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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..

." .


All things working together for Good. MY soul survey thy bappiness, If bread of sorrows be my food, If thou art found a child of grace, These sorrows work my real good : How richly is the 'gospel stor'd! What joy the promises afford ! I would not change my bless'd estate

With all that flesh calls rich or great ; " All things are ours ;" the gift of God, And while my faith can keep her bold, And purchas'd with our Saviour's blood, || I envy aot the sinner's gold. While the good Spirit, shews us bow To use and to enjoy them too.

Father I wait thy daily will,

Thou shalt divide my portion still, If peace and plenty crown my days, Grant me on earth what seems thee best They help me, Lord, to speak tby praise: || Till death and heav'n reveal the resta

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1 Cor. ü. 22.-Whether life or death,-all are yours. It is

T 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.

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 :

I. 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 bigh. -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

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.


. ji. 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 wratħ even as others. Now this life is the time given to seek deliverance from the wrath to come, to tly to the hope that is set before us; now is the acceptedtime, 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, enomies 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 bis special favour. 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 govery us. This is the day of repentance as well as pardon : This is the day given to us to insure those blessed mansions on Jigli, and to obtain preparing graces. This temporal life is the only season, wlịerein 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 uo 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 pardoner 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 bad been sent down to the grave in the midst of your sins, beiore you were awakened or convinced of your folly and danger, before you liad felt inward repentance, or had been ac

quainted with Jesus that bought and bestows forgiveness ; before ve 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, por for the same blessed purposes amongst the saints above. When the body lies senseless and mouldering in the grave, the tongue cannot praise the Lord : The living, the living, they praise thee as we do this day, as Hezekiah did when he was recovered from gickness, 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 praise thee, the dead cannot celebrate thee; they that to the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

This is the proper work of the living saint, to make known to sinners the grace of salvation.


grave cannot

go down

Lise is the only time of such work and service.“ Opportunity, (saith a writer on this subject) is like a golden instru

a ment to dig for heavenly treasure : Do not wear it out as many have done in digging for pebbles, and at your latter end become a fool. Plcad not your mean capacity: Kings of the earth, and all people, old men and children may praise the Lord; Ps.cxlviii. 11, 12. Serve your age according to your talent; Mat. xxv. 15. He that had but one talent, but a single capacity, was called to account for it, and cast into outer darkness. Think how many opportunities you have out-lived, which will never have their resurrection : Redeem Jost time, by improving what remains. Project improvements of life, since your light is near extinguished. Make up in affection what may be wanting in action. If you cannot do much, yet love much. If our servants should work no better for us than many have done for God, we should turn them out of doors. Stir up others to work for God, that you may do by their hand what you cannot do by your own." Thus this pious author.

Let us consider what glorions services have been done for God, by the long continuance of saints in this world. Survey the labours and the sufferings, the ministry, the zeal and the success of the blessed apostles, who planted the first christian churches. What monuments of honour did they raise among Jews and strangers, among Greeks and barbarians, the savage and the polite heathens, to their crucified and exalted Saviour ! What multitudes of subjects were brought to bow the knee to Jesus by their preaching ! What a large harvest of souls was gathered unto Christ, when the apostle scattered the seed of the gospel all round the countries, from Jerusalem, through the provinces of the lesser Asia, and through the southern parts of Europe, as some bave supposed, as far as Spain ! And the Redeemer was glorified by his labours where the name of the true God the Creator was hardly known before. What an extensive blessing to the world was the life of Paul ? It is to this, that the following ages of christianity, as well as the primitive saints, owe the unspeakable benefit of his writings; and it is to this, that Great Britain owes the blessing of his divine epistles. How honourable was it for St. Paul himself, and how happy for us, that he was made an instrument of such service to Christ, such a glorious service, as spread itself around the nations, and reached to distant ages of mankind. His long life was an illustrious bles. sing both to himself and to the christian world,

III. Life is yours, O christians, for it allows many a proper season for giving examples of holiness to mankind. Aud it is a bonour to a saint, to be made an example of religion amongst a Ration of sinners, or a pattern of holiness, among the churches of

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