Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.2

ro THE. I'RTVILEGE OF THE [SEAM. XL. nliscs ; and they have a pledge and pattern of it in the body of Jesus Christ raised from the dead, and glorified in the midst of them. Their hope lies 'under no dark- ness, no discouragement. The saints onearth therefore; in the exercise of this their hope, give a greater glory to God than those in heaven ; for it struggles with mighty difficulties, and overcomes them all. It is such a hope as Abraham built on the mere promise -of God, that he should have a son when he was a húndred years old, and bis wife Sarah was ninety. " He hoped in God who quickeneth the 'dead, and calleth those things whichbe not as though theywere; who against hope believed in hope, that be might become the Father of many nations, ac cording to that which Was spoken so shall thy seed be IIe staggerednot at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God," Rom. iv. 17, 18, 20. III. Liberality and compassion to the poor is another exercise ofgrace, for which this life only gives oppor- tunity. The objects of our bounty on earth are both saints and sinners; for we are charged to imitate our heavenly Father; " who commands his sun to rise on the -evil mad the good, and his rain to fall -and refresh the just and the- unjust," Mat, v, 45. But in the world to come, the saints are raised far above the want of our compas- lion, and condemned sinners in their long everlasting misery are forbid all refreshment. It is in this life only, that we can shew our love to Christ himself; by refreshing the bowels of his 'saints. It is here that we may treasure up matter for divine ap- probation and solemn applause. in the great judgment - day, when the alms that have been given in a private Corner, where " the left-hand has not known what the right -hand did," shall be published with honour before that innumerable assembly. " I remember," says our blessed Lord, "I well remember, when in yonder world ye fed my hungry saints, then ye fed and nourished me ; whenye gave drink to them, ye gave drink to me, and relieved my thirst; when ye bestowed garments on them,, it was I that was naked, and ye clothed and covered me; and when ye visited them in sickness or in prison, I was the prisoner, I was sick, and I take it as kindly as though ye had visited and comforted me." Astonishing conde- 3