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LET the goodness of the Chriftian-cause, animate your Lordship with ardent zeal; and the faith of it's final fuccefs gird you as with ftrength. THE TRUTH IS GREAT, AND IT SHALL PREVAIL. Troden under foot it may be for a while, but rife at laft it shall, as certainly as Chrift the faithful witnefs did. What the dying Patriarch faid of Gad *, may be applied to heaven-born truth: A troop fhall overcome her; but she shall overcome at the laft. She is vifibly failing in this our degenerate age; and the time is coming, I apprehend, when the fhall fall publicly in the street, the witneffes, who fupported her, being flain †. The pillars thrown down, with them fhe muft alfo fall.
BUT, my Lord, Poft Nubila Phœbus; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning . The triumphs of bloody Rome, fhall be but short. Her glafs is turnéd, and her fatal hour shall come. Her foliloquy, indeed, fhe may fing, congratulating herself on her
+ Pfalm xxx. 5.
Gen. xlix. 19.. + Rev. xi. 7, 8.
Queen-like feat, and that the fhall fee no forrow: But, lo! In that very day her thoughts Shall perish. In one hour fhall her defolation come*. While Babylon fhall be in her midnight debauch, rejoicing over the dead bodies of the witnesses, and making merry †; the ancient, the awful hand-writing ‡, fhall in effect be renewed, MENE MENE, TEKEL UPHARSIN. And not more confounded was the impious monarch, in the one cafe, than fhall the drunken whore in the other.
To contribute my mite in fupporting that cause, for the patronizing of which, your Lordship is so happily distinguished, is the defign of the following work. And, therefore, fuch as it is, I hope you will deign it the honour of your Lordfhip's protection. I am fenfible that in it there is neither elegance of ftyle, nor depth of thought, to attract your Lordship's attention. Conscious, however, I am, that I have not spoken wickedly for God, nor talked deceitfully for him: And therefore, knowing + Dan. v. 25.
* Rev. xviii. 8, 19. + Rev. xi. 10.
your Lordship to be a lover of the truth, I have not the fmalleft doubt, but your Lordship's indulgent hand will draw a vail over those many defects which cannot escape your penetrating eye. At the fame time, I candidly acknowledge, that I do not much admire that floridity of style, which is fo palatable to the taste of the prefent age. I would much rather that my words, like those of the wife, were as nails faftened, than as the fair, but fading flower *.
It is obferved of Luther, that great pillar of the Reformation from Popery, that "the lively favour he had of the "truths of the gospel, in his own soul, " and the fervour of his fpirit in delivering them, carried him as far from the "modern politeness of expreffion, as the "admiration and affectation of this laft, "is like to carry us off from the former."†
I HOPE that this little piece, tho' plain, will not be the lefs pleafing to your Lord
* Eccl. xii. 11. Bofton's Notes on the Marrow, p. (mihi) 144.
fhip; and that truth, though unadorned, shall still find shelter under your friendly fhade: her native charms recommending her to your Lordship's esteem, patronage, and protection.
THAT your Lordship may long be a bleffing to the Proteftant intereft; that you may fill be valiant for the truth; be honoured to promote it; be clothed with the righteousness of Chrift; adorned with the fruits, and enriched with the confolations of the Spirit; and, at last, exalted to a higher seat than the kings of the earth can give, and where not many mighty, not many noble come, is the ardent prayer of,
HE enfuing TREATISE, the Notes excepted, is the fubftance of feveral SERMONS, preached before a numerous and a most attentive audience; many of whom expreffed the warmeft wishes to fee from the prefs, what they had heard from the pulpit.
These Discourses were begun on the 10th of December 1778*, and finished about the beginning of April 1779.-As it was my leading defign to point out the abominations of the Popish enemy; and, at the fame time, the Standard which the Spirit of the Lord had so often difplayed against him, I was naturally led to take notice of that deluge of Popery which overflowed our land, previous to the glorious Reformation; and the manner wherein our pious ancestors, so valiant for the truth, lifted up a standard. To have. covered this last, as with
vail of filence, would have argued the greatest inattention, or the most apparent defign: An apology I could not have produced, except at the expence of the head; or, which is unspeakably worfe, of the heart.
Having taken notice of the covenanting manner wherein our fathers lifted up a standard against the
* A day appointed for fasting and humiliation, by the Synod of Glasgow and Ayr.