Imatges de pÓgina
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ceive you into everlasting habitations."-See also 1 Tim. vi. 17-19. I shall shut up this by recommending to your serious reading and meditation, two passages of holy writ, Deut. xv. 7-11. Observe upon verse 7th, That the poor as well as the rich are to be treated as brethren; and a hand shut to the poor, is an evidence of a hard heart. Observe upon verse 8th, We should give bountifully. Verse 9th, It is a dreadful thing to have a poor person justly table a complaint before the Lord against us. Verse 10th, We must not give with a grudge, and what is given in that way, will bring a blessing on what is behind. Verse 11th, The world shall never see the day in which men shall be able to serve God without cost and expences. See also, 2 Cor. 8th and 9th chapters.

I would now, in strict connection with the doctrine of the text, exhort you to give evidence of your sincerity by parting with, and restoring whatever ill-gotten goods any of you have. This reacheth to thieves, to oppressors, to cheaters, to unjust dealers of every description, and all that possess any thing of their neighbours' got unjustly. Restoration ought to be made of the thing itself taken away if possible, and if not, of the value of it. And restoration is to be made to the true owner if he can be found, Neh. v. 11. his heirs, or to whomsoever his goods belong, and failing these, to God, bestowing it to be employed to pious uses, or towards the poor, Numb. v. 7, 8. Luke xix. 8. If the person be not able, I judge in that case confession should be made, if a great evil do not follow, and the party engaged to restore if ever he be able, and in the mean time he be ready to do whatsoever he can towards the compensation, as by service, Exod. xxii. 3.

But the retaining of ill-gotten goods is a continued theft, oppression, or cheat, and it is inconsistent with sincere repentance knowingly and willingly to keep still that which ever is the matter of our guilt, and the accursed thing among our stuff. To repent and yet still to enjoy the sin willingly is a contradiction. That man repents not of the wrong he has done to others, who, though he can, yet will not mend it, and is not disposed to give every one their

own.

Lastly, I exhort you to give evidence of your sincerity, by parting willingly with what providence will not allow you to keep, but pulls out of your hands. Whatever satisfaction the Lord denies you in worldly things, whatever losses you meet with, know this, God hath you on your trials, and the mere parting with them will not evidence your sincerity, for that you must do, whether you will or not: But you must do it freely.

Submissively, without murmuring against the Lord either in your

hearts or words. So Aaron parted with his sons, He held his peace. Lament. iii. 27, 28. God must have his own at his call, and we should not entertain a wrong thought of him for it.

If the Lord will

Saying

We must do it contentedly and thankfully. take away any thing, we should be content to want it. with David," Behold here are we, let him do to us as seemeth good unto him and let us learn in whatsoever state we are therewith to be content;" and to love him as well under the want, as the enjoyment of it.

Consider you are put to the trial. In that case the devil alleged that Job was a hypocrite; the trying point which he chose was losses and crosses in the world, Job i. 9-11. But Job proved himself sincere in that way. They that put in for the crown, must pass their trials for it under the cross. But of this afterwards.

Ettrick, September, 1710.

[Same Subject Continued.]

AMIABLE Professors FALLING SHORT OF HEAVEN.

SERMON XXXVI.

MARK X. 21. (Second Clause.)

And thou shalt have treasure in heaven.

DOCTRINE I.

A VIEW of the treasure in heaven is the best expedient to sink the value of the world in the hearts of men. This is the method our Lord takes with this man. This is the argument by which he tries to separate his heart from the world.

Reason 1. Because the heart will always hold to the world, till it see something better to which it may cleave. The heart is an empty hungry thing that must have something to feed upon. It is needless to desire it to part with husks, unless you shew it bread enough which it may have, then it will throw away the husks with goodwill. Till God effectually overbid the world, it will always keep the man's heart.

2. Because the treasures in heaven infinitely transcend the world, and all that is in it; so that when they are both seen together, the world must, as the stars, disappear before the rising sun. A man

may highly value a cottage in a wilderness, but place it in a city amidst splendid buildings, and he would be ashamed of it. Therefore Satan hinders men to look upward. The world is a contemptible heap of dust, to a man who views it from among the stars, Phil. iii. 20, 21.

Not to insist, but make short work, I shall come to the application of this point. And the best use which I can make of it is to try this method with your hearts, to loose them from the world and make them heavenly. I might use many motives to urge you to bid an eternal farewell to the world, that you might take up your rest in God. I might open the gates of the bottomless pit, that the smoke thereof might blind your eyes, and the flames flash in your faces, to stop you in the pursuit of these miserable vanities. might tell you,

1. That this miserable world is the devil's bait, with which he draws men in shoals down the stream, into the sea of God's wrath, Matth. iv. 9. And which is most sad, he draws many with baits made of that, who yet never taste the bait. How many have been eternally ruined, pursuing some worldly thing which they could never reach; but lost both their souls and their pains; yea and before they could get at hell, they have got a hell within them of tormenting passions, because God would not bow to their will, and give them what they would have had. I might also tell you,

2. The sweet of the world's cup will soon be exhausted, but you will never get to the bottom of the dregs of it, Luke xvi. 25. There is a now thou art tormented, that will never be over. There will be a long eternity to pay the expense of this foul feast, which the heart is making on the things of the world.

3. The fire of God's wrath will loose those firm holds of the world, that the fire of God's word cannot.-The things of the world run so fast away with the hearts of men, that they cannot hear God's voice calling them to return. The lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life hang so about men now, that they cannot get looked up to behold the beauty of Christ. But the fire of hell will burn them off, and leave them to lie down naked in the flames. Dives's table is drawn now. The rich man, Luke xii. has no more to do with his barns. When Judas went to his own place, he left the thirty pieces behind him.

4. The world and all you have in it, will be in flames ere long, and you will perish in the flames, if you escape not now in time. All these things are "reserved unto fire, against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." Be not then so fond of that which will make an ill end. Haste and escape for your life, for

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there is a shower of fire abiding the world and all that take it for their portion.

But I would rather open heaven's door to you, to give you a view of the treasure there, according to our Lord's method in the text, in which he teaches other two things, namely,

Doctrine 2nd. Whosoever will sell whatsoever they have in the world for Christ, they shall suffer no loss, they shall have treasure in heaven.

Doctrine 3d. But they that will needs keep their hold of the world, may bid an eternal farewell to the treasure in heaven, for they have neither lot nor portion in it. These are forcible motives indeed! O that they might take with us. For the first of these. I have been telling you of a market to be held in your hearts, where you should sell to God whatsoever you have. I come this day in his name to make an offer for whatsoever you have, that the blessed bargain may be closed. And I intreat you all to take it to you. Let not poor persons think themselves unconcerned, because they have nothing if it were as far from your hearts as from your hands, you would be happy people. Let none think themselves unconcerned here as if this were not their temptation. I know there are some ready to say, with a whole heart, they care not for the world and need not the exhortation to part with it. I have no hope of prevailing with these people while of that mind.

1. I believe all in the world who are exercised unto godliness, will allow you to stand alone, and tell you to reign as kings without them. For in themselves they feel a body of death that cares so much for the world, that they have much to do to keep it down, and that they find no easy work with their various worldly lusts.

2. Let me ask you, how got you that heart of yours loosed from the world? I am sure it would abide a pull of the hand of Omnipotence ere it was done: have you felt this? "For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" But alas the victory of many over the world, comes to them in a morning dream, and is itself but a dream.

3. How do you get free of the world's grasp? If this costs you hard struggling, you will not think you care not for it. If it costs you none, I will tell you the mystery of your great ease that way. "The strong man armed, still keeps the house with you."

4. What means the bleating of the sheep; and your other symptoms of love to the world. There is a blind generation that cannot see their own defilement, unless they be completely sunk in gross

actions. They do not, they cannot view the secret outgoings of the heart after idols. What means the Buts in your desires of the world-but as much as to keep your credit but as much as will procure an honest through-bearing and the like. Whether does

your heart slip most easily away to the thoughts of God, or the world; and which of them is it easiest to keep at? Nay, does not the world many times justle out your duty to God, or at least indispose you for it? Whether looks religion or the world likest your by-hand work. Nay, nay, lay your hands on your mouths, and cry unclean, unclean. To you is this word of salvation sent, that you may make the blessed exchange. Sell all to the Lord, and you shall be happy for ever. God is asking of you whatsoever you have, that you will just now part with it to him in affection, this moment take your heart from the creature to himself, and quit it freely in affection when he calls for it.

More particularly, that you will thus quit to him whatever you have in hand of the world, be it little or much, your goods and effects, relations, pleasures, comforts, and life itself. Lay all at his feet. Also, whatever you have in heart, the lust of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh, &c. Call in your desires now that are pursuing the world, and give them to Christ.-Leave the heart pursuit of created things. And you shall have treasure in heaven. We are allowed to offer you this in his name. We are ambassadors for Christ, and have warrant to transact this bargain with you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you will honestly consent to it, and this moment give up with all, we declare the treasure in heaven shall be yours. And to make this offer take with you, I shall now proceed to lead your attention,

In the first place, To the nature of this treasure.-And then shall unfold to your view, its special and excellent properties. Let us then,

I. Consider the nature of this treasure in heaven.

1. It is a treasure in respect of variety and plenty. It is not one thing but many, that makes up a treasure. You are desired to part with many things, but God offers you more instead of them. What a poor scanty thing is this world. All that is in it is soon told. We have the inventory of it drawn to our hand, and it consists but of three things. "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." But this treasure consists of all things. "He that overcometh, shall inherit all things." Neither heart nor eye can ever reach the bottom of it." Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered the heart of man, to conceive the things which God hath laid up for

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