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There is enough to fill up our time : there is admiring work, and praising work for ever; there is matter for love and joy to live and feed upon for ever; endless praises, eternal pleasures, everlasting rejoicings, “everlasting joy," "pleasures for evermore.” There is enough to reward all our la bors,
. and repay all our expenses; there is a full reward. “ Fear not, Abraham; I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.” Gen. 15:1. Christian, thou shalt not serve the Lord for naught, he will reward thee: and it is little in his eyes that thou shouldest serve him for corn and for wine, for sheep and for oxen, yea, for the crowns and kingdoms of this world; these shall not be thy hire; the everlasting God will be thy reward, thine exceeding great reward; exceeding not thy work only, but thy very thoughts also. A little is too much for thy earnings, but the whole world is too little for his bounty. Less than nothing might satisfy for thy labors, but less than himself will not satisfy for his love: the eternal God will be thy reward. Oh, the unsearchable riches of the poorest of saints. Poor ; what, and yet hast a God? In want; what, and yet hast all things? Is he God that is thine, and art thou still in straits? Would a few sheep and oxen, vineyards and olive-yards make thee a rich man, and can God leave thee a beggar ? Is not a pearl more than pebbles ; milk and wine better than mud and water? Men use to say, Money is all things—meat, and drink, and clothes, and friends, and land—virtually all things. And is not God more than money ? Sure he has said to his gold, “ Thou art my god," who cannot say, Let God be mine, and then go thou thy way. Hast thou a God, and yet art thou poor? Nay, further, would the fatness of the earth and the fulness of heaven, if thou hadst both, be enough for thee? Would corn, and wine, and houses, and lands, and pleasures here, and eternal life hereafter suffice thee? And is not God alone as much as all this? Dost thou want starlight when thou hast the sun ? Is the ocean more full for the rivers that run into it? Or would there be any want there, if all these were stopped and dry ? Can they contribute to it which have their rise from it? Has the Almighty God a self-sufficiency, and has he not enough to satisfy a poor worm? Is he blessed in himself, and mayest not thou be blessed in him ? He that thinks any thing less than God will suffice, understands not a soul; and he that wants any thing more, understands not God. God alone is as much as God and all the world; and this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, God is their portion.
If enough be not yet said, look awhile, and consider whence thou art taken up into this blessedness., What hast thou left! What an exchange hast thou made! Thou wert taken with the prodigal from the trough, with the beggar from the dunghill, yea, as a brand out of the burning; there thy lot had fallen. Oh, where hast thou left the rest of the world? Blessing themselves in vanity, pleasing themselves with shadows and apparitions, feeding on ashes, warming themselves at their painted fire, sporting themselves with the wind, rejoicing in a thing of naught: their crackling thorns, their flattering pleasures, their drinkings and dancings and roarings, their horses and their dogs, their hawks and their harlots; making a shift awhile to make merry with these while they are hastening to the pit, to that fire and brimstone which is the portion of their cup.
Consider, what is the chaff to the wheat? What is a comet to the sun ? What is the night to the day? What are bubbles and children's toys to the durable riches? What are things that are not, to him whose name is I AM? But Oh, what are death and wrath and the curse, which were once all thy heritage, to that life and love and peace and joy and glory, which thou now possessest in that God who is thy portion? What a poor wretch wert thou once, when thou hadst nothing but sin and shame and misery that thou couldst call thine own. These thou mightest call thine-sin was thine, woe was thine, death and the grave and the curse and the pit were thine own; but that was all thou hadst: thy good things thou livedst upon, had they been of ever so great value, were none of thine; thy house and thy lands are none of thine ; thy gold and thy silver and thy substance are none of thine; they are all but borrowed, or committed to thee as a steward, and all to be given up on demand; and what thou hast spent of them thou must be brought to a reckoning for: a poor wretch thou wert, and hadst just nothing; for all that thou hadst was none of thine.
God is thine own, all that he is, all that
he has is thine; never couldst thou lay such a claim to any thing thou possessedst; to house, or wife, or child, or body, or soul, as now thou mayest to thy God. God is as surely thine as thou art thyself: as sure as thou art a man, thou hast a God.
Come, Christian, here is now thy portion; the light of thine eyes, the lifting up of thy head, the joy of thy heart, the strength of thy bones, thy stock, thy treasure, thy life, thy health, thy peace, thy rest, thine all: “Whom have I in heaven, but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth ; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." Psalm 73:25, 26. Here is thy portion, know it for thy good, take it for thine own; live upon it, and live up to it.
1. Live upon thy portion. Here thou mayest feed, herein thou mayest rejoice, herein thou mayest bless thyself for ever. "Let him that blesseth himself on the earth, bless himself in the God of truth." Let him that rejoiceth in the earth, rejoice in the God of truth. Let the strong man live upon his strength, let the wise man live upon his wits, let the rich man live upon his lands; but come thou, live upon thy God; come, enjoy God and thy soul; enjoy God in thy soul, enjoy thy soul in God. Thou hast possession, what should hinder thy fruition? In fruition, the schools tell us, there are three things which go to make it up: knowledge, delight, and satisfaction.
Knowledge. According to the clearness or cloudi. ness of our apprehensions of any good, we more or less take the pleasure or comfort of it; and therefore the full fruition of God is not till at last, when we shall know as we are known. Here we see as but in a glass, and darkly; we know but in part, and while we know but in part, we love but in part and joy but in part; the dimness of our sight makes an abatement of our joy. When the veil shall be taken away, when we shall come to see face to face, then we shall fully feel what it is to have a God. Christian, know thou the God of thy fathers; the more thou knowest, the more thou hast.
The carnal world enjoy not God at all; God is not known in their tabernacles : in Judah is God known, his name is great in Israel; at Salem is his tabernacle, and his dwelling in Zion. But what of God in Edom, or Ammon, or Amalek, or Egypt; those dark regions wherein neither sun nor star appears ? Leave them to their dunghill gods, to the gardens which they have desired and the oaks which they have cho
The Lord is before thee, know it for thy good. Study thy God, Christian; roll over his sweetness in thy mind, as thou dost the sweet morsel in thy mouth; see what he is, and what thou hast laid up in him;
; read over daily his glorious names; walk through those chambers of his presence, his glorious attributes. Look into the chamber of his power, and see what thou hast laid up for thee there. Go into the chamber of his wisdom, and see what that will afford thee. Look into the chambers of his goodness, mercy, faithfulness, holiness, and behold what treasures are laid up for thee in each of these. Enter into thy chambers, they are all thine ; let thine eye be there,