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Then, is there any promise like his, whose counsel stands fast, and whose faithfulness cannot fail ? Is there any guard like that of heavenly angels? Or any happiness like the celestial felicity? And, if these things be so, is not the state of the dead happy beyond conception that die in Jesus ? Now, the glory of my departed friend, infinitely transcends the blaze of created grandeur. Mortality is put off, and immortality put on; their house is not of this building, and so not of this frame, nor on this foundation, but eternal in the heavens,
Upon the above supposition, my friend, and his kingly patron, might fall out, as nothing is more fickle than royal favour; but here, there is no fear of his falling from the favour of the Prince of life, because he rests in his love for ever, which kindles gratitude and love in the saints through endless day. In such a place, and in such a condition, would I not wish all my
friends? Here we live to die, but there they live to reign ! though to human nature, a little regulated sorrow may be allowed, yet, that boundless glory, and eternal bliss, which, to the highest degree, my departed friend enjoys, forbid me to be wail him to any great degree, or lament him as löst, who is found of God, or as dead, who never could be said till now to live. Why should my sad reflections terminate on his crumbling clay, and not rather rise to meditate how his active soul is incessantly employed in the hosannah's of the higher house, and unweariedly exercised in beholding and blessing Jehovah and the Lamb ? and thus convert my pensive thoughts into a Chris.. tian preparation for the same blessed passage to the same blessed place.
THE UNION BETWEEN CHRIST AND BELIEVERS.
Spithead, May 14, 1758.
THERE is an union between Christ and believers, that every metaphor falls short of. No relation so near as he : The friend may prove false, the brother betray the brother, parents cast off the relation, and husband and wife be separated. Three strong figures hold forth this, union, that of the tree and his branches, the head and his members, and eating the flesh, and drinking the blood of the Son of God. Now, what we eat and drink mixes with the mass of blood, and is so intimately assimilated with the fluids, that no power can separate it again ;. so, when by faith I receive the Son of God, and eat his flesh, and drink his blood, my soul partakes of the divine nature, till every power is holy, every affection heavenly, and till the life of Christ is made manifest in my body.
After this union, the soul and Christ cannot be separated ; death
may send the soul out of the body, but cannot send Christ out of the soul : And hereupon follows a commonness of interest. Christ renews the will, sanctifies the affections, enlightens the understanding, and claims the whole soul for his temple ; yea more, he showers down his mereies, numbers his crosses, weighs his afflictions, wherewith he himself is also afflicted, and bears his sorrows. And all of Christ is the soul's ; his righteousness, his love, his joy, his pardon, his mercy, kindness, and compassion; his protection, direction, and conduct; his favour, his power, and sympathy, his light, and glory, his crown, and tlirone, his felicity, and his eternity in life. Thus. the soul lives in Christ, and he in the soul. Their life is divinely interwoven; "you in me, and I in you." Hence, because he lives, they shall live also. Husband and wife must lose their relation by death; the branches may be cut off from the root, and the head, that sympathises with all, may lose some of its members : but he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit, and a spirit can never be divided.
This mysterious union is bliss begun on earth, and heavenly felicity tasted below, and shall be the eternal admiration of angels, the envy of devils and damned. spirits, and the wonder of the higher house.
HOW pitiful are our highest attainments in this imperfect state ! But; O how beautiful is it for the child. of grace to grow daily in grace, and in the knowledge of God ! to rise step by step, tili at length complete in Him who is the pattern of perfection! Let it be my continual struggle, then, that my grace, like the shin-ing light, may shine more and more till the perfect day of glory, I can never get so near to God, but there still remains, and through eternity will remain, a distance, to be destroyed by approaching yet more near. Mine attainments can never be so high, but there re.. mains something attainable, which I have not yet attained. “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, bu! I follow after, if I may wpprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus,” If this was the confession of the great apostle,
must I say, who am but just setting my head
through the shadows of the night, and peeping into the dawning of divine things?
Hence let me press vigorously towards perfection, and not be contented with one beam of his glory, sceing he is willing to reveal it all. Let me daily be drawing more near to him, till, Enoch-like, I walk with God, and have my conversation in heaven. Let me daily sit at wisdom's door, and stand at the gate of paradise, that, since as yet I cannot enter in, I may send in my faith to view the fields, the land of my Beloved, and returning, bring me the substance of the excellencies hoped for, the evidence of the glorious things not
Let me walk in the mount of God, with him whose form is like the Son of Gcd. Let the desire of my soul be to thy name, and the l'einembrance of thee. Let an uninterrupted comimunication be broken up between the fountain of life and my soul, that I niay bear no more the reproach of barrenness. And from that river of life that springs from the throne of God, and of the Lamb, let me daily drink, that I may thirst no more after the vanities of time. Let me live quite above the world, above its pleasures, and above its pains, disdain its flatteries, and despise its frowns. Let grace grow from one degree wto another, till, at last, O desirable perfection! it grow to glory. Let me hold thee, and not let thee go, till thou bless me, in perfecting my attainments, and crowning my happiness with the fuil fruition, unclouded vision, and uninterrupted communion with Jehovah, and the Lamb, for ever more.
ON KING'S ALLOWANCE.
May 19, 1748.
IT is surprising, that government allows the least boy the same kind and quantity of provisions that any man or any officer aboard can claim; yet, it is no more than may be expected from royal generosity, since they, in their capacity, support the same cause, undergo the same hardships, rush into the same dangers, and expose their lives, though young and tender, at the commandment, and for the honour of the King.
Even so, every child of grace that is born into the family of God, has the same ample right to all the heavenly blessings. No sooner is he a son, than he is an heir of all the fulness of the covenant. convert is allowed, by the King eternal, to plead the performance of all the promises, and to claim all the privileges that the aged saint can do.
Again, as nothing can be more pleasant, than to see early youth walking in the ways of holiness; so, often to such have bright manifestations of love, and large communications of grace, been given. And the love of espousals, and the kindness of youth, is a melting, a long remembered kindness. Have not some children gone off the stage, with such a gale of glory on their spirits, that aged saints have been at once astonished and ashamed ?
Have not some youths, who have suffered martyrdom for the name of Jesus, been so assisted with grace, that they despised reproach, and smiled in the face of danger-been so refreshed with foretastes of glory, that they could contemn torment, and mount the scaf.