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2. It is neceffary to your getting fafe through an ensnaring world; therefore fays Chrift to his people, Cant. iv. 8. "Come with me from Lebanon, my fpoufe, with me from Lebanon; look from the top Amana, from the top of Shenir, and Hermon, from the lions dens, from the mountains of the leopards," if ye are left alone, ye will fall in the wilderness.

Lastly, Without communion with Chrift here, there will be no communion with him in the other world, according to what the Pfalmift fays, Pfal. lxxiii. 24. "Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." Communion with Chrift in grace here, is the foundation of communion with him in glory hereafter.

I clofe with these few directions.

1. Look for communion with Chrift in the way of free grace and unhired love; that he may come over mountains to you, mountains of guilt and unworthinefs, as undeferving fuch a high privilege.

2. Seek it refolutely in all means of his appointment, going from one mean and ordinance to another till ye find him, as the spouse did, Cant. iii. 1. and downwards. So may ye perfervering fucceed, whatever difficulties be in your way.

3. Be diligent obfervers of providences, and make a due improvement of them as means of communion with him, Pfal. xcii. 4. and cvii. ult.

Laftly, Be habitually tender in your walk; keeping off from every thing that may grieve his Spirit, and propoke him to depart; acting in this cafe as the fpoufe did, Cant. iii. 5. "I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerufalem by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye ftir not up, nor awake my love, till he please."

READINESS

OPENED UP, URGED, AND ENFORCED.

The fubftance of feveral Sermons preached at Etterick in the year 1730.

LUKE Xii. 40.

Be ye therefore ready alfo; for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

AFTER all we have heard of the other world, what

will it avail, if it iffue not in preparing for our removal into it? That is certainly the ufe which all of us are to make of it, which we have in the words of the text. In which we have two things:

1. An alarm to be ready for a removal into the other world, Be ye therefore ready alfo.' In the parable of the rich man, ver. 16,-21. our Saviour had fhewn the dreadful furprifing removal of fecure finners into it, when they are not at all ready for it, but dreaming of a long continuance at eafe here, which puts preparation for it out of their heads. And thence he proceeds to caution against inordinate care for this uncertain life, and to ftir up to be ready, to be on the wing, for the other life, ver. 35.; and to be always ready, as those that are at an uncertainty as to the time of their removal. This is to be ready alfo, as well as the goodman of the houfe would be if he knew what hour the thief would come.

2. The reafon why we should be ready, always ready, never unprepared: "For the Son of man cometh at an hour when we think not." Because we know not when we may be called off more than one knows what time of the night the thief will break in on his house. Now Chrift the Son of man comes as a thief, at a time uncertain to us. There is a twofold coming of the Son of man. (1.) At the general judgment. (2.) At death. Both are to remove us into the other world; the word is general, agreeing to both; and in point of our ma

king ready they come to one, because whatever readi nefs we can be in for the general judgment, must be made before death, there being no access after that to make ready any more, but as the tree falls it lies. So we fhall confider it as his coming at death, to carry us off hence. There are two things here:

ift, The certainty of our removal into the other world," The Son of man cometh ;" he will certain ly come, how long foever he may delay his coming. That is a tryft that cannot be broken.

2dly, The uncertainty of the time of it, as to us, however precisely it is appointed in the divine decree; he has not told us when it shall be, more than the thief tells the good-man when he is to make an attempt on his houfe. So that if there be any time when we are not ready, he may for any thing we know, as readily come then, as at any time.-From the text arifeth this weighty point of doctrine, viz.

DOCT. Such is the certainty of our removal into the other world, and the uncertainty of the time of that removal, that we ought always to be ready for it.

IN difcourfing from this doctrine, I shall,
I. Premife fome things imported in it.

II. Confider the certainty of our removal into the other world.

III. The uncertainty of the time of it..
IV. The readiness for that removal.
Laftly, Apply in some practical uses.

I. I SHALL premife fome things imported in this doctrine.

1. Great is the weight that depends on our being ready for a removal into the other world. Eternal well or wo depends on it; for according to the fituation we are found in at our removal, fo will we be received and lodged there; in the upper part, the region of blifs, or the lower part, the region of horror, to remove no more. And this makes careleffncfs to prepare for it abfolutely unaccountable.

2. We

2. We are naturally unfit and unready for that reལ་ moval. Were it a matter indifferent, which part of that world we should land in, we could at no time be reckoned unfit and unready for it; for they that are not ready for eternal light above, are ready for eternal fire below. But it can never be indifferent to a rational creatare, which of these fhall be its portion. And therefore they that are not ready to be inhabitants of heaven, are not ready for their removal; and fuch are we all naturally, having no title to it, Eph. ii. 3. 12. and no meetness for it, till we get it anew by grace, Col. i. 12.

3. Now is the time, and here is the place, of getting ready, 2 Cor. vi. 2. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of Salvation." We are set into this world, to make ready for the other; and time is given us to prepare for eternity. If time be once over, and we be turned out of this world, we have no more access to make ready for the other, Eccl. ix. 10. "There is no work nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goeft.' So it is with us, now or never.

Laftly, We ought always to keep ourselves in readinefs, that we be not surprised, and taken at a disadvantage; hence fays our Lord, Luke xxi. 34,-36. “Take heed to yourselves, left at any time your hearts be overcharged with furfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and fo that day come upon you unawares. For as a fnare fhall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all thefe things that fhall come to pass, and to ftand before the Son of man." One may be ready at one time, who is not ready at another as he ought to be; falling earnally fecure, after he has beftirred himself to prepare. But at that time when he is leaft looking for the removal, it may be neareft; and whatever unreadiness it tryfts him with, fo great will the lofs be.

II. WE fhall confider the certainty of our removal into the other world.

1. It was the other world, and not this, that man was chiefly and in the first place defigned for, as to his fettled abode. When God made this world, he made it but as a thorough-fare to the other, a place through which man should pafs into the other, Mat. xxv. 34. The other world was always the home, this was but the place of the pilgrimage, where at no time man was to stay for good and all, but only to fojourn. For confider,

(1.) This world was ordained to be the place of trial, the other the place of retribution, according to mens works. The trial cannot always laft, otherwife it would be no trial; but the retribution may very well last for ever, and really will do so. Therefore we must neceffarily remove out of this world as the place of trial, into the other as the place of retribution, which therefore must be looked on as our settled abode, Matth. xxv. ult. "And these shall go away into everlafting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal."

(2.) This world never had in it, that perfection of either happiness or mifery, that was defigned for man according to his behaviour in it. Even in paradise there was a want, and in the deluge there was an ark. But God will perfect his work of whatever kind. Therefore the fettled abode is there, not here.

Wherefore it is a fatal mistake ever to look on this world as our home, whether we be faints or finners; that is the ufe of the other world only.

2. The man Christ is removed into the other world, never to come back to dwell in this; and to that world where he is we muft needs go. The happinefs fecured for his own people, who must be taken to the place where he is, John xiv. 3. and the mifery enfured for his enemies, who must be "punished with everlasting deftruction from the prefence of the Lord," 2 Thefi.i.9. brought thither and flain before him, Luke xix. 27. make this neceffary. Therefore, as fure as Chrift hath removed into that world, we must follow.

3. Men must be for ever, but this world will have

an

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