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a scant modicum makes not a treasure. Spiritual goods are a Christian's riches, and he ought to be rich in these riches, rich in faith, and rich in good works. *
What a full expression is that of St. Paul ? (Ephes. iii. 19.) where he begs to be filled with all the fulness of God. What, Paul, can thy narrow vessel contain an infinite ocean? Though he cannot hold all, yet he would have all divine fulness; he would know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge; that is, to furnish his intellectual faculty with a treasure of heavenly knowledge;t and he would be filled with all
grace, as the richest treasure of his will and affections ; yea, nothing less than fulness will suffice. Nay further, the fulness of God; yet higher, even all the fulness of God, let the vessel be filled to the brim, and let it be made more capacious to receive larger incomes ; never hath the believing soul grace enough, till grace be perfected and crowned with glory. A gracious heart hath an insatiable appetite after heavenly delights and dainties; nothing so good as grace, and the more a soul hath of it, the better. Fifthly,—It implies secresy.
A treasure is not exposed to the common view of all men; it was Hezekiah's pride and weakness to lead the Babylonian messengers through his treasures.
Treasures are usually hid in secret places; hence we read of treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, and a treasure hid in a field. [ So this good man's treasure is said to be in his heart;|| which St. Peter calls the hidden man of the heart, none can see into this, but the heart searching God, he that knows all
* James ii. 5. 1 Tim. vi. 18. + Scientia quæ Spiritus Sancti magisterio, non ingenii nostri acumine discitur.--Marl.
Isa. xlv. 3. Matt. xiii. 44. || 1 Pet. iii. 4. ‘O KPÚTTOS TĪS kapdas, Occultus ille, id est, cordis homo.
things, only is the anatomist of this close and hidden
Men see the face, but they see not what lies within; hence it is that the greatest and best part of a Christian's treasure, is invisible; as the roots of a tree under the earth, or the bottom of a ship under water; or rather as a merchant's goods in his warehouse. So it is with a saint's treasure; he is a Jew inwardly, his circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God. Rom. ii. 29. The regenerate soul is the King of heaven's daughter, who is all glorious within, though some sparklings of grace appear without. The best and the worst of a soul is hid from the view of men; happy were it for a Christian if he had no more corruption than appears outwardly, and wretched were he also, if he had no more grace than others can take notice of.
Sixthly,—It is a treasure for its safety. This treasure being out of men's views is therefore secured from men's reach and touch : treasures lie not loose, but are under lock and key : those at Rome are now laid up in the impregnable Castle of St. Angelo. Treasurecities are always well fenced, guards are appointed to attend them; dragons were fancied to wait on treasures; hence come dragooners, say some. But sure I am, the treasure of a Christian is safe; grace and peace are a saint's freehold that men and devils cannot deprive him of; grace is an incorruptible seed, and God hath engaged himself to maintain it; Mary's better part cannot be taken from her; as soon, saith one, may they pluck Christ out of heaven, as grace out of my heart. Nay the treasure of joy can no man take from the believing soul,* for this pure stream of spiritual joy, grows stronger and sweeter, till it be
* John xvi. 22.
swallowed up in the vast ocean of our Master's joy in eternal bliss. A Christian's treasure is locked up in his heart, which is a cabinet that none can wrest open: Christ's heart was pierced, that a Christian's might remain untouched; hence it becomes impenetrable, and invulnerable. A lively emblem whereof was the heart of John Huss, which remained entire, even when his body was consumed in the flames. The heart may be pulled out of the bosom, but not a saint's treasure out of his heart.
Seventhly.-In a treasure there is readiness for present supply, it is but giving a turn with the key, and taking out provision, and making use thereof, which is as soon made ready as Abraham's feast for the angels, or Jacob's venison for his father Isaac. He that hath a treasure of food, hath it not to seek when he should use it; as the man in the Parable, that ran to call up his neighbour, to borrow three loaves because he had nothing to set before his friend that came unexpectedly ; * but the well-furnished Christian can make God welcome in all his visits, in mercy or displeasure, and own him as a friend, whether he come by day or by night; a wellstored soul hath something in readiness for his honourable guest. A notable resemblance hereof we have in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins ; the oil in the lamp is the treasure of grace in the heart; and though the virgin Christian may slumber as to the exercise of grace, yet he is ready upon a sudden alarm for the bridegroom's entertainment; but the foolish virgin is the treasureless soul, the graceless sinner, that hath no oil at all, but while he goes to buy, is shut out of the presence-chamber. But of this more hereafter; only observe, in general, that he * Luke xi. 5, 6.
+ Matt. xxv. lll.
that hath a treasure will be quickly furnished with all accommodations, on all occasions.
ON THE CHRISTIAN'S TREASURE.
The second general head is, what is the treasure that our Saviour speaks of here? I conceive it is principally intended of the thoughts of the heart, which are called the possessions of the heart,* (Job xvii. 11.) because these are the first-born of the soul, and enjoy the inheritance of it. You cannot turn off the thoughts from their freehold, you may suspend the tongue from speaking, the hand from acting, but you cannot suspend the soul from thinking, while it is a rational soul; for this is the essential property of it, while it is itself. Good or bad thoughts are every man's treasure and possession; and these centre and settle in the heart; these are the spring and source of actions and expressions. Now it is said of a godly man, “The thoughts of the righteous are right,” (Prov. xii. 5.) that is, judgment, law, measure, as the word imports;t the meaning is, a gracious person thinks as he is, according to the rules of rectified, sanctified reason; his thoughts run in a right channel, to right objects, for right ends, and are therefore very precious, and may well be called a treasure; hence David's exclamation, Ps. cxxxix. 17. “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God !” that is, say some, how rare and dear
, ' hæreditario possedit.
+ youn Lex, statutum, mensura, sive enim secundum normam et rationem, vel in judicio.—Pagnin.
jure ירש Haereditarias possessiones cordis mei , a מורשי לבבי *
are the thoughts I have of thee to my soul! This may be probable from what follows, “When I awake, I am still with thee,” in thoughts and heavenly meditations, ver. 18. Certainly a godly man's holy thoughts are a precious treasure; if his tongue be as choice silver, * what are his thoughts that furnish the tongue with profitable discourses ?
Now, as the thoughts feed the tongue and hand, so there are four springs that feed and furnish the heart with holy thoughts; these are like the four streams of the river of paradise, † they water the divine garden of a Christian's soul, and being followed to the head, will certainly lead the believer to the heavenly paradise.
Those thought-nourishing streams are-Scripture truths-spiritual graces --- large experiences — lively comforts.
The first of these, Scripture truths, is like the river Pison, which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. So this taketh in the large territories of the holy Scriptures, where there is such choice gold of divine truths, as are able to make the soul both wise and rich, unto salvation; it is a choice mercy to have the understanding furnished with a treasure of saving knowledge of gospel mysteries. Hence the command is to buy the truth,f to search the Scriptures, to seek for wisdom as for silver ;|| to search for knowledge as for hid treasures. That is a notable passage, “Let the word of God dwell richly in you.” Cor. iii. 16. [trhovoiws] copiously, abundantly, the word notes two things, s 1. The measure, and so it is rendered plenteously. 2. The worth of the knowledge of the word, and so it is otherwise ren* Prov. x. 20. + Gen. ii. 10. # Prov. xxiii. 23. || John v. 39. Prov. ii. 4.
§ Leigh Crit. Sac.