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P R E F A C E.
HE following sermon having made a great noise through
this and several other corners of the land ; lest any should think the author is ashamed of his doctrine he there delivered, he allows it to come abroad to the world with the last sermon in the preceding volume. He had begun to preach from that text, II. ix. 6. in November 30. 1731 ; and having spoke to the two first clauses, he took occasion, June 4. 1732, viz. Sabbath-evening, after the celebration of the sacrament at Stirling, to infift upon the clanse immediately foliowing, The government shall be upon his shoulder, as le bas lieen insisting upon the following part of the verse ever-fince. •
Some were of opinion, that the subject was unsuitable to the occasion, after people had been at a communion-table, But it would appear, that such as think so, do not consider, that Christ did wade to the throne and government of his mediatory kingdom through blood. For my part, I do not know how one can be better entertained; either at, or immediately after he has been at the Lord's table, shewing forth his death, than by letting him know, that he who was dead is now alive, and lives for evermore, having the keys of hell and death in his hand. What more comfortable to a believer, than to hear that the Lamb sain is now in the midt of the throne, with the reins of government in his hand, especially in a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity from the Lord God of hosts in the valley of vifion?
Others judged it amiss on such an occasion, to touch upon the act of assembly anent the settlement of vacant congregations, which had been passed a few days before. All that is (iv) needful to be faid in answer to which is, that the public wound given by that act was fresh, and the hearts of the poor people of God bleeding, to see themselves spoiled by those who should have been the guardians of their spiritual rights and privileges ; and what could be more proper than to panfe the green wound, and
pour in some of the healing balsam of gospel-consolation, arising from the government of their great King, who rules in the midst of his enemies?
The author never pretended to deliver every particular word or sentence contained in his notes, which to him would be the greatest slavery and confinement. But as the sermon stood in his notes, so it comes abroad ; and he supposes that there will be but very inconsiderable variation. Only, the preamble, when he entered upon the text, is added, without which it would have looked loinewhat abrupts belides something he had not time that evening to overtake, at the end of the discourse. He preached two other crimons on the same clause of the verse, the Sabbath following, which there was no time to transcribe for the press, otherwise the discourse might have been more perfect, and the omissions quarrelled by some been fupplied.