelar and Guardian Angels, as the Breath of their Nostrils, as the Light of the Morning when the Sun riseth, [Page 27] even a Morning without Clouds: They come down like Rain upon the mowen Grass, like Showers that water the Earth; and are as needful and as useful in their place, as those comprehensive and extensive Blessings, the Sun and the Rain. They are as an Hiding place from the Wind, and a Covert from the Tempest; as Rivers of Waters in a Dry place, as the Shadow of a great Rock in a weary Land. See all this Exemplify'd in Job, when he sat Chief, and dwelt as a King in the Army; as one that comforteth the Mourners: Job 29 11,—17. When the Ear heard me then it blessed me; and when the Eye saw me, it gave witness to me. Be­cause I delivered the Poor that Cried, the Father­less, and him that had none to help him. The bles­sing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the Widows heart to sing for joy. I put on Righteousness, &c. I was eyes to the Blind, and feet was I to the Lame. I was a Father to the Poor, and the Cause which I knew not I searched out, and I brake the Jaws of the wicked, and pluckt the spoil out of his teeth. But now whence come these? Why all this cometh from the Lord. Civil Government is of divine Origi­nal. All Power and Authority is derivative. Those that have the most could have none at all, except it were given them from above, by him who Rules in the Kingdoms of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The govern­ment [Page 28] is on his Shoulder who is the Wonderful Counseller, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. I have said, Ye are gods. I who stand in the Congregation of the mighty, & Judge among the gods, Psal. 82.1, 6. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake (to the man who was raised up on high; the Anointed of the God of Jacob, as well as sweet Psalmist of Israel) He that Ruleth over men must be Just, Ruling in the fear of God. Wherein its necessarily implied that Civil Ru­lers are a divine Ordinance. To which agree those words of the Apostle, Rom. 13.1, 2. Let every soul be subject to the higher powers; for there is no Power but of God, the Powers that be are or­dained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the Power, resisteth the Ordinance of God, &c. And likewise, 1 Pet. 2.13, 14, 15. Submit your selves to every Ordinance of man. (So 'tis rendred in our Translation; but in the Original it is, Hu­potagete oun pase anthropine ktisei, which (as is clear and evident from what follows) is as if the Apostle had said, Submit your selves to every Magistrate or Civil Ruler.) Whether it be to the King as Supreme; or unto Governours as unto them that are sent by him, &c. For so is the Will of God. This do for the Lord's sake, who q. d. Com­mands this Obedience and Subjection; who gave them their Authority, and is Represented by them, and Honoured by that Obedience [Page 29] which is Yielded to them in the Lord, consi­dering them as God's Vice-gerents.

Moreover, God is to be seen in Raising up, Qualifying and Improving, Counselling and Assisting, Prospering and Succeeding those whom he advances to Place, Power & Dignity above others. Promotion cometh neither from the East, nor from the West, nor from the South; but God is the Judge, He putteth down one, and setteth up another. The Lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord. He first Inspires them therewith, and then makes use of their Wisdom, Piety, Justice, Magnani­mity, Zeal, &c. in promoting the publick Weal and the Upbuilding of Jerusalem; Prov. 8.15, 16. By me Kings Reign and Princes decree Justice: By me Princes Rule, and Nobles, even all the Judges of the Earth.

So Moses (by the special ordering of Provi­dence) had first a princely Education in the Court of Pharaoh, & was learn'd in all the Wis­dom of the Egyptians, before he was constituted King in Jeshurun. He was first inspir'd with the spirit of Wisdom, Courage, Meekness, &c. whereby he was Qualified herefor, and then had the Government of Israel devolved upon him; was by the divine Election and Appoint­ment made their Commander in Chief and Captain General: Which high Trust reposed in him he was also enabled to Discharge, [Page 30] shewing all good Fidelity therein, being as a Servant faithful in all his House.

So the Lord gave Saul another spirit, i. e. a Princely spirit: And Solomon Largeness of heart, and Wisdom above all that had been before him in Jerusalem.

[4] The Lord may be said to Build up Jerusa­lem, in that he Protects, Defends and Preserves the same: Restrains, Subdues & Conquers the Enemies of his Church, who otherwise would Rase it even to the Foundation thereof. Psal 89.18. The Lord is our Defence. Psal. 124.1—7. If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say, when men rose up against us, then they had swal­lowed us up quick; when their wrath was kindled against us, then the Waters had overwhelmed us, then the proud Waters had gone over our Soul. Blessed be the Lord who hath not given us a prey to their Teeth. Our Soul is escaped as a Bird out of the snare of the Fowler; the snare is broken, and we are escaped. How often have they been Confounded and turned back that hate Zion, and been as the Grass upon the House tops, which withereth afore it groweth up? How often have the Church's Enemies like Ahithe­phel, dy'd in Child-bed, being unable to give Life and Birth to their mischievous Concep­tions? These have been as an hidden untimely Birth, as Infants that never saw Light. God ha­ving given them a miscarrying Womb and dry [Page 31] Breasts. He disappointeth the devices of the Crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their En­terprise. He taketh the wise in their own Craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried Head-long, Job 5.12, 13, Arise, O God, and still plead thine own Cause: remember how the foolish man reproach­eth thee daily, Psal. 74.22.

What now remains is a word or two by way of APPLICATION.

And from the Premisses we may see,

I. To whom we Owe all Homage, Blessing, Thanksgiving and Praise, for the Upbuilding this our Jerusalem. — God (who hath made of one Blood all Nations to dwell upon the face of the Earth, and hath determined the Times before appointed and the Bounds of their Habitation) hath caus'd the Lines to fall unto us in pleasant places, and goodly is the heritage that apper­taineth to our share. We have heard with our Ears, and our Fathers have told us how God inclin'd the hearts of our Ancestors to leave their Native Soil and come into this Jeshimon.

Nos Patria fines & dulcia linquimus arva.

Now he led them through the Deep upon the rude Waves, swelling Surges & foaming Billows of the wide Atlantick, and Landed them on this American Continent; this then wast howl­ing Wilderness, a Land that was not [Page 32] Sown: How he planted them a Noble Vine, wholly a right Seed; and what special Care he took of the same, how he Hedg'd it about, Watch'd and Watered is every Moment, and kept it Night and Day. And how has he caus'd this Vine to take deep Root, to grow and flourish till it has filled the Land: The Hills are now Covered with the Shadow of it, and the Eoughs thereof are like the goodly Cedars. She hath sent out her Boughs unto the Sea, and her Branches unto the River. God has turn'd this Wilderness into a Fruitful Land, and made it a Wealthy Place: Has made this Wilderness to be glad for his People, and this Desart to bud and blossom as a Rose, yea to Blossom abundantly, and Rejoice even with Joy and Singing: The glory of Leb [...] he has given to it, the Excel­lency of Carnal and Sharon. The Blessing of Joseph is come down upon us; Blessings of the Breasts and of the Womb, the precious things of Heaven, the Dew and the Deep that couchath be­neath; the precious Fruits brought forth by the Sun, and the precious things put forth by the Moon; the chief things of the ancient Mountains, and the precious things of the lasting Hills, the precious things of the Earth and the fulness there­of, and the good Will of him that dwelt in the Bush. He has made our Zebulon to Rejoice in his going out, and our Islachar in his Tents: Causing the for­mer to suck of the abundance of the Seas and of the [Page 33] Treasures bid in the Sand; and the latter to Eat the increase of the Fields, Butter of Kine and Milk of Sheep with fat of Lambs, with the fat of Kidneys of Wheat, and to drink the pure blood of the Grape.

O! fortunatos nimium sua sibona norint agricolas!

According to the good hand of our God upon us, we are setled in a place of Rest and Liberty, and in the Possession of many Inva­luable Blessings, Privileges and Enjoyments, Civil and Sacred.

As to our Civil Constitution, if we consider the admirable Temper of our Government, the Justice & Wisdom of our Laws, and the great­ness of our Liberties & Immunities (especially we of this Government) methinks, have no reason to Envy the Condition of any People under Heaven.— God has neither suffered such as hate us to Rule over us (our Governour has been of our selves, and our Nobles have proceeded from the midst of us) nor has he given us Chil­dren to be our Princes, nor Babes to Rule over us; but Men who have guided us by the skilfulness of their Hands, as well as according to the Integrity of their Hearts. We have sat under the plea­sing, cooling & refreshing Shadow of the cheering Vine and Olive-tree with great Delight, and know nothing what it means to be seratch'd & torn by the Bramble, or devour'd by the Fire that comes out [Page 34] thence, Judg. 9.8,—15. We have sat under our own Vines and Figtrees, and had none to make us afraid; but under those in Authority might lead a quiet and peaceable Life in all Godliness & Honesty.

And as to our Religious Privileges and Enjoy­ments, this has been Eminently a Land flowing with Milk and Honey. Here we have seen (and blessed be God still see) the Brooks, the Rivers, the Floods of such Honey and Butter: Here we have for many lustre's of Years had the free & full Enjoyment of Sanctuary Privileges and En­tertainments; had the blessed Ordinances and In­stitutions of Religion dispensed in Plenty & Purity to us; had the true Worship of God set up, estab­lished & maintain'd among us Our Eyes have seen our Teachers; the beautiful Feet of those that bring glad Tidings of good, and publish Salvation, and our Ears have heard the Joyful Sound. And these External Means of Grace have been Ac­companied with a Divine Blessing, & Crown'd with Success in many happy Instances: And it may be said of this, as of the ancient Zion, This and that Man was born in her. Many have been here Born to God, have Experienced the Powerful Energy of Divine Grace; the Strivings of the Holy Spirit with them, and Heavenly Im­pressions upon their Souls; have had the Light of the Knowledge of the glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ shining into their Hearts, whereby [Page 35] they were sweetly drawn to Christ, changed into the same Image; made to Rejoice in God their Saviour, and even Triumph in the Praise of his rich, free and Sovereign Grace abounding towards them. They have been brought to his Ban­quetting House; have sat under his Shadow with great delight, and his Fruit has been sweet to their taste. The great Lover of Souls has been Leading & Feeding them, as a Shepherd gather­ing the Lambs with his Arm, and carrying them in his Bosom, and gently leading those with Young; making them to lie down in green Pastures, and leading them beside the still Waters of the Sanctu­ary: And by his powerful & gracious Influen­ces Cherishing, Nourishing, Maturing and Ripening of them for glory Everlasting.

God has been Raising up of our Sons for Pro­phets, and our Young Men for Nazarites: And in this way is yet speaking good concerning his House for a great while to come.

And for our Publick Seminaries of Learning, may the Generations to come & the Children yet Unborn, Praise the Name of the Lord, as we do this day. Thus God has been to us as a Place of broad Rivers, and we have seen our Sion & our Jerusalem in many respects, a quiet Habitation, a Tabernacle not taken down, neither the Stakes removed, nor Cords broken. And all this notwithstanding our unanswerable Re­truns, [Page 36] Ingratitude and unworthy Carriage to­wards him.

Deus nobis haee oti [...] f [...]cit.

O that men would Praise the Lord for his goodness & for his wonderful works to the Children of men.

II. We may hence learn, On whom we are to Depend, and to whom we must Pray and make Sup­plication, that he would go on to build us up and not pull us down. We should hope in God, trust in the Lord at all times & pour out our hearts before him; Repeating that Praver, Psal. 51.18. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: Build thou the walls of Jerusalem. We should pray in Faith, That the Spirit of the Lord may be plen­tifully poured out, and the Work of the Lord powerfully carried on among us; and that whatsoever now Letteth, may be taken out of the way: That we may be kept from Error and Delusion in our Eternal Concerns. That Satan may not be suffered to get an Advantage against us by transforming himself into an Angel of Light. That God would continually keep up the Wall & Hedge about this his Vineyard, and not suffer the Boar out of the Wood to wast it, nor the wild Beast of the Field to devour it, That he would take for us the Foxes, the little Foxes that spoil the Vines; for our Vines have tender Grapes. That our Churches may have Rest, enjoy Peace, & be Edified. That God would direct [Page 37] to all proper Means, quicken to the diligent Use & Application of them, and follow regular Scriptural Methods & Endeavours for promoting pure & undefiled Religion, with his Efficacious Blessing, and Crown them with abundant Suc­cess That he would guide our Guides, and give our Senators Wisdom. That he would be the Repairer of our Breaches, Settle our shaking, and lengthen out our Tranquility.

When he giveth Quietness, who then can make Trouble? and when he hideth his [...] who then can behold him? whether it be done against a Nation, or against a Man only, Job 34.29. He only can give power to him that fits on the red Horse to take peace from the Earth, Rev. 6.4.

III. Our Subject suggest Divine Counsel to all Orders and Degrees of men in a Publick Station and Capacity, by which to Regulate their Conduct. Since the Great & Wise Master-Builder sees fit to carry on this [...] by the Instrumentality of those whom he delights thus to Honour, it must needs be their bounden Duty, as Co­workers together with God to Exert themselves in a God-like manner, in furthering & pushing forward the same. This is a work of such great Importance to the glory of God and the good of our Fellow-men, that we ought every one in his place, to Employ all our Op­portunities & Abilities with Zeal & Vigour in [Page 38] prompting of it. We should by no means be diverted or beaten off from prosecuting this great & noble Design, nor suffer our selves to be flatter'd, flouted or frighted out of this, which is our Reasonable Service.

Now then let this Counsel of God, in the

1. First Place, Be address'd with all dutiful Submission & Respect, to the Honourable the GOVERNOUR, the DEPUTY-GOVERNOUR, & the Worshipful ASSISTANTS of this Colony. May it please Your Honours whom God has Seated and we hope may this Day Settle & Re-establish in the highest Seats of Dignity, Power and Rule over us, to suffer this word of Exhorta­tion, which speaketh unto You as unto Fathers of our Common Wealth. And let this Divine Counsel be acceptable unto You, though bro't you by the meanest of Christ's Messengers; Yea one who is less than the least of all Saints.

Honoured & Worshipful, We believe that you are men come to seek our Welfare, & that it is because the Lord hath lov'd this our Israel for ever, that he hath made You Rulers over us. And may your Wisdom & Justice, blended with Mercy, ever be such as shall Endear You to God and to Your People. May that ever be Your Motto, N [...]n Mihi sed Populo; which will render you Delictum humani generis. You are betrusted with the Lives, Estates, Liberties & [Page 39] Religious Interest & Enjoyments of this Peo­ple: Many of whose Names (we trust) are writ­ten in Heaven, and Recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life. An Interest this, which must needs be dear to him, Your Mothers Children do make You the Keepers of the Vineyard, and under God confide in You; trusting you will yet Rule with God, and be Faithful with the Saints. And God has graciously promised that He will be with the good; viz. the good Ruler. He will be with you, in all your faithful, wise & just Administrations; and will not wipe out your good Deeds, but remem­ber you for good according to all that you have done, or may do, in building up this his Jerusalem.

What Qualifications are requisite for, and what particular Duties are incumbent on Civil Rulers, as such, have from time to time been suggested to You by such as were much more Capable of it than I am: But of all that has or indeed can be said, this is the comprehensive Sum, viz, That You Employ all your Powers and Abilities, and make use of all your Wisdom and Authority and do all you can towards Building up Jerusalem. This is the Epitome of all that God requires or that we your People can rea­sonably expect from You. And as touching what there is or may be for You to do in this great Affair, I hope I may say to each one of You, as David to Solomon, 1 King. 2.9. Thou art a wise [...] and knowest what thou oughtest to do.

[Page 40]I presume, I may in the Name of the most, if not all, the pious thinking & well-affected a­mong us (without flattery) go into the Lan­guage of Tertullus the Orator & say, Seeing that by You we enjoy great Quietness; and that very worthy Deeds are done to this People, by your Provi­dence, we accept it always & in all places (most noble Rulers) with all Thankfulness. So that when in the Name of Your People I humbly address my self to You, and say as they to Ezra,— This matter belongeth to You, arise and do it: I trust I may add, We also will be with you. We the Lord's Ministers, and we the People of the Lord. And, Oh! that more of the Spirit that came upon Amasai might rest upon us all, 1 Chron. 12.18. Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: Peace, peace be unto thee, and Peace be unto thy Helpers; for thy God helpeth thee.

When it pleased the Supream, Alwise and Sovereign Ruler of the World (in whose right Hand are all our Changes) to call up our MOSES, our late Honourable Governour in Chief *, when full of Days and full of the Holy Ghost; (as it were) to the Mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, to die there; who after he had long faithfully Served his Generation, by the Will of God fell on [...] and his Sepul­chre is here with us: Whose Death was gene­rally [Page 41] Regretted, & deservedly Lamented, whose Memory is still dear to us, and will be had in Everlasting Remembrance: And when Provi­dence so ordered and dispos'd. that by that time we had Mourned for him our Moses, Thirty Days, and even before the days of Weeping & Mourning for him were ended; our JOSHUA on whom Moses had laid his Hands; one full of the Sprit of Wisdom, was Chosen to Succeed and fill up that Vacancy. This was (as I take it) to the great Satisfaction of such as were well-affected & well-wishers to our happy E­stablishment; was look'd upon as clear shining after Rain.

And now, SIR, methinks, You may hear the Lord speaking to You as he did to Joshua, Moses my Servant is dead, now therefore arise thou, &c. As I was with Moses so will be with thee all the days of thy life: Be strong and of a good Courage; be strong and very Couragious, that thou mayest ob­serve to do according to all the Law of Moses, turn not from it to the right Hand nor to the left: For then thou shalt make thy way Prosperous, and then thou shalt have good Success.

So when David the chief Ruler in Israel (who had set his Affection to the House of God, and in whose heart it was to Build an House to his Name) died in a good old Age, full of Days, Riches & Honour, as a shock of Corn cometh in its season; when he was grown ripe for Hea­ven, [Page 42] was satisfied with long Life, i. e. had liv'd as long, as we may suppose he desir'd to live; Solomon (on whom the Eyes of all Israel were fix'd, and in whom was the Wisdom of God to do Judgment, which was the chief Ornament of Solomon even when he appear'd in all his glo­ry) Succeeded him; of whom God had said, He shall Build an House for my Name: Moreover, I will Establish his Kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my Commandments and my Judgments, as at this Day.

I am very sensible the work of Building Je­rusalem at this Day under the present Situation of Affairs, is not altogether unlike what it was in Nehemiah's time. There is much Rubbish that needs to be cleared out of the way; and some Sanballat's and Tobiah' s (not to say Adonijah's) that conspire to discourage, obstruct, retard and hinder the Work: Insomuch that you may find occasion while you are building on the Wall, and have one Hand Employed in the Work, with the other to hold a Weapon. And God grant you may not bear the Sword in Vain. There are but too many Cursing Shimei's and Sons of Bichri, that blow the Horn; Men that despise Government, and are not afraid to speak Evil of Dignities; to Curse the Gods, and speak Evil of the Rulers; Licentious Sons of Belial (absque Jugo) who lift up the Horn, and speak with a stiff Neck; who fear not God neither regard [Page 43] Man. Civil Rulers frequently find themselves obliged to tread Antipodes to some who lift up the Heel against them, and even kick against the pricks: Thorns there are that must be thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands; But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with Iron and the staff of a Spear.

So they that wear Crowns must expect to feel the Thorns. Moreover, it is with Poli­tical Bodies, as with Bodies Natural in a Fever and Ague, that have their up's & down's; if one day tolerably well, the next worse again.

But yet, methinks, I hear your grand Em­ployer saying to You for your Encouragement and Strengthning; as in Haggai, 2.4. Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord, and work; for I am with you, &c. Is not this the Word of the Lord to You, our Zerubbabel's? Zech. 4 6,—9.—Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts. Who are thou, O great Mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a Plain, and he shall bring forth the head­stone thereof with shouting, crying, Grace, grace unto it. The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the Foundation of this House, his hands shall finish it. There is no Wisdom nor Counsel, nor Under­standing against the Lord. Isa. 8.9, 10. Asso­ciate your selves, and ye shall be broken to pieces; take counsel together, and it shall come to nought: for God is with us. Since this work & counsel [Page 44] is of God, none can overthrow it. The LORD doth Build up Jerusalem.

And now, Honoured & Worshipful, since You (like the Sanhedrim of old, the Supreme Court or Grand Council of the Jews,) are now wait­ing at the Tabernacle, that God may put his Spirit upon you; We wish You a Blessing out of the House of the Lord. May the Lord your God be with You as he was with JOSEPH, and make all you do to Prosper is your Hand. May the Holy Spirit accompanying the Word (which is Pure & more Enlightning to the Eyes than the Honey which Jonathan tasted) make You of quick Un­derstanding in the fear of the Lord, that you may have understanding of the Times, and know what our Israel ought to do, how to go out & come in before us, and may under God be both our Sun & our Shield. And having been faithful over a few things, you will finally be made Rulers over many things; and with a transporting Euge be admitted into the Joy of your Lord. AMEN.

And that I may not be further tedious, what I say unto our Chief Rulers, I say unto all that are in Subordinate Places of Publick Trust of every Denomination; and to the whole Representative Body of this People now Con­ven'd; viz. As you are under manifold special Advantages for it, so it must needs greatly be­hove and concern you vigorously to Exert your selves in helping forward the Building up [Page 45] of Jerusalem. Perhaps, there never was more need than now of the Exercise of your Wis­dom, Prudence, Fidelity, Zeal, Vigilancy, Re­solution, Fortitude, &c. for the common Safe­ty & Welfare. You will therefore (we trust) keep back nothing of these that may be pro­fitable for us.— For your Brethren and Com­panions sake, and because of the House of the Lord our God you will seek our good.

I am sorry it has fallen to my Lot to stand in this sacred Desk, especially at such a Day & Time as this is; A day of Trouble & of tread­ing down & of Perplexity in this valley of Vision: But since his Honour has Commanded me here, You will suffer me to deliver my own Soul, to plead the Cause of God, and stand up for him against the Workers of Iniquity. And are there not many growing Evils and prevailing Sins, for which the Land Mourns, and which have a very awful tendency to Undermine our Foundations, to Sap our Walls, to Bury us in a general Desolation, and lay our Jerusalem utterly Waste? At which my heart trembleth & is moved out of its place— And, Oh! that my head were Waters, and mine Eyes a fountain of Tears. And is there no Balm in Gilead? Can no Remedy be found out and apply'd for the Cure of this Wound of the Daughter of my People? Is there no way to stem the Stream and keep out the rising & swelling Tyde of Sin & Wick­edness, [Page 46] which otherwise like a mighty Deluge Inundation, or wide-breaking in of Water, threatens to Overwhelm & Destroy us? Is there no possible way to bridle the Tongues of such Prophane Persons, as dare take in Vain that Sacred & Dreadful Name the Lord JEHOVAH, before whom Angels bow and Devils tremble — To give a check and put a stop to the shameful Prophanation of the Holy Sabbath; The growing neglect of God's Publick Worship; The forsaking the Assem­bling of themselves together, as the Manner of some is, and setting up Schismatical Conventi­cles, setting up Altar against Altar, and their Posts by God's Posts; and too much Symbolizing with the practise of those Times, wherein they said, — Let the men that Sacrifice kiss the Calves, Hos. 13.2.

I would humbly propose whether this be not an Iniquity to be Punished by the Judges, and whether in these Times, not of Ignorance but of great Light, these things should be con­nived and winked at by any? Can nothing be done to heal our unhappy Divisions? To put a stop to, and prevent Unscriptural Separations & Disorderly Practises of various kinds, which have a direct Tendency to, and by a natural Causality necessarily do, disturb the Peace of this our Jerusalem, and greatly weaken the Walls of it? Practices concerning which we [Page 47] may say as the Prophet did in another case, Hear this ye Old men, and give Ear all ye Inhabi­tants of the Land; hath that been in your Days, or even in the Days of your Fathers? Joel. 1.2.

I desire, with others, to Adore God for all the genuine fruitys of the spirit visible among us; and for what of his Work he has been & is carrying on in the Land: But yet think we have all reason to tremble for the Ark of God; if some Irregularities & Extravagancies which are grown rise & bare-fac'd & but too notori­ously known, be not timely Suppress'd. Hear the Sentiments of a late Venerable, Pious and Learned Divine of our own, ‘Men (s;ays he) of a Censorious, Dividing Spirit, how specious so ever their pretences of Zeal for Reformation may be, are no real Friends to this Cause; but it most effectual Adversaries. Unpeaceable, Party Spirited Reformers, are dangerous Coals fitted to kindle a destroying Fire in a Place. The Spirit of holy Zeal is a Spirit of holy Love and of Meekness and of a sound Mind. Let me tell you, that for the Divisions of R [...]uben there are great Searchings of heart. Those evil Surmisings & uncharitable Jealousies one of another; those Aspersions cast one upon another, and upon some of the best Friends of our Zion: Those Strises & Con­tentions among us in Towns, Churcher, &c. [Page 48] are very Provoking to God, and are like to be Ruinating to our selves, Hos. 10.2. Gal. 5.15. Jam. 3.15, 16. Our Safety is only in Unity; our Security, in being one for God, one with Christ, and one among our selves, O let us consider how little God's Work goes forward & how his Glory suffers, while men spend their little Zeal in Oppositions and Invectives one against another? This picketh out the Ce­ment and crumbles away the Mortar which is the strength of the Building; and when sgone, with what Ease may it by made to fall!’ Thus far he. To which let me subjoyn the words of a far greater than he; Thus saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, Every Kingdom divided against it self is brought to Desolation, and every City or House divided against it self shall not stand, Mat. 12.25.

Surely, it must concern all that are Vested with Legislative or Executive Power and Au­thority, to Remedy this as far as in them lies. Does not that Exhortation speak to all such? Amos. 5.15. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be the Lord will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. God forbid that we should help the Ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord. We hope You will take due care that such be preferr'd to places of Publick Trust, as dare but the Laws of Men in Execution against them that tram­ple [Page 49] on the Laws of God. Whosoever break­eth any of the wholsom Laws of the Govern­ment himself, and (at least by his Example) teaches others so to do, must needs be unfit to be a Judge of the Law, or a Justice of the Peace. Rom. 2.1. — Wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thy self: For thou that Judgest doest the same thing. Honour is not seemly for a Fool: And the Wicked will walk on every side, if such be Ex­alted, Psal. 12.8. Should Fol [...]y be set in great Dignity, or wicked Men be set over us, with Satan standing at their right Hand; we should soon roar all like [...] and mourn sore like Doves; renewing that Complaint. Isa. 59.11, 14. We look for Judgment, but there is none. Judgment is turned away backward, and Justice standeth afar off: Yea Truth faileth, and he that departeth from Evil maketh himself a Prey. For such a Ruler is as a roaring Lion and a ranging Bear to the poor People; a Magor-missabib, a Terror to all about him, Prov. 28 15.

2. Let this Divine Counsel be address'd (with all Humility & Deference) to my Reve­rend Fathers & Brethren in the MINISTRY. Venerable Fathers and Dear Brethren, Suffer me (who am the least & meanest of your Order and most unworthy to be your Monitor) to stir up your pure Minds by putting you in Remem­brance of those things which you know already. As the glorious Head & Builder of his Church [Page 50] has done us the Honour to commit much of this Work into our hands, so He and his Peo­ple justly expects that we lay out our selves, spend and be spent in it; that we Labour & take ut­most Pains that his Church may be Built up with lively Stones, a spiritual House which may resem­ble the Temple of God above, into which nothing Entreth that Defileth, that worketh Abomination or maketh a Lie— That we fulfil the Ministry which we have received in the Lord— That we apply our selves to this Work with all that Zeal, Activity and Diligence which are requi­site in so important an Affair.

Let us then beware we don't do the Work of the Lord negligently. Oh! how great & weighty, solemn and awful is the Trust reposed in us? The care & charge of Souls! Immortal Souls! Precious Souls! The Price & Purchase of the invaluable Blood of the Son of God. We watch for Souls as they that must give Account, Heb. 13.17 Let us then take heed both to our selves, and to all the Flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made us Overseers, to Feed the church of God which he hath Purchased with his own Blood; lest the Blood, instead of the Blessing of any Souls ready to Perish should come upon us: Lest the Soul of any Brother for whom Christ died should be de­stroyed through our default. O let us dread the Doom of the slothful & unprofitable Servart. Let us frequently ponder those awful words of [Page 51] God to the Prophet Ezekiel, Chap. 3. ver. 17, 18 Son of man, I have made thee a Watch-man, &c, When I say unto the wicked. Thou shalt surely die, and thou givest him not Warning,—the same wicked man shall die in his Inquity, but his blood will I re­quire at thine hand. Let us not shun to declare the whole Counsel of God, that we may be pure from the blood of all men. Let us speak God's Word unto them, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear. Let us Warn every man, and watch in all things. Let us do the work of Evange­lists, and make full proof of our Ministry. Let us not be afraid, tho' briars & thorns be with us (as God said to the Prophet) and tho' we may dwell among Scorpions. Let us not be afraid of their words, nor dismayed at their looks, tho' they be a rebellions House. We that have God's Word, let us speak his Word faithfully; for what is the Chass to the Wheat? saith the Lord.

Let us not daub with untempered Mortar, nor prephesie smooth things, or say Peace to the wicked, to whom God saith, there is no peace. Let it grieve us to the heart to see any of our People pining away in their iniquities; and from a deep & tender Compassion to them, employ all our Tho'ts & contribute our utmost Endeavours; try & try again to pluck them as brands out of the burning. As we are made Watchmen, so let us stand continually upon the Watch Tower, and not desert our Post. Let us not depart from the [Page 52] Temple day nor night, left upon our departure grievous Wolves should enter in not sparing the Flock. Let us study to be quiet & to do our own business, and not be busie bodies in other mens matters. Let us be Labourers and not Loyterers in our Lord's Vineyard. And then tho' all the winning, en­dearing Methods of Perswasion should be dis­regarded & spurnd at by Sinners; and tho' they should deride & laugh at the shaking of the glittering Spear of divine Comminations; should account the most awful weapons of our War­fare but as stubbie, straw & rotten wood. In a word, Tho' Israel should not be gathered, yet shall we (if we are faithful) be glorious in the Eyes of the Lord. And blessed shall we be if when our Lord comes he finds us so doing.

'Tis true, it is a Difficult, but yet it is a good Work; a Sacred Function, an Exalted Service, a Noble Employment, an honourable, pleasant, desira­ble & delightful Work; the best we can be Em­ployed in on this side glory. Angels & Arch­angels, Cherubims & Seraphims do not d [...]sdain to be ministring spirits to the heirs of Salvation. Nay, the incarnate JESUS tells us, He came not to be ministred unto, but to minister. And what faith our text? Jehovah doth build up Jerusalem.

Be it so, that we are treated (by the licen­tious Sons of C [...]rah, or by any whose throat is an open Sepulchre & their tongue an unruly Evil, full of deadly Poison, and set on fire of [Page 53] Hell) as the Off-scouring of all things, made the Song of the Drunkard, or stigmatiz'd as Carnal, Pharisees, Hypocrites, Dumb Dogs, & what not? Tis enough that the Disciple be as his Master, & the Servant as his Lord. The world hated Christ before it hated his Ministers. If they call the Master of the house Beelzebub, no marvel if they call them of the Houshold so. Which brings to my mind a Stanza or two in a Funeral Elegy made by that sweet Singer of the British Israel, the very Pious & Excellent Dr. Watts, to the Me­mory of the Reverend & Renowned Mr. Thomas Gouge; of whom the Doctor says, Tho' he was so great & good a Man, he did not escape Censure.

Ye Seraphs that surround the Throne,
Tell how his Name was through the Palace known,
How warm his Zeal was and how like your own.
Speak it aloud, let half the Nation hear,
And bold Blasphemers shrink and fear.
Impudent Tongues to blast a Prophet's Name;
The Poyson sure was fetch'd from Hell,
Where the old Blasphemers Dwell,
To taint the purest Dust & blot the whitest Fame.
Impudent Tongues! You should be darted through,
Nail'd to your own black Mouths, and lie
Useless and dead till Slander die,
Till Slander die with you.

Be it so that any of us by means of devoting our selves to this Work, are brought to a piece of Bread; Yet thanks be to our heavenly Fa­ther, In his House there is Bread enough & to spare. And e're long (if we are good & faithful Ser­vants) we shall eat Bread with him in his King­dom [Page 54] of glory. Lord, evermore give us that Bread.

Let us be frequently looking up to that glit­tering and immortal Crown, that Crown of life & glory which is promis'd to him that is faith­ful unto the death. Which that we may all be, let us also be frequently lifting up our hands to the holy Oracle for Light Counsel, Direction, Assistance & Success, in our work; and especially now when it seems to be such a Day as the Pro­phet describes, Zech. 14 6, 7. And it shall come to pass in that day that the light shall not be clear nor dark; not day nor night. God grant that the Evening of it may prove Light. Our work is Onus humeris angelicis for midandum. But yet we know who has said, Lo, I am with you alway to the End of the world

Let us be earnest & incessant in our Requests at the Throne of grace in behalf of our dear Charge, resolving with the Prophet, Isa 62.1. For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, & for Je­rusalem's sake I will not rest until the righteousness thereof go sorth a brightness, & the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. We that make mention of the Lord should not keep silence, should give him no rest till be establish and till he make Jeru­salem a Praise in the whole Earth. Let us then add to our faithful Endeavours our servent Prayers for the Peace & Prosperity of Jerusalem. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord weep be­tween the [...]orch & the Altar, and let them say, Spare thy People, O Lord; O God, thou hast been displeased, [Page 55] thou hast scattered us; thou hast made the Land to tremble, thou hast broken it: heal the breaches, for it shaketh. Where is thy Zeal, O Lord, and thy Strength, the sounding of thy Bowels & thy Mercies, are they Restrained?

To Conclude, Let all that now hear me be per­swaded to unite your Strength and do all You can in your respective Places and according to your several & different Talents, Abilities and Oppurtunities, to further the Building up of Je­rusalem. As to the greater part of this Nume­rous Assembly, I never expect to see Your faces more, till we hear the Sound of the last Trum­pet, and all appear before the Judgment-seat of Christ. I would therefore leave this with You as my Dying Counsel. And, Oh! hearken to it; if you have any regard to God's Glory, to the Honour and Interest of our Dear Re­deemer; if you have any Love to your Neigh­bours, or to the dear Off-spring of your own Bowels; if you have any Regard to your own Safety, seek the Peace and Prosperity of this City, and pray to God for it; for in the Peace thereof ye shall have Peace.

And here let me enter a Caveat against some things which have an undoubted tendency to pull down & destroy, instead of Building up Jerusalem. Beware of that Luciferian Pride and Arrogancy, which prompts some to invade the Divine Pre­rogative, to anticipate the Work of the Day of Judgment, to take upon them to Judge the Se­crets [Page 56] of mens Hearts & determine their State Godward, to Censure & Condemn even those as Unconverted & Hypocrites, of whom the world is not worthy. What is this better than that? Isa. 14.13. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the Stars of God; I will be like the Most High. Those that teach this for Doctrine, understand neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

Further, I beseech you, Brethren, Mark them which cause Divisions & Offences, contrary to the Doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them: For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own Belly; and by good words and fair speaches deceive the hearts of the simple. The fruit of the Spirit is Love, Peace, &c. This is the Wisdom that is from above. The Kingdom of God is not Meat & Drink, but Righteousness & Peace; for he that in these things serveth Christ, is acceptable to God & approv'd of men. Where as divisive, separating Principles & Practises are Condemn'd in Scripture as Works of the Flesh, and an Argument of a Carnal Mind. See 1 Cor. 3 2 4 For whereas there is among you Envying & Strife & Divisions, are ye not Carnal & walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another I am of Apollos, are ye not Carnal? See also Jam. 3 14, 16. A Church-rending, Unpeaceable, Party Spirit, is certainly a bid Spirit. How can one Edifie another, without following after the things that make for Peace? 'Tis true, our Sa­viour [Page 57] says, He came not to send Peace, but a Sword. But what Sword? Why not the Sword of Friends, but of Enemies to Christianity. For Christians to Hate, Persecute and Wound one another, this is like plunging a Spear into Christ's Sacred Side (whose Mystical Body the Churh is) 'tis Crucifying the Son of God afresh and putting of him to an open shame Alas! that the Blessed JESUS, the Prince of Peace, should be thus Wounded in the House of his Prosessed Friends! That his Seamless Coat should be rent in twain, like the Vail of the Temple, by those almost Unpresidented Schisms which have of late been made, and are still sub­sisting in some of our Churches.

Further still, Take that Caution given by the Inspired Preacher Prov. 24. 21 My son, Fear thou the Lord, and the King; and meddle not with them that are given to Change. As touching any Se­cret Plots, of Intreagues against the State; and likewise as to those which are call'd Separate Meetings: Respecting the former, methinks, we have all reason to say as the holy Patriarch, O my Soul, come not thou into their Secret: And with respect to the latter, Unto their Assembly mine Honour be not thou United. The Calling of such Assemblies, is (I am perswaded) what God cannot away with: It is Iniquity, even their So­lemn Meetings; For who hath required this at their hands? Those (God tells us) are a Smoke in his Nose, a Fire that burneth all the Day, who walk in [Page 58] a way that is not good, after their own Thoughts, that Sacrifice in Gardens, &c. Which say, Stand by thy self, come not near to me▪ for I am holier than thou, Isa. 65. 2—5. To me it plainly appears (and therefore I am neither afraid nor asham'd to declare it as my Opinion) that diverse things relating to, and transacted in, these Separate Meetings, are a great Blemish to the Christian Name and Profession, directly contrary to the Religion of the Bible: particularly to that A­postolick Rule, 1 Cor. 14.40 Let all things be done Decently & in Order. That they are subversive of Peace, Discipline & Government: Lay open the Sluices & make a Gap to let in a Flood of Con­fusion & Disorder; and very awfully portend the Ruin of these Churches, unless a Stop be put to them. Should this spirit & practise ge­nerally obtain & be in Vogue, we should soon find stretch'd out upon us, the Line of Confusion, and the Stones of Emptiness. This would soon be an Habitation of Dragons, & a Court for Owls.—Wherefore let us beware less we throw the House out at the Windows, or pull it down upon our Heads. Lest our Bethels be converted into Bethavens; Lest our House of Prayer be haunted with Evil spirits, & trun'd into Dens of Disorder, Confusion, Noise and Clamour; or into Dens of Thieves & Robbers: And lest (as it has happen'd in some other parts of the world) our whole Land should become an Aceldama, a Field of Blood & Slaughter on account of Religion.—Let [Page 59] us not be high minded but fear. And, Oh! let us befiege the Throne of grace, that God would lead us into all Truth, & not scatter Darkness in our Paths, nor suffer us to err from this ways.

And now, Brethren, I commend you to God & to the Word of his grace, which is able to build you up; and shall now shut up all with those words of the Holy Ghost in the Epistle of Jude,-Behold the Lord cometh with Ten thousands of his Saints, to excute Judgement upon all,& to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, and their mouth speaking great swelling words of vanity, having mens persons in ad­miration because of advantage. But beloved, re­member the words which were spoken before of the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, how that they told you that there should be meckers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts: These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye beloved, builing up your selves on your most holy Faith, Praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep your selves in the Love of God. Looking for the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto Eternal Life. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the Presence of his glory with exceeding Joy. To the Only Wise God our Saviour, be Glory and Majesty, Dominion and Power, both now and ever. AMEN.


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