תמונות בעמוד
PDF

what a Manfeetb, why doth be yet hope for? But if *e we hope fir that we fee not, then do we with Patience. *' wait for it (d). I have been ashamed ofmyHtfpe "ih. an Arm of Flesh, but Hope in the Promise of. *' God maheth not ajbamed(e). In- my greatest Sufser, "ings I will say, The Lord is my Portion, therifre "-will I hope in Him; the Lord is giod unto them that **" vaait sot Him, to the Soul that feeketh Him. It it ** giodt'tMt a Man should both hope and quietly, wait fir *'' the Salvation of the Lord, For the Lord will hot ca/h "°fffor ev,'r' But though He cause Grief, yet will "-He leave Compassion, according to the Multitude of Hs ** JHereies {(). Tho' I languish and die, yet will I **'_ hope; sor the Righteaus hath Hope in his Death (g).' "Tbo' I must lie down in Dust and Darkness, yet "' there my Flesh shall rest in Hope(h). And when"; my Flesh hath nothing to rejoice .in, yet will I "hudfaft the Rejoicing of the Hope firm unto the End(\); "for the Hope of the Righteous shail be Gladness (k). "Indeed, if I was myself to satisfy divine Justice, "then .there had been no Hope; but Christ hath "brought in a better Hope, by the which ive draw nigh "unto God(\)- Or, if I had to do with a seeb e ** Creature, there were small Hope; sor how could "he raise this Body from the Dust, and life me above "the Sun? But -what is this to the Almighty ** Power, which made the Heavens and the Earth -*' out of nothing? Cannot that Power which raised' "Christ from the Dead, taise me? and that, which' "hath glorified the Head, glorify also the Member: ?• "Doubtless, by the BlzMLjf His Covenant, Gid' will" "fend firth His Prisoners out of the Pit wherein is nb "IVater; theresore will I turn to the jlrong Hold, as "a Prisoner of Hpe(m)."

O5 §r5;

(d) Rom. viii. 24, 25. (e) Rom. v. 5. (s) Lam. iii. 24—26, 31,j2,

(g) Prov. xiv. 3a. (h) Ps. xvi. g. -(;) Heb. iii. 6.

{k; Prov. x. 28. (1) Heb, vii, 19. (in) Zech. ix. 11, 12.

$15. (4) Courage or Bsldness is another" Affeiim to be exercised in heavenly Contemplation. It leadeth to Resolution, and concludeth in Action. When you have raised your Love, Desire, and Hope, go on, and think thus with yourself; " Will God indeed dwell 'i with Men? And is there such a Glory within the ** Reach of Hope? Why then do I not lay hold upon "it? Where is the chearsul Vigour of my Spirit? "Why do I not gird up the Loins of my Mind (a)? '' Why don't I set upon my Enemies on every Side, "and valiantly break through all Resistance? What "should stop me, or intimidate me? Is God with V me, or against me in the Work? Will Christ '.' stand by me, or will He not? If God and Christ "be for me, who can be again/I me (o)? In the Work * of Sin, almost all Things are ready to help us, and ** only God and His Servants are against us, yet how '•* ill doth that Work prosper in our Hands? But in '•' my Course to Heaven, almost all Things are '•' against me, but God is for me; and therefore how *'• happily doth the Work succeed?. Do I set upon . "this Work in my own Strength, or rather in the *' Strength of Christ my Lord? And cannot I di all '' Things through Him that Jhengthens rai?(p)? Was ** He ever foiled by an Enemy? He hath indeed teen *' assaulted, but was He ever conquered? Why then ** doth my Flesh urge me with the Dissiculties of the "' Work? Is any Thing too hard for Omnipotence? *' May not Peter boldly walk on the Sea, if Christ *' gives the Word of Command? If he begin to sink, *' is tt from the Weakness of Christ, or the Smallness *' of his Faith? Do l not well deserve to be turned *' into Hell, if mortal Threats csn drive me thither? "Do l not weli deserve to be shut out of Heaven, if "1 will be frighted from thence with the Reproach

"of

ti) iPd.L 13. (o) Rcm. viii. 31, (p)'Phil. iv. 13.

** of Tongues? What if it were Father', or Mothert *-* or Hufiand, or JVife, or the nearest Friend I have '* in the World, (if they may be called Friends that •* would draw me to Damnation) should 1 not sor** sake all that would keep me from Christ? Will «* their Friendship countervail the Enmity of God, ** or be any Comsort to my condemned Soul? Shall *'-I be yielding to the Desires of Men, and only ;*' harden myself against the Lord? Let them beseech "me upon- their Knees, I will fcom to stop my "Course to behold them; I wirl shut my Ears to their "Cries: Let them flatter, or frown; let them draw "out Tongues or Swords against me; I am resolved "iit the Strength of Christ to break through, aud *' look upon them as Dust: If they would entice me "wiih Preserment, even with the Kingdoms of the ** World, 1 will no more regard them than the Dung "of the Earth. O blessed Rest! O glorious State! "Who would sell thee sor Dreams and Shadows? "Who would be enticed or affrighted from thee? *' Who would not strive, and fight, and watch, and" -" run, and that with Violence, even to the last "Breath, in order to obtain thee? Surely none,, **- but those that know thee not, and believe not thy "Glory."

§ 16. (5) The laft AffeRion to be exercised in heavenly. Contemplation, is Joy. Love, Desire, Hope, and Courage, all tend to raise our Joy. This is so desirable to every Man by Nature, and so essentially necessary to constitute our Happiness, that, 1 hope, \ need not say much to persuade you to any Thina; that would make your Lise delightsul. Supposing you therefore already convinced, that the Pleasures of the Flesh are brutish and perishing, and that your solid and lasting Joy must be from Heaven, instead of persuading, 1 shall proceed in directing. Reader, if .-. • O 6 thou thou hast managed well the sormer Work, thou art got within Sight of thy Rest; thou believest the Truth of it-, thou art convinced of its Excellency; thou art sallen in love with it; thou longest aster it; thou hopcst sor it; and thou art resolved te venture cou« ragioufly sor obtaining it. But is here any Work sor Joy in this? We delight in the Good we possess; k

[graphic]

thyselfi^ Is it nothing 1 Deed of Gift from God? Are His insallible Promises no Ground of Joy? Is it nothing to live in daily Expectation of entering into the Kingdom? Is not my Assurance of being hereaster glorified, a sufficient Ground sor inexpressible Joy? Is it not a Delight to. the Heir of a Kingdom, to think of what he must softn possess, though at present he little differ from a.. Servant? Have we not both Command, and Example, sor rejoicing in Hope of the Glory pfGod(q)?. .. ..

§ 17. Here then, Reader, take thy Heart once more, and carry it to the Top of the highest Mount; shiW it the Kingdom of Christ, and the Gkry of it, and say to it, "Ail this will thy Lord give tbee, who hast "believed in Him, and been a Worjhipper ps Hipt- It"is the Father's good Pleasure to give thee this King"dom(i). Seest thou this astonishing Glory which "is above thee? AU this is thy own Inheritance. "This Crown is thine, these Plealurrs are thine, "this Company, this besut'ful Place, all are thine; "because thou art Christ '$', and Christ is thine; "when thou wast united to Him, thou hadst all these "'.with' Him.'' Thus take tby Heart into the Land of Promise; shew it the pleasant Hills, and fruitsul Vallies; shew it the Clusters of Grapes which thou, hast gathered, to convince it that it is a blessed Land,

slowing

(q) Ron. v. 2. iii. xz. (r) Luke xii, 31.

flowing with better than Milk and Honey: Enter the

Gates of the holyCity; walk thro' the Streets of.the

rte%u Jerusalem; walk about Sion, and go round about

her; tell the Towers thereof; mark weV her Bulwarks;

consider her Palaces; that thou mayjl tell it to thy Soul (s)i

Hath it not the Glory of God, and is not her Light like

unto a Stone most precious, even like a Jasper Stone, clear

as Crystal? See the twelve Foundations of her Wallst

and in them the Names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

And the Building of the Walls of it are of Jasper; and

the City is pure Gold, like unto clear Glass; and the

Foundations are garnijJhed with all Manner of precious

Stones. And the twelve Gates are twelve Pearls, every

several Gate is of one Pearl; and the Street of the City

is pure Gold, as it were transparent Glass. There is nt

Temple in it; for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb,

are the Temple of it. It hath no need of the Sun, neither

of the Moon in it; for the Glory of God doth lighten it,

and the Lamb is the Light thereof; and the Nations of.

them which are saved, Jhall walk in the Light of it.

These Sayings are faithful and true: And the Lord God

of the holy Prophets sent His Angels, and His own Son,

to skew unto His Servants the Things which must Jhortly

be dune(t): Say now to all this, ." This is thy Rest.,

"O my Soul! Aud this must be the Place of thy

"everlasting Habitation. Let all the Sons of Sion

"rejoice, let the Daughters of Jerusalem be glad; for

"great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the City

"of our Godi, in the Mountain of His Holiness. Br.au.

"tiful for Situation, the Joy of the whole Earth is

"Mount Sion. God is known in her Palaces for a

"Refuge(u)."

§ 18. Yet proceed on. The Soul that love?, ascends frequemlv'j and runs familiarly thro' the Streets

of

si) PfJm xlviii. 12, 13. ft) Rev. xxi. Ji—14. xrii. 6. (u) Psalm xlviii. 11. 1—3.

« הקודםהמשך »