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upon him as beft for them, in whatever circumstances they may be ; this is the character of a true difciple: Matth. xi. vi. “ And bleiled is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” As the sparkling stars hide their heads when the sun ariseth, so all things in the world lose their lustre when the glory of God appeareth to them, f:ining in the face of Jesus ; though to others there is in him no beauty.
2. The heart rénounceth its property in all things of the world, in the day of its closing with Jesus Christ. As a rebellious fon, turned out of his father's house into an uninhabited land, takes that as his property which he falls upon by the right of first-finding ; but when he has access to return, he quits it, that he may enjoy his father's estate : fo Adam and his children being driven out of paradise, and banished from the presence and enjoyment of the Lord himself, they take up with what created comforts they stumble upon' in their blind rambling through the wilderness of this world, as their own portion; but returning and taking Christ, they part with these, their fouls re. turning into their quiet reft. The natural man, being alienated from the life of God, takes a dead hold of created things, as suited 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 said, 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 strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will fruft ; my buckler, and the horn of my falvation, and my high tower.” Now, when the soul 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; so that the disciple of Christ looks on all he has as no more his own.
3. The foul resigns all to the Lord, lays all down at the Lord's feet, to be disposed of as he will : 1 Sam. iii. 18. “ Eli said, It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.” 2 Sam. xv. 26. “ David said, Behold, here am I, let the Lord do with me as seemeth good unto him.” If the Lord have use for his comforts in the world, he, and all that are his, are for his part at his service. Though they were his before, he now makes a free-will offering of them all to the Lord; so that, in very deed, all that a true disciple of Christ 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, whose will must not be disputed in the disposal of his own; they can be no more for profane, but holy uses. And if, through the prevalence of corruption, he has put his hand to that. which is not holy, Christ's discipline will make him bring it back with the tear in his eye. Never a foul clofes with Christ aright, that layeth not all its enjoyments, even life ittelf, at his feet.
4. The soul accepts of Christ for, and instead of the things resigned. 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 sold all that he had, and bought it.” The man takes Christ instead of father, mother, and all things; for it is impossible that man can be self-sufficient. The heart
of man is an empty, hungry. thing, that must needs have something to feed upon; and let men ply their hearts with the utmost diligence, they will Atill find it impossible to draw the husks of the world out of their hearts, unless something better is set before them. They must see heaven, before they will be drawn from earth; therefore, the great transaction between Christ and the soul is held out under the notion of buying, in which a man does indeed in one sense, namely, as to his portion, give away his money; but he obtains something instead of it, which is better to him than his money. He gets Christ, the pearl of great price, the one thing needful,
5. The foul is disposed to part with them, when the Lord calls for them; has an habitual readiness to part with them for Christ. It is true, indwelling corruption is ready to hold the grip too fast, even when the Lord calls for a delivery; yet every
foul closing with Christ has an honest resolution to part with all for him actually, when he shall 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 soul a new power of living, without them, on Jesus Christ; a life which is an absolute mystery to every Christlefs foul : John, vi. 57. “ As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” If in this fpiritual bargain they have quit with their money, on the purchase made, they can live without it, else 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 sal
vation, vation, Hab. iii. 18. If father and mother should leave them, they can satisfy themselves in the Lord's taking them up. If they should lofe all relations for him, his relation to them is, in their eyes, more than sufficient to make up the loss. If they should 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, Psal. cxlii. 4. 5. If all their substance should be taken from them, the Almighty shall be the gold and silver of their strength, Job, xxii. 25. Yea, though natural life Mould go in his cause, himself is their life, a life which cannot be taken from them; for, Col. iii. 4. « When Chrift, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we appear with him in glory.". We now proceed,
II. To confirm the doctrine of the text, or shew, that no man can be a true disciple of Christ, to whom Christ 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 Chrift, but it must of necessity part with the world. The embracing of Christ infers naturally the loosing our hold of the world : Matth. vi. 24. “ No man can serve two masters. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” We may as soon grasp heaven and earth at once in our arms, as fix on Christ, and not loose our hold from all things besides him. If you would look up to the heavens, you must look away from the earth. The world is the term from which Christ calls uš: 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.--consider,
2. It is impossible that the love of God, and the love of the world, (the persons and things of the world), can at the same time be predominant in the heart. One of them must of necessity be uppermost. If the love of God be predominant, then it will command the love of all worldly things to yield; and these things will be disposed of, so as may beft please him that has the chief room in our hearts. All the streams of our love to things below, will be swallowed up in the depth of our love to Christ: 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 substance of his house for love, it would be utterly contemned; see Heb. xi. 25. 26. the love of the world predominate, then it leaves no love to the Lord, because no predominant love of the world is consistent 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 disciple of Christ, Matth. vi. 24. James, iv. 4. 2 Tim. iii. 4. 5.Consider,
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 seeks, namely, that we be all his. If we deal thus in this folemn transaction, we do but lie to the Holy Spirit, as Ananias and Sapphira, keeping back part of the price. This is a sure evidence that grace is not effect ually at work with us, elle VOL. II. R