« 前へ次へ »
Sagacity of the one to influence, and govern; the Readiness of the other to obey, and be actuated; The Sprightliness and Vigor; or else the Heaviness and Disorder, and reciprocal Disabilities, which each of these convey to the other, are most certainly the Lord's doing, and ought to be marvellous in our Eyes. But; alas how should Man fubfift one Moment even in the State of his greatest Perfection, did not this great Artificer watch over his own Work, and constantly fustain it ; did not he check and moderate that Conflict, which the warring Elements of our Body are continually engaging in ; But especially, now that the Corruption of our Nature ; and the Transgression of our first Parent, hath let Death and Diseases loose up
There needs no fresh Infliction ; For if God be but passive, and withdraw his Restraint, the Enemy is always ready to devour, us, and we carry the Seeds of our Torment and Ruin about our own Perfons. And God hath so decreed, that every Man shall once fall by the stroke of Death; which in our greatest strength, in the very Bloom and Beauty of Youth, contrary to our own Expectations, : or the Fears of our tenderest Friends, he sometimes executes; to teach us, that our Being is wholly precarious, that we have nothing stable here, no Title even to Life it felf; but are all concluded by a Sentence already pafs'd, and all our Days are in the náture of a Reprieve ; The prolonging whereof is an act of meer Mercy, as the cutting it short is free from the least Shadow of Injustice. God then cannot want Means and Opportunities for this;. All Nature is His; the Malice of wicked Men, The Spight of our Foes, the mistaken Kindness of our Friends, The Errors of our Physicians, and the Misapplication of their Medicines, are all directed and over-ruled to this End : The Humours of our Bodies, the Temper of the Air, and every Element indeed, when he gives the Word,
on us :
turn Executioner's; or, in Truth, if He but please to permit, the Thing will do it felf. He burns us up by Fevers, or drowns us in Dropfiés; strikes us dead in a Moment by Apoplexies, buries us alive by Pallies, or wastes us, by now and imperceptible Degrees, with lingring Consumptions. Thou seest, my soul, how eafily God can do these, by a thousand Instances of Friends and Acquaintance gone before, and by thy own yet more sensible Experience, in chi's worn and languishing Body of thine. Thou feelest now, thatno Flesh is able to stand before God, and how quickly we are blásted by the Breath of his Displeasure. That to Him alone belongs Power and Strength, and to poor mortal Man, nothing but Wretchedness, and Weakness, and Vanity
II. Surely (my Soul) had these impreslions been fresh and deep upon me heretofore, they would have checkt my wild Career in Sin, and prevented many grievous and bold Transgressions, which I have reason to fear might provoke the Divine Majesty, to cast nie upon this Bed of Languishing. For dp we provoke the Lord tô Jealousie? Are we Itronger than He? Alas! my own Condition hath taught me how vain and foo!-hardy it is, not only to fight against God; but not to fear, and stand in perpetual awe of him: how fatal to play with this consuming fire : And I cannot but with fronti the bottom of my Soul, that I had better considered this Pointlong ago, That he is a Terrible and a inighty God; and when he enters into Controversie with Mankind, ho Flesh can abide it. At least, my Soul, let us make that good use of thisReflection now, to be unfeignedly sorry for what is pait; and more cautious and cbservant for the time to come. The Flower is witriered indeed, and hangs its feeble head; but it is not yet quite cut down ; O let us yet humble our selves in his tear, and consider what a yet more dreadtul Veng cance God hath in store for burdened and unperswadeable Wretches!
If the Decays and Pains of the Body alone are so grievous, how shall we bear the loss of Body and Soul both; how shall we dwell with Everlasting Burnings? If the Rod of God, these comparatively light Punishments, represent to us the Terrors of his Angry Justice; Who can bear the Approach of that Dismal Day, when he shall come in Thunder and Flames, to make an absolute End of this whole world, and deliver wicked Şinners over to irrecoverable Destruction. AnEternity of Torments! Jefus defend us! who can entertain even the most distant Thought of it, without Trembling and Attonishment? Fall down then, my Soul, and humble thy self under the mighty hand of God ; that thou may’ft not perish with this frail Body; and lose no time in making thy Peace, but work with all thy might ; especially now, that the Day of Life seems to decline, and the Night comes on wherein no Man can work. III. For remember, my Soul, for thy encouragement,
that if thou abound in the Work of the Lord, 1 Cor.XV.58. thy Labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. He is no less mighty to save than to destroy ; With Him no word is impossible; and, if he will, he can even yet raise this feeble Bódy; and restore it to perfect Health and Soundness. Nay, he will certainly do it, if that be belt for me, and if it be not, he will do yet more. For there will come a day, in which this vile earthly Part shall be enlivened again; and if it crumble into Dust, and scatter in the mean while ; tho'it pass thro' infinite different Forms, yet will he pursue this
Body through all its Changes, collect its di
spersed Particles, command the little Heaps of Dust to awake, and translate it into a Glorious and a Spiritual Body; fit for a State of Incorruption, and the Inheritance of that Kingdom, where this Flesh and Blood, which we now set To false, so extravagant a value upon, is not worthy to enter. I will therefore confirm my self, in the Power and Promises of my God:
I Cor. XV.
and; with holy Job ; tbò' he play me, yet Job xiii. 15. I trust in him. For even then I will lay me down in hope of a Resurrection to Eternal Life; and commit my Body like Seed, to the Ground ; not to bę loft, but improved, by corrupting there. For Thou, O God, art unchangeable; and thy Promises without Repentance; and promised thou haft, that our vile Body, shall be fashioned like unto Phil. iii. 21. Christ's glorious Body, according to the mighty working, whereby thou art able to subdue all things to thy felf.
let me never be put to Confusion, but deliver me in thy Righteousness, and save me.
Be thou my Strong-hold whereunto I may alway resort ; thou
haft promised to belp' me, for theu art my House of Defence, and my Caftle.
Deliver O my God, from the Adversary's Hand, preserve me from the Hunter of Souls;
He layeth Snares, and is mighty to destroy; but yet the Lord, who dwelleth on high is mightier.
Thou, O Lord God, art the Thing that I long for ; Thou haft been my Hope even from my Youth. ,
Through ibee bave I been bolden up ever since I was born;: Thou art he that took me out of my Mother's Womb ; my Praise fball be always of thee.
O çast me not away in the Time of my distress, forsake me not
me not, when my Strength faileth me. Let them be confounded and perish, that are against my Soul ; let the wicked Spirits be cover'd with shame and dishonour, that seek to do me evil.
As for me, I will patiently tarry the Lord's Lei- Psal. xxvii. fure, and will put my Trust in the Lord.
Job xix. 25. For. I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that
be shall stand at the Last Day upon the Earth ;
And though after my Skin Worms destroy this Body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Whom I shall fee for my self, and mine Eyes Mall bebold, and not another.
For he is the Resurrection and the Life, and whosoever believeth in him, tho? be die, yet fall
be live again.
Glory bę to the Father, &c.
Judgments and Worderful in all thy Dealings towards the Chils dren of Men ; Posless my Soul, I beseech thee; with awful and becoming apprehensions of thy Majesty. Give me a ferious Sense and Sorrow for ever having hardened my Heart from thy fear, and provoked that Vengeance, which can conSume me in a moment. Lord, convince me whom I ought to dread, and let me never, for the gratifying any finful Inclination, forget any, more the Lord my Maker; and incur the Displeasure of Him, who is able to cast both Body and Soul into Hell
. And, as I implore thy Grace, that this Confideration of thy Power may be an effetual Check to all my un.. ruly Appetites 3 so, I beseech thee, let it be my Stay and Cona fidence in all Dangers and Distresses; That; forsaking the broken Reeds of all worldly Succours, I may put my wbole Trust in thy Mercy; and evermore serving Thee in Holiness and Pureness of Living, may even in Death it self be more than Conqueror : Even in that. Joyful Day, when all Ene-, mies shall be destroyed; and the Children shall come forthfrim the dark Prisons of the Grave ; and shine like Suns in the Kingdom of Thee their Fatber. Grant this tbou Rock of my Soul, for thy dear Son Jesus Chrift's Säke. Amen.