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Cushi. It is such enthusiasm that

believer

every can give some reasonable account of, agreeable to divine revelation: whereas, on the other hand, if the greatest man of letters, one of the brightest parts and greatest ingenuity in a carnal state, was to attempt to mimic this power, an infant of days in grace would be able to detect the impostor. It is one of the secrets that is with the righteous; and all other secrets essential to salvation are included in it.

This I have often observed, that when a letterlearned atheist has taken pen in hand against a treatise of divinity, he has acted just as an ignorant bully would do with a reasonable man, discharged the vulgar spleen of his heart at the book, though never able to overthrow or disprove one truth contained in it, with either sense or reason on his side: so that his bolt has only served to disclose the rebellion of his heart, and betray his ignorance of his Maker.

Ahimaaz. If God hides his mysteries from the wise and prudent, they can do but little with them. No man can counterfeit a thing that he has no idea of; nor can he disprove what he doth not understand. If the Messiah hides his mysteries from a man, he has no knowledge of them; therefore he can never counterfeit them, nor disprove them. Such a man may be counted wise while he keeps silence; "even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise; and he that shutteth his lips is

esteemed a man of understanding." Wisdom is too high for him, Prov. xxiv. 7; therefore if he meddle with it, he layeth open his folly.

But do give me a further account of Prodigalis; for it is the power of religion that warms the heart, as speaketh the Psalmist, "They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom," Psalm cxlv. 11, 12.

Cushi. After Prodigalis had been indulged with a saving view of the cross, he lived some time in that open vision, until his soul was so meekened and humbled under that affecting scene of tragedy, that he died to all earthly comforts and earthly things. The charms of his wife, the pleasures that he had taken in his children, the pleasures of company, the blessings of health, the blessings of sleep, and the blessings of food, were all insipid and unsavoury to him. Infinite fullness had entertained him with such divine satisfaction, that there was no room for a second course; God was all in all. And though God has made every thing beautiful in its season, yet there was but one object beautiful and seasonable to him.

For many months he lived in this open vision, and spent his time in the pleasing element of silent solitude, until he pined after heaven, as the infant just weaned doth after its mother's breast. He was like the Psalmist; "As the hart panteth after

the water brook, so panteth my soul after thee, O God," Psalm xlii. 1.

Ahimaaz. This is the blessed state of a restored soul; and he can do no less than love God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his strength. The man sees his own salvation so precious, and himself such a debtor

to grace, that the united efforts of every mental power are not sufficient to express the high obligation that such are under to God, nor the love and gratitude that is due to him.

Cushi. Why, you talk like a sound divine; that is a most gracious speech, and a very true one. Howbeit, after Prodigalis had been long indulged with this vision of the cross, it began in time to grow dim in its lustre, and to get more remote from view; and its appearing at a greater distance caused the sensations thereof to abate in proportion: but the Saviour sent him another Comforter, who gradually opened to his understanding the sacred and profound mysteries of the Holy Trinity; and led him up to the eternal council of Father, Son, and Spirit, in the economy of man's salvation. These things afforded him fresh entertainment and no wonder; for such astonishing and establishing views led the poor soul into joys unutterable: so that he rejoiced as much in the resurrection and glorification of the Son of God, as he had before mourned at the visions of his unparalleled sufferings and death. The blessed Spirit

shined like the sun on his understanding; revived his drooping heart; influenced his mind with life and peace; set his affections in a flame for God; and informed his judgment respecting those things which are hid from the wise and prudent. In short, he had a glimpse of almost all the essential mysteries, Mark iv. 11. This kindled a becoming zeal within him, and made his heart overflow with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Thus he was washed in the regeneration, and renewed by the Holy Ghost, which was shed upon him abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, Tit. iii. 6. He was a new creature indeed; old things were passed away, and all things became new, 2 Cor. v. 17; his flesh seemed fresher than a child's, and he returned to the days of his youth, Job xxxiii. 25. This made him desire no longer to appear as a candle under a bushel, or under a bed, but he wished to appear on a candlestick, that others might see the light, Matt. v. 15.

He began to speak cheerfully of divine things to his wife, family, and friends; the law of kindness was under his tongue; his conversation was savoury and powerful, and his zeal and knowledge were accompanied with a public spirit. He became a lively companion to those who had any reverence of their Maker; a warm reprover of the wicked, an informer of the misled, a keen detector of errors, a sound scriptorian, a son of consolation to a wounded spirit, and a conspicuous prevailer with God in prayer. The order of his

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family visibly reflected the religion of his heart. Instead of loading their minds with great swelling words of vanity, he endeavoured to train up children to useful learning; to make them dexterous at their pen, good accomptants, good grammarians, excellent readers, good geographers, &c. Which things, when accompanied with becoming prudence and good sense, make persons shine like stars in their native country.

Prodigalis never suffered his daughters to learn to dance, to swell their breasts, or to stretch their necks with the cursed air of wantonness. He knew by woful experience the craft of the devil, and that he would use every effort to get at their hearts and destroy their souls, without his giving him a clue. Nor did his wife gad about with a dress upward man and downward woman, as if they were a kind of mermaids, with a man's hat and wig and a woman's apron and a petticoat; a dress becoming none but hermaphrodites. How odious does it look to see men imitate women, with a back to their coat after the fashion of French stays, and bows of ribbon to their shoes, like misses in their teens; while the women wear not only the beaver and the wig, but the coat and waistcoat also: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God," Deut. xxii. 5. God has excluded the cottish man from his kingdom; "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the

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