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satisfied, says David, when I awake with thy likeness. The soul shall be made happy with the same happiness with which God himself is happy, which is the enjoyment of himself. Glorious with the same glory with which he is glorious. Satisfied from the same fountain from which he himself is satisfied, 2 Thess. ii. 14. compared with Rev. iii. 21.
As these treasures are satisfying in themselves, so they make worldly comforts satisfying. He that hath most of heaven, enjoys most of the earth, though others may possess more than he. “A little that a righteous man hath, is better than the riches of many wicked." These treasures make the saint's dish of green herbs go farther than the stalled ox of others, and put more pleasure in their cup. This treasure produces in the saints mean thoughts of the things of the world, Phil. iii. 8. It is because men have such high thoughts of these things, that they cannot get enough of them. But people soon get enough of what they do not care much for. Nature is content with little, grace with less, but lusts, like the grave, never have enough.
They stamp a value upon the little which the saints have of worldly things, these are additions to the treasure. "All these things, saith Jesus, shall be added unto you; for our heavenly Father knoweth that we have need of these things." That may be thankfully taken for an addition, which for the main could never satisfy. Hence the reason of the difference between the godly and the wicked in these things. This treasure makes up all the wants, and the man hath always what he needs that hath it. Who are they in the world that have most to spare, not the rich man that abounds with worldly goods, for he never hath more than he needs, nay, never so much. But the godly man, take from him all you can, he hath always enough behind.
5th and last place. The treasures are safe and sure, men may promise on the head of them for ever. They are safe and sure in themselves. Though none should offer violence to them, they will rust and corrupt of themselves. There is nothing on the earth but what has a principle of corruption in itself, and carries the seeds of death about it in its bosom. The aged world tends to a dissolution. Men are now of lower stature, less bones and strength than their forefathers, and of shorter lives. So is the strength of nature's womb decayed, that it seems she is waxing old, and weary of conceiving, Psalm cii. 25, 26. So that treasures on earth are like summer fruit, that have a luscious sweetness, but they will not keep.
But the treasures in heaven are sure in themselves. Though gold will, grace will not rust. Though all the beauty in the world fades,
as the leaves in harvest, yet the fields of glory are ever green. It is "an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. It is a crown of glory, that fadeth not away." Though this world wax old, the treasures in heaven do not, Luke xii. 33. There is no principle of corruption in them. These riches never fail, they are durable; the weight of glory never grows less, it is eternal.
These treasures are not only safe and sure in themselves, but are so also to the owners. Though this world were so in itself, yet it is not so to us. Its riches are uncertain. But of heavenly treasures we can never be deprived. All earthly treasures may be taken from us. We may live and see ourselves stripped naked of all we have. A Cynic called riches the vomit of fortune; and if so, like the dog she often returns and takes it again. Job saw himself both rich and poor to a proverb in his day. They are liable to an insensible consumption, as by a moth, Matth. vi. 19. Prov. xxiii. 5. When men suffer their hearts to fly out at their eyes, like a ravenous bird upon them, they oft make themselves wings and fly away.
But the heavenly treasures cannot be taken from us, Luke x. 42. God doth but lend us the world, but makes an irrevocable gift of the treasure in heaven, Rom. xi. 29. The devil took away by permission Job's worldly comforts and left him nothing, Job ii. 7, 8. but he could not touch his treasure of grace, verse 9th.-Nor would he himself give it away, Job xxvii. 5. Nor his treasure of glory, chap. xix. 35-27. The waters of affliction may wash off the dust, but your land is still safe.
We ourselves will be taken from the treasures on earth. Death will part them and us. All we have here, can only do as ser
we are there, wait on us, but go not serve those that come after us.
vants in an inn, who, while away with us, but remain to must leave what we have, and always the more there is of it, the parting is the more heavy. A man may live more conveniently, but cannot die so easily in a palace as in a cottage. And when we leave them, we know not assuredly to whom they are to be left, whether to a wise man or a fool.
But though death takes the carnal man from, it carries the saint to, his treasure. The man whose treasure is in heaven, is his own heir. Remarkable is that word, Matth. vi. 10. Lay up for yourselves. You may lay up on earth, but none can answer that question. Who shall reap the fruit of thy sweet care and toil? God made the Assyrian heir to the Philistines, Micah i. 15. But it is sure that the treasure in heaven is laid up for ourselves. He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever, with his treasure, even as in the world both the lusts and the lusters perish, Rev. xiv. 13.
Thus you see what a treasure it is which God offers you, if you will quit the world. Give over seeking your treasure on earth, and you will get treasure in heaven.
Objection. I am in no hazard of a treasure on earth. Answer. You are mistaken. You may have enough in heart though not in hand. The Spirit of God counts upon the former, and you must give up with it as well as the latter. What the heart dwells on, that is its possessions, and that you must part with.
And now are you for this blessed bargain or not? Hath the beauty of this treasure touched your hearts. If so, I have but two words of advice to you.
4. Make it your own by selling all, and buying the field where it is, Matth. xiii. 44. That is renouncing the world, and closing the gospel bargain with Christ.
2. Dig for it, Prov. ii. 4, 5. You were at pains and labour on the world's treasure. Will you not be at due pains about it. Man is a busy creature, he is always doing something. We call you not to more labour, but to other labours. The watch goes as fast when it goes wrong, as when right.
If you have no such heart as to part with the world for it, I declare to you, you shall have no part nor lot in it. This was our third doctrine. You shall as soon grasp heaven and earth at once, as get both. It is dear bought earth that is bought at the rate of the loss of heaven: thus death and life are set before you.
And now if there be any asking, how they may get their heart above the world, the answer from the doctrine is plain. Set the treasure in heaven in your view. This is the best way to sink the value of the world in your hearts.
You have heard what all that have a mind for heaven must throw away, namely, the world; what they shall get at the end to take up in its stead, the treasure in heaven. But in the mean time they must take up the cross. By this is meant all the troubles and afflictions with which the Lord is pleased to exercise his people in the world, so called in reference to the cross on which Christ suffered.
Doctrine.-All that have a mind for heaven, as they must lay down the world, so they must take up the cross.-Here I shall,
I. Shew why the Christian's troubles are called the cross.
I. Shew why the Christian's troubles are called the cross. The wicked's troubles are not a cross, but a curse; those of the godly are not curses, but crosses. This is a name of honour, a sweet cake in which the bitter pill should be pleasantly received. As the man himself, so his troubles get a new name, when he comes to Christ.
1. Because by them the Christian's state in the world, is made like Christ's while he was in it. "If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." He met with the cross, and so must they, that they may be like him. If the head wore a cross, it were unbecoming the members to go without one. He was a man of sorrows, they must not be men of joys. Can the world that was a step-dame to him, be a natural mother to his?
2. Because the Christian's troubles go to the quick, as the cross did with Christ, in respect of which his former miseries were blunt. When God has a mind to let blood of the heart vein of a Christian by the lance of affliction, to cure him, he will make a deep wound. The troubles of the wicked often, but lightly, touch their sores, but when God rips his own people, he will go to the quick. God's killing arrows go deep enough into the heart of the wicked, but wounds for their cure, never. They want not their troubles.
But says the Psalmist, "they are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men."
3. Because of the relation which they have to the cross of Christ. They are the cross set up again to Christ. In all their afflictions he was afflicted. They come very near him. He that toucheth you, saith he, toucheth the apple of his eye. The enemies set up the cross again for him in his members, after they had buried it with him, Acts ix. 4. His members are on it now; "and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ; in their flesh for his body's sake, which is the church." This agrees to all their afflictions. O is not the cross lovely, while he is on it with us.
Their troubles are Christ's cross to them as he has left it. Christ in person took up the cross, and when he took it up there was a curse in it. He took away the curse out of it, and then left it, and bids them take it up without it, for he hath extracted the venom out of it. Now the tree is left, but the curse on it is gone. The nails are left to his people, but the venom in which they were dipped is gone. Though bulls should compass you about, they now want the horns, wherewithal they pierced him. Though poverty, shame, and crosses of all sorts are laid before you, if you be Christ's, you have but the carcase of these things wanting the soul and life, which the threatening of the law breathed into them.
Again, Their afflictions grow out of the cross of Christ. That tree was watered with the blood of the Son of God, no wonder then that it be fruitful. All the fruits laid up for Christ's beloved, for time and eternity grow upon it. But perhaps you will not expect the Christian's bitter troubles among them, but mistake not. They must either be curses or blessings.. If curses they are not crosses, Gal. iii. 13. If blessings, where else will you find them. "For we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." They are the privileges of adoption, Heb. xii. 7, 8. Benefits of the covenant, Psalm lxxxix. 31, 32.
The comforts of Christ's sheep, Psalm xxiii. 4. Blessings which they thankfully acknowledge, Psalm cxix. 71. "therefore purchased by the blood of Christ, and promised to him in the covenant he made with the Father," Psalm lxxxix. 30. compare ver. 19-29. O how might we kiss our cross, looking thus on it. Farther to clear this, that we may learn not to be angry at our blessings. Consider, that grace grows on the cross of Christ as the root doubtless, but our cross is the branch on which it grows. "It is good for me, saith David, that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes." See also Psalm xciv. 12, 13. Isa. xxvii. 9. See what a cluster hangs on the cross, Rom. v. 3-5.
Not a stone thrown at a