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Sagacity of the one to influence, and govern; the Readiness of the other to obey, and bě actuated; The Sprightlinefs 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 subast one Moment even in the State of his greatest Perfection, did not this great Artificer watch over his own Work, and constantly sustain 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 ler Death and Diseases loose upon us : There needs no fresh Infiiction ; 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 self; buč are all concluded by à Sentence already pafs'd, and all our Days are in the nature of a Re. prieve; 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,
të prolonging Hort is free fromant Means
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 Dropries; 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 feest, 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 this worn and languishing Body of thine. Thou feelest now, thárno Flesh is able to stand before God, and how quickly wie are blásted by the Breath of his Displeasure. That to Him alone belong's Power and Strength, and to poor mortal Man; roching but Wretchedness; and Weakness, and Vanity.; ? :
II. Surely(my Soul) had these imprellions 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 do we provoke the Lord tờ Jealousie? Are we stronger than lle ? Alas! my owni Condition hath taught me how vain and foo!-hardy it is, not only to fight against God; buè not to fear, and stand in perpetual awe of him: how fatal to play with this consuming fire : And I cannot but wish front the bottom of my Soul, that I liad better considered this Pointlong ago, That he is a Terrible and a mighty God and when he enters into Controversie with Mankind, no Flesh can abide it.. At least, my Soul, let us make that gooduse of thisReflection now, to be unféig riedly sorry for what is pait; and more cautious and observant for the time to come. The Flower is withered indeed, and hangs its feeble head; but it is not yet quite cut down O let us yeč humble our selves in his tear, and consider what a yet more dreadtul Vengeance God hath in store for hardened and unperswadeable Wretches!
with this in perpeto 1 against God., and fool
If the Decays and Pains of the Body alone are fo grie-.. vous, 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 Sinners over to irrecoverable Destruction. AnEternity of Torments! Jesus defend us! who can entertain even the most distant Thought of it, without Trembling and Aftonishment? Fall down then, my Soul, and humble thy self under the mighty hand of God ; that thou may ft not perishi 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, C07.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 Body; and restore it to perfect Health and Soundness. Nay, he will certainly do it, if that be best for ine, 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 diCor. XV. 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;
Heraile th impollin to save the
and; with holy Job ; tbò be play me, yet will fob xiii. is. 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 ta bę lofts: but improved, by corrupting there. For Thou, O God, art unchangeable; and thy Promises without Repentance; and promised thou hast, that our vile Body, shall be fashioned like unto' Phil. iü. 21. Christ's glorious Body, according to the mighty working, whereby thou art able to subdue all things to thy felf. ..
TN thee therefore, O Lord, will I put my trust ; Pfal. lxxi. I let me never be put to Confusion, but deliver me in tby Righteousness, and save me. .
. Be thou.my Strong-hold whereunto I may alway refort ; thou hast promised to help me, for thou art my House of Defence, and my Caftle.
Deliver me, O my God, from the Adversary's Hand, preserve me from the Hunter of Souls;
He layeth Snares, and is migbty to destroy; b24t yèt the Lord, who dwelleth on high is mightier.
Thou, O Lord God, art the Thing that I long for ; Thou hast been my Hope even from my Touth.
Through thee bave I been holden 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, when my Strength faileth me. ' .::
Let them be comfounded and perish, that are : against my Soul ; let the wicked Spirits be cover' d... with shame and dishonour, that seek to do me evil. 3
As for me, I will patiently tarry the Lord's Lei- Psal. xxvii. fure, and will put my Trust in the Lord.
be, conforunde strength for many diffress,
Job xix. 25. For. I know that my Redeemer livetb, and that
he Mall stand at the Last Day upon the Earth ; 26. And though after my Skin Worms destroy this
Body, yet in my flesh ball it fee God: 27. Whom I Mall see for my self, and mine Ey .: Mall bebold, and not another. is Johnxi. 25. For he is the Refurre&tion and the Life, and
whosoever believeth in him, tho’ be die, yet shall ' be live again.
Glory be to the Father, &.c.
PRAYER Most glorious Lord God, Terrible in thy Judgments, W and Wonderful in all thy Dealings towards the Chili dren of Men ; Pollefs my. Soul, I beseech thee; with awful and becoming Apprehensions of thy Majesty. Give me a lerious 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 sinful Inclination, forget any, more the Lord' my Maker; and incut the Displeasure of Him, whois able to caft-both Body and Soul into Hell. And, as I implore thy Grace; that this Consideration of thy Power may be an effe&tual Check to all my un... ruly Appetites ; so, I beseech thee, let it be my Stay and Confidence in all Dangers and Distresses; That; forsaking the broken Reeds of all worldly Succours, I may put my whole Trust in thy Mercy; and evermore serving Thee in Holiness and Pureness of Living, may even in Death it self be more than Conqueror 1. Even in that Joyful Day, when all Ene-, mies Mall be destroyed; and the Childron shall come forth from . the dark Prifons of the Grave; and shine like Suns in the Kingdom of Thee their Fatber. Grant this thou Rock of my Soul, for thy dear Son Jesus Chrift's Sake. Amen."