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through all eternity. It is true, as he was God, his glory was the same from everlasting, and could admit of no increase---but as he was man, it certainly did : “ being " found in fashion as a man, he humbled 56 himself, and became obedient unto death,
the death of the cross; wherefore God “ also hath highly exalted him, and given
him a name, which is above every name, " that at the name of Jesus every knee " should bow, of things in heaven, and things
in earth, and things under the earth : And that
every tongue should confess that JeSus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the " Father.” Phil. ii. 8, 9, 10, 11.
Since, now, “ life and immortality are” clearly “ brought to light through the gos
pel,” 2 Tim. i. 10; and “ through the tender mercy of our God the Day-spring from on high hath visited us,” Luke i. 78., even
in this island of the sea, where our fathers “ who sat in darkness saw great light ;
and to them who sat in the region and sha
dow of death light is sprung up,” Matt. iv. 16. even him (who is the Sun of righteousness, with healing in his wings, Mal. iv. 2.) through whose blessed rays they saw their
benighted situation, and were enabled to come out of the dark howling wilderness of sin, from the snares of Pagan and Romish superstition, and made to walk in the way everlasting, Psalm cxxxix. 24.; and since to us, their children, the light of the glorious gospel still shineth in our land, how ought we to rejoice in God our Saviour, who “ hath “ broken down the middle wall of partition," Eph. ii. 14. and, as well as the Jews, hath visited the Gentiles with salvation,
For my part, I desire to sing with the sweet Psalmist of Israel, that “ the lines are fallen “ unto me in pleasant places,” Psalm xvi. 6. i May I walk in the light of his countenance, Psalm lxxxix, 15. while here, and at length enter into thąt “ city, which hath founda“ tions, whose builder and maker is God," Heb. xi. 10.; where there is " no need of " the sun, neither of the moon, to shine 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 shall “ walk in the light of it,” Rev, xxi. 23, 24.
He, whose star conducted the wise men of the cast to the humble place of his birth,
Matt. ii. 2. 9, 10. still.“ holdeth the seven “stars in his right hand,” Rev.ii. 1. ministers of the everlasting gospel, to direct those who are made wise to salvation, 2 Tim. iii. 15.; not only in the east, but in north, south, east, and west, to that city of habitation, Psalm cvii. 3. 7., his kingdom of glory : May I follow their light, in so far as they are enlightened by the glorious Sun of righteousness, until at length I enjoy his beams in that land of bliss, where " the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick, and the
people that dwell therein shall be forgiven
their iniquity," Isa. xxxiii. 24., and reap that endless harvest of light and gladness, which is sown for the righteous and the
upright in heart, Psalm'xcvii. 11. in the springtime of grace, in the field of the everlasting gospel, by the good Husbandman, “ the Fa
ther of mercies and the God of all com'fort,” 2 Cor. i. 3,
Some of the inclosures into which it is divided, where thiş good seed is sown, are, the field of meditation and contemplation, the valley of
, pa stures of the Scriptures, and the mount of the preached gospel
, with its verdant sum
mit the Sacraments. In these delightful in
I still delight to walk, that I may see the seed springing up with pleasure in the blade, and taste of the full corn in the ear; that, in the valley of death, I may begin to reap that harvest which, after I have passed the Jordan of dissolution, I shall reap and feast on fully in the heavenly Canaan.
But this I cannot do, unless He " who “commanded the light to shine out of dark
ness,” shine in my heart, “ to give the
light of the knowledge of the glory of God “ in the face of Jesus Christ,” 2 Cor. iv. 6.; for, through the fall of man, gross darkness hath overspread the whole soul, so that the “ natural man receiveth not the things of “ the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness
unto him ; neither can he know them, be
cause they are spiritually discerned,” i Cor. ii. Į4. And indeed it is impossible that he can, so long as his mind is in this state, discern the beauty of spiritual objects; any more than a man, during the darkness of the night, can discover the beauties of creation ; till God, of his infinite mercy, vouchsafe to illuminate his mind by his Holy Spi: rit. It is then alone that he can discover the
vileness of his own heart, the deformity of sin, and the beauty of holiness.
But though light doth make manifest the deformities and beauties of objects in the natural world ; yet, without the rays and salutary beams of the sun, nothing is cherished or brought forward to perfection.
In like manner, though a sinner may be 80 far enlightened, as to be convinced of the evil nature of sin, the hatefulness of his own heart, and the necessity of renewing grace; yet, without the Sun of righteousness ariseth to him, with healing in his wings, he cannot be savingly converted; nor any of the graces of the spirit in his soul made to spring up and flourish to eternal life. How much doth it then concern me to examine whether I have experienced the dawn of spiritual things only, which consisteth merely in knowledge ; or the fructifying beams of the Sun of righteousness, making me spring and grow in grace !