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

SEAM. IX.1 .fHE HIDDEN LÍFE OF A CHRISTIAN. 163 divine aids to lead their minds onward beyond the type, to those designed glories. But carnal worshippers are the.bulk of any sect or profession. All mankind, by nature, is ready to take up with the forms of godliness, and neglect the secret power. We naturally pay too much reverence to shining formalities and empty.shews. Set a christian to read the most spiritual parts of gospel, on one,page of the bible, and let some scene of the history be finely graven, and painted on the opposite side; his holy meditations will be endangered by his eyes, fair figures and, colours attract the sight, and tempt the soul off from refined devotion. I cannot think it any advantage to christian worship, to have churches well adorned by the statuary and the painter ; nor can gay altar-pieces improve the, commu- nion service. While gaudy glittering images attract and entertain the outward sense, the soul is too much at- tached to the animal, to keep itself at a distance ; while the sight is regaled and feasted, the 'sermon runs to waste, and the hidden life withers and starves. When the ear is soothed with a variety of fine harmony, the soul is too often allured away from spiritual worship, even though a divine song attend the music. Our Savi- our therefore, in much wisdom, and in much mercy, has appointed blessed ordinances for his church, with such plainness and simplicity, as may administer most support and nourishment to the secret life. Thus I have finished the remarks on the hidden life of a christian, considered as to its spiritual exercises in this present world. . I proceed to consider, in what respects this life is hid= den, as it is more usually called eternal life, or to be ex- ercised and enjoyed in heaven. And here we must confess, that we are much at a loss to say any thing more than the scripture hath said before us. Life and immortality, indeed, are brought to light by the gospel of Christ, in far brighter measures than the former ages and dispensationswere acquainted with ; 2 Tim. i. 10. But still, what the apostle says concern- ing all the- blessings ofthe gospel, we may repeat em- phatically concerning heaven, that eye bath not seen, that ear hath not heard, that it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive; nor indeed hath God him- 24- M