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condemned in that day? What shall I antwer, when the Lord fhall say, Thou couldest forefee a winter, aud seafonably provide for it; yea, thou hadît so much care of thy very beasts, to provide for their necessities : and why tookeft thou no care for thy foul ? Was that only not worth the caring for?
2. Is it fo dangerous to neglect a present proper season of grace? What then have I. The prefumptudone, who have suffered many such leasons ous lauk s reflecto die away in my hand, upon a groundless tion. hope of future opportunities ? Al deluded wretch! what if that supposition fail? Where an I then? I am not the lord of time, neither am I fure,, that he who is,
I will ever vouchsafe an hour of grace in old age, to him that hath neglected many such hours in youth, neither indeed is it ordinary for God fo to do. It is storied: of Caius Marius Victorious, who lived about three hundred years after Chrift, and to his old age continued a Pagan; but at last being convinced of the Christiar. verity, he came to Simplieianus, and told him, he would be a Chriftian; but neither he,. nor the church could believe it, it being so rare an example for any to be converted at his age: but at laft, seeing it was realy, there was a shouting and gladnefs, and singing of pfalms in all churches; the people crying, Caius Marius Victorius is become a, Christi. an ! This was written for a wonder: and what ground have I to think, that God will work fuch wonders for me, who have neglected his ordinary means of salvation ?
3. Bless the Lord, O my soul ! who gave. The industrious thee a season, a day for eternal life, which is foul's refletion. more than he hath afforded for thousands; yea, bless the Lord for giving thee an heart to underftand and improve that season. I confess I have not improved it as I ought; yet this I can (through mercy) fay; that however it fare in future times with my outward man, though I have no treasures or stores laid up on earth, or if I have, they are but corruptible, yet I have a blessed hope laid up in heaven, Col. i. 5.
I have bags that wax not old. Whilft worldlings rejoice in their stores and heaps, I rejoice in these eternal treasures.
The POE M.
How in the hottest day
About his corn and hay :
And gather in his store,
or, How should he live, when, for the snow,
He can't more out of door?
By nature's instinct led,
For winter furnished.
Is almost past and gone ;
In stock to spend upon ?
For temporal life, much rather Grace should provoke to greater care,
Soul-food in time to gather.
Áre hasting on apace;
How fad will be my case !
Who for that soul of thine,
Do for their very kine.
Your mows of corn and hay,
To you another day :
Nor break an hour's rest
So often for a beast.
Betwixt eternal things,
That fly with eagle's wings.
CHA P. XVII.
Upon reaping the same we fow. When from tare-seeds you fee choice wheat to grow, Then from your lufts may joy and comfort flow.
OBSERVATION. OD gives to every seed its own body, 1 Cor. xv. 38. At I first he created every tree and herb of the field, having
its feed in itself, for the conservation of their species, and they all inviolably observe the law of their creation. All fruits na. turally rise out of the seeds and roots proper to them: “Men “ do not gather grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles:" such productions would be monstrous in nature ; and although the juice or sap of the earth be the common matter of all kind of fruits, yet it is specificated according to the different sorts of plants and feeds it nourishes. Where wheat is fown, it is turned into wheat; in an apple-tree, it becomes an apple; and so in every sort of plants or seeds, it is concocted into fruit proper to the kind.
APPLICATION. "Ranslate this into fpirituals, and the proposition shadow
ed forth by it, is fully expreffed by the apostle, Gal. vi. 7. “What a man sows, that shall he reap: They that fow to ós the flesh, fhall of the flesh reap corruption ; and they that
2 “ fow to the spirit, fhall of the spirit reap life everlasting.' And as sure as the harvest follows the feed-time, so sure shall such fruits and effects result from the seeds of such actions. « He that soweth iniquity, shall reap vanity,” Prov. xxii. 8. " And they that now go forth weeping, and bearing precious o seed, shall doubtless come again rejoicing, bringing their « fheaves with them,” Psalm cxxvi. 6. The sum of all this is, that our present actions have the same respect and relation to future rewards and punishments, as the seed we fow in our fields hath to the harvest we reap from it. Every gracious action is the seed of joy; and every sinful action, the feed of anguish and forrow to the soul that soweth it. Two things are sensibly presented to us in this fimilitude.
1. That as the seed sown is presently covered from our fight under the clods, and for some time after we see no more of it, and yet at laft it appears again ; by which it is evident to us, that it is not finally lost : So our present actions, though physically transient, and perhaps forgotten, yet are not lost, but after a time fhall appear again, in order to a retribution.
If this were not fo, all good and holy actions would be to che loss of him that performed them. All the self-denial, spending duties and sharp sufferings of the people of God, would turn to their damage, though not in point of honesty, yet in point of personal utility; and then also, what difference would there be betwixt the actions of a man and a beast, with respect to future good or evil? Yea, man would then be more feared and obeyed than God, and all souls be swayed in their motions, only by the influence of present things : And where then would
religion be found in the world ? It is an excellent note on * Drexellius; • Our works (faith he) do not pass away as soon
as they are done, but as feed fown, fhall, after a time, rise up to all eternity: Whatever we think, speak, or de, once fpoken, thought, or done, is eternal, and abides for ever.” What Zeuxes, the famous limner faid of his work, may
be truly faid of all our works ; Aeternitati pingo, 1 paint for eternity. O, how careful fhould men be of what they speak and do whilft they are commanded fo to speak and fo to do, as those that shall be judged by the perfect law of liberty ! James ii. 12. What more transient than a vain word ? And yet for such words, men shall give an account in the day of judgment, Matth. xii. 36. That's the first thing : Actions, like leed, shall rise and appear again in order to a retribution:
2. The other thing held forth in this fimilitude is, that according to the nature of our actions now, will be the fruit and reward of them then. Though the fruit or confequence of huly actions, for the present may seem bitter, and the fruit of finful actions, fweet and pleafant; yet there is nothing more certain, than that their future fruits shall be according to their present nature and quality, 2 Cor. v. 10. Then Dionyfius shall retract that saying, Ecce quam profpera navigatio a Deo datur facrilegis, Behold how God favours our facrileges ! Sometimes indeed (though but rarely) God causes-finners to reap, in this world, the fame that they have sown ; as hath been their sin, fuch hath been their punishment. It was openly confefled by Adonibezek, Judg. i. 7. "As I have done, fo hath God requit « ed me."
Socrates, in his church history, furnishes us with a pertinent paffage to this purpose, concerning Valens the Emperor, who was an Arian, and a bitter persecutor of the Christians : This man, when eighty of the orthodox Christians failed from Conftantinople to Nicomedia, to treat with him about the points of Arianism, and to settle the matter by way of dispute; the Emperor hearing of their arrival, while they were yet in the harbour, and not a man landed, caused the ships to be fired wherein they were, and so coorsumed them all. Not long after, in his wars against the Goths, he was overthrown; and biding himself in a little cottage, the enemy coming by, burnt it and him together. Thus this wretch reaped what he fowed, burning for burning, the very fame in kind paid him again. It is not always so in this world; but fo it fall be in
Drexelius de aeternitate prope finem.
that to come : The tables shall then be turned, and the scene altered; for shall not the Judge of all the world do righteously? * Diogenes was tempted to think, that God had cast off the government of the world, when he faw the wicked prosper in their wickedness. On the fame ground many have been tempted to Atheism ; but then the world shall fee distributive justice shining out in its glory, “Tribulation, anguish and wrath
foul of man that doth evil; but glory, honour and peace to every man that worketh good,” Rom. ii.-9, 10. Then 'twill appear what seed we sowed, what lives we lived ; « For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every 6. fecret thing, whether it be good or evil,” Ecclef. xii. 14.
REFLECTIONS. 1. This meditation may be to me what the
The profane hand-writing upon the wall was to that pro
person's refleca fane prince, Dan. v. 5, 6. and a like effect it
tion. fhould have upon me; for if all the actions of this life be feed fown for the next, Lord, what a crop, what a dreadful harvest am I like to have ! How many oaths and curses, lies and vain words, have I fown with my tongue ! How have I wronged, opprefsed, and over-reached in my dealings ! Rushed into all profaneness, drunkennefs, uncleanness, sabbathbreaking, doc. “ as the horse rusheth into the battle !" And what shall I reap from such feed as this, but vengeance and fury? These fins seemed pleasant in the commission, but, oh! hów, bitter will it be in their account ? « What shall I do when “ God riseth up; and when he visiteth, what thall I answer “ him ?” Job xxxi. 14. Is it not reasonable and juft, O my foul ! that thou shouldest eat the fruit of thine own planting, and reap what thou hast sown ? I thought nothing but profit and pleasure would spring from my luft; but now I fee it is a root bearing gall and wormwood, Deut. xxix. 18. Wretch ed foul! what shall I do? By these actions am I undone. I have been the author of mine own ruin, twisted an halter with mine own fingers for the execution of mine own soul O! let me rather taste the bitterness of fin, by repentance now, than enjoy its present pleasures, which betray the soul to endless wrath! 2. How have I also been deceived in this
The moral man's matter? I verily thought that glory and immortality would have been the fruit and
* Cum video mala fata bonis, ignofcite quæfo :
Sollicilor nulle, el putare Deosi Ovid. VOL. VE.