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An Epistle to Seamen Jailing Heaven-ward. and deep apprehengons of the greatness of that good that thou shalt miss of, and of that evil which thou shalt
procure unto thyself; and then thou shalt not be able to chuse, but te apply all thy loss, all thy misery to thyself, which will force thee to roar out, O my loss ! O my misery! O my inconceiv. able, irrecoverable loss and misery! yea, for the increasing of thy torments, thy affections and memory fhall be enlarged. O'that, to prevent that loss and misery, thefe things may now be known, and laid to heart ! O that a blind understanding, a stupid judgment, a bribed conscience, a hard heart, a bad memory, may no longer make heaven and hell to feem but trifles to thee thou wilt then easily be perfuaded to make it thy main business here, to become an artift in fpiritual navigation. But to shut up this preface, I shall briefly acquaint Jeamen, why thy should, of all others, be men of fingular piety and heaventinefs, and therefore more than ordinarily study the heavenly art of spiritual navigations that seamer would then consider,
1. How nigh they border upon the confines of death and eternity every moment; there is but a step, but an inch or two between them and their graves, continually: the next gust may over-set them, the next wave may
up. place lie lurking dangerous rocks, in another perilous sands, and
every where formy winds, ready to destroy them. + Weli may the feamen cry out, Ego craftinum non habui; I have not had a morrow in my hands these many years. Should not they then be extraordinary serious and heavenly, continually! Certainly (as the reverend author of this new compass well obferves) nothing more composeth the heart to such a frame, than the lively apprehensions of eternity do ; and none have greater external advantages for that, than feamen have.
2. Consider (feamen) what extraordinary help you have by the book of the creatures ; « The whole creation is God's “ voice; it is God's excellent hand-writing, or the sacred * scriptures of the most High," to teach us much of God, and what reasons we have to bewail our rebellion against God, and to make conscience of obeying God only, naturally, and con. tinually. The heavens, the earth, the waters, are the three great leaves of this book of God, and all the creatures are so many lines in those leaves. All that learn not to fear and serve
† Terror ubique tremor, timor undeque, do undique terror. Ovid.
I Mundi creatio cft Scriptura Dei. Clemens. Universus muna dus eft Deus explicuiusa
God by the help of this book, will be left inexcusable, Rom.
How inexcusable then will ignorant and ungodly feamen be! Seamen should, in this respect, be the beft scholars in the Lord's school, seeing they do, more than others, see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the great deep, Pfal.
3. Consider how often you are nearer heaven than any people in the world. “They mount up to heaven," Psal. cvii. 26. It has been said of an ungodly minifter, that contradicted his preaching in his life and conversation, that it was pity he should ever come out of the pulpit, because he was there as near heaven as ever he would be.
Shall it be said of you, upon the same account, that it is a pity you should come down from the high towering waves of the sea ? Should not seamen that in stormy weather have their feet (as it were) upon the battlements of heaven, look down upon all earthly happiness in this world but as base, waterish, and worthless? The great cities of Campania seem but small cottages to them that stand on the Alps. Should not feamen, that so oft mount up to heaven, make it their main business here, once at last to get into heaven? What (feamen) Thrall you only go to heaven against your wills ? When seamen mount ap to heaven in a storm, the psalmist tells us, That “ their fouls are melted because of trouble.” that you were contimrally as unwilling to go to hell, as you are in a storm to go to heaven!
4. And lastly, Consider what engagements lie upon you to be fingularly holy, from your fingular deliverances and falvations. They that go down to the sea in fhips, are sometimes in the valley of the shadow of death, by reafon of the springing of perilous leaks, and yet miraculcufly delivered, either by fonie wonderful stopping of the leak, or by God's sending fome ship within their fight, when they have been far out of fight of any land, or by his bringing their near-perishing ship fafe to shore. Sometimes they have been in very great danger of being taken by pyrates, yet wonderfully preserved, either by God's calming of the winds in that part of the sea where the pyrates have failed, or by giving the poor purfued fhip a strong gale of wind to run away from their purfuers, or by finking
pyraies, &c. Sometimes their fhips have been cast away, and yet they themselves wonderfully got fafe to fhore upon planks, yards, mafts, &c. I might be endless in enummerating their deliverances from drowning, from burning, from Navery, &c. Sure (Jeamen ) your extraordinary salvations lay more than ordinary engagements upon you, to praise, love,
fear, obey, and trust in your Saviour and Deliverer. I hate read that the enthralled Greeks were fo affected with their liberty; procured by Flaminius the Roman general, that their fhrill accia: mations of solimp, Ewtop, a Saviour, a Saviour, 'made the very birds fall down from the heavers aftonilhed. O how should feamen be affected with their fea-deliverances! many that have been delivered from Turkith slavery, have vowed to be servants to their redeemers all the days of their lives. Ah! Sirs, will not you be more than ordinarily God's servants all the days of your lives, seeing you have been so oft, fo wonderfully redeemed from death itfelf by him ? Verily, do what you can, you will die in God's debt. « As for me, God forbid that I should fin « againt the Lord in eeasing to pray for you,” i Sam. xii. 23, 24. That by the perusal of this short and sweet treatise, wherein the judicious and ingenious author hath well mixed utile dulci, profit and pleasure, you may learn the good and right way, even to fear the Lord, and serve him in truth, with all your hearts, considering how great things he hath done for you. This is the hearty prayer of Your cordial friend, earnestly desirous of a prosperous voyage for your precious and immortal fouls,
The AUTHOR to the READER.
HE N dewy-cheek'd Aurora doth display
Her curtains, to let in the new-born day,
Heav'n fave it from the dang’rous storms and gusts
niso sao siis hoisisitiinicitania
E H À P: 1.
manned, but she is presently sent out into the boisterous ocean, where she is never at rest, but continually fluctuating, tosling, and labouring, until she be either overwhelmed, and wrecked in the sea, or through agę, knocks, and bruises, grows leaky, and unserviceable; and so is haled up, and ript abroadı
APPLICATION. No sooner come we into the world as men, of as Christians, by a natural or fupernatural birth, but thus we are toffed upon a sea of troubles. *Job v. 7. “ Yet man is born to trouble, as VOL. VI.
“ the sparks fly upwards.” The spark no sooner comes out of the fire, but it flies up naturally; it needs, not any external force, help, or guidance, but afcends from a principle in itself; so naturally, fo easily doth trouble rise out of fin. There is radically all the misery, anguish, and trouble in the world in our corrupt natures. As the spark lies close hid in the coals, fo doth misery in fin; every tin draws a rod after it. And these forrows and troubles fall not only on the body, in those breaches, flaws, deformities, pains, aches, diseafes, to which it is subject, which are but the groans of dying nature, and its crumbling, by degrees, into duft again; but on all our employufents and callings also, Gen. iii. 17, 18, 19. These are full of pain, trouble, and disappointment, Hag. i. 6. We earn wages, and put it into a bag with holes, and disquiet ourselves in vain ; ali our relations full of trouble. The apostle speaking to those that marry, faith, 1 Cor. vii. 28. “ Such shall have « trouble in the flesh.” Upon which words one glofseth thus:
Flesh and trouble are married together, wheSee Mr. Whate. ther we marry or no; but they that are marley's Care-cloth. ried, marry with, and match into new trou
bles : All relations have their burdens, aswell as their comforts : It were endless to enumerate the forrows of this kind, and yet the troubles of the body are but the body of our troubles; the spirit of the curse falls uppn' the spiritual and noblest part of man. The soul and body, like to Ezekiel's roll, are written full with sorrows, both within and without. So that we make the fame report of our lives, when we come to die, that old Jacob made before Pharaoh, Gen. xlvli. 9. “Few " and evil have the days of the years of our lives been." Ecc!. ii. 22, 23. “ For ivhat hath man of all his labour, and of the vex“ ation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun ? « For all his days are sorrows, and his travel grief, yea, his “ heart taketh no rest in the night: This is also vanity.”
· Neither doth our new birth free us from troubles, though shen they be fanctified, sweetned, and turned into blessings to uis. We put not off the human, when we put on the divine nature ; nor are we then freed from the sense, though we are delivered from the iting and curse of them. Grace doth not presently pluck out all those arrows that sin hath shot into the fides of nature. 2 Cor. vii. 5. " When we were come into Mace«donia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on 'every ** fide : Without were fightings, and within were fears." Rev. vii. 14..". These are they that come out of great tribulations." The first cry of the new-born Christian (fays one) gives hell an.