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

SEAM. IX.l THE HIDDEN LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN. 165 at present, we may draw these two or three inferences from it. L Inference. How necessary is it for a christian to keep faith awake and lively, that he may maintain his acquaintance with the spiritual and unseen world ! It is faith that converses with invisibles : Faith is the sub- stance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. Heb. xi. 1. It is faith that deals in hidden traffic, and grows rich in treasures that are out of sight. It is by faith in the Son of God, we live this spiritual life, by faith in an absent Saviour ; Gal. ii. 20. Whom having not seen, we love; and though we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice; 1 Pet. i. 8. Let the christian, therefore, maintain a holy jealousy, lest too much converse with the things of sense, dull the eye of his faith, or weaken the hand of it. Let him put his faith into perpetual exercise, that he may live within the view of those glories that are hidden from sense; that he may keep his hold of eternal life; that he may support his hopes, and secure his joys. Until we can live by sight, let us walk by faith, 2 Cor. v. 7, Though the life of heaven be hidden, yet so much of it is revealed as to give faith leave to lay hold of it; and yet not so much, as to make the hand of faith needless. It is brought down by our Lord Jesus Christ in the gos- peI, within the view of faith, that we might live in expec- tation of it, and be animated to the glorious pursuit; but it is not brought within the reach of sense, for we are now in a state of trial ; and this is not the proper time nor place for sight and enjoyment, II. Inference. How little is death to be dreaded by a believer, since it will bring the soul to the full posses- sion of its hidden life in heaven ! It is a dark valley that divides between this world and thenext; but it is all a region of light and blessedness beyond it. We are now borderers on the eternal world, and we know but little of that invisible country. Approaching death opens the gates to us, and begins to give our holy curiosity some secret satisfaction ; and yet how we shrink back- wardwhen that glorious unknown city is opening upon us ! and are ready to -beg and pray that the gates might be closed again: " O ! for a little more time, a little longer m 3