Obrazy na stronie

They can't be batter'd, fcal'd, or under min'd:
And thefe, environ'd by them, daily find
Their bread afcertain d; waters too icquid ::
Then hour and fing, ye that are thus immur'd.


What dangers run they for a little gains,
Who, for their fouls, would ne'er take half the pains!



OW exceeding folicitous and adventurous are feamen for a small portion of the world? How prodigal of trength and life for it? They will run to the ends of the earth, engage in a thousand dangers, upon the hopes and probability of getting a small eltate. Permare, per terras, per mille peri cula currunt, Hopes of gain make them willing to adventure their liberty, yea, their life, and encourage them to endure heat, cold, and hunger, and a thousand traits and difficulties, to which they are frequently exposed,

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How hot and eager are mens affections after the world! and how remifs and cold towards things eternal! they are careful, and troubled about many things; but seldom mind the great and neceflary matter, Luke x 40. They can rife early, go to bed late, and eat the bread of carefulpefs; but when did they fo deny themselves for their poor fouls ? Their heads are full of defigns and projects to get, or advance an eftate: "We will go "into fuch a city, continue there a year, and buy and fell, and get gain," James iv. 13. This is the copyor, the master-defign, which eagroffeth all their time, ftudies, and contrivances. The will hath paft a decree for it, the heart and affections are fully let out to it, They will be rich, 1 Tim, vi. This decree of the will, the Spirit of God takes deep notice of; and indeed it is the cleareft, and falleft difcovery of a man's portion and condition: for look what is highest in the estimation, first and laft in the thoughts, and upon which we spend our time and ftrength with delight; certainly, that is our treasure, Matth. vi. 20, 21. The heads and hearts of faints are full of folicitous cares and fears about their fpiritual condition; the great defign they drive on, to which all other things are but [apipya], things on the by, is to make fure their calling and election. This is the pondus the weight and bias of their spirit; if VOL. VI... Mm

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their hearts ftray and wander after any other thing, this reduces them again.


Lord, this hath been my manner from my youth, may the carnal minded man fay; I have been labouring for the meat that perisheth; difquieting myself in vain, full of designs and projects for the world, and unwearied in my endeavours to compafs an earthly treafure; yet therein I have either been checked and disappointed by Providence, or if I have obtained, yet I am no fooner come to enjoy that content and comfort I promifed myfelf in it, but I am ready to leave it all, to be stript out of it by death, and in that day all my thoughts perish: But, in the mean time, what have I done for my foul? When did F ever break a night's fleep, or deny and pinch myself for it? Ah! fool, that I am! to nourish and pamper a vile body, which must shortly lie under the clods, and become a loathfome carcafe; and, in the mean time, neglect and undo my poor foul, which partakes of the nature of angels, and muft live for ever. I have kept others vineyards, but mine own vineyard I have not kept? I have been a perpetual drudge and slave to the world; in a worse condition hath my foul been, than others that are condemned to the mines. Lord, change my treasure, and change my heart: O let it fuffice that I have been thus long labouring on the fire, for very vanity: now gather up my heart and affections in thyself, and let my great defign now be, to secure a fpecial intereft in thy bleffed felf, that I may once fay, "To me 66 to live is Chrift."

The POE M.

HE face of man imprefs'd and ftamp'd on gold,


With crown, and royal fceptres, we behold.

No wonder that a human face it gains,

Since head, heart, foul, and body, it obtains.
Nor is it frange a feeptre it should have,
That to its yoke the world doth fo enflave.
Charm'd with its chinking note, away they go,
Like eagles to the carcafs, ride and row.
Thro' worlds of hazards foolish créatures run,
That into its embraces they may come.
Poor Indians, in the mines, my heart condoles,
But feldom turns afide to pity fouls,

Which are the flaves, indeed, that toil, and spend
Themselves upon its fervice. Surely, friend,
They are but fextons, to prepare, and make
Thy grave, within those mines, whence they do take

And dig their ore. Ah! many fouls, I fear,
Whose bodies live, yet lie entombed there.
Is gold fo tempting to you?
Lo! Chrift ftands,
With length of days, and riches in his hands.
Gold in the fire try'd he freely proffers,

But few regard, or take thofe golden offers.

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Millions of creatures in the feas are fed:
Why then are faints in doubt of daily bread?



Here are multitudes of living creatures in the fea. The Pfalmift faith, there are in it, "Things creeping innu❝merable, both small and great beasts," Pfal. civ. 25. and we read, Gen. i. zo. that when God bleffed the waters, he said, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly, both fish and fowl, that

move in it, and fly about it." Yet all thofe multitudes of fish and fowl, both in fea and land, are cared and provided for.. Pfal. cxlv. 15, 16. "Thou giveft them their meat in due fea"fon: thou openeft thy hand, and fatisfieft the defire of every "living thing."

APPLICATIO N. If God take care for the fishes of the fea, and the fowls of the air, much more will he care and provide for thofe that fear him. "When the poor and needy fecketh water, and there ❝is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst; I, the Lord, will "hear them; I, the God of Ifrael, will not forfake them," Ifa. xli. 17. "Take no thought for your life, (faith the Lord) "what ye shall eat, or what ye fhall drink; or for the body, "what ye shall put on :" Which he backs with an argument from God's providence over the creatures, and enforceth it with a [much rather] upon them, Matth. vi. 25, 31. God would have his people be without carefulness, (i. e.) anxious care, 1 Cor. vii. 32. "And to call their care upon him, for he "careth for them," 1 Pet. v. 7. There are two main arguments fuggefted in the gospel, to quiet and fatisfy the hearts of faints in this particular: the one is, that the gift of Jefus Christ amounts to more than all these things come to; yea, in beflowing him, he has given that which virtually and eminently comprehends all these inferior mercies in it, Rom. viii. 32. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all; how shall he not with him freely give us all things?"

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And 1 Cor. iii. 22. "All things are yours, and ye are Chrift's t "and Chrift is God's." Another argument is, that God gives these temporal things to those he never gave his Chrift unto, and therefore there is no great matter in them; yea, to thote which, iu a little while, are to be thraft into hell, Plaim xvi 14. Now if God clothe and feed his enemies, if (to allude to that, Luke xii. 28.) he clothe the grafs, which to-day is in its pride and glory in the field, and to-morrow is caft into the oven, into hell: how much more will he clothe and provide for you that are faints?

This God, that feeds all the creatures, is your Father, and a Father that never dies; and therefore you shall not be as expofed orphans, that are the children of fuch a Father. “For he "hath faid, I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” Heb. ii. 3. I have read of a good woman, that in all wants and diftreffes was wont to encourage herself with that word, 2 Sam. Xxii. 47. The Lord liveth. But one time, being in a deep di Arefs, and forgetting that confolation, one of her little children came to her, and faid, Mother, why weep ye fo? What is • God dead now? Which words, from a child, shamed her out of her unbelieving fears, and quickly brought her spirits to rest. O faint, whilst God lives, thou canst not want what is good for thee.

How sweet a life might Christians live, could they but bring their hearts to a full fubjection to the difpofing will of God? to be content not only with what he commands and approves, but also with what he allots and appoints. It was a fweet reply, that a gracious woman once made upon her death-bed, to a friend that asked, Whether the were more willing to live, or die? She answered, I am pleafed with what God pleateth." Yea. (faid her friend), but if God should refer it to you, which ⚫ would you chufe?'' Truly, (faid she) if God would refer it to me, i would refer it to him again.' Ah! bleffed life, when the will is fwallowed up in the will of God, and the heart at rest in his care and love, and pleated with all his appoint



I remember my fault this day, may many a gracious foul fay. Ah! how faithless and diftruftul have I been, notwithstanding the great fecurity God hath given to my faith, both in his word and works! O my foul, thon haft greatly finned there in, and difhonoured thy Father! I have been worfe to my Fa ther, than my children are to me. They trouble nor their thoughts with what they hall eat or drink, or put on, but

truft to my care and, provifion for that; yet I cannot trust my Father, though I have ten thousand times more reafon so to do, than they have to trust me, Matth. vii. 21. Surely, unless I were jealous of my Father's affection, I could not be to dubious of his provifion for me. Ah! I fhould rather wonder that I have fo much, than repine that I have no more. I should rather have been troubled that I have done no more for God, than that I have received no more from God. I have not proclaimed it to the world by my converfation, that I have found a fufficiency in him alone, as the faints have done, Hab. iii. 17, 18. How have I debased the faithfulness and all fufficiency of God, and magnified thefe earthly trifles, by my anxiety about them? Had I had more faith, a light purfe would not have made fuch an heavy heart. Lord, how often haft thou convinced me of this folly, and put me to the bluth, when thou haft confuted my unbelief! so that I have relolved never to distrust thee more, and, yet new exigencies renew this corruption. How contradictory alfo hath my heart and my prayers been? I pray for them conditionally, and with fubmiffion to thy will; I dare not fay to thee, I must have them; yet this hath been the lage guage of my heart and life. O convince me of this folly ! The POE M.

Ariety of curious fifli are caught

Out of the fea, and to our tables brought;
We pick the choicest bits, and then we lay,
We are fufficed; come, now, take away.
The table's voided, you have done; but fain
I would perfuade to have it brought again.
The sweetest bit of all remains behind,


Which, through your want of skill, you could not find.
A bit for faith, have you not found it?
I've made but half a meal; come, tafte again,
Haft thou confider'd, O my foul! that hand
Which feeds thofe multitudes in fea and land!
A double mercy in it thou shouldst fee;

h fed them first, and then with them fed thee.
Food in the waters we thould think were fcant
For fuch a multitude, yet none do want.
What num'rous flocks of birds about me fly?
When faw one, through want, fall down, and die?
They gather what his hand to them doth bring,
Tho' but a worm, and at that feast can sing.

How full a table doth my Father keep?

Blush, then, my naughty heart, repent, and weep;

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