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sweetest Jesus ; consequently all attachment of our hearts to earthly things, to the honours of this world, to the things of this world, and to the conveniences of this life, for it is this that causes us disturbance, and prévents us from living in heartfelt our Saviour Jesus. Hence our dear Saviour admonishes us to renounce all these things. All that to which we are still unmortified in ourselves, our affections, our self-will, self-love, disposition to anger, hatred, envy, and the like, howevers ecretly they may be cherished, all that to which the man is still unmortified, which hinders his peace, and prevents him from living quietly, notwithstanding all his piety, we must yield up to death.
O if we attended thus to Jesus in our hearts, how evangelically would he preach to us of a truly evangelical renunciation of self and the world! With his gracious lips he would speak to us, as one friend to another, and
say, Dear soul, thou art well aware that this pains my heart, wilt thou still cleave to other things ? I am thine, I am thy bridegroom, I am the joy of thy heart ; therefore do not cleave to any other."
And with respect to the denial of ourselves, our affections and passions, for instance, anger, our gracious preacher would speak to us and say, “Subdue thyself, thou knowest how meek 1 am; I could have crushed Jerusalem, but nevertheless, I came and wept over it from sympathy ; thus thou must also have a lamb-like heart.” To be brief; our gracious Saviour by his inward teaching, would graciously, kindly, and whilst imparting
strength, call us away from all that prevents our peace, and we should in reality experience, that the renunciation of which we form such a terrific idea, and let others persuade us to that effect, is something very sweet and soothing, and brings peace and repose to our souls. Ah, Jesus is kindly disposed towards us; he does not wish to embitter our days; he seeks to give us real peace,
and a truly happy heart: let us only empty our hearts for him, that he may establish them in real and blissful peace.
Alas, that amongst called and awakened souls, there should still be so much complaining and so little true peace to be found, although they so much desire it! The reason is, because we do not sufficiently yield up every thing for it; we do not let Jesus become our all; we still dissemble secretly with the world; we still secretly cleave to some particular object, and in this way we cannot be otherwise than restless and disturbed. Our conscience, indeed, does not permit us to cleave to the world and sin in an obvious manner; but subtleties and secret bands hinder us notwithstanding, from attaining to a thorough and permanent peace; what a miserable life!
Lastly; inward acquaintance and union with Jesus, our precious Saviour, belongs to our peace, and to the real establishment of our peace. The Jews had an outward temple, where God dwelt visibly in the most holy place ; of this they were proud, this was their glory; they then called out, · Here is the
Lord's temple ! Here is the Lord's temple !' and it was certainly something distinguishing, great, and excellent ; but God's intention in it was, that it should be only a typical representation and an instruction to them, that God himself would dwell in their hearts and walk in them; that they were again to be united with God himself, through Christ the Messiah, and their hearts become a sanctuary. Ah, my dearest friends ! how little it is recognized, how little believed, and still less experienced, what great and holy intentions God has respecting us poor mortals ! We are again to become a habitation of God, and to be united with God. Our immortal spirit is created for God, and cannot be at rest until it is again united with God through Christ; it cannot rest so long as it hangs between heaven and earth, and does not again seek and find its repose and real life in God himself. Can a child rest, that has strayed from its mother, and walks alone in the desart ? But no child can so belong to its mother, or the mother to the child, as our spirit belongs to God. Can a fish live out of the water, which is it element ? God is the element of our souls ; here in the world, in created things, there is no rest or pleasure for our immortal spirits. For we are not created for this world; we cannot find peace in it, our spirits cannot attain to peace. We must again have our God, and we can have him again. Jesus for this purpose came down from heaven ; Jesus is come to us; he desires to make us again acquainted with our God,
he seeks to reclaim the poor lost child, and bring it into real acquaintance with God, into union with our gracious and blessed God, in order that we may have peace to all eternity.
O that we might only cleave more to God and our Saviour in inward and heartfelt prayer, and devote this opportunity for the purpose of heartily entreating God, that in order to this, he would grant us his grace and Spirit! It is by omitting prayer, that we go astray from our hearts, and at the same time from God; and the further we go from God, the further do we depart from our peace. O soul, consider therefore what belongs to thy peace! If we loved prayer more, and practised it more, my dear friends ! we should become capable of experiencing the peace of the precious love of Jesus in our interior, in our centre, and become more closely united to him. O, Jesus is so near us, the precious Saviour ! ought we not therefore to draw near unto him, and withdraw our hearts from all created things, from all distraction, from all multiplicity of thoughts concerning outward and earthly things, and with all the devotion of our hearts and our affections retire into Jesus in our inmost souls ? By the continual drawing near to Jesus in our hearts, by a believing adherence to him, in which consists the true prayer of the heart, we attain to an ever closer union with him, and peace becomes great in our souls; yea, it becomes at length an invincible peace, which nothing can take away. O what a peace! O how every burden and difficulty
then falls away! And although we may not attain to so high a degree of union as that to which many souls, by divine grace, attain in this life; yet still, the soul that loves prayer and inward retirement, that abides much with God in the heart, will be conscious of such a secret well-being, and such a tranquillity, as it never can find or possess in the world, or created things.
Let us consider what belongs to our peace, in order that we may have peace when we must pass over into an endless eternity. : Why are people so much afraid of eternity ? Why are 'even many pious people so timid, so terrified—why is there often so much distress and sorrow, when called to die? For this reason; because the individual has had so little intercourse with God, because he is so little united with God, because he is still so far from God, and because eternity is so little known to him. If we were properly acquainted with God; if we realized eternity here, so as to dwell in it as in our home, and were already in our hearts, citizens and inhabitants of heaven, we should say, like old Siineon with joy, “Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace." Death would not be dreadful to us; it would be a desirable messenger of peace, by whom we should be translated into an eternal state of repose, and into eternal peace.
Further, our dear Saviour adds, “In this thy day;"-if thou hadst known, thou wouldst have considered in this thy day, what belongs to thy peace. God has appointed to every one his time