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ing-stock, both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For

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had com passion on me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing”-this is the source of the dispositions he commends—“ that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance."*

The same persuasion—the same respect to the recompence of the reward,” was what animated the worthies panegyrised in the following chapter ; when they “ chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;" when they “ had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment; when they were stoned, were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; when they wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, destitute, afflicted, tormented, in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”+ If we have the hope which animated them, we shall not, in our times of sorrow, “cast away our confidence, which hath great recompence of reward;" we shall exercise

patience, that after we have done the will of God, we may receive the promise.” Surely there is enough in the prospect of the state where God will wipe away all tears, to sustain and gladden the spirit now, let troubles be what they will. What is the privation to the bestowment? What is the cross to the crown? Let affliction come

t xi. 25, 36–38.

* V. 32-34.

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in all its varied forms of bitterness ; let there be a long succession of adverse events to cast the shadow of gloom over the whole pilgrimage of life,—we have but to look above, and gaze on the realms towards which we are hastening, and then joyously repeat the conclusion of him who exclaimed—“ I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

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3. If we know that we have in heaven a better and an enduring substance, our dispositions and thoughts will be imbued with the spirit of heaven, and testify a growing meetness for its enjoyments. He who has heaven in prospect, will love to think of heaven, and will habitually anticipate, as the chief pleasure of his soul, the time when he shall dwell amidst its beauteous scenes,

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engage in its holy and sublime occupations. Rightly impressed with the felicity of which he is the heir, he will find many a sign and emblem of it here ; he will scarcely reflect on a circumstance or an object on earth that will not remind him of heaven. If he be in solitude, he will think of the silent raptures of the soul, when, in the abodes of perfection, it shall trace all the ways of God, and meditate on the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of divine majesty, and of redeeming love. If he be in society, he will think of the blessed company there, when he shall meet with an innumerable company of

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* Rom. viii. 18.

angels, and the great multitude of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, in the presence of Christ and God. If he listen to the voice of praise, he will think of the harmonies that peal in the celestial temple to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.

If he look upon the sun shining in his strength, he will think of that brighter glory that lightens the holy city, and of that state where the righteous shall “ shine førth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."* If he gaze upon the starry hosts that adorn the nightly firmament, he will think of that promised reward

“ They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.”+ -Such will be the spirit of one born for heaven, meditating always on the noble consummation that awaits him, and gradually moulding into meetness for it by contemplating it,- till the appointed moment shall arrive, when the final transit shall be accomplished, and when full inheritance shall be given of glory and honour and immortality!

Many of you, my hearers, I fear, have no part in that heavenly substance of which you have heard. You live and labour only for that which soon must perish. You look no higher than the little spot of ground on which now you stand, and which you occupy by the frailest tenure. To possess the favour of God, and to obtain the crown of life, excites no aspiration and produces no effort. The blessings of eternity are to you as though they were not. Your sins proclaim that you refuse and renounce them.Alas! alas, for you! The things on which your affections rest as on their all, are wasting every moment away, and will disappear and leave you at last in hopeless beggary, without a portion, a friend, a shelter, or a home. O remember—if you acquire not a title to heaven, you must inherit the desolation of hell! You have but one alternative,-either to be blest with the redeemed, or to be tormented with the damned, either to possess life eternal, or to be overwhelmed in everlasting fire! Ye sinners—the dupes of a deceitful world, and preparing for remorseless immolation as its victims! will ye not, ere it be too late, arise, and turn, and seek the kingdom of God?

* † Dan. xii, 3

* Matt. xiii. 43.

-And you who profess to be already partakers in the spiritual blessings of the gospel, and tó be waiting for the portion it has promised, will you not strive to be more than ever actuated by the practical principles, which the knowledge of your heavenly substance should induce you to obey ? Doubtless your consciences bear an affecting testimony, how great a scope is for your further improvement and advance, and how far you yet have to proceed ere your affections reach their proper elevation and refinement. Shall not that testimony be honoured ? Now

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that you have been engaged in contemplating the celestial residence where you hope to abide for ever, do you not feel a holy impulse exciting you to purer and more eminent devotion ? Will you not now determine, in the strength of the Lord, that your progress shall be accelerated, and that your spirits shall ascend? Then let each, as in sight of his assured glory, call upon his soul to arise !Arise, and depart; for this is not thy rest, it is polluted !"-Arise, and prepare for thine inheritance in heaven!

Rise, my soul, and stretch thy wings,

Thy better portion trace;
Rise from transitory things

Towards heaven, thy native place :
Sun and moon and stars decay,

Time shall soon this earth remove ;
Rise, my soul, and haste away

To seats prepared above !

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