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Whilft, on the other side," the heart of the wicked (as Solo" mon hath observed) is little worth," how much foever his cloaths be worth. Alas! it falls out too frequently among us, as it doth with men in the Indies, who walk over the rich veins of gold and filver ore, which lies hid under a ragged and barren surface, and know it not. For my own part, I desire not to value any man by what is extrinsical and worldly, but by that true internal excellency of grace, which makes the face to shine in the eyes of God and good men: I would contemn a vile person, though never fo glorious in the eye of the world; but honour such as fear the Lord, how fordid and despicable foever to appearance.
M E DI T. V.
Upon the light of a robin-red-breast picking up a worm from a
mole-hill, then rising.
bird watching fo intently above, I made a stand to observe the illue; when in a little time the bird defcends, and seizes upon a worm, which I perceived was crawling apace from the enemy below that hunted her, but fell to the share of another which from above waited for her. My thoughts prefently fuggested these meditations from that occasion: methought this poor worm seemed to be the emblem of my poor foul, which is more endangered by its own lusts of pride and covetoufness, than this worm was by the mole and bird : mý pride, like the aspiring bird, watches for it above; my covetousnefs, like this fubterranean mole, digging for it beneath. Poor foul! What a fad dilemma art thou brought to ? If thou go down into the caverns of this earth, there thou art a prey to thy covetousness that hunts thee; and if thou aspire, or but creep upward, there thy pride waits to ensnare thee. Diftreffed foul! whither wilt thou go? Ascend thou mayest, not by vain elation, but by a heavenly conversation, beside which there is no way for thy preservation; “ the way of life is “ above to the wise," doc.
Again, I could not but observe the accidental benefit this poor harmless bird obtained by the labour of the mole, who hunting intentionally for herself, unburroughed and ferreted out this worm for the bird, who poflibly, was hungry enough, and could not have been relieved for this time, but by the mole, the fruit of whose labour fhe now feeds upon. Even thus the Lord oft-times makes good his word to his people: “The wealth
& of the wicked is laid up for the just." And again, “The “ earth shall help the woman.” This was fully exemplified in David, to whom Nabal, that churlish muckworm, speaks all in poffefsives. “Shall I take my bread," &c. “ and give it to one I krov not whom ?” And
reaps the fruit of all the pains and toils of Nabal at lalt. Let it never encourage me to idleness, that God sometimes gives his people the fruit of others sweat; but if providence reduce me to necessity, and disable me from helping myself, I doubt not then, but it will provide instruments to do it. The bird was an hungry, and could not dig.
two little combatants ! had they agreed better, they might have lived longer; it was their own contention that gave both the opportunity and provocation of their death ; and though living they could not, yet, being dead, they can lie quietly together in my hand.
Foolish birds, was it not enough that birds of prey watched to devour them, but they muft peck and scratch one another? Thus have I seen the birds of paradise (faints I mean) tearing and wounding each other, like fo many birds of prey, and by their unchristian contests giving the occasion of their common ruin; yea, and that not only when at liberty, as these were, but when ingaged also; and yet, as one well observes, if ever Christians will agree, it will either be in a prison, or in heaven; for in a prison their quarrelsome lufts lie low, and in heaven they shall be utterly done away.
But what pity is it, that those who shall agree fo perfectly in heaven, should bite and devour each other upon earth? That it should be said of them, as one ingeniously observed, who faw their carcaffes lie together, as if they had lovingly embraced each other, who fell together by a duel ; Quanta amicitia se invicem ample&tuntur ; qui mutua et implacabili inimicitia periérunt !
Embracing one another, now they lie,
Who by each other's bloody hands did die. Or, as he said, who observed how quietly and peaceably the duft and bones, even of enemies, did lie together in the grave; Non tanta vivi pace conjuncti effetis ; you did not live together so peaceably. If conscience of Christ's command will noty
yer the consideration of common safety should powerfully pera fuade to unity and amity.
ME DI T. VII.
fixch by night.
God in nature, told me, that being entertained with a light of many rarities at a friend's houfe in London ; among other things, his friends thewed him a finch, whofe eyes being put out, would frequently fing, even at midnight. Thiş bird, in my opinion, is the lively emblem of such carclefs and unconcerned persons, as the prophet describes, Amos vi. 4, 5, 6. who chant to the viol, when a dismal night of trouble and affiction hath over-thadowed the church. You would hare thought it strange to have heard this bird sing in the night, when all others are in a deep silence except the owl, an unclean birds and the nightingale ; which before we made the emblem of the hypocrire. And as strange it is, that any, except the prophane and hypcritical, should so unseafonably express their mirth and jollity; that any of Sion's children should live in pleafure, whilft The herself lies in tears. The people of God, in Psal cxxxvii. tell us, in what postures of forrow they sat ; even like birds, with their heads under their wings, during the night of their captivity. “ How thall we fing the Lord's fongs in a strange “ land?” It is like enough, such as can fing, and chant in the night of the church's trouble, have well feathered their nefts in the days of her prosperity; however, let them know, that God will turn their unseasonable mirth into a fadder note; and those that now fit fad, and filent, shall shortly fing for joy of heart, when “the winter is past, the rain over and gone, the flowers
appear again upon the earth, and the time of the linging of W birds is come.
M E DI T. VIII.
pretty to observe the structure and commodicusness
of the habitations of these little architects, who, though they act not by reason and counsel, but only by natural instinct, yet reason itself could hardly have contrived a neater building of such simple materials. How neatly hath the thrush ceiled og plastered his nest, with admirable art, and industry! how warmly hath the finch matted his? And both well fenced 2gainst the injury of the weather..
How comfortably hath nature provided convenient habitations for these weak and tender young ones, who have warm lodging, and variety of provisions hourly brought them, without their care or pains ? This trifling object suggests to my thoughts a more excellent and serious contemplation, even the wonderful and unparalleled abasement of Jesus Christ, who for my fake voluntarily submitted himself to a more deftitute and neglected state, than these birds of the air: For Matth. viii. 20. he faith, “ The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have 6 nests ; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."
6. The craggy rock to foxes.holes afford,
O melting consideration! that the glorious Son of God, John i. 14.* The Lord of glory," James ii. 1. “ The brightness
of his Father's glory," Heb. i. 3. “Who was rich,” 2 Cor, viii. 9. “and thought it not robbery to be equal with God," Phil. i. 6. who from all eternity was infinitely and ineffably
delighting and rejoicing in the bofom of his Father,” Prov. viii. 30. that he, I say, should manifeft himself in flesh, 2 Tim. jii. 16.
3. that is, in flesh that had the marks and effects of sin upon it, as hunger, thirst, pain, weariness and mortality, and not only fo, but to chuse such a state of outward meanness and
poverty, never being pofTeffed of a house in this world; but living as a stranger in other mens houses, and ftoqping in this respect to a lower condition than the very birds of the air, and all this for enemies. O let it work both admiration and thankfulness in my foul ! my body is better accommodated than the body of
« Dear Jesus ! by how much the viler thou madest - thyself for me, by so much the dearer that thou be to me t."
D d 2
* Vulpibus in faltu rupes excifa latebras
Heins. in loc.
Upon the early singing of birds. ow am I reproved of sluggishness by these watchfui
birds ! which chearfully entertain the very dawning of the inorning with their chearful and delightful warblings! They set their little spirits all a-work betimes, whilft my nobler fpirits are bound with the bonds of soft and downy flumbers. For shame, my soul ! suffer not that publican deep to seize so much of thy time, yea, thy best and freshest time ; reprove and chide thy fluggish body, as a good bishop once did, when, upon the same occasion, he said, Surrexerunt paferes, et fternunt pontifices.
The early chirping Sparrows may reprove
Such lazy bishops as their beds do love. Of many sluggards it may be said, as Tully said of Verres, the deputy of Sicily, Quod nunquam folem nec orientem, nec oca cidentem viderat ; that he never saw the sun rising, being in bed after, nor setting, being in bed before.
It is pity that Christians, of all men, should suffer feep to cut such large thongs out of so narrow a hide, as their time on earth is. But, alas ! it is not so much carly riang, as a wise improving those fresh and free hours with God, that will ens rich the soul ; elle, as our proverb faith, A man may be early up, and never the near; yea, far better it is to be found in bed sleeping, than to be up doing nothing, or that which is worse than nothing. O my sou!! learn to prepofless thyself every morning with the thoughts of God, and fuffer not those fresh and sweet operations of thy mind to be prostituted to earthly things; for that is experimentally true, which + one, in this case, hath pertinently observed, that if the world get the start of religion in the morning, it will be hard for religion to overtake. it all the day after.
M E D I T. X.
were haltered and drawn in by a grain of hair cunningcait over their heads, whilst, poor creatures, they were busily feeding, and suspected no danger; and even whilft their cona
+ Mr. Cafe, in Epift, to the Morn. Lect.