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what tends to promote property.

The man, who makes amusements his supreme object, sees nothing superior to amusements and values every thing according to its tendency to promote and secure the frivolous objects of his wishes. Let such men have as much information as they will, their hearts must be small, in comparison with what they would have been, if they had placed their supreme attention and affection upon greater and nobler objects, whether of a temporal, or spiritual nature. In a word, it may be laid down as a maxim, that every man's heart is in proportion to what he esteems his highest interest. This every man knows to be so, by his own experience. No man val. ues himself more than his highest interest. And no man values another any more, than he supposes his highest interest to be. Hence the hearts of men increase and enlarge as fast and no faster than their capacities and knowledge increase. Solomon says, “He

, that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver ; nor he, that loveth abundance, with increase.” Every person wishes to increase his highest interest, whether he places his interest in temporal, or spiritual good. And the more his mind expands, the more important his highest interest will appear and the more his heart will be enlarged, whether it be holy, or unholy.

As a man's heart is always where his treasure is, so his heart is as large and no larger than his supposed treas

It is as easy to conceive of the largeness of a man's heart, as to conceive of the largeness of his interest. I now proceed to show,

II. That the gospel has a direct tendency to enlarge the hearts of those, who embrace it. The gospel comprises the highest good of the universe ; or it is that


wise and benevolent scheme, which God concerted from eternity to promote the highest happiness and holiness of the intellectual system ; and those, who embrace the gospel, cordially approve of this great and good design. Their hearts unite with the heart of God and they feel as he feels towards himself and all his rational creatures. They love the good, that he loves ; and desire to have it promoted in the very way, that he has proposed in the gospel to promote it. The apostle says, that God created all things according to his eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus ; and that he will, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth. It is the great and glorious design of the gospel, to bring all good beings to the most perfect union and happiness, or to put them into the everlasting possession of all good through the medium of Christ.

therefore as any

of the human race become cordially united to Christ, they embrace the gospel and become interested in all the blessings contained in it. The discovery and choice of this great good immediately expands their hearts. This our Savior represents as the immediate effect of embracing the gospel. “ The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field ; the which when he hath found, he hideth and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly pearls : who, when he hath found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Those, who embrace the gospel, immediately discover and secure that kingdom of God, which is the sum and comprehension of all good. Ac

As soon,



cordingly, they are represented as being heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ to the same common and comprehensive interest of the universe. This is the language of Paul to the christians in Corinth. “ All things are yours ; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come ; all are yours : and ye are Christ's ; and Christ is God's.” Now, the gospel which thus enlarges the interests of those, who embrace it, must have a direct and perpetual tendency to enlarge their hearts. For their hearts necessarily expand in proportion to their knowledge of their great and ever-growing interests. Here it seems proper to enter into particulars and point out the various respects, in which the gospel never fails to enlarge the hearts of those, who embrace it. And,

1. It tends to enlarge their hearts towards God.It is the gospel, which gives the fullest and brightest display of his glory. It unfolds his designs, records his conduct, expresses his feelings and makes the most perfect discovery of all his great and amiable persections. It represents him as creating, upholding and governing all things and filling the whole universe with his presence and goodness. So far as any of mankind,

, therefore, understand and love the gospel, just so far their hearts are enlarged towards God, the greatest and best of beings. They feel interested in his existence, in his perfections and in his blessedness; yea, all their interests centre in him. It is the language of their hearts, Whom have we in heaven but him ; and their is none on earth that we desire besides him. And as the gospel continually opens more and more the character, perfections and operations of the Deity ; se


it serves continually to enlarge the hearts of believers . towards him. As they grow in the knowledge of the gospel, they grow in the knowledge of God which never fails to expand and enlarge their hearts in every holy and devout affection. They feel more and more interested in his glory and in every thing, which tends to promote it.

2. The gospel enlarges the hearts of believers towards Christ. He is the great and glorious personage, who is no where revealed, but in the gospel. The light of nature discovers no Savior for sinners. But the gospel reveals Christ, the second person in the ever blessed Trinity, as assuming human nature, and in that nature, suffering and dying on the cross, to atone for the sins of the world, and render it consistent with all the perfections of God, the Father, to pardon and save the guilty children of men. It represents this same Savior as possessed of every divine attribute, as seated at the right hand of God and as head over all things to the church. It displays his astonishing grace and condescension in laying down his life, that all true believe ers might live and reign with him forever. As their knowledge of the gospel, therefore increases, their love, their gratitude and their whole hearts are enlarged to: wards Christ. He appears more amiable, more glorious and infinitely more worthy of admiration and esteem, than any or all created beings. He appears to be the perfection of beauty and excellence, and altogether lovely. Accordingly, the apostle prayed, that the hearts of believers might be enlarged through faith in Christ. He besought God to grant “ that Christ might dwell in their hearts by faith ; that being rooted and grounded in love, they might be able to comprehend

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with all saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height ; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that they might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Thus the gospel directly tends to enlarge the hearts of believers by exhibiting to their view the great and glorious character of Christ, and what he has done and suffered for their good and the good of the universe.

3. The gospel enlarges the hearts of believers towards the church of Christ. Those, who embrace the gospel, embrace all, who apparently belong to the number of his friends and followers. They are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God. And they are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone ; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. Those, who are united to Christ through faith in the gospel, are also united with his whole family in heaven and earth ; and with all, who have been and shall be redeemed from among men.

The gospel leads all who embrace it, to extend their love of complacency to all the members of the church of Christ, whether they sit together in earthly, or heavenly places. If one of these members rejoice, they all rejoice with it ; or if one of these members suffer, they all suffer with it. Their enlarged hearts take in all the friends of Christ, in every age, and in every part of the world. Every true believer can say with David, “If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief

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