56 THE EXCELLENCIES OF ye your souls in patience. "(z) Bind all reproaches as a crown to your heads. Esteem them greater riches- than the world's treasures. " It is a righteous thing with God to recompense, tribulation to them that trouble you ; v:nd to you who are, troubled, rest with Christ. "(a) We shall then rest from all our sad divi- sions, and unchristian quarrels with one another. How lovingly do thousands live together in heaven, who lived at variance upon earth ! There is no contention because none of this pride, ignorance, or other cor- ruption. There is no plotting to strengthen' our party, nor deep designing against our brethren. If there be sorrow or shame in heaven, we shall then be both sorry and ashamed, to remember all this carriage on earth ; as Joseph's brethren were to behold him, when they remembered their former unkind usage. Is it not enough that all the world is against us, but we must alsö be against one another? O happy days of persecútion, which drove us together in love, whom the sun -shine of liberty and prosperity crumbles into dust by our contentions ! O happy day of the saints' rest in glory, when as there is one God, one Christ, one Spirit, so ,shall we have one heart, one church, one employment for ever ! We shall then rest from our participation of our brethren's sufferings. The church on earth is a mere hospital; some groaning . under a dark understanding, some under an insen- sible heart, some languishing under unfruitful weak- ness, and some bleeding for miscarriages and wilful- ness, some crying out of their poverty, some groan - ing under pains and infirmities, and some bewailing a whole catalogue of calamities. But a far greater grief it is, to see our dearest and most intimate friends turned aside from the truth of Christ, continuing their neglect of Christ and their souls, and nothing will awaken them out of their security : to look on an ungodly father or mother, brother or sister, wife or husband, child or friend, and think how certainly they shall be in hell for ever, if they die in their pre- sent unregenerate state ; to think of the gospel de- (z) Luke xxi. 19. (a) 2 Thes. i. 6, 7.