ページの画像
PDF
ePub

26.,

Job xix.25. For I kilow that my Redeemerlivetbzand that

be fall stand at the Last Day upon the Earth:

And tho? after my Skin Worms destroy this Body; yet in my Flesh fball I fee God:

Wbom I fall fee for my self : And mine

Eyes fall behold, and not another. Fob xi. 25. For be is the Resurrection and the Life:

And whosoever believeth in him, tbobe die,
yet Mall he live again.

Glory be to the Father, 8c.
As it was in the Beginning, &c.

[ocr errors]

PRA Y ERO
Most glorious Lord God, Terrible in tby Judg-

ments, and Wonderful in all thy Dealings towards the Children of Men ; Poffefs my Soul, I beseech thee, with awful and becoming Apprebensions of thy Majesty. Give me a serious Sense and Sorrow, for ever having bardened my Heart from tby 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 incur the Displeasure of Hin, who is able to cast both Body and Soul into Hell. And, as I implore thy Grace, that this. Consideration of tby Power may be an

be an effeétual Check to all my unruly 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 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 Enemies shall be destroyed; when thy Children fball come forth from the dark Prisons of tbe. Grave, and. foine like Suns in the Kingdom of Thee their Fatber. Grant this thou Rock of my Sortly for thy dear Soz Jefus Chrift's Şake. Amen,

is

MEDE

M ED. III.
Of the Justice of God: And the Penitential

Sorrow resulting from it.

G.

1. OD is a Being infinitely perfect and good;

the Supreme, the Original Good ; the. Author and Maker of all Things, and cannot therefore be suppofed, either to hate what himself hath made, or to have given Being to any Thing, with a design to render it miserable: His Providence and Power, which made the Subject of the two former Meditations, are, in their own Nature and Primitive Intencion, calculated for the Benefit and Security of his Creatures. And, if at any time they become the Instruments or Difpensers of Grief and Pain; this is an Effect purely accidental; an Operation fo foreign, that it is even extorted from them, and wholly imputable to fome other Cause. And this is the Case of Mankinds once favour'd above all their Fellow-Creatures, and safe under the Shelter and Smiles of an Almighty Protector : But, by their own Fault, deprived of this Defence; left naked and exposed to Mischiefs and Sufferings, and not only difarmed of their furest Guard, but in perpetual Danger of being destroy'd, by that very Hand, which was formerly their friend and Defender. wretched Confe quences of Sin! that did not only render our first Parents and all their Posterity liable to bodily Death, and all the Diseases and Pains that lead to it; but left a fatal Averseness to all Good, and a strong Propension in us to all Evil. By indulging hereof we add our own actual Guilt, to that which our finful Parents had derived down to us; and by Iniquities without number, by wilful, repeated, habitual, and bold Transgreffions, do confirm and aggravate this Sentence of Death, and arm the Justice of God against our felves..? T

II. Won

[ocr errors]

II. Wonder not then, if thou see so many dreadful Spectacles of Amiction in the World; nor murmur, when thou thy self art bound in the fame Fetters, and fore laden with the Burthen of Adversity. But remember, that God is righteous, and thou, and these People are wicked; that he is holy and just, as well as good, and, tho' he do not willingly grieve the Children of Men, yet their Iniquities put a fort of Violence upon him, which he cannot resist. They quite weary him out, and render it impossible, (that is, inconsistent with his other Attributes and the Perfection of his Nature) to let such Men go always unpunished. Nay, even in those infinitely more dreadful Torments of another World, his Perfections are concerned to vindicate themselves; for tho' these be terrible, above what we are able to express or conceive, yet are they just. And, at the same time that we may be apt to question, whether fo great Severity be consistent with the Character of our Judge, we prove the Wisdom of our Lawgiver; and, that even Eternal Pains were necessary, since even all this will not contain us in our Duty, and effectually restrain us from

Sinning - III. And this my Soul, is thy Cafe. These everlasting Plagues are the deserved Wages of thy Wickedness. For do but defcend into thy Self, (as it becomes thee to do, now more efpecially) and there take an exact Survey of thy Miseries and Frailties ; thy raging Passions, and ungovern’d Appetites : Ask thy self, what Abuses and Misemployments of Health thou haft been guilty of. Whether thou have not neglected and forgot God and Heaven too much, and been too full of Care and Fondness for this present World; Whether thou have not omitted his Worship and Sacraments, and disregarded his Word, or whether these have not been frequented formally and coldly. Examine the Heaviness of thy Affections, the Wan

drings

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

drings and Negligence of thy Mind, in publick and
private Devotions. [Here it may be convenient to in-
stance in any other Particular against our Duty to God.]
See again the Violation of Justice and Charity to thy
Neighbour, whether thou hast faithfully discharged
the Offices of the several Capacities and Relations God
hath placed thee in ; [ A Husband or Wife, a Master
or Mistress, a Son or Daughter, a Magistrate, a Subject,
a Parent, a Brother or Sister, and the like.] If thou have
not been guilty of gross and palpable Injustice in thy
Dealings, yet hast thou done wrong to no Man's Soul,
by ill Advice, or ill Example? Nor to the Bodies of
any, by Malice or Contempt, by ill Treatment, fe-
vere Usage, want of Compassion and Care for their
Infirmities? What Reputations hast thou injured by
Scandal and Censure ; by false and uncharitable Judg-
ments; by busy meddling with Matters that concern
thee not; by officiously spreading, or too hastily be-
lieving ill Reports ; by encouraging, repeating, and
being pleased with, detracting or severe Reflections ;
Or if by none of these, yet at least by neglecting to
reprove,or to discountenance, a slanderous Tongue, and
to deliver the Innocent from its secret Stabs? [Here
again be particular in any other Sins you have been guilty
of against your Neighbour.] Turn thy Eyes inward once
more; and behold the Breaches of that Duty thou ow-
est to thy Self; the Intemperance and Irregularity of
thy Desires; the Murmurings and Discontents; the
Infirmities indulged; the Passions unsubdued ; the
Negligence in thy greatest Concern; the Love of
unlawful, and the Abuse of lawful, Diversions and
Delights. These are Things so incident to our State,
that no Man's Conscience can speak Peace to him in
them all; and happy art thou in those, where thine
condemns thee not. But know withal, that God is
greater than thy Heart, and knoweth
all Things ; He keeps exact Account of

1 John iii.20. A a

thy

[ocr errors]

thy

thy lurking Corruptions, and Secret Faults ; the unobserved, or the long fince forgotten, Misdemeanors of thy Life. The black Catalogue whereof, could they be set before thee, would give a difmal Profpect full of Horror and Confulion, and intolerable Amazement. So that thou must of necessity acknowledge

self a Mafs of Filth and Misery; a Wretch, that, if God should enter into Judgment with thee, hast reason to expect nothing better than Indignation and Fury; to be set up as a Mark of his Vengeance, and, by some swift exemplary Destruction, swept violently away into the hottest Flames of Hell.

IV. Thus much I am sadly sensible of, and do stand condemned out of my own Mouth. And thus far the

Circumstances of all Mankind are the Pf.cxxx. 3.4. fame, that if God should be extreme to mark what is done amiss, the very best of us all could not abide it. But, blessed be God, though Matters are deplorable, they are not quite defperate ; for there is Mercy with him, and his Justice is fatisfied. The Price and Purchase of our Souls is paid ; Our forfeit Lives are ranfomed and redeemed; Our Ransom in Value exceeds the whole World; even his own beloved and only begotten Son; who fpared not his own Life, but willingly poured out his Soul to the Death; and is thereby become a Sacrifice and Atonement for the Sins of wretched Mortals. He hath published glad Tidings of Reconciliation and Repentance, of Pardon and Peace. He came to fave Sinners, even the Chief of Sinners. Our God willeth not the Death of any ; provided they believe, and fincerely obey him: Not according to the Shekel of the Sanctuary, which requires unsinning Perfection ; but after the Standard of the New Covenant, which allows for Human Frailties, accepts Sorrow for the past, Amendment for the Time to come, a fervent Love of God, and honeft Endeavours to serve him. This is a Saying wor

thy

2

« 前へ次へ »