« السابقةمتابعة »
fwear in his wrath, that I shall never enter into hiş rest! No no, I yield, I render my self Captive; O God! thou seeft my Heart, I have no Refervations. I lay down all at thy Feet. Cover my Head in the Day of Battel. Infpire me. I'll run the Race which is fet before me. By thee will I run through a Troop, with my God will I leap over a wall. I'll purfue mine Enemies, and overtake them ; neither will I turn again till I have confumed them. Behold, they that are with me, are more than those which are against me. Behold, the Mountain is full of Horfes, and Chariots of Fire round about Elisha. The Lord is with me, the God of Jacob is my refuge. I am convinced, that God's Service is perfect freedom. He that enters upon it, is under the Government of a lawfull Prince; his Life is fweet and easie, he feels no Tyranny, no oppreffion; the King with everlasting Kindness vifits him, and guides his Feet into the ways of Peace; gives his Angels charge to keep him in his going out, and in his coming in, and will not fuffer any of his Bones to be broken. He is with him in Diftrefs, and when he weeps, holds a Bottle under to catch his Tears: Pfal. 56. 8. He binds up his Wounds, and is a Wall of Brafs to him, a Wall that ftands firm under the flashes of Hell, and dafbes all the fiery Darts of the Devil. He covers him with his Feathers, and his Truth is his field and Buckler. His Eyes watch over him, and his ears are open to his Prayers. He protects him from the Peftilence that walks in Darkness, and from the Deftruction that wafts at Noon day. His Groanings
ings are not hid from him, and he preserves him in all his Ways. He takes notice of his Work and Labour of Love, and there is a Book of Remembrance written before him, for them that fear the Lord, and think upon his Name. Here Men are free from flavish Fear, as being under the Wings of a Father. Here nothing but Love rules in their Hearts, which makes their yoke eafie, and their Burthen light; makes the Strait Gate pleafant, and the Narrow Way full of delight and fatisfaction. Here Peace of Conscience reigns; a Peace which is not procured by Riches or Plenty, or the Worlds deceitfull Glory, or a multitude of Children, or ftrength of Body; a Peace, which kills the worm within, and frees the Soul from her Prison of grief and Sorrow; a Peace, which purifies the Mind from all Uncleannefs, and is a Bed of Roses, inriched by showers from above; a Peace, which is moft truly God's Banquetinghoufe, Chrift's Palace, and the Habitation of the Holy Ghost; a Peace which is felt on Earth, yet tafts already of Heaven; a Peace, which fills the Soul with greater Joy, than Jacobs coming from the Field did the amorous Rachel, or Jofeph's being alive, the Heart of the aged Patriarch. Here Men fit quiet under their own Vine, aud under their own Fig-tree, and the Subjects of this Kingdom are acquainted with Joy in the Holy Ghoft. Here they are fecure. The Enemy may moleft, but he cannot break them. He may fhew his Teeth, but he cannot bite; he may rage, but he cannot ravish them out of God's hands. He may raise a Storm, but cannot overthrow their
Veffel; fet their House on fire but cannot con-
Without fuch Refolutions as thefe, Confideration is lame and feeble: It's practical Confideration that must do the Work, and it's thefe Refolu
tions make it fo; the neceffity of which Confideration, is the next thing I must endeavour to demonstrate.
The abfolute Neceffity of Confideration, in order to a ferious Life. God's frequent Commands to that purpofe. Our Reason, and the Power of Confideration we are furnished or endued with, proved to be given us for this end. Without it, Men have caufe to fufpect that their Reformation is Counterfeit.
Hat we have faid hitherto, is not a thing indifferent, left to our Liberty or Difcretion to mind or neglect it as we shall fee occafion. It is not of the nature of Meat offered to Idols, not of the nature of a Holy-day, which Men may neglect, or make confcience of, as they fee it expedient, for the edifying of their Brethren. It is not of the nature of Civil Actions, of buying or felling, of fitting or rifing, of staying in a place or Travelling, which are things left to our Will and Pleasure, and may be used, or fuperfeded, according as we fee it convenient or inconvenient. If labouring after a better Life, if endeavouring to get a fhare in the incorruptible Crown of Glory, if attempts to compass the eternal Felicity of our Souls, if ftudying how we may be admitted into the Quire of Angels, and enjoy the Society of the Firft-born which are written in Heaven, if contriving how we may arrive to that fulness of joy God
hath both revealed and promised, be indifpenfibly neceffary, this Confideration must be fo too. If Self-prefervation be not a thing indifferent, Confideration cannot poffibly be fo. For the great Object of this Confideration is, how we may preserve our felves from being undone for ever; how we may guard our Souls from everlasting Perdition; how we may avoid the Second Death; and how we may make our Happiness lasting and durable, Proof against the Gates of Hell, and the Affaults of the roaring Lion, which walks about Seeking whom he may devour.
God, that commands all the Powers of Light and Darkness; and hath the fame Power over us that the Potter hath over his Veffel; and hath made us capable of being governed by Moral Laws; and hath created us on purpose to be ready at his beck; and may force us into Obedience by plagues and Thunders, if we are loth to be courted by Smiles and Favours: God, who owes no Man any thing; who gives Life to all; who hath made all Things for his Glory; who is in all Places, and All in All; who can be present by Vengeance, where he is not prefent by Grace ' who can be felt, but cannot be feen; who holds all things, fills all things, furrounds all things, excels all things, fuftains all things, and afar off fees all the Dangers we are subject to, and knows what Armies of Enemies lie in ambush, and watch our Fall; it's he, that peremptorily commands this Confideration. A Sovereign Prince expects to be obeyed, and he that dares refufe or flight his reasonable Command, is juftly looked upon