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body in this present life, what are the joys and delights which he hath prepared for my better part in the life which is to come! This is the world of bodies, the other of souls and spirits. Therefore if this little carcase, which is but as the grass of the field be so well accommodated,—if there be so many rare things in the earth, and the sea, and the air, for its refreshment and pleasure, what may I not expect hereafter for my mind, in those celestial, those spacious regions which I see above. Oh the inconceivable felicity which is provided in the paradise of God, for this more wide and capacious spirit, which bears his own image, and like himself, is to live for ever! Again you may think with yourself, if there be such pleasure to be found in a creature, what is there then in the Creator of all! If the sight of the sun, the moon, the stars,
and all the rest of the beauties of this world be so glorious, what will it be to see my God, to be filled with that wisdom which contrived, and with that goodness which produced, this goodly and comely fabric! If the melodies of music be so charming, oh what an exstacy of joy will it cast me into, to hear God himself say, I love thee, I delight in thee for ever! If the love of a true friend do so much ravish and transport my spirit, what pleasure is it that I shall feel, when my soul shall love him as much as its most enlarged powers will enable it, and know how much I am beloved by him! There is a delicious meditation in St. Austin to this effect; who thus speaks to God in one of his confessions;
I love thee, O my GOD, thou hast smitten my heart with thy word, and I have loved thee. Nay, the heavens and the earth, and all things contained therein, admonish me on every side, that I should love thee; and they cease not to say the same to all men else, so that they are inexcusable, if they do not love thee. But what do I love when I love thee? Not the beauty of a body; not the grace and comeliness of time, not the brightness of light; (and yet how friendly and agreeable is that to these eyes!) not the sweet melody of well-composed songs; not the fragrant odour of flowers, unguents, or costly spices; not manna, not honey; not the embraces of the dearest and most lovely person; these are not the things that I love, when I love my God. And yet I love a certain light, and a certain voice, and a certain grateful odour, and a certain food, and a kind of embracement, when I love my God; the true light, the melody, the food, the satisfaction, and the embracement of my inward man. Where that shines to my soul, which no place can contain; where that sounds, which no time can snatch away: where that scents, which no wind can dissipate and scatter abroad; where I taste that which eating cannot diminish; where I cleave to that, which no fulness, no satiety can force away. This is that which I love, when
I love my God.
And what is this? I asked the earth, and it said, I am not. I asked the sea, and the deeps, and all living creatures, and they answered, we are not thy God; look above us, and
inquire after him, for here he is not. I asked the air, and its inhabitants, yea, the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars, and they confessed, we are not him whom thy soul seeketh. And I spake to all things whatsoever that stand round about the gates of my flesh, saying, ye tell me that you are not my God, but tell me something of him. And they all cried out with a loud voice, He made us. Look therefore how great, how goodly, how glorious, how beautiful and pleasant we are, and he is incomparably more bright, more sweet, more harmonious, more filling and content than the whole world, which is but his creature.' From Bishop PATRICK'S Advice to a Friend.' Letter iii.
NOTE XXVII. p 250.
The power of action is from God, but the viciousness of that action from our own nature. when a clock or watch hath some fault in any of the wheels, the man that winds it up, on putting his hand upon the wheels, moves them; he is the cause of the motion; but it is the flaw in it, or deficiency of something, which is the cause of the erroneous motion; that error was not from the person that made it, or the person that winds it up, and sets it a-going, but from some other cause; yet, till it be mended, it will not go otherwise, so long as it is set upon motion. Our motion is from God; "in him we move," but not the disorder of that motion. "Tis the foulness of a man's stomach
at sea, is the cause of his sickness, and not the pilot's government of the ship.'-CHARNOCK on Divine providence. p. 52, 53.
NOTE XXVIII. p. 254.
In removing the righteous, and sparing the wicked, God, even to our imperfect comprehension, may have wise and merciful designs. In the first place, he thus gives the latter, space to repent: not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Besides, he employs them as involuntary agents in advancing the cause of his church and people. He serves himself of all his creatures. Again, with respect to the righteous, they are taken away from the evil to come; they enter into rest, each one walking in his uprightness. And while Jehovah thus graciously calls them from their labours below, to serve him in his sanctuary above; he reproves our idolatrous confidence in created instruments of good; exercises our faith in himself, and glorifies his own power and beneficence in raising up others in their place, to execute his pleasure. Thus, though "clouds and darkness are round about him, righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne."
NOTE XXIX. p. 254.
< View providences in their connection. A harsh touch single, would not be pleasing, but may rarely affect the concert; the providences of God have a just proportion to one another, and are beautiful in their entire scheme, but when regarded apart, we shall come far short of a delightful understanding of them. As in a piece of arras folded up, and afterwards particularly opened, we see the hand or foot of a man, the branch of a tree, or, if we look on the outside we see nothing but knots and threads, and uncouth shapes, that we know not what to make of, but when it is fully opened, and we have the whole web before us, we see what histories and pleasing characters are interwoven in it.'-CHARNOCK on Providence.
NOTE XXX. p. 261.
'Let us then, I repeat, prepare for the impending crisis, in that spirit which alone can enable us to meet it. Let us array ourselves in the whole armour of God. Let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ. All weapons of our own forging must fail. They have been long tried; and they have been tried in vain. If we go forth against our enemies, in dependance on an arm of flesh, we miscalculate the force to which we are opposed. For in that case, human adversaries are but instruments; the real