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wise now therefore, O ye kings, be instructed ye judges of the earth ; serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling ; kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.” There seems to be in the words, an allusion to a new king's coming to the throne, and making his solemn entry into the royal city ; (as Zion was the royal city in Israel) when it is expected that all, especially men in public office and acthority, should manifest their loyalty, by some open and visible token of respect, by the way, as he passes along ; and those that refuse or neglect it are in danger of being immediately struck down, and perishing from the way, by which the king goes in solemn procession.
The day wherein God does in an eminent manner send forth the rod of Christ's strength out of Zion, that he may rule in the midst of his enemies, the day of his power, wherein his people shall be made willing, is also eminently a day of his wrath, especially to such rulers as oppose him, or will not bow to him ; a day wherein he “ shall strike through kings, and fill the places with the dead bodies, and wound the heads over many countries.” Psal. 110. And thus it is, that when the son of God girds his sword upon his thigh, with his glory and his majesty, and in his majesty rides prosperously, because of truth, meekness and righteousne88, his right hand teaches him terrible things. It was the princes of Succoth especially, that suffered punishment, when the inhabitants of that city refused to come to the help of the Lord, when Gideon was pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna ; we read that Gideon took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness, and briars, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. It is especially taken notice of that the rulers and chief men of Israel, were called upon to assist in the affair of bringing up the ark of God; they were chiefly consulted, and were principal in the management of the affair i Chron. xiii, 1, 44 And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.” And chap. xv. 25.“ So David and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord, out of the house of Obed Edom, with joy.” So 2 Sam. vi. I. And so it was when the ark was brought into the temple, 1 Kings, viii. 13, and 2 Chron. vi 2, 4.
And as rulers, by neglecting their duty at such a time, will especially expose themselves to God's great displeasure, so by fully acknowledging God in such a work, and by cheerfully and vigorously exerting themselves to promote it, they will especially be in the way of receiving peculiar honors and rewards at God's hands. It is noted of the Princes of Israel, that they especially appeared to honor God with their princely offering, on occasion of the setting up the tabernacle of God, in the congregation of Israel : (which I have observed already was done at the time of the feast of tabernacles, and was a type of the tabernacle of God's being with men, and his dwelling with men in the latter days) And with what abundant particularity, is it noted of each prince, how much he offered to God on that occasion, for their everlasting honor, in the 7th chapter of Numbers? And so with how much favor and honor does the Spirit of God take notice of those princes in Israel, that came to the help of the Lord, in the war against Sisera ? Judg. v. 9. “ My heart is towards the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people." And ver. 14. « Out of Machir came down governors. Ver. 15. “ And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah.” And in the account that we have of the rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, in the third chapter of Nehemiah. It is particular ly noted, what an hand one and another of the rulers had in this affair ; we have an account that such a part of the wall was repaired by the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, and such a part by the ruler of the other half part of Jerusalem, and such a part by the ruler of part of Betbhaccerem, and such a part by the ruler of part of Mizpah, and such a part by the ruler of the half part of Bethzur; and such a part by the ruler of Mizpah, ver. ix. 12, 14, 15, 16, 19. And there it is particularly noted of the rulers of one of the cities, that they put not their necks to the work of the Lord, though the common people did ; and they are stigmatized for it, in the sacred records, to their everlasting reproach, ver. 5. “ And next unto them, the Tekoites repaired ; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of the Lord.” So the Spirit of God with special honor, takes notice of princes and rulers of several tribes, that assisted in bringing up the ark, Psal. Ixviii. 27.
And I humbly desire that it may be considered, whether we have not reason to fear tbat God is provoked with this land, that no more notice has been taken of this glorious work of the Lord, that has been lately carried on, by the civil authority ; that there has no more been done by them, as a public acknowledginent of God in this work, and no more improvement of their authority to promote it, either by appointing a day of public thanksgiving to God, for so unspeakable a mercy, or a day of fasting and prayer, to humble ourselves before God, for our past deadness and unprofitableness under the means of grace, and to seck the continuance and increase of the tokens of his presence ; or so much as to enter upon any public consultation, what should be done to advance the present revival of religion, and great reformation that is begun in the land. Is there not danger that such a behavior, at such a time, will be interpreted by God, as a denial of Christ? If Lnt a new governor comes into a province, how much is there done, especially by those that are in authority, to put honor upon him, to arise and appear publicly, and go forth to meet him, to address and congratulate him, and with great expense to attend upon him and aid him ? If the authority of the province, on such an occasion, should all sit still and say and do nothing, and take no notice of the arrival of their new governor, would there not be danger of its being interpreted by him, and his prince that sent him, as a denial of his authority, or a refusing to receive him, and honor him as their governor ? And shall the head of the angels, and lord of the universe, come down from heaven, in so wonderful a manner, into the land, and shall all stand at a distance, and be silent and inactive on such an occasion ? I would humbly recommend it to our rulers, to consider whether Cod does not dow say to them, Be wise now ye rulers, be instrucgrd ye judges of Newengland ; kiss the son, lest he be angry and pe fierish from it is prophesied Zech. xii. 3. That in the glorious day of the christian church, the house of David, or the rulers in God's Israel, shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord, before his people. But how can such rulers expect to have any share in this glorious promise, that do not so much as openly acknowledge God in the work of that Spirit, by which the glory of that day is to be accomplished ? The days are coming so often spoken of when the saints shall reign on earth, and all dominion and authority shall be given into their hands : But if our rulers would partake of this honor, they ought at such a day as this, to bring their glory and honor into the spiritual Jerusalem, agreeably to Rev. xxi. 24.
But above all others, is God's eye upon ministers of the gospel, as expecting of them, that they should arise, and acknowledge and honor him in such a work, as this, and do their utmost to encourage and promote it : For to promote such a work, is the very business which they are called and devoted to ; it is the office to which they are appointed as coworkers with Christ, and as his ambassadors and instruments, to awaken and convert sinners, and establish, build up, and comfort saints ; it is the business they have been solemnly charged with, before God, angels and men, and that they have given up themselves to, by the most sacred vows. These especially, are the officers of Christ's kingdom, that above all other. men upon earth, do represent his person, into whose hands Christ has committed the sacred oracles, and holy ordinances, and all his appointed means of Grace, to be administered by them ; they are the stewards of his houshold, into whose hands he has committed its provision ; the immortal souls of men are committed to them, as a flock of sheep are committed to the care of a shepherd, or as a master commits a treasure to the care of a servant, of which he must give an account : It is expected of them, above all others, that they should have understanding of the times, and know what Israel ought to do; for it is their business to acquaint themselves with things pertaining to the kingdom of God, and to teach and enlighten others in things of this nature. We that are employed in the sacred work of the gospel ministry, are the watchmen over VOL. III.
the city, to whom God has committed the keys of the gates of Zion; and if when the rightful king of Zion comes, to deliver his people from the enemy that oppresses them, we refuse to open the gates to him, how greatly shall we expose ourselves to his wrath? We are appointed to be the captains of the host in this war : And if a general will highly resent it in a private soldier, if he refuses to follow him when his banner is displayed, and his trumpet blown ; how much more will he resent it in the officers of his army? The work of the gospel ministry consisting in the administration of God's word and ordinances, is the principal means that God has appointed for carrying on his work on the souls of men ; and it is his revealed will, that whenever that glorious revival of religion, and reformation of the world, so often spoken of in his word, is accomplished, it should be principally by the labors of his ministers ; and therefore how heinous will it be in the sight of God, if when a work of that nature is begun, we appear unbelieving, slow, backward, and disaffected ? There was no sort of persons among the Jews that was in any measure treated with such manifestations of God's great displeasure, and severe indignation, for not acknowledging Christ, and the work of his Spirit, in the days of Christ and his apostles, as the ministers of religion : See how Christ deals with them for it, in the 23d chapter of Matthew ; with what gentleness did Christ treat publicans and harlots, in comparison of them?
When the tabernacle was erected in the camp of Israel, and God came down from heaven to dwell in it, the priests were above all others concerned, and busily employed in the solemn transactions of that occasion, Levit. chap. viii. and ix. And so it was at the time of the dedication of the temple of Solomon, 1 Kings, chap. viii, and 2 Chron. chap. v. vi. and vii. which was at the time of the feast of tabernacles, at the same time that the tabernacle was erected in the wilderness : And the Levites were primarily, and most immediately concerned in bringing up the ark into mount Zion; the business properly belonged to them, and the ark was carried upon their shoulders, 1 Chron. xv. 2. “ Then David said, none ought to