« AnteriorContinuar »
how juftly foever acquired, thus scattered by Providence allo. Whoever had an estate, better gotten, better bottomed, or better managed, thao Job? get all was overthrown and swept away in a moment; though is mercy to him; as the issue demonstrated.
Oh then! what a vanity is it to set the heart and let out the affections on them ! you can never depend too much opon God, por too little upon the creature, 1 Tim. vi. 17. “Charge them " that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded " and trust io uncertain riches.".
REF LECTION. Are all earthly things thus transitory and vain? Then what a reproach and Thame is it to me, that the men of this world should be more industrious and eager in the prosecution of such vanities, than I am to enrich my soul with solid and ever: Afting treasure ? O that ever a sensual luft thould be more Operative in them than the love of God in me! O my foul, thou doft aot lay out thy strength and earnestaess for heaven, with any proportion to what they do for the world. I have indeed higher motives, and a forer reward than they: but as I have an advantage above them herein, so they have an advantage above me in the strength and entireness of the principle by which they are acted. What they do for the world, they do it with all their might; they have no contrary principle to oppose them; their thoughts, Itrength, and affections, are entirely carried in one channel ; but I find " a law in my members warring a.
gainst the law of my mind ; " I must trive through a thou: fand difficulties and contradictions, to the discharge of a duty. O my God! thall not my heart be more enlarged in żeal, love, and delight in thee, than theirs are after their lusts? Ò let me once find it so.
Again, is the creature fo vain and uostable? Then why are my affections so hot and eager after it? And why am I fo apt to doat upoo its beauty, especially when God is (taining all its pride and glory! Jer. xlv. 5, 6. Surely it is unbecoming the spirit of a Christian at any time, but at such a time we may say of it, as Hushai of Ahithophel's couosel, “ It is not good at 66 this time.”
O that my spirit were raised above them, and my converfation more in heavca ! 'O that like that angel, Rev. X. 1, 2. which came down from heaven, and set one foot upon the fea, aod another upon the carth, having a crown upon his head, fol might set one foot upon all the cares, fears, aod terrors of the world, and another upon all the temptiog splendor and glory of
the world, treading both vader foot in the dust, and crowniog mgfelf with nothing but fpiritual excellencies and glory!
The PO E M.
To set thy heart on what beasts set their feet?
CH A P. XVII.
mission, to be executioners of his threatenings upoo fia
When fooah fled from the presence of the Lord to Tarfbith, the text faith, “ The Lord feat out a great wiod into the "sea, and there was a mighty tempelt, so that the ship was $ like to be broken,” Jonah i. 4. These were God's
bailiffs, to arrest the run away prophet. And Pfaim cxlviii. 8. The stormy winds are said to fulfil bis word; not only his word of command,
in rising when God bids them, but his word of threatening alfo. And hence it is called a destroying wind, Jer. li. I, and a Stormy wind in God's fury, Ezek. xiii. 13.
APPLICATION If these be the executioners of God's threatenings, how fad then is their condition that put forth to sea under the guilt of all their fins ? O, if God (nould commissionate the winds to go after and arrest thee for all thou owest him, where are thou then? How dare you put forth vader the power of a divine threat, before all be cleared betwixt God and thee? Sios in fcripture are called debrs, Matth. vi. 12. They are debts.co God; DOC that we owe them to him, or ought to fim, but metonymically, because they reader the ligner obnoxious to God's judgments, even as pecuniasy debts oblige him that hath not wherewith to pay, to laffer punishment. All foders must undergo the curie, either in their own person, according to the express letter of the law, Gen. ii. 17. Gal. i. 10. or their furety, according to the tacit intent of the law, manifefted to be the mind of the law.giver, Gen. iii. 15. Gal. iii. 13, 14.
Now he that by faith bath interest in this furety, hath his difcharge, his quictus eft, fealed in the blood of Chrift ; all process at law, or from the law, is ftopt, Rom. viii. 1. But if thou be an impenitent, persisting fidoer, thy debt remains upon thine own fcorc, “ And be sure thy fso will fiod thee out, wherever “thou goest,” Numb. xxxii. 23. (1. e.} God's revenging band for sin will be upon thee: Thou mayest lofe the fight and memory of thy fios, but they lofe nor the fight of thee; they follow after, as the hound doth the Beeting game upon the scene, till they have fetched thee up: And then confider, “How fear“ ful a thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God," Heb. X. 31. How foon may a storm atrest, and bring thee before the bar of God?
REFLECTION. O my soul, what a cafe art thou in, if this be fo? Are not all thy fits yet upon chine own score ? last not thou made light of Christ, and that precious blood of his, and bitherto perfisted in why rebellion againft him? And what can the issue of this be at last, bot ruio ? There is abundant mercy indeed for retursiog fingers; but the gospel speaks of none for perfisting and impenitent fioners. And though many who are going ou in their fins are overtaken by grace, get there is no grace promised to such as go on in sm. 0! if God should arrest me by the next storm, aod call me to an account for all that I owe him, I mult then lic in the prison of hell to ali eternity á for
, pay the debt ; aay, all the angels in heaven canoot atisfy for it.' Being chriflels, I am under all the curses in the ook of God'; a child of Hagar. Lord pity and spare me a ittle longer ! O discover thy Christ uato me, and give me faith a his blood, and then thou art fully satisfied at once, and I discharged for ever.. O require not the debt at my hand, for hen thou wilt never be satisfied, nor I acquitted. What proI, Lord, is there in my blood ! my soul, make hafte to this Chrift, thy refuge city; thou kaowest not how soon the avenger of blood may overtake thee..
The PO E M.
Can t tell, poor wretch, to what thy debts amount:
CH A P. XIX.
Thy soul is joipwreckd if thy lufts do stay.
overboard ; they stand not upon it, when life and all is in jeopardy and bazard, Jonah i. 5: The mariners calt torih
the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighted it. Aad, Acts xxvii. 16, 19. they cast out the very tacklings of the ship. How highly foever men prize such commodities, yet reason tells them, it were better these Mould perish, than life. Satan himlelf could lay, Job. i. “ Skin for skin, and all that a s man hath will he give for his life."
APPLICATION. And surely, it is cvery way as highly reasonable, that med should mortify, cast out, and cut off their deareft lufts, rather than their immortal souls (hould fiok and perith in the storm of God's wrath. Life, indeed, is a precious treasure, and highly valued by men : You koow what Solomon faith, Ecclef. is. 4. That 6
a living dog is better than a dead lion." And we fiad men willing to part with their estatęs, limbs, or any outward comfort for the preservation of it. The womaa in the gospel spent all she had on the physicians for her health, a degrec bi low life. Some men indeed do much overvalue their lives, and part with Chritt aod peace of conscience for it ; but be that thus faves it, shall lose it. Now if life be so much worth, what theo is the foul worth? Alas! life is but a "
vapour, “ which appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away," Jam iv. 14. Life indeed is more worth than all the world, but
foul is more worth than ten thousand lives. . Nature teacbeth you to value the first fonigh, and grace should teach you to value the second much higher, Marth. xix. 26. . Now here is the case : Either you must part with your fios, or with your fouls ; if these be not cast out, both must fiok together. If ye live " after the flesh, ye must die,” Rom. viii. 13. God faith is you
in this case, as to Abab, when he spared Beahadad, 1 Kings XX. 42. “ Because thou hast let go a man, whom God hath apa “ poioted to destruction, therefore thy life hall go for his & life.” Guilt will raise a form of wrath, as Jonah did, if pot cast our.
REFLECTION. And mult fin or the soul perish? Must my life, yea, mye. teroal life go for it, if I pare it ? O theo let me oot be cruel ta mine own foul, in sparing my fio; O my fool, this foolish and cruel indulgence will be thy ruin : If I spare it, God hath faid, “ He will not spare me," Deut. xxvi. It is true, the pains of mortification are sharp, but yet ir is easier than the pains of hell. To cut off a right hand, or pluck out a right eye, is hard; but to have my foul cut off eternally from God, is harder, Is it as easy (o my foul!) to burn for ihem in hell