124 A HOPEFUL YOUTH [SERM. Vii. phets of them. Abraham the rich, and Sarah the beau- tiful; Peter the poor fisherman, and Paul the man of mean aspect, and contemptible figure ; were all belov- ed of God, and made heirs of eternal life. The con- duct of the great God, in this matter, is so various, and his reasons so sublime and impenetrable, that it is in vain for us to attempt to trace out his rules of action. Sometimes he chuses a man of great intellectual pow- ers, and sets an invisible mark of divine love uponhim: At another time he takes pleasure to pour contempt on all the pride of human reason, by chusing a foolish man, and making him an humble believer. Sometimes he ex- alts the man of natural virtue into a saint; and again, he spreads shame and confusion over all our own pre- tended righteousnesses and vain confidence, by culling out, here and there, a profane wretch, and converting him to faith and holiness, and in the mean time he leaves some that are sober, and have many human vir- tues, and good appearances, to perish with the pharisee and the hypocrite for ever, in their pride and self-righte- ousness. Jesus, the Man, looked upon this pretty youth that was well-born, sober, and virtuous, and he'lov- ed him; but the eternal God chose him not for a saint, for he suffered him to run madding after his many pos- sessions, and to despise heaven. Here it becomes us to be silent and adore. O the depths of divine counsel ! O the awful and glorious sovereignty of the grace of God, that could pass by so desirable a person, whom the man Jesus could not look upon without pity and love ! How unsearchable are his ways, and his judg- ments past finding out, Rom. xi. 33. Now though this be a very painful and tremendous 'meditation, yet there is an excellent use to be made of it. No roan should despair of salvation, and the love of God, how mean and despicable soever his appear- ance be among men, or how remote soever from all that we call lovely. Let him forsake all sin and be happy for ever. No should the most amiable of creatures, in the natural or civil world, flatter themselves that they are upon that account beloved of God, and shall cer- tainly be partakers of eternal blessings in the world of glory. Let them followChrist, and be saved.