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of; and must be of that nature, as cannot but stare them in the face, when God arises and makes his deputy conscience, to awaken upon them.
Some may here object, - What shall become of the “ rest of the Parish, that now desert your ministry ? “ Should they remain destitute, and the other place of "worship, where you do not now preach, remain de« solate? Is it there sin to seek after another ?” I answer, If they should be destitute, they have made themselves so, by casting off my ministry; and they have now indeed involved themselves in such circumstances, that it is both their sin that they want a minister, and their sin that they seek another in my room. For, while things stand as they are, they cannot chuse or submit to another, without being guilty of a continued act of covenant-breaking, and trampling upon the ministry of one whom they called, and God sent to them to be their minister. And as to my not preaching now in the other ordinary place, you all know it is merely owing to my being excluded by violence, such as I could not resist, unless I had designed, by carnal weapons, to fight my way to it; which, you will own, was neither suitable to my character and profession, nor any way adapted to your edification. But,
IV. Those that have a hand in calling another to this congregation in my room, they are exposing themselves to that wrath of God, that is threatened in his word against such as are guilty of misusing the messengers of God, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 16. where it is said of that people, “ The Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on them : But they mocked the messenger of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was to remedy." The poor people of this place not know, but in rejecting me, they are rejecting bim that sent me: And though they could get one that shall preach to them as an angel of light, this iniquity is and will be marked before the Lord. They cannot get one as sent of God, and commissionate of him to them, as long as my commission to be their minister remains valid before God. They cannot seek another in my room with a good conscience; nor can another come with a good conscience into my room, beeause it cannot be done without an obtrusion upon my lawful ministry here; and therefore they cannot, in this way, expect to have one in mercy, and with a blessing, but rather in wrath, snd with a curse.
Although I am persecuted, because I do not side with the present times, and my persecutors may think they do God service, and that there is no persecution in the case; yet I reckon my being persecuted in my office and ministerial work, more gross and heinous than any outward corporal persecution, and what tends to bring on the greatest wrath. The people of this place, that are guilty, know not that they are treasuring up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath; greater wrath than that which will fall upon heathens, that never enjoyed the gospel. Precious Christ, and his everlasting gospel, is become a stumbling-block to thein; and they, to support their present practice, are a prey to every bitter lying spirit, that tends to disparage the ministry which they abandon. As, of old, the Pharisees received every false and reproachful account of Christ they could pick up, to justify their opposition to him ; so, when once people begin to desert, disown, and disregard a gospel-ministery they have been long under, they will be glad to entertain every lying story,every false and calumniating report they can get, to justify their practice in deserting it: And God, in his righteous judgment, will let those stumbling blocks be put in their way, and let them fall and stumble upon them to their ruin, 1 Pet. ii. 7,8. Isa. viii. 14, 15. Christ him. self could not be so openly rejected, with any grace, by the Jews, Pharisees, and people of old, if their woful contempt of him had not been rendered, as it were, justifiable, by its being gilded over with the notion of Christ's being a blasphemer of God, and thereupon their opposition to him looked on as a duty and service to God. But the slighting of Christ and his message will be pursued with heavy judgments, though this sin should be covered over with a mask of duty to God, and though it should be fortified with Sanhedrims and Judicatories in its favours. “I would have gathered you, but ye would not, says Christ; therefore behold your house is left desolate,” Mat. xxiii. 37. 38.
V. Those that have any hand in this sin of calling a11other minister to this congregation in my room, do by this deed, give scandal to this congregation that adhere to my ministry, and do thereby exclude themselves from the benefit of any sealing ordinance to be dispensed by me, until they shall confess their sin, and be purged from the scandal and offence they give thereby. And the scandal may appear plain and evident, not only from what is said, but if it be considered,
VI. That those who shall call, and submit to any other in my room, they not only reject their own lawful pastor, without any ground, but reject him at the last and most noted period of his life, when, in holy providence, he is become more than a minister to them as formerly, a public witness for the persecuted truth
cause of Christ : And, to reject my ministry, in such ctreumstances, is not only a pouring contempt on the whole of my thirty years ministerial work in this place, and a declaring that the gospel has never been a savour of life, but of death to them; but also a despising of the whole witnessing-work of the day, and the public testimony of the time, wherein God hath honoured me to be concerned. And, indeed, if the people of this place had contrived a way to get rid of my ministry, twenty years ago, their guilt had not been so aggravated, as now, when a testimony is put in my hand, wherein theglory of God, and the credit of his name and trath is so much concerned : For now they cannot cast off my ministry for another in my room, nor countenance those that are carrying on such an obtrusion, without involving themselves in the guilt of all these public defections that 1 and others are witnessing against; and trampling upon these truths of God that we are witnessing for ; and casting behind their back all these reformationprinciples, whereof I have been called, all along, to be a professor and a preacher, but now to be a confessor and a witness.
Upon all these accounts, I see it my present duty to warn the people of this place, to consider what they .. are doing in this matter, as they have any regard to
the glory of God, the credit of the gospel, the salvation of their own souls, their peace in a dying hour, and
the great account they are to make before God's tribunal, of what improvement they make of the gospel-niinistry he hath sent to them.
A Third MINISTERIAL WARNING read publicly to
the Congregation of DUNFERMLINE, on Sabbath, May 1st, 1743.
WHEREAS I understand, that last Sabbath-day there was, by appointment of the pretended Presbytery of Dunfermline, an intimation made, of the admission of one to be minister in this Congregation, in my room and place, upon Thursday next; and notwithstanding I have formerly given, and publicly read solemn warnings to this congregation on this head, both when the said Presbytery appointed my room to be supplied with other ministers, and afterward, when they appointed the moderation of a call for another minister in this place; and though these warnings have been printed and published, so as every one has access to see and read them, and none that I know has ever yet offered to answer them, and consequently I may be judged to have exonered myself sufficiently on this head : Yet, lest any should misinterpret my silence on this occasion, as if I, or any of this congregation, might now be easy or indifferent in this matter, or were any way con. niving at this sinful and remarkable obtrusion; and lest any should afterwards allege, that this designed settlement was carried on without any dissenting or reclaiming voice in this congregation, and that such an open and wicked encroachment was made without any kind of opposition; though I neither design nor desire, that any outward opposition be made, nor that any external disturbance in the least be given, by word or deed, to any that are, or may be concerned in this af. fair: Nay, so far on the contrary am I from the use of any such carnal weapons, to oppose the public corruptions of the time, or this notedobtrusion among the rest, that I desire and expect, none that have a regard for my ministry, and for the cause of Christ, so much run
down at this day, will in the least offer to countenance that obtruding work; they that give their presence seem to give their consent, and to involve themselves in the whole guilt thereof.
All the opposition I propose that you or I should make against this designed admission, is only by a sober, meek, serious, and practical witness-bearing against it. Therefore I do, in my own name, as lawfully called of · God, and of this congregation, to the work of the gospel ministry therein, and in the name of all that shall adhere to me, and my ministry, and in the fear of that God, to whom I must be accountable for all that I do, before bim and this congregation, give my testimony against that intended admission, in so far as it is a palpable intrusion designed to be made upon my charge, and against the voice and consent of all in this congregation that are still cleaving to my ministry, and professing to witness for the reformation cause.
Again, In so far as it is contrary to the rule of God's word, and the gospel order of discipline and government in the house of God, a violence done to God's heritage, a sinful robbing this congregation of their right to, and interest in their only lawful minister; an open violation of the sacred bonds and obligations this Parish is under to encourage me in, and cleave to my ministry ; so long as it is not so much as pretended, that I am either convicted of error in doctrine, or immorality in practice, but merely persecute for non-compliance with the defections of the judicatories, and judicial witnessing with others against the public defections and deviations from our reformation purity, and covenanted doctrine, worship, discipline, and government.
Again, I give testir.ony against this obtrusion, in so far as it includes an approbation of, and siding with the judicatories, in their unlawful and unwarrantable acts and sentences, past against a number of ministers witnessing for the reformation work; and as it includes a contempt poured upon the dispensation of the gospel here, accompanied with a testimony for the whole covenanted reformation principles.
In so far likewise, as it includes evident perjury and treachery, not only in violating the particular oath of