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to tell the People what God had done for them ; Namely, that he had loved them, and washed them from their sins, in His own Blood.

Thus as to Matter, and Manner, did the first witnesses of Jesus preach his salvation unto the Children of Men. For where they tell us, that they preached the Son of God ; that they preached Christ Jesus the Lord, Christ crucified, &c. without meddling with the characters and conditions of those unto whom they preached, to point them out, as qualified, or unqualified for the reception of the Truth. I say, this their Matter, and Manner of Preaching, plainly shews, that they did not aim at making a schism in the Body ; by dividing the Head and Members, as having separate interests : But, they aimed at shewing that the interest of the Head, was that of the Members : therefore was it, that holding the Head, they constantly preached his Excellence, his Labours, Triumphs, and Honours : that the people as his Members, hearing of it, might hear of their own salvation and grace : because, the glory which is given unto him, as the Head, he gives it to us, as his Members. From this Union, it appears, that hearing

and believing of Christ, according to the Apostle's testimony, we hear and believe, what truly relates unto ourselves. And thus did they, by preaching the Obedience, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, of the Lord Jesus, preach the salvation of Mankind in Him: Thus lifting him up, that he might draw all men unto him; and, that they might espouse the people unto this one Husband, as chaste virgins unto this Jesus, they were cautious of meddling with the Characters of their Hearers ; as Jews, or Gentiles, as Repentant or Unrepentant, lest by making a distinction, those who thought themselves on the favourable side of the question, should be lifted up, and their minds be adulterated, and rendered unchaste to the Crucified one : Nay, they had always caustics at hand, for the proud Flesh of their Disciples, wherever they saw it rising ; and this they applied without fear, or having the persons of men in respect, whenever they saw occasion. And how careful Paul was in this particular, appears from his reproving Peter, for giving the Least occasion to the Jews to glory in the flesh, and keep up a distinction, which God had before shewn him an end of ; where

he actually forbad him to call that common, and unclean, which he had cleansed.

This is a short specimen of the Apostle's Matter, and Manner of Preaching : and according to my Apprehension, it is obvious that they had the Union between Christ and the people in view, when they thus preached

There are many who respect the Epistles, written by the Apostles to the Churches, as a pattern of their preaching: but they are to consider, that there is a wide difference between private Letters, written unto such who already believed on the Lord Jesus, wherein there is pro. miscuously. thrown out such hints, as were designed to establish their Faith, and form their Manners. I say, a real difference between those, and their manner of preaching in public, where having to do with the Multitude, their only subject was the Person, Death, and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus ; of which their sermons recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, are instances. But since then there has been a great falling away, and the man of sin is revealed. And, as it is more than probable that the Day of Christ is at hand, Antichrist hath great wrath, and

strives to the utmost extent of his Power and Cunning, to hinder the revival of the Apostolic Testimony, and the rising of the witnesses. Sometimes he seeks to establish his own Maxims, under the popular names of Virtue, Benevolence, Repentance, Faith, Fruitfulness, &c. Then he calumniates the Testimony of Jesus, giving it the most opprobrious characters, and mad with rage against all the witnesses thereof, breathes forth nothing but slaughter and threatenings. And many are they, whom he either prevails on to adopt his Maxims, and become his willing disciples ; or so intimidates with his Threatenings, that they dare not embrace the Truth, because of the certain reproach that follows. But let him råge, he has but a short time, ere the Lord shall consume him with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy him with the brightness of his coming: and then shall the witnesses who now lie slain in the streets of the great city, stand again upon their feet; and the Ancient Testimony be revived.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus : make no long tarrying, O my God.


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