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the sabbath in your childhood, in your youth, or in your manhood, or in your riper years, or in your private or public stations ? Have you
rested from your worldly cares and labours ? Have you performed the secret duties of the day? Have you discharged the private duties of the day ? Have you steadily and statedly reverenced God's sanctuary, and given unto him the glory due to his name in publick? If you have, what mean the prancing of horses, the rattle of carriages, the passing and re-passing of travellers before and after publick worship? What mean the circles round the house of God, after publick services are ended ? Can it be denied, that the sabbath is publickly and grossly profaned in this place ? And can this profanation be justified by professors, or non-professors, by parents, or by children, by the young or by the old ? If it cannot be justified, it ought to be condemned ; and if it ought to be condemned, it ought to be restrained ; and if it ought to be restrained, can it be a doubt who ought to restrain it? The duty of restraining it is too plain to bę misunderstood, and too important to be neglected. I ask you, who ought to be reformers? Will you see the profanation of the sabbath, and not move a tongue or finger to restrain it? Can you bear to see the virtuous and steady habits of your virtuous and pious parents violated and treated with contempt? A word to the wise ought to be enough.
The duty of performing is as plain and imperious, as the duty of restraining. On whom does this duty lie? It lies upon those, who are conscious of profaning the sabbath, and opening the flood-gates of iniquity. Ask your own consciences, and they will tell you your first and immediate duty. If you are wise, you will be wise for yourselves ; but if you scorn divine reproofs, you alone must bear it.
JOHN xii. 16. These things understood not his disciples at the first : but when Jesus
was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
The day after Christ had visited Lazarus at Bethany, “ much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that he was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm-trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, hosanna; blessed is the King of Israel, that cometh in the name of the Lord. · And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.” This triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem was predicted in the ninth chapter of Zechariah : “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass." These things, however, wb were so plainly foretold by the prophet, “ understood not his disciples at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.” God had good reasons for foretelling this great and joyful event, though he knew that his prediction would not be understood until after it was fulfilled.
In treating upon the subject of prophecy, which now lies before us, I shall show,
.: I. That God does foretel, in his word, many events before they come to pass :
II. That he never fails to bring to pass the events he foretels; And, · HII. That he has good reasons for foretelling events before he brings them to pass.
1. I am to show, that God foretels, in his word, many events before they come to pass. This appears from the text, and from the whole history of his conduct, from the beginning to the end of the bible. Many of the great and important events, which have come to pass, we find foretold in the sacred seriptures. God foretold the incarnation of Christ, four thousand years before he became incarnate. He foretold the general flood, an hundred and twenty years before it swept mankind from the earth. He foretold the fate of Shem, Ham and Japhet, long before their dispersion at the building of Babel. He predicted that the Amorites should be destroyed, and that the seed of Abraham should possess their land, four hundred years before these events took place. He foretold the fortune of Joseph, and of all Jacob's family, long before either of them went down to Egypt. He foretold to Moses, that he should actually lead Israel out of Egypt, and that his people should worship him in that mountain where he was speaking to him, before the event came to pass. He foretold the character, conduct, and condition of Ishmael and his posterity, for ages to
He foretold the dispersion of the Jews, his own people, hundreds of years before they were actually scattered all over the earth. He foretold the ruin of Ninevah and Babylon, sometime before they were destroyed. He foretold the rising and falling of the four great empires, before they rose and fell. He foretold the time and place of Christ's birth, the manner of his life, and the most remarkable circumstances of his death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, before he appeared in the flesh. He foretold a general apostacy from christianity. And last of all, he foretold the corruption and ruin of the seven churches
of Asia, the rise and fall of the Mahomedans, the rise and fall of the man of sin, the commencement and duration of the millenium, the last declension of religion, the second coming of Christ, the general judgment, and the final state of all holy and unholy creatures. This is a brief and general account of prophecy: A vast many more particular predictions might have been enumerated; but those which have been mentioned are sufficient to make it appear, that God has usually foretold great and interesting events, long before they have come to pass. He has raised up prophets from age to age, to reveal his purposes to his professing people, and through them to the rest of mankind, who are all deeply interested in their final accomplishment.
I now proceed to show,
II. That God always brings to pass the events which he foretels. This will appear, if we consider,
1. That we have no evidence that he has ever failed of bringing to pass the events which he has foretold. We know that he has brought about many things which we find were foretold in his word. Though the disciples of Christ did not know at first, that he had fulfilled his prediction concerning his riding in triumph into Jerusalem, yet they afterwards knew and declared, that they themselves had been personally instrumental of fulfilling it. We know, that God has already fulfilled his predictions concerning the old world, concerning the seed of Abraham, concerning the Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman empires, concerning the coming of Christ, concerning the dispersion of the Jews, and concerning the rise and corrupting influence of the man of sin. The fulfilment of these predietions affords a strong presumptive evidence, that he has never yet failed, and never will fail, of bringing pass
all the events he has foretold. His conduct has hitherto confirmed the veracity of his predictions, and given us sufficient evidence to believe, that his faithfulness is immutable and infallible.
2. God has never foretold any events but such as he was willing to bring to pass. He never was and
never could be under any compulsion to foretel any events whatever. We cannot conceive any cause, which should constrain him to foretel any events, which he did not choose should exist. And we cannot conceive, that he should foretel even such events as he designed should take place, unless he chose to foretel them. We must conclude, therefore, that all the events which he has foretold, were such as he chose should exist, and such as he chose to foretel. This amounts to a high degree of certainty, that he always does and will bring all things to pass, that he has foretold. If he had been compelled to foretel events, which he did not choose should exist, and which he did not choose to foretel, we could have no ground to believe, that he always does and always will, bring about all the events he has foretold. But since he chose that all the events he has foretold should exist, and since he chose to foretel them, we may be assured that he will punctually and faithfully fulfil every prediction in his word, according to its strict and proper meaning. What God once chooses should exist, he always chooses should exist, and what he once chooses should exist, he is always willing should exist. He is always in one mind, and none can turn him. He never did, and never will alter any of his determinations. He has never foretold any event but what he has determined to bring to pass; and therefore we may be certain that he fulfils, from time to time, every event which he has foretold in his word.
3. God has foretold nothing but what his own glory requires him to fulfil. As he has foreordained nothing but what he intends shall promote his own glory, so he has foretold nothing but what his own glory requires him to bring to pass. He regards his own glory more than any of his creatures regard their interests. We know, that they sometimes regard and pursue what they suppose to be their own interests with great, constant, and persevering attention, diligence, activity and zeal. But the attention, diligence, activity, and zeal of the Lord of Hosts, in promoting his own glory, is