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wife and good, perfect and happy: such as we have a mighty interest in, such as have a strong influence upon us, such as give a new day to the understanding, and new strength and liberty to the will ; such as raise and exalt our affections, and render the whole man more rational, more steddy, more constant, more uniform. 'These are the truths which make men great and modest in prosperity, erect and couragious in adversity, always content with this world, yet always full of the hopes of abetter: serene, calm, and well assured in the present state of their souls, and yet thirsting after Perfection, maturity, and the absolute consummation of righteousness in the world to come. Now the truths that effect all this, are all reducible to those which I have mentioned under the former head: for in those we find all that is necessary to life an godliness, to virtue and glory ; in those we find all that i« necessary to raise and support true magnanimity, to enlarge and free the mind, and to add strength and courage to it. For what can more certainly promote all this, than immortality and glory? what can be a surer foundation for the hope of both to rest on, than the favour of God himself? and what can more effectually reconcile and ingratiate us with God, than sincere universal righteousness, and the mediation of his dearly beloved Sons

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3. The third character of illuminating truths, is, that they are pleasant and agreeable to the foul. Hence it is, that the royal

.Psalmisst pronounces the word of Godsweeter than the honey and the honey-comb: that he ascribes to it delight and joy; for he tells us, that it rejoices the heart, that it enlightens the eyes. And accordingly we find the true servants of God, not only continually blessing and praying God in the temple; but magnifying him by Psalms and Hymns in their prisons, and rejoicing in the midst of tirbulation. But when I reckon pleasure and delight amongst the fruits of Illumination, I must add, that there is a vast difference between the fits and flashes of mirth, and the serenity of 2. fixed and habitual delight; between the titillations of

fense, and the solid joys of the mind; and lastly, between the pleasures of fancy', and of reason. And when I fay, Illumination consists in the knowledge of pleasant and agreeable truths, I mean it of rational pleasure, an habitual tranquillity of the mind; and then the matter is beyond question. Whatever truths do contribute to promote this, the study and contemplation of them must: be our true wisdom. Joy, when 'tis solid and rational, does enlarge and exalt the mind of man:- 'tis as it were, health to the navel, and marrcnv to the bones; it renders us more thankful

to to God, more kind and courteous to man. 'Tis an excellent preparation to invite more plentiful influxes of the Spirit of God. Hence did Elijah call for a musical instrument when he desired to prophesy: and we find the company of prophets rejoycing with hymns, mufick, and dances; all outward testimonies of the inward transports and ravishments of their minds. And as lam perswaded that that which distinguishes a godly sorrow, from ^worldly or impious one, repentance and contrition, from the agonies and perplexities of despair, is the peace and tranquillity which attends it; so am I perswaded, that God does press and invite us to mourning and sorrcw for fin, for this reason, not excluding others, because it naturally leads on to peace and joy : a soft and tender sorrow dissipating the fears and distresses of guilt, like mild and fruitful showers that do lay storms. In a word, there is no such powerful antidote against Jin, nor spur to holy industry, as holy pleasure, pious joy, or spiritual peace and tranquillity. This is a partaking or anticipating the powers of the world to come; and the mightiest corroboration of every thing that is goocTin us. The study then of juch truths, is true wisdom. And Illumination thus far will consist in quitting those errors which beget melancholy, superstition, desperation ; and in such truths, M 3 as.

as enlarge our view of the divine Perfections, and exhibit to us a nearer presence of his goodness and glory: such, again, as unfold the dignity of human nature, and die wi fe and gracious ends of our creation ' such, lastly, as extend our prospect, and enlarge our hopes; support our frailties, and excite our vigour.

4. The last property of those truths in the knowledge of which Illumination consists, is, that they are such as procure us a reward. If we reflect upon those three heads, under which I ranged those truths, which illuminated the Gentiles and "Jewish world, we {hall easily discern hovv well they fit this character: they fill the mind with joy and peace, and make it abound in hope; they purge the man from his natural corruption, and fortify the mind against such impressions, from outward good or evil in this world, as disquiet and torment the sinner; they procure him the . protection of God^s providence, and the assistance of his spirit in this life, and they invite him to hope for glories and pleasures in another, far above any thing that the heart of man can conceive. God is the God of hope; he has all fulness and sufficiency m himself: and therefore blejjed must all they be, who have the Lord for their Gvd. fejus is the fountain of all consolation: He is made unto us of God, twijdom.

and and righteousness, and J'anBification, and redemption: happy is he that does rejoice always, and glory in him. Righteousness is a state of health and strength, of Perfection and beauty, of peace and tranquillity, of rest and hope: blessed are they who are possessed of it, who are m^de free from Jin, and become servants of God; who have their fruits unto holiness, and the end everlosting life. Such are already passed from death to life ; for the spirit of life and holiness, of God and glory, rests upon them. This is the character that distinguishes gospel knowledge from all other sorts of knowledge. No knowledge of arts or sciences, and much less the molt exquisite knowledge of all the mysteries of the kingdom of darkness, can pretend to an eternal reward. A inort and impure pleasure, and a transient interest, is all that this fort of knowledge can bestow, and very often, instead of pleasure and profit, it requites its disciples with pain and trouble. The gospel only contains those truths, which confer life and immortality on those that believe and obey them. 'Tis the gospel alone that teaches us how we are to gain the love and favour of God; and 'tis God alone who rules and governs the visible and invisible world. He therefore alone is to be feared; and he alone is to be loved. Fear not them, faith our Saviour, Mattb.

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