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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

As it is expounded in Pool's Synop


may draw wrath upon the whole.

Now, the only way the scripture points out to evite and avert such public judgments is to make our resentment of these indignities done to our God, our mourning over them, and our witness against them, as public as the sins are, at least as public as we can get them, by a public pleading for truth, Isa. lix. 4. For the defect whereof he hides his face, and wonders that there is no man, no intercessor, ver. 16. that is, none to plead with God, in behalf of his borne down truths; there must be in order to this, a public seeking of truth, which if there be any found making conscience of, the Lord makes a gracious overture to pardon the city, Jer. v. 1. We cannot think there were no mourners in secret there, but there was no public meetings for it, and public owning the duty of that day: There must be valour for the truth upon the earth, Jer. ix. 3, a public and resolute owning of truth: there must be a making up the hedge, and standing in the gap for the land, that the Lord should not destroy it, Ezek. xxii. 30. a public testimony in opposition to defection: there must be a pleading with our mother, Hos. ii. 2. which is spoken to private persons in the plural number, commanding all that would consult their own safety, publicly to condemn the sins of the whole nation, that they may escape the public punishment thereof, as it is expounded in Pool's Synop. Critic. in locum. By this means we must endeavour to avert the wrath and anger of God, which must certainly be expected to go out
against the land, which hath all the procuring causes, all the symptoms, prognostics, and evidences of a land devoted to destruction, that ever a land had. If then there must be such public mourning, and such solemn gathering for it, such public pleading for truth, seeking for truth, valour for truth, making up the hedge, and pleading with our mother, there must of necessity be public meetings for it: for these things cannot be done in private, but must be done by way of testimony. Which I make a second reason, The nature and end of meeting for gospel ordinances is for a public testimony for Christ and his truths and interest, against sin and all dishonours done to the Son of God. So that the only end, is not only to bring to Christ, and build up souls in Christ, but it is to testify also for the glory of Christ, whether souls be brought in and built up or not. The preached gospel is not only the testimony of Christ, 1 Cor. i. 6. but a testimony for Christ; in which sense, the testimony of Jesus is said to be the spirit of prophecy, Rev. xix. 10. so called, Durham expounds it, for its bearing witness to Christ; in which respect ministers are often called witnesses. It is also the testimony of Israel (not only given to Israel, but given by Israel) unto which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, Psal. cxxii. 4. Whensoever therefore, or howsoever the testimony of the church is contradicted, that is not a lawful meeting of the tribes of the Lord. It is also the testimony of the preachers for Christ, against them that will not receive them, Mark vi. 11. And a witness unto all nations to whom they preach, Matth. xxiv. 14.

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