PREACHED BY JOHN WELCH:
HERE is presented to your View a few Sermons, being Part of the Labours of that great Man of God Mr. John Welch: One who had more than an ordinary Measure of the Spirit of God given to him, evidently known to many, who were so happily blessed as to be under his Ministry, and enjoy Fellowship and Communion with him in the Ordinances of the Gospel.
Of which there is an Account of many extraordinary Things in the History of his Life annexed to this Book. The candid Reader will see, by the following Sermons, That he hath been mightily impress'd with a deep Sense of the Degeneracy of the Age he lived in, especially with the Ignorance and Wickedness of the People in the several Congregations that the Lord was pleased to call him to preach the Gospel amongst; which doth appear by the many bitter Lamentations that the following Sermons are filled with; wherein he labours with all Earnestness of Spirit, to set home upon their Spirits the Evil of Sin, and the great Danger of their eternal Ruin by the same; in opening up our lost and ruined State by Adam, and the Miseries that follow thereupon, both in this Life, and more especially that eternal Misery that abides every Soul that dies in an unregenerate State.
Again, it hath been his great Work to unfold unto his People the Mysteries of the great Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Saviour of Sinners; which should be the Study of all who profess themselves to be the Ministers of the Gospel of the blessed Jesus; to open up and unfold those great Mysteries of Salvation hid from Ages and Generations; but are now made manifest to us in these last Days of the World.
The Doctrine of a crucified Christ hath been the Study of faithful Ministers in former Ages, and it will yet be the Work of all those who labour to be faithful to their Lord and Master in the Work of the Gospel. It is the Work of Angels and glorified Spirits above to be looking into this great Mystery, and will be the Work of Men and Angels to be looking into it for ever through Eternity, and will never be able to wade through the Depths of that unsearchable Treasure of Mysteries that are hid in our Immanuel, God with us. O! it is pleasant Work, and will be a pleasant Exercise to every one that is exercised therein. What's all the work about the Throne of God and the Lamb in the upper House above, but just to be looking into these Mysteries, and admiring the glorious Beauties and Excellencies that appear in the Face of our Immanuel, and the more they look, the more Wonders will they see for ever through Eternity. O then, how well does it become all that are Ambassadors for Christ, to proclaim these glad Tidings of Salvation to lost Sinners! It was the Lord's own Work immediately after the Fall, Though he was in the Form of God, and thought it no Robbery to be equal with God, yet he did not think it below him to come down (from his Royal Throne, where he dwelt from everlasting) with the glad News of Salvation to poor trembling Adam, who had ruined himself and all his Posterity, when under the awful Apprehensions of divine Wrath, and vainly thinking to hide himself from the Presence of the Lord amongst the Thickets of the Garden: But behold how everlasting Love prevents his fearful Thoughts, and O how good News must these be, to hear out of the Mouth of a Saviour himself, That the Seed of the Woman should bruise the Head of the Serpent! Gen. 3.15.
Again, it was the Work of Angels to proclaim these
News to the poor Shepherds of Bethlehem, Luke 2.9, at the Birth of our Lord, when he actually came down into our World, in our Nature, and vail'd himself with our Flesh, to tabernacle with us, that he might perform the Work the Father had put into his Hand to do.
Again, it was the Work of the blessed Apostles, after his Resurrection, to spread the Doctrine amongst all the Nations they had Access unto. Paul could say, I desire to know nothing amongst you but Christ, and him crucified. And O! how well then doth it become all who are employed as Ambassadors for Christ, to be employed in the same Doctrine to the End of the World. But O! how lamentable is it, that so little of the Doctrine is to be heard in this Land, in the Day we live now in; it is amongst on of the greatest Signs of the Lord's Anger against this Land, that this Doctrine is like to wear out of the Pulpits of many in Scotland; this Doctrine is become nauseous to many; yea, the Name of Jesus is so unsavoury to many in this Age, that when they hear of it in a Sermon, they will laugh and flout at it. But O how will they laugh at that Day, when he comes in the Clouds of Heaven, with Power and great Glory, attended with an innumerable Company of Angels, and the Spirits of just Men made perfect, to take Vengeance on all the Workers of Iniquity; when they will be forced to cry to the Hills and Mountains to fall upon them, and cover them from the Face of him that sits upon the Throne, and from the Wrath of the Lamb. O poor Shift to cry to the Creature to hide them from the Face of the Creator, whose Presence fills Heaven and Earth. He that sits in Heaven will then laugh at them, the Lord will have them in Derision, Psalm 2.4. I also will laugh at your Calamity, and mock when your Fear cometh, Prov. 1.26. Fear and Trembling will then seize Multitudes of Men and Women, that now look upon all revealed Religion, as a mere Jest, and idle Stories; but there will be no Mocking at the Bar of God's Judgment, when the Secrets of all Hearts will be tried, and the Sentence come forth, Go, ye Cursed, into everlasting Fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels. Therefore, O how good were it now for poor Sinners to kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and make Peace with him while he is making Offers of Peace to us, and using all possible Means to reconcile Sinners to him, by the Offers of the Gospel of Peace; therefore, O let us obey his Voice, while it is called to Day. It is now our happy Day of the Offers of Life and Salvation through Jesus Christ; but if we despise such a Day of Grace as this is, it will not be long till God's Day of Vengeance come, when he will say to such as despise his Offers, Behold, ye Despisers, wonder and perish. Oh that we were wise, that we understood this, that we would consider our latter End, O how happy for ever should we be!
The following Sermons are all of them filled with earnest Exhortations for the awakening of a secure Generation, as we are at this Day. The serious Reader will find they are not delivered in a neat and fine Dress, to please the fine Taste of the Age we now live in, who loves more to hear a Sermon neatly dress'd in a fine Stile of curious Learning, than to hear an awakening Sermon concerning our own person Sins, and the Sins of the Generation we live in: But the following are plain to the meanest Capacity, not in enticing Words of Man's Wisdom, but in Demonstration of the Spirit, and of Power. And Oh! that the Lord himself may give his Spirit to every one, into whose Hands they shall come, that they may read the same with Faith and Love, that they may gain the desired End, is the earnest Prayer of him, who is your Well-wisher.
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