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inheritance is an eternal inheritance and his joy is an eternal joy ; but the love, the hope, the inheritance and joy of the sinner is temporary and but a preface to everlasting sorrow and despair. How different will the righteous and wicked appear, when their hearts shall be disclosed in another world! Then the righteous will shine forth in all the beauties of benevolence in the kingdom of their Father, while the wicked will
appear in all the meanness and turpitude of selfishness. It will then be made manifest, that God did not represent saints in too good, nor sinners in too bad a light, in his word. He knew the essential difference between them before, as well as he did after they left the world and he drew their characters according to that essential distinction. And though sinners denied the distinction in time, they will be constrained to acknowledge it to all eternity.
3. If the gospel enlarges the hearts of those, who embrace it ; then they sincerely desire that the gospel may be universally known and embraced. Before the gospel had enlarged the heart of the apostle Paul, he was perfectly opposed to the spread of the gospel and to its happy influence upon the hearts of men. His heart was so selfish and contracted, that he had no concern for the salvation of his own, or any other nation; but did all in his power to prevent the spread of the gospel and its happy influence upon the hearts of men. But as soon as the gospel had illuminated his understanding and enlarged his own heart, it was his heart's desire and prayer to God, not only that his brethren, his kinsmen according to the flesh might be saved, but, that the gospel might be carried all round le world and produce its saving influence upon all the
nations of the earth. His benevolent heart esteemed it a privilege to be employed in preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ to Jews and gentiles. His heart was so large that he could wish to sacrifice both his temporal and eternal interests, if that might be the means of spreading the knowledge and the saving benefits of the gospel among his own and other nations. The gospel expanded the views and enlarged the hearts of all the other apostles and primitive christians and fired their zeal to labor, suffer and die for the sake of the gospel and the salvation of a world lying in wickedness. And the same gospel has produced the same benevolent and enlarged views, desires and exertions of those, who have ever since clearly understood and cordially embraced it. Who have done so much to gain the low, mean, momentary objects of this world, as christians have done to spread the gospel to promote religion, and to save the souls of men ? The believers of the gospel have sacrificed their property, their reputation and in ten thousand instances, their lives, in seeking to enlighten the minds, extend the views and enlarge the hearts of the high and low triflers on the stage of action. They are grieved to see the narrow views and feelings and conduct of the men of the world, who never spend a thought upon the greatest and best objects in the universe, and never felt, nor expressed, nor enjoyed the ennobling and benevolent spirit of the gospel. You remember the noble and happy effect, which the gospel had upon Zaccheus, the very day he embraced it. He promptly and cheerfully gave away one half of his goods; and it is not very improbable, that it disposed bim to give away another half before he died. Primitive christians took the
spoiling of their goods cheerfully, knowing that they had a more enduring substance laid up for them in heaven. Those, who understand and love the gospel, place their happiness in the happiness of others and desire above all things, that others should enjoy the same spirit and blessings of the gospel, which they possess and enjoy. Having entered into the gospel kingdom, they most sincerely and ardently desire to bring as many others into it as they can.
4. If the gospel enlarges the hearts of those, who embrace it ; then they know by experience that they cannot serve God and mammon. As soon as their hearts are enlarged towards God, towards Christ, towards his great and glorious kingdom and towards all the human race, these great objects croud out of their views and affections all inferior objects, or dispose them to give them only their low and subordinate place. They no longer occupy the supreme place in their hearts and are regarded only as means of promoting objects infinitely greater and more valuable. Belieyers are conscious, that two supreme objects cannot exist in their minds at one and the same time. They are conscious that whenever they love the world and the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in them.They feel bound in duty to watch their hearts and keep them with all diligence, lest the low and trivial objects of the world should engross their attention and affections supremely, becloud their minds and hide from their view and contemplation the glorious scenes and objects of the heavenly world. Herein sincere believ. crs differ from insincere believers. Insincere believers desire and endeavor to serve both God and mammon. They mean to serve God as much as they imagine, it
will help them to gain and enjoy the world and no more. When the service of God comes in competition with the service of mammon, they mean to neglect the service of God. But sincere believers feel and act differently. They will not neglect the service of God, to serve themselves. They mean to keep their hearts in subjection to God, and the world in subjection to their hearts. They maintain a constant warfare between benevolence and selfishness and always loathe and condemn themselves, whenever their selfishness gains the ascendency over their benevolence. Though Paul delighted in the law of God, after the inward man, yet he found a law, that when he would do good, evil was present with him, which made him exclaim, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?” Whatever withdraws their hearts from God and his service is burdensome and hateful to real christians.
5. If the gospel enlarges the hearts of those, who embrace it ; then they sincerely and ardently desire to know more and more about it. “As new born babes, they desire the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby.” As soon as the understanding of any person is enlightened and his heart is enlarged, he immediately desires to know more and more about Christ, about God, about the moral state of this world and the moral state of the invisible and eternal world. And as the heart of every believer enlarges, his desires after greater and greater knowledge of God and divine truths continually increase. Though Paul had as clear and extensive knowledge of the gospel as any man, yet he regretted his remaining ignorance of it and ardently desired and endeavored to make greater advances
in the knowledge of it. And this is true of every truc believer. He finds that the knowledge of the gospel extends his views and enlarges his heart towards God and all his works of creation, providence and grace. It is a dark sign, that any person has not rightly understood and embraced the gospel, if he imagines, that he has attained to a perfection of knowledge and grace. The more a man has seen and known of this world the more he desires to see and know ofit ; and the more those who have embraced the gospel, know of it the more they desire to know of it. As it enlarges their hearts and extends their views, they see more and more to be known of God, of Christ and of every thing, which stands connected with the great work of redemption, which he has undertaken, has carried on, and will continue to carry on, until it is fully and finally accomplished.
6. If the gospel enlarges the hearts of those who embrace it ; then it enables them to perform all the duties which it requires with great pleasure and delight. David says to God,“ I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” The spirit of the gospel is a spirit of benevolence towards all beings in the universe and a spirit of complacence towards all holy, amiable and virtuous beings. And every one knows it is a pleasure to perform any duty towards one, to whom he feels benevolently ; and every one knows it is a pleasure to perform any duty towards one, to whom he exercises the love of complacence. The love of benevolence and the love of complacence, which the gospel inspires, prepares all who embrace it, to discharge every duty that it requires with pleasure and alacrity. It is a pleasure to those, who love God