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case with me alone? and how sweetly hath it expoftulated with me? How clearly hath it convinced of fin, danger, duty, with Arong demonstration? How terrible hath it menaced my foul, and let the point of the threatpiog at my very breast? And yet my head-trong affections will not be remanded by it. I have obeyed the voice of every lust and temptation, Tit. iii. 3. but conscience hath lost its authority with me. Ah Lord ! what a sad condition am I in, both in respect of fio and misery? My fin receives dreadful aggravations, for rebellion and prefumption are hereby added to it. I have violated the ftrongeft bonds that ever were laid upon a creatore. If my conscience had not thus conviaced and warned, the fin had not been lo great and crimion-coloured, Jam. iv. 17. Ah! this is to fin with an high hand, Numb xv. 30. to come near to the great and unpardonable transgression, Pfalm xix. 13. O how dreadful a way of franiog is this, with opened eyes! and as my fin is thus out of measure fioful, fo my punishment will be out of meafure dreadfui, if I perfilt in this rebellion. Lord ! thou haft said, Such fhall be beaten with many Atripes, Luke xii. 48. yea, Lord, and if ever my conscience, which by rebellion is now growa filent, should be in judgment awakened in this life; O! what an hell Tould I have within me how would it thonder and roar upon me, and surround me with terrors ?..
Thy word asfures me, that no length of time can wear out of its memory what I have done, Gen. xlii. 21. no violence of force can fupprefsit, Mat. xxvii. 4. no greatness of power can Kifle it ; it will take the mightiest monarch by the throat, Exod. X. 16. Dao. v. 6. no music, pleafures, or delights, can charm it, Job. xx. 22, o conscience ! thou art the sweetest friend, or the dreadfullest enemy in the world; thy confolations are in. comparably sweet, and thy terrors infupportable. Ah! let me stand it out no longer against conscience ; the very ship is which I fail, is a confutation of my madoess, that rosh greedily into fin against both reason and conscience, and will not be commanded by it; (urely, O my soul, this will be bitternels in the end.
The PO E M.
The rudder; he that fits at helm, may fway
My daughty heart, to shuffle in and out,
Thro' many fears and dangers seamen run,
and dangers, Pfal. cvii. 25, 26, 27. “He commandeth " aod raiseth the stormy winds, which lifteth up the waves " thereof; they mount up to heaven, they go down again to " the depths, their foul is melted because of trouble ; they " reel to and fro, they ftagger like a drunken man ; they are at " their wits end." Or, as it is in the Hebrew, ' “ All wisdom " is swallowed up." Suitable to which is that of the poet *.
“ The Pilot knows not what to chuse, or flee;
“ Art stands amaz'd in ambiguity,". O what a strange and miraculous deliverance have many feamen had ? How often have they yielded themselves for dead men, and verily thought the next fea would have swallowed them up? How earnestly then do they cry for mercy? and, like the Corinthians, can pray in a storm, though they regard it dot at other times, Plal. cvii. 28. Jogah i, 5, 6
* Rector in incerto eft : nec quid fugiat petat
power of God in raising them, and the abundant goodaess of God in preferviog poor creatures in then.
1. The power of God is gracioully manifested io raisog them; the wind is one of the Lord's wonders, Pfal. cvii. 24, 25. “They that go down to the sea, see the works of the « Lord, and his (wonders] in the deep; for he commandeth “ and raiseth the stormy winds." Yea, ver. 18. God appropropriates it as a peculiar work of his ; “ He caufeth, his [wind “ to blow.]" Heace he is faid, in Scripture, " to briug them “ forth out of his treasury," Psal. cxxxvi. 7. there they are locked up, and reserved, not a guft can break forth, till he command and call for it to go and execute bis pleafure : Yea, he is said to “ bold them in his fift," Prov. XXX. 4. What is more incapable of holding than the wind ? yet God holds it; although it be a strong and terrible creature, he controuls and rules it: yea, the Scripture sets forth God, " as riding upon “ the wings of the wind," Pfal. xviii. 1o. It is a borrowed speech from the mapper of men, who when they would shew their pomp and greatnels, ride upon fome Nately horte, or chariot ; so the Lord, to manifeft the greatness of his power, rides upon the 'wings of the wind, and will be admired in fo terrible 2 creature.
And go less of his glorious power appears in remanding them, than in raising them. The heathens afcribe this power to their god Acolus, but we know this is the royalty, and fole prerogative of the truc God, who made heaven and earth; it is be that "makes the storm a calm, Pfal. cuti. 29. apd it is he that
" Thifts and changes them from point to point, as he plealeth; for he hath appoioted them their circuits, Eccief. i. 7. “ The wind “ goeth towards the fouth, and turneth about unto the dorth; it “ Whirleth about continually, and returneth again according to • its circuits."''
2. And as we should adore his power in the wiods, fo ought we to admire his goodness in preserving men in the height of all their fury add violence. O what a marvellous work of God is here! that men should be kept in a poor weak veffel, upon the wild and stormy. ocean, where the wiod hath its full stroke upon them, and they are driven before it, as a wreck upon the feas; yet, I say, that God should preserve you there, is a work of infinite goodness and power. That those winds which do rend the very earth, mountains, and rocks, 1 Kings xix. 11. “ Breaks the cedars, yea, the cedars of Lebanon, thakes the « wilderness, and makes the hinds to calve," Pfal. xxix. 5, 8,%.
9 which naturalists say bring forth with greatest difficulty ; ture
19 your preservation, in such tempests, is an astonishing work of mercy. O how dreadful is this creature, the wind, Some times to you ! and how doth it make your hearts shake withia
If but a plauk spring, or a bole give way, you are all loft.
Sometimes the Lord, for the magoifying of the riches of bis goodness upon you, drives you to such exigencies, that, as Paul speaks, in a like case, Acts xxvii. 20. “ All hope of * being faved is taken away;" nothing but death before your eyes. The Lord commands a wiod out of his treasury, bids it go and lift up the terrible waves, lock you in upon the fhorc, and drive you upon the rocks, fo that no art can fave you ; and then fends you a piece of wreck, or some other mcans, to land you safe : And all this to give you an experiment of his goodacfs and pity, that you may learn to fear that God ia wbofe hand your soul and breath are.
! And it may be, for the prefest, your hearts are much af. fe&ted; conscience works Itrongly, it smites you for fins fora merly committed, fuch and Tuch counfels of ministers, or te lations flighted. Now, faith conscience, God is come in this storm to reckon with thee for these things. Bur, alas! all this is but a moroing dew; no fooner is that form without allayed, but all is quiet within too. How little of the goodness of God abides kindly, and effectually upon the heart?
REFLECTION. How often hath this glorious power and goodness of God passed before me in dreadful forms and tempests at fea! He hath uttered his voice in these stormy winds, and spoken in a terrible manner by thein ; yet how little have I been affected with it? “ The Lord hath his way in the whirlwiod, and in “ the storm," Nah. i. 3. To fome he hath walked in ways of judgment and wrath, sending them down in a moment to hell; but to me in a way of forbearance and mercy. - Ah! how of teo have I been upon the very brink of eteroity! had oot God thifted, or allayed the wind, in a moment, I had gone down into hell. What workings of conscience were at present upon me? And what terrible apprehen soos had 'I theo of my eternal condition? What vows did I make in that distress? And how carnestly did I then beg for mercy? But, Lord, though thy vows are upon me, yet have I been the fame; yea, added to, and filled up the measure of my fios. Neither the bonds of mercy thou hast laid upon me, nor the facred and folemn vows I have laid upon myself, could restrain me from those ways of iniquity, which then appeared so dreadful to me.
Ahi Lord, what an heast have 1? What love, piry, and
goodness, have I fioned against ? If God had bot respited judge meat fo long, what a mercy were it. Sure I am, the damped would account it fo; but to give me such a space to repedt, ah! what an invaluable mercy is this? And do I thus requite the Lord, Deut. xxxii. 6. apd pervert and abuse his goodness thus ? Surely, O my soul, if this be the fruit of all thy pretervatioos, they are rather reservations to some farther and forer judgments. How dreadfully will justice at last avenge the quar. rel of abufed mercy, Josh. xxiv. 20. How grievously did God take it from the lfraelites, that they provoked him at the fea, aven at the red-lea ? Psal. cvi. 7. where God had wrought their deliverance in such a miraculous way. Even thus have I finoed after the fimilitude of their transgressions ; not only agaiost the laws of God, but agaiolt the love of God. In the last storm he shot off his warning piece, in the next, he may discharge his murderiog piece against my soul and body. O my foul ! hath he given thee “ such deliverances as these, and darest thou
again break his commandments," Ezra ix. 13, 14. O let me pay the vows that my lips have uttered in my distress, left the Lord recover his glory from me in a way of judgment.
The POE M.
E'er the desired port it gaios, may find'