Page images
PDF
EPUB

ing of the searcher of hearts, sing with David, I was glad when they said unto me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord,” Psal. cxxii. 1., and “ I have rejoiced in the

way of thy testimonies, as much as in all

riches,” Psal cxix. 14., and “ thy testimo“ nies also are my delight,” Psal. cxix. 24.

Fourthly, where a field of corn is, care is taken to preserve it from the ravages of beasts. Now, have I been taking care to preserve my heart from the ravages of sin and Satan? Am I careful to guard and keep out of it every dishonduring thought of God and his law ? every inclination to sin ? every high thought of myself, with respect to my own spiritual abilities ? every revengeful wish against any that may have offended me; and, in short, every thing that is contrary to the will of God.

Now, if I can call God to witness, that I have had, or have all, or any of these evidences in reality, it is a sign that the good seed hath been sown in my heart: and to prove that it hath not fallen upon stony ground, neither among thorns, with respect to me, let me persevere to the end, and root out every worldly care that may in the least mar the growth of the seed, not in my own strength, but in that of the

great Husbandman, who hath said, “ My grace is sufficient “ for thee: for my strength is made perfect " in weakness," 2 Cor. xii. 9.

1

1

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

.

This wood forms an agreeable prospect, all 'the trees and shrubs of which begin to be attired in native green, budding forth with a pleasant scent, while almost every spray is made vocal with musicians of gay plumage, and the cuckoo just arrived, repeats her name

from bough to bough ; swains at a distance catch the gladsome sounds, listen again, and tell their neighbours they have heard the voice of the welcome visitant; all which invite my steps through its recesses, and what can be more pleasant than to have the sight, smelling, and hearing, all regaled at the same time, while the mind finds ample scope for contemplation?

While I walk through the glades, I behold trees and shrubs of various kinds, divers growths, and for different uses. Here I have a picture of the world, and may see with the blind man in the gospel, when partly.enlightened, men as trees, Mark viii. 24. though all of one kind by nature, of very opposite dispositions ; possessing various talents useful for different purposes.

Some of these trees, for stature and majesty, look like kings over the rest, being as so many

Sauls

among the woody peopļe. In like manner, some men's education, excellent talents, and good behaviour, give them a superior dignity to the rest of their brethren.

Here I perceive several beautiful trees growing, as it were, out of one root, like so many brothers linking their branches together, supporting one another as they grow; so that hardly any wind, though blowing ever so tempestuously, shall be able to overturn them. A beautiful emblem this of what men ought to do: being all sprung from one root by nature, ought not they to live as brethren, linking their concerns together, supporting and strengthening one another? If this were the case, how stable and flourishing would kingdoms, nations, and families be! Then the storms of anarchy, sedition, and intestine broils should be unable to overthrow them. Thus the Church would flourish like: Lebanon, Hos. xiv. 5., and the world be rendered a paradise.

The royal Psalmist beautifully expresseth the high delight he had of such a state as this through the whole of Psal. cxxxiii., and that this may more and more take place, may I cast in my mite in cultivating a brotherly disposition towards all men, especially the household of faith, accounting them my nearest and dearest brethren; for have we not all one Father, one Saviour, one

« PreviousContinue »