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Men can be delighted in talking together of their Wickedness; and Thould not Christians then be delighted in talking of Christ?' and the Heirs of Heaven in talking of their Inheritance? This may make our Hearts revive, as it did Jacob's to hear the Message that called him to Gothen, and to fee the Chariots that thould bring him to Yoseph. O that we were furnished with Skill and Resolution, to turn the Stream of Men's common Discourse to these more sublinie and precious Things! And when Men begin to talk of Things unprofitable, that we could tell how to put in a Word for Heaven, and say, as Peter of his bodily Food, Not fo, for I have never eaten any Thing that is common or unclean! O the Good that we might both do and receive by this Courfe! Had it not been to deter us from unprofitable Conversation, Christ would not have talked of our giving an Account of every idle Word in the Day of Judgment(z). Say then, as the Pfalmift, when you are in Company, Let my Tongue cleave to the Roof of my Mouth, if I pirfer not Jerusalem above my chief Joy (a). Then you shall find it true, that a wholesome Tongue is a Trée sf Life (b).
$ 15. (5) Endeavour in every: Duty to raise the Affections nearer to Heaven. God's End in the Institution of his Ordinances was, that they should he as so many Steps to advance us 'to our Reft, and by which, in Subordination to Chrift, we might daily afcend in our Affections. Let this be thy End in using them, and doubtless they will not be unsuccess. ful. How have you been rejoiced by a few Lines
from a Friend, when you could not see him Face to • Face! And may we not have Intercourse with God
in his Ordinances, though our Persons be yet so far remote? May not our Spirits rejoice in reading those
* Lines, (2) Matt. xii. 36. (a) Pl. cxxxyi. 6. (b) Prov. *. 4.
Shearer mances alice o Chrifto
nend in our Adination to us to our Rould be as
them above themselves. Certainly God would not fail us in our Duties, if we did not fail ourselves. Remember, therefore, always to pray for your Mi. nifter, that God would put fome divine Message into his Mouth, which may leave a heavenly Relith on your Spirit.
$ 16. (6). Improve every Objeci, and every Event, to mind thy Soul of its approaching Reft. As all Providences and Creatures are Means to our Reft, lo they point us to that, as their End. God's sweetest Dealings with us at the present, would not be half so fweet as they are, if they did not intimate some further Sweetness. Thou takeft but the bare Earnest, and overlookest the main Sum, when thou receiveft thy Mercies, and forgetteft thy Crown. O that Christians were skilful in this Art! You can open your Bibles; learn to open the Volumes of Creatures and Providences, to read there also of God and Glory. Thus we might have a fuller Taste of Chrift and Heaven in every common Meal, than moft Men have in a Sacrament. If thou profper in the World, let it make thee more sensible of thy perpetual Prof. perity. If thou art weary with Labour, let it make ihe Thoughts of thy eternal Reft more sweet. If Things go cross, let thy Defires be more earnest to have Sorrows and Sufferings for ever cease. Is thy Body refreshed with Food, or Sleep? remember the unconceivable Refreshment with Christ. Doft thou hear any good News? remember what glad Tidings it will be to hear the Trump of God, and the applauding Sentence of Christ. Art thou delighted with the Society of the Saints? remember what the perfect Society in Heaven will be. Is God communicating Himself to thy Spirit? remember the Time of thy highest Advancement, when both thy Communion and Joy shall be full. Dost thou hear the raging