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nal bliss and joy. Heaven is the crown and centre of all the promises, and the perfection of all the good contained in them; all the blessings of the new covenant have a tendency to this, and are in order to it. Are we predestinated ?-it is to the inheritance of sons....Called ?-it is to his kingdom and glory.... Sanctified ?--it is that we may be made meet for the inheritance, and wrought to the self-same thing. This, therefore, we should have in our eye, in our covenant and communion with Godthat eternal life which God that cannot lie promiseth. We must receive the spirit in his graces and comforts, as the earnest of our inheritance.... Eph. i. 14-11 Cor. i. 22-v. 7. They that deal with God, must deal upon trust, for a happiness in reversion...a recompense of reward to come--must forsake the world in sight and present, for a world out of sight and future. All believers consent to this ; they lay up their treasure in heaven, and hope for what they see not. This they depend upon; and, in prospect of it, they are willing to labor and suffer....to deny themselves and take up their cross, knowing that heaven will make amends for all; though they may be losers for Christ, they shall not be losers by him in the end : this is the bargain: In the Lord's Supper, Christ gives us earnest upon this bargain, and what we receive there, we receive as earnes:. An earnest not only confirms the bargain, and secures the performance of it, but is itself part of payment, though but a small part in comparison with the full sum.
We here receive the earnest of our inheritance ; that is,
(1.) We receive the assurance of it: the royal grant of it is here sealed and delivered by the King of kings; Teste me ipso. God here saith to me, as he did to Abraham, (Gen. xiii, 14.) Lift up thine eyes, now, and look from the place where thou art : take a view of the heavenly Canaan....that land which eternally flows with better things than milk and honey....Immanuel's
land: open an eye of faith, and behold the pleasures and glories of that world, as they are described in scripture, such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard ; and know, of a surety, that all the land which thou seest, and that which is infinitely more and better than thou canst conceive, to thee will I give it...to thee forever. Fear not, little flock...fear not, ye little ones of the flock-It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Follow Christ and serve him, and you shall be forever with him : continue with him now in his temptations, and you shall shortly share with him in his glories. Only be faithful unto death, and the crown of life is as sure to you as if it were already upon your heads. Here is livery and sasine upon the deed. Take this and eat it; take this and drink it : in token of this, I will be to thee a God; that is, a perfect and everlasting happiness, such as shall answer the vast extent and compass of that great word.... Heb. xi. 16.
Come, now, my soul, and accept the security offer. ed. The inheritance secured is unspeakably rich and invaluable; the losses and sufferings of this present time are not worthy' to be compared with it ; the title is good; it is a purchased possession ; he that grants it hath power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life.... John xvii. 2.
The assurances are un questionably valid-not only the word and oath, but the writing and seal of the eternal God, in the scriptures and sacraments. Here is that, my soul, which thou mayest venture thyself upon, and venture thine all for ; do it, then....do it with a holy boldness. Lay hold on eternal life....lay fast hold on it, and keep thy hold. Look up, my soul....look as high as heaven, the highest heaven. Look forward, my soul...look as far forward as eternity, and let eternal life...eternal joy...eternal glory be thine aim in thy religion, and resolve to take up with nothing short of these. God hath been willing more abundantly to shew to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, and therefore hath thus confirmed it, so as to leave no ! room for doubting, that, by all these immutable things, in which it is impossible for God.to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us.... Heb. vi. 17, 18. Take him at his word, then, and build thy hope upon it. Be not faithless, but believing ; be not careless, but industrious. Here is a happiness worth striving for; run with patience the race that is set before thee, with this prize in thine eye.
(2.) We receive the foretastes of it. We have in this ordinance not only a ratification of the promise of the heavenly Canaan, but a pattern or specimen given us of the fruits of that land, like the bunch of grapes which were brought from the valley of Eshcol to the Israelites in the wilderness-a view given us of that land of promise, like that which Moses had of the land of Canaan from the top of Pisgah. As the law was a type and figure of the Messiah's kingdom on earth, so the gospel is of his kingdom in heaven; both are shadows of good things to come, (Heb. X. 1.). like the map of a rich and large country in a sheet of paper.
Our future happiness is, in this sacrament, not only sealed to us, but shewed to us; and we here taste something of the pleasures of that better country. In this ordinance we haye a sight of Christhe is evidently set forth before us ; and what is heave en but to see him as he is, and to be forever beholding his glory?. We are here receiving the pledges and tokens of Christ's love to us, and returning the protestations and expressions of our love to him ; and what is heaven but an eternal interchanging of love between a holy God and holy souls ? We are here praising and blessing the Redeemer...celebrating his bogor, and giving him the glory of his achievements; and what is that but the work of heaven? It is what the inhabitants of that world are doing now, and what we hope to be doing with them to eternity. We are here in spiritual communion with all the saints, com
ing in faith, hope, and love, to the general assembly and church of the first-born ; and what is heaveo but that in perfection? In a word, heaven is a feast, and so is this ; only this is a running banquet-that is an everlasting feast.
Come, my soul, and see a door here opened in heaven; look in at that door now, by which thou hoe pest to enter shortly. Let this ordinance so something of the work of heaven upon thee, God having provideıl in it something of the pleasures of heaven for thee. Heaven will forever part between thee and sin; let this ordinance, therefore, set thee at a great. er distance from it. Heaven will fill thee with the love of God ; in this ordinance, therefore, let that love be shed abroad in thine heart. In heaven thou shalt enter into the joy of thy Lord; let that joy now enter into thee, and be thy strength and thy song. Heaven will be perfect holiness ; let this ordinance make thee more holy, and more conformable to the image of the holy Jesus: heaven will be everlasting rest: here, therefore, return to God as thy rest, O my soul, and repose thyself in him. Let every sa. crament be to thee a heaven upon earth, and each of these days of the Son of man, as one of the days of heayen.
Helps for the exciting of those pious and devout affec
tions which should be working in us while we attend this ordinance.
WONDROUS sights are here to be seen, where the Lord's death is shewed forth; precious benefits are here to be had, where the covenant of grace is sealed ; the transaction is very solemn...very serious-nothing more so on this side death : But what impressions must be made hereby upon our souls? How must we stand affected while this is in
doing? Is this service only a show, at which we may be unconcerned spectators, or is it a market place, in which we may stand all the day idle ? No, by no means : here is work to be done...heart-work, such as requires a very close application of mind, and a great liveliness and vigor of spirit, and in which all that is within us should be employed, and all little enough. Here is that to be done which calls for fixed thoughts and warm affections...which needs them, and well deserves them. What sensible movings of affection we should aim at, is not easy to direct ; tempers vary : some are soon moved, and much more ed with every thing that affects them; from such it may be expected, that their passions, which are strong at other times, should not be weak at this ordinance; and yet no doubt there are other: whose natural temper is happily more calm and sedate, that are not conscious to themselves of such stirring of affections as some experience at this ordinance, and yet have as comfortable communion with God....as good evidence of the truth and growth of grace, and as much real benefit by the ordinance as those that think themselves even transported by it. The deepest rivers are scarce perceived to move, and make the least noise. On the one hand there may be much heat where there is little light, and strong passions where there are very weak resolutions-- like the waters of a land flood, which make a great show, but are shallow and soon gone: we must not, therefore, build a good opinion of our spiritual state upon the vehemence of our affection. “A romance may preser:t a tragical story so pathetically, as to make a great impression upon the minds of some, who yet know the whole matter to be both feigned and foreign: Bodily exercise, if that be all, profits little. And, on the other hand, there may be a true and strong faith, informing the judgment, bowing the will, commanding the affections, and purifying the heart and life, where yet there are not any transports, or pathetical expressions. There may be