« ПредишнаНапред »
than crawling ten yards distant from me on the ground: -That I may ever be grieved with the sins of others, and that, in appearing against sin, I may not sear the face of man :-That the inore all things would draw me from thee, I may draw the nearer to thee, and keep the closer by thee :-That I may never be ashamed of religion, or of thee :~That I may remember the concerns of thy glory as far as in me lies, and pray
for the reviving of religion, and prosperity of Zion :That I may study, since I cannot have the ordinances of God in public, to enjoy the God of ordinances in pri. vate :- That I may never be cast down for temporal misfortunes, but own the hand of God in all ; and, like the honey-bee, suck sweetness to my soul, from that same providence which affords rancour and disquiet to the unsubmissive mind :-That in the midst of all, I may bear my latter end in my mind, and never forget the world to come :--That I may depend on nothing in myself, but be always strong in the grace and strength that is in Christ Jesus :—That every Sabbath may be sweet to my soul, in spite of all obstruction; and that an opportunity may be afforded to me, to read that word which I should esteem more than my necessary food. O grant me my request : for, as of old, thou didst suffer none to do thy chosen ones harm, yea, for the sake of thy prophets didst réprove mighty kings, so now, if I be among the number of thy people, thou canst, who hast the hearts of all men in thy hand, not only restrain, but reprove the bold offender, and keep me safe in the midst of danger; and, as a sign of my gratitude for thy great goodness, not a little, but all I am, have, or can do, shall, all my lifetime, be devoted to the advancement of thy glory, and honour of thy name,
ON PUMPING THE SHIP.
Spithead, May 11, 1758.
NO ship can be so well caulked, but she will draw water, more or less, though where or how we scarce can tell; and though it is only by the assistance of the watery, element we sail from shore to shore, yet, if too much water were let in on us, it would sink us to the bottom of the mountains, and bury us amidst unfathomable waves : Even so, though a moderate portion of the good things of this life be highly useful to us through the various stages thereof, yet, when the cares of this life, carnal pleasures, and a desire after riches, break in on our souls like mighty billows, we bid fair to be drowned in distruction and perdition. Again, on such an ocean of waters, and when water also swells within us, what a wonder that we are not lost ! So, in such a world of wickedness (witness the wretches around me) and when corruption so swells within, what a miracle of mercy that the soul is not lost for ever!
Whatever way the water comes into the ship, it cannot be sent out the same way, but must be pumped out with care and toil ; even so, though death and sin came in by mere man, yet life and salvation must be brought in by him who is both God and man in one. this bilge-water comes not from a lave of the surging waves, or breaking billows, but as it were, springs up within the vessel, and thus is both dangerous and disa agreeable ; just so, though we keep from scandalous
eakings, yet, if we indulge ourselves in secret both defile and destroy the inner man.
faster the ship makes water, the more we ply the pump; so the more that sin attacks, and is likely to prevail, the more, I am to watch and pray against it; and prayer is the Christian's chain pump, which must be employed, else the soul would perish. Lastly, as the mariner must pump again and again, and never think his labour at an end, while his ship is at sea, so I must watch against sin, keep myself from mine iniquity, attend well to the state of my soul, and implore the inhabitation of the Divine Spirit, till my vessel arrive at the harbour of eternal rest.
ON THE ANCHORS OF THE SHIP.
Spithead, May 4, 1758. MEN unacquainted with navigation, would think that the cables to which the anchors are appended were fastened to some part above deck; but it is not so; they come from the very inmost part of the ship, and are as it were its bowels winding out. Even so, faith, which is the anchor of the soul, is no external form, or superficial act, but the very soul, in all her faculties, going out and fastening on Christ.
And, as it is enough to the ship that she rides safe at her moorings, though her anchors are not exposed to every eye, but hid beneath an heap of waters, and only known by their effects, that she keeps by her station, in spite of winds and waves, of tides and storms: just so, it is enough that the anchor of the soul be fixed within the vail, though concealed from vulgar view; it will be known by its sweet effects. The soul shall abound in fruits of righteousness, shall find a swec
tranquility within, shall be stable like Mount Zion, while the wicked shall be tossed like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
Sometimes a ship may drive, when neither the anchor is weighed, nor the cable cut or slipt; but then it is owing to the anchor losing its hold; but this is remedied by letting out cable, or dropping the anchor anew: Just so, when the soul loses its hold of Christ and heavenly things, it is no wonder that it be driven hither and thither, by storms and tempests, among rocks and quick-sands; nor is there any other way of bringing the soul to rest and composure, but by acting faith more strongly on Christ, and casting her anchor anew within the vail.
It would be ridiculous for the shipmaster to hoist his sails before he weigh his anchors; but the Christian can never steer safely through the course of life, but with his anchor fixed within the vail; then, if he is thus heavenly wise, he shall weather every storm, and make the haven, the long wished for haven, at last.
Even the ship at anchor is never altogether free from motion in the greatest calm, and, at sometimes will roll in such a manner as to make some of the ship's company sick, and others believe that the anchor has lost its hold, and that all is in danger : Even so, the saints, though secured against utter ruin, may have many changes, may be much tossed with adversițies, and various afflictions, and may have fears without, and fightings within.
But, how much wiser is the mariner in a storm, than the children of wisdom themselves! The fiercer the tempest, and the greater the danger, they cast out the more anchors. But the saints, in times of greatest trouble, instead of acting the strongest faith, are apt to cry out, ' Lost, and undone !' and so cut their cables,
and cast loose their anchors; and thus, and that always in a night of sorrow and anguish, are tossed on the l'ough sea of despondency and doubt, for a time. Faith, however, has this advantage above all the cables ever made, and all the anchors ever fabricated, that it secures in spite of fiercest storms, and keeps safe in the midst of imminent slangers, relying more or less on him who cannot fail, even when providence contradicts the promise.
Now, as no ship goes to sea without her cables and anchors, though of no use till she come again near the land ; so I should do every thing in faith; for without faith it is impossible to please God, or come to an anchor in the harbor of glory.
Spithead, May 5, 1758. ANCHORS are servants to us in the harbor, but are entirely useless at sea, where another kind of tackling is absolutely necessary, to wit, the expansive sails that spread their friendly wings, and catch the favoring gales, to forward us in our intended
voyage. Even so, the spiritual seamen must to their anchors of faith, add virtue; and to virtue, knowledge ; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity : These are the sails that bid fair for a prosperous voyage, and
us daily nearer to the celestial land. The Holy Spirit breathing on the public ordinances, and the more private duties of Christianity, is like a fair wind, and a brisk gale on a full spread sail, whic