Obrazy na stronie


or, we shall hear a voice like that, Rev. xi. 12. “Come up hither, “ and immediately we shall be in the spirit ;" for how ardently foever, we long for that desirable day, Christ longs for it more than we can do.

4. The husbandman is glad of the first-fruits, that encourages him, though the greatest part be yet out: and have not you received the first-fruits of that glory? Have you not earnests, pledges, and first-fruits of it? T'is your own fault, if every day you feed not upon such blessed comforts of the spirit, Rom. viii. 23. Rom. v. 2. 1 Pet. viii. 9. () how might the interpofing time, even all the days of your patience here be sweetned with such prelibations of the glory to come! 5.

Husbandmen know.'tis best to reap, when 'tis fit to reap; one handful fully ripe, is worth many leaves of green corn. And you know, heaven will be sweetest to you when you are fittest for it; the child would pluck the apple whilst it's green, but he might gather it easier, and taste it sweeter, by tarrying longer for it. We would fain be glorified per faltum. When we have got a taste of heaven, we are all in haste to be gone. Then, that I had wings as a dove ! I would fly away and be at rest.

Then we cry to God for ourselves, as Moses for his fifter Miriam, “ Heal her (now), O God, I beseech thee!" Numb. xii. 13. Glorify me now, O Lord, I pray thee! But,

I surely, as God hath contrived thy glory in the best of ways, so he hath appointed for thee the fittest of feasons; and whenever thou art gathered into glory, thou shalt come as a fhock of corn in its season.

The longing

I have waited for thy falvation, O God! HaJoul's reflection. ving received thy first-fruits, my soul longs to

fill its bosom with the full ripe fheaves of glory : “ As the hart panteth for the water-brooks, so pantech my

foul for thee, O God! O when shall I come and appear « before God!" I desire to be diffolved and to be with Christ! When shall I fee that most lovely face? When shall I hear his foul-transporting voice! Some need patience to die: I need it as much to live. Thy fights, O God, by faith, have made this world a burthen, this body a burden, and this soul to cry, like thirsty David, “O that one would give me of to the waters of Bethlehem to drink!” The husbandman longs for his harvest, because it is the reward of all his toil and labour. But what is his harvest to mine? What is a little corn to the enjoyment of God? What is the joy of harveft to the joy of heaven? What are the shoutings of men

in the fields to the acclamations of glorified spirits in the king-
dom of God ? Lord, I have gone forth, bearing more precious
feed than they; when shall I return rejoicing, bringing my
heaves with me? Their harvest comes when they receive their
corn ; mine comes when I leave it. O much defired! O
day of gladness of iny heart! How long, Lord! how long !
Here I wait as the poor man at Bethesda's Pool, looking when
my turn will come, but every one steps into heaven before me;
yet, Lord, I am content to wait 'till my time is fully come: I
would be content to stay for my glorification 'till I have finish-
ed the work of my generation ; and when I have done the will
of God, then to receive the promise. If thou have any work
on earth, to use me in, I am content to abide : behold, the huf.
bandman waiteth, and so will I; for thou art a God of judg-
ment; and blessed are all they that wait for thee.
But how doth

slothful foul sink down

The lingring into the flesh, and settle itself in the love of this animal life? How doth it hug and wrap

Joul's reflection. up itself in the garment of this mortality, not defiring to be removed hence to the more perfect and blessed state? The husbandman is indeed content to stay 'till the appointed weeks of the harvest; but would he be content to wait always ? O my sensual heart! is this life of hope as contentful to thee, as the life of vision will be? Why dost thou not groan within thyself, that this mortality might be swallowed up of life? Doth not the scripture describe the faints by their earnest looking for the mercy of our Lord Jefus unto eternal life? Jude 21. “ By their haftening unto the coming of the day « of God,” 2 Pet. iii. 12. What is the matter, that my

heart hangs back ? Doth guilt lie upon my conscience? Or, have I gotten into a pleasant condition in the world, which makes me lay as Peter on the mount, It is good to be here? Or want I the affiurance of a better state ? Must God make all my earthly comforts die, before I shall be willing to die? Awake faith, awake my love; beat up the drowsy desires of my soul, that I may say, “Make hafte my beloved, and come away."

The P. OEM
O prudent husbandman expects

The fruit of what he fows,
Till every caufe have its effects,

And then he reaps and mows :
He works in hope the year throughout,

And counts no labour lost,

If, when the season comes about,

His harvest quits his cost.
His rare example juftly may

Rebuke, and put to shame
My soul ; which sows its seed one day,

And looks to reap the fame.
Is cursed nature now become

So kind a foil to grace,
That to perfection it should come

Within so short a space ?
Grace springs not up with feed and ease,

Like mushrooms in a night;
But rather, by degrees increase,

As doth the morning light.
Is:corn so dear to husbandmen ?

Much more is heaven to me.
Why should not I have patience, then,

To wait as well as he ?
To promises, appointed years

By God's decrees, are fet;
These once expired, beyond its fears

My foul shall quiekly get.
How small a part of hasty time,

Which quickly will expire,
Doth me within this world confine,
And then comes my

Come, Lord ! how long my soul hath gafp'd!


affections warms;
O when thall my poor foul be clafp'd

In it's Redeemer's arms!
The time feems long; yet here I'll lie,

Till thou, my God, do call :
It is enough, eternity

Will make amends for all.


Upon the Harvest-Season.
Corn, fully ripe, is reap'd, and gather'd in :
So muft yourselves, when ripe in grace, or fin.


HEN the fields are white to harveft, then husband-

men walk through them, rub the ears ; and finding




the grain full and solid, they presently prepare their scythes and fickles; send for their harveft-men, who quickly reap and mow them down ; and after thefe follow the binders, who tie it up; from the field, where it grew, it is carried to the barn, where it is threshed out; the good grain gathered into an heap, the chaff feparated and burnt, or thrown to the dung-hill. How bare and naked do the fields look after harvest, which before were pleasant to behold? When the harvest-men enter into the field, it is (to allude to that, Joel ii. 3.) before them, like the garden of Eden, and behind them a desolate wildernefs ; and, in some places, 'tis usual to set fire to the dry stubble, when the corn is housed; which rages furiously, and covers it all with athes.

HE application of this, I find made to my hands by Christ

himself, in Mat. xiii. 38, 39. “The field is the world; " the good feed are the children of the kingdom ; the tares are “ the children of the wicked one ; the enemy that fowed them * is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reap

ers are the angels."

The field is the world ; there both the godly and ungodly live and grow together, 'till they be both ripe ; and then they Thall both be reaped down by death: death is the sickle, that reaps down both. I will open this allegory in the following particulars :

1. In a catching harvest, when the husbandman fees the clouds begin to gather, and grows black, he hurries in his corn with all poflible hafte, and houses it day and night.

So doth God, the great Husbandman; he hurries the saints into their graves, when judgments are coming upon the world ; Ifa. lvii. 1. “The righteous perish, and no man layeth it to * heart ; and merciful men are taken away, none considering “ that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come." Mes thufelah died the year before the food; Augustin a little before the facking of Hippo ;-Pareus just before the taking of Heidelburgh ; Luther a little before the wars broke out in Germany, But what fpeak I of fingle saints ? Sometimes the Lord houses great numbers together, before some sweeping judgment comes. How many bright and glorious stars did set almost together within the compass of a few years, to the astonishment of many wife and tender hearts in England ? I find fome of them thus ranked in a funeral elegy:

Vol. VI.

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

The learned Twife went first (it was his right :)
Then holy Palmer, Burroughs, Love, Gouge, White,
Hill, Whitaker, grave Gataker and Strong,
Perme, Marthal, Robinson, all gone along,
I have not nam'd them half; their only strife
Hath been (of late) who should first part with life.
These few who yet furvive, fick of this age,

Long to have done their parts, and leave the stage. The Lord fees it better for them to be under-ground, than above-ground ; and, therefore, by a merciful providence, sets them out of harm's way.

2. Neither the corn, nor tares, can possibly relift the sharp and keen fickle, when it is applied to them by the reaper's hand; neither can the godly or ungodly resist the stroke of death, when God infliéts it ; Eccl. viii. 8. “No man can keep 6 alive his own soul in the day of death ; and there is no dis. “ charge in that war." The frail body of man is as unable to withstand that stroke, as the weak reeds, or feeble stalks of the corn, are to resist the keen scythe and sharp fickle.

3. The reapers receive the wheat, which they cut down, into their arms and bofom. Hence that expreffion, by way of imprecation upon the wicked, Psalm cxxix. 6, 7. “Let them be as « the grass upon the house-top, which withers before it grows

up; wherewith the mower filleth not his hand, nor he that « bindeth sheaves, his bosom." Such withered grafs are the wicked, who are never taken into the reaper's bofom ; but as foon as saints are cut down by death, they fall into the hands and bosoms of the angels of God, who bear them in their arms and bofoms to God their father, Luke xvi. 22. For look, as these blessed spirits did exceedingly rejoice at their conversion, Luke xv. 10. and thought it no dishonour to minister to them, whilst they stood in the field, Heb. i. 14.

So when they are cut down by death, they will rejoice to be their convoy to hea



When the corn and weeds are reaped or mowed down, they shall never grow any more in that field ; neither shall we ever return to live an animal life any more after death, Job vii. 9, 10. “ As the cloud is consumed, and vanisheth away; 56 so he that goeth down to the grave, shall come up no more ; - he fhall return no more to his house, neither shall his place 56 know him any more.'

Lastly, (to come home to the particular subjectof this chapter) the reapers are never sent to cut down the harvest 'till it be fully ripe ; neither will God reap down faints or finners 'uill

« PoprzedniaDalej »