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All Sion's children will lament and cry,
When all her beauteous stones in duit do lie ?
And he that for her then laments and mourns,
Shall want no joy, when God to her returns.

CHAP XXVI.

A little leak neglected, dangerous proves :
One fin connived at the foul undoes.

OBSERVATION.
HE smallest leak, if not timely discovered and stopt, is

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seamen are wont frequently to try what water is in the hold; and if they find it fresh, and increasing upon them, they ply the pump, and presently set the carpenters to search for it and stop it ; and till it be found they cannot be quiet.

APPLICATION. What such a leak iš to a ship, that is the finallest sin neglec: ted to the soul ; it is enough to ruin it eternally. For as the greatest fin, discovered, lamented, and mourned over by a believer, cannot ruin him ; fo the least fin indulged, covered, and connived at, will certainly prove the defiruclion of the sinner. No fin, though never so small, is tolerated by the pure and perfect law of God, Pfalm cxix. 96. The command is exceeding broad; not as if it gave men a latitude to walk as they please, but broad, (i. e.) extending itself to all our words, thoughts, actions, and affections: Laying a law upon thenı all; conniv. ing at no evil in any man, i Pet. ii. 1.

And as the word gives no allowance for the least fin, so it is the very nature of fincerity and uprightness, to set the heart against [every] way of wickedness, Pfalm cxxxix. 23, 24. Job xxxi. 13. and especially against that fin which was its darling in the days of his vanity, Psalm xviii. 23. True ha. tred (as the philosopher obferves) is of the whole * kind; He that hates fin, as sin, and so doth every upright soul, hates all fins as well as fome.

Again, the foul that hath had a faving fight of Jesus Christ, and a true discovery of the evil of sin, in the glafs both of the ļaw and gospel, can account no fin small

. He knows the de. merit of the smallest fia is God's eternal wrath, and that not the least sin can be remitted, without the fedding and applica.

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tion of the blood of Christ, Heb, ix. 22. which blood is of in finite value and price, 1 Pet. i. 19,

To conclude, God's people know, that little as well as great fins, are dangerous, deadly, and destructive in their own nature; a little poison will destroy a man. Adrian was choaked with a gnat, Caesar stabbed with bodkins. A man would think Adam's fin had been no great matter, yet what dreadful work did it make! It was not as a single bullet, to kill himself only; . but as a chain-shot, which cut off all his poor, miserable pofterity. Indeed, no fin can be little, because its object, against whom it is committed, is so great, whence it receives a kind of infiniteness in itself, and because the price paid to redeeni us. from it is fo invaluable.

REFLECTION. And is the smallest sin not only damning in its own nature, buț will certainly prove the rụin of that soul that hides and covers it; O then let my spirit accomplish a diligent search. Look to it, o my soul ! that no lin be indulged by thee ; fet these confiderations as so many flaming swords in the way of thy carnal delights and lufts : Let me never fay of any fin, as Lot did of Zoar, “ It is a little one, spare it.” Shall' I fpare that which cost the blood of Jesus Christ? The Lord would not spare him, ” When he made his soul an offering for fin," Rom. viii. 32. Neither will he spare me, if I defend and hide it, Deut. xxix. 20. Ah! if my heart were right, and my conversation sound, that lust, whatever it be, that is so favoured by me, would especially be abhorred, and hated, Ifa. ii. 20. and xxx. 22. Whatever my convictions and reformations have been, yet

if there be but one fin retained, and delighted in, this keeps ihe devil's interest still in my soul. And though for a time he seem to depart, yet at last he will return with seven worse spirits, and this is the sin that will open the door to him, and deliver up my soul, Matth. xii. 43, 44. Lord, let me make thorough work of it; let me cut it off, and pluck it out, though it be as a right hand, or eye. Ah! shall I come fo near the kingdom of God, and make such a fair offer for Christ, and yet stick at a small matter, and lose all for want of one thing ? Lord, let me shed the blood of the dearest lust, for his fake that shed his dearest blood for me !

The P O E M.
Here's

many a foul eternally undone

For sparing fin, because a little one. But we are much deceiv'd; no fin is small,

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That wounds so great a God, so dear a soul.
Yet say it were, the finallest pen-knife may,
As well as sword, or lance, dispatch and say.
And shall so small a matter part and sever
Christ and thy foul? What make you part for evet ?
Or wilt thou ftand on toys with him, when he
Deny'd himself in greatelt things for thee?
Or will it be an ease in hell to think
How eafily thy foul therein did fink?
Are Christ and hell for trifles sold and bought?
Strike souls with trembling, Lord, at such a thought!
By little fins, belov'd, the soul is lost,
Unless such fins do great repentance cost.

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CHA P. XXVII.

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Ships make much way when they a trade-wind get;
With such a wind the faints have ever met.

OBSERVATION.
"Hough in most parts of the world the winds are variable,

and sometimes blow from every point of the compass, by reason whereof, failing is flow, and dangerous ; yet about the Equinoctial, seamen meet with a trade-wind, blowing, for the most part, one way; and there they fail jocund before it, and scarce need to lower a top-fail for some hundreds of leagues.

APPLICATION. Although the people of God meet with many feeming rubs and set-backs in their way to heaven, which are like contrary winds to a thip; yet are they from the day of their conversion, to the day of their complete salvation, never out of a tradewind's way to heaven. Rom. viii. 21. « We know that all “ things work together for good, to them that love God, to " them that are called according to his purpose.” This is a most precious scripture, pregnant with its consolation to all believers in all conditions, a pillar of comfort to all distressed faints : Let us look a little nearer to it.

(We know) Mark the certainty and evidence of the proposition, which is not built upon a guess or remote probability, but upon the knowledge of the saints; we know it, and thatjpartly by divine revelation, God has told us so; and partly by our Own experience, we find it so.

(That all things) Not only things that lie in a natural and

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direct tendency to our good; as ordinances, promises, bleflings, &c. but even such things as have no natural fitness and tendency to such an end; as afflictions, temptations, corruptions, defertions, &c. all these help onward. They

(Work together.) Not all of them directly, and of their own nature and inclination; but by being over-ruled, and determined to such an issue by the gracious hand of God : Nor yet do they work out such good to the saints, fingly, and apart, but as adjuvant causes or helps, standing under, and working in subordination to the supreme and principal cause of their happiness.

Now, the most seeming opposite things, yea, sin in itself, which in its own nature is really oppofite to their good, yet eventually contributes to it. Afflictions and desercions seem to work against us, but being once put into the rank and order of causes, they work together with such bleffed instruments, as word and prayer, to an happy iffue. And though the faces of these things, that so agree and work together, look contrary ways; yet there are, as it were, secret chains and connexions of providence betwixt them, to unite them in their issue. There may be many instruments employed about one work, and yet not communicate counsels, or hold intelligence with each other. Joseph's brethren, the Midianites, Potiphar, &c. knew not one another's mind, nor aimed at one end, (much less the end that God brought about by them) one acts out of revenge, another for gain, a third out of policy; yet all meet together at laft, in that issue God had designed to bring about by them, even Jofeph's advancement. Even so it is here, Chrifti an, there are more inftruments at work for thine eternal good, than thou art aware of.

REFLECTION. Chear up then, O my foul, and lean upon this pillar of comfort in all distresses. Here is a promise for me, if I am a called one ; that, like the philosopher's ftone, turns all into gold it toucheth. This promise is my security; however things go the world, my God “ will do me no hurt," Jer. xxv. 6. Nay, he will do me good by every difpenfation." that I had but

( “ an heart to make all things work for his glory, that thus " causeth every thing to work for my good." My God, dost thou turn every thing to my advantage ? O let me return all to thy praise; and if by every thing thou work my

eternal good, then let me in every thing give thanks.

But ah! how foolish and ignorant have I been ? even as a beast before thee. How hath my heart been disquieted, and apt to repine at thy dispensations, when they have crossed my

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not considering that my God faithfully pursues my good, even in those things that cross, as well as in that which pleases me.

Blefied Lord! what a blessed condition are all thy people in, who are within the line of this promife? All things friendly and beneficial to them; friends helpful; enemies helpful; every thing conspiring, and conducing to their happiness. With others it is not fo; nothing works for their good ; nay, every thing works againft it: their very mercies are snares, and their prosperity destroys them ; Prov. i. 32. even the blessed gospel itself is a favour of death to them : when evil befals them, “it is « an only evil,” Ezek. vii. 5. that is, not turned into good to them ; and as their evils are not turned into good, so all their good is turned into evil. As this promise hath an influence into all that concerns the people of God, so the curse hath an influence into all the enjoyments of the wicked. O my soul, bless the Lord, who hath cast thy lot into such a pleasant place, and given thee such a glorious heritage, as this promise is.

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The PO E M.

W!

HEN once the dog-star rises, many say,

Corn ripens then apace, both night and day.
Souls once in Christ, that morning-star lets fall
Such influences on them, that all
God's dispensations to them then, sweet or sour,
Ripen their

souls for glory ev'ry hour.
All their aMictions, rightly understood,
Are blessings; ev'ry wind will blow some good.
Sure at their troubles faints would never grudge,
Were fense deposed, and faith made the judge.
Falls make them warier, amend their pace ;
When gifts puff up their hearts, and weaken grace.
Could Satan see the issue, and th' event
Of his temptations, he would scarcely tempt.
Could saints but fee what fruits their tranbles bring,
Amidst those troubles they would shout and sing.
O facred wisdom ! who can but admire
To see how thou dost fave from fire, by fire !
No doubt but saints in glory wond'ring stand
At those strange methods few now understand.

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