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Let the goodness of the Christian-cause, animate your Lordship with ardent zeal; and the faith of it's final success gird you as with strength. THE TRUTH IS GREAT, AND IT SHALL PREVAIL. Troden under foot it may be for a while, but rise at last it shall, as certainly as Christ the faithful witness did. What the dying Patriarch faid of Gad *, may be applied to heaven-born truth: A troop Jall overcome her; but she shall overcome at the laft. She is visibly failing in this our degenerate age; and the time is coming, I apprehend, when he shall fall publicly in the street, the witnesses, who supported her, being slain t. The pillars thrown down, with them the must also fall.
But, my Lord, Poft Nubila Phæbus ; Weeping may endure for a
endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning t. The triumphs of bloody Rome, Ihall be but thort. · Her glass is turned, and her fatal hour shall come. Her soliloquy, indeed, she may fing, congratulating herself on her
* Gen. xlix, 19. † Rev. xi. 7, 8.
I Píalm xxx. 5.
Qucen-like seat, and that the shall see no sorrow: But, lo! In that very day her thoughts shall perish. In one hour shall her defolation come * While Babylon shall be in her midnight debauch, rejoicing over the dead bodies of the witnesses, and making merryti the ancient, the awful hand-writing to shall in effect be renewed, MENE Mene, TEKEL UPHARSIN. And not more confounded was the impious monarch, in the one case, than Ihall the drunken whore in the other.
To contribute my mite in supporting that cause, for the patronizing of which, your Lordship is so happily distinguilhed, is the design of the following work. And, therefore, such as it is, I hope you will deign it the honour of your Lordship’s protection. I am sensible that in it there is neither elegance of style, 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
* Rev. xviii, 8, 19.
+ Rev. xi. 1o.
Dan, v, 25.
your Lordship to be a lover of the truth, I have not the smallest doubt, but your Lordship’s indulgent hand will draw a vail over those many defects which cannot escape your penetrating eye. At the same time, I candidly acknowledge, that I do not much admire that floridity of style, which is fo palatable to the taste of the present age. I would much rather that my words, like those of the wise, were as nails fastened, than as the fair, but fading flower *
It is observed 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 deliver
ing them, carried him as far from the “ modern politeness of expression, as the
admiration and affectation of this last, is like to carry us off from the former.”+ I HOPE that this little piece, tho'plain, will not be the less pleasing to your Lord
Eccl. xii, 11. + Bolton's Notes on the Marrow,p.(mihi) 144.
ship; and that truth, though unadorned, shall still find shelter under your friendly shade: her native charms recommending her to your Lordship’s esteem, patronage, and protection.
That your Lordship may long be a blefsing to the Protestant intereft; that you may still 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 consolations 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 ensuing Treatise, the Notes excepted,
is the substance of several SERMONS, preachcd before a numerous and a most attentive audience; many of whom expressed the warmest wishes to see from the press, what they had heard from the pulpit.
These Discourses were begun. on the roth of December 1778 *, and finished about the beginning of April 1779.- As it was my leading design to point out the abominations of the Popish' enemy; and, at the same time, the Standard which the Spirit of the Lord had so often displayed 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 a vail of filence, would have argued the greatest inattention, or the most apparent design: An apology I could not have produced, except at the expence of the head; or, which is unspeakably worse, 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.