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diligently unto me, and eat that which is good, and let nication of your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and all Christ's
benefits. come unto me; bear, and your soul mail live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the fure mercies of David, Isc. 55. 2, 3. Thus bę calletb us to bis kingdom and glory, 1 Thess. 2, 12.
V. And since Christ cannot be separated from his And witļa father and his Spirit, we are, at the fame time, the undi called to the communion of the undivided Trinity.
vided Tria That our fellowship may be with the father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. i John 1. 3; to which Paul joins the communion of the Holy Ghoft, 2 Cor. 13. 14. And it is the very top of our happiness, to exult in God as ours, and sing aloud to him, my God, while he himself calls to us, my people, Hof. 2. 23.
VÍ. Moreover, as all the elect are partakers of And of all one and the same grace, they are all likewise called the Elect to mutual communion with one another, that ye
other. also may have fellowship with us, 1 john 1. 3. Believers of the New Testament with those of the Old; the Gentiles with the Jews, being all of the same body, Eph. 3. 6, in Christ, who hath made both one, Eph. 2. 14. Nay, those on earth with those in heaven; For all things are gathered togetber in one in Christ, both which are in beaven, and which are on carth; even in him, in whom also we bave obtained an inheritance. Eph. 1. 10, 11. And this is that blessed state, to which, by the holy and heavenly calling, we are invited ; namely, communion with Christ, and, by him, with the individed Trinity, and consequently with all the saints, both militant and triumphant, not even excepting, the praising assembly of angels, in order, with them, to exult in the most delightful fruition of all the blessings of God. For, all, who obey this call, are.come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, end to God the Judge of all, and to the
Spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the New covenant Heb. 12. 22, 23, 24 What grander things can be spoken, what more noble and divine can be conceived than
these? The call VII. But this calling is given, partly externally, partly ex- by a persuasive power, called moral suasion ; partly terral,
internally, by a real supernatural efficacy, which parily in ternal.
changes the heart. The external call is, in some measure, published by the word of nature, but more fully by that of supernatural revelation, without which every word of nature would be insufficient and ineffectual. The internal comes from the power of the Holy Spirit, working inwardly on the heart, and without this every external revealed word, tho' objectively very fufficient, as it clearly discovers every thing to be known, believed and done, yet is subjectively ineffectual, nor will ever bring any person
'to the communion of Christ. Nature VIII. Nature itself is not silent, but many ways calls on
calls on man, to lay aside his too eager care and feek hea- pursuit of earthly things, and of this animal life, and venly. to endeavour after the far better things of heaven things. and eternity. For when, with attentive eyes, he
furveys that glittering canopy on high, befpangled with so many constellations, and sparkling with so many stars, above which, according to the general belief of mankind, the throne of the supreme being is placed, he feels a certain strong desire excited in his breast, that, when he leaves this earthiy dross, he may, hereafter, ascend on high, be admitted into the inmost recesses of nature, and received into fellowship with God. And when his thoughts pursue the several beauties of the starry heavens, he then takes a secret pleasure, to look down, with contempt, on the pavements of the rich, nay on this whole earth, with all its gold, not only that, which it has already produced, but that which still lies conceal'd for the avarice of pofterity. And when
he further travefes the whole universe, he learns to despise the most stately portico's, cielings inlaid with ivory, woods formed by art, and rivers conveyed home, and, looking down from on high on this small terrestrial globe, a great part of which is covered with the sea, and much of what remains greatly uncultivated, many places being either scorched with heat, or frozen with cold, he thus fais to himself " Is this that insignificant spot, which so many “ nations divide among themselves by fire and “ sword? When thou hast been engaged in the “ contemplation of these things truly great, then as “ oft as thou shall espy armies with banners displayed, “ and, as if some great event was in agitation, the “ horse now advancing to gain intelligence, again
pouring forth from the flanks, you may well say, “ the deadly Squadron marches over the plain. . This is " but the excursion of ants, toiling within a scanty “ compass. Wheras there are vastly extensive
regions above, into the possession of which, the “ foul is admitted, and thus altho' it has suffered “ fome inconvenience from the body, yeţ, if, by “ being content with little, it has dropț all its “ dross, it is now light and ready to depart : unless " then I be admitted into these regions, my birth “ has been in vain. For why should I rejoice for " being numbered among the living? Without “ this inestimable good, life is not of such value, " that I should sweat and fatigue myself therein. "O! how contemptible is man, unless he is “ advanced above what is human.” Thus the book of nature, thus the contemplation of the heavens, taught Seneca both to think and speak. In Præfat. Quaft. Natur.
IX. But seeing the same nature teachech us, Nay,calls that God is far more excellent than those very to seek heavens, which are his throne and the work of his after God. hands, that he is both the Creator and ruler, of the heavens; the same works invite man to seek after
the communion of God himself above all things.
X. But God not only invites men by the light of fome hope nature to seek him, but also gives fome hope of of enjoy- enjoying him. For why elle Thould he forbear ing him. finners, with so much long-suffering, unless he had
decreed to take pity on some of them? would it be
. 3. 9. And as this
Rom. 2. 4:
* XI. For, nature also teaches, that it is not possible, Forwhich, any one can enjoy converse and familiarity with the same God, who does not sincerely endeavour after purity teaches and holiness, and, as the emperor Marc Antonine that purity fpeaks, lib. 2 8. 6 labours not to live a life resembling of soul is God. For, like delights in like, and rejoices, to requisite. communicate itself thereto. Plato de Legibus, lib. 4, fays well, what practice is it that is agreeable to, and in imitation of God! Tbis, and that ancient one ; that like delights in like. Thus min is invited to the practice of the strictest purity, by the voice of nature herself, in order to the enjoyment of God. I cannot forbear adding the gradation of Agapetus, which is really fine, and strictly true. Thus he fais to the emperor Juftinian: for, ke wbo knows himself fall know God. But be who knows God, fall be made like to God. He fall be like God, who is worthy of God. He shall be 'worthy of God, who does nothing unworthy of God; but 'meditates on the things of God, and what be thinks he speaks, and what he speaks be asis.!! o XII. All these things the royal prophet, Pf 19. 1, A para233; 4, has exhibited in a concise, but very strong phrase on manner. The heavens declare the glory of God; fot, 2, 3, 4. as they are his throne, curiously framed, so they display his power, majesty, greatness and holiness, before which the heavens themselves confess they are not clean: however their very excellence invite men, within their circuit to endeavour, to the utmost, after the enjoyment of communion with the great and good God. And the firmament theweth. bis bandy-work, proclaiming, that by his word only, it was framed together. Day unto day utteretb speech, and night unto nigbt she veth knowledge.
These vicissitudes of light and darkness mutually corresponding in lo exact and constant an order, prove a moft wise director. And there is no day. nor night but speaks something of God, and declares