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light to make mention of his name, and to make Our boast in his praise, even among those that fearhiin not, and know him not; and to render our goodness and our devotion exemplary, in proportion to the vices and the irreligion of others? Finally, whether our love of life, and our complacence in the good things of it, slackeng every day, and even our dread of death is in some meafure vanquished; and we do, whilst we are contemplacing the joys of another state, almost desire to be aifo ved, and to be with Christ, and groan under thofe earthly clogs and bars, that incumber and obstruct us in our flight towards him, and hinder our mind from exerting with freedom all its faculties and powers, on the supreme objects of its defires, hopes, and endeavours? When we perceive ourselves to be after this manner rooted and grounded in love, and to abotind in these genuine and blefied fruits of it; behold! then is our fpirit advanced to the nearest degree or union with the great father of spirits, of which it is capable on this fide heaven : and we are indeed (according to what is said of faithful abrahim in holy writ) 'the friends of God.

Thus have I thewn you, what it is to rcquaint ourselves with Goil, and wherein this acquaintance thiefly consists; to wit, in an intimate knowledge of hin, a frequency of access to 'him, a confora mity and likeness of temper and mannersjan hum'ble and implicit reliance upon him, and an ardent afection of foul towards himn. I proceed now, in the

IId Place, to consider, how reasonable, desirable, and neceffary a thing it is, thus to acquaint VOL. II.



ourselves with God, as on many other accounts, so particularly on this; that it is the only true way towards attaining a perfect tranquillity and reit of mind; “ acquaint thyself with him and be at peace.'

Honour, profit, and pleafure, are the three great idols, to which the men of this world bow; and one, or all of which is generally aimed at in every human friendship they make : and yet tho' nothing can be more honourable, profitable, or pleating to us, than an acquaintance with God, we stand off from it, and will not be tempted even by there motives, tho' appearing to us with the uimost advantage, to embrace it.

Can any thing improve, and purify, and exalt our natures more than such a conversation as this, wherein our spirits, mounting on the wings of contemplation, faith, and love, afcend up to the first principle and cause of all things, see, admire, and taste his surpafling excellence, and feel the quickening power and influence of it, till we ourselves, thus “ with open face beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed" (gradually, and insensibly changed) “ into the same image, from glory to glory," from one degree of perfection and likeness to another? What an honour is it to us, that God should admit us into fuch a blefled participation of himself ? that he thould give us minds capable of such an intercourse with the supreme, universal mind? and shall we be capable of it, without enjoying it?

In what conversation can we spend our thoughts and time more profitably, than in this ? to whom can we betake ourselves, with greater expectations

to succeed in our addreffes ? upon whom can we rely with more security and confidence ? is he not our most munificent Benefactor, our wiseft Coun. sellor, and most potent Protector and Friend? both able and willing to do every thing for us, that it becomes either us to ask, or him to grant. Are not the blessings both of this world and the next in his disposal.? and is not his favour and good-will the only sure title that we can plead to them and shall we spend our time therefore in cultivating useless and perishing acquaintances here below, to the neglecting that which is of the vastest concern to us, and upon which our everlasting welfare depends ? Shall we not rather say, with St. Peter, “ Lord, to whom shall we go? us thou hast the words of eternal life.”

O! the sweet contentment, the tranquillity and profound rest of mind that he enjoys, who is a friend of God, and to whom God (therefore] is a friend; who hath gotten loose from all meaner pursuits, and is regardless of all lower advantages, that interfere with his great design of knowing and loving God, and being known and beloved by him; who lives as in his fight always, looks up to him in every step of his conduct, imitates him to the best of his power, believes him without doubt, and obeys him without reserve; desires to do nothing but what is agreeable to his will, and resolves to fear nothing beyond, or beside his difpleasure ; In a word, who hath resigned all his passions and appetites to him ; all his faculties and powers; and given up his soul to be poffeffed by him, without a rival. Surely such an one háth within his brcast, that divine“peace which pafseth


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"all understanding is inconceivable by those who are ftrangers to it, and unutterable even by thofe upon whom it refts. In vain doth the scornful voluptuary ask for an account of it, which can never be given him ; for it bath no alliance with any of the pleasures of fense, in which he delights; nor hath he any ideas, by which the perception of it may be conveyed to him, it may make the prophets challenge and say,

“ To what will you liken me ? and wherewithal will you compare “ me?" This peace is to be understood, only by being enjoyed; and such an “ Acquaintance with God” as the text recommends, is the only means of enjoying it. But I haften, ia the

IIId and last place, to shew, That the most proper season for such a religious exercise of our thoughts, is, when any fore trouble or calamity overtakes us,--" Aquaint thyself NOW when with him," said Elihuz to Joh; that is, Now, when the wife difpofer of all things bath thought fit to pour out afflictions upon thee; then that peace, or sweet calm and repose of mind, which the text mentions, is most needful for thee; and is always, and only to be had from the fame hand, that wounded thee,

At such tiines our soul is most tender and furn ceptible of religious iinpreslions, molt apt to « feck God, to delight in approaching him, and converfing with him, and to relith all the pleasures and advantages of such a spiritual com

The kind, and chi f design of God, in all his feverefi difpenfations, is to melt and foften our hearts to such degrees, as he finds neceffaiy, in in order to the good purposes of his grace?



and fo to dispose and prepare them every way, as that they may become fit mansions for his holy {pirit to dwell in ;, to wean us gently and gradually from our complacence in earthly things, which we are too apt to rest in though we are sure tha we must one day part with them; to convince uz ofthe vanity of all the satisfactions which this world affords, and to turn our thoughts and expectations towards the joys of another.

We are, by nature, indigent creatures, unca, pable of ourselves to content and fatisfy ourselves; and therefore are ever looking abroad for fomewhat to supply our defects and complete our hapo piness. To this end, our wills and affections run out after every seeming good here below; but return empty and unsatisfied always from the pursuit, and therefore cannot but suggest to us the thought and poffefs us with the defire of some bigher good, which is their only adequate object, and in which alone true joys are to be found But we have the most feeling fenfe and experi, eace of this truth, when the hand of God lies beavy upon us : Then we plainly discern our own infufficiency and weakness, and yet see nothing about or near us, that can afford us any real rea, Jief: and therefore we fly to Him, who only can, who is rich in mercies, and mighty to fave: both able and willing to stretch himself out to all our wants, and to fill our emptiness. Even they, who in their prosperity forget God, do yet remeinber and turn to him when advertity befals them: They, who, whilst the course of things goes smoothly and happily on, and every pullion of theirs is entertained, every with is gratified,


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