Imágenes de páginas

pleasure have I hitherto been ignorant of! When great Darius drank the puddled water, that had been defiled with dead carcaffes, which had been flain in that tamous battle, he profeffed he never drank more plealant drink. And famous Huopiades faid, he rever fared more daintily, rhan when (in a like exigence) he topped upon bread, onious, and water, with a poor thepherd jo his cottage.

Just fo do the famine of the word raise the price and esteem of vulgar aod despised truths. 'Oh! what would you give for one of those fermons, one of those fabbaths we formerly enjoyed! in those days the word of the Lord was precious. When God calls to the enemy to take away and remove his contemBed, but precious, dainties, from his wapton children, and a fpiritual tamine hath a little piached them, they will then learn to prize their spiritual food at a higher rate.

4. in time of tamine tome persons fuffer more than others : it falls heaviest, and piocheth hardest upon the poorer fort; as long as any thing is to be had for money, the rich will have ir. So it falls out io a spiritual famine ; although the most experienced and bent furnished Christians will have enough to do to live in the absence of ordinances, yet they are like to subsist much better than weak, igoorant, kod unexperienced opes. Some Chrisians have husbanded their time well, and, like Jos feph in the seven years plenty, laid up for a scarcity. The word of God dwells richly in them. Some soch chere are, as Jobu calls young men, who are Itrong, and the word of God remaineth ia them; of whom it may be said, as Jerom 1pake of Nepotiaqus, that by long and assiduous meditation of the scriptures, he had inade his breast the very library of Christ, Biltothers are babes in Chrift; and though God will prelerve that good work which he hath begun in them, yet these poor babes will foonest find and be molt concerned in the loss of their spiritual fathers and ourfes

5. In time of famine there are pitiful cries, and heart-breaking complaints where-ever you go. Oh the many pale faces you fall then see, and the fad language that rings in your cars in every place! One cries, Bread, bread, for Christ's lake! one bit of bread! another faints and falls down at your door. All her people figh, Lam. i. 11. Yea, the poor little ones are brought in, ver. 12. crying to their mothers, Where is the corn and wine ? and then pouring out their souls into their mother's bofom. Just so it is in a famine of the word; poor Christians every where fighing and crying, Oh! where are our godly ministers? our Tweet fabbaths, fermons, facraments ? My fa


thers ! my fathers ! the chariots of Israel, and the horfemet thereof ! How beautiful were your feet upon the mouorains ? And then, weeping, like the people at Paul's departure, to think they shall see their faces no more.

6. Lalily, In time of famine there is nothing so costly or precious, but the people will part with it to purchase bread. “ They have given their plealaot things for meat to relieve “ their souls," Lam. i. 11. And, doubtlels, when a {piritual famine shall pinch hard, those that have been close-handed to maintain a gospel-ministry, will account it a choice mercy to enjoy them agaio at any rate. “ Though the Lord feed you “ with the bread of affliction, and give you the waters of ad“ verfity; yet it will sweeten that bread and water to you, if

your teachers be no more removed into corners," Ila. xxx 20.


1. Is the famine of the word {uch a fearThe ungrateful ful judgmeat? Then Lord pardon my unjoul's reflection. thankfulness,

thankfulness, for the plentiful and long conti

nued enjoyment of such a precious and iovaloable mercy. How long lightly have I esteemed the great things of the gospel! that with eyes and hands lifted up to heaven, I might bless the Lord, that ever I was brought forth in an age of lo much light, in a valley of visions, in a land flowing with gospel-mercies! “ Hath not God made of one blood all the na« tions of men to dwell on the face of the earth! And determio" ed the times before appointed, and the bouads of their habi. “ tation ?" Acts xvii. 26. Many of these great and populous Dations are involved in gross darkness. Now, that of all the feVeral ages of the world, and places in it, God should espy the best place for me, and bring me forth in it, in such a happy aick of time, as can hardly be paralleled in history, for the plenty of gospel-mercies that this age aod uation hath enjoyed ; that my mother did not bring me forth in the defarts of Arabia, or waltes of America, but in England, where God hath made the Sun of the gospel to stand still, as the natural fun once did over Gibeon; and that such a mercy fhould no more affect my foul, let shame cover my face for this, and trembliog seize my heart !

2. Is the gospel indeed departed ? Its sweet The deprived influences restrained ? and a famine, worse Chriflian's reo than that of bread, come upon us ? Alas for flection. the day! for it is a great day, so that none is

like it; it is even the day of Jacob's trouble!

Wo is me, that ever I should survive the gospel, and the precious liberties and mercies of it! Whac horrid sios have been harboured amongst us, for which the Lord contends by such an unpa ralleled judgment ? Lord, let me justify thee, even in this fevere dispensation ; the provocation of thy foas, and of thy daughters have been very great, and amongst them none greater thaa mine. May we not this day read our fio in our punishment ? O what aice and wanton appetites, what curious and itchiog ears, had thy people in the days of plenty! Methods, tones and gestures, were more regarded than the excellent treasures of divine truths. Ah, my foul! I remember my fault this day; little did I then consider, that sermons work not upon hearts, as they are thus elegant, thus admirable, but as they are instruments in the hand of God appoioted to fuch ao cod. Even as Austin said of the conduits of water, though one be in the fhape of an angel, acother of a beast, yet the

water refreshes as it is water, and not as it comes from füch a conduit : by this allo, O Lord, thou rebukelt the fupioeness and formality of thy people. How drowfie, dull, and careless have they been under the most excellent and quickning means? Few more than I. Alas! I have often presented my body before the Lord in ordinances, do fuxm ezd, but my soul bath been wandering abroad, as Chryfollom speaks. I should have come from under every fermon, as a sheet comes from the press, with all the stamps and lively impressions of the truths I have heard upon my heart. Bat, alas! if it had been demaoded of me, as once it was of Aristotle, after a long and curious oration, how he liked it? I might have answered, as he did, truly I did not hear it; for I was all the while mioding another matter. Righteous art thou, O Lord, in all that is come upon us ! 3.

I am now as a spring shut up, that can the filent miniyield no refreshment to thirsty fouls, ready to perish. Thou hast said to me, as once to

ster's reflection. Ezekiel, “Son of man, behold, I will make thy tongue cleave “ to the roof of thy mouth, and thou shalt be dumb." This is a very beavy judgment; but thou must be justified and cleared in it. Although men may not, yet God, if he please, may pot a lighted candle under a bushel. And herein I must ac knowledge thy righteousness. Maoy times have I been linfully filent, when both thy glory and the interest of fouls engaged me to speak. Most justly therefore halt thou made my toogue to cleave to its roof. Little did I consider the preciousness of fouls, or the tremenduous account to be given for them, at the appearing of the great fhepherd. I have now time enough to


fit down and mourn over former miscarriages, and loft opportunities. Lord restore me once agaia to a serviceable capacity, to a larger sphere of activity for thee, for I am now become as a broken vessel. It grieves me to the heart to see thy Alock fcattered; to hear thy people cry to me, as once to Joseph, " Give us bread; for why should we die in thy prefence?” The word is like fire Thut up in my bones, and i am weary with forbearing. Oh! that thou wouldlt once again open the doors of thine house, that there may be bread enough in thine house for all thy children.

The POE M.
HEN God doth make the heavens above as brass,

The earth's like iron, flowers, herbs and grass
Have lost their fragrant green, are turned yellow;
The brooks are dry, the pioing cattle bellow;
The fat and flow'ry meadows scorch'd and burn'd;
The country's mirth is into mourning turn'd;
The clefted earth her thirsty mouth fets ope
Unto the empty clouds, as 'twere in hope
Of fome refreshing drops, that might allay
Her fiery thirft; but they foon pass away;
The peo five husbandman with his own eyes
Bedews his land, because he fees the skies
Refuse to do it. Just fo Naods the case,
When God, from fouls, removes the means of grace.
God's ministers are clouds, their doctrine rain,
Which when the Lord, in judgment, shall restrain,
The peoples fouls in short time will be found
Ia fuch a cafe as this dry parched ground.
When this sad judgment falls on any nation,
Let saints therein take up this lamentation.

O dreadful, dark, and dismal day!

How is our glory fied away?
Our fua'gone down, our stars o'ercaft?

God's heritage is now laid waste.
Our pining fouls no bread can get;
With wantons God has justly met.
When we were fed up to the full,
This man was tedious, that was dull :
But they are gone, and there remain
No such occasions to complaio.
Stars are not now for lights, but sigos,
God knows of what heart-breaking times,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Sure heaven ia tends not peace, but wars,
la calling home ambassadors.
How long did Sodom's judgments stay,
When righteous Lot was snatch'd away?
How long remain'd that stately hall,
When Sampson made the pillars fall ?
Wheo horsemen and commanders fly,
Woe to the helpless iofantry.
This is a fad aod facal blow,
A public loss, and overthrow.
You that so long have wilh'd them gone,
Be quiet now the thing is done :
Did they torment you e'er your day?
God hath remov'd them out o' th’ way.
Now sleep in fin, and take your ease;
Their doctrine Mall ao more displease.
But, Lord! what shall become of us?
Our teacher's gone, and left us thus :
To whom Mall we ourselves addrels,
Wheo conscience labours in distress ?
Oh! who shall help us out at Deed ?
Or pour ip balm whea wounds do bleed?
Help, Lord! for upto thee our eyes
Do pour out tears; our groans, our cries
Shall acver cease, 'till thou restore
The mercies which we had before ;
'Till Sion's paths, where grass now grows,
Be trodden by the feet of those
That love thy name, and long to enjoy
The mercies they have sion'd away.

с н А Р. XI
Upon the Corruption of the Seed before it springs.
Seeds die and rot, and then muß freso appear ;
Saints bodies rise more orient than they were.

FTER the feed is committed to the earth, it seems to

perish and die, as our Saviour speaks, Joho xii. 24. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abid" eth alone; but if it die, it brings forth much fruit." The VOL. VI.


« AnteriorContinuar »