« PreviousContinue »
the deceitfulness of the world, and to the glories of heaven; and so like the blind are wandering out of the
should be found so senseless as to prefer earth to heaven, and sensuality to immortality, is a certain proof, that there is some radical error in our nature, derived to us from the mistake of our first parents, and never to be corrected but by the power of divine Grace, and the diligent study of the word of God. Every man is born with that clay upon his eyes, which must be washed away by him, who was sent from heaven for that purpose; and then he may see all things clearly. Then he may shake off that folly of preferring dust and ashes to the riches of eternity; when things eternal, and things temporal are compared, it seems the easiest thing in the world to chuse between them ; and yet it is the hardest ; because it is impossible to love the things of heaven, without that principle of faith, which gives us a sight of them. In this is the great difference between the Christian and the man of the world ; that the one walks by sense, and the other by faith. The Christian ascends through faith and hope to the love of God; and when he has attained to that, his affections are placed where they ought to be D 2
you would plainly understand the difference between these two sorts of men, view them upon their death-beds. When death approaches, the Christian finds himself drawing nearer to the objects he has desired : but the man of the world is hasting toward those terrors of the Lord, which he has vainly endeavoured to forget. The one parts with what he never valued, and in exchange looks for that which never can decay: the other is torn away against his will from all he has delighted in, never more to be delighted with any thing. The one leaves his friends, with a certainty of meeting such of them, as are worth finding, in a better world : the other leaves all good men, without the hope of conversing with them any more. The one is at length conveyed by Angels to the bosom of Abraham; the other goes, where he went, who had received the good things in this life.
Who can make this comparison without saying, in the words of Balaam, Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his! Let us then remember, my friends, and let us never forget it, that the righteous dies this death, because in his life-time, he set his affection on things above. Which that
we may all do in like manner, God of his great mercy grant, and assist us therein daily, for the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Saviour.
COME, SEE THE PLACE WHERE THE LORD
MATTH. Xxviii. 6.
IN these words, the Angel which descended
and I on this blessed day are going together to that garden of Joseph of Arimathea, where was a new tomb hewed in a rock, with a stone rolled to the mouth of it; the body of Jesus being buried within it, and a guard of Roman soldiers keeping watch without it: and that when we come there, we find such things as those devout women did, who came early in the morning to visit the place. With those things before us, we shall be affected nearly as they were ; and consequently we shall be delighted and edified. There is not one circumstance attending the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which doth not carry instruction with it; and therefore I shall consider them nearly in the same order in which they happened, and shew you the meaning and the reasons of these wonderful things. In all such events as relate to our Salvation, the Providence of God disposes the circumstances in such a manner, that they give us light and learning; and they were undoubtedly recorded for our instruction and edification.
The first circumstance attending the Resurrection of Christ may serve as a specimen, to teach what we may expect from the rest. In the first verse of the 28th chapter of St. Matthew, we are told, that the Resurrection hap