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upon him as beft for them, in whatever circumftances they may be; this is the character of a true difciple: Matth. xi. vi. " And bleifed is he, whofoever shall not be offended in me." As the fparkling ftars hide their heads when the fun arifeth, fo all things in the world lofe their luftre when the glory of God appeareth to them, flining in the face of Jefus; though to others there is in him no beauty.

2. The heart renounceth its property in all things of the world, in the day of its clofing with Jefus Chrift. As a rebellious fon, turned out of his father's houfe into an uninhabited land, takes that as his property which he falls upon by the right of first-finding; but when he has accefs to return, he quits it, that he may enjoy his father's eftate fo Adam and his children being driven out of paradife, and banished from the prefence and enjoyment of the Lord himself, they take up with what created comforts they ftumble upon in their blind rambling through the wilderness of this world, as their own portion; but returning and taking Chrift, they part with thefe, their fouls returning into their quiet reft. The natural man, being alienated from the life of God, takes a dead hold of created things, as fuited to his corrupt state, and therefore his own by choice; hence fo many carnal my's, but not a word of my God amongst them: Hof. ii. 5. "She faid, I will go after my lovers that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink." This is very unlike to Pfal. xviii. 1. 2. "I will love thee, O Lord, my ftrength. The Lord is my rock and my fortrefs, and my deliverer; my God, my ftrength, in whom I will fruft; my buckler, and the horn of my falvation, and my high tower." Now, when the foul be

gins to live, it quits that greedy grip of carnal things, and begins to fall off from the world; that bond of iniquity which bound the heart and the world together being broken; fo that the disciple of Chrift looks on all he has as no more his own.

3. The foul refigns all to the Lord, lays all down at the Lord's feet, to be difpofed of as he will: 1 Sam. iii. 18. " Eli faid, It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good." 2 Sam. xv. 26. "David said, Behold, here am I, let the Lord də with me as feemeth good unto him." If the Lord have ufe for his comforts in the world, he, and all that are his, are for his part at his fervice. Though they were his before, he now makes a free-will offering of them all to the Lord; fo that, in very deed, all that a true difciple of Chrift has, are dedicated things, confecrated to God. He may not, he dare not, revoke the grant; they must be used, as God who is the proprietor doth direct, whofe will must not be difputed in the difpofal of his own; they can be no more for profane, but holy ufes. And if, through the prevalence of corruption, he has put his hand to that. which is not holy, Chrift's difcipline will make him bring it back with the tear in his eye. Never a foul clofes with Chrift aright, that layeth not all its enjoyments, even life itself, at his feet.

4. The foul accepts of Chrift for, and inftead of the things refigned. God does not require us, nor will the heart ever part with these, but for a better: Matth. xiii. 45. 46. " Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant-man feeking goodly pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and fold all that he had, and bought it." The man takes Christ instead of father, mother, and all things; for it is impoffible that man can be self-sufficient. The heart


of man is an empty, hungry thing, that must needs have fomething to feed upon; and let men ply their hearts with the utmoft diligence, they will ftill find it impoffible to draw the hufks of the world out of their hearts, unless fomething better is set before them. They must see heaven, before they will be drawn from earth; therefore, the great tranfaction between Chrift and the foul is held out under the notion of buying, in which a man does indeed in one fense, namely, as to his portion, give away his money; but he obtains fomething instead of it, which is better to him than his money. He gets Chrift, the pearl of great price, the one thing needful.


The foul is difpofed to part with them, when the Lord calls for them; has an habitual readiness to part with them for Chrift. It is true, indwelling corruption is ready to hold the grip too faft, even when the Lord calls for a delivery; yet every closing with Christ has an honest resolution to part with all for him actually, when he fhall please to put them to this trial. The grace of God loofeth them at the root, when it first comes into the foul, rooting and grounding them in love to Chrift; which root of the righteous shall never be moved.

6. There is in the foul a new power of living, without them, on Jesus Christ; a life which is an abfolute mystery to every Christlefs foul: John, vi. 57. "As the living Father hath fent me, and I live by the Father, fo he that eateth me, even he fhall live by me." If in this fpiritual bargain they have quit with their money, on the purchase made, they can live without it, elfe would they never have quit with it. Though all temporal things fail them, yet can they rejoice in the Lord as their portion, and joy in the God of their fal


vation, Hab. iii. 18. If father and mother fhould leave them, they can fatisfy themselves in the Lord's taking them up. If they fhould lofe all relations for him, his relation to them is, in their eyes, more than fufficient to make up the lofs. If they fhould not know where to hide their heads, or how to get food in a hiding-place, he is to them, not only a refuge for protection, but a portion for maintenance, Pfal. cxlii. 4. 5. If all their fubftance fhould be taken from them, the Almighty shall be the gold and filver of their ftrength, Job, xxii. 25. Yea, though natural life fhould go in his caufe, himself is their life, a life which cannot be taken from them; for, Col. iii. 4. "When Chrift, who is our life, fhall appear, then shall we appear with him in glory.”. We now proceed,

II. To confirm the doctrine of the text, or fhew, that no man can be a true difciple of Chrift, to whom Chrift is not dearer than what is dearest to him in the world. For this purpose, confider,


1. That the foul cannot truly lay hold on Christ, but it must of neceflity part with the world. The embracing of Chrift infers naturally the loofing our hold of the world: Matth. vi. 24. " No man can ferve two masters. Ye cannot ferve God and mammon." We may as foon grafp heaven and earth at once in our arms, as fix on Chrift, and not loose our hold from all things befides him. If you would look up to the heavens, you must look away from the earth. The world is the term from which Chrift calls us: Song, iv. 8. " Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon." Men may keep his company, with the world under their feet, but not with the world in their heart.-Confider,

2. It is impoffible that the love of God, and the love of the world, (the perfons and things of the world), can at the fame time be predominant in the heart. One of them muft of neceffity be uppermoft. If the love of God be predominant, then it will command the love of all worldly things to yield; and these things will be difpofed of, so as may best please him that has the chief room in our hearts. All the ftreams of our love to things below, will be swallowed up in the depth of our love to Chrift: but this will be swallowed up by none; for this love is strong as death. Many waters cannot quench it, neither can the floods drown it. If a man should give all the fubftance of his houfe for love, it would be utterly contemned; fee Heb. xi. 25. 26. If the love of the world predominate, then it leaves no love to the Lord, becaufe no predominant love of the world is confiftent with the true love of God: 1 John, ii. 15. " Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." This proves the man no difciple of Chrift, Matth. vi. 24. James, iv. 4. 2 Tim. iii. 4. 5.— Confider,

3. That if Christ be not dearer to us than the world, there is no universal resignation, which is neceffary to prove the fincerity of the heart: Acts, ix. 6. "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” 2 Cor. viii. 5.- -" But first gave their ownselves to the Lord."-If this be wanting, there is nothing done ; we give not to the Lord what he feeks, namely, that we be all his. If we deal thus in this folemn tranfaction, we do but lie to the Holy Spirit, as Ananias and Sapphira, keeping back part of the price. This is a fure evidence that grace is not effectually at work with us, else VOL. II.



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