Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

76 SERMONS upon the SERM. X' thorough the miffs and Clouds of intervening Ages ; Heb. 1 i. t;. Having feen them afar off, embraced them ; and with certainty, and fuch ,a Pure perfwafion, as if the things we are perfwaded of were in hand, and aâually enjoyed. Reafon corre&s Senfe. A Star to the eye of Senfe looks to be no bigger than a Spangle, but Reafon fheweth it muff be of a vaft bignefs, becaufe of its diffance from us. But Faith is an higher light ; and compare it with the light of Prophefie, Rev. 20. 12. they agree in the common ObjeE , divine Revelation : They agree in their corn - mon Nature, that they are both for things future, and things future to us ; but they differ, that Faith depends upon the common Revelation which God bath made to all the Saints ; whereas Prophefy hath more of Extafie and Rapture in it ; and the light is like the lumen Gloria, the beatifical Vifion in force rneafure and degree. We do not fee him face to face, but are defirous of this bleffed Eftate, and perlwa- ded of it, and are affeaed with it as if we taw it. The fight of Faith is not a full enjoyment, but. as fure;. and fo proportionably affeéts the Heart. Nay this lumen Fidei is fomewhat like the fight God hath of things : God feeth all things in his own defign ; and Faith feeth them fo far as they are manifeffed in the Promifes of the Gofpel. There is no hope to get rid of our dead- heartednefs and fecurity, till " e have this reallizing light of Faith. (2.) This Watching confitteth in Preparation. If we expert a thing to come, and do not prepare accordingly, we do not watch for it, but neglect it. Now this Preparation muff be fpeedy, thorough, and confiant. a. Watching implyeth a fpeedy Preparation. That we may be in a fit capacity to receive Chrift at -.his Coming,- we muff take the next advantage, left we be fur - prized and called home before we are ready. This is not a work to be put off to Age or Sicknefs : Why fhould we provide a burden for that time when we are weakeff, and leaft able to bear it ? And therefore now we fhould begin it. Every day . brings burden enough, for it felf. He is an unthrifty Tenant that fullers the Rent of one year to run into another : How fhall that Crop difcharge two years Rent, that cannot pay one ? ;If it be tedious now to turn to God, it will be more tedious when thou art, hardened in fin ; and thy negleéls of God and Chriff -will provoke him to deny his-Grace: And what affurance have we of anóther year ? we have this by the favour of Providence. Our life was for- feited and loft in Law the firft moment ; and therefore we have but a Reprieve during pleafure. ' What warrant have I to expert another day, but my own hope and fancy ? He that is Security for himfelf to himfelf, is no whit the better fecu- red ; fie 'cloth but take the word of a Spend thrift. If we had a Leafe of our Lives, yet what hópe of Grace, ?. when we -have refilled the Spirit of God all our lives, what hope that he fhould affrft us at death ? we do but provide matter of Defpair to our felves : Every -day will prove worfe and worfe. A Traveller may eafily -pats over the Head of a Bròok, but when he goeth down, thinking to find it narrower, 'cis fo broad that he cannot pats at all.. Every delay brings on a new degree of hardnefs of Heart on our part, and a new defertion on Gods part : Now how wilt 'thou untwift the former Web which thou haft been fo long a weav- ing ? That Soul muff needs be in perplexity at the hour of Death, that feeth the day fpent, and the bufinefs appointed to him not yet begun, and a Difeafe difabling him for any ferions refíeftions. As if a Traveller feeth the Sun Petting when he is entring upon his Journey, the Evening, of the day, and the Morning of the task do not well agree together. All the time that remaineth is too fhort to lament the loft time already part : Therefore if Watching inferreth Preparation, it infer- reth fpeedy Preparation ; and a man is not in a good condition to live, that is not fit to die. 2. It mull be a ferions and thorough Preparation, fuch as will ferve the turn, and be accepted by Chrift at his Coming. The whole defign of this Parable is to caution us againft the fhallownefs and flightnefs of the wont of Grace upon our Hearts.. Heathens have a Confcience, (as Felix. trembled ) much -more Chriffi.- ans. Men may fee and havé a tatle of fins bitternefs, and have a longing mind after Chriff, but the life of Grace is not begun in them; they do not awake to righteoufnefs, a Cor. 15. 34. We Ihould often think what is required in order to that day, and what the Scripture maketh our readinef to confrft in. Repentance and aflual converfion to God, this is preffed upon us, Al. 3. ry. Repent, that your fins may be blotted out, when the times of refrefbment fhall come from the prefence of the Lord.