Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

their sadnesses arguments of God's displeasure against them.

And what is the prosperity of the wicked? To dwell in fine houses, or to command armies, or to be able to oppress their brethren, or to have much wealth to look on, or many servants to feed, or much business to dispatch, and great cares to master : These things, of themselves, are neither good nor bad. But confider, would any man amongst us, looking and considering beforehand, destroy his neighbour, to be heir of all that which I have named? Would any man chuse to have God angry with him upon these terms ? Or would any of us be perjured for all this ? A wise or good man would not chuse it.. It cannot therefore be a happiness, to thrive upon the stock of a great fin. That man's wealth must needs fit uneasy upon him, who remembers, that within twenty years (it may be fooner, it will not be much longer) he shall be extremely miserable. And that God defers the punishment, and suffers evil men to thrive in the opportunities of their fin, it

may

may and doth serve many ends of providence and mercy, but serves no end that any evil man can reasonably with or propound to himself as desirable for him. .

And do but observe the difference. The godly man is timorous, and yet safe; tossed by the seas, and yet secure at anchor; impaired by evil accidents, and rem stored by divine comforts ; made fad with a black cloud hanging over him, and refreshed with a more gentle influence; abused by the world, and yet an heir of heaven; hated by men, and beloved by God; loses an earthly habitation, and pura chases a glorious country; is forsaken by his friends, but never by a good confcience: He fares hardly, but fleeps sweetly: He flies from his enemies, but hath no distracting fears: He is full of thought, but not of amazement. It is his business to be troubled ; and his portion to be comforted. He hath nothing to afflict him, but the loss of that which might be his danger, but can never be his good; and in the recompense of this, he hath God for his father, Christ for his leader, and VOL. IV.

the

the holy Ghost for his comforter ; so that he shall have all the good which God can give him, and of all that good he hath the holy Trinity for an earnest and assurance, for his support at present, and his portion

to all eternity. · · But the prosperity of the wicked is like

the joy of a drunken man condemned to die ; it is a forgetfulness of his present danger, and of his future forrows; nothing but the imaginary arts of inadvertency. He is a judge of others perhaps, but is condemned himself; he is honoured by the ignorant, and is thought happy, but he sighs deeply within himself; he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who fhall gather them; he commands multitudes, and is himself a llave to his pasfions; when he is waking he dreams of greatness, and when he sleeps he starts from his pillow which his uneasy head hath discomposed; he spoils a poor man of his possessions, and himself of his innocence and peace; and in every unjust purchase, himself is the greatest loser. He hath against him, the displeasure of

:.

God, God, the justice of the laws, the shame of the fin, the revenge of the injured person, and God, and men. The laws of nations and of private focieties stand upon their defence against this man. He is unsafe in his rest, amazed in his danger, troubled in his labours, weary in his change, esteemed a base man, disgraced and scorned, feared and hated, watched and suspected, and it may be dies in the middle of his purchase, and at the end is a fool, and leaves a curse to his posterity. And by this time, let him cast up his accounts; and see if of all his injustice he can carry any thing with him to the grave but sin, and a guilty conscience, and a polluted soul; the anger of God, and the shame of men.

But when the good man descends unto his grave, and hath finished his state of sorrows and sufferings; then God opens the sources of abundance, the rivers of life and never-failing felicities.' And this is that which God promised to his people : I bid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy or theefaith the Lord thy Redeemer. So much as moments are exceeded by eterT2

nity, nity, and the fighing of a man by the joys of an angel, and the frowns of the world by the light of God's countenance, and a few groaps by infinite and eternal glorifications; so much are the sorrows of the godly to be disregarded, in respect of what is deposited for them in the treasures of eternity. Their forrows can die, but so cannot their joys. Every cloud that hangs over them becomes a ray of light, every prison is a palace, and every lofs is the purchase of a kingdom, and every affront in the cause of God is an eternal honour, and every day of sorrow is a thousand years of comfort, multiplied with a never-ceasing numeration; days without night, joys without sorrow, sanctity without fin, charity without stain, possession without fear, society without envying, communication of joys without lessening: and they shall dwell in a blessed country, where an enemy never entered, and from whence a friend never went away.

Wherefore let us commit ourselves to God in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator, knowing that we shall reap in due season, if we faint pot.

SERMON

« FöregåendeFortsätt »