The Celestial Race.

A DISCOURSE Perswading to the PRACTICE OF Celerity, Constancy, & Sincerity IN THE WAYS of GOD.

Preached at the Funeral of Mrs. Elizabeth Knock, Daughter of Mr. Thomas Knock, of Edgerton in Kent, who died January 2. Anno Dom. 1692. in the Eleventh year of her Age.

By William Bush Minister of the Gospel.

Non dormentibus provenit regnum coelorum nec otio & desidiae torpentibus beatitudo aeternita­tis ingeritur. Prosp. de vi. contempl.

LONDON: Printed for John Dunton at the Raven in the Poultry. MDC [...]XCII.

TO THE Christian Readers, Especially the AUDITORS OF THIS SERMON.

HAving now compli'd with the Desires of those that were the Hearers of this Discourse, to make it Publick, I hope 'twill meet with that Ac­ceptation [Page] as Discourses of this Nature should among Christians. That the Subject might have been managed after a better manner, is not at all doubted of, but acknow­ledged; and I hope the Rea­der will be more favourable than to Censure me as Proud or Conceited of my own Labours, or Ambitious of appearing in Print; assuring you, I had not done it now, had it been possible for me fairly to have avoided it. And altho the manner after which the Subject is mana­ged, [Page] be mean and despisable, yet the Matter it self may be useful (by the Blessing of the Almighty) to excite Slothful Christians to a grea­ter diligence in their Duty; to reduce the wandring to the right way; to keep such as are going on in the ways of God, from Apostatizing; and to discover and beat down that great sin, Hy­pocrisy, that is ('tis to be fear'd) predominant in a great many seeming serious Christians, and in some as much unknown to themselves [Page] as to others. If any object a­gainst it, because of its plain­ness, I hope this Answer will satisfy them; It was not de­sign'd to please Persons Fan­cies, but to profit their Souls; and I had rather be under­stood, than admir'd. I now hope, Christians, you will propose the same end to your selves in Reading, as I do in Writing, which is, That your Souls might receive be­nefit and comfort hereby. I shall say no more, but be­seech the God of all Grace to help and enable you so to run [Page] the Race that is set before you, that you may at last ob­tain a Crown of Glory. And this I shall do particularly for you that were the Hearers of this Sermon, and that usu­ally attend upon my Mini­stry. I conclude my self,

Your Souls Friend and Servant in the Gospel of Christ Jesus, W. BUSH.


1 COR. ix. 24. latter part.

So run, that ye may obtain.

VVHEN we seriously reflect upon the cer­tainty of our Dy ng, and the uncertainty of the time when; when we consi­der too, that the longest time of living is but short, so short, that if it were well improved in working out our Salvation, we should find very few spare minutes; or that we had too much, we should seldom be heard to complain. I say, when we seri­ously [Page 2] consider of these things, sure­ly we shall be mov'd to a greater diligence in preparing for Eternity, in making ready our Accounts, in running swiftly the Race that is set before us, lest Death overtake us as we are loytering, and stop us be­fore our Course be finished, and then we are eternally undone. I therefore pray and beseech you, in the Name of my Master Christ, not only to give serious Attention to this seasonable Exhortation that the Apo­stle gives you in my Text, but also to make it your practice so to run, as to obtain.

In the former part of the verse, the Apostle borroweth a Similitude from those that run a Terrestial Race for a Temporary Reward; that as in that Race, tho many run, yet 'tis only he that out-runs the rest that persevereth to the end, that ob­tains the Prize; even so in the Race of Godliness, none shall be crown'd, but those that hold out to the end of their lives. Yet, notwithstanding, [Page 3] there is this difference in this Simili­tude, In the Race Terrestial, he only is rewarded that cometh first to the Mark; but in the Race Celestial, not only one, but all that run lawfully, shall obtain.

The Doctrine that I shall (by the assistance of the Almighty) discourse of from the words, is this,

That the greatest Speediness and Ce­lerity in the ways of God, must be con­stantly practised by those that would ob­tain everlasting Life.

The Method that I shall follow in speaking to this Doctrine, will be this,

1. I shall give you Reasons for the proof of it.

2. Shew you how you may fit and prepare your selves to run spee­dily and swiftly in this heavenly Race.

[Page 4]3. Speak of the Reward impli'd in my Text, which will be certain­ly given to those that run lawfully. And,

4. And lastly, Apply it.

That those that run in this heaven­ly Race, must run swiftly and spee­dily, I shall prove by these three Reasons.

The first may be drawn from the celerity, brevity, and uncertainty of our Lives, which here in my Text, is compar'd to a Race for swiftness in passing away; for so run that ye may obtain, is as if the Apostle had said, So live un­der the Gospel of Christ Jesus, that ye may obtain Life everlast­ing. The Life of Man is always (in Scripture) compared to such things as denote the celerity, the brevity, and the uncertainty of it; sometimes 'tis compar'd to a sha­dow, as Psalm 109.23. sometimes to a vapour, as James 4.14. that ap­peareth [Page 5] for a little time, and then vanishes away. Job Job 9.20. considering the swift passage of mans Life, com­pareth it to the swift motion of the Eagle when hasting to her prey; or the swift Ships on the Waters; that which is of least duration, and of most speedy passage, may be a fit Comparison of the Life of Man; the youngest, and the strongest in a very short space must be removed hence. Active Youth is quickly metamorphosed into crooked Age; so frail and uncertain are our lives, that for ought we know, one week, or day, or hour, yea, perhaps one moment more, may put a period to them. We have daily Examples of the uncertainty of the time of our departure hence; we see one cut down in his early Spring, and in his blooming greener Youth, and his Sun is covered with Darkness, almost as soon as it begins to rise, whilst another weathers out the Storms, and grows to a mature and full Age. One does but peep as it [Page 6] were into the World, takes a short view of it, and is commanded out again; and is at his Journeys end in the morning of his Life; and another is allowed to travel till the shadows of the Evening are stretched out, according to their most regular Advances, and till the threescore and ten, that is the usual date of long Life, is expired. One is quickly summon'd to the great Tribunal and judged, whilst ano­ther has a longer space wherein to prepare for his Tryal,Vid. Mr: Roger's Practical Discourse of Sickness and Reco­very, page 13. and his final Doom. You may now, for ought you know, be hearing of your last Sermon, and offer up now your last Prayer, and have no other op­portunity than this that you now enjoy, to prepare and make ready for Eternity, but be immediately summoned to appear at the Tribu­nal of God, to render an Account to him of all your publick and se­cret Actions, for all that you have ever thought, ever spoke, or done; for all the Talents, the Time, the [Page 7] Mercies, the Health, the Strength, the Opportunities, and the Seasons, and Days of Grace that you ever had; for all the Evil that you might have avoided; for all the Good that you might have done, and did not, and all this before that Judge, who has beheld your ways from your Birth to the Grave;Vid. Mr. Roger's Practical Discourse of Sickness and Reco­very, page 49. be­fore that Judge who cannot be de­ceiv'd, and who will not be im­posed upon. And is there not then a necessity of being speedy in your Course? Do you apprehend so much as one minute to loyter in, seeing you know not whether you may live so small a space of time longer? And when this Life is end­ed, our work is done, for after this Life there will be no place for Pardon, nor space for Repen­tance; There is no work, Eccl. 9.10. nor de­vice, nor knowledg, nor wisdom in the grave whither we are all going. Therefore must we be speedy in the ways of God, because the time of our lives (which is all the [Page 8] time we have) is so short, so un­certain, and hasting away so fast from us.

The second Reason may be drawn from the great Work that we have to do in this little time. How ma­ny Corruptions have we to subdue, and Lusts to mortify, and Temp­tations to resist? What loads of Sin yet lye upon many of us unpar­doned, because unrepented of? What subtil, politick, powerful Ene­mies have we to engage with, such as the World, the Flesh, and the Devil? The World is daily entice­ing of us with its Pleasures, Pro­fits, or Honours, perswading us to place our Affections upon these fading Vanities, and to accept of its favours, which, alas, are but as the Salutes of an Enemy; and yet how hard is it for the best of God's People to keep themselves from the Pollutions of it! That it is so, our own daily Experience teacheth us; and yet this so enticing an Enemy we must keep our selves from the [Page 9] loving of; for if any Man love the World, i. e. with a predominant Love, or the things that are in the world, 1 John 2.15. the love of the Father is not in him. A second Enemy is the Flesh, which always murmurs at Subjection, and is at continual va­riance with the Spirit;Gal. 5.17. and there is great difficulty in overcoming so near a Foe: This was it, that made that great Apostle, volens nolens, become a Captive.Rom. 7.19 Caesar being once ask'd, What was the most difficult thing to overcome in this Life? Answered, Seipsum vincere, to overcome himself and his untamed Affections. The third is the Devil, called, [...],Vid. Leigh's Crit. Sacra. p. 235. from the Hebrew word, [...], Sit­nah, which is Adversarius, an Ad­versary; he is really the impla­cable Enemy of our Souls, and joyns his Assistance to the World and Flesh, that so by one means or other he might destroy us; this is he that tempts so subtilly, so frequently, that we must, and [Page 10] ought to be always prepared for him; and unless we are furnished with the whole Armour of God,Ephes. 4. from 13. to 18. 'tis impossible for us to withstand him; so subtil and potent is he, that the holiest Souls, at some time or other, have been overcome by him. Now, what great reason is there for us to use the greatest speed we can, that have not only so little time, and so much work to do in it, but also such subtil and potent Enemies to contend with, and to overcome? Well might the Apostle sayPhil. 2.12. Non dicit Apo­stolus nude [...] sed [...], id est, accuratè magnoque cum studio operamini. Chrys., Work (not play, or idle) out your salvation with fear and trembling. Well may the Church of God be called Ecclesia Mi­litans, seeing it has so many, and so great Enemies, continually to engage with.

A third, and last, may be drawn from Example: Those that run an earthly Race, tho but for a mean Reward, what pains do they take, how extremely do they strain them­selves, that they may run swiftly [Page 11] to obtain? And shall we that run the Celestial Race (and that for so great a Reward as Heaven is) run slowly? Shall they take greater pains, and be more swift and spee­dy for a perishing Reward, than we for an eternal one? God for­bid! The Sun too, may be an Ex­ample to us in this respect, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, Psalm 19.5. and rejoyceth as a strong man to run his race. And not on­ly is the Sun an Example to us, but also our Lord himself, who whilst he was in the World, was never idle: He wrought the works of him that sent him, John [...].4. while it was day. He left the bosome of his Fa­ther, and came into the World, and became Man, and was like un­to Man in all things, Sin only excepted; overcame Death and Hell, fulfill'd the Law of God, and satisfied his Justice for us, appeas­ed his Wrath against us, and has purchased for his People, by his [Page 12] Death, Everlasting Life. Thus was all his time vigorously employ'd in per­forming the work he came about; well might the Church compare him (for his swiftness) to a Roe, Cant. 2.9. or a young Hart.

Thus have I prov'd, That Ce­lerity and Speed in the ways of God, must of necessity be practised by those that would obtain Ever­lasting Life. And that, First, be­cause of the shortness of our Lives, and their speedy passing away from us; so soon are our days done, that if we are not speedy, they will be gone before our work be done.

Secondly, Because of the great work we have to do in this little time, which is so great, that we have need of more, rather than spare (for Sin and Vanity) any of that we have.

Thirdly, Because of the Examples of Swiftness and Speediness, that [Page 13] we have, not only of Persons that run with the greatest speediness an earthly Race, for the fading Va­nities of the World; and of the Sun; but also of our Lord him­self, who was most speedy in work­ing out our Redemption, and ought to be imitated of all Christians. For every Action of Christ ought to be instruction unto us,Omnis Christi a­ctio, nostra debet esse instructio. Gregor. Joh. 14.6. he hath left us an Example; let us therefore tread in his steps, who is the way, the truth, and the life.

Now this Celerity, this Speedi­ness in the ways of God must be constantly and continually practi­sed without giving over, and that to the end of your lives; for begin­ning well in the ways of Godli­ness, is nothing, unless perseve­rance be resolv'd; for as those that run a Race, tho they run never so directly, never so swiftly, shall not obtain the prize unless they per­severe to the end of it, even so if we continue not in the ways of God [Page 14] to the end of our lives, we shall miss of Heaven. The Soldier is not rewarded with Spoil, till he hath obtain'd the Victory, nei­ther shall we be crown'd, till we have been more than Conquerors in Christ Jesus.Rom. 8.37. Should you live in the Profession of the Gospel for many years, and at last prove Apostates, you would miss of Sal­vation; 'tis none but those that endure to the end that shall be saved;Matth. 10.2 [...]. and yet notwithstanding, there are many that are guilty in this respect; this Age abounds with short-winded Professors, that are eager for a spurt, and then give over; that for fear of Affliction, or Reproach, or the Impair of their Credit, or Esteem in the World; nay, some such Fools there are, (for I can call them by no fitter Name) that for a Scoff, or a Jeer, will turn back, will carry the Lord his Livery home again, and will wear it no longer: But it had been [Page 15] better for such, that they had ne­ver known the ways of God, than thus to depart from them; nay, it had been better that they had never been born, for God ab­hors Apostates with his Soul;Heb. 10.38. there­fore if you would obtain Heaven, pull not your Necks out of Christs Yoak, keep forward, give not o­ver upon any account; but the very first step you take in the ways of Godliness, resolve (by the assistance of Divine Grace) to per­severe to the end of your Lives, for it must (you see) of necessity be done. Remember Lot's Wife, who for looking back was turn'd into a Pillar of Salt, for an Ex­ample to all those that hereafter should turn their backs upon God. Let the Apostle, therefore, be our Pattern in this respect,Phil. 3 14. To press for­ward towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Having thus prov'd the Doctrine, I proceed to the second particular, namely, to shew you how you may fit and prepare your selves to run spee­dily and swiftly in this Heavenly Race.

If therefore you would be fitted and prepared to run speedily and swiftly in the ways of God, observe these three things:

First, Avoid wicked Company, which has been the ruin of ma­ny a Soul. When Conscience is once thoroughly awakened, and Persons come to be convinced of the Soul-destroying Nature of their Sins, amongst other their complaints, do we not sometimes hear them utter such as these; O that I had never known the Names, nor seen the Faces of such and such Per­sons! These were they that enti­ced me to Sin, to ruin my Soul; these were they that taught me to speak the Language of Hell; these [Page 17] were they that taught me to damn, and to sink my own, and others precious Souls; these were they (that by the help of the Devil, and my own corrupt Inclinations) made me in love with all manner of Iniquity, and to hate the thoughts of Piety, and living to my Crea­tor and God; these were they that made me out of love with the ways of Holiness, and to become an utter Enemy to those that walk in them; these were they that en­couraged me in every thing that was offensive to the Almighty, in every thing that might further the ruin of my poor Soul; to despise the Counsel of my Godly Parents, Relations, and Friends; to mock at the wholsome Instructions of Gods Ministers, and to laugh and jeer at Hell and Damnation. O that I should adhere to their devilish Counsel! O that I should be so easily drawn away to my own ruin! I say, are not these sometimes the [Page 18] complaints of many poor Souls? And who is able to express the Sor­rows they undergo upon this ac­count, before their Comfort comes, if not, go mourning to their Graves. O consider when you are gaming, or swearing, or drinking to excess, or profaning the Lords day, &c. with your wicked Companions, how unlikely you are to make haste to Heaven, when you are going in the ready way that leads to Hell. Now this I would have all take special notice of, but espe­cially young Persons, for they are more subject to be drawn away; the green Twig is easily bent; O young Persons, I beseech you (if you would run with speed in the ways of God) take heed of wick­ed Company; though they entice you never so frequently, never so strongly; like those, Proverbs 1. from 11. to 15. though they pretend never such Friendship and Love; Yet, as one says, never count them [Page 19] your Friends, nor such as will do you any kindness, that would lead you to Sin, the Devil, and Dam­nation. Though they tell you of time enough when you are old, to seek after Heaven and Happiness, and that 'tis Folly and Madness, to spend the prime of your time in seeking for uncertainties, and bringing your selves to such a Course of Life, as deprives you of all Comfort, Delight, and Plea­sure; though they endeavour to dis­swade you from going forward, by telling you of Lions in the way, and would have you turn back a­gain, and Sin your selves to Hell with them; and endeavour to stay you so long till you have not time enough (should you be never so speedy) to reach your Journeys end, yet hearken to none of their Delusions, bid defiance to them all. As to their perswading you to let alone your Repentance till old Age; tell them, late Repentance is sel­dom [Page 20] safe. Tell them there's no rea­son that God should accept of the lame and rotten Service of your old Age, when you have given the prime of your strength to the Devil. Therefore take Solomon's Counsel,Prov. 1.10. and 15. My Son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. My son, walk not thou in the way with them, re­frain thy feet from their path. It was not lawful for a Jew to con­verse with a Samaritane, neither might the Hebrew eat with the Egyptian, but it was accounted abominable; neither is it lawful for us that are going to Heaven to be the Familiars of those that are going to Hell. We are commanded to withdraw our selves from those that walk disorderly, 2 Thessal. 3.6. I beseech you therefore a second time (particularly young ones) to abandon such, for they will great­ly impede and hinder you in your way:Psal. 119.63. O be like the Psalmist, A companion of all them that fear the [Page 21] Lord, and that keep his precepts; These will further you in your way, and excite you to be speedy in your Course, and encourage you by helping of you forward all they can, and accompany you in your way, which will be great Com­fort. But so much as to the first particular, namely, That if we would run with speediness in the ways of God, we must avoid wick­ed Company, which if we do not, will be a very great, yea, a conti­nual, if not an eternal hindrance to us.

Secondly, If we would be prepa­red to run speedily and swiftly in this heavenly Race, we must be un­loaded of the things of this World. Persons that run a Terrestrial Race divest themselves of their Garments, that they may run more swiftly; so if we would run swiftly in the ways of Holiness, we must be dis­burdened so far of the things of this World, as that they may not im­pede [Page 22] our course, or make us run slowly; some are so cumber'd with the world that they can't wag a foot towards Heaven; and others so clogg'd that if they do go at all, 'tis very heavily, hardly set one foot before another, as we say: O how do they suffer the world to take up so much of their precious time,Mr. Gouges Word to Sinners, &c. page 135. that they can scarce find any leisure either for Closet-devotions, or Family-Prayers, but make their Religion give place to their world­ly businesses. And when at any time they fall upon the performance of Holy Duties, how are their hearts at that very time taken up with worldly thoughts, and imaginations; so that instead of conversing with God in his Holy Ordinances, and enjoying Communion with him therein, they converse with the world, and hold Communion with the De­vil. Too many there are whose a­ctions tell us, that they have no time to pray in their Families, no [Page 23] time to instruct their Children and Servants in the things of God; no time to think of God, nor of their Duty to him; much less to per­form it; no time to prepare for Death and Eternity, nor to consi­der of the state of their poor Souls. Surely such as these will not dare to make such a plea at the Bar of God, when he shall ask them, Why did you not obey my Commands, and observe to do my pleasure? Why did you not take care of your Souls, and mind Eternity by pre­paring for it? I say surely such as these dare not reply, Lord, we had no time, which is in effect to say, Lord, we spent so much time in Tra­ding for Earth, that we had no time to Trade for Heaven: We had so much business in the Shop, that we could not frequent our Closets much: In truth, Lord, we had so much love for the things of the world, that we had none for thee nor our poor souls. Good God! [Page 24] what will be the state of such souls! surely, if there may be no­ted degrees of torments in a place of such misery as Hell is, these must have the hottest there. Now 'tis love to the world that makes persons so eager after it; if they did not love the world and the things thereof, they would not spend so much time and pains in seeking after the vanities thereof; and 'tis this that makes you right world­lings, for 'tis not the bare having, or possessing of the things of this world that makes you such. Now 'tis impossible for those to run speedily and swiftly in the ways of God, that have placed their affe­ctions on the world; a worldling may make, indeed, a fair professi­on, and shew great forwardness, and speediness in the ways of God, like the rich young man,Vid. Mat. 19.20, 21, 22. but when it comes to this, That their worldly enjoyments must be parted with, if they would keep themselves in [Page 25] God's ways; if they would run so as to obtain, which is speedily, why then they leave going any farther, and are with him, seem­ingly sorry, that Heaven can't be had at cheaper rates, so that their love to God and his ways is but from the teeth outward, as we say; 'tis no more than what may serve their interest in the world; so that in reality, the world is their God, their treasure is here, and their hearts must of necessity be here too,Mat. 6.21. for where the treasure is, there will the heart be also. O therefore, whatever we have of the things of this world, let us not set our hearts upon them, let us not incumber our selves so much with them, as to let them take up all, or so much of our time, as to have none (or not enough) to spare for, to seek after (so as to obtain) Heaven: let us no longer so love the world, nor the things of it, as to suffer it to keep us [Page 26] back,Vid. Mr. Roger's Pract. Discourse of Sickn. and Recov. pa. 226, 227. or to hinder us in our run­ning this Heavenly race. Let us not paint it with more alluring Colours, lest we be still more in love with it, and more loth to leave it; for shall we more easily part with things sumptuous and splendid, than with things that are meaner and less suited to a fleshly mind and life? We are Pilgrims, and shall we be so industrious to plant, and build, and sow in a strange Country, when we con­fess we are distant from our home? What man would set himself to a­dorn his Inn, from which he may dislodg the next morning, and it may be never see it any more? Surely the fadingness of the things of this world, might make us out of love with them: You may be rich and honourable to day, and by the morrow, Beggars. He that seriously considers of the many and great enjoyments that Job was pos­sessed with,Job 1. and how soon he was [Page 27] depriv'd of all, and brought to the Dunghill, certainly can say no more of this world and things of it, than what the Wiseman says,Eccles. 1.2 Vanity of vanities, vanity of vanities, all is vanity. Why should sick Dreams run away with our hearts?Mr. Gale's Serm. in the Sup­plem. to the Morn. Exercise, &c. what are all those things your hearts lust after, but the scum, froth, dross, and refuse of the Creati­tion? Ah poor fools! why are your hearts so much bewitch'd with these night-visions, whorish Idols, or cursed nothings of time? Remember how dear you pay for your beloved Idols, how much they are salted with the curse of God. What fools are we to suffer our selves to be hindred in our way to Heaven, by and for such things as are of so short a durati­on and continuance. Were the things of this world never so ex­cellent, delightful and profitable, yet the consideration of their spee­dy passing away, should be, (one [Page 28] would think) an argument suffici­ent to wean our love from them, and to keep us from suffering any thing of the world to stop or hin­der us in running our race. 'Twas a great saying of that Jansenist, I would never begin to love that, which one day I must cease to love.

3ly. And lastly, As we must be unladen without, so we must also be empty within: Now that which clogs us within, and hin­ders us from running speedily in the ways of God, is sin; this is a dead weight to the soul, and 'tis impossible for you to take one right step towards Heaven, (much less to run with speed) whilst you remain in a state of sin. For while you are in such a state, you are in a dead state,Mr. Rogers Pra. Disco. of Sickn. and Reco. p. 114. you taste not the good­ness of God, nor hear his loudest Calls; you tremble not at his most dreadful threats, neither are you drawn with his love, nor start at [Page 29] his approaching wrath. Your ig­norance has deprived your souls of all knowledg of your own miseries; you are in a state of death and in­sensibility; and your case is the more sad, because you are like to fall under the power of eternal death; and though your temporal life is prolonged for a season, yet we may say of you as of Malefa­ctors under the sentence of the Law for their crimes, They are dead men, though there be a Re­prieve, or a delay of execution for a little space. You may as well expect a dead Corpse to go or run, as expect such as are in a state of sin, to do so in this Heavenly race. Or a person loaded with a burden, that he is scarce able to stand un­der, to be as speedy in going, as one that hath no burden at all. And although persons in a state of unregeneracy and sin, are not sen­sible what a burden sin is; that it will sink 'em to Hell if it be not [Page 30] remov'd; yet when once Consci­ence is awakned, they will then say of their sins as David did of his, as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me; Psal. 38.4. too heavy for me to bear long; so heavy, that if Infinite mercy doth not ease nor release me, I must fall under it. If the yoke of Christ be easie,Mat. 11.30. and his burden light, than of necessity on the contrary, must the yoke of the Devil, which is sin, be uneasie, heavy, and intollerable to be born; and yet how many are there, that by the course of their lives seem to be of the opinion, that 'tis possible for them (notwithstanding the bur­den of their sins) to be speedy e­nough in the ways of God, to ob­tain Heaven; that their external profession (without any such thing as repentance and a holy life) will save them; but O how greatly will they be mistaken! no doubt but there are many in Hell, that have heard and pray'd as much, [Page 31] or more than ever you have done. Thus you see how great a burden sin is, and how vast a hinderance 'tis to you in your way; nay, such a weight and burden is sin, that it will hinder you from ever obtain­ing Heaven, if it be not remov'd be­fore death. O therefore endeavour to get rid of this burden; loath, detest, and abhor sin, because God doth loath, detest, and ab­hor you for sin; because it seeks the utter ruin of your precious souls; beg of God to make you sensible that sin is a burden, and then when you feel the weight of it, you will not be unwilling to part with it; beseech him to quicken you who are dead in tres­passes and sins; Eph. 2.1. plead with him earnestly to make you sincerely willing to part with your whole burden, with all your sins; for every sin must be left,Mr. Gouges Word to Sinners, &c. pa [...] 167. or you had as good keep them all. Can you let all your sins go but this one? [Page 32] even this must go too, or your life must go for it: O set your selves against every sin, great and small, open and secret, carnal and spiritual; set your selves against them heartily; be willing to prosper and overcome; and set upon them speedily; let not iniquity live a day longer, nor sleep a night more in quiet with you. O let not that which is so much your hinderance, be retain'd by you; let God see your weari­ness of sin, by your earnestness to be rid of it; and the great sense you have of the impossibility of getting to Heaven with it; that so by patient continuing in your Duty, you may at last have a graci­ous release.

I should now speak of the Re­ward imply'd in my Text; but before I do this, give me leave to speak of one thing that is wor­thy of your strictest Observation; [Page 33] the Apostle does not say, in my Text, seem so to run as to ob­tain; or make an outward shew of running; but so run that ye may obtain; now, in thus expressing of himself, he excludes all Hypocri­sy, and counterfeit Godliness; and there is great reason for his doing thus. For in the visible Church, 'tis certain, that there are many that outwardly profess Christ, but inwardly and with their heart de­ny him; that are Christians by Name, but not such indeed. Ma­ny Hypocrites there are, like paint­ed Sepulchers, fair without, but within nothing but rottenness. Here then let me put you upon Exa­mination, whether or no you are not of this number? Hypocrisy is spun of a very fine Thread,Vid. Bishop Sander­son's Ser­mon, 1. ad populum, p. 175. and is not easily discernable without very diligent Examination; and things are not to be measured by the out­ward shew, or by the Lump and Bulk, but by an exacter Rule, [Page 34] whether they be true or no: dost thou bewail thy Sins with Tears? Dost thou avoid gross Sins with care? Dost thou oppose against common Corruptions with zeal? Why all this thou mayest do, and yet be a Hypocrite.Page 172. Nay, you may, as the same Author says, be touch­ed with a deep feeling of your Sins, and with heavy Hearts and many Tears confess and bewail them, and not only promise, but also purpose amendment; you may be superfici­ally affected with, and find some overly comfort and refreshing from the Contemplation of those graci­ous promises of Mercy, and Re­conciliation, and Salvation, which are contained in the glorious Go­spel of our Lord Jesus Christ; and have some degrees of perswasion that these promises are true, and some flashes of Confidence withal of your own personal Interest there­in; all this and much more may you do, and yet be rotten (as he [Page 35] says) at Heart; wholly carnal and unrenewed, quite empty of sound Faith, and Repentance, and Obe­dience, and every good Grace; full of damnable Pride and Hypocri­sy, as you may see Examples in Saul's care for the destroying of Witches; in Jehu's zeal in killing;1 Sam. 28.3. 2 Kings 10.16, 28. Mark 6.20. 1 Kings 21.27. Baal's Worshippers; in Herod's hearing of John Baptist gladly, and doing many things too; in Ahab's Repentance and Humiliation. O therefore look to your hearts, be willing to know what they are, and don't play the Hypocrite with your Souls! Consider, there's no Sin more odious in the sight of God than this.Simulata sanctitas, est duplex iniquitas. You shall never enter Heaven notwithstanding all your Prayers and Tears, if you are Hypocrites. When you shall plead for Mercy at the Day of Judgment, Christ will tell you,Matth. 7.23. he knows you not. May I a little al­so gloss upon your Misery when you come to Hell, which will be [Page 36] most intollerable; you will share in the greatest of them. The loose and prophane Wretches that lived like Devils Incarnate in the World, that spent very little or no time in Prayer, or Hearing, or any o­ther Duties, and that took you al­ways for Saints, because of your seeming strictness in the ways of God, when they shall see you in the same dreadful Condition with themselves, 'twill make them (if 'twere possible) laugh in Hell, to see that this is the end of your Profession, of your strictness in the ways of God, of your praying, and hearing, and the like; this will greatly aggravate your Tor­ment. O therefore, for Christs sake, and the sake of your own precious Souls, beware of Hypocrisy. I would (had I time) have given you some particular Marks of Hy­pocrisy; at present then make but this out clearly, That Hypocrisy is not predominant in you, but that [Page 37] in simplicity and sincerity of heart (and not with fleshly Wisdom) you have your Conversations in the World; you may then be sure you are not in the number of those Hypocrites that shall be banished for ever from the Pre­sence of the Lord, and turned into Hell.

I now return to my third and last Doctrinal head, namely, to speak of the Reward implied in my Text, which shall be certainly given to those that run lawfully, that run thus speedily and swiftly, constant­ly and sincerely in this Heavenly Race; and this Reward is no other, nor can be no better than Heaven it self;Luke 12.32. 'Tis your Fathers good plea­sure to give you the kingdom. Now, to speak fully of this glorious place, and the Felicities that God hath prepared there for his People, is impossible; we are not able fully to conceive of them; therefore what­ever [Page 38] I may now speak concerning the Glories, the Felicities of Hea­ven; if you ever come there, you will say, behold the thousand part was not told me; but according to what discoveries the Holy Ghost hath made of it in Scripture, we may speak of it, and we may see the Glories of it set forth to us, by the diversity and greatness of the Names thereof, and the Society we shall there enjoy. I shall speak to two or three of the Names thereof briefly.

1. 'Tis called the Kingdom of God and Christ,Revel. 12.10. Luke 23.42. because Christ having overcome Death, Hell, and Damnation, together with all the Enemies that did oppose and hin­der us in our way to Heaven, doth rule there, and govern his Church Triumphant with Heavenly Peace, and Everlasting Tranquility.Beverly's Great Soul of Man, p. 278. If we could imagine, as indeed we cannot, because experience so migh­tily [Page 39] contradicts it, that any Prince should live in all those delights and pleasures the most spendid Court affords, without any tedi­ousness, or satiety ten thousand years; what a dark Representati­on were this of this Kingdom, tho he could do, and enjoy all he would.

2. 'Tis call'd by the Name of Pa­radice,Luke 23.43. in respect of the abundant plenty of the greatest of Pleasures which the Saints can either wish for, or desire.

3. 'Tis call'd Eternal Life,Joh. 3.15. Matth. 25.46. be­cause there shall be no more Death, nor Lamentation, nor Sorrow: We shall quit a vale of Tears, for Rivers of Eternal Pleasures;Mr. Silve­ster's Ser­mon in the Supplement to the Morn­ing Exer­cise. an Element of Joys succeeds our bit­ter Cup; our Rights can never be invaded there, nothing can stain the Comforts of that World; no Blots nor Wounds are there contracted [Page 40] or endured; no Troubles in that Isra­el; there are no pauses of Astonish­ment through surprisals of Affli­ctions; Death smites no Corners there; Providence makes no Storms; there lies that Ark wherein no vile or wicked Cham shall dwell; the Glory of that place it knows no Eclipse, nor Cloud, no dim Dis­coveries, or flat Notes shall be the Exercise or Entertainment of that State. I might give you more Illu­strations upon the great and glorious Names of this Kingdom, but this may serve as a tast of the Glories, the Joys of that blessed place, by which you may discern the excellen­cy théreof.

But now as to the Society that there we shall enjoy. There we shall have the Company of God and Christ, Saints and Angels, and all our Godly Friends and Relati­ons, and joyn with them in singing Hallelujahs to the Lord God Al­mighty, [Page 41] and to the Lamb his Son, that sits upon the Throne for ever­more.Vid. Mr. Rogers's Practical Discourse of Sickness and Reco­very, page 97. O how vastly different is that Assembly from such a one as this! Here we are with our unbe­lief, with our Fears, with our strong Corruptions, and with our many Sins; whereas they are all per­fect and compleat in Holiness. We shall then be no more disturbed with the Abuses of the Wicked, we shall be no more griev'd with their Oaths and Curses, nor trou­bled with their Company, but be in the happy Society of those that will delight us, and such as to Eternity we shall enjoy; and not only shall our Souls enjoy these Fe­licities,Phil. 3.21. but at the Resurrection our Bodies shall be joyn'd to them, and both shall be happy: Our Bo­dies shall not be what now they are, foul, unactive Lumps of Clay,Mr. Silve­ster's Ser­mon in the Supplement to the Morn­ing Exer­cise. they are now pierced with Cold, and worn with Labours, appaled with Griefs and Dangers, and [Page 42] grip'd with Pains, and macerated with keen and envious Passions, and after all, mouldred to Dust by Death and Rottenness; but there neither Deformity, Pains, nor Death, shall be their fear nor ex­ercise. Thus have I briefly shew'd you what this Reward is, that that those shall obtain that run, as I have shown you, in this Heaven­ly Race, and the Happinesses, the Felicities, the Glories that there they shall injoy. And after all, I must conclude somewhat like the Apostle, That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, 1 Cor. 2. [...]. neither hath it entred in­to the heart of man fully to conceive of the things that God hath prepar­ed in heaven for them that love him.

Having now done what I promis­ed, as to the Doctrinal part, I pro­ceed to the Application.

Is it so then, that the greatest Speediness and Celerity in the Ways [Page 43] of God, must be constantly practised by those that would obtain everlast­ing Life? Then,

First, From hence we may draw a Use of Reproof for those Persons that are creeping (as it were) to Heaven, instead of running swift­ly; that go as if they did not care whether they came there or no, or as if they had an Eternity of Time allow'd them for their Jour­ney. What do you mean, Sirs? Your Sun is setting, the Night draws on, the Shadows of the E­vening have overtaken you, stir up your selves, O slothful Souls, you are upon the very Borders of Eter­nity; your Lives are but as a Va­pour,James 4.14. and what will become of your Souls, if your day is gone be­fore your work be done? Are you not ashamed to see so many over­take you? Are you not asham'd to make no further progress, that have so many helps provided for [Page 44] you, and tender'd to you? Are you not asham'd that God should see you loytering by the way? Are you not asham'd that every trivial matter should stop you? O for shame cast away all your hindran­ces, get rid of your Obstructions, and run; you'll be be-lated, O Souls! Don't you see what haste Sinners make to Hell? Shall they strive and run for Damnation, more than you for Salvation? O take this timely Reproof, you lazy, slothful ones. What will become of you, if you shall idle till Christ calls you to an account? How will that word sound in your ears,Matth. 25.26. Thou wicked and slothful servant. The true cause of thy neglect, is thy sloth­fulness, and not thy Inability; and when that follows, Verse 30. Cast ye the unprofitable servant into utter dark­ness; throw him into Hell, let him see my Face no more. Then will you wish (tho too late) that you had been speedy in your Course, [Page 45] that you had improv'd your Time and Talents, but then no more Time, nor Talents will be granted; then you are undone to Eterni­ty. Are you Young? Therefore do you loyter? Do you not see Young die as well as Old? Have you not a proof of this now before your Eyes? Are you in Health and Strength? Therefore do you loyter? Don't you see as strong as the strongest of you, and as healthy as the most health­ful, suddenly snatched away. O therefore loyter no longer, begin now to be speedy, lest an here­after be never granted. Behold! 2 Cor. 6.2. now is the accepted time! behold, now is the day of salvation. This Life is the time wherin your Calling and Election must be made sure. This Life is the time wherein you must work out your Salvation with fear and trembling. This Life is the time wherein you must be admit­ted into the Kingdom of Grace, if ever you expect to be admitted in­to [Page 46] the Kingdom of Glory. This Life is the time wherein you must run with speed and patience, the Race that is set before you, if ever you expect to receive that great and glorious Reward that is prepared for such as are speedy, constant, and sin­cere in their Course: O, therefore mend your pace, lest you should be be-lated to Heaven.

Let a second Use, be a Use of Advice, and that to two sorts of Persons. First, To those that having begun and continued for a time, are now drawing back. I advise you that have begun to run in this Hea­venly Race, to hold on, and that to the end; 'twill be your own ano­ther day; will not these Promises allure you;Matth. 10.22. He that endureth to the end, shall be saved. Can you desire a better Reward for your Pains than Salvation? 'Tis no wonder if at any time we see a poor Sinner draw back from serving the Devil; for [Page 47] he may well grow weary of his work, because of his wages;Rom. 6.23. he'll be dreadfully Rewarded. But indeed it may be admired at, to see any turn their backs upon God, and grow weary of his Service, who will be so well rewarded, greatly above what they do deserve. To see Persons turn their backs upon Salvation, we may admire at their Folly and Madness; what think you of that other Pro­mise? Be thou faithful unto death, Rev. 2.10 and I will give you a crown of life, or an unfaidable Crown of Glory, as the Apostle Peter, 1 Pet. 5.4: [...]. Sirs, you that are weary of Gods ways, that grow tired of that which will (if you continue therein) end in your eternal Happi­ness; produce such a Promise as this from the World, Sin or Satan, if you can; no, they have no such Reward; pray then be perswaded to hold on, to persevere. Sirs, you can't ima­gine the misery you'll bring upon your selves, by drawing back; you'll [Page 48] incur God's hatred, and you had better have the hatred of the whole World.Hebr. 10.38. Read and consider; resolve therefore whatever comes on't, to hold out to the end, that so you may be happy. But,

Secondly, Let it be a Use of Advice to the Hypocrites; you have heard how far a Hypocrite may go, and yet be rotten at heart; and you have heard something of the heinousness of Sin; and the punishment that will follow. I do now advise you, if you tender your Souls good, to go no further in such a state and condition, for you'll be damn'd for your pains: O whatever you do, be upright; let God have your hearts in all your Actions; make us no longer believe that you are what you are not, for 'tis you that will be the losers at last. Read that Scripture often, and I leave you at this time, Matth. 5.20. Christ tells you plainly, That except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Phari­ses, [Page 49] ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. Now what was their Righteousness? Why truly, 'twas an outside Righteousness; they were very Hypocrites, as Christ often calls them, Matth. 23.13, 14, 15. and in many more places. And sure­ly, if any thing moves to Sincerity, it will be the thoughts of the Punish­ment of Hypocrisy. But then

Thirdly, Let us take up an Use of Lamentation, and that up­on the account of those poor Souls, that instead of running in the ways of God that lead to Heaven, they are running head­long to Hell: Poor Souls! don't you tremble to think of your end; methinks my heart bleeds for you! O join with me, Chri­stians, in my sorrow for these poor Souls! Lord, what a Grief must it needs be to any compas­sionate heart, to think of their sad Condition! O that poor crea­tures [Page 50] should with such delight work out their own ruin! O that they will be their own butchers, not of their bodies, but (which is worse) of their precious Souls! Who can forbear to weep, to see sinners go cheer­fully to Hell! O that Christ and his Grace should be slighted by them that have so much need of both! O that overtures of Reconcili­ation should be refused by such as are just dropping into Hell, into the midst of Everlasting Burnings! Lord pity them! Lord open their eyes! O that they might see their danger, before they feel it; that so they might timely turn back, and escape it, that we may have cause to rejoice in thy Mercy towards them!

One Use more, and that shall be of Comfort to the godly, to those that run speedily, constantly, and sincerely in the ways of God. Lift up your heads with comfort, for [Page 51] you are happy souls, you are in the way of your duty, and you shall be rewarded; tho your Race be toilsome to the flesh, let the Reward that will follow upon your continuing stedfast to the end, be your Cordial and Comfort. Consider; 'Tis but a little while, and all your labour will be over,Rev. 14.13. and you shall have an Eternal Rest. Do you object by way of Complaint, I suffer so much by reason of many and great Affli­ctions and Troubles, and by rea­son of God's taking away my Comforts, my Children, my Re­lations and Friends, that I find my self greatly hindred in my way to Heaven; and I fear that I shall not hold out long; I doubt I shall not persevere to the end.

I shall endeavour to answer you fully, and so close: You must then believe this as a great truth, That Afflictions must of necessity [Page 52] come upon those that run in this Heavenly Race; nay, 'tis impossi­ble to be freed from them; all that will live godly in Christ Je­sus must suffer Persecution; for whom God loves, 2 Tim. 3.12. he chastens; and scourges every son whom he receives. We are Bastards, and not Sons, if we are free from Affliction. Those Beasts that are appointed for the Slaughter, are let run in Fat Pastures; but those that are not appointed for such an end, are daily wrought, and subject to the yoke: The Stones that were for Solomon's Building,1 Kings 7.9. were squa­red and hewn before they were laid therein; and so must every Christian be squared and hewn too, by Affliction, that is to be a lively Stone in this Spiritual Build­ing,Psal. 118.22. of which Christ Jesus is the Head Corner-Stone. The Lord spareth some for a time, that he may punish them for ever; and he chastens some for a time, that [Page 53] he may spare them for ever: Dives, that was spared on earth, was tormented in Hell; and La­zarus that was afflicted on earth, was received into Heaven.Luk. 16.19. ad fi­nem. He that would reign with Christ in the Kingdom of Glory, must suffer for him in the vale of Tears. He that would obtain Christ, must follow him; and he that does follow him, must do it with his Cross. Christ suffer­ed before he entred into Glory; and so must Christians before they can be glorified. Surely the Ser­vant must not be above his Master. If we suffer, we shall reign: We must not expect to drink of those Rivers of Pleasures, that run through the Celestial Paradice, unless we are willing to drink of the bit­ter Cup of Affliction: Many are the Troubles of the Righteous; one affliction seldom comes alone, for God is not like the wasp, that ha­ving stung once, can sting no more, [Page 54] but there is a plurality of Crosses with God, he can sting agen and agen. As one sorrowful messenger came to Job after another, even so one affliction visiteth the Christian after another. Those therefore that run in the race of Godliness, must not think this strange, neither must they think to be free from affliction. Thus you see that of necessity afflictions must come upon the people of God, upon those that run in this Heavenly race. You say further, that God takes away your Comforts, your Children, your Relations, your Friends, and this makes you fear you shall not hold on, but rather draw back. In answer to this, consider, Hath God dealt worse with you than with others of his Children that have been as precious in his sight as you, and have done as much for his Glory. Pray compare your case with Job's, read that Chap­ter seriously at your leisure, you'l there find that God depriv'd him of all his outward Comforts, and of his [Page 55] Children too; and (blessed be God) he hath not dealt so severely with you, you have yet a great many bles­sings and comforts, that God is yet pleased to continue to you,Job 1. and parti­cularly as to Children. God has not taken your All, and can't you spare God one Lamb or two out of your Flock without repining. Observe what Job says, when depriv'd of all his outward Comforts, The Lord gave, Job 1.21. and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord: He acknow­ledges him to be both good and just in all his ways, and blesseth him for all, whether giving or taking. O do you learn Job's spirit.

But by this time you may readily ask, what reasons can be given for God's thus suffering his Children to be afflicted? I answer, there are many reasons that may be given for this; I shall give you a few of them.

1. God suffers his Children to be afflicted, that he might wean them from the love of this world; which [Page 56] we are naturally prone to dote upon, but especially in a prosperous state; then we are apt and ready to be for­getful of God, and of our selves too, then the weeds are ready to overgrow the corn, and the flesh ready to domi­neer over the spirit; but by affliction we are brought to hate that which before we loved, and to embrace that which before we loathed. In time of prosperity we are apt to pride our selves in our worldly enjoyments, in our Goods and Possessions, and to have high and lofty thoughts of our selves, as Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 4.30. Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the Kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour of my Majesty? But when the Lord takes him to task, making of him to live with the beasts of the field, and to eat grass like oxen, then he was brought to acknowledg one above him,Dan. 4.37. to acknowledg that he was a­ble to abase all those that walk in pride. By dealing thus with us, he [Page 57] brings us experimentally to know, that the world and the things thereof are vanity, and that they are at his disposal to give and take away at his pleasure. Thus therefore does God suffer his Children to be afflicted, that he might withdraw their affe­ctions from the fading vanities of the world.

2ly, To draw us to amendment of life;Psal. 119.67. Before I was afflicted (says the Psalmist) I went astray, but now have I kept thy Word. Affliction was the cause of his reformation; when we sin, and go on therein, then God out of love strikes us with the rod of affliction, to cause us to remember our sins, and to re­pent of them. The affliction of the Body many times proves whole­some Physick for the soul; though it wounds the outward man, it many times renews the inward man. God can't endure to see the ble­mish of sin upon the faces of his Children, but he presently wash­eth [Page 58] it off with the water of affli­ction.

3ly, God suffereth his Children to be afflicted, that they might the more earnestly call upon him, and the more speedily seek unto him. 'Tis hard to keep silence when in grievous pain. Affliction makes us run to God for help and release­ment;Jon. 2. thus did Jonah when in the Whale. Our requests are then commonly more earnest and fervent; how earnest are they in their di­stress!Jon. 1.14. We beseech thee, Lord, we beseech thee. Thus therefore does God many times oppress us, that we might cry unto him; crying un­to him, he might hear us; and hear­ing us, might deliver us; and de­livering us, he might be glorified of us.

4. For the exercise of their Gra­ces, as Faith, Hope, Love, Obedi­ence, Patience, and Humility.

1. Faith is exercised in Affliction, by considering the causes of God's [Page 59] Permission, and believing most as­suredly his Promises concerning our Deliverance: We look by an Eye of Faith beyond all outward Helps and Means, to that unseen Hand of Power that is able and wil­ling to deliver us; and we believe and know it shall be so, because of his Word.

2. Hope; By assuring our selves of the Rewards promised to those that suffer patiently; hope keeps our hearts from breaking, and it be­ing a well-grounded hope, 'tis (when exercised) in the greatest affli­ctions comfortable.

3. Love is exercised in affliction, by considering the love of Christ in suffering for us, and thereby we are engaged to suffer for him again.

4. Obedience; by conforming our wills to the will of God. Must I suffer? well, says the soul, I am con­tented, seeing it is my Father's plea­sure; I freely submit, because my [Page 60] Lord has taught me so to do; and in obedience to God's will, the soul will submissively say, Not my will, but thine be done; tho it be ne­ver so contrary to nature, tho never so hard to bear. In the greatest afflictions the Child of God will submissively say, Lord, this is no­thing to what thou didst undergo for me.

5. Patience is exercised in affli­ction, by suffering quietly, willingly, and cheerfully. Thus was the Lord pleased to exercise Job's Patience; and although God had permitted Satan to tempt him,Job 1. his enemies to undo him, his Children by sud­den death to be taken from him, his body to be afflicted with boils and sores, having no part free from pain and grief; his Wife to be an occasion of offence unto him, which in these distresses should have been a comfort; yet notwithstanding all this, Job sin'd not against his Ma­ker. [Page 61] Thus was the Patience of the Apostles, and Martyrs, tried and exercised, namely, by and in Affliction, who were so far from be­ing impatient, and from murmur­ing, that they quietly and chear­fully laid down their Lives for the Gospel.

6. Humility, by abasing our selves in the sight of God, acknowledg­ing that these Sufferings, these Af­flictions, are nothing in compari­son of Hell, which for our Sins we have deserved; tho our Affliction may be many times more than we are able to bear, yet it is not so much as we do deserve.

Lastly, The Lord suffereth his People to be afflicted, that the great­ness of his Power, and the infinite­ness of his Mercy might be shown in the delivery of us. You read, that when the Disciples ask'd our Saviour the reason why the Man [Page 62] was born blind: He tells them, Not for his own sins, nor for the sins of his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him, John 9.2, 3. from which we may truly gather thus much, That the Man was born blind, that Christ might have occasion to shew the greatness of his Power in restoring his sight. So 'tis said of Lazarus, Joh. 11.4. that he died to this end, that God might be glori­fied in raising him from the dead. Thus have I shewn you for what reasons God suffereth his People to be afflicted. Now from all that hath been said, we may see, that Af­flictions are rather helps, than hin­drances to us in this Heavenly Race; therefore be not discouraged be­cause of Afflictions, for the Lord in his due time will deliver you out of them all; rather pray that God would sanctify your Afflictions, than remove them; and endeavour to arm your selves with the whole armour of God, Ephes. 6.13. that so you may not by reason [Page 63] of Satan's Temptations, and the prevalency of your own Corrupti­ons, fall under them. And seeing Afflictions are so convenient for us, let us learn to bless God for them; for had it not been for these, we might have been yet (for ought we know) in love with the World and Sin, which at last would have brought us to Hell. Thus (by Di­vine Assistance) have I spoken what I design'd on this Subject. O that God would now be pleased to make it effectual for you Souls good, for the stirring of you up to be more speedy, constant, and sincere in running your Race. O that at the Day of Judgment, I might meet you all that are here this day, at the Right Hand of Jesus Christ, which will be an assurance to us of our entring into Glory; for 'tis to these he will say,Matth. 25.34. Come ye bles­sed of my Father, inherit the king­dom prepared for you, from the foun­dation of the world. Now, the lit­tle [Page 64] time that remains, let us re­solve to improve, by being more speedy, constant, and sincere in run­ning our Race. O let us be stedfast, unmovable, 1 Cor. 15.58. always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as we know that our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.


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