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yet with nothing does he concern himself so little! Here a few hours close engagement cools the rage of the keenest warrior, and decides the contest; how melancholy, then, must their condition be, who, on seas of wrath, must bear the thunderbolts of Jehovah's right-hand for an eternity, without intermission, and without any possibility of an escape! On such a day as this an enemy's powder and shot may fall short; but the magazines of vengeance are infinite, and the perpetual frown of him who is angry with sinners every day, will protract their agony and torment with their ex
Under sail, August 30. 1759.
ONE Consequence of war, at least of victory, is, that some are made prisoners; and among contending armies on the day of battle, prisoners are made on both sides. By the laws of civilized nations, they are treated with sympathy and tenderness, as becomes fellow-creatures and prisoners of war; yet their best situation has always something in it disagreeable, and (by the cruelty of those who forget the golden rule, to deal with others, in every situation, as they themselves would chuse to be dealt with if in the same condition) something almost intolerable. For, 1. Though they are fed, yet their allowance is not the same with the king's servants. 2. They have not the privileges of the ship's crew as to bedding, but are crowded toge.
ther in an uncomfortable confinement. 3. No confidence can be put in them; hence, though we should chance to engage an enemy, as they could not be trusted to fight, so they would not share in the honour or advantage of the victory. 4. Though in the day-time they sometimes mingle with the ship's company, and partake of their liberty, yet they have always the badge of bondage, being attended by sentries, and at night are separated and put under double guards, and so remain till the ensuing morning.
This is the fate of many in war; but, alas! a worse fate attends the rational world, where all are prisoners, and bound with the fetters of sin, but such as walk at large in Christian liberty. And though the wicked enjoy liberties and riches in common with others, yea, more than others, yet "a little that a righteous man hath is better than the wealth of many wicked;" for if a little, where love is, be better than a house full of sacrifices with strife, surely a very little, with the love of God, is better than great riches with his curse.
Now, saints and sinners meet and mingle in the same assemblies, join in the same societies, and share the same privileges; yet the one always drags the heavy chain about with him, is a slave to every lust, the servant of sin, the captive of the mighty enemy, and the prey of the terrible destroyer; but the other, being delivered from these, walks in the glorious liberty of the sons of God. While sinners feed on swinish husks, and break their teeth with gravel, the saints are allowed to feast on heavenly manna, and to drink of the water of life. The first lies down among thorny cares, disquiet, terror, and remorse; but the last has a sweet re
cumbency on the love of God, takes his rest in the promise, and finds it a couch that can ease his pain, and remove his complaint.
Again, as these men are separated and classed together at night, so at the night of death, the wicked mingle no more with the righteous; for while the souls of saints soar aloft to everlasting day, and their bodies rest in the peaceful grave till the joyful resurrection, the spirits of sinners are shut up in the prison of hell, and their bodies in beds of corruption till the general judgement. A little time brings about the freedom of our cap. tives, they are set at liberty in a few months perhaps, and at the longest when the war comes to an end; but should the war continue as long as they live, yet death shall deliver them from the power of every mortal, and translate them into the world of spirits; but those that are risen up in rebellion against God, he shall shut up in hell, and pour forth his vengeance on them for
Finally, we may see the depravity of the world in the conduct of our friends, who would condole more our being taken prisoner by an enemy, and losing all we had, than they bewail our natural, our unrenewed state, our loss of the image of God, of heaven, and of glory.
A REFLECTION ON THE ROYAL PSALMIST'S EXPRES
SION, PSAL. xlii. 7. All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
Near Guernsey, June 3. 1758.
O ASTONISHING comparison of an ineffable excess of anguish ! "At the noise of thy waterspouts, deep calleth unto deep," that both may meet together, to heighten the flow of my misery to the last extremity. Now, from the tossing of this restless ocean, I may somewhat learn the force of the metaphor. Here, then, many waves, many billows dash upon us; nor do a thousand preceding waves, or ten thousand foaming billows that have spent their fury on us, stir up pity in the raging flood that forms itself into dreadful billows to fall on us afresh, and that in all quarters, not like the regular course of a rapid torrent, but like the random surges of an unruly ocean. The sea-sick passengers aboard find no compassion, but reel and stagger if they attempt to walk; and if they sit, are thrown from side to side; nay, though we were hanging for life upon the very wreck, the briny deep would cover us in its cold bosom, or, dashing us from wave to wave, would spue us on the shore.
Now, if nothing milder than the ocean, not in halcyon days, but when wearing all its terrors, when roaring and raging with universal confusion, when covered with ten thousand wrestling waves all eager to destroy, urged on by succeeding bil
lows, and raised by the ruffling tempest from the foaming deep, could describe the condition of the psalmist, who was a saint, a favourite of heaven, in the day of God's withdrawing and hiding himself, though but for a moment; what shall set out the eternal anguish of those from whom he is gone for ever? What billows of eternal wrath, what surges of divine indignation, shall overflow them for evermore? There, in that state, their misery is without mercy, their sea has no shore, and their ocean no bound. Hence I see, that if God is pleased to shine on the soul, all crosses are sweetened, all afflictions lightened, and the man made greatly to rejoice; while, if he hides himself, even bless. ings wear a gloom, and every thing lowers, till he arise again with healing in his wings.
ON A SHORT INDISPOSITION.
Two days ago, flying pains perplexed me, and made me turn and toss from side to side, seeking what I could not find, ease to my weary body. The indisposition filled me with disquietude, scattered each composed thought, and fixed an acute sense of pain. Indeed I soon got the better of it, but may I thereby be instructed of the fierceness of the torment of the damned: and let them who have cancer, gout, stone, or any other grievous complaint, think what torment must be, and thereby study to escape, while there is left a way to escape; or to prize their deliverance (if delivered) from so