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as to mortify them on earth? Surely, it is "profitable for me, "that one member perish, rather than that all be caft into "hell," Matth. v. 24. I fee the merchant willing to part with rich wares, if embarked with them in a florm: And those that have gangrened legs or arms, willingly ftretch them out to be cut off, to preserve life: : And fhall I be willing to endure no difficulties for my foul ? Christ reckoned fouls worth his blood : And is it not worth my self-denial? Lord, let me not warm a fnake in my bolom, that will at last sting me to the heart. The POE M.
HY foul's the fhip, its lading is its lufts,
God's judgments, ftormy winds, and dang❜rous gufts; Conscience the master; but the stubborn will Goes fupra cargo, and doth keep the bill: Affections are the men. The winds doth rife, The form increases: Conscience gives advice To throw those lufts o'erboard, and fo to ease The vessel, which else cannot keep the seas. The will opposes, and th' affections say, The mafter's counfel they will not obey. The cafe is dangerous, that no man can doubt, Who fees the storm within, and that without.“ Lufts and affections cannot part; no, rather, They are refolv'd to swim or fink together. Conscience still ftrives, but they cannot abide That it, or realon, fhould the cafe decide. Luft knows that reafon, in like cafes, fill Determines well: Then chufe ye whom ye will. Shall's make the devil judge? This case has been Before him, and he judg'd, that skin for skin, And all men have, they'll part with for their life. Then how unreafonable is this ftrife? They that their fins do with their perfons fhip, Do for their fouls prepare a dreadful whip.
CHA P. XX.
Chrift, with a word, can furging waves appease
HEN the fea works, and is tempeftuous, it is not in the power of any creature to appease it. When the Egyptians would by their hieroglyphics exprefs an impoflibility, they did it by the picture of a man treading upon the waves
It is ftoried of Canute, an antient Danish king, that when a mighty ftorm of flattery arose upon him, he appeafed it by fhewing that he could not appease the fea: But one of his courtiers told him, as he rode near the fea-fide, That he was Lord ⚫ of the sea, as well as land.' Well, (faid the king) we shall see that by and by;' and fo went to the water fide, and with a loud voice cried, O ye feas and waves, come no further, touch ⚫ not my feet.' But the fea came up, notwithstanding that charge, and confuted the Battery. But now Jefus Chrift hath command of them indeed: It is faid of him, Matth. viii. 26. That he rebuked them. And Mark iv. 38. He quiets them with a word, Peace, be ftill; as one would hufh a child, and it obeyed him.
APPLICATION. Confcience, when awakened by the terrors of the Lord, is like a raging tempeftuous fea; fo it works, fo it roars; and it is not in the power of all creatures to hufh or quiet it. Spiritual terrors, as well as fpiritual confolations, are not known till felt. O when the arrows of the Almighty are shot into the fpirit, and the terrors of God fet themselves in array against the foul; when the venom of those arrows drink up the fpirits, and thofe armies of terrors charge violently and fucceffively upon it, as Job vi. 4. What creature then is able to stand before them! Even God's own dear children have felt fuch terrors, as have diftracted them, Pfal. lxxxi. 15. Confcience is the seat of guilt; it is like a burning glafs, fo it contracts the beams of the threatnings, twists them together, and reflects them on the foul, until it smoke, fcorch, and flame. If the wrath of a king be Jike the roaring of a lion, then what is the Almighty's wrath! which is burning wrath, Job xix. 11. Tearing wrath, Pial. 1. 22. Surprizing wrath, Job xx. 23. And abiding wrath, Job iii. 36.
In this cafe no creature can relieve; all are phyficians of no value; fome under these terrors have thought hell more tole rable, and by a violent hand have thrust themselves out of the world into it, to avoid thefe gnawings: Yet Jefus Christ can quickly calm thefe myftical waves alfo, and hufh them with a word; yea, he is the Phyfician, and no other. It is the fprinkling of his blood, which, like a cooling fomentation, allays thofe heats within: That blood of fprinkling fpeaks peace, when all others have practifed upon the foul to no purpose; and the reafon is, because he is a Perfon in whom God and man, juftice and mercy, meet, and kifs each other, Eph. ii. 14, And hence faith fetches in peace to the foul, Rom. v. 1.
Can none appease a troubled conscience, but Chrift? Then learn, O my foul, to understand, and daily, more and more, to favour that glorious name, even Jefus, that delivers not only from the wrath to come, but that which is felt here alfo. O, if the foretaste of hell be fo intolerable, if a few drops, let fall on the conscience in this life, be fo fcalding and infufferable, what is it to have all the vials poured out to eternity, when there fhall be nothing to divert, mitigate, or allay it?
Here men have fomewhat to abate those terrors, fome hopes of mercy, at least a poffibility; but there is none. O my foul ! how art thou loaded with guilt! and what a Magormiffabib wouldst thou be,' fhould God roufe that fleepy lion in thy bofom! My condition is not at all the better, because my confcience is quiet. Ah, the day is coming, when it must awake, and will lighten and thunder terribly within me, if I get not into Chrift 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, nor flumber to my eye-lids, till I feel the comfort of that blood of fprinkling, which alone fpeaketh peace.
The POE M.
Among the dreadful works of God, I find
No metaphors to paint a troubled mind.
And fet a Barnabas at it's right hand;
These in themselves no comfort can afford,
'Tis Chrift, and none but Chrift, can speak the word.
And he no fooner speaks, but all is still,
Our food out of the fea God doth command;
HE providence of God in furnishing us with fuch plenty and variety of fish, is not flightly to be past over. We have not only feveral forts of fish in our own feas, which are caught in their feafons; but from feveral parts, especially the western parts of England, many fail of hips are fent yearly to the American parts of the world; as Newfoundland, NewEngland, &c. Whence every year is brought home, not only enough to fupply our own nation, but many thousand pounds worth.alfo yearly returned from Spain, and other countries; by which trade many thoufand families do fubfift.
But now, what returns do we make to heaven for these mercies? O what notice is taken of the good hand of Providence, which thus fupplies and feeds us with the bleffings of the fea? I fear there are but few that own, or act in fubmiffion to it, and are careful to return, according to received benefit. Men do not confider, "That their works are in the hand of God," Eccl. ix. 1. And even those that have the most immediate dependence upon Providence, as merchants and feamen, yet are very prone to undertake designs in the confidence of their own wif dom and industry; not looking higher for the bleffing, Jam. iv. 13. They often "facrifice to their own net, and burn incente "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 fin highly provok ing to the Lord; for look in what degree the heart cleaves to the fecond cause, in the fame degree it departs from the living God, Jer. x. 5.
And how do you think the bleffed God will take it, to fee himself thus debafed, and the creature thus exalted into bis place; to fee you carry yourselves to the creature as to a God, and to the bleffed God as to a creature. Surely, it is a great
and common evil, and such as will blast all, if not timely difcovered and lamented. If we make flesh our arm, it is juft with God to wither and dry up the arm. Do we not, my brethren, look upon fecond caufes, as if they had the main ftroke in our bufinefs? 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 unfanctified, if not fuccefslefs, 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 fo he giveth his beloved fleep," Pfalm cxxvii. 2. (i. e.) It is to no purpose for men to beat their brains, tire their fpirits, and rack their confciences for an eftate. The true way of acquiring and enjoying the creature, is by fubmitting quietly to the will of God, in a prudent and diligent, yet moderate ufe of lawful means: Nothing can thrive with us till then..
Why then should I difquiet myself in vain; and rob myfelf of my peace, by these unbelieving cares and diftractions? O this hath been my fin! I have acted, as if my condition had been at my own difpofe; 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 fee myself competently furnished with creature munition and provifion? Oh, what a God-provoking wickedness is this! How oft hath providence checked my carnal prefumption, and dashed many hopeful projects? Yet have I not owned it, as I ought, and fubmitted to it. Oh, it is a wonder this hath not clofed the hand of providence against me, and pulled down a curse upon all! Ah Lord, let me now learn "to acquaint myfelf with thee, "then shall I decree a thing, and it shall be established," Job
The POE M.
Nall the gifts of God we should advance
His glorious name; not fay, it came by chance.
Or to the idol of our prudence pay
The tribute of our praife, and go our way.