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THE

NECESSITY

OF

THE POURING OUT OF THE SPIRIT FROM

ON HIGH

UPON A

SINNING APOSTATIZING PEOPLE, SET UNDER JUDGMENT, IN ORDER TO THEIR MERCIFUL DELIVERANCE

AND SALVATION.

AS IT WAS DELIVERED IN PART, UPON 21. 9. 1678.

BEING A GENERAL FAST THROUGHOUT THE UNITED COLONIES OF N. E.

BY WILLIAM ADAMS,

PASTOR OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN DEDHAM.

"And when he was come near, he beheld the city and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes." Luke xix. 41, 42.

"Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. And verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until

the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Luke xiii. 35.

"O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Sion! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad." Psalm xiv. 7.

BOSTON:

PRINTED BY JOHN FOSTER, FOR WILLIAM AVERY, NEAR THE SIGN
OF THE BLUE ANCHOR. 1679.

TO THE READER.

THAT these churches once flourished, with much spiritual prosperity, under a glorious dispensation of the Spirit and grace of God, by the saving administrations of his word and worship, and that with full demonstration of his special grace and favor; we ought to commemorate unto his praise and glory, and our own present shame and confusion. That now we are a people in extreme danger of perishing in our own sins and under God's judgments, unless God shall please in an extraordinary way, of sovereign mercy to save us, is the most humbling consideration of our present sad condition. That all ordinary means, in that extraordinary way of improvement which God hath of late set us under, have been altogether ineffectual, unto a general and saving work of reformation, makes it at least a fearful question, whether our degeneracy and apostacy may not prove judicial, and so perpetual; a question which will not admit of a comfortable resolution, until God shall pour out his Spirit from on high upon us. That sovereign promise of the donation and effusion of the Spirit, and so of the dispensation of saving grace, as it hath been unto the churches in all ages, under their deepest defection, so it is unto us the main stay of our faith, confidence, and comfort, and that which gives some present reviving unto our languishing hope, of the resurrection of religion in these churches. That God doth at present so far suspend the accomplishment of this promise, and so far withhold his Spirit and grace, it is the just yet most dreadful punishment of that most sinful abuse of it, and general unprofitableness under the means of grace, and of that resisting his Spirit, and rejecting his Son by unbelief and disobedience unto the gospel which is found amongst us, and is sadly signal of the gradual cessation of the work of conversion, and of the further execution of God's wrath, both by external and spiritual plagues and judgments. How much that blessed work doth already fail, the decaying and dying state of religion and of these churches doth evidence by

woful instance and experience, there being little more left than a name to live, and those things which remain so ready to die. That so many sinners do seem to be given up judicially unto the still growing and prevailing sins of the times, which both in their nature and working are so utterly inconsistent with the progress of the work of conversion, doth make the consideration of our present case much the more lamentable; especially considering that such sinners do remain under a secret, sovereign influence of God's vindictive justice; whence the word in the ministry is become a savor of death unto death in them that perish. What remains then but that we do most enixly endeavor, in whatsoever we may or can possibly, to approve ourselves a people more hopeful, as to conversion, reformation, and salvation, laboring practically and savingly to understand, even we at least in this our day the great things of our temporal, spiritual, and eternal peace and welfare, lest they should be hidden from our eyes, because we know not this time of our visitation. How is it then the most important concernment of all unconverted sinners to take heed unto themselves, that they do not, as heretofore, hinder their own conversion, by abusing and losing their special day and seasons of grace, or by yielding up their souls unto the power of sin and Satan in those ways of sinning, wherein their hearts will be hardened against the power and working of the word and Spirit of God, unto positive unbelief and disobedience unto the gospel against light, and so by giving up themselves unto deep security in their unregeneracy, and unto spiritual apostacy, from that common grace which they may have received and that past ordinary hope of recovery. (Heb. vi. 4-8.) But that sinners do redeem this present time unto a constant attendance upon the ministry of the word, and a most diligent improvement of all means of grace and operations of the Spirit, crying earnestly unto God, and waiting instantly upon him for the application of Christ, and salvation in a saving work of grace; that under a sense of their extreme necessity thereof, crying out as they when pricked in their heart, (Acts ii. 31.) what shall we do?' and as he, (Acts xvi. 30.)' what must I do to be saved?' How severely also then are all such persons to be reproved and warned as the most dangerous, destructive enemies, unto both the temporal and spiritual welfare and prosperity of this people and of these churches, seeking the utter ruin and destruction both of the present and succeeding generations; who make it their business to hinder, obstruct, yea, utterly to destroy the work of conversion, by upholding the sins of the times, opposing the duties of the times, corrupting the souls of others with error, heresy, libertinism and licentiousness, weakening the hearts and hands of those who labor in the work of Christ, for the salvation of souls, by all means crossing and counter-working the whole work of

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