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nal; things heavenly, in opposition conviction of the real existence,“ to earthly things; ihey are things things not seen," in order that eternal, as opposed to what is only may be induced to set our hear temporal. Thus much is in general upon them, and toil through eve ineant by " the things above." difficulty to obtain them. WI They refer to the kingdom of grace would sail with a daring adventur here, and of glory hereafier. But it in search of new islands or ne will be proper to narrow this wide continents, and encounter the storn view of the subject, and to consider and perils of the ocean, with his li that part of it to which the words and all his property embarked in 1 of the text seem more immediately enterprize, if he did not believe ih to refer; I mean, the joys and em- reality of the object of his search ployments of those whoare admitted It is the same with us.
Unless b into ine kingdom above. Set faith we behold things invisible your affections on things above;" unless we can believe that there ar
your affections on heaven, on its things above worthy of our pursuit happiness, and its services. Would our desires must necessarily be cold we rightly know (though it be and our endeavours devoid of ear through a glass darkly) what these nestness and sincerity. are, we must will heart and mind 2. But what hope could any man thither ascend where Christ' bas who knows bimself, his weaknes gone before, and there continually and sinfulness, have of enteriug inte have our conversation. They are heaven ; and what inducement, therethe pleasures which are at his right fore, could he have for seting his hand for evermore; the joyful ado- affections upon it, and labouring to ration which is constantly paid to attain it, if it were not represented God and to the Lambı; the palms, in Scripture as a free gift, purchased the harps, the songs of the blessed, by the death, and bestowed by the whose robes are washed white in grace, of his Redeemer and Intercesthe blood of the Lamb; the society sor? But for this, the obstacles to of angels and of the spirits of the his reaching that pure and holy just; the absence of all pain and place would appear to be such as grief, templation and sin; the sight could not be overcome. His state of God as he is; entire conformity would be hopeless, and he would see to his image; and wherring obe- it to be so. For how could he make dience to his will. These things, that the object of his affectionate productive as they are of the highest desire and pursuit which he was happiness, and such as eye hath not persuaded could not be attained ? seen, nor ear heard, nor man's heart' Hope is the very spur of all exerhath conceived, are but a faint re- tion. We may indeed suppose presentation of “ the things above," selfish man to desire heaven as a on which we are conimanded to place of deliverance from sorrow and “ set our affections."
anguish, though not as a place of Il. But what is it'" to set our deliverance from sin, and a scene of affections” on these things? To set holy employment. our affections upon them implies, holy obedience and grateful adorafirst, that we view them as reali- tion can be desired only by humble ties. We must believe that things and holy men. And
such perexist, that they are real and sub- sons would give up the pursuit of it stantial, before we shall be induced in despair, were they to seek after them. It is the child, their gracious Advocate in the courts not the man, who chases the rain- above, who, after having obtained bow. a home which makes the traveller had gone before to prepare a place It is the certainty that he has eternal redemption for his people
, in distant lands sigh to return to it. for them, and by his Spirit was now We must have the evidence," a conducting them thither, that where
A heaven of
not told of
be is, there they might be also. The great inducement with us to set our throne of a holy and heart-searching affections on things in heaven, to God, who cannot look on sin with- consider that, by our calling and proout abborrence, and who has de- fession as Christians, we are bound clared that he will by no means to renounce those on earth. The clear the guilty, would be too awful apostle Paul frequently insists on an object for such to think of ap- this. “Ye are dead,” dead by your proaching it, did they not know very profession, to this world; "buthat Jesus Christ, their alonement, ried with Christ by baptism unto and their intercessor with God, is death." We have also each of us also exalted to the throne in heaven, contracted an express and solemn and " is able to save them to the ut- obligation to this effect. We have most that come unto God by him.” promised to renounce the pomps
3. To set our affections on any and vanities of this wicked world. thing must imply preference and As many as have been baptized esleem. This is the condition of have thereby confessed themselves our nature. We cannot, then, set to be strangers and pilgrims upon our affections on heaven, unless we earth, and have declared their deprefer it to earth. The man whose termination to seek a better country, heart is fixed on " things above,” even a heavenly. There are, inmust bave a lively view of the deed, many hindrances to this course. comparative emptiness and vanity The world, the flesh, and the devil of things below. He must have stand opposed to it. But then our entered into the spirit of our Lord's everlasting all depends upon it; and solemn question,”“ What shall it though our difficulties are great, our profit a man if he should gain the means of overcoming those difficulwhole world, and lose his own soul?" ties are more than sufficient, if we In how many different lights does will but avail ourselves of them. our Saviour place the excellency of The Throne of
. Grace is open to us : the kingdom of heaven, in order to we are invited to come to it boldly, increase our esteem of it, and our there to obtain grace to help us in desires after it. It is “ a pearl of the time of need. Christ, our foregreat price;" " treasure hid in a runner, has already entered within field;" a place of perfect security, the veil; and we are allowed 10 fix “where nothief approacheth, neither our hope on him as an anchor to our rust corrupteth ;" a place of tran- souls, to keep us stedfast in our heascendant glory, where we shall be venly course. Jesus, who is the Sa“a's the angels."
He warns us also viour of his people, who has shed deliberately to count the cost, declar. his blood to redeem them, who is ing that the kingdom of heaven suffer- their Head and Representative, the eth violence; and that it is the violent, Author and Finisher, the Captain of those who so prize it as to be willing their salvation, rules over all things to make the most sirenuous efforts for in heaven and in earth. All powers that end, who at length reach it. Is and principalities submit to his aunot all this intended to shew us, that thority. The hosts of heaven fall unless we value heaven so much as prostrate at his feet. All the powers to be willing to submit to any sacri- of darkness tremble before him. fices, however painful, and to make Though we are weak, he is strong ; any exertions, however difficult, ra- though we are unworthy of the ther than come short of it, we cannot Divine regards, yet he pleads for us, consider our hearts as properly set and his meri: is infinite. upon it, por ourselves as likely to And here let us faithfully ask aitaip it?
ourselves, on what our affections are III. We proceed to consider the placed. Are we living to God, or motives and encouragements we
io ourselves? Do we seek our own bave ibus to act. It ought to be a things, or the things of Jesus Christ?
These are momentous questions. his God, and on the delights of com
munion with him. « How amiable
“The wicked shall be things above. It will not avail us turned into hell, with all the nations that we are merely free from gross that forget God;" that neglect to sins, that we are regular in the outpay him the homage of hearts filled ward duties of religion, unless our with his love, and devoted to his ser- whole lives are regulated by the yice. The rich man who lifted up word of God, and the temper of our his eyes in torment, and his com- minds is holy, heavenly, spiritual panion in misery, who comforted his unless we are anxiously praying and soul with the thoughts of his goods labouring to be delivered from the laid up for many years, may have bondage of a corrupt nature, and to led, for any thing we know to the be admitted into the glorious liberty contrary, what the bulk of mankind of the children of God; unless our would call harmless and innocent desire and strenuous aim be, that lives. Their crime seems to have Christ may dwell in our hearts by been, that, instead of being spiri- faith here, and that we may dwell tually minded, they were selfish with him hereafter. We may not be and sensual. They set their affec. vain, or slothful, or dissipated; we tions on the things below, not on may be friendly and humane in our those above; and thus they perished disposition; we may be mindful of for ever. And thus will it be with many social and relative duties; we all those who tread in their steps, may attend with regularity the public who choose this world for their por- worship of God; we may establish tion. They have chosen a hard ser- the worship of God in our families; vice, and a most unsatisfying por- we may instruct our children and tion. They are preparing for them- our servants; we may join in many selves the bitterness of disappointed good and charitable and even pious hope. • Il shall even be as when a works; we may be the professed adhungry man dreameth, and behold mirers of pure and evangelical relihe eateth"; but he awaketh, and his gion; we may be all this: and, insoul is empty: and when a thirsty deed, we must be all this, if we have man dreameth, and behold he any claim to be regarded as Chrisdrinketh; and he waketh and be- tians: but, I repeat it, we may be all hold he is faini, and his soul bath this, and yet come short of the kingappetite." Let us awake, then, froni dom of God. All is unavailing withour dream of fancied security, to out that spiritual mind which is life contemplate the au ful realities of a and peace, without that faith which death and judgment to come; and worketh by love, without that deadlet us lift, up our hearts unto the ness to the world and the things Lord, Heaven is surely worth our of it, and that holy elevation of seeking. “One day in those courts soul, which are especially implied is better than a thousand days of in the words of the text. worldly joy;" and it is to an eter- affections on things above, not on nity of such blessedness that we are things on the earth; for ye are dead, called to raise our hearis. In the and your life is bid with Christ in view of it, let us adopt the language God.'
And then “ when Christ, aud cherish the feelings of David, who is your life, shall appear, ye when he thought on the house of shall also appear with him in glory."
« Set your
How inconceivable must be the faithfulness and truth, that those who misery of that man, who has been are thus wise shall shine for ever as flattering himself with the hope of the brightness of the firmament. beaven, until he arrives at heaven's And, finally,let us bear it in mind, gate, and finds it barred against him. that we must not only desire and The conviction that he has been de wish for heaven, but we must pursue ceived, at once bursts upon him in it with earnestness and constaney, in its full blaze. "Lord, Loril, open the way which God hath appointed, unto os!" " I know you nou whence and wiih clear apprehensions of its ye are; depart from me into ever. real nature. Let us seek it as the lasting fire, prepared for the devil free gift of God through Jesus and his angels.
Christ; as a temple where God, But let us turn to contemplations and also the Lamb, are served and of a more cheering kind; to the view worshipped for ever; as a place of those who, having set their affec- where nothing enters that defileth ; tions on things above, at length ar- as a complete deliverance from sin rive on the borders of that world on as well as sorrow, Let us gladly which their hearts have been fixed. forsake every thing, however sancBebold holy Simeon, on the eve of his tioned by custom, however dear to departure from this life : “ Lord, us by habit, which would retard us now lettest thou thy servant depart in this pursuit ; and let us follow in peace, for mine eyes have scen Christ. Let us act, in regard to thy salvation.” Consider the faith, heaven, as we do in the case of those the hope, and the love of the mar- things below which engross our aftyred Stephen : “ Lord, lay not this fections; renouncing whatever might sin to their charge; Lord Jesus, re- prevent our attaining them; despisceive my spirit. Behold I see the ing reproach; submitting to labour heavens opened, and Jesus standing and toil; exercising forethought, at the right hand of God.” Hear care, vigilance, perseverance. If we Si. Paul in the view of his dissolu- would get to heaven, let our emtion : “ I have fought a good fight; ployments now be heavenly; let us I have finished my course; I have act with heaven in our eye ; let us kept the faite. Henceforth there is meditate upon it; let us talk of it; laid up for me a crown of righteous- let us not only pray, “Thy kingdom ness, which the righteous Judge will come,” but let our efforis also be give me in that day, and not to me directed to this end. If we thus only, but to all them that love his “ labour to enter into that rest," we appearing.” Nor have there been may be confident that He, whose wanting those in every age of the only gift it is that our hearts are church who have manifested, in the thus far set on things above, will hour of deaths, the unspeakable ad- carry on his work in us, until we are vantage there is in having set their made meet to partake of the glorious affections during life on things in heritance of his saints. --Now unto above. And even if this were not him who alone is able to keep us the case, even if they should have from 'falling, and to present us faultno opportunity of leaving their dying less before the presence of his glory testimony to this truth, it is not on with esceeding joy; to the only that account the less certain. To wise God our Saviour, be glory and those who have really set their af- majesty, doininion and power, both fections on things above, however now and ever. Amen. clouded their departure hence may be, an abundant entrance will assuredly be administered into the evere
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. Jasting kingdom of their God and Sa- In reading the tenth volume of viour. This is true, as God himself South's Works, which I lately boris true. He has pledged his own' rowed of a friend, I'was very much
A CLERGYMAN OF THE CHURCH
struck with the forcible language truly and properly sin which is not he used in speaking of “ Original voluntary ; but original corruption Sin,” in a sermon on Rom. vi. 23, in infants cannot be voluntary, since “ The wages of sin is death.” Should it precedes all exercise of their ra.' the extract I have sent you be tjonal powers, their understanding, deemed suitable to your invaluable and their wille But to this b anMagazine, I bope you will insert it. swer, that original corruption, in It comes from one who wishes the every infant, is voluntary, not inChristian Observer to be read with-; deed in his own person, but in Adam out prejudice by every clergyh- his representative; whose' actions, man of the established churc. while he stood in that capacity,
were virtually, and by way of imputation, the acts of all his posterity:
as amongst us, when a person serves " Original Sin.
It may seem in parliament, all that he votes, in strange, perhaps, that sin bears date that public capacity or condition, is with our very being; and indeed, truly and politically to be esteemed in some respect, prevents it;—that the vole of all: those persons, for we were sioners before we were whom be stands and serves as repreborn; and seem to have been held sentative. Now, inasmuch as Adam's in the womb, not only as infants for sin was free and voluntary, and also the birth, but as malefactors in a imputed to all bis posterity, it fok? prison ;—and that, if we look upon lows that their original corruption, our interests in this world, our forfeit the direct and proper effect of this was much earlier than our posses, sin, must be equally voluntary; and sion. We are' (says the Apostle) being withal irregular, must needs .by nature children of wrath,' Ephes. be sinful. : Age, and, ripeness of ii. 3. Not only by depravation, or years does not give being, but only custom, and ill-contracted habits, opportunity to sin. That principle, but by nature; the first principle which lay dormant and inactive be. and source of action. And nature, fore, is then drawn forth into sinful we know, is as entire, though not as acts and commissions. When a man strong, in an infant as in a grown is grown up, his corruption does not man. Indeed, the strength of man's begin to exist, but to appear; and natural corruption is so great, that to spend upon that stock which it every mxa is born an adult sinner. had long before. Pelagius, indeed, Sin is the only thing in the world tells us, that the sons of Adam came which never had an infancy, that to be sinners only by imitation, knew no minority. “Tantillus puer, But, then, I would know of him, tantus peccator, says St. Austin. wbat those first inclinations are Could we view things in semine,' which dispose us to such bad inilaand look through principles, what a tions ? Certainly that cannot but be nest of impurities might we see in sinful which so powerfully and althe beart of the least infant! like a most forcibly inclines us to sin. We knot of little snakes wrapt up in a may conclude, therefore, that even donghill! What a radical, produc- this original, native corruption renlive force of sin might we behold in ders the persons wlio bave it oball his faculties, ready upon occa- noxious and liable to death. An sion and the maturity of age, to dis. evil heart will condemn us, though play itself with a cursed fertility! Providence should prevent its runThere are some, I know, who deny ning forth into an evil life. Sin is that, which we here calloriginal sin, sin, whether it rests in the inclinato be indeed properly any sin' at all; tions, or shoots out into the practice: and will have it, at the most, not to be and a toad is full of poison, though our fault, but our infelicity. And their he never spits it.”-South's Works, reason is, because nothing can be vol. x. pp. 315-317.