SERZI. IX.1 THE HIDDEN LIFE OF A CHRÍSTIÁN. 150 enquiries after an absent God, and a hidden Saviour; and least of all do they knew the holy joys, and retired pleasures of a christian, because these are things which are seldom- communicated to others ; and therefore the world grows bold to callreligion amelancholy thing, and the chrfstian a mere mope. But the soul who lives above; who lives within sight Of the world of ir:visibles, can de- spise the reproach of sinners. III. Inference. See the reason why christians have not their passions so much engaged in things of this life, as other men have, because their chiefconcern is about their better life, which is hidden and unseen. They can Took upon fine equipages, gay clothes, and rich appear- ances in the world, without envy ; they can survey large estates, and see many thousands gotten in haste by those that resolve to be rich, and yet not let loose one covetous wish upon them; they have a God whom they worship in secret, and trust his blessing to make them suffici- ently rich in the way of diligence in their stations: they hope they shall have blessings mingled with their mean estate, and no sorrows added to their wealth. They can find themselves exalted by providence to high stations in the world, and not be puffed up in coun- tenance, nor swell at heart. If they are but watchful to keep their divine life vigorous they will distinguish themselves as christians, even in scarlet and gold, and that by a- glorious humility. They know that all their advancements on earth are but mean and despicable things in 'comparison of their highest hopes; and their promised crown in heaven.' They can meet threatening dangers, diseases, and deaths, without those terrors that overwhelm the carnal sinner;' for their better life shall never die. They can sustain losses, and sink in the world, when it comes by the mere providence of God,' without their -own culpable folly, and bear it with a liuin- bie resignation of 'spirit, and with much 'inward serenity and peace ; for the things which they have lost, Were not their life; all these Were visible; but their life is hid-- den; Phil. iv. 12. I know how to be abased, and how to be exalted ; I know how to abound, and to suffer' want; I can do all these things through Christ strength- ening me : Christ, who is the principle of my inward life.