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Divine Service, (If I may so call it) though too little of the Power of Divinity is often there, as we may see by the Effect in Gillingham: and no Wonder, when the Watchman, instead of endeavouring to convert Sinners from the Error of their Ways, studies to ridicule the Godly, and teach their Auditors to do the same, by ftigmatizing them with the opprobrious Name of Enthusiasts or Methodists, which is the cant Name given to all converted Souls, that begin to walk religiously in the Fear of God. It is horrible to tell, and sorrowful to see, in a Protestant Country, he that dares to own Christ openly, iş by some Jew-hearted, Popeheaded Ministers judged fit to be cast out of the Synagogue, John xxii. 34. But Believers do know those fort of Ministers are Lovers of Pleasure more than Lovers of God, 2 Tim. iii. 4. Having only the Form of Godliness, but deny the Power, (haying never felt it) from such' lifeless, erronious Teachers we ought to turn away our Ear, 2 Tim. iii. 5. Those letter-learned, proud-boasting, goatfeeding Teachers do by ridiculing the Godly, together with their worldly Conversation mixed with Scoffing (with Griet I speak it) confirm proud Naamans in their Ignorance and Blindness, which will prove a Curse to them at last, for Cursed is be that maketh the Blind to, wander out of the Way, Deut. xxvii. 18. It was said of the Pharisees, they neither go in to the Kingdom of Heaven themselves, nor suffer them that are entring to go in, Matt. xxiii. 13: which is truly the very Case in our Days. And therefore proud Naamans do continue in Rage to cry out faying, Are not the Doctrines of our Churches better than the Doctrines of the Methodists? may we not go there, wash and be clean? But, Query, Where does God bestow his Bitlsings ? My dear. Neighbours, I
declare before God that I pay a great Respect to the fundamental Doctrines of the Church of England, as by Law established, perhaps beyond most of you, for in the Doctrine contained in the Seven
, teenth Article of the Church of England, which is the. Bulwark and Defence of the Church, I place my whole Confolation. The Doctrines of the Church of England are like an Apothecary's Shop, having all Sort of Ingredients for lalutary Ends, fic for Exhortation, Reproof, and Admonition, cutting and healing, killing and curing. But if an unskilful, unexperienced Physician, injudiciously administers thote Ingredients, the Patient might be killed instead of cured : 66 For a natural Man discerneth not, nor receiveth the Things of the Spirit of God (though learned in the Letter) for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spirituaily discerned. But he that is fpiritual judgeth all Things, even the deep Things of God; although he himself is judged of no (unconverted) Man,”. I Cor. ii. 14, 15. Therefore, 'an Unbeliever, that hath not been juftified by Faith, and tasted the Sweets of Forgivenefs of Sins, that pleads there is no such Thing attainable in this Life ! such, I say, can have no Fellowship with gracious Souls, no more than Darkness have with Light, 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15. And now thou proud Naaman, behold and hearken diligently, if the Doctrines of our Church, or the Waters of Israel, God's Word, flow out, cleanse and sanctity a peculiar People to God, who by Virtue of the Power, Operation, and inward Teaching of God's Spirit preach and pray extempore, he or they being skilled in the Word of Righteousness, will advise thee, as the Man of God did Naaman, to wash seven Times in Jordan, composed of the seven (the manifold) Streams of Christ's Blood, G2
which ficwed out for thy Recovery : for as Chrift thed his precious Blood leven Times, or from seven different Parts of his holy Body for Man's Salvation, viz. by Circumcifion, Scourging, Crowning with Thorns, the Spear in his Side, Nails in his two Hands, and the Nail in his Feet; and each Stream being mysterious and meritorious, being the Blood of Immanuel, and the indenting and fealing Blood of the Covenant, it becometh us to think and speak respectfully thereof; and as Christ commanded his Disciples to gather up the Frag. ments of natural Bread, that nothing might be loft, John vi. 12. Doubtless we ought to have an Eye to all the Sufferings of Christ, which is the Soul's Bread of Life ; and with great Humility and Thankfulness wash feven Times, that is, frequently and effectuaily, in this blefied Jordan, that we may be clean: For the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanfeth the penitent Sinner from all Sin, 1 John i. 7. Thus, we fee (blessed be God) Unbelievers become Believers, and being made Priests and Kings unto God, Rev. i. 6. can by Faith carry Christ, the Ark of the Covenant, Ifa. Ixii. 6. seven Times, &c. round the Walls of Jericho (viz. the Devil's Kingdom) and blow through weak Rams Horns in mighty Prayer and Supplication, 'till the Walls of Jericko (or Satan's strong Holds) fall down, Joshua vi. 20. and 2 Cor. x. 4. But if God's Word, or the Waters of Israel, or Doctrines of the Church of England are not made Use of in Israel's ground, but carried into a strange Land, and used by one whose Heart and Nature was never changed, who never prevailed with God in mighty Prayer, (as Jacob did when he obtained his new Name Ifrael, and received Power from God, Gen..xxxii. 28.) Neither knows the Joys of the new birth, nor can say, I remember the Love of my Espousals, Can. iii. 2. Jer.
ii. 2. Being never married to Christ, that he might bring forth Fruit unto God, Rom. vii. 4. And was never sent, nor effectually called by the Lord to work in his Vineyard, Matt. xx. 1. But ran for the sake of filthy Lucre, i Peter v. 2. although God never sent him, Jer. xxiii. 21. I say, it this is the Cafe, (which is too often, the more the Pity) then thou mightest dip or wash here, but thou wilt never be likely under fuch a blind Guide, to find the Confolation of Israel, neither will thy Leprosy depart from thee, unless the Almighty in a miraculous Manner turns Preacher to thy Soul, so long as thou livest. Therefore I exhort thee to prove all Things, and hold foft that which is good, i Thes. v. 21. For the Doctrines of the Church of England are often preached better out of the Church Walls by faithful Laymen, than within the Walls by unenlightened Clergy, who are Lovers of Pleajure more than Lovers of God, 2 Tim. iii. 4. Therefore thou must come among God's Ifrael, who have obtained the Blessing, Gen. xxxii. 29. Who are Ifraelites indeed, in whom there is no allowed Sin, John i. 47. For “ he that keeps Company with wife Men, shall be wise; but the Companion of Fools shall be destroyed,” Prov. xiii: 20. But God's Israel shall be saved with an everlasting Salvation, isa. xlv. 17. Such who are spoken of by Christ; viz. “ To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden Manna, and will give him a white Stone, and in the Stone a new. Name written, which no Man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it," Rev. ii. 174. They are included in that “ great Multitüde which no Man could number, who had washed their Robes, and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb, having come out of great Tribulation,"
great Hatred of the World, & c. and why should I and my Fellow-pilgrims expect otherwise than to suffer
Reproach, while we follow the Lamb bere below, Rev. vii. 14. It is enough if we bear that honourable Appellation, viz. “Holy Brethren, Partakers of the heavenly Calling, Fellow-citizens of Heaven, and Joint heirs with Christ,” Rom. viii. 17. And we desire to continue with one Consent to disect all Lepers to the cleansing Streams. Come away then my Fellow finners, and beloved Neighbours, to the balmy River of this spiritual Jordan, which runs through the Land of Israel: (Believers Hearts) And this balmy Blood of Christ, the Fountain of Happiness, shall also wash away your Leprosy, as I trult thro' Mercy it hath washed away mine for ever. This is the Fountain, even the Blood of Jesus, that was opened for the House of Ifrael, for all Believers to wash and be clean, Zech. xuj. I.
In the Day when God smote him for our Sins on the Cross ; according as it was fore-spoken by the Prophet, Awake, O Sword, against my Shepherd, and against the Man that is my Fellow, faith the Lord of Hofts, smite the Shepherd, and the Sheep shall be scattered,” ver. 7. (where observe the Sheep are sometimes scattered): God for wise Ends hides his Face, for a Season, from his own dear (Blood-bought) People, to fhew them their Weakness, that they might not think of themfelves more highly than they ought to think, Rom.
And in order to make them meet to receive more Grace: “ For he that humbleth himself, or is humbled under the mighty Hand of God, shall in due Time be exalted,” Luke xiv. 11. God by this Means emptied the Disciples of Self-sufficiency and spiritual Pride: for they all in a cowardly manner forsook him and shamefully fed, Mark xiv. 50. leaving their Lord and Master, the Captain of their Salvation in the field of Battle by himself, to combat with all his Enemies, who scourged him