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your inheritance, your treasure be on high, which is by far the richest and the safest.' 1 Thus,
• Into the heaven of heavens, I have presum’d,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air.' Upled, it is hoped, by the light of truth. And oh! that what has been advanced respecting the nature of the celestial state, may be instrumental in convincing some one, hitherto inconsiderate, of the absolute necessity of a change of heart, in order to its fruition. Heaven, it will have been perceived, is not the kind of place men commonly suppose
it to be. It is no Mahometan's paradise, nor Indian's elysium. The voluptuary could there no longer obtain his illicit gratification, or the intemperate his revels. God is a holy being, " the most holy;" his city is “ the holy city;” and all its inhabitants are holy.
are holy. Therefore, “ without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” Indeed, wanting this, a person could not be happy in heaven. Every thing around him would be totally uncongenial to his tastes and habits. He would be exiled from all his sources of enjoyment, and placed in a scene of things, with which he would not have the slightest sympathy. Even the imperfect purity of the spiritual in this world displeases him: how then could he endure their perfect purity in heaven ? The few hours of the Sabbath are a weariness to him ; what a torment then would be an eternal Sabbath ? He likes not to retain God
· Archbishop LEIGHTON.
in his knowledge, bis mind is enmity against God : how then could he endure the divine presence ? “ Can two walk together except they be agreed ?”
Let then the unconverted be affectionately entreated to consider this—to consider it seriously. Nor let him despair. The Spirit of the Lord, who is given to all who earnestly seek bim, can so entirely renovate the soul, that it shall come to abhor what formerly it loved, and to delight in that which formerly it hated. He that sitteth upon the throne says,
Behold, I make all things new.” There is “ a new heaven," and there must be new heart,” before we can inherit it.
“ If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” He who bath wrought this change in thousands, can work it in thee also, beloved reader: “ for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
“ Seek then the LORD while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near.
The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. Strive to enter in at the strait gate. Knock loudly, and perseveringly, until he who hath the key of David, who openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth, arise and open unto thee. So will he renew a right spirit within thee : impart to thee a peace, which thou hast not heretofore experienced, the earnest of an everlasting rest ; and eventually admit thee into the glorious inheritance of his saints in light.
ON CEASING FROM MAN, AND LIVING TO GOD.
“ Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils : for wherein is
he to be acoounted of?"--Isaiah ii. 22.
Man, in his unrenewed condition, is a splendid pillar, broken from its pedestal, and lying in ruins on the ground. He is not fixed upon his Maker, but alienated from him by the blindness of his heart. All his tendencies, faculties, and affections are misdirected,--his whole foundations are out of course.
Engrossed with the trifles of time, he neglects the grandeurs of eternity: limits his horizon to this present scene, and seeks his heaven upon earth. In the beautiful language of inspiration, he “ forsakes the fountain of living waters, and hews for himself çisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
This is the besetting sin, the epidemic malady of our race; the universal monomania. It is not confined to the worldly, but, with shame and sorrow be it confessed, it is incident to Christians themselves, especially if at all affluent, or easy in their temporal circumstances. So apt is a carnal spirit to encrust it
self on the heart, even of the holiest ; so liable is a person surrounded with riches, consequence, and comfort, and “ not emptied from vessel to vessel,” to settle upon his lees, to grow proud and secular; so apt are our very blessings to become our curses, by becoming 'cords of vanity,' to tie us down to earth, like tents; in place of cords of love, to draw us upward toward the Giver : so incident is it to the wisest, to say with David, “ I shall never be removed," or with the fool in the gospel,
“ Soul, thou bast much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”
Now this transference of the affections from the Creator to the creature, is the main cause, not only of our misery, but also of our guilt.
" It is an evil thing and bitter.” Bitter, because it ex poses us to perpetual vexation and disappointment; and evil or sinful, because it is a setting up of “ images of jealousy” in our hearts, to the exclusion of the Lord of glory.
Accordingly, we find him frequently denouncing this sin in holy writ. It was the constant ground of his controversy with the Israelites; and in the prophet Jeremiah we have a clear declaration of his divine mind upon the subject :
" Thus saith the LORD, cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD: For he shall be like the heath of the desert, and shall not see when
1 See Prov. XXX. 9.
good cometh ; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land, and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” 1
Let this then form the concluding topic of these Lectures, and may the LORD so bless our meditations, that we may be led to perceive and feel the utter insufficiency of all earthly confidences, and to set our affections there, where true joys are to be found, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
There are three respects, wherein it behoveth us to cease from man,- that is, to cease from placing our principal dependance on him--a private or personal —a public or civil—and a spiritual or religious respect.
First, we should cease from man, in a private or personal point of consideration. We may be favoured with kind and affectionate parents, with a beloved partner, brother, or sister, with children or companions, or relatives, or friends, in whom we take intense delight. But let us beware how we embark our happiness in them ; how we depend on them for our comfort and peace. Let us be duly thankful to God for such mercies : but not permit
I Jeremiah xvii. 5-8.