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how justly foever acquired, thus fcattered by Providence allo. Whoever had an eftate, better gotten, better bottomed, or better managed, than Job? yet all was overthrown and swept away in a moment; though in mercy to him, as the issue demonstrated.
Oh then! what a vanity is it to fet the heart and let out the affections on them! you can never depend too much upon God, nor too little upon the creature, 1 Tim. vi. 17. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded " and truft in uncertain riches."
Are all earthly things thus tranfitory and vain? Then what a reproach and fhame is it to me, that the men of this world fhould be more induftrious and eager in the prosecution of such vanities, than I am to enrich my foul with folid and ever hfting treasure ? O that ever a fenfual luft thould be more operative in them than the love of God in me! O my foul, thou doft not lay out thy strength and earnestnefs for heaven, with any proportion to what they do for the world. 1 have indeed higher motives, and a furer reward than they: but as 1 have an advantage above them herein, fo they have an advantage above me in the strength and entirenefs 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, ftrength, and affections, are entirely carried in one channel; but I find " a law in my members warring against the law of my mind;" I must strive through a thou fand difficulties and contradictions, to the difcharge of a duty. O my God! fhall not my heart be more enlarged in zeal, love, and delight in thee, than theirs are after their lufts? Olet me once find it fo.
Again, is the creature so vain and unstable? Then why are my affections fo hot and eager after it? And why am I fo apt to doat upon its beauty, especially when God is staining all its pride and glory! Jer. xlv. 5, 6. Surely it is unbecoming the Spirit of a Chriftian at any time, but at fuch a time we may fay of it, as Hufhai of Ahithophel's counfel," It is not good at "this time."
O that my spirit were raised above them, and my conversation more in heaven! O that like that angel, Rev. x. 1, 2. which came down from heaven, and fet one foot upon the fea, and another upon the earth, having a crown upon his head, fol might fet one foot upon all the cares, fears, and terrors of the world, and another upon all the tempting splendor and glory of
the world, treading both under foot in the duft, and crowning myfelf with nothing but fpiritual excellencies and glory! The POE M.
Udge in thyself, O Chriftian! is it meet
To fet thy heart on what beafts set their feet? ris no hyperbole, if you be told,
You dig for drofs, with mattocks made of gold.
Upon the fair fac'd nothings here below.
With fuch delight, what if it were a rofe?
Like hungry lions, waves for finners gape:
HE waves of the fea are fometimes railed by God's commiffion, to be executioners of his threatenings upon finWhen Jonah fled from the prefence of the Lord to Tarfbish, the text faith, “The Lord sent out a great wind into the "fea, and there was a mighty tempest, so that the ship was "like to be broken," Jonah i. 4. These were God's bailiffs, to arreft the run away prophet. And Pfilm cxlviii. 8. The ftormy winds are faid to fulfil his word; not only his word of command, 1 VOL. VI. £*
in rifing when God bids them, but his word of threatening a fo. And hence it is called a defroying wind, Jer. li. 1. and a formy wind in God's fury, Ezek. xiii. 13.
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 fhould commiffionate the winds to go after and arrest thee for all thou oweft him, where are thou then? How dare you put forth under the power of a divine threat, before all be cleared betwixt God and thee? Sins in fcripture are called debts, Matth. vi. 12. They are debts to God; not that we owe them to him, or ought to fin, but metonymically, because they render the fianer obnoxious to God's judgments, even as pecuniary debts oblige him that hath not wherewith to pay, to laffer punishment. All froners must undergo the curfe, either in their own perfon, according to the exprefs letter of the law, Gen. ii. 17. Gal. iii. 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 hath interelt in this furety, hath his difcharge, his quietus eft, fealed in the blood of Chrift; all procefs at law, or from the law, is ftopt, Rom. viii. 1. But if thou be an impenitent, perfisting fisner, thy debt remains upon thine own fcore," And be fure thy fin will find thee out, wherever "thou goeft," Numb. xxxii. 23. (i. e.) God's revenging band for fin will be upon thee: Thou mayeft lofe the fight and memory of thy fins, 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 ftorm arrest, and bring thee before the bar of God?
O my foul, what a cafe art thou in, if this be fo? Are not all thy fins yet upon thine own fcore? Haft not thou made light of Chrift, and that precious blood of his, and hitherto perfifted in thy rebellion against him? And what can the iffue of this be at laft, but ruin? There is abundant mercy indeed for returning finners; but the gofpel fpeaks of none for perfifting and impenitent finners. And though many who are going ou in their fins are overtaken by grace, yet there is no grace promised to fuch as go on in fm. O! if God fhould arrest me by the next ftorm, and call me to an account for all that I owe him, I mult then lie in the prifon of hell to all eternity; for k
can never pay the debt; nay, all the angels in heaven cannot fatisfy for it. Being chriftlets, I am under all the curfes in the book of God; a child of Hagar. Lord pity and fpare me a little longer! O discover thy Chrift unto me, and give me faith in his blood, and then thou art fully fatisfied at once, and I discharged for ever. O require not the debt at my hand, for then thou wilt never be fatisfied, nor I acquitted., What profit, Lord, is there in my blood! O my foul, make hafte to this Christ, thy refuge city; thou knoweft not how foon the avenger of blood may overtake thee..
The POE M.
THY fins are debts, God puts them to account;
Canst tell, poor wretch, to what thy debts amount? Thou fill'ft the treafure of thy fins each hour.
Into his vials God doth alfo pour
Proportionable wrath: Thou feeft it not;
To fave the ship, rich lading's caft away
"N forms and diftreffes at fea, the richest commodities are caft overboard; they ftand not upon it, when life and all is in jeopardy and hazard, Jonah i. 5. The mariners caft forth
the wares that were in the fhip into the fea, to lighten it. And, Acts xxvii. 18, 19. they caft out the very tacklings of the fhip. How highly foever men prize fuch commodities, yet reafon tells them, it were better these should perish, than life, Satan himlelf could fay, Job. i. "Skin for skin, and all that a man hath will he give for his life."
And furely, it is every way as highly reasonable, that men fhould mortify, caft out, and cut off their dearest lufts, rather than their immortal fouls fhould fink and perish in the storm of God's wrath. Life, indeed, is a precious treasure, and highly valued by men: You know what Solomon faith, Ecclef. ix. 4. That " a living dog is better than a dead lion." And we find men willing to part with their eftates, limbs, or any outward comfort for the prefervation of it. The woman in, the goipel spent all fhe had on the phyficians for her health, a degree be low life. Some men indeed do much overvalue their lives, and part with Chrift and peace of confcience for it; but he that thus faves it, fhall lofe it. Now if life be so much worth, what then 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 my foul is more worth than ten thousand lives. Nature teacheth you to value the first so high, and grace should teach you to value the second much higher, Matth. xix. 26. Now here is the cafe: Either you must part with your fins, or with your fouls; if these be not caft out, both muft fiok together. "If ye live "after the flesh, ye muft die," Rom. viii. 13. God faith ta you in this cafe, as to Ahab, when he fpared Benhadad, 1 Kings XX. 42. "Because thou haft let go a man, whom God hath ap pointed to destruction, therefore thy life hall go for his life." Guilt will raife a form of wrath, as Jonah did, if pot caft out.
And mutt fin or the foul perish? Muft my life, yea, my eternal life go for it, if I fpare it? O then let me not be cruel to mine own foul, in fparing my fin; O my foul, this foolish pity, and cruel indulgence will be thy ruin: If I fpare it, God hath faid, "He will not spare me," Deut. xxvi. 20. It is true, the pains of mortification are sharp, but yet it 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 eafy (O my foul!) to burn for them in hell,