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their hearts; but the Lord, generally, disappoints, those unhumbled seekers, though, as in the case of Gideon, he may gratify one in a thousand : for believers are « not born of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” The Jews expected the Messiah, and there they were right : but they expect. ed him in their own way, and there they stumbled and fell. While they looked for a mighty conqueror, another Alexander, to make thein great, they overlooked the lowly Prince of peace, who came to make them good; and, at last, they crucified him as a base impostor. This Jewish disposition is in all by nature. Hence Christ is commonly rejected in the Spirit by Christians, as he was in the flesh by the Jews. We would have him come to give us an idle rest, but he appears to teach us to deny ungodliness, and fight the good fight of faith : this we do not like. Our nature wants to step at once into a throne ; but he offers first to nail us to the tree, and to crucify our flesh with its affections and lusts : and from this we shrink as from the grave. We expect to be carried at once to the top of mount Tabor, to fee unutterable glory ; but he leads to Gethsemane to watch and pray, or to Calvary to suffer and die with him : here we recoil, and do not chuse to know him. Our forward impatience dictates, that he shall instantaneously turn our inidnight into noonday ; but instead of manifesting himself at once as the meridian fun, he will, perhaps, appear only as the morning star, that our light may shine more and more unto the perfect day. This defeats our counsel, we despise the day of small things, and do not think so low an appearance worth our notice and thanks. If you, Sir, ever seek the saving knowledge of Jesus, never stop till you can witness your sun goes down no more ; but, in the mean time, never fight the least ray of heavenly light. The least may open into the broad day of eternity. Cease from your own false wisdom, and become as a little child, or you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, and see the King in his beauty.
The 3d and last inward means, I would recorr.. mend to mourners in Sion, is a tender regard for the reproofs of the Spirit, a constant attention to the drawings of the Father, obedience to the calls they have to secret prayer, and a fear of depending upon Their duties, and not solely upon the faithfulness of Jesus. Whoever follows these directions, according to the grace given him, will of course cease from outward evil, and do, as he can, the little good his hand finds to do. This is a better way of waiting for the revelation of Christ, than to lie down in dejection and hopeless unbelief. All those, who sullenly bury their one talent, and wilfully retain the accursed thing, complain in vain that their Lord makes long tarrying. They obstinately grieve his convincing Spirit, and then absurdly clamour, because he does not reward them for it, by the comforts of his heavenly presence. Let us not be so unreasonable. Let us « strive to enter in at the strait gate," remembering, that “ma. jy thall seek to enter in, and shall not be able." But let us strive lawfully, not making ourselves a righte ousness of our own seeking, knocking, and striving. The fun shines not because we deserve it, by undraw. ing our curtains, but because it is its nature. Jesus, visits us, not because of any merit in our prayers, &c.; but for his own sake, because his truth and compassion fail not. Free grace opens the door of mercy, not to works and merit, but to want and misery. That you and I may knock and press in, with all needy, peni. tent, believing finners, is the earnest wish of a heart, which prompts me to subscribe myself, Sir, Yours; &c.
WHEN I told you, that, in all ages, Jehovah Jefus manifests himself in a peculiar manner to his peo
ple, you exclaimed against the assertion as altogether new and unscriptural. It lies upon me therefore to prove, that antiquity and scripture are on my side. I shall then in this letter appeal to the manifestations re. corded in the Old Testament. You cannot expect all the revelations of any child of God, much less those of every one, to be mentioned in fo short a history as that of the Bible. Nevertheless, enough is said on the point to convince us, that, in every age of the church, God hath favoured the sons of inen with pe. culiar displays of his presence.
Let us go back as far as Adam himself. Did not the Lord familiarly converse with him before the fall, both when he presented himn with a partner, and when he brought every beast of the field before him, to fee what he would call them ? Did he not visit him after the fall, to pronounce lis fentence, and to promise, that he would become the woman's feed, and bruise the serpent's head ? Was not this manifestation granted to Abel, when the Lord had respect to his facrifice, the very cause of Cain's envy, wrath, and inurder? Did not Enoch's walking with God imply a conftant union and communion with Emmanuel? And how could this union have taken place, if the Lord had not first revealed himself to the Patriarch ? Must not two persons meet and agree, before they can walk and converse together ?
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and, in consequence of it, was made acquainted with his righteous designs, and received directions how to escape froin a perishing world. The history of Abraham is full of accounts of such inanifestations. In one of them, the Lord called him out of his ains, and from his kindred, to go both to the heavenly and earthly Canaan. In others he promised him Ifaac and Isaac's mysterious feed. Several years after, for the trial of his faith, he coinmanded him to sacrifice that favourite fon; and when the trial was over, he testified his approbation of Abrahan's conduct. He went farther.
Read Gen. ch. 18, and you will see, how the di.. vine Philanthrophy, or the love of God towards man appeared, in condescending to clothe himself, before hand, with the nature he was to assume in the virgin's womb, and to converse in this undress with the father of the faithful, as a prince with his favourite, or a friend with his confident.
Sarah and Agar, Isaac and Rebekah, had their die vine manifestations ; but those of Jacob deferve our particular attention. When he fled to Syria from the face of his brother Efau, and lay defolate in a field, liaving only a heap of stones for his pillow, the God of all confolation appeared to him ; " and behold the Lord stood above the mysterious ladder, on which the angels of God ascended and descended, and said, I am the Lord-behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places, whither thou goest. And Jacob called that place Bethel, the house of God, and the gate of heaven ;" as if he had wanted to intiinate, no one ever found the gate of heaven, but by a nianifestation of Christ, who is alone the way to the Father, and the door into glory. When the same patriarch returned to Canaan, and was left alone one night, there wreliled a man with him till the breaking of the day. And when this extraordinary person faid, " Let me go for the day breaketh; he replied, I will not let thee go, unless thou bless me ;' and he blessed him there, acknowledging that he had power with man and God, even with him, whose rame is Emmanuel, God with us. “ And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel (the face of God) for he said I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." The design of this manifestation was merely to strengthen his faith, and we learn from it, that the children of faithful Abraham wrestle in prayer with the God-man, as Jacob did, till they prevail, and are bleffed as he was.
Mofe's was favoured with numberless manifestations, fometimes as prime minister of the King of the Jews, and at other times only as a common believer. “ There
appeared to him, in the wilderness of mount Sinai, the angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush; and when Mofes saw it, he drew near, and the voice of the Lord came unto him saying, I am the God of thy fa. thers,” &c.* Many partook of a sight equally gloria ous : " Mofes, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel, and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of fapphire stone, and as it were of the body of heaven in his clearness; and upon the nobles of the children of Ifrael he laid not his hand ; also they Saw God, and did eat and drink,"t “ Be. hold,” said Mofes upon the occasion, « the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory, and we have heard bis voice out of the midst of the fire, and we have seen this day, that God doth talk with man and he liveth." All Ifrael shared fonetimes in the glorious manifestation. They all drank of that spiritual rock that fole lowed them, says St. Paul, and that rock was Christ. The cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, says the Jewish historian, and fire was upon it by night, in the right of all the house of Israel. " It came to pass as Mofts entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Mofes, and all the people saw the cloudy pillar, and rose up and worshipped every man in the door of his tent. And the Lord spake to Mofes face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend."'|| So indulgent was Emmanuel to him, that when he said, “ I befeech thee sew me thy glory, the Lord answered, I will make all my goodness pass before thee ; but thou canft not see my face (without some veil) and live. And (Oh astonishing condefcention !) the Lord descended in the cloud, and food with him, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.” Jehovah, Jesus passed before him, and proclaimed Jehovah, Jehovah, i. e. revealed to him the Father and the Holy Ghost one merciful God together with him self. And Mofes made halte, bowed his head towards A&s vii. 30. † Ex. xxiv. 10, 11. ^ Deut. v. 24. Ex. xxxiii. 95