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44 could not give up the point, though every thing seemed to make against her. This hath frequently been the case with those who are the objects of the divine favour. We find one saying, “ My soul followeth hard after thee;" another, " Though I cry and shout, yet he shutteth out my prayer;" and a third, “ Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." These are strong expressions of love to God, and, as such, evidences of interest in his favour.
Where shall the tribes of Adam find .
All our immortal hopes are laid
The Subject farther improved, by Way of Instruction
and Exhortation. PERMIT me to address you, my dear fellow
sinner, who are resting satisfied with the com. mon bounties of God's providence, without being concerned to know your interest in his special favour. The blessings you daily receive from the indulgent hand of the universal Parent of mankind, should excite in you earnest desires after those special tokens of his love, by which his peculiar
.. people are distinguished from all others. God is good and kind to all. His tender mercies are over all his works. He is kind to the unthankful and the evil; but his own children are partakers of blessings of a more exalted nature than those which are bestowed on men in general. He blesseth them with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things, in Christ Jesus. The Lord maketh his sun to shine promiscuously on the just and the unjust; but on those who fear his name, he causeth the Sun of righteousness to arise, with healing under his wings. To those who acknowledge him not, he gives rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness; but his salvation is nigh them that fear him. Can you be satisfied with the former without the latter ? Do you crave nothing more at his hands than health and wealth, earthly honours and outward comforts ? Do you not know, that many have had a large share of these things, who have lived without God in the world, died in their sins, and gone down to the regions of darkness ? Dives fared sumptuously every day; but what was his end ? He died, he was buried, and in hell he lifted up his eyes. *
* The fading nature of all those things on which worldly men place their affections, is set forth to us
** * It is recorded concerning Martin Luther, that he used to say, “I will not be put off with a worldly portion.' And is such a portion all that you desire?
Supin the scriptures, under the expressive image of a dream. A dream is fleeting and transitory, a whole night pafseth away in it as one hour, or one moment, fince, during sleep, we have no idea of the succession of time. 66 Knowest thou not this of old,” says Zophar, in the book of 705, “ since man was placed upon earth, that the triumphing of the wicked is fhort, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds, yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung; they who have seen him shall say, Where is he? He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found ; yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night.”
6. How are they brought into desolation," says David, “ as in a moment; they are utterly consumed with terrors! As a dream when one awaketh, so, O Lord, shalt thou make their image to vanish.” Such a state of delusion is the state of the world; so vain, so incoherent, so transitory, are the schemes and designs of worldly men. And however important they may appear to the projectors of them, at the time, yet most certain it is, that what the scripture faith of Pharaoh, may be said with equal truth of every man when he comes to die, whose chief thought and care have been taken up about the things of this world, “ He awoke, and, behold, it was a dream !”
Supposing your wishes were gratified with riches in abundance, houses and lands, and all manner of earthly prosperity; what would all these avail in that awful hour which is approaching, when your soul must be summoned to appear before the judgment-seat of Christ ? Will the superior advantages you have enjoyed in this world procure you favour in that court ? Will the Judge supreme be a respecter of persons, regarding the rich more than the poor? No; all worldly distinctions will then be over. Little do those consider this, who are eagerly grasping after what the scriptures call filthy lucre, and violating conscience to acquire it. But let them know, that“ as the partridge fitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not, so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.”
Let me entreat you, reader, to direct your aims to something higher than such a portion as a man may possess in this world, and yet be miserable in the next. Look, with earnest solicitude, for that of which death cannot deprive you. “Godliness is profitable to all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” In the favour of God is life everlasting. "This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” His faNo. XV. 2.