תמונות בעמוד

be exceeding glad, because my reward in heaven is great. I know he would have my joys exceed my sorrows; and as much as he delights in the humble and contrite, he yet more delights in the soul that delights in him. Hath my Lord spread me a table in this wilderness, and furnished it with the promises of everlasting glory, and set before me angels' food? Doth he frequently and importunately invite me to sit down and feed, and spare not? Hath he, to that end, fur: nished me with reason, and faith, and a joyful disposition? And is it possible that he should be unwilling to have me rejoice? Is it not his command to delight thyself in the Lord; and his promise, to give thee the desires of thine heart? Art thou not charged to rejoice evermore? yea, to sing aloud, and shout for joy? Why should I then be discouraged ? My God is willing, if I were but willing. He is delighted with my delights. He would have it my constant frame, and daily business, to be near him in my believing meditations, and to live in the sweetest thoughts of his goodness. O blessed employment, fit for the sops of God! But thy feast, my Lord, is nothing to me without an appetite: Thou hast set the dainties of heaven before me; but, alas! I am blind, and cannot · see them; I am sick, and cannot relish them; I am so benumbed, that I cannot put forth a hand to take them. I therefore humbly beg this grace, that a thou hast opened heaven to me in thy word, si thou wouldest open mine eyes to see it, and my heart to delight in it; else heaven will be no heaven to me. O thou Spirit of life, breathe upon thy graces in me take me by the hand, and lift me from earth, that I may see what glory thou hast prepared for them that love thee.

15.“ Away then, ye soul-tormenting cares' and fears, ye heart-vexing sorrows! At least forbear a little while; stand by; stay here below, till I go up and see my rest. The way is strange to me, but not to Christ. There was the eternal abode of his glorious Deity; and thither hath he also brought his glorified flesh. It was his work to purchase it; it is his to prepare it, and pre

pare me for it, and bring me to it. The eternal God of truth hath given me his promise, his seal and oath, that believing in Christ, I shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Thither shall my soul be speedily removed, and my body very shortly follow. And can my tongue say, that I shall shortly and surely live with God; and yet my heart not leap within me? Can I say it with faith, and not joy? Ah! faith, how sensibly do I now perceive thy weakness! But though unbelief darken my light, and dull my life, and suppress my joys, it shall not be able to conquer and destroy me; though it envy all my comforts, yet some in spite of it I shall even here receive; and if that did not hinder, what abundance might I have! The light of heaven would shine into my heart; and I might be almost as familiar there, as I am on earth. Come away then, my soul; stop thine ears to the ignorant language of infidelity; thou art able to answer all its arguments; or if thou art not, yet tread them under thy feet. Come away; stand not looking on that grave, nor turning those bones, nor reading thy lesson now in the dust; those lines will soon be wiped out. But lift up thy head and look to heaven, and see thy name written in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain. What if an angel should tell thee, that there is a mansion in heaven prepared for thee, that it shall certainly be thine for ever; would not such a message make thee glad? And dost thou make light of the infallible word of promise, which was delivered by the Spirit, and even by the Son himself!. Suppose thou hadst seen a fiery chariot come for thee, and fetch thee up to heaven, like Elijah, would not this rejoice thee? but thy Lord assures thee that the soul of Lazarus hath a convoy of angels to carry it into Abraham's bosom. Shall a drunkard be so merry among his cups, or the glutton in his delicious fare; and shall not I rejoice, who must shortly be in heaven? Can meat and drink delight me when I hunger and thirst? Can I find pleasure in walks, and gardens, and convenient dwellings? Can beautiful objects delight mine eyes; or grateful odours my smell; or melody my ears? And shall not the forethought of celestial bliss delight me? Methinks among my books I could employ myself in sweet content, and bid the world farewell, and pity the rich and great that know not this happiness; what then will my happiness in heaven be, where my knowledge will be perfect! If the queen of Sheba came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and see his glory; how cheer. fully should I pass from earth to heaven, to see the glory of the eternal Majesty, and attain the height of wisdom; compared with which the most learned on earth are but fools and idiots! What if God had made me commander of the earth; what if I could remove mountains, heal diseases with a word or a touch, or cast out devils; should I not rejoice in such privileges and honours as these? And shall I not much more rejoice that my name is written in heaven? I cannot here en joy my parents, or my near and beloved friends, with. out some delight: especially when I did freely let out my affection to my friend, how sweet was that exercise of my love! O what will it then be to live in the perpetual love of God? For brethren to dwell together in unity here, how good and how pleasant it is! To see a family live in love, husband and wife, parents, children, and servants, doing all in love to one another; to see a town live together in love, without any envyings, brası ings or contentions, law-suits, factions, or divisions, but every man loving his neighbour as himself, thinking they can never do too much for one another, but striving to go beyond each other's love; how happy, how delightful a sight is this! O then, what a blessed society will the family of heaven be, and those peaceful inhabitants of the New Jerusalem, where there is no division nor differing judgments, no disaffection nor strangeness, no deceitful friendship, no, not one unkind expression, not an angry look or thought; but all are one in Christ, who is one with the Father, and all live in the love of him, who is love itself! The soul is not more where it lives, than where it loves. How near theu will my soul be united to God, when I shall so heartily, strongly, and incessantly, love him! Ah, wretched unbelieving heart, that can think of such a


her of the creaand let thy woughts of the

day, and work, and life as this, with such low and feeble joys! But my future enjoyments will be more lively.

V 16. “How delightful is it to me to behold and study these inferior works of creation! What a beautiful fa. bric do we here dwell in! the floor so dressed with herbs, and flowers, and trees, and watered with springs and rivers! the roof so widely expanded, so admirably adorned! What wonders do sun, moon, and stars, seas, and winds, contain! And hath God prepared such a house for corruptible flesh, for a soul imprisoned? and doth he bestow so many millions of wonders upon his enemies? O what a dwelling must that be, which he prepares for his dearly beloved children; and how will the glory of the New Jerusalem exceed all the present glory of the creatures! Arise, then, O my soul, in thy contemplation; and let thy thoughts of that glory as far exceed in sweetness thy thoughts of the excellencies below. Fear not to go out of this body, and this world, when thou must make so happy a change; but say, as one did when he was dying, “I am glad, and even leap for joy, that the time is come in which that mighty Jehovah, whose majesty in my search of nature I have admired, whose goodness I have adored, whom by faith I have desired and panted after, will now show himself to me face to face.”

$ 17. “ How wonderful also are the works of Provi. lence! How delightful to see the great God interest rimself in the safety and advancement of a few humle, praying, but despised, persons ; and to review hose special mercies with which my own life hath een adorned and sweetened ! How often have ny prayers been heard, my tears regarded, my trouled soul relieved! How often hath my Lord bid me e of good cheer! What a support are these experinces, these clear testimonies of my Father's love, to zy fearful unbelieving heart! O then what a blessed ay will that be, when I shall have all mercy, perfection f mercy, and fully enjoy the Lord of mercy; when I hall stand on the shore, and look back on the raging Pas I have safely passed; when I shall review my pains


and sorrows, my fears and tears, and possess the glory which was the end of all! If one drop of lively faith was mixed with these considerations, what a heavenravishing heart should I carry within me! Fain would I believe: Lord, help my unbelief. ·18. “How sweet, O my soul, have ordinances been to thee! What delight hast thou had in prayer, and thanksgiving, under lieavenly sermons, and in the society of saints, and to see the Lord adding to the Church such as should be saved! How then can my heart conceive the joy, which I shall have to see the perfected church in heaven, and to be admitted into the celestial temple, and with the heavenly host praise the Lord for ever? If the word of God was sweeter to Job than his necessary food; and to David, than honey and the honey-comb; and was the joy and rejoicing of Jere miah's heart; now blessed a day will that be, when we shall fully enjoy the Lord of this word, and shall no more need these written precepts and promises, nor read any book but the face of the glorious God! If they that

heard Christ speak on earth were astonished at his · wisdoin and answers, and wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth; how shall I then be affected to behold him in his majesty!

§ 19. “Can the prospect of this glory make others welcome the cross, and even refuse deliverance; and cannot it make thee cheerful under lesser sufferings? Can it sweeten the flames of martyrdom; and not sweeten thy life, or thy sickness, or thy natural death? Is it not the same heaven which they and I must live in? Is not their God, their Christ, their crown, and mine, the same? And shall I look upon it with an eye so dim, a heart so dull, a countenance so dejected? Some small foretastes of it have I myself had; and how much more delightful have they been, than any earthly things ever were; and what then will the full enjoyment be.

20.“ What a beauty is there here in the imperfect graces of the Spirit! Alas, how small are these, to what we shall enjoy in our perfect state! What a happy life should I here live, could I but love God as much as I

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