Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Let us then feriously consider of these Things, for they are Matters of the greatest Moment and Importance; Nothing can concern ug more nearly, than to know the crafty and des ceitful Ways whereby Satan, addresses to us and knowing them to make a suitable Refiftance,

To this purpose, let us always bear in mind, that Sin (under what Disguife foever it appears) is the greatest Cheat in the World: It makes nothing Good that it promises here ; and it leaves us in the Lurch for ever. If then you are at any time tempted by him; before you venture any further, ask your felf seriously, these, or the like Questions.

What am I going to do? I am going to quit my truest Interest and Safetý; to affront my Reason, to wound my Innocence and my Reputation; to make my self a Fool, or a Bealt: 1 am going to act contrary to the naturel Light of my Mind, and the truest Information of my Conscience: I am going to abuse my Nature, to dishonour my God, and to become a Slave to the Devil.

Or if this Reasoning should chance to prove too mild and gentle, consider once more,

Fix your Thoughts seriously upon the Horrors of the Damned ; those wretched Triumphs of the Devil's Malice now in Hell. Fancy' that yote saw the Foundations of the great Deep open; that you heard the Groanings, and the bidious Shrieks of the Everlasting Goal.

Would

Would not the Sight and Sense of these, 1 engage you to live holy Lives upon Earth, left you come to that Place of Torment? Would they not make you become the strictest Votaries, the most sincere Penitents, the brightest Examples of an Universal and Undissembled Piety ? Be you well assured these are not Poctical Fi&ions, or Romantick Stories ; they are the real Truths of God.

I will conclude all, with the Words of St. Ep. Ch. Peter, Be sober, be vigilant, because your AdS. 8.

versary, the Devil, as a roaring Lion, walketb about, seeking whom he may devour.

SER

241

SERMON XI.

A Discourse Sewing the Readiness of God to suspend his Judgments upon Men's Humiliation, together with the Insuficiency of an Humiliation which is Partial and Imperfect.

i KINGS xxi. 29. Scest thou how Ahab humbleth himself be

fore me ? Because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the Evil in his Days : But in bis Son's Days will I bring the Evil upon his House.

[ocr errors]

HIS Chapter gives us an Account of

the Nature and Guilt of Abab's Sin ; together with the Occasion, the Degrees, and the Success of his Repentance.

R

Toe

t

Towards the Beginning of it, we read that he having observed the pleasant and commodious Situation of Naboth's Vineyard, it being Says the Text, bard by the Palace of Abab King of Samaria ; desired him to give it in exchange

for another: Or if that seem'd not good unto hiin, he would give bim the Worth of it in Money. Naboth upon just Reasons, rejects the Offer, as very unfit to be done, becaule it defcended to him from his Father by a Natural and Hereditary Right : Verse 3. The Lord i forbid it me, that I should give the Inberitance f of my Father, unto thee.

See here the Uneasiness, and the secret Torment of a Coverous Minds Ambitions or immoderate Defires are not to be satisfied with the Honours and Pleasures, and Riches of all Kingdom. Abab disatisfied with this Answer, becomes sullen and discontented : He went inte bis Houle ; laid bim down upou bis Bed, turn. ed away his Face, and would eat no Bread. His Wife Jezebel observing him, and knowing well-enough the Ground of his Discontent, contrives a Way to give Ease to his perplexed Mind. Arise, Fays she, and eat Bread, and let thine Heart be merry ; I will give thee the Vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. To this Purpose, she dispatches Letters to the Elders and Nobles of the City in Ahab's Name, and Seals them with his own Seal, the Purport of which was to proclaim a Faft, in order to bring Naboth to his Trial and Condemnation, for some supposed, notorious, and capital Of.

fences.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

v. 19.

fences.' And the more to countenance and
gain Credit to the Design ; two profligate Men,
Sons of Belial, are suborn’d to swear Blaf-
phemy and Treason against him. Thus the
Innocent Man is at once deprived of his Birth-
right and of his Life. Verse 15. Arise ; take
Polleffion of the Vineyard of Naboth the
Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for
Money ; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

But behold! The Almighty Avenger of
injured and oppřeljed Innocence, by a wonder-
ful and astonishing Providence, ftops him in
the Way. As he was going down to the Vine-
yard, he's met with a Message from Heaven ;
Elijab the Prophet of the Lord, fpake unto
him, saying, Thus faith the Lord. Hast thori
killed, and also taken Poffeffion? In the Place
where Dogs licked the Blood of Naboth, shall
Dogs lick thy Blood, even thine.

Abab, whether awakened with the Strangeness of the Prophet's Message, or terrified with the Sense and Apprehension of the Punilhiment ; or (which is most probable) sinitten with the Fears and Guilts of his own Conscience, betakes himself to Repentance and Mourning. He rent bis Cloatbs, and put Sackcloth upon bis Flejb, and falted, and lay in Sackcloth and went softly. God observing these outward Expressions of his Repentance, Repeals, at least suspends his Doom, Seeft thou how Abab bumbleto himself befere me? Because he humbleth himself before me, I will mot bring the Evil in his Days : But in his

R2

Son's

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »