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end to : but how comprehensive are our fouls in their capacities? We are made in the image of God; we can look beyond present things, and are capable of the highest happiness, and that to all eternity: the foul of a beast is but a material form, which, wholly depending upon, must needs die with the body; but our souls are a divine fpark or blaft; and when the body dies, it dies not with it, but sublifts even in its separated state.

REFLECTIONS. 1. How great a fin is ingratitude to God for A reflection for an such a common, but choice mercy of creation unthankful finner. and provision for me in this world? There is no creature made worfe by kindness, but man. There is a kind of gratitude which I may observe, even in these brute beasts : they do in their way acknowledge their benefactors; “ The ox “ knows his owner, and the ass his master's crib.” How ready are they to serve such as feed and cherish them? But I have been both unthankful and unserviceable to my Creator and Benefactor, that hath done me good all my days; those poor creatures that sweat and groan under the load that I lay upon them, never finned against God, nor transgressed the laws of their creation, as I have done; and yet God hath dealt better with me than with them. O that the bounty of God, and his distinguishing mercy between me and the beasts that perish, might move and melt my heart into thankfulness ! O that I might conlider seriously what the higher and more excellent end of my creation is, and might more endeavour to answer and live it! Or else, O my soul, it will be worse with thee than the beasts : it is true, they are under bondage and misery; but it is but for a little time; death will end all their pains, and ease them of all their : heavy loads ; but I shall groan to all' eternity, under a heavier burden than ever they felt ; they have no account to give, but so have I. What comfort is it, that I have a larger capacity than a beast hath? That God hath endowed me with reason, which is denied to them? Alas! this will but augment my mifery, and enlarge me to take in a greater measure of anguish.

2. By how many steps, O my soul ! mayest thou ascend in the praises of thy God, when thou A reflection for an considereft the mercies that God bath bestowed upon thee; not only in that he made thee not a stone or tree without sense, or an horse or dog without reason ; but that thou art not an infidel without light, or an unregenerate person without grace? What ! to have sense, and all the delights of it, which stones have nor! Reason, with the more high and noble pleafures of it, which beasts have not ! the light and knowledge of the great things of the gospel, which the heathens have not ! and such an expectation and hope of inconceivable glory and felicity, which the unfanctified have not ! O my soul! Low ricb, how bountiful bath thy

up to

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God been to thee ! These are the overflowings of his love to thee who waft moulded out of the fame lump with the beasts that groan on earth, yea, with the damned that howl in hell: well may I say that God hath been a good God to me!

THE POEM.
THEN I behold a tired jade put on

With whip and spur, till all his strength be gone ;
See streams of sweat run down his bleeding sides,
How little mercy's shewn by him that rides.
It I more thankful to my God would prove
Than fuch a rider merciless, 't will move
My soul to praise: For who sees this, and can
But bless the Lord that he was made a man.
And such a light the rider ought to move
This meditation duly to improve.

What hath this creature done, that he should be
Thus beaten, wounded, and tir'd out by me?
He is my fellow-creature ; 'tis mere grace
I had not been in his, he in my case.
Ungrateful, ftupid man! God might have made
Me bear the saddle, as I see this jade.
He never finn'd, but for my fin doth lie
Subjected unto all this mifery.
Lord, make my heart relent, that I should be
To thee more useless than my horse to me :
He did his utmost, went as long as ever
His legs could bear him; but for me I never
Thus ipent my strength for God, but oft have been
Too prodigal thereof in ways of fin.
Though he's the horfe, and I the man, 'twill be
Far better with my horse one day than me:
Unless thy grace prevent and superadd
A new creation unto that I had.
Could every reader fix a ferious thought
On such a subject, and hereby be taught
To fpiritualize it, and improve it thus;
How fweet would tedious journeys be to us!
But such a talk a graceless heart tires out,
More than the tired horse I write about.

CHAP. III.

Upon the seeking of lost Cattle.
When seoking your loft cattle, keep in mind,
That ihus Christ Jesus seeks your souls to find.

OBSERVATION.

W

HEN cattle are ftrayed away from your fields, you use all

care and diligence to recover them again ; tracing their footsteps, crying them in the market-towns, sending your servants abroad, and enquiring yourselves of all that you think can give news of them. What care and pains men will take in such cases, was exemplified in Saul, 1 Sam. ix. 4, 5. who with his servant, paffed through mount Ephraim to seek the asses that were ftrayed from his father, and through the land of Shalisha, and through the land of Shalim, and they were not there, and through the land of the Benjamites, but found them not.

APPLICATION.

THE

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THE care and pains you take to recover your loft cattle, carries

a sweet and lively representation of the love of Jesus Christ, in the recovery of loft finners. Jesus Christ came on purpose from heaven upon a like errand, to seek and to save that which was lost, Matth. xviii. 11. There are several particulars in which this glorious design of Christ, in seeking and saving lost man, and the care and pains of husbandmen in recovering their loft cattle, do meet and touch, though there be as many particulars also in which they differ : all which I Thall open under the following heads. 1. We sometimes find that cattle will break out of those very

fields where they have been bred ; and where they want nothing that is needful for them. Just thus loft man departed from his God, brake out of that pleasant enclosure where he was abundantly provided for, both as to soul and body ; yet then he brake over the hedge of the command, and went astray, Ecclef. vii. 29. “ Lo, this only have I

found, that God made man upright, but he fought out to himself

many inventions :" He was not content and satisfied with that blessed state God had put him into, but would be trying new conclufions, to the loss and ruin both of himself and his posterity.

2. Strayers are evermore sufferers for it; all they get by it is to be pined and poinded : And what did man get by departing from his God, but ruin and misery to foul and body? Will you have an abbreviate of his sufferings and losses? The full account none can give you: Why, by ftraying from his God, he loft the rectitude and holiness of his nature; like a true strayer, he is all dirty and miry, overspread and besimeared both in soul and body with the odious filthiness

of sin; he lost the liberty and freedom of his will to good, a precious jewel of inestimable value. This is a real misery incurred by the fall, though some have so far lost their understandings and bumility, as not to own it; he hath lost his God, bis soul, his happiness, and his very bowels of compassion towards himself in this miserable state.

3. When your cattle are strayed, yea, though it be but one of the flock or herd, you leave all the reft, and go after that which is loft : So did Jesus Chris, who, in the forcited place, Matth. xviii. 12. compares himself to such a shepherd; he left beaven itself, and all the blefled angels there, to come into this world to seek lost man.

O the precious esteem, and dear love that Christ had to poor man! How did his bowels yearn towards us in our low itate! How did he pity us in our misery! As if he had faid, poor creatures, they have lost them. selves, and are become a prey to the devil in a perithing state ; I will feek after them, and save them. The son of man is come to seek and to save.

4. You are glad when you have found your strayers, much more is Christ when he hath found a lost soul. O it is a great fatisfaction to him to see the fruit of the travail of his soul, Isa. liii. “Yea, there « is more joy in heaven over one finner that repenteth, than over “ ninety-nine just persons that need no repentance." What demonftrations of joy and gladness did the father of the prodigal give, when he had found his son that was lost? Luke xv. 20.

5. When you have brought home your {trayers, you sometimes clog them to prevent their wandering again, and stop up the gaps with thorns; and so doth God oftentimes by luch fouls as are recovered and brought home to Christ; he hangs a clog of affliction to prevent their departure from God again, 2 Cor. xii. 7.

But then there are five particulars in which Christ's seeking lost fouls, and your feeking loft cattle differ.

1. Your cattle fometimes find the way home themselves, and retnrn to you of their own accord; but lost man never did, nor can do 1o; he was his own destroyer, but can never be his own saviour ; it was possible for him not to have lost his God, but having once loft him, can never find him again of himself. Alas! his heart is bent to backsliding, he hath no will to return. Hear how Christ complains, John v. 40. “ Ye will not come unto me.” Man's recovery begins in God, not in himself.

2. Your servants can find, and bring back your lost cattle as well as you ; but fo cannot Christ's servants : Ministers may discover, but cannot recover them : they daily fee, but cannot save them ; lament them they can, but help them they cannot; intreat and beg them to return they can, and do, but prevail with them they cannot. Melanéthon thought, when he began to preach, to persuade all; but old Adam was too hard for young Melancthon.

3. You leek all the cattle that are strayed from you, especially the belt ; but Jesus Christ only fecks poor lost man. There were other

treatures, and such as by nature were more excellent, that lost tveir God and themselves : I mean, the apostate angels; but he came not to feek them : herein his fingular love to man appears.

4. When you have recovered and brought home your lost cattle, you may lose them the second time, and never recover them again ; but fo cannot Christ. «Man once recovered is for ever secured by him. “ All that thou hast given me, I have kept, and not one of them is « loft but the fon of perdition;" and he was never savingly found, John xvii. 12.

5. Though you prize your cattle, yet you will not venture your life for the recovery of them ; rather let them go than regain them with such an hazard; but Jesus Christ not only ventured, but actually laid down his life to recover and save lost man: he redeemed them at the price of his own blood; he is that good shepherd that laid down his life for the sheep. O the furpailing love of Christ to loft fouls !

REFLECTIONS. 1. Lord, I am a lost creature! an undone soul! and herein lies my misery, that I have not only lost my God, but have no heart to return to him: nay, I fly from A reflection for a Christ, who is come on purpose from heaven to loft foul. feek and to save me : his messengers are abroad, feeking for such as I am, but I avoid them, or at least refuse to obey their call and persuasions to return. Ah, what a miserable state am Iin ! Every step I go is a step towards hell; my soul, with the prodigal, is ready to perish in a strange country: but I have no mind, with him, to return home. Wretched soul ! 'what will the end of this be? If God have lost thee, the devil hath found thee; he takes

up

all ftrayers from God: yea, death and hell will shortly find thee, if Christ do not; and then thy recovery, O my foul! will be impossible! Why fit I here perithing and dying? I am not yet as irrecoverably loft as the damned are. Olet me delay no longer, left I be lost for ever!

2. O my soul! for ever bless and admire the love of Jesus Christ, who came from beaven to seek and save such a loft soul as I was. Lord, how marvellous ! how A reflection for one matchless is thy love ! I was lost, and am found: that was lost, but is I am found, and did not seek; nay, I am found found. by him from whom I Aed. Thy love, O my Saviour ! was a preventing love, a wonderful love; thou lovedst me much more than I loved myself; I was cruel to my own soul, but thou wast kind; thou foughtest for me, a loft finner, and not for loft angels; thy hand of grace caught hold of me, and bath let go thousands, and ten thousands, as good as myself by nature : like another David, thou didst rescue my poor lost soul out of the mouth of the destroyer ; yea, more than so, thou didst lose thine own life to find mine; And now, dear Jefus, fince I am thus marvellously recovered,

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