Carefully regard your Shepherd’s voice. You cannot make the least stray but His whistle is at your ears, and His Word and Spirit beat at your consciences. Now hear His voice, feed only in His pastures, wander not after any pastures besides, though they seem more plentiful or more delightful. My meaning is, keep only in His ways, according to His directions, and do not be withdrawn or wander, through any enticements of sin or the world. Though other pastures seem more pleasant, yet they are full of thorny bushes. You cannot feed long on them, but you are caught and scratched, and shall hardly escape without much loss of your fleece. You may delight for a while in a sinful way, but your consciences will pay for it, and your graces. You cannot return without a great diminution of the one, and a strange vexation of the other; he, who will wander to get some pleasant evil, must necessarily be less good and more troubled. And what defense do you have when you do not hearken to your Shepherd? You are then as the silly sheep alone upon the mountains of Gilead.

Obadiah Sedgwick, The Shepherd of Israel (London, 1658), 15-16.


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