John Flavel.

Navigation spiritualized, or a new compass for seamen : consisting of XXXII points ... all concluded with so many spiritual poems online

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f pleasant OBSERVATIONS,
Of 4 profitable APPLICATIONS,
[and serious REFLECTIONS,









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Confifting of XXXII points j

f pleasant OBSERVATIONS,
Of ± profitable APPLICATIONS,
Land serious REFLECTIONS.

All to conclude with Jo many Spiritual POEMS.

What good might feamen get, if once they were
But heavenly minded ? If they could but fteer
The chriftian's courfe, the foul might then enjoy
Sweet peace, they might like few o'erflow with joy.
Were God, our all, how would our comforts double
Upon us ! thus the feas of all our trouble
Would be divinely fweet : men mould endeavour
To fee God now, and be with him forever.


Majlersy Mariners, and Seamen.


I FIND it ftoryed of dnacharfis, that when 'one
afked him, whether the living or the dead
were more ? He returned this anfwer, You mvft

4 ¥be Eptftle Dedicatory.

firft tell me (faith he"! in which number I muft place
feamen ; intimating thereby, that feamen are as it
were, a third fort of perfons, to be numbered neith-
er -with ''the living nor the dead ; their lives hang-
ing continually in fufpence before them. And it
was anciently accounted the moil defperate em-
ployment, and they little better than loft men that
ufed the feas. " Through all my life (faith Arif-
tot/ej three things do especially repent me : Firft,
That ever 1 revealed a iecret to a woman. Second-
ly, That ever I remained one day without a will.
Thirdly, That ever I went to any place by fea,
whether 1 might have gone by land. Nothing
(faith another) is more miferable, than to fee a vir-
tuous and worthy perfon upon the fea." And al-
though cuftom, and the great improvement of the
art of navigation, have made it le'fs formidable now,
ye 4 t you are no further from death than you are from
the waters, which is but a remove of two or three
inches. Now you that border fo nigh upon the
confines of death and eternity every moment, may
well be fuppoied to be men ot lingular piety and
ferious : for nothing compofes the heart more to
fuch a frame, than the lively apprehenfions of eter-
nity do : and none have greater external advanta-
ges for that, than you have. But alas ! for the
generality, What fort of men are more ungodly,
and (lupiuly inlenfible of eternal concernments ?
Living for the moft part, as if they had made a
covenant with- death, and .with hell were at an a-
greement. It was' an ancient faying, " Qui nefcit
orare,difcat navigare." He that knows not how
to pray, let him go to fea. But we may fay now,
(alas, that we may fay fo in times of greater light)
He that would learn to be profane, to drink, and
iwear, and difhonour God, let him go to lea. As

. The Epifile Dedicatory. 5

for prayer, it is a rare thing among Teamen, they
count that a needlefs bufinefs :. they fee the
prophane and vile delivered as well as others ;
and therefore, What profit is there if they pray un-
to him ? Mai. 3.4. As I remember, I have read
of a profane foldier, who was heard fwearing, though
he flood in a place of great danger ; and when one
tint flood by him warned him, faying, " Fellow-
foldier, do not fwear, the bullets flie ;" he anfwer-
ed " They that fwear come off as well as they that
pray." Soon after a fhot hit him and down he fell.
Plato diligently admonifhed all men to avoid the
fea ; " For \ faith he) it is the fchool- mafler of all
vice and difhonefty," Sirs ! it is a very fad consid-
eration to me, that you who float upon the great
deeps, in whole bottom fo many thoufand poor mil-
erabie creatures lie, whofe fins have funk, them
down not only into the bottom of the fea, but of
hell alfo, whither divine vengeance hath purfued
them : That you (I fay) who daily float, and hov-
er over them, and have the roaring waves and bil-
lows that fwallowed them up, gaping for you at the
next prey, fhould be no more affected with thefe
things. Oh what a terrible voice doth God utter
in theflorms ! "It breaks the ceders, fhakes the wild-
ernefs, makes the hinds to calve,'' Pfa. xxix. 5.
And can it not (hake your hearts. This voice of
the Lord is full of majefty, but his voice in the
word is more efficacious and powerful, Heb. iv. 1 2.
To convince and rip up the heart. This word is
exalted above all his name. Pfa. exxxviii. 3. And
if it cannot awaken you, it is no wonder you remain
fecure and dead, when the Lord utters his voice in
the mofl dreadful florms and ternpefls. But i(
neither the voice of God uttered in his dreadful
works, or in his glorious gofpel, can effectually a-

6 The Eptfile Dedicatory.

waken and rouze, there is an Euroclidon, a fearful
ftorm coming, which will fo awaken your fouls, as
that they (hall never fleep any more. Pfa. xii. 6.
" Upon the wicked he mail rain fnares, fire and
brimftone, and an horrible temped : This is the
portion of their cup." You that have been at fea
in the moft violent ftorm s, never felt fuch a ftorm
as this, and the Lord grant you never may ; no
calm (hall follow this ftorm. There are fome a-
mong you, that, I am perfuaded, do truly fear that
God in whofe hand their life and breath is :_ Men
that fear an oath, and are an honour to their pro-
feffion ; who drive a trade for heaven, and are dili-
gent to fecure the happinefs of their immortal fouls,
in the infurance-office above : but for the generali-
ty alas ! they mind none of thefe things. How
many of you are coafting to and fro, from one
country to another ? But never think of that heav-
enly country above, nor how you may get the mer-
chandize thereof, which is better than the gold of
Qt)bir. How oft do you tremble to lee the foam-
ing waves dance about you, and warn over you ?
vet conlider not how tcnible it will be to have all
the waves and billows of God's wrath to go over
your fouls, and that for ever. How glad are you,
after you have been long toffed upon the ocean, to
defcrv land. And how yare and eagerly do you
look out for it ? Who yet never had your hearts
warmed with the confideration of that joy which
(hall be among the faints, when they arrive at the
heavenly fir and, and fet foot on the fhore of glory.

O Sirs ! 1 beg of you, if you have any regard to
thofe precious immortal fouls of yours, which are
.alfo imbarqued for eternity, whether all winds blow
them, and will quickly be at their port of heaven
or hell, that you will ferioufty mind thele things,

The EptjHe Dedicatory. y

and learn to fleer your courfe to heaven, and im-
prove all winds (I mean opportunities and means)
to waft you thither.

Here you venture life and liberty, run through
many difficulties and dangers, and all to compafs a
perilhing treafure -, yet how often do you return
difappointed in your defigns ? Or if not, yet it is
but a fading mort-lived inheritance, which like the
flowing tide, for a little while, covers the more, and
then returns, and leaves it naked and dry again :
And are not everlafling treafures worth venturing
for ? Good fouls, be wife for eternity : I here pre-
fent you with the fruit of afewfpare hours, redeem-
ed for your fakes, from my other fludies and em-
ployments, which I have put into a new drefs and
mode. I have endeavoured to clothe fpiritual matters
in your own dialed: and phrafes, that they might be
the more intelligible to you ; and added fome pious
poems, with which the feveral chapters are con-
cluded, trying by all means to affault your feveral
affe&ions, and as the Apoflle fpeaks, to catch you with
guile .^ I can fay nothing of it ; I know it cannot
be without its manifold imperfections, fince I am
confcious of fo many in myfelf : Only this I will
adventure to fay of it, That how defective or emp-
ty foever it be in other refpetfrs, yet it is fluffed and
filled with much true love to, and earned defires
after the falvation and profperity of your fouls.
And for the other defeds that attend it, I have
only two things to offer, in way of excufe : It is
the-firft effay that ever I made in this kind, where-
in I had no precedent : And it was haflened, for
your fakes, too foon out of my hands, that it might
be ready to wait upon you, when you undertake
your next voyage ; lb that I could not revife and
polifh it. Nor indeed was I follicitous above the

8 2he Epijile Dedicatory,

flile, I confider, I write not for critical and learned
perfons : My defign is not to pleafe your fancies
any further than I might thereby get any advan-
tage to profit your fouls. I will not once queftion
your welcome reception of it: If God fhall blefs
thefe meditations to the converfion of any one a-
mong you, you will be the gainers, and my
heart fhall rejoice, even mine. How comfortably
fhould we fhake hands with you, when you go a-
broad, were we perfwaded your fouls were intereft-
ed in Chrift, and fecured from perifhing, in the
new covenant ? What life would it put into our
prayers for you, when you are abroad, to think
that Jefus Chrift is interceeding for you in heaven,
whilft we are your remembrancers here on earth ?
How quiet would our hearts be when your are a-
broad in dorms -, did we know you had a fpecial
intereft in him whom winds and feas obey ? To
conclude, what joy would it be to your godly rela-
tions, to fee you return new creatures ? Douhtlefs
more than if you came home laden with the riches
of both Indies.

Come, Sirs ! fet the heavenly Jerufakm upon the
point of your new Compafs ; make all the fail you
can for it ; and the Lord give you a profperous
gale, and a fafe arrival in that land of reft.

So prays

Your mofi Affectionate Friend

to Jerve you in Scul- Concernments*


The Epiftk Dedicatory,


Geo. Strandling, S T. P,
Rev. in Chrijlo Pat.
Ex. s£d. Lamb. D. Gilb. de Archiepifc.

Dec. 14, 1663. Cant, a Sac. Domejl.


To every Seaman failing Heaven-

Ingenious Seaman.

THE art of navigation, by which Inlands es-
pecially are enriched, and preferved in late-
ly irom forenfical invahons ; and the wonderful
works of God in the great deep, and foreign na-
tions are moil delightfully and fully beheld, &c. is
an art of exquiiite excellency, ingenuity, rarity, and
mirability : But the Art of Spiritual Navigation is
the art of arts. It is a gallant thing to be able to
carry a (hip richly laden round the world : 'But it
is much more gallant to carry a foul (that rich
loading, a pearl of more worth than all the mer-
chandife of the world) in a body (that is liable to
leaks and byuiles as any fhip is) through the lea of
this world (which is as unliable as water,, and hath
the fame brinifh tafte and fait guft which the wat-
ers of the fea have) lafe to heaven (the b?ft haven)
fo as to avoid Splitting upon any foul finking rocks, or
frrikinguponany foul drowning fands. The art of na-
tural navigation is a very great myftery ; but the an
of fpiritual navigation is by much a greater myltery.
Human wifdom may teach us to carry a fhip to
the Indies ; but the wifdom only that is from
above can teach us to fleer our courfe aright

An Epiftle to Seamen. n

to the haven of haf)pinefs. This art is pure-
ly of divine revelation. The truth is, divinity (the
doctrine of living to God) is nothing elie but the
art of foul-navigation, revealed from heaven. A
meer man can carry a fhip to any defired port In
all the world, but no meer man can carry a foul to
heaven. He muft be a faint, he mull be a divine
(fo all faints are) that can be a pilot to carry a
foul to the fair haven in EmanuaP s land. The art
ot natural navigation is wonderfully improved fince
the coming of Chrifi, before which time (if there
be truth in hifiory) the ufe of the loadftone was nev-
er known in the world 5 and before the virtue of
that was revealed unto the mariner, it is unfpeaka-
ble with what uncertain wandrings feamen floated
here and there, rather than failed the right and
direct way. Sure I am, the art of fpiritual naviga-
tion is wonderfully improved fince the coming of
Chrift : it oweth its cleared and fullefl difcovery to
the coming of Chrift. This art of arts is now per-
fectly revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and
New Teilament ; but the rules thereof are difperf-
ed up and down therein. The collecting and
methodizing of the fame, cannot but be a work
very uieful unto fouls : Though when all is done,
there is an abfolute neceffity of the teachings of the
Spirit, and of the anointing that is from above, to
make fouls artifts in failing heavenward. The in-
genious author of the Chriftian's Compafs, or the
Mariners Companion, makes three parts of this art
(as the fchool men of divinity,) viz. Speculative,
Practical, and Affetlionate. The principal things
neceffary to be known by a fpiritual feaman, in or-
der to the fleering rightly and fafely to the port of
happinefs, he reduceth to four heads, anfwerable to
the four general points of the Compafs ; making

12 An Epijile to Seamen

God our North ; Chrift our Ea/t, Holinefs our South,
and Death our /^/? points. Concerning God, we
muft know, i. That he is, Heb. xi. 6. And that
there is but one God, i Cor. viii. 5, 6. 2. That
this God is that fupreme good, in the enjoyment
of whom all true happinefs lies. Pfa. iv. 6, 7.

Mat. v. 8, 18, 20. 3. That (life eternal lying

in God, and he being incomprehenfible and incon-
ceivable in effence, as being a Spirit) our bed way
to eye him is in his attributes, Exod. xxxiv. c;, 6,
7. And work, Rom. i. 20. And efpecially in
his Son, 2 Cor. iv. 6, 4. That as God is a Spirit,
fo our chiefeft, yea, only way of knowing, enjoying,
ferving, and walking with him, is in the fpirit like-
wife, John iv. 24. Concerning Chrift we muft
know, 1, That he is the true Sun which arifeth up-
on the world, by which all are enlightned, John i.
ix. Mai. iii. 2. Luke i. 78, 79. 2, That God
alone is in him, reconciling himfelf to the world,
2 Cor. v. 19. 1 Cor. i, 30. John xiv. 6. 3. That
Jefus Chrift is only made ours by the union and in-
dwelling of himfelf in us through the fpirit, 1. Cor.
ii. 9, 10, and 6, 17. John xvi. 8, 9. 1 Cor. xii.
3, 13. 4. That the way of the fpirit's uniting us
to Chrift, is by an act of power on his part, and by
an act of faithon our parts, John iii. 16. laft 5, 29.
Eph. iii. 17. Concerning holinefs, we muft know,
1. That whoever is in Chrift is a new creature, 2
Cor. v. 17. 1 Cor. vi. 11. 2. Holinefs, is the
fouls higheft luftre, Exod. xv. 11. When we
come to perfection in holinefs, then is our fun at
the height in us. 3, Holinefs, is Chrift tilling the
foul '■> Chrift our iun is at higheft in our hearts,
when they are molt holy, 4. This holinefs is that
which is directly oppofite to fin : fin eclipfes
holinefs, and holin.els fcatters fin, Heb. viw 26*

Sailing Heavenward. 13

Phil. ii. ij. 1 Pet. iii. 11. Concerning death,
we muft know, 1. Death is certain : the fun of
our life will fet in death 5 when our days come a-
bout to this weftern-point, it will be night, Heh,
ix. 27. Pia. xlxi. 7, 9. 2. If we die in our fins
out of Chrift, we are undone forever, Job. viii. 24,
Phil. i. 2i. 3. It is our benighting to die, but it
is not our annihilation, 1 Cor. xv. Rev. xx. 1 2,

4. After death comes judgment ; all that die (hall
arife to be judged, either for life or death the
fecond time, Heb. ix. 27. Mat. xxv. Heb. vi.
2. Thele four heads, and the particulars under
them are as neceffary to be known in fpiritual na-
vigation, as the four points of the compafs are in
natural navigation. The things which we ought
to do, in order to our arrival to our happinefs, our
author makes as many as there are points in the
compafs. And for an help to memory, we may be-
gin every particular with initial known letters on
the points of the compafs. 1. North. Never ftir
or fleer any courfe, but by light from God, Pfa.
cxix, 105, Ifa. viii. 10. 2. N. b. E. Never
enter upon any defign, but fuch as tends towards
Chrift, A6ts x. 43. 3. N. N. E. Note nothing
enviouily, which thrives without God, Pfa. lxxiii.
12, 13. 4. N. E. b. N. Never enterprize not
warrantable couries, to procure any the molt
prized or conceited advantages, 1 Tim. vi. 9, ip,

5. N. N. E. Now entertain the facred commands
of God, if hereafter thou expect the lovcreign con-
iolations of God, Pfa. cxix. 48, 6. N. E. b. E,
Never efteem Egypt's treasures io much, as for them
to forfake the people of God, Heb. 11.26. 7.
E. N. E. Err not, Efpecially in foul affairs, jftme^
i. 16. 1 Tim. xix. 20. 2 Tim. ii. iS, 8. E
b* N. Efchew nothing but fin, 1 Pet. iii. 11. Job

14 ■ '-An Epifile to Seamen.

I 7. 8—31, 34. 9. E. Eftablifh. thy heart with
grace, Heb. xiii. 9. 10. E. b. S. Eye Sanctity in
every action, 1 Pet. i. 15. Zech. xiv. 29. 11.
E. S. E. Ever ftrive earneftly to live under, and
to improve the means of grace. 12. S. E. b. E.
Suffer every evil punifhment of forrow, rather than
leave the ways of Chrift and Grace. 13. S. E.
Sigh earneftly for more enjoyments of Chrift. 14.
S. E. b. S. Seek ever more iome evidences of Chrift
in you the hope of glory. 15. S. S. E. Still let
eternity before you, in regard of enjoying Jefus
Chrift, John xvii. 24. 16. S. b. E. Settle ever in
your foul, as a principle which you will never de-
part from, that holinefs and true happinefs are in
Chrift and by Chrift. 17. S. Set thyfelf always
as before the Lord, Pfa. xvi. 8. Acts ii. 25. 18.
S. b. W. See weaknefs haftning thee to death,
even when thou art at the higheft pitch or point.
19. S. S. W. See fin which is the fting of death, as
taken away by Chrift, 1 Cor. xv. 55, 56. 20. S.
W. b. S. Store up wifely lbme provisions every
day for your dying day. 21. S. W. Set world-
ly things under your feet, before death come to
look you in the face. 22. S. W. b. W. Still weigh
and watch with loins girded and lamps trimmed,
Luke xii. 35, 36, 37, 23. W. S. W. Weigh
foul-works, and all in the balance of the fanctuary.
24, W. b. S. Walk in fweet communion with
Chrift here, and ib thou maift die in peace,
Luke ii. 29. 25. Weft. Whatfoever thy condi-
tion be in this world, eye God as the difpofer of it,
and therein be contented, Phil. iv. 1 1. 26. W. b.
N. Walk not according to the courfe of the moil,
butaafter the example of the beft. 27. W. N. W.
Weigh not what men fpeak or think of thee, fo God
approve thee, 2 Chro, x. 28. Rom. ii. 28, 29.

Sailing Heavenward, 1$

%% N W b. W. Never wink at, but watch a-
gainft foali fins, nor neglecl little duties Eph. v.
I- 29. N. W. Never wifh rafhly for death,
nor love life too inordinately, Job iii. 4. 30. N.
W b N. Now work nimbly ere night come,
johnxii. 35, 36. Eccl. 9. 17. &• «- N- W.
Name nothing when thou pleadeft with God lor thy
foul, but Chrift and free grace, Dan. 9. 17. 32.
N b W Now welcome Chrift, if at death thou wilt
be welcomed by Chrift. A tender, quick, enliven-
ed and enlighted conference, is the only point upon
which we muft ereft thefe practical rules of our chnf-
tian compafs, Heb.xiii. 1.2 Cor. i. 12. Our memo-
ry, that is the box in which this compafs mult be
kept, in which thefe rules muft be treafured, that
we may be as ready and expert in them, as the
mariner is in his lea compafs. So much for the
fpeculative and practical parts of the art of loul-lpi-
ntual-navigation. The affectionate part doth prin-
cipally lie in the fecret motions or movings of the
foul towards God, in the affections which are railed
and warmed, and efpecially appear active in medi-
tation : meditation being as it were the limbeck
or dill in which the affections heat and melt, and
as it were drop iweet fpiritual waters. The affec-
tionate author of the chriftian compafs doth indeed,
in the third and laft part of his undertaking, hint
at leveled meditations which the fpiritual feaman is
to be acquainted with, unto which thou haft an ex-
cellent fupplement in this mvo compajs for feamou
This collection is prefixt, that at once thou mayelt
view all the companies (both the fpeculative, prac-
tical, and affectionate) by which thou muft fteer
heavenward; What further lhall be added by way
q{ preface, is not to commend tins new compafs,

1 6 An Epijlle to Seamen

which indeed (2 Cor. iii. 1.) needs no juftalicon
epiflolon, Letters of 'commendation, or any panegyrick to
uiher it unto any honeft heart \ but to ftir up all,
efpecially Teamen, to make conference of ufing fuch
choice helps for the promoting the fanclitication
and falvation of their fouls, for the making of them as
dexterous in the art of fpiritual navigation, as any
of them are in the art of natural navigation. Con-
fider therefore,

1. What rich merchandize thy foul is. Chrifl
afliires us, one foul is more worth than all the world.
The Lord Jems doth as it were put the whole
world in one fcale, and one foul in the other, and
the world is found too light, Mat. xvi. 26. Shouldft
thou by fkill in natural navigation carry fafe all the
treaiures of the Indies into thine own port, yea, gain
the whole world, and for want of fkill in fpiritual
navigation lofe thy foul, thou would (I be the great-
eft loler in the world. So far wilt thou be from
profiting by any of thy lea voyages. There is a
plain meiofts in thofe words of Chrift, What is a
man profited if he fl?all gain the whole zvorld, and lofe
his own foul * or what jhall a man give in exchange
for his foul f More is meant, than is fpoken.

2. What a leaking veflel thy
body is, in which this unfpeakable %f*" c - ! - w > t>
inconceivable rich treafure, thy loul,
is embarked ! O the many difeafes
and diftemoers in the humours and Thc f" 8 "?^??
paflions, that thv body is lubjecx to I cnoagh to |w in
U is above 2000 years ago, that ^and^thy
there have been reckoned up 300
names of difeafes ; and there be many
under one name, and many namelefs, which pofe
the phyficians not only how to cure them, but how
to call them. And for the affeftions and paflions

Sailin? Heavenward, 1 7

t>f the mind, the diftempers of them are no lefs
deadly to fome, than the difcafes of the body. But
befides thefe internal caufes, there are many exter-
nal caufes of leaks in this veffel, as * poifonous ma-
lignities, wrathful hoftilities, and cafual miiliaps ;
very (mall matters may be of great moment to the
finking of this veffel. The leaft Gnat in the Air
may choak one, as it did Adrian, a Pope of
Rome; a little hair in milk may flrangle one, as it
did a counfellor in 7? ome - y a little (lone of a raifin
may (lop ones breath as it did the poetical Poet
Anacreon. Thus you fee what a leaking VerTei
you fail in. Now the more leaky any (hip is, the
more need there is of flrill to fleer wifely.

3. Confider what a dangerous Sea the World is,
in which thy foul is to fail in the leaking (hip of
thy body. As there are not more changes in the
Sea, than are in the world being only conftant in
inconflancy, "the fafhion of this world fajjeih away>
1 Cor.vii. 31. fo there are not more dangers in the
feas for mips, than there are in the world for fouls.
In this world fouls meet with Rocks and fands, Sy*
tens and Pirates. Worldly temptations, worldly
luft, and worldly company caufe many to drown
them/elves in perdition, 1 Tim. vi. 9. The very things
of this world endanger our iouls. By worldly ob-
jects we foon grow worldly. It is hard to touch
pitch, and not be defiled. The lulls of this world
ftain our glory, and the men of this world pol-
lute all they eonve'rfe with. A man that keeps
company with the men of this world, is like him
that walketh in the Sun, tanned infenfibly. Thus,

* In Nubia, quas eft /Ethiopia, venerium eft cujus grani unias decima part
hominem, vel unum granum decern homines, Dan. Saner: Hypom. ^hyf.
Cap. 2. p. 47.

i8 An EpijUe to Seamen

you have hinted the dangeroufnefs of the Sea,
wherein you are to fail. Now,the more dangerous the
S^a is,the more requifiteit is the Tailor be an artift.
4. Connder, what if through want of (kill in the
heavenly Art of Spiritual Navigation, thou
ihouldft not (leer thy Courfe aright ! I will in-
ilance only in two confequents thereof. 1
Thou malt arrive at the heaven of happineis. 2
Thou (halt be drowned in the Ocean of God's
wrath. As true as the word of God is true ; as
Jure as the Heavens are over thy head, and the

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Online LibraryJohn FlavelNavigation spiritualized, or a new compass for seamen : consisting of XXXII points ... all concluded with so many spiritual poems → online text (page 1 of 10)