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or a large domain, or even a throne. But what is the inheritance of Christians! In one place they are called "heirs, according to promise"-In another, "heirs of the grace of life"-In another, "heirs, according to the hope of eternal life"-In another, "heirs of salvation"-In another, "heirs of the kingdom, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." Paul prays that the Ephesians may be enlightened to know it; and speaks of "the hope of their calling;" and "the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints." The inheritance of the worldling, who has his portion in this life; the inheritance of the Jew, in Canaan; the inheritance of Adam, in Paradise; the inheritance of angels, in heaven; all come far short of the believer's expectation. At present, it cannot be fully either described or conceived-It doth not yet appear what we shall be.

We may consider them in the solidity of their title. No person ever had a claim to an estate so clear and decisive as the Christian has to his inheritance. He may not, indeed, be certain of it in his own mind. There is a difference between a right, and the perception of it. An heir, by reason of his tender age, or infirmity, or disorder, may be unconscious of what awaits him. And Christians may be ignorant and fearful. They may condemn themselves, when God has justified them freely from all things: and they may conclude that they have no part nor lot in the matter, while yet their title is as valid as the word and oath of God can make it-It is also perfectly inseparable from the birth that makes them new creatures-for they are born of God-and, "if children, then heirs, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ" and, being one with him, their heirship is as undeniable as his.

We may view them, also, in the certainty of their possession. An heir who has had the clearest and fullest title to an estate, has yet never enjoyed it. To take

possession of it, perhaps he had to cross the sea, and was wrecked. Or he travelled by land, and was murdered. Or, in reaching maturity, he fell a prey to one of the many diseases to which humanity is liable. Or, if he was preserved, the estate was destroyed for there is no place of security on earth. Or, if the estate was not destroyed, it was usurped, and, by fraud and villainy, alienated from its lawful owner. How many figure away, only in the rights of others! But what shall hinder the Christian from realizing his hope? His inheritance is incorruptible and undefiled, and fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for him-where danger never comes. And the heir is as safe as the estate; being "kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation."

But observe these heirs in the circumstances of

their minority. For there is a period of non-age: and "the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father." Before this season arrives, he must submit to many restraints, not pleasant to his feelings, and the reasons of which he cannot fully appreciate. Yea, there may be cases in which he may even be constrained to borrow from a domestic or neighbour, who has none of his expectancy.-And Christians must not reckon that their present indulgences will equal their future reversions. They are now under a course of discipline, in which they must exercise self-denial, and appear less favoured than many around them. But they rejoice in hope-and not only so-but, as the heir has something more from his estate than the prospect of it; as he has education and attendance becoming his rank; and remittances, to enable him to live, answerable to his destination: so Christians have now supplies from their riches in glory; and are training up, under a Divine teacher, for the sublime spheres they are

to fill; and their ministering spirits do always behold the face of our heavenly Father.

And what is the deportment that becomes these heirs?-It ought to be ennobled. Holiness is the true dignity of the soul; and sin, its vilest degradation. They are, therefore, to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; but rather reprove them"-And, oh! the infinite delicacy of the Gospel!-they are to "abstain from the very appearance of evil."-It ought to be humble and grateful. They were, by nature, only children of wrath. If their relation is glorious, it is derived entirely from grace. There were difficulties in the way of their adoption, which God alone could remove" I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage?" But he removed these obstacles by the sacrifice of his own Son, and the renovation of his own Spirit; and, poor and vile as they were, he raised up the poor out of the dust, and lifted the needy from the dunghill, to set them with princes, even the princes of his people.-It ought to be very cheerful and happy.

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But so inferior are natural things to spiritual, that, when the one are applied to the illustration of the other, they teach us as much by contrast as by comparison-What, then, is the difference between these and earthly heirs!-In other cases, the inheritance is diminished by the numbers of co-heirs. Here, the multitude of partakers, instead of injuring, increases the blessedness of each possessor.-In other cases, the father dies before the child inherits. Here, the Father never dies.-In other cases, the heir, by dying, loses his inheritance. Here, he gains it by dying-it is then he comes of age.-In other cases, an estate passes from hand to hand. Here, is no suc

cession-it is our heritage for ever-"This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord; and their righte ousness is of me, saith the Lord."

AUG. 28.-"Iniquities prevail against me-as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away." Psalm lxv. 3.

THIS is the language of complaint and of triumph. It was uttered by a Jew; but every Christian can make it his own. For as, in water, face answereth to face, so the heart of man, to man, in every age, and under every dispensation.

As to the complaint, there are two ways in which iniquities may prevail against the Christian. The first is in the growing sense of his guilt. This may be occasioned by afflictions, which bring our sins to remembrance; or by any thing that increases selfknowledge; for this must always shew us more of our unworthiness and depravity. Suppose a man in a dungeon, abounding with noxious reptiles. While all is dark there, he sees none of them; but, as the light dawns, he begins to see them; and, as the light increases, he sees more of them. The light seems to bring them, and to multiply them; but it only discovers what was there before. Some pray that God would shew them all the corruptions of their heart; but this would probably drive them into distraction or despair. They could not bear the whole disclosure, especially at first; and therefore they are made sensible of them by little and little.

The second is in the power of their acting. This prevalence cannot be entire; for sin shall not have dominion over them: but it may be occasional and partial. An enemy may make a temporary irruption, and do injury, though he may be soon expelled


again. In a war, checks and discomfitures are not incompatible with general and final success; as we see in the history of the Romans. The Israelites were repulsed at Ai; but they returned to the assault, with more caution and wisdom, and succeeded. And thus, whatever advantages the foe may gain against Christians, the God of peace will bruise Satan under their feet, shortly. David does not say, Iniquities prevail with me; but against me. As to many, they prevail with them. They drink in iniquity, as the ox drinketh in water. They draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope. But a Christian is made willing in the day of God's power; and therefore can say, "To will is present with me: but how to perform that which is good, I find not. When I would do good, evil is present with me." Ahab is said to have sold himself to work wickedness. But it is otherwise with a poor slave in Africa. He is kidnapped, or taken by force, and disposed of to some demon-trafficker in flesh and blood-He resists-and weeps-but they prevail against him. And says Paul, I do not sell myself, but I am sold under sin-So then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me-O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me! Poison in a serpent never produces sickness; but it does in a man: it is natural to the one, but not to the other. Sin does not distress the sinner; but it offends, beyond every thing else, the renewed mind.

The words are broken and abrupt: but when the Church adds-"As for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away;" they are, assuredly, the triumph of faith, after a plunge of distress, and a pause of thoughtfulness. There are two ways, according to the Scripture, in which God purges our transgressions; and they always go together. The one is, by pardoning mercy. Thus David prays"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Hide thy face

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