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that channel; and religion is placed very much in it, so that the strength of it seems to be spent in it; that other duties, that are of vastly greater importance, have been looked upon as light in comparison of this, so that other parts of religion have been really much injured thereby; as when we see a tree excessively full of leaves, we find so much less fruit; and when a cloud arises with an excessive degree of wind, we have the less rain. How much, dear Sir, does God's church at such a day, need the constant gracious care and guidance of our good Shepherd; and especially, we that are ministers.
"I should be glad, dear Sir, of a remembrance in your prayers, and also of your help, by informations and instructions, by what you find in your experience in Scotland. I believe it to be the duty of one part of the church of God, thus to help another. "I am, dear Sir, your affectionate
"Brother and servant in Jesus Christ,
The following is the answer of Mr. M'Culloch, to the preceding letter.
Cambuslang, Aug. 13, 1743.
"REV. AND DEAR SIR,
"The happy period in which we live, and the times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, wherewith you first were visited, in Northampton, in the year 1734: and then, more generally, in New England, in 1740, and 1741; and then we, in several places in Scotland, in 1742, and 1743; and the strong opposition made to this work, with you and with us, checked by an infinitely superior Power; often brings to my mind that prophecy, Isaiah lix. 19; "So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the West; and his glory from the Rising of the sun; When the enemy shall come in as a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." I cannot help thinking that this prophecy, eminently points at our times; and begins to be fulfilled in the multitudes of souls that are bringing in to fear the Lord, to worship God in Christ, in whom his name is, and to see his glory in his sanctuary. And it is, to me, pretty remarkable, that the prophet here foretells they should do so, in the period he points at, not from East to West, but from West to East; mentioning the West before the East, contrary to the usual way of speaking in other prophecies, as where Malachi foretells, that the name of the Lord should be great among the Gentiles, from the Rising of the sun to the West, (Mal. i. 11.) And our Lord Jesus, that many should come from the East and West, &c. (Matthew viii. 11.) And in this order it was, that the light of the gospel came to dawn on the several na
tions, in the propagation of it through the world. But the prophet here, under the conduct of the Holy Spirit, who chooses all his words in infinite wisdom, puts the West before the East; intending, as I conceive, thereby to signify, that the glorious revival of religion, and the wide and diffusive spread of vital christianity, in the latter times of the gospel, should begin in the more westerly parts, and proceed to these more easterly. And while it should be doing so, or shortly after, great oppositon should arise, the enemy should come in as a flood: Satan should, with great violence, assault particular believing souls; and stir up men to malign and reproach the work of God; and, it's likely also, raise a terrible persecution against the church. But while the enemy might seem, for a time, to be thus carrying all before him, the Spirit of the Lord should lift up a standard against him; give a banner to them that fear Him, and animate them to display it for the truth, and make his word mightily to prevail, and bear down all opposing power. For on what side soever the Almighty and Eternal Spirit of Jehovah lifts up a standard, there the victory is certain; and we may be sure he will lift it up in defence of his own work. The Chaldee paraphrase makes the words in the latter part of this verse, to allude to the river Euphrates, when it breaks over all ts banks, and overflows the adjacent plains; thus, when persecutors shall come in, as the inundation of the river Euphrates, they shall be broke in pieces by the word of the Lord.
"The whole o this verse seems to me, to have an aspect to the present and past times, for some years. The Sun of Righteousness, has been making his course from West to East, and shedding his benign and quickening influences, on poor forlorn and benighted souls in places vastly distant from one another. But clouds have arisen and intercepted his reviving beams. The enemy of salvation has broke in, as an overflowing flood, almost overwhelmed poor souls, newly come into the spiritual world, after they had got some glimpse of the glory of Christ, with a deluge of temptations: floods of ungodly men, stirred up by Satan, and their natural enmity at religion, have affrighted them: mistaken and prejudiced friends have disowned them. Many such things have already befallen the subjects of this glorious work of God of late years. But I apprehend more general and formidable trials are yet to come: and that the enemy's coming in as a flood, may relate to a flood of errors or persecutions of fierce enemies, rushing in upon the church, and threatening to swallow her up. But our comfort is, that the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts will lift up a standard, against all the combined powers of earth and hell, and put them to flight: and Christ having begun to conquer, so remarkably, will go on from conquering to conquer, till the whole earth be filled with his glory. Rev. xii. 15; Isaiah xvii. 12, 13.
"I mention these things, dear Sir, not for your information, for
I know that I can add nothing to you; but to show my agreement with you, in what you express as your sentiments, that what has now been a doing is the fore-runner of something vastly greater, more pure, and more extensive, and that God will revive his work again, ere long, and that it will not wholly cease, till it has subdued the whole earth: and, without pretending to prophecy, to hint a little at the ground of my expectations. Only I'm afraid, (which is a thing you do not hint at) that before these glorious times, some dreadful stroke or trial may yet be abiding us. May the Lord prepare us for it. But as to this, I cannot and dare not peremptorily determine. All things I give up to farther light, without pretending to fix the times and seasons for God's great and wonderful works, which he has reserved in his own power, and the certain knowledge of which he has locked up in his own breast."
The same conveyance brought Mr. Edwards the following Letter, from the Rev. Mr. Robe, of Kilsyth.
"REV. SIR, AND VERY DEAR Brother,
"We acknowledge, with praise and thanks, the Lord's keeping his work hitherto, with us, free from those errors and disorders, which, through the subtilty of the serpent, and corruptions even of good men, were mixed with it in New England. As this was no more just ground of objection against what was among you, being a real work of the Holy Spirit, than the same things were against the work of God in Corinth, and other places, at the first conversion of the Pagans, and afterwards at the Reformation from Popery ; so the many adversaries to this blessed work here, have as fully made use of all those errors, disorders, and blemishes, against it there, as objections, as if they had really been here. The most unseasonable accounts from America, the most scurrilous and bitter pamphlets, and representations from mistaking brethren, were much and zealously propagated. Only it was over-ruled by Providence, that those letters and papers dropped what was a real testimony to the goodness of the work, they designed to defame and render odious. Many thinking persons concluded, from the gross calumnies forged and spread against the Lord's work here, within a few miles of them, that such stories from America, could not be much depended upon.
"What you write about the trial of extraordinary joys and raptures, by their concomitants and effects, is most solid; and our practice, by all I know, hath been conformable to it. It hath been in the strongest manner declared, that no degree of such rapturous joys evidenced them to be from God, unless they led to God, and carried with them those things which accompany salvation. Such
conditional applications of the promises of grace and glory as you justly recommend, hath been all along our manner. A holy fear of caution and watchfulness, hath been much pressed upon the subjects of this work, who appeared to believe through grace. And what is greatly comfortable, and reason of great praise to our God, is, that there is, as is yet known to any one in these bounds, no certain instance of what can be called apostacy; and not above four instances of any who have fallen into any gross sin.
"As to the state and progress of this blessed work here, and in other places, it is as followeth. Since the account given in the several prints of my narrative, which I understand is or will be at Boston; the awakening of secure sinners hath and doth continue in this congregation; but not in such multitudes as last year, neither can it be reasonably expected. What is ground of joy and praise is, that there scarce hath been two or three weeks, but wherein I have some instance of persons newly awakened, besides several come to my knowledge who have been awakened, and appear in a most hopeful state, before they were known to me. Of which I had an instance yesterday, of a girl awakened, as she saith, in October last. I have, at writing this, an instance of a woman who appears to have obtained a good issue of her awakening last year: though I supposed it had come to nothing, through her intermitting to come to me of a long time. There is this difference in this parish betwixt the awakening last year and now; that some of their bodies have been affected by their fears, in a convulsive or hysteric way; and yet the inward distress of some of them hath been very sharp. I have seen two or three, who have fainted under apprehension of the hiding of God's face, or of their having received the Lord's supper unworthily. In some of the neighbouring congregations, where this blessed work was last year, there are instances of discernible awakenings, this summer. In the large parish of St. Ninians, to the north of this, I was witness to the awakening of some, and conversed with others awakened, the middle of July last. In the parish of Sintrie to the west of St. Ninians there were several newly awakened at the giving the Lord's supper, about the end of July. In Gargunnock, Kippen, Killern farther north and west, the Lord's work is yet discernible. At Muthel, which is about twenty miles north from this, the minister wrote me about the middle of July, that this blessed work, which hath appeared there since last summer as at Cambuslang, yet continued; and hath spread into other parishes, and reacheth even to the Highlands bordering upon that parish.
"I am not without hopes of having good accounts of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the shires of Rosse and Nairn among the northermost parts of Scotland. There was more than ordinary seriousness, in some parishes, in hearing the word, and in a concern about their souls, in the spring, when I saw some godly minisVOL. I. 26
ters from those bounds. This more than ordinary seriousness in hearing, and about communion times, is observable in several parts in Scotland, this summer. Societies for prayer setting up where there were none, and in other places increasing. A concern among the young are in some of the least hopeful places in Scotland, particularly in the Meuse near the English borders. There is a great likelihood of the Lord's doing good by the gospel, in this discerni
way, in those bounds. Mr. M'Laurin, my dear brother, gives you an account of the progress of this work to the west of Glasgow, and other places. There have been very extraordinary manifestations of the love of God, in Christ Jesus, unto his people, in the use of the holy supper, and in the dispensation of the word about that time, this summer: Which hath made the Lord's people desire it a second time in these congregations during the summer season. It was given here upon the first Sabbath of July, and is to be given here next Lord's day, a second time, upon such a desire.
"Your affectionate brother and servant
"In our dearest Lord,