Edm. Diggle, S. T. P. Reverendissimo in Christo Patri, ac Domino, Domino Richardo Achiepiscopo Ebor. à Sa­cris Domesticis.

THE Eye of Faith, Looking at Eternity.

Being the Sum and Substance of a SERMON, Preached in the Cathedral Church of YORK, the sixth Sunday after Trinity, July the second, 1665.

By Christopher Bradley, Master of Arts of Peter-House in Cambridge, and now Rector of Thornton in Pickering-Lyth.

Augustinus de Trin.

Fides, licet ad aeternitatem perducat, temporalis tamen est: & eum ad aeternitatem ventum fuerit, e [...]ssatura.

Seneca Epist.

In omnibus rebus aeternitatem propone.

1 Pet. 1.9.

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your Souls.

YORK, Printed by Stephen Bulkley, and are to be sold by Francis Mawbarne, 1666.

To the honourable, Sir William Strickland Knight, and Baronet, his first Patron, Eternal Happinesse.

Much Honoored Sir,

IT hath pleased God since I pre­sented my last Book unto you, to take out of this Life my immedi­ate Patron, Sir William Cholmley, your Nephew, to whom that Book was principally Dedicated. And through Gods goodness, your self being my only sur­viving Patron; I am not only obliged in Du­ty, but in a manner necessitated to reflect up­on your worthy Self. I desire ever thankfully to remember, and acknowledge your Good­ness and Kindness to me, from my first com­ing to live neer you; and I must ingeniously confess that it was no little encouragement to me in the study of Divinity, that you were pleased to be the first Patron that open­ed a Door for my initiating, and entrance in­to the Ministery. I need not make a Recapi­tulation of those Christian Vertues, which are conspicuous in your sober, and Religious [Page] Conversation: nor of those gracious abilities wherewith God hath been pleased to endue you, being well known, to as many as know you. I hate both Flattery, and Ingratitude. As for this small Piece, which I now make bold to Dedicate to you; having a disposi­tion for the satisfaction of some Learned and worthy Friends, to copy a draught of it, I thought I might with one Labour do a pub­lick, good, and give them their private con­tentment: and insinuate my thankfulness to your self. Be pleased to afford this small Pre­sent your favourable Aspect and Patronage: the Subject is Grave and Ponderous, and of great concernment to all true Christians, who desire Eternal Happiness, as for my manner of handling it, I leave to the Censure of Gods Church and People. Thus praying for your Temporal and Eternal welfare: I commit you, and yours to the grace of God in Christ Jesus, and rest

Your Honours to love and serve you in the Lord. Christopher Bradley.

To the Right Worshipful Doctor John Neile, Arch-Deacon of Cleaveland; and the Worshipful Christopher Hildiard Esquire. Grace and Peace.

Mu [...]h endeared S [...]s.

AS this Sermon was preached at the desire, and in the Course of the first of you: and is now penned and presented to your reading, and perusal, at the desire of the se­cond of you, who was an Auditor, amongst divers other persons of Learning, and Qua­lity: that I may satisfie some judicious friends, and gratifie your selves: I now pre­sent it unto your kind Acceptance, and Ap­probation. The Subject is Eternity, which is the end we should all look at, it is panis quotidianus, a Doctrine for every day, in season all the Year long, never out of season: [Page] be pleased to accept this poor Service of mine, as a token of that thank-fulness I owe unto you, for your continued Favour towards me: if my poor Endeavours may be useful to the Church and People of God, I have my end. Deo Gloria, mihi venia. I hope you will pardon my Defects in the manner of handling so weighty a Subject, and that you will remember what you read 1 Kings 5.15. that at the building of Solomons Temple, there was room as well for Burden-bearers, as for other more curious Artificers: and Exod. 25.4, 5. at the first making of the Tabernacle, not only the Bringers of Blew-silk, and Purple, and Scarl [...]t: but even the poorest sort, which brought Goats-Hair, and Rams-Skins, were accepted. Thus pray­ing that we all may so pass through things Temporal, that we finally lose not the things Eternal. I commit you to Gods gratious pro­tection, and rest,

Your Worships to be commanded in the Lord Christopher Bradley.

A Sermon Preached in York-Minster, the second day of July, 1665.

2 Cor. 4.17.18.

For our light affliction, which is but for a mo­ment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory.

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen, are temporal, but the things which are not seen, are eternal.

OF these two Verses which I have read unto you, the first is the Context, the second is the Text. I shall climb no higher for the co­herence and connexion of the Text, then the Context; wherein is laid down an antidote, or sovereign Remedy of the Church and Peo­ple of God, against the afflictions of this pre­sent Life. And therefore to clear a passage to the Text, I shall a little open the Context; though the words in both verses seem to be plain and easie; yet if we look into the Ori­ginal, we shall find something that is not ob­vious to every eye. I shall therefore briefly [Page 2] descant upon the plain-song, by way of a Pa­raphrastical exposition, and that according to the Origin [...]l: [...] [...]o [...] [...]r [...]. Waters are sweetest and safest that are drunk from the fountain. In the Context we may observe two Parts. 1. A Bitter Pill, Affliction. 2. A sweet Cordial of Comfort, and that is Glory. 2. We may ob­serve the Qualifications of this Pill, by which it is alleviated, and mitigated. 1. It is light affliction 2. It is but for a moment. 3. We may observe the operation of this Pill: Affliction works Glory; light Affliction, a weight of Glory; light Affliction for a moment, an eternal weight of Glory. Unto which the Apostle makes an Hyperbolical addition, a far wore exceeding, and eternal weight of Glory. [...]. Affliction, the Greek word is a Metaphor taken from crowd­ding, or pressing in a multitude or throu [...]g of People: and it is any trouble or pressure that befalls the Soul, Body, or Estate, which God is pleased to inflict upon his Church, or any Member of it: and that for three causes e­specially, [...] the 1. is for Correction of sin past; The 2. [...] is for Prevention of sin to come; The 3. [...]. is for the Probation, or Tryal of our Faith, and other Graces: that as Stars shine bright­est in the darkest night, so the Graces of Gods [Page 3] People shine brightest in the darkest night of Affliction. 2. Light Affliction, [...]. in the Origi­nal it is lightness of Affliction, that is very light; but this is to be understood Compa­ratively, for Affliction in it self is often heavy, and no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:Heb. 12. [...] yet in these re­spects it is light affliction.

1. In regard of the demerit of sin, which deserves the heavy wrath of God to all eter­nity. 2. In regard of the shortness of it, it is but for a moment. 3. In regard of the opera­tion of it, it worketh an eternal weight of Glory; the consideration of which made the Apostle say,Rom. 8.18. I reckon that the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared with the Glory which shall be revealed in us.

4. In regard of that Patience and Support,Levius fit pa­tientia quic­quid c [...]r [...]g [...]re es [...] n [...]s [...]s. which God is pleased to give his People un­der their afflictions, and in his good time a happy issue and deliverance out of them.

[...]. This affliction is but for a moment, [...] a ve­ry little time and presently past, as the Greek word imports: so that though our affliction be long in it self, yet it is but for a moment, compared to eternal sufferings, seeing there is no proportion between the longest time, and eternity.

The third thing to be opened, is, the Ope­ration of it, though Affliction be bitter, yet here is the comfort of it, [...]is da [...] me­dus anabi­l [...]tatem. it worketh Glory. The end gives amability and sweetness unto the means; we take a bitter Potion willing­ly for healths sake, it worketh Glory. Glory is the excellency or eminency of any thing resulting and arising from its Perfection. Glo­ry in the Greek signifies that high opinion or estimation of anothers Worth or Excellency; [...] For example, Glory in God is the Excellency of his Divine nature, and Attributes above the Creatures: Glory in the Creatures is the Excellency God puts upon them, so that to glorifie God, is not to make him more glori­ous than he is, for God is infinite in all Per­fection, not capable of addition or diminu­tion. To glorifie God is to give him the praise of his Glory, according to that of the Psal­mist,Ps. 50. ult. Who so offereth Praise glorifieth me: so that to glorifie God is to divulge, and publish abroad to others what eminent Attributes, and what transcendent excellencies there are in God:Gloriosum dicere to glorifie God, is to declare him to be Glorious; to glorifie the Creature is to make him glorious.Gloriosum [...]cere. But why is it called a weight of Glory? The Apostle (as Interpreters [Page 5] agree) alludes to the Hebrew word, which signifies both weight, and glory. Glory is a grave and weighty thing, whom we honour, are of great weight with us, and highly e­steemed in our minds: and Glory, as it were, loads the beholder with admiration; and this is also amplified, by being an eternal weight of Glory. As for the Apostles addition, a far more exceeding weight of Glory. I shall not trouble you with the various expositions of Interpreters, they are very Rhetorical, and sublime: [...]. the Apostle heaps one Hyperbole upon another, so that neither Cicero nor De­mosthenes had ever so elegant a strain of Rhe­torick. And therefore I shall acquiesce in the judgment of a learned Doctor of our Church, who tells us, that no words devised by the best wit, and uttered by the most eloquent tongue of man, are able to express that sur­passing weight of Glory: and well may it be so, when both the Prophet,Esa. 61.4. 1 Cor. [...].9 and Apostle tell us, that Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entred into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But for whom will Affliction thus work? even for such, as by the eye of Faith look at eterni­ty; for such as consider the redundancy of retri­bution [Page 6] and compare present things with fu­ture things, as Oecumenius well observes. And so you see the connexion of the Text, with the Context, while we look not, &c. Now for the opening, and applying of the words. because method is the Mother of memory. I shall propound this method unto your Chri­stian consideration: 1. Explication. 2. Ob­servation. 3. Application. 1. I shall give you a brief Exposition of the words, and that ac­cording to the Original. The parts of the Text are two. 1. An intimation of a Duty. 2. The Reasons to enforce that Duty. 1. Of the Duty, While we look not, &c In the Greek it is, [...]. we not looking, the participle sig­nifying the continuation of the Action: that is, we look not with a transient eye, a glance and away, but with a constant steddy eye, that is, we must make it our main business to look at Eternity; the Greek word contains in it an elegant Metaphor, taken from one that shoots at a Mark: to teach us, that things of a spiritual, and eternal nature must be the mark and scope at which we do collime and aim. 2. Observe the eye with which we look, else that will seem a Paradox, which indeed i [...] a Divine Truth: how can we look at the [Page 7] things which are not seen? this is to be un­derstood, not of a natural or carnal eye, but of the spiritual eye of Faith; else there will be a disproportion between the faculty, and the object. And that this Exposition is true, the Apostle testifies in that Definition, or ra­ther Description of Faith: (Heb. 11.1.) Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen: and in the 27. verse of that Chapter, Moses is said by Faith to have seen him, who is invisible. Now to illustrate this a little, the natural eye is like the sight of the Owl, she cannot look upon the Sun,Excellen [...] s [...] sibil [...] struis s [...]sum. [...]. 1 Cor. 2.14. the weakness is in the faculty of sight: so the natural man, or as it is in the Greek, the Animal man (for he is a meer Animal in spi­ritual things) receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But the spiritual eye is like the sight of an Eagle, [...]. she is said to be sun-proof, looking intently upon the Sun without being dazled; and by that proper­ty makes proof of her young ones: so Belie­vers by the eye of Faith can look upon the Sun of Righteousness, Jesus Christ, Mal. 4.2. and at spiri­tual and eternal things. And so I come to [Page 8] the second part of the Text, the Reasons to enforce the Duty, and they are two. 1. The things that are seen, [...]. are temporall, the Greek word signifies for a season, a very little time. The second Reason is, but the things which are not seen, [...]. are eternal, the Greek word sig­nifies that which is alwaies in existence, in being: and the Hebrew word gned, being ad­ded to eternity, or ever, encreases the dura­tion of it, that is, ever being added to ever, for ever and ever, notes unto us all Eternities. Now Eternity is either à parte antè, or à parte pòst: God is eternal both ways, Psal. 90.2. From everlasting to everlasting thou art God. God had no beginning, and shall have no end, he is, and was, and is to come: and so much the Hebrew word Jehovah doth import, which comes from a root which signifies He was: Angels and the Souls of Men are eter­nal the last way, à parte pòst: they had a be­ginning but shall have no end, they must live ever, either in joy, or misery. And so I come to the second thing in the method propound­ed,Observ. and that is the Observation, which is this, That it is the Duty of all true Christians in all their doings and their sufferings, to look through and beyond those things which are Temporal, [Page 9] unto those thinge which are spiritual and Eter­nal.

For the confirmation of this Proposition, take two or three instances. 1. Of Christ, Looking unto Jesus, Heb. [...]. [...] the Author and finisher of our Faith: who for the joy that was set before him, endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God, 2. Moses, Heb 1 [...] [...]4, 25, [...]6. By Faith Moses when he was come to years, refused to be called the Son of Pharaohs Daughter. Chusing rather to suffer af­fliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season: esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the Trea­sures of Aegypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of reward.

The third instance is in Mary, Luk 10 41 42 who sat at Jesus feet, and heard his word: when Mar­tha was cumbred about much serving, she made a worthy choice, she had chosen that one thing necessary, the spiritual and eternal welfare of her Soul.

Reasons. As for the Reasons, I shall confine my self within the limits of my Text: and as the Doctrine takes up the 1. part, so the Reasons will take up the 2. part of it.

The 1. Reason, why we should look at [Page 10] Eternity, is, because the things which are seen are temporal: that is, they abide but for a season, they are transient, and fluent, not durable, nor permanent; and therefore So­lomon who knew well the vanity and instabi­lity of all worldly things, asks this question, wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? Prov. [...].5. What is his meaning? not that earthly things, as riches, &c. are non entia, and have no being: but that they are not the things which they seem to be, they are not so last­ing, nor so satisfactory as men expect; and therefore Solomon subjoyns in the same verse, for riches certainly make themselves wings, they fly away as an Eagle toward Heaven. Here the flight of Riches is compared to the sudden flight of an Eagle; as one property of the Eagle, is, that she is quick-sighted (as you have heard) so another property is, that she is quick flighted: so are all earthly things, fa­ding and quickly vanishing. Meteors in the Ayr, [...] are called Apparitions, because they presently appear, [...] and as presently dis-appear; so are all things that are seen, they are but Meteors, Vapours, Apparitions; and well may it be so,J [...]. 4.14. when St. James asketh this que­stion, What is your life? it is even a vapour that [Page 11] appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth a­way. So that all our Creature-comforts may quickly either be taken from us, or we from them, our life it self-being so uncertain. Hence it is that St. Paul gives that Epithet unto Riches, Trust not in uncertain Riches, 1 [...] but in the living God: Riches are uncertain, 1. In the getting, 2. In the Keeping, 3. In the leav­ing: in the Original, it is uncertainty, [...]. in the abstract, that is, nothing is more uncertain, being uncertainty it self: and yet there is something more in the word to be observed, [...] in the Composition of it, it signifies it is not manifest, or evident: that is, no demonstra­tion, or determination can be made from out­ward things, whether a man be in the favour of God, or no; whether a man be in the state of Grace, and Salvation, or no; God being pleased to use a promiscuous dispen­sation of outwards things, so that all things fall alike, in that respect, to all men, as Solo­mon well observes. Hence also it is that St. Paul urges the Corinthians to moderation in all outward things, and that by two cogent, and convincing Arguments: that, they that have Wives, be as though they had none: 1 [...] 3 [...], 3 [...] and they that weep, as though they wept not: and they that rejoyce, as though they rejoyced not: and [Page 12] they that buy, as though they possessed not: and they that use this world, as not abusing it: the first argument is antecedent, and it is this, the time is short, [...]. in the Greek, the season is contracted: that is, very short. The second Argument is consequent, for the fashion of this world passeth away: [...]. in the Greek it is the Scheme of this world; it is but a Scheme, a Figure, a Pageant, a Shew, a Fashion, and that quickly passeth away.Rev. 12.1. In the Revelation, we read of a Woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet: this Woman is the Church of God, clothed with the rich Robes of Jesus Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, and the Moon, that is, all sublunary and earthly things under her feet. God has gi­ven us the earth to set our feet upon, and not to set our hearts upon. But eternal things are durable,Prov 8.18. Riches and Honour are with me, saith Wisdome, yea durable Riches and Righte­ousness: & that leads me to the second Reason, But the things that are not seen are eternal. It is worth our observation, that eternity being ad­ded to any estate, or condition, makes it infi­nitely good, or infinitely bad: as for Example, to have the favour of God, the light of his countenance, his blissful presence, the society of [Page 13] Saints and Angels, for a day, a year, &c. were very good: but to enjoy this happiness to all eternity, makes it infinitely good. So on the contrary to feel horrour of Conscience, a se­paration from God, to burn in fire and brim­stone for a day, or a year, &c. were very bad: then what is it to endure these to all eternity? this makes the misery to be infinitely evil. Thus you see the Reasons why Christians should look beyond this present life, unto those things which are spiritual and eternal: And so I come to the third, and last thing in the method propounded, and that is Appli­cation.

Application. 1 1. Hence we learn, from this Doctrine of eternity, to be soundly perswaded, and well grounded in these two Scripture-Truths, 1. The immortality of the Soul, and 2. the happiness, or misery of the life to come, which will last to all eternity. As for the first, though it hath been oft impugned both by ancient Hereticks, and modern Schismaticks: yet that the Soul of man is not only a spiritu­al Essence, which actuates the body in which it is, but an immortal Essence too, which shall overlive the body, we have good proof both from the Old, and New Testament: see [Page 14] Eccl. 12.7. Luke 23.46. and not only the ancient Fathers, but the learned Gentiles by the light of Nature, and dull spectacles of Philosophy, have asserted this Truth. If I were to speak to Heathens, I might imitate St. Paul, who confuted the Athenians, Cretians, and others, out of their own Greek Poëts: but seeing (thanks be to God) I speak to Christians, I need not tell you, what opinion Plato, Pythagoras, Aristotle, and others held of the Souls immortallity: seeing it is a receiv­ed Axiom in Philosophy,Anima ratio­nalis est im­mortali [...] that the rational Soul is immortal.

And if the Soul be immortal, and shall be re-united to the body at the Resurrection, then it must have an Ʋbi, a place of eternal bliss, or misery. And not only the Scriptures, but the Greek and Latine Poëts, do make mention of Heaven, and Hell, their Elysian fields, and Tartarean Dungeon, and the like. 2 As for the glories of the life to come, and mi­series of the second death, Heathens, as well as Christians have much written. Now if we would know, wherein the blessedness of the life to come doth consist, both the Scriptures and the Fathers tell us, that it consists in the Beatifical vision of Almighty God.Mat. [...].8. Blessed [Page 15] are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. In thy Presence is fulness of joy, Ps. 16. ult. and at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore, saith the Psal­mist. And St. Austin tells us,Visio Dei beati­fica sola est summum bo­num nostrum. that only the bea­tifical vision of God, is our chiefest good. As for the miseries of the life to come, they consist in a separation from the Presence of God: as St. Paul intimates 2 Thes. 1.9.Rev. 20.6. this is called the second Death, not properly, but Analogically: for as the death of the body, is the separation of the Soul from the body: so the death of the Soul, is the separation of the Soul from God.Poena damni est p [...]talior, quam poeta sensus. Mortem sine morte. [...]. And this Divines call the punishment of loss, which they say, is greater than the punishment of sense. Hence it is that some of the Fathers call this second Death, a death without death, or a never-dying death; it is a liveless life: such is the miserable condi­tion of the second Death.

2. This Doctrine reproves and condemns those that mind only earthly things: Phil. 3.19. Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. Sensual Atheists, Epicures,Epicuri de gre­ge porci. Libertines, called not only in Scripture, but in prophane Authors, swine, and dogs.Heb. 12.16. Pro­phane Esau sold his birthright for one morsel of [Page 16] meat: and prophane men sell Heaven for a little earth, the joys of eternal life, for the pleasures of sin which are but for a season. Whence is it, that any should hold the Soul to be mortal? but from a principle of Epicu­rism: when (for ought that I could ever read) the immortality of the Soul, was never positively denied by any Sect of Philosophers, except the Epicures; who placing the chief happiness, or summum bonum, in corporal plea­sures, were, as it were, engaged to cry down the Soul.

3 The third lesson we may learn from hence, is, to teach us the Reason why they that truly fear God, and mind the salvation of their souls, dare not run with others to the like sensuality, and excess of riot: and there­fore saith St. Peter, 1 Pet. 4.4, 5. they think it strange: speaking evil of you, who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. They look at the reckoning-day, they look at eternity, they consider how they may get through this troublesome world with good Consciences.2 Pet. 1.5, 6, 7, 8, 9. [...] They give all diligence to add to Faith, Vertue; to Vertue, Knowledge, &c. but he that lacketh these thingr, is blind, and cannot see afar off: he cannot look at Eternity: [Page 17] but the other labour to grow in Grace, that they may be prepared for the Kingdom of Glory.

4 The fourth lesson, which is the main in­struction of this point, is to exhort us in all things to look at eternity. And this indeed is that, which we must all aim at, if we have a­ny of that zeal to the Kingdom of Heaven, which was so eminent in the Patriarchs, Pro­phets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors as to be left upon Record for our instruction. Now that we may look at our spiritual and eternal condition: 1. We must labour for a lively and saving Faith in Jesus Christ; Faith is the eye of the Soul, to see, as the hand of the Soul, to receive: 2. Labour to live by faith, 2 Cor. 5. [...] and not by sense. Let us not so much consider what shall become of us in this Life, as what shall become of us to all Eternity. And let us alwaies remember, that eternal life is be­gun in this life, called the life of Grace; Grace and Glory differ only in degrees. Grace is the imitation of Glory, and Glory the con­summation of Grace: none can live the life of Glory, but such as live the life of Grace here: without Regeneration, there is no sal­vation. Christ told Nichodemus, Jo. [...].3. Except a man [Page 18] be borne againe, he cannot enter into the King­dome of Heaven. So that while this life last­eth, eternal life must be acquired, or lost for ever-.

1 Now give me leave a little, to speak to all conditions of men that hear me:Heb. 13. [...]1. and I be­seech you Brethren, suffer the word of Exhorta­tion, by a particular Application. 1. You that are Magistrates, and Governors either in Church or State, let all your actings be for the glory of God, the honour of the King, the Good, Peace, Welfare, and Tranquility of the places where you live: fulfil the end of Magistracy, which is to suppress sin, and vice, and to encourage vertue and piety: that people may lead under you,1 Tim. 2.2. a quiet, and a peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. And may more cheerfully and willingly,1 Pe [...] [...].13, 14 Submit themselves to every Ordinance of man for the Lords sake, whether it be to the King as supreme, or unto Governours, as unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well. That so you may give a good account at the last day, and may receive the Crown of life.

2 We that are Ministers of Gods Holy Word and Sacraments, let all our preaching be for [Page 19] Eternity. Let the Glory of God and the salvation of Souls, be our chief aim, let conviction, conversion and edification be the end and scope of our teaching. Dan. 12.3. they that be wise, shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many unto righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever: but who are they that are wise?Intellig [...]nte [...] Err [...]a [...]nt [...]. the Hebrew word, which is translated wise, is also rendred teaching, or Teachers, as it is in the Margent of our Bibles. They that are wise, are such as by their painful teaching, turn many unto righteousness. Let us see another excellent place, Prov. 11.30. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he that winneth Souls is wise. The Tree of Life was a type of immortallity, and you see here again who is wise, he that winneth Souls; the Hebrew word signifies to take, or catch, and it is a Metaphor taken from Fowlers, or Fishers who use all art and industry to catch birds or fish. The Devil is very busie to catch Souls from us, let us be very industrious to catch Souls from him: the wiles of the Devil, [...] Epa. [...]. are in the Greek called Methods: let us use all our method to reco­ver Souls from him, and let us oft reade, and meditate upon that counsel which St. Paul [Page 20] gives to Tymothy, 2 Tim. 2.3 last verses: thus doing, when the chief Shepheard shall appear, we also may receive a Crown of Glory. 3 You that are Citizens of this ancient and famous City, labour to be free Denizens of Heaven. That ye be no more Strangers and Forreigners, Eph. 2 19. but Fel­low Citizens with the Saints, and of the hous­hold of God.

Phil. 3.20. Let your Conversation be in Heaven, go about earthly business with Heavenly minds; the Greek word translated Conversation, [...]. signi­fies Citizen-ship: [...]. 13.14. therefore remember, that you have here no continuing City, but must seek one to come.

4 You that are Merchants, and Trades-men, trade for Heaven and Eternity. And remem­ber that the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a Merchant man, Mat. [...]3.45, 46. seeking goodly Pearls, who when he had found one Pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. This Pearl is Jesus Christ with all his benefits, which you should diligently seek: wise Merchants when they go beyond Sea, use to buy such Commodities as are cheap there, but are ven­dible at home, at a good rate; even so while you are here, not at home, but Strangers and Forreigners, buy such Commodities as will [Page 21] give a good rate, when you come at home, in Heaven: the benefits of Christ, Grace, and the new-Creature are cheap here, in regard of the paucity and fewness of men that look after them: but they will be of great price in Heaven, which is our home, our own Coun­try. Let no worldly profit hinder your care for your Souls; What will it profit a man, Mat. [...]6.26. if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own Soul; saith our Saviour. Be not so careful how to lay a foundation of greatness for Posterity, as how to lay a good foundation against the time to come, that ye may lay hold on eternal Life. 1 Tim 6.19. It was a complaint of devout Salvian, that men,Salvian. ad Eccl. Cathol. Lib. 2. to leave others rich for a short time, did often condemn themselves to eternal poverty.

5 Lastly, You that are poor Labourers, take our Saviours counsel, Jo. 6.27. Labour not (so much) for the meat which perisheth, as for the meat which endureth to eternal Life. And remember for your comforts, that if you be true Believers in Christ, and look at Eterni­ty, that God hath chosen the poor of this world, rich in Faith, and Heirs of the King­dome which he hath promised to them that love him, James 2.5.

Now that I may give you some few Mo­tives and encouragements to this Duty:

1 The looking at Eternity will make us the less to love and prize the things of this world, and be well contented with our Con­dition.

2 It will make us patiently to bear all Affli­ctions, and troubles: when we consider, that strait is the Gate, Mar. 7.14. [...]. and narrow is the Way (or as it is in the Greek, full of Affliction) which lead­eth unto Life, and few there be that find it: and that if we suffer with Christ, 2 Tim. 2.12. we shall reign with him.

3 This will make us that we shall not envy the prosperity of wicked men, read Ps. 37.1, 2.

4 This will sweetly bring on the Meditation of Death: why is Death so fearful to the wicked?Heb. 9.27. but because, it is appointed for all men once to dye: and after that comes Judgment; and after that Eternity: Why is death so comfortable to the godly? But because their temporal death, is a passage to Eternal Life; when they can say believingly, we know that if our earthly House of this Tabernacle were dissolved: 2 Cor. 5. [...] we have a building of God, an House not made with Hand, eternal in the Heavens. 5 The next lesson we learn from this Doctrine, [Page 23] is for Caution, to take heed of all sin, even the least sin is of an eternal guilt, being com­mitted against an eternal God, and must have an eternal expiation by the Blood of Christ, or else an eternal punishment.

6 Lastly, (that I may hasten, to conclude with the time) this may teach us an use of Gratulation, to be thankful unto God, that hath given us immortal Souls, and a true Faith in Jesus Christ, that he hath given any of us Grace carefully to look after our eter­nal estate and condition: and that he hath prepared eternal happiness for us. And that we may be better stirred up to thankfulness; I shall allude to that of David, 2 Sam. 7.18, 19, 20. Read the place, I pray you, we may apply it thus: Lord who am I, that thou hast brought me hitherto, that thou hast preserved me to this day: but thou hast spoken of thy Servants House for a great while yet to come: thou hast appointed me to happiness to all Eternity. And what can David say more? this surpasseth the speech of all created Eloquence. This should mightily affect us, we should be so ra­vished with the Contemplation of the gloryes of the life to come, that we should not only praise God with our lips (see. Ps. 103.1, 2.) [Page 24] but also with our lives: that so glorifying him a few days upon Earth, we may be glori­fied with him, and by him, to all eternity in Heaven. Now let us turn our praise into prayer, that through the Grace and Guidance of Gods Holy Spirit, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


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