« הקודםהמשך »
know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an Understanding that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Chrijl. This is the true God, and eternal Life (m).
$11. The Memory will not be idle, or useless, in this blessed Work. From that Height the Saint can look behind him, and before himn. And to com: pare paft with present Things, must needs raise in the blessed Soul an inconceivable Esteem and Sense of its Condition. To stand on that Mount, whence we can see the Wilderness and Canaan, both at once; to stand in Heaven, and look back on Earth, and weigh them together in the Balance of a comparing Senle and Judgment, how must it needs transport the Soul, and make it cry out, “ Is this the Purchase that colt « so dear as the Blood of Chrift? No Wonder. O “ blessed Price! and thrice blessed Love, that in:
vented, and condescended! Is this the End of “ Believing? Is this the End of the Spirit's Work
ings? Have the Gales of Grace blown me into « such an Harbour? Is it hither that Christ hati “ allured my Soul! O blessed Way, and thrice “ blessed Erd! Is this the Giory which the Scrip“tures spoke of, and Ministers preached of so much? “ I see the Gospel is indeed good Tidings, even
Tidings of Peace and good Things, Tidings of "great Joy to all Nations! is my Mourning, my
Fasting, my fad Humblings, my heavy Walking, “ come to this? Is my praying, watching, fearing " to offend, come to this? Are all my Amitions, “ Satan's Temptations, the World's Scorns and Jeers,
come to this? O vile Nature, that refitted fo " much, and so long, such a Blessing! Unworthy " Soul, is this the Place thou camest fo unwillingly 46 to? Was Duty wearisome? Was the World 200
good (m) - John v. 10, 20,
“ good to lose? Didst thou fick at leaving all, “ denying all, and suffering any Thing, for this? “ Walt thou loth to die, to come to this? O false “ Heart, thou hadít almoft betrayed me to eternal “ Flames, and loft me this Glory! Art thou not “ now ashamed, my Soul, that ever thou didit " question that Love which brought thee bither? " That thou wast jealous of the Faithfulness of thy “ Lord ? That thou suspectedit his Love, when “ thou shouljít only have suspected thyself? That
ever thou didst quench a Motion of his Spirit? ~ And that thou shouldst misinterpret those Provi“ dences, and repine at those Ways, which have
such an End?' Now thou art fufficiently con
vinced, that thy Redeemer was faving thee, as or well when he crossed thy Delires, as when he “ granted them; when he broke thy Heart, as when " he bound it up. No Thanks to thee, unworthy " Self, for this received Crown; but to Jehovah, “ and the Lambo be Glory for ever."
$ 12. But, oh! the full, the near, the sweet Enjoyment, is that of Love. God is Love, and he that dwelleth in Love dwelieth in God, and God in him (n). Now the poor Soul complains," Oh that I could love “ Christ more!” Then, thou canst not chuse but love him. Now, thou knowest little of his Amiables ness, and therefore lovest little: Then, thine Eye will affe&t thy Heart, and the continual viewing of that perfect Beauty will keep thee in continual Transports of Love. Christians, doch it not now stir up your Love, to remember all the Experiences of his Love? Doth not Kindness melt you, and the SunShine of divine Goodness warm your frozen Hearts? What will it do then, when you shall live in Love, and have All in hin, who is All? Surely Love is
both (0) 1 John iv. 16.
both Work and Wages. What a high Favour, that God will give us Leave to love him! That he will be embraced by those, who have embraced Lust and Sin before him! But more thian this, he returneth Love for Love; nay, a thousand Times more, Christian, thou wilt be then brim-full of Love; yet, love as much as thou canst, thou shalt be ten thousand Times more beloved. Were the Arms of the Son of God open upon the Cross, and an open Parfage made to his Heart by the Spear, and will not Arms and Heart be open to thee in Glory? Did he begin to love before thou lovedft, and will not he continue now? Did he love thee, an Enemy? thee, a Sinner ? thee, who even loathedst thyself ? and own thee, when thou didit disclaim thyself? And will he not now immeasurably love thee, a Son? thee, a perfect Saint? thee, who returnert fome Love for Love? He that in Love wept over the old Jerufaa km when near its Ruing with what Love will he rejoice over the new Jerusalem in her Glory? Christian, believe this, and think on it; Thou shalt he eternally embraced in the Arms of that Love, wbich was from everlasting, and will extend to everlasting ;-of that Love, which brought the Son of God's Love from Heaven to Earth, from Earth to the Cross, from the Crofs to the Grave, from the Grave to Glory; hat Love, which was weary, hungry, tempted, fcorned, fcourged, buffeted, spit upon, crucified, pierced; which did fast, pray, teach, heal, weep, sweat, bleed, die;that Love will eternally embrace thee. Wher perfect created Love, and most perfect uncreated Love, meet together, it will not be like Joseph and his Brethren, who lay upon one an. other's Necks weeping; it will be loving and rejoiceing, not loving and forrowing: Yet it will make Satan's Court ring with the News, that Joseph's
Brethren are come, that the Saints are arrived safe at the Bofom of Christ, out of the Reach of Hell for ever: Nor is there any such Love as David's and Jonathan's, breathing out its laft into fad Lamentations for a forced Separation. Know this, Believer, to thy everlasting Comfort, if those Arms have once embraced thee, neither Sin, nor Hell; can get thee thence for ever. Thou hast not to deal with an inconstant Creature, but with him with whom is no Variableness, nor Shadow of Turning (o). His Love to Thee will not be as thine was on Earth to him; feldom, and cold, up and down. He that would not cease, nor abaté, his Love, for all thine Enmity, unkind Neglects, and churlish Resistances; can be cease to love thee, when he hath made thee truly lovely? He that keepeth thee fo constant in thy Love to him, that thou canst challenge Tribulatioti
, Distress, Per-secution, Famine, Nakedness, Peril, or Swird, to separate thy Love from Chrisl, how much more will himself be confiant (p)?
Indeed thou mayst be persuaded, that neither Death, ror Life, nor Angels, nor Principalities, nor Porvers, ner Things prefent, nor Things to come, nor Height, nor Depth, nor any other Creature, frall b: able to separate us from the Love of God suhich is in. Chrif Fifes our Lord (q). And
we not left in the Apofile's Admiration, What fail we say to these Things (r)? Infinite Los must needs be a Mystery to a finite Capacity. No Wonder Angels défire to look into this Mystery (s). And if it he the Study of Saints here, to know the Breadth, and Length, and Depth, and Height, of the Love of Christ, which taseih Knowledge (t); the Saint's everlasting Relt must confife in the Enjoyment of God
(0) Jarres i. 17. ir) Rom. viii, 31.
(p) Rom. viii. 35.
($) 1 Pet. i. 12.
§ 13 (c) Rom, viii, 38, 39, (1) Ephes. iii, 18, 19.
$ 13. Nor hath Fcg the least Share in this Fruition. 'Tis that, which all the former dead to, and conclude in; even the inconceivable Complacency which the Blessed feel in their secing, knowing, loving, and being beloved of God. This is the white Stone, which na Man kroweth, saving he that retriveth it(u). Surely this is the Joy which a Stranger doth not intermeddle with(w). All Christ's Ways of Mercy tend to, and end in, the Saint's Joys. 'He wept, forrowed, fuffered, that they might rejoice; he sendeth the Spirit to be their Comforter; he multiplies Promises; he discovers their future Happiness, that their hoy may be full(x). He opens to them the Fountain of living Waters, that they may thirst 10. mare, and that it may Spring up in them to everlafting Lif:(y). He chasters them, that he may give them Ref 7). He makes it their Duty to rejoice in lim alway, and again commands them to rejcice (a). He never brings them into fo low a Condition, wherein he does not leave them more Cause of Joy than Sorrow. And hath the Lord such a Care of our Comfort here! Oh, what will that Joy be, where the Soul being perfectly prepared for Joy, and Joy prepared by Christ for the Soul, it fall be our Work, our Business, eternally to rejoice! It seems the Saint's Joy shall be greater than the Damned's Torment; for their Torment is the Torment of Creatures, prepared for the Devil and his Angels (b); but our Joy is the Joy of our Lord(c): The fame Glory which the Father gave the Son, the Son hath given them (d), to fit. with him in his Throne, even as he is set down with his Father in his Throne (e). Thou, poor Soul, who prayest for Joy, waite2 for
(u) Rev. ii. 17.
(w) Prov. xiv. 10. (a) John xvi. 24. (2) Plalm xciv. 12, 13. (al Phil. iv. 4. (c) Matt. xxv. 21.
(d) Jolin xvii. 22.