In Commemoration of the Great Storm, in the Year MDCCIII : Preached in Little Wild-street, near Lincoln's-Inn Fields, Nov. 27, 1736.
Matt. VIII. 25.
• Lord, save us ; We perijh.
THESE words are a very importunate petition of the disciples of Christ unto him, when in great danger by a storm at sea. The case of such persons, their great distress, and earnest cries for deliverance, and the manner of it, are very elegantly and beautifully described by the Psalmist; when he says, They that go down to the sea infiips, that do business in great waters: these fee the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep; for be commandeth, and raisetb the stormy wind, which listeth up the waves thereof: They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths, their foul is melted because of trouble; they reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end: Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses: He maketh the storm a calm ; so that the waves thereof are still: Then are they gladt because they be quiet j so he bringeth them unto their desired haven \ A late valuable writer * is of opinion, that this passage of the Psalmist is not to be considered as an account of what had happened, and so might happen again to> navigators in common, but as a prediction or prophecy of what should befal the disciples of Christ, when on shipboard with him; and had its exact accomplishment in the cafe before us. He supposes, that the disciples of Christ are the persons here described, that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; their occupation and employment, which they used both before and after they were called by Christ to be his apostles, being that of fishermen. These being in a ship with Christ, the Lord commanded, and raised the stormy wind; a great tempest arose in the sea, which listed up the waves thereof, so that they seemed to mount up to the heaven ; and beating into the ship, covered and filled it, insomuch, that they were just ready to go down to the depths ; then their foul was melted because of trouble:
» Psalm evii. 23—joi k Mr Joseph Hussey, in his Warning fiom the Winds, p. 21, &c.
And being at their wits end, not knowing what to do, apply to their Lord and Master-, and as they go to him at the stern of the ship, through the shaking of the vessel, reeled to and fro, and staggered like drunken men •, and cry unto him in their trouble, saying, Master, Carest thou not that weperistj ? Then he brought them out of their distresses, by making the storm a calm ; so that the waves thereof were still, when he rebuked the wind, and raging of the sea. And now did they fee the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep •, and said one to another, What manner of person is this whom the winds and sea obey ? Then were they glad, because the wind and sea were quiet; so he brought them to their desired haven, when they arrived at the country of theGadarenes, which is over-against Galilee. I cannot fay I am entirely of this writer's mind ; but rather think, that this account refers to a cafe which had been, and might be again, and may be accommodated to any cafe of the like kind, and particularly to this of the disciples; for certain it is, that they were in such distress and danger, did cry unto theLord for help, and had a wonderful deliverance wrought for them. In the words now read may be observed,
I. The danger and distress the disciples were in, and their fense of the fame;
II. The application they made to Christ, in which they were certainly right •,
Lord, save us.
I. The disciples were at this time in great danger and distress ; which appear not only from this expression of theirs, We perish, but also from the narrative of their case in the context: For,
1. It is said, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea*; a great tempest, fiij«f fHfpO; a great concussion, or shaking. The same word is frequently used both in scripture*, and in other writers', for the Terra motus, or earthquake. Here it is ascribed to the sea ; such a shaking we read of in the prophecy oi Haggaif, which had now, at least in part, its literal accomplishment; that when the Messiah, the desire of all nations, should come, Jehovah would shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land. The stormy wind agitated and moved the sea, and the waves thereof; and both wind and sea shook the ship, and the men that were in it; which threw them into great surprise and fear. One of the other evangelists p calls this tempest, a storm of wind; and another", a great storm of wind: and both of them use the word Kuxa.-\.y Ulaps, which isa
B b 2 particular kind of wind, or is rather a conflict of many winds'. The Philosopher faysk, that lalaps, as also strobilus, is a^wind that is suddenly whirled, and rolled about, downwards and upwards. It is defined by a learned Grecian ', to be "a storm, or tempest of wind, with rain." It seems to be a whirlwind, and hurricane, in which the disciples were. All the views of it, shew them to be in imminent danger.
« Matt. viii. 24. * Ibid. xxiv. 7. and xxviii. 2. e Ariflotel. Meterolog. 1. ii. c. 7
and 8. vol. I. p. 348, 349. Ed. Lugdun. Herodot. 1. 4. c. 28. p. 231. Ed. Gronov. Pausan.
I. 7. p. 446. Edit. Hanov. ' Hagg. ii. 6. * Luke viii. 23.
h Mark iv. 37.
It is also said, that this tempest arose. Could we give into a vulgar notion, that winds may be, and sometimes are, raised by Satan, we should be tempted to rhink, that this storm was raised by him, with a malicious intent to destroy Christ and his disciples at once ; since he was always seeking an opportunity to take away the life of Christ, and put different persons upon different methods of doing it, and at last accomplished his end. But we shall have occasion to observe hereafter, in this discourse, that Satan has no power to raise, continue, restrain, or lay a wind. Nor did this tempest arise by chance •, it was no fortuitous event, but was ordered to be, at this very juncture, by the all-wise, and all-governing providence of that God, who >commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, for the trial of the faith of the disciples of Christ; and that he might have an opportunity of giving proof of his Deity on the sea, as he had lately done in several instances on the dry land. The evangelist Luke fays m, that this storm of wind came down : He seems to refer to the course and motion of the winds, which are exhalations from the earth, raised up into the middle region of the air; from whence they are repelled, by a superior force, to the lower region; and from thence move, in an oblique, slanting manner, downwards. So we read of a dry wind of the high places, even a full wind from those places, not to fan, nor to cleanse". This violent wind came down with great force into the sea, and lifted up its waves, which beat into the ship, and pressed it much, so that it was in great danger of being funk by them.
The place where this tempest arose, or into which this storm of wind came down, is here said to be the sea. The evangelist Luke °, calls it a lake-, and is the fame with the lake of Genesareth, he elsewhere makes mention ofp. But both the evangelists, Matthew and Mark, call it the sea ; and is what is somerimes in scripture called the sea of Tiberias'1, and the sea of Galilee; agreeable to the language of the Jewish writers r, when they have occasion to speak of it; and was, as Pliny fays', about sixteen miles long, and six broad. Now, to be in a storm on land is terrible, buc to be in one at sea is much more so.
• Vid. Leigh's Ciitica Sacra in voce. 7iaiXa>}/. k AaiXa-J/ h Kj refSi*©-. <smvym
fAsfisroj xalwSitaw, Aristotel. de Mundo, c. 4. vol. I. p. 373. ' Attfui avry$n pilx vila,
Hesychius. m Luke viii. 13. n Jer. iv. 11, 1 z. °Lukeviii 23. And so
it is called by Pausan. 1. 5. p. 258. Ptolom. 1. 5. c. 16. Plin. 1. 5. c. 1 j. Solin. c. 48. and Egefipp. 1. 3. c. 26. ? Chap. v. 1. « John vi. i.andxxi. 1.
' Talmud. Babyl. Meed. Katon sol. 18.2. and Bava Kama sol. 81. 2. Bereft. Rabba, sol. 86. 2.
To all this, the word behold is prefixed •, which is sometimes used, when something extraordinary and preternatural is spoken of. This storm seems to have been more than an ordinary one, at least, it was sudden, and unexpected. When the disciples entered the ship, the air was serene, the sea still and quiet, there was no appearance or likelihood of a tempest; but quickly after they had set fail, at once, on a sudden, at unawares, this storm came down upon them •, which must needs throw them into great consternation and distress.
2. The ship was covered with the waves, which so beat into it, as another Evangelist expresses itu, that it was now full of water; yea, it is said ", that they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy, or in great danger ; which, perhaps, respects the other little ships*, that were in company with this, and were so ordered by divine providence, to be witnesies of this wondrous event. In one of the copies r, of one of the evangelists, the word /si/3i£«3w is used; which signifies, that not only the (hip was covered and silled with water, but that it was immersed, or just sinking into the deep; so that the disciples were brought to the utmost extremity.
3. What greatly added to, and increased their distress, it is observed, that Christ was asleep; all the evangelists agree in this, though they do not use the same word. The evangelist Mark mentions the place where he was asteep, in the binder part ofthe ship, tin 7»»Tft^«, in the stern, where he, as Lord and Master, should be; but, to the great concern of the disciples, he was there asicep, and that in a dead, deep, found steep, as the word, which the evangelist Luke makes use of, signifies *; and is confirmed by the loud cries, and repeated calls of the disciples to him, saying, Master, Master, We perish. This sleep, doubtless, arose from natural causes, and was more easily brought upon him, through his very great fatigue in preaching his sermon upon the mount, from whence hewas just comedown ; and through the great resort of people to him, to heal the sick, and cast out devils. He seems to signify, that he was in great uneasiness, and weariness of body, to a certain man, just before he entered into the sliip, who said to him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thougoest; who is thus answered by him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the ah have nests, but theSon of man hath not where to lay his head''•, intimating, as though he wanted an opportunity to lie down, and take some rest: And accordingly, when he was come into the ship, placing himself at the stern, finds a pillow, lays down his head upon it, and falls fast asleep. But, though this sleep of his was natural, yet it was so ordered by the providence of God, that it should in this manner come upon him, at this time, for the further trial of the faith of his disciples.
• L. 5. c. 1 ;. ♦ See Isai. vii. 14. * Maik iv. 37. * Luke viii. 23.
. * Mark iv. 36. J In uno codice scribitur |9if9t£i<&ai, id est, in profundum iret, five
mergeretur. Btza in Mark iv. 37. * Testamur enim Grammatici To vmn>. ampliuj
quiddam significare quam To xaS«vJ«», & prosundisiimum fuisse hunc soporem declarat geminata
Ula inclamatio discipuloruro, in ipso excitando. Beza inLuke viii 23. * Matt, viii 1.9,20.
4. The great distress they were in is expressed in these words, We peri/h, *n».vui&t \ we are lost; a way of speaking still in use among seafaring men, and, indeed, in common use with others. Nothing is more frequent than for us to fay, such a vessel, or such a ship's crew, or such a person were lost, at such a time, and in such a place. It is also to be observed, that they do not say, we are in danger of being lost, or we are ready to be lost, or we shall be lost, but we are lost; which shews what apprehensions they had of their condition, and that their cafe was like that of the apostle Paul, and the mariners with him, when all hope, that they Jhould be saved, was taken away". So the disciples saw no probability of escaping by any natural, rational methods; they looked upon themselves as lost. Christ was their last shift, and he was asteep ; however, they resolve to betake themselves to him: Which brings me,
II. To the application they make to him, Lord, save us: which shews, 1. That they believed he was able to save them : And they had a great deal of reason to believe it, since such considerable miracles were so lately wrought in their presence •, an account of which is given in this chapter. A leper comes to him, declaring his faith in him, that if he was willing, he was sure he was able to cleanse him of his leprosy ; upon which, Christ put forth his hand, and with a single touch, saying to him, I will, Be thou clean, immediately removed it. A centurion addresses him on the account of his servant, who lay sick of a palsy, signifying, that he verily believed, that if he would speak the word onlyy his servant would be instantly healed ; his reply is, So be it done unto thee; and his servant was healed the very fame hour. Next he enters Peter's house, where his wife's mother lay sick of a fever; he does but touch her hand, and the fever leaves her. These instances, together with the multitude of the sick he healed, and of them that were possessed with devils he cast out with his word, were sufficient to persuade the disciples, that he was able to deliver them in their greatest extremity. Our Lord, indeed, blames them for their incredulity, and want of faith. The question he put to them, as related by one of the evangelists, is, Where is your faith d ? You professed to have, and you had, some faith in me a little while ago-, but what is become of it now ? Yea, as it stands in another evangelist, it is put thus, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith'? that is, in exercise : Some faith they had, though it was but/mall ; for the question, as it appears in our evangelist, is put thus, Why are ye fearful^ O ye of little faithf ? They had no faith in him, as sleeping, but had some little faith in him, that he was able to help them, provided he was awakened out of steep ; for this Christ blames them. For though, as the Son of man, he was asleep •, yet he, as the Son of God, and Israel's keeper, and theirs, neither slumbers, nor steeps-, and was equally able to lave them steeping, as waking.
b So the word is rendered, in Luke xix. to. 2 Cor. iv. 3. « Acts xxvii. 20.
d Lukevi:i.»5. ■ Mark iv.40. s Matt. viii. 26. « Mark iv. 39.
2. It is not only certain, that he was able to save them ; but it is matter of fact, that he did save them. Being awaked by his disciples, he raises his head from his pillow, stands up, and with a majestic voice, in an authoritative manner, (hewing some kind of resentment at the wind and seas, as if they had exceeded their commission, and the one had blown, and the other raged, too much and too long, he rebukes them in such language as this, Peace, be still*, ewm, vtfifjuto*) " be silent, hold thy peace, stop thy mouth, put a bridle upon it, as " the last word signifies j and go on no longer, to threaten with shipwreck, and " loss of lives." Upon this, the wind ceased, the sea became a calm, the ship moved quietly on, and they all arrived safe at the country of the Gadarenes.
3. This had a very considerable effect, both upon the mariners, and the disciples, who rightly concluded from hence, that their Deliverer was more than a man. There was such a shine of majesty, such a lustre of divine power, appeared in this affair, as filled them with astonishment and fear; they marveled greatly, and feared exceedingly. It had this effect, both upon the men, and the disciples -, for though our evangelist seems to relate this h, as though the mariners were the persons only who were thus affected with the providence, and the manner of deliverance ; who said one to another, What manner of person is this ? rio-wT©- «s»c bj©-, " of what qualities, powers and perfections, is this *' person possessed ?" But the other evangelists represent it', as the question of the disciples to one another; saying, w *& »I3- iw, " Who is this person ?" Surely, he must be more than a mere man ■, he can be no other than the mighty God, whom the winds and the sea obey. It is to be observed, that the word ptan, which is put into our translation, is not in the question as expressed in any of the evangelists. The disciples were abundantly convinced by this instance, which so nearly concerned themselves, that Christ must be God over all blessed for ever.
What I shall do further, will be to improve this wonderful instance of the power of Christ, in favour of his divinity ; and to shew, that the disciples were right, in their application to him, in this their distress •, as are also all poor, perishing sinners, sensible of their lost condition, when they have recourse to him alone for eternal life and salvation. In order to this,
First, I shall endeavour to prove, that the power and government of the vind and sea, are only with God, and not with any mere creature. Men have no power, either to raise, or lay the wind :
» Mark iv. 39. * Matt. viii. 27. • Mark iv. 41. Luke viii. 25.
There is no such thing, as a conjuring wind : There is no such sett of men, who, by magic art, or by all the assistance the devil can give them, are able to perform any thing of this nature. We are told, that some have been so ignorant, or wicked, as to pretend to fell winds; and others, no less ltupid and impious, who have bought them : but this is all a dream and delusion. These are deceivers, and deceived; for who, what map, bits gathered the wind in bis fist, andean hold it there, and let it loose at his pleasure ? H hat is bis name, and what is bis son's name, if thou canst tell*-? Name the man, or his son? fay when lie was born, in what age he lived, of what country he was; who was his immediate son, or what of his posterity now remain : not any of these circumstances, or any thing like them, wilt thou ever be able to produce. As the Lord said to Job', Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst thou jend lightnings, that they may go and fay unto thee, Here we are ? So it may be said to any of the sons of men, Canst thou lift up thy voice to the winds, and send them forth when and where thou pleasest, command and controul them, at thy pleasure ? say to one, Go thither, and it goes ; and to another, Come, and it cometh ? No, this is not within the compass of the power of a creature. The devil himself has no such power : He may as soon create a world, as create the wind, raise a storm, or lav a tempest. The treasures of the wind are under lock and key: Satan has not the kteping of them; they are locked up from him, they are out of his reach, he cannot bring them forth when he pleases : He is indeed called m, The prince of the power of the air-, not because he has a power to disturb, or still it, to cover it with clouds and blackness, or raise storms and tempests in it; but, because he has the government of those principalities and powers, that posse of apostate spirits ; who, being banished from the realms above, have their abode in the air; where, as vagabonds, they rove about, and wander up and down in it. Now Satan, the angel of the bottomless pit, is prince, or king, over them, whose name in the Hebrew tongue, is Abaddon, and in the Greek tongue, Apollyon; which both signify a destroyer*. The only scriptural instance of the power of Satan over the wind, that is produced, is the wind that blew down the house where Job's children were, and destroyed them : but this wind is not said to come from Satan, but from the wilderness ° ; from a certain point in the heavens under the government and direction of Jehovah. All the hand the devil can be supposed to have in it, under divine permission, was to take the advantage of the sweep of it, just as it came by the house, to add force unto it; and, by his posse of devils with him, to whirl it about the house, and pussi it upon it with the greater violence p: Nor is the wind in the power, and under the government of good angels.
" Prov. xxx 4. 1 Job xxxviii. 34, 3?. "> Ephes. ii. 2. » Rev. ix. Ur
• Jobi .19. p Sec MrHusiey's Warning from the Wind*, p. 118, 119.
Jehovah has, indeed, made his angels spirits, mmi, winds'', as some translate the ' word : But then they are so called, not because they are winds, or have the management and direction of them, but because they are like unto them; swift to do the will and work of God, who walketh, and flies upon the wings of the wind'. In the book of the Revelation ', four angels are represented, as standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree: but this is not to be understood of the angels in a literal", but in a mystical fense, as holding, or restraining the evil angels, or false teachers, from hurting the saints, or the ministers of the gospel, from their ministrations of it, as a judgment upon those that despise it: God has the sole power and government of the winds in his own hands. The Heathens themselves were convinced of this; and therefore set up an idol God, whom they called Æolus, to preside over the winds; and who, they supposed", had a power of loosing and restraining them at his pleasure: Yea, they thought the wind to be a deity itself, and sometimes built temples, erected altars, and paid homage to it. So Augustus made and performed a vow to Circius, a wind which greatly infested France, and sometimes came with such force, as to untile their houses; and so did the Calabri ans to Japyx; the Apttlians to the wind Arabulus ; the Athenians to Sciron ; and the Pampbilians to Gagneus; which are the names of several winds peculiar to these people-, to whom they paid their devoirs, that they might not either infect them with diseases, or destroy their fields : Particularly, theThurians, having received a considerable favour from Boreas, the Northwind, fulfilled their vows to it, as to a god ; because, by a vehement gust, it utterly destroyed the navy, which Dionystus had prepared for their destruction : So when Xerxes brought his numerous forces into Greece, the Grecians applied to the Delphick oracle; from whence they received this answer, " that they must pray the assistance of the " winds:" upon which, they built an altar, and found them favourable to them, for their enemies whole navy was destroyed and funk w. These were the sentiments and practices of men, who were without the knowledge of the trueGod. The wind is no Deity, but a creature, made by the power of God, and governed by him •, and is not under the presidence, influence, and direction of Æolus, Pallas, Anemotis\ or any other of the rabble deities of the Heathens; but is wholly, and only, in the hands, and uncler the command of him, who is the Lord, the true God; "be is the living Gad, and an everlasting King:
» Pselm civ. 4.. '• • ■ r Junius Sr Trcmellim, Piscator, Use. "
* Psalm civ. 3. and xviii. 10. * Chap, vii 6. u Vid. Poli. Sjnops. inloc.
* Hie yaito rex Æolus antro, • I.uctanteis ventos, tempelhtesque sonoras,
Imperio premit, ac vinclis, & carcere frænat. Virgil. Æiieid. 1- 1.
w Alrx. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. 1. 3. c. 22. p. 164. Herodot. 1. 7. c. 177, 188, i8g.
* Apud Methonem, Palladi Aræmotidi, templum dicatuin, est, ne violentiorei perflantet loca devastarer.f. Alex, ab Alex. ibid.
At his wrath the earth stall tremble, and the nations Jhall not be able to abide his indignation—He hath made the earth by his power; he hath establijhed the world by his wisdom ; and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion: When he utteretb his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh light enings with ram, and bringeib forth the wind out of bis treasures y.
The account the scripture gives of the divine power, and influence over the wind, is very express and particular. God is represented as the creator of it i whatever are the second causes of it, or the matter of which it consists, or that which gives it its form, force and motion; the Lord is certainly the first, and efficient cause of it: Hence he stands described, as he whaformetb the mountains, and createtb the windz. As he has his treasures of the snow, and of the hail, so likewise of the wind, which he brings forth when he pleases-, he has them ready and prepared, or can, and does quickly prepare them, when he has occasion for them. It is said % that God prepared a vehement east wind, /Viynn b, " a " plowing one ;" which plowed up the sand, and blew it in the face of Jonakt so that he was almost suffocated with it i which, with the sun beating upon him, must be very afflictive to him. The Lord is also said, to fend out a great wind into the sea", to fetch back Jonah-, who, being sent on an errand, was disobedienr, and fled from the presence of God : The wind, as boisterous and as. blustering as it sometimes is, was more obedient to the command of God than the prophet. He fays to one wind, Go, and it goes-, and to another, Come, and it cometh. He makes use of them to various ends and purposes : Sometimes in a way of mercy ; as when he made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters of the Rood were assuaged* ; when there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp' of the Israelites for their food and refreshment •, when the wind brought up a great,rain, after the land of Israel had been without one, for three years and a half'5 -when the Lord caused the sea to go back, by, a strong east wind ail night-,- and made- the sea a) dry land, and the waters were divideds, so that the Israelites could pass through, as on dry land. And sometimes he uses them in a way of judgment; as when he did blow with his wind, the sea covered them, the Egyptians ; they sunk as lead in the mighty watersh: So he broke the ships- ofTarJhiJb with an east wind1 :
r Jer. x. 10, iz, *3. x Amos iv. Ij» * Jon. iv. 8. » Such a plowing Eaft
wind, R. Abraham Peritsol makes mention of in his Itinera Mundi, p. 146. Which in the sandy deserts, ITZQTT tPHiTi plows up the continent, causes the sand to arise, and covers men; and camtls, and buries them in it. Vid. Hide, Not. in ibid. « Jon. i. 4.
* Gen. viH> 1. « Numh. ». 3 s. * 1 Kings xviii.. 45. « Exod. xiv. 21.
b Chap. xv. 1 o. ' Pfrlm xlviii. 7..
But, whether whether it be :in one way or another he makes use of them, stormy wind is fulfiiing bis word1, eichef of promise, or command •, for it is always at his beck. He commandeth, and raifetb the stormy wind1 ; which is a considerable display of his almighty power: He caused an east wind to blew in the heavens; and, by bis power, be brought in the south wind m. He is also said, to make the weight for the windsn; when he poizes them, fitly disposes them, and inclines them to this, or the other point; to this, or the other coast •, or, when he increases their force, makes them more ponderous; and when in the air, which is light of itself, he raises storms and tempests °: And, perhaps, the rain may, in some fense, be a weight for the winds; which, when it falls heavy, lessens the force, depresses ihe power, and stops the progress of them •, wets their wings, bears them down, and causes them to subside : However, certain it is, God has the sole power of raising and laying the wind. The sea also, and the roaring waves thereof, are at his command : As he has made the sea, and all that are in it, so he governs it, lifts up its waves, and restrains them by the word of his power. This is very fully and beautifully expressed by himself, in the following manner; Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out os the womb ? If'hen I made the clouds the garment thereof, and thick darkness a fwadling band for it; and brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors; and said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further •, and here shall thy proud waves be stayedp ? I go on,
Secondly, To observe, That Jesus Christ has such a power over the wind and seas. Hence it must unavoidably follow, that he is truly and properly God. This is sufficiently evident from the instance before us. It is said, that he rebuked the wind and the sea; a phrase, that is used only of the divine Being, and cannot be said of any other than the most high God, who rebuked the red sea, and it was dried up*; and who stands distinguished from all created beings by this, that be stilleth the noise os the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people7. The Messiah makes use of this as an argument to prove, that he b able to redeem, because he can rebuke the sea, and dry it up, and cover the heavens with clouds and tempests. Is my band /hor tened at all, fays he, that it tannot redeem ? or have I no power to deliver ? Will any one fay this of me ■? Behold, at my rebuke, I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness;—I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering \ That this is the Messiah, who here speaks, the following words abundantty declare: The Lord Cod hath given me the tongue of the learned, &c. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the bair', &c. -frow, Upon our Lord's rebuking the wind and sea, the one ceased, and the other became a calm :
e c 2 ' ; . "■ ■ the
*■ Psi'm cxlviii. 8. > Ibid, evii 25. m IbW. Jxxriiii tb. " Job xx*ili. 25.
0 Vid. Bolduc. in loc. r Job xxxviii. 8— It. 1 Psaliticvf.9. 'Ibid.lxv. 7.
**U. 2, 3. t Ver. 4, 5, 6.
This was done by speaking a word only, just in the same manner as he had, a little before, healed the centurion's servant: And it was done in an authoritative manner; he commanded the winds and water, as the Lord and Master of them, and they obeyed him : Never was any such thing heard of, as performed by a mere creature. It is reported of one of our kings of the Danilh race, Canute % that " one day, " as he was walking by the sea side, his attendants extolled him to the skies, " and even proceeded to compare him to God himself. Offended at these ex" trava^ant praises, and willing to convince them of their folly and impiety, " he ordered a chair to be brought •, and seating himself in a place, where the " tide was about to flow, turned to the sea, and said : 0 sea, thou art under my " dominion, and the land I sit on is mine: J charge thie not to presume to approach " any further, nor to dare to wet the feet os thy sovereign. Having said this, he " fat still for some time, as expecting the sea should obey his command; but, " the tide advancing as usual, he took occasion from thence, to let his base " flatterers know, that the titles of Lord and Master, belong only to Him, «' whom the land (the wind) and the sea, obey." There is one thing more observable in this instance of our Lord's power over the wind and sea, that when he rebuked them, not only the wind ceased, but the sea immediately became a calm; which was very unusual, uncommon, and extraordinary : For, after the wind has ceased, and the storm is over, the waters of the sea, being agitated thereby, keep raging, and in a violent motion, for a considerable time. Whereas here, as soon as ever the word was spoke, that very moment, immediately, at once, the wind ceased, and the sea was calmed. That man must be an infidel to Revelation, that can read this account, and deny the Deity of Christ; he must be drove to one or other of these two, either to deny the truth of the fact, and the circumstances of it, or believe, that Jesus Christ is truly and properly God. Hence,
"Thirdly, The disciples were certainly right, in their application to him for deliverance, when they were in so great danger and distress: Since he appears to be no other than the mighty God, who made the heavens, the earth and sea, and all that are in them ; who upholds all things by the word of his power, by whom all things were created, and in whom all things consist; and therefore has a power of ruling, ordering, and disposing all things, according to his will and pleasure : And even as mediator, he has all power in heaven, and in earth, given unto him ; which he makes use of in the behalf of his own people, both for their temporal and spiritual good. The disciples, applying to him, found him to be, even in a literal fense, an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest w. And, ■
" Rapin's History of England, vol. I. p. 126, 127. edit. so). * Isai. xjucii. 2.
Fourthly* Such equally are in the right, who, being Sensible of their lost perishing condition, have recourse to him alone, for eternal lue and salvation. All men are in such a condition, as the descendents of Adam, and as considered in him, in whom all died. The sentence of death pasted upon all men in him; for that tp », " in whom " all have sinned*. All men are transgressors of the law of God, stand charged with the breaches ot it; every mouth isjtopped by it, and all the world become guilty before Gody. Every man and woman are liable to the curses of it, and to the wrath of God, for the violation of it. God's elect themselves are, by nature, children of wrath, even as others7 •, equally deserving of it, as being in their nature-head, and in their naturerstate. But all men are not sensible of this, some are whole, strong, healthful and robust, in their own apprehensions, and need not a physician *; they are rich in their own account, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing b; they are dead in sins, and have no spiritual sense and feeling of their wretched condition. They are like a man, that Heth down in the midst of the sea, or upon the top of a mast; who lays, they have stricken me, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and 1 felt it netc: and so remain indolent, and unconcerned about a future state, or the danger of a present one : No man repents him of his wickedness, saying, what have I done; every one turns to bis course, as the horse rufheth into the battled. And this is, and will be the cafe, until the Spirit of God convinces of sin, righteousness, andjudg' ment. And then they fee themselves ready to perish, cry out in the bitterness of their souls, What must we do to be saved? Look upon themselves as lost and undone, and can find no soundness in their flesh, because of the anger of the Lord; nor any rest in their bones, because of their fin. They feel a tempest rising in their own breasts; the law works wrath in them, and there is nothing else, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation °. When they look upwards, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness, and ungodliness of men ; in their apprehensions, the storm of wrath is gathering thick and black, hangs over their heads, just ready to break and fall upon them. They are like to the people of Israel, at the foot of mount Sinaif, who were come to blackness, darkness and tempest, and the found of a trumpet, and the voice of words* which they that heard, intreated, that the word should not be spoken to them any more; for they could not endure that which was commanded: And so terrible was the fight* that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake. And what adds to their distress is, that they find they are not able to help themselves, and know not which way to escape. They wish for wings like a dove, to fly away, and be at rest, to •wander far off, and remain in the wilderness, and so hasten their escape from the windy storm and tempestB; but, alas ! they know not where to go from the Spirit, or fict'from the presence of God.
* 1 Cor. xv.12. Rom. v.iz. '' Rom. iii.ig. * Ephes. ii. 3. » Matt, ix. 12.
* Rev. iii. 17. « Prov. xxiii. 34, 35. * Jcr. viii. 6. * Heb. x. 27.
* Chap. xii. 18—21.
They are sensible, (hat rocks and mountains cannot hide them from the face of him thatfitttth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lord God almighty. Their own righteousness appears no other than rags, which cannot cover and skreen them from the avenging justice ofGod; for they are as much convinced of the insufficiency of their righteousness to justify them -before God, as of the exceeding sinfulness of sin; and therefore tremble at the thoughts of an awful suture judgment.
Now, where mould such poor, perishing creatures apply but to Christ, as the disciples, in their distress; and fay to him, as they did, Lord, save us; we perish ? Should they not go in an humble manner, z%Benhadad"% servants did to the king of Israel, and prostrate themselves at his feet; and fay, as the Publican did, God be merciful to us sinners ? Should they not go to him with the resolution of Esther saying, If we perish, we will perish at the feet of Jesus ? Such fouls have a great deal of reason to believe they shall find this man, this god-man, and mediator the Lord Jesus Christ, an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest. Whither should they go, whither can they go, but unto him, who has the words of eternal Use ? God has appointed him to be his salvation unto the ends of the earth •, he sent him, and he came to be the Saviour of the world. It is a faithful faying, deserves credit, and is worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save the chief of sinners: He is become the author of eternal salvation to all that obey him: His name is called Jesus, because he saves his people from all their sins, and from all the dreadful effects of them : He saves them from the law, from curse, and condemnation by it; from Satan and the world, from heil, the second death and wrath to come: He is mighty to save, able to save to the uttermost, all that come to God by him: And he is as willing as he is able ; for he has said h, Look unto me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth •, for I am God, and there is none else. And, besides all this, there is salvation in no other person, nor by any other name-, in vain is it hoped for from any other quarter, or by any other hand •, and there is a full, complear, and suitable salvation in him : His atoning sacrifice fully expiates sin -,' his righteousness justifies from all things; his blood, sprinkled upon the conscience, lays the tempest there, saying, Peace, be still; and being carried within the vail, and sprinkled upon the mercy-seat, before the throne, secures from the storm of, divine wrath to come; and his name is a strong tower, whither the righteous
run, and are safe. But to hasten to a conclusion :
The occasion of this discourse is the great storm, commonly called the high tbindy which arose the twenty-sixth, and continued to the twenty-seventh,of November, , one thousand seven hundred and three, thirty-three years ago: On the account of which, a day of humiliation was appointed by public authority, January the nineteenth following. It is not easy to say, what disasters and calamities it brought with it here, and in other parts of Europe-, how many edifices, of a larger and lesser size, were thrown down, in cities, towns and villages ; what devastations were made, in parks, gardens and inclosures; how much (hipping, of greater and smaller bulk, were destroyed; and, what is of all most awful, what multitudes of fouls, at once, launched into an endless eternity. To give a detail of the several particulars of these things would be long and tedious, and in a great measure needless, after so many narratives have been printed, and so many discourses published ; among the most valuable of which number, must be allowed to stand a discourse, preached in this place, and on this occasion, since made public by my predecessor, Mr Benjamin Stinton '. , Ic is remarkable, that on this very day, seven years ago, a considerable storm of wind arose; which blew much about the same time this did, in its greatest fury, we now commemorate. I have reason to believe, that there is one k here present, who was cast away in it, and remarkably delivered, after having been exposed to the most imminent danger. I doubt not, but such an one retains a fense of the mercy, and thankfully acknowledges the goodness of God, and the kind interposure of divine providence, in his favour. I shall close all with a •word of exhortation.
Let us adore the perfections, and observe the operations of Father, Son, and Spirit, in the government and management of the winds and leas. The concern, that the .Father of Christ has herein, is not contested ; nor need there be any hesitation about the Son, when the instance, now attended to, is carefully considered ; nor should there be any about the holy Ghost, when it is observed, that the heavens were, at first, garnished by him, and he moved upon the face of the waters, and brought the present earth into the form and order, in which it has since appeared : Besides, his extraordinary gifts bestowed upon the apostles, on the day of pemeejast, came dawn Upon them with a rustling, mighty wind*: And the common, or ordinary operations of his grace, in the souls of men, are compared to the wind : The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hear eft the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goetb ; so is every one that is born of the Spiritm. Let us also take notice of the providencesof God, and not let them lie neglected by us, or buried in oblivion;
* PleachediNbwmber 27, 17*5. '
k Mr Robert Inger, a member of the church of Christ, at Horstydo-wn, under my care, who wa* cast away on the Goodwin Sands, November 27, 1729, in the Endeavour, homeward bound from Virginia ; who, with the whole (hip's crew, in al! seventeen, together with one passenger, and a pilot, were saved in a small pinnace, aster they had been some houra exposed (o the wind and sea,. being taken up by a Deal vessel. l Acts ii 1. n> J.ohn iii. 8.
we should make every proper use of them ourselves, and transmit them to posterity : IVhoso is wife, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord". Doubtless, with such a view, Mr 'Taylor, who, whilst he lived, was a member of the church which meets in this place, laid a foundation for the annual observation of this day. Again, in a view of the awful dispensations of providence, let us humble ourselves before God, since these shew the mighty hand of the Lord ; let us stand in awe of his righteous judgments. How soon, and how easy, can he make this large and populous city, and the whole kingdom, an heap of rubbish ? Sanctify the Lord of Hosts, make him your fear, and your dread. To conclude, in a view of all our fins and transgressions, and of all that wrath and ruin they expose us to, let us take sanctuary in Christ; who is a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a stjadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones, sin, law, and justice, is as a storm against the wall".
» Psalm evii. 43. o Jsai. xxv. 4.