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fiery furdace, or Daniel in the den of liops!. For there is as strong a propension in Satan, and wicked men, to destroy the saints, as in the fire to burn, or a lion to devour. O! then, let me chearfully address myself to the faithful discharge of my duty, and stand no longer iq a Navish fear of creatures, who can have no power against me, but what is given them from a bove, Joho xix. 11. And no more shall be given than fhall. turn to the glory of God, Plal. lxxvi. 10. and the advantage of my foul, Rom. viii. 28.
The PO E M.
Bears, wolves, and l'ions, range and seek their preys
They roar upon us, but are held in chains ;
c H A P. XVI.
OBS E R V A TI O N.
though they can coast a little way by the shore, yet they dare pot venture far into the ocean without it; it is their guide, and directs and shapes their course for them : and if by the violence of wind and weather they are driven beside their due course, yet by the help of this they are reduced, and brought to rights again. It is wonderful to consider, how, by the help of this guide, they can run is a direct line many hundred leagues, and at last fall right with the fmallest island; which
A New Compass for Scamen : Or, is in the ocean, comparatively, but as the head of a small pin now upon a table.
APPLICATION. What the compass, and all other mathematical instruments are to the navigator, that, and much more, is the word of God to us in our course to heaven. This is our compafs to steet our course by, and it is truly touched; he that orders his codversation by it, shall safely arrive in heaven at last. Gal. vi. 16.
As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, • and mercy.”
This word is as necessary to us in our way to glory, as ? lamp or lagthorn is in a dark night, Psal. cxix. 105. that is a light shining in a dark place, till the day dawn, and the daystar arise in our hearts, 2 Pet. i. 19. "If any that profess to koow it, and owo it as a role, mils heavep at laft
, let them not blame the word for misguiding them, but their own negligent and deceitful hearts, that Mutte in and out, and shape not their course and conversation according to its prescriptions.
What blame can you lay upon the compass, if you sleer not exactly by it? How many are therę, that neglecting this rule, will coast it to heaven by their own reason? No wonder such fall short, and perish in the way.' This is a faithful guide, and brings all that follow it to a blessed epd; “. 'Thou shalt guide “ me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory," Plal. lxxiii. 24. The whole hundred and nineteenth pfalm is spent in commendation of its transcendent excellency and usefuloefs. Luther professed that he prized it fo highly, that he would not take the whole world in exchange for one leaf of it. Lay but this rule before you, and walk accurately by it, and you cannot be out of your way to heaven, Pfalm cxix. 30. “ I have chosen the way of truth, or the true way :) thay
judgments have I laid before me.” Şome indeed havę opco ed their detracting blasphemous mouths againit it; as Julian, that vile apoftate, who feared not to fag, there was as good patter in Phocillides as in Solomon, in Pindarus's odes, as iq
And the papists generally flight ir, making it a lame, imper: fect rule ; yea, making their own traditions the touchstone of doctrines, and fouodation of faith." Montanus tells us, that although the apostle would have fermons and service celebrated in a known tongue, yet the church, for very good cause, hata otherwise ordered it. Gilford called it the mother of heresies. Booper's chaplain judged it worthy to be 'burar as a strange doctrine. They fet up their invequicas above it, and frequently
come in with a non obftante against Christ's institutions. And çbus do they make it void, or, as the word &værethontis signifies, Maith. xv. 6. uplord it, and take away its authority as a rule. But those that have thas slighted it, and followed the by paths unto which their corrupt hearts have led them, they take not hold of the paths of life, and are now in the depths of hell. All other lights, to which men pretend, in the neglect of this, are buc falle fires, that will lead men into the pits and bogs of deftraction af lat.
REFLECTION. And is thy word a compars, to direct my course to glory? O where am I then like to arrive at lalt, that in all my course bave neglected it, and steered according to the council of my own heart!
Lord, I have pot made thy word the man of my counsel, bụt consulted with flesh and blood; I have got enquired at this oracle, por studied it, and made it the guide of py way, but walked after the light of my eyes, and the luft of my heart. Whither, Lord ! can I come at laft, but to hell. after this way of reckoning? Some have flighted thy word professedly, and I have Nighted it practically. I have a poor foul embarked for eternity, it is now Aoating on a dangerous ocean, rocks and sands on every side, and I go a-drift before every wind of temptation, and koow not where I am. Ah, Lord ! convince me of the danger of this condition. O convince me of my ignorance in thy word, and the fatal consequence
and iffue thereof. Lord, let me now refolve to study, prize, and obey it; bide it in my heart, that I may not fin a. gainst it. Open my understanding, that I may vaderftand the fcriptures';,opeo my heare to entertain it in love. O thou that haft been so gracious to give a perfect rule, give me also a perfect heart to walk by that rule to glory!
The PO E M.
Of hips are under fail. Here you shall meet
For want of this, muft ron themselves a-ground,
what point my counory lies :
CH A P. XVII.
and flowings; no fooder is it high water, bor it begins to cbb again, and leave the shore naked and dry, which but a little before it covered and overflowed. And as its tides, so allo its waves are the emblem of inconftancy, still rolling and cumbling, this way and that, Dever fixed and quiet. Inftabilis unda : as fickle as a wave, is common, to a proverb, See Jam. i. 6. « He that wavereth is like a wave of the fea, driven with the " wiod, and tossed.” So Ifa. lvii. 20. “ It cannot relt.”
APPLICATION. Thus mutable and inconstant are all outward things, there is do depending on them : nothing of any substance, or any folid consistence ia them. I Cor. vii. 31. « The fashion of this world “palleth away." It is an high point of folly to depend upon such vanities. Prov. xxiii. 5. " Why wilt thou fct (or, as it is in the * Hebrew, cause) thine eyes to fly upon that which is not? For “' riches certainly make themselves wings, and fly away, as an “ cagle towards heaven.” lo flying to us, faith Augustine, they have, alas vix quidem pallerinas, scarce a sparrow's wings; but io flying froin us, wings as aa eagle. And those wiogs they are faid to make to themselves, (i.e.) the cause of its transitorigels is
is itself; the creature is sowjected to vanity by fin; they are iweet flowers, but withered prefearly, Jam. i. 10. “ As the flow. ** er of the grass, fo shall the rich man fade away." The man is like the stalk or grass, his riches are the flower of the grats; his glory and outward beauty, the stalk, is foon withered, but the Rower much fooder. This is either withered upon, or blown off from it, while the stalk abides. Many a man outlives his estate and honour, and hands in the world as a bare dry falk io the field, whose flower, beauty, and bravery are gone: one puff of wind blows it away, one churlish easterly blaft Arrivels it up, i Pet. iv. 24.
How mad a thing is it, then, for any man to be lifted up in pride, upon such a vanity as this is ! to build so lofty and overjertiog a roof upon fuch a feeble, tottering fovadation ! We kave feen meadows full of such curious fowers, mowu down and withered; men of great estates impoverithed fuddenly; and when, like a meadow that is mowo they have begun to recover themselves again, (as the phrase is) the Lord hath fene
grashoppers in the beginning of the shootiog up of the latter
growth,” Amos vii. 2. Just as the grafhoppers, and other Creatures, devour the second tender herbage, as foon as the field begins to recover its verdure; fo meu, after they have been denuded and blasted by Providence, they begin, after a while, to fourish agaio ; but then comes fome new affliction, and blasts ail. None have more frequent experience of this, than you that are merchants aod feamen, whose ellates are foating; and yet Inch as have had the highest security in the eye of reason, have, potwithstanding, experienced the vanity of these things. Henry IV. a potent prince, was reduced to such a low ebt that be petitioned for a prebend's place in the church of Spire. Gallimer, king of the Vandals, was brought to low, that he feot to his friend for a spuoge, a loaf of bread, and an harp : a fpunge to dry up his tears, a loaf of bread to maintain his life, and an barp to folace himself in his misery. The story of Bellisarius is very affecting : he was a' man famous in his cime, general of an army, yet having his eyes put out, and Atripped of all earthly comforts, was led about, crying, Date obolum Bellisario. Give one penny to poor Bellisarius. Jostances in hiltory of this kind are infinite. Men of the greatest estates and honours, have nevertheless become the very ludibria fortu. fiae, as one speaks, the very scora of fortune.
Yea, and out only wicked men, that have gotten their estates, by rapide and oppreffion, have lived to see them thus fcattered by Providence : but sometiines godly men have had their eftates,