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of God, and all the prayers that he has heard and answered, and all the rare preservations and deliverances which he has wrought for thee, and all the disposals of his providence for thy good. Lay these all together, and then think with thyself, whether they do not testify his good will concerning thy salvation, and may not well be pleaded against thine unbelief.

IV. When thy meditations have thus proceeded about the truth of thy happiness, the next part of the work is to meditate on its goodness, that when the judgment has determined, and faith has apprehended, it may then pass on to excite thy affections.

1. The first affection to be exercised is LOVE. The object of this, as I have told you, is goodness. Here, then, Christian, is the soul-reviving part of thy work. Go to thy memory, thy judgment, and thy faith; and from them produce the excellencies of thy rest. Let thy faith, as it were, take thy heart by the hand, and show it the sumptuous buildings of thy eternal habitation, and the glorious ornaments of thy Father's house; show it those mansions which Christ is preparing, and display before it the honours of the kingdom. Let faith lead thy heart into the presence of God, and draw as near as thou canst, and say, "Behold the ancient of days, the Lord Jehovah, whose name is I AM: This is the cause of all causes, the spring of action, the fountain of life: This is he who made the world by a word, who upholds the earth, and rules the nations. This is he that loved thee from everlasting, who endued thee with understanding, and beau tified thee with his gifts; who maintains thee in life, and health, and comfort; who dignified thee with thy honours, and distinguished thee from the vilest and most miserable of men. This is the Lord that has crowned thee with his benefits, prepared a table for thee in the presence of thine enemies, and caused thy cup to run over.' This is he whom angels and saints do praise, and whom the host of heaven shall mag nify for ever."


Thus expatiate in the praises of God, and display

his excellencies to thine own heart, till thou feel the fire in thy breast begin to kindle.

But if thou dost not yet feel thy love in exercise, lead thy heart further, and show it yet more. Show it the Son of the living God, whose name is, “Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." Show it the King of saints on the throne of his glory, who is "the first and the last,"-who "was, and is, and is to come,who liveth and was dead, and behold, he liveth for evermore "-who has made thy peace by the blood of his cross, and has prepared thee with himself, an habitation of peace. Draw near and behold him. It is he that brought thee up from the pit of hell. It is he that reversed the sentence of thy damnation ; that bore the curse which thou shouldst have borne, and restored thee to the blessing which thou hadst forfeited, and purchased the inheritance which thou shalt possess for ever. This is He, who would rather die than thou shouldst die,-who chose thy life before his own, who pleads his blood before his Father, and makes continual intercession for thee. If he had not suffered, O what hadst thou suffered ? What hadst thou been, if he had not redeemed thee? Whither hadst thou gone, if he had not called thee? There was but a step between thee and hell, when he stept in, and bore the stroke: and is there not here fuel enough to kindle thy love?

If the arguments now mentioned rouse not up thy love, thou hast more of the same nature at hand. Thou hast all Christ's personal excellencies to study; thou hast all his particular mercies to thyself, both special and common; thou hast all his sweet and near relations to thee; thou hast the happiness of thy perpetual abode with him in heaven; all these offer themselves to thy meditation, with all their several branches and excellencies. Only follow them close to thy heart; ply the work, and let it not cool. Deal with thy heart, as Christ did with Peter, when he asked him thrice over, "Lovest thou me?" till he was grieved, and answered, "Lord, thou knowest

that I love thee." Say to thy heart, "Lovest thou thy Lord ?" Ask it the second time, and urge it the third time," Lovest thou thy Lord," till thou grieve it, and shame it out of its stupidity, and it can truly say, "Thou knowest that I love Him.”

2. The next affection to be excited is DESIRE. The object of this is goodness considered as absent, or not yet attained. This being so necessary an attendant of love, and being excited by much the same considerations, you will need the less direction relative to it, and therefore I shall touch but briefly on this. If love be warm, I am sure your desire will not be cold.

When thou hast thus viewed the goodness of the Lord, and contemplated the pleasures that are at his right hand, proceed thus with thy meditations. Think with thyself, "Where have I been? What have I seen? O the incomprehensible astonishing glory! O the rare transcendent beauty! O blessed souls that now enjoy it, that see a thousand times more clearly, what I have seen but darkly at this distance, and scarcely discerned through the interposing clouds! What a difference is there betwixt my state and theirs! I am sighing; they are singing. I am sinning; they are pleasing God. I have a sinful soul, they are perfect and without spot or blemish. I am here entangled in the love of the world; they are taken up with the love of God. I live, indeed amongst the means of grace, and possess the fellowship of my fellow believers; but I have none of their immediate views of God, none of that fellowship which they enjoy. They have none of my cares and fears; they weep not in secret; they languish not in sorrows; all tears are wiped away from their eyes. O happy, happy souls! Alas, that I must dwell in corrupt flesh, when my brethren and companions dwell with God! Alas, that I must pray and wait, and wait and pray, when they do nothing but love and praise. O blessed souls! I may not,-I dare not envy your happiness; I rather rejoice in my brethren's prosperity, and am glad to think of the day when I

shall be admitted into your fellowship. Why must I stay, and groan, and weep, and wait! My Lord is gone, he has left this earth, and is entered into his glory: my brethren are gone, my friends are there, my house, my hope, my all are there! And must Í stay behind to sojourn here? If the saints were all here, if Christ were here, then it were no grief for me, to stay. If the bridegroom were present, who would mourn? But when my soul is so far distant from my God, wonder not what ails me, if I now complain. But seeing it is the promised land of my rest, and the state I must be advanced to myself, and since my soul draws near, and is almost at it, I will love and long,— I will look and desire,-I will breathe out blessed Calvin's motto, "How long, Lord, how long! how long, Lord, holy and true, wilt thou suffer this soul to pant and groan; and wilt not open and let him in, who waits and longs to be with thee!"

Thus, Christian, let thy thoughts aspire. Thus whet the desires of thy soul by these meditations, till thy soul long, as David did, for the waters of Bethlehem, and say, "O that one would give me to drink of the wells of salvation!" and till thou canst say, as he did on another occasion, "I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord.”

3. The next affection to be exercised is HOPE. This is of singular use to the soul. It helps exceedingly to support it in sufferings; it encourages it to venture on the greatest difficulties; it firmly establishes it in the most shaking trials; it mightily enlivens it in duties, and is the spring that sets all the wheels in motion. Who would preach, were it not in the hope of prevailing with poor sinners for their conversion and confirmation? Who would pray, but for his hope of prevailing with God? Who would believe, or obey, or strive, or suffer, or do any thing for heaven, were it not for the hope that he has of obtaining it? Would the mariner sail and the merchant adventure, if they had not hope of safety and success? Would the husbandman plough and sow, if he had not hope of increase at harvest? Would the soldier

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fight, if he had not hope of victory? Surely no man would adventure upon known impossibilities. Even the false hope of the wicked supports and maintains a kind of comfort, correspondent to their hope; though, it is true, their hope will die with them. How much more will the saints' hopes refresh and support them! If your hope dies,-your duties die, your endeavours die, your joys die, and your souls die.

Therefore, Christian, think thus with thine own heart: "Why should I not confidently and comfortably hope, when the kingdom is at the disposal of so bounteous a God, and when my soul is in the hands of so compasionate a Saviour! Did he ever manifest any backwardness to my good, or discover the least inclination to my ruin? Has he not, on the contrary, sworn that he delights not in the death of him that dieth, but rather that he should turn and live? Have not all his dealings with me witnessed the same? Did he not remind me of my danger, when I never feared it? And why was this, if he would not have me escape it? Did he not remind me of my happiness, when I had no thoughts of it? And why was this, but that he would have me enjoy it? How often has he drawn me to himself, when I have drawn backward, and would have broken away from him! What restless importunity has he used in his suit! How has his Spirit incessantly solicited my heart, with winning suggestions and persuasions for my good! And would he have done all this, if he had been willing that I should perish? Have I not a sure promise, yea, the truth of God, on which to build my hope? It is true, the glory is out of sight. I have not beheld the mansions of the saints. Who has ascended up to discover it, and descended to tell us what he had seen? Yet the word is near me. Have I not Moses and the prophets, Christ and his apostles? I will say, therefore, in the midst of my greatest sufferings, with the church, The Lord is my portion; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good to them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that I both hope, and quietly wait for the


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