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me now it shall be; he hath set down the time, and showed me the robes of immortality, and the crown of life, that I must put on : and the throne of glory, and the seat of judgment, that I must sit in. He hath told me the manner in which I shall be pinsented to him, and espoused by him: he hati told me where he will set me, and what he will say to me; and how he will acknowledge my mean services, and remember what I bave forgotten :: How he will praise the works that I have been ashamed of, and reward me openly, for what I have buried in secrecy;! and not forget the poorest alms that I have given for his name. Then will he confess me before his Father, and before the angels of God. Thus saith the true and faithful witness; and we know that his testimony is true.
Ah, my soul, see that thou make not God a liar.c
O my God, I have believed thy report; and do look for all these things, according to thy promise. I know thou intendest me but a very little while in this lower region. This world is but the house of my pilgrimage, and my soul now is but like a bird in the shell; but when the shell is cracked, then shall she take wings like a dove, and soar aloft to thee, and flee away, and be at rest.
Yet I doubt not thy care for my despicable dust. I know that nothing will be lost. I know
a Matt, zxv. 35, 37. b Matt. vi. 4. c Jobu v. 10.
not where they will lay me; but thy wakeful eye observeth, and will not be to seek at what door to knock, nor at what grave to call for me. I believe, and am sure, that I shall come a glorious piece out of thy hands; fair as the moon, clear as the sun, crowned with honor and glory. And when my absolution is read, and sentence passed upon the world, then must í be taken up to dwell with thee.
Let not my Lord be angry, that thy dust and ashes speaketh thus unto thee. Thou, Lord, hast raised my expectations; and hast made me to look for all these great things from thee. In vain hast thou written all these things unto me, if I should not believe them; and a distrustful diffidence would put a high dishonor upon thy truth.
O Lord, it repenteth me, it repenteth me of my jealousies and my doubtful thoughts about thee. I know thou lovest an humble confidence, and delightest in nothing more than to see thy children trust thee. I know the building of my hopes lies not a hair's breadth over the foundation of thy promises; yoa, it is sure, my expectations are infinitely short of what I shall find. O my God, my heart trusteth safely in thee
. Christ is my bottom in which I venture, and the corner-stone on which I build ;d and therefore
a John vi. 39. b John iii. 33. cEph. ii. 20. d Matt. vii. 35.
my fraught* is ensured, and my building shall challenge the winds and floods.
And now, O Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee. O my blessedness, let me enjoy thee: O my life, let me possess thee: O desire of mine eyes, let me see thy face and hear thy voice ; for thy voice is sweet, and thy countenance is comely; I ask but what thou hast promised; for thou hast told me, that I shall see God, and thou wilt speak to me mouth to mouth; even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of God shall I behold.
So shall my knowledge be perfected ;d and I shall see the inaccessible light, and my tender eye shall not water, nor my sight dazzle: but I shall, with open face, look steadfastly on the Sun of righteousness, and behold his glory. Then shall faith be turned into fruition, and hope into possession, and love shall arisé like the full moon in her brightness, and never wax nor
O thou God of my hopes, I do look for a new body and a new soul, for new heavens and for a new earth, according to thy promise: when my whole soul shall be wholly taken up with thee, and all my affections strained to the highest pitch; and all the wheels of my raised powers set in most vigorous and perpetual motion towards a Psalm xxxix, 7. b Cant. ii. 14. c Matt. y. 8. d 1 Cor.
xiii. 9, 10.
tnce; still letting in, and still laying out; and thus there shall be an everlasting communication of joy and glory from thee, and of love and praise from me.
O my soul, thou art rich indeed, and increased in goods. Thou hast no reason to envy the glory, nor grandeur, of the mightiest on earth; for their glory shall not descend after them : like sheep shall they be laid in their graves,y and death shall feed upon them, and there is an eternal end of all their pomp and excellency. But my kingdom is an everlasting kingdom: my robes shall never wear, my crown shall never totter, my throne shall never be vacant, my bread shall never mould, my garland shall never wither, my house shall never decay, my wine shall never sour; but everlasting joy shall be upon my head, and sorrow and sighing shall fly away.
O my God, how happy hast thou made me! It is better than I could have wished; thou hast done all things well; thou hast settled them for ever. The whole earth cannot show any such heritage or tenure. The world can stake out her possessions but for years; nor can she make a good title for that, neither: but mine inheritance is for ever, and none can put me out of possession. The thing is established in heaven, and in the volume of the book it is written of me. My evidence cannot be lost; it is recorded in the
a Psalın xlix. 14.
court above, and enrolled in the sacred leaves of the word, and entered upon the book of my cogiscience; and herein I do and will rejoice.
Now, my soul, wipe up thine eyes; and get away, with Hannah, and be no more ead. What! though mine house be not so with God, so happy, so prosperous, as I could wish. What! though they be increased that trouble me, and my temptations and affictions be like the roaring billows, riding on one another's backs for haste? Yet shall my soul be as a rock unmoved, and sit down satisfied in the security and amplitude of my portion: for God hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure; and herein is all my salvation, and all my desire.
And now what remaineth, O Lord, but hat I should spend the remainder of my days in loving, praising, and admiring thee? But wherewith shall I come before the Lord, or bow myself to the most high God? What shall I give thee to express my thankfulness, though not to requite thy bounty? Alas, my poor little soul! Alas, that thou art so little ! How narrow are thy capacities! How disproportionate are thy powers ! Alas, that my voice can reach to no higher a note! But shall I do nothing, because I cannot do all ?
Lord, I resign to thee. With the poor widow, I cast my two mites (my soul and body) into thy treasury. All my powers shall love and serve thee; all my members shall be weupons of right