Page images

immediately union with the living Vine and fellow Thip with the living God take place; and fuch have got the blessing in the best sense, and in every sense, which is life for evermore.

3. The whole cluster of blesings that attend the blessing of life now follow and Aowin, in all their sweetness, a divine power fenfibly guards and keeps the soul, the light of a propitious Father shines in the face of Jesus without a cloud and without a frown, which draws us nigh, and encourages to an holy freedom and familiarity; while pardoning, humbling, and comforting grace, heals the wounds, closes the breaches, and polishes out all the scars and wrinkles made by the fiery Law, Sin, and Satan; while the countenance of God shines upon the heart, and the way, when reconciliation, friendship and peace, low like a river, and drive infidelity, devil and misery, all before them. This, says Jehovah, is my blessing. « The Lord bless thee and “ keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon o thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift “ up his countenance upon thee, and give thee “ peace.” Numb. vi. 24, 25, 26. Blessed are the poor in spirit

For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Poverty of spirit goes before, to empty us of self; to fap the empire of Sin and Satan; to prepare the way, and make room. The kingdom follows after, and is set up and established on the ruins of the former.

The The poor foul comes out of the strong hold of Satan before he is crowned with grace: for, as the Wife Man faith, “out of prison he cometh to " reign; whereas he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor,” Eccles. iv. 14. Even the crowned bead must become poor in fpirit, if he be saved; or , poor and wretched to all eternity, if he be lost. Spiritual poverty humbles the sinner's proud fpirit, diffolves his stubbornnefs, and reduces him to a lowly mind and child-like disposition : which is needful; for Christ declares, that whosoever mall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, be hall not enter therein.

The Kingdom of Heaven, (int) fignifies the Gospel, with all it's blessings, promises, and power. Hence it is called the Gospel of the Kingdom; and preaching it is called preaching the kingdom of God. Hence a person who is blessed with a favoury, unctuous experience of the power of the Gospel, and who is enlightened into the mysteries of it, is called “a scribe instructed unto the kingdom of « Heaven.”

2. The Kingdom of Heaven fignifies the empire of Grace in the saints of God; where Satan is dethroned and cast out, and a superior. power put forth and displayed ; which, Christ says, is the kingdom of heaven within us; that as sin has reigned unto death by Adam's fall, so grace should reign unto life. through the righteousness of Christ..


This kingdom within us ftands not in word, which a fool may prate; nor in particular meat and drink, which the Pharisee may use; nor in meat and drink which a Papist may refuse; but in a divine power which none but God's elect know. It stands, ift, in justification; 2dly, in reconciliation and friendship; 3dly, in regeneration; 4thly, in the unutterable happiness and holy triumphs of the foul under the Saviour's sceptre; and, 5thly, in the habitual and perpetual indwelling and abiding of the Holy Ghost. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghoft.

But sometimes the Kingdom of Heaven means ultimate glory, which was prepared for the eleet from the foundation of the world, and which it is God's good pleasure to give us, and into which the Saviour will one day introduce us. Whether, there fore, the Kingdom of Heaven means the Gospel, the mysteries of the kingdom; or whether it means Grace, or whether it means Glory; the poor in spirit are heirs of it; to them it is given to know the myse teries, and to them God will give grace and glory. “ Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the " kingdom of heaven.".

Blefjed are they that mourn=under a fight and sense of their own sin and sinful state; sensible of their rebellion against a good and gracious God; who look at the Saviour whom they have pierced, and mourn with inward regret and contrition, with


felf-despair, self-abhorrence, and self-loathing; and who mourn at the abominations of a sinful world, and at the dreadful insults that are hourly offered to the Majesty of Heaven. They hall be comforted; their mourning shall be turned into rejoicing; their sackcloth shall be put off, and they shall be girded with gladness: “ Beauty shall be given for alhes, " the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of 66 praise for the spirit of heaviness.”

The tenderness, the affection, the loyalty, of such a.pious mourner, shall be made manifest; and a sense of everlasting love shed abroad in the heart by the Spirit, shall satisfy such a soul of the approbation of Heaven. Enlargement of heart and unutterable love, faith in exercise and hope in vigour, heavenly smiles and pregnant promises, immortal sensations and glorious prospects, inward feelings and distant views, the operations of the Spirit and the coming of Titus, shall all conspire together to make such a soul “ drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his « misery no more. Thine anger is turned away, " and thou comfortest me.-His anger endureth 66 but a moment: in his favour is life; weeping “ may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the “ morning.–Blessed are they that mourn, for they 6 shall be comforted.” That blessed Spirit that convinces them of fin, shall be their everlasting Comforter,


· Blessed are the meek. Not such as are naturally fo, or those whose passions are soon touched, and casily moved, and upon which the empty orator plays his accursed game: for Aleshly meekness, or pative compassion and pity, has nothing but flesh and blood in view, and is often attended with hatred to God; it savours not the things of God, but those that be of men. The Arminian may have this, while the worst of war against God is carried on in the heart. This is not what is meant in my text, " That which is born of the flesh, is felh.-Corof ruption cannot inherit incorruption." Natural affections are corrupt, and fo is all meekness that flows, from them. Nor does this meekness confift in a few crocodile tears, such as Esau might pour forth, or such as those shed who howled upon their beds, and yet assembled by troops in harlots houses. The meekness here meant is a fruit of the Spirit; and is produced under his operation, when he has convinced the finner, convicted him, brought him in guilty by the word of God, stopped his mouth, and made hiin tremble. It is felt when the finner ceases to kick, to murmur, to complain, to refift, and to rebel; when the heart is broken, and all human efforts are found to be useless; when the sinner's strength is all gone, and “he is still, and « knows that the Lord he is God;” when the soul is resigned, submissive, and lies paffive, viewing the joftice of God, and confeffing the justice of the sen


« PreviousContinue »