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“ be knowledge, that shall cease. Al felh is grals, and the

goodliness of it as the flower of the grass; the grafs witber: " eth, the flower fadeth, but the word of the Lord abideth “ for ever,” Ila. xl. 6, 8. Many times they leave a man before death. One kaock, if it hit right, (as one faith) may make a wile man a fool; but, to be sure, they all leave us at deatb. “ Doth got his excellency which is in him go away!" Job iv.

? 21. yea, then all natural excellency departs : Death Strips the foul of all those fplendid ornaments; then the rhetorical tongue is struck dumb; the nimble wit, and curious faccý, shall enter tain your ears with no more pleasant discourses. Nunquarr jocos dabis, as Adrian said to his departing foul; but grace ascends with the foul into eternity, and there receives its perfection, and accomplishment. Gifts take their leave of the soul, as Orpha did of Naomi ; but grace faith then, as Ruth, Where thou goeft I will go, and, where thou lodgeft I will lodge, and nothing shall separate thee and me. Now put all this togther, and then judge whether the apostle Spoke hyperboles, when be faid, “ Covet earnestly the best gifts, and yet I fhew unto you

a more excellent way,” i Cor. xii. ult. And thus you have the choicedels of these principles also.

REFLECTIONS.

The lines are fallen to me in a pleasant The gracious

place, may the gracious foul say: How defoul's refle Etion.

tective foever I am in gifts, yet blessed be the Lord, who hath sowo the feeds of true grace io my heart. What though I am not famed, and honoured among men, let ir suffice me that I am precious in the eyes of the Lord. Though he hath not abounded to me is gifts of oature,

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Yet “ blessed be the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, “ who hath abounded to me in all fpiritual bleffings, in heavenYo ly places in Christ Jesus,” Eph. i. 3. Is not a true jewel, though spurned in the dirt, more precious than a false one, though fet in gold? Why art thou troubled, O my soul, for the want of these things which reprobates may have? and art pot rather admiridg and blessing God for those things which none, but the darlings and favourites of heaven can have? Is not aa ounce of pure gold more valuable thao mapy pounds of gilded brass? What though the dews of Helicon defcend not upon my head, if in the mean time the fweet influences of Sion fall upon my heart? O my God! how much soever others are clated by the light of their knowledge, I have cause, with humility, to adore thee for the heavenly heat with which thou haft warmed my affections.

Pause a while, my soul, upon this point :
With what feed is my heart fown, and of what The deceived
kind are those things wherein I excel others ? foul's reflection.
Are they indeed special seeds of grace, or com
mon gifts, and natural excellencies? If the latter, little cause
have i to pride myself in them, were they ten thousand times
more than they are. If these things be indeed the things that
accompany falvation, the feed of God, the true and real work
of grace, then, (1.) How comes it to pass that I never found
any throws, or travailing pangs in the production of them? Ic
is affirmed, and generally acknowledged, that the new crea-
ture is never brought forth without such pain and compunctions
of heart, Acts ii. 37. I have indeed often felt an aking head,
whilft I have read and studied to increafe my knowledge ?' But
when did I feel aa aking beart for fie? O I begio co fufpect, that
it is not right. Yea, (2.) And my suspicion increases while E
consider that grace is of an humbling nature, 1 Cor. xv. 10. Lord,
how have I been elated by my gifts, and valued myself above
what was meet? O how have I delighted ja the noise of the
Pharisee's trumpet! Mat. vi. 2. No music fo sweet as that.
Say, O my conscience, have I not delighted more in the theatre
than the closet ? lo the praise of men, than the approbaa
tion of God? O how many evidences doft thou produce against
me ? Indeed these are fad fymptoms that I have shewed thee,
but there is yet apother, which renders thy cafe more suspicious
yet, yea, that which thou canst make no rational defence
against, even the ineffectualness of all thy gifts and knowledge
to mortify any one of all thy lufts. It is beyond all difpute,
that gifts may, but grace cannot coolift without mortification
of fin, Gal. v. 24. Now what loft hath fallen before these ex-
cellent parts of mine? Doth got pride, paffion, covetoufness,
aod indeed the whole body of fia, live and thrive in me as
much as ever ? Lord, I yield the cause, I can defend it no.
longer against my confcience, which cafts and condemos me,
by full proof, to be but in a wretched, cursed, lamentable flate,
Dotwithstanding all my knowledge, and flourishing gifts. O
Thew me a more excelleat way. Lord! that I had the fincerity
of the poorest saint, though I should lose the applause of all my
parts; with these I fee I may go to hell, but without lome ber-
ter thing no hope of heaven,

The POE M.
"REAT difference betwixt that feed is found,

With which you fow your fev'ral plots of ground,

!

Seed-wheat doch far excel in dignity
The cheaper barley, and the coarser rye:
Tho' in themselves they good and wholesome are,
Yet these with choicest wheat may not compare.
Men's hearts, like fields, are fow'd with diff'rent grain,
Some baser, some more noble, some again
Excelling both the former, more than wheat
Excels that grain your swine and horses eat.
For priociples of mere morality,
Like cummin, barley, fitches, peale, or rye,
Io those men's hearts are often to be found,
Whom yet the scripture calleth cursed ground; ;
And nobler principles than these, sometime
Callid common grace, and spiritual gifts, which shine
In some men's heads, where is their habitation ;
Yet they are no companions of salvation.
These purchase honour both from great and small :
But I must tell thee, that if this be all,
Tho' like an angel in these gifts thou shine
Amongst blind mortals, for a little time;
The day's at hand, when, such as thou must take
Thy lot with devils in th’infernal lake.
But priociples of special saving grace,
Whose feat is in the heart, not head, or face;
Like folid wheat sown in a fruitful field,
Shall spring, and flourish, and at last will yield
A glorious harvest of eternal rest,
To him that pourilh'd them withio his brealt.
O grace ! how orient art thou! how divine !
What is the glory of all gifts to thine!
Disseminate this feed within my heart,
My God, I pray thee, tho' thou Mouldst impart
The less of gifts; then I may truly say,
That thou hast Thew'd me the more excellent way.

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CH A P. JX.
Upon springing-weather after feed-time.
By heaven's infrience corn and plants do fpring,
God's fbow'rs of grace do make his valleys fing.

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OBSERVATION.
THE earth, after that it is plowed and fowed, must be

watered, and warmed with the dews and infuences of

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heaven, or do fruit can be expected. If God do not open to you his good treasure, the heavens to give raio unto the land in its feason, and blefs all the work of your hands, as it is Deut. xxvii. 12. the earth conot yield her increase. The oro der and dependence of natural causes in the production of fruit, is excellently described, Hof. ii. 21, 22. “ I will hear the heavens, " and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the “ coro, and wine, and oil, and they shall hear Jezreel.” Jezreet

, must have cora, and wine, and oil

, or they cannot live ; they canoot have it unless the earth bring it forth; the earth cannot bring it forth without the heavens; the heavens cannot yield a drop voless God hear them, that is, unlock and open them.

Nature, and natural caufes, are nothing else but the order • jo which God works. This fome heatheas, by the light of nature, acknowledged, and theretore wheo they went to plow in the morning, they did lay one hand upon the plow (to speak their own part to be painfuloels) and held up the other haod to Ceres, the goddess of coro, to show that their expectation of pleaty was from their fupposed deity t. I fear many Christiaas lay both hands to the plow, and seldom lift up heart, or hand to God, when about that work. There was an husbandman (faith | Mr. Smith) that always fowed good sced, but Dever had good corn; at last a oeighbour came to him, and said, I will tell you what probably may be the caule of it ; it may be (faid he) you do not steep your feed : No, truly, said the other, por did I ever hear that feed must be steeped. Yes, surely, faid his neighbour, and I will tell you how; it must be steeped in prayer. When the party heard this, he thanked him for his couolel, reformed his fault, and had as good corn as any man: wbatsoever. Surely it is not the husbandman's, but God's steeps, that drop fatness. Alma mater terra, the earth indeed is a fruitful mother, but the raid which fecundates, and ferti. lizes it, hath no other Father but God, Job xxxviii. 28.

APPLICATION.
S impossible it is (in an ordinary way) for fouls to be.

made fruitful in grace and holiness, without the dews and influences of ordinances, and the blessing of God upon them, as for the earth to yield her fruit without the natural

AS

Natura nihil aliud eft quam divinorum operum ordo. Beredrius.

+ Weem's Cerem. Law. VOL, VI.

_Smith's Efez Dove.

influences of heaven ; for look, what dews, showers, and clear shiniogs after rain are to the fields, that the word and ordinadces of God are to the souls of men. “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the imall raio • upon the tender herb, and as the showers apon the grass,” Deut. xxxii. 2. “ For as the rain cometh dowo, and the snow " from heaven, and watereth the earth, and maketh it bring " forth and bud; fo Mall my word be that goeth forth of my

mouth," Ifa. lv. 10, 11, And as the doctrine of the gospel is. rain, so gospel-ministers are the clouds in wbich those heavenly vapours are bound up: the resemblance lies in the following particulars.

1. The rain comes from heaven, Acts xiv. 17. "He gave “ us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons," doc. The doctrine of the gospel is also of an heavenly extraction and descent, they are heavenly truths which are brought to you in earthen vessels, things that were hid in God, and come from his bofom, Eph. iii. 8, 9. What Nicodemus said of Christ is, in a proportion, true of every faithful dispepler of the gospel, “ Thou art

a teacher come from God,” Joho ji. 2. You are not to look

upon the truths which ministers deliver, as tbe mere effects and fruits of their inventions and parts, they are but the conduits through which those celestial waters are conveyed to you. It is all heavenly, the officers are from heaven, Eph. iv. 12. their doctrine from heaven, Eph iii. 8, 9. the efficacy and fuccels of it from heaven, i Cor. iii. 3.". What I received of the " Lord (faith Paul) that have I delivered unto you,” 1 Cor. xi.

i 23. The same may every gospel-minister say too. That is the first:

And then, (adły.) The rain falls by divine direction and appointment : “ He causes it to rain upon one city, and not upon " another,". Amos iv. 7. You shall often see a cloud dissolve and {pend itself upon one place, when there is not a drop withio a' few miles of it. Thus is the gospel feat to shed its rich influ. ences upon one place, and not upon another; it pours down showers of bleflings, upon one town or parish, whilft others are dry like the ground which lay near to Gideon's wet Acece.

To you is the word of this salvation fent,” Acts xiii. 26. Sent; it comes not by chance, but by commision and appointment, and it is sent to you by special direction. Ministers can Do more go whither they please, than the failing, clouds can move against the wind. Paul and Timothy, two fruitful clouds (that fent down many sweet refreshing showers upon every place whither they came) the Lord feat them through Phrygia aad

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