Imatges de pÓgina

a time of trial, and not to follow a naked, rejected, despised Christ; it being like to cost him all that is dear to him in the world. How readily may a believer argue, What is all this that the world calls great or good, to what God hath laid up

in the other state? Who can be a loser that gets safe to heaven, though he has not on earth where to lay his head ? If we are apt to question God's love, or repine, or sink under his heavy hand, under the various and fore trials, and of long continuance he may sometimes meet with, the believer


up the Pfalmift's words, and say, Why art thou cast down, my Soul ? why art thou disquieted within me? If in this life only I had hope in Christ, I might poslibly yield myself to be miserable; but who can do so that hopes to see 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 shall have to enjoy my happiness in ?

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 small, who hath prepared for his people an unMaken kingdom, and is leading them to it? Though they go forth mourning, they shall e're long arrive at the heavenly Sion with everlasting joy upon their heads, and sorrow and fighing shall fee away. Wherefore, begone all repinings : be still thou murmuring flesh: If thy complaints continue, I will not listen. As drawn on by ravishing glory, I am resolved to foliow a crucified Jesus, through sorrow, sufferings, and death itself; being assured, I can be no loser, whilst I ex


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

APPLICATION. 1. From the trials faints here meet with, learn the vanity of expecting peace on earth. They that do so, mistake a desart for Canaan, an howling wilderness for the promised land. Our first parents were long since expelled the earthly Paradise, and such a place is now no more to be found on earth by any of their off-spring : nothing but common accursed ground, a foil from whence briars and thorns naturally spring. This is the advice to be learnt from the sorrow sin hath let in upon this world. Arise, here is not your reft.

2. Be hence assured that there is an after state, where God will distinguish between such as fear and serve him, and such as fear him not, in another manner than is done in this life. Here the wicked Aourish, increase in riches, have more than heart can with : whilst the best men are of. ten in the worst condition, and that upon the account of their being so. For God's lake are they plagued all the day long, and accounted as sheep for the slaughter ; but let none fay, I have cleansed my heart in vain.

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



and prosper in the end. This therefore is not the only, nor perfect state of things. The feene shall shortly be changed, and the eternal world appear : wherefore, says the Apostle, It is a righteous thing with God to recompence tribulation to them that trcuble you, and to you who are troubled rest with us, 2 Thes, i. 6, 7, 3. How

great is our privilege by the gospel, by which life and immortality are set before us in fo clear a light, that thence believers may

fetch fuitable supports to keep them from fainting under their forest trials ? Though godliness be attended with many sufferings, we are not left without relief.

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

Lastly, Make sure that you be born again for å better world, and tending to it; and then labour to keep faith in exercife - upon the goodnefs God hath lgid up for them that love him.

They must 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 send your thoughts as spies to take a view of the good of the promised land,



When you find yourselves inclined to faint under the trials of your present state, the darkness and death that reigns below, look up by faith to the world of light and life above : frequently entertain yourselves with the prospect of it, converse much with it, fetch your Itrongest supports 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 shall be ever prefent with him, and fee him as he is, 1 John iii. 2.

[blocks in formation]



PSALM XXXIX. 13. O spare me, that I may recover strength,

before I go hence, and be no more.

N these words we may conceive holy David I

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 soul in prayer to God, o spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go bence, and be no more.

We have here, 1. The request he makes, or what it is he earnestly 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 side death and the grave : O spare me.

2. The end for which he desires this, That I may recover strength, i. e. strength to meet and bear


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 soul in frame and preparation for that,


« AnteriorContinua »