Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Sum is Greater Than the Parts

John Wells, The Practical Sabbatarian, pp. 97-98 (spelling edited):

Thirdly, We must converse with the Saints of God on his holy day; then God's people must gather together, and pursue a joint interest. Public assemblies adorn the Sabbath. Grapes are best in clusters. There are many strings to the Lute, which is the sweetest Instrument. Flocks are most pleasant when gathered together in one company; and Armies most puissant [powerful], when kept in a body, their dissipation is both their route and ruin. Christ's sheep must flock together on Christ's holy day: [David] Pareus gives us four solid Reasons for it, which I shall mention for their substantial worth.
First, The Congregating of God's people (especially on the Lord's day) is the soder of unity; like many stones so artificially laid, that they appear all but one stone. Every Congregation is a little body, whereof Christ is the head: Unity is the strength and beauty of the Saints; nothing so preserves it, as frequent and holy Assemblings.
Secondly, It is the preservative of love. Many sticks put together kindle a flame, and make a blaze. Frequent visits multiply friendships. In Heaven, where all the glorified Saints meet together, how ardent is their love! Absence, and seldom associations beget strangeness, as between God and us, so between one another. To meet to worship the same God, is the best way to attain to the same heart; like the Primitive Saints, who were all of one company, and all of one mind, Acts 2.46.
Thirdly, God hath made his promises to the Assemblies of his Saints, Matt. 18.20; 2 Cor. 6.16. He will not neglect a weeping Hannah, who prays and sobs alone, 1 Sam. 1.13, but will give her not only a Child, but a Samuel: But yet God will create upon the Assemblies of his people a cloud, which was the sign of his presence, Isa. 4.5. And
Fourthly, The prayers of the faithful Congregation receive strength from their union. When all Nineveh entreated the Lord, and put on sack-cloth, God repents himself of that intended and threatened evil, and puts his Sword into the scabbard, though drawn by an open denunciation of Judgment, Jon. 2.7-10. Prayer is the souls battery of Heaven; and when these petitions are the common breathings of the whole Assembly, the force must needs be the stronger, and the answer must needs be the surer. Though a file of Soldiers cannot take the City, an Army may.

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