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how justly foever acquired, thus scattered by Providence also. Whoever had an estate, better gotten, better bottomed, or better managed, thao Job? yet 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 upon 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 in uocertain riches."
Ř E É LECTIO N. Are all earthly things thus transitory and vain? Thei whai a reproach and shame is it to me, that the men of this world should be more industrious and cager in the prosecution of such vanities, than I am to enrich my soul with solid and everé hfting treasure ! O that ever a sensual lust thould be more o. „perative in them than the love of God in me! O my soul, tbou doft aot lay out thy strength and earnestoess for heaven, with any proportion to what they do for the world. I have indeed higher motives, and a furer 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, strength, and affections, are entirely carried in one channel ; bat I find " a law in my members warring a
gainst the law of my miod;" I must Atrive through a thou: fand difficulties and contradictions, to the discharge of a duty. O my God! thall not my heart be more enlarged io zeal, love, and delight in thee, than theirs are after their lusts? O let me once find it lo.
Again, is the creature so vain aad uostable? Then why are my affections so hot and eager after it? And why am I fo apt to doat upon its beauty, especially when God is Itaining all its pride and glory! Jer. xlv. 5, 6. Surely it is unbecoming the spirit of a Christian at any time, but at fuch a time we may say of it, as Hulhai of Ahithophel's couofel, “ 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 sea, and a. nother upon the earth, having a crown upon his head, fol might set one foot upon all the cares, fears, and terrors of the world, and another opon all the tempting splendor and glory of
the world, treading both voder foot in the duft, and crowning mgfelf with nothing but fpiritual excellencies and glory!
The PO E M.
To fet thy heart on what beasts set their feet?
CHA P. XVII.
sia When fooah fled from the presence of the Lord to Tarfilh, the text faith, “ The Lord feat out a great wiod into the
sea, and there was a mighty tempelt, fo that the ship was " like to be broken,” Jonah i. 4. These were God's bailiffs, to anvelt the run away prophet. And Pfaim cxlvii. 8. The stormy winds are said to fulfil his word; not oaly his word of command,
in rifing 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 theo 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 owelt him, where are thou then? How dare you put forth voder the power of a divine threat, before all be cleared betwixt God and thee ! Sios 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 finder obnoxious to God's judgments, epco as pecuniasy debts oblige him that hath not wherewith to pay, to laffer punishment. All hopers must undergo the curse, 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 lopt, Rom. viii. 1. But if thou be an impenitent, persisting figner, thy debt remains upoo thine own fcorc, “ And be sure thy fro will fiod thee out, wherever " thou goest,” Numb. xxxii. 23. (1. e.} God's revengiog 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 houad doth the Meeting game upoa the scene, till they have fetched thee up: And then confider, “ How fear“ ful a thing it is to fall into the haods of the living God," Heb. X. 31. How foon may a storm afrelt, and bring thee before the bar of God?
REPLECTION. O my fouf, what a cafe are thou in, if this be fo? Are net all thy fits yet upon chine own score ? Halt not thou made light of Christ, and that precious blood of his, and bitherto perlisted in thy rebellion agaioft him? And what cap the issue of this be at last, bot ruin? There is abundant mercy indeed for returning fingers; but the gospel speaks of none for per. fisting and impenitent finners. 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 fm. 0! if God should arrelt me by the next storm, and call me to an account for all that I owe him, I must chen lie in the prison of hell to ali eternity á for
can never pay the debt ; nay, all the angels in heaven canoot fatisfy for it. Being christlels, I am under all the curses io che book of God; a child of Hagar. Lord pity and spare me a little longer ! O discover thy Christ uoto me, and give me faitla in his blood, and then thou art fully satisfied 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 soul, make hafte to this Christ, thy refuge city; thou koowes not how soon the avenger of blood may overtake thee.
The PO E M.
Cantt tell, poor wretch, to what thy debts amount?
of patience more, but theo there hastes away
With his commisfion feal'd, to take and bring.
CH A P. XIX.
Thy soul is Mipwreckd if thy lufts do stay.
overboard ; they ftaod not upon it, when life and all is 10 jcopardy and bazard, Jonah i. 5. The mariners calt torila
the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighted it. Aed, 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 should perish, than life. Satan himlelf could say, Job. i. “ Skin for skin, and all that a man hath will he give for his life."
APPLICATION. And surely, it is every way as highly reafosable, that men should mortify, cast out, and cut off their deareft lusts, rather than their immortal souls should liok and perish in the Atorn of God's wrath. Life, indeed, is a precious trealure, and highly valued by meo : You kaow what Solomon faith, Ecclef.: is. 4. That of
a living dog is better than a dead lion." And we find men willing to part with their estatęs, limbs, or any outward comfort for the preservation of it. The woman in the gospel spent all she had on the physicians for her health, a degrec bư. low life. Some meo indeed do much overvalue their lives, and part with Chritt aod peace of conscience for it ; but he that thus faves it, thall lose it. Now if life be so much worth, what then is the soul worth? Alas! life is but a
vapour, “ which appeareth for a little while, and then vanilheth 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 foʻnigh, and grace should teach you to value the second much higher, Maith. xix. 26. Now here is the case: Either you must part with your fins, or with your fouls; if these be not cast out, both must fiok together. "If ye live “S after the flesh, ye must die,” Rom. viii. 13.
God faith 19 you in this case, as to Ahab, when he spared Benhadad, Kings XX. 42. Because thou hast let go a man, whom God hath ap. “ poioted to destruction, therefore thy life (hall go for his & life.” Guilt will raise a form of wrath, as Jonah did, if pot cast out.
REFLECTION. And mult Gin or the foul perish? Must my life, yea, mye. teroal life go for it, if I fpare it ? O then let me oot be cruel ta mine own soul, ia sparing my lio; O wy foul, this foolish piry, and cruel indulgence will be thy ruin : If I spare it, God hath faid, “ He will not spare me,” Deut. xxvi. 20. It is true, the pains of mortification are sharp, but yet ir is easier than the paios 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 ihcu in hell,