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armour of God (which is also the saint's treasure) resists inward lusts and Satan's assaults, Eph. vi. 12–14. The Spirit is compared to wind ;* now some have called the winds," the besoms of the world.”+ But I am sure, the spirit of grace with the fruits thereof, are choice besoms to sweep the filth of sin out of the soul, and also to adorn it with divine jewels, and assist it with notable antidotes against corruption. These are as water to wash the heart from filthiness: the smallest measure helps against sin; but the more grace, the less sin in the heart. Grace is a principle of life, and opposeth dead works, which otherwise would lead the soul to the chambers of death; therefore this treasure is of absolute necessity; and the same might we say of the word, which being hid in the heart, † helps against sin in the life.
Sixthly, Another reason is taken from the inbred motions of human nature. All men on earth seek after a treasure; it is the harmonious inquest of all rational creatures, Who will show us any good, any thing to make a treasure of? Man hath a capacious soul, an active and laborious spirit; || the whole world is not a morsel big enough for his rapacious swallow. “Our covetous desires,” saith one, "are a long sentence without a period.” Finite things are dry meat to a hungry soul; they sooner glut than fill: nay, they put on this busy bee to buzz about one flower after another, till it hath wearied itself in vain, and sit down in utter despair of comfort and satisfaction. Only interest in the God of heaven, and the image of the God of heaven, make up all defects : See Psalm lxxiii. 25, 26. A Christ alone to justify, and a Christ within to sanctify, make the soul completely happy; for Christ within is “the hope of glory."* A glorified and a gracious Redeemer is the Christian's only treasure-his all in all. God hath furnished man with an immortal soul; learning may expand it, but grace fills it : nothing else will reach its large dimensions. Man is a little world himself, nay, bigger and better than this greater, by Christ's own verdict, † who is truth itself. The soul itself is better than the world, and it must have something better than itself to be a treasure for it. Philosophy seeks, Christianity shews, the sound believer only finds true happiness, which the wise merchant has fetched out of the field of the gospel into the cabinet of his own heart. Il
* John iïi. 8. + Scopas mundi ; because they serve to sweep the air and the world clean from infectious vapours.
# Psalm cxix. 11. | Homo est ζωόν επίπονον.
Seventhly, Whatsoever men have or love, they desire a treasure thereof. No man but would have a large treasure of a precious commodity-he that hath gold and silver would heap it up to a treasure-he that hath wisdom and learning would still have more. Men join house to house, and field to field, to procure for themselves and heirs a fair domain--a large estate.
rich men are still as eager for more as if they had not enough to purchase a meal's meat! Yet these seek for earth, as if abundance thereof would purchase heaven: like the partridge, they sit close on these eggs, though they hatch them not,g nor are ever likely to bring them to their desired maturity. O the unhallowed thirst after filthy lucre ! Many think to fill their souls with wealth, whereas they cannot fill one of the least members of their body, the eye,tt which yet a nut shell will cover. The world at the best is like
* Col. i. 27. Phil. iii. 8, 9.
of Col. iii. 11. Homo est universi orbis epitome, et abbreviata mundi tabella, Matt. xvi. 26. | Matt. xiii. 44-46. § Jer. xvii. 11. | Auri sacra fames !
++ Eccles. i. 8.
Pasotes? banquet, which when the guests began to eat vanished into nothing. And shall so many men set their eyes, and hearts too, on that which is not ;* and shall not God's children make a treasure of that which is enduring substance ? Shall men think to make a treasure of coals, and chaff, and empty shadows? and shall not the Christian gather store of pearls and jewels for his treasure? Shall the children of the world be more wise and wary for earth, than the children of light for heaven? God forbid. Surely the Christian hath as great reason to heap up as any; these commodities are more rare, rich, and necessary than any other; and why then should he not get a heart treasure? For with these reasons I would both convince the judgment and sway the affections; these are the chief motives I have: for I would spend most time in direction.
Eightly, This and only this doth discriminate betwixt persons and persons : my meaning is, this heart treasure puts a difference betwixt saints and sinners, betwixt weak and strong Christians. As the treasure in the heart is, so is the professor's state; as Solomon saith in another case, Prov. xxiii. 7. “ As he thinketh in his heart, so is he:" not as he speaks with his lips. Formalists will speak God as fair as any; they honour him with their lips, and flatter him with false and fawning attentions, t as though he were an idol. But the heart-searching God is not pleased, except the heart be upright with him. It is the upright in whom he delights ; not in a person merely, as he acts with his hands, or walks with his feet, in many passages of his life. A man may, with Ahab, walk softly—with Herod do many things—with Simon Magus make large professions of faith ; yea, it is possible a man may suffer many troubles, and even death itself, in a good cause; yet except he have a heart treasured with grace, he is rejected, and may go to hell at last. God judgeth of the fruits by the root; though men judge of the root by the fruits; a heart after his own heart is better than the tongue of men and angels. The distinction of persons is in respect of inside principles and workings. A good man may sometimes do an evil work, and a bad man may do a good work; but how are their hearts ? The best conferences or performances are not current coin with the God of heaven, except they issue out of the mint of a heart where God's image is stamped.* A little good is accounted much when there is a treasure within-much seeming good is looked on as nothing when there is no treasure. This also makes the difference betwixt a strong and weak Christian; let their gifts and outward seemings be what they will, yet the greater or lesser degree of real grace distinguisheth their attainments; and accordingly these measures have different influences upon their lives, duties, comforts, or preparedness for death.
* Prov. xxiii. 5. + Isa. xxix. 13. ' Psalm lxxviii. 36, 37.
Ninthly, This treasure doth assimilate the soul to God. The great Jehovah is the only self-existent and self-sufficient good; he is an absolute, complete, and independent Being, and needs no accession of creatures or created powers to make him happy. Nothing can add to, or detract from, his infinite and incomprehensible blessedness—he is a treasure of all good,t in and to himself, and needs neither gold nor silver to make him rich. Parallel to this, in some proportion, is the saint's sweet and secret heart treasure, and solitary re
Pius homo numisma est a Deo cusum, impius adulterinum, non a Deo sed a Diabolo effectum.-Ignat. Epist. ad Magnes.
+ Et Deum ipsum verum recte dicimus divitem, non tamen pecuniâ, sed omnipotentiâ: dicuntur pauperes pecuniâ carentes, sed interius divites si sapientes.--Aug. de Civit. Dei, l. 7. c. 12. p. 395,
“ A good
The Christian is a little world, and is purely independent upon the creature to make him happy :* he can, through grace, live comfortably without the world, though not without but upon God; yea, God is so much in him, as well as to him, that he can live comfortably when other things are dead. man is satisfied from himself,” Prov. xiv. 14. that is, he shall have sufficient content from his own conscience. There is but one word there for a backslider, being filled with his ways of sin and guilt, and a gracious soul's satisfaction from the sweet result of his own heart; to shew that a man's own conscience is either his heaven or hell, his greatest comforter or tormentor. The world cannot alter the joy or sadness of the heart; a thorough-paced, well tried child of God hath his rejoicing in himself alone, and ņot in another, Gal. vi. 4. It is a pedling beggarly life to wander abroad for morsels; but that is a noble kind of living, when a man hath all within doors, and needs not creatures' sorry contributions. I speak not of the fancied familistical deification, which is nothing less than blasphemy; but certainly the sound Christian in a sound sense bears some resemblance of the Divinity in this [avtapkeia self-sufficiency: and the more treasure, the more like God; for such a soul is elevated above the creature, and placed in a higher orbit, which storms and tempests cannot reach. Nay, a soul whose conversation is in heaven, hath no dependence upon, nor intercourse with the creature, in order to complete his felicity ; no more than the sun needs the glimmering light of the stars to make day: who then would not have this treasure? I might also add, herein is the Christian's re
youn Satiatus est, abundavit; quidam conferunt cum yar', septem, quod septem sit numerus plenitudinis : that is, what he hath within, shall be as seven witnesses, or many.