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vast dominions of the Emperor of Muscovy are gross HeathThe greater part of Great Tartary, a Heathen country, has in later times been brought under the Muscovite government; and there have been of late great numbers of those Heathen who have renounced their Heathenism, and have embraced the Christian religion.


[3] There has been lately a very considerable propagation of the Christian religion among the Heathen in the East Indies; particularly, many, in a country in the East Indies called Malabar, have been brought over to the Christian Protestant religion, chiefly by the labors of certain missionaries sent thither to instruct them by the King of Denmark, who have brought over many Heathens to the Christian faith, and have set up schools among them, and a printing press, to print Bibles and other books for their instruction, in their own language, with great success.

(3) The last kind of success which there has lately been of the gospel, which I shall take notice of, is the revivals of the power and practice of religion which have lately been. And here I shall take notice of but two instances.


[1] There has not long since been a remarkable revival of the power and practice of religion in Saxony in Germany, through the endeavors of an eminent divine there, whose name was August Herman Frank, professor of divinity at Hall in Saxony, who, being a person of eminent charity, the great work that God wrought by him, began with his setting on foot a charitable design. It began only with his placing an alms box at his study door, into which some poor mites were thrown, whereby books were bought for the instruction of the poor. And God was pleased so wonderfully to smile on his design, and so to pour out a spirit of charity on people there on that occasion, that with their charity he was enabled in a little time to erect public schools for the instruction of poor children, and an orphan house for the supply and instruction of the poor; so that at last it came to that, that near five hundred children were maintained and instructed in learning and piety by the charity of others; and the number continued to increase more and more for many years, and till the

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last account I have seen. This was accompanied with a won-
derful reformation and revival of religion, and a spirit of pie-
ty, in the city and university of Hall; and thus it continued.
Which also had great influence in many other places in Ger-
many. Their example seemed remarkably to stir up multi-
tudes to their imitation.

[2] Another thing, which it would be ungrateful in us not to take notice of, is that remarkable pouring out of the Spirit of God which has been of late in this part of New England, of which we, in this town, have had such a share. But it is needless for me particularly to describe it, it being what you have so lately been eye witnesses to, and I hope multitudes of you sensible of the benefit of.

Thus I have mentioned the more remarkable instances of the success which the gospel has lately had in the world.

4. I proceed now to the last thing that was proposed to be considered relating to the success of Christ's redemption during this space, viz. what the state of things is now in the world with regard to the church of Christ, and the success of Christ's purchase. And this I would do, by showing how things are now, compared with the first times of the Reformation, And, 1. I would show wherein the state of things is altered for the worse; and, 2. How it is altered for the better.

(1) I would show wherein the state of things is altered from what it was in the beginning of the Reformation, for the worse; and it is so especially in these three respects.

[1] The reformed church is much diminished. The Reformation in the former times of it, as was observed before, was supposed to take place through one half of Christendom, excepting the Greek church, or that there were as many Protestants as Papists. But now it is not so; the Protestant church is much diminished. Heretofore there have been multitudes of Protestants in France; many famous Protestant churches were all over that country, who used to meet togeth, er in synods, and maintain a very regular discipline; and great part of that kingdom were Protestants. The Protestant church of France was a great part of the glory of the Reformation. But now it is far otherwise : Thi schurch is all broken to

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pieces and scattered. The Protestant religion is almost whole
ly rooted out of that kingdom by the cruel persecutions which
have been there, and there are now but very few Protestant as-
semblies in all that kingdom. The Protestant interest is also
greatly diminished in Germany. There were several sov-
ereign princes there formerly who were Protestants, whose
successors are now Papists; as particularly, the Elector Pal-
atine, and the Elector of Saxony. The kingdom of Bohe-
mia was formerly a Protestant kingdom, but is now in the
hands of the Papists: And so Hungary was formerly a Pro-
testant country; but the Protestants there have been greatly
reduced, and in a great measure subdued, by the persecutions
that have been there. And the Protestant interest has no
way remarkably gained ground of late of the church of Rome.

[2] Another thing wherein the state of things is altered for
the worse from what was in the former times of the Reforma-
tion, is the prevailing of licentiousness in principles and opin-
fons. There is not now that spirit of orthodoxy which there
was then; There is very little appearance of zeal for the
mysterious and spiritual doctrines of Christianty; and they
never were so ridiculed, and had in contempt, as they are in
the present age; and especially in England, the principal
kingdom of the Reformation. In this kingdom, those princi-
ples, on which the power of godliness depends, are in a great
measure exploded; and Arianism, and Socinianism, and Ar
minianism, and Deism, are the things which prevail, and
carry almost all before them. And particularly history gives
no account of any age wherein there was so great an apostacy
of those who had been brought up under the light of the gos-
pel, to infidelity; never was there such a casting off of the
Christian, and all revealed religion; never any age wherein
was, so much scoffing at, and ridiculing the gospelo f Christ,
by those who have been brought up under gospel light, nor
any thing like it, as there is at this day.

[3] Another thing wherein things are altered for the worse, is, that there is much less of the prevalency of the power of godliness, than there was at the beginning of the Reformation. There was a glorious outpouring of the Spirit of God


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that accompanied the first Reformation, not only to convert multitudes in so short a time from Popery to the true religion, but to turn many, to God and true godliness. Religion gloriously flourished in one country and another, as most remarkably appeared in those times of terrible persecution, which have already been spoken of. But now there is an exceeding great decay of vital piety; yea, it seems to be despised, called enthusiasm, whimsy, and fanaticism. Those who are truly religious, are commonly looked upon to be crack brained, and beside their right mind; and vice and profaneness dreadfully prevail, like a flood which threatens to bear down all before it.......But I proceed now to show,


(2) In what respect things are altered for the better from what they were in the first Reformation.

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[1] The power and influence of the Pope is much diminished. Although, since the former times of the Reformation, he has gained ground in extent of dominion; yet he has lost in degree of influence. The vial which, in the beginning of the Reformation was poured out on the throne of the beast, to the great diminishing of his power and authority in the world, has continued running ever since. The Pope, soon after the Reformation, became less regarded by the princes of Europe than he had been before; and so he has been since, less and less. Many of the Popish princes themselves seem now to regard him very little more than they think will serve their own designs; of which there have been several remarkable proofs and instances of late.

[2] There is far less persecution now than there was in the first times of the Reformation. You have heard already how dreadfully persecution raged in the former times of the Reformation; and there is something of it still. Some parts of the Protestant church are at this day under persecution, and so probably will be till the day of the church's suffering and travail is at an end, which will not be till the fall of Antichrist. But it is now in no measure as it was heretofore. There does not seem to be the same spirit of persecution prevailing; it is become more out of fashion even among the Popish princes. The wickedness of the enemies of Christ, and the

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opposition against his cause, seem to run in another channel.
The humor now is, to despise and laugh at all religion; and
there seems to be a spirit of indifferency about it. However,
so far the state of things is better than it has been, that there
is so much less of persecution.

[3] There is a great increase of learning. In the dark
times of Popery before the Reformation, learning was so far
decayed, that the world seemed to be overrun with barbarous
ignorance. Their very priests were many of them grossly
ignorant. Learning began to revive with the Reformation,
which was owing very much to the art of printing, which was
invented a little before the Reformation; and since that, learn-
ing has increased more and more, and at this day is undoubt-
edly raised to vastly a greater height than ever it was before :
And though no good use is made of it by the greater part of
learned men, yet the increase of learning in itself is a thing to
be rejoiced in, because it is a good, and, if duly applied, an
excellent handmaid to divinity, and is a talent which, if God
gives men an heart, affords them a great advantage to do
great things for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ,
and the good of the souls of men. That learning and knowl-
edge should greatly increase before the glorious times, seems
to be foretold, Dan. xii. 4. " But thou, O Daniel, shut up the
words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: Many
shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." And
however little now learning is applied to the advancement of
religion; yet we may hope that the days are approaching,
wherein God will make great use of it for the advancement
of the kingdom of Christ.

God in his providence now seems to be acting over again
the same part which he did a little time before Christ came.
wherein Christ came into the world, was an age where-
in learning greatly prevailed, and was at a greater height than
ever it had been before; and yet wickedness never prevailed.
more than then. God was pleased to suffer human learning
to come to such a height before he sent forth the gospel into
the world, that the world might see the insufficiency of all
their own wisdom for the obtaining the knowledge of God,

2 Q


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