Графични страници
PDF файл

without abusing it; but these, in using the world, abuse both themselves and it. The one confesses a God in his daily conversation, and rejoices with his whole heart in him; the other says in his practice, there is and wishes in his heart, there were no God. The one adores the Creator above all, the other wor ships the creature more than the Creator, though he be God over all, blessed for ever. The one names the name of God, with profoundest reverence, and departs from iniquity; the other profanes it with impudent loquacity, and adds iniquity to sin. The one redeems common time, and sanctifies that which is sacred; the other trifles away the one, and sins away the other. The one studies his duty in obedience to all, the other shakes himself loose of every law. This forgives his foes, that lays a snare for his friends. The one commits it to God to plead his cause, and avenge his wrong; the other, fiery and tumultuous, threatens duels and death. The one loveth chastity in all things, the other wallows in uncleanness. The one injures himself rather than his neighbour; the other, the whole world rather than himself. The one is content with his condition, the other covets all the day long. The one is all glorious within, the heart of the other is like a cage full of unclean birds. The one walks at liberty in the ways of God, the other is the servant and slave of sin. In this, dwells the spirit of God; in that, rules the god of this world. The one has his conversation in heaven; the other, in hell.

But, as there is a wide difference in their principles and practice, so in their privileges. The one is under the blessing of love, the other under the curse of the law. The one is a child of adoption, the other, the of the terrible one. He is faithful that hath preprey


mised felicity to the saints, and threatened vengeance to the wicked. The one is allowed with joy to draw water out of the wells of salvation, the other shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty. To the one pertain all the exceeding great and precious promises, to the other all the threatenings of God. "The righteous hath hope in his death, but the wicked is driven away in his wickedness." The one shall enter into the joy of his Lord, but the anguish of his enemies shall prey on the other for ever. Heaven shall be the palace of those, hell the prison of these: And, while the one shall dwell through eternity with God, the other shall be driven away into everlasting darkness.

Thus, the righteous and wicked are separated in their life, and divided in their death; divided in their principles and practices, in their choice and joys, in their meditations and privileges, in their company and in their converse, in their fears and in their expectations, in their death, and through eternity itself.

Then, how much more excellent than his neighbour is the righteous! and how are the sons of Zion comparable to fine gold! As only among them, of all the human race, I can expect to spend eternity, so only among them, to spend the remainder of my time, in every tie and relation, is all the happiness of society that I desire below.




Lying off Normandy, June 15, 1758.

HOW justly will God, the righteous Judge, measure the purport of their imprecations into the bosoms of these blasphemers! They swear by God, and so they own the divinity they offend; but, they profane the sacred name, and so offend the Deity they own. They damn the whole man, their soul, their blood, their eyes; and every part, even the whole man, shall be tormented. They sow the wind, for there is neither pleasure nor profit in any sense in swearing; and they shall reap the whirlwind, whose truth is disappointment, and pain. They sin in sport, but God hears in earnest, and will punish in zeal. They call on God profanely at every word, and God hears, and will answer them in wrath. They swear, and forget, but God has sworn that he will remember. That which they think adds beauty to their speech, and vigour to their words, shall indeed add anguish to their grief, and strength to their torments. They are not weary in blaspheming, so as to cease from it, therefore they shall be weary in bewailing themselves, but never cease. They choose to blaspheme through the whole of their time, and anguish shall cause them to blaspheme through a whole eternity. They despise the day of God's patience, but shall not escape the day of his judgment. What shall the blasphemer say, when tossing on the fiery billows, shrieking under consummate despair. 'O miserable state of intolerable torments, which I must endure! How shall I spend this eternity of pain! It was nothing to me in

time to hear others curse and blaspheme, and to join in the infernal dialect myself; and now I am encircled with unceasing blasphemies, from all the legions of fallen angels, from all the millions of miserable sinners, suffering under infinite vengeance; and I mingle in the uproar, and join in the terrible tumult against the throne of God, although dreadfully tortured in my rebellion. Then, curses accented every sentence; now, every sentence is one continued curse. I thought God was altogether such an one as myself, and that he would never remember my oaths, which I never minded, nor call me to account for committing what I made no account of. Damn me, damn me, was always on my tongue, and I am damned for ever! The oaths and curses which I sowed in time, are now sprung up into bitter bewailings, and eternal blasphemings. As I took pleasure in cursing, so it is come unto me, but with inexpressible pain. O eternity, eternity, how long!'

This is, indeed, the last, but lamentable end of profane swearers, who shall confess the equity of God in their torments; nor let the petty swearer think that he shall escape with impunity, since the supreme Judge has said, that whatsoever is more than yea, or nay, is evil.

But, as the wicked shall be answered in their ways, so shall the righteous be in theirs. All their imperfect attainments, longings, wrestlings, hopes, desires, prayers, meditations, tears, godly sorrows, spiritual joys, and the seeds of every other grace, shall come to a comfortable conclusion at last. Now they serve God with weakness, but then they shall enjoy him with a vigorous immortality. They sow in tears, and go weeping heavenward, but shall possess him in a triumphant state, where sorrow and sighing shall forever flee away.



Spithead, May 10, 1758.

A MELANCHOLY gloom had well nigh spread its midnight shades over my brooding mind, when thinking on a dead friend, whom I represented to myself as no more; but, all on a sudden, a sacred sentence beamed refreshful on my soul, “That all live unto God."

Let me then borrow a similitude, and suppose that my friends and I live under the government of a great king, who has vast dominions, and who has chosen for his royal residence, a pleasant, but remote province, where his palace stands, and where he keeps court, shewing himself in kingly glory, and excellent majes-ty, while we live, compared to the royal country, in a howling wilderness, a dry and thirsty land, but still under the sceptre and protection of the king. And farther, let me suppose, that this great king (which would be stupendous condescension in him) had conceived such a regard for my friends, that he had given his royal word, that he would send a noble guard, so soon as he thought fit, and fetch them home to himself, that he might bestow on every one of them, not a dukedom, but a kingdom, a crown, and excellent majesty. Now, would I storm at the guard, or mur-mur at their errand? Yea, would not I rather give the messengers an hearty welcome, and bless their august sovereign; and the more so, if I had the royal promise also of being myself transported thither?.

« ПредишнаНапред »