תמונות בעמוד

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 Minister, that God would put some divine Message into his Mouth, which may leave a heavenly Relish on your Spirit.

§ 16. (6) Improve every Oljefl, and every Event, to mind thy Soul of its approaching Rest. As all Providences and Creatures are Means to our Rest, so they point us to that, as their End. God's sweetest Dealings with us at the present, would not be half so sweet as they are,-if they did not intimate some surther Sweetness, Thou takest but the bare Earnest, and overlookest the main Sum, when thou receivest thy Mercies, and forgettest thy Crown. O that Christians were skilsul in this Art! You can open your Bibles; learn to open the Volumes of Creature* and Providences, to read there also of God and Glory. Thus we might have a suller Taste of Christ and Heaven in every common Meal, than most Men have in a Sacrament. If thou prosper in the World, let it make thee more sensible of thy perpetual Prosperity. If thou art weary with Labour, let it make the Thoughts of thy eternal Rest more sweet. If Things go cross, let thy Desires 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. Dost thou hear any good News? remember what glad Tidings it will be to hear tht Trump of God, and the applauding Sentence of Christ. Art thou delighted with the Society of the Saints? remember what the pfrfect 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 sull. Dost thou hear the raging



Noise of -the Wicked, and the Consusions of the ,Worlds think of the blessed Harmony in Heaven. Efcost fhou hear the Tempest of War? remember the Day, when thou (halt be in persect Peace, under the ,Wings of the Prince of Peace for ever Thus every Condition, and Creature, affords us Advantages for a heavenly Lise, if we had but Hearts to improve them.

'§ 17. (7) Be much in the angelical Work of Praise. The more heavenly the Employment, the more will it make the Spirit heavenly. Praising God is the "Work of Angels and Saints in Heaven, and will be our own everlasting Work; and if we were more in it now, we should be liker to what we shall be then. As Desire, Faith, and Hope, are of shorter Continuance than Love and Joy; so also Preaching, Prayer, and Sacraments, and all Means for expressing and consirming our Faith and Hope, shall cease, when our triumphant Expressions of Love and Joy shall abide for ever. The liveliejt Emblem of Heaven that I know upon Earth, is, when the People of God, in the <leep Sense of his Excellency and Bounty, from Hearts abounding with Love and soy, join together both in Heart and Voice, in the chearful and melodious singing of his 'Praijes. These Delights, like the Testimony of the Spirit, witness themselves to b: of God, and bring the Evidence of their heavenly Parentage along with them - j

§ 18. Little do we know how we wrong ourselves, by shutting out of our Prayers the Praises of God, or allowing them so narrow a Room as we usually do, while we are copious enough in our Consessions and Petitions. Reader, I intreat thee, remember this; let Praises have a larger Room in thy Duties; keep Matter ready at Hand to seed thy Praise, as well as Matter for Consession and Petition.

To To this End, study the Excellencies and Goodness oS the Lord, as frequently as thy own Wants and Unworthiness; the Mercies thou hast received, and those which are promised, as often as the Sins thou hast committed. Praise is comely for the Upright. Whoso offereth Praise, glorifieth God. Praise ye the Lord, for the Lord is good; Jing Praises unto his Name, for it is pleasant (c). Let us offer the Sacrifice of Praise to God continually, that is, the Fruit of our Lips, giving Thanks to his Name (d). Had not David a most heavenly Spirit, who was so much in this heavenly Worki Doth it not sometimes raise our Hearts, when we only read the Song of Moses, and the Psalms of David? How much more would it raise and refresh us, to be skilsul and frequent in the Work ourselves? O the Madness of Youth, that lay out their Vigour of Body and Mind upon vain Delights and fleshly Lusts, which is so fit for the noblest Work of Man! And O th« sinsul Folly of many of the Saints, who drench their Spirits in continual Sadness, and waste their Days in Complaints and Groans, and so make themselves, both in Body and Mind, unsit for this sweet and heavenly Work! Instead of joining with the People of God in his Praises, they are questioning their Worthiness, and studying their Miseries; and so rob God of his Glory, and themselves of their Consolation. But the greatest Destroyer of our Comfort in this Duty, is our taking up with the Tune and Melody, and suffering the Heart to be idle, which ought to perform the principal Put of the Work, and use the Melody to revive and exhilarate itself.

§ 19. (8) Ever keep thy Soul ptsfessed with believing Thoughts of the infinite Love of God. Love is the Attractive of Love. Few so vile, but will love those that love them. No Doubt it is the Death of our


(c) Ps. «xiu. 1. 1. 23. cxxxv. 3. (d) heb. xiii. 15.

heavenly Lise, to have hard Thoughts of God, to conceive of Him as one that would rather damn, than save us. This is to put the blessed God into the Similitude of Satan. When our Ignorance and Unbelief have drawn the most desormed Picture of God ist Our Imaginations, then we complain, that we cannot love Him, nor delight in Him. This is the Case of many thousand Christians. Alas, that we should thus blaspheme God, and blast our own Joys! Scripture assures us, that God is Love{e); that/wy is not in Him(f); that He hath no Pleasure in the Death of the Wicked, but that the IVicked turn from his Way and live(g). Much more hath He testified his Love to his Chosen, and his full Resolution effectually to save them. O that we could always think of God, as we do of a Friend; as of one that unseignedly loves us, even more than we do ourselves; whose .very Heart is set upon us to do us Good, and hath theresore provided sor us an everlasting Dwelling with Himself; it would riot then be so hard to have our Hearts ever with Him! Where we love most heartily, we shall think most sweetly, and most freely. • I sear most Christians think higher of the Love of a hearty Friend, than of the Love of God; and what. Wonder then if they love their Friends better than. God, and trust them more considently than God, and had rather live with them than with God?

§ 20. (9) Carefully observe and cherijl) the Motions of the Spirit of God. It" ever thy Soul get above this Earth, and get acquainted with this heavenly Lise, the Spirit of God must be't'o thee, as the Chariot to Elijah; yea, the very living Principle by which thou must move and ascend. O then, grieve not thy Guide, quench not thy Lise, knock not off thy Chariot-Wheels! You little think how much the Life . N of

(e)-1 John iv. 16. (f) Isai. ioevii. 4, (g) Ezi.k. WKiii. 11.

of all your Graces, and the Happiness of'your Souls, depend upon your ready and cordial Obedience to the Spirit. When the Spirit urges thee to secret Praver; or sorbids thee thy known Transgressions; or points out to thee the Way in which thou fbouldst go; and thou wilt not regard, no Wonder if Heaven and thy Soul be strange. If thou wilt not follow the Spirit, •while it would draw thee to Christ and thy Duty; how should it lead thee to Heaven, and bring thy Heart into the Presence of God? What supernatural Help, what bold Access, shall the Soul sind in its Approaches to the Almighty, that constantly obeys the Spirit? And how - backward, how dull, how ashamed, will he be in these Addresses, who hath often broke away from the Spirit that would have guided him? Chrijtian Reader, dost thou not seel sometimes a strong Impression to retire from the World, and draw near to God? Do not disobey, but take the Offer, and hoist up thy Sails while this blessed Gale may be had. The more of this Spirit -we resist, the deeper will it wound; and the more we obey, the speedier will be our Pace.

§ 2F. (10) / advise thee, as a farther Help to this heavenly Life, not to ntgleEi the due Care of thy bodily Health. Thy Body is an useful Servant, if thou give it its Due, and no more than its Due; but it is a most devouring Tyrant, if thou sufser it to have what it unreasonably desires; and it is as a blunted Knise, if thou unjustiy deny it what is 'necessary to its Support. When we consider, how frequently Men offend on both Extremes, aud how sew use; their Bodies aright, we cannot wonder if they be much hindered in their Converse with Heaven. Moll Men nre Slaves to their Appetite, and can scarce deny any Thing to the Flesh, and are theresore willingly ,<ytrried by it to tiieir Sports, or Prosits, or vain Com


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