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the beginning of time to this day. He made this world for them, and has preserved it for their sole benefit. He has spared his Son from his bosom, and given him to suffer and die on the cross, to redeem them by his blood. He has sent down his holy Spirit to form them into his image, and make them his peculiar people. He sent down vast inultitudes of angels to be ministering servants to them. He has raised up and put down kingdoms and nations for their benefit. And he is still overruling all the affairs and concerns of the whole world for their final peace and prosperity. And the reason of this care and attention, is, that he means to inake the brightest display of all his perfections, through the medium of his church. The heavenly hosts have long been desirous to look into the mystery of his providence towards his people in this world. And they frequently see occasion to adore and praise him for the astonishing displays of himself on earth. They often say one to another, “ Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of bis glory.” This world is the theatre upon which God has done, is doing, and will do, the most glorious and important things. We know of no other part of the universe where so many agents have been, and still are, at work, as here in this world. And they are all at work for God's peculiar people, whom he intends to present to all intelligences in the most amiable and glorious light. It is not strange, therefore, that he exercises such a constant, particular, and effectual care over such a peculiar people, placed in such peculiar circumstances.
1. God values his people very highly. His conduct confirms the strongest expressions of his regard towards them in his word. He calls them his elect-bis sons-his portion-bis inberitance-his treasure-his jewels, and the excellent of the earth. He says he has set them as a seal on his heart, and on his arm. And his conduct has been correspondent to all his kind and endearing expressions.
He has taken a constant, particular, and effectual care of them. He has governed heaven, and earth, and the regions of darkness, to promote their highest good, and is still doing, governing them to the same end.
2. It is a peculiar mercy to be united to the people of God; for it is only in connection with them, that any can hope for the peculiar care of heaven.
3. God must be justly displeased with his people whenerer they distrust his care and kindness. This they have often done. Jacob did-Elijah did. But this is very displeasing to God, when he has given them such manifestations of his care, in his word and providence.
4. The enemies of God's people are extremely blind. They have viewed them as just like themselves, in poiot of danger; and have, therefore, confidently opposed them with hopes of success. Pharaoh did -the nations of Canaan did-and the world now do. They deny that God has a peculiar people, and that he takes peculiar care of them, though he has done so much for them--wrought miracles—and exerted all his perfections for their good.
5. The enemies of God's people never can prevail against them, nor destroy one of them. Omnipotence is on their side. What can fallen men, or fallen spirits do unto them ?
6. God's people ought to take peculiar care of one another. They all belong to the same holy society—are members of the same spiritual family; and should, therefore, love as brethren, and be followers of God as dear children ; looking, not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
For the Hopkinsian Magazine.
He that “ hath a dream let him tell a dream."-Jer. xxiii, 28. [We insert the following, at the request of our discerning correspondent; who scems to be almost as coherent and sensible in his dreams, as some writers are when awake. If any of our readers should think, that his wild fancy has conceived what never was, and never will be; we hope they will consider, that dreams are made of such stuff,' and that it would be childish to take offence at the vagaries of imagination. We have only to say farther, that if any other correspondent, awake or asleep, has had, or shall have, a dream, resembling or diverse from this, which he thinks more like reality, and wishes to have recorded, that it may go down to posterity and pass the test of timo, our columns are open for its insertion.—Editor.)
MR. Editor—Whether the perusal of dreams has a tendency to make one dream, I am not certain. But immediately after perusing a late vision, containing a chapter of our ecclesiastical history, to be inserted in the records of 1980, I fell asleep in my rocking chair and had a dream. It made such an impression upon my mind that I thought possibly it might have
been, either in part or in whole, inspired. And I feel some anxiety to have it go upon record with the one alluded to, that we may see whether any dreams in the nineteenth century may be depended on. From the knowledge you possess of the taste and capacities of your readers, if you think there is “just debate enough” in it " to sharpen their faculties, without producing irritation,”* I hope you will overlook any minor defects and give it an insertion.
I dreamed that a little band of true pilgrims of Zion, sick of intolerance and of clerical domination, had concluded to abandon their country and fiy into the wilderness. Well knowing the importance, and having some just views of the nature of that liberty wherewith Christ makes his followers free, they chose to deny themselves the comforts of life, rather than live and die, and leave their posterity in religious bondage. Being favored by Divine Providence they soon greatly increased, and formed congregational churches upon the true faith and order of the gospel. They established schools and planted colleges, as well as religious institutions, all of which they protected and supported. Being persons of stern integrity and inflexible moral courage and principle, they gave an impetus to their inDuence which carried their principles, undiluted, to several generations. Having been taught by sad experience what man is, what satan is, and what sin is, they watched all human conduct and principles with the eyes of Argus. They “augured misgovernment at a distance, and snuffed the approach of danger in every tainted breeze." Their union in the truth, and their moral courage, made them invincible to their foes. They were exceedingly watchful and jealous of the rights of conscience and the rights of man, to secure which they had made such sacrifices. In matters of expediency they were very yielding—but in matters of principle they knew no comprom. ise. Whatever they believed to be truth or duty, both preachers and people maintained against all earth and hell. 1f you could convince them that any thing was true and right, you were sure of their co-operation; but if the contrary, of their decided opposition. Their sons, intended for the ministry, they sent to learn theology and pastoral duties, under the watch, and care, and instruction of those distinguished luminaries of the church, who taught them to stand firm upon the ground of truth and principle, instead of popular favor-who taught them to lay hold of truth, “tliough held forth by a child or an enemy.” To make them acute and thorough divines, was a very promineni object of their instructions, for they had read and they believed the words of inspiration, “My people kre destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Walking with Christ, and in the truth, they were at "peace among themselves.” But the peace they cultivated, and so long and highly enjoyed, was the spirit of war with error, and sin, and latitudinarianism in every form. At least, this was a general feature of the early religious state of the colony. As I have already intimated, they knew the importance, better than the nature of religious liberty. A very few, they did indeed oppose and hang for hdrodoxy; but now for orthodoxy.
* see Spirit of the Pilgrims, for August, page 470.
Under such principles and moral influence, theological science was carried onward towards perfection. Christian friendship and fellowship did not exist in mere name and profession. Christians loved each other "not in word, neither in tongue ; but in deed and in truth.” And for a century or two, the church exerted a powerful, if not controlling influence over the State. So much so, that the civil institutions were based upon the religion of the country, and so constructed, that religion could not be weakened and pulled down, without also weakening and pulling down the civil government.
During this happy period or golden age of the colony, " the great truths of the gospel were defended, error was confuted, and the church rejoined in the presence of her redeemer. Still the coming of his kingdom, and the general influence and spread of the christian religion, were, for a time, delayed. Ministers and churches had not attained to that union of affection, strength of faith, fervency of prayer, or faithfulness in duty, which were necessary to the higliest advancement of Christ's empire. Their light did not shinc before the world with sufficient clearness. And amidst the glorious displays of divine power and mercy, the spirit of the world, developing it. self here and there, exerted a pestilential influence, and brought innumerable evils upon the ministry and the church."*
The world was taken "half way” into the church, and secret alliances, with a certain "handmaid," and with “men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth,” were formally ministers and influential professors. And though “fears existed in the minds of some good men,” and though diversity of opinion and feeling existed among the friends of the measure, it was at length determined upon, to have at least “ ONE GREAT CHRISTIAN ESTABLISHMENT,''4 to raise up a more accomplished, liberal and united ministry. It now began clearly to appear, that love of popularity and influence had not left the heart of
The world, which had been voluntarily taken “hall way" into the church, began to think it ought to have at least half of the government. And though it was in a good measure finally turned out of some churches, it obtained the complete ascendency in others, so as, on the whole, to maintain its general influence without loss.
It now, of course, began to be a desideratum, "to keep the peace,” and maintain union and strength. As for truth and principle, they had long been established, and every body, of course, knew and expected that they must be maintained. But when a storm is raging who does not know that the great concern is not to make things stand erect, but so to steer as to save the ship. Such an exigency of the church demanded
* See Spirit of the Pilgrims, for August, page 166. See same, page 469.
prefourd managers. It had become necessary to catch people, as Paul said he did, “by guile."
And I dreamed that a very wise and profound manager, was elected to the chair of the first “ Christian establishment.” The creed of the establishment was of course correct; since no body at this time enied that truth and principle ought to be maintained. And though some general and indefinite lines of demarkation between the church and the world were deemed essential, yet it was much insisted on that "charity covereth a multitude of sins." The mantles of charity and orthodoxy were made very wide; and it was found necessary for the chief managers to continue widening them.
But during all this period, there were more or less who believed and would teach, that all was not right. Not only the scriptures, but their experience and common sense taught them that “ Christ's kingdom was not of this world." And they would not be persuaded, or bribed, or compelled to cease making war upon the world and the worldly part of the church, on the high ground of truth and principle. These refractory spirits often thought of such texts as thesė, " be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ? and what communion hath light with darkness ? and what concord hath Christ with Belial ? Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing ; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” 6. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed, is a partaker of bis evil deeds. Now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine ye have learned; and avoid them. And he said unto them, take heed what ye hear. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps' clothing, &c. But though we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Beware of men. " Think not that I am come to send peace on earth ; I came not to send peace, but a sword. to you when all men speak well of you. It is enough for the disciple, that he be as his master. Watch thou in all things. Reprove, rebuke, exort, with all long suffering and doctrine. Endure afflictions, make full proof of thy ministry. Call no man your father upon the earth ; for one is your master, even Christ. Slund fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
These men would have it, that the Christian life is a constaut and vigilant warfare with error and sin.
And they prayed that God would " teach their hands to war and their fingers io fight." And they would sometimes carry the war into the