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Full text of "The whole works of John Flavel, late minister of the gospel at Dartmouth, Devon"

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BX 8915 .F58 1820 v. 5 
Flavel, John, 16307-1691 
ine whole works of John 










VOL. V. 






OR, "^iv 


Consisting of many -i^eas^nt ohservations, pertinent appHcaticms^ and 
serious reflections ; and each chapter concluded with a divine and 
suitable poem. Directing hushandmen to the most excellent im- 
provements of their common employments. Whereunto are ad- 
ded, by way of Appendix, several choice occasional meditations^ 
upon birds, beasts, trees, Jloivers, rivers, and several other ob- 
jects ; fitted for tlie help of such as desire to walk with God ia 
all their solitudes, and recesses from the world. 


To the Worshipful Robert Savery, and WiLLrA:M Savery, of 

Slade, Esquires. 

Honoured Friends^ 

JLT hath been long since observed, that the world below is a glass 
to discover the world above ; Seculum est speculum : and although 
I am not of their opinion, that say, the Heathens may spell Christ 
out of the sun, moon, and stars ; yet this I know, that the irrational 
and inanimate, as well as rational creatures, have a language ; and 
though not by articulate speech, yet in a metaphorical sense, they 
preach unto man the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, Rom. i. 20. 
" There is (saith the Psalmist, Psalm xix. 3.) no speech, nor language, 
*' where their voice is not heard."''' Or (as Junius renders it) there 
is no speech, nor words, yet without these, their voice is understood, 
and their line (i. e. saith Diodate) their writing in gross and plain 
draughts, is gone out through all the earth. 

As man is compounded of a fleshly and spiritual substance, so God 
hath endowed the creatures with a spiritual, as well as fleshly useful- 
ness, they have not only a natural use in alimental and physical res- 
pects, but also a spiritual use, as they bear the figures and similitudes 
of many sublime and heavenly mysteries. Believe me (saith contem- 
plative Bernard) thou shalt find more in the woods, than in a comer ; 
stones and trees will teach thee what thou shalt not hear from learn- 
ed doctors. By a skill ul and industrious improvement of the crea- 

VoL. V. A 


tures (saith Mr. Baxter excellently) we niiglit have a fuller taste of 
Christ and heaven, in every bit of bread that we eat, and in every 
draught of beer that we drink, than most men have in the use of 
the sacrament. 

And as the creatures teach divine and excellent things, so they 
teach them in a perspicuous and taking manner : Dilo ilia nos muoc- 
ime movent, simiritudo et exemplum, saith the orator *. These two 
things, similitude, and example, do especially move us. Notions are 
more easily conveyed to the understanding, by being first clothed in 
some apt similitude, and so represented to the sense. And therefore 
Jesus Christ the gTeat Prophet, delighted much in teaching by para- 
bles : and the prophets were much in this way also, Hos. xii. 10. "I 
" have used simihtudes by the ministry of the prophets." Those that 
can retain little of a sermon, yet ordinarily retain an apt similitude. 

I confess it is an humbling consideration, That man, who at first 
was led by the knowledge of God to the knowledge of the creature, 
must now bv the creatures learn to know God. That the creatures, 
(as one saith) like Balaam''s ass, should teach their master. But 
though this be the unhappiness of poor man in his collapsed state^ 
yet it is now his wisdom to improve such helps : and whilst others, 
by the abuse of the creatures, are furthering their perdition, to be, 
by the spiritual improvement of them, promoting his own salvation. 

It is an excellent art to discourse with birds, beasts, and fishes, 
about sublime and spiritual subjects, and make them answer to your 
questions ; and this may be done, Job xii. 7, 8. " Ask now the 
" beasts, and they shall teach thee, and the fo^^'ls of the air, and 
" they shall tell thee ; or speak to the earth, and.it shall teach thee, 
'' and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee."" That is (saith 
neat and accurate -f- Cai'j^l) the creatures teach us when we think of 
them : ' They teach us, though not formally, yet virtually ; they an- 
' swer and resolve the question put to them, though not explicitly 
' to the ear, yet convincingly to the conscience. So then, we ask 
' the creatures, when we diligently consider them, when we search 
' out the perfections and virtues that God hath put into, or stampt 
' upon them. To set our mind thus upon the creature, is to discourse 
' with the creature ; the questions which man asks of a beast, are 
' only his own meditations. Again, the creatures teach us, when 
* we in meditation make our collections and draw down a demon- 
' stration of the power, wisdom, and goodness of God in making 
' them, or the frailty of man in needing them : such conclusions and 
' inferences are the teachings of the creatures.' 

Common objects (saith + another) may be improved two ways ; 
viz. In an argumentative, and in a representative way ; by reasoning 
from them, and by viewing the resemblance that is betwixt them and 
spiritual matters. 

* Cicero. f Caryl, in loc. \ Dr. Manton. 


Firsts In meditation argue thus, as in the present case and simili- 
tude of the apostle. If an husbandman upon the ordinary principles 
of reason can wait for the harvest, shall not I wait for the coming of 
the Lord, the day of refreshing ? the corn is precious to him, and 
so is the coming of Christ to me. Shall he be so patient, and en- 
dure so much for a little corn? and shall not I for the kingdom of 
heaven ! He is willing to stay till all causes have had their opera- 
tions, till he hath received the former and the latter rain ; and shall 
not I, till the Divine decrees be accomplished. 

Secondlfj^ In meditation, make the resemblance, and discourse 
thus within yourselves : This is my seed-time, heaven is my harvest ; 
here I must labour and toil and there rest. I see the husbandman's 
life is a great toil : no excellent thing can be obtained without labour, 
and an obstinate patience. I see the seed must be hidden in the 
furrows, rotten and corrupted, ere it can sjn-ing forth with any in- 
crease. Our hopes are hidden, light is sown for the righteous ; all 
our comforts are buried under the clods, and after all this there must 
be long waiting, we cannot sow and reap in a day ; effects cannot 
follow till all necessary causes have first wrought. It is not in the 
power of husbandmen to ripen fruits at pleasure, our times are in the 
hands of God, therefore it is good to wait ; a long-suffering patience 
will reap the desired fruit. Thus you have some hints of this hea- 
venly art of improving the creatures. 

The motives inducing me to this undertaking, were the Lord's 
owning with some success, my labours of a like nature *, together 
with the desire and inclination (stirred up in me, I hope by the Spirit 
of the Lord) to devote my vacant hours to his service in this kind. 
I considered, that if the Pharisees, in a blind zeal to a faction, could 
compass sea and land, to proselyte men to their party, though thereby 
they made them sevenfold more the children of the devil than be- 
fore ; how much more was I obliged, by true love to God, and zeal 
to the everlasting happiness of souls, to use my utmost endeavours 
both with seamensiXidi Imsbcwdvien, to win them to Christ, and thereby 
make them more than seventy-seven fold happier than before ? Not 
to mention other encouragements to this work, which I received from 
the earnest desires of some reverend and worthy brethren inviting 
thereunto j all which I hope the event will manifest to be a call from 
God to this work. 

I confess I met with some discouragement in my first attempt, from 
my unacquaintedness with rural affairs ; and because I was to travel 
in a path (to me) untrodden ; but having once engaged in it, those dis- 
couragements were soon overcome : and being now brought to what 
you here see, I offer to your hands these first fruits of my spare hour^. 

I presume you will account it no disparagement that I dedicate a 

* Navigation Spiritualized. 



book of liusbandry to gentlemen of your quality. This is ftp\nhial 
liushandrij^ which here is taught you ; and yet I tell you, that great 
persons have accounted that civil employment (which is much in- 
ferior to this) no disparagement to them. *' The king himself is seized 
'' by the field,'' Eccles. v. 9- Or, as IVIontanus renders the Hebrew 
text. Rex agro fit scrvus ; The king himself is a servant to the field. 
And of king Uzziah it is written, 2 Chron. xxvi. 10. " That he 
" loved husbandry.'' And Amos vii. 1. we read of the king's mow- 
ings. Yea, Pliny hath observed, that corn was never so plentiful at 
Rome, as when the same men tilled the land that ruled the common' 
li-ealth. Quasi gauderet terra laureato voniere, scilicet et aratore 
iriumphali ; as though the earth itself rejoiced in the laurelled plow- 
share, and the triumphant plowman. 

What pleasure you ^vill find in reading it I know not ; but to me 
it hath been a pleasant path from first to last ; who yet have been at 
far greater expence of time and pains in compiling it, than you can 
be in reading it. The husbandman's work, you know, is no easy 
work, and the spiritualizing of it hath greater difficulties attending 
it ; but yet the pleasure hath abundantly recompensed the pains. 
I have found Erasmus's observation experimentally true ; Qui Uteris 
addicti sumas^ animi lassitiidinem a studiis gravioribus contractam; 
ah iisdeni studiis, sed auwenioribus recreamus : Those that ai*e ad- 
dicted to study, (saith he) when they have wearied their spirits with 
study, can recreate them again with study, by making a diversion from 
that which is severe and knotty, 'to some more facile and pleasant subject. 

But to hear that God hath used and honoured these papers to the 
good of any soul, will yield me the highest content and satisfaction 

May you but learn that lesson which is the general scope and de- 
sign of this book, viz. How to walk with God from day to day, and 
make the several objects you behold, scahv et ala?, wings and ladders 
to mount your souls nearer to him, who is the centre of all blessed 
spirits. How much will it comfort me, and confirm my hope, that 
it was the call of God indeed, which put me upon these endeavours ! 

O Sirs ! What an excellent thing would it be for you, to make 
such holy improvements of all these earthly objects which daily occur 
to your senses, and cause them to proclaim and preach to you divine 
and heavenly mysteries ; whilst others make them groan, by abusing 
them to sin, and subjecting them to their lusts. A.man may be cast 
into such a condition, wherein he cannot enjoy the blessing and bene- 
fit of a pious and powerful ministry ; but you cannot (ordinarily) fall 
into such a condition, wherein any thing (excepting a bad heart) can 
deprive you of the benefits and comforts of those excellent sermons, 
and divinity lectures, which the creatures here offer to preach and 
read to you. 

Content not yourselves, I beseech you, with that natural sweetness 
the creatures afford ; for tliereof the beasts are capable, as much, if 


not more, than you ; but use them to those spiritual ends you are 
here directed, and they will yield you a sweetness far transcending 
that natural sweetness you ever relished in them ; and indeed, you 
never use tlie creatures as their Lord's, till you come to see your 
Lo7'd in and by them. I confess the discoveries of God in the 
word are far more excellent, clear, and powerful ; " He hath mag- 
*• nified liis word above all his name.'' And therein are the un- 
searchable riches of Christ, or rich discoveries of that grace that hath 
no footsteps in nature, as the apostle's expression signifies, Eph. 
iii. 8. 

And if that which might be known of God by the creatures, 
leave men without excuse, as it is manifest, Rom. i, 20. how in- 
excusable then will those be, who have received not only the teach- 
ings of the creature, but also the grace of the gospel in vain ! " How 
" shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation .?" They that are 
careless in the day of grace, shall be speechless in the day of judg- 

I am sensible of many defects in these papers, (as well as in myself) 
They have doubtless, a taste of the distractions of the times wherein 
they were written ; nor was I willing to keep them so long under 
hand as the accurateness and exactness with which such a subject 
ought to have been handled, did require. Had I designed my own 
credit, I should have observed that counsel, Nomimque prematur 
in annum, i. e. To have kept it much longer under the file, before 
I had exposed it to public view ; but I rathev inclined tp Solomon's 
counsel, " Whatever thy hand finds out to do, do it with all thy 
" might : for there is no wisdom, nor knowle^lge, nor device in the 
" grave, whither thou art going," IIc5cl, ix. 10.. 

I apprehend a necessity of some such means to be used for the in- 
struction and conviction of country people ; who either are not capa- 
ble of understanding truth in another dialect, or at least are less 
affected with it. The preposition in every chapter consists of an 
observation in husbandry ; wherein, if I have failed in using any 
improper expression, your candour will cover it, and impute it to 
my unacquaintedness in rural affairs : 

In magnis voluisse sat est. 

The reddition or application, you will find I hope, both pertinent 
and close. The reflections serious, and such as (I hope) your con- 
sciences will fiwtlifully improve. I have shut up every chapter with a 
Poem, au innocent bait to catch the reader's soul. 

That of Herhjert is experimentally true : 
A verse may find him that a sermon flies, 
And turn delight into a sacrifice. 

I should never have been persuaded (especially in tliis scribbling 
age, wherein we may complain with the poet, 

Scrihimus indocti, doctique poeir\ata passim) 



to have set my dull fancy upon the rack to extort a poem to enter- 
tain my reader ; for I cannot say with Ovid, Sponte sua carmen, &c. 
but that I have been informed, that many seamen, induced by the 
pleasure of a verse, have taken much pains to learn the poems in their 
compass by heart ; and 1 hope both the children at home, and the 
servants in the fields, will learn to exercise themselves this way also. 
O, how much better will it be so to' do, than so stuff their memories 
with obscene ballads, and filthy songs, which corrupt their minds, and 
dispose them to much wickedness, by irritating their natural cor- 
ruption ! But these are purer flames, you will find nothing here of 
such a tenaency. 

'Tis guilt, not poetry, to be like those, 
Whose wit in verse is downright sin in prose. 
Whose studies are profaneness, as if then 
They only were good poets, when bad men. 

I shall add no more, but to beg that God who instructeh the 
husbandman in his civil calling, to teach him wisdom spiritually to 
improve it, particularly, that you may reap a crop of much spiritual 
benefit, from that seed Avhich is here sown by the hand of the Lord's 
iniprofitable servant, and in him, 

Your very affectionate 

Friend and Servant, 



X HERE are three things wherein (as it hath been said long be- 
fore my day) the exercise of godliness doth chiefly consist : Prayer, 
temptation, meditation : Meditation is the subject of the following 
manual. The object of meditation is twofold. First, The word. 
Secondly, The works of God. The works of God are twofold. 
First, Internal. Secondly, External. The External works of God 
are tAvofold. First, Of creation, Secondly, Of providence. The 
works of providence are likewise twofold. First, In things civil, the 
Lord ordering and over-ruling all the affairs and motions of single 
persons, families, and nations, in a subserviency to his j>wn most holy- 
ends, designs, and purposes. Secondly, In things natural, the Lord 
instructing the husbandman to discretion, and teaching him how to 
dress and till the earth, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread 
to the eater ; as also how to breed up and manage the beasts of the 
field, both greater and lesser cattle, for the use and service of man. 
Meditation upon this lower part of the works of God, and his 
wonderful providences about them, may raise our souls very high ; 


and while we wisely consider these natural things, we may grow more 
and more wise, in and for spirituals and eternals. 

The worthy and ingenious Author of the ensuing discourse hath 
supplied us with an excellent help, for the spiritualizing of the pro- 
vidential works of God in natural things, by godly meditations; we 
chiefly want the help of the Holy Spirit (without which all other 
helps and helpers are altogether insufficient) to frame and wind up 
our hearts for this both profitable and delightful duty ; yet the help 
which the Lord is pleased to give us for our direction in it, by the 
ministry of man, is not only not to be refused, but thankfully re- 
ceived and improved ; and all little enough to bring our minds to, 
or keep tliem at this work : The best of saints, on this side heaven, 
have, though they are not earthly-minded only, much earth in their 
minds ; ^vhich like a heavy clog at their heels, or a weight at their 
hearts, presseth them down when they would make an essay to mount 
upward in meditation. We find it no easy matter to keep off earthly 
thoughts, when we are most seriously engaged in heavenly work ; 
how hard is it then to get in, and be fixed upon heavenly thoughts, 
while we are engaged about earthly work ; yea, ai*e (for so is the hus- 
bandman) working the very earth, and raking in the bowels of it ? 
It is a great part of our holiness to be spiritually-minded, while we 
are conversing with God through Jesus Christ in spiritual duties ; 
but to be spiritually minded, and to mind spiritual things, when we 
are conversing with the clods of the earth, and the furrows of the field; 
Avhen we have to do with corn and grass, with trees and plants, with 
sheep and oxen ; when we behold the birds and fowls of the air, the 
worms, and all that creep upon the ground ; then, I say, to be spiri- 
tually-minded, and thence to have our thoughts ascending, and soar- 
ing up to God, in heart-affecting and quickening contemplf3,tions, 
witnesseth an high degree of holiness, and of gracious attainments. 
To make a ladder out of the earthly materials, for the raising of our- 
selves in spirit up to heaven, is the ai't of arts. Holy and happy in- 
deed are they who, being taught of God, have learned this art, and 
live in daily practice of it. Earthly objects usually hinder us in our 
■way, sometimes turn us quite out of our way to heaven. IVfany plow 
and sow, dig and delve the earth, till their hearts become as earthly 
as the earth itself: Many deal about the beasts of the field till them- 
selves become even brutish. Is it not then a blessed design which this 
Author aims and drives at, so to spiritualize all sorts, or the whole 
compass of earthly husbandry, that all sorts of husbandmen may be- 
come spiritual and heavenly ? It seems to be a token of good, that 
God hath an intendment of some special good to the spujs of such as 
are by profession proper husbandmen, seeing he hath lately put it 
into the hearts of two faithful * ministers (who with all of that profes- 
sion, are husbandmen in a figure) to undertake, though in a different 

• Mr. Richard Steel, and this Author. 

A 4 


way, this subject, and to publish their labours in print, that they may 
be of use, not only for the present age, but for posterity. 

And that the husbandman may be pleased as well as profited, in 
perusing the labours of this author ; he hath, with singular apt- 
ness and acuteness, contrived and contracted the sum and scope of 
every chapter into an elegant distich, or pair of verses, placed at the 
head of it, and concluded it with a choice melodious poem suitable 
to, and dilating upon the whole matter of it. These the husband- 
man, who can but read, may quickly learn and sing for his solace, 
instead of those vain ballads and corrupting rhymes, which many of 
that rank are iipt to buy and solace themselves withal, without any 
benefit, yea, much to their hurt, making their hearts more corrupt, 
carnal, and vain thereby. 

Let me add one word more to the reader. This book of Hus- 
bandry Spiritualized, is not calculated only for the common hus- 
bandman ; persons of any calling, or condition, may find the author 
working out such searching reflections and strong convictions, from 
almost every part and particular of the husbandman's work, as may 
prove, if faithfully improved, very useful to them ; to some for their 
awakening, to consider the state of their souls, whether in grace, or 
in nature ; to others for their instruction, consolation, and encourage- 
ment in the ways of grace, as also for their proficiency and growth in 
those ways. That the blessing of the Lord, and the breathings of 
his good Spirit may go out with it, for all those gracious purposes, 
is the heart's desire and prayer of him, who is, 

Christian Reader, 

A sincere •well-wisher to thy precious and immortal soul, 


To his Reverend and Learned Friend, Mr. John Flavel, on his 
Spiritual Navigation and Husbandry, 

JLiETTERS of mark to his dear servant given, 
By him that sists the ruffling winds of heaven : 
To fight and take all such as would not deign 
T* acknowledge him the sea's great Sovereign. 
He launched his little pinnace, and began 
T' attack the vassals of Leviathan, 
Auspicious gales swelling his winged sails, 
Searches all creeks, and every bark he hails ; 
That scarce a ship our Western coast afford, 
Which his hxa\Q pinnace has not laid aboard. 

IN AUTiroillS OPKUA. 11 

And what among our riddles some might count, 
Was seen at once at Berwick, and the JHI^ount. 
Yea, in more ports hath in one lustre been, 
Than Hawkins, Drake, or Cavendish have seen. 
And prizes of more worth brought home again, 
Than all the plate-fleets of the kings of Spain. 
But that which makes the wonder swell the more, 
Those whom he took were beggars all before. 
But rests he here ? No, no, our friend doth know, 
"'TIS good to have two strings unto his bow. 
Our rare Amphibion loves not to be pent 
Within the bounds of one poor element. 
Besides the learned author understood. 
That of an idle hand there comes no good. 
The law to him no pulpit doth allow, 
And now he cannot preachy he means to ploxo. 
Though preaching were a crime, yet he foresaw 
Against the plowman there could be no law. 
Nor stays he on resolves, but out-of-hand 
He yokes his teem, plows up the stubborn land ; 
Sows it with precious seed, harrows again 
The tougher clods, takes pleasure in his pain. 
Whilst, Orpheus-Uke, (which doth his art advance) 
Rocks, fields, and woods, after his pipe do dance. 

Industrious spirit, to what a rich account 
With thy blest Lord, with all these labours mount ! 
That every nerve of thy best soul dost ply. 
To further heaven's spiritual husbandry^ 
This kind of tillage which thou teachest us, 
Was never dreamt of by Triptolemus. 
Go, reader, turn the leaves ; and me allow 
To pray (whilst at work) God speed the plow. 


In Juthoris Opera. 

JLiET Paracelsus and Van Helmont's name. 
No more ride triumph on the wings of fame. 
Lo, here's a chymist, whose diviner skill 
Doth hallowed from unhallowed things distil. 
Spiritualizeth sea-affairs ; again, 
Makes the rude ground turn tutor unto men. 
Shews Mariners, as by a compass, how 
They may unto the port of glory row. 


Teacheth the plowmen^ from their work, to know 
What duties unto God and man they owe. 
Rare artist ! who, when many tongues are mute, 
^lak'st tilings that are inanimate confute 
The age's sins ; by preaching unto eyes. 
Truths which in other modes their eai's despise. 
Prosper his pious labours, Lord ! howe"'er 
Do not foi-get to crown the labourer. 

Sic raptim can it, 


To his Reverend and Invaluable Friend, Mr. J. F. upon his Hus~ 

bandry Spiritualized. 

Ingenious sir, what do I see? what now ! 

Are you come from the pulpit to the plow ^ 

If so, then pardon me, if I profess. 

The plow deserves to be sent to the press. 

'Tis not long since you went to sea, they say, 

Composed a compass which directs the way, 

And steers the course to heaven ; O blest art ! 

And bravely done that you did that impart 

To us, who take it kindly at your hand, 

And bless the Lord that you are come to land, 

To be an husbandman, wherein your skill, 

With admiration doth your readers fill. 

One grain will yield increase, 'tis ten times ten, 

When the eartlVs manured by such husbandmen. 

We may expect rich harvests, and full crops. 

When heavenly dew descendeth in such drops 

Of spiritual rain, to water every field. 

That it full heaps of grace to God may yield. 

I must adore the wisdom of that God 

That makes men wise, who, even from a clod 

of earth, can raise such heavenly meditation 

Unto a pitch of highest elevation. 

Besides, I mark the goodness of the Lord, 

Performing unto us his faithful word. 

That all should work for good unto the saints, 

Which, in some measure, lessens our complaints. 

For though our pulpit-mercies be grown less, 

AVe have some gracious helps yet from the press. 

And herein all the world may plainly see, 

That faithful servants will not idle be. 


We have some bricks, although tlie straw be o-one, 

The churcli, at last, shall be of polish'd stone. 

Whatever men or devils act or sav, 

Sion, at last, will have a glorious day. 

The wretched muck- worm, that from morn to nicdit 

Labours, as if 'twere for an heav'nly weight ; 

And, when he hath got all he can, the most 

Amounts to little more than a poor crust. 

To feed his tird carcase : If himself 

Have, by his carking, got a little pelf. 

Leave it he must, to one he knows not whom. 

And then must come to an eternal doom ; 

And hear his poor neglected, wretched soul 

Tell him at last that he hath play'd the fool. 

But here he''s taught, how he, before he die, 

May lay up treasure for eternity ; 

Wherein he may be rich, yea, much, much more, 

Than they that do possess whole mines of ore. 

When earth's more worth than heav'n, and gold than grace. 

Then let the worldling run his brutish race; 

But not before, unless he do intend 

To meet with soul-destruction in the end. 

But I must leave him, and return again 

To gratulate the author for his pain. 

And here I can't forbear to bid my pen 

To tell the world of all the husbandmen, 

That e'er I met, he, he hath hit the vein 

To recompense the labourer's hard pain. 

And taught him how to get the greatest gain. 

Wherein he treads a path not trode before ; 

By which, indeed, his skill appears the more. 

I might encomiums give him, great and true, 

And yet come very short of what's his due ; 

But I must not walk in forbidden ways, 

For thereby I am sure, I should displease 

His pious mind, who doth, and freely can 

Give all the praise to the great husbandman ; 

Who will his graces in his servants own, 

But doth expect himself to wear the crown. 

Farewell, dear Sir, I take my leave, and now, 
Will say no more than this, God si^teed the plow. 


The Epistle, to the intelligent Country Reader. 

JL HOU hast here the fruit of some of my spare hours, which 
were thus employed^ when^ by a sad providence, I was thrust 

14< TIFE EPISTLE, kc. 

from the society of many clear friends, into a solitary country-dwelling'. 
I hope none will envy me these innocent delights, which I madeout 
of my lonely walks, whereby the Lord sweetened my solitudes there. 
It is like thou wilt find some passages here, that are harmlessly plea- 
sant ; yet, I assure thee, I know of none that the most Cynical Rea^ 
der can censure, as sinfully light and vain. I must acknowledge, to 
the praise of God, that I have found some of those (which, possibly, 
some of my readers will call the slightest and most trifling subjects of 
meditation) to be the ordinances for instruction, caution and con- 
solation to my own soul ; yea, such a degree of comfort, I do profess 
to have found bv these things, as hath much endeared the countrv« 
life to me, and made me much better to vuiderstand that saying of 
Horace, than when I learned it at school, 
Novistine locum potiorem rure beato ? 
Est ubl plus tepeant hyems ? Uhi gratior aura ? 
O rus, quundo ego te adspiciam ? Quandoqiie licehit 
Nunc veterum libris, nunc somno, et inertibus hortis 
D^ucere solicitce jucunda oblivio vitce, (i. e.) 
What life can with the country life compare ? 
Where breathes the purest, and most healthful air. 
Where, undisturbed, my study I pursue, 
And, when I sleep, bid all my cares adieu. Hor. Sat. 6. 
And what I have found so beneficial to myself, I cannot but think 
may be so to others. I assure thee, reader, I am not fond of any of 
these conceptions ; and yet I think I may modestly enough say, That 
the emptiest leaf of this book may serve for more, and better uses, 
than a mere diversion, when thou canst find leisure to peruse it. 
I know, vour troubles and cares are many ; and though your con- 
dition of life hath many innocent comforts and outward mercies to 
sweeten it, yet I believe most of you have found that ancient saying 
of Anacreon experimentally true : E;/./ to c/xpov r/;; ysw^y/ag yXux.^. 
' Some bitter troubles countrymen do meet, 
' Wherewith the Lord doth intermix their sweet."* 
The cares of your mhids are commonly no less than the pains of 
your bodies ; it concerns you, therefore, to sweeten what you cannot 
avoid ; and I know no better way for that, than what is here direc- 
ted to. O friends ! what advantages have you for a spiritual life ? 
Why may you not have two harvests every year .'' One for your souls, 
another for your bodies ; if you could thus learn to husband your 
husbandry. Methinks spiritual meditations do even put themselves 
upon you. Husbandmen of old were generally presumed to be ho- 
ne St and good men ; what else means that saying of Menander, 

' Profess thyself an husbandman, 
* And wicked too ! believe't that can !' 
What you are, godly or wicked, is not for me (that am a stranger 
10 most of you) to determine ; but if you are not godly, it is my de- 


sire and design to make you so : and I could not think on a more 
probable mean to accomplish this honest design, than what I have 
here used. Methinks it should be a pleasure to you, when you come 
weary out of the fields from plough, or any other labour, to sit down 
in the evening, and read that chapter which concerns tliat particular 
business, and refresh your souls, even from that which hath wearied 
3'our bodies. Were your hearts but heavenly, and more time al- 
lowed for spiritual husbandry, your inward comforts would be mucli 
more, and your outward gains not a jot less ; for if the success of all 
your civil labours and employments dejjend upon the pleasure and 
w411 of God, (as all that are not atheists do acknowledge) then, cer- 
tainly, your business can succeed never the worse for your endeavours 
to please him, upon whose pleasure it so entirely depends. I have 
many times hfted up my heart to heaven, whilst these papers were 
under my hand, for a sjiecial blessing to accompany them, when they 
should be in yours. If the Lord accomplish my desires by tliem 
upon your souls you shall enjoy two heavens, one here, and another 
hereafter. Would not that be sweet ? The historian tells us, that 
Altitius Serarious was sowing com in the field, when Q. Cincinnatus 
came to him bare-headed with letters from the senate, signifyino-, that 
he was chosen to the dictatorship. I hope the Lord will so bless 
and succeed these labours, that many of you will be called from 
holding the plough on earth, to wear the crozvn of glory in heaven ; 
which is the sincere desire of 

Your hearty wclUwklier, 


The AUTHOR to the READER. 

V^OME you, whose listening ears do even itch 

To hear the Avay prescribed of grooving rich ; 

I'll shew you how to make your tenements 

Ten thousand times more worth, and yet your rents 

Not raised a farthing ; here my reader sees 

A way to make his dead and barren trees 

Yield precious fruit ; his sheep, though ne'er so bad, 

Bear golden fleeces, such ne'er Jason had : 

In every thing your gain shall more than double. 

And all this had with far less toil and trouble. 

Methinks I hear thee say. This cannot be, 

I'll ne'er believe it. Well, read on and see. 

Reader, hadst thou but senses exercis'd 

To judge aright; were spiritual things but priz'd 

At their just value, thou would'st quickly say, 


'Tis SO indeed ; tliou wouldst not go tliy way 
Like one tliat's disappointed, and so fling 
The book aside. / thouglit "'twas some such tiling. 
Time was when country Christians did aftbrd 
More hours and pains about God's holy word : 
Witness the man who did most gladly pay 
For some few leaves his whole cart-load of hay. 
And time shall be, when heavenly truth that warms 
The heart, shall be preferr d before your farms -, 
When holiness, as sacred scripture tells. 
Shall be engraven on the horses bells. 
Lord, hasten on those much desired times, 
And, to that purpose, bless those rural rhymes. 

The proem. 

1 Coil. iii. 9. Ye are GocTs Husbatidr^. 

JL HE scope and design of the following chapters, being tlie spi- 
ritual improvement of husbandly, it will be necessary, by way of 
proem, to acquaint the reader with the foundation, and general 
rules of this art in the scriptures, thereby to procure greater respect 
unto, and prevent prejudices against composures of tliis kind. 

To this end, I shall entertain the reader a little while upon what 
this scripture affords, which will give a fair introduction to the follow- 
ing discourse. 

The apostle's scope in the context being to check and repress the 
vain glory and emulation of the Corinthians, who, instead of thank- 
fulness for, and an humble and diligent improvement of the excel- 
lent blessings of the ministry, turned all into vain ostentation and 
emulation, one preferring Paul, and another Apollos ; in the mean 
time depriving themselves of the choice blessings they might have re- 
ceived from them both. 

To cure this o-rowino^ mischief in the churches, he checks their va- 
nity, and discovers the evil of such practices by several arguments, 
amongst which this is one, 

Ye are God's Hushandrij, q. d. 

What are ye, but a field or plot of ground, to be manured and 
cultivated for God ? And what are Paul, Apollos, and Cephas, but 
so many workmen and labourers, employed by God, the great Hus- 
bandman, to plant and water you all ? 

If, then, you shall glory in some, and despise others, you take the 
ready way to deprive yourselves of the benefits and mercies you might 
receive from the joint ministry of them all. God hath used me to 
plant youj and Apollos to water you ; you are obliged to bless him for 


tile ministry of both, and it will be your sin if you despise cither. If 
the workmen be discouraged in their labours, it is the field tliat loses 
and suffers by it ; so the words are a similitude, serving to illustrate 
the relation, 

1. Which the churches have to God. 

2. Which God's ministers have to the churches. 

1. The relation betwixt God and them is like that of an husband- 
man to his ground or tillage. Tlie Greek word signifies God's * ara- 
ble, or that plot of ground which God manures by the ministry of 
pastors and teachers. 

2. It serves to illustrate the relation that the ministers of Christ 
sustain to the churches, which is like that of the husbandman's ser- 
vants to him and his fields ; which excellent notion carries in it the 
perpetual necessity of a gospel ministry. (For what fruit can be ex- 
pected, where there are none to till the grountl ?) As also the dili- 
gence, accountableness, and rewards which these labourers are to 
give to, and receive from God, the great Husbandman. All runs 
into this, 

That the life and employment of an husbandman, excellentlj- sha- 
dows forth the relation betwixt God and his church, and the 
relative duties betwixt its ministers and members. 
Or more briefly thus : 

The church is God's husbandry, about which his ministers are 

I shall not here observe my usual method, (intending no more but 
a preface to the following discourse) but only open the particulars 
wherein the resemblance consists ; and then draw some Corollaries 
from the whole. The first I shall dispatch in these twenty particu- 
lars following : 

1. Prop. The husbandman purchases his fields, and gives a valu- 
able consideration for them, Jer. xxxii. 9, 10. 

Reddlt. So hath God purchased his church with a full valuable 
price, even the precious blood of his own Son, Acts xx. 28. " Feed 
" the church of God which he hath purchased, or acquired with his 
*' own blood." O dear-bought inheritance ! how much doth this 
bespeak its worth ! Or rather, the high esteem God hath of it, to 
pay down blood, and such blood for it ; never was any inheritance 
bought at such a rate : every particular elect person, and none but 
such are comprehended in this purchase ; the rest still remain in the 
devil's right. Sin made a forfeiture of all to justice, upon which Sa- 
tan entered, and took possession, and, as the strong man armed, still 
keeps it in them, Luke xi. 21, but upon payment of this sum to jus- 
tice, the elect (who only are intended in this purchase) pass over into 
God's right and property, and now are neither Satan's, Acts xxvi. 18. 

* The faithful (or believers) are called God's husbandry, (yso)oym, geor^eanj be- 
cause God cultivates them as land by means of spiritual teachers (or pa!>'tors) Rav. 


nor their owrt, 1 Cor. vi. 19. but the LorcTs peculiar ^ 1 Pet, ii. 6. 
And to shew how much they are his own, you have two possessives 
in one verse. Cant. viii. 12. " My vineyard, which is mine, is before 
" me, mine, which is mine." 

2. Pi'op. Husbandmen divide and separate their own lands from 
other men's, they have their land-marks and boundaries, by which 
property is preserved, Deut. xxvii. 17. Prov. xxii. 28. 

Reddit. So are the people of God wonderfully separated and dis- 
tinguished from all the people of the earth. Psal. iv. 3. " The Lord 
" hath set apart him that is godly for himself And the Lord knoweth 
'^ who are his," 2 Tim. ii. 19. It is a special act of grace, to be in- 
closed by God out of the waste howling wilderness of the world, 
Deut. xxxiii. 16. This did God intentionally, in the decree before 
the world was ; which decree is executed in their sanctification and 

3. Prop. Corn-fields are carefully fenced by the husbandman with 
hedges and ditches, to preserve their fruits from beasts that would 

otherwise over-run and destroy them Non minor est virtue 

quam qucercre parta tucri. It is as good husbandry to keep what 
we have, as to acquire more than we had. 

Reddit. " My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill, 
*' and he fenced it," Isa. v. 1, 2. No inheritaace is better defended 
and secured, than the Lord's inheritance, Psal. cxxv. 2. " As the 
*' mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about 
*' his people." So careful is he for their safety, " that he createth 
'' upon every dwelling-place of mount Sion, and upon her assem- 
*' blies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire 
" by night : for upon all the glory shall be a defence," Isa. iv. 5. 
Not a particular saint, but is hedged about and inclosed in arms of 
power and love, Job i. 10. " Thou hast made a hedge about him,*" 
The devil fain would, but by his own confession could not break 
over the hedge to touch Job, till God's permission made a gap for 
him : yea, he not only made an hedge, but a wall about them, and 
that of fire, Zech. ii. 5. Sets a guard of angels " to encamp round 
« about them that fear him," Psal. xxxiv. 7. And will not trust 
them with a single guard of angels neither, though their power be 
great, and love to the saints as great ; but watches over them him- 
self also, Isa. xxvii. 2, 3. " Sing ye unto her, a vineyard of red wine, 
" I the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment ; lest any 
*' hurt it, I will keep it night and day." 

4. Prop. Husbandmen carry out their compost, to fertilize their 
arable ground, they dung it, dress it, and keep it in heart ; and in 
these western parts are at great charges to bring lime, and salt- 
water-sand to quicken their thin and cold soil. 

Reddit. " Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, 
*' and dung it ; and if it bear fruit, well, if not, cut it down," Luke 
xiii. 8. O the rich dressing which God bestows upon his churches ! 

*rHE PROEAI. 15 

tliey are costly fields indeed, dressed and fertilized, not only by pre- 
cious ordinances and providences, but also by the sweat, yea, blood 
of the dispensers of them. " You Londoners (saith Mr. Lockier in 
" Colos, p. 552.) are trees watered choicely indeed ; it is storied of 
'' the palm-tree, that at its first transplanting into Italy, it was wa- 
<' tered with wine. I cannot say (saith he) that you have been so 
*' watered by me, I dare not ; but this I can lumibly and truly say, 
" that if our choicest strength and spirits may be named instead of 
" water, wine ; or if the blessing which hath gone along with these 
*' waters, at any time, hath turned them into wine, in vigour Upon 
" your souls, then hath God by me, watered your roots with wine." 

5. Prop. The husbandman builds his house, where he makes his 
purchase, dwells upon his land, and frequently visits it ; he knows 
that such as dwell far from their lands, are not far from loss. 

Reddit So doth God ; wherever he plants a church, there dotli 
he fix his habitation, intending there to dwell. Psalm xlvi. 5. " God 
*' is in the midst of her," she shall not be moved. Thus God 
came to dwell upon his own fee and inheritance, in Judea, Lev. xxvi. 
11, 12. " And I mil set my tabernacle amongst you, and will be 
*' your God, and ye shall be my people." Which promise is again 
renewed to his churches of the New Testament, 2 Cor. vi. 16. And 
when the churches shall be in their greatest flourish and purity, then 
shall there be the fullest and most glorious manifestation of the divine 
presence among them. Rev. xxi. 3. " And I heard a great voice 
*' out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, 
'' and he will dwell with them, and be their God." Hence the as- 
semblies are called, the places of his feet — — And there they " be- 
" hold the beauty of the Lord," Psalm xxvii. 

6. Prop. Husbandmen grudge not at the cost they are at for their 
tillage ; but as they lay out vast suras upon it, so they do it cheer- 

Reddit. " And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Ju- 
" dah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard ; what could 
*' have been done more to my vineyard, that 1 have not done in it ? 
And as he bestows upon his heritage the choicest mercies, so he doth 
it with the greatest cheerfulness ; for he saith, Jer. xxxii, 41. "I 
" will rejoice over them to do tliem good ; and I will plant them in 
" this land assuredly, with my whole heart and with my whole 
" soul." It is not the giving out of mercy (saith one) that grieveth 
God, but the recoiling of his mercy back again upon him by the ^ 
creature's ingratitude. 

7. Prop. When husbandmen have been at cost and pains about 
their husbandry, they expect fruit from it, answerable to their pains 
and expences al3out it: " Behold (said James) the husbandman 
*' waiteth for the precious fruits of the earth," Jam. v. 7. 

Reddit " And he looked that it should bring forth fruit," Isa, v* 
Vol. V. B 


2. This heavenly Husbandman waits for the fruits of his fields also ; 
never did any husbandman long for the desired harvest, more than 
God doth for tlie fruits of holiness from his saints : Great are tlie 
expectations of God from his people : " And when the time of the 
" fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they 
" might receive the fruits of it.'' 

8. Pi'op. Husbandmen are much delighted, to see the success of 
their labours ; it comforts them over all their hai'd pains, and many 
weary days to see a good increase. 

Reddit Much more is God delighted in beholding the flourishing 
graces of his people ; it pleases him to see his plants laden with fruit, 
and his valleys sing with corn, Cant. vi. 2. " My beloved is gone 
" down to the garden, into his beds of spices, to feed in the gai'dens, 
" and to gather lilies.'' These beds of spices (say* expositors) are 
the particular cluirches, the companies of believers ; he goes to feed 
ih these gardens, like as men go to their gardens to make merry, or 
to gather fruit, Cant, iv. 16. " He eats his pleasant fruit," viz. His 
people's holy performances, sweeter to him than any amhrosio ; thus 
he feeds in the gardens, and he gathers lilies when he translates 
good souls into his kingdom above ; " For the Lord taketh pleasure 
" in his saints, and will beautify the meek with salvation." 

9. Prop. The husbandman is exceedingly grieved when he sees 
the hopes of a good crop disappointed, and his fields prove barren, 
or blasted. 

Reddit. So the Lord expresses his grief for, and anger against Iris 
people, when they bring forth no fruits, or wild fruits, worse than 
none, Hosea ix. \Q. " Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up." 
Christ was exceedingly displeased with the fig-tree, and cursed it 
for its barrenness ; it grieves him to the heart when liis servants re- 
turn to him Avith such complaints as these, " We have laboured in 
" vain, we have spent our strength for nought." 

10. Prop. Husbandmen employ many labourers to work in their 
fields, there is need of many hands for such a multiiilicity of bu- 

Reddit. God hath diversity of workmen also in the churches whom 
he sends forth to labour in his spiritual fields, Eph. iv. 12. " He gave 
*' some apostles, some prophets, and some evangelists, and some 
" pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work 
*' of the ministry," Amos iii. 7. I have sent [?;??/ .servcnitti] the pro- 
\phets. It is usual with the apostles to place this title of a servant 
among their honorary titles, though a profane mouth once called it, 
jirohrosum artificium, a sordid artifice. Christ hath stampt a great 
deal of dignity upon his ministers, in retaining them for the nearest 
service to himself, 1 Cor. iv. 1. " Let a man so account of us, as the 
" ministers of Christ;" they are workers together with God: The 

* Christ is fed when he sees the graces of his people y he gathers lilies when he tran- 
slates any good soul out of this life. Trap, on the place. 


husbandman works in the field among liis labourers, and the great 
God disdaineth not to work in, and with his poor servants, in the 
work of the ministry. 

11. Prop. The work about which husbandmen employ their ser- 
vants in the field, is toilsome and spending, you see they come home 
at night as weary as they can draw their legs after them. 

Reddit But God's workmen liave a mucli harder task than they ; 
hence are they set forth in scripture by the laborious ox, 1 Cor. ix. 9. 
Rev. iv. 7. Some derive the word bia-Mvog, deacon, from X6v/g, m hich 
signifies dust, to shew the laboriousness of their employment, labour- 
ing till even choaked with dust and sweat. It is said of Epaphro- 
ditus, Phil. ii. 13. ^* That for the work of Christ he was sick, and 
" nigh unto death ; not regarding his life, to supply their lack of 
'' service." The apostle's expression, Col. i. tdt. is very empha^ 
tical, " Whereunto I also labour, striving, according to his working, 
"^ which worketh in me mightily." The word aymitw'uvfx;^ signifies 
such spending labour as puts a man into an agony ; and blessed 
is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing. 

12. Prop. The immediate end of the husbandman's labour, and 
his servants labour is for the improvement of his land, to make it 
more flourishing and fruitful. 

Reddit. The scope and end of the ministry is for the church's be- 
nefit and advantage. They must not lord it over God's heritage, as 
if the church were for them, and not they for the church ; nor serve 
themselves of it, but be the church's servants for Jesus sake, 2 Cor. 
iv. 6. The power they have received being for edification, and not 
for destruction, 2 Cor. x. 8. Christ hath given them to the church* 
es ; their gifts, their time, their strength, and all their ministerial 
talents, are not their own, but the church's stock and treasure. 

13. Prop. The workmen that labour in the fields are accountable 
for their work to him that emploj'^ed them. 

Reddit. Church-officers are also accountable to God for all the 
souls committed to them. They are stewards of the mysteries of 
God, 1 Cor. iv. 1. and stewards are accountable. " We watch for 
'' your souls, (saith the apostle) as they that must give an account," 
Heb. xiii. 7. If these servants be unfaithful in their work and trust, 
the blood of souls shall be required at their hands, Ezek. iii. 17, 18. 
which nve fulmina, non verba, (saith Erasmus) thunderbolts rather 
than words. The guilt of blood is the greatest guilt ; and of all 
blood, the blood of souls. 

• 1 i. Prop. Those that spend their time and strength all their days, 
in manuring and plowing in the fields, do maintain themselves and 
their families by their labours ; their hands are sufficient for themselves 
and theirs. 

Reddit. " Even so hath God ordained, that they which preach the 
*' gospel, should live by the gospel," 1 Cor. ix. 14. " The work-* 

B2 . 

22 tllE PROEM. 

" man is worthy of his meat," Mat. x. 10. It is a sad thing, if those 
who break the bread of hfe to souls, should be suffered to want bread 
themselves. God would not have the mouth of an ox muzzled that 
treads out the corn, but have liberty to eat as well as v/ork. Yet if 
any pretended to the ministry be like the heifer, that loves to tread 
out the corn, i. e. cares to do no work, but such as brings in present 
pay ; he therein sufficiently discovers his beast-like disposition. Mi- 
nisters must be faithful in their Master's work, and if men do not, 
God will reward them. For " he is not unrighteous to forget their 
" work, and labour of love," Heb. vi. 10. 

15. Prop. It is a great trouble to husbandmen in a busy time, to 
be put off from their labours by stormy weather, which drives them 
out of the fields, and makes them let all lie, till it clear up again ; 
yet mean while, they are not idle, but employ themselves in home- 

Reddit. Even so in God's husbandry, it is an unspeakable affliction 
to God's workmen to be rendered useless and unserviceable to the 
churches, by those storms of trouble, which drive them from their 
public ministerial work. With what a heavy heart did Paul go off 
from his work at Ephesus, Acts xx. It spends a minister to preach, 
but more to be silent. It is a loud speaking judgment, when God 
shall say to them as to Ezekiel, " Son of man, I will make thy 
" tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, and thou shalt be dumb," 
Ezek. iii. 26. Such silencing providences, speak thundering lan- 
guage to gracious hearts ; yet, even then, the keepers of the vine- 
yard have a private vineyard of their own to look after, they have 
much home-work, when no out- work. 

16. Prop. There is a vast diffisrence betwixt those fields which 
have been well husbanded and dressed by a skilful and diligent hus- 
bandman ; and those that have been long out of husbandry. How 
fragrant is the one ? How dry and barren the other ? When you 
pass by a field well dressed and fenced, every thing prosperous, and 
m exquisite order, you may know, without farther enquiry, that a 
good husbandman lives there. 

Reddit. Thus stands the case betwixt those places which God hath 
blessed with a faithful, painful ministry, and such as have none, or 
worse than none : for as the husbandman's cost and pains appear in 
the verdant and fragrant hue of his fields ; so a minister's pains and 
diligence are ordinarily seen in the heavenly lives, and flourishing 
graces of the people. The churches of Corinth and Thessalonica, 
where Paul and other holy instruments spent much of their time and 
pains, became famous and flourishing churches, 2 Cor. ix. 2. A 
special blessing comes along with a godly minister, to the place where 
special providence assigns him. Such places, like Gideon's fleece, 
have the dew of heaven lying on them, whilst others round about 
dre dry and barren. 

17. Prop, The husbandman is not discouraged, though the seed 

THE PROEM. - 23 

lie long under the clods ; he knov>^s it will spring up at the last, and 
reward him, or those that come after him, for their pains and pa^- 
tience in waiting for it. 

Reddit Ministers should not be presently discouraged in their 
work, because they see but little or no appearance of all the seed they 
have sown among the people. The " servant of the Lord must be 
" patient towards all, waiting if at any time God will give them re- 
" pentance," 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25. And if it never spring up in his 
time, it may after his death ; and if so, he shall not fail of his re- 
ward, John iv. 36, 37. "" And he that reapeth, receiveth wages, 
" and gathereth fruit unto life eternal, that both he that soweth, and 
" he that reapeth, may rejoice together ; and herein is that saying 
" true, one soweth, and another reapeth." Though ministers die, 
yet their words live ; yea, their words take hold of men when they 
are in the dust, Zech. i. 6. 

18. Prop, Husbandmen find low grounds and vallies, most fertile ; 
hills, how lofty soever they overtop the lower grounds, yet answer 
not the ]iusbandman''s pains as the vallies do : these are best watered 
and secured from the scorching heat of the sun. 

Reddit. Experience shews us, that the humblest saints are most 
fruitful under the gospel ; " These are they that receive with meek- 
*' ness the engraffed word," James i. 21. whose influences abide in 
them, as the rain doth in the low vallies. Happy is that minister, 
whose lot falls in such a pleasant valley. " Blessed are they that sow 
^' beside all such waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox 
'* and the ass," Isa. xxxii. 20. among these vallies run the pleasant 
springs and purling brooks, which fertilize the neighbouring ground. 
Heavenly ordinances there, leave fruitful influences. 

19. Prop. The first crop is usually the best, and the longer the 
husbandman tills his ground, the less it produces ; after a few years 
its vigour and strength is spent. 

Reddit. The first entertainment of the gospel is commonly the 
best ; and what good is done by the ministry is often done at its first 
entrance. New things are pretty, and very taking. *' John at first 
" was to the Jews a burning and shining light, and they were willing 
" [for a season] to rejoice in his light," John v. 35, Paul was highly 
valued among the Galatians at first ; such was their zeal, that they 
could have plucked out their eyes, and have given them to him f but 
how quickly did this full tide ebb again ? For he complains. Gal, iv, 
15. " Where then is the blessedness ye spake of ,^" 

20. Prop. Lasthj, When fields prove barren, and will not quit the 
b jsbandman's cost, nor answer the seed he gows in them, he plucks 
up the hedges, and lays it waste. 

Reddit. So when churches grow formal and fruitless, the liord re- 
moves his gospel-presence from them, plucks up the hedge of his 
protection from about them, and lays them open as waste ground to 




be over-riiii by their enemies. Jer. vii. 12. " Go to Shiloh, and see 
" what I did unto it." What is become of those once famous and 
flourishing churches of Asia ? Are they not laid waste, and trodden 
down by infidels ? And now go to, saith the great Husbandman, 
" I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard ; I will pull up the 
" hedge thereof, and it shall be laid waste," Isa. v. 5. 

Thus you see the allegory opened in its particulars: from the 
•whole, I shall present you with these five ensuing coi'oUaries. 

The first Corollary. 
How great then are the dignities and privileges of the churches of 
Jesus Christ whom he hath appropriated to himself, above all the peo^ 
p>le of the earth, to he his peculiar inheritance ? The rest of the world 
is a waste wilderness ; all other places, how pleasant soever, in respect 
of their natural amenity and delights, are truly enough called the dark 
places of the eai-th ; dismal, sohtary cells, where Ziim and Urn, Bit- 
terns, Cormorants, and every doleful creature dwells. But the church 
is the paradise of the earth, a garden inclosed, Cant. iv. 12. in whose 
hedges the gospel birds chirp and sing melodiously. Cant. ii. 12. Its 
beds are beds of spices. Cant. vi. 2. and betwixt its pleasant banks, 
a crystal river of hving water runs, Rev. xxii. 1. the streams whereof 
make glad the city of God, in the midst whereof the Lord himself 
delights to walk. O Zion, with what pleasures doth thou abound? 
If Bernard was so ravished with the delights of his monastrij, because 
of its green banks, and shady bowers, and herbs, and trees, and va- 
rious objects to feed his eyes, and fragrant smells, and sweet and va- 
rious tunes of birds, together with the opportunities of devout con- 
templation, that he cried out admiringly. Lord ! xchat delight dost 
thou provide, even for the poor I How much more should we be ravish- 
ed \vi:h Zion's glory ? For, beautiful for situation is mount Zion. Of 
whom it may much more truly be said, what a * chronicler of our own 
once said of England, That it is the fortunate island, the paradise of 
pleasure, the garden of God, v^^hose vallies are like Eden, whose 
hills are as Lebanon, whose springs are as Pisgah, whose rivers are as 
Jordan, whose wall is the ocean, and whose defence is the Lord Je- 
hovah. Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee.^ AVho can 
count the privileges wherewith Christ hath invested his churches ? O 
let it never seem a light thing in our eyes, that we grow within his 
blessed inclosure. How sweet a promise is that, Excd. xix. 5. " Ye 
'* shall be to me a peculiar treasure, above all people ; for all the 
" earth is mine," 

The second Corollary. 
Hence it follows. That spiritual barrenness is a great reproach and 
shame to Christians. Shall God's husbandry, which is planted, wa- 
tered, fenced, filled with favours and mercies, be like the barren heath 
in the desart ? Surely it should be said of every soul that grows here, 

* Speed's Chronicle. 



as the historian saith of Spain, that there is nihil hifnictiiosum, 
nihil sterile ; nothing barren or unfruitful in it. God's vineyard is 
planted in a very fruitful hill. Isa. v. 1. " And surely they that are 
" planted in the house of the Lord, should flourish in the courts of 
" our God ; they should bring forth fruit, even in old age, to shew 
" that God is upright," Psal. xcii. 13, 14. " They are created in 
" Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath ordained they 
" should walk in,'' Eph. ii. 10. " They are married unto Christ, that 
" they might bring forth fruit to God," Rom. vii. 4. An empty 
branch is a dishonour to the root that bears it, a barren field to the 
husbandman that owns it ; God cannot endure that in his fields 
which he suffers in the wilderness. 

The third Corollary. 

if the church be God's husbandry, then there is such a special, gra- 
cious presence of the Lord in his churches, as is not to be found in 
all the world beside. Where may you expect to find the husband- 
man but in his own fields ? There lies his business, and there he de- 
lights to be. And where may we expect to find God but in the as- 
semblies of his saints ? " He walks among the golden candlesticks," 
Rev. ii. 1. I will walk among you, (saith he) and be your God, 
2 Cor. vi. 16. Upon this account the church is called Jehovah 
Shammah, the Lord is there, Ezek. xlviii. ult. You may see the foot- 
steps of God in the creatures, but the face of God is only to be seen 
in his ordinances. Hence, Psal. xxvii. 4. " David longed for the 
'' temple, that he might see the beauty of the Lord. Now what is 
beauty, but a symmetry and proportion of parts ? In the works of 
creation you see one attribute manifested in one thing, and another in 
another thing ; but in the sanctuary you may see beauty, even in ail 
the attributes of God displayed there : And, indeed, we find in 
scripture such astonishing expressions about the visions of God in his 
church, that in reading them, a man can see little difference betwixt 
it and heaven ; for as the church is called heaven. Mat. xxv. 1. sa 
its description is like that of heaven. Heb. xii. 22, 23. *' You are 
" come to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company 
" of angels," &c. And Rev. xxii. 4. " They shall see his face, and his 
" name shall be written in their foreheads." And ver. 6. The saints 
are represented " standing nearer to the throne of God than the 
" angels themselves." Hence also ordinances are called galleries, in 
which both saints and angels walk, beholding the glory of him that 
sits upon the throne. Zech. iii. 7. " If you will keep my ways, I 
'^ will give you galleries to walk in among them that stand by." 

The fourth Corollary. 

If the church be God's husbandry, then those that be employed 
in ministerial work ought to be men of great judgment and experi- 
ence in soul affairs ; for these are the labourers whom God, the mys« 
tical Husbandman employs and entrusts about his spiritual husband-^ 



ry. Should husbandman employ ignoraut persons, that neither un- 
derstand the rules nor proper seasons of husbandry ; how much 
would such workmen damnify and prejudice him? He will not em- 
ploy such to weed his fields, as know not wheat from tares ; or to 
prune his trees, that think midsummer as fit for that work as Decem- 
ber : much less will God. He qualifies all that he sends with wis- 
dom for their work. " His "workmen approve themselves workmen 
" indeed, such as need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of 
'' truth,"' 2 Tim. ii. 15. As Bezaleel was furnished with -wisdom 
before he was employed in tabernacle-work ; so Christ instructs his 
servants with skill and insight, before they are employed in ministe- 
rial work. He gives them a mouth and wisdom, Luke xxi. 15. en- 
dues them with power from on high ; as Christ was filled abundant- 
ly with the Spirit for his work, so, according to proportion, are 
those that are sent by him. John xx. 21, 22. " As my Father hath 
^' sent me, so send I you."*" And as for those that run before they 
are sent, and understand not the mysteries oi the gospel ; I shall say 
no more of them but this ; " Father, forgive them, for they kno^7 
*' not what they do," 

The fifth Corollary. 

To conclude. If the church be God's husbandry, that is, if hus- 
bandry have so many resemblances of God's works about the church 
in it; then how inexcusable is the ignorance of husbandmen in the 
things of God, who, besides the word of the gospel, have the teach- 
ing of the creatures ; and can hardly turn theu' hands to any part of 
their work, but the Spirit hints one spiritual use or other from it to 
their souls ? How do the scriptures abound with parables and lively 
similitudes taken from husbandry ? From the field, the seed, the 
plow, the barn, from threshing and winnowing; similitudes also 
from planting, graffing, and pruning of trees ; and not a few from 
the ordering of cattle. So that to what business soever you turn 
your hands, in any part of your calling, still God meets you with 
one heavenly instruction or other. But alas ! How few are able to 
improve their civil employments to such excellent ends ! these things 
are but briefly hinted in the scriptures, and those hints scattered up 
and down, that they know not where to find them ; and if they 
could, yet would it be difficult so to methodize them, as it is neces- 
sary they should be, in order to their due improvement by medita- 

And therefore I judged it necessary to collect and prepare them 
for your use ; and in this manner to present them to you as you find 
them in the following chapters. Read, consider, and apply ; and 
the Lord make you good husbandmen for your own souls. 



Upon the Industry of the Hushandman. 

In the laborious Hushandman you see. 
What all true Christians are, or ought to he, 


i HE employment of the husbandman is by all acknowledged to 
be very laborious; there is a multiplicity of business incumbent on 
him. The end of one work is but the beginning of another, every 
season of the j'^ear brings its proper work with it : sometimes you 
find him in \i\s fields, dressing, plowing, sowing, harrowing, weeding, 
or reaping ; and sometimes in his ham, threshing or winnowing ; 
sometimes in his orchard, planting, graffing, or pruning his trees ; 
and sometimes among his cattle ; so that he hath no time to be idle. 
As he hath a multiplicity of business, so every part of it is full of 
toil and spending labour : he eats not the bread of idleness, but earns 
it before he eats it ; and, as it were, dips it in his own sweat, 
whereby it becomes the sweeter to'him. Though sin brought in the 
husbandman''s sweat, Gen. iii. 19- yet now not to sweat would increase 
his sin, Ezek. xvi. 49. 


Behold here the life of a serious Christian, shadowed forth to 
the life. As the life of a husbandman, so the life of a Christian is 
no idle nor easy life. They that take up religion for ostentation, and 
not for an occujiat'ion, and those that place the business of it in notions 
and idle speculations, in forms, gestures, and external observances, 
ma}'- think and call it so : but such as devote themselves unto it, and 
make rehgion their business, will find it no easy work to exercise 
themselves to godliness. Many there are that affect the reputation 
and sweet of it who cannot endure the labour and siveat of it. If 
men might be indulged to divide their heart betwxit God and the 
world, or to cull out the cheap and easy duties of it, and neglect the 
more difficult and costly ones, it were an easy thing to be a Christian : 
but surely to have a respect to all God's commandments, to live the 
life, as well as speak the language of a Christian ; to be holy in all 
manner of conversation, is not so easy. Tiiis will be evident, by 


comparing the life of a Christian with the Ufe of a husbandman, in 
these five particulars ; wherein it will appear, that tlie work of a 
Christian is by mucli the harder work of the two. 

1. The husbandman hath much to do, many things to look after ; 
but the Christian more : if we respect the extensiveness of his work, 
he hath a large field indeed to labour in, Psal. cxix. 96. " Thy com- 
" mandment is exceeding broad,'' of a vast extent and latitude, com- 
prizing not only a multitude of external acts and duties, and guiding 
the offices of the outward man about them, but also taking in every 
thought and motion of the inner man within its compass. 

You find in the word, a world of work cut out for Christians ; 
there is hearing-work, praying-work, reading, meditating, and self- 
examining- work ; it puts him also upon a constant watch over all the 
Corruptions of his heart. Oh, what a world of work hath a Chris- 
tian about him .'* For of them he may say, as the historian doth of 
Hannibal, they are never quiet, whether conquering or conquered. 
How many weak, languishing graces hath he to recover, improve, 
and strengthen ^ There is a weak faith, a languishing love, dull and 
faint desires, to be quickened and invigorated. And when all this is 
done, what a multitude of work do his several relations exact from 
him ? He hath a world of business incumbent on him, as a parent, 
child, husband, wife, master, servant, or friend, yea, not only to 
friends, but enemies. And, besides all this, how many difficult 
things are there to be borne and suffered for Christ ? And yet God 
will not allow his people to neglect any one of them : neither 
can he be a Christian that hath not respect to every command, and 
is not holy in all manner of conversation, Psal. cxix. 6. 2 Pet. iii. 11. 
every one of these duties, like the several spokes in a wheel, come to 
bear, in the whole round of a Christian's conversation : so that he 
hath more work upon his hands than the husbandman. 

2. The husbandman's work is confessed to be spending work, but 
not like the Christian's. What Augustus said of the young Roman, 
ig verified in the true Christian, Cliiicqiikl vulf^ valde vitlt. AVhat- 
soever he doth in religion, he doth to purpose. Under the law, 
God rejected the snail and the ass^ Lev. xi. 30. Exod. xiii. 13. And 
under the gospel, he allows no sluggish lazy professor, 1 Tim. v. 11, 
13. Sleepy duties are utterly unsuitable to the living God ; he will 
have the very spirits distilled and offered up to him in every duty, 
John iv. 24. he bestows- upon his people the very substance and ker- 
nel of mercies, and will not accept from them the shells and shadows 
of duties ; not the skin, but the inwards, and the fat that covereth 
the inwards, were required under the law, Exod. xxix. 30. And 
every sacrifice under the gospel, mvist be sacrijicium mcdullaium, a 
sacrifice full of marrow ; observe the manner in which their work 
is to be performed. 

Ilom. xii. 11. In serving God, fervent in spirit, or hissing hot. 


2 Pet. i. 10. In securing salvation, diligent ; or doing it thorough- 
ly and enough. 

1 Tim. iv. 7. In godliness, exercising or stripping themselves ; as 
for a race. 

Luke xiii. 24. In the pursuit of happiness, striving even to an 

Acts xxvi. 7. In prayer, serving God instantly ; or in a stretched 
out manner ; yea, pouring out their hearts before him, Psal. Ixii. 
8. as if the body were left like a dead corpse upon the knees, whilst 
the spirit is departed from it, and ascended to God. This is the 
manner of his work : judge then how much harder this work is, than 
to spend the sweet of the brow in manual labour. 

3. The husbandman finds his work as he left it, he can begin one 
day where he left the other ; but it is not so with the Christian ; 
a bad heart and a busy devil, disorder and spoil his work every day. 
The Christian finds not his heart in the morning, as he left it at 
night ; and even when he is about his work, how many set-backs 
doth he meet with ? Satan stands at his right hand (the working- 
hand) to resist him, Zech. iii. 1. when he would do good, evil (the 
evil of his own heart and nature) is present with him. 

4. The husbandman hath some resting-days, when he throws 
aside all his work, and takes his recreation ; but the Christian hath 
DO resting-day, till his dying-day ; and then he shall rest from his 
labours. Religion allows no idle day, " but requires him to be al- 
ways abounding in the work of the Lord," 1 Cor. xv. 18. When one 
duty is done, another calls for him ; the Lord's day is a day of rest 
to the husbandman, but no day in the week so laborious to the Chris- 
tian. O it is a spending day to him. When he hath gathered in 
the crop of one duty, he is not to sit down satisfied therewith, or 
say as that rich worldhng did, Luke xii. 19. " Soul, take thine ease, 
*• thou hast goods laid up for many years f"" but must to plow again, 
and count it well if the vintage reach to the seed-time, Lev. xxvi. 5. 
I mean, if the strength, influence, and comfort of one duty, hold 
out to another duty ; and that it may be so, and there be no room 
left for idleness, God hath appointed ejaculatory prayer, to fill up the 
intervals, betwixt stated and more solemn duties. These are to keep 
in the fire, which kindled the morning sacrifice, to kindle the even- 
ing sacrifice. When can the Christian sit down and say, Nozv all mi/ 
•worli IS ended, I have nothing to do zvithout doors, or xvithin ? 

Lastly, There is a time when the labour of the husbandman is 
ended ; old age and weakness takes them off from all employment ; 
they can look only upon their labourers, but cannot do a stroke of 
work themselves ; they can tell you what they did in their younger 
years, but now (say they) we must leave it to younger people : we 
cannot be young always ; but the Christian is never superannuated 
as to the work of religion; yea, the longer he lives, the more his Mas- 
ter expects from him. When he is full of days, God expects he should 


be full of fruits, Psal. xcii. 14. " They shall bring forth fruit in old 
" age, they shall be fat and flourishing." 


1. How hard have I laboured for the meat that perisheth ? Pre- 
rpj ^ ji. , vented the dawning of the day, and laboured as 
n ' . ° in the very fire, and yet is the Christian's work 

rejiec ion, hai'der than mine ? Surely, then, I never yet 

understood the work of Christianity. Alas, my sleepy prayers, and 
formal duties, even all that ever I performed in my life, never cost 
me that pains, that one hour at plow hath done. I have either 
wholly neglected, or at best, so lazily performed religious duties, 
that I may truly say, I offer to God what cost me nothing. Wo is 
me, poor Wretch ! How is the judgment of Korali spiritually ex- 
ecuted upon me ? The earth opened her mouth, and sv/allowed up 
his body ; but it hath opened its mouth and swallowed up my heart, 
my time, and all my affections. How far am I from the kingdom of 
God ! 

2. And how little better Is my case, who have indeed professed 

rrji n t ^i rcliffion, but never made it my business "^ Will 
I lie formaiist s f /^i i i r ]\ ^ • s 

„ y an empty (though splendid) proiession save me .'' 

•^ ^ * How many brave shipshave perished in the storms, 

notwithstanding their fine names, the ProsperouSy the Success, the 

Happy Return ? A fine name could not protect them from the rocks, 

nor will it save me from hell. I have done by religion, as I should 

have done by the world ; prayed, as if I prayed not ; and heard, as 

if I heard not. I have given to God but the shadow of duty, and 

can never expect from him a real rewai'd. 

3. How unlike a Christian dost thou also, O my soul, go about thy 
^, ^ . ^ work; though upright in the main; yet how 

7 iJTy^f.,^^ ^ ^ littlezealand activitydostthouexpressinthy 
sloihfid Christian. ^^^.^^ , ,^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^j^ 

the toil and pains men take for the world ? How do they prevent 
the dawning of the day ; and labour as in the very fire till night ; and 
all this for a trifle ! Should not every drop of sweat which I see 
trickle from their brows fetch, as it were, a drop of blood from my 
heart, who am thus convinced and reproved of shameful laziness, by 
their indefatigable diligence ? Do they pant after the dust of the 
earth.? Amos ii. 7. And shall not I pant after God.? Psal. xlii. 1. 
Ah, my soul, it was not wont to be so with thee in the days of my 
first profession. Should I have had no more communion with God 
in duties then, it would have broken my heart : I should have been 
weary of my life. Is this a time for one to stand idle, who stands at 
the door of eternity ? What, now slack-handed, when so near to 
my everlasting rest, Rom. xiii. 11. or hast thou found the work of 
God so unpleasant to thee.? Prov. iii. 17. or the trade of godliness 
so unprofitable ? Psal. xix. 12. Or knowest thou not, that millions. 



now in hell, perished for want of serious diligence in religion, Luke 
xiii. 34. nor doth my diligence for God, answer to that which Christ 
hath done and suffered, to purchase my happiness : or to the pre- 
parations he hath made in heaven for me ? Or dost thou forget that 
thy Master's eye is always upon thee, whilst thou art lazying and 
loitering ? Or would the damned live at this rate as I do, if their day 
of grace might be recalled ? For shame, my soul, for shame ! rouse 
up thyself, and fall to thy work, with a diligence answerable to the 
weight thereof; for it is no vain work concerning thee, it is thv 
life. ^ 

Will make you 
'Twill make 
And therein 
If there were 
Christ gives 
Should we not 
For there's 
Shall others 
Their strength 
Whilst we 
O that 

Why are our 
When we 
How can we 
And yet the 
If this, then 
Them both ; 
Some if 
But if they 
As good 
Rouse up 
Thee to thy 
O strive. 
The pain they 
But yet 
Their rest, and 


When advanced in powV, 

Husband every hour. 

Men strive with all their might. 

Find a sweet delight. 

Nought besides that pay 

To cheer us in our way ; 

Do the best we can ? 

No such reward from man. 

Work, and not regard 

To get a small reward ? 

Turn slugs, and loiter thus ? 

Their zeal might quicken us ! 

Hands, and feet so slow, 

Unto our business go ? 

Then Christ's pay expect, 

Christianas work reject. 

Also that embrace 

If not, we both disgrace. 

They could these t;wo divide, 

Please them well, with Christ to side ! 

May not, then it were 

Cease pleading, they'll not hear : 

From sloth, my soul betake 

Work, no cavils make. 

And try ! Saints say that even, 

Take, hath much of heaven. 

Their best wine's kept till last, 

Ease comes all so fast. 



CHAP. 11. 

Upon tlie Thriftiness of the Husbandman* 

The hardest lab'' vers are the tli7'iving men, 
IfyoiCll have thriving souls, he active then. 


xNDtJSTRY and diligence is the way to thrive and grow rich in 
the world. The earth must be manured, or its increase is in vain 
expected; Qui Jiigit molam, fugitj'arinam ; He that refuses the 
mill, refuses the meal, (saith the proverb). " The diligent sortl 
" shall be made fat."" Solomon hath two proverbs concerning thrif- 
tiness and increase in the world. In Prov. x. 4. he saith, *' The 
'' hand of the diligent maketli rich."" And in ver. 22. he saith, 
" The blessinof of the Lord maketh rich.'"' These are not contradict 
toi'ij, but confirmatory each of other ; one speaks of the prijicipal, the 
other of the instrumental cause. Diligence without God's blessing 
will not do it ; and that blessing cannot be expected witliout dili- 
gence ; therefore husbandmen ply their business with unwearied 
pains, they do even lodge in the midst of their labours as that good 
husband Boaz did, Ruth ii. 3. They ixve iiarsinionious of their time, 
hut prodigal of their sweet and strength, because they find this to 
be the thriving way. , 


As nature opens her treasures to none but the diligent, so neither 
doth grace. He that will be a rich, must be a painful Christian ; and 
whosoever Avill closely ply the trade of godliness, shall comfortably 
and quickly find, " That in keeping God's commands there is great 
" reward,"" Psal. xix. 11. God is a " bountiful rewarder of such as 
" diligently seek him,"" Heb. xi. 6. They must not indeed work 
for wages, * nor yet will God suffer their work to go unrewarded ; 
yea, it sufficiently rewards itself, 1 Tim. vi. 6. And its reward is 
twofold ; (1.) Present and in part ; (2.) Future, and in full. Mark 
X. 29, 30. Now in this time an hundred-fold, even from suffering, 
which seems the most unprofitable part of the work, and in the world 
to come life everlasting. If you ask what present advantage Christi- 
ans have by their diligence ? I answer, as much and more than the 
husbandman hath from all his toils and labours. Let us compare the 
particulars, and see what the husbandman gets that the Christian gets 
not also. Compare your gains, and you will quickly see the odds* 

1. You get credit and reputation ])y 3'our diligence ; it is a com- 
mendation and honour to you to be active and stirring men : But 
how much more honour doth God put upon his laborious servants? 

* iVo« merccTiarii sed operarii. 


1 1 is the highest honour of a creature to be active and useful for its 
God. Saints ai-e called vessels of honour^ as they are fitted for the 
master's use, 2 Tim. ii. 9A. Wherein consists thehonour of angels 
but in this, that they are ministering spirits, serviceable creatures ? 
And all the apostles glorified in the title of servants. The lowest 
office in wliich a man can serve God, even that of Nethinim, or door- 
keepers, which was the lowest order or rank of officers in the house 
of GyjcI, Ezek. xliv. 10, 11. is yet preferred by David before the ser- 
vice of the greatest prince on earth. Psalm Ixxxiv. 10. It is no small 
honour to be active for (tocI. 

% You have this benefit by your labour, that thereby you avoid 
loose and evil company, which would draw you into mischief By 
diligence for God, the Christian also is secured from temptation ; 
" God is -vvath them while they are with him,"" 2 Chron. xv. 9. 
Communion with God in the way of duty is a gi-eat preservative 
against temptations. The schoolmen put the question, hovf\\\Ga7igels 
and glorified saints become impeccant .^ And resolve it thus : That 
they are secured fix)m sin by the beatifical vision ; and sure I am that 
the visions of God, not only in glory, but now also in duty, are mar- 
vellous defences against sin ; and they who are most active for God, 
have the fullest and clearest visions of God, John xiv. 21. 

3. You have this benefit by your labour, that it tends much to the 
health of our bodies. The Christian hath this benefit by his la- 
bour, that it tends to a healthful state of soul ; " The way of the 
" Lord is strength to the upright," Prov. x. 29. As those that follow 
their daily labours in the field, have much more health than citizen* 
that live idlv, or scholars that live a sedentary life : So the active 
Christian enjoys more spiritual health, and is troubled with fewer 
complaints than others. 

4. By diligence in your civil employments, you preserve vour es- 
tates, and are kept from running behind-hand in the world. Bai- 
liffs trouble not sucli men''s doors ; they usally have the forefoot of 
their neighbours. And by activity and diligence foi* God, souls are 
kept from backsliding, and runningback in their graces and comforts. 
Remissness and intermission in our duties are the first steps and de- 
grees by which a soul declines and wastes as to his spiritual estate. 

5. Your pains and diligence in the fields, make your bed sweet to 
you at night, Eccles. v. 12. " Rest is sweet to a labouring man, w^he- 
'* ther he eat little or much.'" But the dihgent life of a Christian 
makes the clods of the valley, his grave, sweet unto him, 2 Cor. i, 12. 
2 Kings XX. 3. " Remember now, O Lord, how I have walked before 
" thee," &c. Think Christian, how sweet it will be for thee when 
thou comest to die, to say then as thy Redeemer did, v>-hen near his 
death, John xvii. 4, 5. " I have finished the work wliich thou gavest 
" me to do ; and now, O Father glorify me with thine own self" 

6. The expence of your sweat fills your purses, you get estates by 
your diligence and labour ; but what are your gains to the gains of 


Christians ? They can get in an hour tliat which they will not part 
with for all the gold and silver on earth, Prov. iii. 14. 

So that compare these labourers, as to all their advantages, and 
you shall see, that there is no trade like that which the diligent 
Christian drives. 


1. Blush then, O my soul, at the consideration of thy laziness 

Reflections of the ^"^ ^^^^^' ^^^^^^^^ ^^ attended with so many spi- 
7 ^li 1 7 ritual wants ! And can I wonder at it, when I 

slothful soul, n ^^ -pi i? j ^ • i • i .1 

-^ retuse the pamtul way oi duty, ni which the pre- 

cious fruits of godliness are only to be found ? If the fruits lie upon 
the surface of duty, or could be had with wishes, I should not want 
them ; but to dig deep and take pains I cannot. My desires, like 
those of the slothful man, kill me, because my hands refuse to labour, 
Prov. xxi. 25. If every duty were to be rewarded presently with 
gold, would I not have been more assiduous in them, than I have 
been ? And yet I know that a heart full of the grace and comfort 
of the Holy Ghost, is better than a house full of gold and silver. O 
what a composition of stupidity and sloth am I ! I have been all for 
the short cut to comfort, when constant experience teacheth, that 
the further way about, by painful duty, is the nearer way to it. 
What pains do husbandmen take ? What peril do seamen run for 
a little gain ; O sluggish heart ! wilt thou do nothing for eternal 
treasures ^ 

Secondly^ If there be such great reward attending diligence in 
duty, then why art thou so apt, O my soul, to cast oif duty, because 
thou findest not present comfort in it ^ How quickly am I discou- 
raged, if I presently find not what I expect in duty ? Whereas the 
well is deep, and much pains must be taken to draw up those waters 
of joy, Isa. xii. 3. There is a golden vein in the mount of duty, but 
it lies deep ; and because I meet not with it as soon as I expect, my 
lazy heart throws by the shovel, and cries. Dig I cannot. 

Thirdly, If this be indeed the rich and thriving trade, why do I 
TJ Id' ' puddle about the poor, low things of the world 

n, ,; * ^ so much, neglecting the rich trade of godliness 

•^^ ^ ' for it ? O how much of my time and strength 

have these things devoured ? Had I employed that time in commu- 
nion with God, would it not have turned to a better account? 
Thinkest thou in earnest, O my soul, that God hath endowed thee 
with such excellent faculties, capable of the most Divine and heaven- 
ly employments, or that Jesus Christ hath shed his invaluable, pre- 
cious blood, or that he hath sent forth the glorious Spirit of holi- 
ness, and all this to fit men for no higher, no nobler employments 
than these. 

Is this the end of thy wonderful creation ; Doth God whirl about 
the heavens in endless revolutions, to beget time for this ? Or doth 
he not rather expect that the weightiest work should engross thy 


greatest strength, and choicest hours? O that I could once con- 
sider, what a good Master Christians serve, \viiho will not only 
ahundantly reward them at night, but brings them their food into 
the fields to encourage them in their labour ! AVhat pity is it, that 
so good a Master should be so badly served as he hath been by me ! 
Hark how he pleads to gain my heart : 


By way of Dialogue betwixt Christ and the World. 


Why so free of sweat and time, 
For what ere long will not be thine ? 
Or if it might, thou sell'st to loss, 
A precious soul for lasting dross. 
Those weary hands, and toiling brains, 
Might be employ"'d for better gains. 
Wouldst thou but work as hard for me, 
As for the world which cozens thee ; 
Thy gains should be a thousand fold : 
For my revenue''s more than gold. 

Soul, I have always found thee willing. 
Rather by me to earn a shilling, 
Than trust uncertain things which lie 
Beyond thee in eternity. 
Shall things unseen now tempt thee ? Tush^ 
A bird in hand's worth two T th' bush. 
I pay thee wages down in hand. 
This thou canst feel, taste, understand, 
O let not such a vain pretence 
Prevail against thy very sense. 

Thus beasts are led, thus birds are snar'd, 
Thus souls for ruin are prepared. 
What ! trust no failher than you see. 
You'll trust a thief as far as me. 
Deluded wretch ! Will nought but sight 
And sense convince thee ? O how right, 
How just is God ? whose direful scourge 
Such arguments in hell shall urge. 

Christ 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 I 
Vol. V. C 


Come see, the saints, for all their brags, 
How well they thrive, they're cloth'd in rags 

If my dear saints in rags do go, 
'Tis not religion clothes them so ; 
But by such wants the Lord secures 
Their souls against the killing snares : 
They all are heirs, tho' under age, 
Expectants of their heritage : 
Kept short for present, yet contemn 
A change with those that scoiF at them. 

It is vain to plead, for I 
With present things charm powerfully ; 
Whatever thou ofFer'st, they'll despise, 
i hold them prisoners by their eyes. 

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 turned to ashes that's in thee. 


J-^ ONE will deny but those are blessed pains 
Which are attended with the richest gains. 
Grant this, and then most 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 risks some run ? 
Some toiling as i' th' fire, from sun to sun. 
Whereas one hour spent with God brings in 
Such heavenly 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 heaven may bankrupt prove : 
But holy souls, who mind, and closely ply 
Their business, greatly are enrich'd thereby : 


The difTrence 'twixt the one, and th' other's best 
By such a simile 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 saint, and lazy notionist. 


Upon the cheerfulness of the Husbandman. 

The plowman sings., and "whistles, though he sweaty 
Shall Christians droop, because their work is great ; 


X HOUGH the labours of the husbandman are very great and 
toilsome, yet with what cheei'fulness do they go through them ? 
It is very delightful to hear the melody they make, by whistling, as 
they follow the plow ; yea, the very horses have their bells, which 
make a pleasant noise. Horses (saith 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 saying of the poet : 

Tempus in agrorum cultu consumere dulce est. Ovid, 
Altho' they plow from morning until night, 
Time steals away with pleasure and delight. 


JJUT how much greater cause have the people of God to address 
themselves unto his work with all cheerfulness of spirit? And, 
indeed, so far as the heart is spiritual, it delights in its duties. It is 
true, the work of a Christian is painful, and much more spending 
than the husbandman's, (as was opened, Chap. 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 ?^ Isa. xii. 3. You may see what a pleasant path the 
paths of duty is, by the cheerfulness of those that have walked in 


^8 Husbandry spiuitualized ; on, 

them, Psal. cxix. 14. " I have rejoiced in the way of thy jiulgments, 
" as much as in all riches." And by the promises that are made to 
such, Psal. cxxxviii. 5. " Yea, they sing 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 glad- 
" ness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe, to come to the 
'' mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel," Isa. xxx. 


And, lastly, by the many commands, whereby joy in the way of 
the Lord is made the duty of the saints. " 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 com- 
mand is doubled, yea, not only simple rejoicing, but the highest de- 
gree of that duty comes within the command. Psal. cxxxii. 9, 16. 
" Shout for joy all ye that are upright in heart." And Luke vii. 28, 
23. they 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 sinners, be pleased to 

1*^5 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 Christian is 
expressed, Gen. xvii. 1. Can any life compare with this, for plea- 
sure .? Can thev be chill that walk in the sun-shine .^ Or sad, 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," Psal. xvi. 11. O what an angelical life doth a 
Christian then live "^ 

Or, 2^Z2/, If we consider the variety of spiritual employments, 
Varietas delectat. Change of employment takes off the tediousness 
of labour. Variety of voices pleases the ear, variety of colours de- 
lights the eye, the same meat prepared several ways, pleases the pa- 
late more, and clogs it less. But oh the variety of choice dishes where- 
with God entertains his people in a Sabbath ! as the word, prayer, 
sacraments, &c. Isa. Iviii. 13, If thou call the Sabbath thydelights ; 
or, as Tremellius renders it, thy dehcate things. " My soul (saith 
David) shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness," Psal. Ixiii. 5. 

^dly^ or lastly^ If we consider the suitableness of this work to a re- 
generate soul. Is it any pain for a bird to fly ? Or a fish to swim ? 
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 delight in the law of God after 
" the inner man." Gravia non gravltant in eorum loco, (saith the 
philosopher) weighty things are not heavy in their own element, or 
centre. And surely God is the centre of all gracious spirits. A 
saint can sit 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 
soul can find in one quarter of an hour's communion with God. 
<« They that are after the flesh, (saith 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 
transcend earthly ones, and how much the soul is more capable of de- 
light in those objects, than the gross and duller senses are in theirs ; 
so much doth the pleasure arising from duty excel all sensitive^ de- 
lights on earth. 


How am I cast and condemned by this, may I say, who never sa- 
voured tliis spiritual delight in holy duties ! ^,^^ ^^^^^j 
When I am about my earthly employments, 1 n .• 
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, run 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 spirits in these their pursuits ! but O what 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 holiness .? Is godli- 
ness only a dry root that bears no pleasant fruits ? No, there are 
doubtless incomparable pleasures to be found therein ; but such a 
carnal heart as mine savours them not. 

I cannot say but I have found delight in religious duties, but they 
have been only such as rather sprang from the os- t1 1 -7 ' 

tentation 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 soul. 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 en- 
joyment of God, as it doth in those duties that are most exposed to 
the observation of man. AVill such a spring as this maintain a 
stream of affections when carnal motives fail ? What wilt thou an- 
swer, O my soul ! to that question.? Job xxvii. 9, 10» " Will God 
" hear his cry when trouble comes upon him "^ Will he delight him- 
" self 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 persuaded to let go that thou 
never dehghtedst in, and, from an hypocrite in religion, quickly 
become an apostate from religion. 

C 3 


rpr ' 1 f h f From all this the upright heart takes ad van- 

^^ .r ^ tage to rouse up its delight in God, and thus 

J^^ ' it exposiulateth with itself : Doth the plowman 

sing amidst his drudging labours, and whistle away his weariness in 
the fields ; and shall 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 such an object as 
the blessed face of God in ordinances should excite it. Ah ! how 
would this ennoble all my services, and make them angel-like ! how 
glad are those blessed creatures to be employed for God ! No sooner 
were they created, but they sang together, and shouted for joy, Job 
xxxviii. 7. How did they fill the air with heavenly melody, when 
sent to bring the joyful tidings of a Saviour to the world ! Ascribing 
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 excellent : he delighted to do his Fathers 
will, it was to him mc-at and drink. Psalm xl. 7. John iv. 32, 34. 

Yea, it would not only ennoble, but facilitate all my duties, and 
be to me as wings to a bird in flying, or sails to a ship in motion. Non 
tardat uncta rota ; oiled wheels run freely ; " Or ever I was awaro 
^' my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib." O what is the 
reason (my God) my delight in thee should be so little ? Is it not be- 
cause my unbelief is so great ? Rouse up my delights, O thou foun- 
tain of pleasure ! and let me swim down the stream of holy joy in 
duty, into the boundless ocean of those immense delights that are in 
thy presence, and at thy right hand for everniore. 


v^ What a dull, desponding heart is mine f 
That takes no more delipht in things divine. 
When all the creatures, both in heav'n and earth. 
Enjoy their pleasures, and are big with mirth. 
Angels and saints that are before the throne. 
In ecstasies and raptures every one 
Perpetually is held ; each blessed spirit 
The pure>t, highest joys doth there inherit ; 
The saints on earth, in their imperfect state. 
Those peerleps joys, by faith do antedate. 
To natVal men, who savour not this pleasure, 
Yet bounteous nature doth unlock her treasure 
Of sensitive delights ; yea, strange to tell, 
Bold sinners rant it all the way to hell. 
Like fish that play in Jordan's silver stream, 
Si> these in sensual lusts, and never dream 
Of that dread sea to which the stream doth tend, 
And to their pleasures puts a fatal end. 


Yea, birds and beasts, as well as men, enjoy 
Their innocent delights : these chirp and play ; 
The cheerful birds among the branches sing, 
And make the neighboring groves with music ring : 
With various warbling notes they all invite 
Our ravished ears with pleasure and delight. 
The new-fall'n lambs, will in a sun-shine day, 
About their feeding dams jump up and play. 
Are cisterns sweet ? and is the fountain bitter ? 
Or can the sun be dark when glow-worms glitter ? 
Have instruments their sweet, melodious airs ? 
All creatures their delights ; and saints not theirs ? 
Yea, theirs transcend these sensual ones as far 
As noon-day Phoebus doth a twinkling star. 
Why droop I then, may any creature have 
A life like mine for pleasure ? Who e'er gave 
The like encouragement that Christ hath given, 
To do his will on earth, as 'tis in heaven ^ 

Upon the due Quality of Arable Land. 

Corn land must neither be too fat, nor poor ; 
The middle state suits best with Christians^ sure. 


JHUSBANDMEN find, by experience, that their arable lands 
may be dressed too much, as well as too little ; if the soil be over- 
rank, the seed shoots up so much into the stalk, that it seldom ears 
well ; and if too thin and poor, it wants its due nutriment, and comes 
not to perfection. Therefore their care is, to keep it in heart, but 
not to over-dress, or under-dress it. The end of all their cost and 
pains about it is fruit ; and therefore reason tells them, that such a state 
and temperament of it, as best fits it for fruit, is best both for it ^nd 


./i^ND doth not spiritual experience, teach Christians that a medi- 
ocrity and competency of the things of this life, best fit them for 
the fruits of obedience, which is the end and excellency of their being ? 
A man may be over-mercied, as well as over-afflicted ; Rarofv^ 
mantfoelicibus arce, the altars of the rich seldom smoke. When our 
outward enjoyments are by providence shaped, and fitted to our con- 



dition, as a suit is to the body that sits close and neat, neitiier too 
short, nor too long ; we cannot desire a better condition in this world. 
This was it that wise Agur requested of God, Prov. xxx. 8, 9- 
** Give me neither poverty nor riches, but feed me with food conve- 
*' nient for me, lest I be full and deny thee, and say who is the 
*' Lord ? Or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God 
'' in vain." Against both he prays equally^ not absolutely ; that had 
been his sin ; but, comparatively, and'submissively to the will of God. 
He had rather, if God see it fit to avoid both of these extremes ; 
but what would he have then ? Why, food convenient. Or accord- 
ing to the Hebrew, give me my prey or statute-bread ; which is a 
metaphor from birds which fly up and down to prey for their young, 
and what they get they distribute among them ; thev bring them 
enough to preserve their lives, but not more than enough to lie moul- 
dering in the nest. Such a proportion Agur desired, and the reason 
why he desired it is drawn from the danger of both extremes. He 
measured like a wise Christian, the convenience or inconvenience of 
his estate in the world, by its suitableness or un suitableness to the end 
of his being, which is the service of his God. He accounted the 
true excellence of his hfe to consist in its reference and tendency to 
the glory of his God ; and he could not see how a redundancy^ or too 
great 2i penury of earthly comforts could fit him for that ; but a mid- 
dle estate, equally removed from both extremes, best fitted that end. 
And this was all that good Jacob, who was led by the same Spirit, 
looked at, Gen. xxviii. 20. " And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, 
" if God will be with me, and keep me in the way that I go, and 
" give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again 
*' to mv father's house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God."" 
Poor Jacob, he desires no great matters in the world, food and rai- 
ment will satisfy him ; in spiritual matters his desires are boundless, 
he is the most greedy and unsatisfied man in the world, Hos. xii. 4. 
but in the matters of this life, if he can get from God but qffam et 
aqunm, a morsel of meat and a mouthful of water, he will not envy 
the richest Crcesus, or Crassus upon earth. C'lhus et potus sunt 
divitce Christianorum ; meat and drink are the riches of Christians. 
Divifice sunt ad legem naturce composHa paupertas^ saith Pomponius 
Atticus ; riches are such a poverty, or mediocrity, as hath enough 
for nature's uses ; and such a state is best accommodated both to the 
condition, and to the desires of a saint. 

1. To his condition, for what is a saint but a stranger and pilgrim 
upon earth, a man in a strange country travelling homeward 't So 
David professed himself. Psalm cxix. 12. " I am a stranger in this 
*^ earth." And so those worthies, who are now at home in heaven, 
Heb. xi. 13. they professed themselves to be strangers and pilgrims 
upon earth, and to seek a country ; a viaticurn contents a traveller, 
he will not incumber himself with superfluous things, which would 
rather clog and tire, than expedite and help him in his journey. 


S. It suits best with his desires, I mean his regular and advised 
desires. For. 

1, A gracious soul earnestly desires a free condition in the Avorld ; 
he is sensible he hath much work to do, a race to run, and is loth 
to be clogged, or have his foot in the snare of the cares or pleasures 
of this life. He knows that fulness exposes to wantonness and irreli- 
gion, Deut. vi. 12. Hos. xiii. 6. It is hard, in the midst of so many 
tempting objects, to keep the golden bridle of moderation upon the 
affections. The heart of a Christian, like the moon, commonly 
suffers an eclipse when it is at the full, and that bj the interposition 
of the earth. 

It was Solomon's fulness that drew out and dissolved his spirits, 
and brought him to such a low ebb in spirituals, that it remains a 
question with some. Whether he ever recovered it to his dvino- day. 
As it is the misery of the poor to be neglected of men, so" it is the 
miser}^ of the rich to neglect God. Who can be poorer than to have 
the world and love it.^ Or richer, than to enjoy but little of it, and 
live above it ? 

And on the other side, extreme poverty is no less exposed to sin 
and danger. Lev. vi. 2, 3, 4. As high and lofty trees are subject 
to storms and tempests, so the lower shrubs to be browsed on by every 
beast; and therefore a saint desires a just competency as the JUtesf, 
because ihe^reest state. 

2. A gracious person desires no more but a competency, because 
there is most of God's love and care discovered in giving in our daily 
bread, by a daily providence. It is betwixt such a condition, and a 
fulness of creature-provisions in our land, as it was betwixt Eo-ypt 
and Canaan ; Egypt was watered with the flood from the river Nilus, 
and little of God was seen in that mercy ; but Canaan depended upon 
the dews and showers of heaven ? and so every shower of rain was a 
refreshing shower to their souls, as well as bodies. Most men that 
have a stock of creature-comforts in their hands, look upon all as 
coming in an ordinary, natural course, and see very little of God in 
their mercies. Pope Adrian built a college at Louvain, and caused 
this inscription to be written in letters of gold on the gates thereof; 
Trajectiimplantavit, Louvan'mm rigavit, Ccesar dedit incrementum ; 
(i. e.) Utrecht planted me, Louvain watered me, and Csesar gave 
the increasf^. One to reprove his folly wrote underneath. Hie Dens 
nihil fecit ; here God did nothing. Carnal men sow, and reap, and 
eat, and look no further. 

But now, when a man sees his mercies come in by the special and 
assiduous care of God for him, there is a double sweetness in those 
mercies ; the natural sweetness which comes from the creature itself, 
every one, even the beasts, can taste that as well as thee ; but besides 
that, there is a spiritual sweetness, far exceeding the former, which 
none but a believer tastes ; and much of that comes from the manner 


in which he receives it, because it comes (be it never so coarse or lit* 
tie) as a covenant mercy to hira. " He hath given bread to them 
^^ that fear him, he is ever mindful of his covenant," Psal. cxi. 5. 
Liiitr.er, who made many a meal upon a broiled herring, was wont to 
sav, Mendicato pane h'lc vivamus, annon hoc pvlchre sarcHur in eo, 
quod pasc'imur pane cum angdls et vitaccterna, Christo ct s-acramen^ 
tic : Let us be content with coarse fare here, have we not the bread 
that came down from heaven ^ Do we not feed with angels ? A preg- 
nant instance of the sweetii ^ss of sunh mercies is given us by a worthy 
divine of our own, Mr. Isaac Ambrose, ' * For my own part (saith 

* he) however the Lord haih seen cause to give me but a poor pit- 
' tance of outward things, for which I bless his name, yet in the 

* income thereof, I have many times observed so much of his peculiar 
' providence, thai thereby they have been very much sweetened, and 
' my heart hath been raised to admire his grace. When of late under 

* an hard dispensation (which I judge not meet to mention, wherein 
' I suffered with inward peace conscientiously) all streams of wonted 
' supplies being stopt, the waters of relief for myself and family did 
' run low. I went to bed with some staggerings and doubtings of 

* the fountain s letting out itself for our refreshing ; but ere I did 

* awake in the mornirig, a letter was brought to my bed-side, which 

* was signed by a choice friend, Mr. Anthony Ash, which reported 

* some unexpected breakings out of God's goodness for my comfort. 

* These are some of his lines, — — Your God, who hath given you 

* an heart thankfully to record your experiences of his goodness, doth 

* renew experiences for your encouragement. Now I shall report 

* one which will raise your spirit towards the God of your mercy, &c.» 
Whereupon he sweetly concludes, ' One morsel of God's provision, 
' (especiallv if it come unexpected, and upon prayer, when wants are 
" most) will be more sweet to a spiritual relish, than all former full 
' enjoyments were. 

Manv mercies come unasked for, and they require thankfulness, 
but when mercies come in upon prayer, and as a return of prayer, 
their sweetness more than doubles ; for now it is both God's bles- 
sing upon his own institution, and a seal set to his promise at once, 
Psal. Ixvi. 18, IT. Doubtless Hannah found more comfort in her 
Samuel, and Leah in her Naphtah, the one being asked of God, 
and the other wrestled for with God, (as their names import) thai^ 
mothers ordinarily do in their children. 


™, ^ . Do the people of God desire only so much of the 

„ , J '^ ! creature as may fit them for the service of God .? 

of me designing ^^-j^^^ y^reich am I that have desired only so much 

lypocri e. ^£ j.gjjgJQj^ ^g ^^y £^ ^-^^ ^q g^^jj ^j^g creature ! As 

• Epistle to the Earl of Bedford ; ante ultima. 


God^s people have subjected all their creature-enjovments to religion, 
so appositely, O my soul, thou hast subected religion to thy worldly 
interest and designs. Instead of eating and drinking to serve God, I 
have served God that I might eat and drink ; yea, I have not only 
acted below religion, but below reason also ; for reason dictates plain- 
ly, that the means must never be more excellent than the end. 
Wretch that I am, to make religion a slave to my lust, a stirrup to 
advancement, an artifice to carry on my carnal designs ; verily I 
have my reward ; and this is all the good I am ever like to get by it. 
And no less should the worldling tremble, to consider how he hath 
cast off the duties of religion, made them stand rpj ^„ 777. , 
aside, and give place to the world. Instead of de- ij f 
siring so much only as might make him serviceable "^ ' 

to God, he thrusts aside the service of God to get as much of the 
world as he can, who is so far from making godliness the end of his 
creature-comforts, that he rather looks upon it as an obstacle and 
hindrance to them. May not the very heathens make me blush .-* 
Could Aristotle deliver this as a true rule to posterity, to make re- 
ligion our first, and chief care.? Could Aristippus say, He would ra- 
ther neglect his means than his mind ! his farm than his soul .? Will 
the very Mahometans, how urgent soever their business be, lay it all 
aside five times in the day to pray "^ Yea, it is common to a proverb 
among the very Papists, that mass and meat hinder no man ; and 
yet I, that profess myself a Christian, thrust out duty for every trifle! 

wretched soul \ how hath the god of this world blinded mine 
eyes .? Can the world indeed do that for me that Christ can do : 
Hath it ever proved true to them tiiat trusted it, and doated on it ? 
Hath it not at last turned them off, as men turn ofFa sumpter-horse 
at night, that hath been a drudge to carry their gold and silver for 
them all day, and at last is turned out with an empty belly, and a 
galled back .? O how righteous will that sentence of God be ! Go cry 
to the gods whom thou hast served. 

And may not many gracious hearts turn in upon themselves with 
shame and sorrow, to consider how unsatisfied they rjii .. • ^ 71. 

1 1 .1 T* i,.i 1 J- '^^ fl'l'CiClOUS SOUL 9 

have been in that condition, that others nave pre- ^ ^. 
ferred and esteemed as the greatest of all out ward -^ 
mercies ? I have indeed been fed with food convenient, but not con- 
tented ? how hath mine heart been tortured from day to day with 
anxious thoughts, what I shall eat and drink, and wherewith I and 
mine shall be clothed ? I pretend indeed that I care but for a compe- 
tency of the world, but sure I am, my cares about it have been in- 
competent. Come my distrustful, earthly heart, let me propound a 
few questions to thee about this matter, and answer truly to what I 
shall demand of thee. 

Quest. 1. Hast thou here a continuing city ? Art thou at home, or 
upon thy journey, that thou art so solicitous about the world .? Thy 
profession indeed speaks thee a stranger upon earth, but thy conver- 


sation a home-dweller. Erasmus said he desired honours and riches 
no more than a weary horse doth a heavy cloak-back. Wouldst thoit 
not account him a fool that would victual his ship as much to cross 
the channel to Fmnce, as if she were bound for the East Indies ? 
Alas ! it will be but a little while, and then there will be no more 
need of any of these thino-s. It is sad, that a soul which stands at the 
door of eternity, should be perplexing itself about food and raiment. 

Quest. 2. Which of all the saints hast thou known to be the better 
for much of the world ? It hath been some men''s utter ruin. Seldom 
doth God suffer men to be their own carvers, but they cut their own 
fingers. ' To give riches and pleasure to an evil man (saith Aristotle) 
' is but to give unne to one that hath a fever.'' Where there is no 
ti'anf, there is usually much icanionness. What a sad story is that of 
Pius Quintus. When I was in a low condition, said lie, I had some 
comfortable hopes of my salvation ; but when I came to be a cardi- 
nal, I greatly doubted of it : But Since I came to the Popedom, I 
have no hope at all. Though this poor, undone wretch, spake it 
out, and others keep it in ; yet, doubtless, he hath manyj thousand 
fellows in the world that might say as much, would they but speak 
the truth. 

And even God's ov.n people, though the world hath not excluded 
them out of lieaven, yet it hath sorely clogged them in the way thi- 
ther. Many that have been very humble, holy, and heavenly in a 
low condition, have suffered a sad ebb in a full condition. What a 
cold blast have they felt coming from the cares and delights of this 
life, to chill both their graces, and comforts ! It had been well for 
some of God's people, if they had never known what prosperity 

Qiiest. 3. Is not this a sad symptom of a declining state of soul, to 
be so hot, eager, and anxious about the superfluous trifles of thig life ? 
Thinkest thou, O mv soul ? that one who walks in the views of that 
glory above, and maintains a conversation in heaven, can be much 
taken with these vanities.'^ Do not the -visions of God veil the tempting 
splendour of the creature ! It was the opinion of some of the School- 
men, that the reason whv Adam in paradise was not sensible of his 
nakedness, was because he was wholly taken up in conversing with 
God. But this is certain, lively and sweet communion with God, 
blunts and dulls the edge of the affections to earthly things ; and 
canst thou be satisflcd, my soul, with such gains as are attended 
with such spiritual losses ? 

Q?(est. 4. To conclude, is it not dishonourable to God, and a jus- 
tification of the way of the world for me, that profess myself a Chris- 
tian, to be as eager after riches as other men ; " After all these things 
" do the nations seek,"' Matth. vi. 32. If I had no Father in hea- 
ven, nor promise in the world, it were another matter : but since my 
heavenlv Father knows what I have need of, and hath charged me to 
be careful in nothing, but only, to tell him my wants, Phil. iv. 6. how 


unbecoming a thing is it in me to live and act as I have done ! Let 
me henceforth learn to measure and estimate my condition, rather by 
its usefulness to God, than its content and ease to my flesh, 


1 F fruit and service be indeed the end 

To which my being and redemption tend, 

Heason concludes that state of all the rest, 

AVhich is most serviceable, to be best 

And such a state experience shews to lie 

'Twixt fulness and a pinching poverty. 

This golden mean is worth a golden mine ; 

He that hath this should be asham''d to whine. 

The full-fed Christian, like the ox i' th' stall. 

Is no way fit to -work, or plow withal. 

x\nd penury, like Pharaoh's leaner kine, 

Devours the fattest portions of our time. 

That man with whom this earthly pleasure's found, 

Or in whose heart those anxious cares abound ; 

And yet can walk by scripture-rule, and line, 

Will need a better head and heart than mine ; 

A single staif the traveller may find, 

Of use and service ; but if you should bind 

A bundle of them to his back, they'll make 

Him slack his pace and cry, my shoulders ach. 

I am a traveller, this world's my way, 

A single staff may be of use to stay 

My feeble l^ody, if it do not crack 

By too hard leaning on it ; but my back 

Will bear no more : Alas ! I soon shall tire, 

And more than one I cannot well desire. 

Lord, to prescribe to thee becomes me not, 

I rather do submit unto my lot. 

But vet let condescending^ grace admit 

Thy servant's suit this once, and this is it : 

The staff of bread convenient let me have, 

And manage it discreetly ; so, 'twill save 

Thy feeble servant from the mire and dirt, 

But more or less than this may do me hurt. 

Or if thou say, thy servant shall have none, 

Then strengthen faith, that I may go alone. 


Upon the Improvement of bad Ground. 

Spent barren land ycni can restore^ and nourish; 
Decayed Christians God can cause tojlourish. 


V T HERE land is spent out by tillage for want of manuring, the 
careful husbandman hath many ways to recover and bring it in 
heart again. He lets it lie fallow, to give it rest, and time to recover 
itself: carries out to his sand, Hme, and compost, to refresh and 
quicken it again ; and in pasture and meadow ground, will wash 
it, (if possible) with a current of water, or the float of the ways after 
a fall of rain, which is to the earth as a spring of new blood to a con- 
sumptive body. He cuts down and kills the weeds that suck it out, 
and causes them to make restitution of what they have purloined 
from it, bv rotting upon the place where they grew. As careful 
are they to recover it, when it is spent, as an honest physician is of 
his patient in a languishing condition ; for he knows his field will 
be as grateful to him, and fully requite his care and cost. 


-oLS man'*s, so God's husbandry is sometimes out of case, not by 
yielding too many crops, but too few. The mystical husbandman 
hath some fields, (I mean particular societies and persons, who were 
once fragant and fruitful like a field) which God had blessed, but 
are now decayed and grown barren ; whose gleanings formerly 
were more than their vintage now; the things that are in them are 
ready to die. Rev. iii. 3. It is possible, yea, too common for gra- 
cious souls to be reduced to a very low ebb, both of graces and com- 
forts ; how low I will not say. Our British divines tell us, that 
grace indeed cannot be totally intermitted, nor finally lost ; but there 
may be an omission of the act, though not an omission of the habit : 
The act may be perverted, though the faith cannot be subverted ; it 
may be shaken in, though not shaken out : Its fruits may fall, but 
its sap lies hid in the root. They demerit the loss of the kingdom, 
but lose it not effectively; the effect of justification may be suspended, 
but the state of the justified cannot be dissolved *. 

Certain it is, one that, like Paul, hath been wrapped up with joy, 
even to the third heavens, and cried, " I am more than a conqueror, 

* Gratia nee totaliter intermittitur necjinaliter annttitur. Actus omittitur, habitus non 
amittitur. Actio pervertitur,Jides non subvertitur. Concutttur, non executitor. Defluiljruc- 
itis, Intet succus. Jus ad reeuum amittunt demeritorie^ non effective, Effect us justiAca' 
tionis siiSj)enditur, at status justijicati non dissoliitur. 


" who shall separate me from the love of Christ ?"" may, at another 
time lie mourning, as at the gates of death, crying, " O wretched 
" man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this 
" death P'' One that hath walked in sweet communion with God, 
sunning himself in the light of his countenance, may afterwards 
" walk in darkness, and see no light," Isa. 1. 10. He that hath cast 
anchor within the veil, and rode securely in the peaceful harbour of 
assurance, may seem to feel his anchor of hope come home to him, 
and go a-drift into the stormy ocean again, crying with the church. 
Lam. iii. 18. " My hope is perished from the Lord.'' His calm and 
clear air may be overcast and clouded, yea, filled with storms and 
tempests, lightnings and thunders ; his graces, like under-ground 
flowers in the winter, may all disappear, and hide their beautiful 

To God he may say, I am cast out of thy sight. I know thou 
canst do much, but wilt thou shew wonders to the dead ? 

To the promises he may say, you are sweet things indeed, but 
what have I to do with you ? I could once, indeed, rejoice in you, 
as my portion ; but now I doubt I grasped a shadow, a fancy instead 
o^ you. 

To saints he may say, turn away from me, labour not to comfort 
me, O do not spill your precious ointment of consolation upon my 
head ; for what have I to do with comfort ? To former e.vperiences, 
he may say in his haste, you are all liars. To the light of Gods coun- 
Unance he may say, farewell sweet light, I shall behold thee no more. 
To Satan he may say, O mine enemy, thou hast at last prevailed 
against me, thou art stronger than I, and hast overcome. To duties 
and ordinances^ he may say, Where is the sweetness I once found in 
you ? You were once sweeter to me than the honey-comb ; but now 
as tasteless as the white of an Qgg. O sad relapse ! deplorable change! 
quantum mutatus ah illof 

But will God leave his poor creatures helpless, in such a case as 
this ^ Shall their leaf fall, their branches wither, their jov, their 
life, their hearts depart ? Will he see their graces fainting, their 
hopes grasping, the new creature panting, the things that are in them 
ready to die, and will he not regard it ? Yes ; " there is hope of a 
" tree if it be cut down, and the root thereof wax old in the earth, 
" yet by the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a 
" plant,'' Job xiv. 8, 9. This poor declined soul, as sad as it sits at 
the gates of hell, may rouse up itself at last, and say to Satan, that 
stands triumphing over him, " Rejoice not over me, O mine enemy, 
" for though I fall, yet I shall arise ; though I sit in darkness, the 
" Lord shall be a light unto me," Micah vii. 8. He may raise up 
himself upon the bed of languishing for all this, and say to God, 
" Though thou hast chastened me sore, yet hast thou not given me 
" over unto death." He may turn about to the saints that have 
mourned for him, and with a lightsome countenance .say, " I shall 


" not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord." He may 
say to the p?^omises, You are the true and faithful sayings of God. 
My unbelief did bely you ; I said, in my haste you were liars, but I 
eat my words, I am ashamed of my folly. Surely, O soul, there is 
yet hope in thine end, thou mayestbe restored, Psal. xxiii. 3. Thou 
mayest yet recover thy verdure, and thy dew be as the dew of herbs. 

1. Is he not thy father, and a father full of compassions, and 
bowels ? And can a father stand by his dying-child, see his fainting 
fits, hear his melting groans, and pity-begging looks, and not help 
him, especially having restoratives by him, that can do it.? Surely, 
" As a father pities his own children, so will thy God pity thee,'' 
'' Psal. ciii. 12, 13. " He will spare thee as a father spareth his 
" own son that serves him,'' Mai. iii. 17. Hark, how his bowels 
yearn ! " I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself. Is not 
" Ephraim my dear son ? Is he not a pleasant child ? For since I 
" spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still, I will surely 
'' have mercy on him," Jer. xxxi. 20. 

2. Doth he not know thy life vvould be altogether useless to him, 
if he should not restore thee ? What service art thou fit to perform 
to him, in such a condition ? " Thy days will consume like smoke, 
*' whilst thy heart is smitten and withered like grass," Psal. cii. 3, 4. 
Thy months will be months of vanity, they will fly away, and see 
no good, Job vii. 3. If he will but quicken thee again, then thou 
mayest call upon his name, Psal. Ixxx. 18. but in a dead and lan- 
guishing condition thou art no more fit for any work of God, than 
a sick man is for manual labours ; and surely he hath not put those 
precious and excellent graces of the Spirit within thee for nothing ; 
they were planted there for fruit and service, and therefore, doubt- 
less, he will revive thee again. 

3. Yea, doth thou not think he sees thine inability to bear such a 
condition long ? He knows " thy spirit would fail before him, and 
the soul which he hath made ;" Isa. Ivii. 16. David told him as 
much in the like condition, Psal. cxliii. 7, 8. " Hear me speedily, 
" O Lord, for my spirit faileth ; hide not thy face from me, lest I 
" be hke unto those that go down into the pit :" q. d. Lord, make 
haste, and recover my languishing soul ; otherwise, whereas thou 
hast now a sick child, thou wilt shortly have a dead child. 

And in like manner Job expostulated with him. Job vi. 1, 2, 3, 
11, 12. " My grief is heavier than the sand of the sea, my words are 
" swallowed up, for the arrows of the Almighty are within me ; and 
'' the poison thereof drinks up my spirits : The terrors of God do 
*' set themselves in array against me. What is my strength that I 
" should hope ? Is my strength the strength of stones ? or are my 
" bones of brass ?" So chap. vii. 12. " Am I a sea, or a whale .'"' 8^c. 
Other troubles a man may, but this he cannot bear, Prov. xviii. 14. 
and therefore, doubtless, seasonable and gracious re\avings will come, 


*' He will not stir up all his wrath, for he remembers thou art but 
" flesh, a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again," Psal. 
Ixxvii. 38, 39. He hath ways enough to do it ; if he do but unveil 
his blessed face, and make it shine again upon thee, thou art saved, 
Psal. Ixxx. 3. The manifestations of his love, will be to thy soul, as 
showers to the parched grass ; thy soul, that now droops, and hangs 
the wing, shall then revive and leap for joy, Isa. Ixi. 1 . a new face 
shall come upon thy graces, they shall bud again, and blosso ^ is a 
rose. If he do but send a spring of * auxiliary grace into thy soul, 
to actuate the dull habits of inherent grace, the work is done ; then 
shalt thou return to thy first works, Rev. ii. 4, 5. and sing, as in the 
days of thy youth. 


O this is my very case, saith many a poor Christian ; thus my soul 
languishes and droops from day to day. It is good news indeed, that 
God both can and will restore my soul ; but sad that I should fall 
into such a state ; how unlike am I to what I once was ! Surely, as 
the old men wept when they saw how short the second temple came 
of the glory of the first; so may I sit down and weep bitterly, to 
consider how much my first love and first duties excelled the pre- 
sent. For, 

1. Is my heart so much in heaven now, as it was wont to be? 
Say, O my soul ! Dost thou not remember, when, . . . 

like the beloved disciple, thou laidst in Jesus's bo- ^ . 
som, how didst thou sweeten communion with him ? J^ ' 

How restless and impatient wast thou in his absense ! divine with- 
drawments were to thee as the hell of hell ; what a burden was the 
w^orld to me in those days ! Had it not been for conscience of my 
duty, I could have been willing to let all lie, that communion with 
Christ might suffer no interruption. When I awaked in the night, 
how was the darkness enlightened by the heavenly glimpses of the 
countenance of my God upon me .'* How did his company shorten 
those hours, and beguile the tediousness of the night ? O my soul, 
speak thy experience ; Is it now as it was then ? No, those days are 
past and gone, and thou art become much a stranger to that heavenly 
life. Art thou able with truth to deny this charge.'^ When occasionally 
I pass by those places, which w^ere once to me as Jacob's Bethel to 
him ; I sigh at the remembrance of former passages betwixt me and 
heaven there, and say with Job, chap. xxix. " O that it were with me 
" as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me, when his 
" candle shined upon my head, when by his light I walked through 
*^ darkness, when the Almighty was yet with me, when I put on 
** righteousness, and it clothed me, when my glory Avas fresh in me ! 

* Grace needs more grace to put it in ezerdUe. 

Vol. V. D 


" When I remember these things my soul is poured out within me.'' 
2. Is thy obedience to the commands of Christ and motions to 
duty, as free and cheerful as they were wont to be ? Call to mind, 
my soul, the times when thou wast borne down the stream of love to 
every duty. If the Spirit did but whisper to thee, saying, Seelc my 
face^ how did my spirit echo to his calls ? saying, " Thy face, Lord, 
" will I seek," Psal. xxvii. 8. If God had any work to be done, 
how readily did I offer my service ? Here am I, Lord, send me. My 
soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib ; love oiled the wheels 
of my affections, and " his commandments were not grievous," 1 
John V. 3. Non tardat uncta rota. There were no such quarrelings 
with the command, no such excuses and delays as there are now. 
No, such was my love to Christ, and delight to do his will, that I 
could no more keep back myself from duty, than a man that is 
carried away in a crowd. 

Or, lastly, tell me, O my soul, dost thou bemoan thyself, or grieve 
so tenderly for sin, and for grieving the Holy Spirit of God as thou 
wast wont to do ? When formerly I had fallen by the hand of a 
temptation, how was I wont to lie in tears at the Lord's feet, be- 
moaning myself? How did I hasten to my closet, and there cry, 
like Ezra, chap. ix. 6. " O my God, I am ashamed, and blush to look 
" up unto thee." How did I sigh and weep before him, and, like 
3Ephraim, smite upon my thigh, saying, " What have I done .?" Ah 
my soul ! how didst thou work, strive, and cast about how to recover 
thyself again ? Hast thou forgotten how thou wouldst sometimes 
look up and sigh bitterly ? Ah ! what a God have I provoked ? what 
love and goodness have I abused ? Sometimes look in, and weep, 
Ah ! what motions did I withstand ? what a good Spirit have I griev- 
ed ? Ah ! my soul, thou wouldest have abhorred thyself, thou could- 
est never have borne it, had thine heart been as stupid, and as relent- 
less then as now ; if ever a poor soul had reason to dissolve itself into 
tears for its sad relapses, I have. 

2. But yet mourn not, O my soul, as one without hope. Re- 
j . member, " There is hope in Israel concerning this 

^n .' ^^ ^ " thing," As low as thy condition is, it is not 
^ * desperate, it is not a disease that scorns a remedy ; 

many a man that hath been stretched out for dead, hath revived 
again, and lived many a comfortable day in the world ; many a tree 
that hath cast both leaf and fruit, by the skill of a prudent husband- 
man, hath recovered again, and been madeboth flourishing and fruit- 
ful. Is it not easier, thinkest thou, to recover a languishing man to 
health, than a dead man to life ? And yet this God did for me, 
Eph. ii. L Is any thing too hard for the Lord ? " Though my 
^' soul draw nigh to the pit, and my life to the destroyers, yet he 
" can send me a messenger, one among a thousand, that shall declare 
*' to me my uprightness ; then shall he deliver me from going dowa 
*' into the pit, my flesh shall be fresher than a child's, and I shall re-* 


" turn to the days of ray youth,'" Job xxxiii. 22. Though my 
flourish, and much of my fruit too be gone, and I am a withering 
tree ; yet as long as the root of the matter is in me, there is more 
hope of such a poor, decayed, withered tree, than of the hypocrite 
that wants such a root in all his glory and bravery. His sun shall 
set, and never rise again ; but I live in expectation of a sweet morn- 
ing after this dark night. 

Rouse up, therefore, O my soul, set thy soul a work on Christ for 
quickening grace, for he hath life in himself, and quickens wliomso- 
ever he will, John vii. 38. Stir up that little which remains. 
Rev. iii. 2. hast thou not seen lively flames proceed from glimmer- 
ing and dying sparks, when carefully collected and blown up ? Get 
amongst the most lively and quickening Christians ; " as iron sharp- 
" ens iron, so will these set an edge upon thy dull aff^ections," Prov. 
xxvii. 17. Acts xviii. 15. But, above all, cry mightily to the Lord 
for quickening ; he will not despise thy cry. The moans of a dis- 
tressed child work upon the bowels of a tender father. And be sure 
to keep within thy view the great things of eternity, which are ready 
to be revealed ; live in the believing and serious contemplations of 
them, and be dead if thou canst. It is true, thou hast reason enough 
from thy condition, to be for ever humbled, but no reason at all 
from thy God to be in the least discouraged. 


A HOU art the Husbandman^ and I 
A worthless plot of husbandry. 
Whom special love did, nevertheless. 
Divide from nature's mlderness. 
Then did the sun-shine of thy face. 
And sweet illapses of thy grace, 
Eike April showVs, and warming gleam % 
Distil its dews, reflect its beams. 
My dead affections then were green, . 
And hopeful buds on them were seen ; 
These into duties soon were turn'd, 
In which my heart within me burn'd. 
O halcyon days ! thrice happy state ! 
Each place was Bethel, heaven's gate. 
What sweet discourse, what heav'nly talky 
Whilst with thee I did daily walk ! 
Mine eyes overflow, my heart doth sink. 
As oft as on those days I think. 
For strangeness now is got between 
My God and me, as may be seen 
By what is now, and what was then t 
'Tis just as if I were two men. 


My fragrant branches blasted be. 
No fruits like those that I can sec. 
Some canker-worm lies at my root, 
Which fades my leaves, destroys my fruit. 
My soul is banish'd from thy sight, 
For this it mourneth day and night. 
Yet why dost thou desponding lie ? 
With Jonah cast a backward eye. 
Sure in thy God help may be had, 
There's precious balm in Gilead. 
That God that made me spring at firsts 
When I was barren and accurst, 
Can much more easily restore 
My soul to what it was before ; 
'Twas Heman's, Job's, and David's case. 
Yet all recovered were by grace. 
A word, a smile on my poor soul, 
Win make it perfect, sound, and whole. 
A glance of thine hath soon dissolv'd 
A soul in sin and grief involv'd. 
Lord, if thou canst not work the cure, 
I am contented to endure. 


Upon the incurableness of some bad Groiiiid 

No skill can mend the miry ground ; and sure 
Some soids the gospel leaves as past a cure. 


xIlLTHOUGH the industry and skill of the husbandman can 
make some ground that was useless and bad, good for tillage and 
pasture, and improve that which was ban-en ; and by his cost and 
pains make one acre worth ten : yet such is the nature of some rocky 
or miry ground, where the water stands, and there is no way to 
cleanse it, that it can never be made fruitful. The husbandman is 
fain to let it alone, as an incurable piece of waste or worthless ground; 
and though the sun and clouds shed their influences on it, as well as 
upon better land, yet that doth not at all mend it. Nay, the more 
showers it receives, the worse it proves. For these do no way fecundate 
or improve it ; nothing thrives there but worthless flags and rushes. 



IT-I-ANY also, there are, under the gospel, who are given over 
by God to judicial blindness, hardness of heart, a reprobate sense, 
and perpetual barrenness ; so that how excellent soever the means 
are which they enjoy, and how efficacious soever to the conversion, 
edification, and salvation of others ; yet they shall never do their 
souls good. Ezek. xlvii. 9, 11. '' Every thing wheresoever the river 
*' comes shall live, but the miry places thereof, and the marshes 
" thereof shall never be healed, but be given to salt ;"" i. e. given 
te an obstinate and everlasting barrenness. Compare Deut. ix. 23. 
By these waters, saith the judicious Mr. Strong *, understand the 
doctrine of the gospel ; as Rev. xxi. 2. a river of water of hfe, clear 
as crystal : Hie fluvius est uberrima doctrina Christie saith Mr. 
Brightman. This river is the most fruitful doctrine of Christ : yet 
these waters do not heal the miry, marshy places ; i. e. men that live 
unfruitfully under ordinances, who are compared to miry, marshy 
places, in three respects : 

(1.) In miry places the water hath not free passage, but stands 
and settles there. So it is with these barren souls ; therefore the 
apostle prays, that the gospel may run, and be gloriiied, 2 Thes. iii. 
1. The word is said to run, when it meets with no stop, Cum libera 
propagatur^ when it is freely propagated, and runs through the whole 
man ; when it meets with no stop, either in the mouth of the speaker, 
or hearts of the hearers, as it doth in these. 

(2.) In a miry place the earth and water are mixed together ; this 
mixture makes mire. So when the truths of God do mix ^vith the 
corruptions of men, that they either hold some truths, and yet Uve 
in their lusts ; or else when men do make use of the truths of God 
to justify and plead for their sins. Or, 

(3.) When, as in a miry place, the longer the water stands in it, 
the worse it grows ; so the longer men abide under ordinances, the 
more filthy and polluted they grow. These are the miry places that 
cannot be healed, their disease is incurable, desperate. 

O this is a sad case ! and yet very common; manv persons are thus 
given over as incorrigible, and hopeless ; Rev. xxii. 11. " Let him 
" that is filthy be filthy still.'' Jer. vi. 29. " Reprobate silver shall 
♦' men call them, for the Lord hath rejected them." Isa. vi. 10, 11. 
" Go make the heart of this people fat, their ears dull,'' &c. 

Christ executes, by the gospel, that curse upon many souls, which 
he denounced against the fig-tree. Mat. xxi. 19. " Let no fruit grow 
" on thee henceforth for ever ; and immediately the fig-tree wither- 
'' ed away."^ To be given up to such a condition, is a fearful judg- 
ment indeed, a curse with a witness ; the sum of all plagues, miseries, 
and judgments, a fatal stroke at the root itself. It is a woe to hav 

* Spiritual barrenness, p, 8. 



a bad heart, (saith one) but it is the depth of woe to have a heart 
that never shall be made better. To be barren under the gospel, is 
a sore judgment, but to have Xhsii pertinax sterilitas^ a pertinacious 
barrenness ; this is to be twice dead, and plucked up by the root, as 
Jude speaks. 

And to shew you the woful and miserable state and plight of such 
men, let the following particulars be weighed. 

(1.) It is a stroke at the soul itself, an inward spiritual judgment; 
and by how much the more inward and spiritual any judgment is, by 
so much the more dreadful and lamentable. As soul-mercies are 
the best mercies, so soul-judgments are the saddest of all judgments. 
If it were but a temporal stroke upon the body, the loss of an eye, an 
ear, a hand, n foot, though in itself it would be a considerable loss, 
yet It were nothing to this. Omnia Deus dedit duplicia, saith Chry- 
sostam, speaking of bodily members ; God hath given men double 
members, two eyes, if one be lost, the other supplies its want; two 
hands, two ears, two feet, that the failing of one may be supplied by 
the help of the other : animam vera unam, but one soul ; if that 
perish, there is no other to supply its loss. " The soul, saith a 
** heathen *, is the man ; that which is seen, is not the man.'' The 
apostle calls the body a vile body, Phil, iii. 21. and so it is, compared 
with the soul ; and Daniel calls it the sheath, which is but a con- 
temptible thing to the sword which is in it. Oh ! it were far better 
that many bodies perish, than one soul ; that every member were 
made the seat and subject of the most exquisite torture, than such a 
judgment should fail upon the soul. 

(2.) It is the severest stroke God can inflict upon the soul in this 
life to give it up to barrenness ; because it cuts oif all hopes, frus- 
trates all means, nothing can be a blessing to him. If one comes 
from the dead, if angels should descend from heaven to preach to 
him, there is no hope of him. If God shut up a man, who can open ? 
Job xii. 14. As there was none found in heaven or earth that could 
open the seals of that book, Rev. v. 5. so is there no opening by the 
han.l of the most able and skilful ministry, those seals of hardness, 
blindness, and unbelief, thus impressed upon the spirit. Whom justice 
•0 locks up, mercy will never let out. This is that which makes up 
the Anathema Maranatha, 1 Cor. xvi. 22. which is the dreadfulest 
curse in all the book of God, accursed till the Lord come. 

(3.) It is the most indiscernable stroke to themselves that can be, 
and by that so much the more desperate. Hence there is said to be 
poured out upon them the spirit of slumber, Isa. xxix. 10. " The 
** Lord haih poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath 
*^ closed your eyes."*" Montanus renders it. The Lord hath mingled 
upon you the spirit of deep sleep. And so it is an allusion to a sopo- 
riferous medicine mingled, and made up of opium, and such-like 

r-i — — — — ^ — — — — — ' 

* 'Oux. tsiv civ&fWTroff 70 opMfMivov^ Plato. 


stupefactive ingredients, which casts a man into such a deep sleep, 
that do what you will to him, he feels, he knows it not. " Make 
" their eyes heavy, and their ears dull ; lest they should see, and 
*' hear, and be converted,'"' Isa. vi. 9, 10. This is the heart that cannot 
repent ^viiich is spoken of, Rom. ii. 5. For men are not sensible at 
all of this judgment, they do not in the least suspect it, and that is 
their misery. Though they be cursed trees, which shall never bear 
any fruit to life, yet many times they bear abundance of other fair 
and pleasant fruits to the eye, excellent gifts, and rare endowments : 
and these deceive and undo them. Mat. vii. 22. " We have pro- 
** phesied in thy name ;" this makes the wound desperate, that there 
is no finding of it, no probe to search it. 

(4.) It is a stroke that cuts off from the soul all the comforts and 
sweetness of religion. A man may pray, hear, and confer, but all 
those duties are dry stalks to him, which yield no meat, no solid sub- 
stantial nutriment ; some common touches upon the affections he 
may sometimes find in duty, the melting voice or rhetoric of the 
preacher may perhaps strike his natural affections, as another tragical 
story pathetically delivered may do ; but to have any real commu- 
nion ^\nth God in ordinances, any discoveries or views of the beauty of 
the Lord in them, that he cannot have ; for these are the special 
effects and operations of the Spiiit, which are always restrained. 

God hath said to such, as he did to them. Gen. vi. 3. " My 
" Spirit shall no longer strive with them ;'"' and then what sweetness 
is there in ordinances ? What is the word, separated from the Spi- 
rit, but a dead letter ? It is the Spirit that quickens, 2 Cor. iii. 2. 
Friend, thou must know that the gospel works not like a natural 
cau^e upon those that hear it ; if so, the effect would always follow, 
unless miraculously stopt and hindered ; but it works like a moral 
instituted cause, whose efficacy and success depend upon the arbitrary 
concurrence of the Spirit with it. *' The wind blows where it listeth, 
" so is very one that is born of the Spirit," John iii. 8. " Of his 
*' own will begat he us by the word of truth." Ordinances are as 
the pool of Bethesda, which had his healing virtue only when the 
angel moved the waters ; but the Spirit never moves savingly upon 
the waters of ordinances, for its healing of their souls, how many 
years soever they lie by them ; though others feel a divine power in 
them, yet they shall not. As the men that travelled with Paul, when 
Christ appeared to him from heaven, they saw the light, but heard 
not the voice which he heard to salvation : So it was with these ; tliey 
see the ministers, hear the words, which are w'ords of salvation to 
others, but not so to them. Concerning these miserable souls, we may 
sigh, and say to Christ, as Martha did concerning her brother Laza- 
rus : Lord, if thou hadst been here, in this sermon, or in this prayer, 
this soul had not remained dead. But here is the woe that lies upon 
him, God is departed from the means and none can help him> 



(5.) It is such a stroke upon the spirit of man, as is a fearful sign 
of his eternal reprobation. It is true, we cannot positively say of a 
man in this Ufe, he is a reprobate, one that God will never shew mer- 
cy to ; but yet there are some probable marks of it upon some men 
in this world, and they are of a trembling consideration wherever 
they appear ; of which this is one of the saddest, 2 Cor. iv. 3. " If 
** our gospel be hid, it is hid to those that are lost, in whom the god 
*' of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not ; 
*' lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of 
*' God, should shine unto them/' So Acts xiii. 48. " As many as 
*' were ordamed unto eternal life believed. Ye believe not, because 
" ye are not o^my sheep,"" John x. 9S. And again, Matth. xiii. 11, 
*' To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom, but to 
**^ them it is not given.'' There cannot be a more dreadful charac- 
ter of a person marked out for wrath, than to continue under the or- 
dinances, as the rocks and miry places do under the natural influ- 
ences of heaven. What blessed opportunities had Judas ? He was 
under Christ's own ministry, he often heard the Pfracious words that 
proceeded out of his mouth ; he was day and night in his company, 
yet never the better ; and why? Because he was the son of perdition^ 
that is, a man appointed to destruction and wrath. 

(6.) And lastly, To add no more. It is such a stroke of God upon 
the souls of men, as immediately fore-runs hell and damnation, Heb, 
vi. 8. " But which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is 
*' nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burnt." So that look as 
some saints in this world have had a prelibation or forestate of hea- 
ven, which the scripture calls the earnest of the Spirit ; so this is a 
precursor of hell, a sign of wrath at the door. We may say of it as 
it is said of the pale horse in the Revelation, that hell follows it. *' If 
'' a man abide not in me, (saithChrist, John xv. 6.) he is cast forth as 
" a branch, and withered ;" which is the very state of these barren, 
cursed souls. And what follows ? Why, saith he, men gather them, 
and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. Lo, this is the 
vengea,nce which the gospel executes upon this barren ground. 


1, Well then, blessed be God that made me feel the saving power 
of the gospel. O, let God be exalted for ever 
The sincere souTs for this mercy ! that how defective soever I am 
reflection, in common gifts, though I have a dull under- 

standing, a leaking memory, a stammering 
tongue ; yet I have felt, and do feel the power of the gospel upon 
my heart. I bless thee (my God) that although I labour under many 
spiritual infirmities, yet I am not sick of this incurable di.sease. I 
have given thee indeed just cause to inflict and execute this dreadful 
curse upon me also, but thou hast not dealt with me after my deserts. 


but according to the riclics of thy mercy. Some httle fruit I bring 
forth, and what it is, is by virtue of my union with Jesus Christ, 
Rom. vii. 4. And this hath more in it as to my comfort, than all the 
gHttering gifts and splendid performances of the most glorious hypo- 
crite can yield to him : if I might have my choice (saith one) I would 
chuse and prefer the most despicable and sordid work of a rustic 
Christian before all the victories of Alexander, and triumphs of Caesar. 
Blessed therefore he the Lord, ivlio hath abounded unto me in all 
spiritual blessings, in heavenly i^laccs in Christ Jesus. 

I cannot remember a sermon as another can, but blessed be God 
that I am able to favour it, and feel it ? that I have an heart to love 
and a will to obey all that God discovers to be my duty. 

2. O, then how little cause have I to make my boast of ordinances, 
and glory in my external privileges, who never bear 777 ye^ , 7 , 
spiritual fruit under them.'^ If I well consider mv /:• "^ . /r,^,. 
condition, there is matter of trembling; and not of*^ J^ "^ ^ 

gloi'ijing in these things. It may be while I have been glorying in 
them, and lifting up my secure heart upon then" the Lord hath 
been secretly blasting my soul under them, and insensibly executing 
this horrible curse by them. Shall I boast with Capernaum that I am 
lifted up to heaven, since I may with her, at last be cast down to hell ? 
And if so. Lord, what a hell will my hell be .^ It will be more tole- 
rable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for me. It drew tears from 
the eyes of Christ, when he was looking upon Jerusalem, under the 
same consideration that I doubt I have cause to look upon my own 
soul, Luke xix. 41. " He wept over it, saying, if thou hadst known, 
*' even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong to thy 
^^ peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes.'''' So long have I 
been a hearer, a professor of the gospel, so many years have I enjov- 
ed its distinguishing ordinances, but have they not been all dry and 
empty things to me ; hath not the spirit of formality acted me in 
them ? Have not self-ends and worldly respects lain at the bottom of 
my best duties ? Have not my discourses, in communion with saints 
been trade words, speaking what I have learnt, but not felt ? Sad is 
my condition now, but it would be desperate and irrecoverable 
shouldst thou execute this curse upon me. 

3. And what may I think of my condition ; Lord, I acknowledge 
my unprofitableness under the means hath been rpj ■, n, -.n 1 
shameful; and this hath made my condition doubt- ni ry -^ .' 
ful. I have often trembled for fear, lest my root ^ . 
had been blasted by such a curse H but if so, whence -^ 
is this trembling ! Whence these fears and sorrows about it ? Doth 
such fruit grow in that soil which thou hast cursed ! I am told but 
now, that on whom this judgment falls, to them thou givest an heart 
that cannot repent. Lord, I ble.,s thee for these evidences of free- 
dom from the curse : , for the fruits of fear, sorrow, and holy jealousy. 



* The laws of men spare for the fruit's sake, and wilt thou not spare 
me also, my God, if there be found in me a blessing in the bud, Isa. 
Ixv. 8. 

4. To conclude, what a serious reflection should this occasion in 
every dispenser of the ffospel? How should he rm 7 7 -. 

say when he goes to preach the gospel, 1 am . ^, /• 
going to preach that word which is to be a ^ 
savour ofVtfe or death unto these souls ; upon how many of my poor 
hearers may the curse of perpetual barrenness be executed this day ! 
O how should such a thought melt his heart into compassion over 
them, and make him beg hard, and plead earnestly with God for a 
better issue of the gospel than this upon them. 


Jl OU that besides your pleasant fruitful fields. 
Have useless bogs, and rocky ground that yields 
You no advanta^j^e, nor doth quit your cost, 
But all your pains and charges on them's lost : 
Hearken to me, I'll teach you how to get 
More profit by them than if they were set 
At higher rents than what your tenants pay 
For your most fertile lands ; and here's the way. 

Think when you view them, why the Lord hath chose 

These, as the emblem to decipher those 

That under gospel -grace grow worse and worse ; 

For means are fruitless when the Lord doth curse- 
Sweet showers descend, the sun his beams reflects 
On both alike, but not with like effects. 
Observe and see how after the sweet showers 
The grass and corn revive : the fragrant flowers 
Shoot forth their beauteous heads, the vallies sing, 
All fresh and green as in the verdant spring. 
But rocks are barren still, and bogs are so ; 
Where nought but flags, and worthless rushes grow. 
Upon these marshy grounds there lies this curse, 
The more rain falls, by so much more the worse. 

Even so the dews of grace that sweetly fall, 

From gospel-clouds, are not alike to all. 

The gracious soul doth germinate and bud, 

But to the reprobate it doth no good. 

He's like the wither'd fig-tree, void of fruit ; 

A fearful curse hath smote his very root. 

The heart's made fat, the eyes with blindness seal'd ; 

The piercing'st truths the gospel e'er reveal'd, 

* The Romaa laws defer punishing a woman with child. Chryit. 


Shall be to him but as the sun and rain 

Are to obdurate rocks, fruitless and vain. 
Be this your meditation when you walk 
By rocks and fenny-grounds thus learn to talk 
With your own souls ; and let it make you fear 
Lest that's your case that is described here. 
This is the best improvement you can make 
Of such bad ground ; good soul I pray thee take 
Some pains about them ; though they barren be, 
Thou seest how they may yield sweet fruits to thee. 

^g-X-g e-j— 

Upon the plowing of Corn-land. 

The i^lozvman guides Jus plow with care and sMll; 
So doth the Spirit in sound conviction still. 


XT requires not only strength, but much skill and judgment, to 
manage and guide the plow. The Hebrew word irii which we 
translate to plow, signifies to be intent, as an artificer is about some 
curious piece of work. The plow must neither go too shallow, nor 
too deep in the eailh ; it must not indent the ground, by making 
crooked furrows, nor leap and make baulks in the good ground ; but 
be*guided as to a just depth of earth, so to cast the furrow in a straight 
line, that the floor or surface of the field may be made plain, as it is 
Isa. xxxviii. 25. And hence that expression, Luke ix. 62. " He 
*' that puts his hand to the plow, and looks back, is not fit for the 
^' kingdom of heaven." The meaning is, that as he that plows 
must have his eyes always forward, to guide and direct his hand in 
casting the furrows straight and even ; (for his hand will be quickly- 
cut when his eye is off;) so he that heartily resolves for heaven, 
must adi^ict himself wholly and intently to the business of religion, 
and not have his mind entangled with the things of this world, which 
he hath left behind him ; whereby it appears, that the right manage- 
ment of the plow requires as much skill as strength. 


X HIS observation in nature ser\'es excellently to shadow forth 
this proposition in divinity ; that the work of the Spirit in con- 
vincing and humbiino: the heart of a sinner, is a work wherein 


much of the wisdom, as well as power of God, is discovered. The 
work of repentance, and saving contrition is set forth in scripture by 
this metaphor of plowing*, Jer. iv. 3. Hos. x. 12. " Plow up your 
^' fallow ground ;'' that is, be convinced, humbled, and broken- 
hearted for sin. And the resemblance betwixt both these works ap- 
pears in the following particulars. 

(1.) It is a hard and difficult work to plow, it is reckoned one of 
the painfullest manual labours ; it is also a very hard thing to con- 
vince and hurr) le the heart of a secure, stout, and proud sinner, 
indurate in wickedness. What Luther saith of a dejected soul, ' That 
' it is as easy to raise the dead, as to comfort such a one.' The same 
I mav say of the secure, confident sinner ; it is as easy to rend the 
rocks, as to work saving contrition upon such a heart. Cifius ex 
pumice aquam ; all the melting language, and earnest entreaties of 
the gospel, cannot urge such a heart to shed a tear : Therefore it is 
called a heart of stone, Ezek. xxxvi. 26. a firm rock, Amos vi. 12. 
" Shall horses run upon the rock ? Will one plow there with oxen .^" 
Yet when the Lord comes in the power of his Spirit, these rocks do 
rend, and yield to the power of the word. 

(2.) The plow pierces deep into the bosom of the earth, makes, as 
it were, a deep gash or vround in the heart of it. So doth the Spi- 
rit upon the hearts of sinners, he pierces their very souls by convic- 
tion. Acts ii. 37. " When tliey heard this they were pricked, (or * 
'' pierced point blank) to the heart." " Then the word divides the 
" soul and spirit,'' Heb. iv. 1 2. It comes upon the conscience with 
such piercing dilemmas, and tilts the sword of conviction so deep into 
their souls, that there is no stanching the blood, no healing this 
wound, till Christ himself come, and undertake the cure. Hceret la- 
ten lethaUs arundo ; this barbed arrov/ cannot be pulled out of their 
hearts by any, but the hand that shot it in. Discourse with such a 
soul about his troubles, and he will tell you, that all the sorrows that 
ever he had in this world, loss of estate, health, children, or what- 
ever else, are but flea-bitings to this ; this swallows up all other trou- 
bles. See how that Christian Niobe, Luke vii. 38. is dissolved into 
tears ; " Now deep calleth unto deep at the noise of his water-spouts, 
*' when the waves and billows of God go over the soul.'' Spiiitual 
sorrows are deep waters, in which the stoutest and most magnani- 
mous soul would sink and drown, did not Jesus Christ, by a secret 
and supporting hand, hold it up, and preserve it. 

(3.) The plow rends the earth in parts and pieces, which before 
was united, and makes those parts hang loose, which formerly lay 
close. Thus doth the Spirit of conviction rend asunder the heart and 
its most beloved lusts. Joel ii. 13. " Rend your hearts, and not your 
" oarments." That is, rather than your garments ; for the sense is 

* Glosfiiis lihet. Sacra , p. 300. 

t Karsyjyr,faVy jninclim cedo, jnivgrndo jicneiro. 


comparative, though the expression be negative. And this renting 
implies not only acute pain, flesh cannot be rent asunder without an- 
guish, nor yet only force and violence ; the heart is a stubborn and 
knotty piece, and will not easily yield ; but it also implies a disunion 
of parts united. As when a garment, or the earth, or any contiguous 
body is rent, those parts are separated which formerly cleaved toge- 
ther. Sin and the soul were glued fast together before, there was 
no parting of them, they would as soon part with their lives, as with 
their lusts ; but now when the heart is rent from them truly, it is 
also rent from them everlastingly, Ezek. vii. 15, to 19. 

(4.) The j^low turns up and discovers such things as lay hid in the 
bosom of the earth before, and were covered under a fair green sur- 
face, from the eyes qf men. Thus when the Lord plows up tlie heart 
of a sinner by conviction, then the secrets of his heart are made ma- 
nifest, 2 Cor. xiv. 24, 25. the most secret and shameful sins will then 
out ; for " the word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any 
*' two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of the soul and 
" spirit, the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts 
•' and secret intents of the heart," Heb. iv. 12. It makes the Are 
burn inwardly, so that the soul hath no rest till confession give a 
vent to trouble. Fain would the shuffling sinner conceal and hide 
his shame, but the word follows hira through all his sinful shifts, 
and brings him at last to be his own, both accuser, witness, and judge. 

(5.) The work of the plow is but opus oi'dinabile^ a preparative 
work in order to fruit. Should the husbandman plow his ground 
ever so often, yet if the seed be not cast in, and quickened, in vain 
is the harvest expected. Thus conviction also is but a preparative 
to a farther work upon the soul of a sinner ; if it stick there, and 
goes no farther, it proves but an abortive, or untimely birth. Many 
liave gone thus far, and there they have stuck ; they have been hke 
a field plowed, but not sowed, which is a matter of trembling consi- 
deration ; for hereby their sin is greatly aggravated, and their eter- 
nal nrisery so much the more increased. O when a poor damned 
creature shall with horror reflect upon himself in hell. How near 
was I once, under such a sermon, to conversion ! my sins were set 
in order before me, my conscience awakened, and terrified me with 
the guilt of them : many purposes and resolves I had then to turn to 
God, which had they been perfected by answerable execution, I had 
never come to this place of torment ; but there I stuck, and that was 
ray eternal undoing. Many souls have I known so terrified with 
the guilt of sin, that they have come roaring under horrors of con- 
science to the preacher ; so that one would think such a breach had 
been made betwixt them and sin, as could never be reconciled ; and 
yet as angry as they were in that fit with sin, they ha^'e hugged 
and embraced it again. 

(6.) It is best plowing when the earth is prepared and mollified by 

C)4< husbandhy spiritualized ; or, 

tlie showers of rain ; then the work goes on sweetly and easily, and 
never cloth the heart so kindly melt, as when the gospel-clouds dis- 
solve, and the free grace and love of Jesus Christ comes sweetly 
showering down upon it ; then it relents and mourns ingenuously, 
Ezek. xvi. 6S. " That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, 
*' and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when 
" I am pacified towards thee for all that thou hast done.'' So it 
was mth that poor penitent, Luke vii. 38. when the Lord Jesus had 
discovered to her the superabounding riches of his grace, in the par- 
don of her manifold abominations, her heart melted v, ithin her, she 
■washed the feet of Christ with tears. And indeed, there is as much 
difference betwixt the tears which are forced by the terrors of the 
law, and those which are extracted by the grace of the gospel, as 
there is betwixt those of a condemned malefactor, who weeps to 
consider the misery he is under, and those of a pardoned malefactor, 
that receives his pardon at the foot of the ladder, and is melted by 
the mercy and clemency of his gracious prince towards him. 

(7.) The plow kills those rank weeds which grow in the field, 
turns them up by the roots, buries and rots them. So doth saving 
conviction kill sin at the root, makes the soul sick of it, begets in- 
dignation in the heart against it, 2 Cor. vii. 11. The word 
'Ayar,azrnff,v^ there signifies the rising of the stomach, and being 
angry even unto sickness ; religious wrath is the fiercest wrath, now 
the soul cannot endure sin, it trembles at it. " I find a woman more 
" bitter than death,'' (saith penitent Solomon) Eccl. vii. 26. Con- 
viction, hke a surfeit, makes the soul to lothe what it formerly loved 
and delighted in. 

(8.) That field is not well plowed, where the plow jumps and 
skips over good ground and makes baulks, it must run up the whole 
field ahke ; and that heart is not savingly convicted, where any lust 
is spared, and left untouched. Saving conviction extends itself to all 
gins, not only to sin in general, with this cold confession, lam a sin- 
ner ; but to the particulars of sin, yea, to the particular circumstances 
and aggravations of time, place, manner, occasions, thus and thus 
have I done ; to the sin of nature, as well as practice. " Behold I 
" was shapen in iniquity,'' Psal. li. 5. There must be no baulking of 
any sin ; the sparing of one sin, is a sure argument that thou art not 
truly humbled for any sin. So far is the convinced soul from a 
fctudious concealment of a beloved sin, that it weeps over that more 
than over any other actual sin. 

(9.) New ground is much more easily plowed, than that which 
by long lying out of tillage is more consolidated, and clung together, 
by deep-rooted thorns and brambles, which render it difficult to the 
plowman. This old ground is like an old sinner, that hath lain a 
long time hardening under the means of grace. O the difficulty of 
convincing such a person ! sin hath got such rooting in his heart, he 
is so habituated to the reproofs and calls of the word, that few such 


are wrought upon. How many young persons are called to one ob- 
durate, inveterate sinner ? I do not say but God may call home such 
a soul at the eleventh hour, but I may say of these, compared with 
others, as Solomon speaks, Eccl. vii. 28. " One man among a thou- 
*' sand have I found," &;c. Few that have long resisted the gospel, 
that come afterwards to feel the saving efficacy thereof. 


1. O grace, for ever to be admu-ed ! that God rpj 

should send forth his word and Spirit to plow up ^ '^^, ''*"f ^?^ 
my hard and stony heart, yea, mine, when he ^^^'^^ rejlectiotu 
hath left so many of more tender, ingenious, sweet, and melting 
tempers without any culture or means of grace. O blessed gospel, 
heart-dissolving voice ! I have felt thine efficacy, I have experienced 
thy divine and irresistible power ; thou art indeed sharper than any 
two-edged sword, and woundest to the heart ; but thy wounds are 
the wounds of a friend : All the wounds thou hast made in my soul, 
were so many doors opened to let in Christ ; all the bloAvs thougavest 
my conscience, were but to beat off my soul from sin, which I em- 
braced, and had retained to my everlasting ruin, hadst thou not sepa- 
rated them and me. O wise and merciful Physician ! thou didst in- 
deed bind me with cords of conviction and sorrow, but it was only to 
cut out that stone in my heart, which had killed me if it had conti- 
nued there. O how did I struggle and oppose thee, as if thou hadst 
come with the sword of an enemy, rather than the lance and probe of 
a skilful and tender-hearted physician ? Blessed be the day wherein 
my sin was discovered and embittered ! O happy sorrows, which pre- 
pared for such matchless joys! O blessed hand, which turned m^^ salt 
waters into pleasant wine ! and after many pangs and sorrows of 
soul, didst, at length, bring forth deliverance and peace. 

2. But O what a rock of adamant is this heart of 

mine ! that never yet was wounded, and savingly The stubborn 
pierced for sin by the terrors of the law, or melt- hearfs reflection, 
ingvoice of the gospel ! long have I sat under the 
word, but when did I feel a relenting pang ? O my soul ? my stu- 
pified soul ! thou hast got an antidote against repentance, but hast 
thou any against hell ? Thou canst keep out the sense of sin now, but 
art thou able to keep out the terrors of the Lord hereafter ? If thou 
couldst turn a deaf ear to the sentence of Christ in the day of judg- 
ment, as easily as thou dost to the entreaties of Christ in the day of 
grace, it were somewhat ; but surely there is no defence against that. 
Ah ! fool that I am, to quench these convictions, unless I knew how 
to quench those flames they warn me of. 

3. And may not I challenge the first place a- 

mong all the mourners in the world, who have all The miscarrying 
lost those convictions which at several times came souTs reflection. 
upon me under the word? I have been often awa- 

66 kuSBAXDKY SPiniTt'ALIZED ; 05, 

kened by it, and filled with terrors and tremblings under it ; but 
those troubles have soon worn off again, and my heart (like water re- 
moved from the fire) returned to its native coldness. Lord ! what a 
dismal case am I in? many convictions have I choaked and strangled^ 
which, it may be, shall never more be revived, until thou revive them 
against me in judgment. I have been in pangs, and brought forth 
nothing but wind; my troubles have wrought no deliverance, nei- 
ther have my lusts fallen before them .'* My conscience, indeed, hath 
been sometimes sick Avith sin, yea, so sick as to vomit them up by 
an external, partial reformation ? but then, with the dog, have I 
turned again to my vomit, and now I doubt I am given over to an 
heart that cannot repent. O that these travelling pangs could be 
quickened again ! but alas ! they are ceased, I am like a prisoner 
escaped, and again recovered, whom the goaler loads with double 
irons. Surely, O my soul! if thy spiritual troubles return not again, 
they are but gone back to bring eternal troubles. It is with thee, O 
my soul ! as with a man whose bones have been broken, and not well 
set ; w^ho must, (how terrible soever it appear to him) endure the 
pain of breaking and setting them again, if ever he be made a sound 
man. O that I might rather chuse to be the object of thy wounding 
mercy, than of thy sparing cruelty I if thou plow not up my heart 
again by compunction, I know it must he rent in pieces at last by 


X here's skill in plowing, that the ploAvman knows. 
For if too shallow, or too deep he goes, 
The seed is either bury'd, or else may 
To rooks and daws become an easy prey. 
This, as a lively emblem, fitly may 
Describe the blessed Spirif s work and way : 
Whose work on souls, with this doth symbolize; 
Betwixt them both, thus the resemblance lies. 
Souls are the soil, conviction is the plow, 
God's workmen draw, the Spirit shews them how. 
He guides the work, and in good ground doth blc?? 
His workmen's pains, with sweet and fair success. 
The heart prepard, he scatters in the seed. 
Which in its season springs, no fowl nor weed 
Shall pick it up, or choak this springing corn, 
'Till it be housed in the heavenly barn. 
When thus the Spirit plows up the fallow ground, 
When with such fruits his servant's work is crown'd ; 
Let all the friends of Christ, and souls say now. 
As they pass by the fields, God speed the ploic. 
Sometimes this plow thin shelfy ground doth turn. 
That little seed which springs, the sun-beams burn. 


The rest uncover'd lies, which fowls devour. 
Alas ! their heart was touched, but not with powV. 
The cares and pleasures of this world have drown d 
The seed before; it peep'd above the ground. 
Some springs indeed, the Scripture saith that some 
Do taste the powers of the world to come. 
These embrios never come to timely birth. 
Because the seed that's sown wants depth of earth. 
Turn up, O God, the bottom of my heart ; 
And to the seed thafs sown, do thou impart 
Thy choicest blessing. Though I weep and mourn 
in this wet seed-time, if I may return 
With sheaves of joy ; these fully will reward 
My painis and sorrows, be they ne'er so hard, 


Upon the Seed-Corii. 

The choicest wheat is still reserved Jbr seed, 
But gracious principles are choice indeed, 


JljLuSB ANDMEN are very careful and curious about their seed^ 
corn, that it may not only be clean and j^ure, but the best and 
most excellent of its kind. Isa. xxviii. 25. " He casteth in the prin- 
" cipal wheat." If any be more full and weighty than other, that 
is reserved for seed. It is usual with husbandmen to pick and lease 
their seed-corn by hand, that they may separate the cockel and dar- 
nel, and all the lighter and hollow grains from it, wherein they mani- 
fect their discretion ; for, according to the vigour and goodness of 
the seedj the fruit and production are hke to be, 


jL he choice and principal seed corn, with which the fields are 
sowed, after they are prepared for it, doth admirably shadow forth 
those excellent principles of grace infused into the regenerate soul. 
Their agreement, as they are both seed, is obvious, in the ten fol- 
lowing particulars ; and their excellency above other principles in 
seven more. 

1. The earth at first naturally brought forth corn, and every seed 
yielding fruit, without human industry ; but since the curse came 

Vol. V. E 


upon it, it must be plowed and sowed, or no fruit can be expected. 
So man, at first, had all the principles of holiness iniiis nature, but 
now they must be infused by regeneration, or else his nature is as 
void of holiness as the barren and untilled desert is of corn. 

2. The earlier the seed is sown, the better it is rooted, and ena- 
bled to endure the asperities of the winter ; so when grace is early 
infused, when nature is sanctified in the bud, grace is thereby exceed- 
ingly advantaged. It was Timothy's singular advantage, that he 
knew the Scriptures from a child. 

3. Frosts and shows conduce very much to the well-rooting of the 
seed, and make it spread and take root much the better. So do 
sanctified afflictions, which usually the people of God meet with after 
their calHng, and often in their very seed time. 1 Thes. i. 6. " And 
*' you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the 
" word in much affliction.""' But if they have fair weather then, to 
be sure they shall meet with weather hard enough afterwards. Heb. 
X. 32. " But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after 
" ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of aflJictions." 

4. When the seed is cast into the earth, it must be covered 
up by the harrow, the use whereof in husbandry, is not only to lay 
a plain floor (as they speak) but to open and let in the corn to the 
bosom of the earth, and there cover it up for its security from birds 
that would devour it. Thus doth the most wise God provide for 
the security of that grace which he at first disseminated in the hearts 
of his people. He is as well the finisher as the author of their grace, 
Heb. xii. 2. and of this they may be confident, that he that hath 
begun a good work in them will perform it unto the day of Christ. 
The care of God over the graces of his people, is like the covering 
of the seed for security. 

5. Seed-corn is in its own nature of much more value and worth 
than other corn ; the husbandman casts in the principal wheat. So 
are the seeds of grace sown in the renewed soul, for it is called the 
seed of Gody 1 John iii. 9. The divine nature, 2 Pet. i. 4. One 
dram of grace is far beyond all the glory of this world ; it is more 
precious than gold which perishes. 1 Pet. i. 7. " The price of it is 
" above rubies, and all that thou canst desire is not to be compared 
" with it,'' Prov. iii. 15. 

6. There is a great deal of spirit and vigour in a little seed ; though 
it be small in bulk, yet it is great in virtue and efficacy. Gracious 
habits are also vigorous and efficacious things. Such is their efficacy 
that they overcome the world, 1 John v. 4. " Whatsoever is born 
" of God overcometh the world." They totally alter and change 
the person in whom they are. " He that persecuted us in times past, 
" now preacheth the faith which he once destroyed." They enable 
the soul to do and suffer great things for God, Heb. xi. 33, 34, 35. 

7. The stalk and ear are potentially and virtually in a small grain 
of corn. So ai'e all the fruits of obedience which believers afterwards 


bririo- forth to God, virtually contained in those habits or seeds of 
grace. It is strange to consider, that from a mustard^eed^ (which, as 
Christ saith, is the least of all seeds) should grow such great branches 
that the birds of the air may build their nests in them. Surely, the 
heroical and famous acts and achievements of the most renowned 
believers sprang from small beginings at first, to that eminency 
and glory. 

8. The fruitfulness of the seed depends upon the sun and rain, by 
which they are quickened, as opened largely in the next chapter. 
And the principles of grace in us have as necessary a dependence upon 
the assisting and exciting grace without us. For though it be true, 
they are immortal seed ; yet that is not so much from their own 
strength as from the promises made to them, and that constant influx 
from above, by which they are revived and preserved from time to 

9. The seed is fruitful in some soils more than in others, prospers 
much better, and comes sooner to maturity. So do graces thrive 
better and grow faster in some persons than in others. " Your faith 
'« groweth exceedingly,'' 2 Thes. i. 3. " Whilst the things that are 
*' in others are ready to die,'' Rev. iii. 2. Though no man's heart 
be naturally a kind soil to grace, yet doubtless grace is more ad- 
vantaged in some dispositions than in others. 

10. And lastly, their agreement, as seed, appears in this, the seed- 
corn is scattered into all parts of the field, as proportionally and 
equally as may be. So is grace diffused into all the faculties : the 
judgment, will, and all the affections are sowed with these new prin- 
ciples. " The God of peace sanctify you wholly," 1 Thes. v. 23. 

And thus you see why principles of grace are called seed. Now, 
in the next place, (which is the second thing promised, and mainly 
designed in this chapter) to shew you the choiceness and excellency 
oftheseholy principles with which sanctified souls are embellished and 
adorned ; and to convince you that true grace excels all other prin- 
ciples by which other persons are acted, even as the principal wheat 
doth the chaff, and refuse stuff,I shall here institute a comparison 
betwixt grace and the most splendid, common gifts in the world ; 
and its transcendent excellency above them all, will evidently appear 
in the seven following particulars. 

1. The most excellent common gifts come out of the common trea- 
sury of God's bounty, and that in a natural way. They are but the 
improvement of a man's natural abilities, (or as one calls them) the 
sparks of nature blown up by the wind of a more benign and liberal 
education; but principles of grace are of a divine and heavenly ori- 
ginal and extraction, not induced or raised from nature, but superna- 
turally infused by the Spirit from on high, John iii. 6. " That which 
" is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is 
" spirit." When a soul is sanctified by them, " he partakes of the 
„ divine nature," 2 Pet. i. 4. " Is born not of fliesh, nor of bloody 


" nor of the will of mail, but of God," John i. 13. In this respect 
they differ from gifts, as the heavenly manna which was rained down 
from heaven differs from common bread, which, by pains and indus* 
try, the earth produces in a natural Way. 

% The best natural gifts afford not that sweetness and solid com- 
fort to the soul that grace doth ; they are but a dry stalk that affords 
no meat for a soul to feed on. A man may have an understanding 
full of light, and an heart void of comfort at the same time; but grace 
is a fountain of purest living streams of peace and comfort, 1 Pet. i, 
8. " Believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory : 
" light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart." 
All true pleasures and delights are seminally in grace, Psal. xcvii. 
11. They are sown for them in these divine and heavenly graces, 
which are glory in the bud. 

3. Gifts adorn the person, but do not secure the soul from ^vrath. 
J-.-, ^ . A man may be admired for them among men, and 

. '' ' f V rejected eternally by God. Who can considerately 
, J read that sixth chapter of the Hebrews, and not 

tremble to think in what a forlorn case a soul may 
be, though set off and accomplished with the rarest endowments of 
this kind ! Mat. vii. 22. We read, that many shall say to Christ in 
*' that day. Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and 
^' in thy name cast out devils," &c. and yet themselves at last cast out 
as a prey to devils. How divinely and rhetorically did Balaam speak 
and prophesy. Numb, xxiii. What rare and excellent parts liad the 
Scribes and Pharisees .? who upon that account, were stiled PrincU 
pes seculi^ the princes of the world. Cor. ii. 8. What profound 
and excellent parts had the heathen sages and. philosophers ? These 
things are so far from securing the soul from the wrath to come, that 
they often expose it unto wrath, and are as oil to increase the eternal 
burnings ; but now gracious principles are the era zy^oi/jzm acari^^'ag, as* 
the apostle calls them, Heb. vi. things that accompany and have sal- 
vation in them. These are the things on which the promises of sal- 
vation run ; and these treasures are never found but in elect vessels. 
Glory is by promise assured and made over to him that possesses^ 
them. There is but a little point of time betwixt him and the glo, 
rifled spirits above. And how inconsiderable a matter is a little time, 
which contracts and winds up apace ? For now is our salvation nearer 
than when we believed. And hence the scripture Speaks of them as 
already saved, Rom. viii. 24 : " We are saved by hope," because it is 
as sure as if we were in heaven. We are made to sit in heavenly places^ 

4. Gifts may damnify the person that possesses them, and it may 
be better in respect of a man's own condition he had never had them. 
Knowledge (saith, the apostle) ptiffeth up, 1 Cor. viii. 1. makes' 
the soul proud and flatulent. It is a hard thing to know much, and 
not to know it too much. The saint's knowledge is better than the 
scholar's ; for he hath his own heart instead of a commentary to help 


him. Aristotle said, a little knowledge about heavenly things, though 
conjectural, is better than much of earthly things, though certain. 
*« The world by wisdom knew not God,"" (saith the apostle, 1 Cor. 
i. 12.) i. 0. Their learning hanged in their light, they were too wise 
to submit to the simplicity of the gospel. The excellent parts of the 
old heretics did but serve to midwife into the world the monstrous 
birth of soul-damning heresies. Cupit abs te ornari diabolus, as 
Austin said to that ingenious young scholar ; the devil desires to be 
adorned by thee. But now grace itself is not subject to such abuses, 
it cannot be the proper univocal cause of any evil effect ; it cannot 
puff up the heart, butalways humbles it, nor serves the deviPs designs, 
but ever opposes them. 

5. Gifts may be given a man for the sake of others, and not out of 
any love to himself; they are but as an excellent dish of meat which 
a man sends to a nurse, not for her sake so much as for his child's 
that sucks her. God, indeed, makes use of them to do his children 
good, the church is benefited by them, though themselves are but like 
cooks ; they prepare excellent dishes, on which the saints feed, and 
are nourished, though themselves taste them not. They are dona 
ministrantia, non sanctificantio, ministering, but notsanctifyinggifts, 
proceeding not from the good- will of God to him that hath them, but 
to those he benefits by them. And O what a sad consideration will 
this be one day to such a person, to think 1 helped such a soul to 
heaven, while I myself must lodge in hell ? 

6. Sin in the reign and power of it, may cohabit with the most ex* 
cellent natural gifts under the same roof, I mean in the same heart. 
A man may have the tongue of an angel, and the heart of a devil. 
Thev/isdomof the philosophers (saith IjanctantiUH) non ea:cindit vitia 
sed abscondit, doth not root out, but hide their vices. The learned 
Pharisees were but painted sepulchres. Gifts are but as a fair glove 
drawn over a foul hand : But now grace is incompatible with sin in 
dominion, it purifies the heart. Acts xv. 6. cleanses the conscience, 
Heb. ix. 14. crucifies the affections and lusts of the flesh. Gal. v. 24. 
is not content with the concealment, but ruin of corruptions. 

7. And lastly. Gifts must leave us at last. " Whether there be 
" knowledge that shall cease. All flesh is grass, and the goodliness 
'' of it as the flower of the grass ; the grass withereth, the flower 
" fadeth, but the word of the Lord abideth for ever,'*' Isa. xl. 6, 8. 
Many times they leave a man before death. One knock, if it hit 
right, (as one saith) may make a wise man a fool : but, to be sure, they 
all leave us at death. " Doth not his excellency which is in him go 
*' away ?^ Job iv. 21. yea, then all natural excellency departs : Death 
strips the soul of all those splendid ornaments ; then the rhetorical 
tongue is struck dumb ; the nimble wit and curious fancy shall enter- 
tain your ears with no more pleasant discourses. Niinquamjocos da- 
bis, as Adrian said to his departing soul ; but grace ascends with the 



soul into eternity, and there receives its perfection, and accomplish- 
ment. Gifts take their leave of the soul as Orpah did of Naomi ; 
but grace saith then, as Ruth, Where thou goest I \vill go, and, 
where thou lodgest I mill lodge, and nothing shall separate thee and 
me. Now put all this together, and then judge whether the apostle 
spoke hyperboles, when he said, " Covet earnestly the best gifts, 
" and yet I shew unto you a more excellent way," 1 Cor. xii. ult. 
And thus you have the choiceness of these principles also. 


The gracious souTs The lines are fallen to me in a pleasant 
rejlection. place, may the gracious soul say : How de- 

fective soever I am in gifts, yet blessed be 
the Lord who hath sown the true seeds of grace in my heart. What 
thougii I am not famed and honoured among men, let it suffice me 
that I am precious in the eyes of the Lord. Though he hath not 
abounded to me in gifts of nature, " Yet blessed be the God and 
*' Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, who hath abounded to me in all 
'' spiritual blessings, in heaveniv places in Christ Jesus," Eph. i. 3. 
Is not a true jewel, though spurned in the dirt, more precious than 
a false one, though set in gold ? Why art thou troubled, O my soul, 
for the want of these things which reprobates may have ? and art 
not rather admiring and blessing God for those things which none 
but the darlings and favourites of heaven can have ? Is not an ounce 
of pure gold more valuable than many pounds of gilded brass ? 
What though the dews of Helicon descend not upon my head, if in 
the mean time the sweet influences of Sion fall upon my heart ? O 
my God ! how much soever others are elated by the hght of their 
knowledge, I have cause, with humility to adore thee for the hea- 
venly heat with which thou hast warmed my affections. 

Pause a while, my soul, upon this point : With 
The deceived souTs what seed is my heart sown, and of what kind 
rejlection. are those things wherein I excel others.'' Are 

they indeed special seeds of grace, or common 
gifts and natural excellencies.'^ If the latter, little cause have I to pride 
myself in them, were they ten thousand times more than they are. If 
these things be indeed the things that accompany salvation, the seed 
of God, the true and real work of grace, then, (1.) How comes it to 
pass that I never found my throes, or travailing pangs in the pro- 
duction of them ? It is affirmed and generally acknowledged, that the 
new creature is never brought forth without such pain and compunc- 
tions of heart, Acts ii. 37. I have indeed often felt an aching head, 
whilst I have read and studied to increase my knowledge : But when 
did I feel an aching heart for sin ,? O I begin to suspect that it is not 
right. Yea, (2.) And my suspicion increases while I consider that 

trace is of an humbling nature, 1 Cor. xv. 10. Lord, how have I 
een elated by my gifts, and valued myself above what was meet ? O 


how have I delighted in the noise of the Pharisee's trumpet ! Mat. vi. 
2. No music so sweet as that. Say, O my conscience, have I not, 
delighted more in the theatre than the closet ? In the praise of men 
than the approbation of God ? O how many evidences dost thou pro- 
duce against me ! Indeed these are sad symptoms that I have shewed 
thee, but there is yet another, which renders thy case more suspicious 
yet, yea, that which thou canst make no rational defence against, even 
the inefFectualness of all thy gifts and knowledge to mortify any one 
of all thy lusts. It is beyond all dispute, that gifts may, but grace can- 
not consist without mortification of sin, Gal. v. 24. Now what lust 
hath fallen before these excellent parts of mine ? Doth not pride, pas- 
sion, covetousness, and indeed the whole body of sin, live and thrive 
in me as much as ewer ? Lord, I yield the cause, I can defend it no 
longer against my conscience, which casts and condemns me, by full 
proof, to be but in a wretched, cursed, lamentable state, notwith- 
standing all my knowledge and flourishing gifts. O shew me a more 
excellent way. Lord ! that I had the sincerity of the poorest saint, 
though I should lose the applause of all my parts ; with these I see 
I may go to hell, but without some better thing no hope of heaven. 


\jrREAT difference betwixt that seed is found, 
With which you sow your sevVal plots of ground. 
Seed-wheat doth far excel in dignity 
The cheaper barley, and the coarser rye : 
Tho' in themselves they good and wholesome are. 
Yet these with choicest wheat may not compare. 
Men's hearts, like fields, are sow'd with different grain, 
Some baser, some more noble, some again 
Excelling both the former, more than wheat 
Excels that grain your swine and horses eat. 
For principles of mere morality. 
Like cummin, barley, fitches, pease, or rye, 
In those men's hearts are often to be found, 
Whom yet the scriptures called cursed ground ; 
And nobler principles than these, sometime 
Caird common grace, and spii'itual gifts, which shine 
In some men's heads, where is their habitation ; 
Yet they are no companions of salvation. 
These purchase honour both from great and small : 
But I must tell thee, that if this be all, 
Tho' like an angel in these gifts you shine 
Amongst blind mortals, for a little time ; 
The day's at hand, when, such as thou must take 
Thy lot with devils in th' nifernal lake. 
But principles of special, saving grace, 



Whose seat is in the heart, not head, or face ; 

Like sohcl wheat sown in a fruitful field, 

Shall spring, and flourish, and at last will vield 

A glorious harvest of eternal rest. 

To him that nourished them M'ithin his breast. 

O grace ! how orient art thou ! how divine ! 

What is the glory of all gifts to thine I 

Disseminate this seed within my heart. 

My God, I pray thee, tho' thou should'st impart 

The less of gifts ; then I may truly say, 

That thou hast shewed me the more excellent way» 

Upon springing- weather after seed-time, 

Bi/ heaven'' s influence corn and plants do springs 
God's show'rs of grace do make his valleys sing. 


X HE earth, after that it is plowed and sowed, must be watered, 
and warmed with the dews and influences of heaven, or no fruit 
can be expected. If God do not open to you his good treasure, 
the heavens to give rain unto the land in its season, and bless all the 
work of your hands, as it is Deut. xxviii. 12. the earth cannot yield 
her increase. The order and independence of natural causes in the 
production of fruit, is excellently described, Hos. i. 21, 22. " I will 
*' hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth ; and the earth 
*' shall hear the corn, and wine, and oil, and they shall hear Jez- 
'' reel.'" Jezreel must have corn, and wine, and oil, or they can* 
not live ; they cannot have it unless the earth bring it forth ; the 
earth cannot bring it forth without the heavens ; the heavens cannot 
yield a drop unless God hear them, that is, unlock and open them. 
* ' Nature, and natural causes, are nothing else but the order in 
^ which God works.' This some heathens, by the light of nature, 
acknowledged, and therefore when they went to plow in the morn- 
ing, they did lay one hand upon the plow (to speak their own part to 
be painfulness) and held up the other hand to Ceres, the goddess of 
corn, to shew that their expectation of plenty was from their sup- 
posed deity -f. I fear many Christians lay both hands to the plow, 
and seldom lift up heart, or hand to God, when about that work. 

♦ Natura nihil aliud est quam divinorum operum ordo, Berentius, 
t Weem's Cerem. Law. 


There was an husbandman (saith * Mr. Smith) that always sowed 
good seed, but never had good corn ; at last a neighbour came to hiraj 
and said, I will tell you what probably may be the cause of it ; it 
may be (said he) you do not steep your seed : No, truly said the 
other, nor did I ever hear that seed must be steeped. Yes, surely, 
said his neighbour, and I will tell you how ; it must be steeped in 
prayer. When the party heard this, he thanked him for his coun- 
sel, reformed his fault, and had as good corn as any man whatsoever. 
Surely it is not the husbandman's, but God's steeps, that drop fat- 
ness. Jlma mater terra^ the earth indeed is a fruitful mother, but 
the rain which fecundates, and fertilizes it, hath no other Father but 
God, Job xxxviii. 28. 


,A-S impossible it is (in an ordinary way) for souls to be made 
fruitful in grace and holiness, without the dews and influences of 
ordinances, and the blessing of God upon them, as for the earth to 
yield her fruit without the natural influences of heaven : for look, 
what dews, showers, and clear shinings after rain are to the fields, 
that the word and ordinances of God are to the souls of men. " My 
*' doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew. 
*' as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon 
*' the grass," Deut. xxxii. 2. " For as the rain cometh down, and the 
*' snow from heaven, and watereth the earth, and maketh it bring 
*' forth and bud; so shall my word be that goeth forth of my 
^* mouth," Isa. Iv. 10, 11. And as the doctrine of the gospel is 
rain, so gospel-ministers are the clouds in which those heavenly va- 
pours are bound up : the resemblance lies in the following particulars. 
1. The rain comes from heaven. Acts xiv. 17. " He gave us 
*' rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons," ^c. The doctrines of the 
gospel are also of an heavenly extraction and descent ; they are hea- 
venly truths which are brought to you in earthen vessels ; things that 
were hid in God, and come from his bosom, Eph. iii. 8, 9. What 
Nicodemus said of Christ is, in a proportion, true of every faithful 
dispenser of the gospel, " Thou art a teacher come from God," John 
iii. 2. You are not to look upon the truths which ministers deliver, 
as the mere effects and fruits of their inventions and parts ; they are 
but the conduits through which these celestial waters are conveyed 
to you. It is all heavenly, the officers are from heaven, Eph. iv. 12. 
their doctrine from heaven, Eph. iii. 8, 9. the efficacy and success 
of it from heaven, 1 Cor. iii. 3. " What I received of the Lord 
(saith Paul) that have 1 delivered unto you," 1 Cor. xi. 23. The 
same may every gospel-minister say too. That is the first : 

Smith's Essex Dore. 


And then, (9.dly^) The rains falls by divine direction and appoint*' 
ment : " He causes it to rain upon one city, and not upon another,'* 
Amos iv. 7. You shall often see a cloud dissolve and spread itself 
upon one place, when there is not a drop within a few miles of it. 
Thus is the gospel sent to shed its rich influences upon one place, and 
not upon another ; it pours down showers of blessings upon one town 
or parish, whilst others are dry like the ground which lay near to 
Gideon's wet fleece. " To you is the word of this salvation sent,'' 
Acts xiii. 26. Sent ; it comes not by chance, but by commission and 
appointment, and it is sent to you by special direction. Ministers 
can no more go whither they please, than the failing clouds can move 
against the wind. Paul and Timothy, were two fruitful clouds 
that sent down many sweet refreshing showers upon every place 
whither they came. The Lord sent them through Phrygia and Ga- 
latia, but forbad them to preach the word in Asia, Acts xvi. 6. " And 
" when they essayed to go into Bithynia, the Spirit suffered them 
*' not,'' V. 7. But a man of Macedonia appears to Paul in a vision, 
and prayed him, saying, " Come over to Macedonia and help us," 
ver. 9- Thus you see how the mystical, as well as the natural 
clouds are moved according to divine counsel ; and though ministers 
are not now disposed to their respective places, in such an extraordi- 
nary way, yet there is still a special hand of the Spirit guiding their 
motions, which is seen partly in quahfying them for such a people, 
and partly in drawing out their hearts to elect and call them, and 
inclining their hearts to accept the c^ll. 

3. There is a great deal of diff*erence in the showers of rain that 
fall upon the earth. Sometimes you have an hasty shower, which 
makes the ways float, and the streets run, but it is gone presently, 
tl?e earth hath but little benefit by it ; and sometimes you have a 
sweet, gentle soaking rain, that moderately soaks to the root, and 
refreshes the earth abundantly. This is called the small rain and the 
former, the great rain of his strength, Job xxxvii. 6. So it is in 
these spiritual showers ; the effects of some sermons (like a sudden spout 
of rain) are very transient, that touch the heart a little for the present, 
by way of conviction or comfort, but it fleets away immediately. Jam. 
i. 23. At other times the gospel, like a settled, moderate rain, soaks 
to the root, to the very heart. So did that sweet shower which M\, 
Acts ii. 37. It searched the root, it went to the heart ; the influences 
of itare sometimes abiding, and do much longer remain in, and refresh 
the heart, than the rain doth the earth. There be effects left in 
some hearts, by some sermons and duties, that will never go out of 
it as long as they live. '* I will never forget thy precepts, for by 
" them thou hast quickened me," Psal. cxix. 93. 

4. The rain is most beneficial to the earth, when there come 
sweet, warm sun-blasts with it, or after it. This the scripture calls 
" a clear sinning after rain," 2 Sam. xxiii. 4. by which the seminal 

•the heavenly use of earthly things. T? 

mrtue of the earth is drawn forth, and then the herbs, flowers, and 
corn sprout abundantly. So it is with gospel-showers, when the Sun 
of righteousness opens upon poor souls under the word, darting down 
the beams of grace and love upon them, whilst they are attending on 
it, (just as you sometimes see a sweet shower fall while the sun shines 
out). O how comfortable is this ! and effectual to melt the heart J 
And as the warm rain is most refreshing, so when the word comes 
warmly, from the melting affections of the preacher, who imparts not 
only the gospel, but his own soul with it, 1 Thess ii. 8. this doth 
abundantly more good than that which drops coldly from the lips of 
the unaffected speaker. 

5, Showers of rain do exceedingly refresh the earth, as a man is 
refreshed by a draught of water, when his spirits are even spent. O 
how welcome is a shower to the thirsty ground ! Hence the little hills 
are said to rejoice on every side, yea, to shout for joy and sing when 
a shower comes, Psal. Ixv. 12, 18. But never were showers of rain 
so sweetly refreshing to the thirsty earth, as gospel-showers are to 
gracious souls. Col. iv. 8. they comfort their very hearts. What joy 
was there in Samaria, when the gospel came to that place ? Acts viii. 
8. It revives the soul, it is mel in ore, melos in aure,jubilum in 
corde, honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, and a very jubilee in 
the heart. 

6. Rain is necessary at seed-time, to make ready the earth to receive 
the seed, Psal. Ixv. 9, 10. " Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it ; 
" thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of wa- 
'* ter ; thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it ; 
" thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly, thou settlestthe fur- 
^' rows thereof, thou makest it soft with showers, thou blessest the 
" spiinging thereof." And this the scripture calls the former rain. 
And as this is necessary about seed-time, so the latter rain is as needful 
about earing-time, to disclose the ear and to bring it to perfection ; 
both these are great blessings to the earth, and conduce to a plenti- 
ful harvest, Joel ii. S3, 24. " Be glad then ye children of Sion, and 
*' rejoice in the Lord your God, for he hath given vou the former 
" rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rair, 
" the former and the latter rain in the first month, and the floors 
" shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and 
" oil." Thus the gospel hath a double use and benefit also. It is 
necessary as the former rain at seed-time, it causes the first spring of 
grace in the heart, Psal. xix. 7. And there could be (in an ordinary 
way) no spring of grace without it, Prov. xxix. 18. And as this for- 
mer rain is necessary to cause the first spring of grace, so also it hath 
the use of ^he latter rain to ripen those precious fruits of the Spirit in 
the souls of believers, Eph. iv. 11, 12, 13. " He gave some apostles, 
" and some prophets, and some evangehsts, and some pastors and 
" teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the mi- 
" nistry^for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the 


" unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a per- 
" feet man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.'"* 
Were all the elect converted unto God, yet still there would be a 
necessity of a gospel-ministry. 

7. After a great glut of rain, usually there comes a drought ; it 
is a common country proverb, Wet and dry pay one another. And 
truly when a people are glutted with a fulness of gospel-mercies it is 
usual with God to shut up and restrain the gospel-clouds, that, for a 
time at least, there be no dews upon them, and thereby teach them 
to prize their despised (because common) mercies at an higher rate. 
For as a good man once said, mercies are best known by the back, 
and most prized when most wanted. " In those days the word of 
" the Lord was precious, there was no open vision," 1 Sam. iii. 1 . 
It is with spiritual as with temporal food, slighted when plenteous, 
but if a famine once come, then every bit of bread is precious. Je- 
rusalem remembered in the days of her affliction, and of her misery, 
all her pleasant things, that she had ip the days of old, Lam. i. 7. 
It is both a sinful and dangerous thing to wantonize with gospel-mer- 
cies, and despise the plainest (if faithful) ministers of the gospel. 
The time may come when you may be glad of the plainest sermon 
from the mouth of the meanest ambassador of Christ. 

8. To conclude. The prayers of saints are the keys that open and 
shut the natural clouds, and cause them either to give out or with- 
hold their influences. Jam. v. 17, 18. " Elias was a man subject to 
'' like passions, as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not 
*' rain, and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and 
*' six months ; and he prayed again, and the heavens gave rain, and 
*' the earth brought forth her fruit.'' God hath subjected the works 
of his hands to the prayers of his saints, Isa. xlv. 11. 

Prayer is also the golden key which opens these mystical gospel- 
clouds, and dissolves them into sweet, gracious showers. God will 
have the whole work of the ministry carried on by the prayers of his 
people; they first obtain their ministers by prayer, Luke x.2. " Pray 
" ye the Lord of the harvest to send forth labourers into the vine- 
" yard." It is by the help of prayer that they are carried on, and 
enabled to exercise their ministry : They may tell their people as a 
great general once told his soldiers, ' That he flew upon their wings.** 
*' Pray for me, (saith the great apostle) that utterance may be given 
'' me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mys- 
" teries of the gospel," Eph. vi. 19. Yea, by the saints prayers it is, 
that ministers obtain the success and fruits of their labours, 2 Thess. 
iii. 1. " Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord 
*' may have free course, and be glorified even as it is with you." And 
thus you have the metaphor opened. Now, O ! that these truths 
might come down in sweet showers upon the hearts both oi ministers 
and people in the following reflections. 



1. Am I then a cloud ? And is my doctrine as rain to water the 
Lord's inheritance ? And yet do I think it much to 

be tossed up artd down by the furious winds and Three rejlec- 
storms of persecution ? Do not I see the clouds tionsjur gos- 
above me in continual motions and agitations? pel-ministers. 
And shall I dream of a fixed, settled state ? No ; 
false teachers, who are clouds without rain, are more likely to enjoy 
that than I. Which of all the prophets have not been tossed and 
hurried worse than I ? Acts vii. 52. He that will not let men alone 
to be quiet in their lusts, must expect but little quiet from men in this 
life. But it is enough, Lord, that a rest remaineth for thy servant ; 
let me be so wise to secure a rest to come, and not so vain to expect 
it on earth. 

2. And, O that I might study those instruction clouds, from which 
as from the bottles of heaven, God pours down refreshing showers 
to quench and satisfy the thirsty earth ! In this may I resemble them, 
and come amongst the people of the Lord, " in the fulness of the 
" blessing of the gospel of Christ,'' Rom. xv. 29. O let not those 
thirsty souls that wait for me as for the rain, Job xxix. 23. " return 
*' like the troops of Tema, ashamed, with their heads covered," Job 
vi. 19. O that my lips might refresh many ! Let me never be like 
those empty clouds, which deceive the hopes of thirsty souls ; but 
let my doctrine descend as the rain, and distil as the dew, and let 
that plot of thine inheritance which thou hast assigned to me, be as a 
field which the Lord hath blessed. 

3. Once more, lift up thine eyes to the clouds, and behold, to 
)iow great an height the sun hath mounted them, for by reason of 
their sublimity it is that they are called the clouds of heaven, Matth. 
xxiv. 30. Lord, let me be a cloud of heaven too : Let my heart 
and conversation be both there ! Who is more advantaged for an 
heavenly life than I ? heavenly truths are the subjects of my daily 
study, and shall earthly things be the objects of my daily delights and 
loves ^ God forbid that ever my earthly conversation should con- 
tradict and shame my heavenly calling and profession. Shine forth 
thou glorious sun of righteousness, and my heart shall quickly be at- 
tracted and mounted above these visible clouds, yea, and above the 
aspectable heavens. 

1. Is the gospel rain, and are its ministers clouds ? Three reflections 
Woe is me then, that my habitation is upon the forprivateChrU* 
mountains of Gilboa, where there are no dews ! tians. 
Ah sad lot, that I should be like Gideon's dry 
fleece, whilst the ground round about me is wet with For those that 
the dew of heaven ; O thou that commandest the zvant a gospeU 
clouds above, and openest the windows of heaven, ministry, 
remember and refresh this parched wilderness^ 


wherein I live with showers of grace, that we may not be as the heath 

in the desart, which seeth not when good cometh, nor inhabit the 

parched places of the wilderness. 

2r» ^Ao^7a ^-O Lord, thou hast caused the heavens above 
±or tliose that . i 1 1 i -.i i i ^i i i 

^ J iiie to be black with clouds, thou openest the celes- 

4 ^ \^ " " tial casements from above, and daily sendest down 
"' showers of gospel-blessings : O that I might be as 

the parched earth under them ! Not for barrenness, but for thirsti- 
iiess. Let me say, " My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the 
" courts of the Lord :" that I might there see the beauty of the 
Lord. Doth the spungy earth so greedily suck up the showers, and 
open as many mouths as there are clefts in it, to receive what the 
clouds dispense ? And shall those precious soul-enriching showers 
fleet away unprofitably from me ? If so, then, 
rr n. 7 7 5. What an account have I to make for all 

T , *^ those gospel-blessings that I have enjoyed ; for 

all those gospel-dews and showers wherewith I 
have been watered ! Should I be found fruitless at last, it will fare 
better with the barren and uncultivated wilderness than with me ; 
more tolerable for Indians and Barbarians that never heard the gos- 
pel, than for me that have been so assiduously and plentifully water- 
ed by it. Lord ! what a difference wilt thou put in the great day be- 
twixt simple and pertinacious barrenness ? Surely, if my root be not 
rottenness, such heavenly waterings and influences as these will make 
it sprout forth into fruits of obedience. 


X HE vegetables here below depend 
Upon those treasures which the heavens do spend 
Most bounteously upon them, to preserve 
Their being and their beauty. This may serve 
To shadow forth a heavenly mystery, 
Which thus presents itself before your eye. 
As when the sun draws near us in the spring. 
All creatures do rejoice, birds chirp and sing. 
The face of nature smiles ; the fields adorn 
Themselves with rich embroideries : The com 
Revives, and shooteth up ; the warm sweet rain 
Makes trees and herbs sprout forth, and spring amain. 
Walk but the fields in such a fragrant morn. 
How do the birds your ears with music charm ! 
The flowers their flaming beauties do present 
Unto your captiv'd eyes ; and for their scent. 
The sweet Arabian gums cannot compare. 
Which thus perfume circumambient air. 
So when the gospel sheds its cheering beams 
On gracious souls, like those sweet-warming glearas 


Which God ordains in nature, to draw forth 

The virtue seminal that's in the earth ; 

It warms their hearts, their languid graces cheers, 

And on such souls a spring-like face appears. 

The gracious showers these spiritual clouds do yieldj 

Enriches them with sweetness, like a field 

Which God hath bless'd. Oh ! 'tis exceeding sweet, 

When gracious hearts and heavenly truths do meet ! 

How should the hearts of saints within them spring, 

AVhen they behold the messengers that bring 

These gladsome tidings ? Yea, their very feet 

Are beautiful, because their message's sweet. 

Oh what a mercy does those souls enjoy, 

On whom such gospel-dews fall day by day ! 

Thrice happy land ! which in this pleasant springs 

Can hear these turtles in her hedges sing ? 

O prize such mercies ! If you ask me, why ? 

Read on, you'll see there's reason by and by. 



Upon a Dearth through want of Rain. 

If God restrains the show'rs, ymi howl and cry : 
^ Shall saints not mourn when spiritual clouds are dry 


JLT is deservedly accounted a sad judgment, when God shuts up 
the heavens over our heads, and makes the earth as brass under our 
feet, Deut. xxviii. 23. Then the husbandmen are called to mourn- 
ing, Joel i. 11. All the fields do languish, and the bellowing cattle 
are pined ^with thirst. Such a sad state the prophet rhetorically des- 
cribes, Jer. xiv. 3, 4, 5, 6. " The nobles have sent their little ones 
" to the waters ; they came to the pits and found no water ; they 
" returned with their vessels empty ; they were ashamed and con- 
" founded, and covered their heads, because the ground is chapt ; 
" for there was no rain in the earth ; the plowmen were ashamed, 
" they covered their heads ; yea, the hind also calved in the field, 
" ancl forsook it, because there was no grass ; and the wild asses did 
" stand in the high places : They snuffed up the wind like dragons i 
" their eyes failed because there was no grass," 

And that which makes the want of rain so terrible a judgment, is 
the famine of bread, which necessarily follows these extraordinary 
droughts, and is one of the sorest temporal judgments which God 
inflicts upon the world. 



x%.ND, truly as mucli cause have they to weep 'and tremble over 
whose souls God shuts up the sph'itual clouds of the gospel, and 
thereby sends a spiritual famine upon their souls. Such a judg- 
ment the Lord threatens in Amos viii. 11. " Behold the day is come, 
*' saith the Lord, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine 
" of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the word of the 
*' Lord.'"' The meaning is, I will send a more fearful judgment than 
that of the famine of bread ; for this particle [not] is not exclusive but 
excessive ; implying, that a famine of bread is nothing, or but a light 
judgment compared with the famine of the word. Parallel to which 
is that text, Isa. v. 6. " I will lay it waste (saith God of the fruitless 
" church ;) it shall not be pruned nor digged ; but there shall come 
*' up briers and thorns ; I will also command the clouds that they 
*' rain not upon it." And we find both in human and sacred his- 
tories, that when God hath shut up the spiritual clouds, removing 
or silencing his minister, sensible Christians have ever been deeply 
affected with it, and reckoned it a most tremendous judgment. 
Thus the Christians of Antioch, when Chrysostom their minister was 
banished, * they judged it better to lose the sun out of the firmament, 
than lose that, their minister. And when Nazianzen was taking 
his leave of Constantinople, as he was preaching his^r^^a^^Z/ sermon, 
the people were exceedingly affected with his loss ; and among the 
rest, an old man in the congregation fell into a bitter passion, and 
cried out, Aucle pater, et tecum trinitatem ipsam ejice : h e. Go, Fa- 
ther, if you dare, and take away the whole trinity with you ; mean- 
ing, that God would not stay when he was gone. How did the Chris- 
tians of Antioch also weep and lament, when Paul was taking his fare- 
well of them ? Acts xx. 37, 38. He had been a cloud of blessings to 
that place ; but now they must expect no more showers from him. 
Oh I they knew not how to give up such a minister ! when the ark of 
God (which was the symbol of the Divine presence among the Jews) 
was taken, " All the city cried out,"' 1 Sam. iv. 13. Oh the loss of 
a gospel-ministry is an inestimable loss, not to be repaired but by its 
own return, or by heaven ! Mr. Greenham tells us, that in the times 
of popish persecution, when godly ministers were haled away from 
their flocks to martyrdom, the poor Christians would meet them in 
the way to the prison, or stake, with their little ones in their arms, 
and thro^v^ng themselves at their feet, would thus bespeak them, 
< What shall be our estate, now you are gone to martyrdom ^ Who 

* shall instruct these poor babes ? Who shall ease our afilicted con- 

* sciences ? Who shall lead us in the way of life ? Recompense unto 

* them, O Lord, as they have deserved, who are the causes of this : 

* Lord, give them sad hearts.' Quis taliafando, temper eta lachrymis? 

* It is better for us to want the light of the sun, than the teaching of Chrysostom, 


And to let you see there is sufficient ground for this sorrow, when 
God restrains the influences of the gospel, solemnly consider the 
following particulars. 

1. That it is a dreadful token of God's great anger against that 
people from whom he removes the gospel. The anger of God was 
fearfully incensed against the church of Ephesus, when he did but 
threaten to come against her, and remove the candlestick out of its 
place, Rev. ii. 5. It is a stroke at the soul, a blow at the root ; 
usually the last, and therefore the worst of judgments. There is a 
pedigree of judgments; first Gomer bears Jezreel ; next Lo-ruhama, 
and at last brings forth Lo-ammi, Hosea i. 4, 6, 8, 9. 

2. There is cause of mourning, if you consider the deplora])le 
estate in which all the unregenerate souls are left, after the gospel is 
removed from them. What will become of these ? Or by whom 
shall they be gathered .? It made the bowels of Christ yern witliin 
him, when he lookod upon the scattered multitude that had no 
shepherd, Matth. ix. 36. What an easy conquest doth the devil 
now make of them ! How fast doth hell fill in such times ! Poor 
souls being driven thither in droves, and none to rescue them ! 
Matthew Paris tells us, that in the year 1073, when preaching was 
suppressed at Rome, letters were then framed as coming from hell, 
wherein the devil gave them thanks for the multitude of souls they had 
sent to him that year. But truly we need not talk of letters from 
hell, we are told from heaven, how deplorable the condition of such 
poor souls is ; See Prov. xxviii. 19. Hos. iv. 6. Or, 

8. The judgment will yet appear very heavy, if you consider the 
loss which God's own people sustain by the removal of the gospel ; 
for therein they- lose, (1.) Their chief glory, Rom. iii. 2. The 
principal tiling in which the peculiar glory of Israel consisted was 
this, *' That unto them were committed tlie oracles of God.'" On 
that account it was called the glorious land, Dan. xi. 16. This made 
them greater than all the nations round about them, Deut. iv. 7j 8. 
(2.) By losing the ordinances they lose their quickenings, comforts, 
and soul-refreshments : for all these are sweet streams from the 
gospel-fountain, Psalm cxix. 50. Col. iv. 8. No wonder then to 
hear the people of God complain of dead hearts when the gospel is 
removed. (3.) In the loss of the gospel they lose their defence and 
safety. This is their hedge, their wall of protection, Isa. v. 5. Walls 
and hedges (saith Musculus in loc.) are the ordinances of God, which 
served both ad separationem et munitionem^ to distinguish and to 
defend them. When God plucks up tliis hedge and breaks down this 
wall, all mischiefs break in upon us presently, 2 Chron. xv. 3, 4, 5, 
6. " Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, 

" and without a teaching priest, and without law. And in 

*' those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him 
Vol. V. F 


" that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants 6f 
" the countries, and nation was destroyed of nation, and city of 
" city ; for God did vex them with all adversity.'" How long did 
Jerusalem remain after that voice was heard in the temple, Migre^ 
Ttiiishinc? Let us be gone. (4.) AVith the gospel, we lose our temporal 
enjoyments and creature-comforts. These usually come and go with 
the gospel. When God had once written Lo-ammi upon Israel, the 
next news was this, " I will recover my wool and my flax," Hosea 
ii. 9. {5.) And, lastly, to come up to the very case in hand, they 
lose with it their spiritual food and soul-subsistence, for the gospel is 
ihe\Y feast of fat things^ Isa. xxv. 6. their spiritual wells, Isa. xii. 3. 
a dole distributed among the Lord's poor, Rom. i. IL In a word, 
it is as the rain and dews of heaven, as hath been shewed, which be- 
ing restrained, a spiritual famine necessarily follows, a famine of all 
the most terrible. Now to shew you the analogy between this and 
a temporal famine, that therein you may see what cause you have to 
be deeply affected with it, take it in these six following particulars. 

1. A famine caused by the failing of bread, or that which is in the 
stead, and hath the use of bread. Dainties and superfluous rarities 
may fail, and yet men may subsist comfortably. As long as people 
have bread and water, they will not famish ; but take away bread 
once, and the spirit of man faileth. Upon this account bread is call- 
ed a staff, Psal. cv. 16. because what a staff is to an aged and feeble 
man, that bread is to the faint and feeble spirits, M^hich even so lean 
upon it. And look what bread is to the natiu'al spirits, that, and 
more than that, the word is to gracious spirits, Job xxiii. 12. " I have 
" esteemed the words of thy mouth more than my necessary food." 
If once God break this staff, the inner-man, that hidden man of the 
heart, will quickly begin to fail and faulter. 

% It is not every degree or scarcity of bread that presently makes 
a famine, but a general failing of it ; when no bread is to be had, or 
that which is, yields no nutriment. (For a famine may as well be 
occasioned by God's taking awEij panh nutrlmentmn, the nourishing 
virtue of bread, that it shall signify no more, as to the end of bread, 
than a chip, Hag. i. 6. as by taking away panem 7iutrientem , bread 
itself, Isa. iii. 1.) And so it is in a spiritual famine, which is occa- 
sioned, either by God's removing all the ordinances, and making vi- 
sion utterly to fail ; or else, though there be preaching, prayer, and 
other ordinances left, (at least the names and shadows of them) yet 
the presence of God is not with them. There is no marrow in the 
bone, no milk in the breast ; and so, as to soul-subsistence, it is all 
one, as if there were no such things. 

3. In a corporeal famine, mean and coarse things become sweet 
and pleasant. Famine raises the price and esteem of them. That 
which before you would have thrown to your dogs, now goes down 
pleasantly with yourselves. To the hungry soul every bitter thing is 


sweet, Prov. xxvli. 7. It is the Dutch proverb, and a very true one, 
Hunsrer is the best cook *. 


' In time of famine coarsest fare contents, 
' The barking stomach strains complements."' 

It is storied of Artaxerxes Memnon, that when he was flying be- 
fore his enemies, he fed hungrily upon barley-bread, and said, Cw- 
jusmodi voluptatis hactenus inexpertusjm ! O what pleasure have 
I hitherto been ignorant of! When great Darius drank the puddled 
water, that had been defiled with dead carcases, which had been 
slain in that famous battle, he professed he never drank more plea- 
sant drink. And famous Hunniades said, he never fared more 
daintily, than when (in a like exigence,) he supped upon bread, 
onions, and water, with a poor shepherd in his cottage. 

Just so doth the famine of the word raise the price and esteem of 
vulgar and despised truths. Oh ! what would you give for one of 
those sermons, one of those sabbaths we formerly enjoyed ! In those 
days the word of the Lord was precious. When God calls to the 
enemy to take away and remove his contemned, but precious dain- 
ties, from his wanton children, and a spiritual famine hath a little 
pinched them, they will then learn to prize their spiritual food at a 
higher rate. 

4. In time of famine some persons suffer more than others : it falls 
heaviest, and pincheth hardest upon the poorer sort ; as long as any 
thing is to be had for money, the rich will have it. So it falls out 
in a spiritual famine ; although the most experienced and best fur- 
nished Christians will have enough to do to live in the absence of or- 
dinances, yet they are like to subsist much better than weak, ignorant, 
and unexperienced ones. Some Christians have husbanded their time 
well, and, like Joseph in the seven ye^rs plenty, laid up for a scarcity. 
The word of God dwells richly in them. Some such there are, as 
John calls young men, who are strong, and the word of God re- 
maineth in them ; of whom it may be said, as Jerom spake of Nepo- 
tianus, that by long and assiduous meditation of the scriptures, he 
had made his breast the very library of Christ. But others are babes 
in Christ ; and though God will preserve that good work which he 
hath begun in them, yet these poor babes will soonest find, and be 
most concerned in the loss of their spiritual fathers and nurses. 

5. In time of famine there are pitiful cries, and heart-breaking 
complaints wherever you go. Oh the many pale faces you shall then 
see, and the sad language that rings in your ears in every place ! One 
cries. Bread, bread, for Christ's sake ! one bit of bread ! another 
faints and falls down at your door. ATI her people sigh, Lam. i. 11. 
Yea, the poor little ones are brought in, ver. 12. crying to their 
mothers, Where is the corn and wine ? and then pouring out their 

* Jcjunus stomachus raro cutgaria temnit, Horat. 


souls into their mother^s bosom. Just so it is in a fanline of tlie 
word ; poor Christians every where sighing and cryingj Oh ! where 
are our godly ministers ? our sweet sabbaths, sermons, sacraments ? 
My fathers ! my fathers ! the chariots of Israel, and the horsemen 
thereof ! How beautiful were your feet upon the mountains ? And 
then, weeping, like the people at Paufs departure, to think they 
shall see their faces no more. 

6. Lastly, In time of famine there is nothing so costly or precious, 
but the people will part with it to purchase bread. " They have 
" given their pleasant things for meat to relieve their souls," Lam. i. 
11. And, doubtless, when a spiritual famine shall pinch hard, those 
that have been close-handed to maintain a gospel-ministry, will ac- 
count it a choice mercy to enjoy them again at any rate. " Though 
" the Lord feed you with the bread of affliction, and give you the 
" waters of adversity ; yet it will sweeten that bread and water to 
^'youjifyour teachers be no more removed into corners,"" Isa. xxx. 20. 


The ungrateful 2. Is the famine of the word such a fearful judg- 
SQuTs reflection. ment? Then Lord pardon my unthankfulness, for 
the plentiful and long-continued enjoyment of such 
a precious and invaluable mercy. How long lightly have I esteemed 
the great things of the gospel ! O that with eyes and hands lifted up 
to heaven, I might bless the Lord that ever I was brought forth in an 
ao-e of so much hght, in a valley of visions, in a land flowing with gos- 
pel-mercies ! " Hath not God made of one blood all the nations of 
^' men to dwell on the face of the earth ? And determined the times 
" before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation .^" Acts xvii. 
26. Many of these great and populous nations are involved in gross 
darkness. Now that of all the several ages of the world, and places 
in it, God should espy the best place for me, and bring me forth in 
it, in such a happy nick of time, as can hardly be paralleled in histo- 
ry for the plenty of gospel-mercies that this age and nation hath en- 
joyed ; that my mother did not bring me forth in the deserts of Ara- 
bia, or wastes of America, but in England, where God hath made 
the sun of the gospel to stand still, as the natural sun once did over 
Gibeon ; and that such a mercy should no more affect my soul, let 
shame cover my face for this, and trembling seize my heart f 

9.. Is the gospel indeed departed ? Its sweet 
The deprived Chris- influences restrained ? and a famine, worse than 
tiarCs reflection. that of bread, come upon us ? Alas for the day I 

for it is a great day, so that none is like it ; it is 
even the day of Jacob's trouble ! Woe is me, that ever I sliould sur- 
vive the gospel, and the precious liberties and mercies of it ! What hor- 
rid sins have been harboured amongst us, for which the Lord contends 
by such an unparalleled judgment ? Lord, let me justify thee, even in 


this severe dispensation ; the provocation of thy sons and of thy 
daughters have been very great, and amongst them none greater than 
mine. May we not this day read our sin in our punishment ? O 
what nice and wanton appetites, what curious and itching ears had 
thy people in the days of plenty ! Methods, tones, and gestures were 
more regarded than the excellent treasures of divine truths. Ah, 
my soul ! I remember my fault this day ; little did I then consider, 
that sermons work not upon hearts, as they are thus elegant, thus 
admirable, but as they are instruments in the handof God appointed 
to such an end. Even as Austin said of the conduits of water, 
tliough one be in the shape of an angel, another of a beast, yet the 
water refreshes as it is water, and not as it comes from such a con- 
duit : by this also O Lord, thou rebukest the supineness and forma- 
lity of thy people. How drowsy, dull, and careless have they been 
under the most excellent and quickening means ? Few more than I. 
Alas ! I have often pi*esented my body before the Lord in ordinances, 
Yi PS -^uyji^ s^w, but my soul hath been wandering abroad, as Chrysostoni 
speaks. I should have come from under every sermon, as a sheet 
comes from the press, with all the stamps and lively impressions of 
the truths I have heard upon my heart. But alas ! if it had been de- 
manded of me, as once it was of Aristotle, after a long and curious 
oration, how he liked \i? I might have answered, as he did, truly I 
did not hear it, for I was all the while minding another matter. 
Righteous art thou, O Lord, in all that is come upon us ! 

3. I am now as a spring shut up, that can yield no refreshment to 
thirsty souls, ready to perish. Thou hast said to 
me as once to Ezekiel, "Son of man, behold, I will The silent min- 
" make thy tongue cleave to theroof of thy mouth, isters reflection. 
" and thou shalt be dumb." This is a very heavy 
judgment ; but thou must be justified and cleared in it. Althouo-h 
men may not, yet God, if he please, may put a lighted candle under 
a bushel. And herein I must acknowledge thy righteousness. Many 
times have I been sinfully silent, when both thy glory and the interest 
of souls engaged me to speak. Most justly therefore hast thou made 
my tongue to cleave to its roof. Little did I consider the preciousness 
of souls, or the tremendous account to be given for them, at the ap- 
pearing of the great Shepherd. I have nov/ time enough to sit down 
and mourn over former miscarriages and lost opportunities. I^ord, 
restore me once again to a serviceable capacity, to a larger sphere of 
activity for thee, for I am now become as a broKen vessel. It grieves 
me to the heart to see thy flock scattered ; to hear the people cry to 
me, as once to Joseph, " Give us bread ; for why should we die in 
" tliy presence .?" The word is like fire shut up in my bones, and 
I am weary with forbearing. Oh ! that thou wouldst once again 
open the doors of thine house, that there may be bread enough in 
thine house for all thy children. 




HEN God doth make the heavens above as brass. 
The earth's hke iron ; flowers, herbs and grass 
Have lost their fragrant green, are turned yellow; 
The brooks are dry, the pining cattle bellow ; 
The fat and flow'ry meadows scorch'd and burn'd ; 
The country's mirth is into mourning turned ; 
The clefted earth her thirsty mouth sets ope 
Unto the empty clouds, as 'twere in hope 
Of some refreshing drops, that might allay 
Her fiery thirst : but they soon pass away ; 
The pensive husbandman with his own eyes 
Bedews his land, because he sees the skies 
llefuse to do it. Just so stands the case, 
When God from souls removes the means of grace. 
God's ministers are clouds, their doctrine rain, 
Which when the Lord in judgment sh^ll restrain, 
The people's souls in short time will be found 
In such a case as this dry parched ground. 
When this sad judgment fall^. on any nation, 
Let saints therein take up this lamentation. 

O dreadful, dark, and dismal day ! 

How is our glory fled away ? 

Our sun gone down, our stars o'ercast .'* 

God's heritage is now laid waste. 
Our pining souls no bread can get ; 
With wantons God has justly met. 
AVhen we were fed unto the full, 
This man was tedious, that was dull : 
But they are gone, and there remain 
No such occasions to complain. 
Stai's are not now for lights, but signs, 
God knows of what heart-breaking times. 
Sure heaven intends not peace, but wars, 
In calling home ambassadors. 
How long did Sodom's judgment stay, 
When righteons Lot was snatch'd away ? 
How long remain'd that stately hall. 
When Samson made the pillars fall ? 
When horsemen and commanders fly, 
Woe to the helpless infantry. 
This is a sad and fatal blow, 
A public loss and overthrow. 
You that so long have wish'd them gone, 
Be quiet now, the thing is done : 
Did they torment you e're your day ? 


God hath reinov'd them out o' th' way. 
Now sleep in sin, and take your ease ; 
Their doctrine shall no more displease. 
But, Lord ! what shall become of us ? 
Our teacher's gone, and left us thus : 
To whom shall we ourselves address, 
When conscience labours in distress ? 
Oh ! who shall help us out at need ? 
Or pour in balm when wounds do bleed ? 
Help, Lord! for unto thee our eyes 
Do pour our tears ; our groans, our cries 
Shall never cease, 'till thou restore 
The mercies which we had before ; 
'Till Sion's paths, where grass now grows, 
Be trodden by the feet of those 
That love thy name, and long t' enjoy 
The mercies they have sinn'd away, 


Upon the Corruption of the Seed before it springs. 

Seeds die and rot, and then mustfresli appear ; 
Saints' bodies rise more orient than they were, 


AfTFR the seed is committed to the earth, it seems to perish 
and die, as our Saviour speaks, John xii. 24. " Except a corn of 
" wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone ; but if it die, 
" it brings forth much fruit." The death of the corn in the earth 
is not a total death, but only the corruption or alteration of it : for 
if once the seminal life and virtue of it were quite extinguished, it 
could neither put forth blade or ear without a miracle. Yet because 
that alteration is a kind of death, therefore Christ here uses it as a fit 
illustration of the resurrection. And indeed there is nothing in na- 
ture more apt to illustrate that great mystery. Wliat a fragrant, 
green and beautiful blade do we see spring up from a corrupted seed ? 
How black and mouldy is that ! How beautiful and verdant is this ? 


JLiVEN thus shall the bodies of the saints arise in beauty and 
glory at the resurrection : " They are sown in dishonour ; they 
" are raised in glory ; they are sown natural bodies ; they are raised 
« spiritual bodies," 1 Cor. xv. 43, 44. The husbandman knows, 



that though the seed rot in the earth, yet it will rise again. And 
the believer knows, " that though after his skin worms destroy his 
" body, yet in his flesh he shall see God,'' Job xix. 25, &c. And 
the resemblance betwixt the seed sown, and springing up; and the 
bodies of the saints dying and rising again, lies in these following par- 

1. The seed is committed to the earth from whence it came ; so is 
the body of a saint ; earth it was, and to earth it is again resolved. 
Grace exempts not the body of the best man from seeing corruption, 
Rom. viii. 10. Though Christ be in him, yet the body is dead ; 
that is, sentenced to death because of sin, Heb. ix. 27. " But it is 
'• appointed for all men once to die."" 

2. The seed is cast into the earth in hope, 1 Cor. ix. 10. Were 
there not a resurrection of it expected, the husbandman Avould never 
be willing to cast away his corn. The bodies of saints are also com- 
mitted to the grave in hope, 1 Thess. iv. 13, 14. ^ But I would not 
*' have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those which are 
'* asleep, as they which have no hope; for if we believe that Jesus 
'' died, and rose again, so even also them which sleep in Jesus, 
" shall the Lord bring with him.'"' This blessed hope of a re- 
surrection sweetens not only the troubles of life, but the pangs of 

3. The seed is cast into the earth seasonably, in its proper season : 
so are the bodies of the saints. Job v. 26. " Thou shall come to thy 
*' grave in a full age, as a shock of corn cometh in, in its season.'^ 
They always die in the fittest time, though sometimes they seem to 
die immaturely : the time of their death was from all eternity pre- 
fixed by God, beyond which they cannot go, and short of which they 
cannot come. 

4. The seed lies many days and nights under the clods, before it 
rise and appear again : " even so man lieth clown, and riseth not 
*' again until the heavens be no more,'' Job xiv. 12. The days of 
darkness in the grave are many. 

5. When the time is come for its shooting up, the earth that co- 
vered it can hide it no longer ; it cannot keep it down a day more ; 
it will find or make way through the clods. So in that day when 
the great trump shall sound, bone shall come to its bone, and the 
grave shall not be able to hold them a minute longer. Both sea and 
earth must render the dead that are in them. Rev. xx. 13. 

6. When the seed appears above-ground, it appears much more 
fresh and orient, than when it was cast into the earth : God clothes 
it with such beauty, that it is not like to what it was before. Thus 
rise the bodies of the saints, marvellously improved, beautified, and 
perfected with spiritual qualities and rich endowments ; in respect 
whereof they are called spiritual bodies, 1 Cor. xv. 43. not 
properly but analogically spiritual ; for look, as spirits subsist with- 

The heavenly use of earthly things. 91 

out food, raiment, sleep, know no lassitude, weariness or pain ; sq 
our bodies, after the resurrection, shall be above these necessities and 
distempers ; for we shall be as the angels of God, Matth. xxii. 30. 
Yea, our vile bodies shall be changed, and made like unto Christ's 
glorious body ; which is the highest pitch and ascent of glory and ho- 
nour that an human body is capable of, Phil. iii. 21. Indeed, the 
glory of the soul shall be the greatest glory ; that is the orient inva- 
luable gem : But God will bestow a distinct glory upon the body, 
and richly enamel the very casein w^hichthat precious jewel shall be 
kept. In that glorious morning of the resurrection, the saints shall 
put on their new fresh suits of flesh, richly laid and trimmed with 
glory. Those bodies, which in the grave were but dust and rotten- 
ness, when it delivers them back again, shall be shining and excel- 
lent pieces, absolutely and everlastingly freed. (1.) From all natural 
infirmities and distempers : Death is their good physician, which at 
once freed them of all diseases. It is a great affliction now to many 
of the Lord's people, to be clogged with so many bodily infirmities, 
which render them very unserviceable to God. The spirit indeed is 
willing', hit the flesh is weak. A crazy body retorts and shoots back 
its distempers upon the soul, with which it is so closely conjoined : 
But thougii now the soul (as Theophrastus speaks) pays a dear rent 
for the tabernacle in which it dwells ; yet, when death dissolves that 
tabernacle, all the diseases and pains, under which it groaned, shall 
be buried in the rubbish of its mortality ; and wlien they come to be 
re-united again, God will bestow rich gifts and dowries, even upon the 
body, in the day of its re-espousals to the soul. (2.) It shall be freed 
from all deformities ; there are no breaches, flaws, monstrosities in 
glorified bodies ; but of them it may much rather be said what was 
once said of Absalom, 2 Sam. xiv. 25. ^' That from the crown of 
" the head to the sole of his foot, there Vv^as no blemish in him.'* 
(3.) It shall be freed from all natural necessities, to which it is now- 
subjected in this its animal state. How is the soul now disquieted and 
tortured with cares and troubles to provide for a perishing body f 
Many unbelieving and unbecoming fears it is now vexed with : What 
shall it eat ? And what shall it drink ? And wherewithal shall it be 
clothed ? " But meats for the belly, and the belly for meats ; God 
" shall destroy both it and them,'' 1 Cor. vi. 13. i. e. as to their pre- 
sent use and office ; for as to its existence, so the belly shall not be 
destroyed. But even as the masts, poop and stern of a ship abide in 
the harbour after the voyage is ended, so shall these bodily members, 
as Tertullian excellently illustrates it. (4.) They shall be freed from 
deatli, to which thenceforth they can be subject no more ; that for- 
midable adversary of nature shall assault it no more. " For they 
*' which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the re- 
" surrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; 
" neither can they die any more ; for they shall be equal to the an- 


" S'els, and are the children of God, being; the children of theresur- 
*' rection,*" Luke xx. 35, 36. Mark it (equal to the angels) not that 
the}'^ shall be separate and single spirits, without bodies as the angels 
are : but equal to them in the way and manner of their living and 
acting.* We shall then live upon God, and act freely, purely, and 
delightfully for God ; for all kind of living upon, and delighting in 
creatures, seems in that text (l)y a synecdoche of the part which is 
ordinarily in scripture put for all creature-delights, dependencies, and 
necessities) to be excluded. Nothing but God shall enamour and 
fill the soul ; and the body shall be perfectly subdued to the spirit. 
Lord, what hast thou prepared for them that love thee ! 


The healthful sahifs L If I shall receive my body again so digni- 
reftection, fied and improved in the world to come, then 

Lord let me never be unwilling to use my body 
now for the interest of thy glor}^, or my own salvation ! Now, O my 
God, it grieves me to think how many precious opportunities of serv- 
ing and honouring thee I have lost, under pretence of endangering 
my health ! 

I have been more solicitous to live long and healthfully, than to 
live usefully and fruitfully; and, like enough, my life had been more 
serviceable to thee, if it had not been so fondly overvalued by me. 

Foolish soul ! hath God given thee a body for a living tool or in- 
strument ? And art thou afraid to use it ? Wherein is the mercy of 
having a body, if not in spending and wearing it out in the service of 
God ? To have an active vigorous body, and not to employ and ex- 
ercise it for God, for fear of endangering its health, is, as if one 
should give thee a handsome and sprightly horse, upon condition thou 
shouldst not ride or work him. O ! if some of the saints had enjoy- 
ed the blessings of such an healthy active body as mine, what excel- 
lent services would they have performed to God in it ? 

2. If my body shall as surely rise again in 
The sickly saint s glory, vigour, and excellent endowments, as the 

rejiection. seed which I sow doth ; why should not this com- 

fort me over all the pains, weaknesses, and dulness, 
with which my soul is now clogged ? Thou knowest, my God, what 
a grief it hath been to my soul, to be fettered and entangled with the 
distempers and manifold indispositions of this vile body : Ithath made 
me sigh, and say with holy Anselme, when he saw the mounting 
bird weighed down by the stone hanging at her leg. Lord, thus it 
fares with the soul of thy servant ! Fain would I serve, glorify, and 
enjoy thee, but a distempered body will not let me. However, it is 
reviving: to think, that though I am now forced to crawl like a 

Icctyj'gXw^B /W|/75J. 


"irorm, in the discharge of my duties, I shall shortly fly, like n sera- 
phim in the execution of thy will. Cheer up, drooping soul ; the 
time is at hand when thou shaltbe made more willing than thou art, 
and thy flesh not so weak as now it is. 

3. And is it so indeed ? Then let the dying saint, The dying sainfs 
like Jacob, rouse up himself upon his bed, and reflection. 

encourage himself against the fears of death by 
this refreshing consideration. Let him say with holy dying Muscu- 
lus, why tremblest thou, O my soul, to go forth of this tabernacle to 
the land of rest ? Hath thy body been such a pleasant habitation to 
thee, that thou shouldest be so loth to part with it, though but for a 
time, and with assurance of receiving it again with such a glorious im- 
provement ? I know, O my soul, that thou hast a natural inclination 
to this body, resulting from the dear and strict union which God him- 
self hath made betwixt thee and it ; yea, even the holiest of men do 
sometimes sensibly feel the like in themselves ; but beware thou love 
it not immoderately or inordinately ; it is but a creature, how dear so- 
ever it be to thee ; yea, a fading creature, and that which now stands 
in thy way to the full enjoyment of God. But sa}^, my soul, whv 
are the thoughts of parting with it so burdensome to thee ? Why so 
loth to take death by its cold hand .? Is this body thy old and dear 
friend ? True, but yet thou partest not with it upon such sad terms 
as should deserve a tear at parting. For may est thou not say of this 
departure, as Paul at the departure of Onesimus.'^ Philem. ver. 15. 
*' It therefore departeth for a season, that thou mayest receive it for 
'' ever." The day of re-espousals will quickly come ; and in the 
mean time, as thy body shall not be sensible of the tedious length of 
interposing time, so neither shalt thou be solicitous about thine absent 
friend ; for the fruition of God in thine unbodied state, shall fill 
thee with infinite satisfaction and rest. 

Or is it not so much simply for parting with it, as for the manner 
of thy parting, either by the slow and lingering approaches of a na- 
tural, or the quick and terrible approaches of a violent death : Why, 
trouble not thyself about that ; for if God lead thee through the long 
dark lane of a tedious sickness, yet at the end of it is thy Father's 
house. And for a violent death, it is not so material whether friends 
or enemies stand weeping or triumphing over thv dead body. Nihil 
corpus senslt in nervo cum anima sit in coelo. When thy soul shall 
be in heaven, it will not be sensible how the body is used on earth. 

4 But oh ! what an uncomfortable parting will 
mine be ! and how much more sad our meeting The ungodly 
again! how will this soul and body blush, yea, souVs rcjlection. 
tremble when they meet, who have been co-partners 
in so much guilt ? I damned my soul to please my flesh, and now have 
ruined both thereby : Had I denied my flesh to serve Christ, worn 
out my body in the service of my soul, I had thereby happily provi- 


dec! for them both ; but I began at the wrong end, and so have ruhu 
ed both eternally. 


-DARE seeds have no great beauty, but, inhum'd, 

That which they had is lost, and quite consumed ; 

They soon corrupt and grow more base, by odds, 

When dead and bury'd underneath the clods : 

It falls in baseness, but at length doth rise 

In glory which delights beholders' eyes. 

How great a difference have a few days made. 

Betwixt it in the bushel and the blade ! 

This lovely, hvely emblem aptly may 

Type out the glorious resurrection-day ; 

Wherein the saints that in the dust do lie, J 

Shall rise in glory, vigour, dignity ; ^ 

With singing, in that morning they arise. 

And dazzle glory, such as mortal eyes 

Ne'er view'd on earth. The sparkling beauties here. 

No more can equalize their splendor there. 

Than glimmering glow-worms do the fairest star 

That shines in heaven, or the stones that are 

In evVy street, may competition hold 

W^ith glittering diamonds in rings of gold. 

For unto Christ's most glorious body they' 

Shall be conformed in glory at that day ; 

Whose lustre would, should it on mortals fall. 

Transport a Stephen, and confound a Paul. 

""Tis now a coarse and crazy house of clay ; 

But, oh ! how dear do souls for lodgings pay f 

Few more than I : For thou, my soul, hast been 

Within these tents of Kedar cooped in ; 

Where, with distempers clogg'd, thou mak'st thy moans, 

And, for deliverance, with tears and groans 

Hast often su'd : Cheer up, the time Vill be 

When thou from all these troubles shall be free : 

No jarring humours, cloudy vapours, rheums. 

Pains, aches, or whatever else consumes 

My day in grief; whilst in the Christian race. 

Flesh lags behind, and can't keep equal pace 

With the more willing spirit : None of these 

Shall thenceforth clog thee, or disturb thine ease. 


Upon the Kesemblance of Wheat and Tares, 

As wheat resembled is hy viler tares ; 
So vile hypocrisy like grace appears. 


JIt is Jerom's observation, that wheat and tares are so much alike 
ill their first springing up, that it is exceedingly difficult to distin- 
guish the one from the other : These are his words, Inter triticum et 
loliuvi quandiu herha est, et nondum culmus venit ad spicam ; gran- 
dis smilitudo est; et indiscernendo aut nulla, ant per difficilis dis^ 
tantia. The difference (saith he) between them, is either none at all, 
or wonderfully difficult to discern, which those words of Christ, Mat, 
xiii. 30. plainly confirm. Let them both alone till the harvest ; there- 
by intimating both the difficulty of distinguishing the tares and wheat ; 
as also the unwarrantable rashness of bold and hasty censures of men's 
sincerity or hypocrisy, which is there shadowed by them. 


XXOW difficult soever it be to discern the difference betwixt wheat 
and tares, yet, doubtless, the eye of sense can much easier discri- 
minate them, than the most quick and piercing eye of man can dis- 
cern the diffiirence betwixt special and common grace ; for all saving 
. graces in the saints have their counterfeits in hypocrites. There are 
similar works in these, which a spiritual and very judicious eye may 
easily mistake for the saving and genuine effects of the sanctifying 

Doth the Spirit of God convince the consciences of his people of the 
evil of sin ? Rom. vii. 9. Hypocrites have their convictions too, 
Exod. x. 16. " Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; 
" and he said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against' 
*' you." Thus was Saul also convicted, 1 Sam. xv. 24. 

Doth true conviction and compunction work reformation of life In 
the people of God? Even hypocrites also have been famous for 
theic reformations. The unclean spirit often goes out of the formal 
hypocrite, by an external reformation ; and yet still retains his pro 
priety in them, Matth. xii. 43, 44. For that departure is indeed no 
more than a politic retreat. Many that shall never escape the dam- 
nation of hell, have yet escaped the pollutions of the world, and that 
by the knowledge of the Son of God, 2 Pet. ii. 9.\. 

Doth the Spirit of the Lord produce that glorious and supernatu- 
ral work of faith in convinced and humbled souls ? In this also the 
hypocrite apes and imitates the believer, Acts viii. 13. '' Then Simon 


" himself believed also." Luke viii. 13. '' These are they whicli 
" for a Avhile believe, and in time of temptation fall away." 

Doth the precious eye of faith, discovering the transcendent excel- 
lencies that are in Christ, enflamc the affections of the believing soul 
with vehement desires and longings after him ? Strange motions of 
heart have also been found in hypocrites towards Christ and heaven- 
ly things. John vi. Si. " Lord, evermore give us this bread, Matth. 
XXV. 8. " Gi^•e us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out." With 
what a rapture was Balaam transported, when he said, " Let me die 
" the death of the righteous, and my last end be like his !" Numb, 
xxiii. 10. 

Doth the work of faith, in some believers, bear upon its top branch- 
es the full ripe fruit of a blessed assurance.^ Lo ! what strong confi- 
dences and high-built persuasions of an interest in God, have some- 
times been found even in unsanctified ones ? John viii. 54. " Of 
" whom you say, that he is your God ; and yet ye have not known 
" him." To the same height of confidence arrived those vain souls 
mentioned in Rom. ii. 19. Yea, so strong may this false assurance 
be, that they dare boldly venture to go to the judgment-seat of God, 
and there defend it, Mat. vii. 22. " Lord, Lord, have we not pro- 
" phesied in thy name .f*" 

Doth the Spirit of God fill the heart of the assured believer with 
joy unspeakable and full of glory, giving them, thrmighjctith, a. pre- 
libation, or foretaste of heaven itself, in those first fruits of it.? How 
near to this comes that which the apostle supposes may be found even 
in apos'tates, Heb. vi. 8, 9. who are there said " to taste the good word 
" of God, and the powers of the world to come." What shall I say, 
if real Christians delight in ordinances, those that are none may also 
delight in approaching to God, Ezek. xxxiii. S2. It may be you will 
say, though the difference be not easily discernible in their active 
obedience, yet, when it shall come to suffering, there every eye 
may discern it ; the false heart will then flinch, and cannot brook that 
work. And yet even this is no infallible rule neither ; for the apos- 
tle supposes, that the mlama7}der of hypocrisy may live in the very 
flames of martyrdom, 1 Cor. xiii. 3. " If! give'my body to be burnt, 
" and have not charity." And it was long since determined in this 
case, Non posna^ sed causa fac'it martyr em ; so, that without con- 
troversy, the difficulty of distinguishing them is very great. 

And this difference will yet be more subtile and undiscemible, if 
I should tell you, that as in so many things the hypocrite resembles 
the saint ; so there are other things in which a real Christian may act 
too like an hypocrite. When we find a Pharaoh confessing, an He- 
rod practising, as well as hearing, a Judas preaching Christ, and an 
Alexander venturing his life for Paul ; and, on the other side, shall 
find a David condemning that in another which he practised himself, 
an Hezekiah glorying in his riches, a Peter dissembhng, and even all 
the disciples forsaking Christ in an hour of trouble and danger : O 


then ! how hard is it for the eye of man to discern betwixt cliafF and 
wheat ? How many upright hearts are now censured, whom God 
will clear? How many false liearts are now approved, whom God 
will condemn ? Men ordinarily have no clear convictive proofs, but 
only probable symptoms; which, at most, can beget but a conjectural 
knowledge of another's state. And they that shall peremptorily 
judge eitlier way, may possibly wrong the generation of the upriglit ; 
or, on the other side, absolve and justify the wicked. And truly, con- 
sidering what hath been said, it is no great wonder that dangerous 
mistakes are so frequently made in this matter. But thougli man 
cannot, the Lord both can and will, perfectly discriminate them. 
" The Lord knoweth who are his,'' 2 Tim. ii. 19. He will have a 
day perfectly to sever the tares from the wheat, to melt off the varnish 
of the most resplendent and refined hypocrite, and to blow off the 
ashes of infirmities, which have covered and obscured the very sparks 
of sinceritv in his people: he will make such a division as was never 
vet made in the world, hovr many divisions soever there have been 
in it. " And then shall men indeed return, and discern between 
" the righteous and the wicked ; betwixt him that serveth God, 
" and him that serveth him not." jMeanwhile, my soul, thou canst 
not better employ thyself, whether thou be sound or unsound, than 
in making those reflections upon thyself. 


And is this so .^ Then, Lord, pardon the rash- 
ness and precipitancy of my censorious spirit; for I The censorious 
have often boldy anticipated thy judgment, and as- souTs reflection. 
sumed thy prerogative, although thou hast said, 
"' Why dost thou judge thy brother ? And why dost thou set at 
*•' nought thy brother.'^ We shall all stand before the judgment-seat 
" of Christ. For it is written, As I live (saith the Lord) everv knee 
" shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Let us 
" not tlierefore judge one another any more," Rom. xiv. 10, 11, 15?, 
13. And again ; " He that jud^eth rae is the Lord. Let us there- 
*" fore judge nothing before the time until the Lord come, who both 
" will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make mani- 
" fest the counsels of the heart ; and then shall every man have 
« praise of God," 1 Cor. iv. 4, 5. 

What if God will own some of them for his sons, to whom I refuse 
to give the respect of brethren ? I may pass hasty and headlong cen- 
sures upon others; but where is my commission for so doing ? I want 
not only a commission, but fit qualifications for such a work as this. 
Can I pierce into the heart as God ? Can I infallibly discover the hid- 
den motives, ends, and principles of actions ? Besides. O my soul, 
thou art conscious of so much falseness in thvself, that were there no 
other consideration, that alone might restrain thee from all unchari- 


table and hasty censures. If others knew but what I know of my- 
self, v/ould they not judge as severely of me as I do of others ? 

2. Though I may not judge the final state 

The presumptuous of another', yet I may, and ought to judge the 
souVs reflection, state of my own soul ; which is, doubtless, a 

more necessary cind concerning work to me. 
For since every saving grace in a Christian hath its counterfeit in 
the hypocrite, how needful is it for thee, O my soul, to make a stand 
here, and solemnly to ponder this question. Whether those things, 
whereon I depend, as my best evidences for the life to come, be the 
real, or only the common works of the Spirit ? Whether they may 
be such as can now endure the test of the word, and abide a fair trial 
at the bar of my own conscience ? 

Come then, my soul, set the Lord before thee, to whom the secrets 
of all hearts are manifest : and in the awful sense of that great day 
make true answer to these heart-discovering queries : For though 
thou canst not discern the diiferencc betv.ixt these things in another, 
yet thou mayest and oughtest to discern it in thyself: For what man 
knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man that is in him ! 

1. Is my obedience uniform ? am I the same man at all times, 
places and companies ? Or, ratlicu-j am I not exact and curious in 
open and public, remiss and careless in ^private and secret duties? 
Sincere souls are uniform souls, Psal. cxix. 6. the hypocrite is no 
closet-man, Matth. vi. 5. 

% Doth that v.hich I call grace in me oppose and mortify, or doth 
it not rather quietly consist with, and protect my lusts and corrup- 
tions ? True grace tolerates no lust, Gal. v. 17. No, not the bosom, 
darling corruptions, Psal, xviii. 9Ji. 

3. Doth that which I call my grace, humble, empty, and abase my 
soul? Or rather, doth it not puff it up with self-conceitedness ? All 
saving grace is humbling grace, 1 Cor. xv. 10. " But the soul which 
" is lifted up, is not upright,^ Hab. ii. 4» 

Lastly, Canst thou, my soul, rejoice and bless God for the grace 
imparted to others ? And rejoice if any design for Christ be carried on 
in the world by other hands ? Or, rather, dost thou not envy those 
that excel thee, and carest for no work in Vvhich thou art not seen? 

But stay, my soul, it is enough : If these be the substantial differ- 
ences betwixt special and common grace, I more tlian doubt, I shall 
not endure the day of his coming, Whose fan is in his hand. Do not 
those spots appear upon me, which are not the spots of his children ? 
Woe is me, poor wretch ! the characters of death are upon my soul ! 
Lord add power to the form, life to the name to live, practice to the 
knowledge, or I perish eternally ! O rather give me the saint's heart 
than the angeVs tongue ; the poorest breathing of the Spirit than the 
richest ornaments of common gifts ! Let me never deceive myself 
or others in matters of so deep and everlasting consequence. 



JLn eastern countries, as good authors write, 

Tares, in their springing up, appear to sight, 

Not like itself, a weed, but real wheat ; 

Whose shape and form it counterfeits so neat. 

That 'twould require a most judicious eye. 

The one from t'other to diversify. 

'Till both to some maturity be grown, 

And then the difference is eas'ly known. 

Even thus hypocrisy, that cursed weed, 

Springs up so like true grace, that he will need 

More than a common insight in this case, 

That saith, this is not, that is real grace. 

Ne'er did the cunning actor, tho' a slave 

Array'd in princely robes, himself behave 

So like a king, as this doth act the part 

Of saving grace, by its deep hellish art. 

Do gracious souls melt, mourn, and weep for sin ? 

The like in hypocrites observed hath been. 

Have ihey their comforts, joys, and raptures sweet .'' 

With them in comforts hypocrites do meet. 

In all religious duties they can go 

As far as saints, in some things farther too ; 

They speak like angels, and you'll think within. 

The very spirit of Christ and grace hath been. 

They come so near, that some, like Isaac, take 

Jacob for Esau, this for that mistake : 

And boldly call (their eyes, with his, being dim) 

True grace, hypocrisy ; and duty, sin : 

Yea, many also, Jacob-like, embrace 

Leah for Rachel, common gifts for grace : 

And in their bosom hug it, 'till the light 

Discover their mistake, and clear their sight : 

And then, like him, confounded they will cry, 

Alas ! 'tis Leah, curs'd hypocrisy ! 

Guide me, my God, that I may not, instead 

Of saving grace, nurse up this cursed weed, 

O let my heart, at last, by thee be found 

Sincere, and all thy workings on it sound I 

Vol. V. G 



Upon the Dangers incident to corn from Seed-time to Harvest, 

Fowls, weedsy and blastings do your cor7i annoy^ 
Even so corruptions would your grace destroy. 


X HERE are, amongst many others, three critical and dangerous 
periods between the seed-tmie and harvest. The first, when corn 
is newly committed to the earth, ail that lies uncovered is quickly 
picked up by tlie birds ; and much of that which is but slightly co- 
vered, is plucked up, as soon as it begins to sprout, by rooks, and other 
devouring fowls, Matth. xiii. 4. But if it escape the fowls, and 
gets root in the earth, yet then it is hazarded by noxious weeds, 
which purloin and suck away its nourishment, whilst it is yet in 
the tender blade. If by the care of the vigilant husbandman 
it be freed from choaking weeds ; yet, lastly, as great a danger as 
any of the former still attends it ; for oftentimes, whilst it is blow* 
ing in the ear, blastings and mildews smite it in the stalk, and cuts 
off the juice and sap that should ascend to nourish the ear, and so 
shrivels and dries up the grain whilst it is yet immaturate ; whereby 
it becomes like those ears of corn in Pharaoh^s vision, which were 
thin and blasted with the east-wind ; or like the ears the Psalm- 
ist speaks of upon the house top, wherewith the reaper lilleth not 
his arms. 


A BITE grace, from the infancy to the perfection thereof, conflicts 
with far greater dangers, amongst which it answerably meets with 
three dangerous periods which marvellously hazard it : So that it is 
a much greater wonder that it ever arrives at its just perfection. 
For, (1.) No sooner hath the great Husbandman disseminated these 
holy seeds in the regenerate heart, but multitudes of impetuous corrup- 
tions immediately assault, and would certainly devour them, like the 
fowls of the air, did not the same arm that sowed them also protect them. 
It fares with grace, as with Christ its Author, whom Herod sought 
to destroy, in his very infancy. The new creature is scarce warm in its 
seat, before it must fight to defend itself This conflict is excellently 
set forth in that famous text, Gal. v. 17. "The flesh lusteth against the 
*' Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh ; and these are contrary the 
'' one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."" 
By flesh here understand the corruption of nature by original sin, 
and the sinful motions thereof; — by Spirit, not the soul, or natural 
spirit of man, but the Spirit of God in man, viz. those graces in man 
which are the workmanship of the Spirit, and»therefore called by his 
name. The opposition betwixt these two is expressed by lusting^ i. e. 


desiring the mutual ruin and destruction of each other ; for even 
Avhen they are not acting, yet then they are lusting; there is an op- 
posite disposition against each other ; which opposition is both 2i for- 
mal and an effective opposition. There are two contrary forms ; two 
men in every saint, Col. iii. 9, 10. From hence an effective opposi- 
sition must needs follow ; for as things are in their natures and prin- 
ciples, so they are in their operations and effects ; workings always 
follow beings ; fire and water are of contrary quahties, and when 
they meet, they effectually oppose each other. Sin and grace are so 
opposite, that if sin should cease to oppose grace, it would cease to be 
sin ; and if grace should cease to oppose sin, it would cease to be grace. 
And this doth much more endanger the work of grace than any other 
enemy it hath; because it works against it more inzvardlij^ constantly^ 
and advantageously, than any thing else can do. (1 .) More inwardly, 
for it hath its being and working in the same soul where grace dwells ; 
yea, in the self-same faculties ; so that it not only sets one faculty 
against another, but the same faculty against itself; the understanding 
against the understanding, and the will against the will ; so that ye 
cannot do the good, nor yet the evil that ye would ; not the good 
that ye would, because when the spirit moveth to good, and beats 
upon the heart by Divine pulsations, exciting it to duty, the flesh 
crosses and opposes it there ; and if it cannot totally hinder the per- 
formance of a duty, yet it lames the soul upon the working-hand, 
whereby the performance is not so spiritual, free and composed, as 
it desires ; nor yet the evil that you would commit, if grace were not 
there ; because when lust stirs, in its first motions, grace puts a rub 
in its way. " How can I do this great wickedness, and sin again&t 
" God 'r Gen. xxxix. 9. And if it cannot (which for the most part 
it doth) hinder the acting of sin, yet it so engages the will against it, 
that it is not committed with complacency and full consent, Rom. 
vii. 15. " What I do, I allow not." (2.) It opposes it more con- 
stantly, it is like a continual dropping ; a man can no more fly from 
this enemy, than from himself. There is a time when the devil leaves 
tempting. Mat. iv. 11. but no time when corruption ceases from w^ork- 
ing. And, lastly. It opposes grace more advantageously than any 
other enemy can do, for it is not only always in the same soul with 
it, but it is there naturally ; it hath the advantage of the soil which 
suits with it. And yet, oh the wonder of free grace ! it is not swaU 
lowed up in victory, but it escapes this hazard. 

But (2.) It soon meets with another, though it escapes this, even 
by temptations, which strike desperately at the very life of it ; for 
these, like the weeds, with seemingly-loving embraces, clasp about 
it ; and did not the faithful God now make a way to escape, instead 
of an harvest, we should have an heap ? For, alas, w hat are we ! 
to wrestle with principalities and powers, and spiritual wickednessess 
in high places ? 

Lastly, Sad relapses, like blasts and rustings, do often fade, and 


greatly endanger it, when it is even ready for the harvest. Thus it 
fell out with David, whose last ways were not like his first ; and yet 
by this these holy fruits were not utterly destroyed, because it is the 
seed of God, and so is immortal, 1 John v. 4, 5. And also because 
the promises of perseverance and victory made to it, cannot be frus- 
trated ; amongst which these are excellent, Isa. liv. 10. Jer. xxxiv. 
40. 1 Cor. i. 8. Psal. i. 3. cxxv. 1. John iv. 15. So that here is 
matter of unspeakable comfort ; though the flesh say, Ego deficiam, 
I will fail thee ; though the world sa}^. Ego dedp'iam^ I will deceive 
thee ; though the devil say, Ego eripiam^ I will snatch thee away ; 
vet as long as Christ saith, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, 
thy graces are secure in the midst of all tlrese enemies. 


1. This soul of mine was once plowed up bv con- 
The apostate's viction, and sown (as I thought) with the seed of 
reflection. God. In those days many purposes and good reso- 

lutions began to chink and bud forth, promising a 
blessed harvest : but oh ! (with what consternation and horror should 
I speak it) the cares and pleasures of this life, the lusts and corrup- 
tions of my base heart springing up, have quite destroyed and choak- 
ed it ; by which it appears it was not the seed of God, as I then ima- 
gined it to be ; and now my expected harvest shall be an heap in the 
day of grief and desperate sorrow, Isa. xvii. 11. I had convictions, but 
thev are gone ; troubles for sin, conscience of duties, but all is blast- 
ed, and my soul is now as a barren field, which God hath cursed. 
Woe is me f I have revolted from God, and now that dreadful 
word, Jer. xvii. 5, 6. is evidently fulfilled upon me ; " for I am like 
" the heath in the desart, that seeth not when good cometh ; my 
'^ soul inhabits the parched places of the wilderness."" Alas .' all 
my formal and heartless duties were but as so many scare-crows in 
the field, which could not defend these slight workings from being 
devoured by the infernal fowls. Had these principles been the seed 
of God, no doubt they would have continued and overcome the 
world, 1 John ii. 19. Wretched soul ! thy case is sad ; it wifl be 
better with the uncultivated wilderness, than with such a miscarry- 
ing soul, unless the great Husbandman plow thee up the second 
time, and sow thy heart with better seed. 

2. And are the corruptions of my heart to grace, 
The careless souTs what fowls, weeds, and mildews are to the corn ? 
reflection. O what need have I then to watch my heart, and 

keep it with all diligence ; for in the life of that 
grace is wrapt up the life of my soul. He that carries a candle in 
his hand, in a blustering stormy night, had need to cover it close, 
lest it be blown out, and he left in darkness. O let me never say, 
God hath promised it shall persevere, and therefore I need not be 
so solicitous to preserve it, for as this inference is quite opposite to 
the nature of true grace and assurance, which never encourage to 


carelessness, but provoke the soul to an industrious use of means to 
preserve it ; so it is in itself an irrational and senseless conclusion, 
which \nll never follow from any scripture-promise ; for although it 
is readily granted, that God hath made many comfortable and sweet 
promises to the grace of his people, yet we must expect to enjoy the 
benefits and blessings of all those promises, in that way and order in 
which God hath promised them ; and that is in the careful and dili- 
gent use of those means which he hath prescribed, Ezek. xxxvi. 36, 
37. For promises do not exclude, but imply the use of means, Acts 
xxvii. 31. I know my life is determined to a day, to an hour, and I 
shall live out every minute God hath appointed ; but yet, I am 
bound to provide food, raiment, and physic to preserve it. 

To conclude, let all doubting Christians reflect rpi j j ,• 
seriously upon this truth, and suck marrow and „ ^ ? ^ 

fatness out of it to strengthen and establish them -^ '** 

against all their fears : your life, your spiritual life hath for many 
years hung in supense before you ; and you have often said with Da- 
vid, I shall one day fall by the hand of Saul. Desponding, trem- 
bling soul ! lift up thine eyes, and look upon the fields ; the corn 
lives still, and grows up, though birds have watched to devour it ; 
snows have covered it, beasts have cropped it, weeds have almost 
choaked it, yet it is preserved. And hath not God more care of 
that precious seed of his own Spirit in thee, than any husbandman 
hath of his corn ? Hath he not said, " That having begun the good 
" work in thee, he will perfect it to the day of Christ .?" Phil, i. 6. 
Hath he not said, I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never 
perish, John x. 28. Hast thou not many times said, and thought of 
It, as thou dost now, and yet it Hves ? O what matter of unspeak- 
able joy and comfort is this to upright souls ! Well then, be not 
discouraged, for thou dost not run as one uncertain, nor fight as one 
that beats the air, 1 Cor. ix. 26. But the foundation of God stands 
gure, having this seal, the Lord knows who are his, 2 Tipi. ii. 19. 
Though thy grace be weak, thy God is strong : though the stream 
seem sometimes to fail, yet it is fed by an ever-flowing fountain, 


A IS justly wondered that an ear of corn 
Should come at last in safety to the barn : 
It runs through many hazards, threatening harms, 
Betwixt the sower's hands and reaper's arms. 
The earth no sooner takes it from the sack. 
But you may see behind the sower's back 
A troop of thieves which would at once destroy 
That seed in which lies hid the seed of joy. r . 

This dangerous period past, it soon doth fall 
Into a second, no less critical. j 


It shooteth forth the tender blade, and then 

The noxious weeds endanger it again. 

These clasp about it till they kindly choak 

The corn, as flattering ivy doth the oak. 

Are weeds destroyed and all that danger past ? 

Lo, now another comes, the worst at last : 

For when i' th' ear it blows, begins to kern, 

A mildew smites it, which you can't discern, 

Nor any way prevent till all be lost, 

The corn destroyed with all your hopes and cost. 

Thus saving grace, that precious seed of joy, 

Which hell and nature plot how to destroy, 

Escapes ten thousand dangers, first and last, 

O who can say, now all the danger's past ? 

'Tis like a crazy bark toss'd in a storm, 

Or like a taper which is strangely born 

Without a lanthorn in a blustVing night. 

Or Hke to glimmering sparks, whose dying light 

Is still preserved : the roaring waves swell high, 

Like moving mountains in the darkened sky : 

On their proud backs the httle bark is even 

Mounted unto the battlements of heaven ; 

From thence dismounted, to the deeps doth slide 

Receiving water upon every side ; 

Yet he whose voice the proudest waves obey, 

Brings it at last unto the quiet quay ; 

The blustVing winds strive with a fatal puff, 

To bring the taper to a stinking snuff: 

Their churlish blasts extinguish it, and then 

Our gentle breath recovers it again : 

The fainting sparks beneath the ashes lie. 

Where, choak'd and smother d, they begin to die : 

But these collected, we do gently blow, 

'Till from faint sparks to lively flames they grow. 

Ev'n thus is grace preserved, thus kept alive ; 

By constant wonders grace doth Uve and thrive, 


Upon the Patience of the Husbandman for the Harvest. 

Our husbandmen for harvest wait and stay : 
Olet not any saint do less than they ! 


X HE expectation of a good harvest at last, makes the husband- 
man^ with untired patience, to digest ail his labours. He that 


plows, plows in hope, 1 Cor. vi. 19. And they are not so irrational 
to think they shall presently be partakers of their hope ; nor so fool- 
ish to anticipate the harvest, by cutting down their corn before it be 
fully ripened : but are content to plow, sow, and weed it ; and when 
it is fully ripe, then they go forth into their fields, and reap it down 
with joy. 


V^AN a little corn cause men to digest so many difficult labours, 
and make them wait with invincible patience till the reaping time 
come .'' Much more should the expectation of eternal glory steel 
and fortify my spirit against all intercurrent hardships and difficul- 
ties. It least of all becomes a Christian to be of an hasty and impa- 
tent spirit. " Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the up- 
" right in heart,"" Psal. xcii. 11. " Behold the husbandman waiteth," 
&c. Jam. V. 7. " Be patient, therefore, my brethren, for the coming 
" of the Lord draws near." There are three great arguments to 
persuade Christians to a long-suffering and patient frame under suf- 
ferings. (1.) The example of Christ, Isa. liii. 7. To think how 
quietly he suffered all injuries and difficulties with invincible patience, 
is sufficient to shame the best of Christians, who are of such short spi- 
rits. I have read of one Elezarius, a nobleman, that when his wife 
wondered at his exceeding great patience in bearing injuries, he thus 
answered her : You know sometimes ray heart is ready to rise with 
indignation against such as >vrong me ; but I presently begin to think 
of the wrongs that Christ suffered ; and say thus to myself ; Al- 
though thy servant should pluck thy beard, and smite thee on thy 
face, this were nothing to what the Lord suffered : he suffered more 
and greater things ; and assure yourself, wife, I never leave off think- 
ing on the injuries done to my Saviour, till such time as my mind be 
still and quiet. To this purpose it was well noted by Bernard, speak- 
ing of Chrisfs humiliation, Was Christ the Lord of glory thus hum- 
bled and emptied of his fulness of glory ? And shall such a worm as I 
swell ? (2.) The desert of sin, Lam. iii. 39. " Why doth the hving 
" man complain .?" It was a good saying of the blessed Greenham ; 
when sin lies heavy, affliction lies light. * And it is a famous instance 
which Dr. Taylor gives us of the duke of Conde. I have read (saith 
he) when the duke of Conde had voluntarily entered into the incom- 
modites of a religious poverty and retirement, he was one day spied 
and pitied by a lord of Italy, who, out of tenderness wished him to 
be more careful and nutritive of his person. The good duke answer- 
ed. Sir, be not troubled, and think not that I am ill provided of con- 
veniences ; for I send an harbinger before me, that makes ready my 
lodgings, and takes care that I be royally entertained. The lord 
asked him who was his harbinger ? He answered, the knowledge of 

* Dr. Taylor's great Examplar, p, 103. 

G 4 t 


ioayself, and the consideration of what I deserve for my sins, which is 
eternal torments ; and when with this knowledge I arrive at my lodgv 
ings, how unprovided soever I find it, methinks it is ever better than 
I deserve. (3.) And as the sense of sin, which merits hell sweetens 
present difficulties, so (to come home to the present similitude) do 
the expectations and hopes of a blessed harvest and reward in heaven. 
This made Abraham willing t9 wander up and down many years as a 
stranger in the world ; for he looked for a city that hath foundations, 
whose builder and maker is God. The hopes of such a harvest is en- 
fxjuragement enough to work hard, and wait long : Yet some Chris- 
tians are so impatient of it, that they would fain be reaping before the 
time : but as God hath, by an unalterable law of nature appointed 
both the seasons of seed-time and harvest (which are therefore called 
the appointed weeks of the harvest) Jer. v. 24. and these cannot be 
hastened ; but when we have done all that we can on our part, must 
wait till God send the former and the latter rain, and give every natu- 
ral cause its effect; so is it in reference to our spiritual harvest ; we 
are appointed to sweat in the use of all God's appointments ; and 
when we have done all, must patiently wait till the divine decrees be 
accomphshed, and the time of the promise be fully come ; " In due 
*' time we shall/eap, if we faint not." To which patient expectation 
and quiet waiting for the glory to come, these following considerations 
are of excellent use. 

1. As the husbandman knows when the seed-time is past, it will 
not be long to the harvest ; and the longer he waits, the nearer still 
it is : so the Christian knows, " It is but yet a little while, and he 
that shall come will come, and will not tarry," Heb. x. 37. " And 
*' that now his salvation is nearer than when he first believed," Rom, 
xiii. 11. What a small point of time is our waiting-time compared 
with eternity ? Yet a few days more, and then comes the long ex^ 
pected and welcome harvest. 

2. The husbandman can find other work to do before the reap- 
ing time come ; he need not stand idle, though he cannot yet reap. 
And cannot a Christian find any work to do for God till he come to 
heaven ? O there is much work to do, and such work is only proper 
to this season ! You may now reprove sin, exhort to duty, succour 
the distressed ; this is good work, and this is your only time for such 
work ; the whole of eternity will be taken up in othev employments. 
" I think it meet (saith Peter) as long as I am in this tabernacle, to 
*^ stir up your minds, knowing shortly that I must put off this taber- 
" nacle," 2 Pet. i. 13, 14. q. d. I know I have but a little time to 
work among you ; I am almost at heaven'; and therefore am willing 
to husband this present moment as well as I can for you. O Chris- 
tians ! you need not stand idle ; look round about you upon the mul- 
titude of forlorn sinners ; speak now to them for God ; speak now to 
God for them ; for shortly you shall so speak no more ; you shall 
see them no more till you see them at Christ's bar ; God leaves 


vou here for their sakes, up and be doing : if you had done all you 
were to do for yourselves and them, he would have you to heaven im, 
mediately ; you should not wait a moment longer for your glory. 

3. Husbandmen know, though they cannot yet gather in the 
precious fruits of the earth, yet all this while they are ripening and 
preparing for the harvest ! they would not house it green, or take it 
before its time. And is not this also my preparation-time for glory? 
As God prepared heaven for his people by an eternal decree ; Mat. 
XXV. 34. by an act oi creation, Heb. xi. 10. by the death of Christ, 
which made a purchase of it, Heb. x. 19, 20. and by his ascension 
into it, John xiv. 2, 3. So the reason why we are kept here, is in 
order to our fitting for it. Heaven is ready, but we are not fully 
ready ; the barn is fit to receive the corn, but the corn is not fit to be 
gathered into it. " But for this self-same thing God is now workino- 
f us," 2 Cor. V. 5. he is every day at work by ordinances, and by 
providences, to perfect his work in us ; and as soon as that is finish- 
ed, we shall hear a voice like that, Rev. xi. 12. " Come up hither, 
^' and immediately we shall be in the spirit ;"" for how ardentlv so- 
ever we long for that desirable day, Christ longs for it more than 
ive can do. 

4. The husbandman is glad of the first-fruits, that encourages him, 
though the greatest j^axt be yet out : and have not you received the 
first fruits of that glory ? Have you not earnests, pledges, and first- 
fruits of it ? 'Tis your own fault, if every day you feed not upon 
such blessed comforts of the Spirit, Rom. viii. 23. Rom, v. 2. 1 Vet. 
viii. 9. O how might the interposing time, even all the days of your 
patience here be sweetened with such prelibations of the glory to 
come ! 

5. Husbandmen know it is best to reap when it is fit to reap ; one 
handful fully ripe is worth many sheaves of green corn. And you 
know, heaven will be sweetest to you when you are fittest for it ; 
the child would pluck the apple whilst it is gi'een, but he might ga- 
ther it easier, and taste it sweeter, by tarrying longer for it. We 
would fain be glorified per saltura. When we have got a taste of 
heaven, we are all in haste to be gone. Then, O that I had wings 
as a dove ! I would fly away and be at rest. Then we cry to God 
for ourselves, as Moses for his sister Miriam, *' Heal her [now] O 
" God, I beseech thee !" Numb. xii. 13. Glorify me now, O Lord, 
I pray thee ! But, surely, as God hath contrived thy glory in the 
best of ways ; so he hath appointed for thee the fittest of seasons ; 
and whenever thou art gathered into glory, thou shalt come as a 
ghock of corn in its season. 


I have waited for thv salvation, O God ! Hav- rpi j 

ing received thy first-fruits, my soul longs to fill %, longmg 

its bosom with the fuU ripe sheaves of glory : « As ^^"^ ^ rejicctim. 


" the hart panteth for the water brooks, so panteth my soul for the^^ 
" O God ! O when shall I come and appear before God !" I de- 
sire to be dissolved and to be with Christ ! When shall I see that 
most lovely face ? When shall I hear his soul-transporting voice ! 
Some need patience to die : I need it as much to live. Thy sights, 

God, by faith, have made this world a burden, this body a bur- 
den, and this soul to cry, like thirsty David, " O that one would 
<« give me of the waters of Bethlehem to drink !" The husband- 
man longs for his harvest, because it is the reward of all his toil and 
labour. But what is his harvest to mine ? What is a little corn to 
the enjoyment of God ? What is the joy of harvest to the joy of 
heaven ? What are the shoutings of men in the fields to the accla- 
mations of glorified spirits in the kingdom of God ? Lord, I have 
gone forth, bearing more precious seed than they ; when shall I re- 
turn rejoicing, bringing my sheaves with me ? Their harvest comes 
when they receive their corn ; mine comes when I leave it. O much 
desired ! O day of gladness of ray heart ! How long. Lord ! how 
long ! Here I wait as the poor man at Bethesda's pool, looking when 
jny turn will come, but every one steps into heaven before me ; yet 
Lord, I am content to wait till my time is fully come : I would be 
content to stay for my glorification till I have finished the work of 
my generation ; and when I have done the viiM of God, then to 
receive the promise. If thou have any work on earth to use me in, 

1 am content to abide : behold, the husbandman waiteth, and so will 
I ; for thou art a God of judgment ; and blessed are all they that 
wait for thee. 

But how doth my slothful soul sink down into the flesh, and settle 
itself in the love of this animal life ? How doth it 
The lingering hug and wrap up itself in the garment of this 
SOuVs reflection. mortality, not desiring to be removed hence to 
the more perfect and blessed state ? The hus- 
bandman is indeed content to stay till the appointed weeks of the 
harvest ; but would he be content to wait alwa3^s ? O my sensual 
heart ! is this life of hope as contentful to thee as the life of vision 
will be ? Why dost thou not groan within thyself, that this mortality 
might be swallowed up of life ? Doth not the scriptures describe the 
saints by their earnest looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus 
Christ unto eternal life.? Jude 21. " By their hastening unto the 
'' coming of the day of God,"" 2 Pet. iii. 12. What is the matter, 
that my heart hangs back ? Doth guilt lie upon my conscience .? Or, 
have I gotten into a pleasant condition in the world, which makes 
me say as Peter on the mount. It is good to he here ? Or want I the 
assurance of a better state ? Must God make all my earthly com- 
forts die, before I shall be willing to die ? Awake faith, awake my 
love ; beat up the drowsy desires of my soul, that I may say, " Make 
"^^ haste my beloved, and come away,'' 



1^ O prudent husbandman expects 

The fruit of what he sows, 
'Till every cause have its effects. 

And then he reaps and mows : 
He works in hope the year throughout, 

And counts no labour lost, 
If, when the season comes about. 

His harvest quits his cost. 
His rare example justly may 

Rebuke and put to shame 
My soul ; which sows its seed and ease 

And looks to reap the same. 
Is cursed nature now become 

So kind a soil to grace. 
That to perfection it should come 

Within so short a space ? 
Grace springs not up with seed and ease, 

Like mushrooms in a night ; 
But rather by degrees increase, 

As doth the morning light. 
Is corn so dear to husbandmen ? 

Much more is heav'n to me ; 
Why should not I have patience then 

To wait as well as he ? 
To promises, appointed years, 

By God"'s decrees, are set ; 
These once expir''d, beyond its fears 

My soul shall quickly get. 
How small a part of hasty time. 

Which quickly will expire. 
Doth me within this world confine. 

And then comes my desire. 
Come, Lord, how long my soul hath gasp'd I 

Faith my affections warms; 
O when shall my poor soul be clasp'd 

In its Redeemer's arms ! 
The time seems long, yet here I'll lie, 

'Till thou, my God, do call: 
It is enough, eternity 

Will make amends for all. 



Upon the Harvest-Season. 

Corn^ fully ripe^ is reajid, and gather'' d in: 
So must yourselves, when ripe in grace, or sin. 


V V HEN the fields are -white to harvest, then husbandmen walk 
through them, rub the ears ; and finding the grain full and solid, 
they presently prepare their scythes and sickles; send for their 
harvest-men, who quickly reap and mow them down ; and after these 
follow the binders, who tie it up ; from the field where it grew, it is 
carried to the barn, where it is threshed out ; the good grain gather- 
ed into an heap, the chaff separated and burnt, or thrown to the dung- 
hill. How bare and naked do the fields look after harvest, which 
before were pleasant to behold ? When the harvest-men enter into 
the field, it is (to allude to that, Joel ii. 3.) before them, like the 
garden of Eden, and behind them a desolate wilderness ; and, in 
some places, it is usual to set fire to the dry stubble when the corn 
is housed ; which rages furiously, and covers it ail with ashes. 


A HE application of this, I find made to my hands by Christ 
himself, in Mat. xiii. 38, 39. " The field is the world ; the good 
'' seed are the children of the kingdom ; the tares are the children 
*' of the Mocked one ; the enemy that sowed them is the devil ; the 
" harvest is the end of the world ; the reapers are the angels." 

The field is the world ; there both the godly and ungodly live 
and grow together, until they be both ripe ; and then they shall 
both be reaped down by death : death is the sickle that reaps down 
both. I will open this allegory in the following particulars : 

1. In a catching harvest, when the husbandman sees the clouds 
begin to gather and grow black, he hurries in his corn with all pos- 
sible haste, and houses it day and night. 

So doth God, the great Husbandman ; he hurries the saints into 
their graves when judgments are coming upon the world ; Isa. Ivii. 1. 
" The righteous perish, and no man layeth it to heart ; and mer- 
"^ ciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is 
" taken away from the evil to come." Methuselah died the year 
before the flood ; Augustine a little before the sacking of Hippo ; 
Parens just before the taking of Heidelburg ; Luther a little before 
the wars broke out in Germany. But what speak I of single saints ? 
Sometimes the Lord houses great numbers together, before some 
sweeping judgment comes. How many bright and glorious stars did 
set almost together within the compass of a fewyears, to the astonish- 


ment of many wise and tender hearts in England ? I find some of 
them thus ranked in a funeral elegy : 

The learned Twisse went first, (it was his right) 
Then holy Palmer, Burroughs, Love, Gouge, White, 
Hill, Whitaker, grave Gataker and Strong, 
Perne, Marshal, Robinson, all gone along. 
I have not nam'd them half; their only strife 
Hath been (of late) who should first part with life. 
These few who yet survive, sick of this age, 
Long to have done their parts, and leave the stage. 
The Lord sees it better for them to be under-ground, than above- 
ground ; and therefore, by a merciful providence, sets them out of 
harm's way. 

2. Neither the corn nor tares can possibly resist the sharp and keen 
sickle, when it is applied to them by the reaper s hand ; neither 
can the godly or ungodly resist the stroke of death when God inflicts 
it ; Eccl. viii. 8. " No man can keep alive his own soul in the day 
" of death ; and there is no discharge in that war." The frail body 
of man is as unable to withstand that stroke, as the weak reeds or 
feeble stalks of the corn are to resist the keen scythe and sharp 

3. The reapers receive the wheat which they cut down into their 
arras and bosom. Hence that expression by way of imprecation upon 
the wicked, Psal. cxxix. 6, 7. " Let them be as the grass upoi* the 
*' house top, which withers before it grows up ; wherewith the mower 
" filleth not his hand, nor he that bindeth sheaves, his bosom.'' 
Such withered grass are the wicked, who are never taken into the 
reaper's bosom ; but as soon as saints are cut down by death, they 
fall into the hands and bosoms of the angels of God, who bear them in 
their arms and bosoms to God their father, Luke xvi. 22. For look, 
as these blessed spirits did exceedingly rejoice at their conversion, 
Luke XV. 10. and thought it no dishonour to minister to them, whilst 
they stood in the field, Heb. i. 14. So when they are cut down by 
death, they will rejoice to be their convoy to heaven. 

4. When the com and weeds are reaped and mowed down, they 
shall never grow any more in that field ; neither shall we ever return 
to live an animal life any more after death. Job vii. 9, 10. " As the 
*' cloud is consumed, and vanisheth away ; so he that goeth down to 
" the grave, shall come up no more ; he shall return no more to 
'^ his house, neither shall his place know him any more." 

Lastly, (to come home to the particular subject of this chapter) 
the reapers are never sent to cut down the harvest until it be fully 
ripe ; neither will God reap down saints or sinners until they be come 
to a maturity of grace or wickedness. Saints are not reaped down 
until their grace is ripe. Job v. 26. " Thou shalt come to thy grave 
" in a full age, as a shock of corn cometh in its season." ' Not that 
* every godly man dies in such a full old age, (saith Mr. Caryl on that 


* place) but yet, in one sense, it is an universal truth, and evei* fuU 

* filled ; for whensoever they die, they die in a good age ; yea, 
' though they die in the spring and flower of their youth, they die 

* in a good old age ; i. e. they are ripe for death whenever they die- 

* Whenever a godly man dies, it is harvest-time with him, though 

* in a natural capacity he be cut down while he is green, and crop- 

* ped in the bud or blossom ; yet in his spiritual capacity he never 

* dies before he be ripe. God ripens him speedily, when he intends 

* to take him out of the world speedily ; he can let out such warm 

* rays and beams of his Spirit upon him, as shall soon maturate the 

* seeds of grace into a preparedness for glory.' 

The wicked also have their ripening-time for hell and judgment ; 
God doth with much long-suffering endure the vessels of wrath, 
prepared for destruction. Of their ripeness for judgment the Scrip- 
ture often speaks. Gen. xv. 1 . " The sin of the Amorites is not 
" yet full." And of Babylon it is said, Jer. li. 13. " O thou that 
•' dwellest upon many waters ! thine end is come, and the measure 
*' of thy covetousness." 

It is worth remarking, that the measure of the sin, and the end 
of the sinner, come together. So Joel iii. 13. " Put ye in the sickle, 
*' for the harvest of the earth is ripe ; for the press is full, the fats 
*' overflow : for their wickedness is great.*" Where, note, sinners 
are not cut down till they be ripe and ready. Indeed, they are never 
ripo for death, nor ready for the grave ; that is, fit to die ; yet they 
are always ripe for wrath, and ready for hell before they die. l^ow, 
as husbandmen judge of the ripeness of their iiarvest, by tlie colour 
and hardness of the grain ; so may we judge of the ripeness both of 
saints and sinners, for heaven or hell, by these following signs. 

Three signs of the maturity of grace. 

1. ▼ T HEN the corn is near ripe, it bows the head, and stoops 
lower than when it was green. When the people of God are near 
ripe for heaven, they grow more humble and self-denying, than in 
the days of their first profession. The longer a saint grows in the 
world, the better he is still acquainted with his own heart, and his 
obligations to God ; both which are very humbling things. Paul 
had one foot in heaven, when he called himself the chiefest of siimers, 
and least of saints, 1 Tim. i. 15. Eph. iii. 8. A Christian in the 
progress of his knowledge and grace, is like a vessel cast into the sea, 
the more it fills, the deeper it sinks. Those that went to study at 
Athens (saith Plutarch) at first coming seemed to themselves to be 
wise men ; afterwards only lovers of wisdom, and after that, only 
rhetoricians, such as could speak of wisdom, but knew little of it, 
and last of all, ideots in their own apprehensions ; still, with the 
increase of learning, laying aside their pride and arrogancy. 

2. When harvest is nigh, the grain is more solid and pithy tlian 
ever it was before ; green corn is soft and spungy, but ripe corn is 


substantial and weighty : So it is with Christians ; the affections of a 
young Christian, perhaps are more feverous and sprightly ; but those 
of a grown Christian are more judicious and solid; their love to 
Christ abounds more and more in all judgments, Phil. i. 9. The 
limbs of a child are more active and pliable : but as he grows up to a 
perfect state, the parts are more consolidated and firmly knit. The 
fingers of an old musician are not so nimble ; but he hath a more 
judicious ear in music than in his youth. 

3. When corn is dead ripe, it is apt to fall of its own accord to the 
ground, and there shed ; whereby it doth, as it were, anticipate the 
harvest-man, and calls upon him to put in the sickle. Not unlike to 
which are the lookings and longings, the groanings and hastenings of 
ready Christians to their expected glory ; they hasten to the coming of 
the Lord, or, as Montanus more fitly renders it, they hasten the 
coming of the Lord ; (i. e.) they are urgent and instant in their de- 
sires and cries to hasten his coming ; their desires sally forth to meet 
the Lord ; they willingly take death by the hand ; as the corn bcnda 
to the earth, so doth these souls to heaven : This shows their harvest 
to be near. 

Sia: siffjis of the maturity of sin. 

T T HEN sinners are even dead-ripe for hell, the signs appear 
upon them ; or by these, at least, you may conclude those souls not 
to be far from wrath, upon whom they appear. 

1. AVhen conscience is wasted, and grown past feeling, having no 
remorse for sin ; when it ceases to check, reprove, and smite, for sin 
any more, the day of that sinner is at hand, his harvest is even come- 
The greatest violation of conscience is the greatest of sins ; this was 
the case of the forlorn Gentiles, among whom Satan had such a plen- 
tiful harvest ; the patience of God suffered them to grow till their 
consciences were grown seared, and past feelings, Eph. iv. 19. When 
a member is so mortified, that if you lance and cut it never so much, 
no fresh blood, or quick flesh appears, nor doth the man feel any 
pain in all this, then it is time to cut it off. 

2. When men give themselves over to the satisfaction of their 
lusts, to commit sin with greediness, then are they grown to a ma- 
turity of sin; when men have slipped the reins of conscience, and 
rush headlong into all impiety, then the last sands of God's patience 
are running down. Thus Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities 
about them, in like manner gave themsclvcj over to wickedness and 
strange sins ; and then justice quickly gave them up for an example, 
suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 

3. That man is even ripe for hell, that is become a contriver of 
sin, a designer, a student m wickedness. One would think it strange 
that any man should set his invention on work upon such a subject as 
sin is, that any should study to become a dexterous artist this way ! 
And yet the scripture frequently speaks of such, " whose bellies pre- 


" pare deceit," Job xv. 35. " who travail in pain to brinf^ forth" 
this deformed birth, ver. 20. " who wink with their eyes,'' whilst 
plodding wickedness, as men used to do when they are most intent 
upon the study of any knotty problem, Prov. vi. 13. These have 
so much of hell already in them, tliat they are more than half in 
hell already. 

4. He that of a forward professor is turned a bitter persecutor, is 
also within a few rounds of the top of the ladder ; the contempt of 
their light the Lord hath already punished upon them, in their 
obduracy and madness against the light. Reader, if thou be gone 
thus far, thou art almost gone beyond all hope of recovery. Towards 
other sinners God usually exercises more patience, but with such he 
makes short work. When Judas turns traitor to his Lord, he is 
quickly sent to his own place. Such as are again intangled and 
overcome of those lusts they once seemed to have clean escaped, 
these bring upon themselves swift damnation, and their judgment 
lingers not, 2 Pet. ii. 3, 20. 

5. He that can endure no reproof or controul in the way of his sin^ 
but derides all counsel, and like a strong current, rages at, and 
sweeps away all obstacles in his wav, will quicklv fall into the dead 
lake, Prov. xxix. 1. " He that being often reproved, hardeneth his 
'• neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."" 
This is a death-spot, a hell-spot, wherever it appears. From this 
very symptom the prophet plainly predicted the approaching ruin 
of Amaziah, 2 Chron. xxv. 16. "I know that God hath determin- 
** ed to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not 
" hearkened to my voice." He that will not be timely counselled, 
shall be quickly destroyed. 

Lastly^ When a man comes to glory in his sin, and boast of hi$ 
ivickedness, then it is time to cut him down, " whose end is de- 
'•' struction, whose glory is in their shame;'' Phil. iii. 19. This is a 
braving, a daring of God to his face ; and with whomsoever he 
bears long, to be sure these are none of them. 

You see now what are the signs of a full ripe sinner ; and when it 
comes to this, either with a nation, or with a single person, then 
ruin is near, Joel iii. 13. Gen. xv. 16. It is in the filling up of the 
measure of sin, as in the filling up of a vessel cast into the sea which 
rolls from side to side, taking in the water by little and little till it 
be full, and then down it sinks to the bottom. Mean while, admir- 
able is Divine patience, which beai's with these vessels of wrath, 
whilst fitting for destruction I 


The renection of a ^' Cheer thyself, O my soul ! with the heart- 
^.^ • "v-t? A' strengthening; bread of this Divine meditation. 
srowmff Christian, r^r-.i. j i^^i-^^u-^ 

** ^ Let faith turn every drop oi this truth into a 

soul-reviving cordial God hath so>vn the precious seed of grac« 


upon rny soul ; and though my heart hath been an unkindly soil, 
which hath kept it back, and much hindered its growth, yet, blessed 
be the Lord, it still grows on, though by slow degrees ; and from 
the springing of the seed, and shooting forth of those gracious habits, 
I may conclude an approaching harvest : Now is my salvation nearer 
than when I believed ; every day I come nearer to my salvation, 
Rom. xiii. 11. O that every day I were more active for the God of 
my salvation ! Grow on, my soul, and add to thy faith virtue, to 
thy virtue knowledge, &c. Grow on from faith to faith ; keep 
thyself under the ripening influences of heavenly ordinances : The 
faster thou growest in grace, the sooner thou shalt be reaped down 
in mercy, and bound up in the bundle of life, 1 Sam. xv. 29. I have 
not yet attained the measure and proportion of grace assigned to me, 
neither am I already perfect, but am reaching forth to the things 
before me, and pressing towards the mark for the prize of my hea- 
Tenly calling, Phil. iii. 12, 13. O mercy to be admired ! that I 
who lately had one foot in hell, stand now with one foot in heaven ! 

2. But the case is far different with me; mi, ^„ a- ^ ^^±t^ 
, . . ^, . . /• L The rejiechon of me 

whilst others are ripenmsc apace tor heaven, , - r^i - /- 
T •.!• ^ *^ii J 1 decaying C/mshan. 

1 am withermg : many a soul plowed up by ^ o 

conviction, and sown by sanctification long after me, hath quite over- 
topped and outgrown me ; my sweet and early blossoms are nipped 
and blown off, my bright morning overcast and clouded : had I kept 
on, according to the rate of my first growth, I had either now been 
in heaven, or at least in the suburbs of it on earth ; but my graces 
wither and languish, my heart contracts and cools to heavenly things; 
the sun and rain of ordinances and providences improve not my 
graces : how sad therefore is the state of my soul ! 

3. Thy case, O declining saint, is sad, but rpj n .- n 
not like mine : thine is but a temporary remission 77^ . ^ 
or the acts ot grace, which is recoverable ; but ° 

I am judicially hardening, and " treasuring up to myself wrath 
" against the day of wrath," Rom. ii. 5. Time was when I had 
some tender sense of sin, when I could mourn and grieve for it ; now 

1 have none at all : my heart is grown stupid and sottish. Time was 
when I had some conscientious care of duty, when my heart would 
smite me for the neglect of it ; but now none at all. Wretched 
soul ! what wilt thou do ? Thou art gone far indeed, a few steps 
further will put thee beyond hope : hitherto I stand in the field ; 
the long-suffering God doth yet spare me ; yea, spare me while he 
hath cut down many of my companions in sin round about me. 
What doth this admirable patience, this long-suffering, drawn out 
to a wonder, speak concerning me ! doth it not tell me, that the 
Lord is not willing I should perish, but rather come to repentance ? 

2 Pet. iii. 9. And what argument is like his pity and patience, to 
lead a soul to repentance ? Rom. ii. 4. O that I may not frustrate 

Vol. V. H 


at last the end of a long-suffering God, lest he proportion the degree 
of his wrath, according to the length of his patience f 


▼ ▼ HEN fields are white, to harvest forth you go 
With scythes and sickles to reap down and mow. 
Down go the laden ears flat to the ground, 
Which those that follow having stitch'd and bound, 
'Tis carried home unto the barn, and so 
The fields are red where lately corn did grow. 
This world's the field, and they that dwell therein 
The corn and tares, which long have ripen'd been : 
Angels the reapers, and the judgment-day 
The time of harvest, when, like corn and hay, 
The fading flowVs of earthly glory must 
Be mowed down, and leveled with the dust : 
The barns are heav'n and hell, the time draws nigh. 
When through the darkened clouds and troubled sky, 
The Lord shall break ; a dreadful trumpet shall 
Sound to the dead ; the stars from heaven fall ; 
The rolling spheres with horrid flames shall burn : 
And then the tribes on earth shall wail and mourn. 
The judgment setf before Christ's awful throne 
AH flesh shall be convened, and ev'ry one 
Receive his doom ; which done, the just shall be 
Bound in life's bundle, even as you see 
The full ripe ears of wheat bound up and borne 
In sheaves with joy into the owner's barn. 
This done, the angels next in bundles bind 
The tares together ; as they had corabin'd 

In acting sin, so now their lot must be 

To burn together in one misery. 

Drunkards with drunkards pinion'd, shall be sent 

To hell together in one regiment. 

Adulterers and swearers there shall lie 

In flames among their old society. 

O dreadful bowlings ! O the hideous moans 

Of fetter'd sinners ! O the tears ! the groans ! 

The doleful lamentations as they go 

Chain'd fast together to their place of woe I 

The world thus clear'd, as fields when harvest's in, 

Shall be no more a stage for acting sin. 

With purifying flames it shall be burn'd, 

Its stately fabrics into ashes turn'd. 

Cease then, my soul to doat on, or admire 

This splendid world, which is reserv'd for fire. 

Decline the company of sinners here. 

As thou would'st not be shackled with them there, 



Upon the Care of Husbandmen to provide for Winter. 

Your- winter store in summer you provide : 

To Christian j^rudence this must be applied, » 


fjrOOD husbancls are careful in summer to provide for winter. 
Then tliey gather in their winter store ; food and fuel for themselves, 
and fodder for their cattle. " He that gathers in summer, is a wise 
" son : but he that sleeps in harvest is a son that causeth shame," Prov. 
X. 5. A well chosen season is the greatest advantage to any action : 
which, as it is seldom found in haste, so it is often lost by delay. It 
is a good proverb which the frugal Dutch have among them : — Bonus 
servatius faciei honum honifacium : — A good saver will make a good 
benefactor. And it is a good proverb of our own, He that neglects the 
occasion, the occasion will neglect him. Husbandmen know that sum- 
mer will not hold all the year ; neither will they trust to the hopes of 
a mild and favourable winter, but in season provide for the worst, 


W HAT excellent Christians should we be, were We but as pro- 
vident and thoughtful for our souls ? It is doubtless a singular point 
of Christian wisdom to foresee a day of spiritual straits and necessi- 
ties ; and, during the day of grace, to make provision for it. This 
great gospel-truth is excellently shadowed forth in this natural ob- 
servation, which I shall branch^ut into these seven particulars. 

1. Husbandmen know there is a change and vicissitude of seasons 
and weather ; though it be pleasant summer weather now, yet win- 
ter will tread upon the heel of summer : frosts, snows, and great falls 
of rain must be expected. This alternate course of seasons, in nature, 
is settled by a firm law of the God of nature to the end of the world. 
Gen. viii. 22. " Whilst the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, 
" cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night, shall not 
" cease," 

And Christians know, that there are changes in the right-hand of 
the Most High, in reference to their spiritual seasons. If there be a 
spring-time of the gospel, there will be also an autumn ; if a day of 
prosperity, it will set in a night of adversity : " for God hath set 
" the one over against the other," Eccles. vii. 14. In heaven there is 
a day of everlasting serenity ; in hell a night of perfect endless hor- 
ror and darkness ; on earth, light and darkness take their turns, 
prosperity and adversity, even to souls as well as bodies, succeed eacli 
other. If there be a gospel-day, a day of grace now current, it will 
have its period and detennination. Gen. iii, 6, 

118 HUSBAXDllY Si lllITUALlZEt) ; OKy 

S. Common prudence and experience enable the husbandman, in 
the midst of summer, to foresee a winter, and provide for it before 
he feel it ; yea, natural instinct teaches this to the very birds of the 
air, and beasts of the field. 

And spiritual wisdom should teach Christians to exercise their 
foreseeing faculties, and not suffer them to feel evil before they fear 
it. But, oh ! the stupifying nature of sin i Though the stork in the 
heavens knows her appointed time, and the turtle, crane, and swallow 
the time of their coming, yet man, whom God hath made wiser than 
the fowls of the air, in this acts quite below them, Jer. viii. 7. 

3. The end of God's ordaining a summer season, and sending warm 
and pleasant weather is to ripen the fruits of the earth, and give the 
husbandman fit opportunity to gather them in. 

And God's design of giving men a day of grace, is to furnish them 
with an opportunity for the everlasting happiness and salvation of their 
souls; Rev. ii, 21. " I gave her space to repent." It is not a mere 
reprival of the soul, or only a delay of the execution of threatened 
wrath, though there be much mercy in that ; but the peculiar aim of 
this patience and bounty of God is to open for them a way to escape 
the wrath to come, by leading them to repentance," Rom. ii. 4, 

4. The husbandman doth not find all harvest-seasons alike favour- 
able : sometimes they have much fair weather, and meet with no hin- 
drance in their business; other times it is a catching harvest, but 
now and then a fair day, and then they must be nimble, or all is 

There is also a great difference in soul-seasons ; some have had a 
long and fair season of grace ; a hundred and tv/enty years did God 
wait upon the old world, in the ministry of Noah. Long did God 
wait on the gainsaying Israelites, Isg. xlii. 14. " I have a longtime 
*' held my peace ; I have been still, and refrained myseJf." Others 
have a short and catching season, all lies upon a day, upon a nick of 
time. Acts xvii. 30. 

5. A proper season neglected and lost is irrecoverable. Many 
things in husbandry, must be done in their season, or cannot be done 
at all for that year : if he plovr not, and sow not in the proper season, 
he loses the harvest of that year. 

It is even so as to spiritual seasons : Christ neglected, and grace 
despised, in the season when God offers them, are irrecoverably lost, 
Prov. i. 28. " Then (that is when the season is over) " they shall 
*' call upon me, but I will not hear." Oh ! there is a great deal of 
time, in a short opportunity ; that may be done, or prevented, in an 
hour rightly timed, which cannot be done, or prevented, in a man's 
life-time afterwards. There' was one resolved to kill Julius Caesar such 
a day : the night before a friend sent him a letter to acquaint him 
with it: but he being at supper, and busy in discourse, said, to-morrow 
is a new day ; and indeed it was dies novissima, his last day to him. 


Whence it became a proverb in Greece, To-morrow is a new day. 
Our glass runs in heaven, and we cannot see how much or httle pf 
the sand of God's patience is yet to run down ; but this, is certain, 
when that glass is run, there is nothing to be done for our souls, 
Luke xix. 42. " O that thou hadst known, at least, in this thy day, 
" the things that belong to thy peace ; but now they are hid from 
** thine eyes." 

6. Those husbandmen that are careful and laborious in the summer, 
Jiave the comfort and benefit of it in winter : he that then provides 
fuel, shall sit warm in his habitation, when others blow their fingers. 
He that provides food for his family, and fodder for his cattle, in the 
harvest, shall eat the fruit of it, and enjoy the comfort of his labours, 
when others shall be exposed to shifts and straits. And he that pro- 
vides for eternity, and lays up for his soul a good foundation against 
the time to come, shall eat when others are hungry, and sing when 
others howl, Isa. Ixv. 13. A day of death will come, and that will 
be a day of straits to all negligent souls ; but then the diligent Chris- 
tian shall enjoy the peace and comfort that shall flow in upon his 
heart, from his holy care and sincere diligence in duties ; as 2 Cor. 
i. 12. " This is our rejoicing, the testimony of our conscience, that in 
" sincerity and godly simplicity, we have had our conversation in this 
*' world." So Hezekiah, 2 Kings xx. 3. " Remember now, O 
♦' Lord, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect 
*' heart." A day of judgment will come, and then foolish virgins, 
who neglected the season of getting oil in their lamps, will be put to 
their shifts ; then they come to the wise, and say. Give us of your 
oil, Matth. XXV. 8, 9. but they have none to spare, and the season of 
buying is then over. 

7. No wise husbandman will neglect a fit opportunity of gathering 
in his hay and corn, upon a presumption of much fair weather to 
come ; he will not say, The weather is settled, and I need not trouble 
myself; though my corn and hay be fit for the house, yet I may get 
it in another time as well as now. 

And no wise Christian will lose a present season for his soul, upon 
the hopes of much more time, yet to come ; but will rather say, 
Now is my time, and I know not what will be hereafter : hereafter I 
may wish to see one of the days of the Son of man, and not see it, 
Luke xvii. 22. It is sad to hear how cunning some men are to dis- 
pute themselves out of heaven, as if the devil had hired them to plead 
against their own souls ; sometimes urging the example of tliose that 
were called at the eleventh hour. Mat. xx. 6. and sometimes that of 
the penitent thief: but, oh! to how little purpose is the former 
pleaded ? they that were called at the eleventh hour were never cal- 
led before, as these have been ; no man had hired, that is, called or 
invited them to Christ ; and for the thief (as Mr. Fenner rightly ob- 
serves) it was a singular and extraordinary example. It was done 


when Christ hanged on the cross, and was to be inaugurated ; theii 
kings manifest such bounty, and pardon such crimes as are never 
pardoned afterwards. Besides, God was then in a way of working 
miracles ; then he rent the rocks, opened the graves, raised the dead, 
and converted this thief; but God is now out of that way. 


nij 7 -p 1- I have indeed been a good husband for 

The careless souPs ,, u -.i i ^ ° j -j 

J, .. the world : with what care and providence 

•^ ' have I looked out for myself and family to pro- 

vide food to nourish them, and clothes to defend them against the aspe- 
rities of winter ? mean while, neglecting to make provision for eternity, 
or take care for my soul. O my destitute soul ! how much have I 
slighted and undervalued thee ? I have taken more care for an horse, 
or an ox, than for thee : a well-stored barn, but an empty soul. 
Will it not shortly be with me, as with that careless mother, who 
when her house was on fire, busily bestirred herself to save the goods, 
but forgot the child (though it were saved by another hand) ? and 
then minding her child, ran up and down like one distracted, wring- 
ing her hands, and crying, O my child ! my child ! I have saved my 
goods, and lost my child ! Such will be the case of thee my soul, 
Matth. xvi. 26. Besides, how easy will my conviction be at the bar 
of Christ .'* Will not my providence and care for the things of this 
life, leave me speechless and self-condemned in that day ? What 
shall 1 answer, when the Lord shall say. Thou couldest foresee a 
"winter, and seasonably provide for it; yea, thou hadst so much care 
of thy very beasts, to pi'ovide for their necessities : and why tookest 
thou no care for thy soul ^ Was that only not worth the caring for ? 

mi . 2. Is it so dangerous to nefflect a present pro- 

The presumptuous c r^ ixn r.i i t j 

r, ^ jy .' per season or grace.'' What then have I done, 

SOULS renection. ^ u w \ r, . j- 

'^ who have suftered many such seasons to die away 

in my hand, upon a groundless hope of future opportunities .? Ah de- 
luded wretch ! what if that supposition fail "^ Where am I then "^ I 
am not the lord of time, neither am I sure, that he who is, will ever 
vouchsafe an hour of grace in old age, to him that hath neglected 
many such hours in youth ; neither indeed is it ordinary for God so 
to do. It is storied of Caius Marius Victorius, who lived about 
three hundred years after Christ, and to his old age continued a Pa- 
gan ; but at last being convinced of the Christian verity, he came to 
Simplicianus, and told him he would be a Christian ; but neither he 
nor the church could believe it, it being so rare an example for any 
to be converted at his age ; but at last seeing it was real, there was 
a shouting and gladness, and singing of psalms in all churches ; the 
people crying, Caius Marius Victorius. is become a Christian ! This 
was written for a wonder : and what ground have I to think, that 
God will work such wonders for me, who have neglected his ordinary 
means of salvation "^ 


5. Bless the Lord, O.my soul ! who gave thee a mi • j ^ • 
season, a day for eternal life, which is more than he Tke^dustriom 
hath afforded for thousands; yea, bless the Lord ^^^^ reflection, 
for giving thee an heart to understand and improve that season. 
I confess I have not improved it as I ought ; yet this I can (through 
mercy) say, that however it fare in future times with my outward 
man, though I have no treasures or stores laid up on earth, or if I 
have, they are but corruptible, yet I have a blessed hope laid up in 
heaven. Col. i. 5, I have bags that wax not old. Whilst worldlings 
rejoice in their stores and heaps, I rejoice in these eternal treasures. 


X-f BSERVE in summer's sultry heat, 

How in the hottest day 
The husbandman doth toil and sweat 

About his corn and hay : 
If then he should not reap and mow. 

And gather in his stores. 
How should he live, when, for the snow, 

He can't move out of doors ? 
The little ants, and painful bees, 

By nature's instinct led. 
These have their summer granaries 

For winter furnished. 
But thou, my soul, whose summer's day 

Is almost past and gone ; 
What soul-provision dost thou lay 

In stock to spend upon ? 
If nature teaches to prepare 

For temporal life, much rather 
Grace should provoke to greater care, 

Soul-food in time to gather. 
Days of affliction and distress 

Are hasting on apace ; 
If now I live in carelessness. 

How sad will be my case ? 
Unworthy of the name of man. 

Who for that soul of thine, 
Wilt not do that which others can 

Do for their very kine. 
Think, frugal farmers, when you see 

Your mows of corn and hay, 
What a conviction this will be 

To you another day : 
Who ne'er were up before the sun, 
Nor brake an hour's rest 



For your poor souls, as you have done 

So often for a beast. 
Learn onee to see the difference 

Betwixt eternal things, 
And those poor transient things of sense. 

That fly with eagle's wings. 

Upon reaping the same we sow, 

IV/ien^rom fare-seeds you see choice wheat to groi&^ 
Then from your lusts may joy and comfort Jlow. 


vXOD gives to every seed its own body, 1 Cor. xv. 38. At first 
he created every tree and herb of the field having its seed in itself, 
for the conservation of their species^ and they all inviolably observe 
the law of their creation. All fruits naturally rise out of the seeds 
and roots proper to them. " Men do not gather grapes of thorns, 
*' nor figs of thistles i*" such productions would be monstrous in 
nature ; and although the juice or sap of the earth be the common 
matter of all kind of fruits, yet it is specificated according to the 
different sorts of plants and seeds it nourishes. Where wheat is sown 
it is turned into wheat ; in an apple-tree, it becomes an apple ; and 
So in every sort of plants or seeds, it is concocted into fruit proper to 
the kind. 


i RANSL ATE this into spirituals, and the proposition shadowed 
forth by it, is fully expressed by the apostle, Gal. vi. 7, 8. " What a 
* ■ man sows, that shall he reap : They that sow to the flesh, shall 
" of the flesh reap corruption ; and they that sow to the Spirit, shall 
*' of the Spirit reap life everlasting."' And as siu'e as the harvest 
follows the seed-time, so sure shall such fruits and effects result from 
the seeds of such actions. " He that soweth iniquity shall reap vani- 
'' ty,'' Prov. xxii. 8. " And they that now go forth weeping, and bear- 
'' ing precious seed, shall doubtless come again rejoicing, bringing their 
*' sheaves with them,'' Psal. cxxvi. 6. The sum of all this is, that 
our present actions have the same respect and relation to future re- 
wards and punishments, as the seed we sow in our fields hath to the 
harvest we reap from it Every gracious action is the seed of joy ; 
and every sinful action the seed of anguish and sorrow to the soul that 
soweth it. Two things are sensibly presented to us in this similitude. 
1. That as the seed sown is presently covered from our sight under 


the clods, and for some time after we see no more of it, and yet at 
last it appears again ; by which it is evident to us that it is not 
finally lost: So our present actions, though physically transient, 
and perhaps forgotten, yet are not lost, but after a time shall appear 
again, in order to a retribution. 

If this were not so, all good and holy actions would be to the loss 
of him that performed them. All the self-denial, spending duties, 
and sharp sufferings of the people of God, would turn to their 
damage, though not in point of honesty, yet in point of personal uti- 
lity ; and then also, what difference would there be betwixt the ac- 
tions of a man and a beast, with respect to future good or evil ? Yea, 
man would then be more feared and obeyed than God, and all souls 
be swayed in their motions, only by the influence of present things : 
And where then would religion be found in the world ? It is an ex- 
cellent note of Drexellius ; ' Our works (saith he) do not pass away 
^ as soon as they are done, but as seed sown, shall, after a time, rise 
' up to all eternity : Whatever we think, speak, or do, once spoken, 
* thought, or done, is eternal, and abides for ever.' 

What Zeuxus, the famous limner, said of his work, may be truly 
said of all our works ; ^ternitati p'mgo, — I paint for eternity. O, 
how careful should men be of what they speak and do whilst they 
are commanded so to speak and so to do, as those that shall be judged 
by the perfect law of liberty ! James ii. 12. What more transient 
than a vain word ? And yet for such words men shall give an account 
in the day of judgment, Matth. xii. 36. That is the first thing : Ac- 
tions, like seed, shall rise and appear again in order to a retribution. 

2. The other thing held forth in this similitude is, that according 
to the nature of our actions now, will be the fruit and reward of 
them then. Though the fruit or consequence of holy actions, for the 
present may seem bitter, and the fruit of sinful actions, sweet and 
pleasant ; yet there is nothing more certain than that their future 
fruits shall be according to their present nature and quality, 2 Cor. 
V. 10. Then Dionysius shall retract that saying, F4cce quam prosper a 
navigatio a Deo datur sacrileges, Behold how God favours our sa- 
crileges ! Sometimes indeed (though but rarely) God causes sinners 
to reap in this world the same that they have sown ; as hath been 
their sin, such hath been their punishment. It was openly confes- 
ed by Adonibezek, Judg. i. 7. " As I have done, so hath God re- 
" quited me." 

Socrates, in his church history, furnishes us with a pertinent pas- 
sage to this purpose, concerning Valens the Emperor, who was an 
Arian, and a bitter persecutor of the Christians : This man, when 
eighty of the orthodox Christians sailed from Constantinople to Nico^ 
meda, to treat with him about the points of Arianisra, and to settle 

* Drexellius de atcrnilate propejinem. 


the matter by way of dispute ; the emperor hearing of their arrival, 
while they were yet in the harbour, and not a man landed, caused 
the ships to be fired wherein they were, and so consumed them all. 
Not long after, in his wars against the Goths, he was overthrown ; 
and hiding himself in a little cottage, the enemy coming by, burnt it 
and him together. Thus this wretch reaped what he sowed, burn- 
ing for burning, the very same in kind paid him again. It is not al- 
ways so in this world ; but so it shall be in that to come : The tables 
shall then be turned, and the scene altered; for shall not the Judge of 
all the wm'ld do righteously ? * Diogenes was tempted to think, that 
God had cast off the government of the world when he saw the wick- 
ed prosper in their wickedness. On the same ground many have 
been tempted to Atheism ; but then the world shall see distributive 
justice shining out in its glory, " Tribulation, anguish, and wrath 
'* to every soul of man that doth evil ; but glory, honour, and peace 
f' to every man that worketh good," Rom. ii. 9, 10. Then it will 
appear what sqed we sowed, what lives we lived ; " For God shall 
" bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether 
^' it be good or evil," Eccles. xii. 14. 


_,, „ ,1. This meditation may be tome what the 

The profane persons hand-writingupon the wall was to that profane 
rejiectton, prince, Dan. v. 5, 6. and a like effect it should 

have upon me ; for if all the actions of this life be seed sown for the 
next. Lord, what a crop, what a dreadful harvest am I like to have ! 
How many oaths and curses, lies and vain words have I sown with my 
tongue ! How have I wronged, oppressed, and over-reached in my 
dealings ! Rushed into all profaneness, drunkenness, uncleanness, 
sabbath-breaking, &c. " as the horse rusheth into the battle !" And 
what shall I reap from such seed as this but vengeance and fury ! 
These sins seemed pleasant in the commission, but, oh ! how bitter will 
it be on their account ? " What shall I do when God riseth up ; 
" and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him.?" Job xxxi. 14. 
Is it not reasonable and just, O my soul ! that thou shouldest eat the 
fruit of thine own planting, and reap what thou hast sown.? I thought 
nothing but profit and pleasure would spring from my lust : but now 
I see it is a root bearing gall and wormwood, Deut. xxix. 18. 
Wretched soul ; what shall 1 do .? By these actions I am undone. 
I have been the author of mine own ruin, twisted an halter with 
mine own fing-ers for the execution of mine own soul: Oh ! let me 
rather taste the bitterness of sm, by repentance now, than enjoy its 
present pleasures which betray the soul to endless wrath ! 

* C-U'iyi video, mala fata bonis, ignoscite qiteeso : 
Sollicitor nullos esse piUare Deos. Ovid. 


S. How have I also been deceived in this 
matter ? I verily thought that glory and im- The moral marCg 
mortaUty would have been the fruit and pro- reflection, 
duct of my moral honesty and righteousness ; 
that joy and peace had been seminally contained in those actions ; 
but now I see such fruit can spring from no other root but special 
grace. Glory is disclosed from no other bud but holiness. Alas ! all 
my planting and sowing was to little purpose, because I sowed not 
the right kind of seed ; the best fruit I can expect from this is but 
a lesser degree of damnation. 

Deluded soul ! thy seed is no better than what the moral hea- 
thens sowed : And do I expect better fruit than what they reaped ? 
Civility without Christ, is but a free slavery; and Satan holds me 
as fast in captivit}^ by this, as he doth the profane by the pleasure of 
their lusts : Either I must sow better seed, or look to reap bitter fruit 

3. Mean while, bless the Lord, O my soul ! 
who enabled thee to sow better seed ; who kept The holy souTs 
thee wal-ching, humbling thyself, and praying, reflection. 
whilst others have been swearing, drinking and 
blaspheming. This will yield thee fruit of joy in the world to 
come ; yea, it yields present peace to thy conscience. These re- 
venues are better than gold, sweeter than the honey, and the honey- 
comb ; not that such fruits are meritoriously contained in these ac- 
tions ; 1 sow to myself in righteousness, but I reap in mercv, Hos, 
X. 12. This is the way in which God will save and glorify me. O 
then, let me be ever abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing 
that my labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. 


A WOULD be a strange and monstrous thing to see 
Cherries or plumbs grow on an apple-tree. 
Whoever ffather'd from the thistle fin's ? 
Or fruitless grapes from off the worthless twio-s 
Of pricking thorns ? In nature still we find 
All its productions answering to their kind. 
As are the plants we set, or seeds we sow. 
Such is the fruit we shake, and corn we mow: 
And canst thou think, that from corruption's root 
Thy soul shall pluck the sweat and pleasant fruit 
Of spiritual peace ! Whoever that was wise, 
Abus'd himself with such absurdities ? 
Look what you sow, the very same you'll reap. 
The fruit of what you plant, be sure you 11 eat. 
How are they baffled by a subtile devil. 
Who hope for heaven, whilst their ways are evil ? 
Such reasonings here their credulous souls beguile, 
At which, iu other things, themselves would smile. 


Our present acts, though shghtly passed by. 

Are so much seed sown for eternity. 

The seeds of prayers, secret groans and tears. 

Will shoot at last into the full-blown ears 

Of peace and joy. Blessed are they that sow 

Beside these waters, yea, thrice bless'd, that go 

Bearing such precious seed : Though now they mourn. 

With joyful sheaves they shortly shall return. 

Needs must the full-ripe fruits in heaven be good. 

When as the seed was glory in the bud. 

But oh ! the bitter, baneful fruits of sin. 

When all the pleasures sinners have therein, 

Like faded blossoms to the ground shall fall, 

Then they will taste the wormwood and the gall ! 

What God and conscience now of sin report. 

You slight, and with their dreadful threat' nings sport : 

But he'll convice you then your ways are naught, 

As Gideon the men of Succoth taught. 

If sermons cannot, fire and brimstone must 

Teach men how good it is to pamper lust. 

When conscience takes thee by the throat, and cries 

Now wretch ! now sinner ! thou that didst despise 

My warnings ; learn, and ever learning be 

That lesson which thou ne'er wouldst learn of me. 

The stoutest sinner then would howl and roar, 

sin I never saw thy face before. 

Is this the fruit of sin ? Is this the place 
Where I must lie ? Is this indeed the case 
Of my poor soul ! must I be bound in chains 
. With these companions ? Oh I are these the gains 

1 get by sin ? Poor wretch ! I that would never 
See this before, am now undone for ever I 


Upon the Joy of Harvest-men. 

Great is the joy of harvest-men : yet less 

Than theirs whom God doth with his favour hless. 


-Among all eai-thly joys, these four sorts are noted in scripture, 
as the most excellent and remarkable. (1.) Nuptial joys ; the day 
of espousals is the day of the gladness of a man's heart, Cant. iii. 
11. (2.) The joy of ch'ddren : Though now it seems but a com- 
mon mercy to most, and a burden to some, yet the people of 
God were wont to esteem it a choice mercy, and rejoiced greatly in 
it, John xvi. 21. there is joy that a man is born into the world. 


(3.) The joy of conquests and victories , when men divide the spoil ; 
And, lastly, The joy of harvest. These two we find put together, as 
principal matters of joy, Isa. ix. 3. " They joy before thee according 
" to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 
The joy ofharvest is no small joy ; Gaudiitm messisest messis gaudii; 
The joy of harvest, is the harvest of their joy. It is usual with 
men, wiien they have reaped down their harvest (or cut the neck, 
as they call it) to demonstrate their joy by shouting, and loud accla- 


X HUS, and unspeakably more than thus, do saints rejoice and 
shout for joy, when they reap the favour and love of God, for 
which they laboured in many a weary duty. This joy of har- 
vest, as great as it is, and as much as carnal hearts are lifted 
up with it, is but a trifle, a thing of nought, compared with 
yours; after they have sown to themselves in righteousness, 
and waited for the effects and returns of their duties with patience, 
and at last come to reap in mercy, either the full harvest in heaven 
or but the first-fruits of it on earth, yet rejoice, " with joy unspeak- 

*' able and full of glory,'' 1 Pet. i. 8. " This puts more gladness 
*' into their hearts, than when corn and wine increase,'"' Psal. iv. 7. 
Carnal joys are but as soul-fevers, the agues of the inward man ; 
there is a great difference betwixt the unnatural inflammations of a 
feverish body, which waste the spirits, and drink up the radical 
moisture, and the kindly well-tempered heat of an healthy body ; 
and as much between the sweet, serene, and heavenly joy, which 
flow from the bosom of Christ in the hearts of believers, and those 
earthly delights which carnal hearts, in a sensual way, suck out of 
creature enjoyments. I will shew you the transcendency of spiritual 
joys, above the joy of harvest, in these eight particulars following. 

1. You that joy with the joy of the harvest, are glad, because 
How you have food for yourselves and families to live upon all the 
year : but the Christian rejoiceth because he hath bread to eat that 
the world knows not of, Rev. ii. 17. Christ is the food of his soul, 
and his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed, John 
v. 65. i. e. the most real and excellent food. You read Psal. 
ixxviii. 25. that men did eat angels food, i. e. Manna ; which was 
such excellent bread, that if angels did live upon material food, this 
would be chosen for them ; and yet this is but a type and dark 
shadow of Jesus Christ, the food of believers. 

2. You rejoice when your harvest is in, because corn is virtually 
many other things besides food ; you can turn it into clothes to keep 
you warm, and many other necessaries may be purchased by it ; but 
yet it is not like Christ, the object of a saint's joy ; though it answers 
many things, it doth not answer all things, as Christ doth ; turn it 
into what you will, it hath but a Hmited and respective usefulness ; 


but Jesus Christ is all in all to believers, and out of him their faith 
can fetch all supplies; he is their health in sickness, their strength 
in weakness, their ease in pain, their honour in reproach, their wealth 
in poverty, their friend in friendlessness, their habitation when har- 
bourless, their enlargement in bonds, the strength of their hearts, 
and life of their life ; O ! he is a full Christ ! and whatever excel- 
lencies are scattered among all the creatures, do meet all in him, and 
much more. ^ 

3. You rejoice, when you have gotten in yourharvest, because now 
you can free those engagements, and pay those debts wich you have 
contracted. 'Tis a comfort to be out of debt ; and you may lawfully 
rejoice that God gives you wherewith to quit your engagements, that 
you may owe no man any thing but love ; but still the joy of harvest 
falls short of the joy of the saints ; for you rejoice that you are or 
have wherewith to help yourselves out of men'^s debt : but they rejoice 
that they are out of God's debt ; that his book is cancelled, and their 
sins pardoned : that by reason of the imputed righteousness of Christ, 
the law can demand nothing from them, Rom. viii. 1. O what 
matter of joy is this ! 

4. You rejoice, because now your corn is out of danger; all the 
while it was abroad, it was in hazard, but now it is housed you fear 
not the rain : but Christians rejoice, not because their corn is safe, 
but because their souls are so. A.11 the while they abode in an unre- 
generate state, they were every moment in danger of the storms of 
wrath : but now being in Christ, that danger is over; and what compare 
is there betwixt the safety of a little corn, and the security of an im- 
mortal soul ? 

5. Your joy is but a gift of common providence. Turks and Hea- 
thens can rejoice with your joy ; but the joy of a Christian, is a pe- 
culiar favour and gift of God. Corn is given to all nations, even the 
most barbarous and wicked have store of it ; but Christ is the portion 
but of a few, and those the dearly beloved of God. Luther said of 
the whole Turkish empire, (where is the best and greatest store of 
corn) that it is but a crumb which the master of the family throws 
to the dogs. He that had more corn than his barns could hold, now 
wants a drop of water to cool his tongue. Christ is a gift bestowed 
only upon God's elect. 

Your joy will have an end ; the time is coming, that when you 
have reaped down your harvests, yourselves must be reaped down 
by death, and then you shall rejoice in these things no more. But 
when your joy is ended, then is the joy of saints perfected ; they 
reap their harvest, when you leave your harvest ; their consolation 
is everlasting. 

7. God can separate your joy from these enjoyments, even while 
you have them, as well as when you leave them. It is one thing for 
a man to have riches and full barns, and another thing to have com- 
fort in them, Eccl. v. 19, 20. But now the joy of Christians is a thing 


inseparable from their enjoyment of Christ : indeed the sense of their 
interest may be lost, and so the acts of their joy intermitted ; but 
they always have it in the seed, if not in the fruit, Psal. xcvii. 11. 
« Joy is so^vn for the upright ;" he hath it still in the principle, and 
in the promise. 

8. The joy of harvest-men, for the most part, is only in their 
harvest, and in such earthly things ; take that away, and their joy 
ceases. Earthly hearts are acquainted vnth no higher comforts ; 
but the people of God can joy in him, and take comfort in their 
earthly enjoyments too. And what comfort they take in these things, 
is much more refined and sweet than yours ; for they enjoy all these 
things in God, and his love in giving them, puts a sweetness into 
them, that you are unacquainted with. Thus you see, how far your 
joys fall short of theirs. 


1. How have I rejoiced in a thing of nought, J - 4j t' /* 

and pleased mvself with a vanity? God hath .j ij ., ^ ^^ 

11 ^j •"r.u J- "^^ 1. one titat liatli a full 

blessed me m my neJds, and m my stores; but 7 7 , r^i . ^ 

. -1 • V 111 • -1 *^ 1 1 • oarn,biiinoCiirist 
not with spiritual blessings in heavenly places in 

Christ. ^ly barns are full of corn, but my soul is empty of grace; 

common bounty hath given me a fulness of the things of this life ; 

but what if the meaning of it should be to fat me for the day of 

slaughter ? AVhat if this be the whole of my portion from the Lord? 

What if the language of his providences to my soul should be this, 

Lo ! here I have given thee (with Ishmael) the fatness of the earth ? 

Thou shalt not say but thou hast tasted of thy Creator's bounty ; but 

make the most of it, for this is all that ever thou shalt have from me; 

there be others in the world, to whom I have denied these things, 

but for them 1 have reserved better ; for the most part they are poor 

in this world, but rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom. Is not 

this enougli to damp all my carnal mirth ? Should my conscience 

give me such a memento as Abraham, in the parable, gave to Dives ; 

" Remember that thou in thy life-time receivedst thy good things." 

Ah ! what a cut would that be to all my comforts ? A man in a 

fever hath a lively colour, but a dying heart. I have an appearance, 

a shadow of comfort, but a sad state of soul. 

2. " Blessed be the God and Father of ray Lord 

" Jesus Christ, who hath blessed me with ail spiri- a jj r /» 
" tual blessings in heavenly places in Christ,'' Ephes. ^J^J^^J^');^'^^ 
i. 3. Though he hath not seen fit to give me much ri ' i h i 
of this world In hand, yet it hath pleased him to ^ ' '"* 

settle a rich mheritance upon me by promise ; the 
hopes and expectations whereof yield my soul more 
true comfort than all the present enjoyments of this world could 
have done. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given me my portion 
in this life, that by keeping me from the enjoyment, hath also preserv- 
ed me from the mares of a prosperous estate.^ 


Lord Jesus, I have no bags, I have no barns; but thou shalt be 
to me instead of all those thhigs. When others rejoice in the fulness 
of their earthly comforts, I will rejoice in the fulness of my Christ: 
they have that which (though I have not) I shall not want ; and I 
have that which all their riches cannot purchase. Bless the Lordj 
O my soul ! 
^ „ . ^ 3. But, Lord, how am I obliged, above thou- 

n A Ml /i 77 7 sands, to love and praise thee ? to bless and 

that hath a full barn j • ^u i i 4. ^ i i *.r n 

1 Ch t i admire thee, who hast not only plentiiuUy pro- 

vided for my soul, but for my body too ! who 
hast given me both the upper and the nether springs, heaven and 
earth ; things present, and things to come ? Thou hast not dealt so 
with all ; no, not with all of thy own people': many of them are stran- 
gers to the mercies which I enjoy. God hath done great things for 
me, O my soul ! what wilt thou do for God .? The freer the condition 
is he hath placed me in, the more am I both obliged and advantaged 
for his service ; and yet I doubt, it will be found, that many a poor 
Christian that labours with his hands to get his bread, redeems more 
hours for God than I do. Lord, make me wise to understand and 
answer the double end of this gracious dispensation ! let me bestow 
the more of my time upon God, and stand ready to minister to the ne- 
cessities of his people. 

4. Oh ! what an unhappy wretch am I \ that 
A reflection for one have notliing either in hand, or in hope ; am mi- 
iliat hath neither a serable here, and like to be so for ever ; had I 
ham nor a Christ, but an interest in Christ, as the godly poor have, 
that would sweeten all present troubles, and shew 
me the end of them. But, alas ! I am poor and wicked, contemned 
of men, and abhorred of God ; an object of contempt both to heaven 
and earth. Lord, look upon such a truly miserable object with com- 
passion, give me a portion with thy people in the world to come, if 
thou never better my outward condition here ! O sanctify this pover- 
ty ; bless these straits and wants, that they may necessitate my soul 
to go to Christ : make this poverty the way to glory, and I shall 
bless thee to eternity that I was poor in this world. 


V-f FT have I seen, when harvest's almost in, 
The last load coming, how some men have been 
Wrapt up with joy, as if that welcome cart 
Drew home the very treasure of their heart ; 
What joyful shoutings, hoopings, hollowing noise^ 
W^ith mingled voices both of men and boys I 
To carnal minds there is no greater mirth, 
No higher joy, no greater heaven on earth. 
He speaks pure paradoxes, that shall say 
These are but trifles to what saints enjoy : 


But they despise your sparks as inuch as you 

Contemn their sun. Some that could never shew 

A full stufF'd barn, on which you set your heart. 

But glean, perhaps, the ears behind your cart; 

Yet are the gleanings of their comfort more 

Tlian all your harvest and admired store. 

Your mirth is mix'd with sorrow, theirs is pure; 

Yours like a shadow fleets, their joys endure. 

God gives to you the husk, to them the pith, 

And no heart-stinging sorrows adds therewith. 

Though at the gates of death they sometimes mourn, 

No sooner doth the Lord to them return, 

But sorrow's banish'd from their pensive breast ; 

Joy triumphs there, and smiles their cheeks invest. 

Have you beheld, when, with perfumed wings, 

Out of the balmy east, bright Phoebus springs. 

Mounting th' Olympic hill, with what a grace 

He views the throne of darkness, and doth chase 

The shades of night before him ? having hurPd 

His golden beams about this lower world. 

How from sad groves, and solitary cells, 

Where horrid darkness and confusion dwells, 

Batts, owls, and doleful creatures, fly away. 

Resigning to the cheerful birds of day : 

Who in those places now do sit and chant. 

Where lately such dire creatures kept their haunt ? 

Thus grief resigns to joy ; sighs, groans, and tears 

To songs triumphant, when the Lord appears. 

O matchless joy ! O countenance divine ! 

What are those trifles to these smiles of thine ? 

May, I, with poor Mephibosheth, be blest 

With these sweet smiles ; let Ziba take the rest. 

My life ! my treasure ! thou shalt ne'er be sold 

For silver-hills, or rivers pav'd with gold. 

Wert thou but known to worldlings, they would scorn 

To stoop their hearts to such poor things as corn : 

For so they do, because thou art above 

That sphere wherein their low conceptions move. 

Vol. V. 



Upon the thresliiiig out of Corn. 

Mo7'e solid graiii with greater strength you thresh. 
The ablest Christians have the hardest lash. 


xlUSBANDMEN having to do with divers sorts of grain, some 
more tough and stubborn, others more free and tender, do not beat 
all alike on the threshing-floor ; but as they have threshals of several 
sizes, so they bestow on some grain more, on others fewer strokes, 
according to the different qualities of the grain to be threshed. This 
observation the prophet Isaiah hath, chap, xxviii. ver. 27. " The fit- 
" dies are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is the 
" cart-wheel turned about upon the cummin, but the fitches are 
" beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.'"* The man- 
ner of beating out the corn in former times was far different from 
that which is now in use among us : they had the cart-wheel, which 
was full of iron spokes or teeth, and the hoofs of beasts for the 
harder sort of grain, as wheat, rye, and barley ; a staff or flail for the 
fitches, and a rod or twig for the cummin ; all which instruments 
were proportioned according to the nature of the grain. 


VJf OD having to do, in a way of correction, with divers sorts of 
offenders, doth not use the like severity with them all, but propor- 
tions his corrections to their abilities and strength, Jcr. xxx. 11. 
" I will not make a full end of thee, [but will correct thee in mea- 
" sure] and will not leave thee altogether unpunished f (q. d.) 
Afflicted thou must be ; my respect to my own glory, and thy good, 
puts a necessity upon that ; but yet I will do it moderately : I will 
not lay on without measure or mercy, as I intend to do upon the ene- 
mies ; but will mete out your sufferings in a due proportion, even as 
a careful physician, in prescribing pills or potions to his patient, hath 
regard as well to the ability of the patient, as to the nature and qua- 
lity of the disease ; even so thy God, O Israel, will not afflict thee 
according to the greatness of his power, and his wrath answerable 
thereunto, Psal. xc. 11. That would break thee to pieces, Psal. Ixxviii. 
38. Nor yet will he afflict thee according to the demerit of thy 
sin : as it shall be much less than what I could inflict, so it shall be 
less than thine iniquities deserve, Ezra ix. 13. Neither my power 
nor thy desert shall be the rule of my proceedings ; but I will do it 
with moderation and mercy, as thou art able to bear. I that have in- 
structed the husbandman to proportion his instrument to the quality 
of the grain before him, will exercise the like wisdom and mildness 


towards thee. And the siinllitude betwixt the husbandman's thresh- 
ino- bis corn, and the Lord's afflicting his people, stands in these 

1. The husbandman's end in threshing the corn is, to separate it 
from the husks and chaff; and God's end in afflicting his people isj 
to separate them from their sins, Isa. xxvii. 9. " In measure when 
" it shooteth forth, he will debate with it,"" (i. e.) he will moderately- 
correct them ; and what the ends of those corrections are, the next 
words inform us, " By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be 
" purged, and this is all the fruit to take away his sin." God uses 
afflictions as we use soap^ to cleanse away filthiness, and fetch out 
spots, Dan. xi. 35. He aims not at the destruction of their persons, 
but of their lusts. 

2. If the husbandman have cockle, darnel, or pernicious tares be- 
fore him on the floor among his corn, he little regards whether it be 
bruised or battered to pieces by the thresher or not ; it is a worthless 
thing, and he spares it not. Such cockle and tares are the enemies 
of God ; and when these come under his flail, he strikes them with- 
out mercy ; for these the Lord prepares a new sharp threshing in- 
strument, having teeth, which shall beat them to dust, Isa. xli. 15. 
" The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor ; it is time to 
*' thresh her," Jer. li. 33. And when that time is come, then (in 
allusion to the beast that was to tread out the corn) " Zion's horn 
" shall be of iron, and her hoofs brass," Mic. iv. 13. He smites 
not his people according to the stroke of them that smote them ; the 
meaning is, his strokes on them shall be deadly strokes : they shew- 
ed no mercy to Zion ; and God will shew no mercy to them. 

3. When the husks and chaff are perfectly separated from the 
grain, then the husbandman beats it no more. When God hath 
perfectly purged and separated the sins of his people, then afflictions 
shall come to a perpetual end ; he will never smite them again : 
there is no noise of the threshing instrument in heaven ; he that best 
them with his flail on earth, will put them into his bosom in heaven. 

4. Though the husbandman lays on, and beats his corn as if he 
was angry with it, yet he loves and highly prizes it ; and though 
God strike and afflict his people, yet he sets a great value upon them ; 
and it is equally absurd to infer God's hatred to his people from his 
afflicting of them, as the husbandman's hatred of his corn, because 
he threshes and beats it ; Heb. xii. 6. " Whom the Lord loveth 
" he correcteth, and chasteneth every son whom lie receiveth." 

5. Though the husbandman thresh and beat the corn, yet he will 
not bruise or hurt it, if he can help it ; though some require more 
and harder strokes than others, yet none shall have more than it can 
endure. And though the Lord afflict his servants, yet he will do 
them no hurt, Jer. xxv. 6. Some need more rods than others, but 
none shall have more than they can bear ; the Lord knows the mea- 



sures and degrees of his servants faith and patience, and accordingly 
shall their trials be, Psal. ciii. 13, 14. " Like as a father pities his 
" children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him ; for he knows 
'' their frame, he remembers they are but dust;"** " He makes a 
'' way to escape, that they may be able to bear it," 1 Cor. x. 13. 
This care and tenderness over his afflicted, is eminently discovered 
in three particulars. 

(1.) In not exposing them to, until he hath prepared them for, 
their trials, Luke xxiv. 49. " Tarry ye at Jerusalem, until ye be 
" endued with power from on high." He gives them sometimes 
eminent discoveries of his love immediately before, and as a prepa- 
rative to their suiferings, in the strength whereof they are carried 
through all. 

(2.) Or if not so, then he intermixeth supporting comfort with 
their troubles ; as you sometimes see the sun shine out while the 
rain falls. It was so with Paul, Acts xxvii. 23. " This night, (and 
*' it was a sad night indeed) there stood by me the angel of the Lord, 
" whose I am." 

(3.) In taking off the affliction when they can bear it no longer ; 
1 Cor. x. 13. " He makes a way to escape, that they may be able to 
" bear it ;" Psal. cxxv. 3. The rod is taken off, " when the righ- 
" teous is even ready to put forth his hand to iniquity." It is a 
JcAvish proverb, When the bricks are doubled, then comes Moses. 
And it is a Christian's experience. When the spirit is ready to fail, 
then comes Jesus, according to that promise, Isa. Ivii. 16. 


A reflection 1. How unlike am I to God, in the afflicting of his 
Jbr persecutors, people ? The Lord is pitiful when he smites them, 
but I have been cruel : he is kind to them, when 
most severe ; but the best of my kindness to them, may fitly enough 
be called severitv : God smites them in love ; I have smitten them 
in hatred. Ah ! what have I done ? God hath'used me as his hand, 
Psal. xvii. 14. or as his rod to afflict them, Jer. x. 7. but his end 
and mine have widely differed in that action, Isa. x. 7. I am but 
the scullion, or rather the whisp to scour and cleanse the vessels of 
glory ; and when I have done that dirty work, those bright souls 
shall be set up in heaven, and I cast into the fire. If he shall have 
judgment without mercy, that shewed no mercy, how can I expect 
mercy from the Lord, whose people I have persecuted mercilessly for 
his sake ? 

2. Is the Lord's wheat thus threshed on the 

A rejkctionfor floor of afflictions ; what then shall I think of my 

sucli as meet with condition, who prosper and am let alone in the 

no affliction. way of sin ? Surely tlie Lord looks on me as on 

a weed, and not as his corn ; and it is too j^ro- 

bable, that I am rather reserved for burning, than for threshing. 


Some there are whom God loves not so well as to spend a rod upon 
them, but saith, " Let them alone,'' Hos. iv. 17. but miserable is 
their condition, notwithstanding their impunity ! For what is the in- 
tei-pretation but this ? I will come to a reckoning with them alto- 
gether in hell. Lord, how much better is thy afflicting mercy, than 
thy sparing severity ! Better is the condition of an afflicted child, 
than of a rejected bastard, Heb. xii. 7. Oh, let me rather feel thy rod 
now, as the rod of a loving Father, than feel thy ^vrath hereafter, as 
the wrath of an omnipotent avenger ! 

3. Well then, despond not, O my soul ! A reflection for an 
Thou hearest the husbandman loves his corn, afflicted saint. 
though he thresheth it ; and surely, the Lord 
loves thee not the less, because he afflicts thee so much. If affliction 
then be the way to heaven, blessed be God for affliction ! The thresh- 
ing-strokes of God have come thick upon me ; by which I may see 
what a tough and stubborn heart I have : if one stroke would have 
done the work, he would not have lifted up his hand the second 
time. I have not had a stroke more than I had need of, 1 Pet. i. 6. 
and by this means he will purge my sins : blessed be God for that ! 
the damned have infinitely more and harder strokes than I, and yet 
their sin shall never be separated by their sufferings. Ah sin ! cur- 
sed sin ! I am so much out of love with thee, that I am willing to 
endure more than all this to be well rid of thee : all this I suffer for 
thy sake ; but the time is coming when I shall be rid of sin and 
suffering together : meanwhile I am under my own father's hand : 
gmite me he may, but hate me he cannot. 



HE sacred records tell us, heretofore 
God had an altar on a threshing-floor. 
Where threshing instruments devoted were 
To sacred service ; so you find them here. 
I now would teach the thresher to beat forth 
A notion from his threshold much more worth 
Than all his corn ; and make him understand 
That soul-instructing engine in his hand. 
With fewer strokes, and lighter Avill you beat 
The oats and barley than the stubborn wheat, 
Which will require and endure more blows 
Than freer grain. Thus deals the Lord by those 
AVhom he afflicts : he doth not use to strike 
Offending children with his rod alike ; 
But on the ablest shoulders doth impose 
The heaviest burthens, and the less on those 
Of weaker grace; he shews himself a God 
Of judgments in his handling of the rod. 



God hath a rate-book by liim wherein he 
Keeps just accounts how rich his people be ; 
What iaith, experience, patience, more or less 
Each one possesseth, and doth them assess 
Accordino- to their stock. Such as have not 
A martyr's faith, shall have no martyr's lot. 
The kinds, degrees, and the continuance 
Of all their sufferings to a circimistance 
Prescribed are by him who wisely sways 
The world, and more than's right on no man lays. 
Be man or devil the apothecary, 
God's the Physician : who can then miscarry 
In such a hand ? He never did or will 
Suffer the least addition to his bill. 
Nor measure, nor yet mercy he observes 
In threshing Babylon ; ibr she deserves 
4, His heaviest strokes ; and in his floor she must 
Be beaten shortly with his flail to dust. 
But Zion's God, in measure, will debate; 
His children he may smite, but cannot hate ; 
He beats them, true, to make their chaff to fly. 
That they, like purged golden grains, may lie 
In one fair heap, with those bless'd souls that here 
Once in like manner thresh'd and winnow'd were. 


Upon the winnowing of Corn. 

The fan doth cause light chaff toffy axcay ; 
So shall tK ungodly in God''s xo'mnoiv'ing-day. 


▼ T HEN the corn is threshed out in the floor where it lies min- 
gled with empty ears, and worthless chaff*, the husbandman carries 
it out altogether into some open place ; where, having spread his 
sheet for the preservation of the grain, he exposes it all to the wind ; 
the good, by reason of its solidity, remains upon the sheet, but the 
chaff, being light and empty, is partly carried quite away by the 
wind, and all the rest separated from the good grain into a distinct 
heap, which is carried away either to the fire, or dung-hill, as a 
worthless thing. 


XtJLEN have their winnowing-days, and God hath his ; a day to 
separate the chaff from the wheat, the godly from the un* 


godly wlio shall be held ii]) to the wind ; but only the wicked shall 
be driven away by it. Such a day Ciod hath in this world, wherein 
he winnows his wheat, and separates the cliafK There is a double 
f'annini^ or winnowint^ of men here in this world ; one is doctrrnally^ 
m which sense I understand that scripture, Matth. iii. 1^. spoken of 
Christ, when he was entering upon his ministerial work : " His fan 
<* is in his hand ; and he shall thorouivhly purge his floor, aqd gather 
<' his wlieat into the garner; but he will burn up the chafl'with un- 
" quenchablc fire."" The preaching oi' the gospel is as a fan in 
Christ's hand: and it is as much as if John liad thus told the Jews, 
that though there were many hypocritical ones among tlieni, that 
Jiad now a name and place among the [)eoplc of (rod, and gloried in 
their church-privileges ; yet there is a purging blast of truth coming 
■which shall make tliem fly out of the church, as chaff' out of the 
floor. Thus Christ winnows or fans the world docirlnally : the other 
i^jiidlcioml//, by bringing sore and grievous trials and sufferings 
upon the churches fortius very end, that those which are but chaff, 
i. e. empty and vain professors, may by such winds as these be se- 
parated from his people. 

The church increases two ways, and by two diverse means ; exten- 
slvehj^ in breadth and numbers; and inicnsivelij^ in vigour and 
power; peace and ])rosperity cause the first, sufferings and adversity 
the last : And well may a day of persecution be called a w innowing- 
day, for then are the people of God tossed to purpose, as coi'n in 
the sieve, though nothing but chaff* be lost thereby. Of such a 
winnowing-day the ])rophet speaks, xVmos ix. 9, 10. " I will sift the 
" house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, 
** yet shall not the least grain fall upon tlie earth; all the sinners 
*' of my people shall die." q. d. I will cause great agitations and 
tossings among you by the hands of the Assyrians and Jiabylonians, 
into whose countries you shall be dispersed and scattered ; yet I 
will so govern those your dispersions hy my jyrovidence, that not 
one good grain, one upright soul, shall eternally perish, but the 
sinners of my people, the refuse stuff', that shall ])erish. 

To the same purpose speaks another prophet, Ziph. ii. 1,2. " Ga- 
" ther yourselves together, (or as some read) fan yourselves, yea, fan 
" yourselves, before the decree bring forth, and the day y)ass as the 
" chaff*." He doth not mean that the time shall pass as the chaff*, 
but there is the day of affliction and distress coming, in which the 
wicked shall passas the chaff before the wind ; and yet, notwithstand- 
ing all these winnowings upon earth, much chaff will still abide aniong 
the corn ; therefore God hath ap[)ointed another day for the win- 
nowing of the world, even the day of judgment; in reference to 
which it is said. Psalm i. 4, 5. " The ungodly are not so, but are 
•' hke the chaff which the wind drives away ; therefore the ungod- 
" ly shall not stand in judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of 
" the righteous ;" i. e. God hath 9, day wherein he will sift the 


world like corn in a sieve, and then the wicked shall appear to be 
but chaff, which God will eternally separate from his wheat. I will 
not strain the similitude, but fairly display it in these seven parti- 

1. The chaff and wheat grow together in the same field, and upon 
the same root and stalk. In this wicked men are like chaff, who not 
only associate with the people of God, but oftentimes spring up with 
them in the same family, and from the same root or immediate 
parents, Mai. i. 2. " Was not Esau Jacob's brother ?''' Yet the 
one was wheat, the other chaff. Instances of this are infinite. 

2. The husbandman would never endure the husks, chaff, and dry 
stalks to remain in the field ; if it were not for the good corn's sake, 
he would quickly set fire to it, but that the corn is among it, Avhich 
he highly prizetli : And be assured, God would never suffer the 
wicked to abide long in this world, were it not for his own elect that 
are dispersed among them : Except the Lord had such a remnant 
dispersed in the world, he would quickly set fire to the four quarters 
of it, and mawe it like Sodom, Isa. i. 9- 

3. The chaff is a very worthless thing, the husbandman cares not 
what become of it; and of as little worth are wicked men, Prov. x. 
20. " The heart of the wicked is little worth." The heart is the 
principal part of the man, and yet that is but chaff, no worth in it ; 
his hands, his clothes, &c. are worth somewhat, but his heart is 
worth nothini]^. 

4. Though chaff in itself be nothing worth, yet it is of some use 
to the corn while it is standing in the field ; the stalk bears up the 
ear, and the chaff covers the grain, and defends it from the injury of 
the weather. Thus God makes wicked men of use to his people in 
outward society; they help to support and protect them in this 
world. Rev. xii. 16. " The earth helped the woman, "" i. e. worldly 
men for carnal ends helped the church, when a flood of persecution 
was poured out. The church often helps the world, it receives many 
benefits from the people of GocT; and sometimes God over-rules the 
world to help his church. 

5. When the chaff and wheat are both brought forth and held up 
to the wind in one sieve, they fall two ways ; the wheat falls down 
upon the floor or sheet, the chaff is carried quite away : So that al- 
though for a time godly and ungodly abide together, yet when this 
winnowing-time comes, God's wheat shall be gathered into his garner 
in heaven, the chaff shall go the other way. Mat. iii. 12. 

6. If there be any chaff among the corn, it will appear when it is 
sifted in a windy day ; it cannot possibly escape if it be well winnow- 
ed ; much more impossible it is for any wicked man to escape the cri- 
tical search of God in that day ; the closet hypocrite shall then be de- 
tected, for God will judge the secrets of men, 2 Cor. xvi. " He will 
*' then bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make mani- 
^' fest the counsels of the heart, " 1 Cor. iv. 5. 


7. Lastly, After corn and cliafF aro separated by the winnowing 
wind, they shall never lie together in one heap any more : The wick- 
ed shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacol), and all the prophets 
in the kingdom of God, but themselves thrust out : There is no chaff 
in heaven. 


1. Am I an empty vain professor, that wants 

the pith and substance of real godliness ? Then A reflection for a 
am I but chaff in God's account, though I grow close hypocrite. 
among his corn ; the eye of man cannot discern 
my hvpocrisy ; but when lie comes, whose fan is in his hand, then 
how plainly will it be detected ? Angels and men shall discern it, and 
say, " Lo, this is the man that made not God his liopc ;"*' How shall 
I abide the day of his coming? Christ is the great heart-anatomist : 
Things shall not be carried tlien by names and parties, as tliey are 
now ; every one shall be weighed in a just balance, and a Mene Telccl 
written upon every false heart : Great will be the perspicuity of that 
trial : My own conscience shall join with my judge, and shall then ac- 
knowledge, that there is not one drop of injustice in all that sea of 
wrath ; and though I am damned, yet I am not wronged. The chaff 
cannot stand before the wind, nor I before the judgment of Christ. 

2. Is there such a fanning-time coming ? Why do not I then sift 
my heart every day by serious self-examination ? 

No work more important to me, and yet how A reflectinnfor one 
much have I neglected it ? O my soul ! thou tJtat neglects self- 
hadst been better employed in searching thine examination. 
own estate in reference to that day, than in pry- 
ing sinfully into the hearts, and censuring the conditions of other men: 
Judge thyself, and thou shalt not be condemned with the world ; the 
work indeed is difficult, but the neglect dangerous : Were I within a 
few days to stand at man's bar, there to be tried for my life, how bu- 
sy should I be every hour of the day in writing to any that I thought 
could befriend me, and studying every advantage to myself? And yet 
what a vast difference is there betwixt man's bar and God's ? Be- 
twixt a trial for my life, and for my soul ? Lord, rouse up my slug- 
gish heart by awful and solicitous thoughts of thatday, lest I be found 
amongst that chaff which shall be burnt up with unquenchable fire. 

5. Fear not, O my soul ! though there be a 
blast coming which shall drive all the chaff into A reflection for a 
hell, yet it shall blow thee no harm. " I know sincere soul. 
" that when he hath tried me, I shall come forth 
*' as gold," Job xxiii. 10. I confess I liave too much chaff about 
me, but yet I am not altogether chaff; there is a solid work of grace 
upon my soul that will abide the trial : Let the judgment to come be 
as impartial and exact as it is possible to be, yet a grain of sincerity 

140 HusBAXDiiY spihitualized; ok, 

cannot be lost in it : for " God will not cast away a perfect (i. e. art 
upright-hearted) man," Job viii. 20. He that is appointed to judge 
the world is mine ! and his imputed righteousness will make me full 
weight in the balance. Bless the Lord, O my soul, for sincerity ! 
this will abide, when common gifts and empty names will flee as the 
chaff before the wind, 


X HE winnowing wind first drives the chaff away. 
Next light and hollow grains ; those only stay 
Whose weight and solid substance can endure 
This trial, and such grains are counted pure. 
The corn for use is cai'efully preserved ; 
The useless chaff for burning flames reserved. 
iVb 'Wind hilt hloics some good^ a proverb is ; 
Glad shall I be if it hold true in this. 
O that the wind, when you to winnowing go, 
This spiritual good unto your souls might blow \ 
To make you pause, and sadly ruminate, 
In what a doleful plight and wretched state 
Their poor souls are who cannot hope to stand 
When he shall come, whose fan is in his hand ; 
His piercing eyes infallibly disclose 
The very reins, and inward part of those 
Whose out-side seeming grace so neatly paints. 
That, with the best, they pass for real saints. 
No hypocrite with God acceptance finds. 
But, like the chaff, dispersed by furious winds. 
Their guilt shall not that searching day endure. 
Nor they approach the assemblies of the pure. 
Have you observed in autumn, thistle-down, 
By howling tEoIus scattered up and down 
About the fields .'' Ev'n so God's ireful storm 
Shall chase the hypocrite, who now can scorn 
The breath of close reproofs; and like a rock. 
Repel reproofs, and just reprovers mock. 
How many that in splendid garments walk, 
Of high professions, and like angels talk, 
Shall God divest, and openly proclaim 
Their secret guilt to their eternal shame ? 
This is the day wherein the Lord will rid 
His church of those false friends, who now lie hid 
Among his people ; there will not one 
False heart remain, to lose our love upon. 
O bless'd assembly ! glorious state ! when all 
In their uprightness walk, and ever shall. 


O make my heart sincere, that I may never 
Prove such hght cliafF as then thy wind shall sever 
From solid grain ! O let my soul detest 
Unsoundness, and abide thy strictest test ! 



To the Second Part of 


JlXOW is it, reader, have I tired thee, 

Whilst through these pleasant fields thou walk^'st with me ? 

Our path was pleasant ; but if length of way 

Do weary thee, we'll slack our pace and stay : 

Let's sit a while, under the cooling shade 

Of fragrant trees ; trees were for shadow made. 

Lo here a pleasant grove, whose shade is good ; 

But more than so, 't^vi^ yield us fruit for food : 

No dangerous fruits do on these branches grow, 

No snakes among the verdant grass below ; 

Here we'll repose a while, and then go view 

The pleasant herds and flocks ; and so adieu. 


Upon tbe Ingraffing of Fruit-trees. 

Ungrqffed trees can never hear good fruit ; 
Nor zee, till g'^'affed on a better root. 


-A. WILD tree naturally springing up in the wood or hedge, and 
never graffed or removed from its native soil, may bear some fruit, 
and that fair and beautiful to the eye ; but it will give you no content 
at all in eating, being always harsh, sour, and unpleasant to the taste ; 
but if such a stock be removed into a good soil, and graffed with a 
better kind, it may become a good tree, and yield store of choi|f 
and pleasant fruit. 


U NREGENERATE men, who never were accquainted with the 
mystery of spiritual union with Jesus Christ, but still grow upon 


on tlieir natural root, old Adam, may, by the force and power of na^ 
tural principles, bring forth som.e fruit, which, hke the wild hedge- 
fruit we speak of, may, indeed, be fair and pleasant to the eyes of 
men, but God takes no pleasure at all in it ; it is sour, harsh, and 
distasteful to him, because it springs not from the Spirit of Christ, 
Isa. i. 13. "I cannot away with it, it is iniquity," &;c. But that I 
may not entangle the thread of my discourse, I shall (as in tlie former 
chapters) set before you a parallel betwixt the best fruits of natural 
men, and those of a wild ungraffed tree. 

1. The root that bears this wild fruit is a degenerate root, and that 
is the cause of all this sourness and harshness in the fruit it bears ; it is 
the seed of some better tree accidentally blown, or cast into some waste 
and bad soil, where not being manured and ordered aright, it is turn- 
ed wild : So all the fruits of unregenerate men flow from the first 
Adam, a corrupt and degenerate root ; he was indeed planted a right 
seed, but soon turned a wild and degenerate plant ; he being the 
root from M'hich every man naturally springs, corrupts all the fruit 
that any man bears from him. It is observed by Gregory perti- 
nently to my present purpose, Genus humanum inparenteprimo, velut 
in radice jnttruit : Mankind wasputrified in the rootof its first parent; 
Matth. vii. 18. " A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit." 

9.. This corrupt root spoils the fruit, by the transmission of its 
sour and naughty sap into all the branches and fruits that grow upon 
it ; they suck no other nourishment, but what the root affords 
them, and that being bad, spoils all ; for the same cause and reason, 
no mere natural or unregenerate man can ever do one holy or ac- 
ceptable action, because the corruption of the root is in all those ac- 
tions. The necessity of our drawing corruption into all our actions, 
from this cursed root Adam, is expressed by a quick and smart in- 
terrogation. Job xiv. 4. " Who can bring a clean thing out of an 
" unclean? Not one." The sense of it is vv^ell delivered us (by .Mr. 
Caryl, in loc.) This question (saith he) may undergo a twofold con- 
struction. First, thus. Who can bring a morally clean person out of 
a person originally unclean ? and so he lays his hand upon his birth- 
sin. Or, Secondly, which speaks to my purpose, it may refer to the 
action of the same man ; man being unclean, cannot bring forth a 
clean thing; i. e. a clean or holy action ; that which is originated is 
like its original. And that this sour sap of the first stock (I mean 
Adam''s sin) is transmitted into all mankind, not only corrupting 
their fruit, but ruining and withering all the branches, the apostle 
shews us in that excellent parallel betwixt the two Adam's, Rom. 
V. 1% " Wherefore, as by one man [one, not only in individuo, sed 
" in specie, one representing the whole root or stock,] sin entered 
*' into the world :" not by imitation only, but by propagation; and 
this brought death and ruin upon all the branches. 

3. Although these wild hedge-fruits be unwholesome and unplea- 
sant to the taste, yet they are fair and beautiful to the eye : a man 


that looks upon them, and doth not know what fruit it is, would 
judge it by its shew and colour, to be excellent fruit; for it makes 
a fairer shew oftentimes than the best and most wholesome fruit 
doth : even so, these natural gifts and endowments which some un- 
regenerate persons have, seem exceeding fair to the eye, and a fruit 
to be desired. What excellent qualities have some mere natural men 
and women ! what a winning affability, humble condescension, meek- 
ness, righteousness, ingenuous tenderness and sweetness of nature ! 
As it was (hyperbolical ly enough) said of one. In hoc hom'me, non 
pcccavit Adam : Adam never sinned in this man ; meaning that he 
excelled the generality of Adam's children in sweetness of temper and 
natural endowments. What curious phantasies, nimble wits, solid 
judgments, tenacious memories, rare elocution, &c. are to be found 
among mere natural men ! by which they are assisted in discoursing, 
praying, preaching and writing to the admiration of such as know 
them. But that which is highly esteemed of men, is abomination to 
God, Luke xvi. 15. It finds no acceptance with him, because it 
springs from that cursed root of nature, and is not the production of 
his own Spirit. 

4. If such a stock were removed into a better -^oil, and graffed 
with a better kind, it might bring forth fruit pleasant and grateful to 
the husbandman; and if such persons (before described) were but re- 
generated and changed in their spirits and principles, what excellent 
and useful persons would they be in the church of God ? And then 
their fruits would be sweet and acceptable to him. One observes of 
TertuUian, Origen, and Jerom, that they came into Canaan laden 
with Egyptian gold, i. e. they came into the church full of excellent 
human learning, which did Christ much service. 

5. When the husbandman cuts down his woods or hedo-es, he cuts 
down these crab stocks with the rest, because he values them not 
any more than the thorns and brambles among whicli they grow ; 
and as little will God regard or spare these natural branches, how 
much soever they are laden with such fruit. The threatening is 
universal, John iii. 3. " Except you be regenerate, and born again, 
" you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.'' And again, Heb. 
xii. 14. " Without holiness no man (be his natural gifts never so ex- 
" cellent) shall see God." Embelhshed nature, is nature still ; 
" That which is born of the flesh, is 6w^ flesh,'' however it be set off 
with advantage to the eye of man. 


1. To what purpose then do I glory in my na- A reflection for 
tural accomplishments ? Though I have abetter an accovipllsJiediia'^ 
nature than some others have, yet it is a cursed turalist. 
nature still. These sweet qualities and excellent 
gifts, do only hide, but not kill the corruption of nature, I am but 
a rotten post gilded over, and all my duties but hedge-fruity which 

lllf jrirsBANDHY spiniTiTAtTzr.D ; on, 

God makes no account ol". O cunning tliouolit. ! that llic unlearned 
shall riise and take heaven, when 1 witli all my excellent gifts shall 
descend into hell. Heaven was not made lor scholars, as such, but 
for believers ; as one said, when they coniiorted him upon his deatli- 
bed, that he was a knowing man, a doctor ofd'iv'imty ; (), said he, I 
shall not appear before God as a doctor^ but as a man ; I shall stand 
upon a level with the most illiterate in the day of judgment. What 
doth it avail me that I liavc a nimble wit, wliilst I have none to do 
myself good ? Will my judge be charmed with a rhetorical tongue ? 
Things will not be carried in that world, as they are in this. If I 
could, with Berengarius, discourse dcovim .scihilf, of every thing that 
is knowable ; or with Solomon, unravel nature from the cedar, to the 
hyssop, what would this advantage me, as long as I am ignorant of 
Christ, and the mystery of regeneration ? iSIy head hath often ached 
with study, but when did my heart ach for sin 't Methinks, O- my 
soul ! thou trinnnest uj) thyself in these natural ornaments, to appear 
beibre God, as much as thiit delicate Agag did, when he was to come 
before Samuel, and fondly conceited that tliese things would procure 
favour, or, at least, pity from him ; but yet think pot, for all that, 
the bitterness of death is past : Say not within thysell', will God 
cast such a one as I into hell ? Shall a man of such parts be danmed ? 
Alas ? Justice will hew thee to pieces, as Sanmel did that spruce king, 
and not abate thee the least for these things ; many thousand branches 
of nature, as fair and fruitful as thyself, are now blazing in hell, be- 
cause not transplanted by regeneration into Christ : and if he spared 
not them, neither will he spare thee. 

2. I am a poor despised shrub which liave no 
A reflection for beauty at all in me, and yet such a (me hath the 
a true, but zceak I^ord chosen to transplant into Christ, whilst he 
believer. left many fragrant branches standing on their 

native stock, to be fuel of his wrath to all eter- 
nity ! O grace ! for ever to be admired ! Ah ! what cause have I 
to "be thankful to free grace, and for ever to walk humbly with my 
God ! the Lord hath therefore chosen an unlikely, rugged and un- 
polished creature as I am, that pride may for ever be hid from mine 
eyes, and that I may ever glory in his presence, 1 Cor. i. 29- I now 
have the advantage of a better root and soil than any carnal person 
hath ; it will therefore ])e a greater shame to me, and a reproach to 
the root that bears me, if I should be outstripped and excelled by 
them ; yet. Lord, how often do I iind it so ? 1 see some of them 
meek and ])atient, whilst I am rough and surly ; generous and noble, 
whilst I am base and penurious. Truly such a branch as I am, is no 
honour to the root that bears it. 


Jl AM a branch of that fair Eden tree 
Which to mankind God luith ordain'd to be 


The common stock : his situation good, 

His branches many, of himself* a wood j 

And like a cedar by the river fed. 

Unto the clouds his ample branches spread '. 

Sin smote his root, then justice cut him down, 

And leveird with tlie earth his lofty crown. 

What hope of branches when the tree's oYrturn'd, 

But like dry faggots to be bound and burn'd? 

It had been so, had not transcendent love, 

Which in a sphere above our thoughts doth move, 

Prepared a better stock to save and nourish 

Transplanted twigs, which in him thrive and flourish. 

In Adam all are curs'd ; no saving fruit 

Shall ever spring from tliat sin-blasted root ; 

Yea, all the branches that in him are found, 

How flourishing soever, must be bound 

And pifd together (liorrid news to tell !) 

To make an everlasting blaze in hell. 

God takes no pleasure in the sweetest bud 

Disclosed by nature ; for the root's not gocxl, 

Some boughs, indeed, richly adorned are 

With natural fruits, which to the eye are fair ; 

Rare gifts, sweet dispositions which attract 

The love of thousands, and from most exact 

Honour and admiration. You'll admire 

That such as these are fuel for the fire. 

Indeed, ten thousand pities 'tis to see 

Such lovely creatures in this case to be. 

Did they by true regeneration draw 

The sap of life from Jesse's root, the law. 

By which they now to wrath condenmed are, 

Would cease to curse, and God such buds would «»parc ; 

But out of him there's none of these can move 

His unrelenting heart, or draw his love. 

Then cut me off from this accursed tree, 

Lest I for ever be cut off' from thee. 


Upon the union of the Graff with the Stock. 

WJtene'er you hud and graff, tlie^'eln you see^ 
How Christ and souls must here united he. 


▼ T HEN the husbandman hath prepared liis graffs in the season 
of the year, he carries them, with the tools that are necessary for 
that work, to the tree or stock he intends to ingraff*, and 


liaving cut off the top of the limb in some smooth part, he cleaves 
it with his knife or chisel a little beside the pith, knocks in his wedge 
to keep it open, then (having prepared the graff) he carefully sets it 
into the cleft, joining the inner side of the barks of graff and stock 
together (there being the main current of the sap) tiien pulls out 
his wedge, binds both together (as in barking) and clays it up, to 
defend the tender graff and wounded stock from the injuries of the 
sun and rain. 

These tender cyons quickly take hold of the stocky, and having im- 
mediate coalition with it, drink in its sap, concoct it into their own 
nourishment, thrive better, and bear more and better fruits than 
ever they would have done upon their natural root ; yea, the smallest 
bud, being carefully inoculated and bound close to the stock, will, 
in a short time, become a flourishing and fruitful limb. 


HIS carries a most sweet and lively resemblance of the souPs 
union with Christ by faith ; and indeed there is nothing in nature 
that shadows forth this great gospel-mystery like it : It is a thousand 
pities that any who are employed about, or are but spectators of 
such an action, should terminate their thoughts (as too many do) 
in that natural object, and not raise up their hearts to these hea- 
venly meditations, which it so fairly offers them. 

L When a twig is to be ingraffed, or a bud inoculated, it is first 
cut off by a keen knife from the tree on which it naturally grew. 

And V. hen the Lord intends to gi-aff a soul into Christ, the first 
work about it, is cutting work. Acts ii. 37. their hearts were cut by 
conviction, and deep compunction; no cyon is ingraffed without 
cutting, no soul united with Christ, without a cutting sense of sin 
and misery, John xvi. 8, 9. 

2. When the tender shoot is cut ofi* from the ti-se, there are, 
ordinarily, many more left behind upon the same tree, as promising 
and vigorous as that which is taken ; but it pleaseth the husbandman 
to chuse this, and leave them. 

Even so it is in the removing or transplanting of a soul by con- 
version ; it leaves many behind it in the state of nature, as likely 
and promising as itself ; but so it pleaseth God to take this soul, 
and leave many others ; yea, often such as grew upon the same root ; 
I mean, the immediate parent, Mai. i. 2. " Was not Esau Jacob's 
" brother ? saith the Lord : yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau." 

3. When the graffs are cut off, in order to this work, it is a critical 
season with them : if they lie too long before they are ingraffed, or 
take not with the stock, they die, and are never more to be recover- 
ed ; they may stand in the stock a while, but are no part of the tree. 

So when souls are under a work of conviction, it is a critical time 
with them ; many a one have I known then to miscarry, and never 
recover again : they have indeed for a time stoo(i like dead graffs 


in the stock, by an external dead-hearted profession, but never came 
to any thing ; and as such dead graffs, either fall off from the stock, 
or moulder away upon it; so do these, 1 John ii. 19- 

4. The husbandman, when he hath cut off graffs, or tender buds, 
makes all the convenient speed he can to close them with the stock ; 
the sooner that is done, the better ; they get no good by remaining as 
they are. And truly it concerns the servants of the Lord, who are 
employed in this work of ingraffing souls into Christ, to make all the 
haste thoy can to bring the convicted sinner to a closure with Christ. 
As soon as e\ er the trembling jailor cried, " What shall I do to be 
" saved ?" Paul and Silas immediately direct him to Christ, Acts xvL 
30, 31. They do not say, it is too soon for thee to act faith on Christ, 
thou are not yet humbled enough, but " believe in the Lord Jesus 
" Christ, and thou shalt be saved.'' 

5. There must be an incision made in the stock before any bud 
can be inoculated ; or the stock must be cut and cleaved, before the 
cyon can be ingraffed ; according to that in the poet, 

Venerif insitio^Juc ramum I'amus adoptet ; i. e. 
To graffs no living sap the stocks impart, 
Unless you wound and cut them near the heart. 
Such an incision, or wound, was made upon Christ, in order to 
our ingrafting into him, John xix, 34. the opening of that deadly 
wound gives life to the souls of believers. 

6. The graff is intimately united, and closely conjoined with the 
stock ; the conjunction is so close, that they become one tree. 

There is also a most close and intimate union betwixt Christ and 
the soul that believeth in him. It is emphatically expressed by the 
apostle, 1 Cor. vi. 17. " He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit."" 
The word imports the nearest, closest, and strictest union. Christ 
and the soul cleave together in a blessed oneness, as those things do 
that are glued one to another ; so that look as the graff is really in 
the stock, and the spirit or sap of the stock is really in the graff; 
so a believer is really (though mystically) in Christ, and the Spirit 
of Christ is really communicated to a believer. " 1 live, (saith Paul) 
" yet not I, but Christ hveth in me," Gal. ii. 20. " He that dwelleth 
** in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him," 1 John iv. 16. 

7. Graffs are bound to the stock by bands made of hay or flags, 
these keep it steady, else the wind would loose it out of the stock. 

The believing soul is also fastened to Christ by bands, which will 
secure it from all danger of being loosed off from him any more. 
There are two bands of this union ; the Spirit on God's part, this is 
the firm bond of union, without which we could never be made one 
with Christ, Rom. viii. 9. " If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, 
" he is none of his;" and Jaith on our part, Eph. iii. 17. *' That 
'* Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith." These hold strongly. 

8. Though the stock be one and the same, vet all graffs do not 
Vol. V. K j ^ 


thrive and flourish ahke in it ; some outgrow the rest, and those that 
grow not so well as the others do, the fault is in them, and not in the 
stock : so it is with souls really united to Christ ; all do not flourish 
alike in him, the faith of some grows exceedingly, 2 Thess. i. 3. the 
things that be in others are ready to die. Rev. iii. 2. and such souls 
must charge the fault upon themselves. Christ sends up living sap 
enough, not only to make all that are in him living., but fruitful 
branches. . 


1. Is it so indeed betwixt Christ and my soul, as it is betwixt the 

ingraffed cyon and the stock .^ AVhat honour and 
Fou7' comfo7'tahle glory then hath Christ conferred upon me, a 
reflections for a poor unworthy creature ! What ! to be made one 
regenerate soul, wuth him, to be a living branch of him, to be 

joined thus to the Lord ! Oh ! what a prefer- 
ment is this ! It is but a little while since I was a wild and cursed 
plant, growing in the wilderness amongst them that shall shortly be 
cut down and faggotted up for hell; for me to be taken from amongst 
them, and planted into Christ. O my soul ! fall down and kiss the 
feet of free grace, that moved so freely towards so vile a creature ! 
The dignities and honours of the kings and nobles of the earth, are 
nothing to mine. It was truly confessed by one of them, that it is a 
greater honour to be a member of Christ, than the head of an empire. 
Do I say, a greater honour than is put upon the kings of the earth ? 
I might have said, it is a greater honour than is put upon the angels 
of heaven : For " to whom of them said Christ, at any time, thou 
" art bone of my bone, and fle^h of my flesh ? Behold what manner 
'' of love is this !" 1 John iii. 1. 

2. Look again upon the ingraffed cyons, O my soul ! and thou 
shalt find, that when once they have taken hold of the stock, they 
live as long as there is any sap in the root ; and because he liveth, 
I shall live also, for my life is hid with Christ in God, Col. iii. 3. 
The graff is preserved in the stock, and my soul is even so preserved 
"in Christ Jesus !" Jude, ver. 1. 

8. Am I joined to the Lord as a mystical part or branch of him ? 
How dear art thou then, O my soul, to the God and Father of my 
Lord Jesus Christ ! What ! a branch of his dear Son ! What can 
God with-hold from one so ingraffed ? Eph. i. 6. " All is yours, 
" (saith my God) for ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's,'' 1 Cor. 
iii. 23. 

4. Once more, draw matter of instruction as well as comfort from 
this sweet observation : seeing God hath put all this honour upon 
thee, by this most intimate union with his Christ, look to it, my soul, 
that thou live and walk as becomes a soul tlius one v/ith the Lord, be 
thou tender over his glory : doth not that which strikes at the root, 
Strike at the very life of the graff .^ And shall not that which strike* 


at the very glory of Christ, tenderly touch and affect thee ? Yea, be 
thou tenderly affected with all the reproaches that fall upon him from 
abroad, but especially with those that redound to him from thine own 
unfruitfulness. Oh ! disgrace not the root that bears thee ! let it 
never be said, that any evil fruit is found upon a branch that lives 
and is fed by such a rooti 


vf H ! what considering serious man can see 

The close conjunction of the graff and tree ; 
And whilst he contemplates, he doth not find 

This meditation graffed on his mind ? 
I am the branch, and Christ the vine ; 

Thy gracious hand did pluck 
Me from that native stock of mine. 

That I his sap might suck. 
The bloody spear did in his heart 

A deep incision make. 
That grace to me he might impart, 

And I therefore partake. 
The Spirit and faith are that firm band 

Which binds us fast together ; 
Thus we are clasped hand in hand, 

And nothing can us sever. 
Bless'd be that hand which did remove 

Me from my native place ! 
This was the wonder of thy love, 

The triumph of thy grace ! 
That I, a wild and cursed plant 

Should thus preferred be. 
Who all those ornaments do want. 

Thou may'st in others see. 
As long as e'er the root doth live. 

The branches are not dry ; 
Whilst Christ hath grace and life to give. 

My soul can never die. 
O blessed Saviour ! never could 

A grafF cleave to the tree 
More close than thy poor creature would 

United be with thee. 
My soul, dishonour not the root, 

'Twill be a shame for thee 
To want the choicest sorts of fruit, - 

And yet thus graffed be. 

Thus you may shake from graiFs, before they blow. 
More precious fruit than e'er on trees did grow. 



Upon the Gathering in of Fruits in Autumn - 

When trees are shdk''d, hut little fruit remains. 
Just such a remnant to the Lord jmr tains. 


At is a pleasant sight in autumn to see the fruitful branches 
hanging full of clusters, which weigh the boughs to the ground, 
Aspice curvatos pomorum j^ondere ramos, 
Ut sua quod peperit vixferat arhor onus. 
Which I may thus English. 
O tvhat a pleas'ant sight it is to see, 
The fruitful clusters hoiving down the tree ! 
But these laden branches are soon eased of their burden ; for as 
soon as they are ripe, the husbandman ascends the tree, and shaking 
the limbs with all his might, causes a fruitful shower to fall like hail- 
stones upon the ground below ; which being gathered to a heap, are 
carried to the pound, broken all to pieces in a trough, and squeezed 
to a dry lump in the press, whence all their juice and moisture runs 
into the fat. How few escape this fat of all those multitudes that 
grow in the orchard.'^ If you look upon the trees, you may possibly 
see here one, and there another, two or three upon the utmost bran- 
ches, but nothing in comparison to the vast number that are thus used. 


X HESE small remains of fruit, which are either left upon the 
tree, or gathered in for an hoard, do w^ell resemble that small num- 
ber of God's elect in the world, which free-grace hath reserved out 
of the general ruin of mankind. Four things are excellently sha- 
dowed forth to us by this similitude. 

1. You see in a fruitful autumn, the trees even oppressed and over- 
laden with the weight of their own fruits, before the shaking time 
comes, and then they are eased of their burden. Thus the whole 
creation groans under the weight of their sins, who inhabit it, Rom. 
viii. 22. the creatures are in bondage, and by an elegant Prosopopeia, 
are said, both to groan and wait for deliverance. The orignial sin of 
man brought an original curse, which burdens the creature, Gen. iii. 
17. " Cursed is the ground for thy sake ; and the actual sin of man 
'' brings actual curses upon the creature, Psalm cvii. 34. Thus the 
inhabitants of the world load and burden it, as the limbs of a tree are 
burdened, and sometimes broken with the weight of their own fruit 

2. You may observe in your orchards, every year, what abundance 
of fruits daily fall, either by storms, or of their own accord ; but 
when the shaking time comes, then the ground is covered all over 


Vith fruit. Thus it is with the world, that mystical tree, witli re- 
spect to men that inhabit it ; there is not a year, a day, or hour, in 
which some drop not, as it were, of their own accord, by a natural 
death ; and sometimes wars and epidemical plagues blow down thou- 
sands together into their graves ; these are as high winds in a fruitful 
orchard ; but when the shaking time, the autumn of the world, 
comes, then all its inhabitants shall be shaken down together, either 
by death, or a translation equivalent thereunto. 

3. When fruits are shaken down from their trees, then the hus- 
bandman separates them ; the far greater part for the pound, and 
some few reserved for an hoard, which are brought to his table, and 
eaten with pleasure. This excellently shadows forth that gr at se- 
paration, which Christ will make in the end of the world, when some 
shall be cast into the wine-press of the Almighty's wrath, and others 
preserved for glory. 

4. Those fruits which are preserved on the tree, or in the 
hoard, are comparatively, but an handful to those that are broken in 
the pound ; alas ! it is scarce one of a thousand, and such a small 
remnant of elected souls hath God reserved for glory. 

I look upon the world as a great tree, consisting of four large limbs 
or branches ; this branch or division of it on which we grow, hath, 
doubtless, a greater number of God's elect upon it than the other 
three ; and yet, when I look with a serious and considering eye upon 
this fruitful European branch, and see how much rotten and with- 
ered fruit there grows upon it, it makes me say, as Chrysostom did 
of his populous Antioch ; Ah, how small a remnant hath Jesiis Christ 
among these vast numbers ! "• Many indeed are called, but ah ! how 
" few are chosen ?"" Mat. xx. 16. Alas ! they are but as the fflean- 
ings when the vintage is done ; here and there one upon its utmost 
branches : to allude to that, Isa. xvii. 6. It was a sad observation 
which that searching scholar, Mr. Brerewood, long since made upon 
the world ; that, dividing it into thirty equal parts, he found no less 
than nineteen of them wholly overspread with idolatry and heathenish 
darkness; and of the eleven remaining parts, no less than six are 
Mahometans ; so that there remains but five of thirty which profess 
the Christian religion at large ; and the far greater part of these re- 
maining five are inveloped and drowned in popish darkness ! so that 
you see the reformed Protestant religion is confined to a small spot of 
ground indeed. Now, if from these we subtract all the grossly igno- 
rant, openly profane, merely civil, and secretly hypocritical, judge then 
in yourselves, how small a scantling of the world falls to Christ's share. 

Well might Christ say, Mat. vii. 14. " Narrow is the way, and 
" strait is the gate that leadeth unto Ufe : and few there be that find 
" it C And again, Luke xii. 32. " Fear not little flock." The large 
piece goes to the devil ; a httle remnant is Christ's, Rom. ix. 27. 
Saints in scripture, are C2l\[q& jewels, Mai. iii. 17. Precious pearly 



and diamonds, which the Latins call Umones. Quia mtlU duo simut 
reperiuntUi'^ (sailh Pliny) because nature gives them not by pairs, but 
one by one : how many pebbles to one pearl ! Suitable to this notion, 
is that complaint of the prophet, Mic. vii. 1, 2. " Wo is me ! for I 
" am as when they have gathered the summer-fruits, as the grape- 
'' gleanings of the vintage ; there is no cluster to eat ; my soul de- 
" sired the first ripe fruits ; the good man is perished out of the earth, 
'' and there is none, (i. e. none comparatively) upright among men.*** 
The prophet alludes to a poor hungry man, that, after the gathering 
time is past, comes into an orchard desiring some choice fruit to eat ; 
but, alas ; he finds none ; there is no cluster ; possibly here and there 
one after the shaking time. True saints are the world's rarities. 


A reflection for one ^' ^"^'^^^ ^^^" '''^^^ ^^ ^^-^ ^^^' ^""^^^ *^^^ ^^^^^ 

us. / ClOLt-LtUH /Ul VnC II' .• 1 11 11 r» 11 1 ,1 

// ffn tl - snakmg time shall come, who nave rollowed the 

7 ^ji 7" multitude, and o^one with the tide of the world ? 

ampie of trie mut- xt i ti i ^. .- . 

.. , ^j "^ How, even when 1 have been pressed to strictness 

and singular diligence in the matters of salvation, 

and told what a narrow way the way of life is, have I put it off with 

this ? If it be so, then wo to thousands ! Ah, foolish heart ! 

Thousands, and ten thousands shall be woful and miserable, indeed, 

to all eternity ! Will it be any mitigation of my misery, that I shall 

have thousands of miserable companions with me in hell ? Or, will it 

be admitted for a good plea at the judgment-seat. Lord, I did as the 

generality of my neighbours in the world did ; except it were here 

and there a more precise person, I saw none but lived as I lived. Ah, 

foolish sinner ! is it not better to go to heaven alone, than to hell with 

company ? The worst courses have always the most imitators ; and 

the road to destruction is thronged with passengers. 

2. And how little better is my condition, who have often fathered 

the wickedness of my own heart, upon the en- 
A rejlectionjhr an couragement of mercy .'' Thus hath my heart 
abuser of mercy. pleaded against strictness and duty; God is a 

merciful God, and will not be so severe with the 
world, to damn so many thousands as are in my condition. Deluded 
soul ! if God had damned the whole race of Adam, he had done them 
no more wrong : yea, there is more mercy in saving but one man, than 
there is of severity and rigour in damning all. How many drunk- 
ards and adulterers have lived and died with thy plea in their mouths, 
" God is a merciful God .?'' But yet his word expressly saith, " Be 
" not deceived ; such shall not inherit the kingdom of God," 1 Cor. 
vi. 9. God, indeed, is a God of infinite mercy ; but he will never 
i-xercise his mercy to the prejudice of his truth. 

3. Oh ! what rich grace is here. That in a general shipwreck mer-^ 


tij should cast forth a line or plank to save me ! 
That when millions perish, I, with a few more A reflectiwijor an 
should escape that perdition ! Was it the Father's elect soul. 
good pleasure to bestow the kingdom upon a lit- 
tle flock, and to make me one of that number ? What singular obli- 
gations hath mercy put upon my soul ! The fewer are saved, the more 
csiuse have they that are to admire their salvation. If but one of a 
thousand had been damned, yet my salvation would have been an act 
of infinite grace ; but when scarce one of a thousand are saved, what 
shall I call that grace that cast my lot among them ! 


jHLE that with spiritual eyes in autumn sees 

The heaps of fruit which fall from shaken trees. 

Like storms of hail-stones, and can hardly find 

One of a thousand that remains behind ; 

Methinks this meditation should awake 

His soul, and make it like those trees to shake. 

Of all the clusters, which so lately grew 

Upon those trees, how few can they now shew ? 

Here one, and there another ; two or three 

Upon the utmost branches of the tree. 

The greatest numbers to the pound are borne. 

Squeezed in the trough, and all to pieces torn. 

This little handfuFs left, to shadow forth 

To me God''s remnant in this peopled earth. 

If o'er the whole terrestrial globe I look. 

The gospel visits but a little nook. 

The rest with horrid darkness overspread. 

Are fast asleep, yea, in transgression dead. 

Whole droves to hell the devil daily drives ; 

Not one amongst them once resists or strives. 

And in this little heaven-enlight'ned spot 

How fast an interest hath Satan got ? 

But few of holiness profession make ; 

And if from those that do profess, I take 

The self-deluding hypocrites, I fear 

To think how fewll remain that are sincere. 

O tax not mercy that it saves so few ; 

But rather wonder that the Lord should shew 

Mercy to any. Quarrel not with grace ; 

But for thyself God's gracious terms embrace. 

When all were shipwrecked, thou should'st wonder more 

To find thyself so strangely cast ashore. 

And there to meet with any that can tell 

How ftarrowly they also 'scap'd from hell. 

The smaller number mercy saves, the higher 

Engagements lie on thee still to admire. 


Had the whole species perish 'd in their sin, 
And not one individual sav'd been, 
y et every tongue before him must be mute 
Confess his righteousness, but not dispute. 
Or had the hand of mercy which is free, 
Taken another, and pass'd over me ; 
I still must justify him, and my tongue 
Confess my Maker had done me no wrong, 
But if my name he please to let me see 
Enroird among those few that saved be, 
What admiration should such mercy move ! 
What thanks, and praise, and everlasting love ! 


Upon the Cutting down of dead Trees. 

Dead harre7i trees you for the fire prepare ; 
In such a case alljruitless persons are. 


FTER many years patience, in the use of all means to recover a 
fruit-tree, if the husbandman see it be quite dead, and that there can 
be no more expectation of any fruit from it, he brings his ax, and 
hews it down by the root ; and from the orchard it is carried to the 
fire, it being then fit for nothing else ; he reckons it imprudent to 
let such a useless tree abide in good ground, where another may be 
planted in its room, that will better pay for the ground it stands in. 
I myself once saw a large orchard of fair but fruitless trees all rooted 
up, rived broad, and ricked up for the fire. 


A HITS deals the Lord by useless and barren professors who do 
but cumber his ground, Matth. iii. 10. " And now^ also the ax is laid 
'^ to the root of the trees ; therefore every tree that brings not forth 
'^ good fruit, is hewn down and cast into the fire." And Luke xiii. 7. 
*' Then said the dresser of the vineyard, Behold, these three years I 
'• came seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and find none ; cut it down ; 
^' why curabereth it the ground T'' These three years, alluding to 
the time of his ministry, he being at that time entering upon the last 
half-vear, as one observes, by harmonizing the evangelists ; so long he 
had waited for the fruit of his ministry among those dead-hearted 
Jews ; now his patience is even at an end : cut them down (saith he) 
why cumber they the ground .? I Avill plant others, (viz. the Gentiles) 
in their room. This hewing down of the barren tree dotli, in a live- 
ly manner, shadow forth God's judicial proceedings against formal 


and empty professors under the gospel : and the resemblance clearlj 
holds in these following particulars : 

1. The tree that is to be hewn down for the fire, stands in the or- 
chard among other floinishing trees, where it hath enjoyed the be- 
nefit of a good soil, a strong fence, and much culture ; but being bar- 
ren, these privileges secure it not from the fire. It is not our stand- 
ing in the visible church by a poweriess profession anion o- real saints 
with whom we have been associated, and enjoyed the rich and excel- 
lent waterings of ordinances, that can secure us from the wrath of 
God, Matth. iii. 8, 9. " Bring forth fruits meet for repentance, and 
" think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our fa- 
*' ther."" Neither Abraham, nor Abraham's God, will acknowledge 
such degenerate children ; if Abraham's faith be not in your hearts, 
it will be no advantage that Abraham's blood runs in v<^ur veins. It 
will be a poor plea for Judas, when he shall stand before Christ in 
judgment, to say. Lord, I was one of thy family, I preached for 
thee ; I did eat and drink in thy presence. Let these scriptures \ye 
consulted, Matth. vii. 22. Matth. xxv. 11, 12. Rom. ii. 17, and 25. 

2. The husbandman doth not presently cut down the tree because 
it puts not forth as soon as other trees do ; but waits as long as thefe 
is any hope, and then cuts it down. Thus doth God wait upon bar- 
ren dead-hearted persons, from sabbath to sabbath, and from year to 
year ; for the Lord is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any 
should perish, but that all should come to repentance, 2 Pet. iii. 9. 
Thus the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah upon 
those dry trees, who are now smoking and flaming in hell, 1 Pet. iii. 
29. He waits long on sinners, but keeps exact accounts of every year 
and day of his patience, Luke xiii. 7. " These three vears." And 
Jer. xxv. 3. these twenty-three years. 

3. When the time is come to cut it down, the dead tree cannot 
possibly resist the stroke of the ax ; but receives the blow, and falls 
before it. No more can the stoutest sinner resist the fatal stroke by 
death, by which the Lord hews him down ; Eccl. viii. 8. *' There is 
*' no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit ; nei- 
" ther hath he power in the day of death, and there is no discliaro-e 
*' in that war." When the pale horse comes, away you must into the 
land of darkness. Though thou cry with Adrian, O my poor soul ! 
whither art thou going? Die thou must, thou barren professor; 
though it were better for thee to do any thing else than to die. What 
a dreadful shriek will thy conscience give when it sees the ax at thy 
root, and say to thee, as it is Ezek. vii. 6. " An end is come, the 
" end is come ; it watcheth for thee ; behold it is come." Oh ! 
saith Henry Beauford, (that rich and v/retched cardinal, bishop of 
Winchester, and chancellor of England, when he perceived where- 
Vintohemustgo) wherefore must I die ? Ifthe whole realm would save 


my life, I am able either by policy to get it, or by riches to buy it, 
Tie (quoth he) will not death be hired? Will riches do nothing? 
No, neither riches nor pohcy can then avail. 

4. The side to which the tree leaned most while it stood, that waj 
it will fall when it is cut down : and as it falls, so it lies, whether to 
the south or north, Eccl. xi. 3. So it fares with these mystical trees, 
I mean fruitless professors : Had their hearts and affections inclined 
and bended heaven- ward whilst they lived, that way, no doubt, they 
had fallen at their death ; but as their hearts inchned to sin, and 
even bended to the world, so when God gives the fatal stroke, they 
must fall hell- ward and wrath- ward : And, how dreadful will such a 
fall be ! 

5. When the dead tree is carried out of the orchard, it shall never 
be among the living trees of the (.>rchard any more ; many years it 
grew among them, but now it shall never have a place there again. 
And when the barren profcsror is carried out of the world by death, 
he shall never be associated with ihe saints any more : He may then 
say, farewell all ye saints, among whovn I lived, and with whom I so 
often heard, fasteci, ind prayed : I shall never see your face more ; 
Matth. viii. 11,12. "I say unto you. that many shall come from the 
" east, and west, and north, and south, and shall sit down with 
" Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven ; but the 
*' children of the kingdom sliill be cast forth into outer darkness; 
*' there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth."" 

6. AVhen the dead tree I- carried out of the orchard, the husband- 
man cuts off its branches, and rives it asunder with his wedges. This 
also is the lot of barren professors : " The Lord of that servant will 
" come in a day when he looketh not for him, and will cut hini 
*' asunder ;" he shall be dissected, or cut abroad, Luke xii. 46. 

Now therefore '* consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear (or 
*' rend) you in pieces,"" Psalm 1. 22. O direful day ! v.hen the same 
hand that planted, pruned, and watered thee so long, and so tender- 
ly, shall now strike mortal strokes at thee, and that without pity ! 
*' For, he that made them, will not have mercy on them ; and her 
*' that formed them, will shew them no favour," Isa. xxvii. 11. For 
the day of mercy is over ; and the day of his wrath is fully come. 

7. When this tree is cleaved abroad, then its rotten, hollow inside 
appears, which was the cause of its barrenness ; it looked like a fair 
and sound-bodied tree, but now all may see how rotten it is at the 
heart ; so will God in that day, when he shall dissect the barren 
prt^fessor, discover the rottenness of his heart, and unsoundness of 
his principles and ends : Then they who never suspected him before^ 
shall see what a hollow and rotten-hearted professor he was. 

8. Lastly ; The fruitless tree is cast into the fire. This also is the end 
and sad issue of formality, John xv. 6. " He is cast forth as a branch, 
'* and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the 
'^ iire ; and they are burned."' This is an undoubted truth, tha^ 


there is no plant in God's vineyard, but he will have glory from it, 
by bearing fruit ; or glory on it, by burning in the fire. In this fire 
shall they lie " gnashing their teeth,"" Luke xiii. 38. and that both in 
indignation against their saints, whom they shall see in glory'; and 
against Jesus Christ, who would not save them ; and against them- 
selves, for losing so foolishly the opportunities of salvation. Do you 
behold, when you sit by the fire, the froth that boils out of those 
flaming logs ? O think of that foam and rage of those undone crea- 
tures, foaming, and gnashing their teeth in that fire which is not 
quenched ! Mark ix. 14, 


. n ^. n How often have I passed by such barren trees, 

A reflection for a -^ x ,^ , •i-4.^i ^.i • i • i 

r- , 1 J "^ ;. With a more barren heart, as httle thmking such 

*f y^ ' 2i tree to be the emblem of myself, as Nebuchad- 

nezzar did, when he saw that tree in a dream, which represented 
himself, and shadowed forth to him his ensuing misery, Dan. iv. 13, 
But, O my conscience ! my drowsy, sleepy conscience ! wert thou 
but tender, and faithful to me, thou wouldst make as round and 
terrible an application of such a spectacle to me as the faithful pro- 
phet did to him, ver. 22. And thus wouldst thou, O my soul, be- 
moan thy condition. 

Poor wretch ! here I grow, for a little time, among the trees of 
righteousness, the plants of renown, but I am none of them ; I was 
never planted a right seed ; some green and flourishing leaves of pro- 
fession, indeed, I have, which deceive others, but God cannot be 
deceived ; he sees I am fruitless and rotten at the heart. Poor soul ! 
what will thine end be but burning .? Behold, the ax lieth by thy 
root ? and wonder it is, that there it should lie so long, and I yet 
Standing ! Still mercy pleads for a fruitless creature : Lord, spare it 
one year longer. Alas ! he need strike no great blow to ruin me ; 
his very breath blows to destruction. Job iv. 9. A frown of his face 
can blast and ruin me. Psalm Ixxx. 6. He is daily solicited by his 
justice to hew me down, and yet I stand. Lord, cure my barren, 
ness ! I know thpu hadst rather see fruit than fire upon me. 


JLF, after pains and patience, you can see 
No hopes of fruit, down goes the barren tree. 
You will not suffer trees that are unsound, 
And barren too, to cumber useful ground. 
The fatal ax is laid unto the root : 
'Tis fit for fire, when unfit for fruit. 
But, though this be a dead and barren tree, 
Reader, I would not have it so to thee : 
May it to thee this serious thought suggest, 
In all the orchard this dead tree's the best ; 


Think on it sadly, lay it close to heart, 

This is the case in v/hich thou wast, or art. 

If so thou wast, but now dost live and grow, J 

And bring forth fruit, what praise and thanks dost owe >- 

To that wise husbandman that made thee so ? J 

O think, when justice lifted up its hand, 

How mercy did then interceding stand ! 

How pity did on thy behalf appear. 

To beg reprieval for another year. 

Stop, Lord ! forbear him : all hope is not past ; 

He can but be for fire at the last. 

Though many sermons, many a gracious call 

He hath resisted like a brazen wall, 

The next may win him ; when thy grace shall raise 

Unto itself a monument of praise. 

How should this mediation thaw and melt 

The heart of him that hath such mercy felt ? 

But, if thou still remain a barren tree. 

Then here, as in a mirror, thou may'st see 

Thy wretched state, when justice, at a blow. 

Requites God's patience in thine overthrow. 

And canst thou bear it ? Can thy heart endure 

To think of everlasting burnings ? Sure, 

This must thy lot, thy fearful portion be, 

Jf thou continue still a barren tree. 



To the Tliird Part of 


±^ OW, from the pleasant orchard let us walk 
A turn i' th"" fields, and there converse and talk 
With cows and horses ; tliey can teach us some 
Choice lessons, though irrational and dumb. 
My reader's weary ; yet I do not fear 
To be foi'saken by one reader here : 
Ple'll doubtless stay to hear what questions I 
Propound to beasts, and how they make reply. 
The fatted ox, and pamper d horse you ride ; 
Their careless master for his care thus chide. 


Upon the Husbandman's Care for his Cattle. 

More care for liorse and oxen many taJce 
Than for their souls, or dearest children's sake, 


ItJlANY husbandmen are excessively careful about their cattle, 
rising themselves early, or causing their servants to rise betimes to 
provender and dress them. Much time is spent in some countries, 
in trimming and adorning their horses with curious trappings and 
plumes of feathers ; and if at any time their beasts be sick, what 
care is taken to recover and heal them : you will be sure they 
shall want nothing that is necessary for them ; yea, many will 
chuse rather to want themselves, than suffer their horses so to do ; 
and take a great deal of comfort to see them thrive and prosper 
under their hands. 


▼ ▼ HAT one said of bloody Herod, who slew so manv children 
at Bethlehem, That it were better to be his swine than his son, 
may truly enough be applied to some parents and masters, who take 
less care for the saving the souls of their children and servants, than 
they do for the bodies of those beasts which daily feed at their stalls 
and cribs. Many there be who do in reference to their souls, as Ja- 
cob did with respect to the preservation of their bodies, when he put 
all the herds of cattle before, and his wives and little ones behind, 
as he went to meet his brother Esau. It is a weighty saying of a 
grave * author; ' It is vile ingratitude to rejoice when cattle multiply, 

* and repine when children increase ; it is heathenish distrustfulness 
' to fear that he who provides for your beasts, mil not provide for 
' your children; and it is no less than unnatural cruelty, to be careful 

* of the bodies of beasts, and careless of the souls of children.' Let 
us but a little compare your care and diligence in both respects, and 
see, in a few particulars, whether you do indeed value your own, or 
your children and servants' souls, as you do the life and health of a 

1. Your care for your very horses is expressed early, whilst they 
are but colts, and not come to do you any service ; youare willing to 
be at pains and cost, to have them broken and brought to their way. 
This is more than ever many of them did for their children ; they cii 
see them wild and profane, naturally taking a stroke or way of wick- 
edness, but yet never v,^ere at any pains or cost to break them : these 
must be fondled and cockered up in the natural way of their own cor- 

* Jenk. on Jude, part 2. p. 170. 


ruption and wickedness, and not a rod of reproof used to breiife 
tliem off it. 

It is observed of the Persians,* that they put out their children to 
school, as soon as they can speak, and will not see them in seven years 
after, lest their indulgence should do them hurt. 

2. You keep your constant set times, morning and evening to feed, 
water, and dress your cattle, and will by no means neglect it once : 
but how many times have you neglected moi'nmg smA evening duties 
in your families ? Yea, how many be there, whose very tables, in res- 
pect of any worship God hath there, do very little differ from the 
very cribs and mangers at which their horses feed ? As soon as you 
are up in a morning, you are with your beasts before you have 
been with your God. How little do such differ from beasts ? And 
happy were it, if they were no more accountable to God than their 
beasts are. 

The end of your care, cost, and pains about your cattle is, that 
they may be strong for labour, and the more serviceable to you : thus 
you comply with the end of their beings. But how rare a thing is it 
to find these men as careful to fit their posterity to be useful and ser* 
viceable to God in their generations, which is the end of their beings? 
If you can make them rich, and provide good matches for them, you 
reckon that you have fully discharged the duty of parents r if they 
will learti to hold the plow, that you are willing to teach them : but, 
when did you spend an hour to teach them the way of salvation .? 

Now to convince such careless parents of the heinousness of their 
sin, let these queries be solemnly considered. 

Qu. 1. Whether this be a sufficient discharge of that great duty 
which God hath laid upon Christian parents, in reference to their fa- 
milies ? That God hath charged them with the souls of their fami- 
lies, is undeniable, Deut. vi. 6, 7. Eph. vi. 4. If God hath not cloth- 
ed you with his authority, to command them in the way of the Lord, 
he would never have charged them, so strictly to yield you obedience 
as he hath done, Eph. vi. 1. Col. iii. 20. Well, a great trust is re- 
posed in you, look to your duty ; for, without dispute, you shall an- 
swer for it. 

Quest. 2. Whether it be likely, if the time of youth (which is the 
moulding age) be neglected, they will be wrought upon to any good 
afterwards .? Husbandmen, let me put a sensible case to you ; do you 
not see in your very horses, that whilst they are young, you can bring 
them to any way ; but if once they have got a false stroke, and by 
long custom it be grown natural to them, then there is no breaking 
them off it : you see it in your very orchards ; you may bring a tend- 
er twig to grow in what form you please ; but when it is grown to a 
sturdy limb, there is no bending it afterwards to any other form than 
what it naturally took. Thus it is with children, Prov. xxii. 6. 

* Clark's Mir. p. 506. 


«* Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he 
«* will not depart from it/' 

Qu. 3. Whether if you neglect to instruct them in the way of the 
Lord, Satan, and their own natural corruptions, will not instruct them 
in tlie way to hell ? Consider this, ye careless parents : if you will not 
teach your children, the devil will teach them : if you shew them not 
how to pray, lie Avill shew them how to curse and swear, and take 
the name of the Lord in vain ; if you grudge time and pains about 
their souls, the devil doth not. Oh ! it is a sad consideration, that 
so many children should be put to school to the d^vil. 

Qu. 4. What comfort are you like to have from Them when thev 
are old, if you bring them not up in the nurture and admonition of 
the Lord when they are young ? Many parents have lived to reap 
in their old age the fruit of their own folly and carelessness, in the 
loose and vain education of their children. By Lycurgus's law, no 
parent was to be relieved by his children in age, if he gave them not 
good education in their youth ; and it is a law at this day among the 
Switzers, That if any child be condemned to die for a capital offence, 
the parents of that child are to be his executioners : these laws were 
made to provoke parents to look better to their charge. Believe this 
as an undoubted truth. That that child which becomes through thy 
default, an instrument to dishonour God, shall prove, sooner or later, 
a son or daughter of sorrow to thee. 

1. God hath found out my sin this day. This 

hath been my practice ever since I had a family A reflection for 
committed to my charge ; I have spent more careless pai'ents. 
time and pains about the bodies of my beasts, 
than the souls of my children : beast thatl am for so doins^ ! Little 
have I considered the precious ness of my own, or their immortal 
souls. How careful have I been to provide fodder to preserve mv cat- 
tle in the winter, whilst I leave my own and their souls to perish to 
eternity, and make no provision for them ? Surely my children will 
one day curse the time that ever they were born unto such a cruel fa- 
ther, or of such a merciless mother. Should I bring home the plague 
in to my family, and live to see all my poor children lie dead by the 
walls ; if I had not the heart of a tyger, such a sight Avould melt 
my heart : and yet the death of their souls, by the sin which I pro- 
pagated to them, as I have done for a beast that perisheth ! 

2. But, unhappy wretch that I am ! in,- ^ .t 7. 
God cast a better lot for me ; 1 am the /.r^^^'^f.?/^': '^^ '^''' 
ofF-spring of religiousand tender parents, ""^/'^'"''^ '^''^^ ^ " ^''^- 
who have alwaysdeeply concerned them- '''^' P""''"''^' 

selves in the everlasting state of my soul: many prayers and tears 
have they poured out to God for me, both in my hearing, as Avell as in 
secret ; many holy and wholesome counsels have they from time to 
time dropt upon me ; many precious examples have they set in their 


own practice before nie ; many a time when I have sinned against the 
Lord, have they stood over me, with a rod in their hands, and tears 
in their eyes, using all means to reclaim me ; but like an ungracious 
wretch, I have slighted all their counsel, grieved their hearts, and 
imbittered their lives to them by my sinful courses. Ah, my soul ! 
thou art a degenerate plant ; better will it be vvith the ofF-spring of 
infidels than with thee, if repentance prevent not : ngw I live in one 
family with them, but shortly I shall be separated from them, as far 
as hell is from heaven ; they now tenderly pity my misery, but then 
they shall approve and applaud the righteous sentence of Christ up- 
on me : so little privilege shall I then have from my relation to them, 
that they shall be produced as witnesses against me, and all their re- 
jected counsels, reproofs and examples, charged home upon me, as 
the aggravations of my wickedness ; and better it will be, when it 
shajl come to that, that I had been brought forth by a beast, than 
sprung from the loins of such parents. 


X OUR cattle in fat pastures thrive and grov/, 
There"'s nothing wanting that should make them so. 
The pamperd horse commends his master's care, 
Who neither pains nor cost doth grudge or spare. 
But art not thou mean while the vilest fool, 
That pamper st beasts, and starves thy precious soul ? 
'Twere well if thou couldst die as well as live 
Like beasts, and had no more account to give. 
O that these lines your folly might detect ! 
Who both your own and children's souls neglect 
To care for beasts. O man ! prepare to hear 
The dolefufst language that e'er pierc'd thine ear : 
When you your children once in hell shall meet. 
And with such language their damnVl parents greet 

" O cursed father ! wretched mother ! why 

" Was I your off-spring ? Would to God that I 

" Had sprung from tygers, who more tender be 

*' Unto their young than you have been to me. 

*' How did you spend your thoughs, time, care, and cost 

'• About my body, whilst my soul was lost ? 

" Did you not know I had a soul, that must 

" Live, when this body was dissolvVl to dust ? 

" You could not chuse but understand if I, 

" Without an interest in Christ did die, 

" It needs must come to this. O how could you 

" Prove so remorseless, and no pity shew ? 

" O cruel parents ! I may curse the day 

" That I was bom of such as did betray 


** Tlieir child to endless torments. Now must I 
" With, and through you, in flames for ever lie.'' 

Let this make every parent tremble, lest 

He lose his child, whilst caring for his beast : 

(,>r lest his o\^ti poor soul do starve and pine, 

Whilst he takes thought for horses, sheep and kine. 

; CHAP. II. 

Upon the hard Labour, and cruel Usage of Beast-;. 

Wh€n wider loads your beasts do groan^ tliiiik then 
Hoic great a mercy 'tis that you are meji. 


X HOUGH some men be excessively careful and tender over their 
beasts, as was noted in the former chapter ; yet others are cruel and 
merciless towards them, not regarding how they ride or burden them. 
How often have I seen them fainting under their loads, wrought off 
their legs, and turned out with galled backs into the fields or high- 
ways to shift for a little grass ; manv times have I heard and pitied 
them groaning under unreasonable burden?, and beaten on by mer- 
ciless drivers, till at last, by such cruel usage, they have been de- 
stroyed, and then cast into a ditch for dog's meat. 


^UCH sights as these should make men thankful for the mercy of 
their creation, and bless their bountiful Creator, that they were not 
made such creatures themselves. Some beasts are made ad estim, 
only for food, being no otherwise useful to men, as sicine, he. These 
are only fed for slaughter ; we kill and eat them, and regard not 
their cries and strugglings when the knife is thrust to their very 
hearts ! others are only ad usum, for service whilst living, but un- 
profitable when dead, as horses ; these we make to drudge and toil 
for us from day to day, but kill them not ; others are both ad esum^ 
et usum, fcr food when dead, and service whilst alive, as the ox ; 
these v/e make to plow our fields, draw our cariiages, and afterwards 
prepare them for the slaughter. 

But man was made for nobler ends, created lord of the lower 
world ; not to serve, but to be served bv other creatures, a mercy 
able to melt the hardest heart into thankfulness. I remember, 
Luther* pressing men to be thankful, that they are not brought into 

• Luther in 5 Prcsept. 

Vol. V. L 


the lowest condition of creatures, and to bless God that tliey can sec 
any creature below themselves, give us a famous instance in the fol- 
lowing' story : Two cardinals (saith he) riding in a great deal of pomp 
to the council of Constance, by the way they heard a man in the 
fields, weeping and wailing bitterly; they rode to him, and asked 
him what he ailed ? Perceiving his eye intently fixed upon an ugly 
toad, he told them tliat his heart melted with the consideration of 
this mercy, that God had not made him such a deformed and loath- 
some creature, though he were formed out of the same clay with it: 
Hoc est quod ainare jleo^ said he, this is that which makes me weep 
bitterly. Whereupon one of the cardinals cried out, Well, said the 
father, the unlearned will rise and take heaven, when we with all 
our learning shall be thrusti nto hell. That which melted the heart 
of this poor man, snould melt every heart when we behold the 
misery to which these poor creatures are subjected. And this will 
appear a mercy of no slight consideration, if we but draw a compa- 
rison betwixt ourselves and these irrational creatures, in these three 

1. Though they and we were made of the same mould and clay, 
yet how much better hath God dealt with us. even as to the outward 
man ? The structure of our bodies is much more excellent; God 
made other good creatures bv a word of command, but man by 
counsel ; it was not, Be thou, but, Lt't us nialce man. We might 
have been made stone.s without sense, or beasts witliout reason, but we 
were made men. The noble structure and symmetry of our bodies 
invite our souls not only to thankfulness but admiration. David, 
speaking of the curious frame of the body, saith, *' I am wonder- 
" fully made," Psal. cxxxix. 14. or, as the vulgar reads it, painted 
as with a needle, like some rich piece of needle-work curiously em- 
broidered with nerves and veins. AVas any part of the* common 
hmip of clay thus fashioned ? Galen gave Epicurus an hundred years 
time to imagine a more commodious situation, configuration, or com- 
position of any one part of a human body: and (as one saith) if all 
the angels in heaven had studied to this day, they could not have 
cast the body of man into a more curious mould. 

2. How little ease or rest have they ? They live not many years, 
and those they do are in bondage and misery, groaning under the 
effects of sin ; but God hath provided better for us, even as to our 
outward condition in the world ; we have the more rest, because 
they have so little. How many refreshments and comforts hath God 
provided for us, of which they are incapable ? If we be weary with 
labour, we can take our rest; but fresh or weary, they must stand 
to it, or sink under it from day to day. 

3. What a narrow capacity hath God given to beasts ! What a 
large capacity to man ! Alas, they are only capable of a little sensi- 
tive pleasure ; as you shall see sometimes, how they will frisk in a 
green pasture ; this is all they are capable of, and this death puts an 


cikI to : but how comprehensive are our souls in their capacities ? 
We are made in the image of God ; we can look beyond present 
things, and ;ire capable of the highest happiness, and that to all 
eternity : the soul of a beast is but a material form, w hich, wholly 
depending upon, must needs die with the body ; but our souls are 
a divine spark or blast ; and when the body dies, it dies not with 
it^ but subsists even in its separated state. 


1. How great a sin is ingratitude to God for A reflection for an 
such a common, but choice mercy of creation unthankful sinner. 
and provision for me in this world ? There 

is no creature made worse by kindness, but man. Tliere is a 
kind of gratitude which I may observe, even in these brute beasts : 
they do in their way acknowledge their benetiictors ; " The ox 
" knows his owner, and the ass his master's crib."' How ready are 
they to serve such as feed and cherish them ? But I have been botli 
unthankful and unserviceable to my Creator and Benefactor, that 
hath done me good all my days; those poor creatures that sweat and 
groan under the load that I lay upon them, never sinned against God, 
nor transgressed the laws of their creation, as I have done ; and yet 
God hath dealt better with me than with them. O that the bounty 
of God, and his distinguishing mercy between me and the beasts that 
perish, might move and melt my heart into thankfulness ! O that I 
might consider seriously what the higher and more excellent end of 
my creation is, and might more endeavour to answer and live up to 
it ! Or else, O my soul, it will be worse with thee than the beasts: 
it is true, they are under bondage and misery ; but it is but for a 
little time ; death will end all their pains, and ease them of all their 
heavy loads ; but I shall groan to all eternit}-, under a heavier bur-i 
den than ever they felt ; thev have no account to give, but so have 
I. What comfort is it, that I have a larger capacity than a beast 
hath ? That God hath endowed me with reason, which is denied to 
them ? Alas ! this will but augment my misery, and enlarge me to 
take in a o^reater measure of ansruish. 

X.. By how many steps, O my soul ! mayest 
thou ascend in the praises of thy God, when thou A rcfl,cctionJbr 
considerest the mercies that God hath bestowed an elect soul. 
upon thee ; not only in that he made thee not a 
stone or tree without sense, or an horse or dog without reason ; but 
that thou art not an infidel without light, or an un regenerate person 
without grace.? What! to have sense, and all the delights of it, 
which stones have not ! Reason, with the more high and noble plea- 
suresof it, which beasts have not ! the light and knowledge of the great 
things of the gospel, which the heathens have not ! and such an ex- 
pectation and hope of inconceivable glorv and felicity, which the un- 


sanctified have not ! O my soul ! how rich, how bountiful hath thy 
God been to thee ! These are the overflowings of his love to thee 
who wast moulded out of the same lump with the beasts that groan 
on earth, yea, with the damned that howl in hell : well may I say 
that God hath been a good God to me ! 


HEN I behold a tired jade put on 
With whip and spur till all his strength be gone ; 
See streams of sweat run down his bleeding sides. 
How little mercy's shewn by him that rides. 
If I more thankful to my God would prove 
Than such a rider merciless, 'twill move 
My soul to praise : For who sees this, and can 
But bless the Lord that he was made a man. 
And such a sight the rider ought to move 
This meditation duly to improve. 

What hath this creature done, that he should be 

Thus beaten, wounded, and tir'd out by me ^ 

He is my fellow-ci-eature ; 'tis mere grace 

I had not been in his, he in my case. 

Ungrateful, stupid man ! God might have made 

Me bear the saddle, as I see this jade. 

He never sinn'd, but for my sin doth lie 

Subjected unto all this misery. 

Lord, make my heart relent, that I should be 

To thee more useless than my horse to me : 

He did his utmost, went as long as ever 

His legs could bear him ; but for me I never 

Thus spent my strength for God, but oft have been 

Too prodigal thereof in ways of sin. 

Though he's the horse, and I the man, 'twill be 

Far better with my horse one day than me : 

Unless thy grace prevent and superadd 

A new creation unto that I had. 

Could every reader fix a serious thought 

On such a subject, and hereby be taught 

To spiritualize it, and improve it thus ; 

How sweet would tedious journeys be to us ? 

But such a task a graceless heart tires out, 

More than the tired horse I write about. 


CHAP. iir. 

Upon the seeking of lost Cattle. 

When seeking your lost cattle, keep in mind, 
That thus Christ Jesus seeks your souls to find. 


? ▼ HEN cattle are strayed away from your fields, you use all 
care and diligence to recover them again ; tracing their footsteps, 
crying them in the market-towns, sending your servants abroad, 
^nd enquiring yourselves of all that you tliink can give news of them. 
What care and pains men will take in such cases, was exemplified in 
Saul, 1 Sam. ix. 4, 5. who with his servant, passed through mount 
Ephraim to seek the asses that were strayed from his father, and 
through the land of Shalisha, and through the land of Shalim, and 
they were not there, and through the land of the Benjamites, but 
found them not. 


A HE care and pains you take to recover your lost cattle, carries 
a sweet and lively representation of the love of Jesus Christ, in the 
recovery of lost sinners. Jesus Christ came on purpose from hea- 
ven upon a like errand, to seek and to save that which was lost, 
Matth. xviii. 11. There are several particulars in which this glori- 
ous design of Christ, in seeking and saving lost man, and the care 
and pains of husbandmen in recovering their lost cattle, do meet and 
touch, though there be as many particulars also in which they differ : 
all which I shall open under the following heads. 

1. We sometimes find that cattle will break out of those very fields 
where they have been bred ; and where they want nothing that is 
needful for them. Just thus lost man departed from his God, brake 
out of that pleasant enclosure where he was abundantly provided for, 
both as to soul and body ; yet then he brake over the hedge of the 
command, and went astray, Eccles. vii. 29. " Lo, this only have I 
" found, that God made man upright, but he sought out to himself 
" many inventions :" He was not content and satisfied with that 
blessed state God had put him into, but would be trying new con- 
clusions, to the loss and ruin both of himself and his posterity. 

2. Strayers are evermore sufferers for it ; all they get by it is to 
be pined and poinded : and what did man get by departing from his 
God, but ruin and misery to soul and body.? Will you have an ab- 
breviate of his sufferings and losses ? The full account none can give 
you : Why, by straying from his God, he lost the rectitude and holi- 
ness of his nature ; like a true strayer, he is all dirty and miry, over- 
spread and besmeared both in soul and body with the odious filthiness 


168 HU.sr>AXDllY SPIilTTUALT^Et) ; oir, 

of sin ; he lost the libert^^ and freedom of his will to good, a prccioa^ 
jewel of inestimable value. This is a real misery incurred by the falU 
though some have so {ar lost their understandings and humility, as 
not to own it; he hath lost his God, his soul, his happiness, and his 
very bowels of compassion towards himself in this miserable state, 

0?. When your cattle are strayed, yea, though it be but one of the 
flock or herd, you leave all the rest, and go after that which is lost : 
So did Jesus Christ J who, in the forecited place, Matth. xviii. 12. 
compares himself to such a shepherd ; he left heaven itself, and all 
the l3lessed angels there, to come into this world to seek lost man. 
O the precious esteem, and dear love that Christ had to poor man ! 
How did his bowels yearn towards us in our low state ! How did he 
pity us in our misery ! As if he had said, poor creatures, they have 
lost themselves, and are become a prey to the devil in a perishing 
state ; I will seek after them, and save them. The son of man is 
come to seek and to save. 

4. You are glad when you have found your strayers, much more 
is Christ when he hath found a lost soul. O it is a great satisfaction 
to him to see the fruit of the travail of his soul, Isa. liii. '' Yea, there 
" is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, than over 
" ninety-nine just persons that need no repentance."" What demon- 
strations of joy and gladness did the father of the prodigal give, 
when he had found his son that was lost ? Luke xv. 20. 

5. When you have brought home your strayers, you sometimes 
clog them to prevent their wandering again, and stop up the gaps 
w ith thorns ; and so doth God oftentimes by such souls as are reco- 
vered and brought home to Christ ; he hangs a clog of affliction to 
prevent their departure from God again, 2 Cor. xii. 7. 

But then there are five particulars in which Christ's seeking lost 
souls, and your seeking lost cattle differ. 

1. Your cattle sometimes find the way home themselves, and re- 
turn to you of their own accord ; but lost man never did, nor can 
do so ; he was his own destroyer, but can never be his own saviour ; 
it was possible for him not to have lost his God, but having once 
lost him, can never find him agam of himself Alas ! his heart is 
bent to backsliding, he hath no will to return. Hear how Christ 
complains, John v. 40. " Ye will not come unto me." Man''s re- 
covery begins in God, not in himself. 

2. Your servants can find, and bring back your lost cattle as well 
as you ; but so cannot Christ's servants : Ministers may discover, 
but cannot recover them : they daily see, but cannot save them ; 
lament them they can, but help them they cannot ; intreat and beg 
them to return they can, and do, but prevail with them they cannot. 
Melancthon thought, when he began to preach, to persuade all ; 
but old Adam was too hard for young Melancthon. 

3. You seek all the cattle that are strayed from you, especially the 
best ; but Jesus Christ only seeks poor lost man. There were other 


♦Toaturcs, and such as by nature were more excellent, that lost their 
God and themselves : I mean, the apostate angels ; but he came not 
to seek them : herein his singular love to man appears. 

4. When you have recovered and brought home your lost cattle, 
vou may lose them the second time, and never recover them again ; 
but so cannot Christ. ]\Ian once recovered is for ever secured by 
Iiim. "• All that thou hast given me, I have kept, and not one of 
" them is lost but the son of perdition;" and he was never savingly 
found, John xvii. 12. 

5. Though you prize your cattle, yet you will not venture your 
life for the recovery of them ; rather let thenl go than regain them 
with such an hazard ; but Jesus Christ not only ventin-ed, but actual- 
ly laid down his life to recover and save lost man : he redeemed them 
at the price of his own blood ; he is that good shepherd that laid down 
his life for the sheep. O the surpassing love of Christ to lost souls ! 


1. Lord, I am a lost creature ! an undone soul ! and herein lies my 
misery, that I have not only lost my God, but 

have no heart to return to him : nay, I fly from A reflection Jbr a 
Christ, who is come on purpose from heaven to lost soul. 
seek and to save me : his messengers are abroad, 
seeking for such as I am, but I avoid them, or at least refuse to obey 
their call and persuasions to return. Ah, what a miserable state am 
I in ! Every step I go is a step towards hell ; my soul, mth the pro- 
digal, is ready to perish in a strange country : but I have no mind, 
with him, to return home. Wretched soul ! what will the end of 
this be ? If God have lost thee : the devil hath found thee ; he takes 
up all strayers from God : yea, death and hell will shortly find thee, 
if Christ do not ; and then thy recovery, O my soul ! will be im- 
possible ! Why sit I here perishing and dying? lam not yet as 
irrecoverably lost as the damned are. O let me delay no longer, 
lest I be lost for ever ! 

2. O my soul ! for ever bless and admire the love of Jesus Christ, 
vA\o came fj'om heaven to seek and save sucli a 

lost soul as I was. Lord, how marvellous ! how A reflection for 
matchless is thy love ! I was lost, and am found : one that ivcis lost, 
I am found, and did not seek ; nay, I am found but isjbund. 
by him from whom I fled. Thy love, O my Sa- 
viour ! was a preventing love, a wonderful love ; thou lovedst me 
much more than I loved myself; I was cruel to my own soul, but 
thou wast kind ; thou soughtest for me a lost sinner, and not for lost 
angels ; thy hand of grace caught hold of me, and hath let go thou- 
sands, and ten thousands, as good as myself by nature : like another 
David, thou didst rescue my poor lost soul out of the mouth of tlie 
destroyer ; yea, more than so, thou didst lose thine own life to find 
mine : and now, dear Jesus, since I am thus marvellously recovered, 



shall I ever straggle again from thee ? O let it for ever be a warning: 
to me, how I turn aside into the by-paths of sin any more. 


▼ T HEN cattle from 3'our fields are gone astray, 

And you to seek them through the country ride ; 
Enquiring for them all along the v.ay. 

Tracking their footsteps where they turnVl aside ; 
One servant this way sent, another that, 

Searching the fields and country round about; 
This meditation now falls in so pat. 

As if God sent it to enquire you out : 
My beasts are lost, and so am I bv sin ; 

My wretehed soul from God thus wandVing went ; 
As I seek them, so was I sought by him, 

Who from the Father s bosom forth was sent. 
Pursued by sermons, followed close by grace, 

And strong convictions, Christ hath sought for me ; 
Yea, though I shun him, still he gives me chase, 

As if resolv'd 1 should not damned be. 
AA^'hen angels lost themselves, it was not so; 

God did not seek, or once for them enquire ; 
But said. Let these apostate creatures go, 

ril plague them for it with eternal fire. 
Lord ! what am I, that thou should'st set thine eye«. 

And still seek after such a wretch as I ? 
Whose matchless mercy, and rich grace despise, 

As if, in spite thereof, resolv'd to die. 
Why should I shun thee ? Blessed Saviour, wliy 

Should I avoid thee thus ? Thou dost not chase 
My soul to slay it ; O that ever I 

Should fly a Saviour that's so full of grace ! 
Long hast thou sought me. Lord, I now return, 

O let thy bowels of compassion sound ; 
For my departure I sincerely mourn, 

And let this day thy wandering sheep be found. 


Upon the Feeding of fat Cattle. 

Fat beasts you hill, the lean you use to save : 
God's dispensations some such meaning have. 


X T is a good observation of a Father, and well applied ; VituU tritii- 
rantes qiiotidie Uga^itur^ vituVi mactandi quotidie inpascicis lihere re- 



liftquuntur: Oxen for use are daily yoked and kept short, whilst those 
that are designed for the shambles, are let loose in green pastures to 
feed at pleasure. Store beasts fare hai'd, and are kept lean and low ; 
feeding beasts are excused from the yoke, whilst others are laboured 
and wrought hard every day ; the one hath more than he can eat, 
the other would eat more if he had it. 


A HITS deals the Lord oft-times with his own elect, whom he de- 
signs for glory ; and with the wicked, who are preparing for the 
day of wrath : thus are they filled with eartlily prosperity and crea- 
ture-enjoyments, like lusty and wanton beasts turned out at liberty 
in a fat pasture, whilst poor saints are kept hai'd and short ; Amos iv. 
1. " Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountains of 
*' Samaria, which oppress the poor, crush the needy."" These meta- 
phorical kine are the prosperous oppressors of the world, full fed, and 
wanton, wicked men. It is true, heaven hath not all the poor, nor 
hell all the rich ; but it is a very common dispensation of providence 
to l:)estow most of the things of this world upon them that have no 
portion in heaven ; and to keep them short on earth, for whom that 
kingdom is provided. Let me draw forth the similitude in a few 

1. The beasts of slaughter have the fattest pastures; so have the 
ungodly in the world ; " Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have 
" more than heart could wish,^ Psal. Ixxiii. 7. Their hearts are as 
fat as grease^ Psal. cxix. 70. These be they that fleet off the cream 
of earthly enjoyments, "whose bellies are filled with hidden treasures,"" 
Psal. xvii. 14. " The earth is given into the hand of the wicked," 
Job ix. 24. O vvhat full estates ! what an affluence of earthly de- 
lights hath God cast in upon some wicked men ! There is much 
wantonness, but no want in their dwellings : some that know not 
which way to turn themselves in hell, once knew not where to be- 
stow their goods on earth. 

2. Feeding beasts grow wanton in their full pastures ; there you 
shall see them tumble and frisk, and kick up their heels. The same 
effect hath the prosperity of the wicked ; it makes them wanton ; 
their life is but a diversion from one pleasure to another. Job xxi. 
11, 12, 13. " They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their 
" children dance : they take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the 
" sound of the organ : they spend their days in wealth, and in a 
" moment go down to the grave."' The same character doth the 
prophet Amos give of them, Amos vi. 4, 5, 6. " They stretch them- 
" selves upon beds of ivory, drink wine in bowls," &c. and no sor- 
row goes to their hearts. These are they that live in pleasures upoa 
earth, as a fish in the water. Jam. v. 5. 

S. These fat pastures do but the sooner hasten the death of these 


cattle : the sooner tliey are fatted, the sooner they are slaughtered; 
and the prosperity of the wicked serves to the same end : the prospe- 
rity of fools shall destroy them ; i. e. it shall be the means and in- 
strument of heating and heightening their lusts, and thereby fitting 
them for destruction ; their prosperity is food and fuel to their cor- 
ruptions. Many wicked men had not been so soon ripe for hell, had 
they not grown in the sunshine of prosperity. 

4. Fatted beasts do not in the least understand the intent and 
meaning of the husbandman, in allowing them such large and fat pas- 
tures, which he denies to his other cattle; and as little as beasts do 
wicked men understand the scope and end of God's providences, in 
casting prosperity and wealth upon them; little do they think their 
tables are a snare, a gin, and a trap for their souls; they only, like 
beasts, mind what is before them, but do not at all understand the 
tendency and end of these their sensual delights. 

5. Though the husbandman keeps his store-cattle in short com- 
mons, yet he intends to preserve them : these shall remain with him, 
when the others are driven to the slaughter. 

Such a design of preservation is carried on in all those outward 
straits, wants, and hardships which the Lord exposes his people to. 
I confess, such dispensations, for the present, are very stumbling and 
puzzling things, even to gracious and wise persons. To see wicked 
men, not onlv exempted from tlieir troubles, but even oppressed 
with prosperity : to see a godly man in wants and straits, and a 
wicked man have more than his heart can wish, is a case that poses 
the wisest Christian, till he considers the designs and issues of both 
those providences, and then he acquiesces in the wisdom of God so 
ordering it, Psal. Ixxiii. 5, 14, IS, 23. 


1. Doth my prosperity fat me up for hell, and prepare me for 
the day of slaughter.^ Little cause have I then 

to glory in it, and lift up my heart upon these A reflection for a 
tiiings.'^ Indeed, God hath given (I cannot say voluptuous worldling. 
blessed me with) a fulness of creature-enjoy- 
ments ; upon these my carnal heart seizeth greedily and securely, 
not at all suspecting a snare lying in these things for the ruin of my 
soul. What are all these charming pleasures, but so many rattles to 
quiet my soul, whilst its'damnation steals insensibly upon it 'i What 
are all my businesses and employments in the world, but so many 
diversions from the business of life ? There are but two differences 
betwixt me and the poorest slave the devil hath on earth ; such are 
whipped on to hell by outward miseries, and I am coached to hell in 
a little more pomp and honour ; these will have a less, and 1 a great- 
er account in the day of reckoning. O that I had never known pros- 
perity ! I am now tumbling in a green pasture, and shortly sliall be 
hanging up in* the shambles of hell : if this be the best fruit of my 


prosperity, if I were taken captive by cruel cannibals, and fed with 
the richest fare, but withal understood, that the design of it were to 
fat me up like a beast for them to feed upon, how little stomach should 
I have to their dainties ! O my soul ! it were much better for thee 
to have a sanctified poverty, which is the portion of many saints, 
than an ensnaring prosperity, set as a trap to ruin thee for ever. 

2. The wisdom of my God hath allotted me j {i f /* . 
but short commons here ; his providence feeds rej ec lonjoi 

me, but from hand to mouth ; but 1 am, and ^ 
well may be, contented with my present state ; that which sweetens 
it is, that I am one of the Lord's preserved. How much better is a 
morsel of bread and a draught of water here, with an expectancy of 
glory hereafter, than a fat pasture given in, and a fitting for the 
wrath to come ? AVell, since the case stands thus, blessed be God 
for my present lot ! Though I have but a little in hand, I have much 
in hope ; my present troubles will serve to sweeten my future joys ; 
and the sorrows of this life will give a lustre to the glory of the next : 
that which is now hard to suffer, will then be sweet to remember ; 
my songs will then be louder than my groans now are. 


X HOSE beasts which for the shambles are designed, 
In fragrant flowVy meadows you shall find. 
Where they abound with rich and plenteous fare, 
Whilst others graze in commons thin and bare : 
Those live a short and pleasant life, but these 
Protract their lives in dry and shorter leas. 
Thus live the wicked ; thus they do abound 
With earthly glory, and with honour crown'd. 
Their lofty heads unto the stars aspire, 
And radiant beams their shining brows attire. 
The fattest portion''s serv'd up in their dish ; 
Yea, they have more than their own hearts can wish. 
Dissolv^l in pleasures, crowned with buds of May ; 
They, for a time, in these fat pastures play. 
Frisk, dance and leap, like fulKfed beasts; and even 
Turn up their wanton heels against the heaven ; 
Not understanding that this pleasant life, 
Servers but to fit them for the butcher's knife. 
In fragrant meads they tumbling are to-day, 
To-morrow to the slaughter led away. 
Their pleasure's gone, and vanish like a bubble. 
Which makes their future torments on them double. 
Meanwhile God's little flock is poor and lean, 
Because the Lord did ne'er intend or mean 
This for their portion ; and besides doth know 
Their souls prQve best^ where shortest grass doth grow. 


Cheer up, poor flock, although your fare be thui, 
Yet here is something to take comfort in : 
You here securely feed, and need not fear, 
Th' infernal butcher can't approach you here. 
'Tis somewhat that ; but, oh ! which far transcends. 
Your glorious shepherd's coming, who intends 
To lead you hence unto that fragrant hill, 
Where, with green pastures, he his flocks will fill ; 
Or which he from celestial casements pours 
The sweetest dews, and constant gracious show'rs ; 
Along whose banks rivers of pleasures glide. 
There his bless'd flocks for ever shall abide, 
O envy not the Avorldlings present joys. 
Which to your future mercies are but toys, 
Their pasture now is green, your's dry and burn'd. 
But then the scene is changed, the tables turn'd. 


Upon the Husbandman's Care for Posterity. 

Good husbands labour Jbr 'posterity ; 
To after-ages saints must have aji eye. 


Jl ROVIDENT and careful husbandmen do not only labour to 
supply their own necessities, while living, but lay up something for 
their posterity when they are gone : they do not only leave to their 
children what their progenitors left them, but they desire to leave it 
improved and bettered. None but bad husbands and spend-thrifts 
are of the mind with that heathen emperor Tiberius, who having 
put all into such confusions in the empire, that it might be thought 
the world would end M^ith him ; yet pleased liimself with this appre- 
hension, That he should be out of the reach of it ; and would often 
say. When I am dead, let heaven and eartli mingle ; if the world 
will but hold my time, let it break when I am gone. But provi- 
dent men look beyond their own time, and do very much concern 
themselves in the good or evil of their posterity. 


T T HAT careful husbands do, with respect to the provisions they 
make for their children, that all prudent Christians are bound to 
do, with respect to the truths committed to them, and by them to 
be transmitted to succeeding saints. 

In the first ages of the world, even till the law was given, faithful 
men were instead of books and records ; they did, by oral tradition, 


convey the truths of God to posterity : but since the sacred trutli hath 
been consigned to writing, no such tradition (except fully consentient 
with that written word) is to be received as authentic ; but the truths 
therein delivered to the saints, ai'e, by verbal declarations, open can- 
Jess'ions, and constant suffcrhigs, to be preserved and delivered from 
age to age. This was the constant care of the whole cloud of witnesses, 
both ancient and modern, who have kept the word of God's patience, 
and would not accept their own lives, liberties, or estates, no, nor 
the whole world in exchange for that invaluable treasure of truth : 
they have carefully practised Solomon's counsel, Prov. xxiii. 23. 
" Buy the truth, but sell it not ;" they would not alienate that fair 
inheritance for all the inheritances on earth. Upon the same reasons 
that you refuse to part with, or imbezzle your estates, Christians also 
refuse to part vAth the truth of God. 

1. You will not waste or alienate your inheritance, because it is 
precious, and of great value in your eyes ; but much more precious 
are God's truths to his people. Luther professed, he would not take 
the whole tvorld for one leaf of his Bible. Though some profane 
persons may say with Pilate, What is truth ? Yet know, that any one 
truth of the gospel is more worth than all the inheritances upon 
earth ; they are the great things of God's law ; and he that sells them 
for the greatest things in this world, makes a soul-undoing bargain. 

2. You will not waste or part with your inheritance, because you 
Tvnow your posterity will be much wTonged by it. They that daffle 
or drink away an estate, drink the tears of their sad widows, and the 
very blood of their impoverished children. The people of God do 
also consider, how much the generations to come are concerned in 
the conservation of the truths of God for them : It cuts them to the 
heart, but to think that their children should be brought up to 
worship dumb idols, and fall down before a wooden and breadenGod. 
The very birds and beasts will expose their own bodies to apparent 
danger of death to preserve their young. Religion doth much more 
tender the hearts and bowels than nature doth. 

8. You reckon it a foul disgrace to sell your estates, and become 
bankrupts ; it is a word that bears ill among you : and a Christian 
accounts it the highest reproach in the world, to be a traitor to, or 
an apostate from the truths of God. When the primitive saints 
were strictly required to deliver up their Bibles, those that did so, 
were justly branded, and hissed out of their company, under the 
odious title of traditores, or deliverers. 

4. You are so loth to part with your estates, because you know it is 
hard recovering an estate again when once you have lost it. Chris^ 
tians do also know how difficult it will be for the people of God, in 
times to come, to recover the light of the gospel again, if once it be 
extinguished. There is no truth of God recovered out of Anti^ 
Christ's hands, without great vrrestlings and much blood. The 
church may call eyery point of reformed doctrine and discipline so 


recovered, her Naphtalies ; for with great wresthngs slie hath wrest- 
led for them ; " earnestly contending for the faith once dehvered to 
" them," Jude 3. 

5. To conclude; rather than you will part with your estates, you 
will choose to suffer many wants and hardships all your lives ; you 
will fare hard, and go bare, to preserve what you have for your 
posterity : but the people of God have put themselves upon far 
greater hardships tlian these to preserve truth ? they have chosen 
to suffer reproaches, poverty, prisons, death, and the most cruel 
torments, rather than the loss of God's truth, all the martyrologies 
will inform you v/hat their sufferings have been, to keep the word 
of God's patience ; tliey have boldly told their enemies, that they 
might pluck their hearts out of their bodies, but should never pluck 
the truth out of their hearts. 


1. Base unbelieving heart ! How have I flinched and sunk from 
A fi a' /• truth, when it hath been in danger ? I have rather 

A rejievtionjor ^^^^^^^ ^^ j^^^^.g \^ ^^^^ ^^ jifv.^ liberty, or estate, as 
cowarcUy and ^ ^^ ^^^ ^,x^^m^\ I'have left truth, and just 

professors. ^^.j|^, ^^^^1 , ^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^,^^^^ ^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ 

truth : vca, rather bold and daring soul ! that would rather venture 
to look a wrathful God, than an angry man in the face. T would not 
own and preserve the truth, and the God of truth will not own me ; 
2 Tiin. ii. 12. " If we deny him, he will deny us.'' 

2. Lord ! unto me hast thou committed the precious treasure and 

trust of truth ; and as I received it, so do I 
A rejiect'ion for such desire to dehver it to the generations to come, 
as suffer for truth. that the people which are yet unborn may 

praise the Lord. God forbid I should ever 
part with such a fair inheritance, and thereby beggar my own, and 
thousands of souls ! Thou hast given me thy truth, and the world 
hates me ; I well know that it is the ground of the quarrel. Would 
I but throw truth over the walls, how soon would a retreat be sounded 
to all persecutors.? But, Lord, thy trudi is invaluably precious. 
What a vile thing is my blood, compared widi the least of all thy 
truths ? Thou hast charged me not to sell it; and, in thy strength, 
I resolve never to pass a fine, and cut off that golden line whereby 
thy truths are entailed upon diy people from generation to genera- 
tion : my friends may go, my liberty may go, my blood may go ; 
but as for thee, precious truth, thou shalt never go. 

3. How dear hath this inheritance of truth cost some Christians ? 

How^ little hath it cost us ? We are entered into 
A rcflectwnfor such their labours ; w^e reap in peace what they sowed 
as are in quiet pos- in tears, yea, in blood. O the grievous suffer- 
session of truth. ings that they chose to endure ! Rather than to 

deprive us of such an inheritance, those noble 


souls, heated with the love of Christ, and care for our souls, made 
many bold and brave adventures for it ; and yet at what a low rate 
do we value what cost them so dear? Like young heirs that never 
knew the gettino- of an estate, we spend it freely. Lord, help us 
thankfully and diligently to improve thy truths, while we are in 
quiet j)ossGssion of them. Such intervals of jxace and rest are 
usually of no long continuance with thy people. 


j\_ PUBLIC spirit scorns to plant no root 

But such from which himself may gather fruit. 

For thus he reasons, If I reap the gains 

Of laborious predecessors pains, 

How equal is it, that posterity 

Should reap the fruits of present industry ? 

Should every age but serve its turn, and take 

No thought for future times, it soon will make 

A bankrupt world, and so entail a curse 

From age to age, as it grows worse and wor^ie. 

Our Christian predecessors careful thus 

Have been to leave an heritage to us. 

Christ's precious truth conserved in their blood, 

For no less price those truths our fathers stood. 

They have transmitted, would not alienate 

From us, their children, such a fair estate. 

We eat what they did set : and shall truth fall 

In our days ? Shall we cut off th' entail, 

Or end the line of honour ? Nay, what's worse. 

Give future ages cause to hate, and curse 

Our memories? Like Naboth, may this age 

Part with their blood sooner than heritage. 

Let pity move us, let us think upon 

Our children's souls, when we are dead and gone : 

Shall they, poor souls, in darkness grope, when we 

Put out the light, by which they else might see 

The way to glory? Yea, what's worse, shall it 

Be said in time to come, Christ did commit 

A precious treasure, purchased by his yood, 

To us, for ours, and for our children's good I 

But we, like cowards, false, perfidious men, 

For carnal ease, lost it, ourselves, and them. 

let us leave, to after ages, more 

Than we receiv'd from all that went Ijcfore ! 

1 hat those to come may bless the Lord, and keep 
Our names alive, when we in dust .shall sleep. 



Upon the Husbandman's care to prove and preserve his Deeds. 

Deeds for our lands you prove, and heep 'with care ; 
O that for heaven you but as careful were I 


T ? E generally find men are not more careful in trying gold, or 
in keeping it, than they are in examining their deeds, and preserving 
them ; these are virtually their whole estate, and therefore it con- 
cerns them to be careful of them : if they suspect a flaw in their lease 
or deed, they repair to the ablest council, submit it to his judgment, 
make the worst of their cause, and query about all the supposable 
danger with him. If he tell them their case is suspicious and ha- 
zardous, how much are they perplexed and troubled .? They can 
neither eat, drink, nor sleep in peace, till they have a good settle- 
ment ; and willing they are to be at much cost and pains to obtain it. 


X HESE cares and fears with which you are perplexed in such 
cases, may give you a little glimpse of those troubles of soul, with 
which the people of God are perplexed about their eternal condition ; 
which, perhaps you have been hitherto unacquainted with, and there- 
fore slighted them, as fancies and whimsies : I say, your own fears 
and troubles, if ever you were engaged by a cunning and powerful 
adversary in a la vv -suit for your estate, may give you a little glimpse 
of spiritual troubles ; and indeed it is no more but a glimpse of 
them : for, as the loss of an earthly, though fair inheritance, is but 
a trifle to the loss of God and the soul to eternity ; so you cannot 
but imagine, that the cares, fears, and solicitudes of souls about 
these things, are much, very much, beyond yours. Let us compare 
the cases, and see how they answer to each other. 

1. You have evidences for your estate, and by them you hold 
what you have in the world : Thev also have evidences for their 
estate in Christ, and glory to come ; they hold all in capitc, by vir- 
tue of their intermarriage witli Jesus Christ; they come to be insta- 
ted in that glorious inheritance contained in the covenant of grace. 
You have their tenure in that scripture, 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. " All is 
*^ yours, for ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's."" Faith unites 
them to him, and after they believe, they are sealed by the Spirit 
of promise, Eph. i. 13. They can lay claim to no promise upon 
any otlier ground ; this is their title to all that they own as theirs. 

2. It often falls out, that after the seahng and executing of your 
deeds, or leases, an adversary finds some dubious clause in them, and 
thereupon commences a suit at law with you. Thus it frequently 


falls out with the people of God, who after their believing and sealing 
time, have doubts and scruples raised in them about their title. No- 
thing is more common, than for the devil, and their own unbelief, to 
start controversies, and raise strong objections against their interest in 
Christ, and the covenant of promises. These are cunning and potent 
adversaries, and do maintain long debates with the gracious soul, and 
reason so cunningly and sophistically with it, that it can by no means 
extricate and satisfy itself; always alleging, that their title is worth 
nothing, which they, }X)or souls, are but too apt to suspect. 

3. All the while that a suit of law is depending about your title, 
you have but little comfort or benefit from your estate ; you cannot 
look upon it as your own, nor lay out monies in building or dressino* 
for fear you should lose all at last. Just thus stands the case with 
doubting Christians ; they have little comfort from the most comfort- 
able promises, httle benefit from the sweetest duties and ordinances : 
They put off their own comforts, and say, if we were sure that all 
this were ours, we would then rejoice in them. But, alas ! our title 
is dubious: Christ is a precious Christ; the promises are comfort- 
able things ; but what, if they be none of ours ? Ah ! how little doth 
the doubting Christian make of his large and rich inheritance ? 

4. You dare not trust your own judgments in such cases, but state 
your case to such as are learned in the laws, and are willing to get 
the ablest counsel you can to advise you. So are poor doubting Chris- 
tians ; they carry their cases from Christian to Christian, and from 
minister to minister, with such requests as these : Pray tell me, what 
do you think of my condition .'' Deal plainljr and faithfully with me ; 
these be my grounds of doubting, and these my grounds of hope. 
O hide nothing from me ! And if they all agree that the case is 
good, yet they cannot be satisfied till God say so too, and confirm 
the word of his servants ; and therefore they carry the case often 
l>efore him in such words as those. Psalm cxxxix. 23, Si. " Search 
"' me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thouohts, 
*' and see if there be any wicked way in me." 

5. You have little quiet in your spirits, till the case be resolved ; 
your meat and drink doth you little good ; you cannot sleep in the 
night, because these troubled thoughts are ever returning upon you ; 
what if I should be turned out of all at last ? So it is with gracious 
soiils ; their eyes are held waking in the night, by reason of the 
troubles of their hearts. Psalm Ixxvii. 4. Such fears as these are 
frequently returning upon their hearts, what if I should be found a 
self-deceiver at last? What if I but hug a phantasm instead of 
Christ ? How can this, or that, consist with grace ? Their meat and 
drink doth them little good ; their bodies are often macerated by 
the troubles of their souls. 

6. You will not make the best of your condition, when you state 
your case to a faithful counsellor ; neither will thev, but oftentimes 

Vol. V. M 


(poor pensive souls) they make it much worse than indeed it is : 
charge themselves with that which God never charged them with ; 
though this be neither their wisdom, nor their duty ; but the fears 
of miscarrying make them suspect fraud in all they do or have. 

7. Lastly, When your title is cleared, your hearts are eased; yea, 
not only eased, but overjoyed ; though not in that degree, nor with 
the same kind of joy with which the hearts of Christians are over- 
flowed, when the Lord speaks peace to their souls. O welcome the 
sweet morning light, after a tedious night of darkness ! now they 
can eat tjieir, bread with comfort, ancj drink their wine, yea, if it be 
but water, with a merry heart, Ecclfes. ix. 7. 


The careless souVs 1. O how hath my spirit been tossed and hur- 
reflecfion. ried, when I have met with troubles and clamours 

about my estate ! But as for spiritual troubles, 
and those soul-perplexing cases, that Clu'istians speak of, I under- 
stand but little of them. I never called my everlasting state in 
question, nor broke an hour's sleep upon any such account. Ah, 
my supine and careless soul ! little hast thou regarded how matters 
stand in reference to eternity ! I have strongly conceited, but never 
thoroughly examined the validity of my title to Christ, and his pro- 
mises ; nor am I able to tell, if my own conscience should demand, 
whereupon my claim is grounded. 

O my soul! why art thou so unwilling to examine how matters 
stand betwixt God and thee ? Art thou afraid to look into thy con- 
dition, lest by finding thine hypocrisy, thou shouldst lose thy peace, 
or rather, thy security ? To what purpose will it be to shut thine 
eves against tlie light of conviction, unless thou couldst also find out 
a way to prevent thy condemnation ? Thou seest other souls, how 
attentively they wait under the word, for any thing that may speak 
to their condition. Doubtless thou hast heard, how frequently and 
seriously they have stated their condition, and opened their cases to 
the ministers of Christ. But thou, O my soul ! hast no such cases 
to put, no doubts to be resolved ; thou wilt leave all to the decision 
of the great day, and not trouble thyself about it now. Well, God 
will decide it ; but little to thy comfort. 

-„,,,.. -- 2. I have heard how some have been perplex- 

Tke douotin£r soiUs ii v.- • ^ ■ 1 4. T 1 r 

. 45 ed by litigious adversaries ; but I believe none 

re/tec i . have been so tost with fears, and distracted with 

doubts, as I have been about the state of my soul. Lord, what shall 
I do? I have ofteh carried my doubts and scruples to thine ordinances, 
waiting for satisfaction to be spoken there. I have carried them to 
those I have judged skilful and faithful, begging their resolution and 
help, but nothing will stick. Still my fears are daily renewed. O 
mv God, do thou decide my case ! tell me how the state stands be- 
twixt thee and me j my days consume in trouble, I can neither do nor 


enioy any good, whilst things are thus with me ; all my earthly en- 
joyments are dry and uncomfortable things ; yea, which is much 
worse, all my duties and thine ordinances, prove so too, by reason 
of the troubles of my heart : I am no ornament to my profession ; 
nay, I am a discouragement and stumbling-block to others. " I 
" will hearken and hear what God the Lord will speak :" O that it 
might be peace ! If thou do not speak it, none can ; and when thou 
dost, keep thy servant from returning again to folly, lest I make 
fresh work for an accusing conscience, and give new matter to the 
adversary of my soul. 

3. But thou, my soul, enjoyest a double mercy from The assured 
thy bountiful God, who hath not only given thee a Christian's 
sound title, but also the clear evidence and knowledge reflection. 
thereof. I am gathering, and daily feeding upon the 
full-ripe fruits of assurance, which grow upon the top boughs of 
faith; whilst many of my poor brethren drink their own tears, and 
Jiave their teeth broken with gravel stones. Lord, thou hast set my 
soul upon her high-places ; but let me not exalt myself, because thou 
hast exalted me, nor grow wanton, because I walk at liberty ; lest 
for the abuse of such precious liberty, thou clap my old chains upon 
me, and shut up my soul again in prison. 


ItXEN can't be quiet till they be assured 

That their estate is good, and well secured. 

To able counsel they theii* deeds submit, 

Intreating them with care t"* examine it : 

Fearing some clause an enemy may wrest. 

Or find a flaw ; whereby he may divest 

Them and their children. O who can but see 

How wise men in their generation be ! 
But do they equal cares and fears express 
About their everlasting happiness ? 
In spiritual things 'twould grieve one's heart to see 
AVhat careless fools these careful men can be. 
They act like men of common sense bereaven ; 
Secure their lands, and they'll trust God for heaven. 
How maiiy cases have you to submit 
To lawyers' judgments ? Ministers may sit 
From week to week, and yet not see the face 
Of one that brings a soul-concerning case. 
Yea, which is worse, how seldom do you cry 
To God for counsel ? Or beg him to try 
Your hearts, and strictest inquisition make 
Into your estate, discover your mistake ? 

O stupid souls ! clouded with ignorance, 

Is Christ and heaven no fair inheritance, 



Compar'd vvith yours ? Or is eternity 

A shorter term than yours, that you should ply 

The one so close, and totally neglect 

The other, as not worth your least respect. 

Perhaps the devil, whose plot from you's concealed. 

Persuades your title's good, and firmly seaM 

By God's own Spirit ; though you never found, 

One act of saving grace to lay a ground 

For that persuasion. Soul, he hath thee fast, 

Tho' he"]l not let thee know it till the last. 

Lord, waken sinners, make them understand, 

'Twixt thee and them, how rawlv matters stand : 

Give them no quiet rest until they see 

Their souls securd better than lands can be. 

Occasional Meditations upon Birds, Beasts, Tree?, 
Flowers, Rivers, and other Objects. 



• Upon the singing of a Ntgliting&le. 

V ▼ HO that hears such various, ravishing, and exquisite melody, 
would imagine the bird that makes it, to be of so small and con- 
temptible a body and feather? Her charming voice engaged not 
only mine attentive ear, but my feet also to make a nearer approach 
to that shadv bush in which that excellent musician sat veiled ; and 
the nearer I came, the sweeter the melody still seemed to be ; but 
when I had descried the bird herself, and found her to be little 
bigger, and no better feathered than a sparrow, it gave my thoughts 
the occasion of this following application. 

This bird seems to me the lively emblem of the formal hypocrite ; 
(1.) In that she is more in sound than substance, a loud and excellent 
voice, but a little despicable body ; and it recalled to my thoughts the 
story of Plutarch, who hearing a nightingale, desired to have one kill- 
ed to feed upon, not questioning but she would please the palate as 
well as the ear : but when the nightingale was brought him, and he 
saw what a poor little creature it was, Truly, said he, thou art vox et 
prceterea nihil, — a mere voice, and nothing else ; so is the hypocrite : 
did a man hear him sometimes in more public duties and discourses, 
O, thinks he, what an excellent man is this ! what a choice and rare 
spirit is he of! but follow him home, observe him in. his private con- 
versation and retirements, and then you will judge Plutarch's note as 

applicable to him as the nightingale. (2.) This bird is observ^ed to 


chann most sweetly, and set her spirits all on work, when she per- 
ceives she hath engaged atttention ; so doth the hypocrite, who hves 
and feeds upon the applause and commendation of his admirers, and 
cares little for any of those duties which bring in no returns of 
praise from men : he is little pleased with a silent melody and pri- 
vate pleasure betwixt God and his own soul. 

SciJ-e tuum nihil est nisi te scij-e hoc sciat alter. 

Alas ! his knowledge is not worth a pin, 
If he proclaims not what he hath within. 
He is more for the theatre than the closet ; and of such Christ saith, 
" Verily they have their reward." (3.) Naturalists observe the nigh- 
tingale to be an ambitious bird that cannot endure to be outvied by 
any : she will rather chuse to die than be excelled ; a notable in- 
stance whereof we have in the following pleasant poem, translated 
out of Starda, concerning the nightingale and a lutanist. 

Now the declinino; sun did downward bend 
From higher heavens, and from his looks did send 
A milder flame, when near to Tyber's flow, 
A lutanist allay'd his careful woe 
With soltmding charms ; and in a greeny seat. 
Of shady oak, took shelter from the heat ; 
A nightingale overheard him, that did use 
To sojourn in the neighbour groves, the muse 
That fiird the place, the syren of the wood 
(Poor harmless syren !) stealing near, she stood 
Close lurking in the leaves attentively 
Recording that unwonted melody : 
She conn'd it to herself; and evVy strain 
His fingers play'd her throat returned again, 
The lutanist perceived an answer sent 
From th' imitating bird, and was content 
To shew her play more fully : then in haste 
He tries his lute, and giving her a taste 
Of the ensuing quarrel, nimbly beats 
On all his strings : as nimbly she repeats ; 
And wildly raging o''er a thousand keys, 
Sounds a shrill warning of her after-lays : 
With rolling hand the lutanist then plies 
The trembling threads, sometimes in scornful wise 
He brushes down the strings, and strikes them all 
With one even stroke, then takes them several, 
And culls them o'er again ; his sparkling joints 
With busy discant mincing on the points. 
Reach back again with nimble touch, then stays : 
The bird rephes, and art with art repays. 

M 3 


Sometimes as one unexpert, and in doubt. 
How she might weild her voice, she draweth out 
Her tone at large, and doth at first prepare 
A solemn strain, nor wear'd with winding air. 
But with an equal pitch, and constant throat, 
Makes clear the passage for her gliding note ; 
Then cross division diversly she plays. 
And loudly chanting out her quickest lays, 
Poises the sound, and, with a quivering voice, 
Falls back again. He wondering how so choice. 
So various harmony could issue out 
From such a little throat, doth go about 
Some harder lessons, and with wondVous art, 
Changing the strings, doth up the treble dart, 
And downward smite the base, with painful stroke 
He beats ; and as the trumpet doth provoke 
Sluggaixls to fight, ev'n so his wanton skill 
With mingled discord joins the hoarse and shrill. 
The bird this also tunes : and whilst she cuts 
Sharp notes with melting voice, and mingled puts 
Measures of middle sound, then suddenly ♦ 
She thunders deep, and jugs it inwardly 
With gentle murmur, clear and dull she sings 
By course, as when the martial warning rings. 
Believ't the minstrel blusht, with angry mood : 
Inflam'd (quoth he) thou chantress of the wood. 
Either from thee I'll bear the prize away. 
Or vanquished break my lute without delay. 
Inimitable accents then he strains. 
His hands flies on the strings ; in one he chains 
Far different numbers, chasing here and there. 
And all the strings he labours every where ? 
Both flat and sharp he strikes, and stately grows 
To prouder strains, and backward as he goes 
Doubly divides, and closing up his lays 
Like a full choir, a shiv'ring consort plays : 
Then pausing, stood in expectation 
Of his co-rival, nor durst answer on. 
But she, when practice long her throat had whet, 
Enduring not to yield, at once doth set 
Her spirits all to work, and all in vain ; 
For whilst she labours to express again, 
With nature's simple voice, such divers keys. 
With slender pipes such lofty notes as these. 
O'ermatch'd with high designs, ov'ermatch'd with woe ; 
Just at the last encounter of her foe, 


She faints, she dies, falls on his instrument 
That conquerVl her ! a fitting monument, 
How far ev'n little souls are driven on, 
Struck with a virtuous emulation. 

And even as far are hypocrites driven on by their ambition and 
pride, which is the spur that provokes them in their religious duties. 


Upon the Sight of many small Birds chirping about a dead Hawlc. 

jHeARING a whole choir of birds chirping and twinkling toge- 
ther, it engaged my curiosity a little to enquire into the occasion of 
that convocation, which mine eye quickly informed me of; fori per- 
ceived a dead hawk in the bush, about which they made such a noise, 
seeming to triumph at the death of their enemy ; and I could not 
blame them to sing his knell, who, like a Cannibal, w-as wont to feed 
upon their living bodies, tearing them limb from limb, and scaring 
them with his frightful appearance. This bird, which living was so 
formidable, being dead, the poorest wren or titmouse fears not to 
chirp, or hop over. This brings to my thoughts the base and igno- 
ble ends of the greatest tyrants, and greedy ingrossers of the world, 
of whom, (whilst living) men were more afraid, than birds of a hawk, 
but dead, became objects of contempt and scorn. The death of such 
tyrants is both inglorious and unlamented : " When the wicked 
*' perish, there is shouting," Prov. xi. 10. Which was exemplified 
to the life, at the death of Nero, of whom the poet thus sings ; 

Cum mors crudelem rapuisset sasva Neronem^ 
Credibile est multos Romaon agitasse jocos. 

When cruel Nero dy'd th' historian tells. 

How Rome did mourn with bonfires, plays, and bells. 

Remarkable for contempt and shame have the ends of many bloody 
tyrants been. So Pompey the Great, of whom Claudian the poet sings, 

Nudus pascit aves^jacetne qui possidet orbem 
Exiguce telluris inops 

Birds eat his flesh. Lo, now he cannot have 
Who ruPd the world, a space to make a grave. 

The like is storied of Alexander the Great, who lay unburied 
thirty days ; and William the Conqueror, with many other such 
birds of prey : whilst a l)eneficial and holy life is usually closed up 
in an honourable and much lamented death. 

For mine own part, I wish 1 may so order my conversation in the 



^vorld, that I may live, when I am dead, in the affections of the best, 
and leave an honourable testimony in the consciences of the worst ; 
that I may oppress none, do good to all, and say when I die, as good 
Ambrose did, — I am neither ashamed to live, nor afraid to die. 


Upon the Sight of a Blacl'bird taVmg Sanctuary hi a Bush from a 

pursuing Hazek. 

HEN I saw how hardly the poor bird was put to it to save her- 
self from her enemy, who hovered just over the bush in which she 
was fluttering and squeaking, I could not but hasten to relieve her, 
(pity and succour being a due debt to the distressed ;) which, when 
I had done, the bird would not depart from the bush, though her 
enemy were gone ; this act of kindness was abundantly repaid by 
this meditation, with which I returned to my walk : my soul, like 
this bird, was once distressed, pursued, yea, seized by Satan, who 
had certainly made a prey of it, had not Jesus Christ been a sanctuary 
to it in that hour of danger. How readily did I find him to receive 
my poor soul into his protection ? Then did he make good that 
sweet promise to my experience, Those that come unto me I will in 
no wise cast out. It called to mind that pretty and pertinent story 
of the philosopher, who walking in the fields, a bird, pursued by a 
hawk, flew into his bosom ; he took her out, and said, ' Poor bird, 
' I will neither wrong thee, nor expose thee to thine enemy, since 
' thou camest to me for refuge.' So tender, and more than so, is 
the Lord Jesus to distressed souls that come unto him. Blessed 
Jesus ! how should I love and praise thee, glorify and admire thee, 
for that great salvation thou hast wTought for me ? If this bird had 
fallen into the claws of her enemy, she had been torn to pieces in- 
deed, and devoured, but then a few minutes had dispatched her ; 
and ended all her pain and misery : but had my soul fallen into the 
hands of Satan, there had been no end of its misery. 

Would not this scared bird be flushed out of the bush that secured 
her, though I had chased away her enemy ? And wilt thou, O my 
soul, ever be enticed or scared from Christ thy refuge ? O let this for 
eyer engage thee to keep close to Christ, and make me say, with 
Ezra, ** And now, O Lord, since thou hast given me such a de- 
" hverance as this, should I again break thy commandments !" 


Upon, the sight of divers goldfinches intermingling with a flock of 


-ETHINKS these birds do fitly resemble the gaudy courtiers, 
and the plain peasants; how spruce and richly adorned with 


sliinin"" and various coloured feathers (like scarlet, richly laid with 
gold and silver lace) are those ? How plainly clad, in a home-spun 
country russet are these ? Fine feathers (saith our proverb) make 
ijroud birds ; and yet the feathers of the sparrow are as useful and 
beneficial, both for warmth and flight, though not so gay and orna- 
mental, as the others ; and if both were stript out of their feathers, 
the sparrow would prove the better bird of the two : by which 1 see, 
that the greatest worth doth not always lie under the finest clothes : 
And besides, God can make mean and homely garments as useful 
and beneficial to poor and despised Christians, as the ruffling and shin- 
ing garments of wanton gallants are to them : and when God shall 
strip men out of all external excellencies, these will be found to ex- 
cel their glittering neighbours in true worth and excellency. 

Little would a man think such rich treasures of grace, wisdom, 
humility, lay under some russet coats. 

Scepe sub attrita latitat sapientia veste. 

Under poor garments more true worth may be 
Than under silks that whistle, who but he. 

Whilst, on the other side, " the heart of the wicked (as Solom6k 
•' hath observed) is little worth," how much soever his clothes be 
worth. Alas ! it falls out too frequently among us, as it doth with 
men in the Indies, who walk over the rich veins of gold and ore, 
which lie hid under a ragged and barren surface, and know it not. 
For my own part, I desire not to value any man by what is extrinsi- 
cal and worldly, but by that true internal excellency of grace, 
which makes the face to shine in the eyes of God and good men : I 
would contemn a vile person, though never so glorious in the eye 
of the world ; but honour such as fear the Lord, how sordid and 
despicable soever to appearance. 


Upon the sight of a Robin-red-breast picking up a Wormjrom a 

mole-hill, then rising, 

vJ^BSERVING the mole working industriously beneath, and the 
bird watching so intently above, I made a stand to observe the issue ; 
when in a little time the bird descends, and seizes upon a Worm, 
which I perceived was crawling apace from the enemy below that 
hunted her, but fell to the share of another which from above wait- 
ed for her. My thoughts presently suggested the meditations 
from that occasion : methought this poor worm seemed to be the em- 
blem of my poor soul, which is more endangered by its own lusts of 
pride and covetousness, than this worm was by the mole and bird : 


my pride, like the aspiring bird, watches for it above ; my covetous* 
ness, like the subterranean mole, digging for it beneath. Poor soul I 
What a sad dilemma art thou brought to ? If thou go down into 
the caverns of this earth, there thou art a prey to thy covetousness 
that hunts thee ; and if thou aspire, or but creep upward, there thy 
pride waits to ensnare thee. Distressed soul ! whither wilt thou go ? 
Ascend thou mayest, not by vain elation, but by heavenly conver- 
sation, beside which there is no way for thy preservation ; " the way 
" of life is above to the wise,'' kc. 

Again, I could not but observe the accidental benefit this poor 
harmless bird obtained by the labour of the mole, who hunting in- 
tentionally for herself, unburroughed and ferreted out this worm 
for the bird, who, possibly, was hungry enough, and could not have 
been relieved for this time, but by the mole, the fruit of whose la- 
bour she now feeds upon. Even thus the Lord oft-times makes good 
his word to his people : " The wealth of the wicked is laid up for the 
" just." And again, " The earth shall help the woman." Tliis 
was fully exemplified in David, to whom Nabal, that churlish muck- 
worm, speaks all in possessives : " Shall I take my bread," &c. '' and 
'* give it to one I know nbt whom ?" And yet David reaps the fruits 
of all the pains and toils of Nabal at last. Let it never encourage me 
to idleness, that God sometimes gives his people the fruit of others 
sweat, but if providence reduce me to necessity, and disable me from 
helping myself, I doubt not then, but it will provide instruments to 
do it. The bird was an hungry, and could not dig. 


Upon the shooting of two Finches Jight'mg in the air. 

JlIoW soon hath death ended the quarrel betwixt these two lit- 
tle combatants ! had they agreed better, they might have lived 
longer ; it was their own contention that gave both the opportuni- 
ty and the provocation of their death ; and though living they could 
not, yet, being dead, they can lie quietly together in my hand. 

Foolish birds, was it not enough that birds of prey watched to de- 
vour them, but they must peck and scratch one another ? Thus have 
I seen the birds of paradise (saints I mean) tearing and wounding 
each other, like so many birds of prey, and by their unchristian con- 
tests giving the occasion of their common ruin ; yea, and that not 
only when at liberty, as these were, but when engaged also ; and yet, 
as one well observes, if ever Christians will agree, it will either be in 
a prison, or in heaven ; for in prison their quarrelsome lusts lie low, 
and in heaven they shall be utterly done away. 

But O what pity is it, that those who shall agree so perfectly in hea- 
ven, should bite and devour each other upon earth .? That it should be 
said of them, as one ingeniously observed, who saw their carcasses lie 


together, as if they had lovingly embraced each other, who fell to- 
gether by a duel : Quanta amicitia se inviccm amplectuntur^ qui 
mutua et implacabili inimicitia perierunt ! 

Embracing' one another^ now they lie. 
Who by each others bloody hands did die. 

Or, as he said, who observed how quietly and peaceably the dust 
and bones, even of enemies, did lie together in the grave ; Non tanta 
vivi pace conjuncti essetis ; you did not live together so peaceably. If 
conscience of Christ's command will not, yet the consideration of 
common safety should powerfully persuade to unity and amity. 


Upon the singing of a blind Jinch by night. 

A^ DEAR friend, who was a great obsei-ver of the works of God 
in nature, told me, that being entertained with a sight of many ra- 
rities at a friend's house in London ; among other things his friends 
shewed him o. finch, whose eyes being put out^ would frequently sing, 
even at midnight. This bird, in my opinion, is the lively emblem 
of such careless and unconcerned persons as the prophet describes, 
Amos vi. 4, 5, 6. who chant to the viol, when a dismal night of 
trouble and affliction hath overshadowed the church. You would 
have thought it strange to have heard this bird sing in the night, 
when all others are in a deep silence except the owl, an unclean bird, 
and the nightingale, which before we made the emblem of the hy- 
pocrite. And as strange it is, that any, except the profane and hy- 
pocritical, should so unseasonably express their mirth and jollity ; 
that any of Sion's children should live in pleasure, whilst she herself 
lies in tears. The people of God, in Psalm cxxxvii. tell us in what 
postures of sorrow they sat ; even like birds, with their heads under 
their wings, during the night of their captivity. " How shall we sing 
" the Lord's songs in a strange land .?"' It is like enough, such as can 
sing and chant in the night of the church's trouble, have well feather- 
ed their nests in the days of her prosperity ; however, let them know, 
that God will turn their unseasonable mirth into a sadder note ; and 
those that now sit sad and silent sliall shortly sing for joy of heart, 
when "the winter is past, the rain over and gone, the flowers appear 
" again upon the earth, and the time of the singing of birds is come." 


Upon the comparing of two Birds Nests. 

XT is pretty to observe the structure and commodiousness of the 
habitations of these little architects, who, though they act not by 


reason and counsel, but only by natural instinct, yet reason itself 
could hardly have contrived a neater building of such simple mate- 
rials. How neatly hath the thrush ceiled or plastered his nest, with 
admirable art and industry ! how warmly hath thejinch matted his ? 
And both well fenced against the injury of the weather. 

How comfortably hath nature provided convenient habitations for 
these weak and tender young ones, who have warm lodging, and 
variety of provisions hourly brought them, without their care or 
pains ? This trifling object suggests to my thoughts a more excellent 
and serious contemplation, even the wonderful and unparalleled 
abasement of Jesus Christ, who for my sake voluntarily submitted 
himself to a more destitute and neglected state, than these birds of 
the air : For Matth. viii. 20. he saith, " The foxes have holes, and 
*' the birds of the air have nests ; but the Son of man hath not 
^' where to lay his head." 

" The craggy rock to foxes holes afford, 
" The pleasant woods a resting-place to birds ; 
" For Chrisht no fixed habitation's found, 
" But what was borrowed, or the naked ground."*'* 
O melting consideration ! that the glorious Son of God, John i. 
14. " The Lord of glory,*" James ii. 1. " The brightness of hisFa- 
" ther's glory,'' Heb. i. 3. " Who was rich," 2 Cor. viii. 9. " and 
" thought it not robbery to be equal with God," Phil. ii. 6. who 
from all eternity was infinitely and ineffably " delighting and rejoic- 
" ing in the bosom of his Father," Prov. viii. 30. that he, I say, should 
manifest himself in flesh, 2 Tim. iii 16. yea, " in the likeness of sin- 
" ful flesh," Rom. viii. 3. that is, in flesh that had the marks and 
effects of sin upon it, as hunger, thirst, pain, weariness, and mortality, 
and not only so, but to chuse such a state of outward meanness and 
poverty, never being possessed of a house in this world ; but living as 
a stranger in other men's houses, and stooping in this respect to a 
lower condition than the very birds of the air, and all this for ene- 
mies. O let it work both admiration and thankfulness in my soul ! 
my body is better accommodated than the body of my Lord. " Dear 
*' Jesus ! by how much the viler thou madest thyself for me^ by so 
*' much the dearer shalt thou be to me."-f- 


Upon the early singing of birds. 

.OW am I reproved of sluggishness by these watchful birds! 
which cheerfully entertain the very dawning of the morning 

* Vulpibtis in sallu rupes excisa latebras 

Prcebet, et aereis avibus dat ailva quielem. 

Ast hominis Nato nullis succedere tectis 

Est licitum Heins. in loc. 

f Quanto pro me vilior, tanto mihi charior. Berc, 


with their cheerful and dehghtful warblings ! They set their httle 
spirits all a-work betimes, whilst my nobler spirits are bound with 
the bonds of soft and downy slumbers. For shame, my soul ! Suf- 
fer not that publican sleep to seize so much of thy time, yea, thy 
best and freshest time ! reprove and chide thy sluggish body, as a 
good bishop once did, when, upon the same occasion, he said, Sui^- 
rcxerunt passeres^ et stertnunt pontiflces. 

The early chirping sparrows may reprove 
Such lazy bishops as their beds do love. 

Of many sluggards it may be said, as TuUy said of Verres, the 
deputy of Sicily", Quod nunquam solem nee orientem, nee occidentem 
viderat : that he never saw the sun rising, being in bed after ; nor 
setting, being in bed before. 

It is pity that Christians of all men, should suffer sleep to cut such 
large thongs out of so narrow a hide as their time on earth is. But 
alas ! it is not so much early rising, as a wise improving those fresh and 
free hours with God that will enrich the soul ; else, as our proverb 
saith, A man may be early up^ and never the nearer ; yea, far better it 
is to be found in bed sleeping, than to be up doing nothing, or that 
which is worse than nothing. O my soul ! learn toprepossess thyself 
every morning with the thoughts of God, and suffer not those fresh 
and sweet operations of thy mind to be prostituted to earthly things; 
for that is experimentally true, which * one, in this case hath perti- 
nently observed, that if the world get the start of religion in the 
mornicg, it will be hard for religion to overtake it all the day after* 



Upon the haltering of Birds •with a grain of Hair. 

BSERVING, in a snowy season, hov/ the poor hungry birds 
were haltered and drawn in by a grain of hair cunningly cast over 
their heads, whilst, poor creatures, they were busily feeding, and 
suspected no danger ; and even whilst their companions were drawn 
away from them, one after another, all the interruption it gave the 
rest was only for a minute or two, whilst they stood peeping into that 
hole through which their companions were drawn, and then fell to 
their meat again as busily as before ; I could not chuse but say, 
' Even thus surprizingly doth death steal upon the children of men, 
' whilst they are wholly intent upon the cares and pleasures of this 
' life, not at ail suspecting its so near approach.' These birds saw 
not the hand that ensnared them, nor do they see the hand of death 
plucking them one after another into the grave. 

* Mr. Case, in Epist, to the Morn. Lect, 


" Death steps as swift, and yet no noise it makes ; 
" Its hand unseen, but yet most surely takes *." 

And even as the surviving birds for a httle time seemed to stand 
affrighted, peeping after their companions, and then as busy as ever 
to their meat again; just so it fares with the eareless, inconsiderate 
world, who see others daily dropping into eternity round about them, 
and for the present are a little startled, and will look into the grave 
after their neighbours, and then fall as busily to their earthly employ- 
ments and pleasures again, as ever, till their own turn comes. 

I know, my God, that I must die as well as others ; but O let me 
not die as others do, let me see death before I feel it, and conquer it 
before it kill me; let it not come as an enemy upon my back, but 
rather let me meet it as a friend, half way. Die I must, but let me 
lay up that good treasure before I go. Matt. vi. 19- Carry with me 
a good conscience when I go, 2 Tim. iv. 6, 7. and leave behind me 
a good example when 1 am gone, and then let death come, and wel- 

Meditations upon Beasts. 


Upon the clogging of a straying heast 

AD this bullock contented himself, and remained quietly within 
his own bounds, his owner had never put such an heavy clog upon 
his neck ; but I see the prudent husbandman chuses rather to keep 
him with this clog, than lose him for want of one. What this 
clog is to him, that is affliction and trouble to me ; had my soul kept 
close with God in liberty and prosperity, he would never thus have 
clogged me with adversity ; yea, and happy were it for me, if I 
might stray from God no more, who hath thus clogged me with 
preventive afflictions. If, with David I might sa}^, " Before I was 
" afflicted I went astray, but now I have kept thy word," Psalm 
cxix. 67. O my soul ! it is better for thee to have thy pride clogged 
with poverty, thy ambition with reproach, thy carnal expectancies 
with constant disappointments, than to be at liberty to run from 
God and duty. 

It is true, 1 am sometimes as weary of these troubles, as this poor 
beast is of the clog he draws after him, and often wish myself rid of 
them ; but yet, if God should take them off, for ought I know, I 
might have cause to wish them on again, to prevent a greater mis- 
chief It is storied of Basil, that for many years he was sorely afflicted 
with an inveterate head-ach, (that was his clog) he often prayed for 

* Omnibw ob?curas injecit ifla manus, Ovid» 


the removal of it ; at last God removed it, but instead thereof he 
was sorely exercised with the motions and temptations of lust, which 
when he perceived, he as earnestly desired his head-ach again, to 
prevent a greater evil. Lord ! if my corruptions may be prevented 
by my afflictions, I refuse not to be clogged with them ; but my 
soul rather desires thou wouldest hasten the time when I shall be 
for ever freed from them both. 


Upon the love of a Dog to Ids Master. 

JLiOW many a weary step, through mire and dirt, hath this poot 
dog followed my horse^s heels to day, and all this for a very poor 
reward ? for all he gets by it at night, is but bones and blows, yet 
will he not leave my company, but is content upon such hard terms, 
to travel with me from day to day. 

O my soul ! what conviction and shame may this leave upon thee, 
who art oftentimes even weary of following thy master, Christ, whose 
rewards and encouragements of obedience are so incomparably sweet 
and sure ! I cannot beat back this dog from following me, but every 
inconsiderable trouble is enough to discourage me in the way of my 
duty. Ready I am to resolve as that scribe did, Matth. viii. 19. 
" Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest ;" but how 
doth my heart faulter, when I must encounter with the difficulties of 
the way ? Oh ! let me make a whole heart-choice of Christ for my 
portion and happiness ! and then 1 shall never leave him, nor turn 
back from following him, though the present difficulties were much 
more, and the present encouragements much less. 


Upon the fighting of two Rams. 

AKING notice how furiously these sheep, ivhich by nature are 
mild and gentle, did yet, like bulls, push each other, taking their 
advantage by going back to meet with a greater rage and fury : 
methought I saw in this a plain emblem of the unchristian contests 
and animosities which fall out amongst them that call themselves 
the people of God, who are in scripture also stiled sheep, for their 
meekness and innocency ; and yet, through the remaining corrup- 
tions that are in them, thus do they push each other : as one long 
since complained, 

-non secus ac 

Cum duo conversis inimica inpraTia tauriy 
Frontibus inQurrunt i '■ ■ ■■■ ■■ ■ 


Shall Christians one another wound and push, 
like furious bulls, when they together rush ? 

The fighting of these sheep doth in two respects notably comport 
with the sinful practices of contending Christians, 1. That in this fight 
they engage with their heads one against another : aad what are they 
but those head-notions, or opposition of sciences falsely so called, that 
have made so many broils and uproars in the Chriitian world ? O f 
what clashings have tliese heady opinions caused in the churches ? 
First heads, and then hearts have clashed. Christians have not dis- 
tinguished betwixt adversarius litis, et fcrsonoe ; an adversary to 
the opinion, and to the perifon ; but dipt their tongues and pens in 
vinegar and gall, shamefully aspersing and reproaching one another, 
because their understandings were not cast into one mould, and their 
heads all of a bigness. But, 2. That which country-men observe 
from the fighting of sheep. That it presages foul and stormy weather, 
is much more certainlv consequent upon the fighting of Chrisfs sheep. 
Do these clash and push.'* Surely it is an iiifaUible prognostic of 
an ensuing storm, Mai. iv. 6. 


Upon the Catching of an Horse in a fat Pasture. 

▼ T HEN this horse was kept in poor short leas, where he had 
much scope, but little grass, how gentle and tractable was he then ? 
He would not only stand quiet to be taken, but come to hand of his 
own accord, and follow me up and down the field for a crust of bread, 
or handful of oats; but since I turned him into this fat pasture, he 
comes no more to me, nor will suffer me to come near him, but 
throws up his heels wantonly against me, and flies from me as if I 
were rather his enemy than a benefactor. In this I behold the car- 
riage of my own heai't towards God, who the more he hath done for 
me, the seldomer doth he hear from me ; in a low and afflicted state, 
how tractable is my heart to duty ? Then it comes to the foot of 
God voluntarily. But in an exalted condition, how wildly doth my 
heart run from God and duty ? With this ungrateful requital God 
faulted his own people, Jer. iii. 31. teachable and tractable in the 
wilderness, but when fatted in that rich pasture of Canaan, " Then 
" we are lords, we will come no more to thee." How soon are all 
God's former benefits for£otten ? And now often is that ancient ob- 
servation * verified, even in his own people ? 

" No sooner do we gifts on some bestow, 

" But presently our gifts grey-headed grow." 

Fast munera ciio consemscit gratia. 


But that is a bad tenant, that will maintain a suit at law against his 
landlord with his own rent ; and a bad heart, that will fight against 
God witli his own mercies. I wish it may be with my heart, as it is 
reported to be with the waters in the kingdom of Congo, that are 
never so sweet to the taste, as when the tide is at the highest. 


Upon the huntings of a Deer. 

X HE full-mouthed cry of these dogs, which from the morning 
have hunted this poor tired deer, which is now no longer able to 
stand before them, but is compassed round with them, who thirst 
for, and will presently suck her blood, brings to my thoughts the con- 
dition and state of Jesus Christ, in the days of his flesh, who was thus 
hunted from place to place by blood-thirsty enemies. Upon this ve- 
ry account, the 22d Psalm, which treats of his death, is inscribed with 
the title of Ajieleth Shahar, which signifies the hind of the morning', 
and fully imports the same notion which this occasion presented me 
with ; for look, as the hind or deer, which is intended to be run down 
that day, is roused by the dogs early in the morning, so was Christ, 
in the very morning of his infancy, by bloody Herod, and that cruel 
pack confederated with him. Thus was he chased from place to place, 
till that was fulfilled which was prophetically written of him in ver. 
16. of the forecited Psalm : " For dogs have compassed me about, 
" the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me ; they pierced my 
" hands and my feet." 

And canst thou expect, O my soul ! to fare better than he did, or 
escape the rage of bloody men ? Surely, if the Spirit of Christ dwell 
in thee, if his holiness have favoured thee, these dogs will wind it, 
and give thee chase too : they go upon the scent of holiness still, and 
would hunt to destruction everyone, in whom there is aliquid Christi, 
any thing of Christ, if the gracious providence of the Lord did not 
sometimes rate them off: for it is no less a pleasure which some wick- 
ed ones take in hunting the people of God, than what * Claudian 
the poet observes men use to take in hunting wild beasts. 
" Whilst every huntsman in the night do sleep, 
" Their fancies in the woods still hunting keep." 

Lord ! should I with the hypocrite decline the profession and prac- 
tice of holiness, to escape the rage of persecuting enemies, at what time 
they cease, my own conscience would begin to hunt me like a blood- 
hound ; let me rather chuse to be chased by men than God, to flee 

* Venator defessa thero quum membra reponit, 
Mens tamen ad sulvas, et sua lustra redit, Claud. 

Vol. V. N 


before pursuing enemies, than be dogged from day to day \vitli a 
guilty conscience. 

Meditations upon Thees. 


Upon the fall of Blossoms, nipt hy a frosty morning, 

JlSeHOLDING in an early spring, fruit-trees embossed with beau- 
tiful blossoms of various colours, which breathed forth their delici- 
ous odours into the circumambient air, and adorned the branches on 
which they grew, like so many rich jewels, or glittering pendents ; 
and further observing, how these perfumed blossoms dropt off, being 
bitten with the frost, and discoloured all the ground, as if a shower of 
snow had fallen ; I said within myself, these sweet and early blossoms 
are not unlike my sweet and early affections to the Lord in the days 
of my first acquaintance with him. O what fervent love, panting 
desires, and heavenly delights beautified my soul in those days ! The 
odoriferous scent of the sweetest blossoms, the morning breath of the 
most fragrant flowers, hath not half that sweetness with w^hich those 
my first affections were enriched. O ! happy time, thrice pleasant 
spring ! My soul hath it still in remembrance, and is humbled within 
me ; for these also were but blossoms which now are nipt and faded, 
that first flourish is gone ; my heart is like the winter"*s earth, because 
thy face. Lord, is to me like a Avinter sun. " Awake, O north wind ! 
" and come, south wind, blow upon my garden, that the spices there- 
*' of may flow out, then let my beloved come into his garden, and 
" eat his pleasant fruit !" 


Upon the Imitting, or setting of Fruit. 

HAVE often observed, that when the blossoms of a tree set and 
knit, though the flourish thereof be gone, and nothing but the bare 
rudiment of the expected fruit be left ; yet then the fruit is much 
better secured from the danger of frosts and winds, than whilst it re- 
mained in the flower or blossom ; for now it hath past one of those 
critical periods, in which so many trees miscarry and lose their fruit. 
And methought this natural obse?'vatio}i fairly led me to this theolo- 
gical proposition, ' That good motions, and holy purposes in the soul, 

* are never secured, and past their most dangerous crisis, till they 

* be turned into fixed resolutions, and answerable executions, which 

' is as the knittino; and settino- of them."' 

... • .111 

Upon this proposition my melting thoughts thus dilated : happy 

had it been for thee, my soul ! had all the blessed motions of the 


Spirit been thus knit and fixed in thee. Oh, how have mine affec- 
tions blown and budded under the warm beams of the gospel ! But 
a chill blast from the cares, troubles and delights of the world with- 
out, and the vanity and deadness of the heart within, have blasted all ; 
my goodness hath been but as a morning-dew, or early cloud, that 
vanisheth away. And even of divine ordinances, I may say what 
is said of human ordinances, " They have perished in the using." 
A blossom is but Jructus imperfectus^ et ordinahilis^ an imperfect 
thing in itself, and something in order to fruit ; a good motion and 
holy purpose is but opus imperfectum, et ■ ordinabile, an imperfect 
work, in order to a complete work of the Spirit ; when that primus 
impetus, those first motions were strong upon my heart, had I then 
pursued them in the force and vigour of them, how many difficulties 
might I hav^e overcome ? Revive thy work, O Lord, and give not to 
my soul a miscarrying womb, or dry breasts. 


Upon the sight of a fair spreading Oak. 

▼ T HAT a lofty flourishing tree is here ? It seems rather to be a 
little wood, than a single tree, every limb thereof having the dimen- 
sions and branches of a tree in it ; and yet as great as it is, it was 
once but a little slip, which one might pull up with two fingers ; this 
vast body was contained virtually and potentially in a small acorn. 
Well then, I will never despise the day of small things, nor despair 
of arriving to an eminency of grace, though at present it be but as 
a bruised reed, and the things that are in me be ready to die. As 
things in nature, so the things of the Spirit, grow up to their fulness 
and perfection by slow and insensible degrees. The famous and 
heroical acts of the most renowned believers were such as themselves 
could not once perform, or it may be think they ever should. Great 
things, both in nature and grace, come from small and contemptible 


Upon the sight of many sticks lodged in the hranches of a choice 


-OW is this tree battered with stones, and loaded with sticks^ 
that have been thrown at it, whilst those that grow about it, being 
barren, or bearing harsher fruit, escape untouched ! Surely if its fruit 
had not been so good, its usage had not been so bad. And yet it is 
affirmed, that some trees, as the walnut, c^c. bear the better for being 
thus bruised and battered. 



Even thus it fares in both respects with the best of men ; the 
more holy, the more envied and persecuted ; every one that passes 
by will have a sling at them. Methinks I see how devils and wicked 
men walk round about the people of God, whom he hath inclosed in 
"his arms of power, like so many boys about an orchard, whose lips 
water to have a sling at them. But God turns all the stones of re- 
proach into precious stones to his people ; they bear the better for 
being thus battered. And in them is that ancient * observation 

" The palms and crowns of virtue thus increase ; 
'* "Thus persecution's turned into peace." 

Let me be but fruitful to God in holiness, and ever abounding in 
the work of the Lord, and then whilst devils and men are flinging at 
me, either by hand or tongue persecutions, I will sing amidst them 
all with the divine poet : 

^' What open force, or hidden charm, 

'* Can blast my fruit, or bring me harm, 

" Whilst the inclosure is thine arm."" Herb, Poem, p. 125. 



Upon the gathering of 'choice Fr lilt J)' om a scrubbed unproinlsing Tree. 

▼ ▼ OULD any man think to find such rare delicious fruit upon 
such an unworthy tree to appearance as this is ? I should rather have 
expected the most delicious fruit from the most handsom.e and flour- 
ishing trees; but I see I must neither judge the worth of trees or 
men by their external form and appearance. This is not the first 
time I have been deceived in judging by that rule; under fair and 
promising outsides I have found nothing of worth ; and in many 
deformed despicable bodies I have found precious and richly furnished 
souls. The sap and juice of this scrubbed tree is concocted into rare 
and excellent fruits, whilst the juice and sap of some other fair, 
but barren trees, serves only to keep them from rotting, which is all 
the use that many souls (which dwell in beautiful bodies) serve for ; 
they have (as one saith) animam pro sale ; their souls are but salt 
to their bodies. Or thus, 

The only use to which their souls do serve, 
Is but like salt their bodies to preserve. 

If God have given me a sound soul in a sound body, I have a 
double mercy to bless him for ; but whether my body be vigorous and 

* Crescunt virtiUum palmee, crescuntqiie coronte 
MxitantUT mundi pTcelia^ pace Dei. 


beautiful, or not, yet let my soul be so : for as the esteem of this 
tree, so the esteem and true honour of every man, rises rather from 
2ii« fruitfulness and usefulness, than from his shape and form. 


Upon an excellent, but irregular Tree. 

Seeing a tree grow somewhat irregular, in a very neat orchard, 
I told the owner it was pity that tree should stand there ; and that 
if it were mine I would root it up, and thereby reduce the orchard 
to an exact uniformity. It was replied to this purpose, ' That he 
* rather regarded the fruit than the form ;■* and that this slight in- 
conveniency was abundantly preponderated by a more considerable 
advantage. This tree, said lie^ which you would root up, hath 
yielded me more fruit than many of those trees which have nothing 
else to commend them but their regular situation. I could not but 
yield to the reason of this answer ; and could wish it had been spo- 
ken so loud, that all our uniformity-men had heard it, who will not 
stick to root up many hundred of the best bearers in the Lord's 
orchard, because they stand not in an exact order wdth other more 
conformable, but less beneficial trees, who perdunt substant'iam 
propter accidentia, destroy the fruit to preserve the form. 

Not much unlike, such foolish men are those, 
That strive for shadows, and the substance lose. 

Meditations upon a Garden. 


Upon the new-modelling' of a Gai'den. 

J\. Gentlewoman who had lately seen a neat and curious garden, 
returns to her own with a greater dislike of it than ever ; resolves 
to new-model the whole plat, and reduce it to a better form. She 
is now become so curious and neat, that not a weed or stone is suf- 
fered in it, but all must lie in exquisite order; and whatever orna- 
ment she had observed in her neighbour's, she is now restless till 
she sees it in her own. 

Happy were it, thought I, if in an holy emulation every one would 
thus endeavour to rectify the disorders of their own conversation, by 
the excellent graces they behold in the more heavenly and regular 
lives of others. Some Christians there are (I wish their number 
were greater) whose actions lie in such a comely and beautiful order, 
that few of their neighbours can look upon their examples without 



self-coiiviction and shame ; but few are so happy to be provoked into 
self-reibrmation by such rare patterns. I see it is much easier to puU 
up many weeds out of a garden, than one corruption out of the 
heart; and to procure an hundred flowers to adorn a knot, than 
one grace to beautify the soul. It is more natural to corrupt man 
to envy, than to imitate the spiritual excellencies of others. 


Upon the jnilUng up of a Leek. 

WHITE head and a green tail ! How well doth this resemble an 
old wanton lover, whose green youthful lusts are not extinguished, 
though his white head declares that nature is almost so ! Gray 
hairs should be always matched with grave deportments ; and the 
sins of youth should rather be the griefs than pleasures of old age. 
It is sad when the sins of the soul, like the diseases of the body, grow 
stronger, as nature grows weaker : and it recals to my mind that 
ancient observation of * Menander : 

" It is the worst of evils, to behold 

" Strong youthful lusts to rage in one that's old." 

It is a thousand pities, that those who have one foot in the grave, 
should live as if the other were in hell ! that their lusts should be so 
lively, when their bodies are three parts dead ! Such sinful practices, 
bring upon them more contempt and shame, than their hoary heads, 
and reverend faces can procure them honour. 

" Gray hairs, and aged wrinkles, did of old 
" Procure more reverence than bags of gold-f*." 

But alas ! how little respect or reverence can the hoary head ob- 
tain amongst wise men, except it be found in the way of righteous- 
ness "^ I think the lowest esteem is too much for an old servant of 
the devil ; and the highest honour little enough for an ancient and 
faithful servant of Christ. 


Upon a heedless tread in a curious Garden. 

Jl ASSING through the «mall divisions of a curious knot, which 
was richly adorned with rare tulips, and other beautiful flowers ; 

* Ti^c/ovo6s^cc?7ig sc^^ar*] xa.y.r] tuzyj, 

Senex amore captus, ultimum malum. Menand. 
•^ Magna Juit capitis quondam reverentia cam, 

Inque suo pretio ruga senilis eraU Ovid. 5 Fast. 


I was very careful to shun these flowers, which indeed had no other 
worth to commend them, but their exquisite colour; and unad- 
visedly trod upon and spoiled an excellent choice herb, which, though 
it grew obscurely, yet had rare physical virtues in it. 

When I was made sensible of the involuntary trespass I had com- 
mitted, I thought I could scarcely make the owner a better compen- 
sation, than by telhng him, that herein (though against ray will) I 
did but tread in the footsteps of the greatest part of the world who 
are very careful (as T was) to keep their due distance from splendid, 
though worthless gallants, mean while trampling upon, and crushing 
imder foot the obscure, but most precious servants of God in the 
world. As little do they heed these most excellent persons, as I 
did this precious herb. 

Summa ingenia in occulta soepe latent, saith Plautus. 

Rare wits, and herbs, sometimes do sculk and shrink 
In such blind holes, as one would little think. 

For my own part, I desire ta tread upon no man with the foot of 
contempt and pride, much les& upon any good man ; and that I may 
not, it concerns me to look before I step ; I mean, to consider before 
I censure : had I done so by this rare herb, I had never luirt it. 


Upmi a withered posy taken up in the way. 

Jl INDING in my walk, a posy of once sweet and fragrant, but 
now dry and withered flowers, which I suppose to be thrown away 
by one that had formerly worn it : thus, said I, doth the unfaithful 
world use its friends, when providence hath blasted and withered 
them ; whilst they are rich and honourable, they will put them into 
their bosoms, as the owner of this posy did, whilst it was fresh and 
fragrant, and as easily throw them away as useless and worthless 
things, when thus they come to be withered. Such usage as this * 
Petronius long since complained of. 

" Are they in honour ? Then we smile like friends ; 
" And with their fortunes all our friendship ends.'' 

But this loose and deceitful friend stinks so odiously in the very 
nostrils of nature, that a -|- heathen poet severely taxes and condenuis 
it as most unworthy of a man. 

* Cumjbrtuna manet vultum servatis amici. 

Cum cecidit turpi vertitis orafuga. Petronius. 
-f Turi>e sequi casum^ etjbrtunce cedcre, amicum 

£t nisi iitjoelix et essnegare suum. 



" 'Tis base to change with fortune, and deny 
'• A faithful friend, because in poverty." 

And is this indeed the friendship of the world ? Doth it thus use 
them whom once it honoured ? Then, Lord ! let me never seek its 
friendship. O let me esteem the smiles and honours of men less, 
and thy love and favour more ! thy love is indeed unchangeable, 
being pure, free, and built upon nothing that is mutable ; thou never 
servest thy friends as the world doth its darlings. 


Upon ilie sudden withering of a Rose. 

JlSeING with my friend in a garden, we. gathered each of us a. 
rose ; he handled his tenderly, smelled to it but seldom, and sparing- 
ly ; I always kept it to my nose, or squeezed it in my hand, whereby 
in a very short time it lost both colour and sweetness, but his still 
remained as sweet and fragrant as if it had been growing upon its 
own root. These roses, said I, are the true emblems of the best and 
sweetest creature-enjoyments in the world, which being moderately 
and cautiously used and enjoyed, may for a long time yield sweet- 
ness to the possessor of them ; but if once the affection seize too 
greedily upon them, and squeeze them too hard, they quickly wither 
in our hands, and we lose the comfort of them, and that either 
through the soul's surfeiting upon them, or the Lord's righteous 
and just removal of them, because of the excess of our affections to 
them ; earthly comforts, like pictures, shew best at a due distance. 
It was therefore a good saying of* Homer, 'Avo?/ ge/yo5oxw; &c. 

'' I like him not, who at the rate 

" Of all his might doth love or hate." 

It is a point of excellent wisdom to keep the golden bridle of mo- 
deration upon all the affections we exercise upon earthly things, and 
never to slip those reins, unless when they move towards God, in 
whose love there is no danger of excess. 


Upon the sudden withering qfhcautifid Floivers. 

JLJlOW fresh and orient did these flowers lately appear, when being 
dashed over with the morning dew, they stood in all their pride and 
glory, breathing out their delicious odours, which perfumed the air 

♦ Mihi nunguam is placet hospes 
Qui vaide pretergice modum oclit I'd amat. Homer, 


round about them, but now are witliered and shrivelled up, and 
have neither any desirable beauty or savour in them. 

So vain a thing is the admired beauty of creatures, which so capti- 
vates the hearts, and exercises a pleasing tyranny over the affections 
of vain man, yet it is as suddenly blasted as the beauty of a flower *. 

" How frail is beauty in how short a time 

" It fades, like roses, which have past their prime. 

" So wrinkled age the fairest face will plow, 

" And cast deep furrows on the smoothest brow. 

** Then where's that lovely tempting face .? Alas I 

" Yourselves would blush to view it in a fflass." 


If tlien thou delightest in beauty, O my soul ! chuse that which 
is lasting. There is a beauty which never fades, even the beaut\^ of 
hohness upon the inner mar> ; this abides fresh and orient for ever 
and sparkles gloriously, when thy face (the seat of natural beauty) 
is become an abhorrent and loathsome spectacle. Holiness enamels 
and sprinkles over the face of the soul with a beauty, upon which 
Christ himself is enamoured ; even imperfect holiness on earth is a 
rose that breathes sweetly in the bud ; in heaven it will be full-blown, 
and abide in its prime to all eternity. 

MEDIT. vii. 

Upo7i the tenderness of some choke Flowers. 

XlOW much care is necessary to preserve the life of some flowers ! 
they must be boxed up in the winter, others must be covered with 
glasses in their springing up, the finest and richest mould must be 
sifted about the roots, and assiduously watered, and all this little 
enough, and sometimes too little to preserve them ; whilst other 
common and worthless flowers grow without any help of ours : Yea 
we have no less to do to rid our gardens of them, than we have to 
make the former grow there. 

Thus stands the case with our hearts, in reference to the motions 
of grace and sin. Holy thoughts of God must be assiduously water- 
ed by prayer, earthed up by meditation, and defended by watchful- 
ness ; and yet all this is sometimes too little to preserve them alive in 
our souls. Alas ! the heart is a soil that agrees not with them, they 

' Formn bonuvi fragile est, quantumqu» accedit ad annos. 
Fit miliar, et spatio carpitur ipsa suo. 
iVcc semper violce, nee semper liliajiorenl, 
Et rigt^t amissa spina relicta rosa 
Tempus erit quo vos speculum vidisse pigebit, 
Jam veniunt rug<s quee tibi corpus arent, <^-c. Ovid, dc Art, 


are tender things, and a small matter will nip and kill them. To 
this purpose is the complaint of the divine Poel : 

AVho would have thought a joy 

so coy 
To be offended so, 

and go 
So suddenly away ? 
Hereafter I had need 

take heed. 
Joys among other things 

have wings, 
And watch their opportunities of flight, 
Converting in a moment, day to night. Herbert. 

But vain thoughts, and unholy suggestions, these spread them- 
selves and root deep in the heart ; they naturally agree with the 
soil : So that it is almost impossible, at any time, to be rid of them. 
It is hard to forget what is our sin to remember. 


Upon the strange means of 'preserving the life of Vegetables^ 

JL observe that plants and herbs are sometimes killed by frosts, 
and yet without frosts they would neither live nor thrive : They are 
sometimes drowned with water, and yet without water they cannot 
subsist : They are refreshed and cheered by the heat of the sun, 
and yet that sun sometimes kills and scorches them up. Thus 
lives my soul : Troubles and afflictions seem to kill all its comforts ; 
and yet without these, its comforts could not live. The sun-blasts 
of prosperity sometimes refresh me, and yet those sun-blasts are the 
likeliest way to wither me : By what seeming contradictions is the 
life of my spirit preserved ! what a mystery, w^hat a paradox is the 
life of a Christian ? 

Welcome my health, this sickness makes me well. 

Medicines adieu. 
When with diseases I have list to dwell, 

111 wish for you. 
Welcome, my strength, this weakness makes me able. 

Powers adieu. 
When I am weary grown of standing stable, 

I'll wish for you. 
Welcome, my wealth, this loss hath gain'd me more. 
Riches adieu. 


When I again grow greedy to be poor, 

I'll wish for you. 
Welcome, my credit, this disgrace is glor}-, 

Honours adieu. 
When for renown and fame I shall be sorry, 

I'll wish for you. 
Welcome content, this sorrow is my joy. 

Pleasures adieu. 
When I desire such griefs as may annoy, 

I'll wish for you. 
Health, strength, and riches, credit and content, 
Are spared best sometimes when they are spent. 
Sickness and weakness, loss, disgrace and sorrow. 
Lend most sometimes, when most they seem to borrow. 

And if by these contrary and improbable ways the Lord preserves 
our souls in life, no marvel tlicn we find such strange and seemingly 
contradictory motions of our hearts, under the various dealings of 
God with us, and are still restless, in what condition soever he puts 
us; which restless frame was excellently expressed in that pious 
epigram of the reverend Gataker, made a little before his death, 

I thirst for thirstiness, I w^eep for tears. 

Well pleas'd I am to be displeased thus : 
The only thing I fear, is want of fears, 

Suspecting I am not suspicious. 

I cannot chuse but live, because I die ; 

And when I am not dead, how glad am I ? 
Yet when I am thus glad for sense of pain, 

And careful am, lest I should careless be ; 
Then do I grieve for being glad again, 

And fear, lest carefulness take care for mc. 

Amidst these restless thoughts this rest I find. 

For those that rest not here, there's rest behind. 
Jam tetigi porhim^ valete. 


Or, a New Compass for SEAMEN, 

Consisting of XXXII Points ; 

Of \ Profitable APPLICATIONS, and 

All concluded with so many Spiritual POEMS, 

. What good might seamen get, tfonce they were 
But Iteavenly minded? If' they could hut steer 
The Christian'' s course, the soul might then enjoy 
Sweet peace, they might liJce seas d'erjiow with joy. 
Were God our all, how woidd our coniforts double 
Upon us I thus the seas of all our trouble 
Would be divinely sweet : men should endeavour 
To see God now, and be with himjbr ever. 

To all Masters, Mariners, and Seamen ; especially such as belong 
to the Borough of Cliflon, Dartmouth, and Hat^dness, in the 
county of Devon. 


X FIND it storied of Anacharsis, that when one asked him whether 
the living or the dead were more? He returned this answer, ' You 
' must first tell me (saith he) in which number I must place seamen :' 
Intimating thereby, that seamen are, as it were, a third sort of per-, 
sons, to be numbered neither with the living nor the dead ; their lives 
hanging continually in suspense before them. And it was anciently 
accounted the most desperate employment, and they little better than 
lost men that used the seas. ' Through all my life (saith Aristotle) 

* three things do especially repent me: 1. That ever I revealed a 
' secret to a woman. 2. That ever I remained one day without a 

* will. 3. That ever I went to any place by sea, whither I might 

* have gone by land.' ' Nothing (saith another) is more miserable, 
' than to see a virtuous and worthy person upon the sea.' And al- 
though custom, and the great improvement of the art of navigation, 
have made it less formidable now, yet are you no further from death 
than you are from the waters, which is but a remove of two or three 
inches. Now you that border so nigh upon the confines of death 
and eternity every moment, may be well supposed to be men of sin- 
gular piety and seriousness : For nothing more composes the heart 


to such a frame, than the hvely apprehensions of eternity do; and 
none have greater external advantages for that, than you have. But, 
alas ! for the generahty, what sort of men are more ungodly, and 
stupidly insensible of eternal concernments? living, for the most 
part, as if they had made a covenant with death, and with hell were 
at agreement. It was an ancient saying, Qui nescit orare^ d'lscat 
navigare^ He that knows not how to pi'ay, let him go to sea. But 
we may say now, (alas ! that we may say so in times of greater light) 
he that would learn to be profane, to drink and swear, and dishonour 
God, let him go to sea. As for prayer, it is a rare thing among 
seamen, they count that a needless business : they see the profane 
and vile delivered as well as others ; and therefore what profit is 
there if they pray unto him ? Mai. iii. 4. As I remember, I have 
read of a profane soldier, who was heard swearing, though he stood 
in a place of great danger ; and when one that stood by him warned 
him, saying, ' Fellow-soldier, do not swear, the bullets fly ;"* he an- 
swered, ' They that swear come off as well as they that pray."* Soon 
after a shot hit him, and down he fell. Plato diligently admonished 
all men to avoid the sea ; ' For (saith he) it is the schoolmaster of 
* all vice and dishonesty.' Sirs ! it is a very sad consideration to me, 
that you who float upon the great deeps, in whose bottom so many 
thousand poor miserable creatures lie, whose sins have sunk them 
down, not onl}^ into the bottom of the sea, but of hell also, whither 
divine vengeance hath pursued them : That you, I say, who daily 
float; and hover over them, and have the roaring waves and billows 
that swallowed them up, gaping for you as the next prey, should be 
no more affected with these things. Oh what a terrible voice doth 
God utter in the stoi-ms ! " It breaks the cedars, shakes the wilder- 
" ness, makes the hinds to calve," Psal. xxix. 5. And can it not 
shake your hearts ? This voice of the Lord is full of majesty, but 
his voice in the word is more efficacious and powerful, Hcb. iv. 12. 
to convince and rip up the heart. This word is exalted above all 
his name, Psal. cxxxviii. 3. and if it cannot awaken you, it is no 
wonder you remain secure and dead, when the Lord utters his voice 
in the most dreadful storms and tempests. B^t if neither the voice 
of God uttered in his dreadful v/orks, or in his glorious gospel, can 
eff'ectually awaken and rouse, there is an Euroclydon, a fearful 
storm coming, which will so awaken your souls, as that they shall 
never sleep any more, Psal. xi. 6. " Upon the wicked he shall rain 
" snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest : This is the 
" portion of their cup." You that have been at sea in the most vio- 
lent storms, never felt such a storm as this, and the Lord grant that 
you never may ; no calm shall follow this storm. There are some 
among you, that, I am persuaded, do truly fear that God in whose 
hand their life and breath is ; men that fear an oath, and are an ho- 
nour to their profession ; who drive a trade for heaven, and are dili- 
gent to secure the happiness of their immortal souls, in the insurance- 


office above; but for the generalit}', alas ! they mind none of these 
things. How many of you are coasting to and fro, from one country 
to another? But never think of that /^^at'^«/^ country above, nor 
how you may get the merchandize thereof, which is better than the 
gold of Ophir. How oft do you tremble to see the foaming waves 
dance about you, and wash over you ? Yet consider not how terri- 
ble it will be to have all the waves and billows of God's wrath to go 
over your souls, and that for ever. How glad are you after you have 
been long tossed upon the ocean, to descry land ? And how yare and 
eagerly do you look out for it, who yet never had your hearts warmed 
with the consideration of that joy which shall be among the saints, 
when they arrive at the heavenly strand, and set foot upon the shore 
of glory. 

O Sirs ! I beg of you, if you have any regard to those precious, 
immortal souls of yours, which are also imbarked for eternity, whi- 
ther all winds blow them, and will quickly be at their port of hea- 
ven or hell, that you will seriously mind these things, and learn to 
steer your course to heaven, and improve all winds (I mean oppor- 
tunities and means) to waft you thither. 

Here you venture life and liberty, run through many difficulties 
and dangers, and all to compass a perishing treasure ; yet how often 
do you retuiTi disappointed in your design ? Or if not, yet it is but a 
fading short-lived inheritance, which like the flowing tide, for a while, 
covers the shore, and then returns, and leaves it naked and dry again : 
and are not everlasting treasures worth venturing for ? Good souls 
be wise for eternitv : I here present you with the fruit of a few spare 
hours, redeemed for vour sakes, from my other studies and employ- 
ments, whicli I have put into a new dress and mode. I have endea- 
voured to clothe spiritual matters in your own dialect and phrases, 
that they might be the more intelligible to you ; and added some 
pious poems, wTth which the several chapters are concluded, trying 
by all means to assault your several affections, and as the apostle 
speaks, " to catch you with guile.'' I can say nothing of it ; I know 
it cannot be without its manifold imperfections, since I am conscious 
of so many in myself, only this I \s\\\ adventure to say of it, that how 
defective or empty soever it be in other respects, 3'et it is stuffed and 
filled with much true love to, and earnest desires after the salvation 
and prosperity of your souls. And for the other defects that attend 
it, I have only two things to offer, in way of excuse ; it is the first 
essay that I ever made in this kind, wherein I find no precedent : 
and it was hastened for your sakes, too soon out of my hands, that 
it might be ready to wait upon you, when ycfu undertake your next 
voyage : so that I could not revise and polish it. Nor indeed was I 
. solicitous about the stile ; I consider, I write not for critical and 
learned persons ; my design is not to please your fancies any further, 
than 1 might thereby get advantage to profit your souls. I will not 
once question your welcome reception of it : if God shall bless these 


mecVitations to the conversion of any among you, you will be the 
o-ainers, and my heart shall rejoice, even mine. How comfortably 
should we shake hands with you, when you go abroad, were we per- 
suaded your souls were interested in Christ, and secured from pe- 
rishing, in the new covenant ? What life would it put into our prayers 
for you, when you are abroad, to consider that Jesus Christ is inter- 
cedino- for you in heaven, whilst we are your remembrancers here on 
earth ? How quiet would our hearts be, when you are abroad in 
storms, did we know you had a special interest in him whom winds 
and seas obey ? To conclude, what joy would it be to your godly 
relations, to see you return new creatures ? Doubtless more than if 
you came home laden with the riches of both Indies. 

Come Sirs ! set the heavenly Jerusalem upon the point of your 
new compass ; make all the sail you can for it ; and the Lord give 
you a prosperous gale, and a safe arrival in that land of rest. 

So prays 

Your most affectionate friend to serve you 

in soul-concernments , 


To every SEAMAN sailing Heavenward. 

Ingenious Seamen^ 

A HE art of Navigation, by which islands especially are enriched, 
and preserved in safety from foreign invasions ; and the wonderful 
works of God in the great deep, and foreign nations, are most delight- 
fully and fully beheld, &c. is an art of exquisite excellency, ingenuity, 
rarity, and mirability ; but the art of spiritual navigation is the art 
of arts. It is a gallant thing to be able to carry a ship richly laden 
round the world; but it is much more gallant to carry a soul (that rich 
loading, a pearl of more worth than all the merchandize of the world) 
in a body (that is as liable to leaks and bruises as any ship is) through 
the sea of this world (which is as unstable as water, and hath the same 
brinish taste and salt gust which the waters of the sea have) safe to 
heaven (the best haven) so as to avoid splitting upon any soul-sinking 
rocks, or striking upon any soul-drowning sands. The art of natural 
navigation is a very gpeat mystery ; but the art of spiritual navigation 
is by much a greater mystery. Human wisdom may teach us to carry 
a ship to the Indies : but the wisdom only that is from above can 
teach us to steer our course aright to the haven of happiness. This 
art is purely of divine revelation. The truth is, divinity (the doc- 
trine of living to God) is nothing else but the art of soul-navigation^ 
levealed from heaven. A mere man can carry a ship to any desired 


port in all the world, but no mere man can carry a soul to heaven. 
He must be a saint, he must be a divine (so all saints are) that can be 
a pilot to carry a soul to Xhejair-haven in Emmanuers land. The art 
of natural navigation is wonderfully improved since the coming of 
Christ, before which time (if there be truth in history) the use of the 
loadstone was never known in the world ; and before the virtue of 
that was revealed unto the mariner, it is unspeakable with what un- 
certain wanderings ?,eaxi\Q\\ floated here and there, rather than sailed 
the right and direct way. Sure I am, the art of spiritual navigation 
is wonderfully improved since the coming of Christ ; it oweth its 
clearest and fullest discovery to the comincj of Christ. This art of 
arts IS now perfectly revealed in the scriptures of the Old and New 
Testament ; but the rules thereof are dispersed up and down therein. 
The collecting and methodizing of the same cannot but be a work 
very useful unto souls : though, when all is done, there is an abso- 
lute necessity of the teachings of the Spirit, and of the anointing that 
is from above, to make souls artists in sailing heaven-ward. The 
ingenious author of the Christians Compass., or the Mariney-^s Com- 
panion, makes three parts of this art (as the schoolmen do of di- 
vinity) viz. speculative^ practical, and affectionate. The principal 
things necessary to be known by a spiritual seamen, in order to the 
steering rightly and safely to the poi't of happiness, he reduceth to 
four heads, answerably to the four general points of the compass ; 
making God our north ; Christ our east ; holiness our so2dh ; and 
death our ivest points. Concerning God, we must know (1.) That 
he is, Heb. xi. 6. and that there is but one God, 1 Cor. viii. 5, 6. 
(2.) That this God is that supreme good, in the enjoyment of whom 
all true happiness lies, Psal. iv. 6, 7. Mat. v. 8. — xviii. 20. (3.) 
That, life eternal lying in God, and he being incomprehensible and 
inconceivable in essence, as being a Spirit, our best way to eye him is 
in his attributes, Exod. xxxiv. 5, 6, 7. and works, Rom. i. 20. and 
especially in his Son, 2 Cor. iv. 6. (4.) That as God is a Spirit, so 
our chiefest, yea, only way of knowing, enjoying, serving, and walk- 
ing with him, is in the Spirit likewise, Job iv. 24. Concerning Christ, 
we must know, (1.) That he is the true Sun which ariseth upon the 
world, by which all are enlightened, John i. 9. ^lal. iii. 2. Luke i. 
78, 79. (2.) That God alone is in him, reconciling the world to 
himself, 2 Cor. v. 19. 1 Cor. i. 30. John xiv. 6. (3.) That Jesus 
Christ is only made ours by the union and indwelling of himself in 
us through the Spirit, 1 Cor. ii. 9, 10. and vi. 17. John xvi. 8, 9. 

1 Cor. xii. 3, 13. (4.) That the way of the Spirit's uniting us to 
Christ, is by an act of power on his part, and by an act of faith on our 
parts, John iii. 16, 36. and v. 29. Eph. iii. 17. Concerning holiness, 
we must know, (1.) That whoever is in Christ is a new creature, 

2 Cor. v. 17. 1 Cor. vi. 11. (2.) Holiness is the soufs highest lus- 
tre, Exod. XV. 11. when we come to perfection in holiness, then is 
c»ur sun.at the height in us. (3.) Holiness is Christ's filling the soul ; 


Cluist our Sun is at the highest in our heart?, when they are most 
holy. (4.) This hohness is that which is directly opposite to sin ; sin 
eclipses holiness, and holiness scatters sin, Ileb. vii. 26. Phil. ii. 15. 
2 Pet. iii. 11. Concerning death, we must know, (1.) Death is cer- 
tain ; the sun of our life will set in death ; when our days come about 
to this western point, it will be night, Heb. ix. 27. Psal. xhx. 7, 9* 
(2.) If we die in our sins out of Christ, we are undone for ever. Job 
viii. 24. Phil. i. 21. (3.) It is our benighting to die, but it is not our 
annihilating, 1 Cor. xv. Rev. xx. 12. (4.) After death comes judg- 
ment ; all that die shall arise to be judged, either for life or death, the 
second time, Heb. ix. 27. Matt. xxv. Heb. vi. 2. These four heads, 
and the particulars under them, are as necessary to be known in spiri- 
tual navigation, as the four points of the compass are in natural navi- 
gation. The things which we ought to do in order to our arrival to 
our happiness, our author makes as many as there be points in the 
compass. And for an help to memory we may begin every particu- 
lar with the initial, known letters on the points of the compass. (1.) N. 
Never stir or steer any course, but by light from God, Psal. cxix. 
105. Isa. viii. 10. (2.) N. and by E. Never enter upon any design 
but such as tends towards Christ, Acts x. 43. (3.) N. N. E. Note 
nothing enviously, which thrives without God, Psal. Ixxiii. 12, IS. 
(4.) N. E. and by N. Never enterprize not warrantable courses to 
procure any of the most prized and conceited advantages, 1 Tim. vi. 
9, 10. (5.) N. E. Now entertain the sacred commands of God, if 
hereafter thou expect the sovereign consolations of God, Psal. cxix. 
48. (6.) N. E. and bv E. Never esteem Egypt's treasures so much, 
as for them to forsake the people of God, Heb. xi. 26. (7.) E. N. E. 
Err not, especially in soul affairs, Jam. i. 16. 1 Tim. i. 19, 20. 2 
Tim. ii. 18. (8.) E. and by N. Eschew nothing but sin, 1 Pet. iii. 
11. Job i. 7, 8—31, 34. (9.) E. Establish thy heart with grace, Heb. 
xiii. 9. (10.) E. and by S. Eye sanctity in every action, 1 Pet. i. 15?. 
Zech. xiv. 29- (11.) E. S. E. Ever strive earnestly to live under, 
and to improve the means of grace. (12.) S. E. and by E. Suffer 
every evil of punishment of sorrow, rather than leave the w^ays of 
Christ and grace. (13.) S. E. Sigh earnestly for more enjoyments 
of Christ. (14.) S. E. and by S. Seek evermore some evidences of 
Christ in you the hope of glory. (15.) S. S. E. Still set eternity before 
you, in regard of enjoying Jesus Christ, John xvii. 24. (16.) S. and 
by E. Settle it ever in your soul as a principle which you will never 
depart from. That holiness and true happiness are in Christ, and by 
Christ. (17.) S. Set thyself always as before the Lord, Psal. xvi. 8. 
Acts ii. 25. (18.) S. and by W. See weakness hastening thee to 
death, even when thou art at the highest pitch or point. (19.) 
S. S. W. See sin which is the sting of death, as taken away by Christ, 
1 Cor. XV. 55, 56. (20.) S. W. and by S. Store up wisely some 
provisions every day for your dying day. (21.) S. W. Set worldly 
Vol. V. O 


things iindei' your feet, before death come to look you in the face. 
(22.) S. W. and by W. Still weigh and watch with loins girded, and 
lamps trimmed, Luke xii. 35, 36, 37. (23.) W. S. W. AVeigh soul- 
works, and all in the balance of the sanctuary. (24.) W. and by S. 
Walk in sweet communion witth Christ here, and so thou mayest die 
in peace, Luke il 29- (25.) W. Whatsoever thy condition be in this 
world, eye God as the disposer of it, and therein be contented, Phil, 
iv. 11. (26.) W. and by N. Walk not according to the course of 
the most, but after the example of the best. (27.)"W. N. W. Weigh 
not what men speak or think of thee, so God approve thee, 2 Chron. 
X. 18. Rom. ii. 28, 29. (28.) N. W. and by W. Never wink at, 
but watch against small sins, nor neglect little duties, Eph. v. 15. 
(29.) N. W. Never wish rashly for death, nor love life too inordi- 
nately. Job iii. 4. (30.) N. W. and by N. Now work nimbly ere 
night come, Job xii. 35, 36. Eccles. ix. 10. (31.) N. N. W. Name 
nothing when thou pleadest with God for thy soul, but Christ and 
free-grace, Dan. ix. 17. (32.) N. and by W. Now welcome Christ, 
if at death thou wouldst be welcomed by Christ. A tender, quick, 
enlivened, and enlightened conscience, is the only point on which we 
must erect these practical rules of our Christian compass, Heb. xiii. 1. 
2 Cor. i. 1 2. Our memory, that is the bocc, in which this compassmust 
be kept, in which these rules must be treasured, that we may be as 
ready and expert in them as the mariner is in his sea-compass. So 
much for the speculative and practical parts of the art of spiritual - 
navigation. The affectionate part doth principally lie in the .secret 
motions or movings of the soul towards God in the affections, which 
are raised and warmed, and especially appear active in meditation ; 
meditation being, as it were, the limbec, or still, in which the affec- 
tions heat and melt, and, as it were, drop sweet spiritual waters. The 
affectionate author of the Christum'' s compass doth indeed, in the third 
and last part of his undertaking, hint at several meditations which the 
spiritual seaman is to be acquainted with, unto which thou hast an 
excellent supplement in this Netv Compass for Seamen. This collec- 
tion is prefixed, that at once thou mayest view all the compasses 
(both speculative, practical, and affectionate) by which thou must steer 
heaven-ward . What further shall be added by way of preface, is not 
to commend this new compass, which indeed (2 Cor. iii. 1.) needs no 
C'j?arr/.m irrtioym, letters of commendation , or any panegyric to usher 
it into an honest heart ; but to stir up all, especially seamen, to make 
conscience of using such choice helps for the promoting the sanctifi- 
cation and salvation of their souls, lor the making of them as dexte- 
rous in the art of spiritual navigation, as any of them are in the art 
of natural navigation. Consider therefore, 

1. What rich merchandise thy soul is. Christ assures us, one soul 
is more worth than all the world. The Lord Jesus doth, as it were, 
put the whole world into one scale, and one soul in the other, and 
the world is found too light, Matt. xvi. 26. Shouldst thou by skill 


in natural navigation carry safe all the treasures of the Indies into 
thine own port, yea, gain the whole world, and for want of skill in 
spiritual-navigation lose thy own soul, thou wouldest be the greatest 
loser in the world. So far wilt thou be from profiting by any of thy 
sea-voyages. There is a plain 'xnMSig in those words of Christ, 
" What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose 
" his own soul ? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?" 
More is meant than is spoken *. 

2. What a leaking vessel thy body is, f in which this unspeakable, 
inconceivable rich treasure, thy soul, is embarked ! O the many dis- 
eases and distempers in the humours and passions that thy body is 
subject to ! It is above 2000 years ago, that there have been reck- 
oned up 300 names of diseases ; and there be many under one name, 
and many nameless, which pose the physicians not only how to cure 
them, but how to call them. And for the affections and passions of 
the mind, the distempers of them, are no less deadly to some, than 
the diseases of the body ; but besides these internal causes, there are 
many external causes of leaks in this vessel, as t poisonous maligni- 
ties, wrathful hostilities, and casual mishaps ; very small matters 
may be of great moment to the sinking of this vessel. The least gnat 
in the air may choak one, as it did Adrian, a pope of Rome ; a little 
liair in milk may strangle one, as it did a counsellor in Rome; a little 
stone of a raisin may stop one's breath, as was the case of the poet Ana- 
creon. Thus you see what a leaking vessel you sail in. Nov/ the more 
leaky any ship is, the more need there is of skill to steer wisely. 

3. Consider what a dangerous sea the world is in which thy soul is 
to sail in the leaking ship of thy body. As there are not more changes 
in the sea, than are in the world, the world being only constant in in- 
constancy, " The fashion of this world passeth away," 1 Cor. vii. 31. 
So there are not more dangers in the sea for ships, than there are in 
the world for souls. In this world souls meet with rocks and sands, 
syrens and pirates ; worldly temptations, worldly lusts, and worldly 
company cause many to " drown themselves in perdition," 1 Tim. 
vi. 9. The very things of this world endanger your souls. By world- 
ly objects we soon grov/ worldly. It is hard to touch pitch, and not 
be defiled. The lusts of this world stain all our glory, and the men 
of this world pollute all they converse with. A man that keeps com- 
pany with the men of this world, is like him that walketh in the sun, 
tanned insensibly. Thus I have hinted to you the dangerousness of 
the sea wherein you are to sail. Now the more dangerous the sea 
is, the more requisite it is that the sailor bo an artist. 

4. Consider, what if through want of skill in the heavenly art of 

• Erasmi chiliad, p. 229. 

f The smallest pore i? a feak wide enouj^h to let in death, and sink thy vessel. 
\ In Ethiopia there is a certain poison whereof the tenth part of one grain will kill 
a man, and lor one grain ttii men. Dan. Setnurt, Hypom. Ph'/s. cap. 2. p. \7. 



spiritual navigation, thou shouldst not steer tliy course aright ! I will 
instance only in two consequents thereof. 1. Thou wilt never arrive 
at the haven of happiness. 2. Thou shalt be drowned in the ocean 
of God"'s wrath. As true as the word of God is true, as sure as the 
heavens are over thy head, and the earth under thy feet ; as sure as 
thou yet livest, and breathest in this air ; so true and certain it is, 
thou shalt never enter into heaven, but sink into the deepof the 
bottomless pit. Am I not herein a messenger of the saddest tidings 
that ever yet thy ears did hear ? Possibly now thou makest a light 
matter of tliese things, because thou dost not know what it is to miss 
of heaven, what it is for ever to lie under the wrath of God ; but 
hereafter thou wilt know fully what it is to have thy soul lost eternally, 
so lost, as that God's mercies, and all the good there is in Christ, 
shall never save it ; and as God hath set and ordered things, can 
never save it. Hereafter thou wilt be perfectly sensible of the good 
that thou mightest have had, and of the evil that shall be upon thee 
(this is God's peculiar prerogative, to make a creature as sensible of 
misery as he pleaseth) then thou Anlt have other thoughts of these 
things than thou now hast. Then the thoughts of thy mind shall be 
busied about thy lost condition, both as to the pain of loss, and the 
pain of sense *, so that thou shalt not be able to take any ease one 
moment ; then, that thy torments may be increased, they acknow- 
ledge the truth of thy apprehensions, yea, the strength of them shall 
be increased ; thou shalt have the true and deep apprehensions 
of the greatness of that good that thou shalt miss of, and of that evil 
which thou shalt procure unto thyself; and then thou shalt not be 
able to chuse, but to apply all thy loss, all thy misery to thyself, 
which will force thee to roar out, O my loss ! O my misery ! O my 
inconceivable, irrecoverable loss and misery ! yea, for the increasing 
of thy torments, thy affections and memory shall be enlarged. O 
that, to prevent that loss and misery, these things may now be known, 
and laid to heart ! O that a blind understanding, a stupid judgment, 
a bribed conscience, a hard heart, a bad memory, may no longer 
make heaven and hell to seem but trifles to thee ! thou wilt then 
easily be persuaded to make it thy main business here, to become 
an artist in spiritual navigation. But to shut up this preface, 
I shall briefly acquaint seamen^ why they should, of all others, be 
men of singular piety and heavenliness, and therefore more than or- 
dinarily study the heavenly art of spiritual navigation. O that 
seamen would then consider, 

1. How nigh they border upon the confines of death and eternity 
every moment ; there is but a step, but an inch or two beween them 
and their graves, continually : the next gust may over-set them, the 
next wave may swallow them up. In one place lie lurking dangerous 

* The flames of hell shall shine about the damned, to let them see how they are 
tormented, Infid, on the chief good, Book 2. 


rocks, in another perilous sands, and every where stormy winds, 
ready to destroy them. * Well may the seamen cry out, Ego eras- 
iimivi non hahid ; I have not had a to-morrow in my hands these 
many years. Should not they then be extraordinary serious and hea- 
venly continually ! Certainly (as the reverend author of this neio 
compass well observes) nothing more composeth the heart to such a 
frame, than the lively apprehensions of eternity do ; and none have 
greater external advantages for that, than seamen liave. 

2. Consider (seamen) what extraordinary help you liave by the 
book of the creatures ; " The whole creation is God's voice ; it is 
•' God's excellent f hand-writing, or the sacred scriptures of the 
" most High,'' to teach us much of God, and what reasons we have 
to bewail our rebellion against God, and to make conscience of obey- 
ing God only, naturally, and continually. The heavens, the earth, 
the waters, are the three great leaves of this book of God, and all the 
creatures are so many lines in those leaves. All that learn not to fear 
and serve God by the help of this book, will be left inexcusable, 
Rom. 1. 20. How inexcusable then will ignorant and ungodly sea- 
men be ! Seamen should, in this respect, be the best scholars in the 
Lord's school, seeing they do, more than others, see the works of 
the Lord, and his wonders in the great deep, Psal. cvii. 24. 

3. Consider how often you are nearer heaven than any people in 
the world. " They mount up to heaven," Psal. cvii. 26. It has been 
said of an ungodly minister, that contradicted his preaching in his 
life and conversation, that it was pity he should ever come out of the 
pulpit, because he v/as there as near heaven as ever he v/ould be. 
Shall it be said of you, upon the same account, that it is a pity you 
should come down from the high towering waves of the sea ? Should 
not seamen that in stormy weather have their feet (as it were) upon 
the battlements of heaven, look down upon all earthly happiness in 
this world but as base, waterish, and worthless ? The great cities of 
Campania seem but small cottages to them that stand on the Alps. 
Should not seamen^ that so oft mount up to heaven, make it their 
main business here, once at last to get into heaven.? What ! (seamen) 
shall you only go]to heaven against your wills ? When seamen mount 
up to heaven in a storm, the Psalmist tells us, That " their souls 
" are melted because of trouble." O that you were continually as 
unwilling to go to hell, as you are in a storm to go to heaven ! 

4. And lastly. Consider what engagements lie upon you to be sin- 
gularly holy, from your singular deliverances and salvations. They 
that go down to the sea in ships, are sometimes in the valley of the 
shadow of death, by reason of the springing of perilous leaks; and yet 
miraculously delivered, either by some wonderful stopping of the 
leak, or by God's sending some ship within their sight, when they 

* Terror ubique tremor, timor undeque terror. Ovid. 

t Mundi creatio est Scriptura Dei, Clemens. Uni versus mundus est Deus eT^HcatiLS* 



have been far out of sight of any lancl ; or by his bringing their near- 
perishing ship safe to shore. Sometimes they have been in very great 
danger of being taken by pirates, yet wonderfully preserved, either 
by God''s calming of the winds in that part of the sea where the pi- 
rates have sailed, or by giving the poor pursued ship a strong gale of 
wind to run away from their pursuers, or by sinking the pirates, &c. 
Sometimes their ships have been cast away, and yet they themselves 
wonderfully got safe to shore upon planks, yards, masts, &c. I might 
be endless in enumerating their deliverances from drowning, from 
burning, from slavery, &c. Sure (seamen) your extrarordinary salva- 
tions lay more than ordinary engagements upon you, to praise, love, 
fear, obey, and trust in your Saviour and Deliverer. I have read that 
the enthralled Greeks were so affected with their liberty, procured 
by Flaminius the Roman general, that their shrill acclamations of 
2w7/j^, 2w7'/5^, a Saviour, a Saviou?'! made the very birds fall down from 
the heavens astonished. O how should seamen be affected with their 
sea-deliverances ! many that have been delivered from Turkish sla- 
very, have vowed to be servants to their redeemers all the days of their 
lives. Ah ! Sirs, will not you be more than ordinarily God's servantsall 
the days of your lives, seeing you have been so oft, so wonderfully re- 
deemed from death itself by him ? Verily, do what you can, you will 
die in God's debt. " As for me, God forbid that I should sin against 
*' the Lord in ceasing to pray for you," 1 Sam. xii. 23, 24. That by 
the perusal of this short and sweet treatise, wherein the judicious and 
ingenious author hath well mixed utile dulci, profit and pleasure, you 
may learn the good and right way, even to fear the Lord, and serve 
him in truth with all your hearts, considering how great things he 
hath done for you. This is the hearty prayer of 

Your cordial Jr ie7id, earnestly desirous of a prosperous voyage 
for your precious and immortal soids. T. M. 


HEN dewy-cheek'd Aurora^doth display 
Her curtains, to let in the new-born day. 
Her heavenly face looks red, as if it were 
DyM with a modest blush, 'twixt shame and fear. 
Sol makes her blush, suspecting that he will 
Scorch some too much, and others leave too chill. 
With such a blush, my little new-born book 
Goes out of hand, suspecting some may look 
Upon it with contempt, while others raise 
So mean a piece too high, by flatting praise. 
Its beauty cannot make its father dote ; 
*Ti5 a poor babe clad in a sea-green coat. 



'TIs gone from me too yoniifr, and now is run 
To sea. among the tribe of Zebulun. 
Go, little book, thou many friends wilt find 
Among that tribe, who will be very kind; 
And many of them care of thee will take, 
Both for thy own, and for thy father's sake. 
Heav'n save it from the dangVous storms and gusts 
That will be rais^l against it by men's lusts. 
Guilt makes men angry, anger is a storm, 
But sacred truth's thy shelter, fear no harm. 
On times, or persons, no reflection's found ! 
Though with reflections few books more abound. 
Go, little book, I have much more to say, 
But seamen call for thee, thou must away : 
Yet ere you have it, grant me one request, 
Pray do not keep it prisoner in your chest. 







— «ck:>og» — 


The launching of a ship plainly sets forth 
Our double state, hy first and second birth. 


1.^ O sooner is a ship built, launched, rigged, victualled, and 
manned, but she is presently sent out into the boisterous ocean, 
where she is nev^r at rest, but continually fluctuating, tossing, and 
labouring, until she be either overwhelmed, and wrecked in the sea; 
or through age, knocks, and bruises, grow leaky, and unserviceable ; 
and so is haled up, and ript abroad. 


No sooner come we into the world as men or as Christians, by a 
natural or supernatural birth, but thus we are tossed upon a sea of 



troubles. Job v. 7. "Yet man is born to trouble, as the spcarks fly 
" upwards."" The spark no sooner comes out of the fire, but it flies 
up naturally ; it needs not any external force, help, or guidance, but 
ascends from a principle in itself; so naturally, so easily doth trouble 
rise out of sin. There is radically all the misery, anguish, and trouble 
in the world in our corrupt natures. As the spark lies close hid in 
the coals, so doth misery in sin ; every sin draws a rod after it. And 
these sorrows and troubles fall not only on the body, in those breach- 
es, flaws, deformities, pains, aches, diseases, to which it is subject, 
which are but the groans of dying nature, and its crumbling, by 
degrees, into dust again ! but on all our employments and callings 
also, Gen. iii. 17, 18, 19. These are full of pain, trouble, and dis- 
appointment. Hag. i. 6. We earn wages, and put it into a bag with 
holes, and disquiet ourselves in vain ; all our relations full of trouble. 
The apostle speaking to those that marry, saith, 1 Cor. vii. 28. 
" Such shall have trouble in the flesh." Upon which words one 
glosseth thus : Flesh and trouble are married together, whether we 
V M WJ / marry or no ; but they that are married, marry 
J •> f ' I f}t " "^^ith, and match into new troubles : All relations 
^ " ' have their burdens, as well as their comforts : It 

were endless to enumerate the sorrows of this kind, and yet the 
troubles of the body are but the body of our troubles ; the spirit of 
the curse falls upon the spiritual and noblest part of man. The soul 
and body, like to EzekiePs roll, are written full with sorrows, both 
within and without. So that we make the same report of our lives, 
when we come to die, that old Jacob made before Pharaoh, Gen. 
xlvii. 9. *' Few and evil hath the days of the years of our lives been."' 
Eccl. ii. 22, 23. " For what hath man of all his labour, and of the 
*' vexation of his heart, -wherein he hath laboured under the sun } 
** For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart 
" taketh no rest in the night : This is also vanity."*" 

Neither doth our new birth free us from troubles, though then 
they be sanctified, sweetened, and turned into blessings to us. We 
put not off" the human, when we put on the divine nature; nor are 
we then freed from the sense, though we are delivered from the sting 
and curse of them. Grace doth not presently pluck out all those 
arrows that sin hath shot into the sides of nature, 2 Cor. vii. 5. 
'' When we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but 
i' we were troubled on every side : Without were fightings, and 
" within were fears."" Rev. vii. 14. " These are they that come out 
** of great tribulations."" The first cry of the new-born Christian 
(says one) gives hell an alarm, and awakens the rage both of devils and 
men against him. Hence Paul and Barnabas acquainted those new 
converts. Acts xiv. 22. " That through much tribulation they must 
" enter into the kingdom of God."" And we find the state of the 
church, in this world, set out (Isa. liv. 11.) by the similitude of a 
distressed ship at sea: " thou afflicted [and tossed] with tempests, 


and not comforted." [Tossed] as Jonah's ship was ; for the same 
word is there used, Jonah i. 11, 13. as a vessel at sea, stormed and 
violently driven without rudder, mast, sail, or tackling. Nor are we 
to expect freedom from those troubles, until harboured in heaven ; 
see 2 Thess. i. 7. O what large catalogues of experiences do the 
saints carry to heaven with them, for their various exercises, dangers, 
trials, and marvellous preservations and deliverances out of all ! and 
yet all these troubles without, are nothing to those within them ; 
from temptations, corruptions, desertions, by passion and compassion; 
Besides their own, there come daily upon them the troubles of others; 
many rivulets fall into this channel and brim, yea, often overflow the 
bank. Psalm xxxiv. 19- '* Many are the afflictions of the righte- 
" ous." 


Hence should the graceless heart thus reflect upon itself, O my 
soul ! into what a sea of troubles art thou launched forth ! and what 
a sad case art thou in ! full of trouble, and full of sin ; and these do 
mutually produce each other. And that which is the most dreadful 
consideration of all, is that I cannot see the end of them. As for the 
saints, they suffer in the world as well as I ; but it is but for a while, 
1 Pet. V. 10. and then they suffer no more, 2 Thess. i. 7. " But all 
" tears shall be wiped away from their eyes," Rev. vii. 17. But my 
troubles look with a long visage, ah ! they are but the beginninor of 
sorrows, but a parboiling before I be roasted in the flames of God's 
eternal wrath. If I continue as I am, I shall but deceive myself, if I 
conclude I shall be happy in the other world, because I have met with 
so much sorrow in this : For I read, Jude, ver. 7. that the inhabi- 
tants of Sodom and Gomorrah, though consumed to ashes, with all 
their estates and relations, (a sorer temporal judgment than ever yet 
befel me) do, notwithstanding that continue still in " everlasting 
" chains, under darkness, in which they are reserved unto the judg- 
" ment of the great day." These troubles of the saints are sancti- 
fied to them, but mine are fruits of the curse. They have spiritual 
consolations to balance them, which flow into their souls in the same 
height and degree, as troubles do upon their bodies, 2 Cor. i. 5. But 
I am a stranger to their comforts, and " intermeddle not with their 
" joys,'' Prov. xiv. 10. If their hearts be surcharged with trouble, 
they have a God to go to ; and when they have opened their cause 
before him, they are eased, return with comfort, and their " counte- 
" nance is no more sad," 1 Sam. i. 18. When their belly is as bot- 
tles full of new wine, they can give it vent by pouring out their 
souls into their Father's bosom : but I have no interest in, nor ac- 
quaintance with this *God, nor can I pray unto him in the Spirit. 
My griefs are shut up like fire in my bosom, which preys upon my 
spirit. This is my sorrow, and I alone must bear it. O my soul. 


look round about thee ! what a miserable case art thou in ? Rest no 
longer satisfied in it, but look out for a Christ also. AVhat though 
I am a vile, unworthy wretch ? yet he promiseth to love freely^ Hos. 
xiv^ 4. and invites such as are heavy laden to him, Mat. xi. 28. 

Hence also should the gracious soul reflect sweetly upon itself after 
this manner : And is the world so full of trouble .^ O my soul ! what 
cause hast thou to stand admiring at the indulgence and goodness of 
God to thee ? Thou hast hitherto had a smooth passage, compara- 
tively to what others have had. How hath Divine Wisdom ordered 
my condition, and cast my lot ? Have I been chastised with whips ? 
others Avith scorpions. Have I had no peace without "^ some have 
neither had peace without or within, but terrors round about. Or 
have 1 felt trouble in my flesh and spirit at once "^ yet have they not 
been extreme, either for time or measure. And hath the world 
been a Sodom, an Egypt to thee ? AVhy then dost thou thus linger 
in it, and hanker after it .? Why do I not long to be gone, and sigh 
more heartily for deliverance .? Why are the thoughts of my Lord's 
coming no sweeter to me, and the day of my full deliverance no more 
panted for .? And why am I no more careful to maintain peace with- 
in, since there is so much trouble without .? Is not this it that puts 
weight into all outward troubles, and makes them sinking, that they 
fall upon me when my spirit is dark, or wounded .? 


My soul, art thou besieg'd 

With troubles round about ; 
If thou be wise, take this advice, 

To keep these troubles out. 
Wise men will 'keep their conscience as their eyes ; 
For in their conscience their best treasure lies. 
See you be tender of your inward peace. 
That shipwreck'd, then your mirth and joy must cease : 
If God from you your outward comforts rend, 
You'll find what 7iced you have of such a friend. 
If this be not by sin destroyed and lost. 
You need not Jea?', your peace will quit your cost. 
If you'd know how to sweeten any grief, 
Tho' ne'er so greats or to procure relief 
Against th' qfflictimis, which, like deadly darts, 
Most fatal are to men of carnal hearts ; 
Reject not that which conscience bids you chuse ; 
And chuse not you what conscience saith, refuse. 
If sin you must, or misery under-lie, ^ 

Resolve to bear, and chuse the misery. 

. . .... '^ 



In the vast ocean spiritual eyes descry 
God's boundless mercy^ and eternity. 



HE ocean is of vast extent and depth, though supposedly mea- 
surable, yet not to be sounded by man. It compasseth about the 
whole earth, which, in the account of Geographers, is twenty-one 
thousand and six hdndred miles in compass ; yet the ocean environs 
it on every side, Psalm civ. 35. and Job xi. 9- Suitable to which 
is that of the poet *. 

'' He spread the seas, which then he did command, 
" To swell with winds, and compass round the land."* 

And for its depth, who can discover it ? The sea in Scripture is 
called the deep^ Job xxxviii. 30. the great deep, Gen. vii. 11. the 
gathering together of the waters into one place. Gen. i. 9. If the 
vastest mountain were cast into it, it wolild appear no more than the 
head of a pin in a tun of water. 


This, in a lively manner, shadows forth the infinite and incompre- 
hensible mercy of our God, whose mercy is said to be over all his 
works, Psal. cxlv. 9- In how many sweet notions is the mercy of God 
represented to us in the Scripture ? He is said to be plenteous, Psalm 
ciii. 8. abundant, 1 Pet. i. 3. rich in mercy, Eph. ii. 4. then, that his 
mercies are unsearchable, Eph. iii. 8. " High as the heavens above 
" the earth," Psal. x. 4. which are so high and vast, that the whole 
earth is but a small point to them ; yea, they are not only compared 
to the heavens, but to come home to the metaphor, to the depths of 
the sea, Mic. vii. 19. which can swallow up mountains as well as mole- 
hills ; and in this sea God hath drowned sins of a dreadful height 
and aggravation, even scarlet, crimson, i. e. deep dyed with many in- 
tensive aggravations, Isa. i. 18. In this sea was the sin of Manasseh 
drowned, and of what magnitude that was, may be seen, 2 Chron. 
xxxiii. 3. yea, in this ocean of mercy did the Lord drown and cover 
the sins of Paul, though a blasphemer, a persecutor, injurious, 1 
Tim. i. 13. " None (saith Augustine) more fierce than Paul among 
" the persecutors, and therefore none greater among sinners :" To 
which himself willingly subscribes, 1 Tim. i. 15. yet pardoned. How 
hath mercy rode in triumph, and been glorified upon the vilest of 

* Tumjreta diffudit rapidisque tumescere venlis 
Jussit, ^ ambit<e circumdare littare terrae. Ovid, 


men ! How hath it stopped the slanderous mouths of men and devils. 
It hath yearned upon " fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, 
" covetous, drunkards, rcvilcrs, extortioners ;" to such have the 
sceptre of mercy been stretched forth, upon their unfeigned repen- 
tance and submission, 1 Cor. vi. 9. What doth the Spirit of God 
aim at in such a large accumulation of names of mercy ? but to con- 
vince poor sinners of the abundant fulness and riches of it, if they 
^vill but submit to the terms on which it is tendered to them. 

In the vastness of the ocean, we have also a lively emblem of eter- 
nity. Who can comprehend or measure the ocean, but God ? And 
who can comprehend eternity but he that is said to inhahit itf Isa. 
Ivii. 5. Though shallow rivers may be drained and dried up, yet 
the ocean cannot. And though these transitory days, months, and 
years will at last expire and determine ; yet eternity shall not. O ! 
it is a long word ! and amazing matter ! what is eternity but a con- 
stant permanency of persons and things, in one and the same state 
and condition for ever; putting them beyond all possibility of change? 
The heathens were wont to shadow it by a circle, or a snake twisted 
round. It will be to all of us, either a perpetual day or night, which 
will not be measured by watches, hours, minutes. And as it cannot 
be measured, so neither can it ever be diminished. When thousands 
of years are gone, there is not a minute less to come. Gerhard and 
Drexelius do both illustrate it by this known similitude: Suppose a 
bird were to come once in a thousand years to some vast mountain of 
sand, and carry away in her bill one grain in a thousand years ; 
O what a vast time would it be ere that immortal bird, after that 
rate, should carry off the mountain ! and yet in time this might be 
done. For there would still be some diminution; but in eternity 
there can be none. There be three things in time, which are not 
competent to eternity : In time there is a succession^ one generation, 
year, and day passeth, and another comes ; but eternity is a fixed 
[tioz^']. In time there is a diminution and wasting, the more is past, 
the less is to come. But it is not so in eternity. In time there is an 
alteration of condition and states : A man may be poor to-day, and 
rich to-morrow ; sickly and diseased this week and well the next ; 
now in contempt, and anon in honour : But no changes pass upon us 
in eternity. As the tree falls at death and judgment, so it lies for 
ever. If in heaven, there thou art a pillar, and shalt go forth no 
more. Rev. iii. 12. If in hell, no redemption thence, but the smoke 
of their torment ascendeth for ever and ever. Rev. xix. 3. 


And is the mercy of God like the great deep, an ocean that none 
can fathom.? What unspeakable comfort is this to me.'^ may the par- 
doned soul say. Did Israel sing a song, when the Lord had over- 
whelmed their corporeal enemies in the seas ? And shall not I break 
forth into his praises, who hath drowned all my sins in the depth of 


mercy ? O my soul, bless thou the Lord, and let his high praises 
ever be in thy mouth. Mayest thou not say, that he hath gone to 
as high an extent and degree of mercy in pardoning thee as ever he 
did in any ? O my God, who is hke unto thee ! that pardoneth ini- 
quity, transgresion and sin. What mercy, but the mercy of a God, 
could cover such abomination as mine ? 

But O! what terrible reflections will conscience make from hence, 
unto all despisers of mercy, when the sinner's eyes come to be opened 
too late for mercy, to do them good ! We have heard indeed, that 
the king of heaven was a merciful king, but we would make no 
address to him, whilst that sceptre was stretched out. We heard of 
balm in Gilead, and a physician there, that was able and willing t 
cure all our wounds, but we would not commit ourselves to him. 
We read, that the arms of Christ were open to embrace and receive 
us, but we would not. O unparalleled folly ! O soul-destroying 
madness ! Now the womb of mercy is shut up, and shall bring forth 
no more mercies to me for ever. Now the gates of grace are shut, 
and no cries can open them. 

Mercy acted its part, and is gone off the stage : and now justice 
enters the scene, and will be glorified for ever upon me. How often 
did I hear the bowels of compassion sounding in the gospel for me ? 
But my hard and impenitent he^rt could not relent ; and now, if it 
could, it is too late. I am now past out of the ocean of mercy, into 
the ocean of eternity, where I am fixed in the midst of endless 
misery, and shall never hear the voice of mercy more ! 

O dreadful eternity ! O soul-confounding word ! Aa ocean in- 
deed, to which this ocean is but as a drop ; for in thee no soul shall 
see either bank or bottom. If I lie but one night under strong pains 
of body, how tedious doth that night seem ! And how do I tell the 
clock, and wish for day ! In the world I might have had life, and 
would not. And now, how fain would I have death, but cannot ? 
How quick were my sins in execution ? And how long is their 
punishment in duration ? O ! how shall I dwell with everlasting 
burnings ^ Oh that God would but vouchsafe one treaty more with 
me ! But alas, all tenders and treaties are now at an end with me. 
On earth peace, Luke ii. 13. but none in hell. O my soul ! consider 
these things ; come, let us debate this matter seriously, before we 
launch out into this ocean. 


▼ ▼ HO from some high rais'd tower views the ground. 
His heart doth tremble, and his head goes round ; 
Even so my soul, whilst it doth view and think 
On this eternity, upon whose brink 
It borders, stands amazed, and doth crv, 
boundless ! bottomless eternity ! 


The scourge of hell, whose very lash doth rend 
The damned souls in twain : What ! never end P 
The more thereon they ponder, think, and pore, 
The more, poor wretches, still they howl and roar. 
Ah ! though more years in torments we should lie. 
Than sands are on the shores, or in the sky 
Are twinkling stars ; yet this gives some relief ! 
The hope of ending. Ah ! but here's the grief ! 
A thousand years in torments past and gone, 
Ten thousand more afresh are coming on ; 
And when these thousands all their course have run. 
The end's no more than when it first begun. 
Come then, my soul, let us discourse together 
This weighty point, and tell me plainly whether 
You for these short-livM joys, that come and go, 
Will plunge yourself and me in endless woe. 
Resolve the question quickly, do not dream 
More time away. I^o, in an hasty stream 
We swiftly pass, and shortly we shall be 
Ingulphed both in this eternity. 


Witlnn these smooth Jkcd seas strange creatures craid ; 
But in man's heart Jar stranger than them all. 


_I T was an unadvised saying of Plato, Mare nil memorahile produ- 
cit : the sea produceth nothing memorable. But surely there is much 
of the wisdom, power, and goodness of God manifested in those in- 
habitants of the waterv region ; notwithstanding the sea's azure and 
smiling face, strange creatures are bred in its womb. " O Lord, 
" (saith David) how manifold are thy works : In wisdom hast thou 
" made them all ; the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and 
" wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and 
" great beasts," Psal. civ. 24, 25. And we read. Lam. iv. 5. of 
sea-monsters, which draw out their breasts to their young. Pliny 
and Purchas tell incredible stories about them. About the tropic of 
Capricorn, our seamen meet with flying fishes, that have wings like a 
rere-mouse, but of a silver colour ; they fly in flocks like stares. There 
are creatures of very strange forms and properties ; some resembling 
&, cow, called by the Spaniards, manates, by some supposed to be the 
sea-monster spoken of by Jeremy. In the rivers of Guinea, Purchas 
saith, there are fishes that have four eyes, bearing two above, and two 
beneath the water, when they swim : both resembling a toad, and 
very poisonous. How strange, both iu shape and property, is the 


sword-fish and thresher, that fight with the whale : Even our own 
seas produce creatures of strange shapes, but the commonness takes 
off the wonder. 


Thus doth the heart of man naturally swarm and abound with 
strange and monstrous lusts and abominations, Rom. i. 29, 30, 31. 
'•' Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, 
*' covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, 
'' malignity; whisperers, backbiters, hatersof God, despiteful, proud, 
" boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without 
" understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, im- 
" placable, unmerciful." O what a swarm is here ! and yet there 
are multitudes more, in the depths of the heart ! And it is no won- 
der, considering that with this nature, we received the spawn of the 
blackest and vilest abominations. This original lust is productive of 
them all, James i. 14, 15. Which lust, though it be in every man, 
numericalli)^ different from that of others, yet it is one and the same 
specifically^ for sort and kind, in all the children of Adam; even as 
the reasonable soul, though every man hath his own soul, viz. a soul 
individually distinct from another man''s, yet it is the same for kind 
in all men. So that whatever abominations are in the hearts and 
lives of the vilest Sodomites, and the most profligate wretches under 
heaven ; there is the same matter in thy heart out of which they were 
shaped and formed. In the depths of the heart they are conceived, 
and thence they crawl out of the eyes, hands, lips, and all the mem- 
bers. Mat. XV. 18, 19- " Those things (saith Christ) which proceed 
" out of the moutli, come forth from the heart, and defile a man. 
" For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, 
*' fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies :'' even such mon- 
sters as would make a gracious heart tremble to behold. ' What are 
' my lusts (saith one*) but so many toads spitting of venom, and 
' spawning of poison ; croaking in my judgment, creeping in my 
' will, and crawling into my affections ?' The apostle in 1 Cor. v. 
1. tells us of a sin, "not to be named;*" so monstrous, that native 
itself startles at it : even such monsters are generated in the depths of 
tlie hearts. AVhence come evils ? was a question that much puzzled 
the philosophers of old. Now here you may see whence they come, 
and where they are begotten. 


And are there such strange abominations in the heart of man ? 
Then how is he degenerated from his primitive perfection and glory ! 
His streams were once as clear as crystal, and the fountain of them 
pure, there, was no unclean creature moving in them. What a 

* Faliej's Meditations, p. il. 


stately fabric was the soul at first ! And what holy inhabitants pos- 
sessed the several rooms thereof ! But now, as God speaks of Idumea, 
Isa. xxxiv. 11. "The line of confusion is stretched out upon it, and 
" the stones of emptiness. The cormorant and bittern possess it ; 
" the owl and the raven dwell in it." Yea, as Isa. xiii. 21, 22. 
" The wild beasts of the desart lie there : it is full of doleful crea- 
" tures, the satyrs dance in it, and dragons cry in those sometimes 
" pleasant places." O sad change ! how sadly may we look back to- 
wards our first state ! and take up the words of Job, " O that I 
" were as in months past, as in the days of my youth ; when the 
" Almighty was yet with me, when I put on righteousness, and it 
" clothed me, when my glory was fresh in me," Job xxix. 2, 4, 5. 

Again, think, O my soul, what a miserable condition the unrege- 
nerate abide in ! Thus swarmed and over-run with hellish lusts, under 
the dominion and vassalage of divers lusts. Tit. iii. 3. What a tu- 
multuous sea is such a soul: how do these lusts rage within them ! 
how do they contest and scufile for the throne ! and usually take it 
by turns : for as all diseases are contrary to health, yet some contrary 
to each other, so are lusts. Hence poor creatures are hurried on to 
different kinds of servitude, according to the nature of that imperious 
lust that is in the throne ; and, like the lunatic. Mat. xvii. are some- 
times cast into the water, and sometimes into the fire. Well might 
the prophet say, " The mcked is like a troubled sea, that cannot rest," 
Isa. vii. 20. They have no peace now in the service of sin, and less 
shall they have hereafter, when they receive the wages of sin. " There 
" is no peace to the wicked, saith my God." They indeed cry 
Peace, peace ; but my God doth not so. The last issue and result 
of this is eternal death ; no sooner is it dehvered of its deceitful plea- 
sures, but presently it falls in travail again, and brings forth death, 
Jam. i. 15. 

Once more : and is the heart such g, sea, abounding with mon- 
strous abominations ? Then stand astonished, O my soul, at that free 
grace which hath dehvered thee from so sad a condition ; O fall down 
and kiss the feet of mercy that moved so freely and seasonably to thy 
rescue ? Let my heart be enlarged abundantly here. Lord, what am 
I, that I should be taken, and others left ? Reflect, O my soul, upon 
the conceptions and bursts of lusts in the days of vanity, which thou 
now blushest to own. O what black imaginations, hellish desires, 
vile affections are lodged there ! Who made me to differ .? or, how 
came I to be thus wonderfully separated ? Surely, it is by thy free- 
gmce, and nothing else, that I am what I am; and by that grace I 
have escaped (to mine own astonishment) the corruption that is in 
the world through lust. O that ever the holy God should set his eyes 
on such an one ; or cast a look of love towards me, in whom were 
legions of unclean lusts and abominations. 




J^XY souFs the sea, wherein, from day to day, 

Sins like Leviathans do sport and play. 

Great master-lusts, with all the lesser try. 

Therein increase, and strangely multiply. 

Yet strange it is not, sin so fast should breed, 

Since with this nature I received the seed 

And spawn of ev'ry species, which was shed 

Into its caverns first, then nourished 

By its own native warmth ; which like the sun 

Hath quickened them, and now abroad they come : 

And like the frogs of Egypt creep and crawl 

Into the closest rooms within my soul. 

My fancy swarms, for there they frisk and play, 

In dreams by night, and foolish toys by day. 

My judgment's clouded by them, and my will 

Perverted, every corner, they do fill. 

As locusts seize on all that's fresh and green. 

Unclothe the beauteous spring, and make it seem 

Like drooping autumn ; so my soul, that first 

As Eden seem'd, now's like a ground that's curst. 

Lord purge my streams, and kill those lusts that lie 

Within them ; if they do not, I must die. 

Seas purge themselves, and cast their Jilth ashore^ 
But graceless souls retain^ and suck in more. 


©EAS are in a continual motion and agitation, they have their flux 
and reflux, by which they are kept from putrefaction : like a foun- 
tain it cleanses itself, Isa. Ivii. 20. " It cannot rest, but casts up 
** mire and dirt ;" whereas lakes and ponds, whose waters are stand- 
ing, and dead, corrupt and stink. And it is observed by seamen, 
that in the southern parts of the world, where the sea is more calm 
and settled, it is more corrupt and unfit for use ; so is the sea of 
Sodom, called the dead sea. 


Thus do regenerate souls purify themselves, and work out corrup, 
tion that defiles them, they cannot sufPer it to settle there, 1 John 
iii. 3. " He purifieth himself, even as he is pure." " Keepeth himself 
" that the wicked one toucheth him not," 1 John v. 18. scil. tanctil 

Vol. V. P 


qualitativo^ with a qualitative touch, as the loadstone toucheth iron, 
leaving an impression of its nature behind it. They are doves delight- 
ing in cleanness, Isa. xxxiii. 15. " He despiseth the gain of oppres- 
" sion, he shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, stoppeth his ears 
" from hearing blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil." See 
how all senses and members are guarded against sin : but it is quite 
contrary with the wicked ; there is no principle of holiness in them 
to oppose or expel corruption. It lies in their hearts as mud in a lake 
or well, which settles and corrupts more and more. Hence Ezek. 
xlvii. 11. their hearts are compared to miry or marshy places, which 
cannot be healed, but are given to salt : the meaning is, that the pur- 
est streams of the gospel, which cleanse others, make them worse than 
before, as abundance of rain will a miry place. The reason is, be- 
cause it meets with an obstacle in their souls, so that it cannot run 
through them and be glorified, as it doth in gracious souls. All the 
means and endeavours used to cleanse them are in vain ; all the grace 
of God they receive in vain, " they hold fast deceit, they refuse to 
** let it go," Jer. viii. 5. Sin is not in them as floating weeds upon 
the sea, which it strives to expel and purge out, but as spots in the 
leopard's skin, Jer. xiii. 21. or letters fashioned and engraven in the 
very substance of marble or brass with a pen of iron, and point of a 
diamond, Jer. xvii. 1. or as ivy in an old wall, that hath gotten root 
in its very entrails. " Wickedness is sweet to their mouths, they roll 
" it under their tongues," Job xx. 12. No threats nor promises can 
divorce them from it. 


Lord ! this is the very frame of my heart, may the graceless soul 
say. ]\Iy corruptions quietly settle in me, my heart labours not against 
them : I am a stranger to that conflict which is daily maintained in all 
the faculties of the regenerate soul. Glorified souls have no such con- 
flict, because grace in them stands alone, and is perfectly triumphant 
over all opposites ; and graceless souls can have no such conflict, be- 
cause in them corruption stands alone, and hath no other principle to 
make opposition to it. And this is my case, O Lord ! I am full of vain 
hopes indeed, but had I a living and well-grounded hope to dwell 
for ever with so holy a God, I could not but be daily purifying my- 
self. But O ! what willt he end of this be ? I have cause to tremble at 
that last and dreadfulest curse in the book of God, Rev. xxii. 11." Let 
'' him that is filthy be filthy still." Is it not as much as if God should 
say, Let them alone, I will spend no more rods upon them, no more 
means shall be used about them ; but I will reckon with them for all 
together in another world ? O mv soul ! what a dismal reckoning 
will that be ! Ponder v.ith thyself in the mean while those terrible 
and awakening texts, that, if possible, this fatal issue may be prevent'^ 
ed. See Isa, i. 5. Hos. iv. 14. Jer. vi. 29, 30. Heb. vi. 8. 



Jxl-Y heart's no fountain, but a standing lake 
Of putrid waters ; if therein I rake, 
By serious search, O ! what a noisome smell, 
Like exhalations rising out of hell ; 
The stinking waters pump'd up from the hold, 
Are as perfumes to seamen : but my soul 
Upon the same account that they are glad, 
(Its long continuance there) is therefore sad. 
The scripture saith, " No soul God's face shall see,"" 
Till from such filthly lusts it cleansed be. 
Yet though unclean, it may that way be rid. 
As Herculus the Augean stable did. 
Lord turn into my soul that cleansing blood, 
Which from my Saviour's side flow'd as a flood. 
Flow, sacred fountain, brim my banks ; and flow 
Till you have made my soul as white as snow. 



Seamen foresee a danger^ and prepare ; 
Yet few of greater dangers are a'unare, 


JHOW watchful and quick-sighted are seamen to prevent dangers ! 
if the wind die away, and then fresh up southerly : or if they see 
the sky hazy, they provide for a storm : if by the prospective-glass 
they know a pirate at a great distance, they clear the gun-room, 
prepare for fight, and bear up, if able to deal with him ; if not, 
they keep close by the wind, make all the sail they can, and bear 
away. If they suppose themselves, by their reckoning, near land, 
how often do they sound ? And if upon a coast with which they 
are unacquainted, how careful are they to get a pilot that knows, 
and is acquainted with it.'' 


Thus watchful and suspicious ought we to be in spiritual concern- 
ments. AVe should study, and be acquainted with Satan's wiles 
and policy. The apostle takes it for granted, that Christians are 
not ignorant of his devices, 2 Cor. ii. 11. " The serpent's eye (as 
" one saith) would do well in the dove's head." The devil is a 
cunning pirate, he puts out false colours, and ordinarily comes up 
to the Christian in the disguise of a friend. 

the manifold depths and stratagems of Satan to destroy §ouls ! 



though he have no wisdom to do himself good, yet he hath poUcy 
enough to do us mischief. He hes in ambush behind our lawful 
comforts and employments ; yet, for the generality of men, how su- 
pine and careless are they, suspecting no danger ? Their souls, like 
Laish dwell carelessly, their senses unguarded; O what an easy 
prize, and conquest, doth the devil make of them ! 

Indeed, if it were with us as with Adam in innocency, or as it 
was with Christ in the days of his flesh (who by reason of that over- 
flowing fulness of grace that dwelt in him, the purity of his person, 
and the hypostatical union, was secured from the danger of all temp- 
tations) the case then were otherwise ; but we have a traitor within, 
James i. 14, 15. as well as a tempter without: 1 Pet. v. 8. " Our 
" adversary the devil goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he 
" may devour f And, like the beasts of the forest, poor souls lie 
down before him, and become his prey. All the sagacity, wit, 
policy, and foresight of some men, is summoned in to serve their 
bodies, and secure their fleshly enjoyments. 


Lord ! how doth the care, wisdom, and vigilance of men in tem- 
poral and external things, condemn my carelessness in the deep and 
dear concernments of my precious soul ! what care and labour is 
there to secure a perishing life, liberty, or treasure ! when was I 
thus solicitous for my soul, though its value be inestimable, and its 
danger far greater ! Self-preservation is one of the deepest principles 
in nature. There is not the poorest fly, or worm, but will shun 
danger, if it can: yet I am so far from shunning those dangers to 
which my soul lies continually exposed, that I often run it upon 
temptations, and voluntarily expose it to its enemies. I see Lord 
how watchful, jealous, and laborious thy people are ; what prayers, 
tears, and groans, searching of heart, mortification of lusts, guarding 
of senses ; and all accounted too little by them. Have not I a soul 
to save or lose eternally, as well as they ? Yet I cannot deny one 
fleshly lust, nor withstand one temptation. O how I am convinced 
and condemned, not only by other's care and vigilance, but my 
own too, in lesser and lower matters ? 


AM the ship whose bills of lading come 
To more than man's or angel's art can sum, 
Rich fraught with mercies, on the ocean, now 
I float, the dang'rous ocean I do plow. 
Storms rise, rocks threaten, and in every creek 
Pirates and picaroons their prizes seek. 
My soul should watch, look out, and use its glass. 
Prevent surprisals timely ; but, alas I 


Temptations give it chace, 'tis grappled sure, 

And boarded, wliilst it thinks itself secure. 

It sleeps, like Jonah, in the dreadful storm, 

Altho' its case be dangVous, and forlorn. 

Lord, rouse my drowsy soul, lest it should knock, 

And split itself upon some dangerous rock. 

If it of faith and conscience shipwreck make, 

I am undone for ever ; soul, awake ! 

Till thou arrive in heav'n, watch, and fear; 

Thou may'st not say. till then, the coast is clear. 


How small a matter turns a ship abouty 
Yet we, against our conscience, stand it out. 


XT is just matter of admiration, to see so great a body as a ship is, 
and when under sail too, before a fresl> and strong wind, by whicli 
it is carried, as the clouds, with marvellous force and speed, yet to 
be commanded with ease, by so small a thing as the helm is. The 
scripture takes notice of it as a matter worthy of our consideration. 
Jam. iii. 4. " Behold also the ships, which though they be great, 
*' and driven of fierce winds ; yet they are turned about with a small 
*' helm, whithersoever the governor listeth." Yea, * Aristotle him- 
self, that eagle-eyed philosopher, could not give a reason of it, but 
looked upon it as a very marvellous and wonderful thing. 


To the same use and office has God designed conscience in man, 
which being rectified and regulated by the word and spirit of God, is 
to steer and order his whole conversation. Conscience is as the oracle 
of God, the judge and determiner of our actions, whether they be 
good or evil ? And it lays the strongest obligation upon the creature 
to obey its dictates, that is imaginable ; for it binds under the reason 
and consideration of the most absolute and sovereign will of the great 
God. So that as often as conscience from the word convinceth us of 
any sin or duty, it lays such a bond upon us to obey it, as no power 
under heaven can relax or dispense with. Angels cannot do it, much 
Jess man ; for that would be to exalt themselves above God. Now 
therefore it is an high and dreadful way of sinning, to oppose and 
rebel against conscience, when it convinces of sin and duty. Con-» 
science sometimes reasons it out with men, and shews them the 

* Aristot. SeciHid. MjjXav/xwv, c. 5. 



necessity of changing their way and course ; arguing it from the 
clearest and most allowed maxims of right reason, as well as from 
the indisputable sovereignty of God. 

As for instance : it convinceth their Yery reason that things of 
eternal duration are infinitely to be preferred to all momentary and 
perishing things, Rom. viii. 18. Heb. xi. 26. and it is our duty to 
chuse them, and make all secular and temporary concernments to 
stand aside, and give place to them. Yet though men be convinced 
of this, their stubborn will stands out, and will not yield up itself to 
the conviction. 

Further, It argues from this acknowledged truth, that all the de- 
light and pleasures in this world are but a miserable portion, and that 
it is the highest folly to adventure an immortal soul for them, Luke 
ix. 15. Alas ! what remembrance is there of them in hell.'* They 
are as the waters that pass away. What have they left, of all their 
mirth and jollity, but a tormenting sting ? It convinceth them clearly, 
also, that in matters of deep concernment it is an high point of wis- 
dom, to apprehend and improve the right seasons and opportunities 
of them, Prov. x. 5. " He that gathers in summer is a wise son." 
Eccl. viii. 5. " A wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment. 
" There is a season to every purpose,"" Eccl. iii. 1. viz. a nick of 
time, an happy juncture, when if a man strikes in, he doth his work 
effectually, and with much facility : such seasons conscience con- 
vinceth the soul of, and often whispers thus in its ear : Now, soul, 
strike in, close with this motion of the Spirit, and be happy for ever ; 
thou mayest never have such a gale for heaven any more. Now, 
though these be allowed maxims of reason, and conscience enforce 
them srongly on the soul, yet cannot it prevail ; the proud, stubborn 
will rebels, and will not be guided bv it. See Eph. ii. 3. Job xxxiv. 
37. Isa. xlvi, 12. Ezek. ii, 4. Jer. xHv. 16. 


Ah ! Lord, such an heart have I had before thee ; thus obstinate, 
thus rebellious, so imcontroulable by conscience. Many a time hath 
conscience thus whispered in mine ear, many a time hath it stood in 
iny way, as the angel did in Balaam's, or the cherubims that kept the 
way of the tree of hfe with flaming swords turning every way. Thus 
hath'it stood to oppose me in the way of my lusts. How often hath it 
calmly debated the case with me alone ? and how sweetly hath it ex- 
postulated with me ? How clearly hath it convinced of sin, danger, 
duty, with strong demonstration ? How terrible hath it menaced my 
soul, and set the point of the threatening at my very breast ? And yet 
my head-strcng affections will not be remanded by it. I have obeyed 
the voice of every lust and temptation. Tit. iii. 3. but conscience hath 
lost its authority with me. Ah Lord ! Lord I what a sad condition 
am I in, both in respeet of sin and misery ? My sin receives dreadful 
aggravations, for rebellion and presumption are hereby added to it» 


1 have violated the strongest bonds that ever were laid upon a crea- 
ture. If my conscience had not thus convinced and warned, the 
sin had not been so great and crimson-coloured, Jam. iv. 17- Ah ! 
this is to sin with an high hand. Numb. xv. 80. to come near to tlie 
great and unpardonable transgression, Psal. xix. 13. O how dread- 
ful a way of sinning is this, with opened eyes ! and as my sin is thus 
out of measure sinful, so my punishment will be out of measure dread- 
ful, If I persist in this rebellion. Lord ! thou hast said, such shall be 
beaten with many stripes, Luke xii. 48. yea. Lord, and if ever my con- 
science, which by rebellion is now grown silent, should be in judgment 
awakened in this life ; O ! what an hell should I have within me ! how 
would it thunder and roar upon me, and surround me with terror? 
Thy word assures me, that no length of time can wear out of its 
memory what I have done. Gen. xlii. 21. no violence or force can 
suppress it. Mat. xxvii. 4. no greatness of power can stifle it ; it will 
take the mightiest monarch by the throat, Exod. x. 16. Dan. v. 6. 
no music, pleasures, or delights, can charm it. Job xx. 2,^. O con- 
science ! thou art the sweetest friend, or the dreadfullest enemy in 
the world ; thy consolations are incomparably sweet, and thy ter- 
rors insupportable. Ah ! let me stand it out no longer against con- 
science ; the very ship in which I sail is a confutation of my madness, 
that rushes greedily into sin against both reason and conscience, and 
will not be commanded by it ; surely, O my soul, this will be bit- 
terness in the end. 


jlIl SHIP of greatest burthen will obey 
The rudder ; he that sits at helm, may sway 
And guide its motion : If the pilot please, 
The ship bears up, against both wind and seas. 
My souPs the ship, affections are its sails. 
Conscience the rudder. Ah i but Lord, what ails 
My naughty heart, to shuffle in and out, 
When its convictions bid it tack about .'^ 
Temptations blow a counter blast, and drive 
The vessel where they please, tho"* conscience strive. 
And by its strong persuasions it would force 
My stubborn will to steer another course. 
Lord, if I run this course, thy word doth tell 
How quickly I must needs arrive at hell. 
Then rectify my conscience, change my will ; 
Fan in thy pleasant gales, my God, and fill 
All my affections, and let nothing carry 
My soul from its due course, or make it vary ; 
Then if the pilot's work tliou wouldst perform, 
I should bear bravely up against a storm. 




Thro' many fears and dangers seamen riuiy 
Yet aWsJbr gotten xchen they do return, 


. ▼ T E have an elegant and lively description of their fears and 
dangers, Psal. cvii. 25, 26, 27. " He commandeth and raiseth the 
" stormy winds, which lift up the waves thereof: they mount up 
" to heaven, they go down again to the depths ; their soul is 
" melted because of trouble ; they reel to and fro, they stagger like 
*' a drunken man ; they are at their wits end." Or, as it is in the 
Hebrew, " All wisdom is swallowed up." Suitable to which is 
that of the poet *. 

" The pilot knows not what to chuse, or flee ; 
" Art stands amazed in ambjouity." 

O what a strange and miraculous deliverance have many seamen 
had ^ How often have they yielded themselves for dead men, and 
verily thought the next sea would have swallowed them up ? How 
earnestly then do they cry for mercy.'' and, like the Cymbrians, 
can pray in a storm, though they regard it not at other times, Psal. 
cvii. 28. Jonah i. 5, 6. 


These dreadful storms do at once discover to us the mighty power 
of God in raising them, and the abundant goodness of God in pre*. 
serving poor creatures in them. 

1. The power of God is graciously manifested in raising them ? 
the wind is one of the Lord's wonders, Psal. cvii. 24, 25. " They 
" that go down to the sea, see the works of the Lord, and his [won- 
" ders] in the deep ; for he commandeth and raiseth the stormy 
" winds." Yea, ver. 18. God appropriates it as a peculiar work of 
his ; " he causeth his [wind to blow]." Hence he is said in scripture to 
" bring them forth out of his treasury," Psal. cxxxvii. 7. there they 
are locked up, and reserved ; not a gust can break forth till he com- 
mand and call for it to go and execute his pleasure : Yea, he is said 
to " hold them in his fist," Prov. xxx. 4. What is more incapable 
of holding than the wind ? yet God holds it : although it be a strong 
and terrible creature, he controls and rules it : yea, the scripture 
sets forth God, * as riding upon the wings of the M-ind,' Psal xviii. 
10. It is a borrowed speech from the manner of men, who when 
they would shew their pomp and greatness, ride upon some stately 

* Rector in, incerto est : nee quidj'ugiatve petntve 
hivenit ; ambiguis ars stupet ipsa malis. Ovid. 


liorse, or chariot ; so the Lord, to manifest the greatness of his power, 
rides upon the wings of the wind, and will be admired in so terrible 
a creature. 

And no less of his glorious power appears in remanding them, 
than in raising them. The heathens ascribe this power to their god 
^olus, but we know this is the royalty and sole prerogative of the 
true God who made heaven and earth ; it is he that " makes the 
" storm a calm," Psal. cvii. 29. and it is he that shifts and changes 
them from point to point, as he pleaseth ; for he hath appointed 
them their circuits, Eccl. i. 6. " The wind goeth towards the south, 
" and turneth about unto the north ; it whirleth about continually, 
" and returneth ag-ain according; to its circuits." 

2. And as we should adore his power in the winds, so ought we to 
admire his goodness in preserving men in the height of all their fury 
and violence. O what a marvellous work of God is here ! that men 
should be kept in a poor weak vessel, upon the wild and stormy 
ocean, where the wind hath its full stroke upon them, and they are 
driven before it, as a wreck upon die seas ; yet, I say, that God 
should preserve you there, is a work of infinite goodness and |X)wer. 
That those winds which do rend the very earth, mountains, and rocks, 
1 Kings xix. 11. " Breaks the cedars, yea, the cedars of Lebanon, 
*' shakes the wilderness, and makes the hinds to calve," Psal. xxix. 
5, 8, 9. which naturalists say bring forth with greatest difficulty ; 
surely your preservation, in such tempests, is an astonishing work of 
mercy. O how dreadful is this creature, the wind, sometimes to 
you ! and how doth it make your hearts shake within you ? If but 
a plank spring, or a bolt give way, you are all lost. Sometimes the 
Lord, for the magnifying of the riches of his goodness upon you, 
drives you to such exigencies, that, as Paul speaks, in a like case, 
Acts xxvii. 20. " All hope of being saved is taken away ;" nothing 
but death before your eyes. The Lord commands a wind out of his 
treasury, bids it go and lift up the terrible waves, lock you in upon 
the shore, and drive you upon the rocks, so that no art can save you ; 
and then sends you a piece of wreck, or some other means, to land 
you safe : And all this to give you an experiment o^ his goodness 
and pity, that you may learn to fear that God in whose hand your 
soul and breath are. 

And it may be, for the present, your hearts are much affected ; 
conscience works strongly, it smites you for sins formerly committed, 
such and such counsels of ministers, or relations slighted. Now, 
f^aith conscience, God is come in this storm to reckon with thee for 
these things. But, alas ! all this is but a morning dew ; no sooner 
is that storm without allayed, but all is quiet within too. How little 
of the goodness of God abides kindly, and effectually upon tli^ 
heart ? 

SS6 A XEW COMFASS for seamen ; OR, 


How often hath this glorious power and goodness of God passed 
before me in dreadful storms and tempests at sea? He hath uttered 
his voice in these stormy winds, and spoken in a terrible manner by 
them ; yet how little have I been affected Avith it ? " The Lord hath 
" his way in the whirlwind, and in the storm," Nah. i. S. To some 
he hath walked in ways of judgment and wrath, sending them down 
in a moment to hell : but to me in a way of forbearance and mercy. 
Ah ! how often have I been upon the very brink of eternity ! had 
not God shifted or allayed the wind in a moment, I had gone down 
into hell. What workings of conscience were at present upon me ? 
And what terrible apprehensions had I then of my eternal condi- 
tion ? What vows did I make in that distress ? And how earnestly 
did I then beg for mercy? But, Lord, though thy vows are upon 
me, yet have I been the same ; yea, added to, and filled up the 
measure of my sins. Neither the bonds of mercy thou hast laid 
upon me, nor the sacred and solemn vows I have laid upon myself, 
could restrain me from those ways of iniquity, which then appeared 
so dreadful to me. 

Ah ! Lord, what an heart have I ? What love, pity, and good- 
ness have I sinned against ? If God had but respited judgment so 
long, what a mercy were it. Sure I am, the damned would account 
it so ; but to give me such a space to repent, ah ! what an invaluable 
mercy is this ? And do I thus requite the Lord, Deut. xxxii. 6. and 
pervert and abuse his goodness thus ? Surely, O my soul, if this be 
the fruit of all thy preservations, they are rather reservations to some 
farther and sorer judgments. How dreadfully will justice at last 
avenge the quarrel of abused mercy. Josh. xxiv. 20. How grievously 
did God take it from the Israelites, that they provoked him at the 
sea, even at the red-sea? Psal. cvi. 7. where God had wrought their 
deliverance in such a miraculous way. Even thus have I sinned after 
the similitude of their transgressions ; not only against the laws of 
God, but against the love of God. In the last storm he shot off his 
warning-piece, in the next he may discharge his murdering-piece 
against my soul and body. O my soul ! hath he given thee " such 
" deliverances as these, and darest thou again break his command- 
-' ments,"' Ezra ix. 13, 14. O let me pay the vows that my lips have 
uttered in my distress, lest the Lord recover his glory from me in a 
way of judgment. 


Jl- RE ship that now sails trim before a wind. 
E'er the desired port it gains, may find 
A tedious passage ; gentle gales a while 
Do fill its sails, the flattVing seas do smile, 
The face of heav'n is bright on evVy side 
The wanton porpoise tumbles on the tide. 


Into their cabins now the seamen go, 

And then turns out again, with. What cheer, ho ? 

All on a sudden darkened are the skies, 

The lamp of heav'n obscured, the winds doth rise; 

AVaves swell like mountains ; Now their courage flags. 

The masts are crack'd, the canvas torn to rags. 

The vessel works for life ; anon one cries, 

The main masfs gone by tK hoard; another plies 

The pump, until a third does strike them blank, 

With, S'lrs^ prepare for death, we've sprung a planky 

Now to their knees they go, and on this wise 

They beg for mercy, with their loudest cries : 

Lord, save us but this once, and thou shalt see 

What persons, for the future, we will be : 

Our former time's mis-spent, but, with a vow, 

We will engage, if thou wilt save us now, 

To mend what is amiss. The gracious Lord, 

Inclin d to pity, takes them at their word ; 

The winds into their treasures he doth call. 

Rebukes the stormy sea, and brings them all 

To theiu desired haven : once a-shore, 

And then their vows are ne'er rememberM more. 

Thus soul's are shipwreck'd tho' the bodies live, 

Unless in time thou true repentance give. 


The navigator shifts his sails to take 

All Kinds, but that which for his soul doth make. 


A HE mariner wants no skill and wisdom to improve several winds, 
and make them serviceable to his end; a bare side wind, by his skill 
in shifting and managing the sails, will serve his turn : He will not 
lose the advantage of one breath or gale, that may be useful to him. 
I have many times wondered to see two ships sailing in a direct 
coimter motion, by one and the same wind : Their skill and ^nsdom 
herein is admirable. 


Thus prudent and skilful are men in secular and lower matters, 
and yet how ignorant and unskilful in the great and everlastmg af- 
fairs of their souls ! All their invention, judgment, wit, and memory, 
seem to be pressed for the service of the flesh. They can learn an 
art quickly, and arrive to a great deal of exactness in it ; but in soul- 
matters, no knowledge at all. They can understand the Equator, 
Meridian, and Horizon ; by the first they can tell the latitude of any 


place, south or north, measuring it by the degrees in the Meridian ; 
by the second they can tell you the longitude of a place, east and 
west, from the Meridian, measuring it by the degrees of the Equator; 
and by the third they can discern the divers risings and settings of 
the stars. And so in other arts and sciences, we find men endowed 
with rare abilities, and singular sagacity. Some have piercing ap- 
prehensions, solid judgments, stupendous memories, rare invention, 
and excellent elocution ; but put them upon any spiritual superna- 
tural matter, and the weakest Christian, even a babe in Christ, shall 
excel them therein, and give a far better account of regeneration, the 
work of grace, the life of faith, than these can. 1 Cor. i. 26. " Not 
*' many wise men after the flesh, ^-c. But God bath chosen the 
" foolish things of this world," «^c. 


How inexcusable, then, art thou, O my soul ! and how mute and 
confounded must thou needs stand before the bar of God in that 
great day ? Thou hadst a talent of natural parts committed to thee, 
but which way have they been improved ? I had an understanding 
indeed, but it was not sanctified ; a memory, but it was like a sieve, 
that let go the corn, and retained nothing but husks and chaff; wit 
and invention, but, alas ! none to do myself good. Ah ! how will 
these rise in judgment against me, and stop my mouth ? What ac- 
count shall I give for them in that day ? 

Again, are men (otherwise prudent and skilful) such sots and fools 
in spiritual things; Then let the poor, weak Christian, whose natural 
parts are blunt and dull, admire the riches of God's free grace to him. 
O what an astonishing consideration is this ! that God should pass 
by men of the profoundest natural parts, and chuse me, even poor 
me, whose natural faculties and endowments, compared with theirs, 
are but as lead to gold ! Thus under the law he passed by the lion 
and. eagle, and chose the lamb and dove. O how should it make me 
to advance grace, as Christ doth upon the same account, Mat. xi. 25. 
" I thank thee. Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid 
*' these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them to babes.''"' 
And let it ever be a humbling consideration to me ; for who made me 
to differ? Is not this one principal thing God aims at, in calling such 
as I am ; that boasting may be excluded, and himself alone exalted ? 


'NE thing doth very much affect my mind, 
To see the seaman husband evVy wind ; 
With excellent art he shifts the sails, and knows 
How to improve the fairest wind that blows. 
If a direct, or fore right gale he want, 
A side wind serves his turn, tho' ne'er so scant. 


And will not this one day in judgment rise 
Against your souls ? Ah ! can you be so wise 
In smaller matters ; what, and yet not know 
How to improve fresh gales of grace that blow ? 
Fast moored in sin your wind-bound souls can lie, 
And let these precious gales rise, blow, and die. 
Sometimes on your affections you may feel 
Such gracious breathings : Ah, but hearts of steel, 
They move you not, nor cause you to relent ; 
Tho' able, like Elijah's wind, to rent 
The rocks asunder : If you do not prize 
Those breathings, other winds will'shortly rise, 
And from another quarter ; those once gone, 
Then next look out for an Euroclydon, 
A dreadful storm : how soon, no man can tell ; 
But when it comes, 'twill blow such souls to hell. 



If seamen lose a gale, there they may lie ; 
The soul, when once becalmed in sin, may die, 


J3E AMEN are very watchful to take their opportunity of wind and 
tide, and it much concerns them so to be ; the neglect of a few hours, 
sometimes loses them their passage, and proves a great detriment to 
them. They know the wind is an uncertain, variable thing; tliey must 
take it when they may : they are unwilling to lose one flow, or breath, 
that may be serviceable to them. If a prosperous gale offers, and they 
not read}^, it repents them to lose it, as much as it would repent us to 
see a vessel of good wine, or beer, tapped and run to waste. 


There are also seasons, and gales of grace, for our souls, golden op- 
portunities of salvation afforded to men, the neglect of which proves 
the loss and ruin of souls. God hath given unto man a day of visita- 
tion, whicii he hath limited, Heb. iv. 7. and keeps an exact account of 
every year, month, and day that we have enjoyed it, Luke xiii. 7. Jer. 
XXV. S. I^uke xix. 42. The longest date of it can be but the time of 
this life; this is our day to work in. Job ix. 4. and upon this small wire 
the weight of eternity hangs. But sometimes the season of grace is 
ended, before the night of death comes ; the accepted time is gone, 
men frequently out-live it, Luke xix. 44. 2 Cor. vi. 2. Or, if the 
outward means of salvation be continued, yet the spirit many times 
withdrawn from those means, and ceases any more to strive with men: 

240 A K£w Compass for seamen; or, 

and then the blessing, power, and efficacy is gone from them, and ln-» 
stead thereof a curse seizeth the soul, Heb. vi. 7, 8. and Jer. vi. 29- 
Therefore it is a matter of high importance to our souls to apprehend 
these seasons. How pathetically doth Christ bewail Jerusalem upon 
this account ! Luke xix. 42. " O that thou hadst known at least in 
" this thy day, the things of thy peace ! but now they are hid from 
*' thine eyes." If a company of seamen are set a-shore upon some re- 
mote, uninhabited island, with this advice, to be aboard again exactly 
at such an hour, else they must be left behind ; how doth it concern 
them to be punctual to their time ? The lives of those men depend 
upon a quarter of an hour. Many a soul hath perished eternally, the 
gospel leaving them behind in their sins, because they knew not the 
time of their visitation. 


What golden seasons for salvation hast thou enjoyed, O my soul ? 
what halcyon days of gospel-light and grace hast thou had ? How 
have the precious gales of grace blown to no purpose upon thee ! and 
the Spirit waited and striven with thee in vain ? " The kingdom of 
'' heaven, (being opened in the gospel dispensation) hath suffered 
*' violence.'' Multitudes have been pressing into it in my days, and 
I myself have sometimes been almost persuaded, and not far from the 
kingdom of God: I have gone as far as conviction for sin and misery, 
yea, I have been carried by the power of the gospel, to resolve and 
purpose to turn to God, and become a new creature ; but sin hath 
been too subtle and deceitful for me : I see, my resolutions were but 
as an early cloud, or morning dew; and now my heart is cold and 
dead again, settled upon its lees. Ah ! I have cause to fear and 
tremble, lest God hath left me under that curse, Rev. xx. 11. " Let 
" him that is filthy be filthy still." I fear I am become as that miry 
place, Ezek. xlvii. 11. that shall not be healed by the streams of the 
gospel, but given to salt, and cursed into perpetual barrenness. Ah 
Lord ! wilt thou leave me so ! and shall thy Spirit strive no more with 
jne ? Then it had been good for me that I had never been born. 
Ah ! if I have trifled out this season, and irrecoverably lost it, then 
I may take up that lamentation, Jer. viii. 20. and say, " My harvest 
^* is past, my summer is ended, and I am not saved." 

Every creature knows its time, even the turtle, crane, and swallow, 
know the time of their coming, Jer. viii. 7. How brutish am I, that 
have not known the time of my visitation ! O thou, that art the 
Lord of life and time, command one gracious season more for me, 
and make it effectual to me, before I go hence, and be seen no 
more t 


A. FRESH and whisking gale presents to-day, 
But now the ships not ready ; winds must stay, 


And wait the seamen's leisure. Well, to-morrow 

They will put out ; but then, unto their sorrow, 

That wind is spent, and by that means they gain 

Perchance a month's repentance, if not twain. 

At last another offers, now they're gone ; 

But ere they gain their port, the market's done. 

For ev'ry work and purpose under heav'n, 

A proper time and season God hath giv'n. 

The fowls of heaven, swallow, turtle, crane, 

Do apprehend it, and put us to shame. 

Man hath his season too, but that mis-spent. 

There's time enough his folly to repent. 

Eternity's before him, but therein 

No more such golden hours as these have been : 

When these are pass'd away, then you shall find 

That proverb true, — Occasion's bald behind. 

Delays are dang'rous, see that you discern 

Your proper seasons : O that you would learn 

This wisdom from those fools that come too late 

With fruitless cries, when Christ hath shut the gate, 

«««!»»'- — 


By navigation erne place stores another. 
And by communion we must help each other, 


A HE most wise God hath so dispensed his bounty to the several 
nations of the world, that one standing in need of another's commo» 
ditios, there might be a sociable commerce and traffick maintained 
amongst them all, and all combining in a common league, may, by 
the help of navigation, exhibit mutual succours to each other. The 
staple commodities proper to each country, I find expressed by th^ 
poet, Bart. Coll. 

Hence comes our sugars from Canary isles ; 

From Candy currants, muskadels, and oils ; 

From the Molucco's, spices; balsam um, 

From Egypt ; odours from Arabia come ; 

From India, gums, rich drugs, and ivory; 

From Syria, mummy ; black, red ebony, 

From burning Chus ; from Peru, pearl and gold ; 

From Russia, furs, to keep the rich from cold ; 

From Florence, silks; from Spain, fruit, saffron, sacks; 

From Denmark, amber; cordage, firs, and flax ; 

242 A KEW COMPASS fou seamen ; OK, 

From Holland, hops ; horse from the banks of Rhine ; 
From France and Italy the choicest wine; 
From England, wool ; all lands as God distributes. 
To the world's treasure pay their sundry tributes. 


Thus hath God distributed the more rich and precious gifts and 
graces of his Spirit among his people ; some excelling in one grace, 
some in another, though every grace, in some degree, be in them all ; 
even as in nature, though there be all the faculties in all, yet some 
faculties are in some more lively and vigorous than in others ; some 
have a more vigorous eye, others a more ready ear, others a more 
voluble tongue; so it is in spirituals. Abraham excelled mjaithy 
Job in patience, John in love. These were their peculiar excellen- 
cies. All the elect vessels are not of one quantity ; yet even those 
that excel others in some particular ..race, come short in other re- 
spects of those they so excelled in the former, and may be much im- 
proved by converse with such as in some respects are much below 
them. The solid, wise, and judicious Christian may want that hve- 
liness of affections and tenderness of heart that appear in the weak ; 
and one that excels in gifts and utterance may learn humility from 
the very babes in Christ. 

And one principal reason of this different distribution is to maintain 
fellowship among them all, 1 Cor. xii. 21. " The head cannot say to 
" the feet, I have no need of you." As in a family where there is 
much business to be done, even the little children bear a part, accord- 
ing to their strength, Jer. vii. 18. " The children gather wood, the 
" fathers kindle the fire, the women knead the dough."'"' So in the 
family of Christ, the weakest Christian is serviceable to the strong. 

There be precious treasures in these earthen vessels, for which we 
should trade by mutual communion. The preciousness of the trea- 
sure should draw out our desires and endeavours after it ; and the 
consideration of the brittleness of those vessels in which tliey are kept, 
should cause us to be the more expeditious in our trading with them, 
and make the quicker returns. For when those vessels (I mean bo- 
dies of the saints) are broken by death, there is no more to be got- 
ten out of them. That treasure of grace which made them such pro- 
fitable, pleasant, and desirable companions on earth, then ascends 
with them into heaven, where every grace receives its adolescence and 
perfection : and then, though they be ten thousand times more ex- 
cellent and delightful than ever they were on earth, yet we can have 
no more communion with them till we come to glory ourselves. Now 
therefore it behoves us to be enriching ourselves by communication of 
what God hath dropt into us, and improvement of them, as one well 
notes *. We should do by saints, as we use to do by some choice 
book lent us for a few days, we should fix in our memories, or trans- 

♦ Mr, Gurnrfl. 


cribe all the choice notions we meet with in it, that they may be our 
%iwn when the book is called for, and we can have it no longer by us. 


Xord, how short do I come of my duty in communicating to, or 
receiving good by others ! My soul is either empty and barren, or 
if there be any treasure in it, yet is but as a treasure locked up in 
some chest, whose key is lost, when it should be opened for the use 
of others. Ah Lord ! I have sinned greatly, not only by vain words, 
but sinful silence. I have been of little use in the world. 

How little also have I gotten by communion with others ? Some 
it may be, that are of my own size, or judgment, or that I am 
otherwise obliged to, I can delight to converse with : but O, where 
is that largeness of heart and general delight I should have to, and 
in all thy people ? How many of my old dear acquaintance are now 
in heaven, whose tongues were as choice silver, while they were here, 
Prov. X. 20. And blessed souls ! how communicative were they of 
what thou gavest them ? O what an improvement had I made of my 
talent this way, had I been diligent ! Lord pardon my neglect of 
those sweet and blessed advantages. O let all my delight be in thy 
saints, who are the excellent of the earth. Let me never go out of 
their company, without an heart more warmed, quickened, and en- 
larged, than when I came amongst them. 


jL O several nations God doth so distribute 
His bounty, that each one must pay a tribute 
Unto each other. Europe cannot vaunt, 
And say. Of Africa I have no want. 
America and Asia need not strive. 
Which of itself can best subsist and live. 
Each country's want, in something, doth maintain 
Commerce betwixt them all. Such is the aim 
And end of God, who doth dispense and give 
More grace to some, their brethren to relieve. 
• This makes the sun ten thousand times more bright. 
Because it is diffusive of its light ; 
Its beams are gilded gloriously ; but then 
This property doth gild them o'er again. 
Should sun, moon, stars, impropriate all their light, 
What dismal darkness would the world benight ? 
On this account men hate the vermin brood. 
Because they take in much, but do no good. 
What harm, if I at yours my candle light ? 
Except thereby I make your room more bright. 
He that by pumping sucks and draws the spring 
New streams, and sweeter, to the well doth bring. 
Vol. V. Q 


Grace is a treasure in an earthen pot ; 
When death hath das^d it, no more can be got 
Out of that vessel : then, while it is whole. 
Get out the treasure to enrich your soul. 



The rocks abide, thoiigh seas against them rage : 
So shall the church, zchich is GocTs heritage. 


X HE rocks, though situate in the boisterous and tempestuous 
ocean, yet abide firm and immoveable from age to age. The impe- 
tuous waves dash against them with great violence, but cannot re- 
move them out of their place. And although sometimes they wash 
over them, and make them to disappear, yet there they remain fixed 
and impregnable. 


This is a lively emblem of the condition of the church, amidst all 
dangers and oppositions wherewith it is encountered and assaulted in 
this world. These meiajjhorical waves roar and beat with violence 
against it, but with as little success as the sea against the rocks, Matt, 
xvi. 18. " Upon this rock will I build my church, and the [gates] 
" of hell shall not prevail against it."" The gates of hell are the 
power and policy of hell ; for it is conceived to be an allusive speech 
to the gates of the Jews, wherein their ammunition for war was 
lodged, which also were the seats of judicature, there sat the judges ; 
but yet these gates of hell shall not prevail. Nay, this rock is not 
only invincible in the midst of their violence, but also breaks all 
that dash against it, Zech. xii. 3. " In that day I will make Jeru- 
*' salem a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden them- 
" selves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the 
*' earth be gathered together against it." An allusion to one that 
essays to roll some great stone against the hill, which at last returns 
upon him, and crushes him to pieces. 

And the reason why it is thus firm and impregnable, is not from it- 
self; for alas, so considered, it is weak, and obnoxious to ruin ; but 
from the almighty power of God, which guards and preserves it day 
and night, Psal. xlvi. 5, 6. " God is in the midst of her, she shall 
not be moved : God shall help her, and that right early." Vatab. 
Dum aspacit mane. When the morning appears. Which notes (saith 
Calvin) God's assiduous and constant help and succour, which is ex- 
tended in all dangers, as constantly as the sun arises. And this assi- 
duous succour to his people, and their great security thereby, is set 
forth in the scriptures by a pleasant -v ariety of metapliors and em- 
blems, Zech. ii. 5. "I, saith the Lord, will be a wall of fire round 


/* about it." Some tliiiik this phrase alludes to the cherubim that 
kept the way of the tree of life with flaming swords : others to the 
fiery chariots round about Dathan, where Elisha was ; but most 
think it to be an allusion to an ancient custom of travellers in the de- 
sarts ; who, to prevent the assaults of wild beasts in the niglit, made 
a circular fire round about them, which was as a wall to them. Thus 
will God be to his people a wall of fire, which none can scale. So 
Exod. iii. 3, 4 5. we have an excellent emblem of the church's low 
and dangerous condition, and admirable preservation. You have 
here both a marvel and a mystery. The marvel was to see a busli 
all on fire and yet not consumed. The mystery is this, the bush 
represented the sad condition of the church of Egypt ; the fire flam- 
ing upon it, the grievous afflictions, troubles, and bondage it was in 
there ; the remaining of the bush unconsumed, the strange and ad- 
mirable preservation of the church in those troubles. It lived there 
as the three noble Jews, untouched in the midst of a burning fiery 
furnace : and the angel of the Lord in a flame of fire, in the midst 
of the bush was nothing else but the Lord Jesus Christ, powerfully 
and graciously present with his people amidst all their dangers and 
sufferings. The Lord is exceeding tender over them, and jealous for 
them, as that expression imports, Zech. ii. 8. " He that touchetli 
" them toucheth the apple of mine eye." He that strrikes at them, 
strikes at the face of God, and at the most excellent part of the face, 
the eye, and at the most tender and precious part of the eye, the apple 
of the eye. And yet, as a learned modern observes, this people of 
whom he uses this tender and dear expression, were none of the best 
of Israel neither ; but the residue that staid behind in Babylon, when 
their brethren were gone to rebuild the temple ; and yet over these, 
he is as tender as a man is over his eye. 


And is the security of the church so great ! and its preservation 
so admirable, amidst all storms and tempests ! then why art thou so 
prone and subject to despond, O my soul, in the day of Sion's trou- 
ble ? Sensible thou wast, and oughtest to be : but no reason to hang 
down the head through discouragement, much less to forsake Zion 
in her distress, for fear of being ruined with her. 

What David spake to Abiathar, 1 Saiti. xxii. 23. that may Zion 
s})eak to all her sons and daughters in all their distresses : " Though 
" he that seeketh thy life seeketh mine also; yet with me shalt thou 
" be in safeguard." God hath entailed great salvation and deliver- 
ances upon Zion ; and blessed are all her friends and favourers ; the 
Rock of ages is its defence. Fear not, therefore, O my soul, though 
the hills be renivoved out of their place, and cast into the midst of the 
sea. O let my faith triumph, and my heart rejoice upon this ground 
of comfort. I see the same rocks now, and in the same place and con- 
dition they were manv years ago. Though they have endured many 



storms, yet tlicre they abide ; and so shall Zion, when the proud 
waves have spent their fury and rage against it. 


.ESOPOTAMIA, situate in the seas, 
jMay represent the cliurch ; or, if you please, 
A rock, o'er whicli the waves do wasli and swell, 
May figure it ; cluise cither, which you will. 
Winds strive upon those seas, and make a noise, 
The lofty waves sometimes lift up their voice. 
And, swelling high successivelv, do beat 
With violence against it, then retreat. 
They break themselves, but it abides their shock ; 
And when their rage is spent, tlicre stands the rock. 
Then they are out that do affirm and vote, 
Peace, pomp, and splendor is the church's note. 
And they deserve no less reproof that are 
In Zion's troubles ready to despair. 
This rock amidst far stronger rocks doth lie. 
Which are its fence ; so deep, so thick, so high, 
They can't be batter'd, scafd or undermined : 
And these, eviron'd by them, daily find 
Their bread ascertain^ ; waters too secur'd : 
Then shout and sing, ye that are thus immur'd. 



Wliat dangers rtm they for little gains, 

Who, for their souls, wmdd ne'er take half the j^ains ! 


XlOW exceeding solicitous and adventurous are seamen for a 
small portion of the world ? How prodigal of strength and life for 
it ? They will run to the ends of the earth, engage in a thousand 
dangers, upon the ho})L'S and probability of getting a small estate. 
Per marc, per terras, per millc pericula currinit. 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 straits and 
difficulties, to which they are frequently exposed. 


How hot and eager are men's affections after the world ! and how 
remiss and cold towards things eternal ! thev are careful, and trou- 
bled about many things ; but seldom mind the great and necessary 
matter, Luke x. 40. They can vi^q early, go to bed late, and eat 
the bread of carefulness ; but when did they so deny themselves for 
their poor souls ? Their heads are full of designs and projects to 
get or advance an estate : " We will go into such a city, continue 


«* there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain," James iv. 13. This 
i s the ro spyov, the master-design^ -which engrosseth all their time, stu- 
dies, and contrivances. The will hath past a decree for it, the heart 
and ajfFections are fully let out to it, They zvill he rick, 1 Tim. vi. 9. 
This decree of the will, the Spirit of God takes deep notice of; and 
indeed it is the clearest and fullest discovery of a man's portion and 
condition : for look what is highest in the estimation, first and last in 
the thoughts, and upon which we spend our time and strength with 
delight ; certainly, that is our treasure, Matth. vi. ^0, 21. The 
heads and hearts of saints are full of solicitous cares and fears about 
their spiritual condition ; the great design they drive on, to which all 
other things are but vrxpsoyu, things by the by, is to make sure their 
calling and election. This is the pondus, the weight and bias of their 
spirit ; if their hearts stray and wander after any other thing, this 
reduces them again. 


Lord, this hath been my manner from my youth, may the carnal- 
minded man say ; I have been labouring for the meat that perisheth ; 
disquieting myself in vain, full of designs and projects for the world, 
and unwearied in my endeavours to compass an earthly treasure ; yet 
therein I have either been checked and disappointed by Providence, 
or if I have obtained, yet I am no sooner come to enjoy that content 
and comfort I promised myself 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 pe- 
rish : But, in the mean time, Avhat have I done for my soul ? AVhen 
did I ever break a night's sleep, 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 loathsome carcase : and, in 
the mean time, neglect and undo my poor soul, which partakes of 
the nature of angels, and must 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 soul been, than others that are condemned to the mines. Lord, 
change my treasure, and change my heart : O let it suffice that I 
have been thus long labouring in the fire for very vanity : now ga- 
ther up my heart and affections in thyself, and let my great design 
now be, to secure a special interest in thy blessed self, that I may 
once say, " To me to live is Christ." 


JL HE face of man impressed and stamped on goldj 
With crown, and royal sceptres, we behold. 
No wonder that a human face it gains, 
Since head, heart, soul, and body, it obtains. 
Nor is it strange a sceptre it should have, 
That to its yoke the world doth so enslave, 



riiarm'd with its chinking note, away tliey go* 

Like eagles to the carcase, ride and row. 

Thro"* worlds of hazards foolish creasures run, 

That into its embraces they may come. 

Poor Indians, in the mines, my heart condoles, 

But seldom turns aside to pity souls, 

Which are the slaves, indeed, that toil, and spend 

Themselves upon its service. Surely, friend, 

They are but sextons, to prepare, and make 

Thy grave, within those mines, whence they do iv 

And dig their ore. Ah ! many souls, I fear. 

Whose bodies live, yet lie entombed there. 

Is gold so tempting to you .'' Lo ! Christ stands, 

W^ith length of days, and riches in his hands. 

Gold in the fire try'd he freely proffers. 

But few regard, or take those golden offers. 


Millions of creatures in the seas are Jed : 
Why then are saints in doubt of daily bread f 



HERE are multitudes of living creatures in the sea. The Psalm- 
ist saith, there are in it, " Things creeping innumerable, both 
" small and great beasts," Psal. civ. 25. and we read, Gen. i. 9,0. 
that when God blessed the waters, he said, " Let the waters bring 
'' forth abundantly, both fish and fowl, that move in it, and fly about 
" it." Yet all those multitudes of fish and fowl, both in sea and 
land, are cared and provided for, Psal. cxlv. 15, 16. " Thou givest 
" them their meat in due season : thou openest thy hand, and satis- 
'* fiest the desire of every living thing." 


If God take care for the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, 
much more will he care and provide for those that fear him. " When 
" the poor and needy seeketh water, and there is none, and 
*' their tongue faileth for thirst ; I the Lord will hear them ; I the 
" God of Israel will not forsake them," Isa. xii. 17. " Take no 
" thought for your life, (saith the Lord) what ye shall eat, or what 
" ye shall 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, Matt. vi. 25, 31. 
God would have his people be without carefulness^ i. e. anxious care, 
1 Cor. vij. 32. " And to cast their care upon him, for he careth for 
" them," 1 Pet. v. 7. There are two main arguments suggested in 
tlie gospel, to quiet and satisfy the hearts of saints in this particular : 


the one is, that the gift of Jesus Christ amounts to more than all these 
things come to ; yea, in bestowing him, he has given that which vir- 
tually 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 .^" 
And 1 Cor. iii. 22. " All things are yours, and ye are Christ's, and 
" Christ is God's." Another argument is, that God gives these tem- 
poral things to those he never gave his Christ unto, and therefore 
there is no great matter in them ; yea, to those which, in a little 
while, are to be thrust into hell, Psal. xvii. 14. Now if God clothe 
and feed his enemies, if (to allude to that, Luke xii. 28.) he clothe 
the grass, which to-day is in its pride and glory in the field, and to- 
morrow is cast into the oven, into hell : how much more will he 
clothe and provide for you that are saints ? 

This God, that feeds all the creatures is your Father, and a Father 
that never dies ; and therefore you shall not be as exposed orphans 
that are the children of such a Father. " For he hath said, I will 
*' never leave you nor forsake you," Heb. xiii. 3. I have read of a 
good woman, that in all wants and distresses was wont to encourage 
herself with that word, 2 Sam. xxii. 47. The Lord Vivetli. But one 
time, being in a deep distress, and forgetting that consolation, one 
of her little children came to her, and said, ' Mother, why weep ye 
' so .^ What ! is God dead now T Which words, from a child, 
shamed her out of her unbelieving fears, and quickly brought her 
spirits to rest. O saint, 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 subjection to the disposing 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 sweet reply that a gracious woman 
once made upon her death-bed, to a friend that asked, ' Whether 

* she were more wilhng to live, or die T She answered, ' I am plea- 
' sed with what God pleaseth.' ' Yea, (saith her friend) but if God 
' should refer it to you, which would you chusc.?' ' Truly, (said 

* she) if God would refer it to me, I would refer it to him again."* 
Ah ! blessed Hfe, when the will is swallowed up in the will of God, 
and the heart at rest in his care and love, and pleased with all his 


I remember my fault this day, may many a gracious soul say. Ah ! 
how faithless and distrustful have I been, notwithstanding the great 
security God hath given to my faith, both in his word and works ! O 
my soul, thou hast greatly sinned therein, and dishonoured thy Fa- 
ther ! I have been worse to my Father than my children are to me. 
They trouble not their thoughts with what they shall eat or drink, or 
put on, but trust to my care and provision for that ; yet I cannot trust 

Q4 ' ^ 


mv Father, though I have ten thousand thiies more reason so to Jo, 
than they have to trust me, Matth. vii. SI. Surely, unless T were 
jealous of my Father's aifcction, I could not be so dubious of his pro- 
vision for me. Ah ! I should rather wonder that I have so much, 
than repine that I have no more. I should rather have been trou- 
bled 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 
conversation, that I have found a sufficiency in him alone, as the 
saints have done, Hab. iii. 17, 18. How have I debased the faith- 
fulness and all-sufficiency of God, and magnified these earthly trifles, 
by my anxiety about them ? Had I had more faith, a light purse 
would not have made such an heavy heart. Lord, how often hast 
tliou convinced me of this folly, and put me to the blush, when thou 
hast confuted my unbelief! so that I have resolved never to distrust 
thee more, and yet new exigencies renew this corruption. How con- 
tradictory also hath my heart and my prayers been ? I pray for them 
conditionally, and with submission to thy will ; I dare not say to 
thee, I must have them ; yet this hath been the language of my 
heart and life. O convince me of this folly ! 


V ARTETY of curious fish are caught 
Out of the sea, and to our tables brought ; 
We pick the choicest bits, and then we say. 
We are sufficed ; come, now take av/ay. 
The table''s voided, you have done ; but fain 
I would persuade 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 ? Then 
IVe made but half a meal ; come, taste again. 
Hast thou considered, O my soul ! that hand 
Which feeds those multitudes in sea and land f 
A double mercy in it thou shouldst see ; 
It fed them first, and then with them fed thee. 
Food in the waters we should think were scant 
For such a multitude, yet none do want. 
What numVous flocks of birds about me fly ? 
When saw I 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 ; 
How faithless and distrustful hast thou been, 
Altho' his care and love thou oft hast seen ? 
Thus in a single dish you have a feast, 
Your first and second course, the last the best. 



Sea-waters drained through the earth, are sweet ; 
So are tK afflictions which God's people meet. 


X HE waters of the sea, in themselves, are brac]\ish and unplea- 
sant, yet being exhaled by the sun, and condensed into clouds, they 
fall down into pleasant showers ; or if drained through the earth, 
their property is thereby altered, and that which was so salt in the 
sea, becomes exceeding sweet and pleasant in the springs. This we 
find by constant experience, the sweetest crystal spring came from 
the sea, Eccl. i. 7. 


Afflictions in themselves are evil, Amos ii. 6. very bitter and un- 
pleasant. See Heb. xii. 11. Yet not morally and intrinsically evil, 
as sin is ; for if so, the holy God would never own it for his own 
act as he doth, Mic. iii. S. but always disclaimeth sin, James i. 3. 
Besides, if it were so evil, it could, in no case or respect, be the ob- 
ject of our election and desire, as in some cases it ought to be, Heb. 
xi. 25. but it is evil, as it is the fruit of sin, and grievous unto sense, 
Heb. xii. 11. But though it be thus brackish and unpleasant in 
itself, yet, passing through Christ and the covenant, it loses that 
ungrateful property, and becomes j^lcasant in the fruits and effects 
thereof unto believers. 

Yea, such are the blessed fruits thereof, that they are to account 
it all joy when they fall into divers afflictions. Jam. i. 2. David could 
bless God that he was afflicted, and many a saint hath done the like. 
A good woman once compared her afflictions to her children : * For, 
' (saith she) they put me in pain in bearing them ; yet as I know not 
* which child, so neither which affliction I could be without.' 

Sometimes the Lord sanctifies afflictions to discover the corruption 
that is in the heart, Deut. viii. 2. it is a furnace to shew the dross. 
Ah ! when a sharp affliction comes, then the pride, impatience, and 
unbelief of the heart appear : Matnra vexatio proclit seipsam. When 
the water is stirred, then the mud and filthy sediment that lay at the 
bottom rise. Little, saith the afflicted soul, did I think there had 
been in me that pride, self-love, distrust of God, carnal fear, and un- 
belief, as I now find. O where is my patience, my faith, my glory in 
tribulation ? I could not have imaoined the siorht of death would have 
so appalled me, the loss of outward things have so pierced me. Now 
what a blessed thing is this to have the heart thus discovered. 

Again, sanctified afflictions discover the emptiness and vanity of 
the creature. Now, the Lord hath stained its pride, and veiled its 
tempting splendor, by this or that affliction ; and the soul sees what 
an empty, shallow, deceitful thing it is. The world (as one liath 

5252 A :sEw COMPASS fou s"Eamen ; or, 

truly observed) is then only great in our eyes, when we are full of 
sense and self: but now affliction makes us more spiritual, and then 
it is nothing. It drives them nearer to God, makes them see the 
necessity of the life of faith, with multitudes of other benefits. 

But yet these sweet fruits of afflictions do not naturally, and of 
their own accord, spring from it ; no, we may as well look for grapes 
from thorns, or figs from thistles, as for such fruits from affliction, 
till Christ's sanctifying hand and art have passed upon them. 

The reason why they become thus sweet and pleasant (as I noted 
before) is, because they run now in another channel ; Jesus Christ 
hath removed them from mount Ebal to Gerizim ; they are no more 
the effects of vindictive wrath, but paternal chastisement. And, as 
*Mr. Case well notes, * a teaching affliction is to the saints, the re-: 

* suit of all the offices of Jesus Christ. As a king, he chastens ; as 

* a prophet, he teacheth, viz. by chastening ; and, as a priest, he 

* hath purchased this grace of the Father, that the dry rod might 

* blossom, and bear fruit."* Behold, then, a sanctified affliction is a 
cup, whereinto Jesus hath wrung and pressed the juice and virtue of 
all his mediatorial offices. Surely, that must be a cup of generous, 
royal wine, like that in the supper, a cup of blessing to the people 
of God. 


Hence may the unsanctified soul draw matter of fear and trouble, 
even from its unsanctified troubles. And thus it may reflect upon 
itself: O my soul ! what good hast thou gotten by all, or any of thy 
afflictions ? God's rod hath been dumb to thee, or thou deaf to it. 
I have not learned one holy instruction from it ; my troubles have 
left me the same, or worse than they found me ; my heart was proud, 
earthly, and vain before, and so it remains still ; they have not 
purged out, but only given vent to the pride, murmur, and atheism 
of my heart. I have been in my afflictions, as that wicked Ahaz 
was in his, 2 Chron. xxviii. 22. who, " in the midst of his distress, 
" yet trespassed more and more against the Lord.'' When I have 
been in storms at sea, or troubles at home, my soul within me hath 
been as a raging sea, casting up mire and dirt. Surely this rod is 
not the rod of God's children ; I have proved but dross in the fur- 
nace, and I fear the Lord will put me away as dross, as he threatens 
to do to the wicked, Psal. cxix. 119. 

Hence also should gracious souls draw much encouragement and 
comfort amidst all their troubles. O these are the fruits of God's 
fatherly love to me ! why should I fear in the day of evil ! or trem- 
ble any more at affliction ? Though they seem as a serpent at a 
distance, yet are they a rod in the hand. O blessed be that skilful 
and gracious hand, that makes the rod, the dry rod to blossom, and 
bear such precious fruit. 

* Correction, Instruction, p. 82. 


Lord, what a mystery of love lies in this dispensation ! that sin, 
wliich first brought afflictions into the world, is now itself carried 
out of the world by affliction, Rom. v. 12. Isa. vii. 9. O what can 
frustrate my salvation, when those very things that seem most to 
oppose it, are made subservient to it, and, contrary to their own na- 
ture, do promote and further it ? 


IS strange to hear what different censures fall 
Upon the same affliction ; some do call 
Their troubles sweet, some bitter ; others meet 
Them both mid-way, and call them bitter sweet. 
But here's the question still, 1 fain would see, 
Why sweet to him, and bitter unto me ? 
Thou drink'st them, dregs and all, but others find 
Their troubles sweet, because to them refind 
And sanctifv'd ; which diflerence is best, 
By such apt smiilies as these exprest : 
From salt and brackish seas fumes rise and fly. 
Which, into clouds condensed, obscure the sky ; 
Their property there altered, in few hours, 
Those brackish fumes fall down in pleasant showVs: 
Or as the dregs of wine and beer, distilFd 
By limbec, with ingredients, doth yield 
A cordial water, tho' the lees were bitter, 
From whence the chymist did extract such liquor. 
Then marvel not, that one can kiss that rod. 
Which makes another to blaspheme his God. 
O get your troubles sweetened and reiinM, 
Or else they'll leave bitter effects behind. 
Saints troubles are a cord, let down my love, 
To pully up their hearts to things above. 

— =»o-c^o«= — 


The seas within their bounds the Lord contains : 
He also men and devils holds in chains. 


J T is a wonderful work of God to limit and bound such a vast and 
furious creature as the sea, which, according to the judgment of 
many learned men, is higher than the earth ; and that it hath a pro- 
pension to overflow it, is evident both from its nature and motion : 
were it not that the great God had laid his law upon it. And this 
is a work wherein the Lord glories, and will be admired. Psal. 
civ. 9. " Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over, that 
*' they turn not again to cover the earth." Which it is clear they 
>vouId do, were they not thus limited So Job xxxviii. 8, 10, 11. 


" Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth as if it had 
" issued out of the womb ? I brake up for it my decreed place, and 
" set bars and doors, and said. Hitherto shalt thou come, but no 
** further ; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed/' 


And no less is the glorious power and mercy of God discovered in 
bridling the rage and fury of Satan and his instruments, that they 
break not in upon the inheritance of the Lord, and destroy it. 
" Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee, and the remainder of 
*' wrath thou shalt restrain," Psal. Ixxvi. 10. By which it is more 
than hinted, that there is a world of rage and malice in the hearts of 
wicked men, which fain would, but cannot vent itself, because the 
Lord restrains, or, as in the Hebrew, g'u-ds it up. Satan is the en- 
vious one, and his rage is great against the people of God, Rev. xii. 
12. But God holds him, and all his instruments in a chain of pro- 
vidence ; and it is well for God's people that it is so. 

They are limited as the sea, and so the Lord in a providential way 
speaks to them, " Hitherto shall ye come, and no further." Some- 
times he ties them up so short, that they cannot touch his people, 
though they have the greatest opportunities and advantages. Psal. 
cv. 12, 13, 14, 15. *' When they were but a few men in number; 
*' yea, very few, and strangers in it ; when they went from one na- 
" tion to another, from one kingdom to another people, he suffered 
'^ no man to do them wrong ; yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, 
" saying, touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.'' 
And sometimes he permits them to touch and trouble his people, 
but then sets bounds and limits to them, beyond which they must 
not pass. That is a pregnant text to this purpose. Rev. ii. 10. 
'* Behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may 
" be tried, and ye shall have tribulation ten days." 

Here are four remarkable limitations upon Satan and his agents in 
reference to the people of God : a limitation as to the persons, not all, 
but some ; a limitation of the punishment, a prison, not a grave, not 
hell ; a limitation upon them as to the end, for trial, not ruin ; and 
lastly, as to the duration, not as long as they please, but ten days. 


O my soul ! what marrow and fatness, comfort and consolation 
mayest thou suck from the breast of this truth in the darkest day 
of trouble .'' Thou seest how the flowing seas drives to overwhelm 
the earth. Who has arrested it in its course, and stopt its violence ? 
who has confined it to its place ? Certainly none other but the Lord. 
W^hen I see it threaten the shore with its proud, furious, and in- 
sulting waves, I wonder it doth not swallow up all : but I see it no 
sooner touch the sands, which God hath made its bounds, but it 
retires, and, as it were, Avith a kind of submission, respects those 
limits which God hath set it. 


Thus the fiercest element is repressed by the feeblest things : thou 
seest also how full of wrath and fury wicked men ai*e, how they rage 
like the troubled sea, and threaten to overwhelm thee, and all the 
Lord's inheritance : and then the floods of ungodly men make thee 
afraid ; yet are they restrained by an invisible, gracious hand, that 
they cannot execute their purpose, nor perform their enterprize. How 
full of devils and devilized men is this lower world? Yet, in the midst 
of them all, hast thou hitherto been preserved. O ! my soul, admire 
and adore that glorious power of God, by which thou art kept unto 
salvation. Is not the preservation of a saint in the midst of such hosts 
of enemies as great a miracle, though not so sensible as the preserva- 
tion of those three noble Jews in the midst of the fiery furnace, or 
Daniel in the den of lions ? For there is as strong a propension in 
Satan and wicked men, to destroy the saints, as in the fire to burn, or a 
lion to devour. O ! then, let me cheerfully address myself to the 
faithful discharge of my duty, and stand no longer in a slavish fear of 
creatures^ who can have no power against me but what is given them 
from above, John xix. 11. And no more shall be given than shall 
turn to the glory of God, Psal.lxxvi. 10. and the advantage of my soul, 
Rom. viii. 28. 


A HIS world's a forest, where, from day to day. 
Bears, wolves, and lions, range and seek their prey ; 
Amidst them all poor harmless lambs are fed, 
And by their very dens in safety led. 
They roar upon us, but are held in chains ; 
Our shepherd is their keeper, he maintains 
Our lot. Why then should we so trembling stand ^ 
We meet them, true, but in their keeper's hand. 
He that to raging seas such bounds hath put, 
The mouths of rav'nous beasts can also shut. 
Sleep in the woods, poor lambs, yourselves repose 
Upon his care, whose eyes do never close. 
If unbelief in you don't lose their chain. 
Fear not their struggling, that's but all in vain. 
If God can check the waves by smallest sand, 
A twined thread may hold these in his hand. 
Shun sin, keep close to Christ ; for other evils 
You need not fear, tho' compass'd round with devils. 


To sea ^ithoiit a compass none dare go : 
Our course without the ivord is even so, 


Uf how great use and necessity is the compass to seamen ! thouj^o- 


they can coast a little way by the shore, yet they dare not venture 
far into the ocean without it: it is their guide, and directs and shapes 
their course for them : and if by the violence of wind and weather they 
are driven beside their due course, yet by the help of this they are re- 
duced, and brought to rights again. It is wonderful to consider, how, 
by the help of this guide, they can run in a dh'ect line many hundred 
leagues, and at last fall right with the smallest island ; which is in the 
ocean comparatively, but as the head of a small pin upon a table. 


What the compass and all other mathematical instruments are to 
the navigator, that and much more is the word of God to us in our 
course to heaven. This is our compass to steer our course by, and 
it is truly touched ; he that orders his conversation by it shall safely 
arrive in heaven at last. Gal. vi. 16. " As many as walk according 
" to this rule, peace be on them and mercy." 

This word is as necessary to us in our way to glory, as a lamp or 
lanthorn is in a dark night, Psal. cxix. 105. that is a light shining in 
a dark place, till the day dawn, and the day-star arise in our hearts, 
2 Pet. i. 19. If any that profess to know it and own it as a rule, miss 
heaven at last, let them not blame the word for misguiding them, but 
their own negligent and deceitful hearts, that shuffle in and out, and 
shape not their course and conversation according to its prescriptions. 

What blame can you lay upon the compass, if you steer not exactly 
by it.? How many are there, that neglecting this rule, will coast it to 
heaven by their own reason ? No wonder such fall short,^nd perish 
in the way. This is a faithful guide, and brings all that follow it to a 
blessed end ; " Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and after- 
*' wards receive me to fflorv,"' Psal. Ixxiii. 24. The whole hun- 
dred and nineteenth psalm is spent in commendation of its transcen- 
dent excellency and usefulness. Luther professed that he prized it so 
highly, that he would not take the whole world in exchange for one 
leaf of it. Lay but this rule before you, and walk accurately by it, 
and you cannot be out of your way to heaven, Psal. cxix. 30. " I 
" have chosen the way of truth, (or the true way;) thy judgment 
^' have I laid before me." Some indeed have opened their detract- 
ing blaspliemous mouths against it ; as Julian, that vile apostate, who 
feared not to say, there was as good matter in Phocillides as in So- 
lomon, in Pindarus's odes, as in David's psalms. 

And the papists generally slight it,makingit a lame, imperfect rule; 
yea, making their own traditions the touchstone of doctrines, and 
foundation of faith. Montanus tells us, that although the apostle 
would have sermons and service celebrated in a known tongue, yet 
the church, for very good cause, hath otherwise ordered it. Gilford 
called it the mother of heresies. Bonner s chaplain judged it worthy 
to be burnt as a strange doctrine. They set up their inventions above 
it, and frequently come in with a non obstante against Christ's institu- 


lions. And thus do they make it void, or, as the word r}}cvPco6ale, 
sitmifics, Matth. xv. 6. unlord it, and take away its authority as a 
rule. But those that have thus sUghted it, and followed the by-paths 
unto which their corrupt hearts have led them, they take not hold of 
the paths of life, and are now in tlie depths of hell. All other hghts 
to which men pretend, in the neglect of this, are but false fires that 
will lead men into the pits and bogs of destruction at last 


And is thy word a compass, to direct my course to glory? O where 
am I then like to arrive at last, that in all my course have neglected 
it, and steered according to the counsel of my own heart ! Lord, I 
have not made thy word the man of my council, but consulted with 
flesh and blood ; I have not enquired at this oracle, nor studied it, 
and made it the guide of my way, but walked after the sight of my 
eyes, and the lust of my heart. Whither, Lord ! can I come at last, 
but to hell, after this way of reckoning .f^ Some have slighted thy 
word professedly, and I have slighted it practically. 1 have a poor 
soul embarked for eternity, it is now floating on a dangerous ocean, 
rocks and sands on every side, and I go a-drift before every wind of 
temptation, and know not where I am. Ah, Lord ! convince me 
of the danger of this condition. O convince me of my ignorance in 
thy word, and the fatal consequence and issue thereof Lord, let 
me now resolve to study, prize, and obey it ; hide it in my heart, 
that I may not sin against it. Open my understanding, that I may 
understand the scriptures ; open my heart to entertain it in love. O 
thou that hast been so gracious to give a perfect rule, give me also 
a perfect heart to walk by that rule to glory ! 


JL HIS world's a sea, wherein a numVous fleet 
Of ships are under sail. Here you shall meet 
Of evVy rate and size ; frigates, galleons, 
The nimble ketches, and small pickeroons : 
Some bound to this port ; some where winds and weather 
Will drive them, they are bound they know not whither. 
Some steer away for heaven, some for hell ; 
To which some steer, themselves can hardly tell. 
The winds do shape their course, which tho' it blow 
From any point, before it they must go. 
They are directed by the wind and tide. 
That have no compass to direct and guide : 
For want of this must run themselves a ground, 
Brave ships are cast away, poor souls are drown'd, 
Thy word our compass is, to guide our way 
To glory ; it reduces such as stray. 
Lord, let thy word dwell richly in my heart, 
And make me skilful in this heavenly art : 


O let me understand, and be so wise, 
To know upon what point my country lies : 
And having set my course directly thither. 
Great God preserve me in the foulest weather. 
By reason some will coast it ; but I fear, 
Such coasters never will drop anchor there. 
Thy word is truly touched, and still directs 
A proper course, which my base heart neglects. 
Lord, touch my iron heart, and make it stand 
Pointing to thee its loadstone. To that land 
Of rest above, let evVy tempest drive 
My soul, where it would rather be than live. 


Lool; as the sea, hy turns, doth ehh andjtow. 
So their estates, that use it, come and go, 


A HE sea hath its alternate course and motion, its ebbings and 
Sowings ; no sooner is it high water, but it begins to ebb again, and 
leave the shore naked and dry, which but a little before it covered 
and overflowed. And as its tide, so also its waves are the emblem 
of inconstancy, still rolling and tumbling, this way and that, never 
fixed and quiet. Instahilis unda: as fickle as a wave, is common, 
to a proverb, See J" am. i. 6. " He that wavereth is like a wave of 
" the sea driven with the wind, and tossed." So Isa. Ivii. 20. " It 
" cannot rest." 


Thus mutable and inconstant are all outward things, there is no 
depending on them : nothing of any substance, or any solid consist- 
ence in them, 1 Cor. vii. 31. " The fashion of this world passeth 
" away." It is an high point of folly to depend upon such vanities : 
Prov. xxiii. 5. " Why wilt thou set (or, as it is in the Hebrew, cause) 
" thine eyes to fly upon that which is not ? For riches certainly 
'' make themselves wings, and fly away, as an eagle towards heaven." 
In flying to us (saith Augustine) they have, alas vix qiiidem pas- 
serinas, scarce a sparrow's wings ; but in flying from us, wings as 
an eagle. And those wings they are said to make to themselves ; i. e. 
the cause of its transitoriness is in itself; the creature is subjected 
to vanity by sin ; they are sweet flowers, but withered presently, 
James i. 10. "As the flower of the grass, so shall the rich man fade 
" away." The man is like the stalk or grass, his riches are the flower 
of the grass ; his glory and outward beauty, the stalk, is soon wither- 
ed, but the flower much sooner. This is either withered upon, or 
blown off from it, while the stalk abides. Many a man outUves his 


estate and honour, and stands in the world as a bare dry stalk in the 
field, whose flower, beauty, and bravery are gone : one puff of wind 
blows it awa}^, one churlish easterly blast shrivels it up, 1 Pet. iv. 24. 

How mad a thing is it, then, for any man to be lifted up in pride, 
upon such a vanity as this is ? to build so lofty and over-jetting a roof 
upon such a feeble, tottering foundation ! We have seen meadows full 
of such curious flowers, mown down and withered ; men of great es- 
tates impoverished suddenly ; and when, like a meadow that is mown, 
they have begun to recover themselves again, (as the phrase is) the 
Lord hath sent " grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of 
" the latter growth,"" Amos vii. 2. Just as the grasshoppers and 
other creatures, devour the second tender herbage as soon as the 
field begins to recover its verdure ; so men, after they have been de- 
nuded and blasted by Providence, they begin after a while to flourish 
again ; but then comes some new affliction and blasts all. None have 
more frequent experience of this than you that are merchants and 
seamen, whose estates are floating ; and yet such as have had the 
highest security in the eye of reason, have, notwithstanding, experi- 
enced the vanity of these things. Henry IV. a potent prince was re- 
duced to such a low ebb, that he petitioned for a prebend's place in 
the church of Spire. Gallimer, king of the Vandals, was brought so 
low, that he sent to his friends for a spunge, a loaf of bread, and an 
harp: a spunge to dry up his tears, a loaf of bread to maintain his 
life, and an harp to solace him in his misery. The story of Bellisa- 
rius is very affecting : he was a man famous in his time, general of an 
army, yet having his eyes put out, and stripped of all earthly com- 
forts, was led about crying, Date obolum Bellisario. Give one penny 
to poor Bellisarius. Instances in history of this kind are infinite. 
Men of the greatest estates and honours have nevertheless become 
thiC very ludibriajbrtunce, as one speaks, the very scorn of fortune. 

Yea, and not only wicked men that have gotten their estates by 
rapine and oppression, have lived to see them thus scattered by Pro- 
vidence : but sometimes godly men have had their estates, how justly 
soever acquired, thus scattered by providence also. Whoever had an 
estate, better gotten, better bottomed, or better managed, than Job ? 
yet all was overthrown and swept away in a moment ; though in 
mercy to him. as the issue demonstrated. 

Oh then ! what a vanity is it to set the heart, and let out the af- 
fections on them ! you can never depend too much upon God, nor 
too little upon the creature, 1 Tim. vi. 17. " Charge them that are 
" rich in this world, that they be not high-minded and trust in un- 
*' certain riches."*' 


Are all earthly things thus transitory and vain ? Then what a re- 
proach and shame is it to me, that the men of this world should be 
more industrious and eager in the prosecution of sucli vanities, than 

N OL. V. R 


I am to enrich ray soul with solid and everlasting treasure ? that 
ever a sensual lust should be more operative in them tlian the love 
of God in me ! O my soul, thou dost not lay out thy strength and 
earnestness for heaven with any proportion to what they do for the 
world. I have indeed higher motives, and a surer reward than they : 
but as I have an advantage above them herein, so they have an ad- 
vantage above me in the strength and entireness of the principle by 
which they are acted. What they do for the world, they do it with 
all their might; they have no contrary principle to oppose them; 
their thoughts, strength, and affections are entirely carried in one 
channel ; but I find "a law in my members warring against the law 
" of my mind ;" I must strive through a thousand difficulties and 
contradictions to the discharge of a duty. O my God ! shall not 
my heart be more enlarged in zeal, love, and delight in thee, than 
theirs are after their lusts .^^ O let me once find it so. 

Again, is the creature so vain and unstable ? Then why are my 
affections so hot and eager after it ? And why am I so apt to doat 
upon its beauty, especially when God is staining all its pride and 
glory ! Jer. xlv. 5, 6. Surely it is unbecoming the spirit of a Chris- 
tian at any time, but at such a time we may say of it, as Hushai of 
Ahithophefs counsel, " It is not good at this time." 

O that my spirit were raised above them, and my conversation 
more in heaven ! O that like that angel. Rev. x. 1, 2. which came 
down from heaven, and set one foot upon the sea, and another upon 
the earth, having a crown upon his head, so I might set one foot 
upon all the cares, fears, and terrors of the world, and another upon 
all the tempting splendor and glory of the world, treading both un- 
derfoot in the dust, and crowning myself with nothing but spiritual 
excellencies and glory ! 


tl UDGE in thyself, O Christian ! is it meet 

To set thy heart on what beasts set their feet ? 

'Tis no hyperbole, if you be told. 

You dig for dross with mattocks made of gold. 

Affections are too costly to bestow 

Upon the fair-fac'd nothings here below. 

The eaffle scorns to fall down from on hio-h, 

(The proverb saith) to catch the silly fly. 

And can a Christian leave the face of God, 

T' embrace th** earth, or doat upon a clod ? 

Can earthly things thy heart so strangely move, 

To tenipt it down from the delights above; / 

And now to court the world at such a time 

When God is laying judgment to the line? 

'Tis just like him that doth his cabin sweep 

And trim, when all is sinking in the deep : 


Or like the silly bird that to her nest 
Doth carry straws, and never is at rest, 
Till it be feathered well, but doth not see 
The axe beneath, that's hewing down the tree. 
If on a thorn thy heart itself repose 
With such delight, what if it were a rose ? 
Admire, O saint, the wisdom of thy God, 
Who of the self-same tree doth make a rod, 
Lest thou shouldst surfeit on forbidden fruit, 
And Uve not like a saint, but like a brute. 


Like hungry lions, waves for sinners gape : 
Leave then your sins behind, ifyoiCll escape. 


A HE waves of the sea are sometimes raised by God's commission, 
to be executioners of his threatenings upon sinners. When Jonah 
fled from the presence of the Lord to Tarshish, the text saith, " The 
*' Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty 
" tempest, so that the ship was like to be broken,"" Jonah i. 4. 
These were God's bailiffs to arrest the run-away prophet. And Psal. 
cxlviii. 8. The stormy winds are said X.o fulfil his word ; not only 
his word of command, in rising when God bids them, but his word 
of threatening also. And hence it is called a destroying wind, Jer. 
li. 1. and a stormy wind in God's Jury, Ezek. xiii. 13. 


If these be the executioners of God's threatenings, how sad then 
is their condition that put forth to sea under the guilt of all their sins ? 
Or, if God should commissionate the winds to go after and arrest 
tliee for all thou owest him, where art thou then ? How dare you 
put forth under the power of a divine threat, before all be cleared 
betwixt God and thee.? Sins in scripture are called debts, Matth. 
vi. 12. They are debts to God ; not that we owe them to him, or 
ought to sin, but metonymically, because they render the sinner ob- 
noxious to God's judgments, even as pecuniary debts oblige him that 
hath not wherewith to pay, to suffer punishment. All sinners must 
undergo the cur^e, either in their own person, according to the ex- 
press letter of the law, Gen. ii. 17. Gal. iii. 10. or their surety, ac- 
cording to the tacit intent of the law, manifested to be tlie mind of 
the lawgiver, Gen. iii. 13, 14. 

Now he that by faith hath interest in this surety, hath his dis- 
charge, his quietus est, sealed in the blood of Christ ; all process at 
law, or from the law, is stopt, Rom. viii. 1. But if thou be an im- 
penitent, persisting sinner, thy debt remains upon thine own score, 



" And be sure thy sin will find tliee out, wherever tliou goest,'' 
Numb, xxxii. 23. i. e. God's revenging hand for sin will be upon thee : 
Thou mayest lose the sight and memory of thy sins, but they lose 
not the sight of thee ; they follow after, as the hound doth the fleet- 
ing game upon the scent, till they have fetched thee up : And then 
consider, " How fearful a thing it is to fall into the hands of the 
" living God," Heb. x. 31. How soon may a storm arrest, and 
bring thee before the bar of God ? 


O my soul, what a case art thou in, if this be so ? Are not all thy 
sins yet upon thine own score ? Hast not thou made light of Christ, 
and that precious blood of his, and hitherto persisted in thy rebel- 
lion against him ? And what can the issue of this be at last, but ruin ? 
There is abundant mercy indeed for returning sinners ; but the gos- 
pel speaks of none for persisting and impenitent sinners. And though 
many who are going on in their sins are overtaken by grace, yet there 
is no grace promised to such as go on in sin. O ! if God should arrest 
me by the next storm, and call me to an account for all that I owe 
him, I must then lie in the prison of hell to all eternity ; for I can 
never pay the debt ; nay, all the angels in heaven cannot satisfy for it. 
Being christless, I am under all the curses in the book of God ; a 
child of Hagar. Lord pity and spare me a little longer ! O discover 
thy Christ unto me, and give me faith in his blood, and then thou 
art fully satisfied at once, and I discharged for ever. O require not 
the debt at my hand, for then thou wilt never be satisfied, nor I ac- 
quitted. What profit, Lord, is there in my blood ! O my soul, make 
haste to this Christ, thy refuge city ; thou knowest not how soon the 
avenger of blood may overtake thee. 


A HY sins are debts, God puts them to account ; 

Canst tell, poor wretch, to what thy debts amount ? 

Thou fill'st the treasure of thy sins each hour. 

Into his vials God doth also pour 

Proportionable wrath : Thou seest it not ; 

But yet assure thyself, there's drop for drop. 

For every sand of patience running out, 

A drop of wrath runs in. Soul, look about ! 

God's treasure's almost full, as well as thine : 

When both are full, O then the dreadful time 

Of reck'ning comes ; thou shalt not gain a day 

Of patience more, but there hastes away 

Heaven's pursevant, who comes upon the wing 

With his commission seaFd, to take and bring. 

Dost still reject Christ's tenders ? Well, next storm 

May be the bailiff order'd to perform 

This dreadful office. O then restless be, 

Till God in Christ be reconcil'd to thee. 


The sum is great, but if a Christ thou get, 

Fear not, a prince can pay a beggar's debt. 

Now if the storm should rise, thou need'st not fear ; 

Thou art, but the deUnquent is not there. 

A pardon'd soul to sea may boldly go : 

He fears not bailiffs, that doth nothing owe. 


To save the ship, rich lading's cast au^aij, 
Thy said is shipwrecTc'd if thy lusts do stay . 


In storms and distresses at sea, the richest commodities are cast 
overboard ; they stand not upon it, when life and all is in jeopardy 
and hazard, Jonah i. 5. The mariners cast forth the wares that were 
in the ship into the sea, to lighten it. And, Acts xxvii. 18, 19- 
they cast out the ve;ry tacklings of the ship. How highly soever 
men prize such commodities, yet reason tells them, it v/ere better 
these should perish, than life. Satan himself could say, Job i. 
" Skin for skin, and all that a man hath will he give for liis life." 


And surely, it is every way as highly reasonable, that men should 
mortify, cast out, and cut oft' their dearest lusts, rather than their im- 
mortal souls should sink and perish in the storm of God's wrath. Life 
indeed is a precious treasure, and highly valued by men : You know 
what Solomon saith, Eccl. ix. 4. That " a living dog is better than 
" a dead lion." And we find men willing to part with their estates, 
limbs, or any outward comfort for the preservation of it. The wo- 
man in the gospel spent all she had on the physicians for her health, 
a degree below life. Some men indeed do much overvalue their 
lives, and part with Christ and peace of conscience for it; but he 
that thus saves it, shall lose. Now if life be so much worth, what 
then is the soul worth ? Alas ! life is but " a vapour, which appearetli 
" for a little while, and then vanisheth away," Jam. iv. 14. 

Life indeed is more worth tlian all the world, but my soul is more 
worth than ten thousand lives. Nature teachetli you to value the first 
so high, BX\({ grace should teach you to value the second much higher, 
Mat. xix. 20. Now here is the case : Either you must part with your 
sins, or with your souls ; if these be not cast out, both must sink to- 
gether. " If ye live after the flesh, ye must die," Rom. viii. 13. God 
saith to you in this case, as to Ahab, when he spared Benhadad, 1 
Kings XX. 42. " Because thou hast let go a man whom God hath ap- 
" pointed to destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life." 
Guilt will raise a storm of wrath, as Jonah did, if not cast out. 




And must sin or the soul perish ? Must my hfe, yea, my eternal 
life go for it if I spare it ? O then let me not be cruel to mine own 
soul in sparing my sin ; O my soul, this foolish pity and cruel indul- 
gence will be thy ruin : If I spare it, God hath said, " He will not 
" spare me,"" Deut. xxvi. 20. It is true the pains of mortification 
are sharp, but yet is easier than the pains of hell. To cut off a right 
hand, or pluck out a right eye is hard ; but to have my soul cut off 
eternally from God is harder. Is it as easy (O my soul !) to burn for 
them in hell, as to mortify them on earth ? Surely, it is "profitable 
" for me, that one member perish, rather than that all be cast into 
" hell,'" Matt. v. 24. I see the merchant willing to part with rich 
wares if embarked with them in a storm : And those that have gan- 
grened legs or arms, willingly stretch them out to be cut off to pre- 
serve life : And shall I be willing to endure no difficulties for my soul ; 
Christ reckoned souls worth his blood : And is it not worth my self- 
denial ? Lord, let me not warm a snake in my bosom, tliat will at 
last sting me to the heart. 


HY soul's the ship, its lading is its lusts, 
God's judgments, stormy winds, and dangerous gusts ; 
Conscience the master ; but the stubborn will 
Goes supra car go ^ and doth keep the bill : 
Affections are the men. The winds do rise, 
The storm increases : Conscience gives advice 
To throw those lusts o'erboai'd, and so to ease 
The vessel, which else cannot keep the seas. 
The will opposes, and th' affections say, 
The master's counsel they will not obey. 
The case is dangVous, that no man can doubt, 
Who sees the storm within, and that without. 
Lusts and affections cannot part ; no, ratlier. 
They are resolv'd to swim or sink together. 
Conscience still strives, but they cannot abide 
That it or reason should the case decide 
Lust knows that reason, in like cases, still 
Determines well : Then chuse ye whom ye will. 
Shall make the devil judge ? This case has been 
Before him, and he judged that skin for skin, 
And all men have, they'll part with for their life. 
Then how unreasonable is this strife.'^ \ 
They that their sins do with their persons ship. 
Do for their souls prepare a dreadful whip. 



Christ, zcith a word, can sm-gmg- waves appease : . 
His voice a troubled soul can quickly ease. 


^ T HEN the sea works, and is tempestuous, it is not in the power 
of any creature to appease it. When the Egyptians would by their 
hieroglyphics express an impossibility, they did it by the picture of 
a man treading upon the waves. It is storied of Canute, an ancient 
Danish king, that when a mighty storm of flattery arose upon him, 
he appeased it by shewing that he could not appease the sea : But 
one of his courtiers told him as he rode near the sea-side, ' That he 
' was Lord of the sea as well as land.' ' Well, (said the king) we shall 
' see that by and by ;' and so went to the water-side, and with a loud 
voice cried, 'O ye seas and waves, come no further, touch not my feet.' 
But the sea came up notwithstanding that charge, and confuted the 
flattery. But now Jesus Christ hath command of them indeed : It is 
said of him. Mat. viii. 20. That he rebuked them. And Mark iv. 38. 
He quiets them with a word, Peace, be still ; as one would hush a 
child, and it obeyed him. 


Conscience, when awakened by the terrors of the Lord, is like a 
raging tempestuous sea ; so it works, so it roars ; and it is not in the 
power of all creatures to hush or quiet it. Spiritual terrors, as well 
as spiritual consolations are not known till felt. O when the arrows 
of the Almighty are shot into the spirit, and the terrors of God set 
themselves in array against the soul ; when the venom of those arrows 
drink up the spirits, and those armies of terrors charge violently and 
successively upon it, as Job vi. 4. What creature then is able to stand 
before them ! Even God's own dear children have felt such terrors 
as have, distracted them, Psal. Ixxxi. 15. Conscience is the seat of 
guilt : it is like a burning glass, so it contracts the beams of the 
threatnings, twists them together, and reflects them on the soul, luitil 
it smoke, scorch, and flame. If the wrath of the king be like the roar- 
ing of a lion, then what is the Almighty's wrath ! which is burning 
wrath, Jobxix. 11. Tea7'ing wrath, Psal. 1. 22. Surprizing icrath. 
Job XX. 23. And abiding wrath. Job iii. 36. 

In this case no creature can relieve : all are physicians of no value ; 
sqme under these terrors have thought hell more tolerable, and by a 
violent hand have thrust themselves out of the world into it to avoid 
these gnawings : Yet Jesus Christ can quickly calm these mystical 
waves also, and hush them with a word ; yea, he is the ph^'sician, 
and no other. It is the sprinkling of his blood, which, like a cooling 
fomentation, allays those heats within : That blood of sprinkling 
speaks peace, when all others have practised upon the soul to no pur- 
pose ; and the reason is, because he is a Person, in whom God and 

R 4j 


man, justice and mercy meet and kiss each other, Eph. ii. 14. And 
hence fetches in peace to the soul, Rom. v. 1. 


Can none appease a troubled conscience but Christ? Then learn, O 
my soul, to understand, and daily more and more to savour that glo- 
rious name, even Jesus, that delivers not only from the wrath to come, 
but that which is felt here also. O, if the foretaste of hell be so intoler- 
able, if a few drops, let fall on the conscience in this life be so scalding 
and insufferable, what is it to have all the vials poured out to eter- 
nity, when there shall be nothing to divert, mitigate, or allay it ? 

Here men have somewhat to abate those terrors, some hopes of 
mercy, at least a possibility : but there is none. O my soul ! how art 
thou loaded with guilt ! and what a Magormissahlh wouldst thou be, 
should God rouse that sleepy lion in thy bosom ! My condition is not 
at all the better because my conscience is quiet. Ah ! the day is 
coming when it must awake, and will lighten and thunder terribly 
within me, if I get not into Christ the sooner. O Lord, who knows 
the power of thy wrath ? O let me not carry this guilt out of the 
world with me, to maintain those everlasting flames, let me give no 
sleep to mine eyes, nor slumber to mine eye-lids, till I feel the com- 
fort of that blood of sprinkling, which alone speaketh peace. 


A.MONG the dreadful works of God, I find 
No metaphors to paint a troubled mind. 
I think on this, now that, and yet will neither 
Come fully up, though all be put together. 
'Tis like the raging sea that casts up mire, 
Or like to ^tna, breathing smoke and fire; 
Or like a roused lion, fierce and fell ; 
Or like those furies that do howl in hell. 
O conscience ! who can stand before thy power, 
Endure thy gripes and twinges but an hour ? 
Stone, gout, strappado, racks, whatever is 
Dreadful to sense, is but a toy to this. 
No pleasures, riches, honours, friends can tell 
How to give ease : In this 'tis like to hell. 
Call for the pleasant timbrel, lute, and harp ; 
Alas ! the music howls, the pain's too sharp 
For these to charm, divert, or lull asleep : 
These cannot reach it, no, the wound's too deep. 
Let all the promises before it stand. 
And set a Barnabas at its right hand ; 
These in themselves no comfort can afford, 
'Tis Christ, and none but Christ can speak the word. 
And he no sooner speaks but all is still, 
The storm is over, and the mind tranquil. 


There goes a powV, with his majestic voice, 
To hush the dreadful storm, and still its noise. 
Who would but fear and love tliis glorious Lord, 
That can rebuke such tempests with a word ? 

- fasiigl - 


Our food out of the sea God doth command; 
Yet few therein tahe notice of' his hand. 


X HE providence of God in furnishing us with such plenty and 
variety offish, is not slightly to be past over. We have not only 
several sorts of fish in our own seas, which are caught in their sea- 
sons ; but from several parts, especially the western parts of Eng- 
land, many sail of ships are sent yearly to the American parts of the 
world ; as Newfoundland, New-England, &c. Whence every year 
is brought home, not only enough to supply our own nation, but 
many thousand pounds worth also yearly returned from Spain, and 
other countries ; by which trade many thousand families do subsist, 


But now, what returns do we make to heaven for these mercies ? 
O what notice is taken of the good hand of Providence, which thus 
supplies and feeds us with the blessings of the sea ? I fear there are 
but few that own, or act in submission to it, and are careful to return, 
according to received benefit. Men do not consider, " That their 
" works are in the hand of God,'' Eccl. ix. 1. And even those that 
have the most immediate dependence upon Providence, as merchants 
and seamen, yet are very prone to undertake designs i;i the confidence 
of their own wisdom and industry ; not looking higher for the bles- 
sing, Jam. iv. 13. They often " sacrifice to their own net, and burn 
" incense to their drag, because by them their portion is fat, and 
" their meat plenteous," Hab. i. 16. viz. They attribute what is due 
to God unto the creature : now this is a sin highly provoking to the 
Lord ; for look in what degree the heart cleaves to the second cause, 
in the same degree it departs from the living God, Jer. x. 5. 

And how do you think the blessed God will take it, to see him- 
self thus debased, and the creature thus exalted into his place ; to see 
you carry yourselves to the creature as to a God, and to the blessed 
God as to a creature. Surely, it is a great and common evil and 
such as will blast all, if not timely discovered and lamented. If we 
make flesh our arm, it is just with God to wither and dry up the 
arm. Do we not, my brethren, look upon second causes as if they 
had the main stroke in our business ? And with a neglective eye pass 
by God, as if he came in but collaterally, and on the bye, into it ? 


But certainly all endeavours will be unsanctified, if not successless In 
which God is not eyed and engaged. 

" It is in vain tor you to rise up early, and sit up late, and eat the 
" bread of sorrows ; for so he giveth his beloved sleep," Psalm 
cxxxvii. 2. i e. It is to no purjiose for men to beat their brains, tire 
their spirits, and rack their consciences for an estate. The true way 
of acquiring and enjoying the creature, is by submitting quietly to 
the will of God, in a prudent and diligent, yet moderate use of law- 
ful means : Nothing can thrive with us till then. 


Why then should I disquiet myself in vain ; and robmyself of my 
peace, by these unbelieving cares and distractions ? O this hath been 
my sin ! I have acted, as if my condition had been at my own dispose ; 
I have eyed creatures and means too much, and God too little. How 
have my hands hanged down with discouragement, when second 
causes have disappeared, or wrought cross to my designs in the world, 
ready to transfer the fault on this thing, or that ! And again, how 
apt am I to be vainly lifted up in carnal confidence, when I see my- 
self competently furnished with creature munition, and provision ? 
Oh, what a God-provoking wickedness, is this ! How oft hath pro- 
vidence checked my carnal presumption, and dashed many hopeful 
projects ? Yet have I not owned it, as I ought, and submitted to it. 
Oh, it is a wonder this hath not closed the hand of providence against 
me, and pulled down a curse upon all ! Ah Lord, let me now learn, 
'* to acquaint myself with thee, then shall I decree a thing, and it 
•' shall be estabfished,'' Job xxii. 28. 


JLN all the gifts of God we should advance 

His glorio'.is name; not say, it came by chance. 

Or to the idol of our prudence pay 

The tribute of our praise, and go our way. 

The waves do clap their hands, and in their kind 

Acknowledge God ; and what ! are they more blind 

That float upon them ? Yea, for what they get 

They offer sacrifices to their net. 

This is your manner, thus to work you go : 

Confess the naked truth ; is't not so ? 

This net was wisely cast, 'tis full, 'tis full : 

well done mates, this is a gallant pull. 
Thus what is due to God, you do apply 
Unto yourselves most sacrilegiously. 

1 cannot wonder such come empty home. 
That are so full of self and sin : Yet some 
I hope look higher, and on God reflect 

Due praise. A blessing such may well expect. 



Whilst thou hy art the silly fish doth hill, 
Perchance the devils hook sticks in thy gill. 


X HERE is skill in fishing ; they that go to sea in a fishing voyage, 
use to go provided with their craft (as they very fitly call it) with- 
out which they can do nothing. They have their lines, hooks of 
several sizes, and their bait. They carefully observe their seasons ; 
when the fish fall in, then they ply their business day and night. 


But how much more skilful and industrious is Satan to ensnare and 
destroy souls ? The devil makes a voyage as well as you ; he hath 
his baits for you, as you have for the fish : He hath his devices and 
wiles to catch souls, 2 Cor. ii. 11. Eph. vi. 11. He is a serpent, an 
old serpent, Rev, xii. 9. Too crafty for man in his perfection, much 
more in his collapsed and degenerated state, his understanding being 
cracked by the fall, and all his faculties poisoned and perverted. 
Divines observe four steps, or degrees of Satan's tempting power : 
First, He can find out the constitution-evils of men ; he knows 
to what sin their natures are more especially jirone, and inclinable. 
Secondly, He can propound suitable objects to those lusts, he can 
exactly and fully hit every man's humour : as Agrippa mixed her 
poison in that meat her husband loved best. 

Thirdly^ He can inject and cast motions into the mind, to close 
with those tempting objects; as it is said of Judas, John xiii. 2. 
" The devil put it into his heart.*" 

Fourthly, He can solicit, irritate, and provoke the heart, and by 
those continual restless solicitations weary it : and hereby he often 
draws men to commit such things as startled them in the first motion 
All this he can do, if he finds the work sticks, and meets with rubs 
and difficulties ; yet doth he not act to the utmost of his skill and 
power, at all times, and with all persons ; neither indeed need he do 
so ; the very propounding of an object is enough to some, without 
any further solicitation ; the devil makes an easy conquest of them. 
And, beside all this, his policy much appears in the election of 
place, time, and instruments to tempt by : And thus are poor souls 
caught, " as fishes in an evil net," Eccl.ix. 12. The carnal man is 
led by sense, as the beast ; and Satan handles and fits him accord- 
ingly. He useth all sorts of motives, not only internal and intellec- 
tive ; but external and sensitive also ; as the sparkling of the wme, 
when it gives its colour in the glass ; the harlot's beauty, whose eye- 
lids are snares, hiding always the hook, and concealing the issue from 
them. He promises them gain and profit, pleasure and delight, and 
all that is tempting, with assurance of secresy : By these he fastens 


the fatal hook in their jaws, and thus they are led captive by hini 
at his will. 


And is Satan so subtil and industrious to entice souls to sin ? Doth 
he thus cast out his golden baits, and allure souls with pleasure to their 
ruin ? Then how doth it behove thee, O my soul, to be jealous and 
wary ! how strict a guard should I set upon every sense ! Ah, let me 
not so much regard how sin comes towards me in the temptation, as 
how it goes off at last. The day in which Sodom was destroyed, be- 
gan with a pleasant sun-shine, but ended in fire and brimstone. I 
may promise myself much content in the satisfaction of my lusts: 
But O how certainly will it end in my ruin ? Ahab doubtless promised 
himself much content in the vineyard of Naboth, but his blood paid 
for it in the portion of Jezreel. The harlot's bed was perfumed, to 
entice the simple youngman, Prov. \'ii. 17. But those chambers of de- 
light proved the chambers of death, and her house the way to hell. 
Ah ! with what a smiliiig face doth sin come on towards me in its 
temptations ? how doth it tickle the carnal fancy, and please the de- 
ceived heart ? But what a dreadful catastrophe and upshot hath it ^ 
The delight is quickly gone ; but the guilt thereof remains to amaze 
and terrify the soul with ghastly forms, and dreadful representations 
of the wrath of God. As sin hath its delights attending it to enter 
and fasten it, so it hath its horrors and stings to torment and wound : 
And as certainly as I see those go before it to make a way, so certainly 
shall I find these follow after, and tread upon its heels. No sooner 
is the conscience awakened, but all those delights vanish as a night- 
vision, or as a dream when one awakes ; and then I shall cry, here is 
the hook, but where is the bait ? Here is the guilt and horror, but 
where the delight that I was promised ? And I, whither shall I now 
go ? Ah, my deceitful lusts ! you have enticed and left me in the 
midst of all miseries. 

here's skill in fishing, that the devil knows ; 

For when for souls Satan a fishing goes. 

He angles cunningly ; he knows he must 

Exactly fit the bait unto the lust. 

He studies constitution, place and time. 

He guesses what is his delight, what thine ! 

And so accordinglv prepares the bait, 

Whilst he himself lies closelv hid, to wait 

When thou wilt nibble at it. Dost inchne 

To drunken meetino-s ? then he baits with wine : 

Is this the way ? If into this he'll smell. 

He'll shortly pledge a cup of wrath in hell. 

To pride or lust is thy vile nature bent ? 

An object suitable he will present. 


O think on this ! when you cast in the hook, 
Sav, Thus for my poor soul doth Satan look. 
O play not with temptations, do not swallow 
The suoar'd bait, consider what will folloM'. 
If once he hitch thee, then away he draws 
Thy captive soul close prisoner in his paws. 



Doth trading fail, and voyages prove had ; 
If you cannot discern the cause, "'tis sad. 


A HERE are many sad complaints abroad (and, I think not with- 
out cause) that trade fails, nothing turns to account. And though 
all countries are open and free for traffic, a general peace with all na- 
tions, yet there seems to be a dearth, a secret curse upon trading. You 
run from country to country, and come losers home. Men can hardly 
render a reason of it; few hit the right cause of this judgment. 


That prosperity and success in trade ai*e from the blessing of God, 
I suppose few are so atheistical, as once to deny or question. The 
devil himself acknowledges it, Job i. 10. " Thou hast blessed the 
" work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land." It 
is not in the power of any man to get riches, Deut. viii. 18. " Thou 
" shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is he that giveth thee 
" power to get wealth." It is his blessing that makes good men rich, 
and his permission that makes wicked men rich. That maxim came 
from hell, Quisquejortuuce sucejaber : Every man is the contriver 
of his own condition. Certainly, " The good of man is not in his 
" own hand," Job xxi. 16. " Promotion cometh not from the cast 
" nor the west," Psal. Ixxvi. 6, 7. 

This being acknowledged, it is evident that in all disappointments, 
and want of success in our callings, we ought not to stick in second 
causes, but to look higher, even to the hand and disposal of God : 
For whose it is to give the blessing, his also it is to with-hold it. 
And this is as clear in scripture as the other : It is the Lord that 
takes away the fishes of the sea, Hos. iv. 3. Zeph. i. 3. " It is he 
" that curseth our blessings,"" Mai. ii. 3. 

This God doth as a punishment for sin, and the abuse of mer- 
cies ; and therefore in such cases we ought not to rest in general 
complaints to, or of one another, but search what those sins are that 
provoke the Lord to inflict such judgments. 

And here I must request your patience, to hear a plain, and close 
word of conviction. My brethren, I am persuaded these are the 


sins among many others, that provoke the Lord to blast all your 

1. Our undertaking designs without prayer. Alas I how few of 
us begin with God ! interest him in our dealings, and ask counsel 
and direction at his mouth. Prayer is that which sanctifies ail em- 
ployments and enjoyments, 1 Tim. iv. 5. The very heatJten could 
say, A Jove principium. They must begin with God. O that we 
had more prayers, and fewer oaths ! 

2. Injustice and fraud in our dealings. A sin to which merchants 
are prone, as appears by that expression, Hos. xii. 7. This is that 
which will blast all your enjoyments. 

»S. An over-earnest endeavour after the world. Men make this 
their business, they will be rich : and hence it is, they are not only 
unmerciful to themselves, in wearying and wasting their own spirits 
with carking cares, but to such also as they employ ; neither regard- 
ing the souls or bodies of men : scarce affording them the liberty of 
the Lord's day, (as has been too common in our Newfoundland em- 
ployments,) or if they have it, yet they are so worn out \vith incessant 
labours, that that precious time is spent either in sleep or idleness. 
It is no wonder God gives you more rest than you would have, since 
that day of rest hath been no better improved. This over-doing 
hath not been the least cause of our undoing. 

Lastly, Our abuse of prosperity, when God gave it, making God's 
mercies the food and fuel of our lusts. When we had affluence and 
confluence of outward blessings, " this made us kick against God," 
as, Deut. xxxiii. 15. " forget God," Deut. iv. 14. yea, grow proud of 
our strength and riches, Ezek. xvi. 13. and Jer. ii. 31, Ah ! how few 
of us in the days of our prosperity, behaved ourselves as good Je- 
hoshaphat did ? 2 Chron. xvii. 5, 6. " He had silver and gold in a- 
*' bundance, and his heart was lifted up in the way of God's com- 
'' mandments ;" not in pride and insolence. 


Are these the sins that blast our blessings, and wither our mercies ? 
O then let me cease to wonder it is no better, and rather admire that 
it is no worse with me ; that my neglect of prayer, injustice in deal- 
ings, earthly-mindedness, and abuse of former mercies have not pro- 
voked God to strip me naked of all my enjoyments. Let me humbly 
accept from the Lord the punishment of my iniquities, and lay my 
hand upon my mouth. And O that these disappointments might 
convince me of the creature's vanity, and cause me to drive on ano- 
ther trade for heaven ; then shall I adore thy wisdom in rending 
from me those idolized enjoyments. Ah, Lord ! When I had them, 
my heart was a perpetual drudge to them : how did I then forget 
God, neglect my duty, and not mind my eternal concernments ! Oh, 
if these had not perished, in all probability I had perished. My God, 
let my soul prosper, and then a small portion of these things shall af- 
ford me more comfort than ever I had in their greatest abundance. 


<« A little that a righteous man hath, is better than the riches of 
" many wicked/' Psal. xxxvii. 16. 


X HERE'^s great complaint abroad that trading's bad, 
You shake your head, and cry, 'Tis sad, 'tis sad. 
Merchants lay out their stock, seamen their pains. 
And in their eye they both may keep their gains. 
Your fishing fails, you wonder why 'tis so, 
'Tis this (saith one) or that ; but I say — no, 
'Twill ne'er be well till you confess and say, 
It is our sin that frights the fish away. 
No wonder all goes into bags with holes, 
Since so the gospel hath been in your souls. 
We kick'd like Jeshurun, when the flowing tide 
Of wealth came tumbling in, this nourish'd pride. 
'Twixt soul and body, now I wish it may 
Fare, as betwixt the Jews and us this day 
O that our outward want and loss may be 
To us a soul-enriching poverty ! 
If disappointments here advance the trade 
For heaven, then complain not; you have made 
The richest voyage, and your empty ships 
Return deep ladea with soul-benefits. 


In seas the greater fish the less devour : 

So some men crush all those within their power, 


HERE are fishes of prey in the sea, as well as birds and beasts of 
prey on the land. Our seamen tell us, how the devouring whales, 
sharks, dolphins, and other fishes, follow tl^ caplein, and other 
smaller fish, and devour multitudes of them. It is frequent with 
us in our own seas to find several smaller fish in the belKes of the 
greater ones ; yea, I have often heard seamen say, that the poor little 
fry, when pursued are so sensible of the danger, that they have 
sometimes seen multitudes of them cast themselves upon the shore 
and perish there to avoid the danger of being devoured by them. 


Thus cruel, merciless, and oppressive are wicked men, whose *' ten- 
" der mercies are cruelty," Prov. xxii, 10. AVe see the like cruelty 
in our extortioners, and over-reaching sharks ashore, who grind the 
faces of the poor, and regard not the cries of the fatherless and wi- 
dows, but fill their houses with the gain of oppression. These are, 
by the Holy Ghost, compared to the fishes of the sea, Hab. i. 13, 14. 
This is a crying sin, yea, it sends up a loud cry to heaven for ven- 


geaiice, Exod. xxii. 23. " If thou afflict the widow and the father- 
'' less, and they cry unto me, I will surely hear their cry."" And ver. 
27. " I will hear his cry, for I am gracious. Nay, God will not 
only hear their cry, but avenge their quarrel. That is a remarkable 
text, 1 Thes. iv. 6. " That no man go beyond and defraud his bro- 
'' ther in any matter, because that the Lord is the [avenger] of all 
" such." This word * avenger^ is but once more used in the New 
Testament, Rom. xiii. 4. and there it is applied to the civil magis- 
trate, who is to see execution done upon offenders. But now this is 
a sin that sometimes may be out of the reach of man's justice, and 
therefore God himself will be their avenger. You may over-power 
the poor in this world, and it may be they cannot contend with you 
at man's bar, therefore God will bring you before his bar. 

Believe it, sirs, it is a sin so provoking to God, that he will not let 
it escape without severe punishment, sooner or later. The prophet 
Habakkuk, chap. i. ver. 13. wondered how the holy God could for- 
bear such till the general day of reckoning, and that he did not take 
exemplary vengeance on them in this life. " Thou art of purer 
*' eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look upon iniquity : where- 
'' fore then lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and 
" boldest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is 
" more righteous than he?" And Prov. xxiii. 10, 11. '.' Enter not 
" into the fields of the fatherless," i. e. of the poor and helpless. 
But why is it more dangerous violently to invade their right, than 
another's ? The reason is added, " for their Redeemer is mighty, 
" and he shall plead their cause with thee." It may be they are 
not able to retain a counsel to plead their cause here ; therefore 
God will plead their cause for them. 


Turn in upon thyself (O my soul) and consider, hast thou not been 
guilty of this crying sin ! Have I not (when a servant) over-reached 
and defrauded others, and filled my master's house with violence and 
deceit.? and so brought myself under that dreadful threatening, Zeph. 
i. 9. Or since I came to trade and deal upon mine own account, have 
not the balances of deceit been in my hand ? I have (it may be) kept 
many in my service and employment ; have not I used their labours 
without reward, and so am under that woe ? Jer. xxii. 13. or not 
given them wages proportionable to their work .? Isa. Iviii. 3. or by 
bad payment and unjust deductions and allowances, defrauded them 
of a part of their due ? Mai. iii. 5. or at least delayed payment, out 
of a covetous disposition to gain by it ; whilst their necessities in the 
mean time cried aloud for it ; and so sinned against God's express 
commands, Deut. xxiv. 14, 15. Lev. xix. 30. or have I not perse- 
cuted such as God bath smitten ? Psal. Ixix. 26. and rigorously ex- 
acted the utmost of my due, though the hand of God hath gone out 



against them, breaking their estates ? O my soul, examine thyself 
upon these particulars : rest not quiet until this guilt be removei by 
the application of the blood of sprinkling. Hath not the Lord said, 
Jam. ii. 13. " That they shall have judgment without mercy, that 
" have shewed no mercy ? And is it not a fearful thing to fall into 
" the hands of the living God, who hath said. He will take ven- 
" geance for these things ?" 


Devouring whales, and ravenous sharks do follow 
The lesser fry, at one gulp to swallow 
Some hundreds of them, as our seamen say : 
But we can tell far stranger things than they. 
For we have sharks ashore on every creek. 
That to devour poor men do hunt and seek. 
No pity, sense, or bowels in them be. 
Nay, have they not put off humanity ? 
Extortioners and cheaters, whom God hates 
Have dreadful open mouths, and through those gates 
Brave persons with their heritages pass 
In funVal state, friends crying out, alas ! 

give me Agur's wish, that I may never 
Be such myself, nor feel the hands of either. 
And as for those that in their paw's are grip'd. 
Pity and rescue, Lord, from that sad plight. 
When I behold the squeaking lark, that's borne 
In faulcon's talons, crying, bleeding, torn ; 

1 pity its sad case, and would relieve 
The prisoner, if I could, as well as grieve. 
Fountain of pity ! hear the piteous moans 
Of all thy captive and oppressed ones. 


In storms to spread much sail endangers all : 
So carnal mirth, ifGodJbr mourning call, 


J. N storms at sea, the wise navigator will not spread much sail; 
that is the way to lose masts and all. They use then to furl up 
the sails, and lie a hull, when not able to bear a knot of sail, or else 
to lie a try, or scud before the wind and seas. It is no time then to 
hoist up the top and top-gallant, and shew their bravery. 


When the judgments of God are abroad in the earth, it is no time 
then to make mirth, Ezek. xxi. 10. " Should we fthenl make mirth ? 
Vol. V. S 

S76 A NEW COMPASS FOii s:eamek ; OR, 

It conteinneth the rod of my son as every tree." i. e. As if it were a 
common rod and ordinary affliction : whereas the rod of my son is not 
such as may be had of every tree ; but it is an iron rod to such as des- 
pise it, Psal. ii. 9. O it is a provoking evil, and commonly God se- 
verely punishes it. Of all persons such speed worst in the common 
calamity, Amos vi. 1. " Woe to them that are at ease in Sion, that 
' are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph," as ver. 6. It may be 
(as one observes upon the text) they did not laugh at him, or break 
jests upon him ; but they did not condole with him. And what shall 
be their punishment ? see ver. 7- " Therefore now shall they go cap- 
" tive with the first that go captive :" God will begin with them first. 
Solomon tells us, Eccles. iii. 4. " There is a time to weep, and a 
" time to laugh ; a time to mourn, and a time to dance :" ' Only, (as 
' M. Trap notes upon the text) we must not invert the order, but 
* weep with men, that we may laugh with angels.' To be merry and 
frolic in a day of tribulation, is to disturb the order of seasons. That 
is a terrible text, Isa. xxii. 12. which should make the hearts of such 
as are guilty in this kind to tremble : " In that day did the Lord of 
" hosts call to mourning, and to girding with sackcloth : and behold 
" joy and gladness, slaying oxen, killing sheep, drinking wine,*"' &c. 
Well, what is the issue of this ? " Surely, this iniquity shall not be 
" purged from you till ye die." O dreadful word ! surely (my bre- 
thren) sympathy isa debt we owe to Christ mystical. Whatever our 
constitution, condition, or personal immunities be, yet when God calls 
for mourning, we must hear and obey that call. David was a king, 
an expert musician, a man of a sanguine and cheerful constitution : 
yet who more sensible of the evil of those times than he ? Rivers of 
water ran down his eyes at the consideration of them. Melancthon 
was so affected with the miseries of the church in his days, that he 
seemed to take little or no notice of the death of his child, whom he 
entirely loved. At such a time we may " say of laughter, thou art 
" mad, and of mirth, what doth it !" 


Blush then, O my soul ! for thy levity and insensibility under 
God's angry dispensations. How many of the precious sons and 
daughters of Zion, lie in tears abroad, while I have been " nourishing 
" my heart as in a day of slaughter ? The voice of God hath cried 
" to the citv, and men of understanding have heard its voice," 
Micah vi. 9. But I have been deaf to that cry. How loth (my God) 
have I been to urge my sensual heart to acts of sorrow and mourn- 
ing ! Thou hast bid me weep with them that weep, but my vain 
heart cannot comply with such commands. Ah, Lord ! If I mourn 
not with Zion, neither shall I rejoice with her. 

O, w^ere mine eyes opened, and my heart sensible and tender, I 
might see cause enough to melt into tears ! and like that Christian 
Niobe, Luke vii. 38. to lie weeping at the feet of Christ. Lord, 
what stupidity is this .' shall X laugh, when thou art angry, and thy 


children weeping and trembling ? Then I may justly fear, lest 
*' when they shall sing for joy of heart, I shall howl for vexntio:j of 
*' spirit," Isa. Ixv. 13, 14. Surely, O my soul ! such laughter will 
be turned into mourning; either here or hereafter. 


J-N troublous times, mirth in the sinners face 
Is like a mourning-cloak with silver lace. 
The lion's roaring make the beasts to quake : 
God's roaring judgments cannot make us shake. 
What bell nine contempt is this of God, 
To laugh in's face when he takes up the rod ? 
Such laughter God in tears will surely drown^ 
(Unless he hate thee) e'er he lay it down. 
These rods have voices, if thou hear them well ; 
If not, another rod's prepar'd in hell ; 
And when the arm of God shall lay it on, 
Laugh if thou canst ; no, then thy mirth is gone. 
All Zion's children will lament and cry. 
When all her beauteous stones in dust do lie ? 
And he that for her then laments and mourns. 
Shall want no joy, when God to her returns. 


A Utile leak neglected^ dangerous proves : 
One sin connived at, the soul undoes. 

HE smallest leak, if not timely discovered and stopt, is enough 
to sink a ship of the greatest burden : Therefore seamen are wont 
frequently to try what water is in the hold ; and if they find it fresh, 
and increasing upon them, they ply the pump, and presently set the 
carpenters to search for it and stop it; and till it be found they 
cannot be quiet. 


What such a leak is to a ship, that is the smallest sin neglected to 
the soul ; it is enough to ruin it eternally. For as the greatest sin dis- 
covered, lamented, and mourned over by a believer, cannot ruin him ; 
so the least sin indulged, covered, and connived at, will certainly prove 
the destruction of the sinner. No sin, though never so small, is to- 
lerated by the pure and perfect law of God, Psalm cxix. 96. The 
command is exceeding broad ; not as if it gave men a latitude to 
walk as they please, but broad, i. e. extending itself to all our 
words, thoughts, actions, and affections : Laying a law upon them 
all; conniving at no evil in any man, 1 Pet. ii. 1. 

And as the word gives no allowance for the least sin, so it is the 



very nature of sincerity and uprightness, to set the heart against 
[ever?/] way of wickedness, Psal. cxxxix. 25, 24. Job xxxi. 13. and 
especially against that sin which was its darling in the days of his 
vanity, Psal. xviii. 23. True hatred (as the philosopher observes) 
is of the * whole kind : He that hates sin as sin, and so doth every 
upright soul, hates all sins as well as some. 

Again, the soul that hath had a saving sight of Jesus Christ, and 
a true discovery of the evil of sin, in the glass both of the law and 
gospel, can account no sin small. He knows the demerit of the 
smallest sin is God's eternal wrath, and that not the least sin can be 
remitted without the shedding and application of the blood of Christ, 
Heb. ix. 22. which blood is of infinite value and price, 1 Pet. i. 19. 

To conclude, God's people know, that little as well as great 
sins, are dangerous, deadly, and destructive in their own nature ; a 
little poison will destroy a man. Adrian was choaked with a gnat, 
Caesar stabbed with bodkins. A man would think Adam's sin had 
been no great matter, yet what dreadful work did it make ! It was 
not as a single bullet to kill himself only ; but as a chain-shot, which 
cut off all his poor, miserable posterity. Indeed, no sin can be little, 
because its object against whom it is committed is so great, whence it 
receives a kind of infiniteness in itself; and because the price paid to 
redeem us from it is so invaluable. 


And is the smallest sin not only damning in its own nature, but 
will certainly prove the ruin of that soul that hides and covers it ; O 
then let my spirit accomplish a diligent search. Look to it, O my 
soul ! that no sin be indulged by thee ; set these considerations as so 
many flaming swords in the way of thy carnal delights and lusts : Let 
me never say of any sin as Lot did of Zoar, " It is a little one, spare 
" it."" Shall I spare that which cost the blood of Jesus Christ ? The 
Lord would not spare him, " AVhen he made his soul an offering for 
sin," Rom. viii. 82. Neither will he spare me, if I defend and 
hide it, Deut. xxix. 20. Ah ! if my heart were right, and my con- 
versation sound, that lust, whatever it be, that is so favoured by 
me, would especially be abhorred and hated, Isa. ii. 20. and xxx. 
22. Whatever my convictions and reformations have been, yet if 
ther^ be but one sin retained and delighted in, this keeps the 
devil's interest in my soul. And though for a time he seem to de- 
part, yet at last he will return with seven worse spirits, and this is 
the sin that will open the door to him, and deliver up my soul, 
Matth. xii. 43, 44. Lord, let me make thorough work of it ; let 
me cut it off, and pluck it out, though it be as a right-hand, or 
eye. Ah ! shall I come so near the kingdom of God, and make 
such a fair offer for Christ, and vet stick at a small matter, and 

* E/5 TO yzvoc. 


lose all for want of one thing ? Lord, let me shed the blood of the 
dearest lust for his sake that shed his dearest blood for me ! 


A here's many a souFs eternally undone 
For sparing sin, because a little one. 
But we are much deceived; no sin is small, 
That wounds so great a God, so dear a soul. 
Yet say it were, tlie smallest pen-knife may 
As well as sword or lance, dispatch and slay. 
And shall so small a matter part and sever 
Christ and thy soul 'i What ! make you part for ever .^ 
Or wilt thou stand on toys with him, when he 
Deny'd himself in greatest things for thee "t 
Or will it be an ease in hell to think 
How easily thy soul therein did sink "^ 
Are Christ and hell for trifles sold and bought .^ 
Strike souls with trembling. Lord, at such a thought 1 
By little sins belov'd, the soul is lost, 
Unless such sins do great repentance cost. 



Ships make mtich way when they a trade-wind get 
With such a wind the saints have ever met. 


X HOUGH in most parts of the world the winds are variable, and 
sometimes blow from every part of the compass, by reason whereof 
sailing is slow and dangerous ; yet about the Equinoctial, seamen 
meet with a trade-wind blowing, for the most part one way ; and 
there they sail jocund before it, and scarce need to lower a topsail 
for some hundreds of leagues. 


Although the people of God meet with many seeming rubs and 
set-backs in their way to heaven, which are like contrary winds to 
a ship ; yet they are from the day of their conversion to the day of 
their complete salvation, never out of a trade-wind's way to heaven. 
Rom. viii. 21 . " We know that all things work together for good to 
*' them that love God, to them that are called according to his pur- 
" pose.'' This is a most precious scripture, pregnant with its con- 
solation, to all believers in all conditions, a pillar of comfort to all 
distressed saints : Let us look a little nearer to it. 

(We know) Mark the certainty and evidence of the proposition, 
which is not built upon a guess or remote probability, but upon the 
knowledge of the saints ; we know it, and that partly by Divine re* 


velatioii, God has told us so; and partly by our own experience we 
find it so. 

(That all things) Not only things that He in a natural and direct 
tendency to our good ; as ordinances^ promises, blessings, ^c. but 
even such things as have no natural fitness and tendency to such an 
end ; as afflictions, temptations, corruptions^ desertions, 4*c. all these 
help onward. They 

(Worh together) Not all of them directly, and of their own na- 
ture and incHnation ; but by being over-ruled and determined to 
such an issue by the gracious hand of God : nor yet do they work 
out such goods to the saints singly and apart, but as adjuvant causes 
or helps, standing under, and working in subordination to the su- 
preme and principal cause of their happiness. 

Now, the most seeming opposite things, yea, sin in itself, which in 
its own nature is really opposite to their good, yet eventually contri- 
butes to it. Afflictions and desertions seem to work against us, but 
being once put into the raak and order of causes, they work together 
with such blessed instruments, as word and prayer to an happy issue. 
And though the faces of these things that so agree and work toge- 
ther, look contrary ways ; yet there are, as it were, secret chains and 
connexions of providence betwixt them, to unite them in their issue. 
There may be many instruments employed about one work, and yet 
not communicate counsels, or hold intelligence with each other. Jo- 
seph's brethren, the Midianites, Potiphar, &c. knew not one another's 
mind, nor aimed at one end, (much less the end that God brought 
about by them) one acts out of revenge, another for gain, a third 
out of policy ; yet all meet together at last, in that issue God had 
designed to bring about by them, even Joseph's advancement. Even 
so it is here, Christian, there are more instruments at work for thine 
eternal good than thou art aware of. 


Cheer up then, O my soul, and lean upon this pillar of comfort in 
all distresses. Here is a promise for me, if I am a called one ; that, 
like the philosopher's stone, turns all into gold it toucheth. This 
promise is my security ; however things go in the world, my God 
" will do me no hurt," Jer. xxv. 6. Nay, he will do me good by 
every dispensation. " O that I had but an heart to make all things 
'' work for his glory, that thus causeth every thing to work for my 
^' good." My God, dost thou turn every thing to my advantage ? 
O let me return all to thy praise; and if by every thing thou work 
my eternal good, then let me in every thing give thanks. 

But ah ! ho# foolish and ignorant have I been? even as a beast 
before thee. How hath my heart been disquieted, and apt to re- 
pine at thy dispensations, when they have crossed my will ? not con- 
sidering that my God faithfully pursues my good, even in those 
things that cross, as well as in that which pleases me. 

jbleseed Lord I What a blessed condition are all thy people in^ who 


are within' the hne of this promise ? All things friendly and benefi- 
cial to them; friends helpful; enemies helpful; every thing conspiring, 
and conducing to their happiness. With others it is not so; no- 
thing works for their good ; nay, every thing works against it : 
their very mercies are snares, and their prosperity destroys them ; 
Prov. i. 32. even the blessed gospel itself is a savour of death to 
them : when evil befals them, " it is an only evil,'' Ezek. vii. 5. that 
isj not turned into good to them ; and as their evils are not turned 
into good, so all their good is turned into evil. As this promise hath 
an influence into all that concerns the people of God, so the curse 
hath an influence into all the enjoyments of the wicked. O my 
soul, bless the Lord, who hath cast thy lot into such a pleasant 
place, and given thee such a glorious heritage, as this promise is. 


f w HEN once the dog-star rises, many say, 
Corn ripens then apace, both night and day. 
Souls once in Christ, that morning-star lets fail 
Such influences on them, that all 
God"'s dispensations to them, sweet or sour. 
Ripen their souls for glory ev'ry hour. 
All their afflictions, rightly understood, 
Are blessings ; ev'ry v/ind will blow some good. 
Sure at their troubles saints would never grudge, 
Were sense deposed, and faith made the judge. 
Falls make them warier, amend their pace ; 
When gifts puff* up their hearts, and weaken grace. 
Could Satan see the issue, and th' event 
Of his temptations, he would scarcely tempt. 
Could saints but see what fruits their troubles bring. 
Amidst those troubles they would shout and sing. 
O sacred wisdom ! who can but admire 
To see how thou dost save from fire, by fire ! 
No doubt but saints in glory wondVing stand 
At those strange methods few now understand. 


Storms make discovery of the pilofs sJcill : 
God's wisdom m ciffliction triumphs still. 


N fair weather, when there is sea-room enough, then every com- 
mon person can guide the ship ; the pilot may then he down and 
take his rest ; but in great storms and stress of weather, or v/hen near 
the dangerous shore, then the most skilful pilot is put to it ; then ha 



shews tlie utmost of his art and skill, and yet sometimes all is too 
little. They are (as the scripture speaks) at their wifs end, know' 
not what to do more ; but are forced to commit all to the mercy of 
God and the seas. 


In the storms and tempests of affliction and trouble, there are 
the most evident and full discoveries of the wisdom and power of 
our God : it is indeed continually active for his people in all condi- 
tions, Isa. xxvii. 8. " Lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day." 
Psal. cxxi. 4. " He that keepeth Israel neither slumbereth nor 
*' sleepeth." His people's dangers are without intermission, therefore 
his preservations are so too. But now, when they come into the 
strait oi affliction and deadly dangers, which threatens like rocks on 
every side ; now the wisdom of their God rides triumphantly and 
visibly upon the waves of that stormy sea : and this infinite wisdom 
is then especially discovered in these particulars. 

1. In leaving them still somewhat in the lieu and room of those 
comforts that they are deprived of; so that they see God doth ex- 
change their comforts, and that for the better ; and this supports 
them. So John xiv. 1, 2, 3. Christ's bodily presence is removed, 
but the Spirit was sent in the room of it, which was better. 

% In doubling their strength, as he doubles their burdens. It is 
observed that the saints have many times very strong and sweet conso- 
lation, a little before their greatest trials : and this is so ordinary, that 
commonly when they have had their extraordinary consolations 
from God, they have then looked for some eminent trial. The 
Xord appeared to Abraham, and sealed the covenant to him, and 
then put him upon that great trial of his faith. So the disciples, 
Luke xxiv. 49. it was commanded them that they should " tarry in 
*' Jerusalem till they were endowed with power from on high."" The 
Lord knew what a hard providence they were like to have, and wliat 
great oppositions and difficulties they must encounter in publishing 
the everlasting gospel to the world ; and therefore first prepares and 
endows them with power from on high, viz. with eminent measures 
of the gifts and graces of the Spirit ; as faith, patience, self-denial, 
&c. So Paul had first his revelations, then his buffetings. 

3. In coming in so opportunely in the time of their great distress, 
with relief and comfort, 1 Pet. iv. 14. " Then the Spirit of glory 
'« and of God resteth on them." As that martyr cried out to his 
friend Austin, at the very stake. He is come, he is come. 

4. In appointing and ordering the several kinds of afflictions to se- 
veral saints ; and allotting to every one that very affliction, and no 
other, which is most suitable to his condition : which afflictions, like 
so many potions of physic, are prepared for that very malignant hu- 
mour that predominates most in them. Peter's sin was self-confi- 
dence, God permits him to fall by denying Christ ; which doubtless 


was sanctified to his good in that particular. Hezekiah's sin was 
vain-glory, therefore spoilers are sent to take away his treasures. 

5. In the duration of their troubles, they shall not lie always upon 
them, Ps. cxxv. 3. Our God is a God of judgment, Is. xxx. 18. Knows 
the due time of removing it, and is therein punctual to a day, Rev. ii. 


If the wisdom of God do thus triumph, and glorify itself in the dis- 
tresses of the saints, then why should I fear in the day of evil ? Psal. 
xlix. 4. Why doth my heart faint at the foresight and apprehen- 
sion of approaching trouble ? Fear none of those things that thou 
shalt suffer, O my soul : if thy God will thus be with thee in the 
fire and water, thou canst not perish. Though I walk through the 
valley of the shadow of death, yet let me fear no evil, whilst my God 
is thus with me. Creatures cannot do what they please, his wisdom 
limits and over-rules them all to gracious and sweet ends. If my 
God cast me into the furnace to melt and try me, yet I shall not be 
consumed there ; for he will sit by the furnace himself all the while 
I am in it, and curiously pry into it, observing when it hath done its 
work, and then will presently withdraw the fire. O my soul, bless 
and adore this God of wisdom ! who himself will see the ordering of 
all thine afflictions, and not trust it in the hands of men or angels. 

HOUGH tost in greatest storms, I'll never fear. 
If Christ will sit at th' helm to guide and steer ; 
Storms are the triumph of his skill and art ; 
He cannot close his eyes, nor change his heart. 
Wisdom and power ride upon the waves. 
And in the greatest danger helps and saves. 
From dangers it by dangers doth deliver. 
And wounds the devil out of his own quiver; 
It countermines his plots, and so doth spoil. 
And makes his engines on himself recoil. 
It blunts the politician's restless tool. 
And makes Ahithophel the veriest fool ; 
It shews us how our reason us misled, 
And if he had not we had perished. 
Lord, to thy wisdom I >\ill give the reins. 
And not with cares perplex and vex my brains. 


Things in the bottom are unseen : no eye 

Can trace GocVs paths, which in the deeps do lie. 


X HE ocean is so deep, that no eye can discover what hes in the 
bottom thereof. We use to say, proverbially, of a thing that is 

284 A ^'Ew COMPASS for seamen ; or, 

irrecoverably lost, it is as good it were cast into the sea. What lies 
there lies obscure from all eyes but the eyes of God. 


Thus are the judgments of God and the ways of his providence 
profound and unsearchable, Psal. xxxvi. 6. "Thy righteousness is like 
" the great mountains, thy judgments are a great deep;"" i. e. his 
providences are secret, obscure, and unfathomable ; but even then, 
and in those providences, his righteousness stands up like the great 
mountains, visible and apparent to every eve. Though the saints 
cannot see the one, yet they can clearly discern the other, Jer. xii. 1. 
Jeremiah was at a stand ; so was Job in the like case. Job xii. 7. So 
was Asaph, Psal. Ixxiii. and Habakkuk, chap. i. S. These wheels of 
providence are dreadful for their height, Ezek. i. IS. There be deep 
mysteries of providence, as well as of faith. It may be said of some 
of them, as of Paufs epistles. That they are hard to he understood^ 
darkness and clouds are round about the throne of God : no man can 
say what will be the particular issue and event of some of his dispen- 
sations. Luther seemed to hear God say to him, when he was impor- 
tunate to know his mind in some particular providence, Deus sum, 
non sequax: I am a God not to be traced. Sometimes providences, like 
Hebrew letters, must be read backward, Psal. xcii. 7. Some provi- 
dences pose men of the greatest parts and graces. " His way is in the 
*' sea, his paths in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known,''* 
Psal. Ixxvii. 19. Who can trace footsteps in the bottom of the sea.^ 
" The angels,*' Ezek. i. "have their hands under their wings.*" 
The hand is either, symholum 'rohoris, The symbol of strength, or 
instrumentum operationis^ The instrument of action : where these 
hands are put forth, they work effectually, but very secretly ; they 
are hid under tlieir wings. There be some of God''s works that are 
such secrets, as that they may not be enquired into ; they are to be 
beheved and adored, but not pryed into, Rom. xi. 33. Others that 
may be enquired after, but yet are so profound, that few can under- 
stand them, Psal. cxi. 2. " The works of the Lord are great, sought 
" out of all those that have pleasure therein."" When we come to 
heaven, then all those mysteries, as well in the works as in the word 
of God, will lie open to our view. 


O then, why is my heart disquieted, because it cannot sometimes 
discern the way of the Lord, and see the connection and dependence 
of his providential dispensations ? Why art thou so perplexed, O ray 
soul, at the confusions and disorders that are in the world ! I know 
that goodness and wisdom sits at the stern : and though the vessel of 
the church be tossed and distressed in times of trouble, yet it shall 
not perish. Is it not enough for me that God hath condescended so 
far for my satisfaction, as to shew me plainly the ultimate and general 
issue of all these mysterious providences, Eph. i. 22. Rom. viii. 28. 
unless I be able to take the height of every particular, shall I presume 



to call the God of heaven to account ? Must he render a reason of 
his ways, and give an account of his matters to such a worm as I am ? 
Be silent (O my soul) before the Lord, subscribe to his wisdom, and 
submit to his will whatsoever he doth. However it be, yet God is 
good to Israel ; the event will manifest it to be all over a design of 
love. I know not how to reconcile them to each other, or many of 
them to the promise; yet are they all harmonious betwixt themselves, 
and the certain means of accomplishing the promises. O what a fa- 
vour is this, that in the midst of the greatest confusions in the world, 
God hath given such abundant security to his people, that it shall 
be well with them; Amos ix. 8. Eccles. viii. 12. 

(ORD ! hov/ stupendous, deep, and wonderful 
Are all thy draughts of providence ! So full 
Of puzzling intricacies, that they lie 
Beyond the ken of any mortal eye. 
A wheel within a wheel's the scripture notion, 
And all those wheels transverse, and cross in motion. 
All creatures serve it in their place ; yet so, 
As thousands of them know not what they do. 
* At this or that their aim thev do direct ; 
But neither this nor that is the eiFect : 
But something else they do not understand, 
Which sets all politicians at a stand. 
Deep counsels at the birth this hand doth break. 
And deeper things performeth by the weak. 
Men are, like horses, set at evVy stage. 
For providence to ride from age to age ; 
Which, like a post, spurs on, and makes them run 
From stage to stage, until their journey's done ; 
Then take a fresh ; but they they the business know 
No more than horses the post-letters do. 
Yet tho' its works be not conceaPd from sight, 
'Twill be a glorious piece when brought to light. 



Millions of men are sunk into the main ; 
But it shall not those dead always retain. 


▼ ▼ HAT multitudes of men hath the sea devoured ! thousands 
have made their graves in it. What numbers of men have been in- 
gulphed together in sea-fights, or storms, or inundations, whereby 
whole towns have been swallowed up ! certainly the dead which are 
there, are innumerable. 



But though the sea has received so many thousand bodies of men 
into its devouring throat, yet it is not the absolute lord or proprietor 
of them, but rather a steward intrusted with them, till the Lord re- 
quire an account of them ; and then it must deliver up all it hath 
received, even to a person. Rev. xx. 11, 12. " And I saw the dead, 
'' small and great, stand before God : And the books were opened ; 
*' and another book was opened, which is the book of life ; and the 
*' dead were judged out of those things which were written in the 
*' book according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead 
" which were in it.*'' 

The doctrine of the resurrection of the body is a doctrine full of 
singular consolations to believers, 1 Cor. xv. and most clearly asserted 
in scripture. Acts xxvi. 8. Job xix. 25. 1 Cor. xv. &c. And it is 
well for us this point is so plainly revealed ; because as it is a most 
comfortable truth to the people of God, so there is scarce any truth 
that lies under more prejudice, as to sense or reason, and is more dif- 
ficult to receive than this is. The Epicures and Stoics laughed Paul 
to scorn when he preached it to them, Acts xvii. 32. The Familists 
and Quakers at this day reject it as a fable. The Socinians say tlie 
same body shall not rise, but an aerial body. And, indeed, if men 
set up reason as the only judge of supernatural things, it is incredible 
to think, that a body should be restored that hath been burnt to ashes, 
and those ashes scattered in the wind ; as history tells us was fre- 
quently done by the bodies of the saints in Dioclesian's reign ! or 
when drowned in the sea, and there devoured by several fishes, and 
those again devoured by others. But yet this is not to be objected to 
the almighty power of God, that gave them their first being: difficulties 
and impossibilities are for men, but not for him. " Why should it be 
" thought a thing incredible with you that God should raise the 
** dead?" Acts xxvi. 8. 


And must I rise again where-ever my body falls at death .'' Then, 
Lord, how am I concerned to get union with Christ whilst I live ? 
By virtue thereof only my resurrection can be made comfortable and 
blessed to me. Ah ! let my body lie where it will, in earth or sea : 
let my bones be scattered, and flesh devoured by worms or fish, I 
know thou canst, and wilt re-unite my scattered parts ; and in this 
body I must stand before thine awful tribunal, to receive according to 
what 1 have done therein, 2 Cor. v. 10. Thou that commandest me 
to stand forth amongst the noblest rank of creatures, when I had no 
being, and sawest my substance, being yet imperfect, canst as easily 
reduce me to that being again. 

What though reason vote it impossible, and sense incredible.? Though 
all these difficulties and incumbrances grow upon my faith, yet I 
know my body is not lost for ever; the sound of thy last and dreadful 


trumpet, shall awaken me ; and thy mighty power, to which all thh)gs 
are possible, shall bring me before thy bar. 

O Lord, I know that I shall stand in that great assembly at the last 
day, when multitudes, multitudes, even all the sons and daughters of 
Adam, shall appear together. O if I die christless, it were good for 
me that there were no resurrection ; for then those eyes that have 
been windows of lust, must behold Christ the Judge, not as a Re- 
deemer, but as a Revenger. That tongue that hath vented so much 
of the filthiness of my heart, will then be struck speechless before 
him ; and this flesh which I so pampered and provided for, condemn- 
ed to everlasting flames. O my God let me make sure work for such 
a day ! if I now get real union with thy Son, I shall awake with sing- 
ing out of the dust ; and then, as thou saidst to Jacob, so to me, when 
I go down into the sea, or grave, Gen. xlvi. 3, 4. " Fear not to go 
" down into the deep ; for I will surely bring thee up again."*' 


XT should not seem incredible to thee, 

That God should raise the dead in seas that be : 

We see in winter, swallows, worms, and flies 

Deprived of life, yet in the spring they rise. 

What tho' your bodies sevVal fish devour. 

Object not that to the Almighty powV. 

Some chymists in their art are so exact, 

That from one herb they usually extract 

Four different elements ; what think ye then 

Can pose that God who gave this skill to men ? 

The gard'ner can distinguish thirty kinds 

Of seeds from one another, tho' he finds 

Them mix'd together in the self-same dish ; 

Much more can God distinguish flesh from fish. 

They seem as lost, but they again must live ; 

The sea's a steward, and stewards account must give. 

T^ook what you are, when in the ocean drown'd, 

The very same at judgment you'll be found. 

I would not care whei-e my vile body lies, 

Were I assured it should with comfort rise. 


The seaman^ s greatest danger's near the coast ; 
When we are nearest heav'n^ the danger's most. 


HOUGH seamen meet with violent storms, yet if they liave 
sea-room enough, they are not much dismayed: but if they find 
themselves near the shore, they look upon their condition as very 


dangerous : the sight of the shore is to them (as Solomon speaks 
of the morning in another case) like the shadow of death, if not able 
to weather it. For one ship swallowed up in the ocean, many perish 
upon the coast. 


The greatest straits and difficulties that many saints meet with in 
all their lives, is when they come nearest to heaven, and have almost 
finished their course. Heaven indeed is a glorious place, the spaci- 
ous and royal mansion of the Great King ; but difficilia qnce pnlchra ; 
it hath a strait and narrow entrance, Luke xiii. 24. O the difficulty 
of arriving there! how many hard tugs in duty, what earnest con- 
tention and striving even to an agcny ! as that word imports, Luke 
xiii. 24. Multitudes put forth, and by profession arc bound for this 
Juir haven : but of the multitudes that put out, how iew do arrive 
there? A man may set out by a glorious profession with much re- 
solution, and continue long therein; he may offer very fair for it, 
and not be far from the kingdom of God, and yet not be able to 
enter at the last, Matth. vii. 22. . 

Yea, and many of those who are sincere in their profession, and 
do arrive at last, yet come to heaven (as I may say) by the gates of 
hell ; and put in, as a poor weather-beaten vessel comes into the 
harbour, more like a wreck than a ship, neither mast nor sail hft. 
The righteous themselves are scarcely saved, i. e. they are saved 
with very much difficulty. They have not all an abundant entrance, 
as the apostle speaks, 2 Pet. i. 11. 

' Some persons (as * one well notes) are afar off, Eph. ii. 23. i. e. 

* touched with no care of religion : some come near, but never enter 

* as semi-converts. See Matth. xii. 34. Others enter, but with great 

* difficulty, they are saved as by fire, 1 Cor. iii. 13. Make an hard 
' shift. But then there are some that go in with full sail before the 

* wind, and have an abundant entrance ; they go triumphing out of 

* the world." Ah ! when we come into the narrow channel, at the 
very point of entrance into life, the soul is then in the most serious 
frame: all things look with a new face; conscience scans our evi- 
dence most critically ; then, also, Satan falls upon us, and makes his 
sorest assaults and batteries. It is the last encounter ; if they escape 
him now, they are gone out of his reach for ever : and if he cannot 
hinder their salvation, yet if he can but cloud their evening, and 
make them go groaning and howling out of the world, he reaches 
another end by it, even to confirm and prejudice the wicked, and 
weaken the hands of others that are looking; towards religion. 


If this be so, how inevitable is my perdition, may the careless soul 
say ? If they that strive so much, and go so far, yet perish at last ; and 
if the righteous themselves are scarcely saved, then where shall such 

* Mant on on Jude, p. 119. 


au uncpodly creature as I appear ? O Lord ! if they that have made 
reUffion their business, and have been many years pursuing a work 
of mortification, have gone mourning after the Lord Jesus, and 
walked humbly with God ; yet if some of these have such an hard 
tuo- at last, then what will become of such a vain, sensual, careless, 
flesh-pleasing wretch as I have been ? 

Again, Do saints find it so strait an entrance ? Then, though I 
have well grounded hopes of safe arrival at last ; yet let me look to 
it, that 1 do not increase the difficulty. Ah ! they are the things 
that are now done, or omitted, that put conscience into such an 
agony then ; for then it comes to review the life with the most seri- 
ous eye. O let me not stick my death-bed full of thorns, against I 
come to lie down upon it. O that I may turn to the wall in that 
hour, as Hezekiah did, 2 Kings xx. 2, 3. and say, " Remember 
" now, O Lord, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with 
" a perfect heart,'^ &:c. 


-A-FTER a tedious passage, saints descry 

The glorious shore, salvation being nigh : 

Death's long-boat's launched, ready to set ashore 

Their panting souls. O how they tug at oar. 

Longing to be at rest ! but then they find 

The hardest tug of all is yet behind. 

Just at the harbour's mouth they see the wreck 

Of souls there cast away, and driven back. 

A world of dang'rous rocks before it lie ; 

The harbour's barr'd, and now the winds blow high ; 

Thoughts now arise, fears multiply apace ; 

All things above them have another face. 

Life blazes, just like an expirnig light, 

The soul's upon the lip prepar'd for flight. 

Death, till the resurrection, tears and rends, 

Out of each other's arms two parting friends. 

The soul and body. Ah ! but more than so. 

The devil falls upon them ere they go. 

With new temptations, back'd witli all his pow'r. 

And scruples kept on purpose for that hour. 

This IS the last encounter, now, or never ; 

If he succeedeth now, they're gone for ever. 

Thus in they put, with hardship at the last. 

As ships out of a storm, nor sail, nor mast : 

Yet some go in before a wind, and have 

Their streamer of assurance, flying brave. 

Lord, give me easier entrance, if thou please ; 

Or if I may not there arrive with ease, 

Yet I beseech thee, set me safe ashore, 

Tho' stormy winds at harbour's mouth should roar. 



How glad are seamen when they make the shore ? 
And saintSf no less, when all their danger'^s d*er. 



HAT joy is there among seamen, when at last, after a tedi- 
ous and dangerous voyage, they descry land, and see the desired 
haven before them ? Then they turn out of their loathed cabins, 
and come upon open deck with much joy. Psal. cvii. 30. " Then 
" they are glad, because they be quiet : So he bringeth them to 
'* their desired haven." Now they can reflect with comfort upon 
the many dangers they have past, Olim haec memhiisse Juvabit ; it 
is sweet to recount them. 


But O what a transcendent joy, yea, ravishing, will over-run the 
hearts of saints, when, after so many conflicts, temptations, and afflic- 
tions, they arrive in glory, and are harboured in heaven, where they 
shall rest for ever ! 2 Thess. i. 7. The scripture saith, " They shall 
" sing the song of Moses, and of the Lamb," Rev. xv. 3. The song 
of Moses was a triumphant song composed for the celebration of that 
glorious deliverance at the red sea. The saints are now fluctuating 
upon a troublesome and tempestuous sea ; their hearts sometimes 
ready to sink, and die within them, at the apprehension of so many 
and great dangers and difficulties. Many a hard storm they ride 
out, and iiiany straits and troubles they here encounter with, but at 
last they arrive at their desired and long-expected haven, and then 
heaven rings and resounds with their joyful acclamations. And how 
can it be otherwise, when as soon as ever they set foot upon that 
glorious shore, Christ himself meets and receives them with a " Come 
" ye blessed of my Father," Matth. xxv. 34. O joyful voice ! O 
much desired word ! saith Parseus, what tribulation would not a 
man undergo for this word's sake ! 

Besides, then they are perfectly freed from all evils, whether of 
sin or suffering, and perfectly filled with all desired good. Now they 
shall join with that great assembly, in the high praises of God. O 
what a day will this be ! If (said a * worthy divine) Diagoras died 
away with an excess of joy, whilst he embraced his three sons that 
were crowned as victors in the Olympic games in one day : and good 
old Simeon, when he saw Christ but in a body subject to the infir- 
mities of our nature, cried out, " Now let thy servant depart in 
" peace ;" what unspeakable joy will it be to the saints, to behold 
Christ in his glory, and see their godly relations also (to whose con- 
version, perhaps, they have been instrumental) all crowned, in one 
day, with everlasting diadems of bliss ! and if the stars did, as Ig- 

• Morning Exercise, p, 651, 


natius saith, make a choir, as it were, about that star that appeared 
at Christ's incarnation, and there is such joy in heaven at the con- 
version of a sinner ; no wonder then, the morning stars sing together, 
and the sons of God shout for joy, when the general assembly meet 
in heaven. O how will the arches of heaven ring and echo, when 
the high praises of God shall be in the mouth of such a congre- 
gation ! then shall the saints be joyful in glory, and sing aloud upon 
their beds of everlasting rest. 


And is there such a day approaching for the sons of God, indeed ! 
and have I [nuthorifi/] to call myself one of the number ! John i. 12. 

then let me not droop at present difficulties, nor hang down my 
hands when I meet with hardships in the way. O my soul, what 
a joyful day will this be ! for at present we are tossed upon an ocean 
of troubles, fears, and temptations ; but these will make heaven the 

Cheer up, then, O my soul, thy salvation is now nearer than when 
thou first believedst, Rom. xiii. 11. and it will not now be long ere 

1 receive the end of my faith, 1 Pet. i. 9- and then it will be sweet 
to reflect even upon these hardships in the way. Yet a few days 
more, and then comes that blessed day thou hast so long waited 
and panted for. Oppose the glory of that day, O ray soul, to thy 
present abasures and sufferings, as blessed Paul did, Rom. i. 18. 
and thou shalt see how it will shrink them all up to nothing; oppose 
the inheritance thou shalt receive in that day, to thy losses for 
Christ now ; and see how joyfully it will make thee bear them, 
Heb. X. 34). oppose the honour that will be put upon thee in that 
day, to thy present reproaches, and see how easy it will make them 
to thee, 1 Cor. iv. 5. What condition can I be in, wherein the be- 
lieving thoughts of this blessed day cannot relieve me ? 

Am I poor, here is that which answers poverty : James iii. 5. 
" Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of 
" this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom ?"" 

Am I tempted ? here is relief against that : Rev. xii. 16. " Now 
" is come salvation and strength : for the accuser of our brethren is 
" cast down,"" Sfc. 

Am I deserted ? here is a remedy for that too, Rev. xxii. 5. " And 
" there shall be no night there,"** ^c. Come, then, my soul, let us 
enter upon our inheritance by degrees, and begin the life of heaven 
upon earth. 


HEN Solomon in Israel first was king, 
Heaven's arches, earth's foundations, seemed to ring 
With joyful acclamations! How much more 
W^ill heav'n resound, when saints are come ashore I 
Vol. V. T 


How will the ravish'd souls transported be 

At the first ghmpse of Christ ! whom they shall see 

In all his glory ; and shall live and move. 

Like salamanders^ in the fire of love. 

A flood of tears conveyed them to the gate 

Where endless joys received them. Now the date 

Of all their sorrow's out ; henceforth they walk 

In robes of glory. Now there's no more talk 

Of fears, temptations, of that snare or this : 

No serpent in that paradise doth hiss. 

No more desertions, troubled thoughts, or tears ; 

Christ's full enjoyment supersedes those fears. 

Delights of princes courts are all but toys 

To these delights, these are transcendent joys, 

The joys of Christ himself; of what they are, 

An anffePs tongue would stammer to declare. 

Were our conceptions clear, did their tongues go 

Unto their Ela, yet the note's too low. 

What ! paint the sun too bright ! it cannot be ; 

Sure heaven suffers no hyperbole. 

My thoughts are swallow'd up, my muse doth tire, 

And hang her wings, conception soars no higher. 

Give me a place among thy children there, 

Altho' I lie with them in dungeon here. 


M. HAVE now done, and am looking to heaven for a blessing upon 
these weak labours ; what use you will make of them, I know not, 
but this I know, that the day is coming, when God will reckon 
with you for this, and all other helps and means afforded to you : 
and if it be not improved by you, be sure it will be produced as a 
witness against you. Sirs, I beg you, in the name of Christ, before 
whom both you and I must shortly appear, that you receive not 
these things in vain. Did I know what other lawful means to use 
that might reach your hearts, they should not be in vain to you ; 
but I cannot do God's part of the work, nor yours : only I request 
you all, both masters, common men, and all others into whose hands 
this shall come, that you will lay to heart what you read ; pray unto 
him that hath the key of the house of David, that openeth and no 
man shutteth, to open your hearts to give entertainment to these 
truths. Alas ! if you apply it not to yourselves, I have laboured to 
no purpose ; the pen of the scribe is in vain : but God may make 
such an application of them, in one storm or another, as may make 
your hearts to tremble. Oh, sirs ! when death and eternity look 
you in the face, conscience may reflect upon these things to your 
horror and amazement, and make you cry out, as Prov. v. 12, 13. 
«' How have I hated knowledge, and my heart despised reproof 



" aiul have not obeyed the voice of my teacher, nor inclined my ears 
*< to them that instructed me ?" And O what a dreadful shriek will 
such souls give, when the Lord opens their eyes to see that misery 
that they are here warned of ! But if the Lord shall bless these things 
to your conversion, tlien we may say to you, as Moses did to Zebu- 
lun, the mariners tribe, Deut. xxxiii. 12. " Rejoice Zebulun in thy 
" going out."" The Lord will be with you, which way soever you 
turn yourselves ; and being in the bosom of the covenant, you are 
safe in the midst of all dangers. O thou, that art the Father of spi- 
rits, that formedst and canst easily reform the heart, open thou the 
blind eye, unstop the deaf ear, let the world take hold upon the heart. 
If thou wilt but say the word, these weak labours shall prosper, to 
bring home many lost souls unto thee. Amen. 




Horrid and detestable SINS of Drunkenness, Swearing, Unclean- 
ness, Forgetfulness of Mercies, Violation of Promises, and athe- 
istical Contempt of Death. 

Applied by way of Caution to Seamen, and now added as an 
Appendix to their New Compass. 

Being an Essay toward their much-desired Reformation, fit to be seriously recom- 
mended to their profane Relations, whether Seamen or others, by all such as un- 
feignedly desire their eternal Welfare. 

To the right worshipful Sir JOHN FREDERICK, Kt. one of 
the worshipful Aldermen of the City of London, and their ho- 
nourable Burgess in the present Parliament : and to the truly 
religious and ever honoured Mr. John Lovering, of the City of 
London, Merchant. 

Much honmired and esteemed^ 

J\ LTHOUGH dedications are too often abused to a vain flattery, 
yet there is an excellent use and advantage to be made of them : 
partly to encourage persons of worth and eminency to espouse the 
interest of religion themselves; and partly to oblige those readers, 
for whom such books are principally intended, to a diligent perusal 
of them, by interesting such persons in them, for whom they have 
great respects, or on whom they have any dependence. 

T % 


Upon the first account, a dedication would be needless to you : 
for I am persuaded, you do not only in your judgment approve the 
design I here manage, viz. The reformation of the profane and 
looser sort of our seamen ; but are also heartily willing to improve 
your interest to the uttermost for the promotion of it. I cannot 
look upon you as persons acted by that low and common spirit that 
the most of your profession are acted by, who little regard, if they 
be good servants to them, whether God have any servce from them 
or not ; and if they pay them the wages due for their work, never 
think of the wages they are to receive for their sin. You are judged 
to be persons of another spirit, who do not only mind, but advance 
Christ's interest above your own, and negotiate for his glory, as well 
as for your own gain : and yet herein you consult your own interest 
as well as God''s : Suhoidinata non ptignaiit. Your interest is never 
more prosperously managed, or abundantly secured, than when it is 
carried on in a due subordination to God's. Their reformation will 
apparently tend to your advantage. Those sins of theirs, against 
which I have here engaged, are the Jonahs in your ships ; it is sin 
that sinks them, and drives them against the rocks. " One sinner 
" destroyeth much good," Eccl. viii. 11. How much more a lewd 
crew of them conspiring to provoke God ! the death of their lusts, 
is the more probable means to give life to your trade. And as 
these counsels prosper in their hearts, so v/iil your business thrive in 
your hands. Piety and prosperity are married together in that pro- 
mise, Psal. i. 3. Onesimus was never so profitable a servant to Phi- 
xemon, as when he became his brother in a spiritual, as m'cU as his 
servant in a civil capacity, Phil. ver. 11. and 16. compared. And yet 
if your interest were forced to step back, to give way to Christ's, I 
hope you would (notwithstanding) rejoice therein. So that my pre- 
sent business is, not so much to persuade you, whose hearts I hope, 
God hath already persuaded to so good a work ; as to make your 
fame and respects, which are great among them, an innocent bait 
to tempt them to their duty. And if either your names or interest 
may be useful to such an end, I presume I may use them freely, and 
welcome; for, sure I am, they can never be put to a better use. 

Well then, I will make bold to send this small adventure in your 
ships; and if the return of it be but the conversion of one soul to 
God, I shall reckon that I have made a better voyage than you, let 
your returns be never so rich. 

How these things will affect them I know not. I do suppose it 
will produce different effects upon them, according to the different 
tempers of their spirits, and according as God shall command or sus- 
pend the blessing. Possibly some will storm at the close and cutting 
rebukes of the v/ord, (lor most men's lusts are a great deal more sen- 
sible and tender than their consciences) and will fondly imagine that 
this necessary plainness tends to their reproach. But if none but the 


ffuiltv can be supposed to be angry at them, they will thereby reproach 
themselves a great deal more than ever I intended to do. 

I confess it is a bitter pill and compounded of many operatiye and 
strong ingredients, which do acute it ; but not a jot more than is ne- 
cessary. I shall beg the assistance of your prayers to God for them, 
and of your grave admonitions and exhortations to them for God ; 
which will much help its operation, and facilitate my design, to do 
their souls a piece of everlasting service ; with which design I can 
truly say, I even travail in pain for them. Your assistance therefore 
in this good work, will pat the highest obligation upon 

Yowr most affectionate 

Friend and Servant, 

to he commanded, 





^ — =><::i<::>oes^ — 

ML N the former treatise I have endeavoured to spiritualize earthly 
objects, and elevate your thoughts to more sublime and excellent 
contemplations ; that earthly things may rather be a step, than a stop 
to heavenly. You have therein my best advice to guide you in your 
course to that port of your eternal rest and happiness. 

In this I have given warning of some dangerous recks and quick- 
sands that he upon your left hand ; upon which millions of souls have 
perished, and others are wilfully running to their own perdition. Such 
are the horrid sins of di'unlcenness, uncleanness, profane sxvearing, 
violation of promises, engagements made to God, and atheistical 
slighting and contempt of death and eternity. All which I have here 
given warning of, and held forth a light to discover where your danger 
is. If after this you obstinately prosecute your lusts, and will not be 
reclaimed ; you perish without apology, I have freed mine own soul. 

Let none interpret this necessary plainness as a reproach to seamen, 
as if I represented them to the world worse than they are. If, upon 
that account, any of them be offended, methinks these three or four 
considerations should remove that offence. 

First, That if this close and plain dealing be necessary, in order to 
your cure, and you will be offended thereat, it is better you should 
be offended than God. Ministers are often put upon lamentable 
straits, they sail betwixt Scylla and Charybdis ; the wrath of God 



upon one side, if we do not speak plain and home, as the necessity 
of the case requires ; and man"'s wrath if we do : what shall we do in 
this strait ? Either God or you, it seems, must be offended ; and if it 
cannot be avoided, I shall rather hazard your anger than God"'s, and 
think it far more tolerable. 

Secondly, If you did but see the necessity and end of this manner of 
dealing with your souls, you would not be offended. But put it into 
a more sensible case, and you will see and acknowledge it presently. 
If I should see an high-built wall giving way, and ready to fall upon 
you, would you be angry with me, if by plucking you out of the 
danger, I should pluck your arm out of joint; certainly you would 
not. Why, this is the case here : See Isa. xxx. 13. " Therefore this 
" iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a 
" high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly, at an instant." 

Thirdly, What a madness is it to abide in a condition over which 
all woes and curses hang, and yet not be able to endure to hear of it ? 
Why, what will it profit you to have your misery hid from your eyes, 
and kept from your ears a little while .'* You must see this wrath, and 
hear louder voUies of woes from your own consciences, if you remain 
in this condition. You cannot tjear that from us, which your con- 
science will one of these days preach themselves to you, and that in a 
more dreadful dialect than I have used here. 

Fourthly, I do not charge these sins indifferently upon all sea- 
men. No, I know there are some choice and good men amongst your 
men, tlmt fear an oath, and hate even the garments spotted with the 
Hesh, who are (I question not) the credit and glory of cur English na- 
tion, in the eyes of strangers that converse with them. Nor yet do I 
think that all that are wicked amongst them are equally guilty of all 
these evils ; for though all that are graceless be equally under the 
dominion of original corruption, yet it follows not from thence, that 
therefore actual sins must reign alike in them : there is a great differ- 
ence, even among ungodly men themselves in this respect ; which 
difference ariseth from their various customs, constitutions, abilities, 
educations, and the different administrations of the Spirit, in enlight- 
ening, convincing, and putting checks upon conscience : for though 
God be not the author, yet he is the orderer of sin. And this makes 
a great disparity, even among wicked men themselves. Some are per- 
sons of good morals, though not gracious principles, which produce 
a civil and sober, though not a holy and religious life. And others, 
thouo-h they live in some one of these lusts, yet are not guilty of some 
others of them. For it is with original corruption, just as it is with 
the sap of the earth, which though it be the matter of all kind of 
fruits, yet in some ground it sorts better with one grain than with ano- 
ther : and so in plants, in one tree it becomes an apple, in another a 
cherry ; even so it is with this original corruption, in one man it runs 
most into swearing, in another into uncleanness, in a third into drun- 
kenness. Lust is nothing else but the corrupt appetite of the creature 


to some sinful object ; and therefore look as it is with the appetite 
with respect to food, so it is with the vitiated appetites of souls to 
sin. One man loves this food best, and another that ; there is end- 
less variety in that, and so in this. 

Having spoken thus much to remove offence, I shall now beg you 
to peruse the following discourse. Consider what evidence these 
things carry with them. Search the alleged scriptures, see if they 
be truly recited and applied to the case in hand : And if so, O 
tremble at the truth you read ! bring forth your lusts, that they may 
die the death. Will you not part with these abominable practices 
till death and hell make the separation ? Ah ! how much better is 
it for you that grace should do it ? And because many of you see 
not the danger, and therefore prize not the remedy, I do here re- 
quest all those that have the bowels of pity in them, for their poor 
relations, who are sinking, drowning, perishing, to spread these fol- 
lowing cautions before the Lord for a blessing, and then put them 
into their hands. And O that all pious masters would persuade all 
those that are under their charge to buy this ensuing treatise, and 
diligently peruse it. And the first caution I shall give them is this : 


AKE heed, and beware of the detestable sin of drunkenness, 
which is a beastly sin, a voluntary madness, a sin that unmans thee, 
and makes thee like the beasts that perish ; yea, sets thee below 
the beasts, which will not drink to excess ; or, if they do, yet it is 
not their sin. * One of the ancients calls it, ' A distemper of the 
' head, a subversion of the senses, a tempest in the tongue, a storm 
* of the body, the shipwreck of virtue, the loss of time, a wilful 
' madness, a pleasant devil, a sugared poison, a sweet sin, which he 
' that has, has not himself, and he that commits it, doth not only 
' commit sin, but he himself is altogether sin.' It is a sin at which 
the most sober heathens blushed. The Spartansbrought their children 
to loath it, by shewing them a drunkard, whom they gazed at as a 
monster : Even Epicurus himself, who esteemed happiness to consist 
in pleasure, yet was temperate, as Cicero observes. Among the 
heathens he was accounted the best man, that spent more oil in the 
lamp, than wine in the bottle. Christianity could once glory in its 
professors : Tertullian saith of the primitive Christians, they sat not 
down before they prayed ; they eat no more than might suffice hunger, 
they drank no more than was sufficient for temperate men ; they did 
so eat and drink, as those that remembered they must pray afterward. 
But now we may blush to behold such beastly sensualists adorning 
themselves with its name, and sheltering themselves under its wings. 

* Tiirbatio capitis, subversio sensus, tcmpestas lingiuz, procella corporis, naiifragium vir- 
tutist amissio temporis, insania voluntaria, hlandus dcevion, dvlce venenum, sum>e peccatum, 
qiiam qui habet, seipsum non habet ; qicam quijecit, peccatum nonj'ecit, sed ipse totus est 
peccatum. Aug. ad. lacr. Virginis. 



And amongst those that profess Christianity, how ordinarily is this 
sin committed by seamen ? This insatiable dropsy is a disease that 
reigns, especially among the inferior and ruder sort of them. Some 
of them have gone aboard drunk, and laid the foundation of their 
voyage in sin. O what a preparation is this ! They know not whether 
ever they shall see the land of their nativity any more: the next storm 
may send them into eternity : Yet this is the farewell they take, this 
is their preparation to meet the Lord. And so in their returns, not- 
withstanding the terrible and astonishing works of the Lord, which 
they have beheld with their eyes, and their marvellous preservation 
in so great and terrible extremities; yet thus do they requite the Lord, 
as soon as their dangers are over, as if they had been delivered to 
commit all these abominations. But a few hours or days since, they 
were reeling to and fro upon a stormy ocean, and staggering like 
di*unken men, as it is said, Psal. cvii. 27. and now you may see them 
reeling and staggering in the streets, drowning the sense of all those 
precious mercies and deliverances in their drunken cups. 

Reader, if thou be one that is guilty of this sin, for the Lord's 
sake bethink thyself speedil}', and weigh, with the reason of a man, 
what I shall now say, in order to thy conviction, humiliation, and 
reformation. I need not spend many words, to open the nature of 
this sin to you ; we all grant, that there is a lawful use of wine and 
strong drink to support nature, not to clog it ; to cure infirmities, 
not to cause them. " Drink no longer water, but use a little wine, 
" for thy stomach's sake, and thine often infirmity,'' saith Paul to 
Timothy, 1 Tim. v. 23. Mark, drink not water, but Avine; Sed 
modice, (i. e.) medice : pro remedio, non pro deUciis^ saith Ambrose*; 
that is, use it modestly, viz. medicinally, not for pleasure, but for 
remedy. Yea, God allows it, not only for bare necessity, but for 
cheerfulness and alacrity, that the body may be more fit and more 
expedite for duty, Prov. xxxi. 7. but further no man proceeds, with- 
out the violation of sobriety. When men sit till wine have inflamed 
them, and reason be disturbed, (for drunkenness is the privation of 
reason, caused by immoderate drinking,) then do they come under 
the guilt of this horrid and abominable sin. To the satisfaction and 
refreshment of nature, you may drink ; for it is a part of the curse to 
drink, and not be satisfied; but take heed and go no further; "For 
*' wine is a [mocker,] strong drink is raging, and whosoever is de- 
" ceived thereby, is not wise," Prov. xx. 1. The throat is a slippery 
place ; how easily may a sin slip through it into the soul ? These 
!§ensual pleasures have a kind of inchanting power upon the soul, 
and by custom gain upon it, till they have enslaved it, and brought 
it under their power. Now, this is the sin against which God hath 
delivered so many precepts, and denounced so many woes, in his 

* Qui dedit aqxiamy dedit vinunu 


word. Epb. v. 18. *' Be not drunken with wine, wlierein is excess." 
Rom. xiii. 13. " Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering 
" and wantonness,'' Isa. v. 11. " Woe to them that rise up early in 
" the morning, that they may follow strong drink, that continue 
" until night, till wine inflame them :" with many other of dreadful 
importance. Now, to startle thee for ever from this abominable and 
filthy lust, I shall here propound to thy consideration these ten en- 
suing arguments ; and oh that they might stand in the way, as the 
angel did in Balaam's, when thou art in the prosecution of thy sen- 
sual pleasures ! And the first is this ; 

Argument 1. It should exceedingly dissuade from this sin, to con- 
sider that it is an high abuse ot" the bounty and goodness of God in 
affording us those sweet refreshments, to make our lives comforta- 
ble to us upon earth. In Adam we forfeited all right to all earthly 
as well as heavenly mercies : God might have taken thee from the 
womb, when thou wast a sinner but of a span long, and immediately 
have sent thee to thine own place ; thou hadst no right to a drop of 
water more than what the bounty of God gave thee : And whereas 
he might have thrust thee out of the world as soon as thou earnest 
into it, and so all those days of mercy thou hast had on earth might 
have been spent in howling and unspeakable misery in hell : Behold 
the bounty and goodness of God to thee ; I say, behold it, and won- 
der : He hath suflPered thee for so many years to live upon the earth, 
which he hath prepared and furnished with all things fit for thy ne- 
cessity and delight: Out of the earth, on which thou treadest, " he 
" bringeth forth thy food, and [wine] to make glad thy heart," Psal. 
civ. 14, 15. And dost thou thus requite the Lord.? Hath mercy- 
armed an enemy to fight against it with its own weapons? Ah ! 
that ever the riches of his goodness, bounty, and long-sufferino-, all 
which are arguments to lead thee to repentance, should be thus 
abused I If God had not been so bountiful, thou couldst not have 
been so sinful. 

Arg. 2. It degrades a man from the honour of his creation, and 
equalizeth him to the beast that perisheth : Wme is said to take 
away the heart, Hos. iv. 11. i. e. the wisdom and ingenuity of a 
man, and so brutifies him, as Nebuchadnezzar, who lost the heart 
of a man, and had the heart of a beast given him, Dan. iv. 32. The 
heart of a man hath its generosity and sprightliness, brave, vigorous 
spirits in it, capable of, and fitted for noble and worthy actions and 
employments; but his lust effeminates, quenches, and drowns that 
masculine vigour in the puddle of excess and sensuality : For no 
sooner is a man brought under the dominion of this lust, but the 
government of reason is renounced, which should exercise a coercive 
power over the afiections, and all is delivered up into the hands of 
lust and appetite : and so they act not by discretion and reason, but 
by lust and will, as the beasts do by instinct. The spirit of man 
entertains itself with intellectual and chaste delights ; the soul of a 


beast is only fitted for such low, sensitive, and dreggy pleasures. 
Thou hast something of the angel, and something of the beast in 
thee ; thy soul partakes of the nature of angels, thy body of the 
nature of beasts. Oh ! how many pamper the beast while they 
fstarve the angel f God, in the first chapter, put all the creatures in 
subjection to thee; by this lust thou puttest thyself in subjection to 
the creature, and art brought under its power, 1 Cor. vi. 12. If 
God had given thee the head or feet of a beast, oh ! what a misery 
wouldst thou have esteemed it ? and is it nothing to have the heart 
of a beast.'' Oh ! consider it sadly. 

Aig. 3. It is a sin by which thou greatly wrongest and abusest thine 
own body. The body is the souTs instrument ; it is as the tools are 
to a skilful artificer; this lust both dulls and spoils it, so that it is 
utterly unfit for any service of him that made it. Thy body is a curi- 
ous piece, not made by a word of command, as other creatures, but 
by a word of counsel ; " I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and 
•' curiously wrought," saith the Psalmist, Psal. cxxxix. 14. or as the 
vulgar, Actipictus sum, Painted as with needle-work of divers colours, 
like a garment richly embroidered. Look how many members, so 
many wonders ! There are miracles enough, saith one, betwixt head 
and foot to fill a volume. There is, saith another, such curious work- 
manship in the eye, that upon the first sight of it, some Atheists have 
been forced to acknowledge a God ; especially that fifth muscle in the 
eye is wonderful, whereby, (as a learned * author observes) man dif- 
fereth from all other creatures, who have but four ; one to turn the 
eye downward, a second to hold it forward, a third to move it to the 
right-hand, a fourth to the left ; but none to turn it upward as a man 
hath. Now, judge in thyself; Did God frame such a curious piece, 
and enliven it with a soul, which is a spark, a ray of his own light, 
whose motions are so quick, various, and indefatigable, whose flights 
of reason are so transcendent ; did God, thinkest thou, send down this 
curious peace, the top and glory of the creation, the indej? and epitome 
of the whole world, Eccl. xii. 2. did God, I say, send down this 
picture of his own perfection, to be but as a strainer for meats and 
drinks, a spunge to suck in wine and beer ? Or canst thou answer for 
the abuse and destruction of it ? By this excess thou fillest it with in- 
numerable diseases, under which it languisheth ; and at last thy life, 
like a lamp, is extinguished, being drowned with too much oil. -f ' In- 

* finite diseases are begotten by it, (saith Zanchius) ; hence comes apo- 

* plexies, gouts, palsies, sudden death, trembling of the hands and 

* legs;' herein they bring Cain's curse upon themselves, saith Am- 
brose : Drunkenness slays more than a sword. Oh ! what a terri- 
ble thing will it be to consider upon a death-bed, that these pangs 

* Columb. cle re Anat. 

f Infinites morborum genera inde nascuntur apoplexa, parali/ses, arthrideSi &c.. Ille 
0pti?)ius medicus sibi, qui niodicus cibu Aug. 


and aches are the fruits of thy intemperance and excess ! " Who hath 
" woe ? Who hath sorrow ? Who hath contentions ? Who hath 
" babbUng? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness 
" of eyes ? They that tarry long at the wine, they that go to seek 
" mixed wine," Prov. xxiii. 20, 30. By this enumeration and man- 
ner of 'mierrogation,he seems tomakfeit a difficult thingto recount the 
miseries that drunkenness loads the outward man with ; for look as 
vermin abound where there is store of corn, so do diseases in the bo- 
dies of drunkards, where crudities do so abound. Now, methinks, 
if thou hast no regard to thy poor soul, or the glory of God, yet such 
a sensible argument as this, from thy body, should move thee. 

Arg". 4. Drunkenness wastes and scatters thine estate, poverty at- 
tends excess; the drunkard shall be clothed with rags, and brought 
to a morsel of bread. Solomon hath read thy fortune, Prov. xxi. 
17. " He that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich ;"" luxury and 
beggary are seldom far asunder. When Diogenes heard a drunkard's 
house cried to be sold ; ' I thought (quoth he) it would not be long 
* e'er he vomited up his house also."* The Hebrew word u;"iv and 
the Greek word aauria, which signifies luxury ; the former is com- 
pounded of two words, which signify. Thou shalt he poor ; and the 
latter signifies the losing of the possession of that good which is in 
our hand. " The drunkard and the glutton shall surely come to 
" poverty," Prov. xxiii. 21. In the Hebrew it is, he shall be disin- 
herited or dispossessed. It doth not only dispossess a man of his rea- 
son, which is a rich and fair inheritance given to him by God, but 
it also dispossesses him of his estate: It wastes all that either the 
provident care of thy progenitors, or the blessing of God upon thine 
own industry, hath obtained for thee. And how will this sting like 
an adder, when thou shalt consider it.'' Apicus the Roman, hearing 
that there were seven hundred crowns only remaining of a fair estate 
that his father had left him, fell into a deep melancholy, and fearing 
want, hanged himself, saith Seneca. And not to mention the mise- 
ries and sorrows they bring hereby upon their families, drinking the 
tears, yea, the blood of their wives and children : Oh ! what an ao. 
count will they give to God, when the reckoning day comes ! Be^ 
lieve it, sirs, there is not a shilling of your estates, but God will 
reckon with you for the expence thereof. If you have spent it upon 
your lusts, whilst the necessity of your families, or the poor, called 
upon you for it ; I should be loth to have your account to make, 
for a thousand times more than ever you possessed. O woful ex- 
pence, that is followed with such dreadful reckonings ! 

Arg. 5. Consider what vile and ignominious characters the Spirit 
of God hath put upon the subjects of this sin. The scripture every 
where notes them for infamous, and most abominable persons. 
When Eli supposed Hannah to be drunken, " Count not thine hand- 
" maid a daughter of Belial,'' said she, 1 Sam. i. 16. Now, a son 
or daughter of Belial is, in scripture-language, the vilest of men 


or women. So Psal. Ixix. 12. " They that sit in the gate, speak 
*' against me, and I am the song of drunkards," i. e. of the basest 
and vilest of men, as the opposition plainly shews ; for they are 
opposed to them that sit in the gate, that is honourable persons. 
The Lord would have his people shun the society of such as a pest, 
not to eat with them, 1 Cor. v. 11. Yea, the scripture brands them 
with atheism ; they are such as have lost the sense and expectation 
of the day of judgment; mind not another world, nor do they look 
for the coming of the Lord, Mat. xxiv. 27, 28. He saith the Lord 
delayeth his coming, and then falls a drinking with the drunkard. 
The thoughts of that day will make them leave their cups, or their 
cups will drown the thoughts of such a day. And will not all the 
contempt, shame and infamy which the Spirit of God hath poured 
on the head of this sin cause thee to abhor it ? Do not all godly, 
yea, moral persons, abhor the drunkard ? Oh ! methinks the shame 
that attends it, should be as a fence to keep thee from it. 

Ai'g. 6. Sadly consider, there can be nothing of the sanctifying 
Spirit in a soul that is under the dominion of this lust ; for upon 
the first discovery of the grace of God, the soul renounces the go- 
vernment of sensuality : " The grace of God that bringeth salvation, 
" teacheth men to live soberly," Tit. ii. 11, 12. That is one of its 
first efiects. Drunkenness indeed may be found among heathens, 
that are lost in the darkness of ignorance; but it may not be once 
named among the children of the day. " They that be drunken, 
*' are drunken in the night ; but let us that are of the day, be sober," 
1 Thess. V. 7, 8. And the apostles often oppose wine and the Spi- 
rit as things incompatible, Eph. v. 18. " Be not drunk with wine, 
*' wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." So Jude 19. 
" Sensual, not having the Spirit." Now what a dreadful consider- 
ation is this.'^ " If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none 
" of his," Rom. viii. 9- Sensual persons have not the Spirit of 
Christ, and so can be none of his. It is true, Noah, a godly man, 
once fell into this sin ; but, as Theodoret saith, and that truly, it 
proceeded ab inea^perkntia, non ab iniemperantia, from want of ex- 
perience of the force and power of the grape, not from intemper- 
ance ; and, besides, we find not that ever he was again overtaken 
with that sin ; but thou knowest it, and yet persistest, O wretched 
creature ! the Spirit of Christ cannot dwell in thee. The Lord help 
thee to lay it to heart sadly ! 

-^rg. 7. It is a sin over which many direful woes and threats hang 
in the word, like so many lowering clouds, ready to pour down ven- 
geance upon the heads of such sinners. Look, as the condition of 
the saints is compassed round with promises, so is yours with threaten- 
ings, Isa. v. 11. " Woe to them that rise up early in the morning, 
*' that they may follow strong drink, and continue until night, un- 
" til wine inflame them." So Isa. xxviii. 1,2. " Woe to the crown 
" of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim," &c. with many others. 


too long to be enumerated here. Now, consider what a fearful thing 
it is to be under these woes of God ! Sinner, I beseech thee, do not 
make light of them, for they will fall heavy ; assure thyself not one 
of them shall fall to the ground ; they will all take place upon thee, 
except thou repent. 

There are woes of men, and woes of God : God*s woes are true 
woes, and make their condition woful, to purpose, on whom they 
fall. Other woes, as one saith, do but touch the skin, but these 
strike the soul; other woes are but temporal, these are eternal; 
others do only part betwixt us and our outward comforts, these be- 
twixt God and us for ever. 

Arg. 8. Drunkenness is a leading sin, which has a great retinue 
and attendance of other sins waiting on it ; it is like a sudden land- 
flood, which brings a great deal of dirt with it. So that look as 
faith excels among the graces, because it enlivens, actuates, and gives 
strength to them, so is this amongst sins. It is not so much a special 
sin against a single precept of God, as a general violation of the whole 
law, saith accurate Amesius. It doth not only call off the guard, but 
warms and quickens all other lusts, and so exposes the soul to be pro- 
stituted by them. (1.) It gives occasion, yea, is the real cause of 
many contentions, and fatal quarrels, Prov. xxiii. 29. " Who hath 
" woe "^ Who hath sorrow ? Who hath [contentions,] babbling, 
*' wounds without cause ? They that tarry long at the wine," S^c. 
Contentions and wounds are the ordinary effects of drunken meetings: 
When reason is deposed, and lust heated, what will not men at- 
tempt? (2.) Scoffs and reproaches of the ways and people of God, 
Psal. Ixix. 12. "David was the song of the drunkards.*'' (3.) It is 
the great incendiary of lust : You shall find rioting and drunkenness 
joined with chambering and wantonness, Rom. xiii. 15. Nunquam 
ego ebrium castuvi putabo, saith Hierom ; I will never think a 
drunkard to be chaste. Solomon plainly tells us what the issue will 
be, Prov. xxiii. 33. " Thine eyes shall behold a strange woman, and 
" thy heart shall utter perverse things," speaking of the drunkard. 
It may be called Gad, for a troop followeth it. Hence one aptly calls 
it, The devil's bridle, by which he turneth the sinner which way he 
pleases ; he that is overcome by it, can overcome no other sin. 

Arg, 9. But if none of the former considerations can prevail, I 
hope these two last may, unless all sense and tenderness be lost. Con- 
sider, therefore, in the 9th place, that drunkards are in scripture 
marked out for hell ; the characters of death are upon them. You 
shall find them pinioned with other sons of death, 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. 
" Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom 
" of God ? Be not deceived : Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor 
" adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 
" nor thieves, nor covetous, nor [drunkards,] nor revilers, nor ex- 
" tortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." Oh dreadful 
thunder-bolt ! He is not asleep but dead, that is not startled at it. 


Lord, how ai'e guilty sinners able to face such a text as this is ! Oh 
soul ! darest thou for a superfluous cup, adventure to drink a cup of 
pure unmixed wrath ? O think when the wine sparkles in the glass, 
and gives its colour, think, I say, what a cup of trembling is in the 
hand of the Lord for thee. Thou wilt not now believe this. Oh ! 
but the day is coming, when thou shalt know the price of these 
brutish pleasures. Oh ! it will then sting like an addder. Ah ! this 
short-lived beastly pleasure is the price for which thou sellest heaven, 
and rivers of pleasure that are at God's right hand. 

Obj. But I hope I shall repent, and then this text can he no bar 
to my salvation. 

Sol. True ; if God shall give thee repentance, it could not. But, 
in the last place, to awaken thee thoroughly, and startle thy secure 
conscience, which sensuality hath brawned and cauterized, let me 
tell thee, 

Arg. 10. That it is a sin out of whose power few, or none are ever 
rescued and reclaimed. On this account it was that St. Augustine called 
It the pit of hell. He that is addicted to this sin becomes incurable, 
saith a * reverend divine ; for seldom or never have I known a drunk- 
ard reclaimed. And its power to hold the soul in subjection to it, 
lies in two things especially : (L) As it becomes habitual ; and habits 
are not easily broken. Be pleased to view an example in the case, 
Prov. xxiii. 35. " They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was 
*' not sick ; they have beaten me, and I felt it not. When shall I 
" awake ? I will seek it yet again."" (2.) As it " takes away the 
" heart," Hos. iv. 11. that is, the understanding, reason, and ingenu- 
ity of a man, and so makes him incapable of being reclaimed by coun- 
sel. Upon this account it was that Abigail would not speak less or 
more to Nabal, until the wine was gone out of him, 1 Sam. xxv. 36, 
37. Plainly intimating, that no wholesome counsel can get in until 
the wine be gone out. When one asked Cleostratus, whether he 
•were not ashamed to be drunken, he tartly replied, * And are not 
* you ashamed to admonish a drunkard ?'' Intimating that no wise 
man would cast away an admonition upon such an one. And it not 
only renders them incapable of counsel for the time, but by degrees it 
besots and infatuates them ; which is a very grievous stroke from God 
upon them, making way to their eternal ruin. So then you see upon 
the whole what a dangerous gulph the sin of drunkenness is. I beg 
you, for the Lord's sake, and by all the regard you have to your 
souls, bodies, and estates, beware of it. O consider these ten argu- 
ments I have here produced against it. I should have proceeded to 
answer the several pleas and excuses you have for it ; but I mind 
brevity, and shall shut up this first caution with a very pertinent 
and ingenious poem of Mr. George Herbert, in his Temple. 

• Ames, de Consc. ;». 159. 


Drink not the third glass, which thou canst not tame 

When once it is within thee ; but before 
M ay'st rule it as thou list : and pour the shame 

Which it will pour to thee upon the floor. 

It is most just to throw that on the ground, 

Which would throw me there, if I kept the round. 

He that is drunken, may his mother kill, 

Lie with his sister : he hath lost the reins ; 
Is outlawed by himself; all kind of ill 

Did with the liquor slide into the veins. 

The drunkard forfeits man, and doth divest 

All worldly right, save what he has by beast. 

Shall I, to please another's wine-sprung mind, 
Lose all my own ? God has given me a measure 

Short of his Can, and body ; must I find 
A pain in that wherein he finds a pleasure ? 
Stay at the third glass ; if thou lose thy hold, 
Then thou art modest, but the wine ^rows bold. 

If reason move not gallants quit the room, 
(All in a shipwreck shift their several v.ay.) 

Let not a common ruin thee intomb : 
Be not a beast in courtesies ; but stay. 
Stay at the third glass, or forego the place : 
Wine, above all things, doth God's stamp deface. 


A HE second evil I shall deal with is the evil of the tongue, which 
as St. James saith, is full of deadly poison, oaths, curses, blasphemies; 
and this poison it scatters up and down the world in all places ; an un- 
tamed member that none can rule, Jam. iii. 7, 8. The fiercest of beasts 
have been tamed by man, as the apostle there observes, which is a relic 
of his old superiority and dominion over them ; but this is an unruly 
member that none can tame but he that made it ; no beast so fierce and 
crabbed as this is. It may be, I may be bitten by it for my labour 
and endeavours to put a restraint upon it : but I shall adventure it. 
My design is not to dishonour, or exasperate you ; but if my faith- 
fulness to God and you should accidentally do so, I cannot help that. 
Friends, Providence oftentimes confines many of you together 
within the narrow limits of a ship, where you have time enough, and 
if your hearts were sanctified, many choice advantages of edifying one 
another. O what transcendent subjects doth Providence daily pre- 
sent you with, to take up your discourses ! Plow many experiences of 
extraordinary mercies and preservations have you to relate to one 
another, and bless the Lord for ! Also, how many works of wonder 


do you daily behold, who go down into the deeps ? O what heavenly 
employment is here for your tongues ! how should they be talking 
of all his wonders ? How should you call upon each other, as David 
did, Psal. Ixvi. 16. " Come hither, and I will tell you what God 
" hath done for my soul,'" at such a time, in such an extremity .? 
How should you call upon one another to pay " the vows your lips 
*' have uttered in your distress .?" Thus should one provoke another 
in this angelic work, as one lively bird sets the whole flock a 

But tell me, Sirs, should a man come aboard you at sea, and ask of 
you as Christ did of those two disciples going to Emmaus, Luke xxiv. 
17. " What manner of communication is this that ye have by the 
" way .?" O what a sad account would he have from most of you ! 
It may be he should find one jesting, and another swearing; a third 
reviling godliness, and the professors of it ; so that it would be a 
little hell for a serious Christian to be confined to your society. This 
is not, I am confident, the manner of all. We have a company of 
more sober seamen, and blessed be God for them ; but surely thus 
stands the case with most of you. O what stuff is here from persons 
professing Christianity, and bordering close upon the confines of 
eternity as you do ? 

It is not my purpose to write of all the diseases of the tongue; that 
would fill a volume, and is inconsistent with my intended brevity. 
Who can recount the evils of the tongue ? The apostle saith, " It is 
" a world of iniquity,"" Jam. iii. 6. And if there be a world of sin in 
one member, who can number the sins of all the members ? Lauren- 
tius reckons as many sins of the tongue as there are letters in the 
alphabet. And it is an observable note that one hath upon Rom. 
iii. 13, 14. That when Paul anatomizeth the natural man there, he 
insisteth longer upon the organs of speech, than all the other mem- 
bers; "Their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongues they 
" have used deceit : the poison of asps is under their lips, their 
*' mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."" 

But, to be short, we find the Spirit of God in scripture comparing 
the tongue to a tree, Prov. xv. 4. " A wholesome tongue is a tree of 
*' life.'"* And words are the fruit of the tree, Isa. Ivii. 12. " I create 
" the fruit of the lips."" Some of these trees bear precious fruits, 
and it is a lovely sight to behold them laden with them in their sea- 
sons, Prov. XXV. 11. " A word fitly spoken, is like apples of gold in 
^' pictures of silver."*' Such a tongue is a tree of life. Others of these 
trees bear evil fruit, grapes of Sodom, and clusters of Gomorrah. 
I shall only insist upon two sorts of these fruits, viz. (1.) Withered, 
sapless fruit ; I mean idle and unprofitable words. (2.) Rotten and 
corrupt fruit; I mean, profane oaths, and profanations of the sacred 
name of God. No fruit in the world so apt to corrupt and taint as 
the fruit of the lips. When it is so, the scripture calls it aaT^og Koyos, 
corrupt or rotten communication, Eph. iv. ^9. To prevent this the 


Spirit of God prescribes an excellent way to season our words, and 
keep them sweet and sound, that they may neither wither nor become 
idle and sapless, or putrify and become rotten, as profane words are, 
Col. iv. 6. " Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with 
<' salt, that you may know how to answer every man." Oh t if the 
salt of grace were once cast into the fountain, the heart-streams must 
needs become more savoury and pleasant, as the waters of Marah 
when they were healed. My present work is to attempt the cure of 
this double evil of idle words and profane oaths, whereof thousands 
among you are deeply guilty. I shall begin with the first, viz. 

I. IDLE WORDS. That is, useless chat, unprofitable talk, 
that is not referred any way to the glory of God. This is a com- 
mon evil, and little regarded by most men ; but yet a sin of severer 
aggravations than the most imagine : light words weigh heavy in 
God's balance. 

Arg. 1. For, first. The evil of them is exceedingly aggravated by 
this : they abuse and pervert the tongue, that noble member, from 
that employment and use which God by the law of creation designed 
it to. God gave not to man the organs and power of speech, (which 
is his excellency above the beasts) to serve a passion or vain humour, 
to vent the froth and vanity of his spirit ; but to extol the Creator, 
and render him the praise of all his admirable and glorious works. 
For though the creation be a curious well-tuned instrument, yet man 
is the musician that must touch it, and make the melody. This was 
the end of God in forming those instruments and organs : but now 
hereby they are subject to Satan and lust, and employed to the dis- 
honour of God who made them. God is pleased to suspend the 
power of speech (as we see in children) until reason begins to bud 
in them : they have not the liberty of one, until they have the use 
of the other ; which plainly shews, that God is not willing to have 
our words run waste. 

Arg. 2. It is a sinful wasting of our precious time ; and that puts 
a further aggravation upon it. Consider, sirs, the time of life is 
but a little spot betwixt two eternities. The long-suffering God 
wheels about those glorious celestial bodies over your heads in a 
constant revolution to beget time for you ; and the preciousness of 
every minute thereof results from its use and end : it is intended and 
afforded as a space to you to repent in. Rev. ii. 21. And therefore 
great things depend upon it : no less than your eternal happiness or 
misery hangs upon those precious opportunities. Every minute of 
it hath an influence into eternity. How would the damned value 
one hour of it if they might enjoy it ! The business you have to do 
in it is of unspeakable weight and concernment: this great work, 
this soul-work, and eternity- work, lies upon your hands ; you are 
cast into straits of time about it : and, if so, O what an evil is it in 
you to waste it away thus to no purpose f 
Vol. V. U 


Arg. S. It is a sin that few are sensible of as they are of other sins, 
and therefore the more dangerous. It is commonly committed, and 
that without checks of conscience. Other sins, as murder and aduL 
tery, though they be horrid sins, yet are but seldom committed, and 
when they are, conscience is startled at the horridness of them ; few, 
except they be prodigious wretches indeed, dare make light of them. 
But now for idle and vain words, there are innumerable swarms of 
these every day, and few regard them. The intercourse betwixt 
the heart and tongue is quick ; they are quickly committed, and as 
easily forgotten. 

Arg, 4. And then, 4thly, They have mischievous effects upon 
others. How long doth an idle word, or foolish jest, stick in men's 
minds, and become an occasion of much sin to them ? The froth and 
vanity of thy spirit, which thy tongue so freely ^'ents among th}^ vain 
companions, may be working in their minds when thou art in the 
dust, and so be transmitted from one to another; for unto that no 
more is requisite than an ohjective existence of those vain words in 
their memories. And thus mayest thou be sinning in the persons 
of thy companions, when thou art turned into dust. And this is one 
reason that Suarez gives for a general judgment, after men liave pass- 
ed their particular judgment immediately after their death, ' Because 
' (saith he) after this, multitudes of sins by their means will be com- 
' mitted in the world, for which they must yet be judged to a fuller 
' measure of wrath."* So that look as many of the precious servants 
of God, now in glory, have left many weighty and holy sayings be- 
hind them, by which many thousands of souls have been benefited, 
and God glorified on earth, after they had left it: so thou leavest 
that vanity upon the minds of others behind thee, by which he may 
be dishonoured to many s^enerations. And then, 

II. For PROFANE OATHS, the corrupt fruit of a graceless 
heart ; oh ! how common are these among you ? Yea, the habit of 
swearing is so strengthened in some, that they have lost all sense and 
conscience of the sin. Now, oh ! that I might prevail with you to 
repent of this wickedness, and break the force of this customary evil 
among you ! will you but give me the reading of a few pages more, 
and weigh with the reason of men, what you read? If you will not 
hearken to counsel, it is a fatal sign, 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16. and you shal 
mourn for this obstinacy hereafter, Prov. v. 12, 13. Desperate is 
that evil that scorns the remedy. And if you have patience to read 
it, the Lord give you an heart to consider what you read, and obey 
the counsels of God ; or else it were better thine eyes had never seen 
these lines. Well, then, I beseech you consider, 

Arg. 1. That profane oaths are an high abuse of the dreadful and 
sacred name of God, which should neither be spoken or thought of 
without the deepest awe and reverence. It is the taking of that sa- 
cred name in vain, Exod. xx. 7. Now God is exceeding tender and 
jealous over his name ; it is dear to him ; his name is dreadful and 


glorious; Mai. i. 14. " I am a great king, and my name is dreadful 
" among the Heathen." The heathens would not ordinarily men- 
tion the names of such as they reverenced. Suetonius saith, that 
Augustus prohibited the common use of his name : he thought it an 
indignity to have his name tossed up and down in every one's mouth. 
Yea, says Dr. Willet on Exod. xx. it was an use among them to 
keep secret such names as they would have in reverence. They durst 
not mention the name of Demogorgon, whom they held to be the first 
god : they thought when he was named, the earth would tremble. 
Also the name of Mercurius Tresmegistus, was very sparingly used, 
because of that reverence the people had for him. Now, consider, 
shall poor worms be so tender of preserving the reverence of their 
names ! Shall not heathens dare to use the names of their idols ; and 
shall the sacred and dreadful name of the true God be thus bandied 
up and down by tongues of his own creatures ? Will not God be 
avenged for these abuses of his name .'' Be confident, it shall one day 
be sanctified upon you in judgment, because ye did not sanctify it 
according to your duty. 

Arg. 2. Swearing is a part of the worship of God ; and therefore 
profane swearing can be no less than the profanation of his worship, 
and robbing him of all the glory he has thereby ; Deut. vi. 13. 
" Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear 
" by his name." So Jer. iv. 2. " Thou shalt swear the Lord liv- 
" eth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness." If a man swear 
by God after this manner, God is exceedingly glorified thereby. 
Now, that you may see what revenue of glory God hath from this 
part of his worship, and how it becomes a part of Divine worship, you 
must know then an oath is nothing else but the asking or desiring a 
Divine testimony^ for the confirmation of the truth of our testimony : 
Heb. vi. 16. " For men verily swear by the greater ; and an oath for 
" [confirmation] is to them an end of all strife." The corruption of 
human nature by the fall has made man such a false and fickle crea- 
ture, that his single testimony cannot be sufiicient security for another 
especially in weighty cases, to rest upon ; and therefore in swearing, 
he calleth God for a witness of the truth of what he affirms, or pro- 
miseth : I say, calleth God to be a witness of the truth of what he 
saith, because he is truth itself, and cannot lie, Heb. vi. 18. Now 
this calling for, or asking of a testimony from God, makes an oath 
become a part of God's worship, and gives him a great deal of glory 
and honour ; for hereby he that sweareth acknowledgeth his omni^ 
sclency and infallible truth and I'ighteousness. His omnisciency is 
acknowledged : for by this appeal to him, we imply and acknowledge 
liim to be the Searcher of the heart and reins ; that he knows the 
secret intents and meaning of our spirits. His supreme and itifallible 
truth is also acknowledged ; for this is manifestly carried in an oath, 
that though I am a false and deceitful creature, and my affirmation 
cannot obtain universal and full credence, yet he that is greater thaa 



I, by whose name I swear, cannot deceive. And, lastly, his rigk-' 
teousness is acknowledged in an oath : for he that sweareth doth, 
either expressly or implicit^, put himself under the curse and wrath 
of God, if he swear falsely. Every oath hath an execration or im- 
precation in it, Neh. x. 29. " They entered into a curse, and an 
" oath, to walk in God's law." And so 2 Cor. i. 23. " I call God 
" for a record upon my soul."' And the usual form in the Old 
Testament was, " The Lord do so to me, and more also.'' Now 
hereby God hath the glory of his righteousness and justice given 
him by the creature, and therefore it is a choice part of the Divine 
worship, or of that homage which a creature oweth to his God. And 
if this be so, then how easily may the sin of rash and profane oaths 
be hence argued and aggravated ? The more excellent any thing is 
by an institution of God, by so much more horrid and abominable- 
is the abuse thereof O how often is the dreadful Majesty of hea- 
ven and earth called to witness to frivolous thino-s ! and oft to be a 
witness cf our rage and fury ! as 1 Sara. xiv. 39. Is it a light thing 
to rob him of his peculiar glory, and subject poor souls to his curse 
and wrath, who has said, " He will be a swift witness against you .?" 
Mai. ill. 5. Your tongues are nimble in committing this sin, and 
God will be swift in punishing it. 

Arg: 3. It is a sin which God hath severely threatened to punish, 
and that with temporal and corporal plagues : " For by reason of 
" oaths, the land mourns," Hos. iv. 2, 3. That is, it brings the 
heavy judgment of God upon whole nations, under which they shall 
mourn. And in Zech. v. 2, 3, 4. You have there a roll of curses ; 
i. e. a catalogue of judgments and woes, the length thereof twenty 
cubits ; (i. e. ten yards) to set out the multitude of woes contained 
in it : it is a long catalogue, and a flying roll, to denote the swift- 
ness of it : it flies towards the house of the swearer ; it makes haste. 
The judgments that are Avrltten in it linger not, but are even in pain 
to be delivered. And this flying roll, full of dreadful woes, flies and 
enters into the house of the swearer ; and it shall therein remain^ saith 
the Lord ; it shall cleave to his family ; none shall claw off* these 
woes from him : and it shall consume the timber thereof, and the 
stones thereof, i. e. bring utter subversion, ruin, and desolation to 
his house. O dreadful sin ! what a desolation doth it make ! your 
mouths are full of oaths, and your houses shall be full of curses. 
Woe to that wretched family, into which this flying roll shall enter ! 
Woe, I say, to the wretched inhabitants thereof! " The curse of 
^^ the Lord (saith Solomon) is in the house of the wicked ; but he 
<* blesseth the [habitation] of the just," Pro v. iii. 33. Tuguriolum^ 
i. e. (saith Mercer) his poor little tenement or cottage. There is a bles- 
sing, the promises, like clouds of blessing, dwell over it, and drop 
mercies on it; but a curse in the house of the wicked. Ah ! how 
many stately mansions are there, in which little other language but 
©aths and curses are heard i and these are as so much gun-powder 


laid under the foundation of them, which, when justice shall set fire to, 
O what work will it make ! woe to the inhabitants thereof! Well then, 
break off this sin by repentance, unless you intend to ruin your families, 
and bring all the curses of God into your houses. If you have no 
pity for yourselves, yet pity your posterity ; have mercy for your 
wives and children ; do not ruin all for the indulgence of a lust. 

Arg\ 4. But that is not all; it brings soul-judgments and spiritual 
plagues upon you : it brings hell along with it. And if thou be not 
afraid to sin, yet methinks, thou shouldst be afraid to burn : if the 
love of God can work nothing upon thy brawny heart, yet, methinks, 
the terrors of the Lord should startle and affright it. To this pur- 
pose, I beseech vou to weigh these scriptures ; and methinks, unless 
God hath lost all his authority with you, and hell all its terrors, it 
should startle you. The first is that dreadful scripture, James v. 12. 
" But above all things, my brethren, swear not ; neither by heaven, 
" neither by the earth, neither by any other oath, but let your j^ea, 
" be yea ; and your nay, nay ; lest ye fall into [condemnation.'*''] O 
view this text seriously ! methinks it should be like the fingers that 
cameforth and wrote upon the wall that dreadful sentence that changed 
the countenance of a king, and that in the height of a frolic humour, 
and made his knees smite together. Mark, [above all thivgs'] a form of 
vehemency and earnestness, like that, Eph. vi. 16. ''But above all, 
taking the shield of faith." As faith hath a prelation there before all 
the graces, so swearing here before all other vices. [Swear wof,] i. e. 
vainly ^rashly, profanely ; for otherwise it is a lawful thing, and a part 
of God's worship, as I have shewed; but swear not vain oaths, by the 
creatures, heaven, or earth, &c. which is to advance the creature into 
the room of God : a sin to which the Jews were much addicted. But, 
*' let your yea, be yea ; and your nay, nay ;" i. e. accustom yourselves 
to short and plain afiirmations and negations, to a simple and candid 
expression of your minds. And the thundering argument that backs 
it, is this, [lestyejfall into condemnation f^ i. e. lest for these things the 
Judge of heaven and earth passasentence of condemnation to hell upon 
you. O sirs ! dare you touch with this hot iron ? Dare you from hence- 
forth commit that sin, that you know will bring you under the con- 
demnation and judgment of God ? Do you know what it is for a soul 
to be cast at God's bar .? Did you never see a poor malefactor tried at 
the assizes, and observe how his face gathers paleness, how his legs 
tremble, and death displays its colours in his cheeks, when sentence 
is given upon him ? But what is that to God's condemnation ? What 
is a gallows to hell ? Another text I would recommend to your con- 
sideration is that, Exod. xx. 7. " The Lord will not hold him guilt- 
" less that taketh his name in vain ;" where vain oaths are especially 
included. Now, what doth God mean, when he saith, he will not 
hold him guiltless ? The meaning is plain, his sins shall be reckoned 
and imputed to him ; they shall lie upon his soul ; he shall be bound 



over to answer to God for them. O terrible sentence ! what soul 
can bear it, or stand before it ! " Blessed is the man (saith David) 
to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity r"'^ Surely then, cursed is 
that man to whom God will impute them : and to the swearer they 
shall all be imputed, if he break not off his sin by repentance, and get 
a Christ the sooner. Oh, how darest thou think of going before 
the Lord with the guilt of all thy sins upon thee ? When Christ 
would administer the very spirit of joy into one sentence to a poor 
sinner. Mat. ix. 2. He said, " Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be 
" forgiven." And when God would contract the sum of all misery 
into one word, he saith, " His sins shall lie down with him in the 
'' dust,"" Job XX. 11. Ah, soul ! one of these days thou shalt be 
laid on thy death-bed, or see the waves that shall entomb thee, leap- 
ing and roaring upon every side ; and then thou wilt surely have 
other thoughts of the happiness that lies in remission of sin than thou 
hast now. Observe the most incorrigible sinner then ; hark, how he 
sighs and groans, and cries, Ah, Lord ! and must I die ? And then 
see how the tears trickle down his cheeks, and his heart ready to 
burst within him. Why, what is the matter ? Oh ! the Lord will 
not pardon him, he holds him guilty! If he were sure his sins were 
forgiven, then he could die : but, oh ! to appear before the Lord in 
them, appals him, daunts him, kills the very heart of him I he 
would fain cry for mercy, but conscience stops his mouth. O, saith 
conscience, how canst thou move that tongue to God in prayer for 
mercy, that hath so often rent and torn his glorious name, by oaths 
and curses ? Sirs, I pray you do not make light of these things ; 
they will look wishfully upon you one of these days, except ye pre- 
vent it by sound conversion. 

Arg. 5. And then, lastly, to name no more, I pray you consider, 
that a custom of vain words and profane oaths, is as plain an indica- 
tion and discovery of an unregenerate soul, as any in the world : 
this is a sure sign thou art none of Christ's, nor hast any thing to do 
■with the promises and privileges of his people ; for by this the scrip- 
ture distinguisheth the state of saints and sinners, Eccl. ix. 2. "There 
*' is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the clean 
" and to the unclean ; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sa- 
" crificeth not : as is the good, so is the sinner : and he that swear- 
*' eth, as he that feareth an oath."" Mark, he that sweareth, and 
he that feareth an oath, do as manifestly distinguish the children of 
God from wicked men, as clean and unclean, righteous and v.icked, 
sacrificing and not sacrificing. The fruit of the tongue plainly shews 
"what the tree is that bears it; Isa. ii. 6. " The vile person will speak 
" villany; and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.** 
Loquere^ ut videam., said one; Speak, that I may see what you are. 
Look, what is in the heart, that is vented by the tongue ; where the 
treasure of grace are in the heart, words ministering grace will be 
in the lips; Psal. xxxvii. 30. " The mouth of the righteous speaketh 



** wisdom, and his tongue talketh of j udgment ; for the law of the 
" Lord is in his heart."*"' To this sense we must understand that 
scripture, Mat. xii. 37. " By thy words thou shalt be justified, and 
" by thy words thou shalt be condemned."" Certainly justification 
and condemnation, in the day of judgment shall not pass upon us 
merely for the good or bad words we have spoken ; but according to 
the state of the person and frame of the heart. But the meaning is, 
that our words shall justify or condemn us in that day, as evidence of 
the state and frame of the soul. We use to say, such witnesses hang- 
ed a man ; the meaning is, the evidence they gave cast and con- 
demned him. O think seriously of this ; if words evidence the state 
of the soul, what a woful state must thy soul needs be in, whose 
mouth overflows with oaths and curses ! How many witnesses will 
be brought in, to cast thee in the great day ? " Your own tongue 
" shall then fall upon you," as the expression is, Psal. Ixiv. 8. And 
out of your own mouth God will fetch abundant evidence to con- 
demn you. And thus I have opened unto you the evil of vain words 
and profane oaths ; and presented to your view their several aggrava- 
tions. If by these things there be a relenting pang upon thine heart, 
and a serious resolution of reformation, then I shall recommend these 
few helps or means to thy perusal, and conclude this head : And the 
first help is this. 

Help 1. Seriously fix in thy thoughts that scripture. Mat. xii. 36. 
*' But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they 
** shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment.'' O let it 
sound in thine ears day and night ! O ponder them in thy heart ! [/ 
say unto you\ I that have always been in the Father's bosom, and do 
fully know his mind, that I am constituted the Judge of quick and 
dead, and do fully understand therule of judgment, and the whole pro- 
cess thereof, I say, and do assure you, that [every idle word that men 
^Uall speak,^ i. e. every word that hath not a tendency and reference 
to the glory of God, though there be no other obliquity of evil in 
them than this, that they want a good end : how much more then, 
scurrilous words, bloody oaths, and blasphemies ? [Men shall give an 
account thereof;] that is, shall be cast and condemned to suffer the 
wrath of God for them ; as appears by that parallel scripture, 1 Pet. 
iv. 4, 5. For as the learned observe, there is plainly a metalepsis in 
these words ; the antecedent to give an account^ is put for the conse^ 
quent, punishment, and condemnation to hell-fire: the certainty where- 
of admits but of this one exception, viz. intervenient repentance, 
or pardon obtained through the blood of Christ here beforeyou be pre- 
sented at that judgment-seat. O then, what a bridle should this text 
be to thy extravagant tongue ! I remember Hierom was wont to say, 
' Whether I eat or drink, or whatever I do, raethinks I still hear the 

* sound of these words in mine ear. Arise, ye dead, and come to judg- 

* raent.' O that the sound of these words may be always in your ears I 


Help 9.. Consider before you speak, and be not rash to utter worda 
without knowledge. He that speaks what he thinks not, speaks hy~ 
pocritically ; and he that thinks not what to speak, speaks inconside- 
rately. You have cause to weigh your words before you dehver them 
by your tongue ; for whether you do, or do not, the Lord ponderetk 
them : records are kept of them, else you could not be called to an 
account for them, as I shewed you, you must. 

Help 3. Resign up your tongue to God every day, and beg him to 
guide and keep it. So did David, Psal. cxli. 3. " Set a watch, O 
" Lord, before my mouth, and keep thou the door of my lips."" Beg 
him to keep you from provocations and temptations ; or, if you fall 
into them, intreat him for strength to rule your spirits in them, that 
you may not be conquered by temptations. 

Help 4. But above all, labour to get your souls cleansed and puri- 
fied by faith, possessed with saving and gracious principles : all other 
means will be ineffectual without this. O see the vileness of thy na- 
ture, and the necessity of a change to pass upon it ! First make the 
tree good, and then his fruit good : a new nature will produce new 
words and actions. To bind your souls with vows and resolutions, 
while you are strangers to a regenerate work, is to bind Samson with 
green withs, whilst his locks remain upon his head. I will shut up 
this with the advice of that divine poet, Mr. George Herbert ; it may 
be, it may affect thee, and run in thy thoughts when thou art alone. 

Take not his name, who made thy mouth, in vain ; 

It gets thee nothing, and hath no excuse. 
Lust and wine plead a pleasure ; avarice gain : 
But the cheap swearer, through his open sluice. 
Lets his soul run nought, as little fearing. 
Were I an Epicure, I could hate swearing. 

When thou dost tell another's jest, therein 

Omit the oaths which true wit cannot need : 
Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin. 
He pares the apple that will cleanly feed. 
Play not away the virtue of that name, 
Which is thy best stake when grief makes thee tame. 

The cheapest sins most dearly punisVd are. 

Because to shun them also is so cheap; 
For w? have wit to mark them, and to spare. 
O crumble not away thy soufs fair heap. 
If thou wilt die, the gates of hell are broad, 
Pride and full sins have made the way a road. 



X HE next clanger 1 shall give you warning of, is the sin of un- 
cleanness; with which I fear too many of the rude and looser sort of 
seamen defile themselves ; and possibly, the temptations to this sin 
are advantaged, and strengthened upon them more than others, by 
their condition and employments. Let no man be offended that I 
here give warning of this evil : I intend to asperse no man's person, 
or raise up jealousy against any ; but would faithfully discharge my 
duty to all, and that in all things. It was the complaint of Salvian* 
many hundred years ago, that he could not speak against the vices of 
men, but one or other would thus object ; ' There he meant me ; 

* he hit me f and so storm and fret. Alas (as he replieth) it is not 

* we that speak to you, but your own conscience; we speak to the 

* order, but conscience speaks to the person.' I shall use no other 
apology in this case. That this sin is a dreadful gulph, a quick-sand 
that hath sucked in, and destroyed thousands, is truly apparent both 
from scripture and experience. Solomon tells us, Prov. xxii. 14. that it 
is a " deep ditch, into which such as are abhorred of the Lord shall 
" fall." Oh ! the multitudes of dead that are there f and if so, I 
cannot in duty to God, or in love to you, be silent, where the danger 
is so great. It is both needless, and besides my intention here is to 
insist largely upon the explication of the particulars in which unclean- 
ness is distributed : the more ordinary and common sins of this kind 
are known by the names of adultery and fornication. The latter is 
when single persons come together out of the state of marriage. The 
former is, when at least one of the persons committing uncleanness is 
contracted in marriage. This now is the evil I shall warn you of. 
And, that thou mayest never fall into this pit, I shall endeavour to 
hedge and fence up the way to it by these ensuing arguments : and, 
oh ! that the light of every argument may be powerfully reflected 
upon your conscience ! Many men are wise in generals, but very vain 
£v bioCKoytefMoiit in the reasonings or imaginations, as the apostle calls 
them, Rom. i. 21. i. e. in iheix practical hiferences. They are good 
at speculation, but bunglers at application : but it is truth in the 
particulars, that, like an hot iron, pierces; and, oh ! that you may 
find these to be such in your soul ! To that end consider, 

Arg. 1. The names and titles by which this sin is known in scrip- 
ture are very vile and base. The Spirit of God, doubtless, hath put 
such odious names upon it, on purpose to deter and affright men from 
it. In general it is called lust ; and so (as one notes) it beareth the 
name of its mother; it is uncleamiess in the abstract, Numb. v. 19. 
filthiness itself ; an abomination, Ezek. xxii. 11. And they that com- 
mit it are called abominable. Rev. xxi. 8. Varro saith, the word im- 
ports that which is not lawful to mention ; or rather, abominably 

* Guber, Deif lib. 4, Sah. 


persons, such as are not fit for the society of men, such as should be 
hissed out of all men'*s company : they are rather to be reckoned to 
beasts than men. Yea, the scripture compares them to the filthiest 
of beasts, even to dogs. When Ishbosheth charged this sin upon Ab- 
ner, 2 Sam. iii. 8. " Am I a dog's head (saith he) that thou chargest 
*' me with a fault concerning this woman P"" And in Deut. xxiii. 
18. the hire of a whore, and the " price of a dog,'' are put together. 
The expression of this lust in words or gesture, is called neighing^ 
Jer. V. 8. Even as fed horses do, that scatter their lust promiscu- 
ously. Or, if the scripture speaks of them as men, yet it allows 
them but the external shape of men, not the understanding of men. 
Among the Jews they were called fools in Israel, 2 Sam. xiii. 13. 
and so Prov. vi. 32. " Whoso committeth adultery with a woman, 
" lacketh understanding." And sinners, Luke vih 37. " And be- 
*' hold a woman that was a [sinner,]" that is, an eminent notorious 
sinner : by which term the scripture decyphers an unclean person, as 
if, among sinners, there were none of such a prodigious stature iu 
sin as they. And we find, that when the Spirit of God would set 
forth any sin by an odious name, he calls it adultery ; so idolatry is 
called adultery, Ezek. xvi. 32. And indeed this spiritual and cor- 
poreal adultery oftentimes are found in the same persons. They 
that give themselves up to the one, are, by the righteous hand of 
God given up to the other, as it is too manifestly and frequently ex- 
emplified in the world. So earthly-mindedness hath this name put 
upon it on purpose to affright men from it, James iv. 4. Now cer- 
tainly God would never borrow the name of this sin to set out the 
evil of other sins. If it were not most vile and abominable. It is 
called the sin of the Gentiles, or heathens, 1 Thess. iv. 5. And, oh! 
that we could say, it were only among them that know not God ? 
How then are you able to look these scriptures in the face, and not 
blush ? O what a sin is this ! Art thou willing to be ranked with 
fools, dogs, sinners, heathens, and take thy lot with them ? God 
hath planted that affection of shame in thy nature to be as a guard 
against such filthy lusts ; it is a sin that hath filthiness enough in it 
to defile the tongue that mentions it, Eph. v. 3. 

Arg. 2. It is a sin that the God of heaven hath often prohibited 
and severely condemned in the word, which abundantly declares his 
abhorrence of it. You have prohibition upon prohibition, and 
threatening upon threatening in the word against it; Exod. xx. 14. 
*' Thou shalt not commit adulter)^" This was delivered upon 
mount Sinai with the greatest solemnity and terror by the mouth of 
God himself Turn to, and ponder the following scriptures among 
many others, Prov. v. 2, 3, 4. Acts v. 29. Rom. i. 24, 29. Rom. 
xiii. 13. 1 Cor. vi. 13,-18. 2 Cor. xii. 21. Gal. v. 29. Eph. v. 3. 
Col. iii. 5. 1 Thess. iv. 2, 3, 4, 5. Heb. xii. 16. Heb. xiii. 4. All 
tliese, with many others, are the true sayings of God : by them thou 
shalt be tried in the last day. Now, consider how terrible it will be 

THE harlot's face IN THE SCRIfTURE-GLASS. 31 T 

to have so many words of God, and such terrible ones too as most 
of those are, to be brought in and pleaded against thy soul in that 
day I Mountains and hills may depart, but these words shall not de- 
part : heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one tittle of the word 
shall pass away. Believe it, sinner, as sure as the heavens are over thy 
head, and the earth under thy feet, they shall one day take hold of 
thee, though we poor worms who plead them with thee, die and pe- 
rish -: Zech. i. 5, 6. The Lord tells us it shall not fall to the ground. 
Which is a borrowed speech from a dart that is flung with a weak 
hand ; it goes not home to the mark, but falls to the ground by the 
way. None of these words shall so fall to the ground. 

Arg. 3. It is a sin that defiles and destroys the body ; 1 Cor. vi. 
18. " He that committeth adultery, sinneth against his own body." 
In most other sins the body is the instrument, here it is the object a- 
gainst which the sin is committed : that body of thine, which should 
he the temple of the Holy Ghost, is turned into a sty of filthiness ; 
yea, it not only defiles, but destroys it. Job calls it a " fire that burn- 
" eth to destruction,"' Job xxxi. 12. or as the Septuagint reads it, a 
fire that burneth in all the members. It is a sin that God hath 
plagued with strange and terrible diseases ; that Morbus Gallicus, 
and Sudor Anglicus, and that Plica Polonica, whereof you may read 
in Bolton's four last things, page 30. and Sclater on Rom. i. 30. 
These were judgments sent immediately by God's own hand, to cor- 
rect the new sins and enormities of the world ; for they seem to put 
the best physicians besides their books. O how terrible is it to lie 
groaning under the sad effects of this sin ! As Solomon tells us, Prov. 
V. 11. " And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body 
are consumed." To this sense some expound that terrible text, Heb. 
xiii. 4 " Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled ; but 
*• whoremongers and adulterers God will judge ;" i. e. with some re- 
markable judgment inflicted on them in this world : if it escape the 
punishment of men, it shall not escape the vengeance of God. Ah I 
with what comfort may a man lie down upon a sick-bed, when the 
sickness can be looked upon as a fatherly visitation coming in mercy ? 
But thou that shortenest thy life, and bringeth sickness on thyself by 
such a sin, art the devil's martyr ; and to whom canst thou turn in 
such a day for comfort ? 

Arg. 4 Consider what an indelible blot it is to thy nature, which 
can never be wiped away ; though thou escape with thy life, yet, as 
one says, thou shalt be burnt in the hand, yea, branded in the fore- 
head. What a foul scare is that upon the face of David himself, 
which abides to this day ? " He was upright in all things, save in the 
" matter of Uriah." And how was he slighted by his own children 
and servants after he had committed this sin ! compare 1 Sam. ii. 
80. with 2 Sam. xi. 10, 11. »« A wound and dishonour shall he get ; 
" and his reproach shall not be wiped away. This is to give thine 
" honour to another," Prov. d. 9. The shame and reproach at- 

518 THE HAIILOT''s face in the SCRIPTirRE'CLASS. 

tending it should be a preservative from it. Indeed the devil temptis 
to it by hopes of secresy and concealment ; but though many other 
sins lie hid, and possibly shall never come to light until that day of 
manifestation of all hidden things, yet this is a sin that is most usual- 
ly discovered. Under the law, God appointed an extraordinary 
way for the discovery of it. Numb. v. 13. And to this day the pro- 
vidence of God doth often very strangely bring it to light, though it 
be a deed of darkness : the Lord hath many times brought such per- 
sons, either by terror of conscience, phrensy, or some other means, 
to be the publishers and proclaimers of their own shame. Yea, ob- 
serve this, said the reverend Mr. Hildersham on the fourth of John, 
even those that are most cunning to conceal and hide it from the eyes 
of the world, yet through the just judgment of God, every one sus- 
pects and condemns them for it : this clashes in pieces, at onestroke, 
that vessel in which the precious ointment of a good name is carried. 
A fool in Israel shall be thy title ; and even children shall point at 

A?'g. 5. It scatters thy substance, and roots up the foundation of 
thy estate ; Job xxxi. 12. " It roots up all thy increase, " Strangers 
*' shall be filled with thy wealth, and thy labours shall be in the 
*' house of a stranger," Prov. v. 10. " For by means of a whorish 
" woman, a man is brought to a morsel of bread," Prov. vi. 26. 
It gives rags for its livery (saith one) and though it hefurtheredhy 
the fulness, yet it \^ followed with a morsel of bread. This is one of 
those temporal judgments with which God punishes the unclean per- 
son in this life. The word Delilah, which is the name of a harlot, is 
conceived to come from a root that signifies to exhaust, drain, or draw 
dry. This sin will quickly exhaust the fullest estate ; and, oh ! what 
a dreadful thing w^ill this be, when God shall require an account of 
thy stewardship in the great day ! how righteous is it, that that man 
should be fuel to the wTath of God, whose health and wealth have 
been so much fuel to maintain the flame of lust ! O how lavish of 
their estates are sinners to satisfy their lusts ! if the members of Christ 
be sick or in prison, they may there perish and starve before they 
will relieve them ; but to obtain their lusts, O how expensive ! 
" Ask me never so much, and I will give it," saith Shechem, Gen. 
xxxiv. 12. " Ask what thou wilt, and it shall be given thee," said 
Herod to the daughter of Herodias. Well, you are liberal in spend- 
ing treasures upon your lusts ; and believe it, God will spend trea- 
sures of wrath to punish you for your lusts. It had been a thousand 
times better for thee thou hadst never had an estate, that thou hadst 
begged thy bread from door to door, than to have such a sad reckon- 
ing as thou shalt shortly have for it. 

Arg. 6. O stand off from this sin, because it is a pit, out of which 
very few have been recovered that have fallen therein. Few are the 
footsteps of returners from this den. The longer a man lives in it, 
the less power he hath to leave it. It is not only a damning.^ but an 


infatuating sin. The danger of falling this way must needs be great, 
and the fall very desperate ; because few that fall into it do ever rise 
a^ain. I shall lay two very terrible scriptures before you to this pur- 
pose, either of them enough to drive thee speedily to Christ, or to 
drive thee out of thy wits ; the one is that, Eccl. vii. 26. " And I 
*« find more bitter than death, the woman whose heart is snares and 
" nets, and her hands as bands : Whoso pleaseth God shall escape 
" from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her." The argument 
which the Spirit of God uses here to dissuade from this sin, is taken 
from the subject ; they that fall into it, for the most part, are persons 
in whom God has no delight, and so in judgment are dehvered up to 
it, and never recovered by grace from it. The other is that in Prov. 
xxii. 14. " The mouth of a strange woman is a deep pit; he that is 
" abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein." O terrible word ! able 
to daunt the heart of the securest sinner. Your whores embrace you, 
yea, but God abhors you ! You have their hve, Oh but you are 
under God's hatred I What say you to these two scriptures ? If you 
are not atheists, methinks such a word from the mouth of God, 
should strike like a dart through thy soul. And upon this account 
it is, that they never are recovered, because God has no delight in 
them. If this be not enough, view one scripture more, Prov. ii. 
18, 19. " For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto 
" the dead : None that go to her, return again, neither take they 
" hold of the paths of life." Reader, if thou be a person addicted 
to this sin, go thy way, and think seriously what a case thou art in. 
None return again, i. e. a very few of many : The examples of such 
as have been recovered are very rare. Pliny tells us, the mermaids 
are commonly seen in green meadows, and have inchanting voices ; 
but there are always found heaps of dead men's bones lying by them. 
This may be but a fabulous story : But I am sure, it is true of tlie har- 
lot, whose syren songs have allured thousands to their inevitable de- 
struction. It is a captivating sin that leads away the sinner in tri- 
umph ; they cannot deliver their souls ; Prov. vii. 22. " He goeth 
" after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a [fool] 
*• to the correction of the stocks." Mark, a fool ; it denientates 
and befools men, takes away their understanding ; the Septuagint 
renders it, wc-rsg xvuv st/ hsfLug, as a dog to the collar ; or, like as 
we use to say, a dog in a string. I have read of one, that having 
by this sin wasted his body, was told by physicians, that except he 
left it, he would quickly lose his eyes : He answered, if it be so, 
then vale lumen amicum, farewell sweet light. And I remember, 
Luther \NTites of a certain nobleman in his country, who was so be- 
sotted with the sin of whoredom, that he v/as not ashamed to say, 
that if he might live here for ever, and be carried from one stew to 
another, he would never desire any other heaven. The greatest con- 
querors, that have subdued kingdoms, and scorned to be command- 
ed by any, have been miserably enslaved and captivated by this lust.. 


think sadly upon this argument ! God often gives them up to im- 
pertinency, and will not spend a rod upon them to reclaim them. 
See Hos. iv. 14. Rev. xxii. 11. 

Arg". 7. And then in the 7th place, those few that have been re- 
covered by repentance out of it, O hon- bitter hath God made it to 
their souls ! " I find it (saith Solomon) more bitter than death,'' 
Eccl. vii. 26. Death is a very bitter thing ; O what a struggling and 
reluctance is there in nature against it ; but this is more bitter. 
Poor David found it so, when he roared under those bloody lashes 
of conscience for it, in Psal. li. Ah ! when the Lord shall open the 
poor sinner''s eyes, to see the horror and guilt he hath hereby con- 
tracted upon his own poor soul, it will haunt him as a ghost, day" 
and night, and terrify his soul with dreadful forms and representa- 
tions ! O dear bought pleasure, if this were all it should cost ! 
What is now become of the pleasure of sin ? O what gall and worm- 
wood wilt thou taste, when once the Lord shall bring thee to a sight 
of it ! The Hebrew word for repentance (Nacham.) and the Greek 
word ( Aletamelia^) the one signifies, an irking of the soul, and the 
other signifies, after-grief: Yea, it is called, a renting of the heart, 
as if it were torn in pieces in a man's breast. Ask such a poor soul, 
what it thinks of such courses now ? Oh f now it loaths, abhors it- 
self for them. Ask him, if he dare sin in that kind again ? You 
may as well ask me (will he answer) whether I will thrust my 
hand into the fire. Oh ! it breeds an indignation in him against 
himself That word, ayaiaxr/^cr/v, 2 Cor. vii. 11. signifies the rising 
of the stomach with very rage, and being sick with anger. Religious 
wrath is the fiercest wrath. O what a furnace is the breast of a poor 
penitent I what fumes, what heats do abound in it, whilst the sin is 
even before him, and the sense of the guilt upon him ? One night 
of carnal pleasure will keep thee many days and nights upon the 
rack of horror, if ever God give thee repentance unto life. 

Arg. 8. And if thou never repent, as indeed but ^qw do that fall 
into this sin, then consider how God will follow thee with eternal 
vengeance : Thou shalt have flaming fire for burning lust. This is 
a sin that hath the scent of fire and brimstone with it, wherever you 
meet with it in sciipture. The harlot's guests are lodged in the depths 
ofhelly Prov. ix. 18. No more perfumed beds; they must now lie 
do^^^l in flames. Whoremongers shall have their part in the lake 
that burnetii with fire and brimstone ; which is the second death. 
Rev. xxi. 8. Such shall not inherit the kingdom of God and Christ, 

1 Cor. vi. 9. No dog shall come into the New Jerusalem ; there 
shall in no wise enter in any thing that defileth, or that worketh 
abomination. You have spent your strength upon sin, and now God 
sets himself a work to shew the glory of his power in punishing, 
Rom. ix. 22. The wrath of God is transacted upon them in hell by 
his own immediate hand, Heb. x. 30. Because no creature is strong 
enough to convey all his wrath, and it must all be poured out upon 

THE harlot's face IX THE SCHIPTUKE-GLASS. S21 

them, therefore he himself will torment them for ever with his own 
immediate power : Now he will stir up all his zcrath, and sinners shall 
know the price of their pleasures. The punishment of Sodom is a 
little map of hell, as I may say. O how terrible a day was that upon 
those unclean wretches ! But that fire was not of many days con- 
tinuance : When it had consumed them, and thjeir houses, it went 
out for want of matter : but here, the breath of the Lord, like a 
stream of brimstone, kindles it. The pleasure was quickly gone, 
but the sting and torment abide for ever. *' Who knoweth the 
" power of his anger ? Even according to his fear, so is his wrath,'* 
Psal. xc. 11. Oh consider, how will his almighty power rack and 
torment thee ! Think on this when sin comes with a smiling face 
towards thee in the temptation. O think ! If the human nature of 
Christ recoiled, when his cup of wrath was given him to drink ; if 
lie were sore amazed at it, how shalt thou, a poor worm, bear and 
grapple with it for ever ? 

Arg. 9. Consider further, how closely soever thou earnest thy 
wickedness in this world, though it should never be discovered here, 
yet there is a day coming when all will out, and that before angels 
and men. God will rip up thy secret sins in the face of that great 
congregation at the day of judgment : Then that which was done 
in secret shall be proclaimed as upon the house-top, Luke xii. 3. 
" Then God will judge the secrets of men,'*"' Rom. ii. 16. " the 
" hidden things of darkness will be brought into the open li^ht." 
Sinner, there will be no sculking for thee in the grave, no declining 
this bar; thou refusedst, indeed, to come to the throne of grace , 
when God invited thee, but there \A\\ be no refusing to appear 
before the bar of justice, when Christ shall summon thee. And as 
thou canst not decline appearing, so neither canst thou then palliate 
and hide thy wickedness any longer ; for then shall the books be 
opened ; the book of God's omniscience, and the book of thine own 
conscience, wherein all thy secret villany is recorded : for though it 
ceased to speak to thee, yet it ceased not to write and record thy 
actions. If thy shameful sins should be divulged now, it would make 
thee tear off thy hair with indignation ; but then all will be discover- 
ed ; Angels and men shall point at thee, and say, lo, this is the man, 
this is he that carried it so smoothly in the world. Mr. Thomas Fuller 
relates a story of Ottocar king of Bohemia, ' who refusing to do his 

* homage toRodulphus the first emperor, being at last sorely chastised 
^ with war, condescended to do him homage privately in a tent ; but 
' the tent was so contrived by the emperor's servants, (saith th 

' historian) that, by drawing one cord, it was taken all away, and 
' so Ottocar presented on his knees, doing homage to the emperor in 

* the view of three armies.' O sirs, you think to carry it closely, you 
wait for the twilight, that none may see you ; but, alas ! it will be 
to no end, this day will discover it ; and then what confusion and 
everlasting shame will cover thee I Will not this work then ? 

S22 THE harlot's face IN THE SCRIPTURE-GLASS. 

Arg. 10. Lastly, consider but one thing more, and I have done. 
By this sin thou dost not only damn thine own soul, but drawesl ano- 
ther to hell with thee. This sin is not as a single bullet that kills 
but one, but as a chain-shot, it kills many, two at least, unless God 
give repentance. And if he should give thee repentance, yet the 
other party may never repent, and so perish for ever through thy 
wickedness; and oh ! what a sad consideration will that be to thee, 
that such a poor soul is in hell, or likely to go thither by thy means .? 
Thou hast made fast a snare upon a soul, which thou canst not untie ; 
thou hast done that which may be matter of sorrow to thee as long 
as thou livest ; but though thou canst grieve for it, thou canst not re- 
medy it. In other sins it is not so : If thou hadst stolen another's 
goods, restitution might be made to the injured party, but here can 
be none : if thou hadst murdered another, thy sin was thine own, 
not his that was murdered by thee: but this is a ccmphcated sin, 
defiUng both at once ; and if neither repent, then, oh ! what a sad 
greeting will these poor wretches have in hell ! how will they curse 
the day that ever they saw each other's fac^ ! O what an aggrava- 
tion of their misery will this be ! For look, as it v.ill be matter of joy 
in heaven, to behold such there as we have been instrumental to save, 
so must it needs be a stinging aggravation of the misery of the damned 
to look upon those who have been the instruments and means of 
their damnation. Oh, methinks if there be any tenderness at all in 
thy conscience, if this sin have not totally brawned and stupified thee, 
these arguments should pierce hke a sword through thy guilty soul. 
Reader, I beseech thee, by the mercies of God, if thou hast defiled 
thy soul by this abominable sin, speedily to repent. O get the blood 
of sprinkling upon thee ; there is yet mercy for such a wretch as 
thou art, if thou wilt accept the terras of it, "• Such were some of 
" you, but ye are washed,'' 1 Cor. vi. 11. Publicans and harlots 
may enter into the kingdom of God, Matth. xxi. 31. Though but 
few such are recovered, yet how knowest thou but the hand of 
mercy may pull thee as a brand out of the fire, if now thou wilt re- 
turn and seek it with tears ? Though it be a jive that consumeth 
unto destruction, as Job calls it. Job xxxi. 12. 3ret it is not an un- 
quenchable fire, the blood of Christ can quench it. 

And for you, whom God hath kept hitherto from the contagion 
of it, O bless the Lord, and use all God's means for the prevention 
of it. The seeds of this sin are in thy nature ; no thanks to thee, 
but to restraining grace, that thou art not delivered up to it also. 
And that thou mayest be kept out of this pit, conscionably practise 
these few directions. 

Direct. 1. Beg of God a clean heart, renewed and sanctified by 
saving grace; all other endeavours do but palliate a cure : the root 
of this is deep in thy nature ; O get that mortified, Matth. xy. 19. 
" Out of the heart proceed fornication, adulteries." 1 Pet. ii. 11, 

THE harlot's face IN THE SCRlPtUEE-GLASS. 3:23 

12. " Abstain from fleshly lusts having your conversation 

honest."" The lust must first be subdued, before the conversation 
can be honest. 

Direct 2. Walk in the fear of God all the day long, and in the 
sense of his omniscient eye that is ever upon thee. This kept Joseph 
from this sin, Gen. xxxix. 9. " How can I do this wickedness and sin 
** against God .?" Consider, the darkness hideth not from him, but 
shineth as the light. If thou couldst find a place where the eye of 
God should not discover thee, it were somewhat : thou darest not 
to act this wickedness in the presence of a child, and Avilt thou ad- 
venture to commit it before the face of God ? see that argument, 
Prov. V. 20, 21. " And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a 
" strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger ? For the 
*' ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth 
*' all his goings."' 

Direct. S. Avoid lewd company, and the society of unclean per- 
sons ; they are hut panders for lust. Evil communication corrupts 
good manners. The tongues of sinners do cast fire-balls into the 
hearts of each other, which the corruption within is easily kindled 
and enflamed by. 

Direct. 4. Exercise thyself in thy calling diligently ; it will be an 
excellent means of preventing this sin. It is a good observation that 
one hath. That Israel was safer in the brick-kilns in Egvpt, than in 
the plains of Moab, 2 Sam. xi. 2. " And it came to pass in the even- 
" tide, that David arose from offhis bed, and walked on the roof of 
" the kino;''s house ;"*'' and this was the occasion of his fall. See 
1 Tim. v.ll, 13. 

Direct. 5. Put a restraint upon thine appetite : feed not to excess. 
Fulness of bread and idleness were the sins of Sodom, that occasion- 
ed such an exuberancy of lust *. " They are like fed horses, every 
" one neighing after his neighbour's wife. When I had fed them to 
" the full, then they committed adultery, and asembled themselves 
" by troops in the harlots' houses," Jer. v. 7, 8. This is a sad re- 
quital of the bounty of God, in giving us the enjoyment of the crea- 
tures, to make them fuel to lust, and instruments of sin. 

Direct. 6. Make choice of a meet yoke-fellow, and delight in her 
you have chosen. This is a lawful remedy : See 1 Cor. vii. 9- God 
ordained it. Gen. ii. 21. But herein appears the corruption of na- 
ture, that men delight to tread by-paths, and forsake the way which 
God hath appointed ; as that divine poet, Mr. Herbert, saith. 
If God had laid all common, certainly 

Man would have been the closer : but since now 
God hath impal'd us, on the contrary, 

Man breaks the fence, and every ground will plow. 

• Siiie Cerere et JBaccho friget Venus. 

Vol. V, X 


O what were man, might he himself misplace ! 
Sure, to be cross, he would shift feet and face. 

Stolen waters are sweeter to them than those waters they might 
lawfully drink at their own fountain : But withal know, it is not the 
having, but the delighting in a lawful wife, as God requires you to 
do, that thou must be a fence against this sin. So Solomon, Prov. 
V. 19. " Let her be as the loving hind, and pleasant roe ; let her 
" breasts satisfy thee at all times, and be thou ravished always with 
" her love."" 

Direct. 7. Take heed of running on in a course of sin (especially 
superstition and idolatry : in which cases, and as a punishment of 
which evils God often gives up men to these vile affections, Rom. i. 
25, 16. " Who changed the truth of God into a lie ; [worshipped] 
" and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for 
" ever. Amen. [For this cause] God gave them up to vile affec- 
" tions," &c. They that defile their souls by idolatrous practices, 
God suffers, as a just recompence, their bodies also to be defiled with 
uncleanness, that so their ruin may be hastened. Let the admirers 
of traditions beware of such a judicial tradition as this is. Woe to 
him that is thus delivered by the hand of an angry God ! No punish- 
ment in the world like this, when God punishes sin with sin : when 
he shall suffer those zoivac, iwoiag, those common notices of conscience 
to be quenched, and all restraints to be moved oyt of the way of sin, 
it will not be long e'er that sinner come to his own place. 


XN the next place I shall make bold to expostulate a little with your 
consciences concerning the precious mercies you have received, and 
the solemn promises you have bound yourselves withal for the ob- 
taining of those mercies. I fear God hath many bankrupt debtors a- 
mongyou, that have dealt slipperily and unfaithfully with him ; that 
have not rendered to the Lord according to the great things he hath 
done for them, nor according to those good things they have vowed 
to the mighty God of Jacob. But truly if thou be a despiser of mer- 
cy, thou shalt be a pattern of wrath. God will remember them in 
fury who^r^'^^ him in his favours. I will tell you what a grave and 
eminent minister once told his people (dealing with them about this 
sin of unthankfulness for mercy) ; and I pray God it may aff'ect you 
duly. * ' Let us all mourn (saith he) and take on ; we are all behind 
' hand with God. The Christian world is become bankrupt, quite 
' broke, makes no return to God for his love. He is issuing out 
' process to seize upon body, goods, and life, and will be put off no 
' longer. Bloody bailiffs are abroad for bad debtors all the world 
' over. Christians are broke, and make no return, and God is break- 

• Mr. Lockyer on Col. d. p. UJ. 


' incr all. He cannot have what he would have, what he should 

* have, he will take what he can get : for money he will take goods, 
' limbs, arms, legs ; he will have his own out of your skin, out of 
' your blood, out of your bodies and souls. He is setting the Chris- 

* tian world as light and as low as they have set his love. Ah, Lord, 
' what a time do we live in ! long-suffering is at an end, mercy will 
^ be righted in justice, justice will have all behind, it will be paid 

* to the utmost farthing ; it will set abroach your blood, but it will 
' have all behind,"" &c. 

Do you hear, souls ? Is not this sad news to some of you, who 
have received vast sums of mercy, and given God your bond for the 
repayment of him in praise and answerable fruit, and yet forfeited all 
and lost your credit with God ? O how can you look God in the face, 
with whom you have dealt so perfidiously ! I am now come in the 
name of God to demand his due of you ; to call to remembrance the 
former receipts of mercy which 3^ou mind not, but God doth, and 
there is a witness in your bosom that doth, and will one day witness 
to your faces, that you have dealt perfidiously with your God. Your 
souls have been the graves of mercy, which should have been as so 
many gardens where they should have lived and flourished. I am 
come now to open those graves, and view those mercies that your 
unthankfulness hath killed and buried, to lay them before your eyes, 
and see whether your ungi'ateful hearts will bleed upon them. Bu- 
ried mercies are not lost for ever ; they shall as certainly have a day of 

* resurrection as thyself: it were better for thee the}'^ should have a 
resurrection now in thy heart, than to rise as witnesses against thee, 
when thou shalt rise out of the dust : that will be a terrible resurrec- 
tion indeed, when they shall come to plead against thy soul. Nothing 
pleads more dreadfully against a soul than abused mercy doth. But I 
shall come to the particulars upon which I interrogate your conscien- 
ces ; and I pray deal truly and ingenuously in answering these querie?^ 

Quej\ 1. And, first, I shall demand of you, whether you never had 
experience of the power and goodness of God, in restoring you to 
health from dangerous sickness and diseases.'* Have you not somctunes 
had the sentence of death in yourselves ? And that possibly when you 
have been in remote parts, far from your friends and relations, and 
destitute of all means and accommodations. Did you not say in that 
condition, as Hezekiah did in a like case ? Isa. xxxviii. 10, 11, 12. 
*' I said, m the cutting off of my da3^s, I shall go to the gates of the 
'* grave : I am deprived of the I'esidue of my years. I said, I shall 
" not see the Lord, even the Lord in the land of the living : I shall be- 
" hold man no more with the inhabitants of the world :" Remem- 
ber thyself, Man ; canst not thou call to mind the day when the ar- 
rows of death came whisking by thee, and it may be, hit those next 
thee ; took away those that were as lively and lusty as thyself, when 

• There is a double resurrection of mercy ; a resurrection of mercy in mercy, and a resur- 
rection of mercy in wrath. It is the first I now labour for, and that to prevent the second* 



you began your voyage, and yet they were cast for death, thou for 
life, and that when there was but an hair's breadth betwixt thee and 
the grave ? Tell me, soul, what friend was' that who stood by thee 
then, when thou wast forsaken of all thy friends ? When it may be 
thy companions stood ready to throw thee over-board, who was it that 
pitied and remembered thee in thy low estate ? Who was it that re- 
buked thy disease ! or, (as * one very aptly expresses it) * restrained 
' the humours of thy body from overflowing and drowning thy life ? 
' For, wlien they are let out in a sickness, they would overflow and 
' drown it, as the waters would the earth, if God should not say to 
* them, stay, you proud waves."* Who was it, man, that when thy 
body was brought low and weak, and like a crazy rotten ship in a 
storm, took in water on all sides, so that all the physicians in the world 
could not have stopped those leaks ? Consider what hand that was 
which quieted and calmed the tempestuous sea, careened and mend- 
ed thy crazy body, and launched thee into the world again, as whole, 
as sound, as strong as ever ? Was it not the Lord that hath done all 
this for thee ? Did he not keep back thy soul from the pit, and thy 
life from perishing? Yea, when thou wast chastened with pain upon 
thy bed, (as Elihu speaks) Job xxxiii. 19, SO, SI. and the multi- 
tude of thy bones with strong pains, so that thy life abhorred bread, 
and thy soul dainty meat ; thy flesh consumed away, that it could 
not be seen, and thy bones that were not seen, stuck out : Yet then, 
as it is ver. 28. he delivered thy soul from goi'jg down into the pit, 
and caused thy life to see the light. Had the lamp of life been then 
extinguished, thou hadst gone down into endless darkness; hell had 
shut her mouth upon thee. Now tell me soul, what hast thou done 
with this precious mercy .'^ Hast thou walked before the Lord in a deep 
sense thereof, and answered his end therein, which was to lead thee 
to repentance.'' Or hath thy stupid or disingenuous heart forgotten it, 
and lost all sense of it, so that God's end is frustrated, and thy salva* 
tion not a jot furthered thereby ? Oh ! if it be so, woe to thee ! for 
the blood of this mercy, which thy ingratitude hath murdered, like 
the blood of Abel cries to God against thee. What a wretch art 
thou thus to requite the Lord for such a mercy ! He saw thy tears, 
and heard thy groans, and said within himself, he shall not die, but 
live. Alas, poor creature ! if I cut him oft' now, he is eternally lost : 
I will send him back a few years more into the world. I will try him, 
once more, it mav be he will bear some fruits to me from this deli- 
verance; and if so, well ; if not, I will cut him down hereafter: He 
shall be set at liberty upon his good behaviour a little longer. And is 
all this nothing in thine eyes ? Wretch that thou art, dost thou for- 
get and slight such a favour as this.?^ is it worth no more in thine 
eyes ? Well, it would be worth something in the eyes of the poor 
damned souls, if they might have so many years cut out of their eter- 

* Mr. Thomas Goodwin. 


nity, lor a mere intermission of tlieir tonnents, much more as a time 
of patience and mercy. O consider what pity and goodness thou hast 
abused ! 

Query 2. Wast thou never cast upon miserable straits and extre- 
mities, wherein the good providence of God reheved and supphed 
thee ? How many of you have been beaten so long at sea, by rea- 
son of contrary winds and other accidents, until your provisions have 
been exhausted and spent. To how short allowance have you been 
kept. And what a mercy would you have esteemed it, if you could 
but have satisfied nature with a full draught of water. Certainly, 
this hath ben the case with many of you. O what a price and value 
did you then set upon these common mercies, which at other times 
have been slightly overlooked ! And when you have seen no hopes 
of relief, have you not looked sadly one upon another? and, it 
may be, said, as that widow of Sarepta did to the prophet, 1 Kings 
xvii. 12. " And she said, as the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a 
" cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a 
" cruse ; and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in 
" and dress it for me and my son, that we mav eat it and die."" Even 
such hath been your case ; yet hath that God, whose mercies are over 
all his works, heard your sorrows, and provided relief for you, either 
by some ship, which providence sent to relieve you in that distress, or 
by altering the winds, and sending you safe to the land before all your 
provisions have been spent. And hast thou kept no records of these 
gracious providences ? Yea, dost thou abuse the creature, when thou 
art brought again to the full enjoyment of it ; and possibly receivest 
the creatures, (whose worth thou hast lately seen in the want of 
them) without thanksgiving, or a sensible acknowledgment of the 
goodness of God in them? I say, dost thou thus answer the expec- 
tations of God ? Well, beware lest God teach such an unworthy 
creature, by woeful experience, that the opening of his hand to give 
thee a mercy, is worth the opening thy lips to bless him for it. Be- 
ware lest that unthankful mouth that wiU not bless the Lord for 
bread and water, have neither the one nor the other to bless him 
for. I can give you a sad instance in the case, and I have found it 
it in the writing of an eminent divine, who said he had it from an eye 
and ear- witness of the truth of it. A young man lying upon his sick- 
bed, was alw^ays calling for meat ; but when the meat he called for 
was brought unto him, he shook and trembled dreadfully at the sight 
of it, and that in every part of his body, and so continued until his 
food was carried away. And thus he did as often as any food was 
brought into his presence ; and not being able to eat one bit, piijed 
away; but before his death he freely acknowledged the justice of 
God in his punishment : For, said he, in the time of my health, I 
ordinarily received my meat without thanksgiving. O let the abu- 
sers and despisers of such mercies fear and tremble ! 

Quer. 3. Have you not been eminently protected and saved by thft. 



Lord, in tJie greatest dangers and hazards of life ; in fights at sea", 
when men have dropt down at your right hand, and at your left, 
and yet the Lord hath covered your heads in the day of battle ? 
And though you have been equally obnoxious to death and danger 
ivith others, yet your name was not found among theirs in the list 
of the dead. Or, in shipwrecks, ah, how narrowly have some of 
you escaped ! a plank hath been cast in, you know not how, to save 
you, when your companions, for want of it, have gone down to the 
bottom ; or you have been enabled to swim to the shore, when 
others have tainted in the way, and perished ? In what variety of 
strange and astonishing providences hath God worked towards 
some of you, and what returns have you made to God for it ? Oh, 
sirs ! I beseech you, consider but these two or three things that I 
shall now lay before you to consider of. 

Consid. I. An heathen will do more for a dung-hill deity than 
thou, that callest thyself a Christian, wilt do for the true God, that 
made heaven and earth, Dan. v. 4. They praised the gods of sil- 
ver, and of gold, and of brass, of iron, wood, and stone. When 
the Philistines were delivered from the hand of Samson, the text 
saith, Judg. xvi. 24. " They praised their god,'' &c. Then Dagon 
must be extolled. O let shame cover thy face ! 

Consid. 2. That the abuse of mercy and love is a sin that goes near 
to the heart of God. Oh ! he cannot bear it. It is not the giving 
out of mercy that troubles him, for that he doth with delight ; but 
the recoihng of his mercies upon him by the creatures' ingratitude, 
this wounds. " Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be ye hor- 
" ribly afraid." And again, " Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O 
" earth," Isa. i. 2. q. d. O you innocent creatures, which inviolably 
observe the law of your creation, be you all astonished and clothed 
in black, to see nature cast by sin so far below itself, and that in a 
creature so much superior to you as man, who in the very womb 
was crowned a king, and admitted into the highest order of creatures, 
and set as lord and master over you ; yet doth he act not only below 
himself, but below the very beasts. " The ox knoweth his owner ; 
(i. e.) there is a kind of gratitude in the beasts, by which they ac- 
knowledge their benefactors that feed and preserve them. Oh ! 
what a pathetical exclamation is that, Deut. xxxii. 6. " Do you thus 
« requite the Lord, O foolish people, and unwise."" 

Consid. 3. It is a sin that kindles the wrath of God, and will make 
it burn dreadfully against thee, unthankful sinner : It stirs up the 
anger of God, in whomsoever it be found, though in the person of a 
saint, 2 Cron. xxxii. 25. '' But Hezekiah rendered not again ac- 
" cording to the benefit done unto him : for his heart was lifted up, 
*' therefore there was wrath upon him and upon Jerusalem." And 
«o you read, Rom. i. that the heathens, because they were not thank- 
ful, were given up to vile affections ; the sorest plague in the world. 
It is a sin that the God of mercy scarce knows how to pardon, Jer. v. 

MEJiciEs AXD rno:\rTSES. 35^9 

Y. '* How shall I pardon thee for this ?'' This forgetting of the God 
that saves us in our extremities is a sin that brings desolation and ruin, 
the effects of God's high displeasure upon all our temporal enjoy- 
ments. See that remarkable scripture, Isa. xvii. 10, 11. " Because 
*« thou hast [forgotten] the God of [thy salvation,] and hast not 
" been [mindful] of the rock of [thy strength:] Therefore shalt thou 
" plant pleasant plants, and shall set it with strange slips : In the day 
" shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the mornhig shalt thou 
" make thy seed to flourish ; but the harvest shall be an heap in the 
" day of grief, and desperate sorrow." The meaning is, that God 
will blast and curse all thine employments, and thou shalt be under 
desperate sorrow. The meaning is, that God will blast and curse 
all thine employments, and thou shalt be under desperate sorrow, 
by reason of the disappointment of thy hopes. 

Consid. 4. It is a sin that cuts off mercy from you in future straits : 
If you thus requite the Lord for former mercies, never expect the like 
in future distresses. God is not weary of his blessings, to cast them 
away upon such souls as are but graves to them. Mark what a re- 
ply God made to the Israelites, when they cried unto him for help, 
being invaded by the Amorites, Judg. x. 11, 12, 13. " Did not I de- 
" liver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the 
" children of Amnion, and from the Philistines .^ The Zidonians 
" also, and the Amalekites, and ye cried unto me, and I delivered you 
" out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other 
" gods, wherefore I will deliver you no more." O sad world ! it is 
as if the Lord had said, I have tried what mercy and deliverance will 
do with you, and I see you are never the better for it : Deliverance 
is but seed sown upon the rocks. I will cast away no more favours 
upon you ; now look to yourselves, shift for yourselves for time to 
come ; wade through your troubles as well as you can. O brethren ! 
there is nothing more quickly works the ruin of a people than the 
abuse of mercy. O, methinks, this text should strike terror into 
your hearts ? How often hath God delivered you ? Remember thy 
eminent deliverance at such a time, in such a country, out of such a 
deep distress : God was gracious to thy cry then, thou hast forgotten 
and abused his mercy : what now, if God should say as in the text, 
therefore I will deliver thee no more ? Ah, poor soul ! what wouldst 
thou do then, or to whom wilt thou turn ? It may be thou wilt cry to 
the creatures for help and pity ; but, alas ! to what purpose ! They 
will give as cold and as comfortless an answer as Samuel gave unto 
Saul, 1 Sam. xxviii. 15, 16. " And Samuel said unto Saul, Where- 
" fore hast thou disquieted me to bring me up ? And Saul answer- 
*' ed, I am sore distressed ; for the Philistines make war against me, 
" and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither 
** by prophets, nor by dreams : therefore have I called thee, &c. 
" Then said Samuel, wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the 
" Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy T'' Oh I 



thou wilt be a poor shiftless creature, if once by abusing mercy thou 
make it thine enemy ! 

Consid. 5. It is breach of vows made in distress to obtain these 
mercies ; they have been easily forgotten and violated by thee when 
thou hast obtained thy desire : A word or two to convince you what 
a further evil lies in this, and how by this consideration thy sins 
come to be buoyed up to a greater height and aggravation of sin- 
fulness ; and then I have done with this head. 

j4 vow is a pi'omise made to God, in the things of God. The 
obligation of it is, by casuists, judged to be as great as that of an 
oath. It is a sacred and solemn bond, wherein a soul binds to God 
in lawful things ; and being once bound by it, it is a most heinous 
evil to violate it. It is an high piece of dishonesty to fail in what we 
have promised to men, saith * Dr. Hall ; but to disappoint God in our 
vows, is DO less than sacrilege. The act is free and voluntary ; but 
if once a just and lawful vow or promise hath past your lips, saith he, 
you may not be false to God in keeping it. It is with us for our vows, 
as it was with Ananias and Sapphira, for their substance : " Whilst 
" it remained (saith Peter) was it not thine own .?" He needed not to 
sell and give it ; but if he will give, be may not reserve : it is death 
to save some; he lies to the Holy Ghost, that defalks from that which 
he engaged himself to bestow. If thou hast vowed to the mighty 
God of Jacob, look to it that thou be faithful in thy performance ; 
for he is a great and jealous God, and will not be mocked. 

Now I am confident there be many among you, that, in your for- 
mer distresses, have solemnly engaged your souls thus to God ; that 
if he would deliver you out of those dangers, and spare your lives, you 
would walk more strictly, and live more holy lives than ever you did. 
You have, it may be, engaged your souls to the Lord against those 
sins, as drunkenness, lying, swearing, uncleanness, or whatsoever 
evil it was that your conscience then smote you for ; the vows of 
God (I say) are upon many of you. But have you performed 
those vows that your lips have uttered ? Have you dealt truly with 
God ^ or have you mocked him, and lied unto him with your 
lips, and omitted those very duties you promised to perform, and 
returned to the self-same evils you have promised to forsake ? I only 
put the question, let your consciences answer it. But if it be so, 
indeed, that thou art* a person that makest light of thy engage- 
ments to God, as indeed seamen's vows and sick men's promises are, 
for the most part, deceitful and slippery things, being extorted 
from them by fear of death, and not from any deep resentment of 
the necessity, and weight of those duties to which they bind their 
souls : I say, if this sin lie upon any of your souls, I advise you to go 
to God speedily, and bewail it; humble yourself greatly before him, 
admire his patience in forbearing you, and pay unto him what your 

* Cases of conscience. 


lips have promised. And to move you thereunto, let these consi- 
derations among many others, be laid to heart. 

Consid. 1. Think seriously upon the greatness of tliat majesty 
whom thou hast wronged by lying to him, and falsifying thy en- 
gagements. O think sadly on this ! it is not man Avhom thou hast 
abused, but God ; even that God in whose hand thy life and breath 
is. For although (as one truly observes) there be not in every vow 
a formal invocation of God, (God being the proper correlate, and, 
as it were, a party to every vow, and therefore not formally to be 
invoked for the contestation of it ;) yet, there is in every vow an 
implicit calling God to witness ; so that certainly the obligation of 
a vow is not one jot beneath that of an oath. Now if God be as a 
party to whom thou hast past thy promise, and that obligation on 
that ground be so great ; Oh what hast thou done ! for a poor worm 
to mock the most glorious Majesty of heaven, and break faith with 
God; what a dreadful thing is that.^ if it were but to thy fellow- 
creature, though the sin would be great ; yet not like unto this. 
Let me say to thee as the prophet Isaiah, chap. vii. 13. " Is it a 
" small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God 
*' also?" If you dare to deceive and abuse men, dare you do so by 
God also ^ Oh ! if the exceeding vileness of the sin do not affect 
thee, yet methinks the danger of provoking so dreadful a Majesty 
against thee should ! And therefore consider, 

Consid. 2. That the Lord will most certainly be avenged upon 
thee for these things, except thou repent. O read, and tremble at 
the word of God ! Eccl. v. 4, 5, 6. " When thou vowest a vow unto 
" God, defer not to pay it : for he hath no pleasure in fools ; pay 
" that which thou hast vov/ed. Better is it that thou shouldst not 
" vow, than that thou shouldst vow, and not pay. Suffer not thy 
" mouth to cause thy flesh to sin, neither say thou, before the an- 
" gel, that it was an error ; whei'efore [should God be angry] at 
" thy voice, and [destroy] the works of thy hands P'^ Mark, God 
will be angry, and in that anger he will destroy the work of thy 
hands, i. e. saith Deodate, ' bring thee and all thy actions to nought, 
' by reason of thy perjury.' Now, the anger of God, which thy 
breach of promise kindles, as appears by this text, is a dreadful fire. 
O, what creature can stand before it ! as Asaph speaks. Psalm 
Ixxvi. 7. " Thou, even thou art to be feared ; and who may stand 
" in thy sight, when once thou art angry ?" 

Consid. 3. Consider, that all this while thou sinnest ao;ainst know- 
ledge and conviction ; for did not thy conscience plainly convince 
thee, when imminent danger opened its mouth, that the matter of thy 
neglected vow was a most necessary duty ? If not, why didst thou 
bind thy soul to forsake such practices, and to perform such duties ? 
Thou didst so look upon them then ; by which it appears thy con- 
ficience is convinced of thy duty, but lust doth master and over- 


rule : and if so, poor sinner, what a case art thou in, to go on from 
day to day sinning against light and knowledge ? Is not this a fear- 
ful way of sinning ? and will not such sinners be plunged deeper into 
hell than the poor Indians, that never saw the evil of their ways, as 
thou dost? Ponder but two or three scriptures in thy thoughts, and 
see what a dreadful way of sinning this is : Rom. ii. 9- " Tribula- 
*' tion, anguish, and wrath, to every soul of man that doth evil, to 
•' the [Jew first], and also to the Gentile.'"* To the Jew first, i. e. 
to the Jew especially and principally ; he had a precedency in means 
and light, and so let him have in punishment. So James iv. 17. 
** To him that knoweth to do good, and doth it not, to him it is sin ;" 
i. e. Sin with a witness, horrid sin, that surpasses the deeds of the 
wicked. So Luke xii. 47. " And that servant that knew his Lord's 
'* will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, 
" shall be beaten with many stripes."*' Which is a plain allusion to 
the custom of the Jews in punishing an offender, who being convict- 
ed, the judge was to see him bound fast to a pillar, his clothes stript 
off, and an executioner with a scourge to beat him with so many 
stripes: but now those stripes came but from the arm of a creature ; 
these that the text speaks of are set on by the omnipotent arm of 
God. Of the former there was a determinate number set down in 
their law, as forty stripes; and sometimes they would remit one of 
that number too, in mercy to the offender, as you see in the example 
of Paul, 2 Cor. xi. 24. " Of the Jews I received forty stripes, save 
'' one ;*" but in hell no mitigation at all, nor allay of mercy. The 
arm of his power supports the creature in its being ; while the arm 
of his justice lays on eternally. Soul, consider these things ; do thou 
not persist any longer then in such a desperate way of sinning against 
the clear conviction of thine own conscience, which in this case must 
needs give testimony against thee. 

Well then, go to God with the words of David, Psal. Ixvi. 13, 
14. and say unto him, " I will pay thee my vows which my lips 
" have uttered, and my tongue hath spoken when I was in trouble."" 
Pay it, soul, and pay it speedily unto God, else he will recover it 
by justice, and fetch it out of thy bones in hell. O trifle not any 
longer with God, and that in such serious matters as these are .'' 

And now I have done my endeavour to give your former mercies 
and promises a resurrection in your consciences. O that you would 
sit down and pause a while upon these things, and then reflect upon 
the past mercies of your lives, and on what hath passed betwixt God 
and your souls in 3^our former straits and troubles? Let not these 
plain words work upon thy spleen, and make thee say as the widow of 
Sarepta did to the prophet Elijah, 1 Kings xvii. 18. " What have I 
** to do with thee, O thou man of God ? Art thou come to call my 
*' sin to remembrance.^"*' But rather let it work kindly on thy heart, 
and make thee say as David to Abigail, 1 Sam. xxv. 32, 33. " Bles> 



" sed be tlie Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet 
" me ; and blessed be thy advice."" 

m^^^ CAUTION V. 

X HE fifth and last danger I shall warn you of, is your contempt 
and slighting of death. Ah ! how Uttle a matter do many of you, 
at least in words, make of it? It seems you have light reverential 
fear of this king of terrors, not only that you speak slightly of it, 
but also because you make no more preparations for it, and are no 
more sensible of your preservations and deliverances from it. Indeed 
the heathen philosophers did many of them profess a contempt of 
death upon the account of wisdom and fortitude ; and they were ac- 
counted the bravest men that most despised and slighted it : But, 
alas, poor souls ! they saw not their enemy against whom they fought, 
but skirmished with their eyes shut; they saw indeed its pale face, 
but not its sting and dart. There is also a lawful contempt of death. 
We freely grant that in two cases a believer may contemn it. First, 
When it is propounded to them a temptation on purpose to scare 
them from Christ and duty, then they should slight it ; as Rev. xii. 
11. " They loved not their lives unto the death."" Secondly, When 
the natural evil of death is set in competition with the enjoyment of 
God in glory, then a believer should despise it, as Christ is said to 
do, Heb. xii. 2. though his was a shameful death. But upon all 
other accounts and considerations, it is the height of stupidity and 
security to despise it. 

Now, to the end that you might have right thoughts and appre- 
hensions of death, which may put you upon serious preparation for 
it; and that whenever your turn comes to conflict with this king of 
terrors, under whose hand the Pompeys, Caesars, and Alexanders of 
the world, who have been the terrors of nations, have bowed down 
themselves ; I say, that when your turn and time comes, as the I^ord 
only knows how soon it may be, you may escape the stroke of its 
dart and sting, and taste no other bitterness in death, than the natu- 
ral evil of it : To this end I have drawn the following questions and 
answers, which, if you please, may be called The Seamaii's Catechism. 
And, oh ! that you might not dare to launch forth into the deeps, 
until you have seriously interrogated and examined your hearts upon 
those particulars. Oh ! that you would resolve, before you go forth, 
to withdraw yourselves a while from all clamours and distractions, 
and calmly and seriously catechise your ownselves in this manner. 
Quest. 1. What may the issue of this voyage be.^^ 
Answ. Death, Prov. xxvii. 1. " Boast not thyself of to-morrow, 
" for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."" Jam. iv. 13, 
14. " Go to now, ye that say. To-day, or to-morrow, we will go into 
" such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get 
" gain : whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow ; for 
" what is your life ? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a uttle 
'' time, and then yanisheth away." 

^34f THE seaman's catechism. 

Quest 9>. What is death ? 

Answ. Death is a separation of sOul and body until the resurrec- 
tion, 2 Cor. V. 1. " We know that if our earthly house of this taber- 
" nacle be dissolved." Job xiv. 10, 11, 12. Read the words. 

Quest. 3. Is death to be despised and slighted if it be so ? 

Answ. O no ! it is one of the most weighty and serious things that 
ever a creature went about : so dreadful doth it appear to some, that 
the fear of it subjects them to bondage all their lives, Heb. ii. 15. 
" And to deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their 
" life-time subject to bondage." And in scripture it is called, The 
Mng of terrors^ Job xviii. 14. Or the black prince, as some trans- 
late. Never had any prince such a title before. To some it hath 
been so terrible, that none might mention its name before them. 

Quest. 4. What makes it so terrible and affrighting to men ? 

Answ. Several things concur to make it terrible to the most of 
men ; as^fifst, Its harbingers and antecedents, which are strong 
pains, conflicts, and agonies. Secondly, Its office and work it comes 
about, which is to transfer us into the other v/orld. Hence, Rev. 
vi. 8. it is set forth by a. pale horse: an horse for its use and office 
to carry you away from hence into the upper, or lower region of 
eternity ; and a pale horse, for its ghastiiness and terror. Thirdly, 
But above all, it is terrible in regard of its consequence ; for it is 
the door of eternity, the parting point betwixt the present world and 
that to come ; the utmost line and boundary of all temporal things. 
Hence, Heb. ix. 27. " It is appointed unto men once to die; but 
" after this the judgment." Rev. vi. 8. " And I looked, and be- 
** hold, a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Death, and 
** hell followed him." Ah ! it makes a sudden and strange altera- 
tion upon men's conditions, to be plucked out of house, and from 
among friends and honours, and so many delights, and hurried in a 
moment into the land of darkness, to be clothed with flames, and 
drink the pure wrath of the Almighty for ever. This is it that 
makes it terrible. 

Quest. 5. If death be so weighty a matter, am I prepared to die ? 

Answ. I doubt not ; I am afraid I want many things that are ne- 
cessary to a due preparation for it. 

Quest. 6. What are those things wherein a due preparation for 
death consisteth ? 

Answ. Many things are necessary. First, Special and saving union 
with Jesus Christ. This is that which disarms it of its sting : " O 
" death, where is thy sting .? Thanks be to God who hath given [us] 
*' the victory, through [our] Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Cor. xv. 55, 57. 
So John xi. 26. " Whosoever [liveth,] and [believeth] in me shall 
•* never die." Whosoever liveth, i. e. is quickened with a new spiri- 
tual life and principle, and so puts forth the prmcipal act of that 
life, viz. faith, he shall never die, i. e. eternally. This hornet, 
death, shall never leave its sting in his sides. Secondly^ To entertain 

THE seamen's catechism. S35 

death comfortably, the evidence aiid knowledge of this union is ne- 
cessary, 2 Cor. V. 1. " For [we know,] that if our earthly house of 
" this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God," &c. 
And then he cannot only be content, but groan to be unclothed, ver. 
S. A mistake in the former will cost me my soul ; and a mistake 
here will lose me my peace and comfort. Thirdly, In order to this 
evidence it is necessary that I keep a good conscience in all things 
both towards God and man, 2 Cor. i. 12. "This is our rejoicing, 
" even the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly 
" sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have 
*' had our conversation in the world." This good conscience res- 
pects all and every part of our work and duty to be done, and all and 
every sin to be renounced and denied : so that he that is early united 
unto Christ by faith, hath the clear evidence of that union; and the 
evidence fairly gathered from the testimony of a good conscience, 
witnessing his faithfulness, as to all duties to be done, and sins to be 
avoided, he is fit to die; death can do him no harm; but, alas ! 
these things are not to be found in me. 

Quest. 7. But what if I die without such a preparation as this is? 
What will the consequence of that be ? 

Ansiff. Very terrible, even the separation of my soul and body 
from the Lord to all eternity ; John iii. ^6. " He that believeth on 
" the Son hath everlasting life : and he that believeth not the Son, 
" shall not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him." He 
shall not see life ; there is the privative part of his misery, separation 
from the blessed God. And the \wrath,'\ mark it, not anger, but 
wrath, not the wrath of man, but of [God,] at whose rebukes tlie 
mountains skip like frighted men, and the hills tremble : the wrath 
of God not only flashes out upon him, as a transient flash of lightning, 
but [cibideth,'\ dwells, sticks fast ; there is no power in the world can 
loose the soul from it. [Upon him,'\ not the body only, nor the soul 
only, but on [Ai?;i,] (i. e.) the whole person, the whole man. Here 
is the principal positive part of that man's misery. 

Quest. 8. Can I bear this misery ? 

Answ. No : my heart cannot endure, nor my hands be strong, 
when God shall have to do with me upon this account. I cannot bear 
his wrath ; angels could not bear it ; it hath sunk them into the 
depths of misery. Those that feel but a few sparks of it in their con- 
sciences here, are even distracted by it, Psalm Ixxxviii. 15. Christ 
himself had never borne up under it, had it not been supported by the 
infinite power of the divine nature, Isa. xliii. 1 . " Behold mv Ser- 
" vant whom I uphold." How then shall I live, when God doth 
this ? what will be done in the dry tree ^ Oh ! there is no abiding of 
it, it is insufferable ! " The sinners in Zion are afraid : trembling 
" surprizeth the hypocrite: who among us shall dwell with the de- 
" vouring fire ? Who can endure the everlasting burning ?" Isa, 
xxxiii. 14. 

S36 THE seaman's catechism. 

Quest 9. If it cannot be borne, is there any way to prevent it ? 

Answ. Yes, there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. And 
herein lam in better case than the damned; I have the [may he's} 
o^ mercy, and they have not. Oh 1 what would they give for a pos- 
sibility of salvation ? Isa. i. 16, 17, 18. " AVash ye, make you clean, 
" put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes ; cease to 
*' do evil, learn to do well,"" 4*^- " Come now, let us reason to- 
" gether : and though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as snow."** 
Isa. Iv. 7. " Let the wicked forsake his wav, and the unrighteous 
" man his thoughts : and let him return unto the Lord, and he will 
" have mercy upon him ; and to our God, for he will abundantly 
^' pardon."" Though my disease be dangerous, it is not desperate, 
it doth not scorn a remedy. Oh ! there is balm in Gilead, and a 
physician there. There is yet a possibility, not only of recovering my 
primitive glory, but to be set in a better case than ever Adam was. 

Quest. 10. How may that be.? 

Answ. By going to the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. viii. 1. " There 
'* is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Je- 
" sus."*"* Rom. viii. 33, 34. " Who shall lay any thing to the 
'* charge of God"'s elect ? It is God that justifieth, Who is he that 
" condemneth .'' It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen 

" agam. 

Quest. 11. But what is it to go to Christ.'* 

Answ. To go to Christ, is to * embrace him in his -(- person and J 
offices, and to rest § entirely and closely upon him for || pardon of sin, 
and ** eternal life : being deeply -f-^ sensible of the want and worth 
of him. John i. 12. " To as many as [received] him, he gave 
«' power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believed 
" on his name."" John iii. 36. " He that believeth [on the Son] 
" hath life.'"" 1 Cor. i. 30. " And of him are ye in Christ Jesus, 
" who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification 
" and redemption."" Acts iv. 12. " Neither is there salvation in 
" any other,'' 4'C. Acts xiii. 39- " And by him all that believe are 
" [justified from all things,] from which ye could not be justified by 
" the law of Moses."" Isa. xlv. 22. " Look unto me and be ye 
'' saved."" Acts ii. 37. " Now when they heard this they were 
" pricked to the heart,'' &^c. 

Quest. 12. But will Christ receive me, if I go to him ? 

Answ. Yes, yes ; he is more ready to receive thee, than thou art 
to come to him; Luke xv. 20. " And he arose, and came to his fa- 
" ther: but, when he was vet a great way off', his father saw him, 
" and had compassion on him, and ran, and fell on his neck, and 
" kissed him." The son doth but go, the father ran ; if he had but 
received him into the house, it had been much ; but he fell on his 

* John i. 12. t John iii. 56. \ 1 Cor. i. 50. § Acts iv. 12. 

ij Acts xiii. 59. •* Isa. xIt. 22. ft Acts ii. 37. 

THE seaman's catechism. 33T 

neck, and kissed him. He bespeaks him, much after that rate he 
expressed himself to returning Ephraim : " My bowels are troubled 
" for him ; I will surely have mercy on him,"" Jer. xxxi. 20. There 
is not the least parenthesis in all the pages of free-grace, to exclude 
a soul that is sincerely willing to come to Christ. 

Quest. 13. But how may it appear that he is willing to receive 

Answ. Make trial of him thyself. If thou didst but know his heart 
to poor sinners, you would not question it. Believe what he saith 
in the gospel ; there thou shalt find that he is a willing Saviour ; for 
therein thou hast, first, his most serious invitations, Mat. xi. 28. 
" Come unto me, ye that are weary and heavy laden." Isa. Iv. 1. 
" Ho ! every one that thirsteth come ye to the waters." These se- 
rious invitations are, secondly, backed and confirmed with an oath, 
Ezek. xxxv. 11. "As I live, I desire not the death of a sinner.'' 
Thirdly, Amplified with pathetical wishes, sighs and groans, Luke 
xix. 42. " Oh ! that thou hadst known, even thou, at least, in this 
'• thy day."" Fourthly, Yea, delivered unto them in undissembled 
tears. Mat. xxiii. 37, 38. " He wept over it, and said, O Jerusalem, 
" Jerusalem !" Fifthly, Nay, he hath shed not only tears, but 
blood, to convince thee of his willingness. View him in his dying 
posture upon the cross, stretching out his dying arras to gather thee, 
hanging down his blessed head to kiss thee; every one of his wounds 
was a mouth opened to convince thee of the abundant willingness of 
Christ to receive thee. 

Quest. 14. But my sins are dyed in gi*ain : I am a sinner of the 
blackest hue : will he receive and pardon such an one ? 

Answ. Yea, soul, if thou be willing to commit thyself to him : Isa. 
i. 18. " Come now, let us reason together ; though your sins be as 
" scarlet, I will make them as snow ; though they be red hke crim- 
" son, I will make them as wool."" 

Quest. 15. This is comfortable news ; but may I not delay my clos- 
ing with him for a while, and yet not hazard my eternal happiness, 
seeing I resolve to come to him at last ? 

Answ. No ; there must be no delays in this case : Psal. cxix. 60. 
" I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments." 

Quest. 16. Why may I not defer it, at least for a little while ? 

Answ. For many weighty reasons this work can bear no delays. 
First, The offers of grace are made to the present time, Heb. iii. 15. 
"' Whilst it is said to-day, harden not your hearts."*"' There may be 
a few more days of God's patience, but that is unknown to thee. 2. 
Your life is immediate uncertain ; how many thousands are gone 
into eternity since the last night ? If you can say to sickness when 
it comes, Go, and come again another time, it were somewhat, 3. 
Sin is not a thing to be dallied with. Oh, who would be willing to 
lie down one night under the guilt of all his sins ? 4. Delays in- 
crease the difficulty of conversion ; sin still roots itself deeper ; habits 


are the more strengthened, and the heart still more hardened. 5. 
There be thousands now in hell, that perished through delays ; their 
consciences often urged and pressed hard upon them, and many 
resolutions they had, as thou hast now; but they were never perfected 
by answerable executions, and so they perished. 6. Thy way of sin- 
ning now is desperate ; for every moment thou art acting against 
clear light and conviction ; and that is a dreadful way of sinning. 7. 
There can be no solid reason for one hour's delay ; for thou canst 
not be happy too soon ; and be sure of it, if ever thou come to taste 
of the sweetness of a Christian life, nothing will more pierce and 
grieve thee than this, that thou enjoyedst it no sooner. 

Quest. 17. Oh, but the pleasures of sin engage me to it ; how 
shall I break these cords and snares ? 

Anszv. That snare may be broken by considering solemnly these 
five things. 1. That to take pleasure in sin, is an argument of a 
most deplorable and M-retched state of soul. What a poisonous 
nature doth it argue in a toad, that is sucking in nothing but poison 
and filth where-ever it crawls ! O what an heart hast thou ! Hast 
thou nothing to find pleasure in but that which makes the Spirit of 
Christ sad, and the hearts of saints ake and groan, M'hich digged 
hell, and let in endless miseries upon the world .^ 2. Think that the 
misery it involves thee in is infinitely beyond the delights it tempts 
thee by : it doth but delight the sensual part, and that but with a 
brutish pleasure, but will torment thy immortal soul, and that for 
ever. The pleasure Avill quickly go oflF, but the sting will remain 
behind. " I tasted but a little honey on the top of my rod, (said 
" Jonathan) and I must die," 1 Sam. xiv. 43. 3. Nay, that is not all ; 
but the Lord proportions wrath according to the pleasures souls 
have had in sin, Rev. xviii. 7. " How much she hath lived deliciously, 
*' so much torment and sorrow give unto her." 4. What dost thou 
pay, or at least pawn for this pleasure ? Thy soul, thy precious soul 
is laid to stake for it ; and, in effect, thus thou sayest when thou 
deferrest the closing with Christ upon the account of enjoying the 
pleasures of sin a little longer : Here, devil, take my soul into thy 
possession and power : if I repent, I will have it again ; if not, it is 
thine for ever. O dear-bought pleasures ! 

What is the world ? A great exchange of ware, 

Wherein all sorts and sexes cheapning are ; 

The fiesh the devil sit and cry — what lack ye ? 

When most they fawn, they most intend to rack ye. 

The wares are cups of joy and beds of pleasure ; 

There's godly choice, down weight, and flowing measure. 

A soufs the price, but they give time to pay, 

Upon the death-bed, or the dying-day. 

Hard is the bargain, and unjust the measure, 

W^hen as the price so much out-lasts the pleasure. 


THE seaman's catechism. S39 

Lastly^ It is thy gross mistake to think thou shalt be bereaved of 
all dehghts and pleasures by coming under the government of 
Christ : for one of those things in which his kingdom consists, is joy 
in the Holy Ghost, Rom. xiv. 17. Indeed it allows no sinful plea- 
sures to the subjects of it, nor do they need it ; but from tha day 
thou closest in with Christ, all thy pure, real, and eternal pleasures 
and delights begin to bear date. When the prodigal was returned 
to his father, then, saith the text, *' They began to be merry,'' 
Luke XV. 24. See Acts viii. 5, 6. No, soul, thou shalt want no 
joy, for the scripture saith, " They shall be abundantly satisfied 
" with the fatness of thy house, and thou shalt make them drink of 
" the river of thy pleasures ; for with thee is the fountain of life,'' 
&c. Psal. xxxvi. 8, 9. 

Quest. 18. But how shall I be able to undergo the severities of 
religion .? There are difficult duties to be done, and an heavy cross 
to be taken up ; these be the things that daunt me. 

Ansic. If pain and suffering daunt thee, how is it thou art not 
more out of love \\\\h sin than with religion ? For it is most certain, 
that the sufferings for Christ are nothing to hell, the just reward and 
certain issue of sin ; the pains of mortification are nothing to the pains 
■of damnation : there is no comparison betwixt suffering for Christ, 
and suffering from Christ ; Matth. v. 29. " If thy right hand or eye 
" offend thee, cut it off, and pluck it out ; it is profitable for thee 
*' that one member suffer, than that the whole body be cast into hell." 
Secondly, Thou seest the worst, but not the best of Christ. There 
be joys and comforts in those difficult duties and sufferings, that thou 
seest not; Col, i. 24. " Who now^ rejoice in my sufferings." Jam. 
i. 2. " My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers tenipta- 
" tions," &c. Thirdly, Great shall be thy assistance from Christ, 
Phil. iv. 13. " I can do all things through him that strengthens me 
*' The Spirit helps our infirmities," takes the other end of the bur- 
den, Rom. viii. 26. What meanest thou to stand upon such terms, 
when it is heaven or hell, eternal life or death that lie before thee ? 

Quest. 19. But to what purpose will my endeavours to come to 
Christ be, unless I be elected ? All will be to no purpose. 

Answ. True; If thou be not elected, thou canst not obtain him, 
or happiness by him : but yet that is no discouragement to strive : 
for in thy unconverted state, thy election or non-election is a secret 
to thee : the only way to make it sure is by striving and giving all 
diligence in the way of duty, 2 Pet. i. 10. And if you ponder the 
text well, you will find, that election is not only made sure in the way 
of diligence and striving, but calling is put before it, and lies in order 
to it : first secure thy effectual calling, and then thine election. 

Quest. 20. But I have no strength of my own to come to Christ 
by : and is it not absurd to urge me upon imposabilities in order to 
my salvation ? 
*VoL. V. Y 

34:0 THE seaman'^s catechism. 

Ansu\ First, Certainly you are most absurd in pleading and pte- 
tending your impotence against your duty ; for you do think you 
have a power to come to Christ, else how do you quiet j^our consci- 
ence with promises and resolves of conversion hereafter ? Secondly, 
Though it be true, that no saving act can be done without the con- 
currence of special grace ; yet this is as true, that thy inability to do 
w hat is above thy power, doth not excuse thee from doing what is in 
thy power to do. Canst thou not forbear, at least, many external acts 
of sin? And canst thou not perform, at least, the external acts of duty ? 
Oh ! if thou canst not come to Christ, yet, as the blind man, lie in 
the way of Christ : do what thou canst do, and confess and bewail 
thy impotency, that thou canst do no more. Canst thou not take 
thy soul aside in secret, and thus bemoan it ; my poor soul ! what 
wilt thou do? O what will become of thee, thou art christless, cove- 
nantless, hopeless, and, which is most sad, senseless and bov.elless? 
oh ! thou canst not bear the infinite wrath of the eternal God, whose 
Almighty power will be set on work to torment such as thou art ; 
and yet thou takest no course to prevent it ! Thou seest the busy 
diligence of all others, and how the kingdom of heaven suffers vio- 
lence by them : and art not thou as deeply engaged to look to thy 
own happiness as any in the world ? Will hell be more tolerable to 
thee than others ? O what a composition of stupidity and sloth art 
thou : Thou livest after such a rate, as if there were neither fire in 
hell to torment thee, nor glory in heaven to reward thee. If God 
and Christ, heaven and hell, were but dreams and fables, thou couldst 
not be less affected with them. Ah, my soul ! my soul ! my preci- 
ous soul ! Is it easy to perish ? Wilt thou die as a fool dieth ? O 
that men would but do this if they can do no more ! 

And now, soul, you see what death that is you have made so light 
of; and what is the only way that we poor sons of death have to 
escape its sting. You have here seen the vanity of all your pleas 
and pretences against conversion, and the vray to Christ prepared and 
cast up for you. Now sirs, I beg you, in the name of God that made 
you, and as if I made this request upon my bended knees to you, 
that you will now, without any more delays, yield yourselves to the 
Lord. Soul, I beseech thee, haste thee into thy chamber, shut thy 
door, and bespeak the Lord after some such manner as this before 
thou darcst to launch out into the deeps again. 

O dreadful and glorious Majesty ! thou hast bowels of mercy, as 
well as beams of glory : I have heard the sounding of these bowels 
for me this day. Lord, I have now heard a representation of the 
grim and ghastly face of death : ah, I have now seen it as the king 
of terrors, as the door of eternity, as the parting point where sin- 
ners take their eternal farewell of all their delights : I have seen 
this black prince mounted on his pale horse, and hell following him : 
I have been convinced this day, that if he should come and fetch 
away my soul in that condition it is, hell would follow hijn indeed. 

THE seaman'^s catechism. 841 

Lord, I have now heard of the Prince of Hfe also, in whose bleeding 
side death hath left and lost its envenomed sting ; so that though it 
may kill, yet it cannot hurt any of his members. To this glorious 
Redeemer I have now been invited ; all my pretences against him 
have been confuted, and my soul, in his name, assured of welcome, 
if I come unto him, and cast myself upon him. And now. Lord, 
I come, I come, upon thy call and invitation ; I am unfeignedly wil- 
ling to avouch thee this day to be my God, and to take thee for my 
portion. Lord Jesus ! I come unto thee ; thy clay, thy creature 
moves towards the Fountain of pity : look hitherto, behold a spec- 
tacle of misery. Bowels of mercy, hear ! behold my naked soul, not 
a rag of righteousness to cover it ; behold my starving soul, not a bit 
of bread for it to eat : ah ! it has fed upon wind and vanity hither- 
to. Behold my v/ounded soul bleeding at thy foot ; every part, head 
and heart, will and affections, all wounded by sin. O thou compas- 
sionate Samaritan ! turn aside, and pour thy sovereign blood into these 
bleeding wounds, which, like so many opened mouths, plead for pity. 
Behold a returning, submitting rebel, willing to lay down the weapons 
of unrighteousness, and to come upon the knee for a pardon. Oh, I 
am weary of the service of sin, I can endure it no longer ! Lord Je- 
sus, thou wast anointed to preach glad tidings to the meek, and to 
proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to 
them that are bound ; come now, and knock off those fetters of un- 
belief: O set my soul at liberty that it may praise thee ! For so many 
years Satan hath cruelly tyrannized over me. O that this might be 
the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of the salvation of my 
God ! Lord, thou wast lifted up to draw men unto thee ; and indeed 
thou art a drawing Saviour, a lovely Jesus ! I have hitherto slighted 
thee, but it was because I did not know thee : mine eyes have been 
held by unbelief, when thou wast opened in the gospel ; but now I 
see thee as the chiefest of ten thousands. Thou art the glory of 
heaven, the glory of earth, the glory of Sion ; and, oh I that thou 
wouldst be the glory of my soul ! I confess I am not worthy thou 
shouldst look upon me ; I may much rather expect to be trampled 
under the feet of justice, than to be embraced in thine arms of mer- 
cy : and that thou shouldst rather shed my polluted blood, than 
sprinkle thine own upon me. But, Lord, what profit is there in ray 
blood ? Wilt thou pursue a dried leaf; Shall it ever be said that the 
merciful King of heaven hanged up a poor soul that put the rope 
about his own neck, and so came self-condemningly to him for mer- 
cy ! O, my Lord, I am willing to submit to any terms^ be they never 
so hard and ungrateful to the fiesh : I am sure whatever 1 shall suffer 
m thy service cannot be like to what I have suffered, or am like to 
suffer by sin ; henceforth be thou my Lord and Master ; thy service 
is perfect freedom ; be thou my priest and prophet, my wisdom and 
righteousness. I resign up myself unto thee ; my poor soul with all 
its faculties, my body with all its members, to be living instruments 


of thy glory. Let lioliness to the Loi'd be now written upon them 
all, let my tongue henceforth plead for thee, my hands be lifted up 
unto thy testimonies, my feet walk in thy ways: O let all my affec- 
tions, as willing servants, wait upon thee, and be active for thee. 
Whatever I am, let me be for thee ; whatever I have, let it be 
thine ; whatever I can do, let me do for thee ; whatever I can suf- 
fer, let me suffer for thee. O that I might say, before I go hence, 
my beloved is mine, and I am his ! O that Avhat I have begged on 
earth might be ratified in heaven ! my spirit within me, saith, Amen. 
Lord Jesus, say thou. Amen. 



Wherein the Mysteries of Providence, relating to Seamed, are 
opened ; their Sins and Dangers discovered ; their Duties pressed, 
and their several Troubles and Burdens relieved. 

In six practicable and suitable Sehmons. 

ix^- -r^-s^-iii. 

To all Masters, Mariners, and Seamen ; especially such as belong 
to the Port of' Dartmouth, and the Parts adjacent. 


OUR ready acceptation of my former labours for you, hath en- 
couraged this second and last endeavour of mine this way to serve 
you. I have for many years been convinced of the great use and 
need you have of the following discourses: But the motives that 
quickened me to their publication at this time, were especially these 
two : 

First, The hand of the Lord hath gone forth with terror against 
you ; this winter many of your companions are gone down to the 
bottom. Such a doleful account of shipwrecks from every coast, 
and such sad lamentations as have been heard in almost every mari- 
time town, cannot but deeply affect every heart with sorrow and 
compassion, and hath engaged me in this service for the remnant 
that is left. 

Secondly, The seasonable and prudent care his Majesty hath at 
this time manifested for the regulation and preservation of your 
Newland trade, and encouragement of your honest industry therein, 
hath also provoked me to hasten this design, for the regulation of 
your lives and manners, without which all external means will sig- 
nify but little to your true prosperity. 

This little manual contains the sum of your duty in the several parts 


of your employments, and faithfully discovers the temptations and 
dangers attending you in them all. Upon which consideration it is 
fitly entitled, The Seamaii's Companion. 

As God hath cast my lot among you, so he hath inclined my heart 
studiously to promote your welfare. I have been, by long observation, 
convinced, that one principal cause of your miscarriages, is the nc» 
gleet of God in your outsets. Did you pray more, you might expect 
to prosper better. Indeed, if that Epicurean doctrine were true, that 
God concerns not himself about the affairs of this lower world, but 
leaves all things to be swayed by the power of natural causes, your 
neglect of prayer might be more excusable : But, whilst successes 
and disappointments depend upon his pleasure, it cannot but be the 
most direct course you can steer to ruin all, to forget and neglect God 
in your enterprizes. To cure this evil, and prevent the manifold 
mischiefs that follow it, the first sermon is designed. And if the 
Lord shall bless it to your conviction and reformation, I may then 
comfortably apply the words of Moses to you, Deut. xxxiii. 18. 
" Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out." 

You often hear the terrible voice of God in the storms ; and are at 
yourwifs end, not knowing what course to take, nor which way to turn 
for safety and comfort : And yet how soon are all those impressions 
worn off.'* and those mercies which (whilst new) were so affecting, after 
a few days become stale and common. I have, therefore, in the second 
sermon, laboured not only to direct and support you in those straits, 
but have also endeavoured to fix the sense of those providences upon 
your hearts, and instruct you how to make due improvements of 
them, by answering the several aims and designs of them. 

It hath been much upon my heart, to what and how many temp- 
tations to sin you are exposed in foreign countries, where lawful re- 
medies are absent, alluring objects present, and temptations exceed- 
ingly strengthened upon you, by hopes of secresy and concealment: 
And, indeed, for a man whose heart is not thoroughly seasoned with 
religion, and awed by the fear of God, to converse in such places, and 
with such company, and not be polluted with their sins, is, upon the 
matter, as great a miracle, as for the three children to come out of the 
fiery furnace without an hair singed, or the smell of fire upon their 
garments. I have therefore prepared for you the best preservative 
from these temptations in the third sermon, which the Lord make 
an effectual antidote to your souls against the corruptions that are 
in the world through lust. 

I have frequently observed the mischievous influence that success 
and prosperity have had upon some of you : How the God of your 
mercies hath been forgotten, and his mercies made instruments of sin 
against him : How apt are men to ascribe all to their own wisdom, 
care and industry, as if God had no hand in it ? The /(jurth sermon 
therefore leads up your thoughts to the fountain of all your good, 

y 3 


and drops many very seasonable and necessary cautions upon yoa, 
to keep you humble and thankful under prosperity. 

And because men will not own God in their success, but sacrifice 
to their own net ; God often teaches them the evil of it, by sad losses 
and disappointments: Yea, disappointments sometimes follow the best 
of men, and that in the most just and honest employments. To 
caution the former sort, and support the latter in such a case, I re- 
commend the Jifth sermon to your serious consideration, not doubt- 
ing, if the blessing of God go forth with it, but it may prove a very 
seasonable and useful discourse to you in that condition. 

And, lastly, because it is so common for seamen to forget the many 
mercies they have received in a voyage, when it is over, and God hath 
brought them to the havens of desire, and among their relations, I 
have, in the last sermon, instructed them in their duty, and laboured 
to work in such a sense of mercies upon their hearts, as may engage 
them to a due and thankful acknowledgment of God in all. 

You see, by this brief account, how honest the design is in which 
I have engaged for you. But I am sensible, that the management is 
very defective, it being dispatched in haste, and when my hands were 
filled with other work, and my body clogged with many infirmities. 
But, such as it is, I heartily devote it to the special service of your 
souls, and remain 

Yours, in all Christian service, 


Dartmouth, Jan. 21, 1675. 




Acts xxi. r5, 6. And we Tcneeled dozen on the shore, and prayed ; and 
when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship, and 
they returned home again. 

X HIS scripture gives us an account of the manner of PauPs em- 
barking at Tyre, in his voyage for Jerusalem ; and therein an excel- 
lent pattern lor all that go down into the seas, to do business in the 
great waters. It is true, his business, in that voyage, was not to 
get an estate, but to witness to the truths of Jesus Christ with the 
hazard of his life. Many discouragements he met with in this voyage, 


and not the least at Tyre, where he met with certain disciples that 
jaid to him, by the Spirit, that lie should not go to Jerusalem, 
though, in that, they followed their own spirit ; but he is not to 
be dissuaded : Like that noble Roman *, and upon a more noble 
account, ' he judged it necessary to go, but not to live.' The disci- 
ples seeing his unalterable resolution, express their affections to him 
at parting, by bringing him to the ship, and that with their whole 
families, wives and children, ver. 5. therein giving him the last mark 
of their dear respects. 

In the farewell, their Christian affections are mutually manifested 
by two sorts of actions, — viz. Sacred and Civil — in prayers and sa- 

1. Prayers ; the best office one Christian can do to another. As 
prayer is the best preface, so certainly it is the best close to any 
business or enjoyment : In which prayer we may note the place, 
posture, and matter or scope. 

Firsts The place ; it was upon the shore, the parting place near to 
which the ship rode, waiting for Paul : And this was no unusual 
thing among them in those days. Tertullian '\' tells us, " they sent 
their prayers to heaven from every shore ;"" and elsewhere, he calls 
them, orationes littorales, " shore prayers." So customary it was for 
holy men, in those days, to be taken into the ship or boat from their 
knees, not from the tavern or ale-house. 

Secondly, The posture ; " They kneeled down."" As all places, so 
all postures have been used in prayer. Some have used one posture, 
and some another ; but this is the common and ordinary posture : 
Knees when they can (as an ingenious author speaks) then they must 
be bowed. , 

Thirdly, The matter and scope of the prayer, which though it be 
not expressed, yet may with great probability be argued from the 
place and occasion, to be, as Erasmus speaks, Projuusta Naviga- 
tione, for a prosperous voyage, and divine protection. He knew to 
what, and how many hazards of life they are hourly exposed, that 
border so near unto death, as mariners and passengers at sea do ; and 
therefore would not commit himself to the sea, until first he had so- 
lemnly committed himself to God, whose voice the winds and seas 
obey : Nor was he willing to take his leave of his friends, until he 
had poured out his heart to God with them, and for them, whose 
faces he might never see again in this world, and engaged their 
prayers also for him. 

2. As their affections were mutually manifested hyi\\\s sacred action, 
prayer ; so by civil ones too, affectionate embraces and salutations. 
" When we had taken our leave one of another.'*' Salutations were 

* Necesse est ut earn, non ut vivam. Caesar. 

f Per oJHne lit tics j^reces ad ccelum mittunt. Tertul. de Jejun. 

Y 4 


used among the Jews, both at their meeting and parting. This lat- 
ter consisted in words and gestures ; the usual words were, "The 
" Lord bless you," Ruth ii. 4. " Peace be unto tljee. Grace be 
" with you,"" <^'C. The gestures were kissing each other. These 
w^ere kisses which a Cato might give, and a Vestal receive. In both 
these, viz. their prayers for, and salutations of, each other, they 
manifested their Christian affections mutually, but especially by their 
prayers at parting. Hence note, 

Doct. Those that iindertoke^ voyages hy sea, had need not only to 
pray earnestly themselves^ hut also to evgage the prayers of 
other Christians for them. 

They that part praying, may hope to meet again rejoicing ; and 
those designs which are not prefaced w ith prayer, cannot wind upv.ith 
a blessing. There are two sorts of prayer, stated and occasional. 

Stated prayer is our conversing with God, either publicly, privately, 
or secretly, at the constant seasons allotted for it, in the returns of 
every week and day. 

Occasioned, is the Christian"'s address to God at any time upon ex- 
traordinary emergencies, and calls of providence ; or, when we un- 
dertake any solemn business, (and what more solemn than this?) and 
then the chief matter and scope of praver is to be suited to the pre- 
sent occasion and design in hand ; of this sort is that I am here to 
speak. Now in opening the point, I v.ill shew, 

(1.) What those special mercies are that seamen should pray for, 
when they are to undertake a voyage. 

(2.) What influence prayer hath upon those mercies, and how it 
must be qualified for that end. 

(3.) What aid and assistance the prayers of other Christians may 
contribute to the procurement of them. 

And then make application of all. 

(1.) We wall inform the seamen, what those special mercies are» 
he should earnestly pray for, when he undertakes a voyage. 

And amongst those mercies to be earnestly requested of God 
by him, the first and principal is, the pardon of sin ; a mercy which 
must make a part of every prayer, and at this time to be earnestly 
sued for. Guilt is that Jonah in the ship, for whose sake storms, 
ship^vl•ecks, and ruin pursue it. It is said, Psal. cxlviii. 8. " That 
*' the stormy winds fulfil God's word." l^ the word there spoken of 
be the word of God's threatening against sin, as some expound 
it, then the stormy winds and lofty waves, are God's Serjeants sent 
out with commission to arrest sinners upon the sea, his water- 
bailiifs to execute the threatenings of God upon them, in the 
great deeps. Hence those expressions of scripture. Num. xxxii. 
23. " Be sure your sin will find you out C and Gen. iv. 7. 
" Sin lieth at the door.'' In both* which places the Spirit of 
God compares a man's guilt to a blood-hound, that pursues and 


follows upon the scent wherever a man goes. And indeed our 
sins are called debts^ Matth. vi. 12. Not that we owe them to 
God, or ought to sin against him ; but metonymkally^ because as 
pecuniary debts oblige him to suffer that hath not wherewith to pay, 
and expose him to the danger of Serjeants and bailiffs wherever 
he shall be found ; so do our sins, in reference to God, who hath 
reckoned with many thousands of sinners upon the sea, there arrest- 
ed them by his winds and waves which he sent out after them and 
laid their bodies in the bottom of the sea, and their souls in the bot- 
tom of hell. Oh ! that is a dismal storm, that is sent after a man 
to drive soul and body to destruction ! with what heart or conrao-e 
can that man go down into the deeps, and expose himself amono- the 
raging waves and roaring winds, that knows God hath a controversy 
with him ; and for ought he knows, the next storm mav be sent to 
hurry him to the judgment-seat of the great and terrible God ? Cer- 
tainly, friends, it is yo«r great concern to get a pardon, and be at 
peace with God ; a thing so indispensable, that you cannot have 
less ; and so comprehensive, that you cannot desire more. If sin 
be pardoned, you are safe, you need fear no storms Avithin what- 
ever you find without: But woe to him that finds at once a raging 
sea, and a roaring conscience ; trouble without, and terror within • 
ship and hope sinking together. You are privy to all the evils and 
wickedness of your hearts and lives. You know what treasures of 
guilt you have been heaping up all your days ; and think you when 
distresses and extremities come upon you, conscience will be as quiet 
and still as it is now ? No, no, guilt will fly in your faces then and 
stop your mouths. O therefore humble yourselves at the feet of 
God for all your iniquities ; apply yourselves to the blood of sprink- 
ling; pray and plead with God for remission of sin ; without which 
you are in a woeful case to adventure yourselves at sea to those 
imminent perils of life. 

(2.) Another mercy you are earnestly to pray for is, That the 
presence of God may go with you, I mean not his general presence 
which fills the world ; that will be with you, whether you pray for 
it or no ; but his gracious special presence^ wliich was that Moses 
so earnestly sued for in Exod. xxxiii. 15. " If thy presence (tq not 
" with me, carry us not hence." He and the people were now in a 
waste howling wilderness, but bound for Canaan, that earthly parci- 
dise ; yet you see he chuses rather to be in a Tcildemess with God 
than in a Canaan without him ; and no wonder, for this oracious 
presence of God, as to comfort, is all that a gracious soul hath, or 
desires to have in this world ; and as to security and protection from 
dangers, it is the only asylum, sanctuary, and"^ refuge in the day of 
trouble. If the presence of God be graciously with us, it will o-Jard 
the heart against terror in the most imminent distress, as you see 
Psal. xxiii. 4. " Yea, though I walk through the valley of the 

348 THE seaman'*s farewell. 

** shadow of death * i. e. (through the most apparent and imminent 
" dangers of death), yet will I fear no evil for thou art with me.'' 
And indeed there is no room for fear ; for with whomsoever God is 
in a gracious and special mauner present, these three matchless 
mercies are secured to that man. 

First, That God's special providence shall watch over him in all 
dangers, Psal. xci. 1, — 4. " He shall abide under the shadow of the 
'' Almighty ; he shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his 
** wings shalt thou trust." As the hen gathers her brood under her 
wings, not only to cherish, but to defend them from all danger, so 
God takes his people under his providential wings for their security. 

Secondly, He appoints for them a guard of angels, whose office is 
to watch over, and minister to them in all their straits. So we 
read, Psal. xci. 11. " He shall give his angels charge over thee to 
*' keep thee in all thy ways." Many invisible services they do for 
us. Luther tells us the angels have two offices, — Superms canere, 
et iriferius vigilare ; — to sing above, and watch below. These are 
as a life guard to that man with whom the Lord is. 

Thirdly, He readily hears their cries in a day of distress, and is with 
them to save and deliver them. So ver. 15. " He shall call upon 
" me, and I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble, I will 
*' deliver him, and honour him." O what a matchless mercy is this ! 
how many times, when poor seamen have seen death apparently 
before their eyes, have they cried, mercy ! mercy ! How ordinary 
is it for their eyes, on such occasions, to add salt-water, where alas, 
there was too much before ? But now to have God with you in such 
an hour of straits, to hear, support, and deliver you : O you cannot 
estimate the worth of such a mercy ! Pray therefore, for it is a 
mercy indispensably necessary for you ; and say to him, as Moses, 
'* Lord, if thy presence may not go with us, carry us not hence." 

(3.) A third mercy you are specially concerned to beg of God, is, 
that you may be kept from the temptations to sin you will meet with 
when you areabroad in the world. The whole world lies in wickedness, 
1 John v. 19. Every place, every employment, every company hath 
its snares and temptations attending it : And you know you have cor- 
rupt natures, as much disposed to close with temptations as tinder is 
to catch fire : So that unless the preventing, restraining, and mortify- 
ing grace of God be with you, they will but touch and take. If there 
were no devil to tempt you externally ; yet such a corrupt heart 
meeting with a suitable temptation and occasion, is enough to over- 
come you ; Jam. i. 14. " Every man is tempted when he is drawn 
*' away of his own lusts, and enticed." Alas ! you know not what 
hearts you have till temptations prove them ; and what comfort can 
you take in the success and prosperity of your affairs, be it never so 
great, if you return with consciences polluted and wounded with sin. 

* Quamvis in summa mortis ipsius pericula incurram. Gloss, Philol. Sacr. 


He that brings home a pack of fine clothes, infected with the plague, 
hath no such great bargain of it, how cheap soever he purchased 
them. O therefore beg earnestly of God that you may be kept from 
sin : pray that you be not led into temptation. 

(4) Pray for diviiie protection'm all the dangers and hazards to which 
you shall be exposed. You know not how soon your life and estate 
shall be in jeopardy : This night you may sleep quietly in your cabin, 
to-morrow you may be tugging at the pump, and the next night take 
lip your loaging upon a cold rock. How smartly doth the apostle 
James reprehend the security of trading persons; Jam. iv. 13, 14. 
" Go to now, ye that say, to-day or to-morrow we will go into such 
'' a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain ; 
*' whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is 
'' your life ? It is even a vapour, that appears for a little time, and 
'' then vanisheth away.'^ How easily can God dash all your de- 
signs, and hopeful projects in one hour ! You know you are every 
moment as near death as you are near the water, which is but a re- 
move of one or two inches. How poor a defence is the strongest 
ship against the lofty seas and lurking rocks ? How innumerable are 
the accidents and contingencies in a voyage, which the most skilful 
navigator cannot foresee or prevent ? 

They are, as the Psalmist speaks, at their wifs end, Psal. cvii. 27. 
But O how secure and safe amidst all dangers, is that man whom the 
Lord takes into his special protection ? And he will not shut out 
those that sincerely commit themselves to him : The winds and seas 
obey his voice : he can with a word turn the storm into a calm, Psal. 
cvii. 29- or order means for your preservation, when you seem lost 
to the eye of sense and reason. 1 have heard of a young man, that 
being in a great storm at sea, was observed to be very cheerful, when 
all the rest were as dead men ; and being asked the reason of his 
cheerfulness in a case of so much danger ? He replied, ' Truly, I 
* have no cause to fear, for the pilot of the ship is my father.' O 
it is an unspeakable comfort when a man hath committed himself 
unto the hands of God, as a Father, and trusted him over all ! 

(5.) Pray for counsel and direction in all your affairs and underta- 
kings, and lean not to your own understandings. " I know, O Lord, 
" (saith the prophet) that the way of man is not in himself, neither is 
" it in him that walks, to direct his own steps," Jer. x. 23. Under- 
take nothing without asking God's leave and counsel. How many 
that have stronger heads than you, have miserably ruined themselves- 
and their designs by trusting to their own prudence ? " A man's 
" heart (saith Solomon) deviseth his way ; but the Lord directeth his 
" steps," Prov. xvi. 9- We must still preserve the power of God's 
providence, saith one ; * God would not have us too carnally confi- 

* Manton on Jude. It is a robbery to use goods without the owner's leave. "NVe 
forget to bid ourselves good speed, when we do not acknowledge God's dominion. 
This is but a piece of religious manners. 

850 THE seaman's farewell. 

dent. The Lord can blast your enterprize, though managed with 
never so much wisdom and contrivance. You are not only to look 
to God as the author oi success, but as the director and guide of the 
action. It is by his conduct and blessing, that ail things come to pass. 
If your designs succeed not, you are presently ready to ascribe it to ill 
fortune, and say, you had bad luck ; when indeed you ruined it your- 
selves, in the first moulding it, by undertaking it without asking 
counsel of God : " In all thy ways acknowledge him,'' Prov. iii. 6. 

(6.) Pray for success upon your lawful employments and designs, 
and own it to be from the Lord. You have an excellent pattern in 
Abraham's servant. Gen. xxiv. 12. " O Lord God of Abraham thy 
" servant, send me good speed this day." He reverences the sove- 
reignty of providence, and acknowledges success to be a flower of the 
imperial crown, and the bridle that God hath upon the reasonable 
creature, to dispose of the success of human affairs. I look on that 
business or design in a fair and hopeful way to prosper, wherein we 
have engaged God to be with us, by asking his counsel, and recom- 
mending the success to his blessing. These are the mercies you 
are to pray for. 

Secondly y Next I will shew you what influence prayer hath into 
those mercies you are to pray for ; and it hath much every way. To 
be short, it hath a threefold influence into them. 

(1.) It is a proper and effectual mean to obtain and procure them. 
God will have every thing fetched out by prayer, Ezek. xxxvi. 37. 
'' I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for 
" them." God gives not our mercies for prayers, nor will he give them 
without our prayers. This is the stated method in which our mercies 
are conveyed to us ; and therein the wisdom and goodness of God 
are eminently discovered. His wisdom in making us to see the Author 
of every mercy in the way of receiving it, and securing his own glory 
in the dispensing of every mercy : His goodness to us in sweetening 
every mercy this w^ay to us, and raising its value in our estimation. 
Prayer coming between our wants and supplies is a singular mean to 
raise the price of mercies with us, and engage us to due improvements 
of them. So that is an idle pretence for any to say, God knows our 
wants, whether we pray or not ; and if mercies be decreed for us, we 
shall have them, though we ask them not : for thouo^h God knows 
our wants, yet he will have us to know them too, and sensibly to feel 
the need of mercy. And though prayer be altogether needless to 
his information, yet it is very necessary to testify our submission ; 
And though it is true, if God have decreed mercy for us, we shall have 
it ; yet it is not true, that therefore we need not to prav for it : For 
decrees exclude not the second means, nor render the creature's duty 
unnecessary. " I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith 
" the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expect- 
** ed end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray 
" unto me, and I will hearken unto you," Jee. xxix. 11, 12. So that 

THE seaman's farewell. S51 

it is plain, mercies must be expected in the way of prayer, that being 
God's appointed way, and stated method in the dispensing of them. 
(2.) As prayer hath influence into the procuring of our mercies, so 
it hath a singular influence into the sweetening of them : no mercies 
so sweet as those that are received upon the knee. There is a two- 
fold sweetness men taste in their earthly enjoyments : one is natural, 
and that those that never eye God in them, may relish as much as 
others; the other is spiritual and supernatural, resulting from the con- 
sideration of the way in which, and tlie end for which they are given : 
and I am confident, such is the refreshing sweetness of mercies com- 
ing in the way of prayer, that they derive a thousand times more 
sweetness from the channel through which they come, than they have 
in their own natures. So that it was rightly observed by him that 
said, ' A believer tastes more sweetness in the common bread he eats 

* at his own table, than another can do in the consecrated bread he 

* eats at the Lord's table.' And then, 

(3.) Prayer hath a sanctifying influence upon all our enjoyments, 
and therefore no wonder it makes them so sweet : what you obtain 
this way, you obtain with a blessing, and that is the sweetest and best 
part of any enjoyment. So you find, 1 Tim. iv. 5. every creature is 
sanctified by the word of God and prayer. One mercy of this kind 
is better than ten thousand promiscuously dispensed in the way of 
common providence : by these no man knows love or hatred ; but 
these surely come from God's love to us, and end in the increase of our 
love to him. So that you see prayer hath a manifold influence upon 
our mercies : But it is not any kind of prayer tliat doth thus pro- 
cure, sweeten, and sanctify our mercies to us : some men's prayers 
rather obstruc;t than further their mercies ; but if it be the fervent 
prayer of a righteous man, directed by the rule of the word to the 
glory of God, we may say of such a prayer as David said of Saul's 
sword, and Jonathan's bow, it never returns empty *. 

Thirdly, I shall shew what aid and assistance the prayers of others 
may give to the procurement of the mercies we desire ; for you see 
tliis instance in the text, it was the united joint-prayers of the dis- 
ciples with Paul, that on this occasion was judged necessary. 

Now considering prayer according to its use and end, as a mean of 
obtaining mercy from the Lord ; the more disposed, apt, and vigo- 
rous the means are, the more surely and easily the mercies are obtain- 
ed which we pray for. There may be much zeal, fervency, and 
strength in the prayer of a single saint: Jacob alone may wrestle with 
God, and as a prince prevail; but much more in the joint, united force 
of many Jacobs. Vis unitajbrtior ; if one can do much, many can 
do more. O what may not a blessed combination of holy and hum- 
ble spirits obtain from the Lord ! If one man's heart be dead and 
out of tune, another's may be lively and full of aflection. Besides, 

* If the good ask good, it is ia a good manner, and for a good ««d. 


God delights in those acts of mercy most, by which many are refresh- 
ed and comforted ; and where there is a common stock of prayers 
going, hke a common adventure in one ship, there the return of 
prayer, hke the return of such a ship, makes many glad hearts. Cer- 
tainly it is of great advantage for the people of God, to engage as 
many as they can to pray for them. When Daniel was to obtain that 
secret from the God of heaven, Dan. ii. 17, 18. he makes use of his 
three friends to improve their acquaintance ^nth God, and interest 
in God for him upon that occasion. " Then Daniel went to his 
*' house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and i^za- 
" riah his companions, that they would desire mercies of the God of 
*' heaven concerning this secret."" Some Christians have greater in- 
timacies with God than others, they are special favourites in the court 
of heaven ; and what an advantage is it to be upon their hearts, when 
they are with God, judge ye. I remember St. Bernard having spo- 
ken of the due frames and tempers that Christians should strive to 
work their hearts into, when they are engaged in this work of praver, 
concludes with this request, Et qmim talis Jher is, viemento mei. 
And when thy heart (saith he) is in this temper, then remember me. 
Oh ! it is a singular m.ercy to be interested in their prayers that are 
in special favour with God ! it is true, Jesus Christ is the great fa- 
vourite, for whose sake all prayers are heard : and without his inter- 
cession, the intercessions of an Abraham, a Moses, a Jacob, signify- 
nothing, but in the virtue of his intercession, the intercessions of 
others may be singularly advantageous to us. Job's friends were 
good men, but yet they must go to Job, and get his prayers for 
them before God would be intreated for them, Job xlii. 8. 

And, indeed, upon the contrary, it is a sad sign th^ God designs 
not to give us that mercy which he takes off our own hearts, or the 
hearts of others from praying for. When he saith. Pray not for 
such a man, or for such a mercy for him, the case then becomes 
hopeless, the mercy is set, and there is no moving it, Jer. xiv. 11. 
But if once a spirit of prayer be poured upon you, and upon others 
too in your behalf, you may look upon the mercy as even at the 
door, and count it as good as if it were in your hand. And thus 
you see what the mercies are you should pray for ; what influence 
prayer hath, upon them ; and what assistance the prayers of other 
Christians may contribute to the obtaining of them ; that so your 
hearts may be excited and encouraged, not only to pray for your- 
selves, but to engage as many as you can to seek the Lord for you, 
as you see Paul here did, when he was undertaking his dangerous 
voyage. In the next place I shall apply it. 

Use 1. And, first, This may serve sharply to reprove the generality 
of our seamen, who mind every thing necessary to their voyage, 
except praver, the principal thing ; who go out in vovages without 
asking God's leave or blessing. And here tliree sorts of persons fall 
under conviction, and just rebuke. 

THE seaman's farewell. 353 

First, Such as do but mock God, and delude themselves by heart- 
less, dead and empty formalities. Some there be that dare not 
altogether slight and neglect prayers, but pro forma, they will do 
something themselves ; and it may be as a compliment, or, at most^ 
as a customary thing, will desire the prayers of others : but, alas ! 
there is no heartiness or sincerity in these things ; they are no way 
affected with the sense of their own wants, sins, or dangers ; they 
never understood the use, nature, or end of prayer. We blame the 
blind Papists, and that justly, for their blind devotions, who reckon 
their prayers by number, and not by weight ; and truly, there is but 
little difference between theirs, and some of our devotions. It is * 
St. Augustine's counsel, " Do you learn to have in your hearts what 
" every one hath in his lips."" O that you would once learn to be in 
earnest with God ! to pray as men that understand with whom you 
have to do ; and what great things you have to transact with God I 
ah, my friends, you may believe it, that if ever you had felt the 
weight of sin upon your consciences, and had had such sick days and 
nights for it, as some have had, you would not ask a pardon so coldly 
and indifferently as you do. If you did but know the benefit of God's 
presence with you in troubles, how sweet it is ; or could but apprehend 
how terrible a thing it is to be left of God, as Saul was in the day of 
distress, you would weep and make supplication for his gracious pre- 
sence to go forth with you ; and would say, with Moses, " If thy 
" presence may not go with me, then carry me not hence." But, 
alas ! these things appear not to you in their reality and importance. 
And hence is all that wretched formality and deadness of spirit. 

Secondly, It rebukes much more such as wholly slight and neglect 
prayer, as a useless and vain thing ; who undertake designs without 
prayer, not at all acknowledging God in any of their ways. And it is 
justly to be suspected, there are multitudes of such practical atheists 
among seamen, as well as other orders of men. Poor men ! my heart 
mourneth over you ; you are certainly a forlorn set of men, who live 
without God in the world. It was anciently said, " he that would 
" learn to pray, let him go to sea-l-:" But now, how long may a 
man be at sea, before he hear a praying seaman ! Let your families 
from which you part, witness what conscience you have made to seek 
God, as you have been here directed, before your outset : it is said, 
Deut. xxxiii. 18. to the tribe of seamen, " Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy 
*' going out." But in this case we may invert the words, and sav. 
Mourn, O ye seamen, in your going out. How deplorable a case is 
this? Let your cabins witness what conscience you make of the duty of 
prayer : you can talk and sleep there, but when did you pray there ? 
You there hear the voice of God in the roaring seas; but when did 
God hear your voice in prayer "^ You see the wonders of God in the 

• Discite habere in corde, quod omnis homo habet in lingua. Aug. in Ps, o'i, 
t Q,ui nescit arare^ discat riavigare. 

Srj4 THE SEAMAK^S farewell. 

deeps, wonders of creath?}, and wonders of preservation ; but mean 
time you yourselves are the greatest wonders that are to be seen in 
the sea : men imediately depending upon God for their hves, hber- 
ties, and estates, every moment, and not once owning or acknowledg- 
ing him by prayer. 

The \ery * Heathens will rise up in judgment against you, and 
condemn you. I remember Plato brings in Alcibiades asking So- 
crates, How he ought to express his resolution and purposes? To 
M-hom he thus answereth ; " Before every undertaking thou must say, 
" If God will." And we know the eastern nations would undertake 
nothing of moment, without first acknowledging God by prayer. 
The Greeks tryy 0£w, by the leave or blessing of God is known to all. 
The Turks will condemn such as you are, for they fail not to pray 
five times a day, how urgent soever their business be. The blind and 
superstitious Papists will condemn 3'ou, with whom it is a proverb, 
Ma^s and meat hinder no man. Oh ! whither will you turn ? And 
■who shall comfort you when trouble comes u]X)n you ? AYonder not 
at crosses and disappointments in your business; how can you expect 
it should be otherwise, as long as God is neglected, yea, disowned ? 
Say not, this is the fruit of ill lucJi, but of your profane neglects. If 
the success of all your business depends upon God (as none but A- 
theists dare deny) then certainly the directest and readiest course a 
man can take to destroy all, is to disengage God by a sinful neglect of 
him. The most compendious way to ruin, is to forget God, and cast 
off prayer. " Pour out thy fury (saith the prophet) upon the heathen 
" that know thee not, and upon the families that call not upon thy 
*' name," Jer. x. 25. Will nothing less than extremity make you 
cry to God ? Wonder not then, if God bring you unto that extre- 
mity which your profancness makes necessary for your awakening. 

Thirdly and lastly^ How much sadder, and more deplorable, is the 
case of those that not oiily neglect to call upon the name of God by- 
prayer, but do also wound his name through and through by their 
cursed oaths and blasphemies ? who instead of going on board pray- 
ing, as Paul here did, go on board cursing, swearing, and blasphem- 
ing his great and dreadful name ; not going from their bended knees, 
but drunken ale-benches^ to the ship. 

O the admirable patience of God ! Othe power of his long-suffering! 
that ever that ship should swim one hour above water, that carries 
such loads of sin and guilt within it ! It is noted in Gen. iv. 26. in the 
days of Seth, " That then men began to call upon the name of the 
** Lord.'' Some translate the vrord js^npb invocation^ or prayer, and 
some profanation ; tlien began profaneness in calling upon the name 
of the Lord. In a mournful feeling of tliis dishonour done to God 
by it, Seth calls the son that was born to him in those times, Enochs 
or Sorrozcful. Sure I am, however the word be here to be translated, 

* A/./^ 'TTUi -Q71 >,«jK«/v; 6ui respondet Socrates. Or/ focK (divg iCi}^ri, Plato in Timeo. 

I HE seaman's FAHEV'ELL. 355 

there is a vile generation in our days, that instead of calHng upon 
the name of the Lord by prayer, do call upon it profanely, rending 
and tearing tliat great and terrible name with the language of hell. 
Poor man ! with what hope or encouragement can those lips of 
thine, in the day of thy extremity, cry, Mercy ! mercy ! that have 
struck through the sacred name of God so many times with blas- 
phemy ! O that you would lay it to heart ! O that this day Grod 
would set your sins in order before you. 

Is this a beginning that promises a comfortable issue ? Do you 
thus prepare yourselves to meet death and danger? O my soul! 
come not thou into their secrets ! O let God rather strike me per- 
fectly dead whilst I live, than afflict my soul through my ears with 
these dreadful dialects of the damned. 

Use 2. In the next place, this point is exceeding useful, by way of 
exhortation, to persuade all men, and particularly seamen, to be men 
of prayer ; to imitate that noble pattern in the text, and no longer 
to live in the neglect of a duty so necessary, so sweet, and so bene- 
ficial to them, as the duty of prayer is. O that you did but know 
the excellency of this duty ! how would you give yourselves unto 
prayer ! As David speaks, Psal. cix. 4. Now to persuade you to 
be praying men, and no longer to live in the neglect of so excellent 
a duty, I will offer these motives to your consideration. 

Motive 1. God hath stiled himself' a God hearing prayer. For 
your encouragement to this duty, he hath assumed this title to him- 
self, Psal. Ixv. 2. " O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all 
" flesh come.'" You cry not as the Heathens do, to stocks and stones, 
that cannot help or hear them that seek to them, but to the living and 
true God, by whom never did any upright soul lose a prayer. And 
to come home to your case more fully, he is a God that hears tlie 
prayers of poor distressed men upon the seas, when all hope and 
human help have utterly failed them. So you read in Psalm cvii. 
23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. " They that go down to the sea in ships, 
" that do business in great waters ; these see the works of the Lord, 
" and his wonders in the deep : for he commandeth, and raiseth 
" the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof: they mount 
" up to heaven, they go down again to the depths ; their soul is 
" melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger 
" like a drunken man, and are at their wits end. Then they cry 
" unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their 
" distress." So that what the Psalmist elsewhere speaks of the 
mystical depths of trouble, is true here even in a proper literal sense : 
" Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord, hear my voice," 
Psal. cxxx. 1, 2. Many a prayer hath been heard, and miraculously 
answered upon the sea. There have men been convinced, and fully 
satisfied, that it is not in vain to cry to the Lord. So evident and 
clear have been the appearances of God at the cry of the poor di- 
VoL. V. Z 

S56 THE seaman's farewell. 

stressed creatures, that they have sensibly and thanlkfuly acknow- 
ledged him according to his name ; " The hope of the ends of the 
" earth, and the confidence of them that are afar off upon the sea," 
Psal. Ixv. 5. Who is there among you, that has not either heard of, 
or himself been an example, and instance of this truth ? I might here 
insert many famous examples to confirm it, but the case is too plain 
to need them, and it would be too great a dio-ression. 

Motive 2. Prayer is certainly the best relief to the distressed. We 
may say of it, as David said of the sword of Goliath, give me that, 
for there is none like it. You that are seamen, know what the use 
of the pump is, when the waters leak into your ship, and of what use 
the scupper-holes are to you, when waves break and dash over your 
necks : why, of the same use is prayer, when sorrow leaks into your 
hearts, and distresses are ready to overwhelm your souls. This gives 
a vent to that which else would quickly sink you. " Your heart 
" shall live that seek the Lord," Psal. Ixix. S2. Prayer will buoy 
up your fainting spirits ; it will sensibly ease an oppressed heart. 
No fear of fainting, while a man continues praying. Luther was 
wont to call prayers the leeches of his cares and troubles. O but if 
troubles come in upon a man every way, and he have no vent, no 
outlet for them when the ordinary vents of reason, courage, and re- 
solution are all choaked (as sometimes they are) and there is no 
succour or relief coming in from heaven ; what a wretched forlorn 
condition is such a poor creature in ? O therefore get acquaintance 
with this excellent duty. 

Motive 3. All secondary means of deliverance and comfort neces- 
sarily depend upon the will and pleasure of God, arid signify nothing 
without him. What the Psalmist saith of an horse, I may say of a 
ship, Psal. xxxiii. 17. That it is a vain thing for safety. Alas! 
what a poor defence is it against those giant-like waves of the sea ? 
And that men (especially seamen) may be convinced of this, God 
hath many times caused those stately and strong-built ships to perish, 
and be dashed all to pieces, and preserved those that were not safe 
in them upon a plank or broken piece of the ship. Acts xxvii. 44. 
which has carried them more safely to the shore than it could do. 
And will you not yet see that means signify nothing without God, 
and that your dependence upon him is necessary in eveiy condition, 
and the acknowledgment thereof so too ? I am persuaded there would 
not be half so many shipwrecks aud disappointments as there are, if 
your carnal confidence in the means were less, and your reliance 
upon the Lord more. Therefore it is that you so often receive the 
sentence of death in yourselves, that you may learn not to trust in 
yourselves, but in God. Oh ! were but your sails filled by prayer, 
how prosperous would your designs be.^ 

Motive 4. Whatever deliver ancesjrom dangers, or success in busi- 
ness, you receive out of the way of prayer, can yield you but little com- 
Jbrt ; for they are not sanctified to you. You may be delivered, though 

TUfi seaman's farewell. S5T 

you pray not, and success may follow those that seek not God for it ; 
but that which you call deliverance is rather a reservation to future mi- 
serv; and that you call success, is but a snare to your souls. You have 
the things, but not the comfort and blessing of them. God may give 
you your desire to your ruin : your lives may be rescued for a time from 
death, that you may fill up the measureof your iniquities. YourafFairs 
may prosper, and that prosperity may destroy you, Prov. i. 3^. At 
best it is but an effect of common providence ; and of such deliver- 
ances you can never say as Hezekiah said of his ; and every one that 
receives the like mercy in the way of prayer, may say of his, Isa. 
xxxviii. 17. " But thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the 
" pit of corruption ; for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.*' 
I deny not, but a deliverance by the hand of common providence 
is a mercy in itself; and it may prove a very great mercy to you in 
the event, if time thereby added to your life be a space of repent- 
ance ; else it is but a short reprieval of your damnation, and leaves 
you to perish under greater guilt than was upon you before. But, 
on the contrary, how sweet are those mercies that come in the way 
of prayer ; that discover God's love to you, and inflame yours to 
him ? One such mercy is worth a thousand of the former. 

Motive 5. Consider all you that go out without prayer ^ hoxv soon 
you may be out of a capacity of' prayer. Now you will not, and 
shortly you ma}'^ not, have one opportunity to pray for evermore : 
now unbelief shuts your mouths, and shortly death may do it. How 
soon may you be past your prayers, both your own and others, and 
be fixed by death in your unalterable condition ? O seek the Lord 
therefore whilst he may be found, call upon him whilst he is yet near. 
Now is your praying season, hereafter there will be no use of prayer. 
" For this (saith the Psalmist) shall every one that is godly pray 
" unto thee, in a time when thou mayest be found : surely in the 
" floods of great waters, they shall not come nigh imto him.'' Psal. 
xxxii. 6. i. e. saith Dcodate upon the place, in the time of the gene- 
ral destruction of sinners, as it was in the deluge ; then there is no 
coming nigh to God by prayer, nor canst thou come nigh him in 
the day of thy particular destruction, by the flood of great waters. 
O therefore live not a dav longer in the profane and sinful neglect 
of this great duty of prayer ! 

Object. Why^ but I observe those that pray not, generally escape 
as well as they that do. 

AnSiC. This objection was once made by a soldier in the time of 
fight, when he was pressed by his companion to pray ; and God 
quickly stopped his blasphemous mouth with a mortal bullet. Have 
a care of such bold atheistical pleas ; they greatly provoke the Lord 
against you : I had rather die praying, than live prayerless. 

Object. But to what purpose is it for me to pray ^ ijfl am vure- 
generate? God hears not such prayers, if I make them: and. be- 
sides, the prayers of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord. 


S5S THE seaman's farewell. 

Answ. Labour therefore to get into a regenerate state, ahd be not 
persuaded to rest a day longer in so sad a condition. However in the 
mean time you must know, that prayer being a part of natural wor- 
ship, all men, even the unregenerate, are obhged to it by the hght 
and law of nature ; otherwise the neglect of it could not be their sin. 

Object. But many pray, and receive not : I myself have often 
done so. 

Answ. "You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss," Jam. 
iv. 3. If we were disposed to receive as God is to give, "we should 
not be long without the answer of our prayers. 

(1.) If your persons were accepted through Christ, your prayers 
should be accepted too. Gen. iv. 4. But you are in a state of nature, 
destitute of the Spirit, John xv. 7. And so your voice is to God not 
the voice of a child, but a stranger. 

(3.) If your prayers were regulated by the will of God, they could 
not miss of the desired success ; 1 John v. 14. " If we ask any thing 
" according to his will, he heareth us."' 

(S.) If your prayers had more faith and fervency, they would not 
return empty ; see Jam. i. 6. and v. 16. Well then, object no more 
against your duty, but in the fear of God, apply yourselves to it, 
and dare not to go forth in any design, until thou hast by prayer re- 
commended thyself and thy affairs to God. Go alone, my friends, 
retire from the world ; and say not you cannot spare time for prayer; 
better any thing else were neglected than this. Tell the Lord, 
thou art now launching forth into the ocean, and knowest not what 
this, voyage may bring forth. Possibly thou mayest never return 
to the land of thy nativity any more ; but however it shall please 
him to dispose the event, beseech him with all earnestness, that thou 
mayest have the pardon of sin sealed to thee before thou go. O 
beg him to separate guilt from thy person, before thou be separated 
from thy habitation and relations ; lest that stroke that shall sepa- 
rate thy soul from thy body, should eternally separate both soul 
and body from God. 

Desire of the Lord that his presence may go with thee wherever 
thou shalt go. Tell him it is the fountain both of thy safety and 
comfort. Desire him if his presence may not go with thee, not to 
carry thee hence. All the relief thou hast against trouble, is wrap- 
ped up in that promise of his, / will be zvlth him in trouble. Tell 
him, those will be tasteless comforts, and succourless troubles, in 
which he is not. 

Intreat the Lord with all importunity, to keep thee by his fear, 
from the sins and temptations that are in the world. Tell him thou 
art sensibly affected with the danger which thy own corrupt heart 
will every where expose thee to : sins in buying and selling, into 
which thou mayest easily be drawn by an earthly covetous heart : 
sins in drinking, wherein thou mayest be entangled (except lie keep 
thee) by evil company and an irregular appetite: sins of uncleanness. 


by which thou mayest be overcome in tlie absence of lawful reme- 
dies, and presence of alluring objects, except his fear quench the 
temptation, and break the snare. 

Be earnest also with the Lord for his gracious protection of thee 
in all thy dangers. Tell him, thou canst not be in safety any where, 
but under the shadow of his wings. Tell him, at zvhat time thou 
art afraid, thou unit trust in h'wi ; and beseech him, that when thy 
heart shall be overwhelmed with fears and troubles, he will lead 
thee to the rock that is higher than thee. Beseech him also to give 
thee counsel in all thy straits and difficulties, that thou mayest not 
lean to thine own understanding, but that he will make thy way 
plain before thee. 

And if it be his good pleasure, that he would bless thy just and ho- 
nest enterprizes with success and prosperity ; which if he shall do, tell 
him it is thy desire, and beg the assistance of his grace, that thou 
mayest improve all thy mercies to his praise. If thus you set forth 
in the fear of God, you may expect a sweet success, and happy issue- 



PsAL. evii. 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. 

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great 
waters ; these see the worlds of the Lord, and his wonders in the 
deep. For he commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind, which 
lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to heaven, they go 
dozen again to the depths ; their soul is melted because of trouble. 
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a di'unken man, and are at 
their wifs end. Then they C7'y unto the Lord in their trouble^ 
and he brings them, out of their distress. 

A HIS psalfn contains an excellent account of the mysterious and 
admirable effects of providence : and this paragraph contains that 
vein or branch oi divine providence which respects seamen ; a sort 
of men more immediately depending upon the favour of providence 
than any men in the world ; though all do necessarily and con- 
tinually depend upon it. 

In these verses we have a description, both (1.) of the persons, 
(2.) of the danger, (3.) of the deliverance, by the wonderful work- 
ing of divine providence for them. 

First, A description of the persons about whom this wonderful pro- 
vidence is exercised : " They that go down to the sea in ships ; that 
" do business in great waters ;*" the periphrasis of a seaman. These 



are said logo down to the sea in ships, not because the sea is lowertlian 
the land, but because it is lower than the shore, which is the ram- 
part raised by providence against its inundations. And their end or 
design in going down into the sea, is not pleasure and recreation, but 
to do business, i. e. to export and import such wares and commodi- 
ties as are necessary, if not to the being, at least to the well-being of 
the several kingdoms and countries of the world. These are the 
men here spoken of, who " see (more than any) the works of the 
" Lord, and his wonders in the deep." Works and wonders by an 
iv 0!cc duoiv, an usual figure, is as much as his wonderful works ; namely, 
of creation, in the strange and monstrous productions of the sea ; and 
of preservation, with respect to themselves, in the dreadful dangers 
they there encounter. Thus the person or subject is described. 

Secondly, The danger is likewise described in which these sea-faring 
men are sometimes involved : and indeed the Psalmist here gives us a 
very rhetorical and elegant description of their condition in the 
stormy sea ; and shews us how deplorable their state and condition 
is at such a time. Where we are to note both the causes and effects 
of these tempests. 

1. The causes; and they are twofold. 

First, The principal cause, the will and pleasure of God. He 
commandeth and raiseth the stormy winds. This is God^^s preroga- 
tive : none can raise winds but himself, and if devils or witches do 
it at any time, yet it is still by his permission ; as you see in Job i. 12, 
19- the Lord is said to hold the wind in his fists, Prov. xxx. 4. as a 
man holds a wild fierce beast in a chain, or by a collar : and when 
they blow, "He brings them out of his treasuries,"" Psal. cxxxv. 7. 
There is indeed a natural cause of winds, of whom philosophers give 
us this rational account, " That it is a hot and dry exhalation raised 
' from the earth by the power of the heavenly bodies, which being 
' repelled or forced back by the coldness of the middle region, moves 
' obliquely or slantingly, and sometimes very violently through the 
* air."* But though this be the natural cause of the winds, yet this 
doth not at all restrain the absolute sovereignty of God over them. 
Itishethat commands and raiseth them, as the text speaks; and though 
it be said, John iii. 8. " The wind blows where it listeth ;"" yet that 
expression makes it not an arbitrary creature ; but the meaning is, 
either thus. It blows where it listeth, for any opposition that man can 
make to it, though it cannot blow where it listeth in respect to God. 
Or thus, such is the great variableness and instability of the winds, 
blowing now this way, now that, that it seems to move with a kind of 
spontaneity, as a bird doth in the air : though indeed it doth but 
seem so, for all its motions are ordered of the Lord. And you can- 
not say in this sense, as 1 Kings ix. 11. " That God is not in the 
" wind.*" Now when it pleaseth the Lord to shew his power upon 
the great deeps, he sends forth these winds out of his treasure. Thia 
is the principal cause. Then next, 


!^. We have the mstrumental, subordinate and next cause of the 
storm ; and that is, the ' winds hfting up the waves of the ocean.' 
There is naturally in the sea a continual agitation and rolling of its 
waters hither and thither ; it cannot rest^ as the prophet speaks of it ; 
but when a violent wind blows upon it, the ocean is incensed and 
enraged ; and the winds roll moving mountains of water before them. 
Then, like wild beasts, the waves seem to break loose and rage ; not 
only to be latrantes undas^ as Virgil calls them, barking waves, but 
xufjjciTct ay ^ia, raging zcaves, as Jude speaks, ver. 13. Yea, 7'oaring 
waves, as our Saviour stiles them, Luke xxi. 25. Thus of the causes 
of the storm principal and subordinate. Next we have. 

Secondly, The terrible effects of the tempests, and that both upon 
their bodies and their minds. 

(1.) External upon their bodies ; it tosses them up and down in a 
dreadful manner, which the Psalmist elegantly expresses in the text, 
" They mount up to heaven, they go down to the depths," a lofty 
hyperbolical expression ; very near unto it is that of Virgil : 

ToUimur in ccelum, curvato gurgite ; et iidem, 

Subducta, ad manes imos descendimus, unda ! - Mi\. 3. 

They seem to mix with the very clouds, and then open deep graves 
for them in the bottom sands. Yea, it moves them not only per- 
pendicularly, lifting them up, and casting them down, but obliquely 
and circularly also. " They reel to and fro, and stagger like a 
** drunken man," or, as some translate, agitantur ingyrum, they run 
round : they are, indeed, moved according to the unstable motion of 
the waves, on whose proud backs they are mounted. This is tlie ex- 
ternal effect of the storm upon their bodies. 

(2.) The internal effect of it upon their minds, which is far more 
terrible. For it is said here, Their soul is melted because of trouble, 
and they are at their wifs end. Both which expressions do import a 
greater commotion and storm in the passions of the mind, than that is 
in the waves of the sea. The stoutest spirit quails and melts when it 
comes to this ; and the wisest artist is at his wit's end. Thus you 
have the description of the persons, and of their danger, both in the 
cause and effects upon the body and mind. Next, 

(3.) We have their deliverance by the wonderful hand of Divine 
Providence, in ver. 27. " Then they cry unto the Lord in their trou- 
" ble, and he brings them out of their distress." Their usual cry 
in such extraordinary exigencies, is, mercy! me?ry ! Now they can 
pray that could not pray before. Extremity drives them to their 
knees, not only with cries, but vows to the Lord, and he delivers 
them out of their distresses : some delivered one way, and some ano- 
ther, but all in a stupendous way, which cannot but astonish them 
that are so delivered, and make them acknowledge the finger of God 
was in it. 



From all this we observe, 

Doct. That the preservations and deliverances of seamen in the 
dreadful stoi'ms and tempests at sea, is the wondei^ul work of 
Divine Providence. 

** The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that 
" have pleasure therein ;" Psal. cxi. 2. And, among his providential 
works, none greater and more admirable than those which seamen 
daily behold in their great and marvellous protections upon the 

Now the glory of Divine Providence towards seamen shines and 
displays itself in three things especially, _/r^^, In making the ocean 
navigable for them at any time. Secondly^ in preserving them from 
shipwrecks in the fury and stress of weather. Thirdly., In finding 
out ways, and strangely providing means of safety, when their ships 
are lost, and broken upon the sea. 

1. It is a wonderful providence of God to make the ocean navi- 
gable for men at any time ; that such a fluid body as water is, which 
cannot support a stone or bullet of an ounce weight, should yet, by 
reason of its own saltness, and the innate property of timber *, be able 
to support ships of such vast burden, which are carried from place to 
place, being mounted on the backs of its proud waves. Who can 
but acknowledge a most wise providence, in gratifying the natural wit 
and desire of man, which fits him for converse and traffic with foreign 
nations ; with instruments and materials so fit for his purpose as 
timber, iron, hemp, pitch, the loadstone, and whatever else is neces- 
sary for this purpose .? I cannot open the wisdom of God's providence 
in this respect to better advantage than I find it done by the learned 
pen of Dr. More, in his Antidote against Atheism, page 58. ' Navi- 
' gation (saith he) being of so great consequence to the delight and 
' convenience of human life, and there being both wit and courage in 
' man to attempt the seas, were he but fitted with right materials, 

< and other advantages requisite ; when we see there is so pat 
' a provision made for him to this purpose, in large timber for the 
^ building of his ship, a thick sea-water to bear the ship's burden ; in 

* the magnet or loadstone for his compass ; in the steady and pai'al- 
' Icl direction of the axis of the earth for his cynosura ; and then ob- 

< serve his natural wit and courage to make use of them ; and how 
' that ingenite desire of knowledge and converse, and of the improv- 
' ing of his own parts and happiness, stir him up to so notable a de- 
' sign : we cannot but conclude from such a train of causes, so fitly 

* and congruously complying together, that it was really the counsel 
^ of an universal and eternal mind, that hath the overseeing and gui- 

* dance of it,' &c. 

2. But (to come home to the case before us) that men should be 

* Rather by the pressure of the atmosphere upon the mass ©f water in the ocean. 



preserved at sea from immediate ruin in the dreadful tempests that 
befal them there ; this is a mysterious and admirable work of God : 
that a poor ship should not be swallowed up by the furious ocean, 
when mountains of water come rolling towards it with an horrid 
noise, and give it such dreadful stripes : when seas roll over it, and 
so cover it with the waves, that for a time they know not whether 
they sink or swim ; to see it emerge out of such fatal dangers, keep 
up its head, and mount upon the backs of those lofty seas that 
threaten immediately to overwhelm it : O how great is the power 
and care of providence in such a case ! especially if you consider 
these following particulars, among many others, which threaten ruin 
on every side : and should but one of these many contingencies be- 
fal them, in the eye of reason they are lost men. 

1. Of how many parts, compared together, doth a ship consist ? 
These parts indeed are fastened together with bolts of iron ; but 
being in so many planks, what a wonder is it that none springs, that 
no bolt gives way, or seams open, whilst every part works with such 
violence, and so great a stress of weather lies upon it. Should such 
a thing fall out, (as it is a wonder it should not), how soon would 
the ship swim within as well as without ? 

2. How often are they put from their course by stress of weather, 
and know not where they are ; not being able, for many days, to take 
any observation ? so that they must go whither winds and waves will 
drive them : for there is no dropping anchors in tlie main, nor resist- 
ing the course of the seas, to which they can make no more resist- 
ance than a child to a giant. And how is it they are not dashed 
upon the rocks, or foundered in the sands, seeing the winds shape 
their course, and not art ? But there is a God that steers your course 
for you when you cannot. 

3. How often are you even fallen upon rocks and shores before 
you see them, and are almost past hope before you begin Xofiar ? 
Sometimes almost imbayed, and as much as ever you can do to wea- 
ther a rock or head-land, which you discerned not until it was almost 
too late. 

I remember Dr. Johnson, in that ingenious and wonderful narra- 
tive of his voyage to the Sound, when he had survived two ship- 
wrecks, and was embarked in the third ship, ' We had not (saith 
' he) been above two or three hours at sea, but there was a sad dis- 

* traction among us in the ship, and the mariners crying, mere?/ ! 
^ mercy I for we had almost fallen foul on a rock, which lay so cun- 

* ning in the water, that we did not espy it till we were upon it ; 
' but by the goodness of God we sailed close by it, and so escaped 

* it: the least touch of it had been our ruin.' 

4. How often do you ride at anchor in furious weather, near rocks 
and shores ? Your lives, under God, every moment depending upon 
a cable and anchor : if the one break, or the other come home, you 


are lost men. And how wonderful is it they do not ! what is a ca* 
ble in a storm, but as the new cords with which the Philistines 
bound Samson, and as easily would they be snapt asunder like a 
thread of tow, were it not for the care of providence over you ? 
These, and an hundred other accidents which hourly threaten you, 
might, and would send you down to the bottom, but that the Lord 
permits it not so to be. 

5. And yet more wonderful than all this ; how often doth God 
suffer ships to founder and sink under you, and to be dashed to 
pieces against the rocks, and yet preserve you when the ordinary 
means of preservation are cut off and gone ? Who like these see the 
works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep ? 

For, Ji7'st, sometimes a small boat shall save them, when a stout 
ship could not : thus many of them have been wonderfully preserved ; 
and thus the aforementioned author relates the manner of this won- 
derful preservation. ' Our ship (saith he) had sprung a leak, or ra- 
ther a plank, and was ready to sink : O how the face of every man 
was changed at this affrightment ! one was at his prayers, another 
wringing his hands, a third shedding tears, when we had no need of 
more salt-water. After this fit they fell to work, and (as it is usual 
in such extremes) we were all busy in doing nothing, and did we 
knew not what. The master's mate, whom we sent down to search 
out the leak, quickly returned to us with a sad countenance, trem- 
bling hands, gnashing of teeth, a quivering tongue, and words half 
spoken, signifying unto us, that the wound was incurable. Here 
was now no room for counsel, neither had we time to ask one ano- 
ther what was best to be done ; but we presently cast out our long- 
boat, and shot off eight or ten guns, which seemed to be so many 
tolls of a passing-bell before our death. I leaped into the boat, but 
leaped short, one leg in the boat, Alterum in Charontis cymha. Now 
were we left in the north seas, which seldom wear a smooth brow ; 
but at this time contending with the wind, swelled into prodigious 
mountains. It blew half a storm, and we were now in a small ves- 
sel : what credit could we give to our safety in a small and open 
shallop, when so stately a castle of wood, which we but now lost, 
could not defend itself against the insolency of the waves "t We 
were many leagues from any shore, having no compass to guide us, 

nor provisions to sustain us, and the night grew black upon us 

Nothing but a miracle could preserve us, being out of the reach of 

human help We fell to prayer, and our extremity pleaded for 

us : For in this moment of death, when we were without the 

least expectation of deliverance, he sent a ship to us, which we must 

needs confess to be the finger of God,' &c. Thus he And thus 

has been the wonderful door opened in extremity to multitudes more 
for their escape : but, oh! how astonishing are these ways of the 
Lord .? Well may we say, " His ways are in the sea, and his paths 


" in the great deep, and his footsteps are not known," Psal. Ixxvii. 


Secondly^ Sometimes they shall be cast upon a rock in the sea, 
where they shall be preserved until some other way of deliverance 
come ; yea, preserved strangely, God blessing a small matter df 
provision which they saved to sustain them ; though they said of 
it, as the widow of Sarepta to the prophet, 1 Kings xvii. 12. "I 
*' have but an handful of meal, and a little oil, and I am gathering 
'' two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that 
" we may eat it, and die." Or if they could save nothing, yet a 
few muscles or birds eggs, with God's blessing, have sustained them 
until the tmie of piercy come. This hath been the case of many. 
Think upon this you that abuse the good creatures of God by 
drunkenness : how sweet would a cup of fresh water be to you when 
reduced to such extremity ? Oh ! if your hearts be not harder than 
the rocks you lay upon, how would such extraordinary mercies melt 
you into love and thankfulness ? 

Thirdly, Sometimes they have been wafted to the shore safely upon 
the wreck *, or by making a raft of the broken pieces of the ship, 
and torn sails, and ropes ; and upon this (God knows, a poor secu- 
rity against the boisterous waves) have they ventured themselves : 
a sinking man (as we say) will catch at a bulrush. Paul, and those 
that suffered shipwreck Avith him, were thus saved; " The centu- 
*' rion commanded, that they which could swim, should cast them- 
" selves first into the sea, and get to land ; and the rest, some on 
" boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship ; and so it came to 
" pass jliat they escaped all safe to land," Acts xxvii. 43, 44. 

Oh, the miraculous works of the Lord ! to save by such contemp- 
tible and improbable means ! Who can but with great joy see and ac- 
knowledge the finger of God to be here ? " Lo, these are parts of 
" his way ; but how little a portion is heard of him .?" Job xxvi. 14. 

1. Use qfrepreqf. If your preservation in storms at sea, be the 
wonderful works of Divine Providence, then divers of you deserve to 
be sharply reproved from this truth. And I beseech you suffer the 
word of reproof meekly and penitently. I shall speak nothing to 
reproach you ; no, it is not to reproach, but to reform you : and if 
you hate reproof, and mock at counsel, God may shortly speak in 
such thundering language to your consciences, as will be terrible for 
you to bear. I remember, it is said of St. Bernard, That whilst he 
was seriously reproving the profaneness of one (and if I misremember 
not, it was his own brother) who was a soldier, and observing how 
he sliglited his holy and serious counsel, his spirit was greatly grieved 
at it, and he told him, ' Brother, God I fear, will shortly make way 
* to your heart with a sword, to which my v, ords can find no access :* 
And the event soon verified the sad prediction. I pray God none of 

Tabula post navfragiumn 


you may be taught by captivities and shipwrecks what it is to reject 
faithful reproofs and wholesome counsel, seasonably given for your 
good. You that read these lines, seriously ask your own consciences 
these following questions. 

(1.) Have you not soon forgotten the works and wonders of the 
Lord, which your eyes have seen ? It may be, for t,he present, you 
have been sensibly affected with your danger, and the mercy of God 
in your deliverance, but hath it remained upon your hearts .'' I doubt 
these mercies have been written in the dust, which should have been 
engraven, as in the rock, for ever. Thus it was with Israel, a peo- 
ple tliat saw as many wonders wrought for them by the immediate 
finger of God, as ever did any people in the world : and yet it is said 
of them, even after the Reci-sea deliverance, in which " God divided 
** the sea for them, when the waves thereof roared," Isa. li. 15. and 
with which, for the present, their hearts were greatly affected ; for 
it is said, Psalm cvi. 12. " That they believed his word, and sang 
" his praises ;" but in the next verse you read, that a little time 
easily wiped out the sense of this mercy; for it is said, ver. 13. 
" They soon forgat his works, and waited not for his counsels." I 
doubt this was not the sin of Israel only, but is the case of many of 
you at this day. Well, God did not forget you in the time of ex- 
tremity, though you so quickly forgot him. Think not to excuse 
yourselves from this guilt by saying, you do still remember the thing : 
you may do so, and yet be said to forget his mercy : for a deliver- 
ance may be remembered by him that received it two ways ; namely, 
speculatively and affectingly. A speculative remembrance is only 
to call to mind the story of such a danger and preservation ; this 
you may do, and yet God account himself forgotten, except you so 
remember it as still to feel the powerful impressions thereof upon 
your hearts, softening and melting them into thankfulness, love, and 
dependence upon the God of your salvations. 

(2.) Have you not walked very unanswerably to your deliverances, 
yea, and to the solemn engagements you made to God in the day of 
your distress ? I fear some of you have walked after God hath rescued 
you by a wonderful immediate hand from the jaws of death, as if you 
had been delivered to do all these abominations. As it is Jer. vii. 10. It 
may be the last week or month you were reeling to and fro upon the 
stormy sea, and staggering like drunken men ; and this, reeling and 
staggering along the streets really drunken. O horrid abomination f 
do you thus requite the Lord, wlio pitied you in your distress, and, being 
full of compassion, saved you when you cried to him .? Is this the fruit 
of your wonderful salvation ? If a man should have told you in that 
day it would have been thus, you yourselves could not have believed 
it, but would have answered as Hazael did to the prophet, ^ Kings 
viii. 13. * What ! is thy servant a dog, that he should do such things.?'^ 
Yet so it was, and so it is still : the" Lord humble you for this great 
wickedness. If this be all the fruit of mercy and deliverance, it had 


been better for you that you had gone down to the bottom then, 
rather than to hve only to treasur6 up more wrath against the day 
of wrath, and fill up your measure. 

(3.) Are there not a sort of atheistical seamen, who own not provi- 
dence at all, either in the raising of these horrid tempests, or in their 
marvellous preservation in them ! but look on all as coming in a na- 
tural way, and their escape to be only by good fortune and chance ? 
How wonderful a thing is it in the eyes of all considering men, that 
providence should take any notice of them in a way of favour, that so 
"wickedly disown it, and so directly disoblige it? How can you possibly- 
shut your eyes against such clear light, and stopyour ears against such 
loud and plain language, whereby the power and goodness of God 
proclaims itself to you in these providences ! Ah ! methinks you 
should most readily and thankfully subscribe that great truth, Psal. 
Ixviii. 20. " He that is our God is the God of salvation ; and unto 
*' God the Lord belong the issues from death." But though men see 
signs and wonders they will not beUeve ; yea, though they them- 
selves become wonders to the world by their miraculous deliverances, 
yet so brutish and stupid are they, that they will not see the hand 
that saves them. Take heed what you do : you set yourselves in the 
direct way to destruction by this, and highly provoke the Lord to 
abandon and cast you out of the care of his providence : and if he 
once do so, you are lost men. 

(4'.) And yet more vile (if more vileness can be in sin) than all this : 
is there not a generation of wretched men among you, that fall a 
swearing, cursing, and blaspheming God, even when he is uttering 
his terrible voice in the tempest, and every moment threatening to 
intomb them in the deep 'i When you should be upon your knees 
bewailing your sins, and pleading with God for mercy, (as I doubt 
not but some of you do) to be yet more and more provoking him, 
daring him to his face ; and yet more incensing his indignation, which 
is already kindled against you ; who, that hears this can chuse but 
admire the riches of God's patience and forbearance towards such men? 
The very heathen mariners in a storm called every man upon his god, 
Jonah i. 5. We say, extremity will cause the worst of men to pray, 
and compose the vainest spirit unto seriousness ; but it seems by 
you it will not. Is this the frame and temper you will meet death 
in ? What! speaking the language of devils and damned spirits be- 
fore you come among them ; hastening on your own ruin as if ii 
were too slack and lingering in its motion ? The Lord open the eyes 
of these miserable creatures, and convince them, that they are not 
only going to hell as others are, but that they are the forlorn of all 
that wretched crew that are bound thither ; and proportionably will 
bo their misery, except they repent. 

2. Use of exhortation. This point is yet farther improveable for 
you by way of exhortation, serving to press you to those proper duties 

G68 THE SEAMA-J? in a STOllM. 

which God calls you to by his terrible providential voice in the 
storms, and by your wonderful deliverances. 

1. And the first lesson you are to learn from hence is, To adore 
the power of God. O what a manifestation of Divine power is here ! 
you are the men that see more than others the works of the Lord, 
and his wonders in the deep. It is one of God's ends in shewing you 
these wonders, " To make his mighty power known,"" Psal. cvi. 8. O 
what a terrible voice doth God utter upon the seas when the heavens 
are black above you, the furious winds and dreadful thunders ratthng 
about you, the seas and waves roaring beneath you ! Is not this voice 
of the Lord full of majesty ? Doth it not awe your hearts, and make 
them tremble? In three things his infinite power is discovered to you. 

First, In raising these terrible tempests, and that from so small and 
weak a beginning as a thin vapour from the earth is ; this is the 
wonderful work of God, Psal. cxxxv. 7. " He cau^eth the vapours 
" to ascend from the ends of the earth ; he maketh lightnings for 
" the rain, he bringeth wind out of his treasures.'' 

Secondly, In limiting and bounding their force and power ; what 
prodigious effects else would follow : The wind is a fierce and boiste- 
rous creature, and would (if God did not by his providence restrain 
it) destroy and overturn all, both by sea and land ; or if Satan, who 
is stiled The prince, or poiver of the air, were left at hberty to exe- 
cute his malice by such an instrument, not a ship should cross the 
seas, nor a house be safe at land ; as is evident enough by the furious 
haste he made to overturn the house with an horrible tempest upon 
Job's children, as soon as he had received a permission from heaven 
to do it. 

And, Thirdly, \o less visible is the power of God in calming and 
appeasing the stormy winds, and remanding them into his treasures. 
Psal. cvii. 29. " He maketh the storm a calm." Yea, he doth so in 
the very nick of time, when all is concluded lost. Thus you read in 
]\iark iv. 39. '• When the waves beat into the ship," so that it was 
now full, and the disciples cried unto the Lord, " Master, carest thou 
" not that we perish ? He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to 
" the sea, Peace, be still ; and the wind ceased, and there was a 
" great calm." Just as one would hush a child, Peace, he still. O 
the sovereign power of God ! how should it be reverenced and 
adored by all that behold it, in these marvellous effects of it ? 

2. The second lesson you are taught by this doctrine is. To admire 
the mercy of God. Mercy is no less discovered than power ; yea, the 
power of God is put forth to give his mercy a fair occasion to shine 
forth in your deliverance. God sometimes permits your dangers to 
o-row to an extremity, and delays your deliverances to the last moment, 
till all hopes of safety are gone, upon the like reason that Lazarus's 
resurrection was deferred, that the work of God in your preservation 
may commend itself to you under the greatest advantage. 

O that vou would view these mercies in all their endearing circum- 


stances ! I can only hint your duty generally in this case ; you may 
enlarge upon it, if you have hearts fit for such a blessed work. And 
mark particularly the multitudes of mercies that are complicated and 
involved in one deliverance. Observe the season when, the manner 
how, the means by which your salvation was wrought. It is a thou- 
sand pities that so much of God's glory and your comfort, as any one, 
even the smallest circumstance may contain, should ever be lost. 

3. Lastly^ And above all, See that ye answer GocCs ends in your 
deliverance : If those be lost, God may say concerning you, as David 
did of Nabal, 1 Sam. xxv. 21. " Surely, in vain have I kept all that 
" this fellow hath in the wilderness ; so that nothing was missed of 
" all that pertained to him ; and he hath requited me evil for good." 
So here, in vain I kept this fellow upon the sea, when I suffered 
others to sink ; in vain have I preserved his life, liberty, and estate 
so often by an out-stretched arm of power and mercy to him, seeing 
he requites me evil for good. 

O let me intreat you to be careful to comply with the designs and 
ends of God in these your wonderful preservations ! If you enquire 
what God's ends or designs in your deliverance are, I answer. 

First, It is to lead you to repentance. " The goodness of God 
" (saith the apostle) leadeth thee to repentance," Rom. ii. 4. Dost 
thou not know the voice of mercy ? Why, it bespeaks thy return to 
God. It may be thou hast spent all thy life, to this day, in the ser- 
vice of sin : Thou never redeemedst one of all thy precious hours to 
consider thine own estate, to bewail thy sin and misery, to seek after 
an interest in Christ. Why, now here is a providence fallen in that 
doth, as it were, take thee by the hand, and lead thee to this great 
and necessary work. The end of God in raising this storm Vv'as to 
deliver thee from the more dreadful tempest of his wrath, which, 
without repentance, must shortly overtake thy soul in the blackness of 
darkness for ever. Now God hath awakened thy conscience by this 
fright, made it charge home thy sins upon thee, terrified thee v/itli dis- 
mal apprehensions of death and hell . O what a fair opportunity and ad- 
vantage hath he now put into thy hand for repentance, reformatioUj 
and gaining an interest in Jesus Christ ! If this season be lost, con- 
science suffered again to fall into any dead sleep, and thy heart be 
again hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, thou may est never have 
such an opportunity for salvation opened to thee any more. 

Secondly, If this end be answered, then a farther design God hath 
in thy deliverance, is to engage and encourage thy soul to a depen- 
dence upon God in future straits and dangers. This is food for 
faith ; and now you are furnished with experience of the power, 
mercy, and goodness of God, to enable you to rest yourselves upon 
liim when new exigencies befal you. If God exercise you with such 
extremities another time, you may say with the apostle, 2 Cor. i. 10. 
" Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver ; in 
" whom we trust, he will yet deliver us." 


If your first deliverance were a deliverance without a promise, 
when you were without Christ, what encouragement have you to 
depend upon him, when his end is answered in your repentance and 
conversion ; and, being in Christ, are entitled to all the promises. 

Thirdly^ and lastly, God's end in your njarvellous preservations 
and deliverances is to furnish you for, and to engage you to a life 
of praise. O how should the high praises of God be ever in your 
mouths ! you have seen his works and wonders in the deeps ; and this 
is it which the Psalmist presses upon you as a becoming return for 
your mercies, in the words following my text ; " O that men would 
" praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to 
" the children of men !"■' 

O with what warm and enlarged affections should you express your 
thankfulness to the God of your salvation ! and say as David, "What 
*' am I, O Lord God, and what is my father's house, that thou 
'' shouldst do such great things for me T' Was such a life as mine 
worth the working of so many wonders to save it ? O Lord, tliou 
knowest it has been a Ufe spent in vanity. Thy glory hath not been 
precious in mine eyes, but my life hath been precious in thine eyes. 
Many more useful,' and less sinful than myself have perished, and I 
am saved. O Lord, shew me the designs and gracious ends of these 
deliverances. Surely there is some great thing to be done by me, or 
else so great a salvation had not been wrought for me. The Lord 
saw in what a sad case my poor soul was, to be summoned imme- 
diately before his judgment-seat : that if I had gone down under all 
my guilt, I had sunk to the bottom of hell : But thou, in love to my 
soul, hast delivered it from the pit of corruption, that I might yet 
enjoy a season for salvation, and be once more entrusted with the 
precious talents of time and means. O that I may not reject or abuse 
the grace of God in this new instrument, as I have too often done 
in the former ! let me not live as one delivered to commit all these 
abominations ! 

And now after all that is come upon me for my evils, seeing thou, 
my God, hast punished me so much less than my iniquities deserve ; 
and hast given me such a deliverance as this, should I again dare to 
break thy commandments ? Ezra ix. 13, 14. " O let this new mercy 
*' produce a new heart and hfe !'' 

( an ) 






Psalm cxxxix. 9, 10. 

If I take the wings of the viorning, and dwellin the uttermost part 
of the sea ; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand 
shall hold me. 

An this psalm the omnipresence and omniscience of God are the 
subjects of the Psahiiisf s meditation ; and these attributes are here 
promiscuously discoursed, not only because of the near affinity that 
is betwixt their natures, but because tiie one is the demonstration 
of the other : It is evident God knows all things, because he fills all 
places. Touching the omniscience of God, he discovers the infinite 
perfection of that attribute by the particular and exact notion it 
takes of all our ways: ver. 3. " Thou compassest my paths, and 
" art acquainted with all my ways." Of all our words; verse 4. 
" There is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest 
** it altogether." Yea, of all our thoughts; and that not only in 
the instant of their conception, but long before they were conceived; 
verse 2. " Thou understandest my thoughts afar off," even from 
eternity. Thus he displays the omniscience of God : And then to 
make demonstration of the truth and certainty of this doctrine of 
God's omniscience, he proves it from his omnipresence : q. d. He 
that fills all things cannot but know all things. Now God's presence 
fills heaven, yea, and hell too, verse 8. And all parts of the earth 
and sea, even the remotest, verse 9, 10. And therefore no creature, 
nor action of any creature, can escape his cognizance. It is not here 
as among men ; if a malefactor be condemned by the laws of one 
kingdom, he may escape by flying into another; but it is far other- 
wise here ; for saith the Psalmist, (personating a guilty fugitive en- 
deavouring to make an escape from the arrest of God's justice), 
" If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost 
" parts of the sea ; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right 
" hand shall hold me." 

In which words you have these two things mainly remarkable. 

1. The greatest security and encouragement to a sinner supposed. 

2. That supposed security and encouragement utterly destroyed. 
1. The greatest security and encouragement to a sinner supposed ; 
Vol. V. A a 

372 THE seaman's i*reservative; 

" If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost 
" parts of the sea."'* Where two things seem to offer towards his 

First, The place ; the remotest part of the sea ; by which you 
are to understand the most obscure nook in the creation ; farthest 
removed from an inspection or observation. 

And, Secondly, his swift and speedy flight after the commission of 
sin, to this supposed refuge and sanctuary : It is here supposed, that 
a sinner should fly as swift as the light of the sun, which in a mo- 
ment shines from the east to the west, and so the meaning is, could 
I flee with a celerity equal to the sun, or his beams of light, which 
breaking forth in the morning, do in an instant enlighten the re- 
motest parts of the hemisphere : Could I as swiftly flee to the most 
obscure, remote, solitary place in all the world. 'Thus the sinner's 
security is supposed. 

2. This supposed security and encouragem.ent is utterly destroyed; 
" Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right-hand shall hold 
*' me."" ^ The leading hand of God is not here to be understood, 
as a directing or guiding hand, to shew the fugitive sinner the way 
of his escape ; but contrarily, *' Thy hand shall lead me," as a 
keeper leads his prisoner back to the place of custody, from which 
he endeavoured to escape. And the following clause is exigetical : 
" Thy right hand shall hold,'"' or detain me, viz. in strict custody. 
So that the sum of all is this: 

Doct. TJtat the zchoU icorld ciffo7'ds no place qfsecresy or security 
Jbr a sinner to escape the observing eye and 7'ighteous hand 
of God. 
Jonah fled from the Lord to Tarshish ; but could he escape so? 
No, the Lord sent a storm after him, which brought back the fugi- 
tive, Jonah i. 3, 4. We read, Isa. xxix. 15. of such " as dig deep, 
" to hide their counsels from the Lord,"" i. e. They plot, contrive, 
and study to conceal their wicked designs, to sin with greatest secresy 
and security. But what can possibly be a covering from Him to whose 
sight all things are naked and manifest.'' Where can a sinner be hid 
from him whose presence fills heaven and earth ? Jer. xxiii. 25. The 
scripture gives full proof to this great truth. It is clear from Prov. 
XV. 3. " The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil 
" and the good." And again, Job xxxiv. 21, 22. " For his eyes are 
" upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings ; there is no 
" darkness, nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may 
" hide themselves." Whoever goes about to conceal a sin in secret, 
attempts a foolish and impossible design, Psal. xliv. 21. " Shall not 
" God search this out ? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart: 

• He alludes to the swiftest of all motion, even that of light, which springs in a mo- 
ment from east to west. Calvin. 

f Non accipitur deducere pro viam monstrare .- sed deducet 7nc maims tua tanquem 
custos captivum sibi commissum deduxit. Vatab. 


*^ For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the whole 
" earth," 2 Chron. xvi. 9. 

Now in the handhng of this point I purpose to shew you, 

1. That men are often induced to sin upon hopes of secresy and 

2. That to sin upon these encouragements, strongly argues their 
natural atheism : They think they are safe if men know it not ; they 
reckon not upon God's discovery of them. 

3. That these encouragements to sin are vain things, it being im- 
possible any place can hide a sinner from God ; and how it appears 
that the eye of God is, and must needs be upon us, and our actions, 
wherever we are, and how closely soever we endeavour to hide them ; 
And then apply it. 

First, Men are often induced to commit sin upon the hopes of 
secresy and concealment. Sin (especially some sorts of sin) carry so 
much shame and odium in them, that it restrains men from the open 
practice of them ; but if Satan can persuade them they shall never 
be divulged to their reproach, they will venture upon them. See 
that text, " The eye of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, 
" no eye shall see me, and disguiseth his face,"" Job xxiv. 15. Rec- 
koning himself secure if he can carry his wickedness under a vail of 
darkness, not caring what wickedness he doth, so he may do it un- 
discerned : It is not the acting of sin, but the discovery of it that puts 
them into terrors. So it is added with respect both to the adulterer 
and the thief, ver. ] 7. " The morning is to them as the shadow^ of 
" death, if one know them ; they are in the terrors of the shadow of 
" death,'*'* i. e. If a man, especially a man in authority, a magistrate 
meet them, it is as if the image of death passed before them in a vision. 
So those idolators, Ezek. viii. 12. " Son of man, hast thou seen what 
" the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, everv man in 
" the house of his imagery ? F<jr they sav, the Lord seetli it not.*'^ 
They conclude all is well, if nothing appear. This encouragement 
of secresy is the great argument by which Satan prevails with men 
to commit any sin that hath shame or danger attending it: But 
his promises of concealment are usually made good, as his promises 
of great wealth are to witches. This is the encouragement. 

Secondlfj, Next I will make evident to you, that to sin upon this 
encouragement argues atheism in him that commits ik This is plain, 
for, did men believe the omnipresence and omniscience of God, such 
an encouragement to »sin as secresy could have no force with them. 
Thus, when the ancients of Israel practised their idolatry in the daik, 
it is plain they thought God saw them not, Ezek. viii. 1^. " For thev 
" say, the Lord seeth us not, the Lord hath forsaken the earth ;*" 
i. e. They did not really believe God"'s omnipresence and omniscience. 
And Job tells us, cliap. xxxi. 26, 27, 28. " That if he had beheld 
*' the sun in his brightness," i. e. to admire and worship it as a god ; 


1574 THE SEAIklAic's PRESEllVATlVfi 

or, " his heart been secretly enticed, he should have denied the God 
" that is above." Every one that is enticed to sin upon the encou- 
ragement of secresy, doth so far deny the God that is above. If such 
a man did really believe there is a God that sees hira, " whose eyes 
" are as flames of fire,'' Rev. i. 14. " To whom the darkness and 
^' the light are both alike," Psal. cxxxix. 12. it were impossible he 
should be so terrified at the discovery of a creature, and so secure 
and wholly vmconcerned at the discovery of God : It could not be 
that the observation of the great God should not so much trouble 
them, as the observation of a little child. 

Thus we find the inward thoughts of men's hearts concerning God 
discovered by their bold attempts upon secret sins, Isa. xxxix. 15. 
" Wo to them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, 
" and their works are in the dark ; and they say, who seeth us, and 
" who knoweth us ?''"' They think if their works are shrouded under 
a vail of darkness, they are safe enough ; if they can escape the bar 
of an earthly god (a magistrate) they shall never be accountable at 
any other bar. We have another sad instance of the same impiety 
in Psal. Ixxiii. 11. " And they say, how doth God know ? And is 
" there knowledge in the Most High ?" If men did not fancy to 
themselves there is no God, or (which is all one) that he is like unto 
themselves, one that cannot see in darkness, they could never encou- 
rage themselves as they do, to sin upon such a foolish pretence. 

Thirdli/, But my proper business in this place, is to prove, that 
these cncourao-ements to sin are vain thino-s : That no sinner can hide 
himself from the eye of God. This is plain both from scripture and 

The scripture speaks full home to this truth. Prov. v. 21. " The 
'^ ways of a man are before the Lord, and he pondereth all his paths." 
To ponder or weigh our paths is more than simply to observe and see 
them. He not only sees the action, but puts it into the balances, 
with every circumstance belonging to it, and tries how much every in- 
gredient in the action weighs, and what it comes to. So that God 
hath not only an universal inspection upon every action, but he hath a 
critical inspection into it also. " The Lord is a God of knowledge, 
" and by him actions are weighed," 1 Sam. ii. 3. So Jer, xiii. 25, 27. 
^' Thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood : I liave seen 
" thy adulteries Und thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredoms 
" and abominations ; q. d. Thou forgettest there is a God in the 
heavens that beheld thee, and didst verily believe all was safe, because 
secret from man. In this falsehood or cheat put upon thee by the devil 
and thine own atheistical heart, thoit didst trust. But I have seen 
thee, and all thy secret lewdness. It is a proverb among sinners, Si 
non caste, tamen caiite. Carry the matter, if not honestly, yet warily : 
If thou hast a mind to sin, yet order it so that the world may be never 
the wiser. But how vain a thing is this ? If men do not, the Lord 
doth see it ; "I know, and am a witness^ saith the Lord," Jer. xxix. 



23. Thus the scripture speaks roundly and fully to tlie point in hand. 
But because the atheism of the world is so great, and it is a hard 
thino- to convince men of this great truth, so as to overawe them from 
any secret sin by it ; I will, by rational arguments, demonstrate the 
truth to every man's conscience, and give you plain and fall evidence, 
that how secretly soever men carry their sinful designs, yet the Lord 
must needs be privy to them ; and it is impossible they should escape 
his cognizance. 

1. For, First, He that formed all cannot but know all : the work- 
man cannot be supposed to be ignorant of any part of his o\\ti work. 
Now God is the former of all things ; every place and every person 
he hath made : where then shall the workers of iniquity hide them- 
selves? You have the folly of sinners, in thinking to conceal them- 
selves from the eye of God, convinced and reproved by this very ar- 
gument, Isa. xxxix. 15, 16. " Woe unto them that seek deep to hide 
" their counsels from the Lord, and their works are in the dark: and 
" they say, who seeth us ? And who knoweth us ? Surely, your 
" turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's 
" clay : for, shall the work say to him that made it, he made me not ? 
" Or, shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, he hath no 
" understanding ?" q. d. Think ye by deep-laid designs, by the ad- 
vantage of darkness, by the moulding and new-moulding your crafty 
designs in your heads, as the clay is moulded now unto this, then into 
the shape by the potter's hand, to hide it from me ? O brutish crea- 
tures, and without understanding ! am not I the God that formed 
you ? And can it be supposed I should not know the most secret 
thoughts, plots, and designs of mine own creatures, who cannot 
contrive a desimi, nor conceive a thou fi^ht with me? How absurd 
is this ? Find out a place which God made not, or a creature which 
he formed not ; and then your pretences to that creature's conceal- 
ment from God in such a place, may have some colour : and this ar- 
gument is again urged to convince the brutish atheist, Psal. xciv. 8, 
9, 10. " Understand, ye brutish among the people, and ye fools, when 
" will you be wise ? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear ? 
" He that formed the eye, shall he not see ? He that chasteneth 
" the heathen, shall not he correct ? He that teacheth man know- 
" ledge, shall not he know ? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of 
" man, that they are vanity ;" so that it is the vainest of all vanity 
in the world, to think of hiding your sins from the Lord. 

2. He that sustains all cannot but know and discern all. You 
that seek to hide counsel from the Lord, know ye not, " That in him 
" you live, move, and have your being? Acts xvii. 28. Do not you 
derive that very power from him, which you abuse by sinning against 
him ; And do you depend necessarily and continually upon God for all? 
Must he give you the power to move, and by that power can you 
move beyond him, and get out of his reach ? You cannot think a 
tliought without him, and yet can exclude him from those very 


376 THE seaman'^s presekvative. 

thoughts which you had no power to conceive, but from him ? E>:- 
ercise but common reason in the case, and it will hiss at your absurd 

3. He that governs all can be ignorant of nothing. There is a 
perpetual influence of providence, swaying and governing all the 
creatures, and all their actions ; else the very ligaments of nature 
would crack, and the world break up and disband. This pro- 
vidence extends itself to the least and lowest of creatures and their 
actions, Luke xii. 6. a sparrow falls " not to the ground with- 
out it. " The great God hath something to do about the most 
*' mmute * and inconsiderable things ;" yea, the most contmgent 
and uncertain things, as is the disposal of a lot, Prov. xvi. 33. And 
indeed this omniscience of God is that which is necessary to this uni- 
versal government. How shall he rule that person, or in that place 
which he knows not ? Indeed earthly governors may do so ; it is not 
necessary they have a personal immediate cognizance of each place 
and person in their dominions : it is enough that they be virtually and 
mediately governed by them ; but it is not so with God : it is ne- 
cessary his eye should immediately see all the parts of his dominion. 
He could not rule the world, if he were not an omniscient God. 
Psal. Ixvi. 7. '* He ruleth by his power for ever ; his eyes behold 
'' the nations ; let not the rebellious exalt themselves." 

4. He that hath set a spy to observe and note what every man 

doth, cannot but know his actions, how secret soever they be. Now, 

so it is here ; God sends a spy with you, to observe and record your 

most secret actions and thoughts, in every place, I mean your own 

consciences, from whose observation none of your ways can possibly 

be exempt. The sense of this made the heathen say, Twpe quid 

ans'urus te sine teste time. When thou art attempting a sinful act, fear 

thyself without any other witness ; conscience is privy to your most 

secret designs and thoughts ; 1 Kings ii. 44. " Thou knowest all the 

*' wickedness which thine heart (i. e. thy conscience) is privy to :" 

and if conscience knov/ all, God must needs see and know it. So the 

apostle reasons, from the lesser to the greater, 1 John iii. 20. " If 

*' our heart condemn us, (which is there put for conscience) God is 

*' greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things." If the spirit of 

a man knows the things of a man, much more he that formed that 

spirit, and endowed man with it. 

5. He that knows things more secret and unsearchable than our 
most secret actions can be, must needs know them how secret soever 
they be. Now there are many things more close and secret than any 
action of ours can possibly be, and yet God knows them. The thoughts 
of the heart are more secret than any external action ; so secret, that 
no creature can search them ; the devil himself hath but a conjectural 
guess at them : "But the Lord telleth unto man what is his thought;" 
as in Amosiv. 13. So Jer. xvii. 10. " I the Lord search the heart, I 

* Deus maximus in minimus,. 


t i 

" try the reins;" i. e. The most obscure, inward and deep secrets 
lodged in the heart ; nay, which is more, he not only knows our 
thoughts when they are formed and conceived in the heart, but 
long before their conception ; Psal. cxxxix. 2. " Thou knowest ray 
" thoughts afar off." Divines generally interpret it from eternity ; 
even so long before they were actually thought, he foreknew every 
thought we should think ; and what can be imagined more secret 
and undiscernibl