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Christ Jesus purchased this large and fair inheritance for me with his blood, has he given me much on earth, and the hopes of greater treasures in heaven, then I will be my own no longer, but give my whole self up to him, with all my powers and talents, and possessions! They are thine, blessed Saviour, they are thine for ever. It is the solemn and deliberate wish of my heart, that I may never possess or enjoy any thing from which Christ has no revenue of glory. O that his grace may enable me to employ things present for this holy purpose! And when I arrive at the actual possession of things to come, they shall be improved in an unknown but a nobler manner, for the everlasting. glory of my God, my Father, and my Saviour.

The Recollection of the doctrinal part." In this discourse, O my soul, thou hast not only been called to survey the riches of thy inheritance, but thou hast learned also, in what manner this inheritance is made over to thee, if thou art a sincere christian, and a believer on the Son of God.

"Look backward, my soul, to eternal ages, before the world began, when God marked out the bounds of this creation, and the limits of these heavens, and this earth, he designed them with all their treasures, for the service of his holy ones, for the benefit of his children, angels and men; and thy name and thy share was written down amongst them. The great God, in those early days of his eternity, has provided a rich sufficiency for thy present and future blessedness. O may my faith take this delightful and distant retrospect, and rejoice in God's eternal's love?

"God has given all things into the hands of his own Son Jesus, whom he hath ordained Lord of all, that he might govern and dispose of all things for the good of his people. Christ is risen from the dead, and hath taken possession of all the blessings of grace and glory, in the name of his saints, that he may make them possessors in their season, and according to their measure : That he may make thee, O my soul, a rich possessor of so fair an inheritance; and that he may keep every part of it secure for thee, till in succession of times and seasons, both in earth and in heaven, thou art fit to receive and enjoy it. If thou art made a joint-heir with Christ, thou art heir of all things.

But remember, it is a living faith in Christ that must entitle thee to this rich inheritance. It is of infinite importance then, to search often and enquire, Am I a christian indeed? A sincere convert, a believer in Jesus? And does my faith evidence itself in all the fruits of repentance, love, and holiness? O may I feel my soul to live daily this divine life by the faith of the Son of

-God, that I may maintain a humble claim to these treasures of mercy laid up in the gospel, treasures committed to the hands of Christ to be kept safe for me.

"And may the blessed Spirit instruct me daily to improve all things to my spiritual and eternal benefit, that I may not be like a fool, who has a prize put into his right-hand, and knows not how to make use of it! May I be taught to draw some sacred advantage, some holy delight and refreshment from the continual new scenes and occurrences of life! May I derive knowledge, and love, and heavenly sweetness from the surprizing works of God, as the God of nature, and from the more surprizing wonders of his grace! May I learn something divine and holy from all the transactions of his providence, and the various turns and changes of this present state, till I am prepared and made meet for a more fit and ample possession of the everlasting inheritance of the saints in light Amen.

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SERMON XXXIX.

The right Improvement of Life.

1 COR. iii. 22.--Whether life or death,-all are yours,

IT is a large and fair inheritance that belongs to the children of God. They have no need to divide themselves into little parties, and to quarrel about their particular interest in one minister or another, in one blessing or another; for whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, whether life or death, all things are theirs.

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My former discourses have explained in what sense christians possess all things, and that is, that all things present or to come, that can any way affect or concern them, shall certainly turn to their benefit, and subserve their great and final interest. I proceed now more particularly to enlarge on the words, which I had chiefly in my design, whether life or death, all are yours. The first doctrine arising from the words is this, "Life itself, and the continuance of it to the saints, is for their advantage." Now to improve this proposition to practical purposes, I shall do these things:

1. I shall make it appear under a variety of instances, that life is designed for the benefit of christians.-II. I would amplify and confirm the doctrine yet further, by discovering what a variety of graces may be exercised on earth, which can have no place in heaven; and make it appear, that in some respects, a saint below hath advantage above the saints that are on high.

III. I shall answer a considerable objection or two that seems to rise against the doctrine, while I am treating of it: And, at last some inferences will be drawn from the whole discourse.

First let me shew wherein life appears to be a benefit to true believers. Life is yours, O christians, for

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1. This is is the time that was given you for your reconciliation to God, and securing your everlasting interest. All the elect of God are born into this world sinful and miserable, by their relation to the first Adam, therefore St. Paul seems to include himself, as well as the heathen infidels, when he speaks of the iniquity of their nature, and the guilt of their state. Eph.

ii. 2. We all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath even as others. Now this life is the time given to seek deliverance from the wrath to come, to fly to the hope that is set before us; now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation; 1 Cor. vi. 2. Now while we are in our state of trial, before the gates of the grave have closed upon us, and before the gates of hell have been opened to receive us.

We are all, by nature, strangers to God, enemies in our minds by wicked works, and under sentence of condemnation : Remember, O sinners, this is the time to get acquaintance with "God, to return to his service, and obtain his special favour. We are defiled and guilty creatures: This is the hour of cleansing while the fountain of the blood of Christ stands open, to wash us from sin and uncleanness. We are, by nature, utterly unfit for heaven, and all the works and the joys of it, because of the vicious inclinations that govern us. This is the day of repentance as well as pardon: This is the day given to us to insure those blessed mansions on high, and to obtain-preparing graces. This temporal life is the only season, wherein the sentence of our condemnation can be reversed, and wherein we may obtain eternal forgiveness, and a right to life everlasting. The blood and righteousness of the Son of God, are not proposed nor offered to guilty creatures in the other world. Now is the time to acquire a meetness for the inheritance in light through the sanctifying influences of the blessed Spirit.

After death there is nothing of this kind to be done: "There is no work, nor device, no knowledge, nor wisdom, no faith or repentance to be exercised, no such duty to be performed among the dead, no opportunity to rectify the mistakes of life: There is no grace to be obtained for sinners in the grave, whither we are all travelling; Eccl. ix. 10. What is left undone at that awful moment, must be for ever undone. At the voice of the summons we must go, whether pardoned or unpardoned, whether holy or unholy, whether hoping or despairing. And a dreadful spectacle it is, as your eyes ever beheld, to see a sinner expiring in full and raging despair.

But O what infinite advantage has it been to christians, that they have enjoyed, this golden hour of grace, and been taught to improve it well! What had become of you, O believers, if ye had been arrested some years ago by the messengers of death, and hurried away into eternity? Where had your portion been, if ye had been sent down to the grave in the midst of your sins, before you were awakened or convinced of your folly and danger, before you had felt inward repentance, or had been ac

quainted with Jesus that bought and bestows forgiveness; before ye had known the virtue of his reconciling blood, or seen the face of a God reconciled? While your hearts and life were all unclean and unholy, your death must have been dreadful, and your soul for ever unhappy. What infinite honours are due to the patience and long-suffering of your God, and to the mercy and mediation of Jesus your Saviour? Glory be to divine patience, and divine grace, for life prolonged, and a sinner saved!

II. Life is yours; it is your opportunity of doing much service for Christ, and manifesting your gratitude for his redeeming love; 2 Cor. v. 15. They who live, should not henceforth live to themselves, but to him that died for them, and rose again.

Here on earth, you may speak of the wonders of his grace that has saved you, and publish his love that is unspeakable: You may tell sinners of the infinite dimensions of this love, to invite them to partake of the same salvation. Here your lips, and your tongues may be delightfully employed, in declaring what you have tasted of the blessings of the gospel, and the grace of Christ; and call others to taste and see that the Lord is good, and how blessed the man is that trusteth in him! Ps xxxiv. 8. Here you make it known, for the support of poor convinced wretches that are ready to despair, what heights and what lengths, what breadths and what depths there are in the love of Christ; for it reached your soul even at the borders of hell, it spread wide to cover all your great and heinous iniquities; it rises high, for it has lifted your hopes to heaven, and it stretches its sweet and sovereign influence beyond the length of time, and provides for your life and happiness that shall measure out eternity. Here you may proclaim the praises of your Redeemer to an ignorant world, you may promote his interest a hundred ways on earth, and thus glorify your Saviour which is in heaven,

This is not to be done in the same manner, nor for the same blessed purposes amongst the saints above. When the body lies senseless and mouldering in the grave, the tongue can got praise the Lord: The living, the living, they praise thee as we do this day, as Hezekiah did when he was recovered from sickness, and had a sense of pardoned sin. Is. xxxviii, 17, 18. In love to my soul, thou hast delivered it from the pit of corruption, for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. The grave cannot praise thee, the dead cannot celebrate thee; they that go down to the pit cannot hope for thy truth. This is the proper work of the living saint, to make known of salvation,

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sinners the grace

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