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law, and his treachery; he was to fly from the cruelty of his brother Esau ; nay, more than that, he was forced to struggle and wrestle with God himself. Whereas here is now the end of thy pilgrimage, of all thy troubles and encounters. Thou shalt never feel the burning and scorching heat of thy afflictions. Thou shalt be no more tortured with the fears and apprehensions that now congeal thy blood. Thou shalt no more stand upon thy guard for fear of deceits, and violent dealings of men. Thou shalt 'wrestle no more with God by prayers, supplications, and tears; for they shall be no more in use. God shall load thee with his most extraordinary blessings, and bestow himself upon thee. . . wroty
• The prophet Moses wished very passionately to see but for a moment God's face, whereof he had beheld so many glori. ous expressions. And shouldst not thou desire as passionately to see that beautiful and ever-shining countenance in its glory and splendour ? O religious sout, who art inflamed with divine affection, God will shortly gratify thy desires: so that thou mayest say to him as one of the prophets, “ Thou shalt cause me to know the way of life ; in thy face is the fulness of joy, and at thy right hand are pleasures for evernore."
Christian, if thou hadst but as much faith and assurance, as there is glory and happiness in heaven ; with what excess of joy wouldest thou leave the world, and all its vanities, to ascend up to the magnificent palace, purchased for thee with che precious blood of thy Redeemer!. ...
Jonathan's eyes were once enlightened, when he tasted some honey with the end of his rod, which he had found in a rock ; and thou, believer, if thou hast by faith tasted the divine sweetness that proceeds from Christ, the Rock of Eternity, thine understanding will be all enlightened. Thou shalt need no other consolation against death; for death itself
shall fill thee full of consolation, and real joy; so that thou shalt have cause not to speak only as Jacob,“ O God, I expect thy salvation," Gen. xlix. but as king David, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go up into the house of the Lord; our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem," Psa. cxxii. By this means thou shalt not only expect witha patience, and embrace with joy, the blessed news of this glorious salvation; but thou shalt endeavour to hasten its coming by thy.continual and repeated sighs. O my God, when wilt thou stretch out to me from above thy glorious arms? When shall I see plainly thy divine and glorious face? When wilt shou cause me to drink out of the rivers of pleasures? How blessed is the man whom thou hast chosen, and taken to thyself, to dwell for ever in thy courts! Such shall be satisfied with the good things of thy house, and of thy glorious palace.', 'anuni in...'.':,!' opsi.
i Joseph marched out of his prison in haste, to go to the pa. lace of the king of Egypt, and hast not thou as much rea. son to make as much haste out of the prison of this wretched body, I believing soul, that thou mayest ascend up to the palace of the King of kings, who intends to instal thee into such a glorious state, in comparison of which all the pomp of Pharaoh, and of all the kings and princes of the earth, is nothing but as the hoar frost of the night ? v. . 03 med vores inv oin Hussein , 111 Bartimeus forsakes willingly his mantle to creep to the Lord Jesus, when he called him; and thou, christian soul, wilt not thou leave this body, which is as a troublesome garment to thee, to ascend upto this divine Saviour, who intends to cure thee of all thy disrempers and diseases ; and who.purposes to load thee with his blessings and unspeakable favours? He will not only bring thee to behold the refreshing light of heaven ; but he will also cause thee to shine as the sun for syer and ever...cd
Religious soul, cast of this spotted garment of the flesh ; and so much the more cheerfully, because God holds out in his hand a garment of light and glory, which he will bestow upon thee. For it shall happen to thee as to the prophet Elijah, who Kaving let fall his mantle, he found himself all encompassed about with flames of fire, and an extraordinary light. As soon as thou shalt cast off this miserable body, shou shalt be surrounded with celestial flames, in which thou shalt mount up to heaven into the dwelling of immortality; where thou shalt be like God, who clothes himself with light as with a garment. To this purpose the words of the prophet Zechariah, concerning the high-priest Joshua, are very proper ; he was arrayed with filthy garments, but an angel from heaven calls to them that waited before him, “Take away the filthy garments from him, and clothe him with change of raiment; let them set a fair mitre upon his head.” . This, O christian soul, is the true image of thy condition at thy departure, and the lively portraiture of thy future happiness. At present thou art clothed with a body undermined by sickness and labour ; thou bearest about thee the relics of the old man; but, behold, God calls to thee from his holy sanctuary, Take away from him this old garment, pluck off all remains of his old clothing bespotted with sin, where the devil's image is yet to be seen, and give him the sacred ornaments of a royal priesthood; clothe his soul with a long garment whi tened in the blood of the Lamb; gird it about with the ephod. of righteousness; put upon its head an incorruptible crown, and in its hand a golden phial, that it may for ever offer up the heavenly perfumes in company of the glorified saints.
If, after all this, O Christian! thou doubtest of the felicity and glory of such as die in the Lord Jesus, hear what an apostle saith, who was himself ravished up into the third beaven, where he beheld in this glorious palace unspeakable things : “ We know, that if our earthly house of this taber
acle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven ; if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked; for we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened, not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. And listen to what the Holy Ghost saith, “ Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, for so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labours, and their works follow them.”.
ne that more Holy Ghosmith the
Would to God, that we had some other word, besides that of death, to express the wonderful and happy change that we make when we go out of this miserable world! For, to speak properly, we cannot be said to die, when we leave a place full of misery, to enter into another blessed with an endless felicity; when we exchange a laborious state for a peaceable and happy rest; when we come off from a cruel war to enjoy the pleasures of everlasting joys; when we pass through death to an endless life; and forsake 'a tomb, to mount up upon a throne. Christian soul, remember thy beginning, and thine end : consider what thou art, from whence thou proceedést í and whither thou göest. Thou art a living image of thy Creator, and a beam of his glory; thou art of a celestial and immortal nature. God liath washed and cleansed thee in the blood of his Lainb without spot or blemish, and sanco tified thee by his holy Spirit. He hath brought thee to a disposition fit to enter into his holy city, and he is ready to admit thee to the fruition of his glory; thou hast “ fought a good fight, finished thy course, and kept the faith;” 'tis therefore high time that thou shouldest receive the crown of life. Thou hast this precious crown already in thy hands. Thou art at the gate of heaven, at the entrance of paradise.
Otherefore, believing soul! go with joy and gladness to 11. . 3 E
this great God, that calls thee; to this merciful Saviour, that stretcheth forth his hands to thee, and opens his bosom te receive thee. Go into the glorious company of angels, and blessed spirits. Take upon thee tliese beautiful robes of light, with which thine heavenly Father will clothe thy nakedness; and accept this immortal crown that he offers to thee. Go, and satisfy thyself with the bread of the kingdom of heaven, and remove thy thirst with the crystal waters of that “river of pleasure, which proceeds from the throne of God, and of the Lamb." Go, and behold the face of the Father of Lights; be happy with his divine resemblance, and be transformed into his glorious image.
O blessed soul! seest thou not already the heavens open, and Jesus Christ at the right hand of God the Father, holding out his hand to thée, offering to receive thee into his glorious rest ? Seest thou not the angels of heaven, clothed in white raiment, coming to transport thee out of this mise rable state? Seest thou not how thou art already encom. passed about with light, and celestial flames? Dost thou not relish the sweetness of paradise? Is there not an heaven already in thy heart ? Hearest thou not the hymns of the glorified spirits ?. Hath not the Lord caused thee to understand that sweet and comfortable voice sounding in thine ear, “ Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt be this day with me in paradise. Come, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!” Feelest thou not thyself lifted up above all earthly and perishing things? Dost thou not fly upon the wings of faith and repentance to the throne of God's glory? Dost thou not cast thyself into paradise, into the arms of almighty God, into the bosom of the Lord Jesus, to rest there for ever, and to be satisfied with the good things which “eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, and which are not entered into the heart of man; but which God hash prepared for them that love him?”.... .