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Treasure hid in a Field; There he more plainly resembles the Heavenly Kingdom CO a Pearls and a Treasure.
And of this Last kind , I find only Six Parables of our Lord; One of the Treasure, another of the Pearl, the Third of the Diurnal Penj, the Fourth of the distribution of the Talents, the Fisth of the great Suffer, and the Sixth of the Wedding. To which we may add Two Simile's of the Apostle; One of the Runners for the Prize; and the other of them that Strove in the Olymfic Exercises for Victory. Thus, there will be Eight Considerations of the Saints Blessed Life under these Parabolical Notions.
The F,rfl Parable is that (Mat. 15. 44.) which makes the Kingdom of Heaven like to a Treasure bid in a Field. And by what follows there , shews us how it is to be Obtain d: Even by Hiding it, and Selling all to Buy it. Now by a Treasure, we un-' derstand great store of Gold and Silver, and many precious Materials amafs'd together. And its being Hid may signify, That 'twas laid up time cut os Mind; so as to have no proper Owner; but to sall to the Finder. -What is the Treasure here then, but the Divinity , which lay hid in our Lord's Humanity? (As S. Hit. and Jer. do expound it.) For in him dwells all the . ..'. Fulness
Fulness of the Godhead bodily. Col. 2.9. The Deity is the truest Treasure of all Good: And so Ancient indeed, That it is beyond all Memory , from all Eternity. Neither has it any Owner; when as it self is the Lord of all. Yet is it said to fall to the Share of them that find it; Because the Lord does freely bestow himself upon them that are for Parting with all, to Gain him. 'Tis Hid, as under ground in a Field, in the Human Nature of our Lord: For tho' the Divinity be every where; Yet never more properly than in that Nature, to which it is so Unitedt that God and Man there are but one Person. 2 Cor. f. 19. God is said to be in Christ\ Reconciling the World to Himself. But tho' it be no where more, Yet is it there so Hid, that it needs a Light set up, to Discover God in Christ. Such a Light as was the Baptist , Joh. J. 3 J. Burning and Shining: Which might be the Lamp prophesy d of so long before. Pfal. 132. 16. which God ordained for his Anointed. Tho* no man bath seen God at any time j The only begotten Son, who is in the Bosom of the Father, he has Reveal'd him, foh. 1. 18. But as plain as ever the Light discover'd Christ the Son of God j Yet the blinded Jews could not, would not, own the Divinity in him. For had they known it, They would not have Crucify d the Lord of Glory, 1 Cor. t. 8. K This
This Treasure therefore, he that'sTaught of God , T'inds and Hides j and Selling all that he has, buys the Field. To Hide the Treasure found, what is it, but to cover received Grace, under the Veil of Humility ? And not to be pufFd up with the Light sent from Above , nor make proud boast of Divine Consolations and Revelations: Least Vain-Glory corrupt the True. Str Paul said , It was not Expedient for him to Glory, z Cor. 12. 1. Tho' no one might have such Cause, as he had for it: Yet he speaks there , of a man caught up into Paradise; as if it had been none of Himself: And not that Mention made neither, till Fourteen Years after/
Farther j Gladly to part with all, for' the Purchasing of that Field , where the Treasure Lay , what does it signify, But that he who would Enjoy God and Christ, in the Kingdom of Heaven, must take his Afftctiom off all Earthly things, and devote himself, and whatever he has" in the World , to the Will and Service of God? And that, not with a Heavy Heart, and as a forced Putt, But with Free will, and great Alacrity. For God Icvetb a Cheerful Giver. 2 Cor. 9. 7. And whoe~ ver does but well Understand, how rich a Treasure it is, to Enjoy Christ our Lord, in the Heavenly Eternal Countrey , To fe« his Godhead with the eyes of the Mind,
and and his Manhood even with Bodily eyes, To be made Partaker of all the Goods of God and Christ, and sccur'd in that Blessed Portion for ever;ne\er will he think it any. great matter, to Despise all Temporal things, and even Life it self, for the Love of God, and such Felicity everlasting.
Of this Mind was S. Ignatius, when he could fay. Let Fire, the Cross, Worrying of wild Beasts, Cutting , Disjointing, Breaking of Members, the ruin of my whole Frame, and all the scourges efthe Devil come us on me j So that I may but be thought meet to win Christ. He that speaks thus, How much less would he Fear Want, Shame, Exile, Prisons, that he might not Lose such an inestimable Treasure? And whoever would indeed Ensure the Treasure of Eternal Life, Let him seriously reflect on this, and bethink himself, whether he be so Prepared and Resolved, to slight and Rejeff all other Goods. For otherwise, he is in no fair Way at all, (Alive or Dead) ever to obtain that.Treasure, without which he'll be the most Beggarly and Wretched for ever.
But how comes it to pass, That so many, with the keenest Concern, do search after Treasures of Gold and Silver: And not thinking all their Activity there sufficient, are ready to run for Infernal Help,To endanger not only the Loss of Credit and Life, but of Soul and Heaven? while so K 2 few few do find Ot seek thy Treasure, O Lori my God, who only canst eompleatly Enrich a Man, without any such Venture, Cost, or Danger ? No other Cause can I allege, but trie slender Faith of thy People; or such Eagerness in scraping together the Meat that perishes, which will not give 'em Leisure, but so much as to think and Consider of all thy Blessed Glorious Promises. Therefore, good Lord Increase our Faith in thy Word ; and extinguish bur Thirst after these Lower Jcquisttiom of the World ; That with more studious Care, and stronger Desire, we may search out thy Treasure: And having found it, Let all go } that ('by thy GraceJ we may make it our Own.
Of the Precious Pearl.
THE other Parable of the Precious Pearl is that which follows next, Mat. i; . 4 j. And as the Pearl of great Price is like the Treasure, so the Way of Obtaining it, by Selling all for it. We have need then only to shew here, wherein the two Parables do differ; which is in Two par