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THE EARTH IN THE COVENANT.
God hath put the earth into the covenant. Though the saints have not their portion in this life, yet this world also is theirs: “The meek shall inherit the earth.” Matt. 5:5. “Things present, and things to come, all are yours.” 1 Cor. 3:22. 1. The good things present. 2. The evil things present.
I. The GOOD THINGS present. “Houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, now in this time.” Mark 10:30. “Length of days are in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honor.” Prov. 3 : 16. “Houses and lands,” you say, "and riches and honors! where are they? Who are the poor of this world, the houseless, harborless, and friendless? Who have woe, and want, and shame, and sorrow? Who are strangers and pilgrims, dwelling in tents, driven into corners, into dens, and caves, hunted up and down upon the mountains of the earth?
To whom is hunger and thirst, cold and nakedness, but to the meek of the earth? Is this to inherit the earth? All theirs, when nothing is theirs ?" Yet they do inherit the earth. For,
1. They shall ever have as much as will suffice them, and that is as much as all. They shall not want any thing but what they may well want: “Your Father knoweth that you have need of these
things;" and he knows how much you need. More than is needful, is more than enough; and more than enough is a prejudice. Many men have too much; too much money, too much esteem, too many friends; more than they can bear; so much as to sink them, and drown them in perdition.
Christians shall have enough; they shall never be in such a needy state but whatever is necessary for them in all the earth they shall have. “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof;" and he has said, that those that seek him shall not want any thing that is good. Psalm 34 : 10. If the whole world can supply them out of all its store, they shall be supplied.
2. What they have, they have a better and further title to, than any others in the world. What they have descends upon them not barely by providence, but by promise. Heb. 1:2. Christ is heir of all things, and they are fellow-heirs with Christ. A little coming from the promise has more in it than the greatest abundance that is only handed down by common providence. That which comes in from the promise, comes in with a blessing: if thou hast but a handful, thou hast a blessing in thy hand; if thou hast but a corner, thou hast a blessing in thy corner. A little from love is a great blessing. Thou hast God in every morsel thou eatest, and in every drop thou drinkest; a drop from heaven will turn thy bran into the finest flour, and thy water into wine.
O what serene and quiet lives, how void of care, +racting care, might the saints live in the world! What are the burdens that gall our backs, what the briers that tear our flesh, what the thorns that pierce our hearts ordinarily, but the cares of this life? What shall I eat? what shall I drink? wherewith shall I be clothed ? where shall I dwell? how little have I for to-day, what for to-morrow, what for hereafter? how shall I secure what I have? when this is gone, whence shall I be supplied ? Thus do we go on piercing ourselves through with many sorrows. Our cares for supply eat up what we have; our thoughts cut deeper than our wants; we cannot at so cheap a rate fear, as we often actually bear, the want of all things.
And why take ye thought? “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof;" and he hath said, “All this is yours; you shall want nothing." You have not only providence to live upon; you have also the promise before you, and this hath all things in it; all is yours. “What have I for to-morrow? what for hereafter ?” Why, what saith the promise ? “Thou shalt want nothing, neither thou nor thine. Never saw I the righteous forsaken, nor their seed begging their bread.”
Hast thou two worlds made sure to thee, and canst · thou want? Thou mayest as well make a pitiful cry at a full table, 0 where shall I have my next morsel ? as under such a full promise, O where shall I have my next meal? O how much beneath the spirit of Christianity are the carking, anxious lives of too many Christians. You do not believe, you do not believe; you talk of your covenant-right, of your part in the
promise, of living by faith; but where is any such thing? Can you trust God for your souls, and can you not trust him for your bodies, for your children? Believe, and you will make as much, and be satisfied as well, with a penny in the promise, with a meal in the promise, with a house in the promise, as with a penny in your purse, or a meal in your cupboard.
What dost thou get by all thy anxiety? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature”-one farthing to his store? Tears and trouble are all it will add to thee. Be quiet, and nothing will ail thee; let not any straits sting thee before they come; want not before thou wantest; let not the winter's frost nip thee while it is yet summer.
Know when thou art well, and be content. All is thine ; if thou inheritest thy God, thou inheritest the earth; nothing of all its store shall be kept back from thee that is necessary for thee; only thou must not look to be thine own carver, thy God will carve out what thou needest. Let enough suffice thee, and thou shalt never have too little. Thou shalt never have so little, but thou mayest say, This little is enough.
What if that which thou wantest in water, be made up in wine; if thou hast but little in bran, but the more in flour? A short meal with a smile from heaven thou mayest count no fast, but a feast; a little oil in the cruse, how far will it go with a smile, the blessing of the covenant! If the upper spring run freely, thou mayest abate a nether spring.
Let my Beloved comfort me with his apples, and stay me with his flagons; and let the rest be as little and as coarse as it will. Let the promise be my portion, let the pipes be kept open to my soul, and then the least pittance for this body shall suffice me. 0, my Lord, let me feed with thee, and I will not complain whatever my fare be. Let my portion be from thy table, and then be it much or little let me hear thy voice, “I am thine, and with me all things," and I am content to be at thy allowance. Let thy deed of gift stand sure to me, and put in my children's names there, and I ask no more for myself or them. Hold thy peace, keep silence, O my anxious soul; know when thou art well; be in nothing careful, the Lord is at hand.
II. The EVIL THINGS of this earth are theirs. The cross is in the covenant. “If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then
iniquity with stripes." Psa. 89:30–32.
The covenant hath its cross. The doctrine of the gospel is the doctrine of the cross, the preaching of the gospel is the preaching of the cross. 1 Cor. 1. The mysteries of a crucified Jesus and of his crucified saints fill up the whole New Testament. The cross is not only imposed upon the saints as their burden, but bequeathed unto them as a legacy. It is given unto them as an honor and a privilege. “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” Phil. 1:29. It is joined with the most glorious gift, the gift of