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senses and members are guarded agaiolt fin: but it is quite contrary with the wicked; there is so principle of holiueis in them, to oppose or expel corruptiou It lies in their hearts as med in a lake or well, which settles and corrupts more aod more. Hence Ezek. xlvii. 11. their hearts are compared to miry or marchy places, which cannot be healed, but are given to falt: the meanjog is, that the purelt streams of the golpel, which cleanie thers, make them worse than before, as abundance of rain will a miry place. The reason is, because it meets with an obstacle ia their louls ; 10 that it canoot run through them and be glorified, as it doth in gracious fouls. All the means and endeavours used to cleanse them are in vain ; all the grace of God they receive in vain, “they hold faft deccit, they refuse to let • it go,” Jer. viii. 5. Sin is not in them as floating weeds up oo the sea, which it strives to expel and purge out, but as spois in the leopard's skin, Jer. xiii. 21. or letters falhioned and ed; graven in the very fubitance of marble or brass, with a pen: of iron, and point of a diamond, Jer. xvii. 1. Or as ivy in an old wall, that hath gotten root into its very entrails. “ Wicked“ gels is sweet to their mouths, they roll it under their tongues," Job xx, 12. No'threats por promises can divorce them from it.
REFLECTIO N. Lord ! this is the very frame of my heart, may the graceless foul say. My corruptions quietly settle in me, my heart labours not against it: I am a stranger to that conflict which is daily main taided in all the faculties of the regenerate soul. Glorified fouls have no fach coofict, because grace is them hands alone, and is perfectly triumphant over all its opposites ; and gracelefs fouls can have no such conflict, because io them corruption 1tands alone, and hath no other principle to make oppofition to it. And this is my cafe, O Lord! I am full of vain hopes indeed, but had I a living and well grounded hope to dwell for ever with fo holy a God, I could not but be daily purifying myself. Bur O! what will the end of this be? Uhave cause to tremble at that last and dreadfullest curse jo the book of God, Rev. xxii. 11. “ Let him that is filthy be filthy ftill." Is it pot as much as if God should say, Let them alone, I will spend no more rods upon them, no more meaos shall be ufed about them; but I will reckon with them for all together in another world? O my fool! what a dismal reckoning will that be! Punder with thyfelf in the mean while, thole terrible and awakening texts, that, if possible, this fatal issue may be prevcated. See Ifa. i. 5. Hof. iv. 14. Jer. vi. 29, 30. Heb. vi. 8.
The PO E M.
Of putrid waters ; if therein 1 rake,
c H A P. V. Seamen foresee a danger, and prepare ; Tet few of greater dangers are aware.
OBSERVATION. Hw watchful and quick fighted are fcamen, to prevent
dangers ! if the wind die away, and then frela up foutherly; or if they see the sky hazy, they provide for a storm : if by the prospective glass they koow a Pyrate at the greateft diftance, they clear the gue-room, prepare for fight, and bear up, if able to deal with him; if not, they keep clefe by the wind, make all the fail they cao, and bear away. If they suppose themselves, by their reckoniog, near laod, how often do they found : And if upoo a coalt with which they are unacquainted, how careful are they to get a pilot that koows, and is acquaioled with it!
APPLICATION. Thus watchful and fufpicious ought we to be in spiritual conceroments. We should study, and be acquaioted with Satao's wiles, and policy. The apostle takes it for granted, that Christians are not igoorant of his devices, 2 Cor. ii. 11. “The
serpenr's eye (as one faith) would do well in the dove's head.” The devil is a cunning pyrate, he puts out false colours, and or• dinarily comes up to the Christian in the disguise of a friend.
o the manifold depths and stratagems of Satan, to destroy fouls! though he have no wisdom to do himself good, yet be
hath policy enough to do us mitchief. He lies in ambush behind our lawful comforts and employments; yet, for the geneFality of men, how supine and careless are they, suspectiog ne danger ? Their souls, like Laith, dwell carelessly, their fenses unguarded: 0.what an easy prize, and conqueft, doth the devil make of them!
lodeed, if it were with us as with Adam in innocency, or as it was with Christ in the days of bis ftch (who by reafon of that overflowing fullness of grace that dwelt io him, the purity of his person, and the hypoftatical union, was secured from the danger of all temptations) the cale thea were otherwise ; but we have a traitor within, Jam. i. 14, 15. as well as a tempter without. 1 Pet. v. 8. “Our adversary the devil goes about as a “ roaring lion, secking whom he may devour." And, like the beasts of the forefts, poor souls lie down before him, and become
All the fagacity, wit, policy, and foresight of some men, is summoned in to ferve their bodies, and secure their fleshly enjoyments.
REFLECTION Lord ! how doth the care, wisdom, and vigilance of men in temporal and external things, coodemo my carelessness in the deep, and dear conceraments of my precious soul! what care and labour is there to secure a perishing life, liberty, or treasure! when was I thus solicitous for my fuul, though its value be iaestimable, and its danger far greater ? Sell-preservation is one of the deepest priociples in aature. There is not the poorest worm, or fty, but will fhua danger, if it can: yet I am so far from fhuoning those dangers to which my foul lies continually exposed, that I ofteo ruo it upon temptations, and voluptarily expose it to its enemies. I fee, Lord, how watchful, jealous, and laborious thy people are; what prayers, tears, and groans, searching of heart, mortification of lufts, guarding of seoses ; and all accounted too little by them. Have not I a foul to save or lose eternally, as well as they? Yet I cannot deny one felly luft, sor withstand one temptaion. O how I am coovinced and coodemoed, not only by other's care and vigilance, but my own too, in leffer and lower matters?
The P O E M.
To more thao man's or angel's are can sam,
My soul should watch, look out, and use its glass,
c H A P. VI.
wind, by which it is carried, as the clouds, with marvellous force and speed, yet to be commanded with eafe, by so small a thiag as the helm is. The scripture takes notice of it as a matter worthy of our consideration. Jam. iii. 4. « Behold also “ the ships, which though they be great, and driven of fierce “ winds; yet they are turned about with a small helm, whi. “thersoever the governor listeth." Yea, * Aristotle himself, that eagle-eyed philosopher, could not give a reason of it, but looked upon it as a very marvellous and wonderful thing.
APPLICATION To the fame use and office has God desigoed conscience in man, which being rectified and regulated by the word and fpirit of God, is to steer and order his whole conversation. Conscience is as the oracle of God, the judge and determiner of our actions, whether they be good or evil? And it lays the strong. eft obligations upon the creature to obey its dictates, that is imaginable : for it biods under the reason and consideration of the most absolute and lovereign will of the great God. So that as often as conscience from the word convinceth us of
Go or duty, it lays such a bond upon us to obey it, as no power under heaven can relax or disperse with. Angels Caddot do it, inuch less man; for that would be to exalt themelves above
* Aristot. Secund. MORAvixwy, c. 5.
God. Now therefore it is an high and dreadful way of fioning, to oppose and rebel against copscience, when it convinces of fin and dury. Conscience fometimes reafous it out with men, and thews them the necellity of changing their way and course; arguing it from the clearest aod most allowed maxims of right realon, as well as from the indifputable fovereigary of God.
As for inftance: it conviaceth their very reason that things of eternal duration are infinitely to be preferred to all momeotary and perishing things, Rom. viii. 18. Heb. xi. 26. and it is our duty to chuse them, and make all secular and temporary conceromears to hand aside, aod give place to them. Yet though men be convinced of this, their stubborn will stands ouc, and will not yield up itself to the conviction.
Further, It argues from this acknowledged truth, that all the delight and pleasures in this world are but a miserable portion, and that it is the highelt folly to adventure ad immortal foul for them, Lake ix. 15. Alas! what remembrance is thereof them in hell ?They are as the waters that pass away. What have they left, of all their mirth and jollity, but a tormenting fing? It convinceth them clearly, also, that in matters of deep concerumeat it is an high point of wisdom, to apprehend and iimprove the righe seasons and opportunities of them, Prov. 1. 5. " He that gathers in fummer is a wife fon." Ecclef. viii. 5. " A wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment. " There is a season to every purpose,” Ecclef. iii. 1. viz. a nick of time, an happy jancture, when, if a man strikes in, he doth his work effectually, and with much facility : fuch seasons conscience convioceth the foul of, and often whispers thus in its ear: Now, foul, Atrike in, close with this motion of the Spirit, and be bappy for ever; thou mayelt never have such a gale for beaven any more.
Now, though there be allowed maxims of reason, and conscience enforce them strongly on the soul, yet capoot it prevail; the proud, stubborn will rebels, and will Aot be guided by it. See Eph. ii. 3. Job xxxiv. 37. Ilä. xlvi. 12. Ezek. ii. 4. Jer. xliv. 16.
REFLECTION. Ah ! Lord, foch an heart have I had before thee; thus obstidate, thus rebelliops, to uncontroulable by conscience. Many a time hath conscience thus whispered in mine ear, many a time hath it food in my way, as the angel did in-Balaam's, or the cherubims that kept the way of the tree of life with Aaming swords torning every way. Thus hath it lood to oppose me is the way of my lylts. How often hach it calmly debated the