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reservation and safe keeping of it for him until the corenation day.
AgainI the glory he gives the soul, is soul-filling glory, glory that fills the understanding with the clearest and the brightest light, glory that fills the will with the greatest freedom, glory that fills the affections with the choicest joy and delight, Psalm xvi. 11; xvii. 15; 2 Cor. xii. 1—6.
Again, the glory he gives is imcomparable glory. I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us, Rom. viii. 18. The Greek word which is here rendered I reckon, is not a word of doubting, but a word of concluding. 'I conclude by arguments, that our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to that illustrious and glorious glory, that is ready to be revealed on us.' 'I have cast up the account,' says the apostle, ' as wise merchants use to cast up theirs, and I find in the balancing of the account, that there is nothing to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed.'
Again; the glory he gives is unmoveable glory. All worldly glory is tottering and shaking. Prince's crowns hang now but on one side of their heads. The Lord of Hosts hath purposed it, to stain, or pollute, the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth. The Lord hath purposed it; or. as it is in the Hebrew, The Lord hath consulted it: and the counsel of the Lord shall stand. Isa. xxiii. 9. It is agreed upon in heaven, that the pride of all glory shall be stained and polluted, or thrown down as some polluted filthy thing, that is trampled upon, and trodden underfoot. O but this glory that Christ gives, is unmoveable glory; it is permanent glory; it is glory that cannot be changed, stained, nor polluted, Heb. xii. 28.
Again; the glory he gives, is suited glory; it is glory that is suited to the backs, hearts, hopes, desires, and capacities of his servants, John xiv. 1—3.
Again; the glory he gives, is never fading glory; it is glory that fadeth not away. When a man has been in Heaven as many millions of years as there are stars in heaven, his glory shall be as fresh and as green, as it was at his first entrance into heaven. All worldly glory is like the flowers of the field; but the glory that Christ gives is lasting and durable like himself.
10. He gives himself; and verily this is a gift of gifts indeed, John vi. 51, 63; Eph. v. 25. A saint may say, 'Methinks I hear Christ saying to me, as (Eschines said to Socrates, Others give thee silver, and gold, and precious
jewels, but I give thee myself' So the soul may say, ' One friend gives me bread, another gives me clothes, and another gives me house-room; O but thou givest me thyself.' Christ put into the balance, will outweigh all other gifts that he bestows upon the sons of men. Christ is the richest gift. O there are unsearchable riches in Christ, as hereafter I shall shew you.
He is the choicest and the rarest gift; he is a gift given but to a few. Rich and rare jewels are not commonly, but more rarely given; so is Christ. Though Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant only shall be saved. A garden inclosed, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed, is my well beloved, Cant. iv. 12. Fear not, little flock; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom, Luke xii. 32.
Christ is a drawing gift; a gift that draws all other gifts along with it. 'If he have given us his Son,' how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? When God the Father has cast this incomparable jewel into a man's bosom, he cannot deny him any thing. Such a soul may well say, ' Has he given me a Christ; and will he not give me a crumb? Has he given me his Son, which is the greatest mercy; and will he stand with me for lesser mercies? Surely not?'
In a word, Christ is of all gifts the sweetest gift. As the tree in Exod. xv. 25, sweetened the bitter waters, so this gift, the Lord Jesus, of whom that tree was a type, sweetens all other gifts that are bestowed upon the sons of men. He turns every bitter into sweet, and makes every sweet more sweet.
11. And so I come to the second thing propounded, and that was the difference between Christ's giving, and the world's giving. And this I shall shew you in the following particulars.
1. The world gives, but it gives grudgingly; but when Christ gives, he gives freely. Ho, every one that thirsteth, let him come, and buy wine and milk without money, and without price, Isa. lv. i. So- in Rev. xxi. 6; I will give to every one that is athirst, of the water of life freely. To do good, and not to do it freely, handsomely, is nothing. A benefit given with grudging, is a stony loaf, only taken for necessity.
2. The world gives, but it gives poorly, niggardly; but Christ gives plenteously, richly. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy, 1 Tim. vr. 17.
When Caesar gave one a great reward, 'This,' said he, 'is too great a gift for me to-receive;' but says Caesar, 'It is not too great a gift for me to give.' So, though the least gift that Christ gives, in one sense, is too much for us to receive, yet the greatest gifts are not too great for Christ to give.
It is said of Araunah, that noble Jebusire, renowned for his bounty, that he had but a subject's purse, but a king's heart; but the Lord Jesus has not only a king's heart, but he has also a king's purse, and gives accordingly.
3. The world gives, but it gives tauntingly, it gives upbraidingly; it hits men in the teeth with the gifts it gives; but the Lord Jesus Christ gives, and he gives willingly; he upbraids none with the gifts he gives. If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth liberally, arid upbruideth not, Jam. i. 5. Where Christ gives, there be will not upbraid, neither with present failings, nor former infirmities. Christ is not wont to reproach those to whom he gives the best gifts. He will not cast it in their dish, that he has been thus and thus kind unto them; but will always rejoice over them to do them good. But the world gives, and then reproaches the receiver for receiving, and this turns all into gall and wormwood.
4.. The world gives, but it gives more rarely; but Christ gives, and he gives frequently; he is every day, every hour, yea, every moment, giving of royal favours to his people. 'Here is peace for you that are in trouble,' says Christ; 'and here is pardon for you that groan under guilt; and here is comfort for you that are mourners in Zion.' His hand is ever in his purse; he is still scattermg pearls of glory, aye, the very jewels of his crown, among the beloved of his soul.
5. The world gives, but they give the worst, and keep the best; but Christ gives the best; he gives the best of the best; he gives the best joy, the best comfort, the best peace, the best love, the best assistance. He gives adoption, remission, justification, sanctification, acceptation, reconciliation, and glorification. As that king in Plutarch said of a groat,' It is no kingly gift;' and of a talent,' It is no base bribe;' so the world gives groats, but Christ gives talents.
6. The world gives a little, that it may give no more; but Christ gives, that he may give. He gives a little grace, that he may give grace upon grace. He gives a little comfort, that he may give fulness of comfort. He gives some sips, that he may give full draughts. He gives peace, that he may give pounds; and he gives pounds that he may give hundreds.
III. The third particular that I am to shew you, is the excellency of those gifts that Christ gives, above all other gifts that the world gives.
In this I shall observe brevity.
1. The gifts that Christ gives to his people are spiritual and heavenly gifts; as is most clear by what has been already said: and the spirituality of them demonstrates the excellency of them. And doubtless the more spiritual any gift, any promise, any truth, any prayer, or any service is, the more excellent is that gift. All Christ's gifts are like himself, spiritual and heavenly.
2. They are pure gifts. Christ gives wine without water, light without darkness, gold without dross, and sweet without bitter. There is much dross and poison in the gifts that the world gives; but there is none in the gifts that Christ gives. The streams are as the fountain is; the fountain is pure, and so are the streams. The branches are as the root is ; the root is pure, and so are the branches.
3. The gifts that Christ gives, are soul satisfying gifts; they are such as are suitable to the soul, and therefore they satisfy the soul.
Things satisfy as they suit. There is a good, and there is a suitable good; now it is only the suitable good that satisfies the soul of man. A pardon is most suitable to a condemned man, and therefore it best satisfies him. Health is most suitable to the sick, and therefore it satisfies when it is attained. As bread satisfies the hungry soul, and drink the thirsty soul, and clothing the naked soul, so do the precious gifts that Christ bestows upon the soul, satisfy the soul. The light, the love, the joy, the peace, the fellowship, that Christ gives, abundantly satisfies the soul. but the gifts that this world gives can never satisfy the soul. He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance, with increase, Eccl. 5. 10. A man may as soon fill a chest with grace, or a quart vessel with virtue, as a heart with wealth. If Alexander conquer one world, he will wish for another to conquer.
4. The gifts that Christ gives, are most permanent and lasting gifts. The grace he gives is called an immortal seed; and the glory he gives is called everlasting glory. The gifts of the world are fading; a false oath, a spark of fire, a storm at sea, a treacherous friend, brings all to nothing in a moment. Sad experience does every day confirm this. ,
5. The gifts that Christ gives, are the most useful gifts. They are useful to the strengthening of the soul against temptations, and to the supporting of the soul under afflictions and to the sweetening of all changes, health and sickness, strength and weakness, plenty and poverty, honour and disgrace, life and death. O but worldly gifts cannot bear up the spirits of men from fainting and sinking, when trials come, when troubles come.
Our modern stories relate of queen Mary, that she should say, if they did open her when she was dead, they would find Calais at her heart; the loss of which it seems hastened her end.
The prior in Melancthon rolled his hand up and down in a bason full of angels thinking to charm his gout, but it would not do. The precious gifts that Christ gives his people, will bear up their heads above all waters. Of all gifts, they are the most useful for the producing of the most noble effects. No gifts produce such effects, as the precious gifts that Christ gives. They raise men up to much life and activity, they make souls strong to do for God, to bear for God, to suffer for God, to be any thing, to be nothing, that God may be all in all. They raise the strongest joy, the most lasting comfort, and the purest