« AnteriorContinuar »
as to mortify them on earth? Surely, it is “ profitable for me, " that one member perilh, rather than that all be cast jaro “ hell,” Matth. v. 24. I see the merchant williog to part with rich wares, if embarked with them in a form: And thole that have gaogrened legs or arms, willingly fretch them out to be cut off
, to preserve life: And shall I be willing to endure so difficulties for my loul ? Christ reckoned souls worth his blood : And is it not worth my self-denial ! Lord, let me od warm a snake in my bolom, that will at laft fting me to the heart.
The PO E M.
God's judgments, stormy winds, and dang'rous gusts ;
The cale is dangerous, that no man can doubt,
CH A P. XX.
OBS E R V A TIO N..
power of any creature to appease it. When the Egyptians would by their hieroglyphics cxprefs an impoflibility, bey did it by the picture of a man treading upon the waves
It is storied of Canute, an antient Daoish king, that when i mighty storm of Aattery arose upon him, he appeared it by Thewing that he could not appease the sea : But one of his courtiers told him, as he rode acar the sea-side, · That he was Lord * of the sea, as well as land.' 'Well, (said the king) we shall see « that by and by;' and fo wear to the water-side, and with a loud voice cried, •ye seas and waves, come no further, touch • not my feet.' But the sea came up, notwithstanding that charge, and coafuted the lattery. But now Jelas Christ hath command of them indeed: It is said of him, Matth. viii. 20. That he rebuked them. And Mark iv. 38. He quiets then with a word, Peace, be fill; as one would hush a child, and it obeyed him.
APPLICATION, Conscience, when awakened by the terrors of the Lord, is like a raging tempestuous sea; so it works, so it roars; and it is not in the power of all creatures to hufa or quiet it. Spi. ritual terrors, as well as fpiritual confolations, are not knowa till felt. O when the arrows of the Almighty are shot into the Spirit, and the terrors of God set themselves in array against the soul; when the venoin of those arrows driok up the fpirits, and those armies of terrors charge violently and fucceflively upon it, as Job vi. 4. What creature theu is able to stand before them! Even God's own dear children have felt such terrors, as have diftrated them, Pfal. Ixxxi. 15. Conscience is the seat of guilt; it is like a burning glass, so it contracts the beams of the threatpiags, twists them together, and reflects them on the soul, until it smoke, scorch, and flame. If the wrath of a king be like the roariag of a lion, then what is the Almighty's wrath! which is burning wrath, Job xix. 11. Tearing wrath, Plal. 1. 22. Surprizing wrath, Job XX. 23. And abiding wrath, Job iii. 36.
lo this case no creatare caa relieve; all are physicians of go value ; some under these terrors have thought hell more tolerable, and by a violent hand have thrust themselves out of the world into it, to avoid these guawings : Yet Jesus Christ can quickly calm these myftical waves also, and hush them with a word; gea, he is the Physician, aod do other. It is the spriakling of his blood, which, like a cooliog, fomentation, allays thofe heats withia : That blood of sprinkling speaks peace, when all others have practised upon the foul to no purpose ; and the reason is, because he is a Person in whom God and man, justice and mercy, meet, and kiss each other, Eph. ii. Id, And hence faith fetches ia peace to the foul, Rom, v. 1.
REFLECTION. Can none appeale a troubled conscience, but Chrift? Then Learn, O my soul, to goderstand, and daily, more and more, so favour that glorious name, even Jesus, that delivers not only from the wrach to come, but that which is felt here also. O, if the foretaste of hell be so intolerable, if a few drops, let fall on the conscience in this life, be fo fcalding and insufferable, what is it to have all the vials poured out to eteroity, when there shall be nothing to divert, mitigate, or allay it?
Here men have somewhat to abate those terrors, fome hopes of mercy, at least a possibility; but there is noge. Omy soul ! how art thou loaded with guilt! and what a Magormisabib wouldit thou be, hould God rouse that sleepy lion in thy bo. fom! My condition is not at all the better, because my conscience is quiet. Ah, the day is coming, when it must awake, and will lighten and thunder terribly within me, if I get not into Chrilt the fooner. O Lord, who knows the power of thy wrath ? O let me not carry this guilt out of the world with me, to maintain those everlasting flames ; let me give no fleep to mine eyes, bor sumber to my cye-lids, till I feel the comfort of that blood of sprinkling, which alone speaketh peace.
The PO E M. A
Mong the dreadful works of God, I find
No metapbors to paint a troubled mind.
And he no sooner fpeaks, but all is still,
CH A P. XXI.
and variety of fish, is pot Nightly to be part over. We have not only several sorts of fish in our own leas, which are caught in their feasons ; but from several parts, especially the western parts of England, many fail of laips are fent yearly to the American parts of the world; as Newfoundland, New. England, &c. Whence every year is brought home, not only enough to supply our own nation, but many thousand pouods worth.allo yearly returned from Spain, and other countries; by which trade many thousand families do fubfift.
APPLICATION. But now, what returns do we make to heaven for these mer. cies ? O what notice is taken of the good hand of Providence, which thus supplies and feeds us with the blessings of the fea? I fear there are but few that own, or act in fubmillion to it, and are careful to return, according to received benefit. Men do pot consider, “ That their works are in the hand of God," Eccl. ix. I. And even those that have the most immcdiate depeodence upon Providence, as merchants aod leamea, yet are very prone to updertake desigas in the confidence of their own wil dom and industry; not looking higher for the blessing, Jam. iv. 13. They often “ facrifice to their own det, and burn inceale “ to their drag, because by them their portion is fat, and their “ meat plenteous," Hab. i. 16. viz. They attribute what is due to God unto the creature : now this is a sio highly provoking to the Lord; for look in what degree the heart cleaves to the second cause, in the same degree it departs from the liviog God, Jer. X. 5.
And how do you think the blessed God will take it, to see himlelf thus debased, and the creature thus exalted into bis place; to see you carry yourselves to the creature as to a God, and to the blessed God as to a crcature. Surely, it is a great
and common evil, and such as will blaft all, if not timely disa covered and lamented. If we make fleth our arm, it is just with God to wither and dry up the arm. Do we not, my brethren, look upon fecond causes, as if they had the main ftroke in our business? And with a 'neglective eye pass by God, as if he came in but collaterally, and on the bye, into it? But, certainly, all endeavours will be unsanctified, if not successless, in which God is not eyed and engaged.
" It is in vain for you to rise up early, and fit up late, and << eat the bread of forrows; for so he giveth his beloved fleep, Plalm cxxvii. 2. (i. e.) It is to no purpose for men to beat their brains, tire their spirits, and rack their consciences for an estate. The true way of acquiring and enjoying the creature, is by submitting quietly to the will of God, in a prudent and diligent, yet moderate use of lawful means: Nothing can thrive with us till then..
inyself of my peace, by these unbelieving eares and distractions ? O this hath been my fin! I have acted, as if my condition had been at my own dispose;. I have eyed creatures and means too. much, and God too little. How have my hands hanged down with discouragement, when fecond causes have disappeared, or wrought cross to my designs in the world, ready to transfer the fault on this thing, or that! And again, how apt am I to be vainly lifted up in carnal confidence, when I see myself competently
furnished with creature munition and provision ? Oh, what a God-provoking wickedness is this ! How oft hath providence checked my carnal presumption, and dashed many hopeful projects? Yet have I'not owned it, as I ought, and submitted to it. Oh, it is a wonder this hath not closed the hand of providence against me, and pulled down a curse upon all! Ah Lord, let me now learn « to acquaint myself with thee, " then shall I decree a thing, and it shall be established,” Job xxii. 28.
The PO E M.
His glorious name; not say, it came by chance.