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mony and name to it. That it may answer the main end for which it was at first written by the author-whom I always took to be a grave, serious, modest, good man-and for which, I hope, it is now published, to wit, the edification of the Church of Christ in faith, holiness, and comfort, is the hearty desire of one of the meanest servants of our MOST BLESSED LORD JESUS.
We, whose names are subscribed, having seen the testimony of our worthy brother, Mr. William Lorimer, after his perusal of this book, doubt not but it may be of use to many,- -as the former writings of Mr. Thomas Watson have been ; and, with that desire and hope, we recommend it to masters of families and others. WILLIAM BATES.
NATHANIEL OLDFIELD, MATTHEW BARKER.
RICHARD ADAMS. JOHN HOWIE.
RICHARD STEEL. MATTHEW Mead.
John Hughes. MATTHEW SYLVESTER.
A SHORT ACCOUNT
Τ Η Ε
A U T H O R.
It is sufficiently known to all that have any acquaintance with the histories of the Church, that many valuable and useful ministers were ejected, for non-conformity, by the Act of Uniformity, in the reign of King Charles II. which took place, August 24th, 1662. Among others, the Reverend Mr. THOMAS WATSON was ejected from his charge, at St. Stephen's, Walbrook, London ; whose character is given by the Reverend Dr. Edmund Calamy, in his Abridgements, Vol. II. p. 37; and is as follows:
From St. Stephen's, Walbrook. Mr. Thomas Watson ; “ he was of Emanuel College in Cambridge, where he was “ noted for being a hard student, one so well known in the “ city, viz. London, for his piety and usefulness, that " though he was singled out by the Friendly Debate, he “ yet carried a general respect for all sober persons along 56 with him to his
A memorable passage, which I “ have from good hands, must not be passed by: When “ Mr Watson was in the pulpit, on a lecture day, before “ the Bartholomew act took place, among other hearers “ there came in that Reverend and Learned Prelate, Bishop
Richardson, who was so well pleased with his sermon, “ but especially with his prayer after it, that he followed “ him home, to give him thanks, and earnestly desired a copy
· Alas !' said Mr Watson, that is “ " what I cannot give, for I do not use to pen my prayers ;
of his prayer.
any man could
- it was no studied thing, but uttered as God enabled me " ( from the abundance of my heart and affections,-pro re “nata. Upon which the good Bishop went away, wondering that
pray in that manner, ex tem“pore. After his ejectment, he continued in the exercise “ of the ministry in the city, as Providence gave opportu“ nity, for many years : but his strength wearing away, he “ retired into Essex, and there died suddenly, in his closet, “ at prayer.”
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, Col. i. 23.
INTENDING the next Lord's day to the earth.” Now, such as are to enter upon the work of cate- not settled in religion, will, at chising, it will not be amiss to one time or other, prove wandergive you this preliminary dis- ing stars ; they will lose their forcourse, as preparatory to it; shew-mer strictness, and wander from ing you how needful it is for one opinion to another. Such as Christians to be well instructed are unsettled are of the tribe Reuin the grou. ds of religion. ben, " unstable as water,' Gen.
“ If ye continue in the faith xlix. 4.; like a ship without balgrounded and settled,”—Two pro- last overturned with every wind positions :
of doctrine. Beza writes of one First, It is the duty of Chris- Belfectius, whose religion changed tians to be settled in the doctrine as the moon. The Arians had of faith.
every year a new faith. These are Second, The best way for Chris- not · pillars' in the temple of God, tians to be settled is to be well but reeds' shaken every way. grounded.
The apostle calls them damnaDoct. I. That it is the duty ble heresies,' 2 Pet. ii. 1. Aman of Christians to be settled in the may go to hell as well for heresy doctrine of faith. It is the apos- as adultery. To be unsettled in tle's prayer, 1 Pet. v. 10.“ The religion argues want of judge God of all grace, stablish, strength- ment; if their heads were not en, settle you." That they giddy, they would not reel so might not be meteors in the air, fast from one opinion to another. but fixed stars. The apostle It argues lightness ; feathers will Jude speaks of wandering stars' be blown every way,
--so will feav. 13. They are called wander- thery Christians, -Triticum non ing stars, because, as Aristotle rapit ventus, inanes palæ jactantur, saith, They do leap up and CYPR. Therefore such are comdown, and wander into several pared to children, Eph. iv. 14. parts of the heaven; and being “ That we be no more children, but dry exhalations, not made tossed to and fro." Children are of that pure celestial matter—as fickle,—sometimes of one mind, the fixed stars are—they often fall sometimes of another; nothing
pleases them long; so unsettled when they think of the joys of Christians are childish ; those heaven, then they will espouse truths they embrace at one time, the gospel,—but when they think they reject at another ; sometimes of persecution, then they desert they like the Protestant religion, it. Unsettled Christians do not and soon after they have a good consult what is best, but what is mind to turn Papists. Now, that safest : “ The apostate (saith Ter. you may labour to be settled (as tullian) seems to put God and Ignatius) in the faith, in unset- Satan in balance, and having tled times of settled judgments : weighed both their services, pre
1st. It is the great end of the fers the devil's service, and proword preached, to bring us to a claiins him to be the best master; settlement in religion. Eph. iv. and in this sense may be said to 11, 13.
" And he gave some, put Christ to open shame,' evangelists ; and some, pastors and Heb. vi. 6. They will never suffer teachers; for the edifying of the for the truth, but be as a soldier body of Christ: that we hence that leaves his colours, and runs forth be no more children." The over to the enemy's side; he will word is called “an hammer, Jer. fight on the devil's side for pay. xxiii. 29. Every blow of the 4th. Not to be settled in the hammer is to fasten the nails of faith is highly provoking to God. the building; the preacher's words To espouse the truth, and then to are but to fasten you the more to fall away, brings an ill report Christ,—they weaken themselves upon the gospel, which will not to strengthen and settle you. go unpunished : Psal. lxxviii. 57, This is the grand design of preach-69. « They turned back, and ing—not only for the enlightening, dealt unfaithfully; when God but for the establishing of souls heard this, he was wroth, and not only to guide them in the greatly abhorred Israel.” The right way, but to keep them in apostate drops as a wind-fall into it. Now if you be not settled, you the devil's mouth. do not answer God's end in giv- 5th. If ye are not settled in reing you the ministry.
ligion, ye will never grow.
We 2d. To be settled in religion is are commanded to grow up into both a Christian's excellency and the head, even Christ,' Eph. iv. honour. It is his excellency; 15. But if we are unsettled, when the milk is settled it turns no growing: “ the plant which to cream ; now he will be some- is continually removing never thing zealous for the truth, walk thrives.” He can no more grow in close coinmunion' with God; in godliness, who is unsettled, and his honour, Prov. xvi. 31. than a bone can grow in the body “ The hoary head is a crown of that is out of joint. glory, if it be found in the way of 6th. What great need is there righteousness." It is one of the to be settled ; because there are best sights, to see an old disciple, so many things to unsettle us, —to see silver hairs adorned with and make us fall away from the golden virtues.
truth. Seducers are abroad, whose 3d. Such as are not settled in work is to draw away people the faith can never suffer for it; from the principles of religion : sceptics in religion will hardly 1 John ii. 26., « These things ever prove martyrs; they that are have I written unto you concernnot settled do hang in suspense, -ing them that seduce you." Se