Silentiarius. A brief essay on the holy silence and godly patience, that sad things are to be entertained withal. A sermon at Boston-Lecture, on the death of Mrs. Abigail Willard, and the day before her interment; who expired Septemb. 26. 1721.
Mather, Cotton, 1663-1728., Mather, Cotton, 1663-1728. Refuge of the distressed.
Page  1

The Refuge of the Distressed.

BOSTON, 24. d VII. m. 1721. When my DAUGHTER was lying at the point of Death.


O Lord, I am Oppressed; Undertake for me.

THE Wisst Course, the Only Course! It was well done, O Servant of the Lord: Whither, whither else couldest thou have gone for Help? Where else could|est thou have applied thy self with any comfortable Expectation? An Imitation of this Holy Example, is the Thing I have to propose unto my Hearers. In such an Evil World as this present World, we cannot be without frequent and ma|ny Page  2Occasions. But at this Evil Time, the Occasions multiply exceedingly. Lord, How are the Things increased which trouble us! Many, many are the Loads that we feel Oppressing of us. The Wounds given to many, in the Deaths which take away the Desire of their Eyes with a Tragical Stroke; And the Weary Nights that are appointed for many more in the Condition of our Families; These are some of the many Things, that cause us to groan, Lord, I am Oppres|sed under what is done unto me. How of|ten are we distressed, until we even Cry out of our Oppression? Whither shall we Look in our Distresses, but unto Him a|lone, who can Support and Rescue us? Lord, whither shall we go from thee! Thou hast the Words of all our Help!

THAT Religious and Renowned Prince Hezekiah was visited with a terrible Sickness. I know not, whether it was in the Time, while Jerusalem was actu|ally besieged by Sennacherib, or whether it was after the miraculous Raising of the Siege, by the Angels, and the Thun|ders of Heaven. If this Calamity befel him after his remarkable DeliverancePage  3from his Adversary, it was, as Jerom notes, To Chasten him, left his Heart should be listed up, too far, post incredi|biles triumphos et de media Captivitate Vic|teriam. Let it be how it will, after his Deliverance from that Calamity, he com|poses an admirable Song, which expres|ses his Dispositions and Circmstances, while it was yet upon him. In this ve|ry thing, there is a pattern given to all Good Men, that have endured Great Af|flictions, and Received Great Salvations. O ye Men of Great Experiences, You ought to Commemorate what you have Experienced; you ought to prepare and preserve Memerials of what you have met withal; you should at least leave these Memerials with your own Families, that they may learn to place their Hope in GOD.

I dismiss that Admonition; and pro|ceed unto One Article of this Excellent Mans Behaviour in the Time of his Cala|mity. This was, an Earnest Supplication unto GOD. We have Two things before us. First; We have his Condition, O Lord, I am oppressed. The Word proper|ly means, an unjust Hardship, wherein, Page  4as we say, Might overcomes Right! But we must not imagine, That our Saint would cry out as one in that sense Op|pressed by GOD. The Word then is to be taken in the Improper meaning; It is as much as to say,

My Affliction is too heavy for me; and my Distemper han|dles me with a sort of Tyranny: I am overthrown, I am overwhelmed, I have no way to help my self.

Secondly, WE have his Petition, Un|dertake for me. The word signifies, To mingle. It leads us to a Suretiship, in which Parties are mingled; the one acts for the other, yea, the one becomes the other. It is, q. d. Engage for my Help. It also signifies Comfort me; Refresh me, Ease me, give me some Rest. Some In|terpreters translate the Word, Weave me up. He had just before said, I have cut off like a weaver my Life. Now he says; Extend the Web of my Life; Let it not be cut off, till it be fairly and fully finished.

The DOCTRINE before us, what else can it well be, but this?

Page  5GOOD Men Distressed & even Oppressed with Affliction, may and should go to GOD, and cry to Him, who is the Hel|per of the Oppressed, that He will un|dertake for them.

UNDER all pressres of Affliction, our Course must be to Fly unto GOD, as our Undertaker; Make our Prayer to GOD, that He will Undertake to relieve us in, and redeem us from all the Op|pression that is upon us. I am to speak some Good Words this Day; Words by which may be made Glad, the Hearts that are stouping with Heaviness.

I. SOMETIMES we are so Distressed, as even to be oppressed in it. Our Affliction may be such, that we may call it, an Oppression too. We may be so Afflicted, that we may have cause to cry out, O Lord, I am Oppressed,

BUT what sort of Distresses, are they that may be styled Oppressions. Why;

First. ALL Distresses, that lye very heavy upon us, may be counted Oppressi|ons. When an Affliction Sinks us, then there is a kind of an Oppression in it. If an Affliction be such a Burden upon our Spirits, or upon our Interests, that we Page  6can't easily subsist under it, we may now cry out, O Lord, I am Oppressed! He was an oppressed man, who could say, Psal. CXIX. 107. I am afflicted very much. Sometimes an Affliction befalls us, that has in it more than ordinary matter of Sorrow; that Sorrow, by which our Hearts are broken within us. And some|times we labour under a variety of Affliction: Many vexations, and confusi|ons do at once break in upon us. We faint, we fail, we can't keep up a com|fortable Temper. Then we may say, O Lord, I am oppressed. So might he, that could say, Psal. LXXXVIII. 7. Thy wrath lies hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. So might he that could say, Psal. XXXVIII. 2. Thy Arrows stick fast in me, and thy Hand prsses me sore. Consult the Grans of Afflicted Job; In them you often have a Para|phrase on our, O Lord, I am oppressed. It is Paraphrased, when he says, Oh! That my Grief were thoroughly weighed! For now, it would be heavier than the sand of the Sea: Therefore my words are swallowed up. There may be Oppression in our Affliction, without any of the least Page  7Injustice in it. It is enough, if there be Extremity in it, if there be Secrity in it, if it be Insupportable; if we cannot well encounter it. We may now say, O Lord, I am Oppressed.

BUT, Secondly; There are those which are Oppressions without a Figure; Oppressions in the strict import of the Term; And these are Oppressions that have Injustice in them. We are Oppressed, when we are unjustly and unfairly dealt withal. The Injured are the Oppressed. There is that which is called, Psal. CXIX. 134. The Oppression of Man. This Oppression always carries Injustice in it. There is the Gain of Oppression. There is a Leviathan, who is eminently esteemed, The Oppressor. 'Tis the Man who uses Extortion in his Dealings; the Man, who takes Advantage upon the Ne|cessities of other Men, to compell them unto unconscionable Difficulties; the Man, who detains the hire of the Labour|ers, and the Just Dues of the Necessitous, till they make a Cry. We read of such an one, Hos. XII. 7. He Loves to Oppress. There are Oppressions in all Cruel Usages. Every Cruelty, tho' to the most abject of Page  [unnumbered]Creatures, is an Oppression. A Slave bar|barously dealt withal, may say, O Lord, I am oppressed. They also that are Abused, and Sandered, in their Names, and un|justly Reproached; these may say, O Lord, I am oppressed. Unjust Representa|tions made of Men, are Oppressions upon them. A Man, who is treated as an Offender, when it may truly be said, This man has done nothing amiss! This man may say, O Lord, I am oppressed. When Affront, Contempt, Indignity is cast upon a Man, who deserves another man|ner of Treatment, he is an oppressed man. And if the man who is unrighteously dealt withal, be basely deserted, by those that ought to appear for his defence and ser|vice; If he be deprived of Remedies to defend himself the oppression then be|comes yet more notorious & conspicuous. God will look upon it! But that I am to tell you, in the Second Proposition.

II. THE Oppressed, What shall they do? Where shall they go? But make their Complaint unto the Lord; Sollicit the Lord, that He would undertake for them. So we are taught, by Psal. CII. Page  9Fit. A Prayer of the Afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and pourth out his complaint before the Lord. Several things are now to be Enquired.

WE will Enquire, First; HOW the Oppressed must make their Complaint unto the Lord?

WE will Answer; First; Be sure, You may not complain of any Oppression in the Lord. Of the Glorious Lord, that Acknowledgment must be Eternally made, Psal. XCII. 15. There is no unrigh|teousness in Him. Whatever Distresses come upon us, we must Acknowledge; Th Lord is Holy in all his ways, and Righteous in all his Works. Whatever may be our Afflictions, we must Acknow|ledge, Lord, Thou dost unish me far less than mine Iniquities deserve. Indeed, One that was under a vast confluence, and contrition of Troubles, broke forth into that Expression; Job X. 3. Is it Good unto thee, that thou shouldest oppress? But the Good GOD may truly say; I cannot oppress. Oh! Let us humble our selves before the awful, absolute, infinite Sovereignty of the Great GOD. The Sovereign GOD may de what. He will,Page  10with all the Works of His Hands. 'Tis no Oppression in the Potter, to do what He will with the Clay. The Great GOD would not oppress us, tho' He should ut|terly Destroy us; and; unto whom shall He give an Account of His matters? But then, Let us add the Consideration of our own exceeding Sinfulness: Consider, how much we have by our Sins, made our selves worthy of the forest Plagues; Consider that Expostulation; Lam. III. 39. Why should a living Man complain; a Man for the Punishment of his Sin? After this, when we complain to the Lord, O Lord, I am oppressed; Yet never Complain of the Lord. Confess before the Lord,

O Lord, If my Distresses and Afflictions do oppress me, yet thou art not char|geable with any Oppression. Thou art Just, in all that is come upon me. Tho' Man may use Injustice towards me, there is not the least Injustice, in the Lord, who has ordered all.

Secondly. YOUR Complaint unto the Lord, under your Oppression, must be your Pray|er to the Lord, that He would undertake for you. It must be an Address to the Lord, that you may be help't under Page  11your Oppression, by His undertaking for you.

BUT what is contained, in this Com|prehensive Desire, Undertake for me. It contains in General, a Desire, that GOD would go thorough with all that shall be|needful for our Succour. He that un|dertakes a Business, must perform it, and go thorough with it. Now there are se|veral things needful to be performed for the oppressed People of GOD.

First. MAY GOD Undertake for us, That we may be strengthened and comfort|ed under our Oppressions. If GOD un|dertake for us, we shall have the Assis|tance of God; God will assist us to bear our Oppressions with Patience. If God undertake for us, we shall Continue and Persevere in the Wayes of God under our Oppressions, and not step aside into any Sin, tho' we are broken in the Place of Dragons. If God undertake for us, we shall be kept from Heart-breaking Des|pondencies under our Oppressions; our Hearts will be revived with the Great Consolations of God brought home unto them. We read, Psal. LV. 22. He shall sustain thee. When we pray, Lord, un|dertake Page  12for me, we are to present such desires as these before the Lord:

Lord, Let none of my Distresses be too hard for me. If I must be Distressed, yet let me not be Forsaken. Do not suffer me to be Tempted above what thou wilt make me able to bear. Visit me with thy Spi|rit; let thy Spirit visit me with thy Promises under my Distresses. O streng|then me, and Comfort me.

Secondly. MAY GOD undertake for us, That we may get Good by our Op|pressions. If God undertake for us, our Oppressions will be made Beneficial, Ad|vantageous, and Serviceable unto us; and we shall reap out of them the best of Benefits. If God undertake for us, our Oppressions will bring us nearer to God, and make us liker to Christ, and the Things which press us down, will but Raise us up to the most Heavely elevations. It GOD undertake for us, our Souls will thrive under our Oppres|sions, more than the Israelites did under their Egyptian ones; we shall be gainers by our Losses. We read, Heb. XII. 11. The chastning afterwards yields the peacea|ble Fruit of Righteousness. When we Page  13pray, Lord, undertake for me, we are to present such Desires as these before the Lord:

Lord, Let my Distresses prove Kindnesses to me. Let me find that thou hast in Faithfulness distressed me; and that all the Fruit shall be to take a|way my Sin. Let me be made better, by all the Evil that befals me; and let me be made Wiser by the Rod of thy Correction.

Thirdly. MAY GOD undertake for us, That we may be Sav'd out of our Op|pressions. The Great GOD, is the GOD of Salvations. If once He undertake for us, we shall have Salvations from our Oppressions. The cry of the oppressed is, Arise and save us. We read, Psal. CVII. 6. They cryed unto the Lord, in their Trou|ble, and He delivered them out of their Distresses. When we pray, Lord, under|take for me, we present these desires be|fore the Lord;

Lord, Bring me out of my Distrsses. Let me see thy Salvati|ons. I am Thine, Save me.

THIS is what we have to do. But now,

WE will Enquire, Secondly. Why the Page  14oppressed should thus make their Com|plaint unto the Lord.

WE will Answer. It should be done for these Reasons.

First. THERE is the Hand of GOD, in all our Oppressions. It is the Hand of GOD, that lays them on. Tho' the Blessed GOD can be no Oppressor; yet we can suffer no Oppressions without the Will of GOD. All our Afflictions are or|dered by GOD. It was a word spoken once to one, who cryed out, I am Oppres|sed; Job. V. 6, 8. Affliction comes not forth of the Dust, neither does Trouble spring out of the Ground; I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause. Whatever Distresses may Afflict us, and Oppress us, 'tis the unexceptionable Pro|vidence of GOD, that has brought them upon us. If it be the Oppression of Man, that is grievous unto us, even this also is not without the Providence of GOD. No Man can wrong us, but it may be said, God has bidden him. We read, Job. XXXIV. 29. When He giveth Quiet|ness who can make Trouble? Well then; Since we have to do with GOD, in all our Oppressions, what shall we do, but Page  15make our Complaint unto GOD? Yea, GOD sends our Oppressions upon us, on purpose to provoke and produce our Complaint unto Him. He says, In their Affliction, surely they will seek me Early. The same Hand that lays our Oppressions upon us; whither shall we look but unto that Hand, either to moderate them to us, or to deliver us from them?

Secondly. THE Faithful GOD is Engag'd for our Help in all our Oppressions. The very Nature of GOD, this is full of Mercy, full of Pity. There is in the very Nature of GOD, a Compassion for the Oppressed. We read, Lam. III. 32. Tho' He cause grief, yet will be have compossion, according to the Multitude of His Mercies. Hence it comes to pass, that when Sinful Men have brought sad Oppressions and Confusions on themselves by their Sins, yet if they make their Complaint unto the Lord, He soon says, Tho' I have brought such things upon them, yet I earnestly remember them still, and I will surely have mercy on them. 'Tis therefore also one of the Titles, by which the Lord has made Himself known unto us; Psal. IX. 9. The Lord will be a Refuge Page  16for the oppressed. And, Psal. X. 18. He will judge the oppressed. Yea, And there is the Promise of GOD for it. GOD has Promised, That when the Oppressed bring their complaint unto Him, they shall not seek His Face in vain. Thus we read; Psal. XII. 5. For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord. Oppressed Believer, why art thou cast down? why is thy Soul disquieted within thee? Go tell the Lord, all that lies as a Distress upon thee; Thou wilt find him ready to take notice of thy Distress, ready to do thee Good.

Thirdly. NONE but GOD can help us in all our Oppressions. We read, Jer. III. 23. In vain is salvation expected else|where; Truly in the Lord our GOD is the salvation of Israel. It is in vain to ask, any one else but the Lord only to Under|take for us. If Creatures do undertake any thing for us, without GOD they can Accomplish nothing for us. They are all Physicians of no value. We read, Job XXI. 4. As for me, is my Complaint unto man? If it were so — 'Tis in vain for us to call, O Friend, undertake for Page  17me. We have no way left, but to call, O Lord, undertake for me. All other Undertakers will be miserable Comforters. They will effectually put us off, as the King did the poor Oppressed Woman; If the Lord help thee not, whence can I help thee! GOD is the only Refuge of the Oppressed. When any Oppression is upon us, we must make that Conclusion;

My Soul, wait thou only upon GOD; for my expectation is from Him alone. He only is my Rock and my Salvation.


AND now, What are your Oppressions, what are your Exercises, O ye People, every one of you? Behold, a Lovely, the only Method of Relief! Oh! Let all Oppressed People, repair to the Glorious GOD, as their Great Undertaker. Make your Complaint, and your Prayer unto GOD, that He would Undertake for you. Where else will you go? What can ye do without me, s••th the Lord! If your vain Imaginations propose this way, and that way; and indeed Fallen man hath sought out many Inventions; There are Page  18many ways to get off the heavy Burdens, which we feel Oppressing of us; Behold, I show unto you, a more excellent way. Spread before the Lord, all the Oppressi|ons, and all the Distresses, that encumber you. Cry unto Him, O Lord, I am op|pressed, Undertake for me! This is the way to come at that Happiness; Isai. LIV. 14. Thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear it. To call upon GOD, O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me: This is the way, to see a glad Period put unto your Oppressions. The Experience of the Pious in all Ages have proved this way. Thousands and Myriads have been the Instances of those, who have been able to say, This Poor one, was Oppressed, and lamentably distressed, but he cried unto the Lord, and the Lord saved him out of all his Troubles. To call upon GOD, O Lord, I am oppressed, Undertake for me: This is the way to Ease and Change the Oppressions immediately. The Afflictions may remain, but they shall cease to be Oppressions. We shall be able to stand, and walk, and look cheerfully under them. If we were of Sorrowful Spirits, yet having poured out our Souls Page  19unto the Lord, we shall now be no more sad. We shall be upheld when we have cast our Burdens on the Lord. When Peter cries out, Lord, save me, the outstretched Arm of the Lord, will save His Threat|ned Servant from sinking in the Black waves which threaten him. This admi|rable way, of dealing with all our Un|easinesses, I must recommend it univer|sally, recommend it wonderfully.

I. THIS must be the Method of Relief, when you meet with sharp Scourges from the Hand of Heaven, upon any of your Enjoyments. Whatever Oppression or Affliction lies upon you in any of your Enjoyments, Oh! mourn unto the Lord; Lord, I am oppressed, Undertake for me. This is the Direction, Jam. V. 13. Is any afflicted, let him Pray. So we are di|rected; Psal. L. 15. Call on me in the day of trouble. Are you Oppressed with any Malady? Go to that Lord, who is the Lord our Healer. Ask the Healing In|fluences of Him, who is the Lord of our Life. It was a gross Error in him, who sought unto the Physicians, and not unto the Lord. Under all your pains, cry out, O Lord, I am oppressed, Undertake Page  20for me. Add that cry; Psal. XLI. 4. Lord, Heal my Soul; for I have sinned against thee. Are you Oppressed with any Poverty? Go to that Lord, who by His Blessing does make rich. Ask to be Bless'd and Fed by that Lord, who says, that if you Trust in Him, and do Good, verily you shall be Fed. Whatever Straits may be upon you, cry out, O Lord, I am oppressed, Undertake for me. Plead that Bond: Heb. XIII. V. He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor for|sake thee. Are you brought low, by the Death of those in whom your Life was bound up? Do you stoup, & shrink, as under a dismal Oppression, because those that were as the very Staff of your Life, are taken from you? Is the Lamb that has been unto you as a Daughter going from you! Go to that Lord, who has taken your Friends from you, and who is infinitely Better than all Friends. Ask that you may find him so. Cry out unto Him; O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me. Take with you those words al|so; Psal. XXV. 16. Have merry on me, for I am desolate and afflicted.

II. THIS must be the Method of Relief, when you fall into the Hand of the Op|pressor.Page  21You read; Eccl. V. 8. Thou see the oppression of the poor; He that is Higher than the Highest, regardeth it, Let Him that is Higher than the Highest then hear from thee, O oppressed Neighbour. Tho' thou art never so low, & mean, He will regard the Oppression. Do any Defraud you, and fraudulently, or violently withold from you, what you have a Rightful Claim unto? Do any misuse you? Do any Revile you? Are you falsely Accused? must you lye under the Load of a False Accusation, and the unjust Clamours of unreasonable Persons? Fall down at the Foot of the Holy GOD. Own that He is Just in all. Beg that you may get Good by all. But cry out, O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me!

I will be yet more particular. We read, Gal. VI. 2. Bear ye one anothers bur|dens. Alas, Men make Burdens for one another; By their Base Humours they do so. Sometimes Relatives make them|selves very Burdensome to one another. We may have Relatives whose vile, fro|ward, morose Carriage may be so Bur|densome unto us, that we can do nothing, but as Jacob did, when Laban, and when Page  22Esau, were abusive to him. Do so; and cry unto the Lord; O Lord, I am oppres|sed, undertake for me! We have cause to say, as Psal. LVI. 1. Be merciful to me, O God, for Man daily oppresseth me. Who can tell, what will be done; when the multitude of your Oppressions, brings you to cry out, Where is GOD my Maker.

III. THIS must be the Method of Re|lief, when your Fears, your Cares, your Employments are too many for you. They that are afraid, how it may fare with such as are gone far from them, and vely nar to them: The Desire of their Eyes travelled out of their Sight; Their Friends abroad. Their Hears about them, how oppressing are they! Theyly down with them; they rise up with them. Oppressed Hearts Cry out, O Lord, I am oppressed, Undertake for me! Add that Cry; Psal. LXI. 2. From the End of the Earth will I cry unto thee, when my Heart is Overwhelmed. Some are in the Park, what Steps to take, in weighty Affairs before them. They have Darkness on their paths. They are at a mighty Less, what to do. Their Agony, their Op|pression is unspeakable. Distressed Minds,Page  23cry out, O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me! Add that cry, Psal. XXVII. 11. Teach me thy way, O Lord; and lead me in a plain path. Some have more Wark to do, than they can well do; they are over wrought; Heavy Tasks are imposed on them; They have many to serve; many Obligations to answer. Weary Men! cry out; O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me! Put in suit that word; Isa. LXI. 10. Fear thou not, for I am with thee, I will strengthen thee, I will help thee, I will uphold thee.

IV. THIS must be the Method of Re|lief, when Troubles of a more Spiritual Original are upon you. When the Phi|listines of Hell, with their Temptations are upon you. Are you under Tempta|tions; Temptations to Infidelity, Temptations to some Impurity, Temptations to any Im|piety? Do your Temptations press hard upon you and throw your Souls into a Flame, into a Sweat, into an Intolerable Agitation; You may complain, as Psal. LIV. 3. Oppressors that seek after my Soul have risen up against me. The Devils arm'd with our Lusts, are the worst Op|pressorsPage  24in the World; Worse, worse than any on the Coast of Barbary; They are Oppressors that seek after the very Life of our Soul. But unto whom will you make your Complaint? O cast your selves into the Dust before the Lord, and from thence cry out unto Him, O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me. You may lay to Heart your Oppression, as worse than that wherewith we read, the Egyptians, and after that, the Nati|ons of Canaan, sometimes oppressed the People of GOD. You may say with him, Psal. XLIII. 2. I go mourning because of the oppression of the Enemy. But then, Let the Temptations that oppress you, Quicken your cry unto Him, that said, Behold, the cry of the Children of Israel is come unto me, and I have seen their oppres|sion wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Cry out, as under a Rape. Cry out, O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me! Add that cry, Psal. CXIX. 122. Be sure|ty for thy Servant for Good; Let not the proud oppress me.

Lord, none so proud, as the Devils, and the Lusts, which ex|act from me, the Homage which is due to thee alone.
GOD will break in pie|ces, Page  25the Temptations, that cause the cry of the poor to come unto Him, and He will hear the cry of the Afflicted. If the Battle go hard, cry to GOD in the Battle.

V. WE must not break off until the Suretiship of our LORD JESUS CHRIST be clearly set before us; the Suretiship in which is laid up all our Salvation. Of our SAVIOUR we read, Heb. VII. 22. Our JESUS made a Surety. Oh! Give a great Attention!

KNOW it first; That you have such Loads lying upon you, as will sink you into Eternal Wretchedness, if they be not seasonably taken off. Your Sins, your Sins, are such mountainous Loads. In your Natural State, what are you, but a People laden with Iniquity! The Guilt which is lying upon you, or a being bound over to suffer the Punish|ment of Sin: 'Tis a Load enough to break the back of an Angel. Ah! Were you not horribly Dead in Sin, you would cry out; as Psal. XXXVIII. 4. My Iniquities are as an heavy Burden, they are too heavy for me. And the Rule of Sin reigning Page  26over you, how full of Oppression is it! Sin puts a most Oppressive Drudgery on the Sinful Children of Men. Obedience to Sin, 'tis a Lad, and a Yoke that cannot be born. Ah, Did you feel it, as it is, you would cry out; Rom. VII. 24. O wretch|ed one that I a, who shall deliver me! Sinners, That you were but sensible of the as that are upon you! Loads that are pushing of you to Death!

BUT Know it, Secondly; That a Glo|rious CHRIST has Undertaken to take off the Loads, of the Sinners that Sigh and Seek unto Him. Indeed, there was a Day wherein the Great GOD laid upon Him the Iniquities of us all. In that black Day we read, Isai. LIII. 7. He was op|pressed. When our SAVIOUR had the Load of our Sin lying upon Him, and was making Satisfaction for our Sin, He cried out, I am oppressed, I am sore broken. What an Heaviness was there then upon Him! All this was to Save us out of our Oppression; It was to pay a Ransome for us! And if we will now Personally Apply our selves unto this Glorious CHRIST we shall have Him for our SA|VIOUR. The Bond of our Iniquity, will Page  27be removed, be cancelled; And no Ini|quity shall have Dominion over us. What an Invitation has this Glorious Underta|ker for opprssed Souls given unto us! Matth. XI. 28. Come to me all ye that La|bur and are heavy laden, and I will give you Rest. Oppressed Sinner, Thus Invited by the trong Redeemer, see thy Oppressi|on, and cry out unto Him; O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me. My Sins will opprss me, will Destroy me, except Thou be my Surety for Good. I put my self into thy Hands; Oh! Be Thou my Surety and my SAVIOUR. The Effect of this Faith will be, that a Glorious CHRIST, will Undertake for thee. But, Oh! What a Strong Redeemer wilt thou find Him! His Office is that, Psal. LXXII. 4. He shall break in pieces the Oppressor; He shall save the Soul of the Needy. He will Exe|cute this Office wonderfully for thee.

I have done. You are no doubt a|ware of it, that some very Afflictive Things in my own Condition, especially on the score of my call this Day to the Sacrifices of a Jepthah, and in the Condi|tion of some very nearly Related unto me; have led me to these Meditations.

Page  28 I will only observe to you, these Two Things upon it.

THE One is; That it is a Consolation to me when I am o and much oppressed, and become a Man of Sorrows, it is o|dered by a Gracious GOD, that some of His People fare the better for my Sr|rows; I can truly say, This renders my Oppressions in some Degree welcome to me, in that I perceive He makes them Useful to the People, unto whose Edifi|cation my All is Dedicated.

THE Other is; That I can assure you, a poor Oppressed Servant of GOD, having the view of a CHRIST concerned for him, and feeling a CHRIST possessing of him, and conversing with him, finds e|nough and enough to comfort him, in the Multitude of his Thoughts within him. Upon the precious Thoughts of a CHRIST, he is kept from fainting under any Op|prssions; The Fatigue of them Vanishes; He can mount and soar and Sing the Songs, which GOD our Maker has pro|vided for the darkest Night, that is ever passing over him.