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him with all his burden, desiring grace, not only to become happy, but grace to bear his yoke, and follow him wherever he goeth. For he looks now unto Christ, and desires medicine of him, in order to be cured of his sickness, like the woman who had the issue of blood. Matthew 9. Mark 5. Hence he will soon hear, Thy faith hath made thee whole: be it unto thee as thou wilt. Reader, I wish thee to mark, that herein thou canst perceive, that real humility of spirit constitutes the entrance to the gospel; for what poverty did not Christ undergo for our example! and what humiliations and temptations did he not sustain in the wilderness, after the baptism of repentance, before he entered upon his ministry! For though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 Cor. 9. Yea, by reason of the poverty and temptations which he suffered, he is become compassionate towards our weakness, and a faithful high priest to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Heb. 2, 17. Chap. 4, 15. Therefore Christ commenced his sermon on the mount in these words, "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of

heaven"; for he was well aware that the Jews were rich in themselves; because they considered themselves the children of Abraham, and placed their reliance in the law, seeking to attain that righteousness by the works of the law, which is attained by faith alone. Rom. 9. Hence he signified to them, that it is only upon the poor in spirit that he bestows his kingdom; that he is come to seek those only who feel in themselves that they are lost, to heal none but the sick, (Matt. 9, 12. Luke 5, 31. 32.) to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison door to them that are bound; as is plainly shown us in the gospel. Luke 4, 18. 19. Isaiah 61, 1.

Now, Christ has exhibited in his sermon eight different blessings to serve as a mirror, in which we professing christians may see whether we have become partakers of the same, and having passed by saying grace through these grades of blessings, are born peaceable children of God. For these blessings must succeed one another, and be wrought up in us unto a true life of faith in God, through Christ Jesus, that we may, in truth, be the light of the world and the salt of the earth.

Christ says, first:

1. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Verse 3.

O glorious promise! But can so poor a creature believe this? Nay, almost any thing better than this; for he considers himself entirely too poor and unworthy; he smites his breast much more and prays, God be merciful unto me a sinner, (Luke 18, 13.) or says with the lost son, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants. Luke 15. From this humility of spirit, and lowliness of heart, proceeds the second blessing:

2. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted. Verse 11.

O glorious promise to all those troubled souls, who, through humility of spirit and deep self abasement, with anxious sorrow and mourning, lie in their wretchedness before God, waiting for his help, until in them be fulfilled what was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weaand walk and not faint." Isaiah 40,


31. Yea, to all such mourning souls he says: "Fear not, for I am with you: be not dismayed, for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness, (chap. 41, 10.); For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. Chap. 54, 7. 8. But can such a bruised reed, or such smoking flax believe this? Ah! no; for judgment is not yet sent forth unto victory. Matt. 12, 20. God, in the progress of his spiritual work, plants, rears and supports us in humility and sorrow of heart, that the honor may not be unto us, but the praise unto God, (2 Cor. 3, 5.) who continually carries on his work within us; for from this humility and sorrow of heart there will arise meekness.

3. Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth. Verse 5.

O precious promise! that a man has in meekness been so far renewed in the image of God, that, by reason of the mild nature or disposition of Christ, which he has already acquired in humility of spirit and godly sorrow, he can rule and inherit the earth, by which, in compliance with his carnal will, he was held so long in bondC

age. Such a person can find no resting place here in his godly progress, but as a stranger and pilgrim in the earth, he presses on with great ardor towards the mark for the heavenly prize, hungering and thirsting after the righteousness of Christ. Phil. 3, 14. 1 Pet. 2, 11.

4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled. Verse 6.

O glorious promise to all those hungry and thirsting souls, who hunger no more after the world, to be delighted therein, whose affections are no longer set upon things on the earth, namely, the lust of the flesh, the delight of the eye, and the pride of life, temporal pleasure and wordly honor; but hunger after, and seek for, those things which are above, where Christ is, on the right hand of God (Col. 3, 1. 2.); for they are dead, in humility of spirit, unto the world and all false righteousness, and their life (which remains yet in weakness) is hid with Christ in God, (verse 3); so that they live no more unto themselves, but unto Christ, who died for them and rose again. 2 Cor. 5, 15. Rom. 14, 7: Wherefore Christ is their life, and when Christ, who is their life, shall appear, then

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