Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.1

ií1 -166 THE HIDbEN LIFE OF A;CiIRISTIAN. [SEAN!: ¡Xi. U ! that the christians of our day had more of this sublime conduct, more of these noble evidences of the life of Christianity. Iv. Inference. ,How vain and needless a thing is it for achristian to affect popularity; and to set up for shew in this . world. How vain is it for him to be impa- tient to appear aaId shine among men, fór he has ho- nours and treasures, joys and glories, that are incompa- rably greater, and yet a secret to the world. AChristi- an's true life is hidden, and he should not be too fond of public and gay appearances. The apostle Peter gives advice how the christian wo- men should behave themselves, not as the rest of the world do, who set themselves forth to public shew, with many ornaments of gold and pearl ; but the believer should adorn herself with modesty, and with every grace in the hidden man of the heart, 1 Pct. iii. 4. How unreasonable is it-for us who'profess the chris- tian life to be cast down, if we are confined to an ob- scure station in the world! Was not the Lord of glory, when he came down on earth to give us a pattern of the spiritual life, content to be obscure for thirty years to- gether ? Was he not unknown to men, but as a common carpenter, or a poor carpenter's son ? And in those four years of-appearance which he made as a preacher, how mean, how contemptible were the circumstances of life which he chose ? And shall we be impatient and fretful under the same humbled estate? Do we dis- like so divine a precedent? Must we, like mushrooms of the earth, be exalted, and grow fond of making a public figure, when the king of heaven was so poor and lowly? We lose public honour and applause indeed, but perhaps our hidden life thrives the better for it, when we resist the charms of grandeur. . Besides, this is not a Christians time for appearing, whilst Christ himself is absent and unseen. The be- liever's shining-time is not yet come ; but the marriage- day of the Lamb is hastening, and the bride is making herself ready. The general resurrection is our great shining-day : When Christ, who is our lift, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory, Col. iii. 4. and the christian is content to stay for his robes of light,-