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ly period the tree of grace and liberty into their youthful hearts, never more to be eradicated, but flourish in immortal bloom. And when it falls, may it fall into that glorious assylum of comfort, where we all hope to arrive at one time or other.
The favourable patronage which this work has met with, demands a grateful acknowledgment, and I am happy to find so many, even of the youthful part of the creation, so liberal in patronising a religious work of this nature, and it is remarkable to find so many religious females in one city as there is in New-York; for any thing that bears that name, of a book kind, they are very anxious of having in their families.
The number of subscribers obtained in NewYork for this book, is nine hundred, five hundred of which are ladies; eight hundred in Philadelphia, and seven hundred in Baltimore, for which I return them my hearty thanks, and sincerely hope that the medical part of this work will be instrumental of saving many lives, and the religious part many souls, for which it îs intended.
I am, gentlemen,
Your most grateful
And very humble servant,
THE POLAR STAR, &c.
A Prophecy of the Increase of Christ's Kingdom.
On JOHN iii. 30. He must increase.
THESE are the words of John Baptist concerning Jesus Christ, upon the occasion of his disciples complaining of Christ's baptizing, which drew great multitudes to him, whereby they feared their master might come to be darkened or deserted. But the humble man, instead of resenting it as his disciples did, falls a com. mending Christ, and abasing himself; yea, he professeth the greatest satisfaction in the ad vancement of Christ and his interest in the world, and compareth himself to a friend of the Bridegroom, ver. 26. that rejoiceth in the success of the match, which he had been labouring to promote: It being honour enough for the most eminent minister of Christ, to be an instru.
ment to recommend his glorious Master, and to court and make ready a bride for him.
In ver. 30. where my text is, 1. John foretels the increase of Christ's kingdom and glory, as a thing highly just and equitable in itself, and most agreeable and satisfying to him, and all other friends of the Bridegroom, " He must increase;" that is, his interest shall grow in the world, his name shall spread, his throne be raised, his crown shall flourish, his dominion be enlarged and his subjects multiplied. You think he hath gained a great deal already, but this is nothing to what he will gain: And all this in consequence of the decree of God, and the prophecies recorded concerning the Messiah in Psalm ii. and Ixxii. &c. so that there is a necessity for it, He must increase."
2. John foretels the consequence of this increase to himself, "I must decrease; that is, I must be darkened and disappear." He is not at all displeased to see himself obscure and outshined by the blessed Messiah, whose servant and forerunner he owned he was. No, no, says he, Let him shine forth as the rising sun, and let me disappear like the morning star: Let his name be raised, and mine depressed, I cheerfully submit to it, I am contented to be any thing, or to be nothing, so that Christ may be All.
Doc. The increase of Christ's kingdom and glory in the world, is absolutely certain and necessary. It must infallibly be, for God hath said it, Jer. xxiii. 5. " A king shall reign and prosper in the earth," Psalms lxxii. 8. He shall have dominion from sea to sea, Psalm Cxxxii. 18. "Upon himself shall his crown flourish."
In discoursing from this subject, I shall,
I. Enquire what is that increase of Christ's kingdom and glory, which we may warrantably look for?
II. What are the times and seasons of this increase ?
III. What are the reasons why Christ must thus increase ?
IV. Make application.
I. As to the first, What is the increase here
First, Negatively, it is not to be understood, 1. Of any increase of Christ's essential glory as God; for this is impossible, he being infinite, and therefore the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever, without any variableness or shadow of turning.
2. It is not meant that Christ's kingdom shall increase or flourish in outward splendour and greatness, like one of the kingdoms of this world. No, Christ's kingdom being not of this world,
its glory is of a spiritual and heavenly nature, and peculiar to itself alone.
Neither is it to be thought that the increase of Christ's kingdom is to be constant or alike at all times, or without decay or diminution at any time. No, no, for sometimes it seems to be brought very low, yea, so low was it brought under the Antichristian apostacy, that it was. scarce visible.
2dly. Positively, the increase spoke of in the text, is to be understood of the flourishing of Christ's mediatory kingdom, and of the spreading of his manifestative glory in the world, which doth consist chiefly in these things:
1. In the increase and spreading of gospellight through the world, so that the dark places of the earth shall be enlightened with the knowledge of Christ; and those places which had but twilight discoveries of him, shall attain to brighter views of his excellency and usefulness, and to a clearer insight into the gospel mysteries, and the way of salvation through Christ and his righteousness imputed to the sons of Adam. Then the Sun of righteousness shall arise with more powerful beams of light and heat upon his churches than before, and at length with such clearness and efficacy, as to scatter Antichristian darkness, error, idolatry, superstitions, dead forms and ceremonies of