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pearance, noble equipage, splendid retinue, and high-sounding titles. But now he sees that judge. ment awaits all his actions, eternity treads on the heels of time, and that there is a world to come. These things cast out the vain and trifling phantoms that engrossed all his attention before, and give him just and proper ideas of every thing a round. And this great and wonderful change, which makes him account every thing loss, dung, and dross, in comparison of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ and the unseen world, is effected by a very word, that the excellency of the power may be seen to be of God; while others hear thousands of such words, and continue in impenitency.
Though a man were thrown into hell, and saw and suffered all the torments of the damned for years and ages, and brought up again to the land of the living, to the place of hope, yet all would be to no purpose; for without the blessing of the Most High on the means of grace, he would not accept of salvation, nor receive the Saviour by believing on his name: and this is evident in those who have a foretaste of the terrors of hell, by the horrors of an awakened conscience, which, instead of bringing them nearer to, drives them farther from God, and plunges them into the tremendous deeps of despair.
Though the words of peace may be more glorious from Mount Zion to those that have heard the threatenings of Mount Sinai, and though the thunderings of the law may precede to prepare his way; yet still God comes to a soul in the still small + voice of the gospel. Then happy they that know the joyful sound! for faith comes by hearing, and
hearing by the word of God. By what experience
shall and whosoever will
nation getto tumey
DOCKING STint of doctrine
(the end of this Book.
Nov. 4. 1758.
Ir is requisite at certain times to bring ships into the dock, that they may be cleaned, chaulked, and fitted out for sea again. This is indeed attended with trouble, as guns, carriages, shot, stores, provisions, and ballast, must be taken out, that the ship may easily be got into dock, and a proper inspection made into those places that need repair; and that stores, provisions, and every thing needful, may be completed, for a cruise or a
Then how much more necessity have Christians, who steer on a more tempestuous sea than the watery element, to inspect and try themselves! For such serious and solemn work, they should set a day apart for prayer and examination; when, that they may know their situation, they should look into their heart and inclination, their life and con
versation, their thoughts, the ends and motives of all their actions. Assisted by the light of revelation, they should see, and comparing themselves with the rule of the word, they should understand, what is wrong, what is wanting, what is decayed, and what is defective. They ought to search into the state of their soul, and the condition of their graces; and also see what sins have been most predominant in them. Surely those who are cast into wicked company, and are daily hearing and seeing sin, have much to mourn over; for such an exercise is highly requisite in all the candidates for glory. They are also, from the royal magazine. of grace, which, for the saints, is treasured up in the Son of God, to take in provisions of every kind, and all sorts of warlike stores, such as the sword of the Spirit, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the anchor of hope, and the compass of truth; as they must steer over roaring oceans, struggle through storms and tempests, and fight their passage all along through foes, and thus, spiritually refitted, proceed in their voyage to Immanuel's land.
ON GOING INTO HARBOUR.
Nov. 5. 1758.
ONE should think, that when the tempests and the dangers of the sea are over, all were safe; and that in sight of land we should laugh at shipwreck; yet the loss of nations, and the experience of thousands, attest, that on coasts more ships are
lost than at sea; and so the Government has prudently appointed pilots to bring in his Majesty's ships, that they may be in no danger in coming into harbour.
Now, what may this mind us of, but that the saints, and such as look for an happy anchoring in the port of bliss, should be very careful how they steer the last part of their long and momentous voyage; how they enter the harbour of death, where their ship is to be laid up, not for a winter, but for ever. They are to beware that they do not stick on the sands of carnal security; or run into the shallow waters of lukewarm indifferency; or be blown on the rocks of false confidence, by the high winds of spiritual delusion. A mistake here may occasion damage, but, though it cost expences, may be mended; but among men a mistake at death is fatal, and of the last consequence, because it can never be mended afterwards. Again, the tide is a mighty assistant in our getting into harbour here; but to dying mortals the Jordan of death is a terrible river, which overflows all its banks; and it is the fear of dissolution that keeps some all their lifetime subject to bondage; yea, and by this current thousands and ten thousands are hurried into the horrid pit of perdition. But in a surprising manner the saints go over dry-shod; for the High Priest, who bears the ark of the everlasting covenant, and all the rich grace and precious promises that it contains, having that river to wade through which runneth in the way of all living, once did so with the soles of his feet, when he was found in fashion as a man, and humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; so that it remains still cut in two to the saints, even while it overflows all its banks to the wicked.
The more we advance into the harbour, we are the more out of danger from the storms and tempests that swept along the ruffled ocean. But it is otherwise with the dying saint; Satan does all he can to cloud his evidences, to deaden his faith, to blacken his infirmities, to make him doubt his own condition, to nickname his graces, to slay his confidence, to draw him from Christ, and drive him into despair, anxious to make a wreck of him even in sight of Immanuel's shore; yet all the powers of hell shall never pluck the least of Christ's little ones out of his hand. But how watchful should we be, and how careful to prepare for these critical moments! for we are like a ship that has traded for a long time in the East Indies, and comes home with all her treasures; so our all, our everlasting all, is lost if we founder at our last.
over, our safety lies in this alone, that he whose presence calms the raging sea, and rending winds, shall be our pilot to the harbour of the better country, to the port of glory.
ON TAKING IN LARGE PROVISIONS.
Portland Roads, Dec. 15. 1758.
SURELY the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light; for at land every man provides what he can against winter; and at sea we take in large stores of all things, when we are to make a long voyage. Now, my soul, what hast thou laid up for eternity? This awful, this interesting voyage, thou must make;