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this audacions Offender! He had grudged the Almighty the bare seventh Part of his Time; and, behold, he is immediately rendered incapable of employing any Part thereof, either to the Advan. tage of himself or others! Might he not plainly read his Guiir in his Chaftisement? Wilt i bou not fet apart a Day for my Service, faith the LORD? Thou Malt not have it in thy Power any Day.to serve any one but me, not even thyself. This was as plainly the Language of this Judgment, as if God had actually declared as much to him audibly from Heaven. In effect, it is very observable, though he could not do any thing else, he was not thereby hindered from praying, or meditacing, or reading the Word ; and it is highly probable, by the Mirigation of his. Punishment at the End of Two Years, that he made a proper Ufe of this Warning, by a serious and hearty Repentance; and consequently, as was said before, that this Viltation was equally wise, just, and merciful.
Another Wretch of the fame greedy and prophane Stamp, not caring to trust incirely to Provi, dence, which had blessed him with a plentiful Harvelt, with the Prefervarion of shat Corn for one Night, which he owed intirely to the Divine Bounty and Goodness, wholly regardless of his great Creator and Benefactor, caused it all to be removed out of the Fields, on the Lord's Day, into his Barn, as into a Place of greater Safery. But, as it is cruly said, that is well kept which God keeps, so it may be affirmed, with equal Certainty, that nothing is Secure, which is not under his Protection ; and accordingly so it happened upon this Occasion : For no's only the Corn itself which had been gathered in with so much mistruttful Care, but the Barn where. in it was lodged, and all the other Grain that was iú ir, were consumed soon after, by Fire from Heaven. Thus, spighe chis Man again read his Sin in his Pupishment!
of the Breacire is the following his own
180 of the Breach, or Observance,
And of a fimilar Nature is the following Inftance of a Nob'eman, who, though Mafter of his own Time, and consequently at Liberty to set a part what Portion thereof he thought fit for his Pleafures, used constantly, and out of meer Perverle. ness, and as it were, in downright Contempt of The Almighty, to allor every Sunday for the Diversion of Hunting. But too soon did that God, of whom he stood so little in Awe, make this haughty Offender sensible of his great and dreadful Power, and that in a most shocking and morrifying Manner As he had so openly preferred attending on his Dogs, to an Artendance on Divine Service, his Lady was delivered of a Child which had a Dog's Head; that he might have one of his own gerring, whereon to beltow his Care and Arten. dance. How must his Pride and towering Spirit be hunibled, by so uncommon and heart-breaking a Vibration;
But in these foregoing Instances, as shocking and severe as the Judgments inflicted upon the several Tranfgreffors may seem to fome Persons, who may have long accustomed themselves to think lightly of obe Breach of the Sabbath, it is very certain there was a great Intermixture of Mercy cherein, as they had all Leisure allowed them for Repentance, whereby they mighe turn their Punishment to a Biefling; and it is highly probable fome of Them, the firft at least, as was before observed, are qually did lo ; whereas in these Examples that fola low, this Sin being heightened and aggravated by other additional Crimes, of a heinous Na:ure, the Chaftisement of the Offenders is also proportionable Therelo, chey being inftantiy cut off, in the very Commission of their Wicliedne!s.
- A certain Woman was so carihly-minded, and intent upon the Things о this Life, that the would Deicher Spare Time herself for the Service of Hea
ven, nor fuffer any of her family to do fo ; but on the contrary, making no Difference between the Lord's Day and any other, used constantly to spend it in some worldly Business, and would not be dis. swaded therefrom by any friendly Admonitions or Remonftrances of her Neighbours. As she was. thus employed therefore, according to Custom, one , Lord's Day above the rest, some Flax which The was drying and preparing for Use, seemed to take Fire, and to flame, but it went out again, without doing any Hurt. :
This mercifulWarning, however, was loft upon this profligare Wretch, for that very Day S.'nnight
The his recourse again to the same wicked Practice; whereupon the Flax a&ually took Fire indeed, but was extinguished without much Difficulty. Here again - was a second and meci al Warning; and happy ic had been for this impious and obstinate Wretch, had the been wise enough to have taken it, and defifted for the future, from her abominable Courses ! But, being quite hardened in Sin, and fully bent on filling up the Measure of her Ini. quicies, she recured again audaciously to the same shameful Trade, as if in defiance of the Almighty, on the third Lord's Day; and soon is the made dear. ly to repent it. For, behold! the Flax again sakes : Fire, and flames our with such Violence, thae it could not be extinguished by any Endeavours, till it had burat her and cwo of her Children so rerribly that all three died the next Day.
And one Thing was above measure astonishing in this Judgment; namely, that a young Infant, which was in a Cradle, in the midt of the Flames, was taken out unhurt; from whence it may be presumed the two Children who perished with their Mosher,were of sufficient Age to have known bet. ter, and had joined without Reluctance in this Sin. But however that be, tho' they had not complied
without the utmost Regret, and even upon the most positive Command of Their Parent, that would not have hindered their Compliance from being fintul, though it might greatly extenuate their Guils, fince we are only to pay Obedience to the Will of our earthly Parents, as their Injunctions do not clash with, and run counter to those of our heavenly Father.
· The next Infance we shall give of the dreadful Consequence of being addicted to this Sin, is of a fimilar Nature, though, in some respects, we rather think it more terrible, and this is of a profligate Vintner, who was not content with being himself guilty of blaspheming, fwearing, drinking, and prophaning the Lord's Day, unlefs he inciced or provoked orhers to parrake likewise, with him in the Tame wicked Exceffes. Accordingly, his Practice on Sundays used to be to stand at his Door wich a Pot in his Hand, to invite and call in Customers; But he followed this Trade once too often ; for as ! he was thus employed one Lord's Day, a violent Whirlwind arising on a ludden, carried hin up in. to the Air, in the Sight of many people, and he was never seen or heard of more, Ler all those of the same Trade, who are guilty of the like wicked Courses, if any such chere be, take Warning by his fad Fote, left they come to the same mi. ferable and antimely End.
The last Example we shall produce of the fatal Effects of this Crime, is of the like Nature, but yet more dreadful and shocking than either of the foregoing; and this is, of three prophane Wreiches in Switze, land, who could find no better Way of Employment, than to play at Dice on the Lord's Day. It is no great Wonder, whilst Persons are thus emplayed, and elpccialiy on such a Day, that she De. vil should find the Means co. intice them on from onc jin to another ; accordingly, so it happened in
this Instance, one of these unhappy Wretches, ha ving lost great Part of his Money, and having staked the Remainder upon one peremptory Caft, accompanied it with this blasphemous Declaration : If Fortune decerves me now, I will thrust my Dagger into the very Body of God, as far as I can ; an Expression so monstrous and dreadful, it would make the most hardened Infidel tremble.
It was no Wonder after this, that he should lose that Caft, since born Heaven and Hell were then jointly concerned to render ir unsuccessful; the for mer, that the Proof of his diabolical Threats might be seen, and the larter, that it might thereby be. Come allured of the Soul of this incarnate Fiend. The Dice then cont pued to run counter to this Blasphemer, and he lost his last Stake; whereupon with more thio diabo ical Rage, Spire, Malice, Obstinacy, and Audaciousness, he drew his Daga ger, and hurled it up against Heaven with all his Force. Would one believe it possible for any one. whilst cased in a Body of Fleíh and Biood, co proceed to such an unheard-of Excefs of Wickedness !
The Attempt of the Devil himself, whilst yet an Angel in Heaven, to rebel against Ġop, hardly feems a Sin of so deep a Dye; ar leaft it feenis less audacious, and more easily to be accounred for. He knew his own great Strength, and uncommon Beauty, with Abundance of other valuable Qualifications, wherein he exceeded all the rest of the heavenly Choir, and was only furpassed by God himself; but he knew not the Extent of his great Creator's Power, having till then never seen any InAance, thereot, bur in the Exertion of it in Acts of Mercy, Magnificence, and Wisdom Milery was a State, whereof he could not possibly have any Notion, having never seen any Precedent thereof, and being himself, with his Accomplices, the first