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guage of his providences to my foul should be this; Lo! here I have given thee (with Ishmael) the fatness of the earth? Thou Lhalt not say, but thou haft tasted of thy Creator's bounty ; but make the most of its for this is all that ever thou shalt have from me, there be others in the world, to whom I have denied these things, but for them I have reserved better ; for the most part they are poor in this world, but rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom. Is not this enough, to damp all my carnal mirth? Should my conscience give me such a Memento as Abraham, in the parable, gave to Dives; “ Remember that thou in thy life6 time receivedst 'thy good things ;" Ab! what a cut would that be to all my comforts ? A man in a fever hath a lively colour, but a dying heart. I have an appearance, a shadow of comfort, but a fad state of foul.

2. « Blessed be the God and Father of my A reflection for « Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blefied me with u with all spiritual blessings in heavenly

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one that hath “ces in Chrift,” Ephes. i. 3. Though he hath Christ but no

barn. not seen fit to give me much of this world in hand, yet it hath pleased him to settle a rich inheritance upon me by promise; the hopes and expectations whereof, yield my soul more true comfort than all the present enjoyments of this world could have done. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given me my portion in this life, that by keeping me from the enjoyment, hath also preserved me from the snares of a prosperous estate?

Lord Jesus, I have no bags, I have no barns, but thou shalt be to me instead of all those things. When others rejoice in the fulness of their earthly comforts, I will rejoice in the fulness of my Chrift: they have that which (though I have not) I ihall not want; and I have that which all their riches cannot purchafe. Bless the Lord, O my soul !

3. But, Lord, how am I obliged, a. bove thousands, to love and praise thee!

A reflection for one

that hatha full barn, to bless and admire thee, who haft not and Christ too. only

plentifully provided for my soul, but for my body too! who haft given me both the upper and the nether springs, heaven and earth; things present, and things to come! Thou hast not dealt fo with all, no, not with all of shy own people: many of them are strangers to the mercies which I enjoy. God hath done great things for me, : O my foul ! what wilt thou do for God? The freer the condition is he hath placed me in, the more am I both obliged and advantaged for his service; and yet, I doubt, it will be found, thạt many a poor Christian, that labours with his hands to get his

!

bread, redeems more hours for God than I do. Lord, make me wife to understand and anfwer the double end of this gracious dispensation! let me bestow the more of my time upon God, and stand ready to minister to the necessities of his people. A reflection for one that have nothing either in hand, or in

4. Oh! what an unhappy wretch am I! that bath neither a

hope; am miserable here, and like to be barn, nor a Chrift.

fo for ever: had I but an intereft in Chrift, as the godly poor have, that would sweeten all present troubles, and fhew me the end of them. But, alas ! I am poor and wicked, contemned of men, and abhorred of God; an object of contempt both to heaven and earth. Lord, look upon such a truly miserable object with compassion, give me a portion with thy people in the world to come, if thou never better my outward condition here ! O fanctify this poverty ; bless' these {traits and wants, that they may neceffitate my soul to go to Christ: make this poverty the way to glory, and I shall bless thee to eternity that I was poor in this world.

The PO E M.
FT have I feen, when harvelt's almost in,

The last load coming, how fome mien have been
Rapt up with joy, as if that welcome cart
Drew home the very treasure of their heart;
What joyful shoutings, hoopings, hollowing noise,
With mingled voices both of men and boys!
To carnal minds there is no greater mirth,
No higher joy, nor greater heaven on earth.
He speaks pure paradoxes, that shall say
These are but trifles to what faints enjoy:
But they despise your sparks, as much as you
Contemn their fun. Some that could never shew
A full stuff'd barn, on which you set your heart,
But glean, perhaps, the ears behind your cart;
Yet are the gleanings of their comfort more
Than all your harvest, and admired store.
Your mirth is mix'd with forrow, theirs is pure;
Yours like a shadow fleets, but theirs endure.
God gives to you the hulk, to them the pith,
And no heart-ftinging forrow adds therewith.
Though at the gates of death they sometimes mourn,
No sooner doth the Lord to them return,
But sorrow's banish'd from their pensive breaft;
Joy triumphs there, and (miles their cheeks invest.

Have you beheld; when, with perfumed wings,
Out of the balmy eaft bright Vhoebus springs.
Mounting thi Olympic hill, with what a grace
He views the throne of darkness, and doth chase
The Thades of night before him ; having hurl's
His golden beams about 'this lower world,
How from fad groves, and solitary cells,
Where horrid darkness, and confusion dwells,
Batts, owls, and doleful creatures, Ay away,
Refigning to the chearful birds of day:
Who in those places now do fit and chant,
Where lately such dire creatures kept their haunt.

Thus grief resigns to joy: tighs, groans and tears
To fongs triumphant, when the Lord appears.
O matchless joy! O countenance divine!
What are those trifles to these smiles of thine ?
May 1, with poor Mephibofheth, be blest
With these {wcet fmiles ; let Ziba take the reft.
My life! my treasure ! thou shalt ne'er be fold
For filver hilts, or rivers pav'd with gold.
Wer't thou but known to worldlings; they would scorn
*To stoop their hearts to such poor things as corn :
For so they do, because thou art above
That sphere wherein their low conceptions move.

CHA P. XIX.

Upon the Threshing out of Corn.
More folid grain with greater strength you thresh,
The ableft Christians have the hardest lah.

H

OBSERVATION.
Usbandmen having to do with divers forts of grain, fome

more tough and stubborn, others more free and tender, do not beat all alike on the threshing-floor ; but as they have threfhals of several fizes, fo they bestow on some grain more, on 'others fewer strokes, according to the different qualities of the grain to be threshed. This observation the prophet Isaiah hath, chap. xxviii. ver. 27. “The fitches are not threshed " with a threfhing-instrument, neither is the cart-wheel tur“ ned about upon the cummin, but the fitches are beaten out " with a staff, and the cummin with a rod." The manner of beating out the corn in former times, was far different from that Vol. VI,

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which is now in usę among us : they had the cart-wheel, which was full of iron spokes or teeth, and the hoofs of beasts for the harder soat of grain, as wheat, rye, and barley; a staff or flai: for the fitches, and a rod or twig for the cummin; all which instruments were proportioned according to the nature of the grain.

APPLICATION.
OD having to do, in a way of correction, with divers forts

of offenders, doth not use the like severity with them all, but proportions his correction to their abilities and strength, Jer. xxx. 11. “I will not make a full end of thee, [but will cor" rect thee in measure] and will not leave thee altogether uripu“ nithed :" (9.d.) Am.cted thou must be; my respect to my own glory, and thy good, puts a neceffity upon that, but yet I will do it moderately: I will not lay on without measure or mercy, as I intend to do, upon the enemies ; but will mete out your fufferings in a due proportion, even as a careful physician, in prefcribing pills, or potions to his patient, hath regard as well to the ability of the patient, as to the nature and quality of the disease; even so thy God, O Hrael, will not amict thee according to the greatness of his power, and his wrath, answerable thereunto, Psal. xe. I 1. that would break tbee to pieces, Pfal.. lxxviii. 38. Nor yet will be abliet thee according to the demerit of thy lin: as it thall be much less than what I could inflict, so it shall be less than thine iniquities deserve, Ezra ix. 13. Neither my power, nor thy desert, shall be the rule of my proceedings; but I will do it with moderation and mercy, as thou art able to bear. I that have instručted the husbandman to proportion his inftrument to the quality of the grain before him, will exercise the like wisdoin and mildness towards thee. And the fimilitude betwixt the husbandman's threshing his corn, and the Lord's afflicting his people, stands in these particulars.

1. The husbandman's end in threshing the corn is, to feparate it from the husks and chaff; and God's end in afflicting his people is, to separate them from their fins, Ifa. xxvii. 9. 6 In measure when it shooteth forth, he will debate with it," (i.e.) he will moderately correct them; and what the ends of those corrections are, the next words inform us, “ By this there« fore Chall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the « fruit to take away his fin.” God uses amictions, as we use soap, to cleanse away filthiness, and fetch out spots,, Dan. xi.. 35. He aims not at the destruction of their persons, but af their luuts.

2. If the husbandman have cockle, darnel, or pernicious tares before him on the floor among his corn, he little regards whether it be bruised, or battered to pieces by the thresher or no; it is a worthless thing, and he spares it not. Such cockle and tares are the enen.ies of God; and when these come under his flail, he strikes them without mercy; for these the Lord prepares a new sharp threshing instrument, having teeth, which shall beat them to dust, Isa. xli. 15. “ The daughter of Babylon “ is like a threshing-floor ; 'tis time to thresh her,” Jer. li. 33. And when that time is come, then (in allusion to the beaft that was to tread out the corn) « Sion's horn shall be “ of iron, and her hoofs brass," Mic. iv. 13. He smites not his people according to the stroke of them that smote themy the meaning is, his strokes on them thall be deadly strokes : they shewed no mercy to Sion ; and God will shew no mercò to them.

3. When the husks and chaff are perfectly feparated from the grain, then the husbandman beats it no more. When God hath perfectly purged and separated the sins of his people, then afflictions shall come to a perpetual end; he will never smite them again : there is no noise of the threshing instrument in heaven; he that beat them with his flail on earth, will put them into his bosom in heaven.

4. Though the husbandman lays on, and beats his cern, as if he were angry with it, yet he loves and highly prizes it ; and though God strike and afflict his people, yet he sets a great value upon them; and it is equally absurd to infer God's hatred to his people from his afflicting of them, as the husband man's hatred of his corn, because he threshes and beats it ; Heb. xii. 6. « Whom the Lord loveth he correcteth, and chaf“ teneth every son whom he receiveth."

5. Though the husbandman thresh and beat the corn, yet he will not bruise or hurt it, if he can help it ; though some require more and harder strokes than others, yet none shall have more than it can endure. And though the Lord afflict his servants, yet he will do them no hurt, Jer. xxv. 6. Some need more rods than others, but none shall have more than they can bear; the Lord knows the measures and degrees of his servants faith and patience, and accordingly shall their trials be, Pfal. ciii. 13, 14. “ Like as a father pities his children, to " the Lord pitieth them that fear him; for he knows their " frame, he remembers they are but duft; he makes a way to « escape, that they may be able to bear it," i Cor. x. 13.

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