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the Lord. It is evident from Scripture, that but few shall be saved, Matth. 22. 14, Many are called but few are chosen. And it is as evident, that but few of those few, will be found among the rich, and prosperous, 1 Cor. 1. 26, For. ye see your calling, Brethren, that not many wife Men after the flesh, not many Mighty, not many Noble are called. Yea, it is yet more evident, that the Spirit of God speaks in the Scripture, as if Salvation had been almost impropriated to the meaner fort of people ; and that those who prosper in the World, had been almost excluded. Fam.
hath not God chosen the poor of this World, rich in faith, and Heirs of the Kingdom, which he hath promised to them that tove bim. The Church is called the Congregation of the poor, Pfal. 74. 19. Such as were of the lower rank, destitute of Worldly advantages. But for the rich, and profperous, see Luk. 6,24,25, Wo unto you that are rich, for ye kave received your consolation. We unto you, that are full, for ge shall hunger. Wo unto you that laugh now, for ye shall mouri, and weep. Jam. 5. 1. Go to now, ye rich Men, weep and howl, for the miseries that jhall come upon you. The Apostle speaks not by way ofadvice and counsel, to prevent their judg. ment by godly sorrow. The exercise of that grace. it not expressed by howling: but he Ipeaks by way of threat'ning, and de
nouncing wrath, and vengeance. Thej had their good things in this life : their pleasure upon Earth, vers. 5. Rev. 18. 7, By how much the glorified her self, and lived den liciou'ly, so much torment, and sorrow give her. Yet this is not to be understood, as if God would condemn the rich, becaufe they were rich; no more then he will fave the
poor for their poverty : But he will condemni the rich for their sin, and save the poor for their faith, and piety, through Jesus Christ.
Much more might be faid, to thew that Worldly prosperity separated from Soul-pro. fperity, is by no means, à prospérity to be desired. It is but Eternal misery at a little distance : Much less is it to be compared with Soul-prosperity. This ye may judge by those effects of it, which are feen to be fo, in this World ; and will be found to be fo in the World to come.
(2.) But now if we confider the Effects, and Consequents of Soul-profperity, we shall find, they are every way most desirable, whether we confider the effects thereof for the present; in this life; or for the future, in the life to come.
(1.) In this life. When the Soul prospereth, and the divine well-fare thereof is kept, in its heavenly temper, by divine influences from above ; éhen there is such a glory and
beauty in it, as is much fet by, in the fight of God, Psal. 45. II Sofrall the King greatly defire thy beauty. It is a lovely fight to see any thing grow, so as to thrive, and prof per; Corn on the ground, Cattel in the field, Fruit on the tree. Children in the house, growing up as Olive Plants about the Table. But the growth, and prosperity of the Soul is much more lovely. "Indeed there is much spiritual beauty and loveliness in the very first principles of spiritual life, wherein, ( as I have shewed you the first Foundation of Soul-prosperity, as to our discerning it, is jaid. These are much of the same nature, and bear the same name with that perfect state of happiness, which is enjoy'd in Hea
As that is called, Glory, so are these, 2 Cor. 3.18, But we all with open face, bebolding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glo ry, even as by the spirit of the Lord. And if fo; then where all these lovely principles thrive and prosper, the spirit of glory refts
íuch à Soul, as 1 Pet. 4. 14. This is fo; but that which I shall specially instance in, as most comprehensive of the blessed effects of Soul-prosperity in this life, is that sweet peace within, and heavenly serenity of spirit, which a prosperous Soul, so long as it doth prosper, may, and (if it know its own happiness) usually doth enjoy.
I. Much sweet peace, because of that sweet agreement which there is between a Man's Conscience, and Himself. Conscience we know, if enlightened, presseth to duty; which, if neglected in its seafon, will wound and sting; A prosperous Soul is more afraid of this, then to be threat’ned with a fiery, Furnace, Dan. 3. 13. That did not affright them at alt; but a Man may say as fob 27, 6, My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go : My heart shall not reproach me so long as I live. He was not afraid of those rebukings, and upbraidings. Now, when grace is kept in exercise, as it is in a prospe, rous Soul, this keeps peace, and that when troubles, and tryals come upon us, as an armed Man. 2 Cor. I. 12, Our rejoicing is in this, the testimony of our Conscience, that in fimplicity, and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have bad, our conversation in the World. This evidenced the prosperity of his Soul, and that was his rejoicing. That prayer
of the Apostle for others, Gal. 6. 16. was heard for himself. As many as walk according to this rule, peace, be on them, and mercy. ( 2.) Much sweet peace ;
because there is a sweet agreement, between a Man's. affection, and his condition. A prosperous Soul living, and desiring to live in the enjoyment of God, is where it would be ; and
is willing to be, what God will have him to be, in the darkest hours that befall him, Rejoicing in hope of the glory of God, Rom. 5. 2. This fubdues his affection to his condition; when his condition otherwise would not be according to his affection. Being clear in the point, of his interest in God, he can say, how barren soever his condition be of outward comforts, The Lord is my portion : i have a goodly' beritage, Pfal. 16. 5,6. Making God his Heaven, and his Earth too, Pfal. 73.25,
(3.) A sweet peace, because a sweet agreement between a Man's Hope and his Reason. When the foundation of Soul-profperity is first laid, being quick’ned with principles of spiritual life, it is born again to à lively hope of the heavenly inheritance, 1 Pet. 1. 3,4. And when the Soul prospers, according to the knowledge it hath of its own state, it is able to give a reason of its hope, as the expression is, 1 Pet. 3. 15. A reason grounded upon
promise of God, Rom. 2.7. If ye continue in well doing: and nothing is well done, where grace is not exercised. But if it be fo, ye
look for glory and immortality, and eternal life. Then following after righteousness, holiness, &c. Eternal life is as it were within reach; we may lay hold on it, 1 Tim. 6. 12. Thus Paul had reason on his side, 2 Tim.4.7,8. A good