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affection, and suffers them to share with him in the inheritance. No unworthiness, no misery, shall hinder him from owning them in this relation. They share the same nature, are united in bonds of the strongest affection, and participate in the same happiness. He is also the bridegroom, and they are his bride; which implies a voluntary subjection on their part, and the most endearing tenderness on his. They make his interests theirs, and he makes their debts, burdens, cares, and afflictions, his own. He rejoices over them, and they in him; so that there is, between them, a mutual delight and complacency. But, above all, to the most high God they stand in the relation, not only of subjects to a sovereign, and servants to a master, but of children to a parent, a most wise and indulgent parent, who will at the same time correct and forgive their faults. He will neither gratify their improper desires, nor withhold from them “ any good thing." “ Behold," says the apostle, in an ecstacy of joy, “ What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God!”
4. Glorious acts and exploits are ascribed to them: “ The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Thus Jacob wrestled with God all night; and though he got a halting limb, yet he obtained both a new name and a blessing. Thus we read of those worthies who "subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the virulence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, and put to flight the armies of the aliens." And by the same faith which animated these persons, the saints in every age have overcome the world, bid defiance to Satan, dared to be singularly good in the worst of times, persevered in their christian course in spite of all opposition, and at length triumphed over death itself. Neither promises have allured them into sin, nor threatenings deterred them from duty. There is nothing too hard for us to effect if God be with
us: “ I can do all things, through Christ strengthening me.”
5. Glorious prospects are before them; and, what is more, they are sure that they shall not be disappointed. They have much in possession; but they have infinitely more in reversion. The blessings bestowed upon them are great, but the blessings reserved for them are inconceivably greater: a glorious throne, crown, kingdom, and inheritance. Here they are strangers and sojourners, but they look for “a city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God." There their nature, their company, their employment, shall all be glorious. However poor, afflicted, and despised, the believer may be here, his state hereafter shall be glory, permanent and increasing. The Jews have a saying, " that an hour in heaven is of more value than a life on earth." Here, the saints are assimilated to Christ; there, they shall be with him, and their resemblance to him perfected. Here, they have the ear of God; there, they shall behold his face. Here, they have short visits from him; there, they shall enjoy uninterrupted communion with him. Then that which is perfect shall come ;—perfect knowledge, perfect holiness, perfect felicity. “ The soul shall be glorious, and the body shall be made so too."
The inferences we may draw from the foregoing remarks, are such as these :
1. We may see the vanity of those things which the men of the world set their hearts so much upon. What they call glory, compared with this, is no glory. It is not substantial and permanent, and, therefore, can afford no satisfaction.
2. We may also learn the dignity of the real Christian. “The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour.” The saint, though in rags, surpasses Crosus, Cæsar, Nebuchadnezzar, nay, Solomon himself. This glory is internal, spiritual, and undecaying. O let us take care that we do not draw a cloud over, or stain our glory; that we do not 3. Let us press forward towards the full possession of it. The prospect of it should support us under all our trials and afflictions; but, we should not be contented with the prospect; no, nor with the partial fruition; but, with the apostle,"
press towards the mark for the prize of our high calling of God in Christ.” Christian! thou art “called to glory;" obey the call. 4. Let Him who puts this glory upon us receive all glory
The crown that he places on our head let us cast at his feet. Christ's blood was not so dear to him as his glory; yet he imparts it to his people. Glorify him, then, ye saints, who has thus glorified you.
THE VALUE OF TRUE WISDOM.
PROVERBS III. 15.
All the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
These words refer to Wisdom, spoken of verse 7th; by which we are to understand, not human science, in which the Scribes and Pharisees were well versed, while, in Christ's esteem, they were very fools ;- not skill in the arts or the various occupations of life, whereby persons may acquire a fortune for themselves and their families, for to the man who had done so, God says, “ Thou fool;"—not a speculative knowledge of the gospel, such a knowledge as only floats in the head, and does not sink into the heart, or regulate the life and conversation ; but religion, true, internal, vital religion; the excellency of which Solomon sets forth by a variety of comparisons. “ Wisdom,” says he, “ is better than strength ;" “ wisdom is better than weapons of war;" in which places, both natural and spiritual wisdom may be intended : and again, in the verse before my text, “The merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold : she is more precious than rubies;" and then it follows, “ All the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”
Here we shall first take notice of some of those things which we are most apt to desire; and then show the superior excellency of that which is here preferred before them, even I. I am to take notice of some of those things which we are most apt to desire; and give me leave to select the following:
1. The riches and honours, pomp and splendour, of this world. Covetousness and ambition are the prevailing vices of mankind; and, perhaps, there is not one among a thousand that is not, in a greater or less degree, tainted with them. “ All seek their own," says the apostle. They make it their chief endeavour tenaciously to hold what they have got, and eagerly to grasp after more. Their schemes and contrivances are to advance themselves in the world. When their old wishes and desires are answered, new ones start up in their room, and engage them in the same troublesome pursuits as the former. Whatever their condition may be, something is still wanting to satisfy their minds and set them at rest; " who pant,” says the prophet, " after the dust of the earth." It is true, Solomon tells us, “ Wisdom is good with an inheritance ;" that is, where wisdom and riches meet together, they tend to form a complete character, and render a person more able and fit both to get good to himself, and do good to others. Wisdom employs wealth, and wealth employs wisdom, to the best advantage; but many do not care how little they have of the latter, so that they abound in the former. Let God give wisdom to whom he pleases, so that they can but have the inheritance.
2. Carnal pleasures, or the gratification of our sensual appetites. To live well, with many, is to eat and drink of the best; and, like the rich man in the gospel, to “ fare sumptuously every day." With them, their belly is their god, and their cook their chaplain. Others are excessively fond of amusements and recreations; they never enjoy themselves but in a playhouse, or at a card table ; sitting in an alehouse, or roving on a party of pleasure. Thus they trifle away their lives; and it is least in their thoughts to answer the great ends of their being, or that their conduct may be such as comports with the christian character. They