Obrazy na stronie
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Thus fouls for ruin are prepar'd.
What! trust no farther than you fee,
You'll trust a thief as far as me.
Deluded wretch ! Will nought but fight
And sense convince thee? O how right,
How juft is God? whose direful fcourge
Such arguments in hell shall urge.

WORL D.
Chrift threatens wrath to come, but I
Do threaten thee with poverty.
And why wilt thou thyself, and those
That are so dear, to want expose!
Come fee, the faints, for all their brags,
How well they thrive, they're cloath'd with rags..

CHRIST.
If my dear faints in rags do go,
'Tis not religion cloaths them fo;
But by such wants the Lord

prepares
Their fouls against the killing snares :
They all are heirs, tho' under age,
Expectants of theirlheritage :
Kept short for present, yet contemn
A change with those that scoff at them.

WORLD.
It is in vain to plead, for I
With present things charm pow'rfully;
Whate'er thou offer'ft, they'll despise,
I hold them pris'ners by their eyes.

CHRIST.
If they will serve no other Lord,
Then let it stand upon record,
Against their souls, that they refus'd
My wages, and my grace abus'd.
Remember this when they shall see
All turn'd to ashes that's in thee.

ANOTHER.
TONE will deny but those are blefsed pains

Which are attended with the richest gains. Grant this, and then moft clearly 'tis inferr'd, Soul-work to all deserves to be preferr'd. This is an unknown trade: O who can count To what the gains of godliness amount ? For one poor shilling, O what risques some run ? Some toiling, as i'th' fire, from fun to sun.

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Whereas one hour spent with God brings in
Such heav'nly treasures, that poor souls have been
Enrich'd for ever. Even as you see
A prince's favourite, upon the knee,
Can in an hour's time more wealth obtain,
Than all your lives by labour you can gain.
Pray'r-gains are great, and quick returns are made,
Sure then the Christian drives the richest trade.
'Tis true, the hypocrite that never drove
A serious trade for heav'n, may bankrupt prove :
But holy fouls, which mind, and closely ply
Their bus’ness, greatly are enrich'd thereby;
The diff'rence 'twixt the one, and other's best
By such a fimile as this, exprest:
As in a summer's day you often see
The wanton butterfly, and painful bee;
On fragrant flowers fix, whence one doth strive
To bear his precious burden to the hive;
The other's pains no profit with it brings,
His time is spent in painting of his wings.
When winter comes, the bee hath full supplies,
The other creeps into an hole, and dies.
Like different events shall be betwixt
The painful faint, and lazy notionist.

,

CHAP. III.
Upon the chearfulness of the Husbandman.
The plowman fings, and whistles, though he sweat,
Shall Christians droop, because their work is great?

OBSERVATION. THOUGH the labours of husbandmen are very great, and them? It is very delightful to hear the melody they make, by

as they follow the plow, yea, the very horses have their bells, which make a pleasant noise. Horses (faith Mr. Fuller) will do more for a whistle than a whip; and their bells do, as it were, gingle away their weariness. I have been often delighted with this country music, whereby they sweeten their hard labours with an innocent pleasure, and verify the faying of the poet';

Tempus in agrorum cultu confumere dulce eft. Ovid.
Altho' they plow from morning until night,

BUT

You may

Time steals away with pleasure and delight.

APPLICATIO N.
UT how much greater cause have the people of God to

address themselves unto his work with all chearfulness of spirit ? And, indeed, so far as the heart is fpiritual, it de. lights in its duties. "Tis true, the work of a Christian is pain. ful, and much more spending, than the husbandman's (as was opened chapı 1.) but then it as much exceeds in the delights and pleasures that attend it. What is the Christian's work, but « with joy to draw water out of the wells of salvation ?". Ifa. xii. 3.

fee what a pleasant path the path of duty is, by the chearfulness of those that have walked in them, Pfal. cxix. 14. “I have rejoiced in the way of thy judgments,

as much as in all riches.". And by the promises that are made to such, Psal. cxxxviii. 5. " Yea, they shall fing in the " ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.” And again, “ You shall have a song as in the night, when an “ holy solemnity is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one s goeth with a pipe, to come to the mountain of the Lord, to s the mighty one of Ifrael,” Ifa. XXX. 29.

And, lastly, by the many commands, whereby joy in the way of the Lord is made the duty of the faints. “Rejoice in “ the Lord, ye righteous, for praise is comely for the upright," Psal. xcvii. 12. “Rejoice, and again I say rejoice,” Phil. iv. 4. where the command is doubled, yea, not only simple rejoicing, but the highest degree of that duty comes within the command. Psal. cxxxii. 9, 16. “ Shout for joy, all ye that are upright in “ Þeart.” And Luke vii. 22, 23. they that are bid to leap for joy, when about the difficultest part of their work. And that you may see there is a sufficient ground for it, and that it is not like the mad mirth of finners, be pleased to consider,

1. The nature of the work about which they are employed : It is the most excellent, and heavenly employment, that ever souls were acquainted with. O what a ravishing, and delightful thing it is, to walk with God! And yet by this, the whole work of a Chriftian is expressed, Gen. xvii. 1. Can any life compare with this, for pleasure? Can they be chill that walk in the sun-fhine? Or fad, that abide in the fountain of all delights; and walk with him whose name is the God of all comfort, 2 Cor. i. 3. “In whose presence is the fulness of joy," Pfal. xvi. II.

O what an angelical life doth a Christian then live?

Or, 2dly, If we consider the variety of spiritual employ. ments, Varietas dele&tat. Change of employment takes off

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the tedioufness of labour. Variety of voices pleases the ear, variety of colours delight the eye, the fame meat prepared feveral ways, pleases the palate more, and clogs it less. But O the variety of choice dishes wherewith God entertains his people in a Sabbath! as the word, prayer, facraments, &c. Ifa. lviii. 13. If thou call the Sabbath thy delights ; or, as Tremellius renders it, thy delicate things. “ My soul (faith David) shall “ be satisfied, as with marrow and fatness," Pfalm lxiii. s.

3dly, Or laftly, If we consider the suitableness of this work to a regenerate ioul. Is it any pain for a bird to fly ? Or a fish to fwim? Is the eye tired with beautiful objects? Or the ear with melodious sounds ? As little can a spiritual soul be wearied with spiritual and heavenly exercises. Rom. vii. 22. “I de. a light in the law of God after the inner man."

Gravia non gravitant in eorum loco, (faith the philosopher) weighty things are not heavy in their own element, or center. And lurel y God is the center of all gracious fpirits. A faint can fit from morning to night to hear discourses of the love and loveliness of Jesus Christ. The sight of your thriving flocks, and flourishing fields, cannot yield you that pleasure which an upright foul can find in one quarter of an hour's communion with God. “They that are after the flesh, (faith the apostle, " Rom. viii 5.) do mind the things of the flesh, and they that

are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” But then look how much heavenly objects tranfcend earthly ones, and how much the foul is more capable of delight in those objects, than the gross and duller senses are in theirs ; so much doth the pleasure arising from the duty excel all sensitive delights on earth.

R E F L E CTION S. How am I caft and condemned by The carnal heart's this, may Isay; who never favoured this reflection. {piritual delight in holy duties. When I am about my earthly employments, I can go on unweariedly from day to day; all the way is down-hill to my nature, and the wheels of my affections being oiled with carnal delight, 'tun so fast, that they have need most times of trigging. Here I rather need the curb, than the spur. O how fleet and nimble are my fpirits in these their pursuits! but whát a slug am I in religious duties ! sure if my heart were renewed by grace, I should delight in the law of God, Rom. vii. 22. All the world is alive in their ways, every creature enjoys his proper pleasure; and is there no delight to be found in the paths of

VOL. VI.

holiness ? Is godliness only a dry root, that bears no pleafart fruits ? No, no, there are doubtless, incomparable pleasures to be found therein ; but such a carnal heart as mine favours them nor.

I cannot fay but I have found delight in reThe hypocrite's ligious duties, but they have been only such as reflection. rather sprang from the ostentation of gifts

and applauses of men, than any sweet and real communion I have had with God through them; they have rather proved food, and fuel to my pride, than food to my foul. Like the nightingale, I can sing sweetly, when I observe others to listen to me, and be affected with my music. O false, deceitful heart, such delight as this will end in howling! were my spirit right, it would as much delight in retirements for the enjoyment of God, as it doth in those duties that are most exposed to the observation of man. Will such a spring as this maintain a stream of affections, when carnal motives fail What wilt thou answer, O my soul ! to that question ? Job xxvii. 9, 10. “ Will God hear his cry

when trouble comes “ upon him ? Will be delight himself in the Almighty? “ Will he always call upon God ?” What wilt thou reply to this question? Deceive not thou thyself, O my soul ! thou wilt doubtless be easily perfuaded to let go that thou never delighteft in, and, from an hypocrite in religion, quickly become an apoftate from religion. The upright heart's

From all this, the upright heart takes reflection.

advantage to rouze up its delight in God,

and thus it expoftulateth with itself: Doth the plowman fing amida his drudging labours, and whistle away

his weariness in the fields; and Thall I droop amidst such heavenly employment ? O my soul, what wantest thou here, to provoke thy delight ? If there be such an affection as delight in thee, methinks fuch an object as the bleffed face of God in ordinances, should excite it. Ah! how would this ennoble all my services, and make them angel-like! how glad are thofe bleffed creatures to be employed for God? No sooner were they created, but they sang together, and thouted for joy, Job. xxxviii. 7. How did they fill the air with heavenly melody, when fent to bring the joyful tidings of a Saviour to the world ? Afcribing glory to God in the highest, even to the highest of their powers ; yea, this delight would make all my duties Christ-like; and the nearer that pattern, the more exu cellent: he delighted to do his Father's will, it was to him meat and drink, Pfalm xl. 7. Jolin iv. 32, 34.

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