Imágenes de páginas

be full of fruits, Pfal. xcii. 14. “ They laall bring forth fruit in old « age, they shall be fat and flourishing." .;.'. '.' REFLECTIONS. * 1. How hard have I laboured for the meat that perisheth? PreThe worlding's

en vented the dawning of the day, and laboured as &... in the very fire, and yet is the Chriftian's work

in the very fire, and y geco... harder than mine? Surely, then, I never yet understood the work of Christianity. Alas, my fleepy prayers, and formal duties, even all that ever I performed in my life, never cost me that pains, that one hour at plow hath done. I have either wholly neglected, or at beft, fo lazily performed religious duties, that I may truly say, I offer to God what coft me nothing. Wo is me, poor Wretch! How is the judgment of Korah fpiritually executed upon me 2 . The earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up his body ; but it hath opened its mouth and swallowed up my heart, my time, and all my affections. How far am I from the kingdom of God! ::2. And how little better is my case, who have indeed professed The formaliit's

2. religion, but never made it my business? Will

sre, an empty (though splendid) profeffion fave me? kancer: ; '; How many brave ships have perished in the storms, notwithstanding their fine names, the Prosperous, the Success, the Happy Return? A fine name could not protect them from the rocks, nor will it save me from hell. I have done by religion, as I should bave done by the world; prayed, as if I prayed not; and heard, as if I heard not. I have given to God but the 'thadow of duty, and can never expect from him a real reward.


: 3. How unlike a Christian dost thou also, O my soul, go about the The reflections of a

work; though upright in the main; yet how

* little zeal and activity dott thou express in thy Jorju, ugao, duties? Awake love and zeal, leeit thou not the toil and pains men take for the world? How do they prevent the dawning of the day? and labour as in the very fire till night ; and all this for a trifle ! Should not every drop of sweat which I fee trickle from their brows, fetch, as it were, a drop of blood from my heart, who am thus convinced and reproved of shameful laziness, by their indefatigable diligence? Do they pant after the dust of the earth? Amos ii. 7. And shall not I pant after God? Psal. xlii. 1. Ah, my soul, it was not wont to be fo with thee in the days of my first profeffion. Should I have had no more communion with God in duties then, it would have broken my heart : I should have been weary of my life. Is this a time for one to stand idle, who stands at the door of eternity ? What, now flack-handed, when so near to my everlasting rest, Rom. xiii. 11. or hast thou found the work of God so unpleasant to thee? Prov. ii. 17. or the trade of godliness so unprofitable ? Psal. xix. 12. Or knowest thou not, that millions,

firft plies then, it was this a time now

now in hell, perished for want of ferious diligence in religion, Luke xii. 34. nor doth my diligence for God, answer to that which Christ hath done and suffered, to purchase my happinefs : or to the preparations he hath made in heaven for me? Or dost thou forget that thy Master's eye is always upon thee, whilst thou art lazying and loitering? Or would the damned live at this rate as I do, if their day of grace might be recalled? For shame, my soul, for fame! rouze up thyself, and fall to thy work, with a diligence answerable to the weight thereof; for it is no vain work concerning thee, it is thy



When advanc'd in pow'r,
Will make you Husband every hour,
'Twill make Men strive with all their might,
And therein Find a sweet delight.
If there were Nought besides that pay
Christ gives To cheer us in our way;
Should we not .Do the best we can ?
For there's No such reward from man.
Shall others Work, and not regard
Their strength To get a small reward ?
Whilft we Turn flugs, and loiter thus ?
O that

Their zeal might quicken us!
Why are our Hands, and feet so slow,
When we Unto our business go ?
How can we Then Christ's pay expect,
And yet the Christian's work reject ?
If this, then Also that embrace
Them both; if not, we both disgrace.
Some if

They could these two divide,
'Twould Please them well, with Christ to Gide!
But if they May not, then it were
As good Cease pleading, they'll not hear.
Rouse up From sloth, my soul betake
Thee to thy Work, no cavils make.

And try! Saints fay that even,
The pain they Take, hath much of heaven.
But yet

Their best wine's kept till last, Their rest, and Ease comes all fo falt.

O ftrive,

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


In, Prov. x. 2.

TNDUSTRY and diligence is the way to thrive and grow rich in

the world. The earth must be manured, or its increase is in vain expected ; Qui fugit molam, fugit farinam; He that refuses the mill, refuses the meal, (faith the proverb). "The diligent soul “ shall be made fat.” Solomon hath two proverbs concerning thriftiness and increase in the world. In Prov. x. 4. he faith, “The « hand of the diligent maketh rich." And in ver. 22. he faith, “ The blessing of the Lord maketh rich." These are not contradice tory, but confirmatory each of other ; one speaks of the principal, the other of the instrumental cause. Diligence without God's blefling will not do it ; and that blefling cannot be expected without diligence ; therefore husbandmen ply their business with unwearied pains, they do even lodge in the midst of their labours as that good husband Boaz did, Ruth ii. 3. They are parfimonious of their time, but prodigal of their sweat and strength, because they find this to be the thriving way.

The blessine diligent maketbal


As nature opens her treasures to none but the diligent, so neither doth grace. He that will be a rich, must be a painful Christian ; and whosoever will closely ply the trade of godliness, shall comfortably and quickly find, « That in keeping God's commands there is great " reward," Pfalm xix. 11. God is a “ bountiful rewarder of luch, « as diligently seek him," Heb. xi, 6. They must not indeed work for wages, * nor yet will God suffer their work to go unrewarded ; yea, it fufficiently rewards itself, 1 Tim. vi. 6. And its reward is twofold ; (1.) Present and in part; (2.) Future, and in full, Mark X. 29, 30. Now in this time an hundred-fold, even from suffering, which feems the most unprofitable part of the work, and in the world to come life everlasting. If you afk what present advantage Chrifti ans have by their diligence? I answer, as, much and more than the husbandman bath from all his toils and labours. Let us compare the particulars, and see what the husbandman gets that the Christian gets not also. Compare your gains, and you will quickly see the odds.

1. You get credit and reputation by your diligence; it is a commendation and honour to you to be active and stirring men : But how much more honour doth God put upon his laborious servants ?

* Non mercenarii fed operarii.

It is the highest honour of a creature to be active and uleful for its God. Saints are called vessels of honour, as they are fitted for the master's use, 2 Tim. ii. 21. Wherein conäfts the honour of angels but in this, that they are ministering spirits, serviceable creatures ? And all the apostles gloried in the title of servants. The lowest of fice in which a man can serve God, even that of Nethinim, or doorkeepers, which was the lowest order or rank of officers in the house of God, Ezek. xliv. 10, 11, is yet preferred by David before the service of the greatest prince on earth, Psalm (xxxiv. 1o. It is no small honour to be active for God.

2. You have this benefit by your labour, that thereby you avoid loose and evil company, which would draw you into mischief. By diligence for God, the Christian also is secured from temptation; « God is with them while they are with him," 2 Chron. xv. 2. Communion with God in the way of duty is a great preservative against temptations. The schoolmen put the question, how the angels and glorified saints become impeccant? And resolve it thus: That they are secured from sin by the beatifical vision; and sure I am that the visions of God, not only in glory, but now also in duty, are marFellous defences against fin; and they who are most active for God, bave the fullest and clearest visions of God, John xiv. 21.

3. You have this benefit by your labour, that it rends much to the health of our bodies.' The Christian hath this benefit by his labour, that it tends to a healthful state of soul; “ The way of the Lord is

strength to the upright,” Prov. x. 29. As those that follow their daily labours in the field, have much more health than citizens that live idly, or scholars that live a sedentary life: So the active Christian enjoys more spiritual health, and is troubled with fewer complaints than others.

4. By diligence in your civil employments, you preferve your eftates, and are kept from running behind-hand in the world. Bailiffs trouble not fuch men's doors; they usually have the forefoot of their neighbours. And by activity and diligence for God, souls are kept from backfliding, and running back in their graces and comforts. Remifsness and intermission in our duties are the first steps and degrees by which a foul declines and wastes as to his spiritual estate.

5. Your pains and diligence in the fields, make your bed sweet to you at night, Ecclef. v. 12. “ Rest is sweet to a labouring man, whe#ther he eat little or much." But the diligent life of a Chriftian makes the clods of the valley, his grave, sweet unto him, 2 Cor. i. 12. 2 Kings xx. 3. “ Remember now, O Lord, how I have walked before « thee," &c. Think Christian, how sweet it will be for thee when thou comeft to die, to say then as thy Redeemer did, when near his death, John xvii.4, 5. “I have finished the work which thou gaveft “ me to do; and now, U Father, glority me with thine own felf.”

6. The expence of your sweat fills your purses, you get estates by your diligence and labour ; but what are your gains to the gains of

[ocr errors]

Chriftians ? They can get in an hour that which they will not part with for all the gold and filver on earth, Prov. iii. 14.

So that compare these labourers, as to all their adrantages and you shall fee, that there is no trade like that which 'the diligent Chriftian drives. ' ; . . .. so

REFLECTIONS. . 1. Blush then, O my soul, at the consideration of thy laziness RefleEtions of the

Sun and forh, which is attended with so many fpi

ritual wants ! find can I wonder at it, when I Rothful Joul, refuse the painful way of duty, in which the precious fruits of godliness are only to be found ? If the fruits lie upon the surface of duty, or could be had with wishes, I should not want them; but to dig deep and take pains I cannot. My desires, like those of the flothful man, kill me, because my hands refuse to labour, Prov. xxi. 25. If every duty were to be rewarded presently with gold, would I not have been more affiduous in them, than I have been ? And yet I know that a heart full of the grace and comfort of the Holy Ghoft, is better than a house full of gold and silver. O what a composition of stupidity and sloth am I! I have been all for the short cut to comfort, when constant experience teacheth, that the further way about, by painful duty, is the nearer way to it. What pains do husbandmen take.? What peril do seamen run for a little gain? O sluggish heart ! wilt thou do nothing for eternal treasures ? · Secondly, If there be such great reward attending diligence in duty, then why art thou fo apt, O my foul, to cast off duty, because thou findeft not present comfort in it? How quickly am I discouraged, if I prefently find not what' I expect in duty? Whereas the well is deep, and much pains must be taken to draw up those waters of joy, Isa. xii. 3. There is a golden vein in the mount of duty, but it lies deep; and because I meet not with it as soon as I expect, my lazy heart throws by the shovel, and crys, Dig I cannot

a Thirdly, If this be indeed the rich and thriving trade, why do I · The worldling's

puddle about the poor, low things of the world

so much, neglecting the rich trade of godliness repecchions.

for it? O how much of my time and strength have these things devoured? Had I employed that time in communion with God, would it not have turned to a better account? Thinkest'thou in earnest, O my foul, that God hath endowed thee with such excellent faculties, capable of the most Divine and heaven ly employments, or that Jesus Chrift hath {hed his invaluable, precious blood, or that he hath sent forth the glorious Spirit of lioliness, and all this to fit men for no higher, no nobler employments than there.

'Is this the end of thy wonderful creation ? Doth God whirl about the heavens in endless revolutions, to beget time for this? Or doth he not rather expect that the weightiest work should engross thy

« AnteriorContinuar »