"All things are yours!" (1 Corinthians 3:21)
What, Christian! do you complain of poverty? Do you cry
out of need? If you are poor in anything, it is in your views and
apprehensions of your glorious inheritance—they are so shallow and confined.
But, as God said to Abraham of his seed, so says he to you of your
possessions, "See if you can count them all up!" Do you know the measure of
your inheritance, or the breadth and boundary of your kingdom? Survey the
midnight-sky, and see the sparkling orbs above—these are all your own! And
if they can advantage your soul, and bring about your good, not one of them
shall be withheld from you, seeing you are the King's son. Now, how rich are
you! Can you, then, be cast down for a few difficulties in this world below?
"But, Oh!" reply you, "you would not talk at such a rate,
did you know my troubles. Heaven is conscious that I am daily groaning under
poverty and affliction, and that my thoughts are divided and distracted.
Fear of miseries at one time assails me—and at another time, hope in his
mercy composes my mind. Now I would gladly have confidence in the
promise—and then am all anxiety about God's providence. Now, if it were as
you say—why is all this befallen me? Why is it thus with me?"
What, saint! Do you think that the promises are illusive
words, or that God speaks ironically to his people? No! He speaks with the
sincerity of a true friend, with the affection of a tender father. It fares
no otherwise with you in all your complaints, than with a young heir to a
great estate, who is fed sparingly, and put under severer discipline than
others, who have not such great expectations. He is not able to comprehend
the meaning of such hard usage, until he grows up, and then he finds himself
possessed of a healthy appetite, a fine state of health, and a vigorous
constitution, as well as of an extensive inheritance, which gluttony and
licentiousness in younger years might have destroyed.
Just so you, O saint! when grown up to the measure of a
perfect man in Christ Jesus, (for while in this world you are but of
yesterday, and know nothing,) you shall see God's excellent use of
afflictions, and the noble design of keeping you at a poor table, and poor
comforts—lest the satisfying of your carnal appetite had sent leanness into
your soul. Then all his ways shall be made plain, which must remain
unriddled until the mystery of providence be opened up in the light of
glory. All things, then, are yours; and the earth and the fullness thereof,
sun, moon, and starry heavens, are but the least part of your possession.
You have a right to the bright and morning star of eternity, to the Creator
of the ends of the earth, to God Almighty, as your shield and exceeding
How like the Possessor of heaven and earth are you! for
as this is his footstool, so the woman, (the church in all her members,)
that is clothed with the sun, has the earth under her feet! Why, then,
anxious about a possession on that which is not only God's footstool—but
should be yours? Would you appear in all your noble state while in this
desert, the land of your pilgrimage; since the better country, where the
King of glory has his royal pavilion and residence, lies before you to be
inherited? Your eyes may climb to the stars, and say—These are mine. But why
terminate there? Faith may rise higher, and claim him who made the stars,
and gives them all their names.
O how at once your possessions grow too vast to be
described, and extend infinitely on every hand! God, in all his glorious
perfections, reconciled in his Son, who is appointed heir of all things—is
yours! And you are his! Why, then, be disquieted about dust and ashes, wind
and vanity—when the unseen realities of eternity are before you, and shall
give the purest joy, and most refined pleasure in the eternal possession of