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rant of the Lord of glory, they have oftener crucified him than paid him homage. Many times have they rejected his doctrines, but seldom received them. The history of the church abundantly proves that they have been her enemies. Their hostile attempts have been equally hurtful in opposite extremes. Their smiles have produced multitudes of apostates, and their frowns have kindled the furnace and flames of persecution. The Redeemer's work by no means depends on them. It flourished when they were all in arms against it, and will prosper in spite of all their opposition. The Lord Jesus is the author of the Doctrines of Faith, and will preserve them. He has promised to be with his servants to the end, and to bestow his blessing wherever his name is recorded. Should the princes of this world appear friendly to religion, their favour might multiply professors; but nothing short of Divine grace can make a single soul receive the truth in the love of it. The countenance of earthly princes is fickle and mutable. Divine countenance is secured by the faithful promise and oath of him who cannot lie.
2. The Redeemer's kingdom and interest are not supported by external force, and the courage and prowess of armies. Human lusts produce wars, and induce men to bite and devour one another. So situated, military forces may be necessary for their support. These the church can seldom command, and the want of them is compensated in her Captain and King. He is both the breaker-up of her way, and her rearward. He is mightier than all who can be against her. He supplies the force of armies, and
military courage and skill. His faithfulness is her shield and buckler. Like the pillar of old, his presence enlightens her, and is a defence against all her foes. As members of civil society, Christians are entitled to the same rights with others. Their religious profession should neither interfere with, nor invalidate their natural rights. They may plead them; and should never be deprived of them. Like the apostle, they may claim and improve the advantages of being free born; and in opposition to the malicious and unjust decisions of chief priests and elders, they may appeal unto Cesar. True religion may make men better citizens, but cannot make them worse. As church members, the King of saints will protect them. The Lord will fight for Zion and the hill thereof. Christ's kingdom is not of this world, and he does not support it by secular power and influence. Had it been of this world, he would have fought when in it. He girds not the carnal but spiritual sword on his thigh, and rides on the white horse of the Gospel to conquer. The weapons of his followers are not carnal, but mighty through God to baffle opposition. We have a beautiful emblem of the method in which the church is supported, in the return of the Jews from Babylon to Jerusalem. They applied not to the Babylonian monarch for support, but to God. They fasted at the river Ahava. God heard their supplications, and answered their cries. He protected their persons, prospered their journey, and defended their cause.
3. Christ's work is not carried on by numbers. Though they had neither legal authority nor military
force, great numbers might overcome all opposition, and prevail. Christ's spiritual temple never was, and never will be built by mere superiority of number. A country may be Christianized. Professors may increase to vast multitudes. But, in order to promote the Lord's spiritual temple, like Gideon's army, they must be tried, thinned, and reduced. About numbers the common rule is, Many are called, but few chosen; broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which there be which go in thereat; but narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. About to settle the Gospel in any particular place, men have often such a desire for numbers as evidences much want of spirituality and faith. The usual way of supporting a proper testimony for Christ is by a few names. With a simple dependance on the Redeemer, a few will afford that outward support which is necessary for his cause. Instead of discouraging from prayer, this consideration should urge us to wrestle that this and that man may be born in Zion. Our minds should be deeply impressed with this truth, that numbers of themselves can never build the temple of the Lord; and that a few, commissioned and countenanced by the King of Zion, can do much with him, while multitudes ean do nothing without him. Though few in number, and opposed by legal authority, the apostles planted Christianity in many places. Often a very few have supported the Lord's truths in the place where Providence fixed their lot, without external aid, and in opposition to all attempts to crush them. Christ's gracious presence is of incalculable
worth; and he may well say to his few followers, "How many take ye ME to be?"
4. The Lord's work is not carried on by worldly influence and grandeur. Many professing the true religion have been apt to think that, should such a person join them, and add his weight and influence to the good cause, it would certainly prosper. Commissioned to anoint one of Jesse's sons, even the prophet himself was caught in this snare. He made up his mind about the Lord's anointed, by external appearance. Many still argue, "were such an one among us, he would bring his friends and favourites." The Lord sees not as man sees. He commonly chooses the foolish things of this world, and things that are not, to support his interest. Now and then, a person of eminence may become a builder in Christ's spiritual temple. If he engages from single views, he comes as a little child, and not to be admired and applauded; and if he wants to attract attention, it is by his Christian walk and conversation, his fervent supplication and spiritual advice; and not by his exterior influence. Doubtless he will exert himself in the Redeemer's cause; but he will do it in the way which his great Master has appointed. "It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in princes. Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm." The Lord works all the work, and is entitled to all the glory. We should have a simple dependance on him.
5. Far less is the building of Christ's spiritual temple to be carried on by carnal policy and worldly wisdom. Antichrist has uniformly adopted this method; but it
is infinitely removed from the Redeemer. The church has been pestered with plans of this kind. Carnal policy has frequently been employed to bring in them who were without, and retain in the bosom of the church such as ought to have been rejected. Temporizing compliances have been adopted about the doctrines of religion, both as to the matter and manner of declaring them. The matter has been changed, and corrupted. Important articles have been renounced, and corrupt traditions added. The whole method of grace has been vitiated and adulterated. Schemes equally prejudicial have been employed to render them palatable by the manner. The simplicity of the Gospel has been exchanged for the enticing words of men's wisdom. The cross of Christ has been laid aside, that Christianity might be suited to the carnal inclinations and affections of men. The grand characteristic of evangelical doctrine, that it exalts the Saviour, and humbles the sinner, has been rejected; and something substituted in its place, which gratifies self and human pride, and keeps the sinner away from the Saviour. The same method has extended to practices. Professed Christians have not only mingled with the heathen, and learned their way, but have gone half way to meet them. This and the other practice has been considered first as tolerable, then as admissible, and at length as proper, and calculated to remove the prejudices of the world against religion, and such as profess it, and induce others to associate with them, and join in the same profession. It can be no wonder though the Lord blast such methods; but it would