Imatges de pÓgina

a time of trial, and not to follow a naked, re-
jected, defpifed Chrift; it being like to cóft him
all that is dear to him in the world. How rea-
dily may a believer argue, What is all this that
the world calls great or good, to what God hath
laid up
in the other ftate? Who can be a lofer
that gets fafe to heaven, though he has not on
earth where to lay his head? If we are apt to
queftion God's love, or repine, or fink under his
heavy hand, under the various and fore trials, and
of long continuance he may fometimes meet with,
the believer may take up the Pfalmift's words,
and fay, Why art thou caft down, my Soul? why
art thou difquieted within me? If in this life only
I had hope in Chrift, I might poffibly yield my-
felf to be miferable; but who can do fo that
hopes to fee the goodness of the Lord in the land
of the living? What are a few days, though full
of evil, to the endless ages I fhall have to enjoy
my happiness in?

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And grant that I am denied the enjoyments of earth, and loaded with the forest miseries in it: Yet how can I doubt of God's love, or think it fmall, who hath prepared for his people an unfhaken kingdom, and is leading them to it? Though they go forth mourning, they fhall e're long arrive at the heavenly Sion with everlasting joy upon their heads, and forrow and fighing fhall flee away. Wherefore, begone all repinings: be ftill thou murmuring flefh: If thy complaints continue, I will not liften. As drawn on by ravishing glory, I am refolved to foliow a crucified Jefus, through forrow, fufferings, and death itself; being affured, I can be no lofer, whilft I ex




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change only earth for heaven. No matter how troublesome the way, when everlasting rest is to be the end.


1. From the trials faints here meet with, learn the vanity of expecting peace on earth. They that do fo, mistake a defart for Canaan, an howling wilderness for the promised land. Our first parents were long fince expelled the earthly Paradife, and fuch a place is now no more to be found on earth by any of their off-fpring: nothing but common accurfed ground, a foil from whence briars and thorns naturally spring. This is the advice to be learnt from the forrow fin hath let in upon this world. Arife, here is not your reft.

2. Be hence affured that there is an afterftate, where God will diftinguish between fuch as fear and serve him, and fuch as fear him not, in another manner than is done in this life. Here the wicked flourish, increase in riches, have more than heart can wish: whilft the best men are often in the worst condition, and that upon the account of their being fo. For God's fake are they plagued all the day long, and accounted as sheep for the flaughter; but let none fay, I have cleanfed my heart in vain.

This is only the world of trial and probation preparatory to another, where things fhall be put in better order, and every thing fet at right that here seems to be amifs. That God is the rewarder of them that diligently feek him, is as true, as that he is. None fhall obey him to his final prejudice; nor any harden themselves against him VOL. II.




and profper in the end. This therefore is not the only, nor perfect ftate of things. The scene shall fhortly be changed, and the eternal world appear wherefore, fays the Apoftle, It is a righteous thing with God to recompence tribulation to them that trouble you, and to you who are troubled reft with us, 2 Thes. i. 6, 7.

3. How great is our privilege by the gofpel, by which life and immortality are fet before us in fo clear a light, that thence believers may fetch fuitable fupports to keep them from fainting under their foreft trials? Though godlinefs be attended with many fufferings, we are not left without relief.

It is faid of Egypt, that as no country is more infefted with venemous creatures, none does more abound with fuitable Antidotes. As to faints, it may be truly faid, no people are ufually more afflicted than they, and none have better cordials at hand, did they know how to use them. Bleffed be God for providing fo richly, not only for our after happiness, but for our present support and comfort by the way to it.

Laftly, Make fure that you be born again for a better world, and tending to it; and then labour to keep faith in exercife upon the goodness God bath laid up for them that love him.

They muft by a thorough change be made meet for heaven, who would enter thereinto. And this being once made in you, live by faith upon what you are going to enjoy. Whilft you are in the wilderness, often fend your thoughts as fpies. to take a view of the good of the promised land.


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When you find yourselves inclined to faint under the trials of your prefent ftate, the darkness and death that reigns below, look up by faith to the world of light, and life above: frequently entertain yourselves with the profpect of it, converse much with it, fetch your strongest fupports and encouragements from it. Rejoyce in hope of the glory of God whilst you live, and be not afraid by dying to enter into it.

Remember whom you have believed, and for what, and be faithful to him even to the death; and then after a life of faith, you fhall be ever pre fent with him, and fee him as he is, 1 John iii. 2.

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O fpare me,
that I may recover ftrength,
before I go hence, and be no more.


N these words we may conceive holy David standing, as it were, between both worlds; upon the brink of time, and looking into eternity: and from the awfulness of the change, thus lifting up his foul in prayer to God, Ofpare me, that I may recover ftrength, before I go hence, and be

no more.

We have here,

1. The request he makes, or what it is he earneftly prays for, viz. That God would grant him longer space in the present world, and that he might not be now removed, but continued awhile longer on this fide death and the grave: O spare me.

2. The end for which he defires this, That I may recover ftrength, i. e. ftrength to meet and bear up under my dying lot, and go through the change I am to make with more tranquility of mind: Strength to get my house in order, and my foul in frame and preparation for that,


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