Sermons Volume 1
Great volumen of a set of sermons from the Prince of Preachers. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published June 1st by Baker Books first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Spurgeon's Sermons Vol.
Be the first to ask a question about Spurgeon's Sermons Vol. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 03, Hannah is currently reading it. I'll be lucky if I can finish these before I'm dead. He was truly the Prince of Preachers. Jun 17, C. Sadaphal rated it it was amazing Shelves: cream-of-the-crop. The bottom line: Feel empowered by the Spirit with this awesome collection of powerful and motivational sermons. Arguably, Charles Haddon Spurgeon was one of the greatest Christian orators to have ever lived.
As a Reformed Baptist preacher, he proclaimed the truth of the gospel in England in the s, yet his words still inspire countless Christians of all denominations in the 21st century. In fact, Spurgeon was so popular that newspapers reprinted the text of his sermons the following day.
Why the history lesson? Volume 1 of 10 only. Reading daily as devotional literature, in addition to reading the Bible. Although from a prior time and setting, the sermons are still relevant and refreshing as an uncompromising proclamation of the gospel. The reader always knows what Spurgeon thinks and what the great decisions are that we all face. There are perhaps Spurgeon's today, but they would be preaching, most likely in Chinese or Hindi.
Oh that God would again raise up in America men of such suasion. Oct 09, Tracey Mckinney rated it it was amazing. This man's sermons are jam packed with Christ. I can't tell you how many times I was moved with tears and holy joy at reading this preacher proclaim his Lord in these volumes of sermons. He once said of Bunyan that if you pricked him anywhere his blood is bibline; for he Bunyan cannot speak a word without quoting a scripture text, since his soul is full of the word of God. Well Mr. Spurgeon's heart is so full of Christ that it must find a vent somewhere in his sermons, Christ!
Spurgeon's heart is so full of Christ that it must find a vent somewhere in his sermons, and these volumes certainly depict it. May 24, Luke Hedmann rated it it was amazing. An absolutely wonderful collection of some of Spurgeons best sermons. Few preachers now a days even come close to having a zeal and a passion for God that this man did so much to be learned from each and every sermon in this collection. A Catechism by C. Spurgeon Mar 20, Alan rated it it was amazing. It took me years to fully read them all. Once you do so you'll want to go back through them. Mar 29, Josiah Durfee rated it it was amazing.
I have never read a sermon by Spurgeon that was not immediately relevant to me. I am always reminded when I read Spurgeon to never underestimate the significance of a word, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Also, reading him is the best homiletic class one can enroll themselves into. No criticism here! Phenomenal illustrations for later, too. Aug 04, Alan rated it it was amazing. The Prince of Preachers. I hope all these benefactors and collaborators, having helped me with this project, will cherish the book and find their expectations for it at least partly fulfilled.
Reissue of Political Sermons of the American Founding Era in a two-volume edition allows inclusion of a comprehensive index to the work, one ably prepared by Linda Webster. The only other substantive addition to the original is a note identifying the seventeenth-century provenance of Item 24, entitled Defensive Arms Vindicated at pages — , herein.
Demand for the book has been steady over the years since first publication in This is gratifying to the editor, and doubtlessly reflects the importance of the subject matter and intrinsic interest of the material itself. More than this, however, the demand suggests that readers thirst for learning about the relatively unknown eighteenth-century religious and philosophical underpinnings of our American public order, at the time of the founding, and as it continues into the present. It may be that these documents intimate a kind of secret history, one yet to be fully written.
The fundamental aim of this collection has been to print original, editorially unannotated editions of previously published, complete sermons that permit the authors to speak fully for themselves. The genre is the political sermon, but broadly construed so as to embrace certain essays and orations, pieces that are sermonic in sense and tone—that is, hortatory and relating politics to convictions about eternal verities. Hyneman and Donald S. Lutz, eds. Of other comparable collections known to us, that of Frank Moore, ed. A third aim has been to provide readable and accessible texts for these sermons—accurate modern versions that scrupulously honor the integrity of the originals.
Modernization has never been done for its own sake or permitted to alter meaning, and much has been done to maintain even the look of the originals. It became clear that some across-the-board standardization was needed to get the job done, but that inconsistencies between sermons were unavoidable and that homogenizing the texts was unthinkable. Applying our modernizing Edition: current; Page: [ xxviii ] rules in an absolutely rigid manner, then, was impossible if we were to remain sensitive to the originals.
Exceptions to the rules were made where the individual text passages cried out for them. The original printings of the sermons, especially the earliest ones, presented us with some difficult decisions concerning the use of italics and, similarly, small capitals. To begin with, italics were used in certain texts for each proper name and for other words besides, but to say that they were used much of the time for emphasis would be incorrect.
Rather, they seem to have been used for anything that might be construed as a key word as well as for emphasis, with the result that a large number of words appeared in italics. That this italicization could be related to oral delivery was not translatable into an editorial guideline. It was decided, then, that we would serve the reader best by not duplicating what strikes the modern eye as chaotic typography. Nevertheless, preserving the appearance of eighteenth-century typesetting also seemed desirable. Much of the original typography was sacrificed to modern tastes, therefore, with some important exceptions.
Phrases of three or four and more words in italics were kept that way, while single words and nearly all two- and three-word phrases in italic were set in roman type. It proved surprising, though, how infrequently italics had to be retained as exceptions. The rhetorical training of all the sermon authors led them to syntactical constructions that made their points of emphasis emerge commonly by a use of parallelism unmistakably and gracefully.
Of course, they were organizing their points for the ear as much as for the eye, so their repetitions, enumerations, and references to a controlling scriptural thought, as well as other structural devices, all served to make the typographic augmentation of meaning that had once been favored much less necessary than might now be supposed. Occasionally an italicized phrase would have in it a word or two in Edition: current; Page: [ xxix ] roman.
We elected to simplify this state of affairs and italicized these words. Otherwise, no italics were introduced into the texts for any reason. Here it was decided that the flavor of the early printings could be preserved. Nowhere did we introduce this style, however, where the words had not been entirely in capitals in the original.
In all the texts, we have modernized capitalization as follows: If a capitalized word would be lower-cased in modern usage, we lower-cased it, but we did not capitalize any word that appeared lower-cased in the original. Thus, the reader will notice an abundant number of instances where frequently capitalized words appear lower-cased contrary to modern usage later on— christian, king George, parliament, for example—because in the later instances they had not been originally capitalized. For some sermons, errata were printed, and we made the corrections so noted without a signal to the reader.
Spelling was not modernized for this edition, and spelling errors were not always corrected. The reappearance of a word in a text cued us to correct some typographical errors silently, but the hunting down of such reappearances was not engaged in. The reader will therefore detect spellings that could be construed as distorted by the original typesetter but that were not tampered with by us. Some corrections, we felt, required us to place Edition: current; Page: [ xxx ] a word or letters in brackets to signal the reader, but even these might have been silently fixed by different editors.
For the most part the original spellings are preserved unless the meaning was imperiled. In no. But in the same sermon, tremenduous was allowed to stand; in no. Who is to say that these words were not pronounced from the pulpit as they were spelled by their authors or, at least, were published? Of interest to some readers will be the spelling errors in no. As this edition makes obvious, we did modernize the long esses of eighteenth-century typography. The originals presented some interesting puzzles of punctuation. Because of the flaws in early type components and the bleed-through of inks on certain printing papers, spots and blobs occurred with frequency to seemingly alter punctuation marks, changing commas to semicolons and periods to commas, or adding commas and hyphens, and so on, wherever well-placed blobs might appear.
Broken type could change a comma to a period or cause a hyphen to disappear. Many times, sentence construction pointed to the solution; other times, eighteenth-century punctuation habits made, let us say, a comma likely where an existing mark was illegible. We simply made the best determination we could from a close examination of the printed symbol when we were in doubt. In a very few instances, commas interfered with the sense and were deleted. Dashes were often used in combination with other marks,—commas, semicolons, even Edition: current; Page: [ xxxi ] periods as this sentence demonstrates.
In most of the sermons an old convention of punctuation was followed that placed a punctuation mark before a parenthesis, as this sentence demonstrates; we modernized the punctuation in these cases. The British custom of placing a period or comma after a closing quotation mark was similarly Americanized; it now precedes the closing quotation mark. As modern convention dictates, we deleted the quotation marks from these extracted passages. There was no attempt made to standardize the uses of quotation marks in the sermons.
Each author had his own approach to this and other matters of style, and many inconsistencies will be evident to the reader from sermon to sermon and within individual sermons. The reader may also note that some authors interpolate their own words into quotations without closing and reopening quotation marks. Since it was obvious enough that this was the case, we refrained from adding the marks. Wherever quotation marks or other punctuation marks did need insertion by us, we bracketed them. Naturally, the sermons are replete with references to scripture.
On occasion, editorial considerations led us to check on the wording of a quotation and some few mistakes thereby detected were silently corrected, particularly in citations of chapter or verse numbers. However, no systematic checking of biblical material was done, and for all practical purposes the quotations and citations can be considered to be reproduced as they originally appeared, correct or incorrect. All footnotes are the work of the sermon authors and have been edited along the same guidelines as for the sermon proper. Footnote symbols were changed as necessary to key the notes to the sermon as the material received a new paging arrangement in this edition.
Many other elements in the originals, ornamental, typographic, or idiosyncratic, have been dispensed with. Not all the sermons were assigned titles by their authors, as a look at the title-page facsimiles included with each sermon will reveal. In such cases, we extracted from the pamphlet copy what we deemed appropriate as a stand-in title. The facsimiles, while they add a visual element to this collection, also serve as testaments to the erudition and civility of the age that produced these works. They shed light on the sermons in the information and in the epigraphs they provide, the latter being an embellishing convention from the days of the Renaissance.
But some of the items, as previously stated, were never orally delivered though they are sermonic in tradition. The publication date was the most consistent key to the placement of the works in a time frame, therefore. We opted, then, to order the sermons according to the date of their dissemination in print. The reader may note that this results in our placing no.
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Finally, no. Yet it may not have appeared in print until eleven years later, as indicated on the facsimile page included with it. No systematic bibliographic essay can be undertaken here, but some brief comments on the sources may be helpful to the reader. Extensive bibliographic information on the religious writings of the period and on pertinent secondary works can be gleaned from the notes to Harry S.
Sermons and Talks, Vol. 1
Greene and William G. Important also is Weber, Rhetoric and History , Chap. New York, see the third volume, especially at pp. Also, from the abundant literature on Jonathan Edwards, Sr. Hatch and Edition: current; Page: [ xxxiv ] Harry S. Stout, eds. The key bibliographic works for early American history utilized in making this collection include the following standard works: Joseph Sabin, Wilberforce Eames, and R. Vail, Bibliotheca Americana. Shipton, American Bibliography. With bibliographical and biographical notes , 14 vols.
Chicago, New York, and Worcester, Mass. Charlottesville, Va. The some 50, items listed in the Evans and Shipton and Bristol works are revised and corrected in Clifford K. Shipton and James E. Worcester, Mass. In turn, this work serves as the index for the vast Readex microprint edition: Clifford K. Shipton, ed.
The principal sources for the biographical notes preceding each sermon are reference books which are not cited unless directly quoted. Since most of the authors included in the volume were clergymen of New England or the Middle Atlantic region and—with the notable exception of many Awakening evangelists such as the Baptists Isaac Backus and John Leland—graduates of one of the early colleges, the following reference works were relied upon especially: Frederick Lewis Weis, New England Clergy and the Colonial Churches of New England Lancaster, Mass.
Sibley and Clifford K. Boston, — ; Franklin B. New York, — ; William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, 9 vols. Of considerable help also were James A. Levernier and Douglas R. Wilmes, eds. Westport, Ct. Plumstead, ed. Providence and New York, ; Encyclopedia Britannica, 24 vols. Chicago, ; Allen Johnson, Dumas Malone, et al. Oxford, — ; and Frederick Barton, ed. Cleveland, Of value for understanding the New England election sermons is the introductory and other editorial material in Thornton, The Pulpit of the American Revolution ; also, editorial material in Plumstead, The Wall and the Garden.
Boston, , and throughout, the election sermons as jeremiads are the focus of the study. The anthology of telling extracts from the election sermons previously published by Liberty Fund is indicative of this mass of material: Franklin P. Cole, ed. For specific identifications see R. In the following, keyed by number to various sermons, are sources that are supplemental to the information given in the biographical notes:. London, — Jimmie Killingworth in American Writers Before , — Gilbert, can be found in G. Gravlee and J. Irvine, eds.
Kirkham in Methodist History , 14 Oct. Endy, Jr. Philadelphia, Jack Scott Newark, N.
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Whitney and David S. Lovejoy, Founders of Freedom in America Chicago, London, —87 , reprinted in a London edition in and a New York edition in Some sermons by Cooper are extant, the bulk of them in the Cooper Papers at the Huntington Library. On the debate with Edmund Burke triggered by the sermon here reprinted, see Robert B. Dishman, ed.
New York, A collection of his works, including the present piece, is L. Greene, ed. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, et al. Jonathan Edwards, Jr. An excellent bibliography for Noah Webster is provided at the end of the article on him by William Vartorella in American Writers Before A good sketch of his life is given by Nelson S.
Dearmont in American Writers Before Benjamin Colman — His B. In he declined the presidency of Harvard, but he served as one of its trustees —28 and remained an overseer, in addition to his ministry at Brattle Street Church, until his death. A prolific author with more than ninety published titles to his credit, he was a supporter of the evangelical movement stirred by the Great Awakening and was a commissioner of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England and for Parts Adjacent.
Thrice married, Colman was survived by his third wife, Mary Frost. The sermon reprinted here was preached at the Thursday Lecture in Boston on August 13, If the Divine Eternal Spirit please to inspire and speak by a gracious woman, it is the same thing to us, and requires our reverend attention as much, as if he raise up a Moses or an Elias, or make his revelations by a Paul or John.
Great things are here said of God , and of his government, in the families and kingdoms of men; and such wise and just observations are made, as are worthy of deep contemplation by the greatest and best of men. In the praises of these she joys and triumphs, her heart was exalted and her mouth enlarged. Thus my text is introduced as a reason for those dispensations of God towards a person, a family, or a people, which at any time are to us most surprising and admirable.
The things spoken of are great and mighty; the Pillars of the Earth.
Sermons: Volume 1
The earth is a vast fabrick, and in proportion to its mighty bulk must its pillars be. The metaphor is plainly taken from architecture; as in stately, spacious and magnificent structures we often see rows of pillars, to sustain the roof and lofty towers. But whether we apply this manner of expression to the natural or moral earth, it is figurative and not literal. The natural earth has no pillar. The will and word of God is its only basis.
We darkly philosophise upon the point, and talk of the poles of heaven; which are more unintelligible to a common audience than the pillars of it. And we discourse more intelligibly of the secret power of magnetism which is in matter; whereby bodies mutually attract or gravitate toward each other; by which the mighty globes of the universe preserve their distance, motion and order.
This seems to be the only natural pillar of the earth: The amazing work and power of God. He hath founded it upon Edition: current; Page: [ 13 ] the Seas, and established it upon the Floods. Let us hear God again on the point, and say no more upon it;. Job xxxviii. Who is this that darkneth Counsel by Words without Knowledge? Gird up now thy Loins like a Man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me.
Where wast thou when I laid the Foundations of the Earth? Declare if thou hast Understanding. Who hath laid the Measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the Line upon it? Whereupon are the Foundations thereof fastned? We see then that the natural earth has no pillars, in any proper sense; Neither has the moral earth, i. And thus the text explains it self, and is to be interpreted from the scope of our context; which speaks of the Bows of the mighty Men , and of the Thrones of Princes , and then adds— the Pillars of the Earth.
So that by pillars we are to understand governours and rulers among men; but not the persons that bear rule, so much as the order it self, government and magistracy. For the persons may be weak and slender reeds, little able of themselves to bear up any thing; and here and there they may fall; but the order stands and doth indeed uphold the world. All this is very elegant and rhetorical, a high and noble strain of speech, upon the highest subject that belongs to this our earth. The pillar is a part of great use and honour in the building: So is magistracy in the world.
One style in scripture for it is, foundations and corner-stones. The meaning is, the government of it was so. Kings bear up and support the inferior pillars of government, and a righteous administration restores a dissolving state: Psal. The Earth and all the Inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the Pillars of it. In like manner, wise and faithful ministers are pillars in the Church: Which is built on the Prophets and Apostles, Jesus Christ being the chief Corner-stone, Eph. They were deservedly so reputed, and truly so in the Church of Christ.
Thou art Peter, and on this Rock will I build my Church. And when John had the vision of the New-Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God , it is said that the Wall of the City had twelve Foundations, and in them the Names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. Now the design and use of pillars in a building is one of these two, or both together: 1. For strength to uphold it, or 2. For beauty to adorn it. The governments and rulers of the earth are its pillars in respect of strength to uphold and support the virtue, order and peace of it.
Pillars should be made strong, and commonly are so; of stone and marble, iron and brass. And it had need be a strong Rod to be a Sceptre to Rule , Ezek. Magistrates need be strong, for government is a great weight; and it is laid upon their shoulders. Moses felt the weight and said, I am not able to bear this People alone. It is the allusion of the spouse, recounting the beauties of her beloved, Cant. They represented the strength of Christ and his stability, to bear the weight of the government laid upon him; and also the magnificence of the Goings of God our King in the Sanctuary: Likewise the steadiness of the divine administration.
And then their office adorns them also, and sets them in conspicuous places, where what is great and good in them is seen of all. To be sure, government and magistracy adorn the world as well as preserve it. Magistrates uphold and adorn the world, as pillars do a fabrick, by employing their superior wisdom and knowledge, skill and prudence, discretion and judgment for the publick good. Wisdom is both strength and beauty, a defence and ornament.
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So Solomon shines among kings, for the Wisdom of God was in Him. Angels excel in strength, and rulers should be wise as the angels of God. The government is laid on Christ because in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He is the wisdom of God and the power of God.
As God at first founded the earth by his wisdom, and by his understanding established the heavens; so by the communication of wisdom and understanding to some, he preserves the order and happiness of others on it. What is said of a house is true of a state,.
But then, Is the pillar for ornament? What is more beautiful than knowledge and wisdom? What more adorns a man, a place, a country? Edition: current; Page: [ 16 ] The queen of Sheba came far to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and Huram was as much struck as she was: 2 Chron. Integrity, uprightness, faithfulness added to knowledge and wisdom, makes men strong and beautiful pillars, whether in church or state.
Every man is ready to pretend to a competency of wisdom, and as ready to proclaim his own Goodness; but a faithful Man who can find? He is a rare and beauteous spectacle, as Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Jehojada, Hezekiah and Nehemiah, in their times, and to the end of time. All that rule over men should be like to these, just men ruling in the fear of the Lord, and then they are to the world as the light and rain, without which the earth must perish. As darkness vanishes before the light, so a King that sitteth upon the Throne of Judgment scattereth away all Evil with his Eyes.
David, that pillar of Israel, came into the government with that noble purpose and resolution, Psal. When I shall receive the Congregation, I will judge uprightly. So he fed them in the integrity of his heart, and led them by the skilfulness of his hands. See the pillars of the divine government; Psal. Thy Faithfulness reacheth to the Clouds, thy Righteousness is as the great Mountains.
Nor can the kingdoms and provinces on the earth stand, but on the like basis of a just and righteous humane government. A publick and enlarged spirit for the common weal and a single regard thereunto, without suffering our selves to be misled by private and selfish views. And so,. A spirit of peace and love, meekness and humility, candour and gentleness; whereby persons are ready to unite their counsels, and act in concert with one another; paying a just deference one to another and preferring one another in honour; glad to receive light from any one, and well pleased to reflect it from them; all pursuing one end, as the many pillars in a great house stand quietly near to one another, Edition: current; Page: [ 17 ] and all help to bear it up: This spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind, render men strong and beautiful pillars of the earth.
A pillar implies fortitude and patience; resolution, firmness and strength of mind, under weight and burden: Not to be soon shaken in mind, nor moved away from what is right and just; but giving our reason in the meekness of wisdom, and hearing the reasons of others in the same spirit of meekness, to form an impartial judgment, and abide by it; But yet with submission to the publick judgment and determination.
The unstable are as water, and more fitly likened to the waves of the sea, than to a pillar on shore. And the irresolute, discouraged and sinking mind is at best but a pillar built upon the sand; which falls when the wind blows and the storm beats upon it, because of its weak foundation. True it will wear under the injuries of time, but it looks still great, and stands while it wears away. But this for the first head; the governments and rulers of the earth are its pillars. The shields of the earth belong to him. These are the same with the pillars of it.
He gifts, qualifies and furnishes all whom he calls out to public service. He makes the more plain and rough, and he orders the carved work and gilding in his house. In the Hearts of all that are wise-hearted He putteth Wisdom. He gave to David integrity, and to Solomon wisdom; and both were pillars of his framing. Civil government is of divine institution, and God commissions and entrusts with the administration whom he pleases.
There is no Power but of God ; the Powers that be are ordained of Him. He puts the scepter into the hand, and the spirit of government into the heart. He calls, and uses whom he will, inclines and spirits how he will, and improves to what degree he will. They are his therefore, and his is the greatness and the glory and the majesty! And to him it must be ascribed both by the persons endowed and raised by him, and by others interested in them: 1 Chron. But to do the utmost honour to the civil order among men, and to give yet greater glory to GOD , let us come to the third and last part of our text.
GOD hath set the world upon the governments and rulers, whom he has made the pillars of it. And as he governs the spirits of men when he pleases by immediate impressions on them; so as more proper to the present order and happiness of mankind, he has appointed the government of men to be by men. So the peace, tranquility and flourishing of places are made to depend on the wisdom and fidelity of their rulers, in the good administration of the government.
While the utmost misery and confusion befals those places where the government is ill administred. The virtue and religion of a people, their riches and trade, their power, honour and reputation; and the favour of GOD toward them, with his blessing on them; do greatly depend on the pious, righteous and faithful government which they are under. GOD hath set : As well in the nature of things, as in his word. The very being and weal of society depends thereon.
Government was not in the original of it assumed or usurped by any one man. For instance, not by Lamech before the Flood, nor by Nimrod after it. In a word, magistracy, like the other ordinances of heaven, stands by the power and blessing of GOD ; who effectually owns it and works by it, establishes the earth and it abideth. He has graven it deep in the hearts of men, even as the desire of happiness and self-preservation.
Edition: current; Page: [ 20 ] He has as much ordained, that while the earth remaineth civil order and government shall not cease; as he has sworn that seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not. I shall now make a few reflections, by way of practical inference and improvement.
See the divine wisdom and goodness in ordaining and establishing a magistracy and government in the world.
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It is one of the many great instances, wherein the Supream Governour of the world has taken care for the universal and perpetual weal of it. And they that would be lawless and ungoverned, despising dominion and speaking evil of dignity, distinction, authority and rule among men, act as madly and mischievously as one would do, that should go into a house and sap the foundation of it, till it fall upon him and crush him to death.
This alone is a sufficient mark of the Beast and of the man of sin. The Reformed churches took early care to protest against this doctrine of devils. These are some of the just and true principles of the Protestant religion, according to the oracles of GOD in this matter:. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for Wrath or fear of punishment but also for Conscience sake. Put them in mind to be subject to Principalities and Powers, to obey Magistrates.
Let us very gratefully observe these precepts, for they are very graciously given us for the good of the world. Are magistrates the pillars of the earth? Let us then devoutly observe the governing Providence of GOD in disposing of persons and offices, both with respect unto our selves and others.
Let us think soberly of our selves, and not vainly pine after honour and power, or wickedly push for it like Absalom. But neither need we hide our selves like Saul, when the divine call is plain, nor insist on excuses like the meek and accomplished Moses. Let us know and keep our own place, and do our duty to those whom GOD sets over us. They are pillars, but of the earth. The earth and its pillars are dissolving together. We must not look too much at the loftiness of any, nor lean too much on any earthly pillar: Put not your Trust in Princes, nor in the Son of Man in Edition: current; Page: [ 22 ] whom there is no Help: His Breath goeth forth, he returneth to his Dust.
Let the publick good be their just care; that it may be seen that GOD has set the world in their heart, as well as laid it on their shoulders. As government is the pillar of the earth, so religion is the pillar of government. But if religion rule in the hearts and lives of rulers, GOD will have glory, and the people be made happy. Emulate their piety and godliness, and generous regards to the publick, and be acknowledged the pillars, the strength and ornament of your country! But let me move you by a greater argument, even a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, which the Holy Ghost has set before you in a most illustrious promise;.
Christ will erect a monumental pillar, that shall stand for ever, in honour of all them who in their station here, be they high or low, faithfully endeavour to uphold his church and kingdom. Yea the pillars of the literal earth and heavens will shortly tremble, and be shaken out of their place; but he that believes in Christ, and has his glorious name written on him, shall remain unshaken and immoveable; and remain, like his living saviour, stedfast for ever. This infinite and eternal glory we wish to all in this worshipping assembly, the greater and the less, high and low, rich and poor together: As in the act of worship, we are all on a level before the throne of GOD.
And the lowest in outward condition may be the highest in grace, and in the honours that come from above. But in a more especial manner we wish this mercy and blessing of our GOD and king, out of his house to your Excellency our governour: Whose return to your country, and your advancement to the government of it, we cannot but congratulate in the most publick manner, with hearts full of joy, and sincere thankfulness to GOD.
And may the name of Christ, and of these churches of our Lord Jesus, be graven deep upon your heart: And your faithful services to them be an everlasting name to you, which shall not be cut off. So, not only erect your self a pillar in every pious and grateful heart, that loves our civil and religious liberties; and let their prayers and blessings come upon you; but also lay a good foundation against the world to come, for everlasting fame and renown, and to be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Joseph Sewall — A Harvard graduate of , Sewall spent a long and generally serene ministry at Old South Church in Boston, where he preached beyond his eightieth year. He was offered the presidency of Harvard in , but he declined it after a peevish attack by Cotton Mather. He preached the artillery sermon in and the election sermon in , and he was awarded a D. Reprinted here is a fast-day sermon preached before the Massachusetts governor, the council, and the house of representatives on December 3, Always ready to look for underlying causes and strongly attached to his province, Sewall readily supported the patriot cause and permitted his meeting house to become a shrine of the American cause.
He knew they were the purchase of our forefathers at the expence of much labor, blood, and treasire [ sic ]. He could not bear the thought of their being wrested out of our hands. He esteemed it our duty, in all wise, reasonable, and legal ways, to endeavour the preservation of them. Joseph Sewall [Boston, ], p. And God saw their Works, that they turned from their evil Way, and God repented of the Evil that he had said that he would do unto them, and he did it not.
In this book we have a very memorable and instructive history. Jonah is taken, and cast into the sea; upon which it ceased from raging: And thus, by the wonderful Providence of God , he became a type of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who having appeased the wrath of God by his obedience unto death, lay buried in the earth three days, Matth.
Jonah having cried to God , as out of the Belly of Hell, was delivered from his dreadful confinement. The Lord spake unto the Fish, and it vomited Jonah upon the dry Land. Jonah, being thus delivered from the depth of distress, obeys the second call of God to him, Ch. Happy is that rebuke, how sharp soever, which is sanctified to make us return to God and our duty. O let not London! But to return, Jonah, in obedience to the divine command, cries against this great city, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown, v. In the five following verses, we have the faith and repentance of the Ninevites described, which our Lord takes particular notice of, Matth.
The Men of Nineveh shall rise in Judgment with this Generation, and shall condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonas, and behold, a greater than Jonas is here. Let us then attend to these words with reverence and godly fear, lest they also rise up in judgment against us in the terrible day of the Lord. And here I would more particularly observe, 1. The People of Nineveh believed God, v.
Yea, there was a royal proclamation for this by the Decree of the King and his Nobles, v. And this great monarch humbled himself before the Most High, who cuts off the spirit of princes, and is terrible to the kings of the earth. And all are commanded to cry mightily to God, v. Yea, all are exhorted to turn every one from his evil Edition: current; Page: [ 31 ] Way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
The Ninevites were sensible, that to outward signs and means of humiliation, they must add repentance and reformation. We have their Encouragement to attend this Duty, in a time of impending judgment, v. Who can tell if God will turn and repent. And they might well infer some ground of hope as to their temporal deliverance from this, that the judgment was not presently executed; but the space of forty days was given them for repentance.
Who can tell? Joel 2. God saw their Works, i. Luke Here were some, I hope, and that not a few, who had saving repentance given them; and others were so terrified and awakened, that they engaged at least in an outward and publick reformation. And may we not suppose that in this wonderful work, God gave his ancient people a specimen and earnest of the call of the gentiles?
Now, upon this their repentance it is said, God repented of the Evil, and he did it not. Which words must be understood in such a sense as is consistent with the divine perfections. He is of one mind, and who can turn him? Nor, as if he acted contrary to truth and faithfulness; no, the threatning was conditional.
At what Instant I shall speak concerning a Nation, and concerning a Kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it: If that Nation against whom I have pronounced, turn from their Evil, I will repent of the Evil that I thought to do unto them. From the words thus explained to you, I would observe the following doctrines,. If we would seek the Lord in a right manner, we must believe him; the threatnings and promises of his word. It is the duty of a people to cry to God in prayer with fasting, when he threatens to bring destroying judgments upon them; and their rulers should be ready to lead in the right discharge of this duty.
Our seeking to God by prayer with fasting must be attended with true repentance, and sincere endeavours after reformation. When a people do thus attend their duty, God will repent of the evil, and not bring destruction upon them. If we would seek the Lord in a right manner under his threatned judgments, we must believe him; the threatnings and promises of his word.
The people of Nineveh believed God , and proclaimed a fast. His preaching might be more full and particular than is here recorded; and God set it home, so that they were made sensible they had to do with the true and faithful one, whose name is Jehovah; and accordingly they set themselves to entreat his favour with great seriousness. And thus we must believe, that the Lord is that powerful, holy, faithful, and merciful God , which he declareth himself to be in his word. We must realise it, that his word is sure and most worthy of credit, whether he threatens evil to the impenitent, or promiseth mercy to such as confess and forsake their sins; or we shall never be concerned to seek his Edition: current; Page: [ 33 ] face in a right manner.
Without faith it is impossible to please God, in our approaches to him: For he that cometh to God , must believe that he is, and that he is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Certainly then, we who are born under the clear light of the gospel dispensation, must believe the Lord our God speaking to us in his word, if we would attend the duties of this day, so as to obtain mercy for ourselves, and this distressed people.
We must believe that if we go on obstinately in our sins, and despite the warnings God has given us in his word and by his providences, we shall after our hardness and impenitent heart treasure up unto our selves wrath against the day of wrath; But if we forsake the way of sin, and return unto the Lord, he will have mercy and abundantly pardon. We must believe our Lord Jesus when he says to us, Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. And we must also receive it as a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and will cast out none that come to him in the exercise of faith and repentance.
O that there was such a faith in us! By Faith Noah being warnned of God of Things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an Ark to the saving of his House; by the which he condemned the World, and became Heir of the Righteousness which is by Faith, Heb. Thus did the men of Nineveh, nor did their king refuse to humble himself and lie in the dust before that Almighty God , who threatned to destroy them. Thus when the children of Moab and Ammon came against Jehoshaphet to battel, he feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and Edition: current; Page: [ 34 ] proclaimed a Fast, 2 Chron.
And we have an account in scripture of more private fasting, Mark 2. Where we are informed that the disciples of John, and of the pharisees used to fast. And our Lord declares that after his departure, His Disciples should also Fast. And we have particular direction about religious fasting, 1. Here then, I would be a little more particular in describing the duty of fasting and prayer, in which we are this day engaged.
In religious fasting we must chasten our bodies, by abstaining from meat and drink, and other pleasures which gratify the outward man. Indeed the necessity of persons, respecting the weakness of some constitutions, is here to be regarded. However, when persons wantonly indulge their appetites, and find their own pleasures when God calls to weeping and mourning, is sinful and shameful.
And God declares in his word, that this is a provoking evil, Isai. In that Day did the Lord God of hosts call to weeping and to mourning, and to girding with sackcloth: And behold Joy and Gladness, slaying Oxen, and killing Sheep, eating Flesh, and drinking Wine; let us eat and drink, for to morrow we shall die. And it was revealed in mine Ears by the Lord of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord God of hosts.
And surely the men of Nineveh will rise up in judgment against such, and condemn them; for we find they were very strict in attending these outward signs and means of humiliation. But then, it must be granted that this bodily abstinence will profit little, unless our hearts are broken for sin, and broken off from the pleasures of it.
In religious fasting we must afflict our souls; have the heart inwardly pierced, and the spirits broken upon the account of our sins. That God who is a spirit, and forms the spirit of man within him, looks on the heart, and requireth us to worship him in spirit and truth. The call of God to his people on a day of solemn fasting, was that, rent your heart, Joel 2. There must then be a deep and thorow conviction of sin, and contrition Edition: current; Page: [ 35 ] upon the account of it. We must look to Jesus whom our sins have pierced, and mourn as one mourneth for his only Son, and be in bitterness, as one that is in bitterness for his First-born, Zech.
We must take shame and blame to our selves, and make that confession, Dan. O Lord to us belongeth confusion of Face, to our Kings, to our Princes, and to our Fathers, because we have sinned against thee. We must cry mightily to God in prayer. Out of the depths have I cried unto thee O Lord. Prayer is a great part of the duty of the day; and we must take care, that it be that effectual fervent Prayer that availeth much, Jam.
For this end, we must ask the spirit of grace and supplication to help our infirmities, and stir up the gift of God in us. Thus must we pour out our hearts before God , and say, in most humble importunity as Jacob, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. For God said not to the seed of Jacob, seek ye me in vain, Isa. How earnest was he when he set his face to seek the Lord by prayer with fasting!
Hear his repeated cries, Ch. May Moses and Aaron, lift up their hands with their hearts to God in prayer this day, and receive the blessing from the Lord. We must turn, each one from his evil way. Thus when the exhortation given was to cry mightily to God , it follows; Yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the Violence that is in their Hands. And indeed, unless this be our care, our sins will cry louder than our prayers, and provoke God to cover himself as with a cloud, Isa. But your Iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your Sins have hid his Face from you, that he will not hear.
And when God had declared to his people that he rejected their assemblies and solemn meetings, he gives them that exhortation. Wash ye, make ye clean, put away the evil of your Doings from before mine Eyes, cease to do evil, learn to do well, seek Judgment, relieve the Oppressed, judge the Fatherless, plead for the Widow, Isa.
Our seeking to God by prayer with fasting, must be attended with true repentance, and sincere endeavours after reformation. God saw their works, that they turned from the evil way. Here we may consider,. What is implied in this work of repentance and reformation.
Why we should thus engage in the work of repentance and reformation. First, What is implied in this work of repentance and reformation?