Imatges de pÓgina

thoughts and hearts inflamed with the joys of heaven; and the poffeffions and pleasures of this world, will be seen to be little worth the conteft: their luftre will die away, like the glimmering of the ftars when the fun arifeth.

Days and years, poverty and riches, when fet against eternity, and compared with heavenly blifs, lofe, in the infinite difproportion, all their own petty inequalities, and are equally nothing; no objects to excite animofities among immortal spirits, redeemed from eternal mifery, and heirs of everlasting glory.

Envy and infolence, difcontent and pride, avarice, and ambition cease with the interefts of this earth; by which they are fuftained and nourished, as the lamp is fed with oil: When the foul is touched from above, every thing of terrestrial materials is deftroyed.


The great doctrines, the awful truths, the glorious promises, the tremendous threatenings of our holy religion, catch the heart, and carry it as a facrifice to heaven; but, like the fire of the Lord 1 Kings that fell on the altar of Elijah, confume the wood, and the ftones, and the duft.

xviii. 38.

Luke xxiii. 34.

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The example and death of our Lord Jefus Chrift, is to Chriftians an argument above all others, enforcing indeed every virtue; but with peculiar advantage, this contempt of earthly greatness, and the love of God and man.

It is the thing least observable in his example, that he prayed for his murderers: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do: he left the bofom and blifs of his Father, and the glory which he had with him before the world was, on purpose to fuffer thus; for this very end, that he might endure abuse,

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abuse, and infults, ftripes, and death;
a death ignominious, exquifitely pain-
ful, and lingering.

He fuffered this from the hands of men; for whose whole race it was, that he had abafed himself fo low, and endured fo much. He came down from heaven, and would be made man, for the fake of men, who already owed their Being to him; yet had broken his laws, were regardless of his authority, infenfible of his affection, and prepared to crucify him.


They indeed were enemies; but his love continued. Whom he once loved, he John xiii. loved to the end. He created them to be good and happy; and died for them, when they were become wretched finners.

The riches of his goodness, and forbear- Rom.ii. 4,



Ephef. iii. ance, and long suffering! Who is able to comprehend this breadth, and length, and depth, and height!

Words cannot reprefent, no tongue of Men or Angels is able to express it: Rom.v.5. Let this love be shed abroad in your hearts; then shall you understand, what we canEphef.ii. not utter; and know the love of Chrift, which passeth knowledge.


Then will the commandments of God be no longer grievous to us: the hardest duties will become eafy; and the forgiveness of injuries, be like the plaineft parts of justice.

All mankind will then be dear to us, for his fake who made, and who redeemed them. How fhall we be able to hate any one, thus favoured by him who loved us, and died for us?


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All our little animofities will be burnt up in that holy flame of Divine Love: and we shall be as incapable of conceiv ing hatred, as of committing murder.

24, 72.

This is the great fecret, to remove all difficulties out of the road of duty; and make the service of God, perfect freedom. Thy teftimonies are my delight, fays Pfal. cxix. the Pfalmifts The law of thy mouth is dearer unto me, than thousands of gold and filver: And our Lord, my meat John iv. is to do the will of him that fent me. When the Apostles had been imprisoned, and beaten, they departed from the pre- Acts v. fence of the council, rejoicing that they were



counted worthy to fuffer shame for the name
of Chrift.

This is the nature of Love; The greater the facrifice that it makes, the higher the fatisfaction it enjoys. It is even uneasy, and discontented, as it were, if it's affiftance be not wanted if.



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