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that attend it, are a shadow of that vengeance which was due even to the best of saints : It is fit we should see the picture of viodictive justice, before we are taken into the arms of eternal mercy.
Besides, there may be another reason that renders the dying hour of this man more dreadful too : Perhaps he bad walked unwatchfully before God, and had given too much indulgence to some congenial iniquity, some vice that easily beset hii! now it becomes the great God to write his own hatred of sin in deep and piercing characters sometimes on his own children, that he may let the world know that he is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity any where without resentment. The man had “ built much hay and stubble upon the divine foundation Christ Jesus, and it was proper that he should be saved so as by fire." I Cor. iii. 15.
Will the papist therefore attempt to support the structure of his purgatory upon such a text as this ? An useless structure, and vain atteinpt! That place was erected by the superstitious fancy of men to purge out the sins of a dead man by his own sufferings, and to make bim fit for heaven in times hereafter; as thougb the atoning blood of Christ were not sufficient for complete pardon, or the sanctifying work of the Spirit were imperfect even after death. Whereas the design of God in some such instances of terror, is chiefly to give now and then an' exainple to survivors in this life how bigbly he is displeased with sin, and to discourage his owo people from an indulgence of the works of the flesh. Now this end could not be attained by all the pains of their pretended purgatory, even though it were a real place of torment, because it is so invisible and unknown.
But whatsoever sorrows the dying christians sustains in the wise administrations of providence, it is by no means to make compensation to God for sin ; the atoning work of Christ is complete still, and the sanctifying work of the spirit perfect as soon as the soul is dismissed from earth; therefore it has an entrance into full blessedness, such as becomes a God infinite in mercy to bestow on a penitent sinder, presented before the throne in the name and righteousness of his own Son.
“ We are complete in bim ;” Col. ii. 10. By bim made perfectly acceptable to God at our death, we are filled with all grace and introduced into complete glory.
II.—The death of a young Son.-In a Letter to a friend.
MADAM, it has been the delight and practice of the pious in all ages, to talk in the words of scripture and in the language of their God : The images of that book are bright and beautiful; and where they happily correspond with any present providence, there is a certain divine pleasure in the parallel. The Jews have ever used it as a fashionable style, and it has always been
the custom of christians in the most religous times, till inquity and profaneness called it cant and fanaticism. The evangelists and the apostles have justified the practice; those latter inspired authors have often indulged it even where the prophet or first writer of the text had quite another subject in view ; and though an allusion to the words of scripture will by no means stand in the place of a proper exposition, yet it carries something divine and affecting in it, and by this means it may shine in a serinon or a familiar epistle, and make a pleasing similitude. Accept then a few hints of consolation from a part of scripture, which by an easy turn of thought may be applied to your case.
Rev. xii. 1. “A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under ber feet. ver. 2. Being with child, travailed in birth. 5. And she brought forth a man-child, and it was caught up to God and his throne. verse 6. And the woman had a place prepared of God in the wilderness. ver. 14. To be nourished for a time and times. ver. 9. But the great dragon that was cast out of heaven, the old serpent called the devil and satan. ver. 13. Persecuted the woman. ver. 15. And cast out of bis mouth water as a food. ver. 17. And went to make war with the remnant of her seed."--Thus far the words of scripture.
Now, madam, if you have put on Christ, and are clothed by faith with the Sun of righteousness, if you are drest in the shining graces of heaven, and have the pale and changing glories of this world under your feet, then you may be assured the child you bave brought forth is not lost, but is caught up to God, and his throne, by virtue of that extensive covenant that includes sincere christians and their offspring together. Mourn not therefore for your son who is with God, but rather for yourself who are yet in the wilderness of this world, where the old serpent has so much power ; where he will persecute you with the flood of his temptations, if possible, to carry you away with them; but I trust God has prepared a place for your safety, even bis church, his gospel, his owo everlasting arms.
Yet shall the serpent make war with the remnant of your seed; your little daugiiter that remains in the wilderness must go through this war, and be exposed to these temptations. O turn your tears for your son into pity and prayer for yourself and your daughter, that ye may never be carried away by these foods : but when the times are past which God has appointed for your
abode and nourishment in the wilderness, you may rejoice to find yourself with all your offspring, in everlasting safety before the throne of God. Amen.
So prays your affectionate, &c. May 2, 1719.
III.-Heathen Poesy Christianised. 1736. IT is a piece of ancient and sacred history which Moses · informs us of, that when the tribes of Israel departed from the land of Egypt, they borrowed of their neighbours gold and jewels by the appointment of God, for the decoration of their sacrifices and solemn worship when they should arrive at the appointed place in the wilderness, God himself taught bis people bow the richest of metals wbich bad ever been abused to the worship of idols, might be purified by the fire, and being melted up into a new form might be consecrated to the service of tbe living God, and add to the magnificence and grandeur of his tabernacle and temple. Such are some of the poetical writings of the ancient heathens; they have a great deal of native beauty and lustre in them, and through some happy turn given them by the pen of a christian poet may be transformed into divine meditations, and may assist the devout and pious soul in several parts of the christian life and worship.
Amongst all the rest of the Pagan wtiters, I know none so fit for this service as the odes of Horace as vile a sinner as be
Their mander of composure comes nearer the spirit and force of the psalms of David than any other; and as we take the devotions of the Jewish king, and bring them into our christian chorches, by changing the scene and the chronology and superadding some of the glories of the gospel, so may the representation of some of the heathen virtues, by a little more labour, be changed into christian graces, or at least into the image of them so far as human power can reach. One day musing on this subject, I made an experiment on the two last stanzas of Ode 29. Book III.
“ Non mcum est, si mugiat Africis
“ Ne Cypriæ Tyriæque merces
Aura feret, geminisque Pollux.”
IV.-The British Fisherman.
I LET Spain's proud traders, when the
Lest Turkish silks or Tyrian wares
Sink in the drowning ship,
2 My little skiff, that skims the shores,
With half a sail and two short oars,
Has swell'd the storm so high,
To waft my boat and me to land,
V.-Redemption. I THE mighty frame of glorious grace, The pow'r whom kneeling angels That brightest monument of praise
blest That e'er the God of love design'd, Is made the impious rabble's jest. Employs and fills my labouring mind.
5 He that distributes crowns and
thrones 2 Begin my muse, the heav'nly song, Hengs on a tree and bleeds and A burden for ao angel's tongue :
groans : When Gabriel sounds these awful The Prince of life resigns his breath, thiogs,
The King of glory bows to death. He tunes and sumnons all his strings
6 But see the wonders of his pow'r, 3 Proclaim inimitable love :
He triumphs in his dying hour, Jesus, the Lord of worlds above,
And whilst by Satan's rage he fell Puts off the beams of bright array,
He dash'd the rising hopes of hell. And veils the God in mortal clay.
7 Thus were the hosts of death subdu'd, 4 What black reproach defil'd his
And sin was drown'd in Jesus' name,
blood : Whed with our sia he took our Then he arose, and reigns above, shame!
And conquers singers by his loye. “If I could pursue all the wondrous atchievemants of a dying and a rising Saviour in verse as fast and as far as my thoughts sometimes attempt to trace them, I should leogthen this ode to many stanzas, and yet at last I should lose both my thoughts and my verse amongst the unknown wonders of his glory and the ages of eternity.
Who shall fulfil this boundless song ?
Wbat vain pretender dares ?
And Gabriel's harp despairs.
And plead before her God, 'Tis grace, 'lis wisdom all divine, Lest the o'er-burden'd heart should Appoints the pains I feel,
Beneath thy heavy rod. 2 Dark are thy ways of providence, While those that love thee 4 Will nothing but such daily paio groan:
Secure my soul from hell ? Thy reasons lie conceal'd from Canst thou not make my health sense,
attaio Mysterious and unknown.
Thy kind designs as well ?
• In this ode there are three or four lines taken from Mr. Stennet's sacra. mental Hymns; for when I found they exprest my thought and design in proper and beautiful language, I choose rather to borrow and to acknowledge the debt, than to labour hard for worse lines that I might have the poor pleasure of calling them my ow Du
5 How sball my tongue proclaim thy
grace While thus at home confia'd ? What can I write, while painful
Alesh Hangs heavy on the mind ? 6 These groans and sighs and flowing
Give my poor spirit ease,
And ev'ry tear he sees.
With peace upon its wings ?
With all the joys it brings.
VII.-On an Elegy written by the Right Honourable the
STRUCK with the sight of Pbilomela's urn
The groves confess a rising Phiiomel.
IX.-Vanity inscribed on all Things. TIME, like a long flowing stream, makes haste into eternity, and is for ever lost and swallowed up there ; and while it is hastening to its period, it sweeps away all things with it which are not immortal. There is a limit appointed by providence to the duration of all the pleasant and desirable scenes of life, to all the works of the hands of men, with all the glories and excel. lencies of animal nature, and all that is made of flesh and blood. Let us not dote upon any thing here below, for heaven hath inscribed vanity upon it. The moment is hastening when the decree heaven shall be uttered, and providence shall pronounce upon every glory of the earth, “ Its time shall be no longer.”
What is that stately building, that princely palace which now entertains and amuses our sight with ranks of marble columns and wide-spreading arches, that gay edifice which enriches our imagination with a thousand royal ornaments, and a profusion of gay and glittering furniture? Time, and all its circling hours, with a swift wing are brushing it away ; decay steals upon it io sensibly, and a few years hence it shall lie in moldering ruin