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It is a notable expression of a good author, “ He that hath store of gold and silver in his pocket, and but a few brass farthings, will more readily, upon every draught, come out with gold and silver, than with brass farthings."* So he whose heart is stocked with holy thoughts, will not find carnal cogitations so rife and frequent. If the heart have indited a good matter, the tongue will be as the pen of a ready writer ; † if the heart be filled with grace, it will make melody to the Lord, and music to good men. † A treasured soul is ready to trade with God in duty. Yet take this caution: a true Christian having a large measure of habitual grace, is not always in an equal actual capacity for duty; David's heart may need tuning as well as his harp; the key of this treasure may be lost or rusted ; hence the treasure of that man after God's own heart, was locked up in a great measure, for the space of nine months, till God sent the key by Nathan to open the sluice of repentance, and draw out the seeds of grace.
III. The treasure in the heart is also drawn out with the hands, in the works of piety towards God, charity to men, and sobriety with respect to ourselves ; so the apostle distributeth good works, Tit. ii. 12. It is not enough for the believer to have the axe laid to the root of the tree, in sound conviction and gospel-humiliation but he is to bring forth fruits meet for such repentance.|| in a gospel-conversation. We must not only believe with the heart, and confess with the mouth, g but faith must work by love; upwards to God, by the obedience of faith ; inwards in the heart, by purifying it; and downwards to men, by doing good unto all, but especially to the houshold of faith. Here is a large field of matter for my pen, and the Christian's hand; but the • Cobbet on Prayer. + Ps. xlv. l. I Col ji. 16. Eph. v. 19. || Matt. iii. 8. § Rom. x. 10.
Gal. v. 6.
furnished Christian is unreserved in obedience, shuns not
James i. 27. + Phil. i. 11. Col. i. 10. || Isa. xxii. 18. $ Isa. xxxi. 7, 8. On this subject of Alms-giving, see Morning Exercises at Cripplegate, Serm. xi. p. 240—278.
But I must fix bounds to this discourse. Yet a treasured saint hath no stint of desires and endeavours to be acting for God, and the good-will of his heart adds new vigour to his fainting hand. Naturalists observe, that when the heart more inclineth to the right side, the spirits are more lively and apt for contemplation and action; hence that of Solomon's, A wise man's heart is at his right hand."* I am sure when a Christian's heart boweth God-wards, his hand is full of activity in the ways of God, and works of godliness ; when the soul is filled with grace, the hand is fitted for acts of religion.
IV. This inward heart-treasure helps the back and shoulders to bear the Christian's burdens. The time of affliction is a spending time; if there be any grace within, tribulation will draw it out. Hence it is said to work patience ; f not that it creates what was not in the soul before, but educeth and evidenceth that which before lay hid in the heart. The fiery furnace will prove and improve the soul's spiritual strength; for if it faint in the day of adversity, its strength is small, and treasure poor. Now, shall it be clearly known, whether the conscience be sound or will founder, whether it will pace well or not, in rough ways. Twice is it repeated in the Revelation, when mention is made of Antichrist's tyranny and ruin, “ Here is the patience, here is the patience and faith of saints ; # that is, here is the trial of it, here is room for it, here is the root and fruit of it, even Antichrist's desolation, which they have been so long waiting and praying for : surely a glorious sight worth beholding, — Rome flaming, saints triumphing,—yet, in the mean time, they have need of faith and patience. For immediately before both these passages, we have a description of * Eccles. X. 2.
+ Rom. v. 3. * Rev. xiii. 10. & xiv. 12.
Rome's rage; the devil will come down with the greater wrath when he hath a shorter time;* and the last bitings of this dying Beast will be the fiercest, which may bring forth all the saint's graces, and all little enough in times of trial.t We have great need of patience after we have done God's will, that we may also endure his will, till promises be performed. We must buckle on the armour of God, that we may be able to withstand in an evil day; and having done and endured all, to stand on the field as conquerors. || In personal conflicts, all our stock of suffering graces may be put to it; poverty will try our faith, disgrace our self-denial, sickness our patience, delay of return of prayers for a long expected mercy will try our hope,—and all these graces must have their perfect work, that the Christian also may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing, James i. 4. He should have the whole heritage 9 of a Christian, the complete accomplishments of a saint, every grace in its height and due proportion. Job, David, Eli, and Hezekiah had laid in a large stock of bearing graces, and they found enough to do with them in affliction; they had no more than they needed. Love bears and breaks through all things; faith holds up the head and heart above discouragements. Nature hath furnished the camel with a bunched back, to bear huge burdens, and a tractable bowing of his knees to the ground, that he may be the better loaded : so will the well-taught and accomplished saint meekly stoop to take up, and cheerfully carry Christ's cross, during his pleasure. That is a sound-hearted Christian indeed, that like the nightingale can sing most sweetly when the thorn is at his breast; that like spices, the more they are bruised, the better is the savour of their graces. But a carnal man wanting this treasure of grace, kicks at, yea, kicks off his burden; yet though it be possible that the spirit of a man (as of a man of a masculine temper naturally, or from acquired magnanimity) may possibly sustain his infirmity, and not succumb under outward burdens of sorrow, yet there is a vast difference betwixt a gracious and graceless heart in enduring afflictions, both as to their carriage thereunder, and advantage thereby : hear Austin elegantly discovering the difference: “There is, saith he, a dissimilitude of sufferers in a similitude of sufferings, and though they be under the same torment, yet is there not the same virtue and vice; as under one fire gold brighteneth, chaff smoketh, and under the same flail stubble is crushed, corn is purged. Hence also the lees mingle not with the oil, though pressed together; so one and the same onset proves, purifieth, and sweetly melteth the good-condemneth, wasteth, rooteth out the bad. Hence in the same affliction the wicked hate and blaspheme God, the godly pray and praise. So much is it of importance not what things a man suffereth, but of what a spirit is the sufferer: for with the same motion may the channel smell abominably, and the ointment most sweetly."* Such
* Rev. xi. 12. + Morientium ferarum, violentiores sunt morsus. # Hebrews x. 36.
|| Ephesians vi. 13. και ολόκληροι ex όλος totus, et κλήρος SOrs, hereditas tota sorte constans.
* Manet enim dissimilitudo passorum in similitudine passionum, et licet sub eodem tormento, non est idem virtus et vitium. Nam sicut sub uno igne, aurum rutilat, palea fumat, et sub eadem tribula stipulæ comminuuntur, frumenta purgantur, nec ideo cum oleo, amurca confunditur, quia eodem præli pondere exprimitur; ita una eademque vis irruens bonos probat, purificat, eliquat; malos damnat, vastat, exterminat. Unde in eadem afflictione mali Deum detestantur, atque blasphemant ; boni autem precantur, et laudant. Tantum interest, non qualia sed qualis quisque, patiatur: nam pari motu exagitatum et exhalat horribiliter cænum, et suaviter fragrat unguentum.—August. De Civit. Dei. lib. i. cap. 8. p.