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published, to bring the affair in general, and the many things that attend it, that are the subjects of debate, under a particular consideration. And certainly it is high time that this was done. If private persons may speak their minds without arrogance, much more may a minister of the kingdom of Christ' speak freely about things of this nature, which do so nearly concern the interest of the kingdom of his lord and master, at so important a juncture. If some elder minister bad undertaken this, I acknowledge it would have been more proper; but I have heard of no such thing a doing, or. like to be done. I hope therefore, I shall be excused for undertaking such a piece of work. I think nothing that I have said can justly be interpreted, as though I would impose my thoughts upon any, or did not suppose that others have equal right to think for themselves, with myself. We are not accountable one to another for our thoughts; but we must all give an account to him who searches our hearts, and has doubtless his eye especially upon us at such an extraordinary season as this. If I have well confirmed my opinion concerning this work, and the way in which it should be acknowledged and promoted, with Scripture and reason, I hope othors that read it will receive it, as a manifestation of the mind and will of God. If others would hold forth further light to me in any of these particulars, I hope I should thankfully receive it. I think I have been made in some measure sensible, and much more of late than formerly, of my need of more wisdom than I have. I make it my rule to lay hold of light and embrace it, wherever I see, it, though held forth by a child or an enemy. If I have assumed too much in the following discourse, and have spoken in a manner that savors of a spirit of pride, no wonder that others can better discern it than I myself. If it be so, I ask pardon, and beg the prayers of every Christian reader, that I may have more light, humility and zeal; and that I may be favored with such measures of the divine Spirit, as a minister of the gospel stands in need of, at such an extraordinary season.


The occasion of the following treatise, will be seen, in part, jn the preceeding narrative. The gracious influences of the Holy Spirit, with which Northampton was so abundantly enriched, and which spread through many towns in its vicinity, were soon followed with a very extensive revival over the land. An extraordinary zeal was excited in many gospel ministers. Itinerants travelled the country and preached daily. They addressed their crowded audiences, not in the dull monotony of a mere moral lecture, but in the demonstration of the Spirit, and with power. Their indefatigable labors were crowned with the most desirable success. Zion put on her robes of salvation. Converts to Jesus were multiplied as the drops of the morning dew. Religion became almost the only subject of concern. Many indulged the hope that the millenial glory was commencing. This glorious work had its opposers. Advantage was taken of the errors of some of its most zealous promoters to cry it down, and render it altogether suspicious. Mr. Edward's design was to vindicate it, as undoubtedly a work of God, and among the most admirable of his triumplis over the hearts of his enemies; to correct errors which attended it, and to excite augmented efforts for its increase.

The scene which he describes is past; let it live however in our memories. Let it excite our fervent gratitude, and call forth the devout aspirations of our souls for the spread of the victories of our glorious King in these days. Let the pertinent and instructive sentiments wrought into the treatise, the most of which are adapted to every condition in which the church and the individual believer can be placed, take deep hold of our hearts and be carried out in their proper effects in our lives.

This work had a second edition in Scotland, soon after it was first published in this country.



Shewing that the crlraordinary Work that has of late been

going on in this Land, is a glorious Work of God.

The error of those who have had ill thoughts of the great religious operations on the minds of men, that have been carried on of late in New England, (so far as the ground of such an errror has been in the understanding, and not in the disposition) seems fundamentally to lie in three things :

First. In judging of this work a priori.

Secondly. In not taking the holy scriptures as an whole rule whereby to judge of such operations.

Thirdly. In not justly separating and distinguishing the good from the bad.

1. They have greatly erred in the way in which they have gone about to try this work, whether it be a work of the Spirit of God or no, viz. in judging of it a priori; from the way that it began, the instruments that have been employed, the means that have been made use of, and the methods that have been taken and succeeded, in carrying it on. Whereas, if we duly consider the matter, it will evidently appear that such a work is not to be judged of a priori but a posteriori. We are to observe the effect wrought; and if, upon examination of it,


it be found to be agreeable to the word of God, we are bound, without more ado, to rest in it as God's work; and shall be like to be rebuked for our arrogance, if we refuse so to do till God shall explain to us how he has brought this effect to pass, or why he has made use of such and such means in doing it. Those texts are enough to cause us with trembling to forbear such a way of proceeding in judging of a work of God's Spirit; Isa. xl: 13, 14. * Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord,

, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel? And who instructed him, and who taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?" John iii: 8. " The wind bloweth where it listeth; and thou hearest the sound thereof; but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth.” We hear the sound, we perceive the effect, and from thence we judge that the wind does indeed blow; without waiting, before we pass this judgment, first to be satisfied what should be the cause of the wind's blowing from such a part of the heavens, and how it should come to pass that it should blow in such a manner, at such a time. To judge a priori, is a wrong way of judging of any of the works of God. We are not to resolve that we will first be satisfied how God brought this or the other effect to pass, and why he hath made it thus or why it has pleased him to take such a course,

and to use such and such means, before we will acknowledge his work, and give him the glory of it. This is too much for the clay to take upon it with respect to the Potter. not account of his matters. His judgments are a great deep. He hath his way in the sea, and his path in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known; and who shall teach God knowledge, or enjoin him his way, or say unto him, what doest thou? We know not what is the way of the Spirut, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so we know not the works of God, acho maketh all. No wonder, therefore, if those that go this forbidden way to work, in judging of the present wonderful operation, are perplexed and confounded. ought to take heed that we do not expose ourselves to

God gives


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