The riches of Christ, or, The glorious treasure of heavenly joys
Or, The Glorious
⟨⟩ forth and expounded to all good Chriſtians: Wherein unſpeakable Bleſſings are propoſed for the Encouragement and Comfort of all that will ſtrive and labour to work out their Salvation with Fear and Trembling.
(illegible text)ewiſe Exhortations to a true and timely ⟨⟩. With a devout Prayer, ⟨⟩ ſo divine a Subject.
(illegible text)for all People, and neceſſary (illegible text) Families.
⟨⟩. Printed and Sold in Pearſon's ⟨⟩, 1747.
Riches of CHRIST:
The glorious Treaſure of
Heavenly Joys, &c.
Cor. viii. 9.
For ye know the grace of our Lord Feſus Chriſt, that tho' he was Rich, set for your ſakes he became poor, that ye thro' his Poverty might be made rich.
UPon this Conſideration we may raiſe our largeſt Thoughts to an exceeding Height; for, if we purchaſe this Pearl of great Price, if we buy this Field, we have a portion laid up, not only ſufficient to ſatisfy the moſt deſirous Mind and craving appetite ⟨⟩ only in World, but in the World ⟨⟩ come the Conſideration of which made (illegible text) Apoſtle to cry, in a Rapture, O ⟨⟩ height and depth of the riches and Mercy ⟨⟩ God in Jeſus Chriſt! In this there is ⟨⟩ fading Riches, that make to themſelves Wings and fly away, or are periſhing, ⟨⟩ cannot relieve or reprieve us in our great neceſſity, but an unſpeakable a d everlasting Treaſure, beyond what the World ⟨⟩ afford. This Treaſure of Riches is ⟨⟩ the value of a thouſand Worlds. ⟨⟩ you have length of Days? Here you ⟨⟩ find it held out to you in one Hand. ⟨⟩ you aſpire to true greatneſs? Here you ⟨⟩ a Crown, not for a Time, but for ever ⟨⟩ever. Be thou faithful unto the Dead and I will give you a Crown of Life. ⟨⟩ our bleſſed Lord and Saviour. Would ⟨⟩ be a King? Here is a Kingdom worthy ⟨⟩ the higheſt Ambition, where we ſhall re(illegible text) with our bleſſed Lord, not only for an ⟨⟩ but endleſs Ages, even to all Eternity.
Kings and Prieſts. Would you have J(illegible text) and content? There it is as Holy ⟨⟩witneſſeth, Thou will ſhew me the path (illegible text) Life, in thy preſence is fulneſs of Joy, ⟨⟩ at thy right Hand there are pleaſures ſo(illegible text) evermore, Pſal. xvi. 11. Would you have ⟨⟩ wherewithal to refreſh you? Here Streams the Rivers of Waters of Life, here's the heavenly Manna, the ſpiritual Food of An gels. Would you be always in light? Here you need no Sun by Day, nor Moon by Night; the Lamb is the Lamp; and the Light of Countenance fills the Manſions of Eternity with dazling glory, and rays of brightneſs, tranſcending all the brightneſs this World is capable of, for beyond what the Sun affords when ſhining in its full lustre, compared with a glimmering taper. If the Queen of Sheba come to admire the Wiſdom of Solomon, behold a greater than Solomon is here! Behold here the wiſdom of the Father, the eternal word, by whom all things were made that are made; and yet he offers himſelf, with all that can be counted rich and glorious, so thoſe that will freely embrace his tender Love. O! what would not ſome Men do for a ſmall Portion of Earth, which at laſt they must be ſeperated from? How do we behold worldling grovelling below after vain tranſitory Thing, and ſpare no Pain, Coſt, Hazard or Danger, to acquire momentary Trifles, and neglect to purchaſe when ſuch a Pearl of Price is to be had; may even neglect to deſire it, preferring a ſmall Weight of periſhing Earth before an exceeding Weight of Glory to prefer ſickneſs, trouble and Diſeaſes, before (illegible text)e, caſe and immortal Happineſs. Oǃ conſider how infinitely the Terms are good, and what Infinite Gain may be had for the like Time well improved that is ſpent in looking after even Riches tranſcending the largeſt account. For as the Apoſtle tells us, Eye ⟨⟩ not ſeen, nor Ear heard, nor has it into the Heart of Man to conceive ⟨⟩ God has laid up for thoſe that Love and obey him. All precious Things to which this World gives a Name and of moſt eſteem, are not comparable to them, as a drop of Water to the Ocean, or a grain of Sand to the whole maſs of Earth. And how great then ought our Love to be towards him, that not only tenders us this Treaſure, but ſhed his redeeming Blood to purchaſe it for us, and to draw us out of the Snares of Deſtruction, when we lay in Darkneſs and the ſhadow of Death?
HOW great ought our Veneration to be for ſo tranſcendent a love and favour as this, when the Innocent ſubmitted to die to ſave the Guilty from the Power of the ſecond Death! For he hath delivered from the wrath that is to come, 1 Theſ. 1. 10. So that to them that are in Chriſt there is no condemnation, Rom. viii. i. this being the main Promiſe of God, That whoſoever believeth in him ſhall not periſh but have everlaſting Life, John iii. 15. 16. For this great conqueror has o'erthrown him that had the power of Death (that is the Devil) delivering them who, through fear of Death, were all their Lifetime ſubject to bondage, ving ſpoiled Principalities and Powers, ⟨⟩ made a triumph over Death and Hell, (illegible text)ſſling the King of Terrors, and the Enemy ⟨⟩ Mankind, who laboured earneſtly to ⟨⟩ and bring to final Deſtruction all the (illegible text) of Adam, and had undoubtedly ſeen (illegible text) implacable Malice accompliſhied upon the ⟨⟩ Race, had not this great Prince ⟨⟩ himſelf of his Glory for a Time, to ⟨⟩ us from Bondage, and put us into a State ⟨⟩ poſſibility of Salvation.
HOW can we in theſe Thoughts do otherays than break out into a Rapture with ⟨⟩ David, viz. "I will magnify thee and I will praiſe thy Name for ever and ever Great is the Lord, and marvellous, worthy to be praiſed, there is no end of his Righteouſneſs; the memorial of thy abundant Kindneſs ſhall be ſhewed, and Men ſhall Sing of thy Righteouſneſs, that thy Power, thy Glory, and the mightineſs of thy Kingdom might be known to Men. Thy Kingdom is an everlaſting Kingdom, and thy Dominion endureth through all Ages; the Lord upholdeth all ſuch as fall, and lifteth up those that are caſt down, the Eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord, and thou giveft them Meat in due Seaſon, 2fal. exlv, 1. &c.
These Conſiderations, methinks, ſhould raiſe and inflame the minds of Men with de ſuitable to the longing after a ⟨⟩ ſo meſtimable, a Pearl worth more than t(illegible text) thouſand Worlds, a Jewel no where elſe be purchaſed, no where elſe to be found. ⟨⟩ Kingdom of all Pleaſures and ⟨⟩ Theſe Thoughts made the kingly ⟨⟩ to have but a mean Eſteem of Earthly ⟨⟩ and grandeur compared with this, when ⟨⟩ cried out, O how amiable are thy dwellings, O thou Lord of Hoſts! My Soul panteth after thee, as the Hart panteth after the Water Brooks, &c. and St. Paul compared all things as dung and droſs to the love of Chriſt and couragouſly affirmed, that neither height nor depth. Principalities nor powers, things preſent nor things to come, &c. ſhould be able to ſeparate him from the love of God which is in Jeſus Chriſt, the blefſed and amiable Lord of Life, Glory and immortality; the faireſt among ten thouſand.
But here let us conſider, to gain the riches of Chriſt, we muſt give up our ſelves wholly to his Divine Will, both Soul und Body, commiting our ſelves to him, as into the hands of a faithful Redeemer; for ſeeing he has redeemed us from our Enemies that therefore we need not ſtand in fear of them, according to that of Iſaiah xliii. 1. fear not for I have redeemed thee. But as we are taught in the next Words, we ſhould all the Days of our Life worſhip him without fear, and when at any Time we have grieved ſo good and ſo gracious God, by ſinning againſt him, the remembrance of our redemption ſhould encourage us to return unto him, ſeeing he, as our Saviour, hath redeemed and bought us with ſo great price, therefore we ought to acknowledge him as our Lord, in right of Redemption, and our ſelves not to be our own, but his Servants; for therefore Chriſt died and roſe again to life, that he might be the Lord of the quick and the dead, Rom. xiv. 9. And if we acknowledge him to be our Lord, we muſt be careful to do his will, or else we in vain do call him ſo, as did thoſe be reproved, viz. Why do ye call. me Lord, and do not the things that I command you: Luke vi. 46.
CHRIST died for all, that theſe who live, ſhould not henceforth live unto themſelves, but unto him who died for them and roſe again. 2 Cor. v. 15.
THIS Conſideration cauſed the primitive Chriſtianis to feel this Teſtimonies with their Blood, running violently to the flames and tortures, and not accepting any Deliverance that might render them unworthy of the Riches and Mercy of their Redeemer, who had ſo freely laid down his life to purchaſe them Glory and Immortality, in a kingdom that laſts as long as God is God, and that is end leſs and to all Eternity. Here we have, even in our beſt State, but a glimpſe of the Glory that ſhall.be revealed; and how often have good Chriſtians deſpiſed and trampled on all Riches, Honour and Glory the World could give and embrace all the Miſeries, we ſuppoſe, can make a Man, the moſt miſerable of Creatures, to follow the Guidance of that marvellous Light that has been revealed, nothing but the Riches of Chriſt, held forth in his Meritorious Death and Paſſion, could ſatisfy or bound the large Deſire of their Souls. No Worlds below, tho' innumerable, adorned with all the gaudy Vanities and momentury Pleaſures, could balance the leaſt Thought of eternal Happineſs; and many Times raptures of Joy, in Holy and Pious contemplations, have raiſed them even to Heaven itſelf, in imagination, whilſt their Bodies have remained in the Earth, and made them with St. Paul to cry out, That they deſired to be diſſolved and to be with Chriſt. The holy Martyrs have clapped their Hands in the midſt of the Flames, whilſt their Finger ends have blazed with Fire like for many torches, light their Souls to the Manſion of eternal Bliss , prepared for them by their Redeemer, and ſung Triumph and Praiſe to the Lord Jeſus, who ſtrengthned and ſupported them in the midſt of their fiery Trial ; and ſome have confeſſed when the Flames have encompaſſed them, and part of their Bodies conſumed, ther they have felt no more Pain than in a Bed of Dawn, and that the Coals of fire and devouring flames have appeared like a pleaſant Garden of Rules and Lillies round them.
O that Men would be wiſe and conſider theſe Things, that they would with St. Paul die daily to ſin, and the corruption of the fleſh, to live to Chriſt righteouſneſs and purity of Spirit, that they may juſtly lay claim to his Merit, to the Riches and Treaſure of his Mercy; for to doubt the Conſideration of the ſtupendous Redemption that he his wrought for the Sons and Daughters of Men, occaſioned what St. John ſaw in the Rev. iv. 9, 10, 11. viz. And when the Beaſt (whoſe character you will find a large in that Chapter) give Glory and Honour, and thanks to him that far on the Throne, who liveth forever and everː The four and twenty Elders fall down before him that ſat on the Throne, and worſhip him that liveth for ever nd ever; and caſt their Crowns befor the Throne, ſaying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, receive glory and honour, and powerː for Thou haſt created all things, and for thy Pleaſure they are and were created.
Could we have a proſpect, tho' in a viſion of the holy Men, whole Souls were redeemed from the Earth, and are triumphing and ſinging Praiſe, and hallelujahs in the higheſt Heavens, with what wonder and amazement would the Riches and Mercy of our bleſſed Lord tranſport and carry them away? We ſhould truly and feelingly ſay with the Apoſtle, It is good for us to be here; that is to be in a state of poſſibility of gaining the like happy Viſion of the Divine beatitude; we ſhould then look upon every Thing elſe as dark and dull, and conclude them but droſſ and Dung, with St. Paul when rapt up into the third Heavens, tho' he knew not whether in the Fleſh or the Spirit, and ſaw and heard Things unutterable, that his Tongue perhaps was not capable of expreſſing Words ſuitable to give mankind an account of them tho' he had thought fit, or been diſpoſed to reveal them and after that, we find his Mind duly enflamed after a fuller fruition of them. Life itſelf ſeemed tedious to him, an made him court Death (that was to diſmiſſ him from the lower World) the King of Terrors ſo dreadful to the greateſt Part of Me to ſet him at Liberty, as it appears by his deſiring to be diſſolved and to be with Christ Whilſt wordings are contending for earthly Treaſure, that is of ſmall duration, a cannot give the leaſt real content; let us ra(illegible text) our Souls to take a Proſpect of the true Riches, the Treaſure of everlaſting durance, ev(illegible text) the Riches of Chriſt's Mercy and Love towards miſerable Sinners; who when laid Darkneſs and the ſhaddow of Death, gave his Life as a Ranſom for us, to appeaſe the Father's Juſtice.
O! Let not the Conſideration of Worldly Treaſure make v turn aſidee from following this rich Mine, this Golden Vain of Heavenly Treaſure, let us renounce the whole World to purchaſe it; let nothing and in competition, or be thought too dear, to part with all upon this account ſo we may not loſe for Trifle the moſt excellent of all Riches promiſed to us in the Gospel.
AND every one that (ſays our bleſſed Saviour) hath forſaken Houſes, or Brethren, or Siſters, or Father or Mother. or Wife or Children, or Lands for my Names ſake, ſhall receive an hundred fold and ſhall inherit everlaſting Life, Mat. xix. 19, here is a Promiſe worth a thouſand Worlds, worthy the ſhaking off and ſacrificing all our darling affections that ſtand between us and Chriſt, to hinder us from running into hi bleſſed Arms, and wholly caſting our ſelves upon the Riches of his Mercy, in which alone there is comfort and reſt for weary Souls.
THE King (ſays holy David) ſhall joy in thy Strength, O Lord; and in thy Salvation bow greatly ſhall be rejoiced Pſal. xxi. 1. If we caſt our Anchor here, we have a fore Foundation, and he that is the diſpoſer of all things will not ſuffer us, even in this Life, to went what he ſees convenient for us. The Earth is the Lord's, and the fulnes thereof the World and they that dwelt therein. For he hath founded it upon the Seas, and establiſhed it upon the Floods, Pſalm. xxiv. 1, 2.
Many Time we find indeed that God withholds his Hands from the Righteous, and gives them on ſuch plenty of earthly Things as the wicked commonly poſſeſs; this made David almoſt ſtumble, but when he had better conſidered, he greatly rejoiced. For as our bleſſed Lord confeſſed that his Kingdom was not of this World, we may well believe, that thoſe whom he Joves ſhall not have their Portion here, but receive it in the Kingdom prepared for them, in all fulneſs of joy and bleſſedneſs, even the Riches of Chriſt ſhall be their Part; then, they may truly ſay. Their Lot is fallen in a fair Land; The Lord is their Heritage, even the Lord of Glory, the King of Saints and Angels, who has ſubdued for us Death and the Grave; who died and roſe again, that he might become Lord both of the living and the Dead. And in this Caſe the Chriſtian may aſſure himſelf with holy David viz. The Lord is my ſhepherd, I ſhall not want: He maketh me ly down in green Paſtures, he leadeth me beſide the ſtill Waters, he reſtoreth my Soul, is leadeth in the parts of Righteouſneſs for his Names ſole. The tho' I walk thro' the Valley of the ſhaddow of Death. I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy Staff ſhall comfort me. Thou prepareſt a Table before me in the preſence of mine Enemies; then anointeſt my Head with Oil, my cup runneth over; Surely Goodneſs and Merry ſhall follow me all the Days of my Life, and I will dwell in the Houſe of the Lord for ever, Pſal.xxiii, 1, 2, 3, 4 5. 6. Now, ſeeing all Power in Heaven and Earth is given to our bleſſed Lord, how can we doubt but the Riches of his Mercy will extend to thoſe that love him, and keep his Word in Truth and uprightneſs?
O then let us ſtrive now to run the Race that is ſet before us, that we may have the reward Chriſt offices in the riches of his Mercy, to which nothing can come near in value. If we can poſſeſs ourſelves of that, we have all that ought to be deſireable, all that, we can make us eternally Happy; theſe are the only Aims and Wiſhes of the Saints of God: They deſire to purchaſe nothing but Chriſt, and in him find all that is rich, glorious and good, all that is lovely and amiable; he is the only Pearl of Price, the rich Treaſure in the Field, for which we ſhould freely part with all to purchaſe, and the Bargain no doubt will enrich us forever and ſatisfy the vaſteſt Deſire that the Thoughts can frame, O that I had wings like a Dove (ſaith holy David, in the Rapture of theſe Thoughts) that I might fly away . And certainly there remaineth, as holy Writ mentioneth, a Reſt for the People of God, which through the Riches and Mercy of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt and his Merits may be obtained, if we conſider in this our Day They Things that belong to our Peace. Which grant, O Lord, for thy infinite Mercies ſake that we may praiſe and magnify thy holy Name, World without End, Amen
O bleſſed Jeſus, conſider me a miſerable Wretch, whom in the Riches of thy Mercy, in ſhedding thy moſt precious Blood, thou haſt redeemed from Death to Life my Soul is raviſhed with the Thoughts of thy tranſcendant Compaſſion O me, and I ſhall follow with Joy and Delight. O! turn not away thy amiable Eyes, leſt I Faint, for my Soul is full of Love; guide me in thy Truth, and let me in Live, that when I die, my Soul may reſt with thee. Amen.