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as cryftal. The full enjoyment of it gives light and no darkness, health and no sickness, life and no death, blessing and no curse, fulness of joy, and no forrow. Even in this lower world, fo far as the light of God's countenance shines upon
the fouls of his children, and is not intercepted with the fogs and mists of ignorance, fears and guilt, there is no defect in it. In worldly enjoyments there are mixtures of vexation of spirit, and there. fore they are but vanity. But the favour of God is, as considered in itself, an unmixed and perfect good.
The favour of God is likewise very powerful.. It can at once cure the soul of all its complaints. It can scatter the clouds of darkness, remove all doubts and fears, and drive away sad. and melancholy thoughts in a moment. “In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul." No comforts have such efficacy as God's comforts. Carnal mirth is like the crackling of thorns under a pot. In the midst of laughter the heart is forrowful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness. But the beamings of God's favour can raise the soul from the lowest state of dejection and disconsolation. His favour can turn our darkness into day, our distraction into perfect peace, our storm into a calm, our mourning into joy, and our
very hell into heaven.
“ Behold, for peace I had great bitterness;- but thou hast, in love to my soul, delivered it from the pit of corruption; for thou has caft all my sins behind thy back. Thou hast-turned for me my mourning into joy, thou hast put off my fackcloth, and girded me with gladness.”
The favour of God is a sure and certain good. This cannot be said of any earthly enjoyment. They are all uncertain to the possessor. A proud self-sufficient man once made his boast, that there were three things which he could not lose, his learn. ing, his riches, and the king's favour. But he proved to be deceived in this his vain confidence. He loft all the three idols of his heart. His prince's favour was capriciously withdrawn, his wealth was. taken from him, and to complete the measure of his calamity; he lost his reason, and consequently his learning. But the favour of God is conftant, per. manent, and everlasting. The grace it bestows is, at length, perfected in glory. The path of the just is like a shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day.
Reader, the hints which I have here given you are but short, but I hope you will think them worthy of your serious attention. Review them, weigh them well, and may almighty grace determine your heart to look for all your felicity from that merci. ful and gracious Being whose favour is life!
When fancy spreads her boldeft wings,
And wanders unconfin’d,
Which entertain the mind :
In vain I trace creation o'er,
In search of sacred rest;
Too mean, to make me blest.
In vain would this low world employ
Each flattering specious wile; There's nought can yield substantial joy
But my Creator's smile.
Let earth and all her charms depart,
Unworthy of the mind;
An equal good can find.
Great Spring of all felicity,
To whom my wishes tend,
And in thy favour end ?
Thy favour, Lord, is all I want,
Here would my spirit reft;
And make me fully blest!
The Subject farther improved, by Way of Conviction.
If the favour of God be the life of his children,
they must be in an unhappy condition who have no reason to believe themselves in a state of acceptance with him. To live and die under the displeasure of the Most High, is miserable indeed. It had been better for such, as our Lord said concerning Judas, if they had never been born. O finners, how can you live, how dare you die in such a state? If the great Judge of the world dis. own you at last, who do you think will take pity on you ? By what strange expedient do you fortify your minds against the terrors of that awful day? Can you eat, drink, sleep, and pursue your diverfions, while you are yet in a state of enmity with God?
Perhaps you mind not these things, but put off all thought of the affairs of your souls, and of what will become of you hereafter. This is astonishing indeed, since you are not assured of one hour's longer continuance in this world. But what will you do in the day of visitation, when the king of terrors makes his approach? Can you hope for an exempfion from the awful stroke of his killing hand? Or
*can you expect a reprieve when he is commissioned to make you his prey? You surely cannot suppose that you shall die like a brute, and know neither happiness nor misery when life is gone. not be so foolish as to imagine, that if there be a fate of future happiness, you can enter into it without reconciliation with God. You cannot think of possessing it in a way directly contrary to his word and will. Life is in God's favour. I may say to him who is the enemy of the Almighty, as it was said to Abimelech, 6. Thou art but a dead
If you are in this state you have no spiritual life, but are dead in trespasses and sins. Though you have a name to live, you are still dead. A dead carcase may be dressed and adorned in a splendid manner, but its ornaments will not give it life. He who is not in a state of friendship with God, whatever gifts or talents he may possess, or whatever duties he may perform, is still in a state of death.
He is likewise under the sentence of condemna. tion. The law passes this sentence upon him; the word of God declares him to be condemned already. By sin he has forfeited all right even to the comforts of this life, though it pleases the Father of mercies to be tow them upon him, yet he is but in the state of the condemned. There is no