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than time, how would our world be Hephzibah, and our earth Beulah, and the general contention between crowned heads and their subjects, through every land, be, who could live most like angels, and love most like seraphim!
SET sail, thou venturous rover, and let thy daring keel cut the dividing billow, and plow the briny deep. But whither art thou bound? To cruize on a tempestuous ocean, or dash against inhospitable shores. Well, my soul, remember that thou also hast set sail, and art rapidly carried down the stream of time, to the ocean of eternity. I should consider under what latitude, and to what point I am steering; if under the latitude of the new birth, and a lively faith, I shall at last drop anchor at the haven of bliss; but if under the latitude of a natural state and unbelief, I shall be driven, by divine indignation, on the rocks of everlasting ruin, and tossed a deplorable wreck on the floods of wrath.
How ignorant is the heathen world of a future state! But, since the Son of God is come, and has taught us all the mysteries of the spiritual navigation, we launch at once into the depth of ages, and, in our exalted views, leaving land on every side, we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Why should I fear, or be dismayed; for shall I not have a prosperous voyage, and a pleasant landing? since Christ is both my pilot and my pole; since his Spirit is promised to lead and guide me into all truth; since the scriptures are my compass, a light to my feet, and a lamp to my path; since my hope is my anchor, cast within the vail; faith my telescope, that gives me views of the world to come; self-examination my sounding-line, to know what depth of water I am in, to try myself, whether I be in the faith or not; and my logbook a Christian diary, that I may tell them that fear God what he hath done for my soul; and since all the heavenly graces are like the extended sails, one sail being unfurled after another, first faith, which is to the soul as the mainsail to a ship, and adding to faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly-kindness; and to brotherlykindness, charity. Were I once in such a happy state, my next petition would be, " Awake, O north wind! and blow, thou south;" fill my extended canvas, and carry me to glory.
TIME TO BE REDEEMED.
Spithead, May 24. 1758.
Now I learn that time is precious, though mis-. spent, though despised. I begin to set an higher value on that which is ever valuable, than I was
wont to do; but, ah! I begin to resolve when golden opportunities are past, and lost for ever! God has been kind in giving me time, which I have not been cautious in spending, in improving; but, alas! blanks are not the worst, for I have not only trifled away, slept away, but sinned away time. And, O! what great things are to be done in this little inch of time! God will have none of his servants idle; we must trade with his talents here, and the profit shall be ours hereafter. We must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, encouraged by this, that God works all our works in us. Thus, to speak, not like the proud legalist, but like the laborious Christian, we must scale the walls of heaven, (for holy violence is allowed), and take it by force. We must combat principalities and powers, and crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts. I must stand upon my watch, keep a sharp look-out on all my foes, on the least sin, cut off hours which I have too often spent in (shall I call it) sinful sleep, and guard against trifling amusements, and superfluous visits; not that visits and recreations are simply sinful, but the excess therein. I must carefully attend to my time as it passes, for with grief I see that I cannot recall time when past. I have much work on my hand; I have to bear witness to the excellency of religion, and against sinners; my backslidings to bewail, my failings to amend, my conversation daily to inspect, my accounts to settle for the day of judgement, (O to be found in Jesus in that day!), my treasure to lay up in heaven, my affections to set on things above, my sins to mortify, my graces to strengthen, death to prepare for, eternity to improve for, my salvation to secure, God to live to, and the Lord Jesus daily to put on.
Now, say if such an one has reason to be idle, or to trifle time away?
IN VIEW OF AN ENGAGEMENT.
May 24. 1758.
A FEW days hence, and we shall be contending with the foe; death will fasten his cold hands on many of us, and numbers shall be dropping into an unknown, an awful, an endless eternity!
Though this is an event that will certainly take place, yet we are all thoughtless and secure, merry and unconcerned, as if it were of no moment to change states, and enter into an invisible world. Ask us all, one by one, if we are afraid we shall die in battle? and all of us to a man have the fond hopes that we shall escape without a wound. But it would look better, if each of us were saying,. Perhaps it may be I, perhaps it may be I, that shall be slain." Though my station be not so dangerous as that of some, yet, in my situation, some now and then are killed, and I rejoice that when I am in danger, I dare not trust the sides of the ship for my defence, but thy divine protection, which is better to me than a thousand bulwarks. Let me neither build on false hopes of life, nor be filled: with slavish fears of death, but be prepared for all events. In the mean time, I plead that our fleets may me defended, our foes defeated, an hopeace concluded, and an end put to the effusion of human blood. And I also plead, that
thou wilt put a covering on my head in the day of battle, that I may praise the power, and sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning.
ON OUR LORD'S DISPLAYING HIS DIVINITY ON
Spithead, May 26. 1758.
'TILL now, I never observed that our Lord, in the days of his flesh, performed cures, and wrought miracles on the sea. At one time, from the surrounding multitude he steps into a ship, and teaches thousands attentive on the shore; and, after finishing his sermon, makes the unsuccessful fishers cast their nets again into the sea, who, catching a great draught of fishes, are also caught themselves, and made fishers of men.
Another time, he will go over to the country of the Gadarenes, for there was one there, the prey of the terrible, and captive of the strong, whom he is pleased to deliver. So he enters into a ship, and his disciples, the close attendants on their Master, go along with him; but, while his human nature, fatigued with the toils he daily underwent, is fast asleep, a tempest came down on the ship, either sent by Providence, that, in rebuking it, he might display his divinity, or perhaps Satan, who is the prince of the power of the air, was permitted to send out the fiercest storm which his hellish rage could effectuate, to make the affrighted boatmen row back again, and prevent the