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" which are written in the book of the law to “ do them.” Gal. ii. 10. This stuns them fearfully, knowing that they have not kept the law perfectly: their recollections now begin to be awakened; they see not only now and then they have broken the divine law, but almost in every instance, times and ways without number; and what to do they know not; they are horribly afraid, terrified to stay a moment longer under the false refuge of their own righteousness.
· What shall they do, or where shall they fly, to be safe from avenging wrath ? In this dreadful plight, when every other refuge they sadly discover to be unavailing, the net of the everlasting gospel, by the fishers of men, the ambassadors of Christ, is freely let down, and spread wide, with a “Ho! every one that “thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he “that hath no money; come ye, buy and “ eat, yea come, buy wine and milk, with“ out money and without price.” Isa. ly. 1. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou 6 shalt be saved.” Acts xyi. 31. " Come 6 unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy “ laden, and I will give you rest.” Matth. xi. 28. ~ And him that cometh to me, I will “ in no wise cast out. John vi. 57. - The “ Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let “ him that heareth, say, Come: And let him so that is athirst come: And whosoever will, “ let him take of the water of life freely." Rev. xxii. 17.
Transported at the all-joyful tidings, they embrace the thrice welcome news, with the keenness of a condemned man receiving a reprieve from death : thus they are caught in the gospel net and saved.
But ministers, though fishers of men, are only men themselves, and, like the seven disciples of old, they may toil all night, nay, all the nights and days of their lives, and take nothing, unless the Lord by his Spirit cause success : it is then only, with the disciples, they cast the net on the right side of the ship, and catch a draught (John xxi. 2---6) of elect sinners. “Paul may plant, and " Apollos water, but God alone giveth the “ increase.” 1 Cor. iii. 6, 7.
My part is now to examine, whether I have been taken captive by. Satan at his will, eagerly grasping at his hooks, and swallowing down his baits; and, alas! my conscience accuseth me of having done so in too many instances : But have I too seen my lost and undone state by nature, and been endeavouring to find a refuge from divine wrath under any or all of those coverts I was noticing, and have been driven out of them by the terrors of the law; the Holy Spirit convincing me of my dangerous situation, and the total insufficiency of such refuges to screen me from the wrath of the Almighty? And have I been led to see that there is no safety any where else, but under the covert of Christ's blood and righteousness, and to my sweet experience been taken with the gospel net, and closed with Christ alone for my Saviour, believing that he is both able and willing to save poor, wretched, sinful me, taking him for my all in all ?
If this hath not been the case, O my soul! stay not in all the plain, or state of nature, but haste, escape for thy life, and close with Christ, lest thou be overthrown with a shower of wrath and eternal vengeance: Look not behind thee. Gen. xix. 17. “ Remember “ Lot's wife !” Luke, xvii. 32.
ON A FLOWER GROWING IN A FIELD.
Passing by a flowery garden, and looking over the wall, I beheld among the flowers some of the footsteps of the renowned, pious, and justly celebrated Mr. James Hervey.
Therefore, lest I should rather draw a veil over the beauties he had exhibited than unfold any more of their charms, I did not dare to enter : but shall now content myself with contemplating this flower of the field, which here grows in all the simplicity of nature, displaying an elegance of taste, and beauty